Friday, August 17, 2012

The Drone

The world is changing, as the media routinely reminds us. The world that we are currently living in is not the world that our parents grew up in. Technology is permanently changing the landscape and we're just going to have to accept it. Old fashioned notions, such as claims to privacy, will have to be rethought in the brave new world that we are now entering. 

These are common phrases one encounters when it comes to unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly referred to as drones. Many Americans first became aware of them shortly after Barack Obama was elected president, when their use in Pakistan was greatly expanded. Since then policymakers have continuously raved to the press about them, via the anonymous source route, as there use is increasingly spanning the globe. Reuters UK reports:
"In the rugged mountains of western Pakistan, missiles launched by unmanned Predator or Reaper drones have become so commonplace that some U.S. officials liken them to modern-day 'cannon fire.' And they are no longer aimed solely at 'high-value' targets like Mehsud, according to U.S. counterterrorism and defence officials. 
"Under a secret directive first issued by former President George W. Bush and continued by Barack Obama, the CIA has broadly expanded the 'target set' for drone strikes. As a result, what is still officially classified as a covert campaign on Pakistan's side of the border with Afghanistan has in many ways morphed into a parallel conventional war, several experts say. 
"Killing wanted militants is simply 'easier' than capturing them, said an official, who like most interviewed for this story support the stepped-up program and asked not to be identified. Another official added: 'It is increasingly the preferred option...' 
"Back in Washington, the technology is considered such a success that the U.S. military has been positioning Reaper drones at a base in the Horn of Africa. 
"The aircraft can be used against militants in Yemen and Somalia, and even potentially against pirates who attack commercial ships traversing the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, officials said. 
" 'Everyone has fallen in love with them,' a former U.S. intelligence official said of the drone strikes."

Many citizens of Pakistan likely don't share the same enthusiasm for the drones as certain unnamed US intelligence officers. But you can't make an omelet with out breaking a few eggs, now can you? Drone strikes on militants --essentially technological assassinations --have been sold to the public on the basis that they present a safer and more 'moral' alternative to war. After all, isn't it better to kill a handful of terrorists in order to preserve the peace than invading an entire country? Or is the issue more complex?

Given the highly controversial and debated total of civilian deaths associated with drone strikes, the issue is clearly far more clouded than policymakers would have us believe. Washington claims that the vast majority of peoples killed during drone strikes were militants. Other accounts have alleged that nearly a third of all deaths in Pakistan associated with drones are civilians. New American Foundation notes:
"Our study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present have killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom around 550 to 850 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent. Averaging the press reports in 2009 indicates that 502 people were killed, 382 of whom were described as militants, for an average civilian fatality rate of 24 percent."

Even more dire reports than this have been issued. The Brookings Institution presented an especially chilling ratio of civilian deaths:
"Critics correctly find many problems with this program, most of all the number of civilian casualties the strikes have incurred. Sourcing on civilian deaths is weak and the numbers are often exaggerated, but more than 600 civilians are likely to have died from the attacks. That number suggests that for every militant killed, 10 or so civilians also died."
Anywhere from a third to 90% of drone fatalities as civilians does not upheld the image of precision warfare the Obama administration has publicly embraced and which his staff has dubbed 'the scalpel' (as opposed to the 'hammer' of the Bush administration) approach. In deed, some very dangerous precedents are being set by the current administration's embrace of drones and assassinations. Esquire has described it as the 'Lethal Presidency':
"You are not only the first African-American president; you are the first who has made use of your power to target and kill individuals identified as a threat to the United States throughout your entire term. You are the first president to make the killing of targeted individuals the focus of our military operations, of our intelligence, of our national-security strategy, and, some argue, of our foreign policy. You have authorized kill teams comprised of both soldiers from Special Forces and civilians from the CIA, and you have coordinated their efforts through the Departments of Justice and State. You have gradually withdrawn from the nation building required by "counterinsurgency" and poured resources into the covert operations that form the basis of "counter-terrorism." More than any other president you have made the killing rather than the capture of individuals the option of first resort, and have killed them both from the sky, with drones, and on the ground, with "nighttime" raids not dissimilar to the one that killed Osama bin Laden. You have killed individuals in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, and are making provisions to expand the presence of American Special Forces in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In Pakistan and other places where the United States has not committed troops, you are estimated to have killed at least two thousand by drone. You have formalized what is known as "the program," and at the height of its activity it was reported to be launching drone strikes in Pakistan every three days. Your lethality is expansive in both practice and principle; you are fighting terrorism with a policy of preemptive execution, and claiming not just the legal right to do so but the legal right to do so in secret. The American people, for the most part, have no idea who has been killed, and why; the American people — and for that matter, most of their representatives in Congress — have no idea what crimes those killed in their name are supposed to have committed, and have been told that they are not entitled to know."

