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Sunday, March 25, 2018

OMNI DRONE NEWSLETTER #22


OMNI
DRONE/ASSASSINATION NEWSLETTER # 22, March 25, 2018
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.

Contents of Drone/Assassination Newsletter #22
Newspaper Reports on the 188th ANG USAF Drone Base at Ft. Smith
2016 NADG Newspaper Report  Read by Dick Bennett
2018 New Operations Construction Begins
Organizations Opposed to Drones
Veterans for Peace
  Nick Mottern’s 2 Newsletters
     Know Drones
      Drone Organizers Bulletin
Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare
World Beyond War
The Nuclear Resister
BOOK
Cohn, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues
FILMS
Interfaith Network’s Shortened Versions of 3 Films:  DRONE, NATIONAL BIRD, and UNMANNED, and two films about ethics, religion, and drones.  https://www.interfaithdronenetwork.org/
INDIVIDUAL PROTESTERS:  WHISTLEBLOWER
Cian Westmoreland
US Drones Around the World
Somalia
Ramstein
Contents #21




TEXTS
NEWS OF DRONE BASE AT FT SMITH, ARKANSAS
(see earlier newsletters)
DICK’S ANALYSIS OF REPORT ON REAPERS IN FORT SMITH  
Eric Besson.    ”Base’s Fighter Pilots Work in Office.  Fort Smith’s Ebbing Allows Peek at MQ-9 Reaper Mission.”  Ark. Democrat-Gazette (Sept. 30, 2016).
The 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard officially transitioned from fighter planes to the MQ-9 Reaper drones on August 1, 2016.  The planes were the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs nicknamed the “Warthogs.”   The transition began  in January 2015.   
The commander of the 188th is Col. Bobbi Doorenbos.

Dick’s comments on passages of this report.        The ADG  is one of the nation’s warrior mainstream media.

“…drones, missile-carrying aircraft that can surveil and destroy the nation’s enemies.”   Of the 9 nations the US currently bombs which are our enemies?  Why are they our enemies?   If rather, they are our political opponents, what makes it legal or right to bomb them?  “…destroy the nation’s enemies”?  Who designates them as enemies to be killed?   Have they been indicted, tried, and convicted before being sentenced to death.  These are individuals accused of a crime and without any due process are killed.  Doesn’t that sound like murder?
What is the public reaction to the transition from conventional to unmanned aircraft?
“News of the transition shocked Fort Smith…some in the community feared the base…would be diminished or closed….Employment has remained steady.”   Is employment the only concern by the people of Ft. Smith?  Or did the reporter simply fail to ask the right questions?    Here’s a rich subject begging to be followed up, because it gives a demeaning, mercenary picture of the city.  Col. Doorenbos is reassuring:  The base is filling 148 openings, including “three dozen intelligence analysts and two dozen Reaper pilots.” 
Why are past missions kept secret? 
      We are told that this “type of aircraft” is flown “against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria” and in other countries.  “Officials declined to say where the aircraft controlled from Fort Smith have flown and how many missiles have been remotely fired from the base since it became operational.”  Why is the information secret?   How can such information jeopardize the 188th’s mission or the security of the US? 
Why are the facts of the Reaper attacks undisclosed?
    We are told that “Right now we do 24/7 combat missions every day.”  And the reporter Eric Besson quotes from the Air Force Times (March 2016) the percentage of Reaper flights in all Air force missions against ISIS.  And “according to the Department of Defense”  the total number of “strikes in Iraq and Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.”  But not the statistics for the base that would assist reporters in assessing the Pentagon data on combatants and civilians killed, which is not reliable. The facts, the details also might disturb some Ft. Smith citizens and cause them to start asking questions, like how many civilians did you kill today? 
     Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, commander of the state’s Air and Army National Guard said: the 188th is “flying on a day-to-day basis. . .in different theaters in the world to provide for the safety and security of all citizens of the United States.”  This conditioning assertion is said a thousand times a day by the Pentagon and the victims of its propaganda.   If the drones were closed down today, how would the safety and security of the citizens be diminished?   We citizens are paying billions not only for these drones, but for our brains to be numbed and dummed by all the Generals and all of their subordinates, and the members of Congress, all paid well by the military industry and the taxpayers, while we bomb 9 countries lawlessly.  Mr. Besson of course doesn’t ask these questions, because he marches lockstep just as the Lockheed-Martin and the Secretary of War have trained him to.  
Cost of the aircraft
      Drones are cheap compared to fighter planes, but still exhorbitantly expensive, “an unbelievably profitable business,” according to the film Drone.     Take the new operations center, which would enable two flights a day.  Col. Doorenbos said it would cost $15.9 million.  But of course that means jobs at Ft. Smith. 
Not drones
     She does offer some wake-up by insisting on calling the aircraft “remotely piloted.”  Not drones, not unmanned.  Our pilots fly the Reaper, our pilots drop the bombs.    Perhaps a dozen humans are “in the loop for everything that aircraft does.”  And what it does is gather intelligence and drop missiles on “enemies.”  Each Reaper “can carry up to four Hellfire missiles.”   (Look them up on your computer to see what they can do for hellfire!)  
Moral injury
     That means it’s not an easy job, but rather “challenging for folks,”  causing some pilots and family members to experience PTSD (although the Col. doesn’t say that).   Recognizing the potential emotional consequences, “Ebbing keeps a full-time chaplain and director of psychological health on staff and offers support to spouses and families,” Col. Doorenbos said.  Fortunately, the Hellfire missiles “are known for their precision” and another officer, Col. Dodroe, said the remotely piloted aircraft are used for surveillance “95% of the time.”  So moral injury is kept to a minimum.  (Look that up too beginning with scruples.)
     So what might a perverse critical thinker conclude from this newspaper report?   One: the Air Force public relations team which named the aircraft  Reaper blundered, if it wished to cover up civilian killings, for the title evokes a reaping machine that does not discriminate, or the Grim Reaper, Death, often personified as a shrouded skeleton bearing an also undiscriminating scythe.  Two: secrecy, job anxiety, fear-mongering, threat propaganda, and the promise of safety and security from “enemies,” maintain a docile public.  Three: the newspaper is part of the public relations branch of the US Empire.   

