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RichardPrins
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Posted: Sep 26, 2014 - 10:43pm

Argentina UAVs spot pools and mansions, not empty lots

Aeryon Scout UAV in flight.

Officials in Argentina have used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to locate undeclared mansions in a crackdown on rich tax evaders. The roots of their suspicions that something was amiss were in properties registered as empty lots in a wealthy Buenos Aires area, about 10 miles south of the city, according to a report in The Telegraph, and they sent out $10,000 drones equipped with cameras to take pictures of the properties. Resulting snapshots were of luxurious houses and swimming pools. The Telegraph reported that all in all, tax inspectors found 200 mansions and 100 swimming pools that had not been declared. The missing taxes amount to over $2 million from the hidden mansions and the owners face big fines.

Drone use in South America has been expanding, reported Nick Allen, the Daily Telegraph's US West Coast correspondent, and have been dispatched to support investigations such as identifying routes used by drug smugglers, monitoring crops, and looking for archaeological sites.

The U.S. is not the major provider of drone technology to South America. A number of countries have made use of drone technology from Israel, among other interesting developments. W. Alejandro Sanchez, senior research fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA), said In a report last year in Upside Down World, "The most basic surveillance drones are small and cost about $600 from a company in Mexico." The prices get higher, he said, "but not as much as most people expect, especially when compared to the cost of a helicopter. Anyone thinking drones are financially unattainable for less developed countries hasn't looked at the latest models."

Upside Down World added that drones are convenient, economical and unlike helicopters and other manned aircrafts, need less maintenance, less fuel, and "less risk to human life in potentially dangerous operations – all while drone prices drop with each passing year." A COHA report earlier this year also recognized that drones can be applied to beneficial use. "Brazil has deployed Israeli-made drones to monitor the Amazon rainforest and crack down on environmental crimes (such as illegal logging and pillaging of natural resources). Moreover, archaeologists in Peru want to utilize the high-resolution cameras on drones for exploration of designated targets because these machines provide a resourceful "eye in the sky" for archaeological digs." (...)


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Posted: Sep 24, 2014 - 7:21pm

The Undisclosed: Haunting portraits of the victims of America’s drone war in Pakistan
(...) Italian photojournalist Massimo Berruti has been photographing victims of American drone strikes, most of them from the tribal areas, since 2011. The Pakistan Army and militant groups restrict access to North Waziristan, so Berruti can only photograph his subjects when they are able to leave the area. In most cases, he has found, people who have survived drone attacks have little left in the way of support. “Their lives are wiped out, their houses destroyed, their families killed,” Berruti says. “Even if the government provided aid, this kind of loss is not refundable.”

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Posted: Aug 19, 2014 - 2:11am

Yemeni victims of U.S. military drone strike get more than $1 million in compensation - The Washington Post

(...) The records were provided to The Washington Post by Reprieve, a London-based human rights organization that has worked in Yemen to document civilian casualties of the U.S. drone campaign.

Kat Craig, a legal director for the group, said the records undermine U.S. claims “that the victims of this drone attack were anything other than civilians” and said the size of the payouts suggest that the Yemeni government — among the poorest in the Middle East — is being reimbursed by the United States.

The records indicate that families of those killed were each given Yemeni currency worth approximately $60,000, with smaller amounts paid to those who sustained injuries or whose vehicles were damaged or destroyed. “In Yemen, that is a life-changing amount of money,” Craig said. “I can’t believe those types of figures would be initiated by the Yemeni government.”

U.S. officials declined to comment on the Dec. 12 strike or any U.S. role in the payments but acknowledged offering money to victims and their families when civilians are injured or killed.

“Although we will not comment on specific cases, were non-combatants killed or injured in a U.S. strike, condolence or other ex gratia payments, such as solatia, may be available,” Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the National Security Council at the White House, said in an e-mailed statement. She also said the U.S. government “takes seriously all credible reports of non-combatant deaths and injuries” and seeks “to ensure that we are taking the most effective steps to minimize such risk to non-combatants.”

Other U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity denied any U.S. involvement in the payments.

Yemeni officials also declined to discuss the Dec. 12 strike or the payments, but a Yemeni government official who viewed the Reprieve documents said they appeared to be authentic.

The records make no mention of the United States or its use of armed drones to carry out strikes against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as the group’s Yemen-based affiliate is known.

Nevertheless, the documents serve as the only public record associated with the highly classified U.S. drone campaign in Yemen and offer new details of a strike that remains the focus of debate within the United States.

U.S. military officials have defended the attack and indicated that a subsequent investigation determined that al-Qaeda-linked operatives — and no civilians — were killed.

But others in the Obama administration hold different views of the attack, which contributed to concerns among senior lawmakers that the U.S. military is not ready to assume exclusive control of the drone campaign.

U.S. officials have said that both the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center, which was directed by the White House to review the operation, concluded that civilians were probably injured or killed.