The drone is rapidly giving the United States unprecedented abilities to wage wars. In the past the United State's military reached was somewhat limited by the number of dead American soldiers the public would tolerate before the cost was deemed to high. The Vietnam conflict largely came to an end after Americans grew tired of nightly images being broadcast from their TVs of soldiers coming home in body bags. The Bush administration attempted to counter this by limiting the media's access to the war, distorting the number causalities, and deploying thousands of 'private contractors' (whose deaths the administration had no obligation to report) in roles the US has traditionally reserved for the military. Even then, the road side bombings and such became to much for the America public and support for the Iraq invasion rapidly declined.

Obama has continued the widespread use of mercenaries in addition to increase use of the Special Forces and US Intelligence community, but it has the drone that has quietly redefined warfare. With the use of drones the United States is no longer burdened with the specter of dead soldiers to contend with. Clearly this has had a liberating effect on US foreign policies as the covert wars the US has waged against Pakistan and more recently Yemen have generated little to know serious protest domestically. Drone warfare has accomplished the unimaginable: It has placated liberal and conservative opponents alike. Liberals tolerate it as it promises a more 'human' type of warfare in which entire populations will no longer be subjected to the horrors of invasion while conservatives marvel at the cost effectiveness of it all. Mainstream America is just happy not to have their sons or daughters coming home in caskets to think to deeply on the matter.

With drones being such a resounding success abroad it was only a matter of time until they were deployed domestically. Russia Today reports:
"What do you know about drones? You know drones — those robotic, unmanned planes that fire missiles for the American military across Afghanistan, Pakistan and anywhere else the United States needs to get away with murder. 
"Well if you don’t know too much, don’t worry, that’ll change soon. The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into rules that will bring the controversial aircraft into the country, creating an United States airspace buzzing with tiny, robot planes to look over every inch of American soil — and maybe more. 
"An article published Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times reveals that new drone planes could be coming domestically quite soon, as both law enforcement and the agricultural sector are seeing benefits in keeping an arsenal of unmanned planes ready to patrol the skies. For farmers, drones could bring a new method of pumping pesticides into fields of crops from above; for the cops, the aircraft could conduct surveillance over suspected criminals (think police chopper but remote controlled). The Times reports that utility companies see a benefit in drones as well, giving them a new set of eyes to monitor oil, gas and water pipelines. 
"But with missile-equipped drones causing thousands of deaths overseas, the installation of a drone program stateside could be detrimental to America as the government all but deems the country fit as a warfront. 
" 'It's going to happen,' Dan Elwell, vice president of civil aviation at the Aerospace Industries Association, tells the Times. 'Now it's about figuring out how to safely assimilate the technology into national airspace.' 
"According to the Department of Homeland Security’s website, the government has already been using drones domestically for several years, but remains mostly mum on their missions, other than that they are regularly used for 'support of disaster relief efforts.' 
"In July, however, retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael Kostelnik, currently with the US Customs and Border Protection UAV program, told a congressional subcommittee that a third drone was being added to an arsenal of two that already fly over Texas to patrol the US/Mexico Border."

