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US Killer Drone Attacks Kill Innocent Civilians

by Larry Gilbert Sr., published AntiWar.com, November, 18, 2021

As a people represented by our government, what gives us the right to go into other countries and indiscriminately assassinate people? Do we think that “American exceptionalism” gives us that right? How would we feel if the roles were reversed? Families around the world are merely trying to live their lives in peace as much as we are here in America.

As a Vietnam War veteran and seeing the ravages of war from that time forward, I have become a member of two organizations, Veterans for Peace and World Beyond War.

At the end of September, I traveled to Indian Springs, Nevada, to join with fellow members as well as members of Code Pink: Women for Peace and other organizations from 12 states. This is where Creech Air Force Base is located – some 50 miles north of Las Vegas.

We spent a week camped out in the desert. We conducted nonviolent protest actions at the entrance to the drone base twice daily, when drone pilots would arrive for work in the morning and leave at the end of their shifts. All the while during the day and night, killer drones were buzzing loudly over us and doing touch and goes on the runway.

The U.S. drone program has been ongoing for some 20 years by the Air Force and the Central Intelligence Agency. As a country, we have used killer drones in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The last I knew, we haven’t declared war with these countries, other than Afghanistan and Iraq – our perpetual wars.

Hardly ever have we, the American people, heard of the strikes that are conducted ever so frequently in these countries with no accountability. Thousands of strikes have taken place during these 20 years and thousands of people have been killed, including so many innocent civilians. The civilians killed are merely referred to as “collateral damage.”

The “collateral damage” are families made up of innocent men, women and children.

As a people represented by our government, what gives us the right to go into other countries and indiscriminately assassinate people? Do we think that “American exceptionalism” gives us that right? How would we feel if the roles were reversed? Families around the world are merely trying to live their lives in peace as much as we are here in America.

On Aug. 29 of this year, as we were withdrawing from Afghanistan, the US fired a drone strike where its missile(s) struck a car parked by Zamarai Ahmadi outside his home. The strike slaughtered him and nine members of his family, including seven children, five of whom were younger than 10.

According to the New York Times, “the Pentagon claimed that Ahmadi was a facilitator for the Islamic State and that his car was packed with explosives, posing an imminent threat to US troops guarding the evacuation at the Kabul Airport.”

General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of the US Central Command, said “the drone strike dealt a crushing blow to Islamic State.” General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, called it a “righteous strike.”

I ask, what is righteous about killing 10 innocent people?

It was only after investigative news reports that there was proof that this was in fact an attack on Zamarai Ahmadi, 45, an engineer for a U.S.-based nonprofit. Generally, most drone strikes have no follow-up investigations.

A recent report of the incident said it was an “honest mistake” and what the drone pilots and their commanders saw was what they call “confirmed bias.” In other words, they saw what they wanted to see.

How often does that happen? I suspect quite often, by those giving the orders to fire the missiles.

Unfortunately, those young Air Force drone pilots have to come into work every morning and fire missiles from drones killing people during the day and go home to their families at the end of their shift, especially after seeing the carnage that they wreaked. I suspect that some of these pilots will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after a period of time.

How will they and their families’ lives be impacted in the years following? I would encourage those who feel this sense to seek help from organizations such as ours, Veterans For Peace, to assist them.

On another note, the Israeli government flies drones day and night over the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians live in a state of terror that missiles will be fired at them. Aside from that fear, the noise offers another sense of harassment.

It is high time to kill killer drones. Peace and justice.


Larry Gilbert Sr. is a former mayor and police chief of Lewiston, U.S. marshal, and U.S. Army veteran. Distributed by PeaceVoice.




Upstate Drone Action Has a Visit in Senator Schumer’s Office Then Heads to the Base

UpstateDroneAction.org Syracuse Report Back:

Photos will be posted on our website & the video will be released shortly.

Demanding Justice for the Amadhi Family and Daniel Hale and an End to Drone Warfare

Six Upstate Drone Action members witnessed today against weaponized drones at NYS Senator Chuck Schumer’s office in Syracuse, in concert with Ban Killer Drones’ (BKD) call for actions at Congress member’s offices and drone bases around the country.

Mark Carver at the Mic with Ann Tiffany

We spread out ten pictures of the Amadhi family members who were murdered just two months ago, along a low wall outside the building, and held a brief press conference.  Eddie Rodriguez videotaped as four of us read a Statement that included BKD’s five demands. (video to be released soon).  Ed Kinane read the final statement questioning if the MQ-9 drone strike that killed the Ahmadi family originated from Hancock Airbase in Syracuse. Pilots are trained to maintain and execute drone strikes in Afghanistan with MQ-9 Reaper drones from Hancock AFB. Ed also spoke of our call for the pardon and release of drone pilot whistleblower, Daniel Hale, who is serving a four year sentence in prison for releasing “The Drone Papers” to The Intercept.

Ann Tiffany, Mark Carver, Ed Kinane, John Amidon, Emily Cone

Mary Anne Grady Flores arranged to have Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Deputy Regional Director, Emily Cone, attend the press conference and meet with us after to discuss our concerns.  We met for 45 minutes at a table in the plaza.

Our group then drove to Hancock Base where three of us walked up to the guardhouse with four pictures of the murdered children clipped to a length of cedar siding and a sign, “ Who killed these children.”  We were met by two guards, who closed the gate as usual.  John read an anti-drone statement that was specific to the base and mentioned Daniel Hale. “We, members of the Upstate Drone Action Coalition and Ban Killer Drones come today to ask if pilots trained or deployed here participated in the killing of the Ahmadi family members.”  The guards seemed more open to John’s personal sharing as a veteran and our feelings about the injustice of all the

Ann Tiffany with photos of the Ahmadi family.

drone murders.

  • Ann Tiffany
  • Ed Kinane
  • Mary Anne Grady Flores
  • John Amidon
  • Eddie Rodriguez
  • Mark Scibilia-Carver

Read at the main gate at Hancock AFB, E. Syracuse, NY:

Greetings, We’re from the Upstate Drone Action Coalition. We come in peace to read a short statement.   The Ahmadi family — three adults and seven children — were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 29th, 2021, just two months ago, by an MQ9 Reaper drone.
For over a decade – right here at this base, the 174th Attack Wing of  Hancock AFB – Airforce members train MQ-9 Reaper drone pilots for aerial drone strikes in Afghanistan.
We, members of the Upstate Drone Action Coalition and Ban Killer Drones come today to ask if pilots trained or deployed here participated in the killing of the Ahmadi family members.
We’re here to give notice to everyone in the chain of command, including the Hancock drone pilots, as they bear responsibility and may yet be held accountable for murders such as these.
We are calling for the immediate release and pardon of drone pilot whistleblower, DANIEL HALE, now serving nearly four years in federal prison.
Mr. Hale’s crime: He had the courage to admit the truth in “the Drone Papers,” that within a 5 month period, 90% of drone victims were innocent.
We demand the immediate cessation of 174th’s role in that drone assassination campaign. We further demand an end to the U.S. drone assassination program from all other military bases here and abroad.
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