Building on Guard site starts

Project to house 3 wing missions

Posted: February 14, 2018 at 1:01 a.m.
·          
FORT SMITH -- The Arkansas Air National Guard broke ground Tuesday on construction of a 40,000-square-foot building that will put all three of the 188th Wing's major missions under one roof.
In a ceremony at Ebbing Air National Guard Base, the 188th's commander, Col. Robert Kinney, said the $14.2 million building that will house the wing's remotely piloted aircraft, distributed ground station and intelligence surveillance reconnaissance missions in one structure is expected to be completed in 2020.
"Upon completion, this Razorback Operation Center, as this facility will be known, will be the only facility in the world which will house all three mission sets," Kinney told the crowd of about 100 military officials, congressional representatives, community leaders and airmen.
Among those present Tuesday were Arkansas Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Mark Berry, Arkansas Air Guard Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Joe Wilson, Col. [Ret.] Steve Eggensperger representing Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and Fort Smith Mayor Sandy Sanders.
Berry said he believed the 188th's missions were important in maintaining the nation's national security, an asset that will employ many airmen and guarantee the long-term survival of the Arkansas National Guard.
Combining the three missions under one roof, Kinney said, will lead to innovations, efficiencies and synergies that will help operators and analysts collaborate to solve problems in carrying out their missions around the world.
"This just didn't happen," Sanders said. "It took a lot of support from the governor's office, the congressional delegation, and it demonstrates the confidence in the leadership of the 188th."
The 188th's missions are more important today given the complicated world for the military to navigate. Kinney said the newly released National Defense Strategy, among other things, refocuses attention on strategic competitors Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and transnational groups such as ISIS and al-Qaida.
They will challenge the United States, short of armed conflict, he said, and blur the lines between civil and military force.
"We here at the 188th are primarily focused day to day on the counter-insurgency fight," he said. "In parallel, we will continue to prepare for the strategic fight as the National Defense Strategy provides."
The 188th took on the new missions after losing its long-held flying mission in 2014 when the wing's A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, nicknamed the Warthogs, were reassigned.
Kinney said the wing was put on a tight schedule to transition to the new missions, completing six years of hiring in six months and training more than 500 personnel in two years.
The remotely piloted aircraft mission moved into a 5,000-square-foot classified facility where combat missions took place around the clock. The distributed ground station targeting mission is in a 3,500-square-foot classified space. A renovated 20,000-square-foot operations space houses the intelligence surveillance reconnaissance group headquarters.
Putting those missions into action was accomplished in three years, Kinney said.
"We do support combat and command requirements 24/7/365 around the world," Kinney said. "I can't talk about where those are, but we certainly have that capability."
NW News on 02/14/2018


ORGANIZATION’S OPPOSED TO DRONES
VETERANS FOR PEACE
MIKE MOTTERN’S TWO NEWSLETTERS
Our mailing address is: 
Nick Mottern
Knowdrones.com is intended to provide basic information about the use of killer drones and to encourage an international ban on attack drones.

The Drone Organizers Bulletin is intended to provide anti-drone war organizers with breaking developments and analysis with respect to the U.S. drone war and actions by organizers in the U.S. and other parts of the world to stop drone attacks and win an international ban on attack drones.

KNOW DRONES
https://www.knowdrones.com/
You may be coming to this website not knowing much about drone war. Or you may be a drone operator and know a great deal. Whatever your knowledge or experience, we hope that what you find here will help you understand that drone war – intensive, long-term aerial surveillance and killing by the military or police - is ...
Who We Are. ... also written about the financiers of the U.S. drone ...
In the face of the blackout in the Presidential campaigns of any ...
About; Our Mission · What We Do · Who We Are. KnowDrones ...
A stark example is the drone killing in Afghanistan in April 2011of ...
WHAT YOU CAN DO. 1. Contact your U.S. senator and member ...
DRONE WAR BASICS. ... This is a gross underestimate of U.S ...

DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN
DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – SPECIAL – September 26, 2017
Nick Mottern 9-27-17  via mail74.atl11.rsgsv.net 
9:46 PM (13 hours ago)
PLEASE PROTEST THE AFGHANISTAN WAR AND DRONE WAR OCT. 2 – 8.
October 7, 2017 is the 16th anniversary of the first U.S. drone attack ever, occurring in Afghanistan and coming one day after the U.S. invasion of that country. 
[Continue reading...]

