In what is shaping up to be another unprecedented government power grab under President Obama, Democratic Senator Mark Udall has signed on to a letter volunteering Colorado as one of six Federal Aviation Administration testing sites for drones. As trust in government has been trending near multi-year lows recently, the introduction of these controversial surveillance vehicles is wholly inappropriate for our state at this time.
What is perhaps even more troubling about Udall’s position is that he has been an advocate for actually using fewer of these military platforms in combat, lest we offend the sensibilities of the Afghan people. From a 2009 Pueblo Chieftain article:
“A major source of anti-American emotion in the region has been rooted in missile strikes by unmanned U.S. drone aircraft, strikes that often kill civilians as well as insurgents.
‘When we get more troops on the ground here, that will give us more reach, so our need for those drones will lessen,’ Udall said.”
The fact that Udall wanted to scale back the use of these highly effective military platforms in Afghanistan is a topic for another day, and his flawed judgement may be somewhat explained by the fact that he has never served a day of his life in uniform.
But for him to express this strange concern for the opinions of Afghan civilians, and then advocate for our state to be an FAA testing ground for the non-military development of these surveillance vehicles on the homeland, is a troubling act of mental gymnastics.
It simply would be nice if our U.S. Senator had the same concern for the sensibilities of his fellow countrymen as he does for those in Afghanistan.