Nobody Saw THAT Coming: US Border Patrol Wants to (Non-Lethally) Arm Drones
Given the post 9/11 trend to militarize domestic law enforcement, this news from the Atlantic Wire should surprise absolutely no one.
Documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation from the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Patrol indicate that the agency is close to finalizing payload standards for its drone aircraft. Among the things the CBP might want to use in its unmanned aircraft: “non-lethal weapons designed to immobilize” targets.
This *technically* wouldn’t contradict Eric Holder’s letter to Congress earlier this year about targeted drone strikes in the US because, in theory, the drones would carry a non-lethal payload. That said, let us remember that despite being marketed as “non-lethal” law enforcement weapon, tasers have been tied to a number of deaths.
The real question is, if this goes forward (and it most likely will), how soon until this technology “trickles down” to local law enforcement units?
Update (7/3/2013) – I suggest jumping down to the comment below by Andy for an alternate take on this topic. His suggestion is that these armed drone are intended for dealing with drug transporters versus illegal immigration.