Where are Britain’s armed drones? And why it matters we are not allowed to know By Chris Cole

21 November 2016 — Drone Wars

under-cover-reaper2

In the dark: RAF Reaper drones

At the first stage of what is likely to be a lengthy appeals process, the Information Commissioner has upheld the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to reveal to Drone Wars UK the number of Britain’s armed drones currently deployed.

Despite the fact that the MoD are happy to give such details about other surveillance and attack aircraft taking part in operations against ISIS, the MoD insists that the number of drones deployed nor their location can be released for reasons of operational security.

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Mayhem! what we are we doing? Adding political to military strikes.“UN, US, UK devastation, complicity and double standards”

8 September 2016 — Drone Warfare

syria-destruction-mother-child-2015-photos“Arms sales above flesh and blood, terror, heartbreak and humanity, every time”

These words of journalist Felicity Arbuthnot reverberated as the writer belatedly discovered Josie Ensor’s report from Istanbul that a US air strike killed nearly 60 civilians, including children, in Syria after the coalition mistook them for Islamic State fighters. Some eight families were hit as they tried to flee in one of the single deadliest strikes on civilians by the alliance since the start of its operations in the war-torn country.

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NYT Reveals Think Tank It’s Cited for Years to Be Corrupt Arms Booster

12 August 2016 — FAIR

NYT: How Think Tanks Amplify Corporate America's InfluenceThe New York Times (8/7/16) reveals the corporate influence behind some of its most-used sources.

A recent New York Times article (8/7/16) detailed, in often scathing terms, what many media critics already knew: that think tanks are frequently not objective, neutral arbiters of information, but corporate- and government-funded agenda-promoters with an academic veneer to give the appearance of impartiality.

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NYT Contributor Has Multiple Motives for Denying Drone Crimes

23 February 2016 — FAIR

NYT Contributor Has Multiple Motives for Denying Drone Crimes

Drone strike illustration: Mike McQuade, New York TimesNew York Times illustration (by Mike McQuade) depicts drone strikes literally as pinpoint attacks.

Retired Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and CIA, began his New York Times op-ed (2/21/16) with 24 paragraphs of dialogue illustrating how carefully the US government chooses drone targets so as not to put the innocent at risk:

The decision maker asks if there are civilians nearby.

“The family is in the main building. The guys we want are in the big guesthouse here.”

“They’re not very far apart.”

“Far enough.”…

He asks the probability of killing the targets if they use a GBU-12, a powerful 500-pound, laser-guided bomb.

“These guys are sure dead,” comes the reply. “We think the family’s OK.”

“You think they’re OK?”

“They should be.” But the analyst confesses it is impossible to be sure.

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National Security Archive: New Documents Trace Controversial Use of Drones and other Aerial Surveillance for Domestic National Security

24 August 2015 — National Security Archive

New Documents Trace Controversial Use of Drones and other Aerial Surveillance for Domestic National Security – from Safeguarding Major Sporting Events to Law Enforcement to Tracking Wildfires

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The world’s shame: America expects a ‘cascading series of global crises’ & plans to increase drone flights in 90 ‘combat air patrols’ each day

19 August 2015 — Drone Warfare

american hubris2The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and other media sites recently republished the report by Lolita Baldor (Associated Press) about the Pentagon plans to increase drone flights by 50% – increasing numbers of combat air patrols to 90 a day. Reasons given:

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Drone warfare news stacking up

20 May 2015 — Drone Warfare

Thanks to a Moseley reader for sending this link to a May 11th article:

One paragraph:

British aircraft and unmanned drones have attacked Islamic State targets in Iraq with more than 200 bombs and missiles in military operations that have been largely ignored, a Guardian analysis has shown. The air strikes, which began in the autumn, have been undertaken by the RAF’s oldest bombers – Tornado GR4s and its newest weapon – the remotely piloted Reaper. – The Guardian, 11 May 2015

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Drones massacre of the innocents

24 January 2015 — Drone Warfare

massacre innocents Ted Rall: Obama is willing to slaughter countless innocents in his quest to terminate a terrorist needle in a tribal area haystack (Japan Times)

Referring to a new report by the human rights organization Reprieve (Nov. 2014), Rall summarises:

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Israeli drone conference features weapons used to kill Gaza’s children By Rania Khalek

18 September 2014 — The Electronic Intifada

Less than one month after killing more than 2,100 Palestinians in Gaza, including over 500 children, Israel is hosting its annual drone conference. 

Organized in partnership with the US embassy in Tel Aviv, “Israel Unmanned Systems 2014” offers Israeli military firms an opportunity to flaunt the performance of their products, many of which were tested on Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip this summer. Continue reading this...

Government: is BT assisting targeted killing by drones, violating international law?

30 August 2014 — Drone Warfare

Human rights lawyers Reprieve, acting on behalf of two Yemeni men whose relatives were accidentally killed by drones, have brought a complaint against BT, filed with the British government on 19 August.

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The era of American drone supremacy is fading – but the threat of drone multipolarity is real – and potentially endless

30 June 2014 — Drone Warfare

edward luceSo writes Edward Luce in the FT. He points out that there is no treaty governing the use of military drones as for the use of nuclear weapons.

We summarise with added links to Rand Corporation and Stimson Centre.

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Drone Wars: “Force Protection Alpha in Effect” By Brian Terrell

31 May 2014 — Dissident Voice

On April 15, 2014, when the story broke on the world that the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert program of assassination by remotely controlled drones is not distinct from the drone program of the U.S. Air Force as we had been told, I was on the “Sacred Peace Walk,” an event sponsored each spring by the Nevada Desert Experience, a 70 mile trek from Las Vegas to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. Creech Air Force Base is along the way and we had already made plans for a protest there the next morning. While the CIA’s drone program is shrouded in secrecy, the Air Force supposedly has been using drones strictly as a weapon for waging war against combatants in recognized areas of conflict such as Afghanistan and formerly in Iraq, under a chain of command that is accountable to elected officials. Some who condemn the CIA’s assassinations by drones as illegal give a pass to or even laud the Air Force use of drones as a more restrained way to fight war.

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Britain’s Dirty Drone Secret

4 April 2014 — Liberty80

On Monday the House of Lords will debate Clause 64 of the Immigration Bill. If passed this Clause will allow the Home Secretary to remove citizenship from British citizens, regardless of whether this may render them stateless.

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