Drone Me Down on the Killing Floor

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Drone Me Down on the Killing Floor

Drone Me Down on the Killing Floor  -  by Pepe Escobar


"..Any self-respecting jurist would have to draw the inevitable conclusion; the United States of America is now outside International law - as rogue a state as they come, with the Drone Empire enshrined as the ultimate expression of shadow-war.."

all about drones - 'killer', 'predator', 'reaper' etc..


Pepe Escobar wrote:
As much as The Drone Empire is global, drones can only be effective if ground intelligence is effective. A simple example is enough. Ultimately, in AfPak, it's not Obama that decides on his "kill list". It's the Pakistani ISI - which relies[sic] the info that suits its contingencies to the CIA. And this while the Pentagon and the CIA keep working under the galactic illusion of absolute supremacy of American technology - when they cannot even neutralize an inflation of cheap, ultra low-tech IEDs.

Did he mean to write "relays the info that suits its contingencies..."?

If the Pakistani army intelligence is still in bed with the American CIA since their parntership began with the Talibanization of 1980's-90's Pakistan and Afghanistan and ongoing today, then surely Pakistan is a deeply corrupt nation run by a tiny elite few seeking "strategic depth in Afghanistan" same as before.

And surely the dramatic takedown of Usama bin Laden in Abbatobad was a complete fabrication without any evidence whatsoever for their extraordinary claims. Charade they are.


Our Drone Planet: Interview with Tom Engelhardt and Nick Turse on the Past, Present and Future of Drones



Alberta Set to Become Hub for Drone Innovation (and vid)


"They fly, they spy, they kill. Drone innovators are seeking to establish a National Drone Testing Centre in Alberta and are requesting that the government relax laws restricting the useage of drones in civilian airspace.."


Murder and Trauma In Our Name: America's Drone Terrorism



CIA Chiefs Face Arrest Over Horrific Evidence of Bloody Video-Game Sorties


"...I am told that the people who push the buttons to fire the missiles call these strikes 'bug-splats'. It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years...?"


Israel: Misuse of Drones Killed Civilians in Gaza


"Israeli attacks with guided missiles fired from aerial drones killed civilians during the recent Gaza fighting in violation of the laws of war, HRW said in a report released today. The attacks with one of the most precise weapons in Israel's arsenal killed civilians who were not taking part in hostilities and were far away from any fighting..."


Israeli Designed Drones Fly Over Alma Quebec


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Pakistani Group Sues Over Assassination Drone Attacks (and vid)



'Pakistan Government Absolutely Incapable of Defending Frontier' (and vid)


"Despite a resolution passed by the parliament of Pakistan to stop US drone attacks on its soil, there has been a complete failure of action taken against the continued attacks.."


Continuing Devastating US War Crimes  -  by Nat Hentoff


"...Drones, she wrote, after spending weeks in North Waziristan, 'are a constant presence...with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above. And that presence is steadily destroying a community..."

and some names of those to be killed, (but not the kids or other 'collaterals') are personally chosen by the peace laureate president so loved by so many here..

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Drone Warfare - review 

Another review


Moreover, the rise in use of drones by the military has caused a military culture clash as seasoned fighter pilots question the experience of ‘pilots’ who have never seen the inside of a cockpit. In another scary development, private contractors and other non-military agencies, including the State Department have drones, with non-soldiers at the controls, and the massive increase in the use of drones requires even more pilots, causing a sharp drop in entry and training standards.

The market for drones is increasing worldwide, and U.S. use of drones has greatly expanded under, as Benjamin reminds us, “the Nobel Peace Prize winning President Obama.” Drone Warfare explores the high demand for drones, and details their uses as tracking, monitoring, and killing machines. The book has plenty of unsurprising information on the insidiousness of the usual culprits from the military industrial complex, including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Boeing, among others, and their sales to questionable regimes.

What is astounding is Benjamin’s description of the domestic use of drones along the U.S. border by both state and local law enforcement agencies and the serious threat to American privacy raised by Obama’s direction to the Federal Aviation Administration to integrate drone programs.

Furthermore, Benjamin documents the appalling use of drones by the CIA and the administration to kill U.S. citizens without trial, or even without charges being brought against them. Benjamin funnels legitimate outrage into a constructive argument that clearly explains how the use of these unmanned aerial vehicles as judge, jury, and executioner is entirely extrajudiciary, and violates the right-to-self-defense precedent under international law as well as other just war principles. 


Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

My favourite review of the book: Drone Warfare: Killing By Remote Control


In Drone Warfare, a haunting piece of investigative journalism, Medea Benjamin puts to rest any illusions of drones being a more humane and precise way of engaging in war and points to the reality of human suffering, of villages being destroyed because of alleged connections to “militant” groups. People are reduced to demographics and mercilessly slaughtered by someone behind  a computer a world away. And this happens, in the main, without even the formalities of war. It is instead an assassination program, of highly dubious legality, whose collateral damage or unintended consequences are the many destroyed villages, the wounded and the dying.


Behind it all is the insidious face of corporate greed. The drone market is a growth market, and is set to become even bigger. In the meantime, in the theoretical world of robotics, a brave new future is being envisioned when drones may be equipped with technology that can “hunt, identify, and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans. (Benjamin, 159)

Confronting the horrifying reality, and disturbing visions of the future, Benjamin raises a call to action. Governments must not be allowed to murder with impunity, noxious technologies should not be unquestionably accepted under the all-encompassing rubric of “security.” The barbarism of sitting in an air-conditioned room destroying the livelihoods of others thousands of miles away is perverse and will come back to haunt America. We must not allow killing to be made easy. Benjamin warns:

Drones aren’t a unique evil – but that’s just the point. Drones don’t revolutionize surveillance; they are a progressive evolution in making spying, at home and abroad, more pervasive. Drones don’t revolutionize warfare; they are, rather, a progressive evolution in making murder clean and easy. That’s why the increased reliance on drones for killing and spying is not to be praised, but refuted. And challenged. (Benjamin, 215.)

Drone Warfare is a clearly written analysis of the dismal reality underlying the banal rhetoric of the “war on terror.” It is a wake-up call to the ongoing, excessive, and racist violence perpetrated by the military-industrial complex under the (increasingly thinning) auspices of democratic government.  It is a call to create a more human world.


So who is it that they claim to be killing with their robotic drones? What is their justification for drones?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Fidel most of us think they lie so who cares what they say in public.  Spies and other security agents lie as part of their job so nothing they say can be trusted. Like in crime the best idea is usually to follow the money. in imperialism the best idea is to follow the resources.  All the rest is just misdirection.  I know I don't care to spend my life proving spies lie because I already know that and besides American intelligence is an oxymoron.


Should we invade Mali to stop al-Qaeda? Look at Somalia first This GobNPail article mentions drones a number of times.

And, ahhem! It appears that our colder warriors are concerned about some sort of invisible army of darkness or some such. Sounds like a phony enemy as far as I can tell.

Scuse. Carry on.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans


“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which is suing to obtain administration memos about the targeted killing of Americans.  “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. … It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CNN (at confirmation hearing for new CIA warmonger):

Number of drones launched

Bush: less than 50

Obama: more than 360 so far

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Drones, Surveillance Towers, Malls of the Spy State, and the National Security Police on the Northern Border


Perhaps Tussing realizes that his audience holds a new breed of border-security entrepreneur when his initial Army-Marine joke falls flat. Behind the small audience are booths from 74 companies selling their border-security wares. These nomadic malls of the surveillance state are popping up in ever more places each year.

Hanging from the high ceiling is a white surveillance aerostat made by an Israeli company. Latched onto the bottom of this billowing balloon are cameras that, even 150 feet away, can zoom in on the comments I’m scrawling in my notebook. Nearby sits a mannequin in a beige body suit, equipped with a gas mask. It’s all part of the equipment and technology that the developing industry has in mind for our southern border, and increasingly the northern one as well.



The US Drone Assassination Program and the Threat of Dictatorship  - by Bill Van Auken


"Some press accounts of the hearing have referred to Brennan being 'grilled' on the US drone assassination program. On the contrary, the proceedings resembled nothing so much as a well-fed cat being questioned by a panel of skittish mice."


Obama’s Expanding Kill List

As the Founding Fathers knew and the American people have forgot, no one is safe in a dictatorship. Clearly, the American public lacks sufficient comprehension to remain a free people. All indications are that the large majority of Americans fear alleged terrorists in distant lands more than they fear their government’s acquisition of dictatorial powers over them–powers that allow government to place itself above the law and to be unaccountable to law. This is despite the fact that 99.999% of all Americans will never, ever, experience any terrorism except that of their own government.

75% of Americans approve of bipartisan war parties'/Murder Inc.'s  extrajudicial killings.


US Plans To Use Drones At Home (and vid)


"According to reports the US Department of Homeland Security is moving ahead on its plan to use surveillance drones for the purported aim of 'public safety applications'..."


At least one US General has the back bone to speak up about the conquences of abusing drone technology.



Harper, No Attack Drones!

Sign/Circulate the Petition



'America Is Our Worst Enemy': Pakistan Victim of US Drone Strike Speaks Out (and vid)


"Drone strikes in Pakistan have killed 1,000 civilians, activists say, while the US maintains they only target terrorists. Victims of drone warfare and their families live in constant fear of another strike and say they are 'angry and want revenge'."

