June 12th, 2012
11:16 AM ET

Sen. Paul says no to domestic drones

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is supporting a bill to ban the use of domestic drones to monitor citizens in the U.S. He spoke with CNN's Carol Costello a day after a U.S. Navy drone crashed in Salisbury, Maryland.

Here is the transcript:
Costello: The smoldering wreckage is still there lying in a marsh in Salisbury, Maryland. It’s what's left of a military drone. No injuries. No property damage, but $176 million loss for the air force. The air force is still investigating why this thing crashed. The drone is used for military purposes, but smaller drones are being used by law enforcement agencies across the country. Police say these small drones can fly low and undetected and help them fight crime. The American Civil Liberties Union says it's a violation of personal rights. Republican Senator Rand Paul does too. He’s here now. Welcome, Senator.

Paul: Good to be with you.

Costello: Tell us about your anti-drone bill. I actually have it right here, and I’m amazed it's three pages long.

Paul: Well, you know, I got the idea from Representative Austin Scott. So I have to give him some credit from Georgia. He told me about the bill recently. We picked it up and are introducing it as the senate version. Yeah, I’m a big fan of the fourth amendment. Not only do I like the second amendment, I like the fourth amendment. I think you should have to have a warrant to invade people's privacy and to spy on them. And so I think it's very important. And this just basically restates the Constitution. But sometimes you have to restate the Constitution because many up here seem so ignore it. And Representative Scott when he told me about the bill he said, look, when I’m out hunting on my property, I don't want them spying on me. And I’m not a hunter. But when I’m separating out my recyclables, I don't want them having a drone to make sure I’m putting my newspaper in the proper bin.

Costello: Well, we've already got drone launch sites in more than 20 states. Police are pretty excited about this new crime fighting tool. So would your bill make these launch sites go away?

Paul: What it would do is there's a balancing act. I mean police do have power and I want police to catch rapists and murderers. But they ask a judge and we separate the police from the people who finally make the decision on someone coming in your house. So even if a rapist is loose in D.C. tonight, the police will call a judge in the middle of the night, wake him or her up and say, we think there's a rapist in the neighborhood. Can we go in x address? And so those are things that are very, very important to protecting innocent individuals. And a drone is a very, very powerful way of snooping on behavior. And I don't want them monitoring every bit of my behavior. And I’m not joking about the recyclables. I mean, we've had different states and cities trying to punish people criminally for not separating out the recyclables. We don't want a nanny state that watches every minute of our day. It's not that there will be no drones it's just that drones will only be used when a judge says that it's proper.

Costello: What about in this instance? One Texas sheriff told reporters his agency is considering arming his drones with rubber bullets and tear gas. Let's say there's a large crowd gathering and you need some crowd control. This type of drone might be able to diminish any problems on the ground. Would that be allowed under your bill?

Paul: Anything that would require a warrant. It would have to have a warrant. And I’m concerned about obviously arming drones. But I don't want to say that I’m arguing against technology. For example, there's a bomb in a car, I’m very happy that we have automated robots that can go up to the car and investigate the bomb and we don't have to risk a human. Same with drones. If they can save lives, that'd be one thing. Arming drones obviously sends up pictures of the military and I don't think domestically armed drones are a good idea. What I would say is that drones could be used if you have a proper warrant. But that means you go through a judge. A judge has to say there is probable cause of a crime. But I don't want drones roaming across, crisscrossing our cities and our country snooping on Americans. And that's the surveillance state that I’m very concerned about. And that's what our bill would stop.

Costello: This military drone that crashed in Salisbury, Maryland, the ACLU is also concerned that these domestic drones may crash randomly in some neighborhood and hurt people. Is that a concern you have too?

Paul: I think that could be a danger. I don't know the safety profile of you know how good they are. But they do crash occasionally. So this one crashed and we also lost the one in Iran. So I think there is some danger. But I’m not against technology per se. What I am for are the constitutional processes that protect our civil liberties. So, you know, it's not like I’m against the police using cars or against them using airplanes or helicopters or robots. But I am for personal privacy for saying that no policeman will ever do this without asking a judge for permission. That was the recent case where the police were tagging GPS tags on your car without a warrant. The Supreme Court was very clear on this. Struck it down 9-0. So I feel comfortable that conservatives and liberals on the Supreme Court are concerned about privacy and technology's ability to invade our privacy. So I am very, very concerned about this, and I think this is a very serious bill. And we'll push forward and I’m going to talk to Senator Reid and Senator McCconnell about allowing a vote on it.

Costello: Do you have the same types of concerns about military drones being used in other countries or does your bill just specifically deal with drones flying over the United States?

Paul: This would only be domestic.

Costello: Do you have concerns about the use of military drones in other countries?

