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Ground the Drones...Lest We Reap the Whirlwind

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Shut Down Creech Arrestees return to Las Vegas for Arraignment

Vera outside the Las Vegas Court HouseVera outside the Las Vegas Court HouseOn Tuesday June 30th Eleven participants from March 6th Shut Down Creech event appeared at the Clark Co. Court House before Judge Melissa A. Saragosa to be arraigned… Before entering the court house the group broke into chants of “When Drones Fly Children Die!” and similar statements such as, “The Whole World is Watching!”, while holding panels of artistic renderings of many of the child victims of drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen.

Taking Responsibility for Drone Killings- President Obama and the Fog of War

The deaths of two western hostages, one an American citizen, are indeed tragic, but no more so than the deaths of thousands of Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Somali and Libyan children, women and men murdered by these same drones. Both the president and his press secretary assure us that the events in Pakistan last January were “fully consistent with the guidelines under which we conduct counterterrorism efforts,” business as usual in other words. It seems that in the president’s view, death is only tragic when it is inconveniently discovered that western non-Muslim people are killed.

TV Ad Airing in Las Vegas Asks Drone Pilots to Refuse to Fly

review by David Swanson

This advertisement does a number of things in 15 seconds that U.S. television has not done before. It presents a moral case against drone murders (the U.S. government’s terminology, and strictly accurate). It opposes drone murders as illegal. It shows victims. It provides the name and website of an organization opposing drone murders. And it directly asks drone “pilots” to refuse to continue. It also makes the Nuremberg argument that an illegal order need not (in fact must not) be obeyed.

Drones and Discrimination: Kick the Habit

On December 10, International Human Rights Day, federal Magistrate Matt Whitworth sentenced me to three months in prison for having crossed the line at a military base that wages drone warfare. The punishment for our attempt to speak on behalf of trapped and desperate people, abroad, will be an opportunity to speak with people trapped by prisons and impoverishment here in the U.S.

Redefining “Imminent”

In February 2013, a U.S. Department of Justice White Paper, “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or an Associated Force,” was leaked by NBC News. This paper sheds some light on the legal justification for drone assassinations and explains the new and more flexible definition of the word “imminent.” “First,” it declares, “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.”

Challenging Drone Warfare in a U.S. Court

On October 7, 2014, Kathy Kelly and Georgia Walker appeared before Judge Matt Whitworth in Jefferson City, MO, federal court on a charge of criminal trespass to a military facility. The charge was based on their participation , at Whiteman Air Force Base, in a June 1st 2014 rally protesting drone warfare. Kelly and Walker attempted to deliver a loaf of bread and a letter to the Base Commander, encouraging him to stop cooperating with any further usage of unmanned aerial vehicles, (drones), for surveillance and attacks.

October 7, 2001, Air War Begins Over Afghanistan October 7, 2014, Drone Protesters in Court in Missouri

On October 7, thirteen years to the day from the beginning of “Operation Enduring Freedom,” Kathy Kelly of Voices for Creative Nonviolence and Georgia Walker, an activist in Kansas City, will be arraigned in US District Court in Jefferson City, Missouri. They have been summoned to answer charges that they trespassed at Whiteman Air Force Base during a protest against war crimes and assassinations carried out from that base using remotely controlled drone aircraft.

Drone Protester Jack Gilroy, 79, Sentenced to 3 Months, 3 Yrs Probation

“It’s time for our justice system to identify the real criminals…not those who carry the message to stop the killing to the gates of Hancock Air Base,” said Gilroy in his sentencing statement. Gilroy was convicted by a six-person jury on July 15th of trespass and obstructing government administration after two day’s of trial.

Hancock Drone Resister Jack Gilroy Sentencing October 1 in DeWitt, NY

Gilroy’s trial was based on participation in a solemn funeral procession and die-in to illustrate the death and destruction of innocent people by drone missiles and bombs fired out of MQ9 Reaper drones piloted from Hancock Air Force Base. near Syracuse, NY. Hancock is one of many drone bases around the United States doing assassinations of Muslim suspects in foreign nations.