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The Feds’ global drone war

July 11, 2011

Today, the NPR program “On Point” discussed the issue of the use of drones by the US to carry out attacks around the world. This subject is extremely relevant given the many countries throughout the Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East the CIA and the Federal military are using remotely piloted aircraft to spy on and kill people. Naturally enough, the Feds almost always claim that everyone they kill with their drones was an “insurgent” or “terrorist.” Days or weeks later we often find out that many of those killed were women, children and innocent by-standers. As well, there is the issue that these “insurgents/terrorists” are not tried in court and there is no declared state of war. The Feds just kill them based on their intelligence, which, of course, could be flawed or manipulated.

I called into the program today and was put on the air to voice my concerns. Specifically, I raised the issue of 1) the civilians deaths and how the CIA and military just write everyone off that they kill as “terrorists” or “insurgents” and how we later find out that many of these people were not what the Feds claimed and 2) the proliferation of low-level, undeclared US wars around the planet. I was on the radio about half way through with the show. Shortly after I called in with my concern, they brought on a Federal trainer of drone pilots. Naturally enough, he defended the Feds’ use of these killing machines and talked about the professionalism and skill of the pilots. He also said that he and his colleagues prefer the name “remotely piloted aircraft” for the drones, given the high-degree of control the pilots have over the machines. Of course, this sanitises the machines and makes them sound benign. Radio-controlled planes like the ones children play with are “remotely piloted aircraft” as well but they don’t wipe out villages of people.

The show also touched on the proliferation of these drones within the US, where they are increasingly used by the police and border control. The threat of the government spying on you has never been greater. Some of these drones are as small as insects and can fly into your back yard or hover in front of your windows. In many parts of the US, Big Brother really is watching you. And with the lethal potential of these machines and the militarisation of the police, the potential for all sorts of tyranny exists.

Here is the link to the “On Point” page for today’s show 

Here is the audio link (I am on about half an hour into the show)

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  • Chris

    I dont agree with these drones at all. They WILL cause blowback and they will be used to spy on people. I think the police use some of these sometimes. It would be silly to think one person would not use this to violate somebody’s privacy. I am confused how people might say that using drones would not really be war. All this has done and will do is make other countries get these things and defend themselves and well we will be seeing all out global war with these things and nobody will be showing any mercy. So they are just overall dangerous and not worthy of using. The U.S. has shown that the drones are not always good because they have killed civilians. I agree with one of those callers that is like kids pushing buttons with those things.

  • http://southernnationalist.com/blog/author/administrator/ Michael

    Chris, did you notice how the Feds’ drone pilot trainer took exception to that comment? lol

  • Chris

    HA. yeah, he didnt like that all too well it seemed like. But they always say the truth hurts.

  • Misplaced Southerner

    They’ve made killing fellow humans as easy as playing a video game. I had first-hand exposure to this new warfare, though thankfully did not operate these drones. My stomach turns and I am overwhelmed with a heavy heart. The Imperialists just twist ones perception of reality and they label anyone who questions them as disloyal and traitorous. I fell sick….
    I don’t know y’all personally to date, but I can see your head in screwed on correctly and your take on things is spot on.
    I spent many years in the Middle East on Uncle Sam’s payroll. Did Arabic language, etc. I saw much, way too much. I retired in 2001. I was invited back by certain agencies and I declined their lucrative offers. By then I was too sick of it all. Then when Bush had American troops invade Iraq on trumped up charges of WMD and terrorist crap-charges supposedly relating to the explosions of the WTC, etc., I knew the gov’t. was lying – b/c I was privy to stuff and knew GEN. Colin Powell and Don Rumsfeld, etc. were all spewing falsehoods and then Media beat the wardrums to a feverish pitch and too many people just chose to believe whatever the Gov’t. said.
    I just don’t know………..the country (or my image of) I grew up in has transformed before my very eyes. In seeng things for what they are, I am left feeling bereft and grief struck.

  • Snaggle-Tooth Jones

    Oh, those drones. I thought you were referring to the speeches of Federal politicians.


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