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Young Americans for Liberty raise awareness about drones

The organization's theme for March is "A Generation of War."

A stationary drone replica soared over Speakers Circle during the school day Thursday.

The display was an effort to raise awareness, said Ethan Robinette, the president of the MU Chapter of Young Americans for Liberty, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit educational organization.

The replica was coupled with information about the costs of drone warfare. Robinette said the display went over very well.

"A lot of students thanked us for doing (the display)," Robinette said. "We will have it out here again some day."

Robinette said he wanted to highlight the carelessness with the way the current administration goes about using drones.

The drone replica was obtained from a man in South Bend whose son was killed in a friendly fire drone attack, Robinette said.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul's 13-hour filibuster helped bring drones into the national spotlight.

According to a NPR story on March 8, Paul said he would keep talking until the White House clarified whether it has the authority to kill U.S. citizens on American soil with drones.

"Our president isn't willing to forfeit his right to bomb an American citizen," Robinette said in regard to his opposition to drone warfare.

Robinette said he is not opposed to national defense.

According to the flyers YAL students passed out today, there are 170 YAL chapters and 3,000 members nationwide. The MU chapter has 80 members.

According to the YAL website, the organization is classically liberal and traditionally conservative.

Robinette said the organization supports small government in every sense, socially and financially.

The drone display was a part of March's theme, which is "A Generation of War," as dictated by the national organization.

Also in support of the theme, YAL is hosting talks and screenings focusing on war.

On Monday, the group hosted a screening of the documentary "Why We Fight."

Next Wednesday, the organization will take part in a vigil at the Boone County Courthouse to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Iraq invasion.

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Article comments

March 15, 2013 at 7:48 a.m.

Sam Kephart: Domestic drone usage is ill-conceived, elitist, and end-runs our inherent Constitutional protections. Here are two (2), very well-produced, videos that anchor my points: Emmy Award-winning newscaster Shad Olson’s ‘The Great Drone Debate’, featuring US Senator John Thune: Here’s a mind-blowing, well-done animated short that really captures our collective angst that if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then domestic drones are a superhighway to an Orwellian panoptic gulag. For national security purposes, Americans are already subject to warrantless wiretaps of calls and emails, the warrantless GPS “tagging” of their vehicles, the domestic use of Predators or other spy-in-the-sky drones, and the Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of all our behavior through “data fusion centers.” America’s promise has always been the power of the many to rule, instead of the one. Ungoverned drone usage, particularly domestically, gives power to the one. 

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