Endless War in the Drone Age


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  • Step back and look at the larger picture re drones:The majority of Americans are are tired of war, including Republicans, but the vast majority also say its ok to kill terrorist suspects w drones; this is the new easy way of waging war without putting American lives at risk, the public is cool with that; There is been an explosion in # of drones, diff kinds of drones, used for surveillance, killing, very easy to weaponize the drones
  • According to the DOD, a drone is an aircraft that does not carry a human operator and is capable of flight under remote control or autonomous programming.” There are all kinds of drones, some tiny ones that mimic nature, like hummingbirds and dragonfly. The most common drones in the military are the ones soldiers can carry in their backpacks and launch individually. Most are for reconnaissance but one kind, the Switchblade made by AeroEnvironment, is a deadly suicide drone that dives into its target and blows it up.
  • Most of the killing, however, is done by the predator and reaper drones, made by a company called General Atomics in Southern California. The Predator is 27 feet long-- a bit smaller than a Cessna and can spend 24 hours in the air
  • Pilots: sitting comfortably, use playstation model purposely to attract young people used to playing games, kill by day, go home at night, are supposed to be good parents, spouses, members of communitySlide: fine
  • Change title font, no waveyOut of all of those thousands of people, the US can only name 170 militants *CIRCULATE SIGNUP SHEET* - we have meetings set up at Feinstein’s office to talk about this 
  • Slide: Add potential targets section: Nigeria, Senegal Get rid of wavey thing on each slide
  • Americans NEVER see, on their TV or in mainstream papers, pictures of drone victims.
  • According to Bureau of Investigative Journalism – 175 killed… many die by shrapnel, you won’t see them in US media
  • Read from book: main point is that Kareem’s brother and son were killed; brother was a school teacher and their deaths caused desire for revenge among the students and the whole villagePage 108 in the book / 109
  • These were people who had put their faith in education and page 11 first full paragraph Slide; change a bit (font) - add Killed by drone stike on Dec…
  • No militants killed
  • We know from Wikileaks that initially the gov’t was in agreement; they said ok you do the drone strikes and we’ll pretend it’s our gov’t that is doing it (Pakistani people would have been upset if they knew their own gov’t was doing it), but then they realized it was counter-productive and asked for them to stop, called for halt. Ironic that US says it is the champion of democracy when all the democratic institutions in Pakistan say please stop the US ignored them. Emphasize that it doesn’t work (last lines)WikiLeaks revealed that, in 2008, Pakistan's army chief, General AshfaqKayani, asked the US for "continuous Predator [drone] coverage" in part of South Waziristan.
  • Photo of our delegation to Pakistan
  • Marching in Islamabad with some of the people from Waziristan affected by drones
  • Our fast in Islamabad to commemorate the lives of Pakistani citizens killed by drones
  • Replace pic (June 4)
  • Some of the groups that have permits Alabam: tiny town 40k ppl to MiamiRead from book : police departments are getting $ from homeland security for drones read p 77 bottom , manufacturer that they sold drones to houston , could be outfitted; our civil liberties are going away
  • -FAA deals with safety, not privacy, but they’re being forced to open up the airspace because the drone industry lobby (AUVSI) is so powerful with their allies in congressAUVSI: pays off Congress people, -Add pic of drone caucus members in Congressional fair (look on their website) -Link “Drone Caucus” to die-in video -58 member includes reps and dems, put two chairs maybe – something funny; they bring drones to nation’s capitol, glorify weapons, -Add in text box: Mission statement of the drone caucus: to address “The urgent need to rapidly develop and deploy more unmanned systems in support of ongoing civil, military and law enforcement operations.”
  • Can be used to crack into emails and wifi, and/or equipped with weapons; purchased with grant from Homeland Security; When asked if they were concerned that police departments' use of drones for surveillance might cause them to lose privacy, 35 percent of respondents said they were "extremely concerned" or "very concerned." An almost identical share, 36 percent, said they were "not too concerned" or "not concerned at all."Twenty-four percent fell in the middle, saying they were "somewhat concerned" about a potential loss of personal privacy.
