A delayed report issued by a Pentagon inspector general admits the military has used Predator and Reaper drones to surveil the American people.
According to the report made public under a Freedom of Information Act request, the unmanned military aircraft have been deployed “on non-military missions [that] have occurred fewer than 20 times between 2006 and 2015 and always in compliance with existing law.”
The Pentagon did not release further information on the spy missions.
In 2013 the use of military drones in the United States was revealed when then-FBI director Robert Mueller testified before Congress.
“It’s very seldom used and generally used in a particular incident when you need the capability,” Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It is very narrowly focused on particularized cases and particularized needs.”
Pentagon, FBI, CIA and NSA Have Long Spied on Americans
The FBI and Pentagon claim they only use drones in “particularized cases” is doubtful considering the history of the FBI and its COINTELPRO spying and subversion operation and recent revelations the Pentagon has spied on domestic political groups.
A 400-page Defense Department document obtained by NBC News in 2004 revealed the Penatgon’s increased domestic spying activity on antiwar groups following the 9/11 attacks.
The CIA also spied on and subverted the antiwar movement with its Operation CHAOS in the late 1960s. Additionally, the agency covertly launched Project MERRIMAC to infiltrate and subvert domestic political groups despite the CIA charter forbidding such activity.
Moreover, the NSA has engaged in widespread illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of the American people, largely unknown until the revelations of former contractor Edward Snowden.
EPA Used Drones in Nebraska and Iowa
In 2012 Infowars.com reported on Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency using aerial drones to spy on farmers and cattle ranchers in Nebraska and Iowa. The surveillance came under scrutiny after Nebraska’s congressional delegation sent a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
The EPA argued the flights are legal. “Courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility) and EPA would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act,” the agency said in response to the congressional delegation’s letter.
Drone Bases in America
Despite the fact the Posse Comitatus Act prohibits the military from operating on American soil, the Pentagon has busied itself with establishing drone bases within the United States.
Public Intelligence, a non-profit advocating free access to government information, released a map of military UAV activities inside the United States in 2012. According to the organization, it is not clear if the bases are used for foreign missions or domestic surveillance.
A list produced by the Federal Aviation Administration in response to an Electronic Freedom Foundation Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also shows numerous drone bases within the continental United States.
“Some of the entities on the COA [Certificates of Authorizations] list are unsurprising. For example, journalists have reported that Customs and Border Protection uses Predator drones to patrol the borders. It is also well known that DARPA and other branches of the military are authorized to fly drones in the US.,” Jennifer Lynch writes for the organization.