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Re: Drones

#41  Postby HomerJay » Jun 15, 2011 12:02 pm

Weaver wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
The question here is about how war is conducted, accepting that the military can act without oversight and on their own grounds is fruit loop stuff.

This is serious bullshit and needs to be challenged very robustly indeed. It's not whether it is right or wrong, Weaver wants to take away the ability of people to challenge the facts, that's why it makes children of us (well, those that accept it, anyway!).


Nor have I said that people shouldn't be able to challenge facts - but I have said that opinion which is NOT based on facts is pretty much worthless.

We can only speculate as to what you mean here:

Weaver wrote:You have no meaningful way to compare the two classes - valid enemy vs innocent civilian - because that information simply isn't available to you - nor should it be.

Now, we might gather from that, that you mean information shouldn't be released by the military but YOU HAVEN'T QUALIFIED IT AT ALL.

You simply stated that relevant facts, facts that you believe the worth of an opinion should be based on, should not be available to people.

You've stated that facts people need to challenge the official narrative should not be made available to them (from the unqualified way you've phrased it, you suggest the inofrmastion shouldn't availabel to people at all, let alone via , military sources).

The US Military has been shown to have lied about the effects of aerial strikes time and time again, the UN, NGOs, the Afghan Government, the Pakistani government have all produced credible counter narratives to those advanced by the military. Even your post-strike analysis, which is an opportunity for you guys to fess up and demonstrate a commitment to building trust, has been shown on occasion to be completely false in regard to civilian casualties.

This is why there is no credibility in you advancing the position that since you work in the military you have special knowledge that disproves what others say.
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Re: Drones

#42  Postby Nicko » Jun 15, 2011 12:32 pm

I have to say that I agree with HJ on this. Weaver's position certainly seems to me to be untenable. Whilst - as I stated - my experience of his posting history leads me to believe he is an individual who values honesty, he is close to using a tactic that I find to be intrinsicaly dishonest.

We've all seen it on our travels arount the Interwbz, I'm sure.

"i have axess 2 sooper top sekert intel that proves my point, but i cant tell u civvys wot it iz coz itz sooper top sekert so u shood just beleev me i win rofl"

Weaver, you are not that guy and you don't want to be that guy.

You are, however, getting dangerously close to making "that guy's" argument. If you are prevented by the oaths that you have taken from citing the information that you are basing your opinion on then you should refrain from expressing that opinion on a public Interwebz forum. In fact, if you are privy to classified information you are probably under a formal prohibition from doing so.
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Re: Drones

#43  Postby ED209 » Jun 15, 2011 12:37 pm

Yes, Homerjay is spot on. Very good post :clap:
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Re: Drones

#44  Postby willhud9 » Jun 15, 2011 8:23 pm

HomerJay wrote:
Weaver wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
The question here is about how war is conducted, accepting that the military can act without oversight and on their own grounds is fruit loop stuff.

This is serious bullshit and needs to be challenged very robustly indeed. It's not whether it is right or wrong, Weaver wants to take away the ability of people to challenge the facts, that's why it makes children of us (well, those that accept it, anyway!).


Nor have I said that people shouldn't be able to challenge facts - but I have said that opinion which is NOT based on facts is pretty much worthless.

We can only speculate as to what you mean here:

Weaver wrote:You have no meaningful way to compare the two classes - valid enemy vs innocent civilian - because that information simply isn't available to you - nor should it be.

Now, we might gather from that, that you mean information shouldn't be released by the military but YOU HAVEN'T QUALIFIED IT AT ALL.

You simply stated that relevant facts, facts that you believe the worth of an opinion should be based on, should not be available to people.

You've stated that facts people need to challenge the official narrative should not be made available to them (from the unqualified way you've phrased it, you suggest the inofrmastion shouldn't availabel to people at all, let alone via , military sources).

The US Military has been shown to have lied about the effects of aerial strikes time and time again, the UN, NGOs, the Afghan Government, the Pakistani government have all produced credible counter narratives to those advanced by the military. Even your post-strike analysis, which is an opportunity for you guys to fess up and demonstrate a commitment to building trust, has been shown on occasion to be completely false in regard to civilian casualties.

This is why there is no credibility in you advancing the position that since you work in the military you have special knowledge that disproves what others say.


I would like
specific sources
please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)
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Re: Drones

#45  Postby Manic Wombat » Jun 15, 2011 10:26 pm

willhud9 wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
Weaver wrote:

Nor have I said that people shouldn't be able to challenge facts - but I have said that opinion which is NOT based on facts is pretty much worthless.

We can only speculate as to what you mean here:

Weaver wrote:You have no meaningful way to compare the two classes - valid enemy vs innocent civilian - because that information simply isn't available to you - nor should it be.

Now, we might gather from that, that you mean information shouldn't be released by the military but YOU HAVEN'T QUALIFIED IT AT ALL.

You simply stated that relevant facts, facts that you believe the worth of an opinion should be based on, should not be available to people.

You've stated that facts people need to challenge the official narrative should not be made available to them (from the unqualified way you've phrased it, you suggest the inofrmastion shouldn't availabel to people at all, let alone via , military sources).

