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Columns

March 19, 2013

Those magnificent spies in their flying machines

(Continued)

With more and more of such drones expected in domestic skies in the coming years, the Federal Aviation Administration has been ordered to come up with a procedure by 2015 for integrating them into our airspace. 

Despite the many positive uses for domestic drones, such as aiding first responders, Leahy and others rightly are worried that good intentions could go bad in the wrong hands, whether the government’s or a criminal’s.

“This fast-emerging technology is cheap and could pose a significant threat to the privacy and civil liberties of millions of Americans,’’ Leahy has said.

Old controversy follows new pope

“They’re dancing with the missing

They’re dancing with the dead

They dance with the invisible ones

Their anguish is unsaid

They’re dancing with their fathers

They’re dancing with their sons

They’re dancing with their husbands

They dance alone They dance alone’’

— From “They Dance Alone’’ by Sting (1987)

Silence was not golden in the case of the new pope’s behavior during the eight years when a brutal military regime ruled Argentina. Couldn’t the conclave of cardinals have found someone without a skeleton, or 30,000 of them, in his closet?

It has become clear since Pope Francis was chosen to lead the Roman Catholic Church that his role as archbishop of Buenos Aires during the so-called “Dirty War’’ was not quite what one might expect from a new pope.

Like one Catholic I know asked, “don’t they vet these guys?’’

During the military reign from 1975 to 1983, tens of thousands of alleged opponents to the regime were killed or disappeared, often tortured, drugged and dropped from helicopters. Pope Francis, the former Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio, for years has been dogged by questions about his connections to the military leaders.

One link concerned the military’s abduction of two priests, who the archbishop dismissed from the Jesuit order for ministering to residents of the slums, which were considered hotbeds of leftist opposition. While the new pope previously has denied contacting the military leaders about the priests, his silence in that case and in the thousands of killings stands out.

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