Obama’s War on Truth 187


The four USAF military drone operators who recently blew the whistle and exposed the callousness and complete lack of concern for civilian casualties of the US drone assassination programme, (and received very little mainstream media exposure), yesterday found their bank accounts and credit cards all blocked by the US government. The effects of that on daily life are devastating. My source is their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, through the Sam Adams Associates (of which we are both members).

No criminal charges have been brought against any of the men, despite numerous written threats of prosecution. Their finances appear to have been frozen by executive action under anti-terrorist legislation. This is yet a further glaring example of the use of “anti-terror” powers against people who are not remotely terrorist.

More whistleblowers have been jailed under Obama than under all previous US Presidents combined. Even so, the US authorities seem wary of the publicity that might surround prosecution of these servicemen, who only spoke of the effect upon their own health of having repeatedly to carry out heartless and often untargeted killings.

So their lives are being destroyed in other ways. You will forgive me for recalling that I know how they feel because I have been through just the same thing myself.

When I blew the whistle on UK complicity in torture and extraordinary rendition, I received numerous written threats from the FCO under the Official Secrets Act, and for a while I lived in daily expectation of arrest. Still more hurtful were the constant denials from Jack Straw and his repeated assertion that the UK was never complicit in torture, that there was no such thing as extraordinary rendition, together with the frequent imputations to journalists and politicians that I was in poor mental health and an alcoholic. I never had my bank account suspended, but there were interventions with prospective employers that prevented my getting another job.

Still, I had it easy. Chelsea Manning will celebrate her birthday in jail on 17 December.

It is worth recalling what these drone operators told us:

Bryant said the killing of civilians by drone is exacerbating the problem of terrorism. “We kill four and create 10 [militants],” Bryant said. “If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”

The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to keep details of the drone program secret, but in their statements today the former operators opened up about the culture that has developed among those responsible for carrying it out. Haas said operators become acculturated to denying the humanity of the people on their targeting screens. “There was a much more detached outlook about who these people were we were monitoring,” he said. “Shooting was something to be lauded and something we should strive for.”

The deaths of children and other non-combatants in strikes was rationalized by many drone operators, Haas said. As a flight instructor, Haas claimed to have been non-judicially reprimanded by his superiors for failing a student who had expressed “bloodlust,” an overwhelming eagerness to kill.

Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said that he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.


187 thoughts on “Obama’s War on Truth

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  • Mark Golding

    “We kill four and create 10 [militants],” Bryant said. “If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”

    IMO – Creating hate and revenge is the modus operandi of government to maintain a pool of ‘persons of interest’ and proxy terror.

  • Mary I SAY NO MORE WAR!

    All power to your elbow Craig. May your oppressors and the oppressors of others who speak out rot in hell.

    We have not forgotten Edward Snowden in Moscow and Julian Assange in London. Not actually in a jail but imprisoned all the same. And Mordechai Vanunu in Israel.

  • craig Post author

    Kindly meant I am sure, Mary, but I would not wish anyone to rot in hell. Not even Tony Blair. Now a nice cell at the Hague…

  • David Rawlings

    Hi Craig, enjoyed and heartily agreed with all your recent blogs. I put a link on my Facebook page to this particular one. It worked, except that the initial paragraph shown above the link was the first paragraph of your earlier article on news management of the Paris attack, so looks a bit odd!

  • giyane

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Dylan Thomas

    For me this poem has always been about protest against the denial of truth.
    The people of Syria know that the West has usurped their country using mercenaries.
    The people of Pakistan and Afghanistan know that USUKIS are still fighting Bush and Blair’s War on Terror as a one-sided drone war.

    USUKIS want to provoke justified rage, because rage renders a person stupified and incapacitated by moral indignation. I am nearly enraged at cameron rehearsing exactly the same tripe as Blair in front of parliament and MPs from all sides allowing themselves to be duped in exactly the same way as before.

    But I am not going to give in to rage, because I have given in to rage before, and lost job, family, house, religion and sanity.

    Rage is where the Zionists want us. Zionists of all colours and ethnicity, pakistani Zionists, Saudi Zionists, Libyan Zionists, anyone who is part of the collaboration with USUKIS’ War on Islam.

    Dylan Thomas is talking about that ember of rage from which you light the morning fire, and the glow of faith at your deathbed by which you know that the oppressors are known to your Creator.

  • giyane

    Craig

    So why was hell created, if not as a rather worse than nuclear deterrent against mis-behaviour? In a nuclear attack you are fried once. In hell your skin is refreshed when it has been fried so that you can taste the punishment for ever.

  • craig Post author

    David

    Yes, there are always weird effects when people link this blog on Facebook. Often they get a picture of David Tennant!

