ashameduscitizen

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people. Howard Zinn

Two Obamas, Two Classes of Children

Via: ICH

By Ralph Nader


The lifeless bodies of Afghan children lay on the ground before their funeral 
ceremony, after a NATO airstrike killed several Afghan civilians, including ten children 
– Sunday, April 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Naimatullah Karyab)

An Associated Press photograph brought the horror of little children lying dead outside of their home to an American Audience. At least 10 Afghan children and some of their mothers were struck down by an airstrike on their extended family household by order of President Barack Obama. He probably decided on what his aides describe as the routine weekly “Terror Tuesday” at the White House. On that day, Mr. Obama typically receives the advice about which “militants” should live or die thousands of miles away from drones or aircraft. Even if households far from war zones are often destroyed in clear violation of the laws of war, the president is not deterred.

These Obama airstrikes are launched knowing that very often there is “collateral damage,” that is a form of “so sorry terrorism.” How can the president explain the vaporization of a dozen pre-teen Afghan boys collecting firewood for their families on a hillside? The local spotter-informants must have been disoriented by all those $100 bills in rewards. Imagine a direct strike killing and injuring scores of people in a funeral procession following a previous fatal strike that was the occasion of this processional mourning. Remember the December 2009 Obama strike on an alleged al-Qaida training camp in Yemen, using tomahawk missiles and – get this – cluster bombs, that killed 14 women and 21 children. Again and again “so sorry terrorism” ravages family households far from the battlefields.

If this is a war, why hasn’t Congress declared war under Article 1, Sec. 8 of the U.S. Constitution? The 2001 Congressional Authorization to Use Military Force is not an open-ended authorization for the president. It was restricted to targeting only nations, organizations or persons that are determined to have been implicated in the 9/11 massacres, or harbored complicit organizations or persons.

Read more: here

Doesn’t this bother anyone else?

People… If you don’t speak out and try to change the actions of our leaders you are complicit to the murder of women and children…

Through our actions as a country, we are creating the hate and ultimately the results…

It is just a matter of time until children here get murdered the same way. Who will you blame then?

The image of the military as being good and necessary is a farce.

The people have been culturally programmed to believe that we need this giant, out of control, military force.  And that we all owe those that serve and have served in the armed forces…For taking part in legitimatized murder, for money, at the orders and whims of political leaders? For creating and fomenting turmoil and killing all over the planet? For protecting our freedom and democracy?

And I am not saying the people that proudly serve in the armed forces are bad, I’m saying the reasons for their actions are wrong…(based on lies)!

And we are so hooked on the business of killing..Lockheed, Boeing,Raytheon, Dell, Dupont, etc.. The people that work at the companies and industries that support the military/industrial complex are especially complicit! 

 I know they work at what are some, if not most, of the decent paying jobs, but C’mon…And the money that goes to pay for all this could be used for something positive for all of us, instead of lining the pockets of a few..

Wake up!  Every moment of your life you are being lied to as to what is really going on in our government, economy, world, etc…

Just sayin…
-Moose

 

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America’s Hired Death Squads and Torture Teams Are Still Operating in Iraq

Via: AlterNet

A 15-month investigation exploring war crimes long denied by the Pentagon lays out the tragic truth.

April 7, 2013 |

Death squads, torture, secret prisons in Iraq, and General David Petraeus are among the featured atrocities in a recently-released new British documentary – James Steele: America’s Mystery Man in Iraq – the result of a 15-month investigation by Guardian Films and BBC Arabic, exploring war crimes long denied by the Pentagon but confirmed by thousands of military field reports made public by Wikileaks.

