It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Report: Former drone operator shares his inner torment

page: 1

log in


posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 08:17 AM
Report: Former drone operator shares his inner torment

Drone program in spotlight

Bryant, 27, has talked about his experiences before -- to the German magazine Der Spiegel and to the U.S. broadcaster NBC. But the publication of his interview with GQ comes amid renewed questions about the human cost and the legality of the U.S. drone program.

U.S. officials say the program is a vital tool in the fight against militant groups such as al Qaeda.
But two international human rights groups raised serious concerns Tuesday about the consequences of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, suggesting some attacks in recent years might amount to war crimes.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released reports giving detailed accounts of a number of attacks they say the United States carried out in each of the two countries, resulting in the deaths of scores of civilians.

The reports drew from extensive field research -- including interviews with witnesses and relatives of victims -- and called for a series of measures to bring the program in line with international law.

Leaders to meet

The White House on Tuesday disputed the reports' assertions that drone strikes had broken the law.
But the situation was made all the more awkward by the presence in Washington of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who held talks with U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday.

After the meeting, Sharif said he had raised the issue of drones with Obama, "emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes."


Having read Jeremy Scahill's Dirty Wars, and being at least that much aware of how this government's "Black Ops" and JSOC work 'outside of international laws', I am adamantly opposed to "drone strikes."

The young man interviewed (video available at the link) is only 27 years old - still just coming out of adolescence, and his "kill sheet diploma" said there were 1,626 "hits" for him. It was supposed to make him proud - but it makes him SICK.

He suffers now from PTSD.

I want to also point out that I found the interviewer to be pushing an agenda - even asking him "do you still have PTSD"?


She also says that 2/3rds of Americans SUPPORT the drone program. Thinking it is a "clean war" - but it is NOT.

What the Obama admin is doing is WAR CRIMES, and I agree with the Paki President that it needs to stop!!!

Even Malala told Obama the drone program is making things worse, and it is truly BEYOND me how this is not obvious to EVERYONE.

Malala to Obama: Drone strikes 'fueling terrorism'

Washington (CNN) -- The "Bravest Girl in the World" has stood up to President Barack Obama.
Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old shot by the Taliban for promoting girl's education in her native Pakistan, confronted Obama at the White House on Friday about U.S. drone strikes.
In a meeting that included first lady Michelle Obama, the young activist challenged one of Obama's premier counterterrorism strategies.
"I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism," she said in a statement released today. "Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact."
The U.S. government has said strikes by the unmanned aircraft are a necessary part of the fight against militant groups, including the Taliban.
In an interview that will air Sunday at 7 p.m. with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Malala said she is far from done serving.
"I want to become a prime minister of Pakistan, and I think it's really good. Because through politics I can serve my whole county. I can be the doctor of the whole country," she said.

And what did the White House say about it???

All CNN posted was:

In a statement, the White House saluted Malala's continuing efforts to promote education for girls.

These warmongers make me literally so sick that sometimes I can't even bring myself to make threads when I see them. SO MANY LIVES are ruined by these endless, stupid wars....

I weep for humanity.

The only thing that leads me to hold out hope is that we are heading into a paradigm shift of unprecedented "change of consciousness." For all the doomporn Negative Neds and Debbie Downers saying "the world will never be at peace, there's no hope of that EVER happening" (I see it here every damn day!!), I say:

YES, IT CAN BE AT PEACE, once people start realizing that all the "New Agey woowoo stuff" IS going to happen. It already IS happening, as the Internet has created a "Global Consciousness" - and we are more connected than ever before - that is, geography no longer matters, even language barriers have been broken.

WE MUST PERSEVERE!!! We MUST strive, as a global entity (mankind) to achieve it, and not just GIVE UP.

Whether you are a fundie Christian hoping for The End Times, or a New-Ager who believes in "NAMASTE" makes NO DIFFERENCE.

The world needs a HUGE attitude adjustment. It has is gaining momentum...and it WILL happen.

The End Times is a myth, people. We are going to survive this, and the next decades and centuries will be the dawning of a New MindSet. Please don't dismiss the quantum effects of thoughts and hopes. They are REAL THINGS.

Think positive. Deny war and violence as "normal" - the time for war and violence has PASSED.


But, come on!!!!

What do you think, ATS? Should we all get on board and 'think' it into being reality? I say, YES.

edit on 10/25/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 08:45 AM
This is the interview/article from GQ of two days ago:

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

Read More

Since its inception, the drone program has been largely hidden, its operational details gathered piecemeal from heavily redacted classified reports or stage-managed media tours by military public-affairs flacks. Bryant is one of very few people with firsthand experience as an operator who has been willing to talk openly, to describe his experience from the inside. While Bryant considers leakers like Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden heroes willing to sacrifice themselves for their principles, he’s cautious about discussing some of the details to which his top-secret clearance gave him access. Still, he is a curtain drawn back on the program that has killed thousands on our behalf.