  • Salford Lad

    At times it seems a hopeless battle against this Western Empire of Evil that is the US Deep State and its acolytes.But slowly ,thanks to sites like this the edifice is starting to show cracks.
    Truth will eventually out and bring this stinking Military Industrial Financial corpse to account.
    Either we overcome or we succumb to a shattered dead planet.
    We are many, they are few.
    Keep up the good work Craig and continue to shine a light on the dark recesses of this putrescense.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    I think there is bigger picture with Obama here. He is the one of the weakest and most indecisive presidents in the US history. He hardly done anything he had promised (before his 1st election) and thanks to him world is in more mess than before him. Many put his home policies as advantage to his foreign policies but what had he done at home he could be remembered (positively) for?

    Drone operators must have the same military code of conduct as conventional military. if they kills civilians on purpose (and treat them as bloodlust) they must be prosecuted. But unfortunately looking at US presidential election debates, there is no possible candidate who wishes to address this.

  • Uzbek in the UK

    “We have not forgotten Edward Snowden in Moscow”

    Why would Moscow be like prison? It is wonderful city (especially for the one who has putin’s patronage). Could be cold in winter but nevertheless summers in Moscow is much better than in London. There are many historic sites to visit there and many shops and restaurants. In fact Moscow (quite possible at the expense of other Russian cities) is the pear of Russia. Unlike Assange (who really is imprisoned) Snowden is not contained to one embassy. He is free to go wherever he wants and I am sure he had couple of bodyguards.

    But whole irony is that Snowden is now being protected by the regime which put lies, misinformation, oppression for the free speech as a core of its policy. What a world we are living in?

  • Jim McDonald

    I think we can see why they strive for a cashless society with Apple Pay and contactless payment with your Credit/Debit card.
    Imagine how easy they could stop people in their tracks. That is anyone the powers that be considered a threat…

  • Robert Crawford

    I have been wondering for a long time what kind of people operate these drones.

    Then again, I have been wondering the same about Ian Duncan-Smith et al and the people in the DWP and Atos who pull the trigger (metaphorically speaking) when they impose sanctions which cause people to die by all the methods you all know about. Is there a difference? They have nothing in their Bank account so, stopping their money is just the same as freezing the Bank accounts of the drone pilot whistleblowers.

    Someone needs to ask the P.M. to show us him pulling the trigger on a drone.(on human beings). After all, did he not say he would push the nuclear button?

    I have said before how amazed I am at the things civil servants will do to earn their living.

  • Mick McNulty

    Use of drones will follow America to their homeland after their economy fails and they are in no position to finance a military. I don’t know who it will be sending them; Russia, China, Iran perhaps, operating them from Mexico, Central or South America or the Caribbean Islands. They invented this murderous technology and they’ll not escape its use on them.

  • Pan SO DO I!

    Craig –

    “I would not wish anyone to rot in hell. Not even Tony Blair.”

    That makes you a real city in Egypt, made of pure crystallized carbon.

    Scrub that. Meant to say “diamond geezer”.

    (props Fredi)

  • Mary I SAY NO MORE WAR!

    Uzbek A virtual prison. If Snowden leaves Moscow/Russia they will nab him. We speculated at length when he fled HK? which country he would head for to escape USUKIsNATO operatives.

    ~~~

    The Guardian had this story first. Written by Ed Pilkington in NY on 18th November and Mark Golding posted it here.
    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2015/11/thrashing-not-swimming/comment-page-2/#comment-562299

    Glenn Greenwald’s Intercept picked it up on the following day. The Guardian was acknowledged.

    Life as a drone operator: ‘Ever step on ants and never give it another thought?’
    In a secluded room at an airbase in Nevada, young men hold the power of life and death over people thousands of miles away. Former servicemen tell their story
    http://gu.com/p/4eaqm/sbl

  • Robert Crawford

    Better still, Ian Duncan-Smith is an ex soldier he can show the P.M. how it’s done, and we can watch. Put your hands on the joy stick boys and show us how brave you are. Go on, you know you want to.

    Never ask others to do what you can’t or won’t do yourself!

  • KingOfWelshNoir

    I understand that RAF drone operators get their ‘Wings’ insignia just like real pilots. If I was a real pilot who put myself in harm’s way I would find that pretty insulting.

    Jim McDonald – yes the cashless society gives them unprecedented control over dissent. They don’t even have to stop your money, just limit the use of your cards to half a mile from your house, as a sort e-ASBO. Or they could stipulate what you are allowed to by with your money. The possibilities are endless.

  • Robert Crawford

    Yes Mary, and I replied to Mark.

    Maybe I should post that song by Meat Loaf (I’ll do anything for love but I won’t do that).

    Unfortunately “LOVE” does not apply with those who give the orders to “exterminate, exterminate, exterminate”.

    If it is good enough to dish out, surely it is good enough to accept? AYE RIGHT!!!

  • Kempe

    ” I understand that RAF drone operators get their ‘Wings’ insignia just like real pilots. ”

    Drone pilots train on real aircraft just like any other pilot. They’re also commissioned officers.