Paul: I am concerned about one person deciding the life or death of not only foreigners but U.S. citizens around the world. And the chance that one person could make a mistake, you know, is a possibility. So having the president decide who he's going to kill concerns me. I would rather it go through a court, and there are actually secret courts, the FISA court investigates intelligence information. And most of these decisions aren't made like this. They make the decision over weeks and months. They target people and go after them. I see no reason why there couldn't be some sort of court preceding, even a secret court preceding, to allow some protection. I mean even in the United States where we have the best due process probably in the world, we have probably executed people wrongfully for the death penalty. They have found out through DNA testing, many people on death row are there inaccurately. And even Republicans have pulled back their beliefs some on death penalty. So I think when we decide to kill someone, that's obviously the ultimate punishment. We need to be very, very certain that what we're doing is not in error.

Costello: Senator Paul, thank you so much for being with us this morning. We appreciate it.

Filed under: Security Brief
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  41. Honesty

    This is another one of Rand Paul's lies..Ron Paul has never lied to anyone..he has always spoken the truth and he didn't come to Rands aid after he endorsed Romney and we all rejected his son.I think Ron Paul figures my Son is a man and makes his own decisions and also will have to pay the price of those decisions,Now Rand just came out with Legislation he is trying to sell to us..Giving Cops around our Nation Drones but only with a Judges signature, now doesn;t that make u feel cozy..Cops with drones flying over us Rand's Legislation!!!..No Rand and no to your right to work Law..We have enough Federal laws stamped on our backs..this guy is scary don't give a dime to his so called Liberty movement ..It's the slavery movement!!!

    June 18, 2012 at 12:34 am | Reply
    • Don

      you need to relisten to what he is saying. He is triing to stop them from having free range.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  42. Honesty

    Man now they are taking away our freedom of speech o this site!!!..It won't let me post what i really want to say..Don't even vote for Rand Paul not even for Dog catcher...He's advocating a Tyrrntical police state a Dictatorship!!! We aren't giving up our freedom for any amount of Security when u do u loose both!!!

    June 17, 2012 at 10:17 am | Reply
  43. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    I hope the cameras on the domestically employed drones have sufficient resolution to detect my upraised middle finger.

    June 15, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  44. The Dude

    Let's see you liberals were screaming at the top of your lungs about how the "Patriot Act" was an invasion of privacy when Bush introduced it.

    Yet now that your man is in office and kept the PA in place, instead of repealing it like he promised during his campain. He even wants to take it a step further and start using "Domestic Drones".

    So tell me liberals where is the invasion of privacy outrage? Me I'm against the PA and these so called domestic drones.

    June 15, 2012 at 7:29 am | Reply
    • Honesty

      Oh but haven't you heard, Rand Paul just introduced legislation for all cops across our Nation to have and use drones ..as long as they have a Judges Signature..oh well that makes it all better now doesn't it?..Rand Paul is more than a sell out..He is a devil in diguise ..don't give a dime to his Liberty movement, Its the slavery movement and he is not a Patriot he is N.W.O.

      June 18, 2012 at 12:40 am | Reply
      • Don

        Honesty you're name is wrong it should be full of crap.

        June 20, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Matt


      August 4, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  45. michaelfury


    June 14, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
  46. Bob

    It's only a matter of time. We're headed toward that sci-fi world where the government controls everyone and everything from the sky. Spy cameras that can see through the roof of your home, drones that can strike at a moment's notice. All to keep the populace in check. THAT is the ultimate democracy.

    June 14, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
    • allenwoll

      Bob - Seek professional help ! ! !

      June 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • Don

        Hate to tell you this but he is not far off. The police already are using an exray robot that they control by remote that looks through walls and can tell where the people are at in the house.

        June 20, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • KawiMan

      If this is the case, then it's time for a Revolution!!!

      June 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  47. Bart

    Obama might use domestic drones to get rid of his opposition. He might designate his opposition as enemy of the US and enter them on his hit list.
    Also there is not compeling reason to have drones fight crime in the US. Helicopters with personnel provide better acountability for actions.

    June 14, 2012 at 6:27 am | Reply
  48. cacique

    In addition to giving big brother more power, the drones mean another use of our budget and more income for the drones' manufactuerers. Since their lobby is just unbeatable, expect to have them drones flying all over us.

    June 14, 2012 at 5:40 am | Reply
    • cacique

      Unless we get united and vote out any politician supporting the use of those machines. I am sure they will continue to crash down putting in danger of death citizens wherever the drone fly.

      June 14, 2012 at 5:46 am | Reply
  49. elpfeifer

    This "government" is not concerned with saving lives, they are only concerned with controlling people, and the best way to do that is to keep them in a constant state of fear. Who have them the right to even consider using drones on us? We should kick them ALL out, and don't replace them! Elections are so stupid, anyway, and we don't need rulers, and laws. They have no right taking our money for taxes, either.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:34 am | Reply
  50. The King

    So this loser is against the drones but voted for the patriot act. I find it very difficult to care about anything in this country anymore. This nation of idiots gets exactly what it deserves. Personally, I just don't give a damn.

    June 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Fabian

      Hey The King, isn't Senator Paul the guy who actually defied Harry Reid and held up the vote for the Patriot Act until the gun records search provision was removed? At least he's trying...

