Obliterate Conformity

The most bizarre part of Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is that almost no one has heard about it.

And whoever has heard about it, doesn’t want to talk about it.


Published under TRUTHOUT

“Let Robots Do the Dying,” said Simon Ramo, the aerospace pioneer.

The first “robots” that did their dying for us were clunky little tin cans with wings on them. Anti-aircraft gunners would shoot them down during training exercises in WWII. On rare occasions they were sent out on simple attack missions – with no return policy. Their purpose was to explode.

They had no religion. No sense. No brain. No consciousness. No virgins waiting in the after-life.

By the time Vietnam War started, they were less clunky, with a simmering of a personality. They were known as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or UAVs.

In Vietnam they also got their first real sense, a camera lens. They flew thousands of reconnaissance missions in high-risk areas. They got a glimpse of the Tonkin Gulf clash. They marked Agent Orange tracks for the B-52s. They suggested convenient spots for napalm dumps. Eventually they spluttered and crashed. Sometimes they reincarnated in Charlie’s backyard as a modern art installation.

The UAVs were commended because “they saved lives.” Friendly lives, that is. But overall, remote-control warfare was still in it’s infancy.

The Yom Kippur War changed things. A heavily damaged Israeli Air Force used the UAVs for the first time to get real-time images of the Syrian air defenses. It saved the war for the Israelis. And it gave the UAVs a sense of real notoriety. It made them hungry for more attention.

They got it with 9/11.

The War on Terror gave the UAVs a sense of real character. They were promoted from an acronym to a Drone. Pentagon believed in them. After 2001, the number of U.S. Air Force Predator Drones grew from a dozen to about 7,500.