7 ARRESTED AT HANCOCK “RICH MAN’S WAR; POOR PEOPLES’ BLOOD” PROTEST
Here is a press release announcing a very original protest, and attendant arrests, at Hancock Air National Guard base on September 25, 2017: 
[Continue reading...]

GERMAN PRESS IGNORES MASSIVE ANTI-DRONE WAR PROTEST; ITALIANS MOBILIZING
Elsa Rassbach, CODEPINK Germany, reports that a former editor of the leading German television prime time news program has filed a public complaint against the broadcaster ARD for deliberate “concealment” of a important news story: 
[Continue reading...]


 DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – SPECIAL – October 3, 2017
Nick Mottern via gmail.mcsv.net 
10-4-17
9:08 PM (13 hours ago)
to me

CODEPINK DRONE RESISTANCE WEEK at Creech Air Force Base
This is part of an international unified protest, calling for Global Action Against (Foreign) Military Bases and US Global Militarization in the month of October, called "It’s Time to Resist.” This is the first annual global day of action, to build a unified front against US foreign military bases and military aggression around the world. 95% of all the world’s foreign base are U.S. bases. Activists from countries in Italy, Germany, Afghanistan, the Philippines, and elsewhere will be participating in this months unified call to action in their own countries to protest the global military expansion of U.S. bases on their soil, against the will of the local people and in violation of their sovereign rights. October 7th is the focal point to draw attention to the 16 anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.
IT'S TIME TO RESIST | Global day of action
This event is also part of another international call for to protest militarization in space, called, “Keep Space for Peace.” High tech US killer drones operated from Creech AFB are the main weapon of choice in the rapidly expanding so-called "cyber wars" propagated by the U.S. globally. “The terms Cyber Wars and Drone Wars, are serious misnomers," says organizer Toby Blomé. "This is not warfare at all. There is no battlefield. People and their friends and families are being killed while sleeping in their beds , while eating their meals, and while attending schools, mosques, wedding parties and funerals. Just as the victims of the Mandalay Bay's mass shooting on Oct. 1 had no warning of the terror that was going to reign down on them, so is the unannounced terror of US drone missiles and bombs. This is just cold-blooded murder.”
When: October 5-11, Twice Daily Vigils: 6-8am and 3-5 pm,
Where: At southeastern gate of Creech Air Force Base, State Hwy 95, Indian Springs, Nevada, as hundreds of airmen enter and exit the base daily during commute hrs. Creech is a major control center for US remote targeted killing by armed drones, including the Predator and Reaper drones. Thousands of innocent children have been killed by these drones.
What: Anti-drone activists will be converging from multiple states, as far away as Indiana, Arizona, California and Hawaii, to participate in a week long protest. Members participating include: CODEPINK, Women for Peace; Veterans for Peace and others. A direct action, where some activists will risk arrest to protest the war crimes of drone killing committed at Creech AFB will occur later in the week; Details to be announced later. Note: A Saturday action in Las Vegas is being planned that will tie in the terror of the Mandalay Bay mass shooting with the terror of ceaseless US Global Militarization. Details to be announced later.
Details of Vigil Themes:
Thurs. (10/5) AM: SHUT DOWN CREECH….STOP KILLER DRONES. Protestors will demand base conversion to a facility that serves people and supports human needs. Put an end to cyber warfare! Opening Day for a week of protest at Creech AFB, in participation of a global call to Action Against (Foreign) Military Bases:
IT'S TIME TO RESIST | Global day of action
Large banner: Stop Global Domination: No Foreign Bases, No Drone Bases!
Activists will begin to set up: "Victims of Terror" Altar: Victims of Mandalay Bay, and Victims of US bombs and Drone missiles will be memorialized in a public altar at the base entrance. “We mourn for victims of all forms of terrorism."
Thurs.(10/5) PM (and Tues. am): Honoring Other Countries and their People that the US is bombing by displaying flags from each of the nations. Specific countries include: Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya and Somalia. Some protestors will be wearing ethnic dress from these countries. Messages: "END ENDLESS WAR", "Respect National Sovereignty”, "Occupation is a Crime."
Friday (10/6) AM: Drone strike on Wedding Party. Re-enactment of wedding party drone attack at the base entrance. In the last 16 years the US has bombed numerous wedding parties, many by US drone missiles. To include a public reading of the details and tragic stories of the many wedding parties attacked by the US, to commemorate the victims and their loved ones that have been killed. Theme: END THE TERROR OF DRONE KILLING AND ENDLESS WARS. END the War in Afghanistan. 16 years too long! Chant: From "Mandalay Bay to Afghanistan, Stop the terror,
Take A Stand!" Friday PM: End the War in Afghanistan! 16 Years too long! Troops Home NOW! End the war and occupation on one of the very poorest countries of the world. US bombs and drone missiles have killed tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan. NO MORE TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME!
Saturday, October 7: Action in Las Vegas, details to be announced later. Activists will tie in the tragic act of violence and terror at the Mandalay Bay with the persistent and ceaseless violence and terror of US drone killing and endless wars. A handout will be available highlighting the similarities and differences between the Mandalay Bay mass shooting with the mass killings from US drone missiles and bombs…..but emphasis will be on the "ambiance of “terror” that embraces both. An altar for the victims of both will be displayed.
Mon. (10/9) AM: Funeral Procession with coffins to mourn the deaths of victims of US bombs. Procession along highway 95 at the entrance to Creech: Dressed in black, with white masks, carrying coffins with labels of each of the 7 + countries the US is bombing. "Victims of Terror" Altar: Victims of Mandalay Bay, and Victims of US bombs and Drone missiles will be memorialized in a public altar at the base entrance. “We mourn for victims of all forms of terrorism.” A handout will be available highlighting the differences and similarities between the terror of US drone attacks and bombing and the terror caused by mass shooting like Mandalay Bay that is so prevalent in US society.
Mon. PM: #ENOUGH! Support Afghan Peace Volunteers Activists to wear white clothing, with blue scarves to honor and support the many years of work the youth of Afghanistan have done to bring peace to their poor nation and to promote world peace. Their campaign here: http://ourjourneytosmile.com/blog/enough/
Tues. (10/10) AM: "DRONES ARE….” (Messages will include: Drone Warfare is Terrorism, Drone Strikes are War Crimes, Drones Make Enemies)
Tues. pm: Repeat: Honoring Other Countries and their People, that the US is bombing by displaying flags from each of the nations. (See Thurs., Oct. 5, am)
Wed. am: To Be Determined.
Wed. (10/11) PM: Last Splash: "MAKE JOY NOT WAR!" (Weds. afternoon…our last goodbye vigil) Colorful Chinese Ribbon Dancing on Wed. afternoon. Wearing colorful clothing, and using attractive and flowing colorful ribbons, and a positive message, activists will encourage Creech airmen to consider joining them on the side of peace, and for the Good of All.

DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN – SPECIAL – DECEMBER 2, 2017
Nick Mottern  12-2-17    via gmail.mcsv.net 
3:00 PM (29 minutes ago)
to me
DRONES AGAIN ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF A NEO-COLONIAL WAR – IN NIGER
Amid the national clamor of shame over the Trump tax bill and Russiagate, the Pentagon just announced that the human-rights oppressor government of Niger is now going to allow the U.S. to undertake drone murder in its country, a step that may have implications far more serious than the tax rip-off or whether Trump goes to jail. 
[Continue reading...]

KILLER DRONES DESTROY THE ENVIRONMENT … AND MUCH, MUCH MORE ON THEIR IMPACT
Thanks to Nydia Leaf, a long-time anti-drone warrior with the Granny Peace Brigade in New York City, for sending this remarkable reporting that focuses on the environmental destruction that may be traced uniquely to drone war as well as war in general. 
[Continue reading...]

GREENWICH, CT RALLY AND MARCH – MARCH 24, 2018
Please set aside Saturday, March 24, 2018 to come to Greenwich, CT, home of billionaire hedge fund managers and others of extreme wealth, to participate in the Greenwich Rally and March for Peace and Economic Justice.  The next bulletin will contain information on schedule and speakers.
 

DRONE ORGANIZERS BULLETIN
SPECIAL
DIVEST ISSUE, FEB. 4, 2018
Edited by Nick Mottern – 
nickmottern@gmail.com

CODEPINK DIVEST FROM THE WAR CAMPAIGN BEGINS – ACT ON DRONE WAR

CODEPINK’S Divest From The War Campaign, which is being launched in the week of February 5 – 11, 2018, is possibly the organization’s most challenging campaign yet . 
The scope is so large that the project may seem daunting to the point of inducing a major case of hands-up-in-the-air WhatCanIdo?ism.
But the game plan is simple.  It involves going to a member of a church or college board of trustees, or a union pension fund official, and asking to speak to the group about divesting in military industry stocks. Or, more specifically, you can ask the group to sell its stock in companies responsible for key parts to the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the work horse of U.S. drone killing and a weapon responsible for more than 10,000 deaths, all in violation of international law.  See: https://www.knowdrones.com/
Here is a list of Reaper part makers that are public companies and that, therefore, sell stock.  (The maker of the basic Reaper airframe, General Atomics, is a privately-owned company and therefore does not sell stock.)
Reaper Drone Component Makers
·  Boeing: Intelligence workstation and mission planning system; laser guidance for bombs.
·  Honeywell: Turboprop engine, navigational and targeting equipment.
·  L-3 Communications: Sensors; satellite communications link; tactical data link.
·  Lockheed Martin: Hellfire missiles; Paveway laser-guided bombs.
·  Microsoft: Software for detection of humans and human-made objects.
·  Northrup Grumman: All-weather surveillance radar.
·  Raytheon: Targeting system that can be connected to Hellfire missiles; AIM-92 Stinger missiles.
Sources: Air Force Technology.com, Bloomberg Press, Wikipedia and "Wired for War"  From an article about divestment that I wrote for Truthout. http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/94406:time-to-divest-from-the-war-machine-drones-first
If you are able to get divestment from any one of these companies you will be affecting major war industrialists.  For example, here is link to Boeing’s military aircraft portfolio: http://www.boeing.com/defense/
Questions?  If you have any questions about the divestment campaign, please be in touch, and if I don’t have an answer I will be able to direct you to someone at CODEPINK who can help. 
Visit Honeywell?   If you live in northern New Jersey or metropolitan New York City, you may want to visit the annual shareholders meeting of the Honeywell Corporation, that will be held at Honeywell headquarters in Morris Plains, NJ, in April, 2018.  A colleague and I have attended the shareholders meeting for the last two years where he asked Honeywell to stop producing components for nuclear weapons, and I asked the company to stop making components for Reaper drones.  If you are interested in attending, you will need to buy at least one share of Honeywell stock now.  If you are interested in attending, please be in touch.

Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare, Google Search, 3-16-18
https://www.interfaithdronenetwork.org/
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare grew out of two developments: the formation of the CD-based Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare with many faith groups participating in spring 2014; and the first Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare in January 2015 at Princeton Theological Seminary, facilitated by the ...
about lethal drones - looking up at a lethal drone flying overhead ...
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare has produced a 34 ...
Drone. Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei. A half hour version ...
The Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare, co-chaired by ...
International action and agreement on standards will be key to ...
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare has produced a 34 ...
https://www.peacecoalition.org/...interfaith...drone-warfare/562-interfaith-conference-...
Presidential First Use of Nuclear Weapons: Is it Legal? Is it Constitutional? Is it Just? Click to watch 6-minute recap of Massachusetts Peace Action conference, held November 4, 2017. Click for edited transcripts of the talks published in Public Books. Right now, the most important step you can take to prevent presidential ...
https://medium.com/.../to-work-at-peace-resources-available-from-interfaith-network-...
Nov 16, 2017 - To work at peace: Resources available from Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare. By Carol Blythe. “I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I like gray skies; the drones cannot fly when the skies are gray.” That's what Zubair Ur Rehman told a U.S. congressional committee about a U.S. drone strike that killed his ...
https://www.facebook.com/Interfaith-Network-on-Drone-Warfare-312336595791554/
Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare. 30 likes. The Interfaith Network On Drone Warfare works to reduce the use of lethal drones and encourage Just Peace....
www.pachurchesadvocacy.org/tag/interfaith-network-on-drone-warfare/
by s.strauss@pachurches.org | posted in: Drones, Uncategorized | 0. In this crazy time where mass shootings, threats to immigrants, and attacks on the very programs that many of our neighbors depend on (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and many others), we often forget about the more global issues that also …
https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/two-new-videos-on-drone-warfare-582
Dec 4, 2017 - The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare has produced two new videos for congregation. They've also edited three documentaries into half-hour versions. Each of these films are short enough to be used in a Sunday school or adult education class. All of the films include study guides and promotional flyers.

Billboards Opposing Drone Wars Are Going Up
David Swanson, World Beyond War via WorldBeyondWar.org david@worldbeyondwar.org via sg.actionnetwork.org 
Feb 23, 2018 (1 day ago)
to me
Billboards Opposing Drone Wars Are Going Up All Over Syracuse, New York
World Beyond War has been raising funds for and renting billboards in opposition to war. We’ve run into censorship from numerous billboard companies but persevered, and more billboards are on their way.
First we put this message up here in Charlottesville, Va., and then in Baltimore, Md. (see explanation of the 3% calculation here):
Now we’re putting these two images up on billboards in Syracuse, NY, where drone pilots participate in U.S. wars from Hancock Air Base:
 
