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Up in the sky, nano-drones

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British troops in Afghanistan are the first to use Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicles on the frontlines.  Photo courtesy of SkyNews

British troops in Afghanistan are using Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicles on the frontlines.
Photo courtesy of SkyNews

 

“Do you believe that the president has the power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial?”

That’s the question Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky posed of President Obama’s nominee for CIA chief.

Paul, a Republican, has been threatening this month to hold up the Senate confirmation vote on John Brennan. This week, he sent a letter to the president’s chief counterterrorism adviser demanding answers, Human Events reported on Thursday.

Every day we seem to have more news on drones. On Friday, we learned that about 100 U.S. forces are setting up a drone base in Niger to spy on al-Qaida in the Sahara.

But perhaps the most interesting drone story this month came from London-based SkyNews TV channel: British troops are the first to deploy teency drones to keep eyes on the enemy in Afghanistan. The Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Air Vehicle  sounds like a large bug: less than 4 inches long and weighing a tad more than half a pound, it carries a camera whose images are watched on a handheld device.

“We used it to look for insurgent firing points and check out exposed areas of the ground before crossing, which is a real asset,” Sgt. Christopher Petherbridge of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force in Afghanistan told SkyNews. “It is very easy to operate and offers amazing capability to the guys on the ground.

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