Only now that the bubbly and drugs have worn off may news of President Obama’s signing off on a contentious defense bill totally crush any New Year’s hopes for due process rights and checks on the U.S. military’s runaway drone mentality.
The National Defense Authorization Act, or H.R. 1540, funnels $662 billion to military efforts through 2012, and was sold as a fresh set of counterterrorism measures and tight sanctions on Iran. At some 500 pages, the bill drew immediate fire from civil liberties groups – and the wrath of much of the online crowd – for burying language that gives the all-clear to the president’s detaining of terror suspects indefinitely and without trial.
Obama says he signed the document because it’s brimming with critical Administration procedures "to develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, …to modernize the force, and to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide,” in addition to controlling the Department of Defense’s “spiraling” health care costs.
That all reads like a set of joint DoD-CIA New Year’s resolutions for their full-blown No. 1 guns: unmanned aerial vehicles. Here’s what we can expect, then, over the next year in drones.
Read the rest at Motherboard.