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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  • Tony M

    Thos little pens on chains, they’re deadly, especially in the eye, worse than pickled-onion Monster Munch.

  • Robert Crawford

    Maxter.

    Your link above will not play! It tries, but will not go past 2 minutes. “Frustrating”.

  • fedup

    Tony_0pmoc 28 Nov, 2015 – 2:07 am said;

    fedup

    28 Nov, 2015 – 12:29 am

    Can I buy you a pint? You wrote that Brilliantly..you even got under my skin..how do use such subtle power at this time of night. You are an inspiration. I wish I could write like that.

    Tony I am humbled by the spirit of your generosity and kind words, I appreciate your kindness indeed and will be proud to collect your gracious offer of a pint as and when our paths cross, subject to you having a pint on me too, of course.

    I am glad you appreciated my forwarded thoughts, as often we are forced to forget the real heroes who are toiling away unacknowledged and almost invisible to those in power. The same bunch of politicos who are bent on even further undermining these hard-working invisibles who will be getting the brunt of the rob the poor to pay the rich schemes of the current bunch of dear leaders in power. This then necessitates the “intellectual contortionists” and their foot soldiers to spam the cyberspace to tell us all to fall in line and worship our “brave” drone operators fighting the keyboard war with missiles or the heroes in the forces!

  • RobG

    Robert, when that happens to me on YouTube I sometimes find that refreshing the page (a number of times if necessary) solves the problem.

  • Mary

    Cameron, back from Malta and more warmongering, attends to party matters.

    Tory ‘bullying’ claims: Cameron promises ‘proper’ inquiry
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34950785

    Grant Shapps, aka Michael Green LOL, co party chairman at the election and demoted to DfID minister, has resigned.

    The bereaved father of Elliot Johnson was on Newsnight last night. One resignation will not satisfy his resolve to have a full independent inquiry. I should imagine that it might be a police matter too.

    ‘Elliot Johnson’s father has called for an external inquiry
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34952622

    The father of a Conservative Party member who died in an apparent suicide has called for an external inquiry into allegations of bullying in the organisations youth wing.

    Prior to his death in September, Elliot Johnson claimed he was bullied by party youth organiser Mark Clarke.

    His father, Ray Johnson, called for an external inquiry to be set up saying he believed the current investigation was “a cover up” and that he had no confidence in current party chairman Lord Feldman, who is conducting the inquiry.

    The Conservative Party said that it received no written complaints until this summer about Mr Clarke’s behaviour, though former chairwoman Baroness Warsi says she wrote to Grant Shapps, her successor, in January asking for action to be taken against Mr Clarke.

    Mr Clarke denies all the allegations.’

    There is this very detailed report in the Mail today plus the front page report in the Guardian, linked earlier, and all the previous press reports.

    ‘Fantasist, adulterer, bully boy: As it’s revealed Tory peer warned top brass about Mark Clarke TEN MONTHS ago… a portrait of the cad tearing his party apart
    Clarke is at the centre of an unfolding scandal that engulfed the Tory party
    Married father-of-two is a suddenly notorious ex-parliamentary candidate
    Now ‘Tatler Tory’ faces allegations of bullying, drug-taking and blackmail
    Senior officials are accused of ignoring or covering up complaints about Clarke so as not to disrupt the General Election campaign’

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3337016/Fantasist-adulterer-bully-boy-s-revealed-Tory-peer-warned-brass-Mark-Clarke-TEN-MONTHS-ago-portrait-cad-tearing-party-apart.html

  • Republicofscotland

    Thanks Maxter for that link, although I need no convincing about building 7.

    It was rather interesting though to know that Deutsche bank’s subsidiary company Alex Brown, placed a fortune (know as put ups) on shares of United Airlines and American Airlines, to go down.

    Both airlines were involved in the event, no put ups were placed on any other US airline, and the return from the put up was $5 million which to this day no one has come forward to collect.

    Bloomberg said of the put ups, it is highly unlikely their was no prior knowledge to the investment.

    Incidently Deutsche bank came out strongly against Scottish independence, siding with BT and David Cameron.

  • Republicofscotland

    I see little Napoleon aka Francois Hollande came out fighting yesterday, proclaiming at the Invalides court yard. Hollande promised to defeat the army of fanatics.

    It won’t be easy for little Napoleon to bring down the fanatics, the US and Westminster have many weapons.

  • Republicofscotland

    Apparently the Maoist’s in China’s National Peoples Congress, are outraged.

    The reason for their anger, is seeing Chairman Mao’s Red book at Westminster, in the hands of extremists.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Sri Lanka is calling on Saudi Arabia to pardon a cleaner working in Saudi Arabia, who has been sentenced to death by stoning after she committed adultery in the country, with another Sri Lankian migrant worker, he received 100 lashes.

    Stoning to death, a violent and antiqued barbaric act, in a country that’s executed more than 150 people this year.

    The thieves kitchen the UN, ironically, has a Saudi national at present as the head of the United Nations Human Rights Council Panel, even though the Saudi’s have executed 150 people.

    You couldn’t make this shit up.

  • Robert Crawford

    RobG, you are right. That is exactly what I did.

    Now with that thought and Fredi’s link about war and the bankers, which I have heard else where, the question is, “is it all true?”. “If so, what is to be done?”.

    I rarely believe anything in the news.

  • Roderick Russell

    RUTH’S Comment 27 Nov. 3.22 PM – “Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed whenever I log in and start to make a comment on such an article, the whole comment section disappears except for the title”

    ——–

    I don’t think it is a coincidence as I have had exactly the same thing as you describe also happen to me from time to time in both the UK and Canadian Press, going back over several years. Since it has happened to me many times – in two countries, with several different newspapers, over several years – I would think that it is more likely organizations like CSEC and GCHQ who are doing it rather than the MSM themselves.

