The Unconstitutionality of Drones
Targeted Killings: US and Israeli Specialties
International law permits justifiable self-defense. Targeted killings are prohibited, especially premeditated ones like America and Israel repeatedly commit for reasons other than claimed.
These incidents constitute cold-blooded murder. US drone killings and rampaging death squads, as well as Israel’s deplorable history and latest ritual slaughter highlight the issue. International law prohibits anticipatory self-defense. It amounts to using force to deter it.
Under the UN Charter’s Article 2:
“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”
Only two exceptions apply. Article 51 permits “individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”
In addition, a nation may anticipate self-defense in situations where verifiable, compelling evidence shows imminent or already initiated armed attacks.
For example, if nations face hostile mobilized troops on their borders, self-defense is justified if invasion seems likely. Or if specific provable knowledge of impending terrorist attacks are known, preventive defensive action is warranted.
However, anticipatory self-defense based on unproved allegations is lawless. For example, attacking Iraq for allegedly possessing WMDs had no basis in international law. Moreover, possession of any weapons proves no intent to use them. In the case of Iraq, of course, allegations were entirely spurious.
Key is that employing anticipatory (or preemptive) self-defense against nations, groups, or individuals based on alleged threats is prohibited and lawless if undertaken.
No matter. For America and Israel, it’s official policy. Alleged national security reasons are cited. Nearly always they’re spurious.
In response to Israel’s 1981 Iraq Osirik nuclear reactor attack (under construction at the time), the Security Council ruled “the military attack by Israel in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct.”
If Israel and/or America attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, the same standard applies. Of course, US veto power will prevent saying or deterring it unlike decades earlier. Back then, the IAEA head and Israel had no evidence of unlawful weapons development, possession, or imminent use. Anticipatory self-defense was lawless.
Unverifiable “inherent right” claims are spurious. Nonetheless, America and Israel invoke them often. In his 2002 West Point Commencement speech, George Bush said:
“(N)ot only will the United States impose preemptive, unilateral military force when and where it chooses, but the nation will also punish those who engage in terror and aggression and will work to impose a universal moral clarity between good and evil.”
In other words, he unilaterally claimed whatever America says, goes. No restraints apply. At the time, moreover, he suggested Washington has choices unavailable to other nations. Rule of law provisions apply to them. Washington makes its own.
In fact, America lawlessly waged multiple post-WW II wars. All were illegal aggression. None were justified for any reason. It’s equally true for Israel. Today, both nations represent clear and present dangers. Operating extrajudicially, they endanger humanity.
In 2010, Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions presented a report on the topic. It called using them “highly problematic, blurring and expand(ing) the boundaries” of recognized international law.
Asserting a “vaguely defined license to kill” subverts it. Alston called targeted killings “intentional, premeditated and deliberate use of lethal force….” Legal frameworks are blurred. Laws of war and human rights are discarded. Moreover, states employing this practice don’t show justification other than claiming vague threats.
Most often, they violate the right to life. Throughout its history, Israel employed the tactic. In fact, it began during the Mandatory Palestine period when Jewish terrorist groups targeted Jews, Brits and Arabs. Future prime ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir were involved.
For example, in November 1944, Lehi (Stern Gang) terrorists assassinated Lord Moyne, Britain’s Middle East minister of state, near his home in Cairo.
In September 1948, it also killed UN mediator Folke Bernadotte in Jerusalem, five months after Israel was established. Yitzhak Shamir personally approved the assassination.
In July 1946, Irgun terrorists bombed the King David Hotel, massacring 92 Brits, Arabs and Jews, wounding 58 others. Future prime minister David Ben-Gurion approved it as head of the Jewish Agency at the time.
Before and after May 1948, many thousands of targeted killings occurred or were attempted. Using them is official Israeli policy. Mossad assassins murdered Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
On February 14, 2005, compelling visual and audio evidence revealed real time intercepted Israel aerial surveillance footage of routes he used on the day his motorcade was attacked. Israel was involved.
At first, Syria was spuriously blamed, then Hezbollah. Fingers were bogusly pointed the wrong way to absolve Israel. It was typical Mossad, whether by car bombs, shootings, poisoning, slit throats, or other means. Targets get no reprieves.
Assassinations, including US citizens, didn’t begin under Bush and Obama. CIA operatives used them for decades. In his book “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic,” Chalmers Johnson said:
“(W)e will never again know peace, nor in all probability survive very long as a nation, unless we abolish the CIA, restore intelligence collecting to the State Department, and remove all but purely military functions from the Pentagon.”
The Agency acts as judge, jury, and executioner. Imperial Rome had its praetorian guard. The CIA works the same way as a private unaccountable army. It operates extrajudicially against targets ranging from alleged terrorists to heads of state.
Among its original missions, one vaguely permitted “other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may….direct.”
As a result, it became a covert, unaccountable force unto itself. It’s engaged in mischievous, illegal operations. They include overthrowing democratically elected governments, assassinating foreign heads of state and key officials, propping up friendly dictators, and extraordinarily renditioning targeted subjects to torture prison hell, or simply disappearing them.
Accountable unto itself, it does what it pleases outside the law. Its bag of dirty tricks defines imperial America. In the process, the republic’s life was shortened. Johnson said “the company” menaces democracy. Neither can coexist with the other.
Along with US Special Forces, it’s involved in death squad killings. It also operates predator drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and wherever Washington designates targets to kill.
Allegedly targeting militants and terrorists, independent experts believe noncombatant civilians are killed 98% of the time. Official reports suppress dirty truths.
US citizens are also targeted. Attorney General Eric Holder said:
“The president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war — even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen.”
In fact, senior administration officials said Obama and future presidents (on their own authority) may order them killed anywhere, including at home. Holder noticeably added that America’s “authority is not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan” or anywhere else.
