By Tim Collins
The mainstream media has tried repeatedly to debunk the idea that the EPA is using spy drones to monitor US farmers. Following confusion over a claim that the EPA was using unmanned drones to spy on cattle ranchers in Nebraska and Iowa, when in fact the federal agency was taking pictures from manned aircraft, the establishment media went on the offensive, characterizing fears that the federal agency was using the excuse of environmental regulations to keep tabs on farmers as paranoid delusions.
The Washington Post led the charge, debunking the “menacing tale of government gone too far,” quickly followed by the L.A. Times and innumerable other news outlets who seized upon the error to portray opponents of drone surveillance as reactionary lunatics.
Leftist blogs like Mediaite and scores of others placed the blame squarely on the Drudge Report and Infowars, noting how, “The story originally appeared on several blogs, picking up traction after the Drudge Report linked to an InfoWars article on the story,” before it appeared on Fox News.
A search of the EPA’s official site shows that the agency has been planning to use spy drones for monitoring pollution and land use for many years.
An EPA project entitled Landscape Characterization and Change Detection Methods Development Research, which was scheduled for completion in 2009, describes how the EPA would use “UAV and satellite based remote sensor data to provide a continuous environmental monitoring capability.”
The EPA has in fact admitted in their own words that they have been developing and using these drones since 2009.
Mean while in Miami, party goers were treated to a curious sight. They saw what appeared to be a high tech toy helicopter flying around watching their every move. The “helicopter” was in fact a drone.
Attendees of last month’s Memorial Day weekend celebration in Miami Beach were stunned to see something flying around them. “That’s the police, that’s the police,” the man filming the video is heard saying as the drone hovers close to a bar between palm trees.
In January 2011, the Miami-Dade Police Department announced that they would be the first in the country to use drones to patrol a city, with an array of UAVs the size of a “small office garbage can.”
Many Americans are concerned about their right to privacy. Privacy advocates have warned that the FAA has not acted to establish any safeguards whatsoever, and that lawmakers are not holding the agency to account. Resentment is also rising on the political right after conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer’s observation that the first person to shoot down a surveillance drone on U.S. soil will be a “folk hero.”
Last month a mystery object, thought to be a military or law enforcement drone, flying in controlled airspace over Denver almost caused a catastrophic mid air crash with a commercial jet.
As drones begin to fill the skies, there are rising concerns over safety. Some citizens are concerned about drones crashing into commercial planes or suffering failure and falling out of the sky and injuring some one on the ground.
One thing is certain, the mainstream media will continue to do their best to debunk and idea of the government spying on Americans.
Here is footage from Miami, skip to 3:29 to see the drone
- Rehberg backs off EPA drone claim, blames Obama (billingsgazette.com)
- Reining in false rumor about EPA ‘drones’ proves tricky (kansas.com)
- Is EPA Using Drones Over Missouri? (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- Why Is the EPA Using Drones to Spy on Cattle Ranchers in Nebraska and Iowa? (foxnewsinsider.com)