  • RobG

    Robert, I believe that the American empire will collapse from within. Economically, things are dire in the US at the moment (there are ‘Hooverville’ camps everywhere). This does not get widely reported, because of course the entire MSM in the West is now controlled from Washington; although the Guardian recently did a good piece on it; and talking of the Guardian, it too in recent years has become a corporate/Washington propaganda machine. I think the take-over of the Guardian has made the scales fall from a lot of people’s eyes.

    The recent shooting down of a Russian fighter plane by Turkey might be a good thing in the long run, because it might well lead to NATO disintegrating, because it highlights to many members that NATO is now nothing other than an arm of American neo-con imperialism.

    Last Thursday President Hollande held lengthy talks with Putin about Syria…

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34931378

    We had a similar thing with the Ukraine crisis, when Germany ignored the USA and also held talks with Russia in order to try and stem the neo-con psychos in Washington.

    However this all turns out, we certainly live in interesting times.

  • YouKnowMyName

    @RoderickRuss

    Seconded, I found it impossible to comment in my MSM accounts during the first Scottish independence debacle; GCHQ 5-eyes & their many many partner agencies do master the internet, spoofing RST packets, especially for those annoying people who qualified as a ‘selector’ of interest on their civilian WAR database. It was illegal when they did it, but probably will be legal for them to continue to attack in the next couple of months after HoC pass the snoopy charter.

    Meanwhile fascinating CIA documentary on cruel and unusual treatment and DRONE signature strikes?
    https://reason.com/archives/2015/11/27/showtime-documentary-presses-cia-leaders?

    More here on Global Warming – the reason that USA didn’t bomb/drone the Da’esh IS ISIS ISIL ИГИЛ is because they were worried about the environmental damage 😉 bless.
    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/11/27/official-environmental-concerns-kept-u-s-attacking-islamic-state-oil/?

  • fedup

    I don’t think it is a coincidence as I have had exactly the same thing as you describe also happen to me from time to time in both the UK and Canadian Press, going back over several years. Since it has happened to me many times – in two countries, with several different newspapers, over several years

    You both may be on the right tracks.
    What other explanations can you think of?

    PS this is no piss take so don’t go off on a one!

  • hp

    President Obama; a name which will live in infamy.
    The man who murdered the Nobel Peace Prize.
    (among other things)
    A shoe-in for the Hall of Infamy.

  • Roderick Russell

    Re FEDUP’s comment – You both may be on the right tracks.
    What other explanations can you think of?

    ——-

    It’s happened to often to be coincidental or an accidental mishap with the various newspaper’s websites. Besides just click on my name and have a look at my report “Russell-Zersetzen”. You will note that our “security” services have had a field day with me with various computer/internet related incidents, many of which are corroborated by independent 3rd parties. Example: Take a look at section G1 of the report (around page 61 to 64) where there are examples of much more serious computer intrusions. Look under the heading “Hanky Panky” where Lobster Magazine reported that information relating to me was changed after they had received it and without their knowledge. Of course, if we had a free press none of this could happen. Unfortunately as Rupert Murdoch tweeted “no such thing as free press in UK” and what Ruth has reported is just another example of this.

  • geoff cowlyn

    With regard to Mary’s comment at 6.27 p.m. on 27.11 about Paul Flynn, I think Paul deserves better. On his own blog yesterday he wrote:

    “The way ahead for the Parliamentary Labour Party is ONE Leader (no quibbling or back-biting), ONE Party (no splits), ONE Enemy (this awful Government).

    Good luck, Comrade!”

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Driving hot wars in the Middle East is especially dangerous for the world because of the unstable and unpredictable nature of the nuclear threat in a multipolar world.

    Are people aware just how many near-misses to Armageddon there have been since 1945? Just through mistakes and misunderstandings and misinterpretations, I mean. And that was in a basically bipolar world, where the threat, ever-present, was relatively predictable. Nowadays, ‘MAD’ (Multual Assured Destruction) no longer represnets the barrier it did.

    Israel, Pakistan, Russia, NATO. Israel especially has a relatively low threshold for pre-emptive use of nukes, and of initiating Armageddon, because of its small size, its underlying supremcist ideology and the pre-1948 history of its people. Pakistan propagates, as a tactical instrument, multiple generations of psychotic (supremacist) Jihadist paramilitaries with a mass suicide wish. And now Russia and NATO both are directly involved in the Syrian bloodbath and a NATO country has shot down a Russian jet.

    Forgive me, but this is f…ing lunacy.

  • Roderick Russell

    Suhayl above. Very good comment to Craig’s article. Shooting down the Russian jet really bothered me. I can’t help thinking of 1914 where we blundered into a bloodbath – WW1 – that nobody really wanted for reasons that even today nobody understands.

  • Hieroglyph

    It has long been my contention that drone warfare should be made illegal, just as chemical warfare, and landmines are. I’m sure the tech is very advanced, but what happens to the person sat next to the ‘terrorist’? They are killed, clearly. And since when is targetted assassination just the acccepted norm? Since Obama took over, that’s when. Very odd character that Obama …

  • Hieroglyph

    “I can’t help thinking of 1914 where we blundered into a bloodbath – WW1 – that nobody really wanted for reasons that even today nobody understands.”

    I ended up concluding that WW1 was essentially waged to keep the population at large from turning to communism or socialism, and also, you know, profits. Didn’t work so well in Russia of course, but you can’t win ’em all.

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