They’re where presidents say they are. Anyone anywhere may be killed for any reason or none at all. They can also be arrested, thrown in military dungeons uncharged, denied due process, sent abroad to torture prisons, or simply disappeared.
Constitutional protections no longer apply. Unilateral executive authority replaced them. Planet earth is America’s battlefield. Since last year, drone attacks killed at least three US citizens abroad.
The FAA Reauthorization Act authorizes up to 30,000 unmanned homeland aerial vehicles (UAVs) by 2020. They’ll be used for spying and who knows what else. Not only will privacy rights be compromised, so will life and liberty protections. This army in the sky will be used repressively against everyone.
A Final Comment
Ron Paul’s the only presidential candidate openly expressing alarm about Obama’s assassination policy. On February 24, 2010, he said:
“What have we allowed ourselves to become? Are we no longer a nation of laws? Have we become instead a nation of men who make secret arrests? Are secret prisons now simply another tool of the federal government law enforcement?”
“Is secret rendition of individuals now permitted, out of misplaced fear? Have we decided that the writ of habeas corpus is not worth defending? Is torture now an acceptable tool for making us safe? Unfortunately, the single answer to all of these questions from the leaders of our country and to many of our citizens appears to be yes.”
When nations no longer observe fundamental international laws and their own, tyranny follows. Governing extrajudicially, American and Israeli leaders, as well as complicit officials in both countries, operate lawlessly. Rule of law protections don’t apply. As a result, no one’s safe, including Israeli Jews and US citizens.
A shroud of secrecy, mass deception, scoundrel journalism, extrajudicial killing, torture, permanent war, homeland repression, universal spying, and leaders doing what they damn please with impunity threatens life, liberty, humanity, and planet earth.
In his 1961 inaugural address, John Kennedy highlighted “the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” He asked for “a grand and global alliance” against them, and said “history (will be) the final judge of our deeds….”
On June 14, 1956, Senator Kennedy gave Harvard’s Commencement speech. This writer heard it. Politicians today speak differently. He was reasoned, scholarly, effective, and impressive.
He said when freedom is threatened, politicians and intellectuals “should be natural allies, working more closely together for the common cause against the common enemy.”
He ended quoting what an English mother once wrote the Provost of Harrow, saying “Don’t teach my boy poetry; he is going to stand for Parliament.”
“Well, perhaps she was right,” said Kennedy, “but if more politicians knew poetry and more poets knew politics, I am convinced the world would be a little better place in which to live on this commencement day of 1956.”
On November 22, 1963, state-sponsored assassins took him. Decades of global lawlessness, permanent wars, state terrorism, and tyranny followed.
History’s verdict is clear. America’s “common enemies” won. Kennedy couldn’t have imagined how decisively, or most anyone a half century ago.
Given today’s bipartisan rogue governance, humanity’s threatened. At issue is will there be another or much time left at all! The prospect’s real and frightening.
America’s Drone War…UN to Investigate Amidst Charges of War Crimes, A Replay and Strategy Consistent with the Nazi Terror Bombings during World War II
The controversy surrounding the U.S. drone war has military historians and international law experts and students searching for the origins, root-cause and or concept of this extra-legal, indiscriminate strategy hailed as ‘target killing’ of suspected militants to include children. Initial reports filed by journalists have suggested that the concept of an unmanned ‘terror-weapon’ was born and developed by the Nazi military strategists, engineers and scientists during the waning days of World War II. Designated as the ‘Buzz Bomb’ or ‘Doodlebug’ due to its unique sound when passing overhead, the V-1 flying bomb (Vergeltungswaffen) was designed for the terror bombing London. First launched in 1944, at its peak more than 100 V-1s were fired at South East London or 9,521 in total resulting in 22,982 casualties and 1,150,000 homes destroyed. The V-1 so terrorized London that American, British, and Russian agents were covertly dispatched in an effort to locate and terminate Nazi engineers and scientists responsible for the design and manufacture of this horrific weapon.
Those captured Nazi scientists responsible for the development of the V-1 who escaped the allied commando/kill-teams, and did not ultimately serve American weapons producers in their quest for high-technological terror weapons, were tried as war criminals following the conclusion of World War II. The war crimes trials were facilitated by the general public’s dramatic indignation and anger over the Nazi’s use of these terror weapons. Though the killing-technology has improved immeasurably since the guns fell silent in World War II, today’s ‘drone’ weapon was to a small degree reverse-engineered from German World War II technology.
Based on a weekly strategy meetings between President Barack Obama and his National Security Adviser John Brennan, the result of which results in a presidential finding or ‘death warrant’ directive which determines and assigns as to whom the United States alleges is a terrorist and therefore who is to die. Thus, completely lacking any semblance of due process, President Barack Obama, Constitutional scholar, lecturer and self-professed ‘champion of human rights’ has at one become judge, jury and executioner. Following the June 6th drone killing of 18 Afghans to include women and children in Logar, Afghanistan, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pilay called for an investigation of civilian casualties in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, stating that ‘serious questions about international law abound.’ At recent commencement ceremonies at Harvard Law School, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ben Emmerson said during his eulogy that ‘together with my colleague Christopher Heyms, U.N. Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, I will be launching an investigation unit within the special procedures of the U.N. Human Rights Council to inquire into individual drone attacks, and in addition, inquiries into the illegality of torture, waterboarding, multiple night-time raids on residential dwellings, and secret renditions will be investigated as well.’
Officially, the CIA insists its drone war is a state secret, yet we’re now seeing a concerted public relations effort to sanitize its dubious legality. A story in last week’s New York Times painted a remarkably detailed picture of U.S. Government’s so-called ‘targeted killing’ campaign that involves the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) to kill suspected terrorists. Public awareness and outrage has increased significantly in the wake of the New York Times article.