America is our worst enemy too...


Death From Above: US Drone Victims Share Their Agony and Grief



'US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Negate Right to Life'


Shahzad Akbar, a human rights lawyer represents drone victims in a criminal case against US officials


The Drone Ranger: Obama's Dirty Wars  -  by Greg Palast


"Every Tuesday, President Obama personally checks off the names of people he wants killed. George Bush, a bit more squeamish than Obama, never did that; but Mr Obama felt these decisions were the president's responsibility; he wants to keep his own finger on the trigger,' according to one report.

A tidy, scheduled man, the President only picks his victims once a week, now called 'Terror Tuesday'. On October 14, 2011, in Shabwah province, Yemen, Abdul went out with his cousins and friends for a good old US-style barbecue, when Obama's drone fired a rocket, blowing the teenager to pieces.

Or should I say 'piece'. All that was left of Abdul was a piece of skull with long curly hair that allowed his relations to identify this hunk of hair by his US-style haircut...

But what about the 16-year-old?

What could justify execution of Abdul?

When asked, then - White House press spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said 'I would suggest that you should find a far more responsible father."

I guess he should..."


'Arrest Obama When He Visits'


"The Muslim Lawyers Association in Johannesburg wants US President Barack Obama arrested and tried for war crimes when he arrives in South Africa on June 29. It submitted a 600-plus page document to the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecution on Friday asking for an investigation into Obama's involvement in the Middle East.

Group spokesman Yasha Tayob said Obama ordered drone strikes that killed innocent civilians. In terms of the Rome Statute, South Africa has the right to prosecute a war criminal on its own territory, said Tayob."

Canada has the same right/obligation, which it evades in such cases...


Drones For Christ  -  by David Swanson


"Liberty University in Lynchberg Va was founded by televangelist Jerry Falwell. Its publications carry the slogan 'Training Champions for Christ since 1971.' Some of those champions are now being trained to pilot armed drones, and others to pilot more tranditional aircraft, in US wars. For Christ. John Marselus, SOA associate dean, concurred. 'We want to have graduates serving the Lord in this are of aviation,' he said."

Obama Has Been Damaging to World Order - Paul Wolf (and vid)


"Press TV has conducted an interview with Paul Wolf, human rights and international lawyer, about the protests in Germany against Washington's use of assassination drones."


The use of a miltary weapon in a sovereign state is an act of war.  I look at the only 2 repsonses that are  possible to bring the United States to stopping this form of aggression is


(1) a 20-40 country simulaneous response that puts alll Americans living/visiting that country in custody.  With 25% of those countries from the G8 and 40% from the G20, then it would bring discussions from the leadership in the United States to address this issue.  Putting people in custody must be done with the least amount of force.  The treatment of the "prisoners" must be as if the prisoners are staying in a 2 star - 3 star hotel.  No torture.

(2) 100% Economic embargo.  If China, Japan and Germany are taking part, it is possible to use an economic embargo to leverage the leadership.  A naval blockade would be necssary.  A railway/road blockage would also be necessary.  Isolation like that done to South Africa may bring about change to current US policies regarding drones.

Since the US court system is blocking or not even allowing cases to proceed by those who have been directly affected with the use of drones, an internationl effort either thru blockading or placing US citizens in custody as hostages to resolve this situation.  See Al-Awlaki v. Obama and Al-Awlaki v. Panetta.

Both these tactics are extreme but a "peaceful" solution to bring the US to the table to discuss destroying their drones.  It is a shame but the USA does not deserve to use the technology anymore.

The use of drones where a state of war doesn't exist to kill those living in those areas is illegeal and immoral.  It is up to the international community to act as one to make a strong declaration for the US to allow court cases that have been dismissed to proceed and for all drones to undergo destruction that is observed by an international team.


Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Or responce 3: have their air forces sweep the skies clean of drones...Wink


Having their air forces sweep the skies is not possible --- too dangerous if one misses aiming at a drone and even if one hits a drone --- the fallout from the debris may kill/injure civilians, damage property (impact or through fire).

the other issue is how much resources would be spent on scanning the skies and having the air forces maintain active patrols to intercept and destroy these drones is prohibiitive financially. 

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

I disagree, theres plenty of areas where you can shoot drones down and not have to worry about damage on the ground. That is the advantage of having a human aboard and in control of an aircraft. 

It's what the United States would do if someone tryed to use drones over its airspace.


US May be Guilty of War Crimes Over Drone Use - Amnesty International (and vid)


"US officials responsible for carrying out drone strikes may have to stand trial for war crimes, says a report by Amnesty International..."


Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

I disagree, theres plenty of areas where you can shoot drones down and not have to worry about damage on the ground....

So, of the nations where the US is actively using predatory drones which ones are equipped with an air force capable of shooting down drones and, more importantly, which of these would be willing to do so? My guess... none.

Edit: I just realized when the quoted post was published – never mind. Mind you I still say no one is willing to try to shoot down American drones.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

The Pakistani Air Force is more then capable of shooting down US drones in their air space. They don't becouse in the end they secretly support the program.


Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

The Pakistani Air Force is more then capable of shooting down US drones in their air space. They don't becouse in the end they secretly support the program.

Yes, the Pakistani government lacks the will (and/or desire, their cooperation with the US drone program is a bargaining chip). Also, shooting down Yankee drones involves much more than just shooting down Yankee drones and India's government would likely collectively fall over laughing if Pakistan decided to go drone hunting with their old MiGs, Mirages, or F-16s. Using SAMs would likely incur a similar wrath, therefore be just as humorous.


Get 'Unmanned: America's Drone Wars' For Free (and vid)


"Robert Greenwald's newest full length feature is being released on Oct. 30th, 2013. The documentary will only be available to stream online for a limited time.

Sign up today to get your link to see the film For FREE.."

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Mórríghain wrote:

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

The Pakistani Air Force is more then capable of shooting down US drones in their air space. They don't becouse in the end they secretly support the program.

Yes, the Pakistani government lacks the will (and/or desire, their cooperation with the US drone program is a bargaining chip). Also, shooting down Yankee drones involves much more than just shooting down Yankee drones and India's government would likely collectively fall over laughing if Pakistan decided to go drone hunting with their old MiGs, Mirages, or F-16s. Using SAMs would likely incur a similar wrath, therefore be just as humorous.

Good points but I'm more thinking the Pakistani government (the intelligence service and the military in particular) uses the US drone program to do their dirty work for them ageist the Pakistani Taliban and other groups without getting the ire of the Pakistani public put on them. US drone attacks in the tribal areas gives the Pakistani government plausible deniability while hitting enemies of theirs they really can’t get at without going to war with if they did otherwise.  

I mean come on, where do you think the US gets most of its target data for its drones from? I seriously doubt it all comes from US agents hiding from both sides in Pakistan as claimed by many of the anti-drone people. The Pakisani governemt is secretly ass deep in this and it's by thier own doing more than by any arm twisting the USA could be doing (my opinion).


Choosing Murder: The True Nature of the System Laid Bare  -  by Chris Floyd


"Just a reminder: this is the true nature of the bipartisan, militarized 'security state' now headed by the progressive Nobel Peace Laureate..."

and backed by its servile satrap satellite to the north


Speculation Canada's Drone Acquisition Policy About to Shift Toward Israel?


Israel's resident Defence Attache and 'Cast Lead'/Mavi Marmara warcriminal and former CO of IAFB Nevatim, Brig-Gen Eden Attias is hard at work on the necessary shtick to make the sale...


Israel's Killer Robots (and vid)


Israel is the world's biggest exporter of military drones, used around the world for everything from surveillance to precision rocket attacks..."


FULL FILM - 'Unmanned': America's Drone Wars (and vid)


"Highly anticipated documentary from Robert Greenwald on the impact of US Drone Wars at home and abroad." (must watch!)

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Officials: US drone kills Pakistani Taliban leader


 A U.S. drone strike killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban on Friday, intelligence officials in the two countries and Taliban militants said. The death is a major blow to the group a day after the government said it started peace talks with the militants.

Hakimullah Mehsud, who is believed to have been behind a failed car bombing in New York's Times Square as well as brazen attacks inside Pakistan, had a reputation for being particularly ruthless.

He was widely reported to have been killed in 2010, but later resurfaced. The tribal areas where the drone attacks occur are dangerous to visit, making it difficult for journalists to independently confirm information.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said the U.S. received positive confirmation Friday morning that he had been killed. Two Pakistani intelligence officials in North Waziristan also confirmed his death as did two Taliban commanders who said they had seen the remnants of the militant commander's mangled body.

The strike killed four other suspected militants, according to the two Pakistani intelligence officials.

As if on que don't it seem?


Yes, this strike does seem like more than a coincidence. We'll likely never learn all of the details behind this attack because neither the American 'intelligence community' (what a lovely term) nor Pakistan's ISI will be forthcoming. Tis moot though. The death of Mehsud will change nothing. Drones are wonderful weapons for people who wish to fight wars while having little or no chance of resolution—or peace—a profiteer's dream.