The U.S. military has since abided by a Yemen-imposed suspension of JSOC’s authority to conduct strikes in the country. U.S. officials indicated that the restriction is being reconsidered, but for now only the CIA has authority to launch lethal strikes in Yemen. (...)

Extrajudicial killing - Wikipedia, Disposition Matrix - Wikipedia
ScottN
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Posted: Jul 27, 2014 - 7:21am

 RichardPrins wrote:


Look up, that may not be a bird. 


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Posted: Jul 26, 2014 - 4:18pm


DaveInVA
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Posted: Jun 28, 2014 - 12:53pm

Navy says human error partly to blame in drone crash that caused $30M in damages


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Posted: Jun 25, 2014 - 8:15am

islander wrote:
Interesting side note: that is the very same apartment building I lived in last year when we did the remodel on the house.  No one peeped at me though.

shifty ...as far as you know.
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Posted: Jun 25, 2014 - 4:46am

 islander wrote:

Interesting side note: that is the very same apartment building I lived in last year when we did the remodel on the house.  No one peeped at me though. 

 
Is there just one apartment complex in downtown Seattle?
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 11:29pm

 NoEnzLefttoSplit wrote:

Pigeons with bagpipes. You can tell them a mile off.

 
Could have been a sitar, or a hurdy-gurdy.
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 11:25pm

 islander wrote:

Was it the pigeon?  'cause I remember those guys.

 
Pigeons with bagpipes. You can tell them a mile off.
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 10:23pm

 BlueHeronDruid wrote:

It was in disguise.

 
Was it the pigeon?  'cause I remember those guys.
BlueHeronDruid
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 10:22pm

 islander wrote:

Interesting side note: that is the very same apartment building I lived in last year when we did the remodel on the house.  No one peeped at me though. 

 
It was in disguise.
islander
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 10:21pm

 DaveInVA wrote: 
Interesting side note: that is the very same apartment building I lived in last year when we did the remodel on the house.  No one peeped at me though. 
DaveInVA
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Posted: Jun 24, 2014 - 6:21pm

Seattle woman sees drone peeping into her apartment window


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Posted: Jun 21, 2014 - 12:16pm

When drones fall from the sky
More than 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed in major accidents around the world since 2001, a record of calamity that exposes the potential dangers of throwing open American skies to drone traffic, according to a year-long Washington Post investigation.

Since the outbreak of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, military drones have malfunctioned in myriad ways, plummeting from the sky because of mechanical breakdowns, human error, bad weather and other reasons, according to more than 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports and other records obtained by The Post under the Freedom of Information Act. (...)

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Posted: Jun 19, 2014 - 9:18am

Three Troubling Lessons from the Latest U.S. Drone Strikes
The 'Forever War' continues in Pakistan and Yemen even as public focus shifts to Iraq
RichardPrins
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Posted: Jun 18, 2014 - 3:48pm

A mining company has ordered 25 Desert Wolf Skunk unmanned aerial vehicles for breaking up riots with pepper spray and "blinding lasers."
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Posted: May 27, 2014 - 1:49pm

Drone strikes in Pakistan
Most US drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses

Domestic buildings have been hit by drone strikes more than any other type of target in the CIA’s 10-year campaign in the tribal regions of northern Pakistan, new research reveals.

By way of contrast, since 2008, in neighbouring Afghanistan drone strikes on buildings have been banned in all but the most urgent situations, as part of measures to protect civilian lives. But a new investigative project by the Bureau, Forensic Architecture, a research project based at London’s Goldsmiths University, and New York-based Situ Research, reveals that in Pakistan, domestic buildings continue to be the most frequent target of drone attacks.

The project examines, for the first time, the types of target attacked in each drone strike – be they houses, vehicles or madrassas (religious schools) – and the time of day the attack took place.

It reveals:

  • Over three-fifths (61%) of all drone strikes in Pakistan targeted domestic buildings, with at least 132 houses destroyed, in more than 380 strikes.
  • At least 222 civilians are estimated to be among the 1,500 or more people killed in attacks on such buildings. In the past 18 months, reports of civilian casualties in attacks on any targets have almost completely vanished, but historically almost one civilian was killed, on average, in attacks on houses.
  • The CIA has consistently attacked houses have throughout the 10-year campaign in Pakistan.
  • The time of an attack affects how many people – and how many civilians – are likely to die. Houses are twice as likely to be attacked at night compared with in the afternoon. Strikes that took place in the evening, when families likely to be at home and gathered together, were particularly deadly.
Get the data – What the drones strike (...)

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Posted: May 16, 2014 - 8:25am

Tomgram: Pratap Chatterjee, The True Costs of Remote Control War | TomDispatch

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Posted: May 12, 2014 - 8:14pm

Show Us the Drone Memos - Rand Paul/NYTimes.com

Japan-based US drones to spy on China, N. Korea – report — RT News
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