Drone strikes....

EdBEdB Senior MemberPosts: 2,920 Senior Member
Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers

Ed Pilkington in New York and Ewen MacAskill in London

Wednesday 18 November 2015 12.48 EST

Four former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.

The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.

In particular, they argue, the killing of innocent civilians in drone airstrikes has acted as one of the most “devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world”.

The letter, addressed to Obama, defense secretary Ashton Carter and CIA chief John Brennan, links the signatories’ anxieties directly to last Friday’s terror attacks in Paris. They imply that the abuse of the drone program is causally connected to the outrages.

“We cannot sit silently by and witness tragedies like the attacks in Paris, knowing the devastating effects the drone program has overseas and at home,” they wrote.

The joint statement – from the group who have experience of operating drones over Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict zones – represents a public outcry from what is understood to be the largest collection of drone whistleblowers in the history of the program. Three of the letter writers were sensor operators who controlled the powerful visual equipment on US Predator drones that guide Hellfire missiles to their targets.
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Replies

  • So, the killing of "innocents" with manned aircraft wouldn't be a driving force for "terrorism and destabilization around the world?" The former U.S. air force service members would be good with that?
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    No, killing innocents with manned aircraft is just as much a cause of increased terrorism as drones are. Those whistleblowers wrote the letter because they have been operating drones themselves and now say that it is a causal effect of increased terrorism.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,689 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    No, killing innocents with manned aircraft is just as much a cause of increased terrorism as drones are. Those whistleblowers wrote the letter because they have been operating drones themselves and now say that it is a causal effect of increased terrorism.

    And they know this how? Did their monitors show a rush of people eager to enlist after the dust settled?
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    George K wrote: »
    And they know this how? Did their monitors show a rush of people eager to enlist after the dust settled?

    This is the conclusion they have reached from their own experience.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/obama-drone-war-isis-recruitment-tool-air-force-whistleblowers

    The number of lethal airstrikes has ballooned under Obama’s watch. The Pentagon has plans further to increase the number of daily drone flights by 50% by 2019.

    From its inception, the drone program has been troubled by reports of mistaken targeting. Classified government documents leaked to the Intercept revealed that up to 90% of the people killed in drone strikes may be unintended, with the disparity glossed over by the recording of unknown victims as “enemies killed in action”.


    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/us-military-drones-obama-afghanistan-yemen-isis

    Worryingly, the drone pilots who spoke with the Guardian say they often had little idea who was being killed – a view echoed by CIA documents leaked to McClatchy, which found hundreds of the dead recorded simply as “other”.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,936 Senior Member
  • EdB wrote: »
    No, killing innocents with manned aircraft is just as much a cause of increased terrorism as drones are. Those whistleblowers wrote the letter because they have been operating drones themselves and now say that it is a causal effect of increased terrorism.


    So why are you so fixated on drones, Ed? I've never figured this out. Drone this, drone that...yada, yada.

    3/4s of the sorties we're flying are manned.
  • Joe K. wrote: »

    We really effed up by not building a Death Star.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    So why are you so fixated on drones, Ed? I've never figured this out. Drone this, drone that...yada, yada.

    3/4s of the sorties we're flying are manned.

    I've long been fixated on our criminal foreign policy in the middle east and the many innocent people we have slaughtered for military and economic control there, of which illegal increasing drone strikes are a major factor in the terrorist backlash that is causing the atrocities such as in Paris and Beirut and Iraq and Syria.

    Why are you not fixated on our criminal foreign policy? I've never figured that out.
  • EdB wrote: »
    increasing drone strikes are a major factor in the terrorist backlash that is causing the atrocities such as in Paris and Beirut and Iraq and Syria.

    So, would decreasing drone strikes but increasing manned strikes lessen the chance of any terrorist backlash? #stilltryingtofigureoutEdsobssessionwithdrones
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    So, would decreasing drone strikes but increasing manned strikes lessen the chance of any terrorist backlash? #stilltryingtofigureoutEdsobssessionwithdrones

    No, are you going to answer my question?
  • I can't as you've never convinced me that we have a criminal foreign policy. Misguided maybe.

    Now your turn. Since you've never linked an opinion piece about manned aircraft, I have to assume there is something particularly bad about drones. What is it?
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    I can't as you've never convinced me that we have a criminal foreign policy. Misguided maybe.

    Now your turn. Since you've never linked an opinion piece about manned aircraft, I have to assume there is something particularly bad about drones. What is it?

    Manned air strikes are quite common and have been for many years. They're already bad when they kill innocent civilians. Drone strikes for targeted murder are new since 9/11 and are carried out by remote control from thousands of miles away. They are a new technology that is not inherently bad but has been used by our government for criminal purposes in ever widening areas of the world, particularly and increasingly in our illegal invasions and occupations of middle east countries.
  • You're not answering the question. Sure manned air strikes have been used since WWI but so what? Are they not used for "targeted murder?"
    Are you saying we couldn't have killed Jihadi John with a fighter jet?
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Steven wrote: »
    You're not answering the question. Sure manned air strikes have been used since WWI but so what? Are they not used for "targeted murder?"
    Are you saying we couldn't have killed Jihadi John with a fighter jet?

    Yes they are used for targeted murder when there is no legal justification for that use as there isn't in the M.E.

    Since our foreign policy is no longer justified by law, we should not be illegally killing anyone in the M.E., either by jet or drone. JIhadi John only existed because of our foreign policy.
  • What is "they?"
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Jet fighters.
  • So if the use of drones isn't any more immoral than that of jet fighters, why this fixation with drones? Not only with you, but like minded people? It's always drone this, drone that.

