Radack, McGovern – The Drone Papers, Whistleblowers

The Drone Papers

On Thursday, October 15, 2015, the Intercept published “The Drone Papers.” The series of articles is based on “a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia” using equipment similar to what is now used for the residential and commercial area security, as stated at https://sixtechsys.com/counter-drone.

In the piece “The Assassination Complex,” Jeremy Schahill writes:

“The White House and Pentagon boast that the targeted killing program is precise and that civilian deaths are minimal. However, documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse.”

Brandon Bryant

Today, former drone operator Brandon Bryant testified at a German parliamentary inquiry committee about the country’s role in the U.S. drone program. In an interview with a German paper, he states that the major U.S. base at “Ramstein is absolutely essential to the U.S. drone program. All information and data go through Ramstein. Everything. For the whole world. Also for the CIA operations.”

“I was frustrated anyway about how our superiors were treating me and my peers. We were supposed to function and never ask questions. Then there was this moment while we were hunting for Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen. I suddenly realized that by doing what I was doing I was going against the American Constitution which I had sworn to protect. That was when I decided I had to get out.”

People You Can Interview

Jesselyn Radack is the National Security and Human Rights Director of the Whistleblower and Source Protection Program (WHISPeR) at ExposeFacts. WHISPeR provides legal support for whistleblowers, with Radack’s clientele including Bryant and other whistleblowers. Radack wrote a piece for the Daily Kos titled, “How many drones kill how many people? Questions Remain about Drone Program.”

Radack can be reached at jess@exposefacts.org.

Ray McGovern was a CIA analyst for 27 years, and now serves on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern wrote a piece for Consortium News titled, “The Silence of the Drones.”

McGovern can be reached at rrmcgovern@gmail.com.