Robert Grenier, former CIA Station Chief in Pakistan and head of the CIA’s Counter-Terrorism-Center from 2004-2006 says the U.S. drone strike program is targeted too broadly according to an article published in the U.K.-based Guardian. Grenier said the use of drones was a valuable tool in tracking terrorism but only when used against specific targets that have been tracked and monitored to a place where a strike is feasible and does not endanger civilians. ‘We have gone a long way down the road of creating a situation where we are creating more enemies than we are removing from the battlefield. We are already there with regards to Pakistan and Afghanistan.’ CIA drones are reportedly reviving the use of highly-controversial tactics that targets rescuers and funeral-goers. On (8/4/12) U.S. drones attacked rescuers in Waziristan in Western Pakistan minutes after the initial strike killing 16 people gathered for funeral prayers of victims killed in an earlier attack. In yet another egregious example of war crimes, and the gathering storm of criticism over the drone program, note the recent retirement of Air Force official Brandon Bryant who quit his post as a Predator drone operator after he learned he was ordered to target a child in Afghanistan, “I just cannot live with this haunting situation” he said.
During a recent interview with Russia Today, and reported by The News International, World: 12/10/12, ‘Former US President Slams Drone Attacks’: Former President Jimmy Carter said: “I personally think we do more harm than good by having our drones attack some potential terrorists who have not been tried or proven that they are guilty”. He concluded by saying that “We need to back off [and] restore basic human rights as spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). There are 30 paragraphs in the UDHR and at present time, my country, the US, is violating 10 of the 30.” In agreement, a former CIA analyst, Dr. Phil Giraldi wrote “that there is considerable debate over how many of the victim were actually terrorists or insurgents, as the CIA regards any male adult killed as a terrorist unless it can be proven otherwise after the fact, but sources inside Pakistan and Afghanistan report a significant civilian death-rate”.
The indiscriminate nature of this campaign of horror is morbidly manifest between rhetorical targets as espoused by the Obama Administration and real targets. Both NATO and U.S. spokespersons deny the high number of civilian deaths connected with this campaign of horror in their respective press-releases, stating those killed as ‘terrorists, suspected terrorists, militants and or suspected militants.’ That an ineffective device is employed by the U.S. in their so-called ‘war on terror’ can be understood when it is realized that targets are often-times chosen as the result of intelligence received from traditional enemies of those selected to be inscribed on the ‘President’s Kill List.’ Elements of the Northern Alliance, for example, have religiously provided hopelessly compromised and fabricated intelligence to the Americans as a strategy to attack and kill their traditional (Pashtun) enemies. This has shown to be the case by any number of internationally acclaimed investigative-journalists.
We Americans pose under a body of law. We claim to be ‘a nation of law.’ We strive to bring ‘democracy’ to those whose inalienable rights have been jeopardized or compromised by a dictatorial, repressive government. And yet, the leader of this great society issues death warrants for those whose only crime is to gather for a rescue mission, wedding or a funeral, or the unfortunate owner of a pick-up truck being neighborly and offering his neighbors a ride to town for supplies and or food or those young boys who carry staffs as they herd their flocks of sheep and somehow convey an image of a terrorist and or militant to those sitting at their computer monitors of death! It has been said that ‘those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.’ For America, this is not ‘the way to win hearts and minds.’
The Flying Bomb War, Peter Haining, 2002
The Evolution of the Cruise Missile, Kenneth P. Werrell, 1985
The American Raj, Liberation of Domination, Resolving the Conflict between the West and the Muslim World, Eric S. Margolis, 2008
‘U.N. Special Rapporteur Lashes Obama’s Drone war’, Jason Ditz, anti-war.com, August 19, 2012: U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Ben Emerson sharply criticized the Obama Administration’s untenable and unlawful prosecution of war in Afghanistan: ‘Emerson lashed the Obama Administration for the position that it will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the drone programs, whilst allowing senior officials to give public justifications of its supposed legality in personal lectures and interviews’. Pakistan in particular has objected to the hundreds of drone strikes launched against its territory by the U.S. arguing that it ‘violates their sovereignty’ as well as undermining support for their own war against militancy. The U.S., over worldwide objections, has ruled out ending the strikes.
Pakistan Summons U.S. Envoy to Protest Drone Strikes. Weekend Strikes Target Tribesman preparing for Eid Celebration, by Jason Ditz, Anti-War.com, 8/23/12: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister has summoned a senior US diplomat to lodge a formal protest at the repeated use of CIA drones against North Waziristan Agency, saying they are a violation of national sovereignty.
‘Did We Just Kill A Kid?’ Six Words That Ended A US Drone Pilot’s Career
The moment drone operator who assassinated Afghans with the push of a button on a computer in the U.S. realized he had vaporized a child… and could not go on
Drone Operator Quits refusing to kill children.
For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn’t be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.
The container is filled with the humming of computers. It’s the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren’t flying through the air. They’re just sitting at the controls.
Bryant was one of them, and he remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.
“These moments are like in slow motion,” he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.
With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.
Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.
“Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.
“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.
“Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.
Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.
They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?
When Bryant left the container that day, he stepped directly into America: dry grasslands stretching to the horizon, fields and the smell of liquid manure. Every few seconds, a light on the radar tower at the Cannon Air Force Base flashed in the twilight. There was no war going on there.
Modern warfare is as invisible as a thought, deprived of its meaning by distance. It is no unfettered war, but one that is controlled from small high-tech centers in various places in the world. The new (way of conducting) war is supposed to be more precise than the old one, which is why some call it “more humane.” It’s the war of an intellectual, a war United States President Barack Obama has promoted more than any of his predecessors.
