Doug Harman, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, visited a group of University of Georgia students associated with the Young Americans for Liberty on Monday. With roughly 10 people in attendance, Harman spoke on drones.
Harman said the use of drones has been related to violence since their invention more than 160 years ago.
“Drones have been around since the 1840s,” Harman said. “Austrians used balloons to drop bombs on Venice.”
Plans to use automated drones via radio waves have been in place for the United States since World War I, but Harman said it was the beginning of the 21st century – the year 2000 – when the CIA made the use of drones known to the public.
Harman estimated it is now a branch of national defense that spends roughly tens of billions of dollars on research, development and other aspects of drone use.
From 2004 to April 2013, deaths in Pakistan, a country, Harman said, “we are not even at war with,” deaths have accumulated in the thousands, with estimates between 1,990 and 3,308.
But the White House has come out with a statement indicating the drone attacks are "legal, ethical and wise."
With the drone interaction overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia, Harman said many Americans’ backyards is also another place for the 66 drone operation stations in the U.S. to spy.
“What other uses do we have for drones – other than killing people? Surveillance,” Harman said. “They’re monitoring radio broadcasts. But that’s fine – I don’t use a radio. Oh, yeah I do. Your cell phone is a radio. There are drones listening in on cell phone calls currently – according to the White House – only in the Middle East.”
While this seems to be an illegal act to many, Harman said drone spying is no different than actual laws that infringe on citizens’ rights.
“It’s illegal – if you have a privacy fence – for a cop walking down the street to walk over and look over your fence,” Harman said. “The reason it’s illegal is because of the Fourth Amendment. So why is it legal to fly over your house at 10,000 feet and photograph what your dog’s eating in the backyard?”
In fact, Harman said Obama and his administration killed American citizens without legal justification.
“We have already had our president murder our American citizens overseas with no due process,” Harman said.
Following a platform of non-aggression like many libertarians, Harman said the best way to deal with the repercussions of drones is in the court room.
“Maybe you decide, ‘I’ve had enough,’ and how do you change that?” Harman said. “Through legislation, through the Supreme Court – fight legal battles all day long.”