Letter: Don't call them drones

March 24, 2013 

These are not drones, they are UAVs -- remotely piloted military weapons systems. "Drone" is misused and conceals a great danger.

UAVs are stealth -- invisible to radar systems managing commercial airliner traffic. See Congressional Research Service document R42136 for background and admission of stealth capacity.

These aren't flying cameras, but military weapons systems with cameras.

One can be flown over an airport, crash into or attack a passenger jet and no one but the military or CIA will know who did it.

The potential for misuse, to deliberately attack a commercial craft or other target, not be visible, then blame it on other actors such as "Islamist terrorists" is immense.

UAVs are not needed for U.S. surveillance, we have far more sophisticated satellite capacity than that, and have ground-based, handheld equipment that can to that job. Technology existed in the late 1980s to see people through walls and doors with hand held cameras, we do not need flying military systems for that.

A UAV's flight plan is irrelevant to safety; a plan does not tell where these stealth craft are.

UAVs are killing machines with no legitimate use in the United States.

DAVID CAMPBELL, Richland

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