In a corridor at the Pentagon where the planning for this war takes place, the walls are covered with dark wood paneling. The men from the Air Force have their offices here. A painting of a Predator, a drone on canvas, hangs next to portraits of military leaders. From the military’s perspective, no other invention has been as successful in the “war on terror” in recent years as the Predator.
The US military guides its drones from seven air bases in the United States, as well as locations abroad, including one in the East African nation of Djibouti. From its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, the CIA controls operations in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
‘We Save Lives’
Colonel William Tart, a man with pale eyes and a clear image of the enemy, calls the drone a “natural extension of the distance.”
Until a few months ago, when he was promoted to head the US Air Force’s Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Task Force in Langley, Tart was a commander at the Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, near Las Vegas, where he headed drone operations. Whenever he flew drones himself, he kept a photo of his wife and three daughters pasted into the checklist next to the monitors.
He doesn’t like the word drone, because he says it implies that the vehicle has its own will or ego. He prefers to call them “remotely piloted aircraft,” and he points out that most flights are for gathering information. He talks about the use of drones on humanitarian missions after the earthquake in Haiti, and about the military successes in the war in Libya: how his team fired on a truck that was pointing rockets at Misrata, and how it chased the convoy in which former Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi and his entourage were fleeing. He describes how the soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan are constantly expressing their gratitude for the assistance from the air. “We save lives,” he says.
He doesn’t say as much about the targeted killing. He claims that during his two years as operations commander at Creech, he never saw any noncombatants die, and that the drones only fire at buildings when women and children are not in them. When asked about the chain of command, Tart mentions a 275-page document called 3-09.3. Essentially, it states that drone attacks must be approved, like any other attacks by the Air Force. An officer in the country where the operations take place has to approve them.
The use of the term “clinical war” makes him angry. It reminds him of the Vietnam veterans who accuse him of never having waded through the mud or smelled blood, and who say that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
That isn’t true, says Tart, noting that he often used the one-hour drive from work back to Las Vegas to distance himself from his job. “We watch people for months. We see them playing with their dogs or doing their laundry. We know their patterns like we know our neighbors’ patterns. We even go to their funerals.” It wasn’t always easy, he says.
One of the paradoxes of drones is that, even as they increase the distance to the target, they also create proximity. “War somehow becomes personal,” says Tart.
‘I Saw Men, Women and Children Die’
A yellow house stands on the outskirts of the small city of Missoula, Montana, against a background of mountains, forests and patches of fog. The ground is coated with the first snow of the season. Bryant, now 27, is sitting on the couch in his mother’s living room. He has since left the military and is now living back at home. He keeps his head shaved and has a three-day beard. “I haven’t been dreaming in infrared for four months,” he says with a smile, as if this were a minor victory for him.
Bryant completed 6,000 flight hours during his six years in the Air Force. “I saw men, women and children die during that time,” says Bryant. “I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn’t kill anyone at all.”
After graduating from high school, Bryant wanted to become an investigative journalist. He used to go to church on Sundays, and he had a thing for redheaded cheerleaders. By the end of his first semester at college, he had already racked up thousands of dollars in debt.
He came to the military by accident. One day, while accompanying a friend who was enlisting in the army, he heard that the Air Force had its own university, and that he could get a college education for free. Bryant did so well in tests that he was assigned to an intelligence collection unit. He learned how to control the cameras and lasers on a drone, as well as to analyze ground images, maps and weather data. He became a sensor operator, more or less the equivalent to a co-pilot.
He was 20 when he flew his first mission over Iraq. It was a hot, sunny day in Nevada, but it was dark inside the container and just before daybreak in Iraq. A group of American soldiers were on their way back to their base camp. Bryant’s job was to monitor the road, to be their “guardian angel” in the sky.
He saw an eye, a shape in the asphalt. “I knew the eye from the training,” he says. To bury an improvised explosive device in the road, the enemy combatants place a tire on the road and burn it to soften the asphalt. Afterwards it looks like an eye from above.
The soldiers’ convoy was still miles away from the eye. Bryant told his supervisor, who notified the command center. He was forced to look on for several minutes, Bryant says today, as the vehicles approached the site.
“What should we do?” he asked his coworker.”
But the pilot was also new on the job.
The soldiers on the ground couldn’t be reached by radio, because they were using a jamming transmitter. Bryant saw the first vehicle drive over the eye. Nothing happened.
Then the second vehicle drove over it. Bryant saw a flash beneath, followed by an explosion inside the vehicle.
Five American soldiers were killed.
From then on, Bryant couldn’t keep the five fellow Americans out of his thoughts. He began learning everything by heart, including the manuals for the Predator and the missiles, and he familiarized himself with every possible scenario. He was determined to be the best, so that this kind of thing would never happen again.
‘I Felt Disconnected from Humanity’
His shifts lasted up to 12 hours. The Air Force still had a shortage of personnel for its remote-controlled war over Iraq and Afghanistan. Drone pilots were seen as cowardly button-pushers. It was such an unpopular job that the military had to bring in retired personnel.
Bryant remembers the first time he fired a missile, killing two men instantly. As Bryant looked on, he could see a third man in mortal agony. The man’s leg was missing and he was holding his hands over the stump as his warm blood flowed onto the ground — for two long minutes. He cried on his way home, says Bryant, and he called his mother.
“I felt disconnected from humanity for almost a week,” he says, sitting in his favorite coffee shop in Missoula, where the smell of cinnamon and butter wafts in the air. He spends a lot of time there, watching people and reading books by Nietzsche and Mark Twain, sometimes getting up to change seats. He can’t sit in one place for very long anymore, he says. It makes him nervous.
His girlfriend broke up with him recently. She had asked him about the burden he carries, so he told her about it. But it proved to be a hardship she could neither cope with nor share.