For 8 hours a day for 16 days in March, these two images will be on either side of a billboard truck driving around downtown Syracuse and the University of Syracuse. Then, from April 2 to May 27 each image will be on two of the four stationary billboards located at 115 South Street, 700 East Washington Street, 1430 Erie Boulevard East, and 1201-1208 South Salina at Raynor Street. Then, from May 28 to July 22, one image will be on two and the other on one of three billboards at 700 East Washington Street, 909 East Genesee Street, and 1758 Erie Boulevard East.
Why Syracuse?
The Syracuse area hosts Hancock Air National Guard base where the Guard’s 174th Attack Wing conducts drone assassination and target identification missions using MQ-9 Reaper drones in Afghanistan and probably elsewhere. It has been announced that the numbers of drone operators being trained at Hancock will be doubled.
The billboard ads are being undertaken in the context of what amounts to a whiteout of information on drone and other air operations in Afghanistan. Pentagon reports on drone and other air attacks in other nations are inadequate at best, and these reports when they come have been inaccurate and have grossly under-reported casualties. The U.S. government has made no reports and taken no responsibility for the emotional devastation of drone attacks on children as well as adults, as documented by the Al Karama Foundation’s “Traumatising Skies.”
Syracuse is home to a creative and courageous group of activists who have done a great deal of public education already and who are continuing those efforts.
Overcoming Censorship
Some companies have refused to rent space for billboards opposing drone wars. No company has questioned the facts of the messages, apart from one company asking us to say that drone wars “may” make us less safe, adding the word “may.”
It is hardly disputable that drones make orphans, or that they kill innocent children. That drone wars make us less safe ought to be obvious after what the “successful” drone war has done to Yemen, following the April 23, 2013, testimony of Farea al-Muslimi before the U.S. Congress that drone strikes were building support for terrorists. But don’t take it from him or me, when a leaked CIA document admits that the drone program is “counterproductive,” and numerous recently retired top U.S. officials agree.
For the most part companies have given no explanation for refusals to display these graphics. In some cases, they have said the graphics made them “uncomfortable,” or they’ve asked that we stick to “positive-oriented messaging.” Those companies that have written policies that I’ve seen for what they accept have in no case had a policy that explained their refusal, other than their declaration of their right to refuse for any reason whatsoever.
While some companies in Syracuse said no, and others yes, every company in Forth Smith, Arkansas has, thus far, said no, without any explanation. These include:
RAM Outdoor Advertising: 1-479-806-7735
Ashby Street Outdoor: 1-479-221-9827
Billboard Source: 1-940-383-3500
Feel free to ask them to explain. Remember that politeness is most effective. RAM Outdoor Advertising did say: “Thanks for sharing your potential creative. I’ve shared it with the owners and they have decided that your creative will violate our lease agreements. We will have to decline your ads.” I requested to see the “lease agreements” and received no reply.
Fort Smith is the home of the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard at Ebbing Air National Guard base, which controls Reaper drones for assassination and target identification. It appears drone operations will expand there also.
Freedom of Speech
World Beyond War billboards are funded entirely by contributions made by supporters of ending war who want to help put up more billboards. We will continue to solicit such contributions and to work to overcome censorship.
One of the more common, if ludicrous, defenses of war making is that it somehow defends one’s rights. Yet, freedom of speech and of press is routinely restricted in the name of protecting the war making.
Following the recent school shooting in Florida, we pointed out that the shooter had been trained by the U.S. military in a JROTC program funded by the NRA, and that this information was publicly available and not disputed. Major media outlets chose to avoid that story in order to focus, instead, on the undocumented (and, as it happens, false) claim that the shooter had worked with right-wing groups.
Google, Facebook, and other big forces on the internet are working hard to steer ever more traffic toward big corporate outlets and away from voices of dissent. Congress has eliminated net neutrality.
Whistleblowers are now up against the risk of prison time.
Protesters at inauguration parades face felony charges.
In my town in Virginia, Charlottesville, we are still forbidden to take down any war monuments, and still have no public peace monuments, but the local government has just made it a crime to hold a public demonstration without a permit obtained 30 days ahead.
In some airports and perhaps other locations, this story that you are reading will be blocked by internet services on the grounds that it constitutes “advocacy.”
Is this the “freedom” for which the wars endanger and impoverish and indebt us?
What you can do
1. Politely phone the companies above and ask them to explain their censorship.
2. Send us ideas for good locations for billboards anywhere in the world.
3. Send us donations with which to put up more billboards

“Resisting Drone Wars.”  The Nuclear Resister (March 14, 2018).  Reports on protests at Hancock Field, Creech, Beale AFB, Des Moines.  --Dick


BOOKS


Top of Form
Drones and Targeted Killing (2nd ed)
Legal, Moral and Geopolitical Issues
edited by Marjorie Cohn;
foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.   2017.
“This book provides much-needed analysis of why America’s targeted killing program is illegal, immoral, and unwise.”
—from the foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu
“Very important book… In a few months we will commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which, despite the limits of the day, established the founding principle of modern law: presumption of innocence.  Today that principle has been rescinded. Guilty verdicts are no longer to be rendered by a jury of peers, but by a White House session deciding who we are going to kill todayalong with whatever unfortunates happen to be in the vicinity of the drone attack.  As these valuable essays show, Obama’s global terror campaign is a menace to the world, and Americans are not likely to escape unscathed.”
—Noam Chomsky
EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AN ILLEGAL AND IMMORAL PRACTICE
2ND UPDATED EDITION
The Bush administration detained and tortured suspected terrorists; the Obama administration assassinated them; and the Trump administration will likely do both. Assassination, or targeted killing, off the battlefield not only causes more resentment against the United States, it is also illegal. In this interdisciplinary collection, human rights and political activists, policy analysts, lawyers and legal scholars, a philosopher, a journalist and a sociologist examine different aspects of the U.S. policy of targeted killing with drones and other methods. It explores the legality, morality, and geopolitical considerations of targeted killing and resulting civilian casualties, and evaluates the impact on relations between the United States and affected countries.
        The book includes the documentation of civilian casualties by the leading non-governmental organization in this area; stories of civilians victimized by drones; an analysis of the first U.S. targeted killing lawsuit by the lawyer who brought the case; a discussion of the targeted killing cases in Israel by the director of PCATI which filed one of the lawsuits; the domestic use of drones; and the immorality of drones using Just War principles.
Contributors include: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Phyllis Bennis, Medea Benjamin, Marjorie Cohn, Richard Falk, Tom Hayden, Pardiss Kebriaei, Jane Mayer, Ishai Menuchin, Jeanne Mirer, John Quigley, Tom Reifer, Alice Ross, Jay Stanley, Cian Westmoreland, and Harry Van der Linden.

