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Posted: Apr 27, 2016 - 8:36am

After drones: the indelible mark of America's remote control warfare
The strikes last a moment, but the consequences last forever. Six families explain how Obama’s secret drone war has left them struggling for answers after loved ones were wiped out without warning

Nabila’s favorite memories of her grandmother come from weddings. It didn’t matter who was getting married – relative or neighbor – her grandmother, Mamana, was an active participant, owing to her matriarchal perch above their village.

Mamana was as responsible as she was festive. An uneducated woman, she was the local midwife, and served as an impromptu primary care physician, even a veterinarian, when the need arose.

On a fall afternoon in 2012, Mamana called Nabila and a squad of her siblings and cousins outside to the family’s okra fields, part of their sprawling garden in tribal Pakistan. It was about to be the Eid festival and the Rehman family needed to gather and prepare vegetables. Nabila, nine years old, had set to work when the drone fired its missiles.

A dark plume of dust rose from the garden and mixed with acrid smoke. It spared Nabila and the other children the sight of their grandmother’s mutilated corpse. (...)


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Posted: Apr 12, 2016 - 1:01pm

I am on the Kill List. This is what it feels like to be hunted by drones
Friends decline my invitations and I have taken to sleeping outside under the trees, to avoid becoming a magnet of death for my family
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Posted: Feb 3, 2016 - 6:42pm

Drone strikes in Pakistan
Naming the dead: Only 10 of scores killed by US drones in Pakistan last year have been identified

Just 10 of the scores killed by US drones in Pakistan last year have so far been identified, according to data collected by the Bureau’s Naming the Dead project.

The names for all 10 came from either terrorist propaganda or the US government, with officials from Pakistan’s government, military and intelligence services declining to provide any names of those killed by the CIA for the first time since strikes started in 2004.

Only a minority of those killed are ever identified, but the number of those named in 2015 was particularly low. In total, according to Bureau research, of the minimum 2,494 people killed by US drones since 2004, only 729 have been named. At least 1,765 victims remain nameless.

The Bureau’s Naming the Dead project is an attempt to identify more of these victims to better ensure accountability for the drone strikes. The CIA continues to carry out signature strikes in Pakistan – attacks on people it claims are terrorists from extensive surveillance and data analysis operations – but the targets’ names are often not known. (...)


DaveInVA
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Posted: Dec 3, 2015 - 3:26pm

Toddler's eyeball sliced in half by drone propeller


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Posted: Oct 15, 2015 - 5:25pm

Anti-drone shoulder rifle lets police take control of UAVs with targeted radio pulses


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Posted: Sep 9, 2015 - 8:51am

His Master's Voice...
Why 'Trust Us' Won't Cut it Over Cameron's Secret Drone Strikes
For over a decade, the United States has maintained a 'Kill List' of individuals it deems a threat. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama has repeatedly acted as judge, jury and executioner for thousands of individuals. So controversial, the process for deciding the Kill List has reportedly been dubbed "Terror Tuesdays" by White House aides.

Yesterday, the U.K. government joined the U.S. in its own form of Terror Tuesday. The prime minister calmly stood before parliament and declared that he and the secretary of defence had ordered the killing of a British citizen. Refusing to release the legal justification, he didn't stop with just this killing. He and various members of his cabinet then declared that the U.K. was considering further targets as far afield as Libya and that they wouldn't hesitate to launch more attacks.

The public was given no evidence, legal or otherwise, to justify the killing. Instead, the prime minister simply asked the public to trust him. The killing was legal and the individuals posed a direct threat to the UK, we're told.

'Trust us' is not how democracies work, however. In Britain at least, the government has a duty to be transparent about its actions, so that the public can rightfully judge the lawfulness and morality of actions taken in their name.

The British public now deserves some answers, starting with why David Cameron thinks his decision was legal. There is no reason to refuse to reveal the legal details of the policy, as Cameron is doing, and every imperative for the government to come clean about its plans for further targeted killings.

The prime minister also needs to start defining the terms he's using. In the War on Terror, definitions are important—and famously malleable. The U.S., for instance, has defined "imminent threats" to be anything but "imminent." In fact, under the U.S. definition of self-defence, the U.S. needs neither "clear evidence" nor for the attack to be in the "immediate future". So, in effect, imminence is anything but. Is this how David Cameron also now defines self-defence? (...)

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Posted: Sep 6, 2015 - 8:33am

 bokey wrote:
 I wonder what the charges would be if you blasted one of these out the airspace over your house(besides any firearm discharge charges).

 
A wrist rocket and a large ball bearing would do the trick with no firearm charges. Break enough blades and it won't fly to well.

The rules may very from place to place but if its on your property and flying at look into your windows height I imagine no charges unless its a cop with a warrant flying it, I would hope (but not expect) the drones owner to be charged instead.

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Posted: Sep 6, 2015 - 7:09am

 I wonder what the charges would be if you blasted one of these out the airspace over your house(besides any firearm discharge charges).
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Posted: Sep 6, 2015 - 6:38am

 
  I don't think I've ever seen just one of those things sitting out by itself anywhere before.
 
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Posted: Sep 5, 2015 - 10:22pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
....

 
Just catching some rays...
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Posted: Sep 5, 2015 - 8:53pm


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Posted: Jul 31, 2015 - 3:07pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Still a (profit-driven) racket...

