Picture Credit: Reuters
When asked about drones being used in the U.S, how much did FBI Director Robert Mueller say they were used? One would hope “none at all” or “not at all”, even “never” sounds good. As a matter of fact, that’s the preferred answer. Granted not an answer anyone would believe given current developments, but everyone would prefer that be the answer. Instead, Director Mueller answered that they were used on U.S soil in a “very, very, minimal way, and very seldom.”
CBS News’ Bob Orr was told by sources within the law enforcement community that the FBI used model plane-sized drones 10 to 12 times for “very localized surveillance” with the most recent being during the Alabama hostage situation in February. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R) and ranking Republican of the Senate Judiciary Committee reeled Attorney General Eric Holder who said that the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) used non-lethal/non-combat ready drone technology for their operations. Those with weapons are generally used in overseas operations.
The revelation about drones at home will definitely raise red flags among the American public even though these were said to be used for law enforcement operations—even by people in law enforcement—and that the drones used in these cases wouldn’t be dropping bombs of explosives or anyone. The point—a minimal one which will be multiplied to being a big deal—is that they exist period and was used stateside.
Senator Grassley asked Mueller if the bureau had any sort of “operational limits”—rules, policies, procedures, and the like—for using unarmed drones in the U.S. The FBI Director answered, “We are in the initial stages of doing that, and I will tell you that our footprint is very small.” He went on to mention that the FBI didn’t have many drones for stateside use and that they don’t use them very often. It was also stated that they were considering the “the necessary guidelines for that use.”