Unmanned Planes Tested in Border Watch

Unmanned Planes Tested in Border Watch
Posted by CN Staff on August 23, 2002 at 07:58:15 PT
By Julia Malone - Cox Washington Bureau
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution 
U.S. troops in Idaho are testing a new way to watch America's borders with unmanned surveillance planes that once flew over battlefields in the Persian Gulf war. Along a 25-mile stretch of rugged terrain, about 100 Marines are turning these airborne drones into lookouts for the U.S. Forest Service, Border Patrol, and local sheriffs' departments.
If the aircraft flashes back images of suspicious activity, the civilian law enforcement teams are tipped off so they can move in for the arrest. So far this month, two Canadian nationals have been arrested while crossing the border with 100 pounds of high grade ''BC Bud'' marijuana, said Dan Bauer, national coordinator for drug enforcement and homeland security for the Forest Service. The exercise has prompted both hope and doubt about oversight of the nation's borders, especially along the 4,000 miles of mostly remote territory that separates the United States and Canada. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), perhaps the most outspoken congressional critic of American border security efforts, saw the ''eye in the sky'' as a potential solution to the problem. ''What I observed there is absolute proof that we can, through use of technology, secure our borders,'' Tancredo said after watching the exercises on National Forest land near Bonner's Ferry, Idaho. ''I have seen it with my own eyes, and I know we can do it,'' Tancredo said. ''The only thing we need is the will.'' The National Forest Service's Bauer was less certain, however. ''It doesn't do any good having high-tech gear finding people if we don't have anyone to go chase down'' the suspects, he said. He said that his own agency has only 16 law enforcement officers to watch over vast areas that include 400 miles of border with Canada and only seven working in Forest Service land along 60 miles of the Arizona-Mexico border. Mario Villarreal, spokesman for the U.S. Border Patrol, said aerial craft have been tested in the past along the Southwest border as well, although the system has never been made part of the permanent surveillance effort. The experiment along the Canada border comes amid controversy over whether Canada's liberal policies toward accepting refugees, combined with the porous U.S. borders, has made the United States more vulnerable to potential terrorists. Complete Title: War On Terrorism: Unmanned Planes Tested in Border Watch Snipped: Complete Article: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA)Author: Julia Malone - Cox Washington BureauPublished: Friday, August 23, 2002Copyright: 2002 Cox Interactive MediaContact: conedit ajc.comWebsite: Articles:Canadian Drugs Fund Terrorism, Official Says Fumes as Canada Moves To Decriminalise
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Comment #2 posted by b4daylight on August 24, 2002 at 01:01:26 PT
modern solution
where is the modern laws?Look to the south! See a problem?
This is terminator 2 in real life.
With liberty comes danger. choose!
umm its an illusion
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Comment #1 posted by Naaps on August 23, 2002 at 15:25:19 PT
Yikes, it’s an Unmanned Drone!
Back in the Gulf War, a drone flew around a group of Iraqi Soldiers, who comically, with hands up, turned around and around as it flew circles above them. After more improvements, and further testing in the Yugoslavia conflict, the drones are ready for use protecting the U.S. Border, assisting the U.S. Forest Service and local sheriffs department. Another excellent example of military technology ready to serve the general public.These unmanned surveillance planes could watch for any suspicious activity through high definition cameras in both the infrared and standard light spectrums. As the technology improves, these planes will miniaturize, and potentially the cost will decrease. They will become more common. Soon, it won’t just be the U.S. Forest Service, the DEA could have entire squadrons flying looking for outdoor crops, police in larger cities would have them flying day and night looking out for crime. These planes could be very prevalent in the future, protecting or spying on citizens, depending on one’s perspective. Frankly, combined with satellite technology, increased video surveillance, and potentially the use of smart chips embedded in one’s body, the future has a distinct Orwellian flavor.The article, aside from trumping the success and potential of the drones, in the snipped portion derides the porous Canadian border, laments Canadian immigration policy, and caves into decidedly exaggerated words from Rep. Tom Tancredo. ”…policies that are so lax that Osama Bin Laden could land there tomorrow, claim refugee status and be allowed to walk into the nation… I doubt it, but Mr. Tancredo, if it furthers your political agenda to slag Canada, go for it. I can’t vote for you, but the people that can may be impressed.
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