Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Drone protests

There seems to have been little coverage of this process in the mainstream media but that is hardly surprising. A nice touch to mark off the protest area with crime scene tape. Perhaps the protesters should have removed it when they left and strung it around the border of the headquarters of the CIA.
The author is correct that the drone attacks are a type of net-centric warfare which is no doubt a wave of the future for many corporate contractors. The civilians killed are not Americans so collateral damage will be of little concern even when it is counterproductive it would seem.

This is from dandelionsalad.

I was invited by activist Cindy Sheehan to speak at the CIA drone protest held on Saturday afternoon (January 16) outside their Langley, Virginia headquarters. As we arrived we saw big orange barricades all along the road with yellow “crime scene” plastic tape stretched all along the highway and also draped from tree to tree in the narrow spit of woods separating the four-lane road and the CIA fortress. A 50-yard open area was our protest “zone” and was totally encircled by the yellow tape. The clear message to the many cars blasting by us was: “Don’t go near those inside the yellow tape. A crime is now being committed by them.” A massive number of CIA cops and Fairfax County police had us surrounded, even from inside the patch of woods.

Cindy had worked hard in recent weeks to promote the event, primarily by Facebook and regular emails. She told us that her Facebook page was “mysteriously” taken down in the last week creating the impression amongst some that the event had been cancelled. As it turned out just over 100 people showed up for the event. A good percentage of the folks there were the Catholic Worker activists (Witness Against Torture) who have been valiantly continuing their daily “no torture” protests in front of the White House. Dressed in their orange prison garb with black hoods over their heads they were a strong reminder of the CIA directed detentions and interrogations at Guantanamo and other such hell-holes run by the U.S. around the world

When I spoke at the protest I said how glad I was to be there for the first time in my life. The CIA, and their drone attacks, is the symbol of the corporatization and privatization of U.S. war policy. The running of wars has essentially been taken away from a neutered Congress and put into the hands of the secret cabal that now runs our government. We need to shine a light on this.

I also of course talked about how U.S. space technology controls the drones as it does most Pentagon “net centric” war fighting these days. Robotic warfare might be “hands off” and “out of sight-out of mind” but it is still dirty and is killing legions of civilians.

I reminded folks that drone and other robotic devices were ultimately just manifestations of a larger war and domination policy. We need to keep putting in front of the public the big picture and I went on to talk about “security export”, the U.S. role under corporation globalization of the world economy. Endless war is America’s future and social collapse at home will be the end result unless a movement springs up

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