The F-16 jets of the Iowa Air National Guard that formerly buzzed the city of Des Moines have disappeared and we are told that their base at the Des Moines International Airport is in the process of refitting into a command center for unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, commonly called drones. The MQ-9 Reaper drones themselves will not be coming to Iowa but will be based in and launched overseas. When airborne, these unmanned planes will be flown by remote control via satellite link from Des Moines. Classified by the military as a “Hunter-Killer platform,” the MQ-9 Reaper is armed with Hellfire missiles and 500 pound bombs that according to plan will be launched by airmen sitting at computer terminals in Des Moines.
by Eva Jasiewicz
Mention Afghanistan and most people think of the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, caves, drones, dust, and burkas. It’s a country few of us have a relationship with, even though our government has been at war with it three times, right now being the third and longest modern-day occupation for Britain to date.
Who is making those glowing estimates? What interest might they have in exaggerating them?
Who will get those jobs? How many will be high-tech jobs going to those already comfortably placed to take on new contracts?
Who gets to ride first class on the gravy train? Will that income go to local folks … or will the lion’s share go as profit to CEOs and investors?
Originally posted on DC Media Group
Following a deadly U.S. drone strike on civilians in Yemen, members of a dozen peace groups wearing blue scarves gathered at the entrance of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. With guards and barricades on one side and cars whizzing by on Rt. 123 on the other, they held a vigil in memory of civilians, especially children, killed by U.S. drone bombings in Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
CodePink and Other Peace Groups Strongly Condemn Killing of 15 Civilians from the US Drone Strike in Yemen Yesterday
Washington, DC–– CODEPINK and a coalition of peace groups and individuals from across the US unequivocally condemn the killing of 15 innocent civilians –– all part of a wedding convoy–– by a US drone in Yemen yesterday. The groups call on President Obama to apologize to the families and pledge to immediately put an end to these strikes that have led to the death of so many noncombatants. CODEPINK has long criticized the Obama administration’s drone policy as being contrary to international law, immoral, and ineffective in combating terrorism.
By Medea Benjamin
Recent reports on US drone strikes by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the UN have heightened international awareness about civilian casualties and have resulted in new calls for redress. The Amnesty International drone report “Will I be next?” says the US government should ensure that victims of unlawful drone strikes, including family members, have effective access to remedies, including restitution, compensation and rehabilitation. The Human Rights Watch report “Between a Drone and Al-Qaeda” calls on the US government to “implement a system of prompt and meaningful compensation for civilian loss of life, injury, and property damage from unlawful attack.”
By Chris Cole
While there is rightly much media attention on the US drone war in Pakistan and Yemen, there is a very different but over-looked “drone war” taking place in Europe right now. In parliamentary committee rooms, in company boardrooms, and in packed public meetings, arguments rage about whether Europe should embrace or reject the use of armed drones.