The hour-long film explores the arc of American counterinsurgency brutality from Viet-Nam to Iraq, with stops along the way in El Salvador and Nicaragua. James Steele is now a retired U.S. colonel who first served in Viet-Nam as a company commander in 1968-69. He later made his reputation as a military advisor in El Salvador, where he guided ruthless Salvadoran death squads in the 1980s. When his country called again in 2003, he came out of retirement to train Iraqi police commandos in the bloodiest techniques of counterinsurgency that evolved into that country’s Shia-Sunni civil war that at its peak killed 3,000 people a month. Steele now lives in a gated golf community in Brian, Texas, and did not respond to requests for an interview for the documentary bearing his name

Read more: here

But they don’t like us because of our freedom..
Not because we keep murdering them….
WTF?
-Moose

Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland, Wife Found Dead in Home

Via: Dallas News

By TANYA EISERER and TASHA TSIAPERAS
Published: 30 March 2013 09:02 PM

Kaufman County’s district attorney and his wife were found slain Saturday, raising fears that their deaths may be part of a plot that included the killing of one of the county’s assistant district attorneys in January.

Kaufman Police Chief Chris Aulbaugh and other officials confirmed that Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia Woodward McLelland, had been shot at their home near Forney.

Their deaths followed the Jan. 31 slaying of Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse.

“It is a shock,” Aulbaugh said late Saturday. “It was a shock with Mark Hasse, and now you can just imagine the double shock. … Until we know what happened, I really can’t confirm that it’s related, but you always have to assume until it’s proven otherwise.”

Aulbaugh said that the Texas Rangers were helping with the investigation at the McLellands’ home in an unincorporated part of the county but that the sheriff’s department will be leading the investigation.

Read more: here

Seems like somebody is getting even…
The legislature should add some more gun laws..
That will stop these kind of things from happening in the future….
-Moose

Prosecutable US Crimes Against Humanity In Korea

Via: ICH

By Jay Janson

March 31, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – While staring at the New York Times front page photo of the bat-winged nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth Bombers up in the blue sky on their first non-stop long-range mission from the US on their way to a practice sortie to end in a mock bombing drop of inert munitions on a range off South Korea’s coast, I ponder.

The thought that ‘enough is enough’ will apparently never arise in the mind-set of those commanding the first planet-encompassing space-age military, blown up now to an uncontrollable magnitude and fueled by an uninterrupted flow of trillions of dollars by ledger line pre-occupied elite of the speculative investment banking community; a community possibly still being led by multi-war promoting confidants of ninety-eight year old David Rockefeller.1

Former president of Korea, Lee Myung-bak dutifully bought loads of new US weapons of mass destruction. Does he ever remember watching his two tiny siblings begin to slowly die before his eyes during a US bombing raid on his family’s farm? As the nuclear capable black bat wings make their run over her beloved Korea, does the new President, Park Geun-hye, keep in mind her father’s point blank assassination by the head of the, allegedly American overseen, Korean CIA?

Read more: here

What if They Gave a War and Nobody Paid?

Via: Waging nonviolence

David Hartsough
March 26, 2013

As April 15 approaches, make no mistake: The tax money that many of us will be sending to the U.S. government pays for drones that are killing innocent civilians, for “better” nuclear weapons that could put an end of human life on our planet, for building and operating more than 760 military bases in over 130 countries all over the world. We are asked by our government to give moral and financial support to cutting federal spending for our children’s schools, Head Start programs, job training, environmental protection and cleanup, programs for the elderly, and medical care for all so that this same government can spend 50 percent of all our tax dollars on wars and other military expenditures.

My wife Jan and I have been war tax resisters since the war in Vietnam. We cannot in good conscience pay for killing people in other parts of the world.

Does it make sense to work every day for peace and justice and then contribute one day’s pay each week for war and war-making? In order to wage wars, governments need young men and women willing to fight and kill, and they need the rest of us to pay our taxes to cover the cost of soldiers, bombs, guns, ammunition, planes and aircraft carriers. The cost of just the wars being fought now is in the trillions of dollars.

Increasingly, we are able to recognize that most wars are based on lies — weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, and now al-Qaeda behind every bush and in every country our government wants to attack.