Marjorie Cohn is a professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the LawRules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent (with Kathleen Gilberd); and the edited volume, The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration and Abuse. Cohn is a recipient of the Peace Scholar of the Year Award from the Peace and Justice Studies Association. She testified before Congress about the Bush torture policy.
Olive Branch Press

Media Reviews
“Very important book… In a few months we will commemorate the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, which, despite the limits of the day, established the founding principle of modern law: presumption of innocence.  Today that principle has been rescinded. Guilty verdicts are no longer to be rendered by a jury of peers, but by a White House session deciding who we are going to kill todayalong with whatever unfortunates happen to be in the vicinity of the drone attack.  As these valuable essays show, Obama’s global terror campaign is a menace to the world, and Americans are not likely to escape unscathed.”
—Noam Chomsky

“Armed unmanned drones have radically reduced the practical constraints on the use of force, and in so doing present challenging legal, political and moral issues.  This hard-hitting collection offers multiple critiques of drone targeting, raising – if not resolving -- many of the questions that must be asked as nations increasingly develop and deploy unarmed drones as a security tool.”
—David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center
“Just weeks before 9/11, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, told the Israelis: ‘The United States government is very clearly on the record as against targeted assassinations.  They are extrajudicial killings, and we do not support that.’ This extraordinary collection shows how two presidents abandoned that principled stand and, more importantly, the need to reclaim it.”
—Mary Ellen O'Connell, Professor of Law, University of Notre Dame
“Cogent and powerful… this book is a rapid-fire attack on the US policy of targeted assassination by drone or other means… Most importantly it is a reasoned and legalistic addition to the demand that this policy end now and forever.”
—Ron Jacobs, Counterpunch
“Marjorie Cohn’s new book Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal Moral and Geopolitical Issues makes the unanswerable case that targeted killing, off the battlefield, is illegal and unjustifiable… I wholeheartedly commend this book.”
—Richard Harvey, Socialist Lawyer
“Marjorie Cohn’s anthology Drones and Targeted Killing is timely and makes a major contribution to the growing literature on targeted killing and drone warfare. I highly recommend it.”
— Mark Woods, Radical Philosophy Review
“Knowledge, it is said, is power. If so, this book places a great deal of power in the hands of the reader . . . The crucial messages . . . are that the use of drones threatens us all and that we can do something about them.”
—David Gespass, Guild Review

“An illuminating insight into the opaque world of drone warfare . . . This is a thought provoking, informative book on an important issue. It is well worth reading, sharing and discussing.”
—Charles Sevilla, Los Angeles Daily Journal
 
Bottom of Form



FILMS
Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare Has Produced Shortened Versions of Films:  DRONE, NATIONAL BIRD, and UNMANNED, and two films about ethics, religion, and drones.
https://www.interfaithdronenetwork.org/
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare grew out of two developments: the formation of the CD-based Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare with many faith groups participating in spring 2014; and the first Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare in January 2015 at Princeton Theological Seminary, facilitated by the ...
about lethal drones - looking up at a lethal drone flying overhead ...
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare has produced a 34 ...
Drone. Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei. A half hour version ...
The Interfaith Working Group on Drone Warfare, co-chaired by ...
International action and agreement on standards will be key to ...
The Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare has produced a 34 ... https://www.interfaithdronenetwork.org/films.html

Individual Protesters

The van that a drone whistleblower lives in needs repairs

RootsAction Education Fund via uark.onmicrosoft.com 

Oct 5, 2018  (4 days ago)
Former U.S. Air Force drone technician and whistleblower Cian Westmoreland is still speaking to the world community about the pressing need to disarm drones, and he needs your help.

He has just been to Australia and Italy, generating amazingly substantive and honest media about the U.S. drone program in both. This reporting criticizes the use for drone warfare of the secretive signals intelligence sites in Alice Springs Australia called Pine Gap and Naval Air Station Sigonella in Italy. Cian draws attention to the responsibility of nations to resist drone strikes that violate international laws.

"Drones are completely network-dependent platforms, with responsibilities for strikes distributed between many individuals across specializations, agencies, companies, and nation-states," Cian says.

"Most recently, Donald Trump has demanded authorization for the CIA to do their own strikes, which removes yet another layer of accountability. It is not only a legal question, but an existential question as well. The sensors in drones are proliferating under the guise of 'smart city' technology, and finding their way into the fabric of our daily lives.

"Automation is an incremental process by which tasks that are performed by people are replaced by algorithms with their own built-in biases. Fully automated weapons systems already exist, and are estimated to find their way onto the battlefield in less than three years."

We hope that you’ll keep supporting Cian Westmoreland’s important work as a drone whistleblower. You can show support now by making a donation to the Drone Whistleblower Fellowship.



Cian has been traveling the world challenging the current and future uses of this technology for nearly two years at a financial detriment to himself. Your donations have been extremely helpful in getting him from point A to point B, and through his work at Standing Rock, in Australia, and in Italy.

Half of your assistance will go directly toward helping him repair the van that he currently lives in. To fix the fuel line and the suspension will cost roughly $3,000. The other half of your donation supports the RootsAction Education Fund's ongoing efforts against drone warfare.

Anything helps. Thank you all for your continued support.



Please support the work of Cian Westmoreland by
 making a tax-deductible contribution to the Drone Whistleblower Fellowship Program of the RootsAction Education Fund.

We hope that you’ll keep supporting Cian Westmoreland’s important work as a drone whistleblower.