      June 14, 2012 at 1:13 am | Reply
      • guest

        so he ehld up the patriot act so that the government couldn't ensure that guns are registered. so any nut can get a gun, but the rest of the patriot act was just fine with him. give me a break!

        June 14, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Patriot

      Can you show me where Rand voted for the PATRIOT Act? Because I have yet to find anything verifying that...only the fact that he fought against it, tried to amend it, and stalled it as long as he could.

      June 14, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  51. Anita Bongtoke


    June 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  52. Gyver

    This is just another corporate take over. The manufacturers of these drones stand to lose billions. I heard they are manufactured in Israel. So what about American jobs? Naturally we get screwed both ways!

    June 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • ready

      lol they are NOT made in israel.

      June 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
      • Sanjay

        The important point is that the Jews want the drones. Jews are turning America into a giant gulag. Exactly what they did to Russia.

        June 13, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
      • WDinDallas

        Most of the jews in Israel came from Russia. Stalin was hunting them down and killing them as bad as Hitler...maybe worst.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  53. pozin

    Does Mr. Paul realize these drones are not militarily equipped? They are just for surveillance. There is no expectancy of privacy outside. You should be expected to be seen by someone. I, for one, want them up there as I want the criminal element controlled. If you are doing nothing wrong who cares if they see the top of your head while you are out and about.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • JeramieH

      Prohibition... what everyone thinks is OK today may be ruled illegal tomorrow. People don't always agree with their government and shouldn't have to walk around with a government camera over their shoulder all the time.

      June 13, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Gyver

      NO!!!! If you want someone to spy on you, hire someone. I dont want it...no more surveillance. No more militarizing our police.. and maybe they should outlaw paranoid personalities. Take the camera's down!

      June 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Real American


      Outside on MY property I have the same expectation of privacy as when I am inside my home, period. If they have to use a device to monitor my activities then they are in the wrong, period.

      June 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • Fred Evil

      "If you're not doing anything wrong"
      Buzzword of the Nanny-Stater!

      June 13, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • elpfeifer

      You don't understand who the government is. They are criminals, and they use the police to cover-up their sickening crimes against humanity. They won't be protecting good people, they will be protecting their own criminal networks, like drug operations, child trafficking, and other horrible things they are involved in.

      June 14, 2012 at 1:37 am | Reply
    • RWC

      Ha! You think this is to control the criminal element. Couldn't be more wrong. (And I mean criminal in the violent offender sense, not the 'I didn't follow Federal Regulation #2354 on how to dispose of an ice cream container.'

      June 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Reply
    • country man

      point is . it's not just the top of your head they will see. this is 2012 and cameras have ZOOM. duh!

      June 20, 2012 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Don

      pozin the drones that the police are buying are military drones that are coming back from the middle east. They are able to be armed with hellfire and they are millitary.

      June 20, 2012 at 10:23 am | Reply
  54. MoreFiber

    I just farted.

    June 13, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  55. adam

    The very people complaining so hard about it will be the 1st ones wondering where was our technology when something catastropic happens. if your doing nothing wrong why worry ?

    June 13, 2012 at 4:16 am | Reply
    • godlessokie

      Then why not set up cameras in every single household in America, starting with yours.? If you're not doing anything wrong...

      June 13, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Sumo

      Well Adam, I'm going to need you to submit to random searches of your house at any time, for any reason, as the police see fit.

      Of course if you're not doing anything wrong, you should have nothing to hide, so you shouldn't mind the intrusion, right?

      June 13, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • jeremy

        There's a big difference between cameras in my home and cameras outside. You go into my home, that's an invasion of privacy. My girlfriend and I don't want the government watching us in bed, etc. Once you're outside you can't expect any privacy. Duh. You might expect cops to be driving around looking for crime, though. So you have to explain why it's ok for cops to drive cars or fly helicopters to look for crime, but not ok to fly drones. Why draw the line at drones? And what about self-driving cars? Those will be common in the future, do you not want them either?

        It makes me angry that so many people are against this, especially because it's coming from Rand. I love the Pauls, but this doesn't make sense. I had a friend, he was a music producer. One night he and his co-worker were leaving their studio, two thugs approached them right there on the sidewalk, shot 'em both dead and took their money. If they knew they were being filmed by drones that would not have happened. My friend would still be alive. There would be way fewer victims of murder/rape/theft. But you guys don't want drones all because of your precious "privacy" ...which does not even exist outside.

        "But what about drones crashing? They could cause damage!"
        So can cops, google "Cop Crashes Into Car Killing 2 Teens"
        I bet the likelihood of a drone crashing is smaller than a cop crashing.

        "But what if they catch me not recycling?"
        This is a ridiculous argument. I really, really doubt they would be looking for relatively tiny things like that. And how would they catch that anyway? Don't you use trash bags? And even if they did catch you and punish you for this, so what? As Mr. Cheese explained above, recycling is important and it's law for good reason. Follow the law and there's no problem. But really, this is not the issue.

        I haven't seen a single one of you give a valid reason for why there shouldn't be drones.

