Confessions of a drone pilot

EdBEdB Senior MemberPosts: 2,930 Senior Member
He couldn't handle killing 1626 people so he went public instead of committing suicide.

Confessions of a Drone Warrior

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who's still utterly, terrifyingly human

Since its inception, the drone program has been largely hidden, its operational details gathered piecemeal from heavily redacted classified reports or stage-managed media tours by military public-affairs flacks. Bryant is one of very few people with firsthand experience as an operator who has been willing to talk openly, to describe his experience from the inside. While Bryant considers leakers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their principles, he’s cautious about discussing some of the details to which his top-secret clearance gave him access. Still, he is a curtain drawn back on the program that has killed thousands on our behalf.


  • BuffcoBuffco Senior Member Posts: 10,319 Senior Member
    Is he going to apologize?
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,091 Senior Member

    Do you sleep at night? It's seems this drone stuff has taken over your life.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,930 Senior Member
    When my government commits war crimes like they are doing with drones, It is my duty as a citizen to speak out against that. Does that bother you?
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 10,091 Senior Member
    It doesn't bother me at all.

    Are you speaking out against that to more than the dozen or so people that reside on this forum?

    Sent from my DROID X2 using Tapatalk 2
  • To what exactly did he confess? Being burnt out?

    Lot of build up for no money shot.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,930 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    To what exactly did he confess? Being burnt out?

    Lot of build up for no money shot.

    There's five pages of his story, here's some of it.

    By the spring of 2011, almost six years after he’d signed on, Senior Airman Brandon Bryant left the Air Force, turning down a $109,000 bonus to keep flying. He was presented with a sort of scorecard covering his squadron’s missions. “They gave me a list of achievements,” he says. “Enemies killed, enemies captured, high-value targets killed or captured, stuff like that.” He called it his diploma. He hadn’t lased the target or pulled the trigger on all of the deaths tallied, but by flying in the missions he felt he had enabled them. “The number,” he says, “made me sick to my stomach.”

    Total enemies killed in action: 1,626.

    At the urging of a Vietnam veteran he met at the local VA office, Bryant finally went to see a therapist. After a few sessions, he just broke down: “I told her I wanted to be a hero, but I don’t feel like a hero. I wanted to do something good, but I feel like I just wasted the last six years of my life.” She diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

    The mechanisms of death may change—as intimate as a bayonet or as removed as a Hellfire—but the bloody facts, and their weight on the human conscience, remain the same. Bryant’s diagnosis of PTSD fits neatly into this new understanding. It certainly made sense to Bryant. “I really have no fear,” he says now. “It’s more like I’ve had a soul-crushing experience. An experience that I thought I’d never have. I was never prepared to take a life.”

    During the worst of it, Bryant would make the rounds of Missoula’s dozens of roughneck bars and drink himself to blackout on whiskey and cokes, vanishing for days or weeks on end. Many of those nights he would take his government-issued minus-forty-degree sleeping bag and pull into a parking lot in the middle of town next to the Clark Fork river. There’s a small park with a wooden play structure there, built to look like a dragon with slides and ladders descending from it. He would climb to the little lookout deck at the top, blind drunk, and sleep there, night after night.
  • I read all of it. He's confessing to PTSD and making the case that drone pilots can suffer like grunts on the ground. Good for him.
    But he's not exactly Snowden outing any secrets (i.e. indiscriminately shooting civilians).

    I hope the guy gets better and this helps with these guys in the future.

    Otherwise, really nothing to see here.

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