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10/27/13 4:14 PM
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GucciGucciGucci
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Dang

 

---------------------

 

Confessions of a Drone Warrior

 

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who's still utterly, terrifyingly human

 

October 23, 2013

From the darkness of a box in the Nevada desert, he watched as three men trudged down a dirt road in Afghanistan. The box was kept cold—precisely sixty-eight degrees—and the only light inside came from the glow of monitors. The air smelled spectrally of stale sweat and cigarette smoke. On his console, the image showed the midwinter landscape of eastern Afghanistan’s Kunar Province—a palette of browns and grays, fields cut to stubble, dark forests climbing the rocky foothills of the Hindu Kush. He zoomed the camera in on the suspected insurgents, each dressed in traditional shalwar kameez, long shirts and baggy pants. He knew nothing else about them: not their names, not their thoughts, not the thousand mundane and profound details of their lives.

He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd’s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. He switched from the visible spectrum—the muted grays and browns of “day-TV”—to the sharp contrast of infrared, and the insurgents’ heat signatures stood out ghostly white against the cool black earth. A safety observer loomed behind him to make sure the “weapon release” was by the book. A long verbal checklist, his targeting laser locked on the two men walking in front. A countdown—three…two…one…—then the flat delivery of the phrase “missile off the rail.” Seventy-five hundred miles away, a Hellfire flared to life, detached from its mount, and reached supersonic speed in seconds.

It was quiet in the dark, cold box in the desert, except for the low hum of machines.

He kept the targeting laser trained on the two lead men and stared so intently that each individual pixel stood out, a glowing pointillist dot abstracted from the image it was meant to form. Time became almost ductile, the seconds stretched and slowed in a strange electronic limbo. As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.

Airman First Class Brandon Bryant stared at the scene, unblinking in the white-hot clarity of infrared. He recalls it even now, years later, burned into his memory like a photo negative: “The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot. But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on.”........................


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10/27/13 4:18 PM
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Eunuchorn
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Jesus fuck somebody buy him a goddamn rc copter or an xbox or something

Make him stop!
10/27/13 4:18 PM
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battle777
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Pretty solid k/d Phone Post
10/27/13 4:19 PM
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Stuart Scott's Eyeball
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Damn Phone Post
10/27/13 4:29 PM
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Eunuchorn
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"The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg, and it’s hitting the ground, and it’s hot. His blood is hot. But when it hits the ground, it starts to cool off; the pool cools fast. It took him a long time to die. I just watched him. I watched him become the same color as the ground he was lying on"

holy fucking shit.
10/27/13 4:31 PM
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TexDeuce
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. Phone Post
10/27/13 4:39 PM
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domernd1
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I want to try an commission in the air national guard when I finish my degree. They have drone pilot positions open. Phone Post 3.0
10/27/13 4:43 PM
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Hessian
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How much did it cost the US to kill 3 goat herders?

No idea what a hell-fire costs and all the labor involved but it has to be very expensive to fight a Police action in this fashion.

The only folks making money will be the ones building the weapons?

Damn near everyone in that part of the World carries a gun, does that make them all combatants?



10/27/13 4:48 PM
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TheSergeK
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battle777 -  Pretty solid k/d Phone Post

LMFAO

10/27/13 4:51 PM
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YVEL MACHIDA
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Atleast there was honor when two armies used to line up across from eachother Phone Post
10/27/13 4:54 PM
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Handy Hammered My Colon
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Rambo John J - 

fucking cowardly


The guy doesn't seem very fucking happy with himself though man. I assume he realizes its not only cowardly but very, very wrong.

If you'd of read the article I'm sure you would have come to the same conclusion.
10/27/13 4:57 PM
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Mihow
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YVEL MACHIDA -  Atleast there was honor when two armies used to line up across from eachother Phone Post

as opposed to setting off roadside IED's and using suicide bombers

I agree
10/27/13 4:58 PM
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Cotton
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Fucking disgusting.
10/27/13 5:11 PM
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Rudi
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Rambo John J -

fucking cowardly

Meanwhile they are using IED's. Phone Post 3.0
10/27/13 5:26 PM
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RearNakedDeath07
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There is no fucking honor in war... Phone Post
10/27/13 5:29 PM
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Rudi
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RobinHood - Using IEDs in their own frigin country.

How would US citizens react to unwanted occupiers! Phone Post
It isn't their citizens who are putting IED'S out their you moron. Phone Post 3.0
10/27/13 5:31 PM
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MMAdotCOM
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"I was just following orders"
10/27/13 5:32 PM
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GnP Sonnen
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Rudi -
RobinHood - Using IEDs in their own frigin country.

How would US citizens react to unwanted occupiers! Phone Post
It isn't their citizens who are putting IED'S out their you moron. Phone Post 3.0
^ Phone Post
10/27/13 5:32 PM
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BackOffWarchild
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RearNakedDeath07 -  There is no fucking honor in war... Phone Post

This isn't war. This is a fucking slaughter, and it's repulsive. An adult man in a lawless state carries a firearm down the road, and 7,500 miles away a foreigner makes the decision to kill him with a missile strike. Then, when people come to his aid, they are executed with a second strike.

I am so fucking ashamed to have been in this Army.
10/27/13 5:33 PM
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GnP Sonnen
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We just need to have every nation build gundams and fight in space if they have a problem. Phone Post
10/27/13 5:33 PM
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kanotoa
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I wonder how bomber pilots feel when they are dropping bombs on cities. They may not have to watch the people suffer so I suppose there is a disconnect.

Fire bombing is pretty brutal, burning people to death opposed to blowing them up.

War is brutal. Phone Post
10/27/13 5:36 PM
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Alumynabjj
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Rudi - 
RobinHood - Using IEDs in their own frigin country.

How would US citizens react to unwanted occupiers! Phone Post
It isn't their citizens who are putting IED'S out their you moron. Phone Post 3.0

So those afghan soldiers shooting American soldiers arent really Afghan's? Yeah, you are right they love us and arent behind this at all.
10/27/13 5:40 PM
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Mencken
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Ender

10/27/13 5:40 PM
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GnP Sonnen
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Alumynabjj -
Rudi - 
RobinHood - Using IEDs in their own frigin country.

How would US citizens react to unwanted occupiers! Phone Post
It isn't their citizens who are putting IED'S out their you moron. Phone Post 3.0

So those afghan soldiers shooting American soldiers arent really Afghan's? Yeah, you are right they love us and arent behind this at all.
Imagine if it was reversed, how would you feel? Phone Post
10/27/13 5:53 PM
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effinggoof
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Good article.

I think that this guy did a tough, thankless job, worked an insane amount of hrs where he had to be completely switched on, and had to make a lot of hard decisions.

If I had to say anything to this guy, it would be that I am grateful, and that I pray he finds some peace.

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