Ground All Drones is a committee of Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) created to address the use of drones, particularly armed drones. Drones are developed worldwide, not only by the U.S. but by other nations as well. In the U.S.unarmed surveillance drones could be used to spy on citizens, a clear violation of our Fourth Amendment Rights. The current focus of this committee is on the use of weaponized drones.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Der Spiegel article - Drone Operator

A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can't do it anymore.

The Woes of an American Drone Operator By Nicola Abé
Photo Gallery: A Drone Pilot's Hardship
Drone operators at Holloman Air Force Base in the southwestern state of New Mexico: Modern warfare is as invisible as a thought, deprived of its meaning by distance.
Gilles Mingasson/ DER SPIEGEL More images in gallery, click on link below.

For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn't be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

The container is filled with the humming of computers. It's the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren't flying through the air. They're just sitting at the controls.

Bryant was one of them, and he remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.

Article continued.....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Invitation to Drone Warfare discussion

Anti-War Book Club:  Drone Warfare
Saturday, January 12th at 2 pm at May Day Books, 301 Cedar Ave. S. Minneapolis
(Below Midwest Mountaineering)
Drones are the new face of US warfare, yet many of us are not well acquainted with this technology. Come learn more about these war machines as we discuss Medea Benjamin's book Drone Warfare:  Killing by Remote Control.  We'll have cookies and coffee.  Everyone is invited to participate or just to come and learn about drones.  
Organized by the Anti-War Committee.  Co-Sponsored by May Day Books.   
We encourage you to get your copy of the book from May Day books where you can get it for 15% off!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Congress Hears Expert Testimony About Combat Drone Wars

By davidswanson  | War Is A  Posted on 16 November 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 16, 2012) -- Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today hosted a Congressional briefing to examine the United States’ policy regarding the use of armed drones.  U.S. drone strikes are estimated to have killed thousands of people. In Pakistan have killed an estimated 3,378 people; in Yemen such strikes are estimated to have killed as many as 1,952 people. Drone strikes in Somalia have killed as many as 170 people. The first U.S. drone strike took place in 2002.

Access video and access Kucinich's speech here: 
Congress Hears Expert Testimony About Combat Drone Wars | War Is A Crime .org

Article published in Brainerd Dispatch

By Robin Hensel and Coleen Rowley
International Peace Movement
New information about drone operations contradicts the Sept. 23 op-ed piece by Col. Scott A. St. Sauver, commander of Camp Ripley. In his essay, written to deflect public criticism of so-called unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), Col. St. Sauver claimed that UAS may “be used to increase efficiency, save money, enhance safety and even save lives.” But as worldwide drone attacks escalate, more and more citizens are questioning the ethics and legality of the drone program, and realizing just how counterproductive it is in the long run.

St. Sauver denied that National Guard members are trained to operate armed Predator drones for offensive purposes at Camp Ripley. However, he did not deny that his base’s smaller surveillance drones take part in lethal missions on the “battlefield” – which now encompasses at least six countries.

Although the program is shrouded in secrecy, it is known that drone strikes are highly collaborative efforts involving teams of people at various bases across the world. In fact, hundreds of personnel, including high-paid Blackwater (or whatever the company is now called) mercenaries, may be involved in a single strike, undercutting the argument that the program is inexpensive.

Click here for the continuation of this article from November 17, 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Message from No Drones Wisconsin

Vigil Against Drones 
Tuesday November 27, from 3:30-4:30 pm
Gates of Camp Williams/Volk Field 

Dear Friends,
We continue our outcry against drone warfare. The bombs keep dropping and more and more innocent people, including many children, across the globe are dying.
Please join us on Tuesday November 27 from 3:30-4:30 for our monthly anti-drone vigil at Camp Williams/Volk Field. This vigil is being organized by Wisconsin Coalition to Stop the Drones and End the Wars. All are welcome to join us in this solemn and nonviolent vigil at the gates of the base.
To get to the vigil, take the Camp Douglas exit off Interestate 90/94 between Mauston and Tomah. When you exit take County Rd. C to the NE. You will see the base straight ahead, but follow County Rd. C to the right and within a few blocks is a picnic wayside.
We will gather at the wayside between 3:00-3:15 for introductions and to review the plan for the vigil, and then process together to the gates of the base where we will hold a solemn vigil for one hour to remember those killed by drones. Participants can stand in silence or read poems and stories about the effects of drone warfare. It is important that the voices of the victims be brought to the gates of Volk Field.
Bring posters if you can.

We hope to see you at the vigil on Tuesday November 27. If you have any questions please call or email Joy at 608 239-4327 or or Bonnie at 608-256-5088 or .

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Military Stats Reveal Epicenter of U.S. Drone War

From The Danger Room   Article and photo by Noah Shachtman      November 9, 2012  

 U.S. Reaper dron
es in a hangar at Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan. 

Forget Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and all the other secret little warzones. The real center of the U.S. drone campaign is in plain sight — on the hot and open battlefield of Afghanistan.
The American military has launched 333 drone strikes this year in Afghanistan. That’s not only the highest total ever, according to U.S. Air Force statistics. It’s essentially the same number of robotic attacks in Pakistan since the CIA-led campaign there began nearly eight years ago. In the last 30 days, there have been three reported strikes in Yemen. In Afghanistan, that’s just an average day’s worth of remotely piloted attacks. And the increased strikes come as the rest of the war in Afghanistan is slowing down.
The secret drone campaigns have drawn the most scrutiny because of the legal, geopolitical, and ethical questions they raise. But it’s worth remembering that the rise of the flying robots is largely occurring in the open, on an acknowledged battlefield where the targets are largely unquestioned and the attending issues aren’t nearly as fraught.

