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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Drones Abroad and at Home: Why We Should Care

Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:55 By Ed Kinane, SpeakOut | Op-Ed  in Truthout

"The sky is falling! The sky is falling!"
- C. Little

Chicken Little got it wrong. The sky isn't exactly falling, but it does pose lethal threats. Those threats are near and long term, domestic and international. They entail surveillance and terror.

Weaponized unmanned drone aircraft – the Predator, the Reaper, the Global Hawk - have no crew on board. Hence no head, no heart. These drones are amoral robots exquisitely designed to spy and to kill, to maim and to demolish. Out of the blue, their 500-pound bombs and Hellfire missiles strike like lightning bolts.

Stateside technicians piloting them see their human targets as through a soda straw. Their computer screen vision is severely constricted. Their cultural understanding is distorted by American exceptionalism and prevailing Islamophobia.

Further, the pilots' moral vision tends to be compartmentalized. How could it be otherwise? Military training features "killing and blowing up things." Recruits are dehumanized, the better to dehumanize the "enemy." They are programmed to follow orders without question. Extensions of the drones, they too become robotized.

In their illegality, their immorality and their inhumanity, these death squads play the devil. In executing non-combatants without judge or jury - without due process - these vigilantes and their chain of command play God.

Why should we care?

Out of self-interest – whether narrowly or broadly defined. Drone technology - cheaper and more nimble than jet aircraft or nuclear weaponry - rapidly evolves and proliferates.

Currently, the US and Israel are on the very cutting edge of drone design and deployment. For fear of being arms race losers, dozens of other nations are also acquiring drone technology. Some use drones to intimidate domestic dissent or to suppress tribal minorities.

Drones become dark angels exacting revenge. Not all nations look fondly upon the US and its "interests." Given the resentment generated by promiscuous drone strikes, this hostility and dread triggers blowback. The world is not made safer.

Drone strikes are classified, anonymous. Often, they defy investigation. Often, the victims can be neither named nor counted. But we know drone strikes occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, as well as in Muslim areas of Africa and the Philippines. And who knows where else.

Thanks to the US nuclear arsenal, the leaders of every nation have long been forced to defer to the US. Now, in the face of the US drone fleet, they must doubly do so. Opposing the world's most militarized nation - one that claims the obscene privilege to assassinate whenever and wherever it chooses - is imprudent.

Chickens come home to roost. Will we be next? Drone targets won't always be the poor, the defenseless, the non-Judeo-Christian. Nor will the targets always be "them" or "over there."
With billions in contracts and research grants, the US drone industry is burgeoning...and busy lobbying. The FAA is mandated to expedite domestic drone use. Conveniently, much of the US population think drones are "cool" and "save lives."

Thanks to pro-drone mainstream media hype, the public is already de-sensitized to extrajudicial execution. Opting for a delusional security, they tolerate, even welcome, creeping surveillance at home. Think NSA.

Police and intelligence agencies drool at the prospect of using these toys - initially unweaponized - here. Whether we trust the President and his advisors, whether we embrace the Pentagon and Homeland Security agenda, must we keep ceding unaccountable power to them?

This article is a Truthout original. 

Ed Kinane works with Upstate Drone Action to expose and indict US Reaper drone attacks. Many such attacks originate from the 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard at Hancock Air Base near Syracuse. Check or reach Ed at


Related Stories

Armed Drones Becoming the Norm? At the Crossroads of Robotic Warfare
By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, Truthout | News Analysis
The Dangerous Seduction of Drones
By Medea Benjamin, OtherWords | Op-Ed

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

UN report identifies 30 drone strikes that require ‘public explanation’

A UN counter-terrorism expert has published the second report of his year-long investigation into drone strikes, highlighting 30 strikes where civilians are reported to have been killed.

The report, by British lawyer Ben Emmerson QC, identifies 30 attacks between 2006 and 2013 that show sufficient indications of civilian deaths to demand a ‘public explanation of the circumstances and the justification for the use of deadly force’ under international law.