The use of drones domestically will be sold to the public on the grounds that they will only be used for surveillance purposes and for tasks unnecessarily dangerous to human beings. But rest assured, the Pentagon has bold plans for the drone, and not just the aerial versions, as this 2009 DoD Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap report makes clear. Unmanned undersea vehicles and especially unmanned ground vehicles will also play a heavy role in domestic drone deployments as well. The report states:
"While UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] may fly in and around urban settings, and UUVs [unmanned undersea vehicles] and USVs [unmanned surface vehicles] may operate in and around ports and marinas, UGVs [unmanned ground vehicles] will be the predominant vehicles expected to conduct missions within buildings, tunnels, and through city streets. This requires that UGVs be able to operate in Global Positioning System (GPS)-denied areas, traverse stairs, deal with elevators, open doors, and possibly even open windows, desk and file drawers, and cupboards, etc. In addition to the challenge of navigating and traversing within buildings, UGVs will need to navigate within and through city streets that will be busy with traffic and pedestrians. Urban streets also mean UGVs will have to contend with curbs, trash, water drains, etc."  

The Pentagon is even eyeing that possibility that these ground based drones can be used for 'non-lethal through lethal crowd control' in addition to conventional military assaults. Does this mean that the police-state security of events such as the Summer Olympics will soon be managed by unmanned ground and air vehicles as much as it is by flesh and blood police officers? Could this even be taken a step further with drones replacing some of the day to day functions of police officers? Police have already begun using such devices as auxilaries, as I've noted before here. The Atlantic has a great breakdown of the brave new world of drone warfare the Pentagon envisions.

As shocking a these developments may be to some, the Cryptocracy has in fact been telegraphing its plans for drones and like technologies for years via twilight language and predictive programming. As early as the 1980s Hollywood has presented us with a vision of the future in which humanity was policed by drone-like technologies. Sometimes this was along dystopian lines such as the future presented in The Terminator films where humanity had been all but wiped out by a self aware AI controlling an army of robots and drones (called Hunter-Killers in the films). Robocop presented a more 'benevolent' vision in which corporate America seeks to replace flesh-and-blood police officers with cyborgs and land-based drones (the ED-209s).

Curiously, the Terminator and Robocop franchises were brought together in the form of a 1992 comic miniseries called RoboCop Versus The Terminator, which was soon followed by a tie-in video game of the same name. The main creative mind behind the comic series was none other than the legendary Frank Miller, who has recently found himself in the midst of controversy (again) over the similarities the Aurora shooting had to a panel included in his 1986 The Dark Knight Returns miniseries depicting a disturbed individual shooting up a movie theater. Miller actually wrote the screenplays for the second and third Robocop films, though he claims his scripts were heavily altered. In his RoboCop Versus The Terminator miniseries the Terminators and humanity vie for the support of the transhumanistic Robocop, who is humanity's only hope against Skynet.

The appearance of drone-like robots policing humanity would become even more common in cinema by the late 1990s. The hugely popular Matrix films featured drone-like enforcers called Sentinels that had the appearance of mechanical squids (strangely, the drone recently captured by Iran is called a Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel).  Minority Report featured 'spider robots' that bare similarities to the mini-drones that are now becoming en vogue. In the Stargate franchise drone weapons are used by an extraterrestrial race known as the Ancients who apparently were the inhabitants of the mythological city of Atlantis before departing Earth. If this wasn't enough of a hint, a Robocop remake is about to be released while another Terminator film is under discussion with Arnold returning.

Sentinels (top left and right) and the Robocop remake poster (bottom)

But enough predictive programming, let's move along to twilight language. That unmanned vehicles are being referred to as drones in the first place is seemingly a kind of occult mockery. The word drone has its origins in Old English and has always referred to a male honeybee. The bee itself is of course loaded with symbolism.
"The beehive is found in Masonry as a reminder that in diligence and labor for a common good true happiness and prosperity are found. The bee is a symbol of wisdom , for as this tiny insect collects pollen from the flowers, so men extract wisdom from the experiences of daily life."
(The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall, pg. 271)

Many occult orders have viewed the beehive as the idea order of society. That being said, the drone has typically been an object of ridicule, if considered at all. In his opening remarks on the fifth degree of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, known as the Perfect Master, Albert Pike sniffs:
"Industry and honesty are the virtues peculiarly inculcated in this Degree. They are common and homely virtues, but not for that beneath our notice. As the bees do not love or respect the drones, so Masonry neither loves nor respects the idle and those who live by their wits, and least of all those parasitic acari that live upon themselves."
(Morals and Dogmas, pg. 98)

Drones have long been the embodiment of the social parasite, of those that live off of the work of others and are driven by nothing other than their basest instincts. Drones have no real function in a beehive other than to impregnate the queen. Once this task is accomplished they are driven from the hive by the industrious worker bees. It is rather curious then that the word drone would be applied to unmanned vehicles.