Revealed: Private firms at heart of US drone warfare
Corporate staff are reviewing top-secret data and helping uniformed colleagues decide whether people under surveillance are enemies or civilians

 
Of course. Just like private firms are behind the boondoggle that is the F-35 fighter plane that doesn't work, and the aircraft carriers we don't need. 
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Posted: Jul 31, 2015 - 2:45pm

Still a (profit-driven) racket...

Revealed: Private firms at heart of US drone warfare
Corporate staff are reviewing top-secret data and helping uniformed colleagues decide whether people under surveillance are enemies or civilians
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Posted: Jun 27, 2015 - 3:35pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
Man shoots downs neighbor’s hexacopter in rural drone shotgun battle
"I also ask you the courtesy of not shooting live ammunition in our direction."

 
{#Lol}
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Posted: Jun 27, 2015 - 3:00pm

Man shoots downs neighbor’s hexacopter in rural drone shotgun battle
"I also ask you the courtesy of not shooting live ammunition in our direction."
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Posted: Jun 21, 2015 - 3:42pm

America's drone policy is all exceptions and no rules | Trevor Timm

The Obama administration is again allowing the CIA to use drone strikes to secretly kill people that the spy agency does not know the identities of in multiple countries - despite repeated statements to the contrary.

That’s what we learned this week, when Nasir ­al-Wuhayshi, an alleged leader of al-Qaida, died in a strike in Yemen. While this time the CIA seems to have guessed right, apparently the drone operators didn’t even know at the time who they were aiming at - only that they thought the target was possibly a terrorist hideout. It’s what’s known as a “signature” strike, where the CIA is not clear who its drone strikes are killing, only that the targets seem like they are terrorists from the sky.

Signature strikes has led to scores of civilians being killed over the past decade, including two completely innocent hostages less than two months ago. It’s a way of killing that’s been roundly condemned by human rights organizations and that some members of Congress have tried to outlaw. The incredible dangers behind such a policy are obvious. Here’s how the New York Times described it when the White House’s ‘kill list’ was first revealed in 2012:

The joke was that when the CIA sees “three guys doing jumping jacks,” the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official. Men loading a truck with fertilizer could be bombmakers – but they might also be farmers, skeptics argued.

It was so controversial that, in 2013, President Obama announced new “rules” for drone strikes that tightened requirements for when the CIA or any government agency could attempt to kill someone and were, in theory, meant to be the end of signature strikes. One of the rules was that a drone target had to be an “imminent threat” to the US and there had to be a near certainty that civilians would not be killed. (One would assume it’s close to impossible to call someone an “imminent threat” when you don’t even know who that person is.) (...)


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Posted: May 28, 2015 - 7:30am


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Posted: Apr 17, 2015 - 10:41am

Germany is the Tell-Tale Heart of America's Drone War

This is a joint investigation with the German news magazine Der Spiegel.

A TOP-SECRET U.S. intelligence document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the sprawling U.S. military base in Ramstein, Germany serves as the high-tech heart of America’s drone program. Ramstein is the site of a satellite relay station that enables drone operators in the American Southwest to communicate with their remote aircraft in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and other targeted countries. The top-secret slide deck, dated July 2012, provides the most detailed blueprint seen to date of the technical architecture used to conduct strikes with Predator and Reaper drones.

Amid fierce European criticism of America’s targeted killing program, U.S. and German government officials have long downplayed Ramstein’s role in lethal U.S. drone operations and have issued carefully phrased evasions when confronted with direct questions about the base. But the slides show that the facilities at Ramstein perform an essential function in lethal drone strikes conducted by the CIA and the U.S. military in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa. (...)

Secret Details of Drone Strike Revealed As Unprecedented Case Goes to German Court - The Intercept
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Posted: Jan 29, 2015 - 1:42pm

Following the crash of one of its Phantom drones at the White House on Monday and a response from President Obama that more regulation of drones was needed, Chinese drone maker DJI will reportedly be disabling its units from flying over the DC area. According to the FAA, it was already against federal regulations to fly in that region, not to mention the fact that the pilot told the Secret Service he was drinking.

DJI previously stated to The Verge that it programmed its drones to stop flying when they reached a certain distance from airports. Using the GPS, DJI can track a drone's position at all time and establish which zones are off limits. But this would mark the first time DJI is preventing flight over a metro area.

"DJI will release a mandatory firmware update for the Phantom 2, Phantom 2 Vision, and Phantom 2 Vision+ to help users comply with the FAA’s Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) 0/8326, which restricts unmanned flight around the Washington, DC metropolitan area," the company wrote in a press release this morning. "The updated firmware (V3.10) will be released in coming days and adds a No-Fly Zone centered on downtown Washington, DC and extends for a 25 kilometer (15.5 mile) radius in all directions. Phantom pilots in this area will not be able to take off from or fly into this airspace."

DJI also said "the restriction is part of a planned extension of DJI’s No Fly Zone system that prohibits flight near airports and other locations where flight is restricted by local authorities. These extended no fly zones will include over 10,000 airports registered with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and will expand no fly zones to ensure they cover the runways at major international airports."

The drone industry is actually in agreement with Obama that more regulation is needed. Congress is on board as well, as evidenced during a recent hearing. The real hurdle has been the FAA, which has moved slowly to establish new rules. The agency has been mandated by Congress to provide an update by this year, but has so far given no indication of when it might arrive.

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Posted: Jan 28, 2015 - 8:33pm

 Manbird wrote:

Shut up. How's it going Friendo? You're my friend.  

 
On the good days I hang in by a nostril until I fall asleep. It's the testicle hanging days that are rough.
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