As noted in previous bulletins, a campaign is now underway to encourage drone operators to refuse to fly. The campaign is necessary not only because the President and the Congress are very comfortable with drone assassination regardless of the law or morality but because the general public has been kept in the dark about the realities of drone war and “targeted killing”.
The most recent development in the campaign was the publication in September 14, 2015 edition of Air Force Times of a letter from veterans urging drone operators to refuse to fly drone surveillance/attack missions. See the related press release (Attachment B, below) and this press coverage:
The campaign also involves TV ads, and on September 24, these ads will begin airing for a week in Des Moines, Iowa, coinciding with the final days of the Ray McGovern – Coleen Rowley speaking tour in the state. Ads will also be aired in Manchester, New Hampshire, in October in relation to the growing press attention to that state’s presidential primary.
PLEASE CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE TV ADS AT:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday/September 16, 2015
AIR FORCE TIMES AGREES TO RUN AD PAID FOR BY MILITARY VETERANS URGING DRONE OPERATORS TO 'REFUSE TO FLY'
Hastings on Hudson, NY – In what is probably a first, the Air Force Times this week is publishing a controversial advertisement from 54 U.S. military veterans and veterans organizations urging Air Force drone operators and other military personnel to refuse their orders...and not fly drone surveillance/attack missions.
Air Force Times is a weekly newspaper, owned by Tegna Inc., with a circulation of over 65,000 that includes members of the Air Force, the Air National Guard, Pentagon officials and members of Congress and their staffs. The ad appears in the edition of AF Times that carries an annual report on the state of the U.S.Air Force.
Television ads, also sponsored by veterans, have been airing on FoxNews, CNN and other networks since early 2015 – urging military personnel to disobey orders and "Refuse to Fly." http://tinyurl.com/AntiDroneTVAd
The nearly $5,000 ad, sponsored by Iraq Veterans Against the War, KnowDrones.com, Veterans for Peace and World Can’t Wait, and supported by Code Pink, Mennonite 1040 for Peace Committee, War Is a Crime.com and WorldBeyondWar.org, and individual veterans and friends, states:
"As retired and former members of the U.S. military, we urge U.S. drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/assassination missions. These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.
"According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as of September 1, 2015, up to 6,069 lives have been taken by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. This figure does not include uncounted lives lost to U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan before 2015, or in Iraq, Libya, the Philippines and Syria. All were killed without due process. These attacks, which are also terrorizing thousands, are undermining principles of international law and human rights such as those enumerated in the U.N. International Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 with the blood of the atrocities of World War II freshly in mind. The United States is a signatory to this declaration.
"Those involved in U.S. drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting in accordance with Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950: 'The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him of responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible.'
"So, yes, you do have a choice — and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one."
The ad comes at a time of increasing drone surveillance and attack missions, which are now underway in Syria as well as Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A Bureau of Investigative Journalism report indicates that other areas under drone surveillance and potential places of attack include: “Iran, North Africa, the Trans-Sahel (West Africa), Levant region (includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey as well as Syria), Gulf States and territorial waters.” https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2015/07/30/revealed-private-isr-firms-tracking-terror-targets-at-heart-us-drone-wars/