        June 13, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • Gyver

        Contrary to Jeremy, being outside gives no one a right to invade my privacy. If Im walking or standing on a public street and having a private conversation with someone, it's still private. And if Im sitting on a river bank fishing, I still have a right to my privacy...NOT to be spied on. It wasnt that long ago when the camera was invented and less time since everyone had one. In some countries it was against the law to take someones picture without permission. Where is the moral character in culture any more? It's all been reduced down to copper and silver.

        June 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • josh

      that's what they where saying in 1939 germany too, but yeah nothing bad happened from that right ? -_-

      June 13, 2012 at 11:07 am | Reply
  56. Harry Memmbir

    Personally I don't want the government using drones to determine that I am taking care of my personal business in a manner that some bureaucrat somewhere finds unacceptable. It's none of their beeswax what I do for fun with myself. Their drones need to stay away from my missile.

    June 13, 2012 at 3:23 am | Reply
  57. Sudhir Kumar

    I think we need the most powerful drones one watching congress and the other watching wall street. We have the biggest thieves and thugs there, that are looting middle class Americans dry.

    June 13, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • elpfeifer

      That's right, and we should require random drug tests too, and no cheating!

      June 14, 2012 at 1:39 am | Reply
  58. Cheese Wonton

    What is truely funny about the hand wringing about domestic drones is that far more powerful sensors have been flying over the US mounted to some very large manned aircraft for many decades. If people understood the power and discrimination of the sensors on aircraft like the U-2, EC-135 Rivet Joint, E-3 AWACS and E-8 JSTARS aircraft, they wouldn't be so excited about a comparatively simple think like a Global Hawk. Read up on the combat histories of these aircraft, what little is declassified, and you will be amazed what they can do. The Global Hawk is far less able to spy on you than some of these aircraft.

    June 13, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • Honesty

      Two dang wrongs don't make a right..Rand Paul is a Red..He is a turncoat and his father is pleased with this legislation?..There is no one to vote for none..They all belong to the same club!!!..You don't give cops anymore power over Americans ..this is George Orwell stuff..The best thing we can do is Leave amarika..It has been demoralized which takes the communsist about 15 to 20 years..Thats done!..Then they Create Order out of Chaos..so they will create Chaos and then will come Normalcy...Which simply means We will be under total Communist Rule..This is how Hitler did it ,stalin and Mao se tung..Say goodbye to America with Rand's Legislation ..We don't give up 1/8th of one ounce of Freedom for any amount of security..When we do we loose both!!!..Who can trust a cop with a drone??.Innocent Americans are killed everyday by cops.We had one shoot a man from our church 7 times in the head for speeding..Now what do u think they are going to do with drones?..These guys are so pumped up with Testosterone they can't wait to try any new toy!!!..Ron Paul thinks this is good Legislation?..It looks like there is no one to vote for...When there looking for some rapist they will be looking in everyone's home that he was seen near..Nope ..This will cause a cival war in our own back yards and that is what they want Order out of chaos!!!

      June 17, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
  59. Brief

    @ Cheese Wanton, a slight correction to an earlier statement you made; the Army does in fact have armed drones. Please see Sky Warrior or Grey Eagle, which are very similar to predators however have a diesel engine. These routinely are armed with hellfires and due to the diesel engine can carry 4 vs the standard 2 a regular pred-A can. Other than that though you seem pretty spot on.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      I stand corrected, and learned something today. I have spoken to Army UAV crews in the past but my information in this case was stale. Thanks.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
      • Don

        Cheeze you were right on the ones that were pre 2001. Before 2001 their main use was servailance and they could be aquiped with laser guided ability. In 2001 they started arming them with hell fire.

        June 13, 2012 at 10:26 am |
  60. Jon

    So Ron thinks that local police will use a UAV to "spy" on him and his recycle bins. I'm pretty sure the dude rapping a 13 year old in an ally will have priority over the recyclables. UAV's can be used for much more than just "spying" on citizens. Natural disasters, for one, a UAV could conduct search and rescue operations, and cover far more ground that a foot patrol could. Imagine, you are hiking with your family, and your child wonders off, you lose track of them...you contact the park ranger...they contact the local authorities that have access to a UAV, within a few hours that UAV could search for you missing child. Search parties on foot have to stop at some point, but the UAV and its crew could continue to search for hours after the foot patrol could.

    There are far more advantages of having a UAV patrolling our cities than not. Most of you are saying that you have to have a warrant for a UAV to monitor you...in most cases that is true, but what about the police officer in his patrol car, does he need a warrant to look at drives and his surroundings? Same printable for the UAV crew.
    Finally as far as the recent Global Hawk that went down this week, it is unfortunate that it went down...but don't all aircraft have the possibility of going down. I know in the past month, I have read many articles of manned aircraft crashing. So don't say UAV's are dangerous...manned aircraft are just as dangerous as unmanned.

    June 12, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      Flying at night over large wildland fires in mountainous terrain is butt-puckering work. It is the natural environment for UAV's, to be used as sensor platforms that can stay aloft for very long times and serve as the eyes of the fire fighters on the ground.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
    • godlessokie

      Or we could all have GPS transponders implanted in our asses. That seems more efficient than having a drone flying overhead.