When Bryant drives through his hometown, he wears aviator sunglasses and a Palestinian scarf. The inside of his Chrysler is covered with patches from his squadrons. On his Facebook page, he’s created a photo album of his coins, unofficial medals he was awarded. All he has is this one past. He wrestles with it, but it is also a source of pride.
When he was sent to Iraq in 2007, he posted the words “ready for action” on his profile. He was assigned to an American military base about 100 kilometers (63 miles) from Baghdad, where his job was to take off and land drones.
As soon as the drones reached flying altitude, pilots in the United States took over. The Predator can remain airborne for an entire day, but it is also slow, which is why it is stationed near the area of operation. Bryant posed for photos wearing sand-colored overalls and a bulletproof vest, leaning against a drone.
Two years later, the Air Force accepted him into a special unit, and he was transferred to the Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico. He and a fellow soldier shared a bungalow in a dusty town called Clovis, which consists mainly of trailers, gas stations and evangelical churches. Clovis is located hours away from the nearest city.
Bryant preferred night shifts, because that meant it was daytime in Afghanistan. In the spring, the landscape, with its snow-covered peaks and green valleys, reminded him of his native Montana. He saw people cultivating their fields, boys playing soccer and men hugging their wives and children.
When it got dark, Bryant switched to the infrared camera. Many Afghans sleep on the roof in the summer, because of the heat. “I saw them having sex with their wives. It’s two infrared spots becoming one,” he recalls.
He observed people for weeks, including Taliban fighters hiding weapons, and people who were on lists because the military, the intelligence agencies or local informants knew something about them.
“I got to know them. Until someone higher up in the chain of command gave me the order to shoot.” He felt remorse because of the children, whose fathers he was taking away. “They were good daddies,” he says.
In his free time, Bryant played video games or “World of Warcraft” on the Internet, or he went out drinking with the others. He can’t watch TV anymore because it is neither challenging or stimulating enough for him. He’s also having trouble sleeping these days.
‘There Was No Time for Feelings’
Major Vanessa Meyer, whose real name is covered with black tape, is giving a presentation at the Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico on the training of drone pilots. The Air Force plans to have enough personnel to cover its needs by 2013.
Meyer, 34, who is wearing lip gloss and a diamond on her finger, used to fly cargo planes before she became a drone pilot. Dressed in green Air Force overalls, she is standing in a training cockpit and, using a simulator to demonstrate how a drone is guided over Afghanistan. The crosshair on the monitor follows a white car until it reaches a group of mud huts. One uses the joystick to determine the drone’s direction, and the left hand is used to operate the lever that slows down or accelerates the unmanned aircraft. On an airfield behind the container, Meyer shows us the Predator, slim and shiny, and its big brother, the Reaper, which carries four missiles and a bomb. “Great planes,” she says. “They just don’t work in bad weather.”
Meyer flew drones at Creech, the air base near Las Vegas, where young men drive in and out in sports cars and mountain chains stretch across the desert like giant reptiles. Describing his time as a drone pilot in Nevada, Colonel Matt Martin wrote in his book “Predator” that, “Sometimes I felt like God hurling thunderbolts from afar.” Meyer had her first child when she was working there. She was still sitting in the cockpit, her stomach pressing up against the keyboard, in her ninth month of pregnancy.
“There was no time for feelings” when she was preparing for an attack, she says today. Of course, she says, she felt her heart beating faster and the adrenaline rushing through her body. But then she adhered strictly to the rules and focused on positioning the aircraft. “When the decision had been made, and they saw that this was an enemy, a hostile person, a legal target that was worthy of being destroyed, I had no problem with taking the shot.”
After work, she would drive home along US Highway 85 into Las Vegas, listening to country music and passing peace activists without looking at them. She rarely thought about what happened in the cockpit. But sometimes she would review the individual steps in her head, hoping to improve her performance.
Or she would go shopping. It felt strange to her, sometimes, when the woman at the register would ask: “How’s it going?” She would answer: “I’m good. How are you? Have a nice day.” When she felt restless she would go for a run. She says that being able to help the boys on the ground motivated her to get up every morning.
There was no room for the evils of the world in Meyer’s home. She and her husband, a drone pilot, didn’t talk about work. She would put on her pajamas and watch cartoons on TV or play with the baby.
Today Meyer has two small children. She wants to show them “that mommy can get to work and do a good job.” She doesn’t want to be like the women in Afghanistan she watched — submissive and covered from head to toe. “The women there are no warriors,” she says. Meyer says that he current job as a trainer is very satisfying but that, one day, she would like to return to combat duty.
‘I Can’t Just Switch Back and Go Back to Normal Life’
At some point, Brandon Bryant just wanted to get out and do something else. He spent a few more months overseas, this time in Afghanistan. But then, when he returned to New Mexico, he found that he suddenly hated the cockpit, which smelled of sweat. He began spraying air freshener to get rid of the stench. He also found he wanted to do something that saved lives rather than took them away. He thought working as a survival trainer might fit the bill, although his friends tried to dissuade him.
The program that he then began working on in his bungalow in Clovis every day was called Power 90 Extreme, a boot camp-style fitness regimen. It included dumbbell training, push-ups, chin-ups and sit-ups. He also lifted weights almost every day.
On uneventful days in the cockpit, he would write in his diary, jotting down lines like: “On the battlefield there are no sides, just bloodshed. Total war. Every horror witnessed. I wish my eyes would rot.”
If he could just get into good enough shape, he thought to himself, they would let him do something different. The problem was that he was pretty good at his job.
At some point he no longer enjoyed seeing his friends. He met a girl, but she complained about his bad moods. “I can’t just switch and go back to normal life,” he told her. When he came home and couldn’t sleep, he would exercise instead. He began talking back to his superior officers.
