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    Institute Index:

    Follow the drone money

    by | Mar 12, 2013

    mq-9_reaper_drone_usafDate on which U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) launched a talking filibuster protesting John Brennan’s appointment as CIA director, and raising concerns about the Obama administration’s policy on the domestic use of unmanned aircraft known as drones against U.S. civilians: 3/6/2013

    Hours Paul spoke before he was forced to stop for a bathroom break: almost 13

    Days after Paul launched the filibuster that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sent him a letter stating that the answer to the question of whether the president has “the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil” is “no”: 1

    Date on which U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina scolded fellow Republicans who supported Paul’s filibuster, saying he doesn’t “remember any of you coming down here suggesting that President Bush was going to kill anybody with a drone”: 3/7/2013

    Amount in campaign contributions Graham has received from the political action committee and employees of Lockheed Martin, a leading drone maker: $45,600

    Amount his campaign received from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and General Atomics, other leading drone makers: $38,000

    Amount in campaign contributions Graham has received from defense industry PACs overall: $242,550

    Amount in campaign contributions Paul has received from defense industry PACs: $0

    Number of military drones the U.S. deployed in 2002: fewer than 200

    Total number the U.S. has deployed since then: 11,000

    Estimated number of CIA drone strikes that have taken place overseas, a policy that Paul was not protesting in his filibuster: 410 to 426

    Estimated number of civilians killed in those strikes: 423 to 944

    Estimated number of children killed: 170 to 199

    Number of members of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus, also known as the “drone caucus”: 49

    Amount in campaign contributions members of that caucus received from political action committees associated with drone manufacturers from 2011 through mid-2012: $2.3 million

    Between 2005 and 2012, amount in contracts the federal government awarded for drones: at least $12 billion

    Factor by which the drone market is expected to grow over the next decade: 2

    Number of companies that are now in the drone business: more than 1,000

    Number of private-sector and government requests to fly drones that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has approved since 2007: 1,428

    Number of police departments that have asked the FAA for permits to fly drones: 12

    Number of commercial drones that the FAA predicts will be flying in domestic airspace by 2017: 10,000

    Under a law signed last year by President Obama, date by which the FAA has to draw up rules regulating how law enforcement, the military and others may use drones in U.S. airspace:  9/2015

    Date on which Charlottesville, Va. because the first city to pass an anti-drone resolution: 2/4/2013

    Price of a drone-proof hoodie being sold by the British company Stealth Wear, which also offers drone-proof scarves and burqas: $481

    (Click on figure to go to source.)

    ###
    • Editor's note: This story originally published at SouthernStudies.org and used under the creative commons license. If you appreciate these stories, please support their work by making a donation at SouthernStudies.org . Image: General Atomics' MQ-9 Reaper drone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Paul Ridgeway - public domain)
    Sue Sturgis

    Sue Sturgis

    Sue Sturgis joined the Institute for Southern Studies in November 2005 as director of the Institute's Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a project to document and investigate the post-Katrina recovery. A former staff writer for the Raleigh News & Observer and Independent Weekly (Durham, N.C.), Sue directs and regularly contributes to the Institute's online magazine, Facing South, with a focus on energy and environmental issues. Sue is the author or co-author of five Institute reports, including Faith in the Gulf (Aug/Sept 2008), Hurricane Katrina and the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (January 2008) and Blueprint for Gulf Renewal (Aug/Sept 2007). Sue holds a Masters in Journalism from New York University.

     

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    • http://likethedew.com Lee Leslie

      I hate to imagine what the next couple of decades will be like when FedEx and UPS delivers packages to my door by drone; when the boy next door who got bee size drone with camera is a peeping tom on the girl next door, or worse, the pedophile; when drones enforce traffic laws and keep order; when spousal trust is strengthened by drone; when each child leaves their house with a personal drone hovering above, okay, every affluent child; when companies and countries spy on each as they like; when privacy gets really weird. Thanks, Sue. I’d rather watch the movie, but now I’ll watch the lobbyists, because they will write the laws.

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