Posse Comitatus Act and Using Military Drones Stateside

Before you read this article it is important that you know what posse comitatus is. It is a rule of law that the military cannot be used to enforce civil law except under explicit circumstances. Wikipedia provides the following information:

The original provision was enacted as Section 15 of chapter 263, of the Acts of the 2nd session of the 45th Congress.

Sec. 15. From and after the passage of this act it shall not be lawful to employ any part of the Army of the United States, as a posse comitatus, or otherwise, for the purpose of executing the laws, except in such cases and under such circumstances as such employment of said force may be expressly authorized by the Constitution or by act of Congress ; and no money appropriated by this act shall be used to pay any of the expenses incurred in the employment of any troops in violation of this section and any person willfully violating the provisions of this section shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction thereof shall be punished by fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding two years or by both such fine and imprisonment[6]

The act has since been modified to allow use of the military in certain instances of disaster or terrorism.  You can read the whole Wikipedia article HERE.

A photo of the US Army's new MQ-1C Warrior UAV
A photo of the US Army’s MQ-1C Warrior UAV

 

The Pentagon has deployed drones to spy over U.S. territory for non-military missions over the past decade, but the flights have been rare and lawful, according to a new report.

The report by a Pentagon inspector general, made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, said spy drones on non-military missions have occurred fewer than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and always in compliance with existing law.

The report, which did not provide details on any of the domestic spying missions,  said the Pentagon takes the issue of military drones used on American soil “very seriously.”

A senior policy analyst for the ACLU, Jay Stanley, said it is good news no legal violations were found, yet the technology is so advanced that it’s possible laws may require revision.

“Sometimes, new technology changes so rapidly that existing law no longer fit what people think are appropriate,” Stanley said. “It’s important to remember that the American people do find this to be a very, very sensitive topic.”

The use of unmanned aerial surveillance (UAS) drones over U.S. surfaced in 2013 when then-FBI director Robert Mueller testified before Congress that the bureau employed spy drones to aid investigations, but in a “very,very minimal way, very seldom.”

CONTINUE READING MUCH MORE IN THE ARTICLE HERE

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