      June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am | Reply
  61. Some dude

    Look, yes there is a huge difference between the military drones used for the "war on terror" vs the police drones they desire to use for domestic purposes. She states this plainly in the beginning. However, his example is just that, an example, from fighting "domestic terror" to citing you for your recyclables and -everything- in between. I agree yes in some cases, catching house robbery or domestic violence, it’d be awesome to have an immediate response but for every thing safety feature you are granted 10 freedoms are taken away.

    Like cell phones text messages and phone conversations, a drone video feed will be a recording of everyone's actions during their day, a change in routine will most likely make you suspect just like saying any keyword over a phone or the internet can. I’m not saying factually this is true but who knows it could.

    I know it seems ludicrous now and some joke about it, look back on other well-intended ideas that now are ridiculous and further obsessively used feature for law enforcement, red light cameras? It still costs more for them to keep them then be rid of them and the citation rate is still fairly low but it’s just more then cops on the streets can produce so it's 'justified spending.' Realistic cost? Who knows what it will cost. Drone, maintenance, controller for drone, launch site costs etc. Just another tool to keep the nation bankrupt.

    Armed domestic drones? I’m sorry US soil is not a massive prison yard (even if it feels like it sometimes.) Arming them in any fashion is not safe even if only for crowd control, police abusing power is bad enough, giving them a bigger fish to slap you isn’t a good idea.

    At very least, it should take a warrant and probable cause for a drone of any kind to be used for any purpose of security and defense.

    June 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • Honesty

      You are exatley right and Rand Paul with this Legislation has sold america down the drain!!!

      June 17, 2012 at 9:37 am | Reply
      • Some Dude

        Domestic drones are already in use, at least he's trying to slow the madness that there is surrounding these machines. They already patrol some city streets. Again, at very least probable clause, not just whimsical privacy invasion.

        June 22, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  62. Joshua

    You all need to not talk about something you know ABSOLUTELY nothing about. I work on these aircraft. They have a flight crew to prep them and redundant controls in place. A licensed military pilot flies these drones, all have prior experience flying "real" aircraft. The smaller drones are trouble because they are not regulated yet. Any technology can be exploited. Just because a jet goes down people jump on the "evil drone" evil big brother bandwagon. These MILITARY drones are a tool, just like any other the military uses. Civilian drones are a different story and up for debate as far as I'm concerned. You simply can't group the two together.

    June 12, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Reply
    • LTC Chris Johnson

      I like how you can just make a blanket statement like that. Should we just assume that you are privileged to all classified military information because of your post on a CNN board? You simply work on the equipment (probably has an enlisted person, no college degree) Our perpetual war on terrorism will slowly erode what is left of the republic, we will continue to slowly bankrupt ourselves to maintain this unrealistic military empire. Yes men like you will go along thinking that they are making the country safer, thinking that because you are "in" the military that you are privileged to all the information that is held for military purposes.

      I also was in the military as an officer in the intel community. All tools of war have, historically, be abused by our government. It is the duty of the people and congress to maintain CHECKS on these tools. I can't even go into how stupid you sound right now.......

      June 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • Joshua

        So all enlisted guys are dummies? I was enlisted, I have a college degree in Electrical Engineering and my position on the program is not something to divulge here. I'm sure there is information at a higher classification and everything I mentioned here is not classified. The particular aircraft that crashed takes pictures. What those pictures are used for I do know, most of the time. And you, Lieutenant Colonel sir, don't really know what is going on with the program. Most UAV's are used for reconnaissance, few as weapons. I agree with this Paul when it comes to domestic use. This technology would probably be abused. As for the war on terror, I can't argue it is bankrupting us. It's an issue there is no easy answer for. How many thousands of people and their families (military, contractor, corporate) depend on the defense industry to pay their bills? You, LTC, have a retirement check. How would you go about solving this issue? Will your degree and experience give you better insight? If so, please try to make a difference. I posted here because of the constant villainizing of a UAV that costs less to run than its manned counterpart and that is used MAINLY for lifesaving purposes. Read the other comments before blasting another.

        June 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
      • Rear Admiral Poopypants

        You can't go into how stupid he sounds ... because you just realized you're operating on exactly the same wavelength? Or is it because you realized that you're actually operating below his because you're making wild assumptions about someone you don't even know on the intarwebs just because you don't agree (politically or philosophically) with his statement(s)? I'm former military intel myself, and guess what, it has absolutely no bearing on this conversation or anything I say. It doesn't necessarily make me more or less knowledgeable on the subject than anyone else, and to assume that it (or my former rank, or my former branch, or my former MOS, or the type and focus of my degree(s), or my work experience) gives me carte blanche to stomp on the opinions of others would just make me a sniveling worthless trollbag who bellows impotently across the webs at strangers - but I haven't done that, you have - so congrats on that.

