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Local TV Ads urge Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station Drone Pilots to "Refuse to Fly"

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Fifteen-second television commercials condemning United States drone attacks will begin airing in Niagara Falls and Western New York on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, TWNS, and on YES Network during Yankees games during the month of June.

The commercials show images from video screens of drone operations; an explosion; and civilians searching through rubble after a drone attack; and states: “Thousands, including women and children, have been murdered by US Drones.”

The campaign is part of a national advertising effort organized by KnowDrones.com, and is focused on areas where drone control centers are located such as the 107th Air Lift Wing, based at Niagara Falls, which will control MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The ads have appeared in Las Vegas, near Creech Air Force Base, in northern California, near Beale AFB, and Syracuse, near Hancock Field Air National Guard Base.

The commercials are directed to drone pilots, sensor operators, support personnel and their families at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station and to the general public and makes the request, “Drone Pilots. Please Refuse to Fly. No one has to obey an immoral law”.

Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.org said, “We are asking the people who bear the burden of actually killing to stop.”

Victoria Ross, a consultant for the WNY Peace Center, said, “The people actually pressing the button suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at a higher rate than boots on the ground. Their refusing illegal orders is vital.

In response to the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) stated on 14 September 2001, “That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons he determines planned, authorized, harbored, committed, or aided in the planning or commission of the attacks against the United States that occurred on 11 September 2001, and to deter and pre-empt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States”.

This authorization is still in effect today.

There are no restrictions regarding the physical location of where this law is applied. It only states that the President has the “authority to use all necessary and appropriate force” and has been interpreted to mean that the President can attack anyone anywhere in the world.

In a speech in 2013, President Barack Obama said that no drone strike was ever undertaken without “near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured.”

Some 24 men specifically targeted in Pakistan resulted in the death of 874 people. An estimated 142 children were killed in the course of pursuing those 24 men.

In Yemen, 17 named men were targeted multiple times. Strikes on them killed 273 people, at least seven of them children. At least four of the targets are still alive.