One day he collapsed at work, doubling over and spitting blood. The doctor told him to stay home, and ordered him not to return to work until he could sleep more than four hours a night for two weeks in a row.
“Half a year later, I was back in the cockpit, flying drones,” says Bryant, sitting in his mother’s living room in Missoula. His dog whimpers and lays its head on his cheek. He can’t get to his own furniture at the moment. It’s in storage, and he doesn’t have the money to pay the bill. All he has left is his computer.
Bryant posted a drawing on Facebook the night before our interview. It depicts a couple standing, hand-in-hand, in a green meadow, looking up at the sky. A child and a dog are sitting on the ground next to them. But the meadow is just a part of the world. Beneath it is a sea of dying soldiers, propping themselves up with their last bit of strength, a sea of bodies, blood and limbs.
Doctors at the Veterans’ Administration diagnosed Bryant with post-traumatic stress disorder. General hopes for a comfortable war — one that could be completed without emotional wounds — haven’t been fulfilled. Indeed, Bryan’s world has melded with that of the child in Afghanistan. It’s like a short circuit in the brain of the drones.
Why isn’t he with the Air Force anymore? There was one day, he says, when he knew that he wouldn’t sign the next contract. It was the day Bryant walked into the cockpit and heard himself saying to his coworkers: “Hey, what motherfucker is going to die today?”
Between June 2004 and September 2012, the CIA and the military opted for drone attack 344 times, 52 under George W. Bush and 292 times under Barack Obama. Up to September of 2012, between 2562 and 3325 people were killed in Pakistan alone in the drone attacks. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an NGO, estimates there were between 474-881 civilian casualties in these attacks. The variation in the estimate is due to the fact that the US Government does not comment on drone attacks. The NOG has to rely on media reports and eyewitness accounts for information’. The US has used drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Mexico to collect intelligence and to kill alleged terrorists and combatants. The US, however is not at war with Mexico, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia or Libya, yet is, in total disregard for a nation’s sovereignty and international law, engaged in attacking these nations with unmanned drones. But it is not just the US, but also America’s “allies’ Israel, Great Britain and Russia who deploy these indiscriminate killer-drones.
The “Bomber in Chief” first term as president, there were 20,000 airstrikes launched against Afghanistan, a nation that had not attacked the United States nor played any role in 9/11, and a nation that Congress had not declared war.
“The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining super capitalism and Communism under the same tent, all under their control…. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.” ~ Congressman Larry P. McDonald, 1976, killed in the Korean Airlines 747 that was shot down by the Soviets
Eric Holder is NOT to be trusted!
Attorney General Eric Holder laid out in greater detail than ever before the legal theory behind the administration’s belief that it can kill American citizens “suspected of terrorism” without charge or trial. In the 5,000-word speech, the nation’s top law enforcement official directly confronted critics who allege that the targeted killing of American citizens violates the Constitution.
“‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security.” Holder said. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”
Who decides when an American citizen has had enough due process and the Hellfire missile fairy pays them a visit? Presumably the group of top national security officials—that, according to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, decides who is targetable and forwards its findings to the president, who gives final approval.
“Neither Congress nor our federal courts has limited the geographic scope of our ability to use force to the current conflict in Afghanistan,” Holder said. “We are at war with a stateless enemy, prone to shifting operations from country to country.”
Holder’s speech did outline some concrete limits to when the US government is allowed to target its own citizens. The target has to pose an “imminent threat of violent attack” to the US and be beyond the ability of American authorities to capture, and the strike can’t violate international standards governing the use of force by killing too many civilians or noncombatants.
But don’t assume that when Holder says “imminent threat of violent attack,” he means that you’re actually part of a specific plot threatening American lives. “The Constitution does not require the president to delay action until some theoretical end stage of planning when the precise time, place, and manner of an attack become clear,” Holder said. That would introduce an “unacceptably high risk of failure.” When he refers to “failure,” Holder presumably means failing to kill the target before the attack or plan for an attack materializes, not the possibility that the government might accidentally kill an innocent person.
If the standards for when the government can send a deadly flying robot to vaporize you sound a bit subjective, that’s because they are. Holder made clear that decisions about which citizens the government can kill are the exclusive province of the executive branch, because only the executive branch possess the “expertise and immediate access to information” to make these life-and-death judgments.
Holder argues that “robust oversight” is provided by Congress, but that “oversight” actually amounts to members of the relevant congressional committees being briefed. Press reports suggest this can simply amount to a curt fax to intelligence committees notifying them after the fact that an American has been added to a “kill list.” It also seems like it would be difficult for Congress to provide “robust oversight” of the targeted killing program when intelligence committee members like Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are still demanding to see the actual legal memo justifying the policy.
Both supporters and opponents of the administration’s targeted killing policy offered praise for the decision to give the speech. They diverged, however, when it came to the legal substance. ”It’s essential that if we’re going to be doing these things, our top national security and legal officials explain why it’s legal under international and constitutional law,” said Benjamin Wittes, a legal scholar with the Brookings Institution, who said he thought the speech fulfilled that obligation. “I think [the administration] is right as a matter of law.”
The question is no longer an abstract one. In September, radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen alongside fellow American Samir Khan. Awlaki and Khan produced the English-language extremist publication Inspire, but until the sentencing of underwear bomber Umar Abdulmutallab, the US government provided little evidence they were much more than propagandists. Awlaki’s son, Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, was killed about a month later.
These deaths and those to come, Holder insisted, “do not represent a violation of America’s founding principles. This is an indicator of our times,” Holder said, “not a departure from our laws and our values.”
Maybe it’s both.
A Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices.
“The condition that an operational leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.
Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”
“This is a chilling document,” said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU, which is suing to obtain administration memos about the targeted killing of Americans. “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. … It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.”