I suspect that this application is a kind of joke. Human armies have always been at risk of falling prey to idleness and their baser instincts, leaving their commanders high and dry. But the new, mechanical fighting force currently being developed will pose no such threat for the Cryptocracy, nor will it feature the moral impairments that human armies encounters from time to time: Drones have no qualms about killing unarmed women and children, for instance, as recent events in Yemen show. Mechanical drones will in fact become the ultimate police force against segments of the population that the Cryptocracy considers human drones.

Several recent articles on the domestic use of drones have made the implications of these devices increasingly clear via twilight language. Consider this little nugget buried in the middle of an article by The Guardian on the Holloman Air Force Base, a hub for drone warfare:
"Such critics may consider it apt that Holloman straddles the Jornada del Muerto – Journey of the Dead Man – the macabre Spanish name for the perilous, water-less shortcut through the wilderness once used by Billy the Kid. Situated on a high desert plain, the base bakes by day, shivers by night and witnesses spectacular lightning storms. It has evocative neighbours. To the east, Roswell, which the conspiratorially minded already associate with human-less aircraft; to the west, Truth or Consequences, a town named after a 1950s radio quiz show."

Even the most casual reader should raise an eyebrow in the presence of such a name game. Roswell is of course one of the major hubs of modern extraterrestrial lore, with large scale urban myths developing around an alleged UFO crash there in 1947. Those of you who have read the legendary King-Kill 33 essay by James Shelby Downard and the highly controversial revisionist historian Michael A. Hoffman II will be immediately struck by several of the other locations referenced above. Both the Jornada del Muerto and Truth or Consequence, New Mexico factor heavily into their theories surrounding the Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter, supposedly the first of three alchemical works to bring about the total decay of matter. Of Jornada del Muerto, Hoffman writes:
"Fabled alchemy had at least three goals to accomplish before the total decay of matter, the total breakdown we are witnessing all around us today, was fulfilled. These are:
  • The Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter
  • The Killing of the Divine King
  • The Bringing of Prima Materia to Prima Terra...
"The Creation and Destruction of Primordial Matter was accomplished at the White Head ('Ancient of Days'), at White Sands, New Mexico, at the Trinity Site. The Trinity Site itself is located at the beginning of an ancient western road known in old Mexico as the Jornada del muerto (the Journey of Death)."
(Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, pg. 80)
the Trinity site
Downard and Hoffman have long linked Truth or Consequence, New Mexico to the first atomic bomb explosion, though they've never been clear on this link.
"There are occult links between masonic ceremonies held at the town of Truth or Consequence, New Mexico and the masonic ritual which attended the explosion of the first atomic bomb... 
"The gauntlet the cryptocracy threw down at our feet in the specially orchestrated chain of ritual criminal events and locations intimately connected to Truth or Consequence, New Mexico, was an 'open-air' ceremony in full public view of those who had eyes and the intuition to see it. This was the 'truth.' The supreme high-stakes gamblers of the masonic cryptocracy risked 'the consequence.' "
(ibid, pg. 55)

According to the official website for Truth or Consequence's Masonic lodge there was in fact some kind of large outdoor ceremony there to dedicate a new Masonic lodge in 1949 (the previous lodge, built in 1939, had burned down in a fire in 1947) but details are scarce. Hoffman seems to indicate that this ceremony took place either before, or roughly at the same time as, the first atomic bomb explosion, but clearly this is not possible. What significance the ceremony had, if any, remains a mystery.