Here’s an update on some of Cian’s recent work:

On the 5th of November, Cian spoke at a General Assembly in Berlin along with 69 other delegates from around the world. These delegates were addressing issues ranging from mining in the Democratic Republic of the Congo -- where a war has raged for over a decade, taking 7 million lives -- to the abuses animals endure in our factory farms.

Cian opened his speech -- after a video of Faisal bin al Jaber, who lost two members of his family to a U.S. drone strike in Yemen -- with words of author David Mitchell from a book that Cian first read in Afghanistan:

"Our lives are not our own, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future."

During the speech, Cian delivered emotional testimony on his role in Afghanistan; he called for a ban on UCAVs (armed drones) and a preemptive ban on killer robots. And Cian offered a deep apology to the people of Afghanistan.

You can show support for Cian’s work now by making a tax-deductible donation to his Drone Whistleblower Fellowship.

"My crimes still keep me up most nights,” he said at the Berlin forum. “I was just following orders... Numbers, triple digit numbers on performance reports and awards.”

He added: "Numbers, they were human beings, people with mothers, sisters, fathers, brothers, sons, daughters, lovers. Entire lives filled with dreams and hopes reduced to numbers; easily digestible to the bureaucrats who sent us there."

This forum compels parliamentarians to face the uncomfortable realities of their decision-making processes, and educates citizens on everything that went unspoken that year. It’s about putting faces to numbers, and creating real democracy.

Your help has been critical in facilitating important international dialogue on the issue of drones, and Cian sends his humble thanks.


Cian’s van is still in disrepair, and his laptop was recently stolen after speaking in Italy. Travel brings many uncertainties, and traveling for this work is nothing easy. Help him continue our work and get on solid footing. 

Anything helps. Thank you all for your continued support.

Next, Cian will speak about the Sigonella Air Base in Italy at the Festival della Pace in Brescia, and the need for a forum for "colluding nations" to demand transparency and hold their governments accountable for the violations of international laws they helped the United States commit with UCAVs and through surveillance.

Please support the work of Cian Westmoreland by making a tax-deductible contribution to the Drone Whistleblower Fellowship Program of the RootsAction Education Fund.

US ARMED DRONES BOMBING AROUND THE WORLD

Pentagon Foresees at Least Two More Years of Combat in Somalia

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/world/africa/pentagon-somalia-combat-islamic-militants.html
WASHINGTON — Amid its escalating campaign of drone strikes in Somalia, the Pentagon has presented the White House with an operational plan that envisions at least two more years of combat against Islamist militants there, according to American officials familiar with internal deliberations.
The proposed plan for Somalia would be the first under new rules quietly signed by President Trump in October for counterterrorism operations outside conventional war zones. The American military has carried out about 30 airstrikes in Somalia this year, twice as many as in 2016. Nearly all have come since June, including a Nov. 21 bombing that killed over 100 suspected militants at a Shabab training camp.
In a sign that the Defense Department does not envision a quick end to the deepening war in Somalia against the Shabab and the Islamic State, the proposed plan is said to include an exemption to a rule in Mr. Trump’s guidelines requiring annual vetting by staff from other agencies — including diplomats and intelligence officials — of operational plans for certain countries.
MORE  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/10/world/africa/pentagon-somalia-combat-islamic-militants.html
Follow Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt on Twitter: @charlie_savage and @EricSchmittNYT.

IMPORTANCE OF RAMSTEIN TO GLOBAL DRONE WAR
Nick Mottern via uark.onmicrosoft.com 
10-29-17
10:23 AM (8 hours ago)
to James, Sandra, cres, Rosalie, Bruce
Hi Dick:
From what I understand from press reports, communications from U.S. drone control bases to attack drones in the Middle East and perhaps globally, pass through Ramstein. 



Thank you for keeping alert and pressing ahead.
Nick

Contents Drone/Assassination Newsletter #21
HISTORY OF DRONES
(See No. 20:  Terminator Planet:  The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 by Nick Turse and Tom Engelhardt; The Changing Face of Empire and
Tomorrow’s Battlefield by Nick Turse;  Transferring  CIA  Drone  Strikes  to  the  Pentagon”  by Micah Zenko.)
History of Arkansas Air National Guard 188th Fighter Wing, Ft. Smith
Governors Request: Save the Warthogs, the Flying Razorbacks
Mottern, History from 1920s to 2018
Andrew Cockburn, Kill Chain.  Inside Multibillion Dollar Military, CIA, Corporate
      Assassination Warfare 
(For 21st c. see Drone Newsletter #20: Eye in the Sky feature Film starring
    Helen Mirren; The Good Kill feature Film by Andrew Niccol (Gattaca, Lord of War); 
National Bird Documentary by Sonia Kennebeck, and Drone Newsletter #19.)
 (BOOKS ON DRONES: #22 will contain an annotated list of          books and films.)
RESISTANCE, PROTESTS
Noam Chomsky on the US Terroristic Global War
Mottern, Know Drones
     Des Moines
     Volk Field, WI
Norman Solomon, “Killer Drones.”  The Assassination MQ-Reaper Becoming
     Normalized  in New York State.
Germany v. Armed Drones
Review of Drone Warrior
DRONE (2015) directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, 58 minutes.



END DRONE NEWSLETTER #22


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