Despite President Obama’s avowal earlier this year that he will curtail their use, drone strikes have continued apace in Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. With enormous potential growth and expenditures, drones will be a center of our policy for the foreseeable future. (By 2025, drones will be an $82 billion business, employing an additional 100,000 workers.) Most Americans—61 percent in the latest Pew survey—support the idea of military drones, a projection of American power that won’t risk American lives.

Selfish bastards.

It KILLS PEOPLE! I can't understand people who think war is appropriate. I just can't. Maybe because I'm a woman, a mother, a daughter and sister and aunt and wife and friend - but NEVER in my life have I felt "okay" about war.

Go ahead and flame me if you are one of those 61% of Americans that support it, tell me why you disagree. And yes, I'm aware of terrorists, and the atrocities taking place in the Middle East EVERY DAY...
but the Drone Program is like cheating.

And it's NOT LIKE A VIDEO GAME for the "pilots". It's a TRAGEDY and a scarring of a young mind that is every bit as awful as any survivor of war-deaths is.


This young man was shunted into intelligence right after joining the Air Force, and was told he'd get to be in a "cool" position.

He was told he would be like “the guys that give James Bond all the information that he needs to get the mission done.”

Read More

The article in GQ goes into MUCH more depth about the horrors of his job and career than the CNN article or interview. Well worth reading.

edit on 10/25/13 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 09:00 AM

For decades the model for understanding PTSD has been “fear conditioning”: quite literally the lasting psychological ramifications of mortal terror. But a term now gaining wider acceptance is “moral injury.”

It represents a tectonic realignment, a shift from a focusing on the violence that has been done to a person in wartime toward his feelings about what he has done to others—or what he’s failed to do for them.
The concept is attributed to the clinical psychiatrist Jonathan Shay, who in his book Achilles in Vietnam traces the idea back as far as the Trojan War.

The mechanisms of death may change—as intimate as a bayonet or as removed as a Hellfire—but the bloody facts, and their weight on the human conscience, remain the same.

Bryant’s diagnosis of PTSD fits neatly into this new understanding. It certainly made sense to Bryant. “I really have no fear,” he says now. “It’s more like I’ve had a soul-crushing experience. An experience that I thought I’d never have. I was never prepared to take a life.”

Read More

What a sad story the human race is writing.

Moral Injury? You betcha. Horrible.

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 09:46 AM
reply to post by wildtimes

There logic behind their drone strikes is that the end justifies the means. I wonder if they release exactly how close we are to the end?

Silly me of course they do, is all part of "There" plan!

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 10:08 AM
Posted yesterday

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 10:34 AM
reply to post by rangerdanger

Thanks. I see you posted it without much commentary, in the Weapons forum.

Sometimes the mods allow threads in other forums; in this case I wanted to discuss the psychological effects of war.

Thanks for pointing it out to me, though. I guess if they close it, they close it!


posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 12:27 PM
reply to post by wildtimes

Wow, powerful, a must read. Remote or not I can understand why he suffers PTSD, i certainly would not like to have witnessed what he did, even though he was half a world away. Respect

posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 12:33 PM
reply to post by corblimeyguvnor

Yeah, I agree. The poor guy - still a young man, and has the rest of his life to "live down" the horrors of his youth.

THAT is what I hate about war and the military. So sad. It ruins the lives of EVERYONE involved - the soldiers are harmed no matter what - physical or psychological, but even if not physically, CERTAINLY psychologically.

Like the child-soldiers in Africa - those kids will NEVER be the same. They will NEVER enjoy a safe, happy childhood, and will go to their graves with PTSD....

witness Palestine. Preschool-aged kids in fatigues with mock guns, ducking under barbed wire on a stage (a 'talent' show? I don't know...sick, though).

CHILDREN exposed to warfare are irredeemably affected by it, whether standers-by, survivors, or warriors.

This applies to young adults as well. A young adult who goes through military training has already been "broken" in spirit (that's what boot camp does, on purpose), and as we know from Vietnam (my first exposure to veterans was young 20-somethings coming home from there - they were my cohort's older siblings), they don't truly recover, EVER.

It's high time that the M/I complex acknowledges the DAMAGE they do to their own troops, let alone the carnage and destruction of other people's lives and surrounds.

Thanks for your response.


posted on Nov, 10 2013 @ 07:34 PM
I wasn't aware that public opinion was so favourable to the drone program. This is insane! People really support this stuff? A clean war? Are you kidding me? What could possibly be clean about using machines for extrajudicial assassination? Or maybe "clean" just means that American lives are not at risk?

top topics


log in