As our government uses drones that kill thousands of innocent people, we create ever more enemies, thus assuring that we will have wars to fight in perpetuity. The war against communism used to be the rationale for all our military expenditures. Now it is the war on terror. But the problem is that all war is terrorism. It just depends which end of the gun or bomb you are on. One person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist.

Read more: here

I agree!
-Moose

New ‘Fast and Furious’ Report Finds DHS Warning Signs Ignored

Via: LA Times

By Richard A. Serrano
March 21, 2013, 2:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Even as they lost scores of illegal firearms in their Fast and Furious operation, federal ATF agents asked their Border Patrol counterparts not to pursue criminal leads or track gun smuggling in southern Arizona so they could follow the firearms themselves, and senior Homeland Security agents “complied and the leads were not investigated,” according to a new Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s report.

The report, obtained Thursday by The Times, also said that a Homeland Security special agent on the border was collaborating with the ATF in Fast and Furious, but his “senior leaders” in Arizona never read his updates about fundamental flaws with the failed gun tracking operation. Had they done so, Homeland Security officials could have tried to close down the operation before one of their Border Patrol agents, Brian Terry, was killed not far from Tucson.

Furthermore, the report determined that top Department of Homeland Security officials in Washington did not learn about Fast and Furious until Terry was shot to death in December 2010 and two of the 1,430 lost firearms were found at the scene of his murder.

Fast and Furious has led to a number of high-ranking demotions within the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and a contempt of Congress citation against Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. Now, the new Homeland Security inspector general’s findings for the first time document that the ATF also managed to mostly keep their Border Patrol counterparts in the dark about Fast and Furious.

Read more: here

I’m so surprised….
The script looked promising….
-Moose

Majoring in Drones: Higher Ed Embraces Unmanned Aircraft

Via: Time

By Victor LuckersonMarch 18, 2013

Zachary Waller always wanted to be a commercial airline pilot as a kid. The prestige and paycheck associated with being the captain of a huge airliner appealed to him. But shortly after he arrived at the University of North Dakota in 2008, he realized he could actually take to the skies and secure a good job without having his feet leave the ground. He decided to pursue a new degree that the department of aviation was offering — unmanned-aircraft-systems operations. He spent his college years studying drones.

“There were no textbooks,” Waller says of the program’s early years. “Nothing like this had ever been taught in an academic setting.” When he began studying unmanned aircraft in 2009, there were about 15 students in the major. Today, 120 students are enrolled in the program.

It’s not just a North Dakota phenomenon. Curriculums and research projects related to drones are cropping up at both large universities and community colleges across the country. In a list of 81 publicly funded entities that have applied for a certificate of authorization to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), more than a third are colleges, according to FAA documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Schools — and their students — are jockeying for a position on the ground floor of a nascent industry that looks poised to generate jobs and research funding in the coming years.

“We get a lot of inquiries from students saying, ‘I want to be a drone pilot,’” says Ken Polovitz, the assistant dean in the University of North Dakota’s John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. “The Grand Forks region has become a hotbed for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).”

Read more: here

This is great…
Learning to kill better….
Can’t wait till one of these kids go rogue….
-Moose

The View from Abroad The World is not Billy Bob’s Rib Pit

Via: ICH

By Fred Reed

March 16, 2013 “Information Clearing House” – The United States is the most hated country in the world, followed closely by Israel, and then by nobody. Why? Why not Ecuador? China? Russia? East Timor? The hostility puzzles many Americans, who genuinely believe their country to be a force for good, a pillar of democracy, a defender of human rights.

To the rest of the world, none of this is even close.

If you have lived abroad, as so very few Americans have, the explanation for the hatred is obvious: Meddling. Relentless, prideful, uncomprehending meddling, frequently military, often with horrendous death tolls. Americans, adroitly managed by a controlled press, historically illiterate, incurious, decreasingly educated, either have never heard of the American behavior that angers others, or believe it to have been inspired by virtuous motives. Nobody else thinks so. Add to unfamiliarity with the wider world the constantly inculcated assertion that America is the greatest, most wonderful nation ever to exist, a light to the world, a shining city on a hill, and you get a dangerously delusional state. Especially now. In the past, American economic and military supremacy were such that the US didn’t have to care what others thought. The times, they are a-changing.

