Domeland Security and the Attack of the Drones

A column by Stephen Newcomb about homeland security.

Given that a capitol dome is part of what constitutes domination of and by “the State,” it makes sense to talk in terms of ‘The Domeland," rather than ‘The Homeland." If we were living a science fiction story—and often these days it feels as if we are—the narrative could easily include "the Department of Domeland Security."

Curiously, two news articles appeared within days of each other that deal with recent developments regarding what is typically termed U.S. homeland security. The first was published online June 18, 2012 by Global Research. It is titled “Confronting the American People: Thousands of military drones to be deployed over U.S. mainland,” by Tom Carter. Carter states: “A recent Department of Defense report as well as a number of media investigations have exposed government plans to deploy tens of thousands of drones over the U.S. mainland in the coming years.” The actual figure is some 30,000 drones.

The second article, dated June 20, 2012, is from Indian Country Today Media Network, and is titled, “HR 1505 Passes; Tribal Border and Treaties Await Senate,” by Heather Steinberger. According to Steinberger, the bill has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate. The bill was authored by Rob Bishop (R-Utah), and, as amended before passage, the legislation authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to assume control over federal lands within 100 miles of the land borders of the United States. The bill reads in part:

The Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture shall not impede, prohibit or restrict activities of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection on land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture to achieve operational control over the international land borders of the United States.

As it now stands, six activities are authorized by the legislation. “The six authorized activities include construction and maintenance of roads; construction and maintenance of fences; vehicle patrols; installation, maintenance and operation of surveillance equipment and sensors; use of aircraft; and deployment of tactical infrastructure, including forward operation bases.” (Emphasis added.)

The above text in italics relates to the prospect of 30,000 military drones, and the bases needed for their operation and deployment, canvassing the skies above the United States. That is, surveillance equipment and sensors, aircraft, and deployment of tactical infrastructure, and forward operation bases.” The Domeland will have never been so secure.

But secure from whom? The vast majority of these surveillance and security measures will be directed at and against the American people as a whole over the course of the next decade. The wider context of HR 1505 is legislation such as the Patriot Act (2001), the Authorization of Use of Military Force (2001-2002), the Warner Defense Authorization Act (2007), and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)(2011). The NDAA allows the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens and legal resident indefinitely, without trial or charge, “until the end of hostilities” in a time of endless war, which we have been told could be “generational.”

To complete the context it is necessary to mention President Barack Obama’s “kill list,” and the announcements by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, that the assassination of U.S. citizens is now official U.S. government policy. Yes, indeed, The Domeland has never been so secure.

For Indian country, there is great cause for concern. And this is true despite language in HR 1505 that, according to Ms. Steinberger, is said to “ensure and protect tribal sovereignty, stating that nothing in the bill may supersede, replace, negate, or diminish treaties or agreements with Indian tribes.”

Given the above stated context of a looming police state, with 30,000 military drones monitoring our every move in the U.S., not to mention all the other government data mining of every person within the geographically limits claimed by the United States, there will be no “ensuring and protecting tribal sovereignty” and no way to prevent “negating, or diminishing treaties or agreements” with Indian nations. Such language is a farce in such a context in the name of what I prefer to call Domeland security, meaning dominating security at any cost, including the sacrifice of every vestige of the civil liberties that were said to be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution when the Bill of Rights was adopted.

To complete the context of HR 1505, it is necessary to mention the U.S. military program of Full Spectrum Dominance 2020, the latest phase of which was kicked off in the year 2000. All these trends, including HR 1505, fit perfectly into the objective of the U.S. military achieving full domination, both within and without the U.S., by the target date year of 2020. Thus, 30,000 military drones over Indian lands as well as all other lands within the claimed boundaries of the U.S. within the next ten years, or 2022, is certainly within the scope of the U.S. government’s timeframe.

Steven Newcomb (Shawnee/Lenape) is co-founder and co-director of the Indigenous Law Institute, author of Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery (2008), and the indigenous and Kumeyaay research coordinator for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.