Even stranger, the happenings in New Mexico are not the only associations drones have with the Downard-Hoffman 'Decay of Matter' theory. For another curious link we must shift our attention to my home state, sunny Florida. While Florida is chiefly known now for its beaches, babes and prescription drugs policymakers are eyeing a new source of revenue: turning the state into testing grounds for domestic drones. USA Today reports:
"From large to small, the number of such unmanned aircraft systems — popularly called "drones" — is expected to surge as the federal government works to open civilian airspace to them by 2015. Florida officials hope to position the state as a hub for this fast-growing industry by becoming a test site. 
" 'The skies over Florida will look dramatically different in the years to come,' Space Florida President Frank DiBello told a gathering of aerospace professionals this month. 
"The agency's board recently approved spending up to $1.4 million to try to win designation as one of six test ranges across the country that Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration to name by the end of the year. 
"The test sites hope to show that unmanned systems of all shapes and sizes — from wingspans of inches to more than 240 feet — can fly safely alongside piloted aircraft in different terrain and weather conditions... 
"At home, the Federal Aviation Administration has granted about 60 public entities permission to perform limited operations outside restricted airspace. Those include Customs and Border Protection, NASA and, in Florida, the Miami-Dade Police Department, sheriff's offices in Orange and Polk counties and the University of Florida."
Forbes reports that Cape Canaveral, home of the Kennedy Space Center (the site NASA has used to launch every human space flight since 1968), has already been turned into a drone base:
"Cape Canaveral is now a drone base. Since the space program is now on a death watch, it’s good to know they’ve found a way to repurpose this base. U.S. Customs and Border Protection flies drones on our northern, southern, and southeastern borders. The base previously used primarily to launch shuttles is now a drone practice spot and sends out a General Atomic Guardian drone to monitor the SE border and fly over the ocean to make drug busts."
a drone over Kennedy Space Center
Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, of which I've written more on here, also play heavily into the Downard-Hoffman theory of the destruction of matter. As noted above, the third stage of this works consists of 'bringing of Prima Materia to Prima Terra.' Essentially this means bringing a piece of the moon to earth, which was the real reason for the creation of NASA in the Downard-Hoffman theory.
"The third objective of alchemy, the bringing of Prima Materia to Prima Terra was accomplished in the 1969 Apollo moon flights and the returning to earth of the moon rockets. Some of these rocks have been 'stolen' for use in occult rituals of no mean significance..."
(Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare, Michael A. Hoffman II, pg. 90)
The location of where these space ships were launched, Cape Canaveral, was also highly important to this ritual. It also has ample ties to JFK, whose assassinations marked the second ritual the destruction of matter, the 'Killing of the Divine King' rite.
"The number 28 is one of the correspondences of Solomon in kabbalistic numerology; the Solomonic name assigned to 28 is 'Beale.' On the 28th degree of latitude in the state of Texas is the site of what was once the giant 'Kennedy ranch.' On the 28th degree is also Cape Canaveral from which the moon flight was launched --made possible not only by the President's various feats, but by his death as well, for the placing of Freemasons on the moon could occur only after the Killing of the King. The 28th degree of Templarism is the 'King of the Sun' degree."
(Secret and Suppressed, "Sorcery, Sex, Assassinations and the Science of Symbolism," James Shelby Downard, pg. 75)

And now, in the early 21st century, we see many of the locations Downard and Hoffman associated with the alchemical destruction of matter reappearing in association with the United States' drone program. At this point I suppose I should address the credibility of Downard and Hoffman's theories. It's no secret that Downard and especially Hoffman are rather unfashionable, to put it mildly, in the synchro-mystic field and related lines of thought. They are often lumped in with right-wing conspiracy theorist with radical Christian leanings (and possibly working as disinformation agents) such as A. Ralph Epperson, Texe Marrs and William Cooper, and not without reason. What's more, Downard and Hoffman's research isn't always without fault, as I displayed above in relation to Truth or Consequence, New Mexico.

William Cooper
But in this case I don't believe it's relevant whether Downard and Hoffman's theory of an alchemical destruction of matter is true or not. What does matter is that this theory has become relatively widespread in the group mind, beginning in 2000 with the release of shock rocker Marilyn Manson's Holy Wood album which lyrically incorporated various aspects of Downard and Hoffman's King-Kill 33 essay. Downard and Hoffman's theories would only become more widespread as the decade rolled along and Bush II's presidency became increasingly unpopular. By now Downard and Hoffman's theories have become viable aspects of popular culture. Thus, places like the Jornada del Muerto, Truth or Consequence and Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center have very specific meanings in certain circles.