White House: No more information about drone killings will be released to public
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that the Obama administration will not be releasing any more information about the controversial use of drones to kill American citizens.
Carney’s remarks, via the White House’s transcript of the off-camera press gaggle:
“This is not an open-ended process. This is a specific and unique accommodation in this circumstance. The fact is, when it comes to public disclosure, we have been — not with the kind of attention that’s been given it this week — but we have been publicly discussing these matters at the highest levels of government for the very reason that I’ve given, which is the President understands that these are core issues about how we conduct ourselves in war, how the President of the United States — any President — balances his constitutional obligation to protect America and American citizens, and his obligation to do so in a manner that is lawful under the Constitution and reflects our values.
Obama and Brennan didn’t inherit a program of targeted killing with fuzzy criteria and shifting procedures, they were brilliant crated for it. They choose who and when the United States will carry out targeted killings —“rules of the road,” as one White House official put it. Their partnership—arguably unique in the annals of American war—recently culminated in the production of a highly classified document known as “the playbook,” which Obama hopes will guide his administration as well as those of future presidents. The advent of the playbook was a signal development in the 12-year-old war on terror. But it was a long, arduous road for the two men to get to this point—one that reveals much about Brennan’s worldview and about how he might run the CIA.
The subjects covered in the “playbook,” which would cover drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere, include “the legal principles that govern when U.S. citizens can be targeted overseas and the sequence of approvals required when the CIA or U.S. military conducts drone strikes outside war zones.”
But the numbers of drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia pale in comparison to the CIA’s strikes in Pakistan. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which closely tracks the drone program, the Obama administration carried out 300 strikes in Pakistan during his first term. Given the fact that drone strikes in Yemen from 2002-2013 were carried out about 50 times, it’s clear that Pakistan is the epicenter of the campaign. The strikes in Pakistan carried out by the Obama administration have killed 2,152 people, including 290 civilians, leading to immense anger at the U.S. and the president. Islamists trying to carry out attacks on the United States have cited drone strikes as a core motivation.
The “playbook” for drone strikes was reportedly developed by John Brennan, Chief of torture and the current high-level counterterror adviser in the Obama administration who is about to leave to be chief of the CIA. While news reports say that Brennan has been in the lead in pushing for a codification of rules for drone strikes that would impose “stringent rules,” it is Brennan who has presided over the massive expansion of drone strikes during the Obama administration.
Kill List Exposed: Leaked Obama Memo Shows Assassination of U.S. Citizens “Has No Geographic Limit”
The Obama administration’s internal legal justification for assassinating U.S. citizens without charge has been revealed for the first time. In a secret Justice Department memo, the administration claims it has legal authority to assassinate U.S. citizens overseas even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the United States. We’re joined by Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. “If you look at the memo … there’s no geographic line,” says Jaffer. “The Obama administration is making, in some ways, a greater claim of authority [than President Bush]. They’re arguing that the authority to kill American citizens has no geographic limit.”
The document obtained by NBC News is described as a “white memo” that was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees as a summary of a classified memo prepared by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. Last month, a federal judge denied a request by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times for the Justice Department to disclose its legal justification for the targeted killing of Americans.
The Obama administration’s secrecy around the drone program is expected to be a top issue at this week’s confirmation hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be director of the CIA. Brennan has been dubbed by critics to be Obama’s “assassination czar.”
It’s a very significant document, and it’s a remarkable document, and it’s something that everybody really ought to read, in the same way that everybody ought to read the torture memos from the last administration. It sets out, or professes to set out, the power that the government has to carry out the targeted killing of American citizens who are located far away from any battlefield, even when they have not been charged with a crime, even when they do not present any imminent threat in any ordinary meaning of that word. So it’s a pretty sweeping power that’s been set out. And the memo purports to provide a legal justification for that power and explain why the limits on that power can’t be enforced in any court.
The ACLU brought the case on behalf of Nasser Al-Aulaqi, whose U.S. citizen son, Anwar Al-Aulaqi, has been put on a secret hit list by the government. The judge’s decision emphasized that the case raises critically important questions, including whether “the Executive [can] order the assassination of a U.S. citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization.” The court nevertheless dismissed the case on the basis of “standing” — ruling that Nasser Al-Aulaqi does not have the right to represent the interests of his son — and on the grounds that the case raises “political questions” that are not subject to judicial review. He did not rule on the merits of the case.
In a statement, Hina Shamsi , director of the ACLU’s national security project, called the authority described in the speech “chilling.” She urged the administration to release the Justice Department legal memo justifying the targeted killing program.
A central premise of the case is that in our constitutional system of checks and balances, courts have a critical oversight role to play when the executive branch claims the authority — as both the Bush and Obama administrations have done — to kill people far from any battlefield, based on secret criteria. In rejecting that premise, the court has effectively granted the president the unreviewable authority to order the targeted killing of any American, anywhere, based on a unilateral determination that the person is a threat. No president should have that power. But the court’s decision would grant that authority in all future cases, to all future presidents. (And with America’s example to follow, will other countries be far behind?)
While the president’s claims of unilateral authority to conduct targeted killing are extraordinary, the relief the ACLU sought is not. They did not ask the court to rule that targeted killings are per se illegal, nor did they ask the judge to second-guess battlefield decisions. They acknowledged that there are exceptional circumstances — as a last resort, when a threat is imminent and there is no reasonable alternative — in which the government can legally use lethal force without prior judicial process. But because the government has turned these exceptional circumstances into policy with its targeted killing program, they asked the court to order that outside the context of armed conflict, the government can carry out the targeted killing of an American citizen only as a last resort to address an imminent threat to life or physical safety.
