DRONE WARRIORS: Say Hello to the DoD’s $125,000 Ostrich Feather
by Joe Scarry, cross-posted from Scarry Thoughts
In ancient Egypt, there was a highly-developed idea of how to assess the deep meaning of thoughts and acts during life. “The critical scene depicting the weighing of the heart, in the Book of the Dead, shows Anubis performing a measurement that determined whether the person was worthy of entering the realm of the dead (the underworld, known as Duat). By weighing the heart of a deceased person against Ma’at (or “truth”), who was often represented as an ostrich feather, Anubis dictated the fate of souls.” (Wikipedia)
The US Department of Defense has replaced the ostrich feather with $125,000.
A recent report in The Fiscal Times says the drone pilots are being induced to re-enlist with bonuses of $125,000. Apparently, even though the military is moving as fast as it possibly can toward robotic killing, it still can’t get the small number of people it needs to come volunteer and operate the controls. (“The service trained 180 new pilots in fiscal year 2014, while 240 retired, according to data provided to The Los Angeles Times.”)
The situation is likely to become especially dire, now that drone operators are coming forward and saying what many have been suggesting for a long time: it’s not worth it.
Hey, we live in a free market economy, and some people think that means everything has its price. It shouldn’t be surprising that the military thinks it can buy off drone operators.
The US government has done us a favor: they’ve said what they really think the conscience of a drone operator is worth.
Now it’s up to us to do something about it.