“The difference between the Afghan operation and the ones operations in Pakistan and elsewhere come down to the fundamental differences between open military campaigns and covert campaigns run by the intelligence community. It shapes everything from the level of transparency to the command and control to the rules of engagements to the process and consequences if an air strike goes wrong,” e-mails Peter W. Singer, who runs the Brookings Institution’s 21st Century Defense Initiative. (Full disclosure: I have a non-resident fellowship there.) “This is why the military side has been far less controversial, and thus why many have pushed for it to play a greater role as the strikes slowly morphed from isolated, covert events into a regularized air war.”

The military has 61 Predator and Reaper “combat air patrols,” each with three or four robotic planes. The CIA’s inventory is believed to be just a fraction of that: 30 to 35 drones total, although there is thought to be some overlap between the military and intelligence agency fleets. The Washington Post reported last month that the CIA is looking for another 10 drones as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) become more and more central to the agency’s worldwide counterterror campaign.
In Pakistan, those drones are flown with a wink and a nod, to avoid the perception of violating national sovereignty. In Yemen, the robots go after men just because they fit a profile of what the U.S. believes a terrorist to be. In both countries, people are considered legitimate targets if they happen to be male and young and in the wrong place at the wrong time. The White House keeps a “matrix” on who merits robotic death. Congress (outside of the intelligence committees) largely learns about the programs through the papers.

None of these statements is true about the drone war in Afghanistan, where strikes are ordered by a local commander, overseen by military lawyers, conducted with the (sometimes reluctant) blessing of the Kabul government, and used almost entirely to help troops under fire. The UAVs aren’t flown to dodge issues of sovereignty or to avoid traditional military assets. They’re used because they work better — staying in the sky longer than traditional aircraft and employing more advanced sensors to make sure the targets they hit are legit.

Figures on the air war in Afghanistan, supplied by the U.S. military.
The U.S. military is now launching more drone strikes — an average of 33 per month — than at any moment in the 11 years of the Afghan conflict. It’s a major escalation from just last year, when the monthly average was 24.5. And it’s happening while the rest of the American war effort is winding down: There are 34,000 fewer American troops than there were in early 2011; U.S. casualties are down 40 percent from 2010′s toll; militant attacks are off by about a quarter; civilian deaths have declined a bit from their awful peak.

Even the air war is shrinking. Overall surveillance sorties are down, from an average of 3,183 per month last year to 2,954 in 2012. (Drones flew 860 of those sorties in 2011, and  now fly 761 per month today.) Missions in which U.S. aircraft fire their weapons have declined, too. That used to happen 450 times per month on average in 2011. This year, the monthly total dropped to 360.
In other words, drone strikes in Afghanistan now make up about 9 percent of the overall total of aerial attacks. Last year, it was a little more than 5 percent. The UAVs are growing in importance while the rest of the military campaign is receding.

“The numbers are yet another powerful data point illustrating the fact that unmanned systems are here and they are here to stay. They show their growing use, even as overall air strikes go down,” e-mails Singer, who first noticed the drone strike increase.

When Barack Obama began his first term in the White House, many in his administration pushed for keeping the number of troops in Afghanistan relatively small while boosting the number of drone strikes. At the time, Obama decided to go in a different direction. But now, as he gets set for the start of his second term, the president appears ready to embrace his internal critics, and leave Afghanistan to the robots.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Minneapolis Event on Drones

Presentation by Brian Terrell: 
“No to Drones!”
Thursday, November 8

7:00 p.m.
Cedar Center,
4200 Cedar Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN
Brian is a Catholic Worker based in Maloy, Iowa, and co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. He was convicted in U.S. District Court, Jefferson City, Missouri, and sentenced to a 6-month prison term on October 11th for trespassing at Whiteman Air Force Base, one of the stateside bases where Predator drones are remotely operated to fly the skies over Afghanistan and Pakistan. Brian will begin his sentence on November 30. Brian will talk about drones, their impact on innocent people, and why he was willing to risk arrest and imprisonment to protest their use.
Sponsored by: WAMM’s Ground All Drones Committee, and the
Twin Cities Peace Campaign (TCPC).  Info: 612.827.5364

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Living Under Drones

Published on Sep 24, 2012 by
Since 2004, up to 884 innocent civilians, including at least 176 children, have died from US drone strikes in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan. A new report from the Stanford and New York University law schools finds drone use has caused widespread post-tramatic stress disorder and an overall breakdown of functional society in North Waziristan. In addition, the report finds the use of a "double tap" procedure, in which a drone strikes once and strikes again not long after, has led to deaths of rescuers and medical professionals. Many interviewees told the researchers they didn't know what America was before drones. Now what they know of America is drones, death and terror. Follow the conversation @WarCosts #UnderDrones

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Five Reasons Drones Assassinations Are Illegal

Article from CounterPunch
US civilian and military employees regularly target and fire lethal unmanned drone guided missiles at people across the world.  Thousands of people have been assassinated.   Hundreds of those killed were civilians. Some of those killed were rescuers and mourners.
These killings would be criminal acts if they occurred inside the US.  Does it make legal sense that these killings would be legal outside the US?
Some Facts About Drone Assassinations 
The US has used drones to kill thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.   But the government routinely refuses to provide any official information on local reports of civilian deaths or the identities of most of those killed.
 Click to continue reading article