Emmerson analysed 37 strikes carried out by the US, UK and Israel in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza, to arrive at a ‘sample’ of strikes that he believes those nations have a legal duty to explain.

Britain and the US conduct strikes as part of the armed conflict in Afghanistan, and the US also conducts covert strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Although Israel has never officially acknowledged using armed drones, Emmerson met with Israeli officials in the course of preparing his report and lists seven attacks in Gaza among those requiring investigation.

This report expands on an argument for the legal obligation for states to investigate and account for credible claims of civilian casualties, which Emmerson first laid out in his previous report, presented to the UN General Assembly in October.

He writes: ‘in any case in which there have been, or appear to have been, civilian casualties that were not anticipated when the attack was planned, the State responsible is under an obligation to conduct a prompt, independent and impartial fact-finding inquiry and to provide a detailed public explanation of the results.’

A February 2010 attack in Afghanistan serves as a ‘benchmark’ of the kind of disclosure that should follow claims of civilian casualties.

After a US drone attack on a convoy of trucks reportedly killed up to 23 civilians, the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), which runs international operations in Afghanistan, partially declassified the findings of its internal investigation. Emmerson writes that this report strongly criticised the crew’s actions and revealed ‘a propensity to “kinetic activity” [lethal action]‘.
This level of transparency is rare.

The most recent incident featured in Emmerson’s report is a December 2013 attack that hit a wedding procession near Rada’a in Yemen, killing at least 12. Multiple sources have identified numerous civilian casualties among the dead, including a Human Rights Watch investigation published last week.

Three unnamed US officials told Associated Press after the publication of Human Rights Watch’s report that an internal investigation had found only alleged militants were killed – but no results of this investigation have yet been officially released.

Continue article here. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

US Drone Strike Kills US-Backed Afghan Soldiers

 At least five reported killed and many injured as "precision" weapon obliterates allies on the ground - Jon Queally, staff writer

Published on Thursday, March 6, 2014 by Common Dreams

At least five Afghan National Army soldiers in Logar Province are dead and many others injured on Thursday after a U.S. drone bombed a former NATO-run military outpost in Afghanistan.

The latest incident of mistaken targeting by a U.S. drone—which the military and Obama administration call a "precision" weapon—is sure to further outrage ordinary Afghans as well as President Hamid Karzai who has repeatedly, and with increasing anger, criticized bother NATO and U.S. forces for their disregard of Afghan lives while operating within the country.

“We believe the strike was the result of poor coordination between the people on the ground and the operators of the drone,” said Din Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the governor of Logar Province, which is in the east of Afghanistan.

“The area is frequented by insurgents both foreign and local, and drone strikes are carried out quite often in that part of Charkh,” Darwish continued. “The A.N.A. outpost was part of the security belt in the province.”

According to Agence France-Presse:

Khalilullah Kamal, the Charkh district governor, told AFP he had visited the site of the attack, which he said was from a US drone.

‘‘The post is totally destroyed,’’ he said.

‘‘The Americans used to be in that post but since they left, the ANA [Afghan national army] took over. The post is on a hilltop. The attack was conducted by drones.’’
NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) issued a statement following the bombing which confirmed that at least five Afghan soldiers had been killed.

"An investigation is being conducted at this time to determine the circumstances that led to this unfortunate incident,’’ read the statement. ‘‘Our condolences go out to the families of the ANA soldiers who lost their lives and were wounded ... we will determine what actions will be taken to ensure incidents like this do not happen again.’’

The New York Times adds: "While no hard data is available, the American military has apparently been using drones in Afghanistan with increasing frequency after strict controls were imposed on airstrikes to prevent civilian casualties, as well as complaints by the Afghan military that they were not getting adequate air support for their operations."

Spring Days of ACTION

An international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

Check out the organizing website of the campaign against drones.

Locally in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, save the dates of Wednesday April 30 and Saturday May 17 for days of action.  More information forthcoming.
Sign up for WAMM's email calendar and ACTION alerts to be kept up-to-date on events and actions. Click here.