Tag Archives: drones

A New Snowden? Whistleblower Leaks Trove of Documents on Drones & Obama’s Assassination Program

Democracy Now! 10/15/15

Newly leaked government documents have provided an unprecedented window into the secret U.S. drone assassination program across the globe. In “The Drone Papers,” The Intercept reveals drone strikes have resulted from unreliable intelligence, stemming in large part from electronic communications data, or “signals intelligence,” that officials acknowledge is insufficient. The documents also undermine government claims that the drone strikes have been precise. In Afghanistan, strikes on 35 direct targets killed at least 219 other people. Among other revelations, they also suggest the strikes have hurt intelligence gathering and that unknown male victims have been labeled as “enemies killed in action” unless evidence later proves otherwise….

continue reading, including interview with Jeremy Scahill and links, at Democracy Now!

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Campaign to stop drone war command center in Horsham, PA

email from Brandywine Peace Community, 10/18/13

The multimillion-dollar drone command center in Horsham will be central to the U.S. network of drone bases, training sites, and command centers, enabling remote-controlled drone strikes throughout the world. It’s drone war with no end in sight. Our communities, state, and country, just can’t afford or bear anymore of this immoral and illegal policy.

Last March, the U.S. Air Force announced that the PA Air Guard’s 111th Fighter Wing, based at the Horsham Air Guard Station (outside Philadelphia in Montgomery County, PA), would establish and operate a drone war command center (in drone war-speak, a “remote operations unit” for the remote-control of MQ-9 Reaper drone strikes against people thousands of miles away). No drone aircraft would actually fly out of the Horsham base, the commander of the base assures us, but (be assured) the mission of the command center, of the drones directed from Horsham and the HellFire missiles they launch, will be killing and death.

There were no public hearings whatsoever – in Horsham Township, on the County level, or on the state level in Harrisburg – as to the impact and consequences of the planned drone command center.  Citizens had absolutely no voice in the decision. None! 

Representatives Patrick Meehan (R, CD #7) and Allyson Schwartz (D, CD #13), who is soon to leave her seat in Congress to run on the Democratic ticket for the PA Governor’s post of Thomas Corbett (and head of the PA Guard/Air National Guard) were both effusive in their support, as well as PA Senators Casey (D, PA) and Toomey (R, PA). Meehan, who is the chair of the House subcommittee on Cyber-security of the Homeland Security Committee, spoke at the press conference announcement last March, saying “The new battlefields of the 21st century of the 21st century are being fought increasingly through the use of drone…Our region will soon be at the forefront of this effort.”   

The drone command center was announced to open by October 1, just days before 12th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan (October 7, 2001) and the policy of “endless war” which spawned this era of drone warfare.

According to Col. Howard “Chip” Eissler, commander of the 111th Fighter Wing at the Horsham base, it could take another year or more for the command center to be fully “operational”, for the killing from Horsham to commence.

Since April, people have stood in protest of the drone war command center at the Horsham Air Guard Station the last Saturday of the month, vigiled and leafleted in Philadelphia demanding that the Governor “Pull the Plug” on the drone command center, called Senators and Congresspeople, and reached out to groups and churches. 

We must press even further our demand to stop and close the drone war command NOW and to stop drone war and spying.   

Last Saturday of the Month in Horsham…The demand to stop the drone war command center in Horsham NOW continues!  

Sat., October 26, Noon – 2p.m. – Continue to Demonstrate the Demand…Stop the Drone War Command Center at the Horsham Air Guard Station, Horsham, Montgomery County, PA. Corner of Route #611/Easton Road & County Line Road.

The plan now is to continue these last Saturday of the month protests through the end of the year.

