After months of the scandal-parade that is slowly (and creepily) becoming the norm, Americans are now heard asking themselves and each other, “Can it possibly get any worse?” C’mon people! Why so glum? Surely things can’t be all bad. I mean, this is America, and nothing happens here unless somebody’s making off, can I get an amen? So…who might that lucky somebody be? Let’s find out.
According to CNN on June 19th, FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged that, yes, the FBI does in fact have drones pulling surveillance in the United States, but that we probably shouldn’t worry because it’s only done in a “very, very minimal way and very seldom.” PHEW! Now that’s a relief!
Of course, Director Mueller didn’t specify the number of times they were used, or how many were being used, or even why they were used, because that information is – altogether now – classified. However, he did offer this reassuring tidbit:
“We use it sparingly in dangerous situations where the risk to agents lives are at stake.”
Which is basically….always? Call me crazy but I’m pretty sure there are no “safe” FBI assignments; so who gets to choose when and whom to target? Yet another ‘secret court’? Kinda like the FISA ‘secret court’ that gets to decide whether or not the arbitrary collection of meta-data on a blanketed mass of the population is Constitutional or not, and furthermore, if and when that meta-data will be used, how, and why?
Cheyeah…that’s not exactly sounding like a stellar situation for the ‘folks’.
Ok, so who does benefit from droning? Why, Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical, and Lockheed Martin do, as do their stock holders (God love them). The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. military spent $3 billion last year on drones; but what with all the pesky budget cuts, the drone makers will have to get a little creative if they’re gonna stay afloat. Cue an unparalleled intrusion into your privacy when, according to Quartz via the Huffington Post,
“The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to approve drones for commercial use in 2015.”
Oh. I see.
Drones will no longer be used at the discretion of any congressional secret court; oh no. Soon, very very soon, drones will be mass-marketed to and deployed by your local law enforcement agencies, universities, and yes, even film makers, to be used for the all-important ‘aerial shot’ that we all know can make or break a movie. So what about your neighbors’ drones? Who will maintain the right to delve into the data collected by those beauties? Will that data be considered private property? If so, whose? Yours? Your neighbors’? Will the authorities have the right to “gather” that data as well? Will this usher in an era of government expansion the likes of which not even Orwell could have dreamed up? Will spying be the new black? So many questions.
Of course all of these revelations come on the heels of the Snowden leak, which makes them all the more curious. The timing of it all feels…strange somehow. Kinda…perfectly syncopated. EMIRITE? I mean if I had some unpalatable news to deliver…but I digress.
Conspiracy theories aside, what do you do to bide your time while all of this is being digested by an increasingly outraged population? How might you maybe, possibly, make it a little less – oh look! A SQUIRREL!
The Top Five Ways to Cache a Clusterf**k
#5. Get Kim Kardashian to have her baby 5 weeks early. This should keep the housewives, college co-eds, and fabulous crowd from asking too many questions, while it also throws the media a bone as they vie for ‘first pics’. Besides, it’s a win/win; she gets the baby out in time for Father’s Day, and she doesn’t get upstaged by the Royals. And (hopefully), she’ll avoid gaining any more weight. I mean, have you seen her lately? Good grief.
#4. Get Ahmadinejad de-throned. NOBODY saw that one coming; epic. Of course now that he’s no longer in power…what will he do? Open up a Starbucks in San Fran? Teach ‘Conflict Resolution’ at Columbia? Write an instant New York Times best-selling memoir? Who knows. And that’s the point.
#3. Get into a sword fight with Putin at the G8 Summit over Syria. Or over who gets to use the treadmill first. Whatever works. Just don’t challenge him to an arm-wrestling contest; he’s pretty buff.
#2. Rig the Heat vs. Spurs game. Nothing like nail-biting, nerve-wracking, winning-by-the-skin-of-your-teeth-in-overtime basketball to keep the masses happy. There’s not one Miamian or San Antonian alive that will care about drones, surveillance, or anything worth knowing until after Thursday night’s game, maybe not even until Labor Day if the Heat actually wins. Perfect.
#1. Find Jimmy Hoffa, dammit. Find him. Or you know what, don’t find him; it doesn’t matter. Just keep following them leads.
Of course, these are only theories, the mere ramblings of an over-active imagination. And who’s got time for imagination?
I have Boeing stock to buy.