“A shell of it’s former self…” a shell that continues to gobble up territory, murder civilians, absorb revenge seekers for wrongful drone killings and generally thumb it’s nose at the world while gleefully committing atrocities and blaspheming against allah. Sure, THAT shell.
In other news, the “drone program” lost the majority of it’s air force sourced pilots early on to “burn-out”, otherwise known as “not sleeping at night because of all the civilian murders”, and now the program is building (has built?) a new “school” near their central command to somehow train new pilots to not fall prey to such human frailty.
You know, I never completely understood what skynets true motives were…there are many more effective ways to kill off humanity than armies of creepy-ass chromebots, and why bother barcoding every human? did skynet have some sort of fetish for organization? robot OCD?
Well, now that I’ve been told that they barely kill any people by mistake, that they regret even killing terrorists who aren’t leaders, and that the program has been effective, I am in full support of it. I find Michael Hayden extremely reliable and credible.
I actually think the most effective targeted program of assassination (which is what this is) was the one carried out by the Islamic sect of Assassins, in which individual rulers were targeted by suicide killers. The difference for the US is that currently no ME group has seen a significant advantage in targeting individual US politicians.
Consider that the movies show piles of skulls rather than skeletons. Skynet must have felt the need to keep them separate from the other bones; presumably there are other places with giant mountains of ribs, femurs, phalanges, and so on.
There’s an argument about gun control that applies to drones:
“Handguns are available for self protection in Seattle, but not in nearby Vancouver, Canada; handgun killings are five times more common and the handgun suicide rate is ten times greater in Seattle. Guns make impulsive killing easy.”
- Carl Sagan, Demon Haunted World
Drones are cheap compared to F-16s and F-22s. They’re FAR cheaper to operate. The drone pilot if FAR cheaper to train. You don’t risk a pilot. You don’t risk the political fall-out of a pilot being captured.
Consider the US’s first Predator drone murder, back in 2002. Three men in Afghanistan. Murdered because one of them was tall, so obviously he must be Osama Bin Laden.
Drones make impulsive killing easy.
And that was well before Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011.
They killed people with drones that they thought were Osama bin Laden. But when they finally succeeded, it wasn’t with a drone.
I don’t know about you, but it really bothers me when femur bones get tangled in rib cages.
“Civilians have died, but in my firm opinion, the death toll from terrorist attacks would have been much higher if we had not taken action.”
A joint study by Stanford and New York Universities of drone strikes in Pakistan found that US drone strikes have been killing 49 people for every known terrorist.
Not just because of innocent bystanders being killed. It’s because of the US’s use of “double-taps” - something the US itself calls terrorism - where after the first strike they’ll send in more missiles to target rescuers.
Note that this is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Civilian rescuers, aiding almost entirely (49:1) civilian bystanders. It doesn’t account for further victims of the survivors and relatives he pushes into terrorism.
Take Mr. Hayden’s “you have to kill a lot of civilians to get the job done and anyone who disagrees is a clueless utopian” attitude, and his willingness to do it outside the declared war zone, and you can apply the same justification to the World Trade Center attacks. Something I would very much disagree with.
Someone from ISIS sneaks into California from a ship off the coast. Carrying an anti-tank rocket in a guitar case. Wearing an arm band or anything else resembling a uniform. He makes his way to the front gate of a base where the drones are remotely piloted from.
A car comes out of the base, and he blasts it at the next traffic light. Civilians in two cars are also killed.
Has the ISIS member committed a war crime? (People in the base are killing the enemy from within. It’s a war zone, and they don’t leave it when they fetch lunch.)
Think carefully here; at some point the US will be fighting another recognized government of a recognized country. “We’re killing from here but the war zone is over there” ain’t going to fly.
Now add drones. We live in a world where over a decade ago a legally blind guy with almost no budget built a drone and flew it across the Atlantic ocean. You can imagine what small governments can do, especially with GPS-enabled smart phones that didn’t exist back then.
Someone is going to decide that drones are the modern-day “great equalizer” similar to guns in the past. They may not do much real damage, but they’ll be highly disruptive terror weapons.
Do you think it was particularly bright for the US to pre-establish that sending drones into other countries that you’re not at war with, to kill enemies and many more bystanders, is perfectly acceptable behavior?
I was never really a fan of the drone program to begin with, but what really made me want the government to stop it was hearing about their “process” of targeting. It boiled down to “possible” combatant cell phone locations and flagging someone as a combatant potentially training for battle by “using monkey bars”.
Killing someone because they are tall takes the stupidity to a whole new level though.
It’s a good thing that it’s “working out great for America.”
As I responded to the story:
Don’t worry; you’re not necessarily handing this power to your government.
The armed drones lording over you will eventually use the technology developed to allow people in California to control drones in Iraq and Pakistan. Which means that not only can their manufacturing be off-shored to save money, but so can their operation.
This has the added advantage of making it harder to sue when someone feels that they’ve been unjustly tazed or tear gassed by an overseas security contractor. And those constantly predicting a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” will have a new twist to write about.
Are you suggesting someone might launch a drone strike across the ocean at the US? We have a shockingly large amount of anti-aircraft defenses designed to keep a large country’s air force away from us. Hell, there are anti-aircraft batteries hidden in the hills not 20 miles from my house not to mention military bases with supersonic jets up and down the coasts and of course radar systems everywhere.
The US has always been worried about long-range missiles. A slow moving drone is really only a concern if it was launched within the US and if you already have a missile in the US, then there really isn’t much need to load it onto a slow moving drone if you want to terrorize people.
A drone - say, a Cessna flown by a laptop - has virtually no chance of being shot down if it originates from Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas or any of tens of thousands of tiny remote airstrips within the US.
Even an executive jet or large cargo aircraft coming from overseas likely wouldn’t get shot down if it simply didn’t respond to hails - at least the first time such an attack happened. It might be a pilot passed out from lack of oxygen, like in the case of golfer Payne Stewart’s jet.
Watched this last night: Drone (the documentary). Really scary stuff when the actual number of civilians killed are trotted out. I’m not sure what causes me more concern, the “gamification” of killing that works so very well with drones, or the fact that pretty much every drone strike creates a whole new crop of people with a legitimate reason to hate the US. As they say in the film, they are sowing the seeds to keep the drone program in business for years, if not decades, to come.
Yeah, there are less terrorists to terrorize with inexplicable violence suddenly because of our tactics. The noncombatant orphans won’t radicalize either. If you believe that, I have a bridge or two to sell you for cheep.
While this may be true, it is extremely disingenuous to not point out that said “most precise and effective application of firepower” still kills ten civilians for every successful assassination.
The first time it ever happened, maybe not. After that? You can be pretty damn sure fighter jets would be scrambled.
If you’ve already got a bomb or a missile in the US, why would you need a drone? It isn’t like you can’t carry one in a van with virtually no chance of getting caught, get near your target and either detonate it after you’ve safely landed in another country.
The drone itself isn’t what is scary. It is the tiny, lightweight, cheap, supersonic guided missiles attached to the drone which are the what make drones so scary. A Hellfire missile weighs just 100 lbs and can travel 5 miles at mach 1.3 and hit its target with pinpoint accuracy.