Several people who I know personally have gotten their Depends® in a wad over illegal immigration and obviously it's an issue that's near and dear to the hearts of many red-blooded evangelicals who fear a massive influx of Catholics into this great Protestant nation of ours. If something isn't done and soon, our grandchildren will be worshipping Mary and speaking in Latin instead of in tongues. For some reason, these people think that building a huge fence along our Southern border is the answer. I guess because it has worked so well in Israel.
Well I just read a great article in Salon called "Killing Bubba from the skies
". The article explores how the Air Force is using high tech devices like predator drones and 3-D mapping to hunt down and kill insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. They've gotten this down to a science, even scaling munitions to precisely knock off one or two individuals without harming innocent bystanders and unoffending buildings. Now it's possible that these wars could go on for another 100 years years as some have suggested but it could be that we'll lose interest over there and we'll have all this fantastic technology and no one to use it on (what a shame that would be!)
So, you see where I'm going with this? Who in their right mind is going to try to sneak across a border (fence or no fence) knowing that some military specialist hundreds 0f miles away might be sipping on a Dr. Pepper and dialing up a precise hit on their position? I mean, this is war people (it is, isn't it?) OK, we're probably a little squeamish about blowing up women and children on a regular basis but after a couple of well-publicized surgical strikes the word would pass quickly and voila, no more illegal immigrants.
Then we can turn our attention to the drug war - Lord knows we've been losing that one for decades. I believe good old Tom Clancy has explored this territory before but even he didn't go far enough to suggest how application of the new technology could be used on the streets of our inner cities. So here's Johnny Drug-dealer selling his dime bags on a corner in Anytown, USA. He is totally unaware that he is standing in the crosshairs of a predator drone circling out of earshot. In the twinkling of an eye POOF, he is a greasy spot on the cement while the rest of the neighborhood goes about its business unharmed and unconcerned. Boggles the mind, doesn't it? Granted we may have to change a few laws governing annoyances like due process but you really can't fault the Founding Fathers for not envisioning how technology might eliminate the need for such antiquated concepts.
Personally, I'm kind of excited about the many unexplored uses of the new technologies. It's really kind of a shame that we won't have the Bush administration around to implement them to their fullest but, hey, time marches on.
So next time you're doing something even vaguely illegal, look up, smile, wave and hope that whoever is at the controls has a sense of humor.