MORE DRONE OPERATOR STRESS – TV OUTREACH CRITICAL NOW

This show mourners honoring victims of a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan. Credit- Bureau of Investigative Journalism

This show mourners honoring victims of a U.S. drone attack in Pakistan. Credit- Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Dear Friends:

I’m writing to ask that you help support an extremely important public education campaign that is putting 15-second ads on cable television near drone control bases in the United States, ads that question the legal and moral basis of U.S. drone killing.  https://www.gofundme.com/2gksnf68

This is a extremely critical time for this campaign to hit the air waves because killer drone operators are under increasing stress as new surveillance and assassination missions are laid on in Syria and Libya on top of those already underway in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It is apparent from the testimonies of “whistleblowers” who were drone operators that much of the stress comes from the PTSD and moral injury that is felt by drone operators carrying out their work as aerial assassins.

The keenest recent evidence of continuing drone operator stress is the announcement on August 10, 2016 that the Air Force is increasing bonuses that it pays to officers piloting killer drones from $25,000 to $35,000 a year. This is part of what the Air Force has come to call its “get well” program for drone operators, obviously aimed at preventing the rash of operator departures that has led to a shortage of pilots.

In addition to the bonuses, the Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James also announced on August 10 that additional air National Guard units are being mobilized and that additional private contracts are being awarded to fly “non-strike” drone surveillance missions. This article provides additional details on things the Air Force is doing to buttress and expand its drone war program.

http://www.airforcemag.com/MagazineArchive/Magazine Documents/2016/August 2016/0816reapers.pdf

We believe this is an absolutely essential historical moment to call drone war into question in those communities housing drone operators, their families and friends.

As you may know the U.S. drone surveillance and attack campaign has killed over 7,000 people since it began in 2001, all killed without due process, without an opportunity for the victims to defend themselves in court, all in violation of international law. Further the continuing drone attacks and surveillance are terrorizing whole communities and regions and destroying civil society. By any measure drone attacks have been a tragic, abysmal failure, leading to increasing killing, war and hatred toward the United States.

What the U.S. is in fact doing with its killer drone program is declaring war on people in a growing number of countries without a declaration of war from Congress. The drone war program is not a temporary project to address “terrorism”. It is a vast, growing system designed to, as military people like to say, “project” U.S. power into countries and regions where the United States, in support of multi-national corporations, wants control. The drone attacks collectively amount to wars of aggression, in and of themselves war crimes.

We are extremely fortunate to have at this time been given a matching grant of $10,000 to enable us to fund the T.V. ad campaign. And we have just received a $1,000 contribution to help us reach the matching grant.

We would so much appreciate any help you can give.

Please help us speak directly to the people who are most intimately involved with the tragic U.S. drone war program.

With thanks for considering this appeal and very best wishes,

Nick Mottern – Coordinator – Knowdrones.com

NOTE: The link at the top of this letter offers the opportunity to contribute through GoFundMe.   You can ensure that 100% of your contribution goes toward airing the commercials by sending a check made out to:

Veterans for Peace Chapter 87

PO Box 191244

Sacramento, CA 95819

Thank you again for considering our appeal.