Stand up…Speak Out…Protest and Demonstrate! Music, Reading the names of U.S. drone strike victims and their stories, Bell-Tolling, Banners and Signs, Reaper Drone Replica. For more information, background, nonviolent discipline, directions, and more, see October 26 at http://www.brandywinepeace.com/events/ 

Drone War: Not In Our Name
Drone War Command Center: Not In Our Backyard (or anyone else’s)

YO GOV! Pull the Plug…on Drone War Command Center

Regular Vigil and Leafleting session in Philadelphia (more times and places forthcoming)…
2nd Friday of the month, 4p.m., alternating between front (from the sidewalk and median strip) of Hyatt-Bellevue (where PA Governor’s SE PA office is located on 11th floor) and the SEPTA entrance at 15th & Market Streets (NW corner). Next one will be Fri., Nov. 8. 4p.m., at 15th & Market NW corner SEPTA entrance.

The campaign to stop the drone war command center was initiated by the Brandywine Peace Community and the American Friends Service Committee, with the participating endorsement of a growing list of groups and activists: Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition, BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action, Catholic Peace Fellowship, Coalition for Peace Action, Death Walk Against Drones, Germantown Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), LEPOCO (Lehigh-Pocono Committee of Concern), Main Line Peace Action, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Granny Peace Brigade—Philadelphia, Global Women’s Strike/Phila., Green Party of Philadelphia, Greens of Montgomery and Bucks County, Pacem in Terris (Wilmington, DE), Payday men’s network/Phila., Peace Action – Philadelphia, Philly Against War; Peace Center of Delaware County, Peace & Justice Ministry of St. Vincent’s Roman Catholic Church in Germantown, Philadelphia Catholic Worker, Shalom House/Circle of Hope, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF), Phila.

More information: (610) 544-1818

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“That Woman Is Worth Paying Attention To”: Medea Benjamin Explains Why She Disrupted Obama’s Speech

interview, Democracy Now!, 5/24/13

Less than 24 hours after she interrupted President Obama’s major speech on the future of the secret drone war and Guantánamo, CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin describes why she repeatedly interrupted Obama’s address. Benjamin, the author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control,” criticized Obama for failing to explain why a U.S. drone in Yemen killed the teenage U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in 2011. “I was very disappointed. He said that his policy is to capture, not kill. That’s just not true. I know personally of many incidents where it would have been very easy to capture people, like the 16-year-old Tariq Aziz in Pakistan, who was in Islamabad at a well-known hotel, but instead was killed by a drone strike two days later,” Benjamin says. “I think the president is really justifying the use of drones, which will continue to happen under his administration and be passed on to the next.”

see transcript and video at Democracy Now!.

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The Answer Is No

by Lisa Longo, 3/10/13

This entire “debate” actually just annoys me, what is the real issue here? This debate was on my Facebook page last night, and this blog is mostly comments from that debate. It won’t be popular with liberals or conservatives, but I find the whole thing pretty despicable, and what Rand Paul did most of all. To accuse our President of plotting to kill US citizens on US soil as part of a publicity stunt? Well, I think Rand Paul needs to resign. He is a man on a mission, but the mission is not what is true or in the best interest of “we the people”, the day after his little stunt he sent out a totally false fundraiser letter claiming his inability to shut up somehow altered US policy. Honestly, this egomaniac is actually an elected official.

What is going on? Why the sudden questions? Well it all started with a letter Rand Paul wrote to our Attorney General. And in his first reply the Attorney General said, well under certain circumstances, I guess there might be circumstances where we could use a drone on US soil. What circumstances? Could you be in danger of a drone strike? Well, have you plotted the death of American’s and destruction of our government? If not, you are safe.

I’ve read many different reports on this, and at the end, they all come down to the same thing, the answer is no. Here is my question if Timothy McVeigh had been killed by a drone because he was about to blow up a federal building, would that have been justified? What if he was “just” shot? What about the guy in CA who was burned in that cabin? Where was his due process? Our government has ALWAYS had the right to use lethal force against enemies, this is a new weapon, not a new policy. I see it as just another red herring to try to make people distrust the Black man in the White House and the other Black man in charge of the Justice Department.

Feel free to comment, I am well aware I will bring on the ire of both sides on this issue, conservatives and liberals both, and here is the thing, I don’t agree with the use of drones, but guess what? No one asked if I approved, and no one asked if I approved of the invasion of Iraq either….

continue reading at Lisa Longo

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