I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on | Heather Linebaugh | Comment is free | theguardian.com

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares...

A MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle prepares to land after a mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The Reaper has the ability to carry both precision-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is a far cry from clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day with limited clouds and perfect light. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: \”The feed is so pixelated, what if it\’s a shovel, and not a weapon?\” I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if we killed the right people, if we endangered the wrong people, if we destroyed an innocent civilian\’s life all because of a bad image or angle.It\’s also important for the public to grasp that there are human beings operating and analysing intelligence these UAVs. I know because I was one of them, and nothing can prepare you for an almost daily routine of flying combat aerial surveillance missions over a war zone. UAV proponents claim that troops who do this kind of work are not affected by observing this combat because they are never directly in danger physically.

via I worked on the US drone program. The public should know what really goes on | Heather Linebaugh | Comment is free | theguardian.com.

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