        June 12, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  63. Allen Wiley

    It's a Military weapon used on combatants, American citizens are NOT Combatants. This is not a military nor a police state and marshal law is NOT authorized. NO Drones in the United States EVER for any reason!

    June 12, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
    • Mob


      June 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
    • elpfeifer

      I'm a combatant, and I'm a U.S. citizen. You are wrong about this not being a police state; it definitely is a police state. The things that have been used on me so far are 1. Microwave weapons (ELF waves and frequencies) 2. Gamma rays by a DOD contractor 3. Vehicle vandalism 4. Death threats 5. Home invasions on a regular basis 6. Slander campaigns 7. Blackmail 8. Harassment and intimidation by First Responders 9. Food tampering I reported a child porn ring.

      June 14, 2012 at 1:46 am | Reply
  64. Hard working decent American Muslim

    Except on muslims right? They dont have any rights cuz all of them just want to kill americans

    June 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • chrim patty

      I believe you would prefer Christians die

      June 12, 2012 at 8:46 pm | Reply
      • Fred Evil

        Neither group looks to be worth saving, IMHO.

        June 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  65. thermal jockey

    Civilian drones and Military drones are very different. Military ones are expensive, have vastly larger ranges, are significantly "hardened" against attack, etc. Civilian ones are essentially R/C aircraft with small video cameras. The results of a crash of Military drones are totally different from the results of a crash of civilian ones. (R/C vs very small plane.)

    Those who worry excessively about them should also be worrying about street-view cameras etc. Those who don't think they should be restricted are far too trusting of government (and corporations.) So, yes, some restrictions should be applied. But let's not get carried away, either. Anyone taken a look at their house on Google Maps lately?

    June 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • John

      Have you looked at the crash site in Maryland? That was not a "RC Plane". If that crashed in a residential area it WOULD have killed people.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • Faluja Bahamah Come on Pretty Mamma

        Refresh me...

        Is America the calculating, devisive, duplicitous, omnipotent Big Brother who is hell bent on stealing away your privacy and rights for no lucrative reason...

        or is America the sort who crashes RC planes on accident in densely populated areas.

        PICK ONE.

        June 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        You do realize this UAV was a test article for the Navy and crashed just outside the naval air station where the test program is conducted? And I assume you aware the UAV is being tested as a replacement for manned long range maritime patrol aircraft used to track ships and submarines? Just asking ................

        June 12, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Don

      Thermal you are wrong. The police departments are buying up the army drones as they are coming back from the middle east.
      These are the same as the ones that are armed with hell fire missles. This is fact. I have read up on this and at any time they can rearm these drones.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        Bzzzt. Wrong. None of the UAV's the Army operates are armed. Only the USAF and CIA operate armed drones, and these are quite large and expensive. What the US Army operates have some cameras and laser designators that allow them to lase targets for laser guided bombs and missiles fired by other aircraft, but they are too small to cary any sort of armament.

        June 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
      • Don

        BZZZT Cheeze head I have seen the specks on the drones the police are buying up and they have tha capabilty of being armed with hell fire missiles. So before you try and sound like you know what you are talking about you need to read up on it. The government stated that they wouldn't use the satilite photo's against thepeople and what happens the people get a sapeena in the mail because they seen from 40 miles up that you built a deck that they can't tell from the air was legal. All you people on hear that think it won't happen that way you need to wake up.

        June 13, 2012 at 9:57 am |
  66. Aaron

    Great job on this one, Rand Paul! You are a fool if you don't think domestic government agencies will start to abuse drones – finding ways to fine you for violations of an infinite code of laws and regulations. Red light cameras are really just a way for starved city governments to raise money...not for safety. Always follow the money. Contracts to make the drones and means of revenue raising through fines.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The UAV that crashed is being tested by the Navy as a means to find enemy ships and submarines in the open ocean. It is different from what the Air Force operates. It crashed outside the well known naval air station where the test program is conducted. It really is that simple.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
      • Xenian

        You told everybody that this is a test aircraft operating in a test range. They should be able to grasp that. The crash plane is an Air Force Global Hawk transferred to the Navy to help develop their own variant for ocean surveillance. The Global hawk Block 30 is not wanted by the Air Force but congress tries to force it on them. Global Hawk has been unreliable and the NAvy is also trying to fix that.

        June 12, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  67. Cheese Wonton

    Every time I try to post an explanation of what the UAV that crashed is and why it was flying where it was, my post is deleted. This is frustrating, because the UAV in question is not a dark conspiracy but is being tested by the Navy to replace a huge fleet of manned maritime patrol aircraft. What is with the censors at CNN?

    June 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply
    • Parker

      I'm not trying to conspire, but seems to me like CNN sort of exalt the fanatics and fringe to sort of justify their own existence. I've had several very plain spoken, based on reason comments simply not show up. Most recently in telling a man who promoted "shoot the drones out of your neighborhood its time!" that he was dangerously misinformed...

      June 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        Ditto, and it is tiring. I have tried to put some simple explanations of what the UAV is, what it does for the Navy and where it was flying from, none of which are even remotely secret, and the comments simply never appear.

