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The Untold Casualties of the Drone War
Rolling Stone ^ | 2-18-2016 | VEGAS TENOLD

Posted on 02/18/2016 9:06:53 PM PST by Citizen Zed

His former colleague, Michael Haas sits on the floor, fiddling with a replica skull that another former drone operator in their midst, Stephen Lewis, plans to turn into a bong. At the room's breakfast bar is Cian Westmoreland, a tall, slightly morose-looking veteran, and their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, who specializes in representing whistleblowers, including Edward Snowden. All of them are in town for the U.S. premiere of a Norwegian documentary about U.S. drone warfare that features the testimonies of Bryant and Haas. Their letter to Obama, which they plan to deliver to the U.S. offices of the Guardian newspaper the next day, explains how the four of them came to regard the drone program as a wasteful abuse of power, promoted on lies, and, in practice, a cause for more enemy combatants than it could ever kill.

Bryant finally offers his notebook to the group. "I feel like it conveys what we're trying to say, doesn't it?" he asks. "Basically that we feel like we were treated like shit and that the drone program needs transparency."

Haas readily agrees. "Yeah, that's what I want," he says.

Haas and Bryant have stayed in touch since leaving the Air Force, mostly emailing about nerdy things like their common love for the animated show Metalocalypse, but also occasionally to reflect on their time in the service. Westmoreland, who maintained the drones' communications, joined their crusade after seeing Bryant interviewed on the news program Democracy Now! Westmoreland travels with a battery of pills, lithium among them, meant to keep him on an even keel, the nightmares and other symptoms of mental stress at bay. "I have blood on my hands," he says, "and I want to know what it was all for."

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Chit/Chat
I wonder if Sean Penn actually wrote this?
1 posted on 02/18/2016 9:06:53 PM PST by Citizen Zed
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To: Citizen Zed

You joined the military, you slacker asshats! What did you think the military does? The militarys job is to kill people and blow shit up. Did you think because you got jobs as drone pilots you’d just be playin a huge video game all day whilst drinking Red Bull? Wrong! This ain’t Halo, kids. The assets you’re sending downrange are real. Learn to live with it guys, it’s what you signed up for.


2 posted on 02/18/2016 9:32:16 PM PST by Celtic Conservative (CC: purveyor of cryptic, snarky posts since December, 2000..)
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To: Celtic Conservative

Not for the following.

They were killing those who refused to cooperate with Obama
over HIS narcotics trafficking organization. Join with Obama, or die.

3 posted on 02/18/2016 9:58:32 PM PST by SatinDoll (A NATURAL BORN CITIZEN IS BORN IN THE USA OF TWO USA CITIZENS)
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To: Citizen Zed
Michael Haas is a former Senior Airman, an enlisted guy below the rank of Sgt.

He was likely sweeping the floors and (at best) doing low level comm maintenance.

He is not an operator, not a sensor operator, certainly not in the kill chain in any way whatsoever.

The rest were never the approval authority in the kill chain.

4 posted on 02/19/2016 1:12:43 PM PST by Hulka
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