Superior Court Judge on Drones: Where’s The Outrage?

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey said regarding the government’s use of drones, “I once asked [during a FOX News interview] what Thomas Jefferson would have done if – had drones existed at the time – King George III had sent drones to peer inside the bedroom windows of Monticello. I suspect that Jefferson and his household would have trained their muskets on the drones and taken them down.”

“…what Jeffersonians are among us today? When drones take pictures of us on our private property and in our homes, and the government uses the photos as it wishes, what will we do about it? Jefferson understood that when the government assaults our privacy and dignity, it is the moral equivalent of violence against us.”

For those who don’t believe that this is coming, the current fact is… the imagery obtained from the drones may be “retained” and “distributed” to others in government so long as the “recipient is reasonably perceived to have a specific, lawful governmental function” in requiring them.

Apparently, for the first time since the Civil War, the federal government will deploy military personnel inside the United States and publicly acknowledge that it is deploying them “to collect information about U.S. persons.”

Napolitano says, “It gets worse. If the military personnel see something of interest from a drone, they may apply to a military judge or “military commander” for permission to conduct a physical search of the private property that intrigues them. And, any “incidentally acquired information” can be retained or turned over to local law enforcement. What’s next? Prosecutions before military tribunals in the U.S.?”

The highlighted phrases are from a 30-page memorandum [reported by]  issued by President Obama’s secretary of the Air Force on April 23, 2012.

The memo includes the statements, “balancing … obtaining intelligence information … and protecting individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. …”

Judge Napolitano points out, “Note the primacy of intelligence gathering over freedom protection, and note the peculiar use of the word “balancing.” When liberty and safety clash, do we really expect the government to balance those values? Of course not. The government cannot be trusted to restrain itself in the face of individual choices to pursue happiness. That’s why we have a Constitution and a life-tenured judiciary: to protect the minority from the liberty-stealing impulses of the majority. And that’s why the Air Force memo has its priorities reversed – intelligence gathering first, protecting freedom second – and the mechanism of reconciling the two – balancing them – constitutionally incorrect.”


Complacent America. The sheeple are satisfied so long as they are getting their grain. They don’t want to know anything else. In fact, they are evidently welcoming the rapid increase of top-down authority, control, and totalitarian government… the very things that others have fought wars over. They are being fooled, tricked. As the Federal Aviation Administration continues to implement plans and policies to fully implement drones in U.S. air space by 2013 (with the full support of the present administration), the American sheeple are complacent.



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  1. Nick June 11, 2012 5:36 AM
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