        June 12, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  68. Cheese Wonton

    Mr. Paul's worry about people being cited for not putting recyclable material in the proper bin is a vivid demonstration of how out of touch the man is. The reason for curbside recycling isn't some feel good greeny thing. No, it is done for the very practical reason that landfill space is limited, new landfills are extremely difficult to site and costly to develop, so municipalities and states try very hard to find ways to extend the life of existing landfills. That means the amount of trash going into land fills each year has to be reduced, and to do that you have to maximize recycling.
    Recycling laws are written to require citizens to put recyclables into certain containers so they are segregated from the trash going into the landfill. Sorting wet trash for recyclables is difficult and costly. Having residents and businesses sort them and put them in dedicated containers is cheap and effective, which is why cities all over the world have curbside recycliing programs. Where has Mr. Paul been the last three decades?

    June 12, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • tomveil14

      LOL So your reply is that recycling laws are a good thing, and we should be punishing people for not doing it? Well played.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
      • jeremy

        So you just respond with sarcasm without offering a counter-argument. Why shouldn't they be punished? Follow the law and there's no problem. If you don't agree with the law then say why.

        June 12, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        Cities do not usually cite families for getting the wrong items in the trash bin. LA has had such a system for decades and it works well. They spot check bins and will issue a written warning and give the family some informaiton on what goes in what bin if it's discovered the family is not using the recycling bins correctly.
        LA County is closing their largest landfill next year. It is beyond full and it's height was extended another 50 feet upwards to save the county money. Now, the trash that used to go into the Puente Hills landfill has to go by train to the Imperial Valley. This is hideously expensive. Another LA County landfill in Lancaster also closes next year. The Lopez Canyon Landfill closed last year as did the Bradly Dump. All of these are full. San Diego City has only one landfill adjacent MCAS Miramar, and the County down there already rail ships trash to Arizona. San Francisco's only landfill will have to close in 2014 and they haven't identified a new landfill, but that city already recycles over 75% of all solid waste (LA recycles around 60% and is striving for 75%). By 2020 all California cities and counties are required by law to divert a minimum of 75% of their solid waste into recycling programs to conserve landfill space. This is a big deal.
        Believe it or not, there is also a little bit of a revenue stream in those recyclables that cities try to guard. It helps defray the costs of running recycling programs.

        June 12, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  69. John Holroyd

    This is grandstanding pure and simple. From a practical perspective this is not an issue. Every drone costs a lot of money and needs several people to operate it. If the government is that interested in what I am doing then let them have at it. The accountants will stop them soon enough. They don't have the money to monitor known pedophiles so why the hell would I think they would watch me. It is not an issue unless you are growing marijuana on the back forty or buggering the neighbors kids. Find something important to care about.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
    • Cheese Wonton

      The government doesn't care what you are doing. They are interested in finding and, if necessary, sinking the ships and submarines of nations we come into conflict with. That is why the Navy was flying this UAV. It crash right next to the naval air station where the test program is being conducted. The test ranges are all off the coast.

      June 12, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • Don

      you have know idea what you are talking about. Drones take one person to operate and they are far cheaper to perchace and operate than a hellicopter. They are now triing to build and are in testing a drone that will not require a human at all but a computer will operate the drone. I think there might be something to what Rand is saying

      June 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        There is a pilot and weapons/sensor operator in direct control of the UAV, but if there is an engagement authority to use deadly force requires decisions from higher in the chain of command, including attorneys and intel specialists. It is not a one person job.

        June 12, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
      • Don

        Cheeze it takes only one man to operate a drone and one person to do the maintnance on it. I don't care what the protocall is that is all that is required to operate this equipment.

        June 13, 2012 at 10:06 am |
  70. Parker

    I don't think Ron Paul is really foolish enough to believe that the US military would use drones to spy on its own citizens, so this leads me to believe that he's against the existence of drones because it conveniently serves his narrative. Not a single one of you reading this article are interesting enough, dastardly enough, sneaky enough, or remote enough to justify the use of a $176 million dollar piece of equipment. I spent years basking in the anti-establishment train of thought and Ron Paul was someone I admired above all others (I still hold a great deal of admiration for him, for the record) But as I grow older and open more history books, his interpretation of history and his perception of what America is and intends to do is driven by paranoia and delusions of grandeur.

    How do I know the military isn't using drones to spy on citizens? Because you and I aren't worth that much and aren't capable of anything that couldn't be stopped by local law enforcement. Oh, you are? State law enforcement then. Oh you are? Federal investigators then. Oh you are?

    no you aren't. get over yourselves people.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Reply
    • dab

      The military isn't using drones domestically to monitor civilians.

      But DHS is.

      Do the research .

