HOUSE, SENATE NEGOTIATORS REACH IMPASSE OVER INSTALLATION OF REMOTELY-CONTROLLED MACHINE GUNS AT US CAPITOL BUILDING
A RADIO FREE OZARKS EXCLUSIVE
By Frances Hodong
Radio Free Ozarks Washington, DC Reporter
April 14th, 2022
Negotiators from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and the Capitol Police Board deadlocked last month on the subject of adding remotely-controlled machine guns to strategic locations outside and within the US Capitol Building. The closed-door discussions were part of a broad action plan to increase security at the Capitol following the security breakdowns of January 6th, 2021.
While there was a general consensus on the need for this enhanced security measure, participants deadlocked on issues regarding the protocols and chain-of-command structure for control and use of the weapons, as well as whether to add them inside the actual House and Senate chambers. Details of this classified meeting were provided to Radio Free Ozarks through a Capitol Hill staffer who spoke on the conditions of anonymity and a cash tribute.
Per our source, there was general agreement on the need for enhanced weaponry on the outside of the Capitol, with the Kongsberg Protector RS4 Remote Weapons System (RWS) being the consensus choice. While the Kongsberg system is made in Europe, it is essentially the only option on the market. The Kongsberg RWS is widely used in the US Army and has been integrated into armored vehicles, tanks, ships, and autonomous vehicles. The consensus at the meeting was for pairing the Kongsberg RWS with a light or general purpose machine gun in the 5mm to 8mm caliber range.
“The group had commissioned a report from some old Army coot, a guy who was in Vietnam, and he worked out some of the nooks and crannies on the outside of the building where the guns could be recessed without frightening the school kids too much,” our source stated. “The old guy’s report was handwritten, only four pages long, but it was beautifully concise and went into all these line-of-sight issues and ‘crossfire sweet spot’ locations, as he put it. But the report was titled ‘Defending the Capitol from Charlie’ and it also recommended putting gunboats on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. But I liked that guy’s way of thinking.”
Per our source, the group lost focus when considering the placement of remotely-controlled weapons inside the Capitol. “It was sliding argument,” our source recounted. “Blah blah if the Capitol has the guns outside but the surrounding office buildings don’t, then any threat actor could come in through the tunnels. And taking that argument to it’s end gets us machine guns hanging from the ceilings in the House and Senate chambers. But strangely the Republican members of Congress who were in the meeting did not seem opposed to that. A few, like Tom Cotton, spoke out in favor of it. His eyes got wide. He said that the gun locations could be worked out with the camera angles on C-SPAN so that nobody would see them on TV. But I’ve been in those rooms and I would sure as hell see them, and anyone working or visiting would see them.”
While there appeared to be a consensus that the overall control center for the weapons should be located in some secure and secret Capitol Police basement room within the building, the meeting reached an impasse over who would make the decisions on their use. “Nobody trusted anyone,” our source shrugged. “There was general agreement that the optics would be bad if the military or National Guard was in the chain. When I say optics I mean figuratively, not the optics of the gun camera systems. [There was] some vague agreement that the Chief of the Capitol Police would be in the chain, but disagreement over whether he’d have any vote or veto on whether to light it up, or if he was just following orders. And then an absolute dead stop pissing and shouting match as to how any decision tree might work among the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate and the VP presiding over the Senate. It went from zero to everyone screaming f-bombs at the other party really quickly. I started to fear for my safety.”
The meeting fell apart with no formal adjournment and no followup meeting has been scheduled as of press time.
Per our source, neither the House Sergeant at Arms or Senate Sergeant at Arms had been invited to the meeting. “I’d heard my boss describe them as ‘(expletive) useless’ in a crisis,” our source stated, “and that they should only be allowed to greet visitors at the door and hand out pins and maps and that would be one less link in the chain of finger-pointing. My boss had tied one on at lunchtime when he said that, but everyone agrees with the sentiment.”
When asked outside the Capitol building about the proposed machine gun installations, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed to have not heard of such a proposal but did not seem opposed to their installation. As to the criteria for their control, “Let’s just say that I will use all assets at my disposal to advance our conservative agenda,” McConnell grinned and chuckled.