  • Pan

    Salford Lad
    27 Nov, 2015 – 12:20 pm

    Ye sound like a proper gritty northerner, sayin’ stuff like that. Good on yer!

  • good kill

    Hullo Craig,

    I take it you haven’t seen the flick Good Kill starring Ethan Hawke? It’s worth a look. Mind you, the ending was frankly abysmal (wherein Hawke breaks protocol to kill a bad Muslim his superiors had ignored – three cheers for killing bad Muslims) but without this redemption the film would have had no end beyond a rain of hellfire missiles forever. Which is actually the truth of the matter but rather unsatisfying cinematically.

    Otherwise, I find it curious that hardly anyone mentions the drone SOP of ‘double-tap strikes’. This involves blowing up the target and then waiting 30 minutes or so until the place is thick with rescuers and then hitting it again. This as SOP, you understand. Carefully avoiding Goodwin’s Law now (semantically at least), this strikes me as the kind of act that not even the Wehrmacht would have stooped to

  • Loony

    You forgot to mention that US drone operators are claimed to refer to child victims of drone strikes as “fun sized terrorists” Some still believe that Americans have no sense of humor!

  • fedup

    The accuracy of the drone targeting is plus minus 50 meters!! The software writer tried to warn the world but he was sacked and when he went to court he was railroaded and never heard from again!

    The mathematics of computing rely heavily on approximations and the accuracy/inaccuracy of these approximations can produce weird and wonderful anomalies.

    Simply put the suppression of the drone attacks and their targeting and rates of accuracy thereof remaining secret cover up a whole boatload of dead civilians far more than the fatalities that are printed in the OOM (Oligarch Owned Media).

    I think we can see why they strive for a cashless society with Apple Pay and contactless payment with your Credit/Debit card.
    Imagine how easy they could stop people in their tracks. That is anyone the powers that be considered a threat…

    Now you are getting the measure of it all Jim!!!!

    The cashless society as advocated by the banksters (to save on the cost of note production and maintenance) is the step in total control of each and every individual whom have no access to any money other than what the banks determine!!!!

    “Total suppression” was heard in a muffled cry!!

  • nevermind

    Rather than speculating around war in Syria and those who have been maligned by the neocons around the world,

    WHY CAN’T THIS EX AMBASSADOR, TOGETHER WITH ANOTHER EX AMBASSADOR IN SYRIA NOT PROVIDE A BLUE PRINT FOR A, here it comes, CEASE FIRE?

    why are we all chiming in with the warmongers, why are we not speaking and or debating the possibilities and pre arrangements for a CEASE FIRE.

    cut in parts and copied from Christina Aguileras song cease fire

    Rolling out
    White flag
    I surrender
    Hear me now
    Make it stop
    We can do better
    Pain and hurt
    Living in fear
    Wasted energy
    In the end
    What is it worth?
    What is our legacy?

    Rolling out
    White flag
    I surrender
    Hear me now
    Make it stop
    We can do better

    Pain and hurt
    Living in fear
    Wasted energy
    In the end
    What is it worth?
    What is our legacy?

    Follow me now
    I’m calling out
    Somebody help me

    I need you now
    Why can’t you see?
    Gotta believe me

    Fighting for peace
    Need a release
    Won’t you come with me?

    I’m on your side
    Swallow your pride
    You can confide in me

    Army of one
    Rise of the sun
    Shining for all to see

    Enemy’s none
    Victory’s won
    No negativity

    We can be free,
    We have the key
    To own our destiny

    Baby, cease fire, fire, fire
    Throw down your weapons, your weapons, your weapons
    I’m on your side, on your side, on your side
    So please cease fire, fire, fire
    Cease fire make it stop

    http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/christinaaguilera/ceasefire.html

    Are ex ambassadors powerless? have they got enough support to work on a plan to initiate a cease fire?

  • harry law

    Elsewhere the former drone operators have described how their colleagues dismissed children as “fun-sized terrorists” and compared killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long.”http://thefreethoughtproject.com/drone-pilots-bank-accounts-credit-cards-frozen-feds-exposing-murder/#iocK1H5Z0vU9PStw.99

  • Pan

    Good Kill
    27 Nov, 2015 – 1:12 pm

    I was going to mention “Good Kill starring Ethan Hawke” – you got there first. That’s fine – you wrote a good comment, especially about the ‘double-tapping’ as SOP – that is so evil it makes the word ‘evil’ seem inadequate.

    Only thing I disagree with you on is the “three cheers for killing bad Muslims” finale. For me, Major Thomas Egan’s final act of desperate defiance is actually nothing to do with muslims at all – it is his way of using a tool of evil destruction to do something ‘good’ (i.e. save a horribly abused woman from her sadistic, rapist husband). (And yes, I know it’s still murder, and murder is NOT good, but hopefully you get my drift).

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