Daily Archives: November 9, 2012

Drone Propaganda

A new website dedicated to telling positive drone stories popped up in the days leading up to Obama’s re-election. Not that the two are somehow directly related, but it’s worth noting that the man who simultaneously quadrupled flying robot use abroad also authorized and encouraged their use domestically.  Now Americans don’t seem to mind drones in foreign countries, in fact they love the idea, but that love quickly goes south when drones cross into domestic territory.  Enter Increasing Human Potential, a website wholly dedicated to taking the edge off domestic drone use, its mission statement — “highlight the valuable and endless benefits of all unmanned systems and robotics.”  The site…was launched by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, or AUVSI — which, oddly enough, runs a separate website for its 600-plus drone-involved corporate members.

One of those members, Vanguard Defense Industries, plays a huge role in arming U.S. state and local law enforcement agencies. They produce a behemoth drone called the Shadowhawk, which is a knife-point technology for both surveillance and assault.  The ShadowHawk can be equipped with a 40 mm grenade launcher and a 12-gauge shotgun, according to its maker, Vanguard Defense Industries of Conroe, Texas. The company doesn’t sell the armed version in the United States, although “we have had interest from law-enforcement entities for deployment of nonlethal munitions from the aircraft,” Vanguard CEO Michael Buscher said.

Geoffrey Ingersoll, Drone Propaganda Site Pops Up Just In Time For Obama’s Second Term, Business Insider, Nov. 8, 2012