  • Medea’s action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXj7YfLRx5I
  • Good graphic with droneswatch.org
  • Endless War in the Drone Age

    1. 1. Endless War in the Drone Age Medea Benjamin
    2. 2. • Public tired of war: 2012 Washington Post poll 66% say war not worth fighting, including Republicans Drones to the rescue…. Disasters of Iraq/Afghanistan/ threat of war with Iran/intervention in Syria? Pentagon: 50 drones in 2000 about 10,000 today Polls in US: Feb 2012, 83% approval Feb 2013, 56% approval
    3. 3. Non-military uses: • Forest fires • Finding illegal loggers/whalers • Search and rescue missions • Commercial purposes • DIY Drones hobbyists
    4. 4. Lethal Predator and Reaper drones are made by General Atomics
    5. 5. Remote control pilots
    6. 6. Kill List—high value targets Number of named militant leaders killed 2004-2012: 50 Represent 2% of drone fatalities
    7. 7. Where has the US conducted drone strikes? • Iraq • Afghanistan • Libya • Pakistan • Yemen • Somalia • Philippines • Mali? Where does the US have overseas drone bases? Afghanistan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (for Yemen), Djbouti (for Somalia), Seychelles (off coast of E Africa), Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Turkey, Australia (Cocos Islands)
    8. 8. Missiles released in Afghanistan (info scrubbed by Air Force in March 2013) 2009 2010 2011 2012 TOTAL –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– 257 279 294 506 1336
    9. 9. Known US covert drone strikes: Pakistan January 2004 – June 2013  Total US drone strikes: 370 (Obama: 318)  Total reported killed: 2,548 – 3,539  Total children reported killed: 168-197 Source: Bureau of Investigative Journalism
    10. 10. Photos the American public never sees “I was made an orphan by drones.”
    11. 11. Noor Behram photographs drone victims
    12. 12. August 23, 2010 Syed Wali • 5 houses targeted believed to be of Haqqani network • Killed mostly woman and children • No prominent Taliban/AQ leader was killed
    13. 13. Bismillah family, killed by drone strike on August 23, 2010
    14. 14. Maezol Khan, 8 years old, killed Feb 14, 2009
    15. 15. Nasir Khan (left), Naeem Khan
    16. 16. Meeting with Kareem Khan in Islamabad
    17. 17. Kareem Khan’s compound hit on Dec. 31, 2009
    18. 18. Karem’s brother Asif Iqbal & son Zaheenullah, killed by drone strike
    19. 19. March 17, 2011 Jirga attack killed over 40, including large number of elders, left seeking revenge
    20. 20. Pakistani teenager Tariq Aziz gets journalist training in Islamabad—could have been captured
    21. 21. Tariq killed in drone strike October 30, 2011, two days after the gathering
    22. 22. Living Under Drones
    23. 23. Response from Pakistanis • Initial agreement behind the scenes • Later called for halt—Parliament voted unanimously • Peshawar High Court ruling • Elections: Nawaz Sharif, protested after taking office • People protest regularly—Imran Khan
    24. 24. Imran Khan’s Peace March to Waziristan, October 8, 2012
    25. 25. Known US covert drone strikes: Yemen January 2002 – June 2013  Total US drone strikes: 46-99  Total reported killed: 284-454
    26. 26. Farea al-Muslimi testifies in Congress April 23, 2013
    27. 27. US citizens killed: Anwar Al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki 16-year-old born in Denver, killed in Yemen on October 14, 2 weeks after his father was killed by a drone strike Former White House spokesperson Robert Gibbs, asked to justify the killing of the younger al-Awlaki, said, “I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father.”
    28. 28. International law • Can act in self defense if there is an imminent threat • “anticipatory self-defense” is illegal In Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, US not engaged in authorized armed conflict
    29. 29. Ultimate Question • Would the US allow any other country to fire drones into US against our citizens?
    30. 30. • Global Proliferation • 76 countries; main producers US, Israel, China • Israel is number 1 exporter • Iran producing spy drones
    31. 31. Government entities: -FBI -Border patrol -Homeland Security -US Air Force -Forest Service Companies: -General Atomics -Honeywell -Raytheon Universities: -Cornell -Johns Hopkins -Arizona -Colorado -Connecticut -Florida -Wisconsin Police Departments: -Gadsden in Alabama -Miami -Houston -Little Rock Drones coming home… About 1,000 permits granted since 2009 by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). About 330 current. Sampling of FAA permits:
    32. 32. Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and the Drone Caucus Mission statement of the drone caucus: to address “The urgent need to rapidly develop and deploy more unmanned systems in support of ongoing civil, military and law enforcement operations.”  Feb. 14, 2012 new legislation passed, signed by Obama
    33. 33. ShadowHawk drone with Montgomery County, Texas SWAT team members
    34. 34. What can we do about drones? • Educate yourself and others--buy book • Join Drones Watch (droneswatch.org) KILLING OVERSEAS: • Protests at bases, manufacturers • Get drones out of CIA hands • Organize faith-based community • Pressure White House/Congress • International convention ICRAC DOMESTIC USE • Local, resolutions Drone-Free Zones • Statewide and national bills GLOBAL GATHERING Nov. 29-Dec 1 LONDON
    35. 35. www.CODEPINK.org/drones www.DRONESWATCH.org