It might be wise to compare briefly the view through American and foreign eyes. Consider Iraq. To most of the world, the war on Iraq was brutal, unprovoked, and murderous. More than a few, looking at the ruins of Fallujah, thought of Guernica—of which few in the States have ever heard.

Read more: here

The Axis of Torpor

Via: National Review.

Against waging war as an NGO.

By Mark Steyn
March 15, 2013

I greatly enjoy the new Hollywood genre in which dysfunctional American families fly to a foreign city and slaughter large numbers of the inhabitants as a kind of bonding experience.

Liam Neeson takes his estranged wife and their teenage daughter for just such a vacation in Taken 2, in which the spectacular mountain of corpses in Istanbul brings the family back together again and ends with them (spoiler alert) enjoying a chocolate malt back at the soda fountain in California and getting to know the daughter’s new boyfriend. “Don’t shoot this one, Dad,” she cautions. “I really like him.” And they all have a good chuckle over it.

In Die Hard 5 or whatever we’re up to, Bruce Willis and his estranged son fly to Moscow and do to the Russians what Neeson does to the Turks and Albanians.

I gather that in the forthcoming Finding Nemo 2 Marlin and Dory’s marriage is going through a rocky patch until Nemo is kidnapped by a Ukrainian sex cartel and Marlin and Dory swim up the Dnieper River and gun down every pimp in Kiev.

Read more: here

Army Officer Invokes ‘Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines’ In Official Drones Paper

Via: Business Insider

terminator machines

One of the things Army Lt. Col. Douglas Pryer is known for is his mastery of words, but he still has a respect for pictures.

Pryer is a former intelligence officer who worked in various command staff in Iraq, Kosovo, Germany, and others. He’s also an award winning military author.

Plastered to the top of his most recent report, published by the Army’s Combined Arms Center, is a picture from the Terminator movies: a squad of evil looking humanoid machines, undoubtedly looking for human victims.

Pryer even named the paper after the last of these movies. He calls the paper “The Rise Of The Machines: Why Increasingly ‘Perfect’ Machines Help Perpetuate Our Wars And Endanger Our Nations.”

So it’s not hard to see what Pryor thinks about the global drone war, even without reading a word.

If a few words had to be picked though, let them be the most terrifying collection.

Along the way Pryer writes that he wishes he believed that America would one day look back at transnational drone strikes as a morally disastrous policy that our nation briefly toyed with at the turn of the century, before gaining wisdom from this folly.”

He believes himself to be optimistic in this regard though. A dreamer. Instead, a combination of an American feeling of blind moral superiority and technological supremacy make the development of Spartan robots seem like a foregone conclusion.

Then he drops this dystopic doozy:

[The U.S. seems bound to develop] robots so advanced that they make today’s Predators and Reapers look positively impotent and antique. These killer robots, though, will share one thing in common with their primitive progenitors: with remorseless purpose, they will stalk and kill any human deemed “a legitimate target” by their controllers and programmers.

Read more: here

I said this was gonna happen……
-Moose

US Drones Bombing Africa Operated From RAF Bases In The Heart of The Lincolnshire Countryside

Via: The Daily Mail

By Robert Verkaik, Mail On Sunday Security Editor

An RAF base in Britain is being used by America in its controversial drone warfare campaign, it was claimed last night.

Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday reveal that the United States has established a drone ‘operations centre’ in the heart of the Lincolnshire countryside which could be used to co-ordinate attacks in the Middle East and Africa.

Last night, the revelation sparked claims of British complicity in the US Airforce (USAF) assassination programme which is being investigated by the United Nations.