    The titles are always about drone strikes, not air strikes.
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,936 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    I've long been fixated on our criminal foreign policy in the middle east and the many innocent people we have slaughtered for military and economic control there, of which illegal increasing drone strikes are a major factor in the terrorist backlash that is causing the atrocities such as in Paris and Beirut and Iraq and Syria.

    Why? Don't you have better things to do with your time in retirement than fixation on drones, war crimes and energy credits.

    By the way...The percentage of casualties to civilians is much lower with drone strikes than with just about any other kind of military intervention.

    But for extremists who are indeed plotting violence against innocents, he said, “all the evidence we have so far suggests that drones do better at both identifying the terrorist and avoiding collateral damage than anything else we have.”

    Since drone operators can view a target for hours or days in advance of a strike, they can identify terrorists more accurately than ground troops or conventional pilots. They are able to time a strike when innocents are not nearby and can even divert a missile after firing if, say, a child wanders into range.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sunday-review/the-moral-case-for-drones.html?_r=1
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Joe K. wrote: »
    Why? Don't you have better things to do with your time in retirement than fixation on drones, war crimes and energy credits.

    By the way...The percentage of casualties to civilians is much lower with drone strikes than with just about any other kind of military intervention.



    But for extremists who are indeed plotting violence against innocents, he said, “all the evidence we have so far suggests that drones do better at both identifying the terrorist and avoiding collateral damage than anything else we have.”

    Since drone operators can view a target for hours or days in advance of a strike, they can identify terrorists more accurately than ground troops or conventional pilots. They are able to time a strike when innocents are not nearby and can even divert a missile after firing if, say, a child wanders into range.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/15/sunday-review/the-moral-case-for-drones.html?_r=1

    Classified government documents leaked to the Intercept revealed that up to 90% of the people killed in drone strikes may be unintended,
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,689 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    This is the conclusion they have reached from their own experience.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/obama-drone-war-isis-recruitment-tool-air-force-whistleblowers

    The number of lethal airstrikes has ballooned under Obama’s watch. The Pentagon has plans further to increase the number of daily drone flights by 50% by 2019.

    From its inception, the drone program has been troubled by reports of mistaken targeting. Classified government documents leaked to the Intercept revealed that up to 90% of the people killed in drone strikes may be unintended, with the disparity glossed over by the recording of unknown victims as “enemies killed in action”.


    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/nov/18/us-military-drones-obama-afghanistan-yemen-isis

    Worryingly, the drone pilots who spoke with the Guardian say they often had little idea who was being killed – a view echoed by CIA documents leaked to McClatchy, which found hundreds of the dead recorded simply as “other”.

    "Their own experience" consists of sitting in a dark room in a safe place like Colorado and using a monitor and keyboard.

    I'm not saying they are wrong, only that "their own experience" gives them no more credibility than you or I. By your logic, because I have spent many hours sitting in doctors' waiting rooms I am a recognized medical expert whose opinions on internal medicine and surgery deserve to be lauded by everyone.

    As usual Ed, your sources' deeply flawed logic discourages what they say being taken seriously.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    As usual George, your inability to see the truth of our criminal foreign policy makes what you say difficult to be taken seriously.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,569 Senior Member
    This thread makes me pine for a discussion of fat bike gear ratios.:p
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,569 Senior Member
    Yeah, when I mountain biked I loved me some pretty low gear ratios for climbing.
    I still haven't sold that damned death trap. I need to get on that early next spring.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,569 Senior Member
    Joe,
    Is that a good site to list a bike for sale? Any others you know of? I wonder how much I should list it for. Any idea on shipping charges?
    Thanks, Joe!
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,171 Senior Member
    EdB wrote: »
    Manned air strikes are quite common and have been for many years. They're already bad when they kill innocent civilians. Drone strikes for targeted murder are new since 9/11 and are carried out by remote control from thousands of miles away. They are a new technology that is not inherently bad but has been used by our government for criminal purposes in ever widening areas of the world, particularly and increasingly in our illegal invasions and occupations of middle east countries.

    So I gather your are missing the good old days when instead we could have just carpet bombed the $hit out of everything instead. Because this whole wacky technology thing is certainly reducing the number of dead compared to what it could be.

    No wonder you hate drones. I had no idea you were such a proponent of more killing but it all makes sense now.
  • jbillyjbilly Senior Member Posts: 5,171 Senior Member
    Shawn C. wrote: »
    Yeah, when I mountain biked I loved me some pretty low gear ratios for climbing.
    I still haven't sold that damned death trap. I need to get on that early next spring.

    If you don't sell it and are willing to paint it black and yellow I know a film it could be used in. I am thinking we could turn it into a remotely controlled bike and you could have a premier role from 3000 miles away.
  • George KGeorge K Super Moderator Posts: 9,689 Senior Member
    Joe K. wrote: »
    Well I have 36/22 up front and 11-36 out back making my lowest gear ratio .611.

    I'm thinking about going 1x with 28T which will then make my lowest gear ratio .777.

    I hope that's low enough for hill climbing...

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

    Meh. Get back to us when you build a fat drone.
    Keep your stinkin' government hands off my Medicare.
  • Shawn C.Shawn C. Senior Member Posts: 6,569 Senior Member
    Thanks, Joe. I will also check out mtbr.com.
  • EdBEdB Senior Member Posts: 2,920 Senior Member
    Democracy Now is about drones and the movie "Drones" which premiers in new York this weekend. The whistleblowers are interviewed also. They were offered as much as $100,000 to reenlist but all turned it down and got out.

    http://www.democracynow.org/
  • NZ IndicatorNZ Indicator Senior Member Posts: 9,936 Senior Member
    Ed,

    Find us a fat bike movie. That would be more entertaining.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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