      June 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • Parker

        Cite your sources. My point is this:

        We are all already uncontested, under their thumb so to speak. The establishment doesn't need to use drones on you because you live in their back yard. It would be similar to you grabbing your head with both hands, and snapping your neck backwards just to see what was causing the itch on your back. It sounds so juicy, drones on American soil, but when you strip away the conspiratorial frill, it is surprisingly underwhelming. If I could beg anyone to just temporarily see America for a global force for stability and good, just a split second:

        If we cant build and test these units here in America, where would we test these things? On foreign soil? Oh, I don't think so, Ron Paul is avidly against virtually any sort of American military presence overseas. If we can't build them and test them to make sure they perform we'll, we automatically resort to wasting the lives of American soldiers to do surveillance on the ground which could be done ELEVEN miles high, with no possibility of casualty.

        June 12, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
      • Cheese Wonton

        This was a Navy UAV that is being tested for patrolling the oceans looking for enemy ships and subs. Nothing more. It crashed near a well known naval air station. It is not a dark conspiracy.

        June 12, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
      • Caleb

        Really Parker? You haven't heard of domestic UAV use? It's been in the news quite a bit for the last couple of years... DHS has a bunch (of Predator B drones, a variant of the Predator you hear about in Afghanistan) and is buying more and giving money to other law enforcement agencies to do the same.




        No disrespect, but it might be worth doing more research before chiming in.

        June 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • JOHN

      Don't you mean RAND Paul?

      June 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Matthew

      The U.S. military can't be trusted. They are being trained to kill American civilians without question. I was asked during training if I would fire on unarmed American civilians if ordered by my superiors. Do not be foolish enough to believe that they are there to help us.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  71. Ryan in Texas

    Can't wait until I can fly my drones over the White House – they have nothing to hide, right?

    June 12, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  72. yahmez

    If you do not like what your government is doing, vote it out. Shoot down drones in your neighborhoods. Write to your newspapers and congressmen. Make yourself heard. It is only going to get worse if we tolerate it.

    June 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
    • rat pt 01

      You are telling me that you can shoot a bullet 11 miles into the air to hit a drone with 100% accuracy. Keep in mind if you miss that bullet does come back down.

      June 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • Cheese Wonton

        And if that bullet doesn't get it then his laser pointer will blind the UAV's sensors, lol. People have funny ideas, don't they?

        June 13, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  73. D

    Remember that old adage “It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.” Well Mr. Paul has removed all doubt as far as I’m concerned. Also, no the police will not stop you unless they have resonable doubt. And they don’t put up cameras in your neighborhood to spy on you. That’s paranoid, unless of course you have something to hide, or maybe you are doing something illegal, Mr. Terrorist? “So stay right where you are we will be right there.”

    June 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Reply
    • Don

      The police have been using drones to map (quoting the news and other sources) large citys in the US for tactical responces. Realy. Do you realy think that is the only reason they are using the drones for. The satilites (hope I spelled that right) have been mapping out our citys for years so what are the drones doing fliing over the citys.

      June 12, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
  74. Thor


    June 12, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  75. John

    I never thought I would say this but I actually agree with Paul. I mean what's next? Are they going to lock cameras and microphones around everyones neck? Enough already with the big brother stuff and the morality taxes.

    June 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  76. BOB


    June 12, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • rat pt 01

      The government just needs to look up your Facebook if they want any info on you

      June 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  77. BOB


    June 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  78. AmericanPeasant

    Lil Paul is a pretty good speaker. He makes an easy point, I don't see what's so hard for our government to grasp about this. People are willing to let surveillance happen, they just want some accountability via a court issued warrant with it. Drones will be used in America one time or or another. It is much different to use them with purpose and oversight via a warrant to using them indiscriminately and flying them all the time. The same applies to the Patriot Act, I don't see why it is so hard to get a warrant to investigate terrorism. For that matter you can put NDAA up there too. Is it really so hard to just get a warrant or to take someone you detain to trial instead of just locking them away indefinately?

    June 12, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  79. Hasher Iva

    I'm not sure I see any difference between a drone, police helicopter or a million security cameras mounted on every street corner. I'm a law abiding citizen, but the police don't need to know that at 10:32pm Sunday night I took my trash out, looked up the street and down the street, spent 3 minutes talking to my neighbor while he was taking his trash out. Just because we can observe anything and everything, doesn't mean we should.

    June 12, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  80. Ryan in Texas

    OK, I'm putting up cameras to monitor my neighbors back yards.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  81. Ryan in Texas


    June 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  82. Crapola

    What an idiot. He does not understand even the basics of what it takes to control a drone or that the expectation of privacy is really pretty limited to the inside of your home.

    June 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Hasher Iva

      The expecation of privacy means the police or any government agency doesn't have the right to stop, question, or search me, my car or residence without probable cause. The police stops you for running a red light and asks if he can search your car? You're Joe Public and have never broken a law until now. You know your car is clean, do you let him or do you tell him, "Sorry officer, there is no reason for you to search." I'll tell him no. If he wants to get a warrant I'll wait.

      June 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Thor

      He is briefed at a far higher security level, than your punk ass...

      And no, the gov DOES need a warrant to spy on somebody, regardless of their location.

      Look it up.

      June 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
      • mrcredik

        Can you point us to where that can be looked up?

        June 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
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