One document requests US security-cleared staff to work at RAF Waddington on a USAF drone called the Predator. The weapon has killed hundreds of people in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

A second document describes a role for a communications technician at the same base ‘supporting 24/7 operations of critical real-time USAF/ANG [Air National Guard] mission operations’.

Bosh Global Services, the US company recruiting personnel, designs and maintains key drone equipment for the American military and has established a base in Lincolnshire, believed to be at RAF Waddington.

The site has been designated Britain’s first drone centre and will have five fully armed Reapers from next year.

Read more: here

Thank goodness we will never have armed drones in the US…
-Moose 

How the US Exported its ‘Dirty War’ Policy to Iraq – With Fatal Consequences

Via: The Guardian

Using Latin American covert operations as a template for its Iraqi paramilitary proxies, the US once again lost the moral war

Murtaza Hussain, guest-blogging for Glenn Greenwald
Friday 8 March 2013 16.08 EST

In one of the fiery oratories for which he was well-known, the late Hugo Chávez once stated his belief that “the American empire is the greatest menace to our planet.” While his detractors have often sought to paint his rhetorical flourishes as a manifestation of unprovoked and unpopular extremism, to his death Chávez remained extremely popular with the majority of the Venezuelan people.

Indeed, far from being an outlier, Chávez fit well within the spectrum of both Central and Latin American popular opinion. While his style may have been his own, his beliefs and worldview regarding US interventionism were reflected in other leaders throughout the region. Looking at the history of US engagement in Latin America, it becomes evident why such a situation exists.

From overthrowing democratically elected leaders, operating death squads, and torturing civilians, the history of US involvement in the region has understandably helped create a widespread popular backlash that persists to this day.

Read more: here

US Drone Strikes Listed and Detailed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen

Via: The Guardian

Where has the US been using drones in attacks – and how many people have died there?

Are drone attacks becoming the face of modern warfare? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has collected the comprehensive database of reported drone attacks.

It shows hundreds of attacks: up to 337 in Pakistan, largely along the tribal areas of Waziristan, especially in the northern part…

Plus there are another 35-45 recorded in Yemen and up to nine in Somalia.

The data also records the number of deaths, which could be up to 3,247 across the three countries, including up to 852 civilians.

Read more: here

Am I the only person bothered by this?
-Moose

US Gen. McChrystal Warns Against Drones

Via: thescottross.blogspot



In essence this is a warning from a four-star US General to his government about the use of drones, saying that if America uses them carelessly then it has no right to be outraged over extremist retaliation.

 Stanley McChrystal: “I question its universal validity. If you go back to the British tactics on the North-West Frontier, the “butcher and bolt” tactics, where they would burn an area and punish the people and say, “Don’t do that anymore,” and simultaneously offer a stipend to the leader while saying, “If you will remain friendly for a period of time, we’ll pay you”—that approach worked for a fair amount of time. It managed problems on their periphery. But it certainly didn’t solve the problems.

The tactics that we developed do work, but they don’t produce decisive effects absent other, complementary activities. We did an awful lot of capturing and killing in Iraq for several years before it started to have a real effect, and that came only when we were partnered with an effective counterinsurgency approach. Just the strike part of it can never do more than keep an enemy at bay.

And although to the United States, a drone strike seems to have very little risk and very little pain, at the receiving end, it feels like war.

 Americans have got to understand that.

If we were to use our technological capabilities carelessly—I don’t think we do, but there’s always the danger that you will—then we should not be upset when someone responds with their equivalent, which is a suicide bomb in Central Park, because that’s what they can respond with.”

Read more: here

Duh!
-Moose

John Brennan Sworn in as CIA Director Using Constitution Lacking Bill of Rights

Via: emptywheel

 
Posted on March 8, 2013

According to the White House, John Brennan was sworn in as CIA Director on a “first draft” of the Constitution including notations from George Washington, dating to 1787.