The ACLU also asked courts to determine — after the fact — whether the government is actually complying with that standard. Otherwise, the government’s targeted killing program amounts to the imposition of a death sentence against a mere suspect, without charge, trial or any other independent check against mistakes. Unfortunately, after their decision, that is what we’re left with. It is hard to imagine a decision more damaging to American citizens’ liberty and the rule of law.
Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Council also intends to investigate America’s drone war. In 2013, the controversy and opposition is only going to grow.
FAA Releases New Drone List—Is Your Town on the Map?
View EFF’s updated Map of Domestic Drone Authorizations in a larger window. (Clicking this link will serve content from Google.)
The Federal Aviation Administration has finally released a new drone authorization list. This list, released in response to EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, includes law enforcement agencies and universities across the country, and—for the first time—an Indian tribal agency. In all, the list includes more than 20 new entities over the FAA’s original list, bringing to 81 the total number of public entities that have applied for FAA drone authorizations through October 2012.
Some of these new drone license applicants include:
- The State Department
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego, California)
- Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho)
- Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon)
- Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota)
- King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle, Washington)
And several new entities in Ohio, including:
- Medina County Sheriff’s Office
- Ohio Department of Transportation
- Sinclair Community College
- Lorain County Community College
The list comes amid extensive controversy over a newly-released memo documenting the CIA’s policy on the targeted killing of American citizens and on the heels of news that Charlottesville, Virginia has just become one of the first cities in the country to ban drones. This new list should contribute to the debate over whether using domestic drones for surveillance is consistent with the Constitution and with American values.
As we’ve written in the past, drone use in the United States implicates serious privacy and civil liberties concerns. Although drones can be used for neutral, or even for positive purposes, drones are also capable of highly advanced and, in some cases, almost constant surveillance, and they can amass large amounts of data. Even the smallest drones can carry a host of surveillance equipment, from video cameras and thermal imaging to GPS tracking and cellphone eavesdropping tools. They can also be equipped with advanced forms of radar detection, license plate cameras, and facial recognition. And, as recent reporting from PBS and Slate shows, surveillance tools, like the military’s development of gigapixel technology capable of “tracking people and vehicles across an entire city,” are improving rapidly.
EFF hopes this list will spur more people to ask their local law enforcement agencies about their drone programs. EFF has partnered with MuckRock to make it easier to ask for and disseminate this information. We also encourage people to ask hard questions of government officials about who is funding drone development in their communities and what policies the government will demand agencies follow if they fly drones. We need greater transparency and citizen push-back to protect Americans from privacy-invasive domestic drone use.
You can find the new list here.
1 Arlington Police Department (Texas)
2 Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (California)
3 California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection
4 California State University, Fresno
5 Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho)
6 City of Herington (Kansas)
7 City of Houston, TX Police Department
8 City of North Little Rock, AR ‐ Police Department
9 Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Oregon)
10 Cornell University
11 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
12 Department of Energy ‐ Oak Ridge National Laboratory
13 Department of Homeland Security ‐ Science and Technology
14 Department of Homeland Security ‐ Customs and Border Protection
15 Department of the Interior ‐ National Business Center/Aviation Management Directorate
16 Eastern Gateway Community College
17 Federal Bureau of Investigation
18 Gadsden Police Department (Alabama)
19 Georgia Tech Police Department, Office of Emergency Preparedness
20 Georgia Tech Research Institute
21 Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota)
22 Hays County Emergency Service Office (Texas)
23 Indiana State University
24 Kansas State University
25 King County Sheriff’s Office (Washington)
26 Lorain County Community College
27 Medina County Sheriff Office (Ohio)
28 Mesa County Sheriff’s Office (Colorado)
29 Miami‐Dade Police Department (Florida)
30 Middle Georgia College
31 Middle Tennessee State University
32 Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
33 Mississippi State University
34 Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office (Texas)
35 National Aeronautics & Space Administration
36 National Institute of Standards and Technology
37 National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
38 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
39 New Mexico State University ‐ Physical Science Laboratory
40 Nicholls State University
41 Northwestern Michigan College
42 Ogden Police Department (Utah)
43 Ohio Department of Transportation
44 Ohio University
45 Orange County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)
46 Oregon State University
47 Otter Tail County (Minnesota)
48 Pennsylvania State University
49 Polk County Sheriff’s Office (Florida)
50 Seattle Police Department (Washington)
51 Sinclair Community College
52 Texas A&M University (TAMU) ‐ Corpus Christi
53 Texas A&M University (TAMU) ‐ Texas Engineering Experiment Station
54 Texas Department of Public Safety
55 Texas State University
56 U.S. Air Force
57 U.S. Army
58 U.S. Department of Agriculture – Agriculture Research Service
59 U.S. Department of Agriculture ‐ Forest Service
60 U.S. Department of Energy ‐ Idaho National Laboratory
61 U.S. Department of Energy ‐ National Energy Technology Laboratory
62 U.S. Department of Justice ‐ Queen Anne’s County Office of the Sheriff
63 U.S. Department of State
64 U.S. Marine Corps
65 U.S. Navy
66 University of Alaska, Fairbanks
67 University of Arizona
68 University of California, Davis
69 University of California, Merced
70 University of Colorado, Boulder
71 University of Connecticut
72 University of Florida
73 University of Michigan
74 University of North Dakota
75 University of Oklahoma
76 University of Wisconsin
77 Utah State University
78 Virginia Commonwealth University
79 Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
80 Washington State Department of Transportation
81 West Virginia University
More on targeted Killings -
How Obama Decides to Kill American Citizens in the War on Terror: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/02/take-rare-look-how-obama-decides-send-drones-kill-americans/61794/
Leaked Obama’s Rules for Assassinating American Citizens: http://reason.com/blog/2013/02/04/someone-just-leaked-obamas-rules-for-ass
There’s information coming in daily. Stay tuned.