Arizona targeted as test site for private spy drones

 

The collapsed media in Arizona fuels human rights abuses around the world, while Arizona universities and an American Indian Nation are coopted in the production of deadly killing drones

By Brenda Norrell

Photo: The spy Predator drone over the Arizona border.

TUCSON – Arizona is being targeted as a testing site for private spy drones, with the areas of Benson, Yuma and Flagstaff topping the list for the dangerous testing for the drones which violate human rights around the world. Arizona is already struggling to free itself from racist state officials, banned books, racial profiling by law enforcement and profiteering private prisons.

Arizona military profiteers are pushing for Arizona to become an expanded drone test site for private spy drones, referred to as the "commercial and nonmilitary" use of unmanned aircraft. The federal government announced it will set aside airspace.

Under the National Defense Authorization Act passed in December, the US mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration integrate unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, into the National Airspace System.

The promotion of Arizona as a test site for private spy drones in an article by the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson magnifies how the Arizona media is part of the continued degradation of Arizona, as it cheerleads for the promotion of the militarization of Arizona and corporate profiteers. This agenda includes the criminalizing of people of color and border hysteria.

Drones are used worldwide by the US for targeted assassinations, without trials. The reckless murders carried out by drones worldwide, controlled by US soldiers seated at remote computers in Nevada, are often based on flawed intelligence, resulting in the murder of innocent people around the world. The drone testing poses a risk for people on the ground. Already a drone has crashed in Nogales, Ariz., south of Tucson.

In southern Arizona, Sierra Vista has been used for a base for border drones. This is where the Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca produced the School of Americas torture manual, made public in 1996. The US training of Latin American military using this manual resulted in the assassinations, torture and exile, of tens of thousands of Indigenous Peoples in the 1980s and 1990s in Central and South America, as corporations seized their homelands for mining, development and exploitation.

The Sanctuary Movement in Tucson was born from the results of these tortures and assassinations of Indigenous villagers. The result was an underground railroad that took Indigenous Peoples to safety.

Tohono O'odham Nation and Arizona universities have been co-opted in the research for these killing machines.

Universities in Tucson, Tempe and Prescott have been co-opted in the agenda of militarization. Arizona universities have become infested with global cyber spies and border training that targets people of color.

The University of Arizona in Tucson stands out for its human rights abuses regarding Native Americans. The primary example is the placing of telescopes on sacred Mount Graham during years of protests by Apaches and other Indian Nations. Now, the University of Arizona is involved with the design and creation of drones, unmanned killing machines.

The drone creation at the University of Arizona was also part of Advanced Ceramics, the company that was initially accepted, then rejected by the Pascua Yaqui Nation.

After the joint venture was rejected by Pascua Yaqui, the Tohono O'odham Nation, San Xavier District's Development Authority, became partners in Advanced Ceramics. A portion of the company was later sold to BAE, another controversial drone maker.

Although initially Advanced Ceramics Research was wrapped in secrecy, it is now known that it was creating drones at the site, on Tohono O'odham land near the Tucson International Airport.

Tohono O'odham activists oppose the use of drones and targeted assassinations, stating it is a violation of the O'odham sacred way of life.

Read more at Censored News: http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2012/02/arizona-targeted-as-private-spy-drone.html

In related news, the ACLU filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to demand that the US government release basic — and accurate — information about the government’s targeted killing program.

The ACLU said, “Our government’s deliberate and premeditated killing of American terrorism suspects raises profound questions that ought to be the subject of public debate. Unfortunately the Obama administration has released very little information about the practice — its official position is that the targeted killing program is a state secret — and some of the information it has released has been misleading.” http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security/aclu-sues-us-information-targeted-killing-program

Copyright Brenda Norrell. For reprint permission: brendanorrell@gmail.com

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

Personal Website
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 32 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.