Vice President Joe Biden swears in CIA Director John Brennan in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 8, 2013. Members of Brennan’s family stand with him. Brennan was sworn in with his hand on an original draft of the Constitution, dating from 1787, which has George Washington’s personal handwriting and annotations on it.

That means, when Brennan vowed to protect and defend the Constitution, he was swearing on one that did not include the First, Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendments — or any of the other Amendments now included in our Constitution. The Bill of Rights did not become part of our Constitution until 1791, 4 years after the Constitution that Brennan took his oath on.

I really don’t mean to be an asshole about this. But these vows always carry a great deal of symbolism. And whether he meant to invoke this symbolism or not, the moment at which Brennan took over the CIA happened to exclude (in symbolic form, though presumably not legally) the key limits on governmental power that protect American citizens.

Read more: here

Nothing to worry about…..
-Moose

Iraq’s Depleted Uranium Clean-up to Cost $30m as Contamination Spreads

Via: The Guardian

Report says toxic waste is being spread by scrap metal dealers, and describes its ‘alarming’ use in civilian areas during Iraq wars

By Rob Edwards 
Wednesday 6 March 2013 06.44 EST

Cleaning up more than 300 sites in Iraq still contaminated by depleted uranium (DU) weapons will cost at least $30m, according to a report by a Dutch peace group to be published on Thursday.

The report, which was funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, warns that the contamination is being spread by poorly regulated scrap metal dealers, including children. It also documents evidence that DU munitions were fired at light vehicles, buildings and other civilian infrastructure including the Iraqi Ministry of Planning in Baghdad – casting doubt on official assurances that only armoured vehicles were targeted. “The use of DU in populated areas is alarming,” it says, adding that many more contaminated sites are likely to be discovered.

More than 400 tonnes of DU ammunition are estimated to have been fired by jets and tanks in the two Iraq wars in 1991 and 2003, the vast majority by US forces. The UK government says that British forces fired less than three tonnes.

DU is a chemically toxic and radioactive heavy metal produced as waste by the nuclear power industry. It is used in weapons because it is an extremely hard material capable of piercing armour.

Read more: here

Just bringing freedom and democracy to ya! It does have a funny aftertaste…
Oh, And hey, watch out for those mines, too…
Don’t you just love America?
-Moose

Mexican Government Prepares a Dirty War

Via: World Socialist Web Site

By Rafael Azul
25 February 2013

As Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration approaches its third month in power, it is rapidly escalating the militarization of Mexican society. A combination of commando special operation forces and paramilitary death squads, both equipped by and in close contact with the US military, is being placed at the service of Mexican big business and transnational corporations. Increasingly Mexico is operating under an unofficial state of siege.

Since Peña and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, PRI) took over from President Felipe Calderón and the National Action Party (Partido de Acción Nacional, PAN) on December 1, 2012, a long-standing relationship between the Pentagon and the Mexican Government has intensified.

On January 17, the Associated Press reported that the US military will open a new operations center in Colorado to train Mexican security personnel that will confront criminal drug and smuggling syndicates—utilizing the same counterinsurgency methods as the US military in combating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The announcement followed the news that US special operations forces have helped the Mexican Government establish its own CIA-like agency, the National Intelligence Center (Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, CNI), in Mexico City.

The military training center will be under the command of NORTHCOM, the division of the Pentagon for North American operations. In addition to other duties, Mexican police and army officials will be trained in setting up a network of intelligence agencies, similar to those that carry out the criminal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then-US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta established the program on December 31.

Both Mexican and US officials went out of their way to present the program as business as usual, except that from now on the US commander of the program will have the rank of general. In a written statement, Navy Captain Jeff Davis declared, “We are merely placing a component commander in charge of things we are already doing.”

Read more: here

We are so good with dirty wars! And what could go wrong with this program…
-Moose

Killer Robots Must Be Stopped, Say Campaigners

Via: The Guardian

‘Autonomous weapons’, which could be ready within a decade, pose grave risk to international law, claim activists.
Tracy McVeigh 
The Observer, Saturday 23 February

A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates.
Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law.