What's more, we also have two locations --Roswell and Kennedy Space Center --that are closely linked with modern UFO lore and thus loaded with even more conspiratorial associations. Researchers with radically different world views than Downard or Hoffman such as Richard C. Hoagland have developed their own occult-laden conspiracy theories concerning the Kennedy assassination, NASA, the Apollo moon flights and the Kennedy Space Center. This doesn't add legitimacy to Downard and Hoffman's theories, it just shows that these locations and names have gained power in the group mind.

And now they're being connected to the United States' budding drone warfare program. This, combined with decades of predictive programming in film and TV, should be a clear warning that the Cryptocracy has bold plans for drones in the coming years. We may even be at a pivotal moment that will pave the way for the rise of the drone. On the flip side of the coin, the association of the drone with Jornada del Muerto, Roswell, Truth or Consequence, and Cape Canaveral further steps up the paranoia that is gripping a certain (and ever growing) segment of the population. Drones are flaunted as a kind of end game, instilling both a sense of hopelessness and rage in the group mind simultaneously. Undoubtedly the Cryptocracy hopes the latter will descend into violence among the more disturbed and paranoid segments of the population who ideally will feel compelled to act before its to late. And that brings me to my next point.   

I chose to write this piece now in part because of the gun debate currently raging in the United States due to a rash of mass shootings in Aurora and the Sikh temple in Wisconsin, among others. Personally, I'm staunch believer in the right to own and possess firearms. That being said, it seems clear to me that the gun culture that has arisen in the United States over the past three decades has largely been created to give the American populace a false sense of security. 'Mainstream' conspiracy blogs are once again abuzz with the well-worn urban myth that UN Peacekeepers are poised to disarm the America populace. Meanwhile, followers of such notions take solace in their stockpiles of arms and the lessons they're going to give the blue berets once they touch down on America soil.

The absurdity of such notions should be especially obvious when one considers the prospects of drones and the clues the Cryptocracy has been dropping about them for years. Conventional firearms will be all but obsolete in a few years when a new generation of drones, designed with the lessons learned in combat zones in Pakistan, Yemen and other locations, begin hitting the streets domestically. The Cryptocracy will have a largely robotic army at their disposal, unhindered by the pesky streaks of morality that have traditionally restrained human combat forces.

With such weapons only years away, the Cryptocracy has no real fear of conventional firearms. Indeed, the paranoia America gun culture is increasingly descending into will only ensure a steady stream of 'lone wolf' killers to terrorize the masses. It is especially concerning that two of the most recent public shootings the media have been hyping, the one that occurred near the Texas A & M campus and the most recent at Saint John the Baptist Parish, LA, were directed at police officers. This only helps to further the perception that the police are incapable of dealing with such threats, thus necessitating a need for other militant solutions.

And this is the best possible scenario for the Cryptocracy, for it will make it all that much easier to convince the America people to accept the drone as part of every day life.


  1. DARK ANGEL [tv series created by JAMES CAMERON & CHARLES H. EGLEE] depicts drones all over the sky:


    Mr. Eglee worked for Roger Corman:

    "TRUE LIES" (1994) [directed by James Cameron] was supported by the Marines, naturally:

    And the U.S. Army gave the money that financed the research that developed the technology used to film "AVATAR":

    Frank Miller & drones? :-)

  2. Jorge-

    Great call on "Dark Angel" --it totally slipped my mind. It's like Cameron has a fetish for the drone, or something.:)

    I still haven't been able to bring myself to watch "Avatar" yet. I'm thinking I should definitely dig up my old Frank Miller comics though.:)

    Well, one of the great military propagandists of our times is no longer with us.:) I'm sure you have some interesting thoughts on that.:)


  3. Thanks for your encouraging words!.

    Yep, the drone & James Cameron was pure fetishism (I think that is called "predictive programming" these days.)

    I will post a comment under your fascinating article: "THE SCOTTISH RITE?."