The Stop the Killer Robots campaign will be launched in April at the House of Commons and includes many of the groups that successfully campaigned to have international action taken against cluster bombs and landmines. They hope to get a similar global treaty against autonomous weapons.

“These things are not science fiction; they are well into development,” said Sharkey. “The research wing of the Pentagon in the US is working on the X47B [unmanned plane] which has supersonic twists and turns with a G-force that no human being could manage, a craft which would take autonomous armed combat anywhere in the planet.

“In America they are already training more drone pilots than real aircraft pilots, looking for young men who are very good at computer games. They are looking at swarms of robots, with perhaps one person watching what they do.”

Sharkey insists he is not anti-war but deeply concerned about how quickly science is moving ahead of the presumptions underlying the Geneva convention and the international laws of war.

Read more: here

All for Money..It’ll be good for the economy…
-Moose

Killer Robots Must Be Stopped, Say Campaigners

Via: The Guardian

‘Autonomous weapons’, which could be ready within a decade, pose grave risk to international law, claim activists.
Tracy McVeigh 
The Observer, Saturday 23 February

A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates.
Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law.

The Stop the Killer Robots campaign will be launched in April at the House of Commons and includes many of the groups that successfully campaigned to have international action taken against cluster bombs and landmines. They hope to get a similar global treaty against autonomous weapons.

“These things are not science fiction; they are well into development,” said Sharkey. “The research wing of the Pentagon in the US is working on the X47B [unmanned plane] which has supersonic twists and turns with a G-force that no human being could manage, a craft which would take autonomous armed combat anywhere in the planet.

“In America they are already training more drone pilots than real aircraft pilots, looking for young men who are very good at computer games. They are looking at swarms of robots, with perhaps one person watching what they do.”

Sharkey insists he is not anti-war but deeply concerned about how quickly science is moving ahead of the presumptions underlying the Geneva convention and the international laws of war.

Read more: here

All for Money..It’ll be good for the economy…
-Moose

Tomgram: Nick Turse, The Hidden History of Water Torture

Via: TomDispatch

Sometimes, the world can be such a simple, black-and-white sort of place.  Let me give you an example.  Imagine for a moment that the Iranians kidnap an American citizen from a third country.  (If you prefer, feel free to substitute al-Qaeda or the North Koreans or the Chinese for the Iranians.)  They accuse him of being a terrorist.  They throw him in jail without charges or a trial or a sentence and claim they suspect he might have crucial information (perhaps even of the “ticking bomb” sort — and the Iranians have had some genuine experience with ticking bombs). Over the weeks that follow, they waterboard him time and again. They strip him, put a dog collar and leash on him.  They hood him, loose dogs on him. They subject him to freezing cold water and leave him naked on cold nights. They hang him by his arms from the ceiling of his cell in the “strappado” position. I’m sure I really don’t have to go on.  Is there any question what we (or our leaders) would think or say?

We would call them barbarians. Beyond the bounds of civilization. Torturers. Monsters. Evil. No one in the U.S. government, on reading CIA intelligence reports about how that American had been treated, would wonder: Is it torture? No one in Washington would have the urge to call what the Iranians (al-Qaeda, the North Koreans, the Chinese) did “enhanced interrogation techniques.” If, on being asked at a Senate hearing whether he thought the Iranian acts were, in fact, “torture,” the prospective director of the CIA demurred, claimed he was no expert on the subject, no lawyer or legal scholar, and simply couldn’t label it as such, he would not be confirmed.  He would probably never have a job in Washington again. If asked whether the Iranians who committed such acts against that American and their superiors who ordered them to do so, should be brought before an American or international court and tried, the president would surely not suggest that this was the moment to “look forward, not backward,” nor would his justice department give them a free pass.

Read more: here

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