The US Military has been shown to have lied about the effects of aerial strikes time and time again, the UN, NGOs, the Afghan Government, the Pakistani government have all produced credible counter narratives to those advanced by the military. Even your post-strike analysis, which is an opportunity for you guys to fess up and demonstrate a commitment to building trust, has been shown on occasion to be completely false in regard to civilian casualties.

This is why there is no credibility in you advancing the position that since you work in the military you have special knowledge that disproves what others say.


I would like
specific sources
please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak

Notice wiki is not the source. You'll have to find the original cables and read the 95 thousand documents if you want to embark upon a deeper investigation.

Instead of "lied" I would prefer to use the term mislead. Over and over again.

But Assange is a cyber terrorist. And you know what Murka wants to do with cyber terrorists...
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Re: Drones

#46  Postby willhud9 » Jun 15, 2011 10:54 pm

Manic Wombat wrote:
willhud9 wrote:
HomerJay wrote:
We can only speculate as to what you mean here:


Now, we might gather from that, that you mean information shouldn't be released by the military but YOU HAVEN'T QUALIFIED IT AT ALL.

You simply stated that relevant facts, facts that you believe the worth of an opinion should be based on, should not be available to people.

You've stated that facts people need to challenge the official narrative should not be made available to them (from the unqualified way you've phrased it, you suggest the inofrmastion shouldn't availabel to people at all, let alone via , military sources).

The US Military has been shown to have lied about the effects of aerial strikes time and time again, the UN, NGOs, the Afghan Government, the Pakistani government have all produced credible counter narratives to those advanced by the military. Even your post-strike analysis, which is an opportunity for you guys to fess up and demonstrate a commitment to building trust, has been shown on occasion to be completely false in regard to civilian casualties.

This is why there is no credibility in you advancing the position that since you work in the military you have special knowledge that disproves what others say.


I would like
specific sources
please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak

Notice wiki is not the source. You'll have to find the original cables and read the 95 thousand documents if you want to embark upon a deeper investigation.

Instead of "lied" I would prefer to use the term mislead. Over and over again.

But Assange is a cyber terrorist. And you know what Murka wants to do with cyber terrorists...


Not revealing military information and LYING about military information are not the same thing. Have I said that civilians were not killed? No. Am I saying that drones are preventing more civilian deaths than if we did not use drones, yes.
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Re: Drones

#47  Postby HomerJay » Jun 15, 2011 11:13 pm

willhud9 wrote:I would like
specific sources
please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)

Lol, the lies ain't credible but I know what you mean.

Before we get down to specifics, the OP made reference to high altitude hits and Weaver mentioned 'aerial strikes' so I would include stuff that's happened in Afghanistan from non-drone strikes, google afghan wedding party and fuel tanker strike. On general military credibility look up My Lai.

Regarding the drones and the quality of information try this Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston (he's a Law Professor at New York University School of Law with over 20 years experience working for the UN, probably a pinko liberal but I don't know). He reported in 2010 but had been making his thoughts known a year before, so 2 years ago now.

Couple of highlights:

72. It is important to note that if a targeted killing violates IHL (by, for example,
targeting civilians who were not “directly participating in hostilities”), then regardless of
who conducts it – intelligence personnel or State armed forces – the author, as well as those
who authorized it, can be prosecuted for war crimes.
(my emphasis, remember this bit, you'll need it later, IHL= rules of war)

81. Drones’ proponents argue that since drones have greater surveillance capability and afford greater precision than other weapons, they can better prevent collateral civilian casualties and injuries. This may well be true to an extent, but it presents an incomplete picture. The precision, accuracy and legality of a drone strike depend on the human intelligence upon which the targeting decision is based.
(my emphasis, remember this bit, you'll need it later)

H. The requirements of transparency and accountability
87. The failure of States to comply with their human rights law and IHL obligations to provide transparency and accountability for targeted killings is a matter of deep concern. To date, no State has disclosed the full legal basis for targeted killings, including its interpretation of the legal issues discussed above. Nor has any State disclosed the procedural and other safeguards in place to ensure that killings are lawful and justified, and the accountability mechanisms that ensure wrongful killings are investigated, prosecuted and punished. The refusal by States who conduct targeted killings to provide transparency
about their policies violates the international legal framework that limits the unlawful use of lethal force against individuals.
(149)
88. Transparency is required by both IHL(150) and human rights law.(151) A lack of
disclosure gives States a virtual and impermissible license to kill.
My emphasis, which demonstrates that Weaver's assertion that:
Weaver wrote:You have no meaningful way to compare the two classes - valid enemy vs innocent civilian - because that information simply isn't available to you - nor should it be.
is in contravention of both International Humanitarian Law (rules of war) and human rights law, according to this US Professor of Law and UN Special Rapporteur.

I hope this provides some useful context before we look at a specific relevant case but this is an information rich area and there is a lot of stuff out there about the US military deliberately lying about civilian casualties, I don't want to get bogged down in a mass of cases.
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Re: Drones

#48  Postby Manic Wombat » Jun 15, 2011 11:24 pm

willhud9 wrote:
Manic Wombat wrote:
willhud9 wrote:

I would like please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_War_documents_leak

Notice wiki is not the source. You'll have to find the original cables and read the 95 thousand documents if you want to embark upon a deeper investigation.

Instead of "lied" I would prefer to use the term mislead. Over and over again.

But Assange is a cyber terrorist. And you know what Murka wants to do with cyber terrorists...


Not revealing military information and LYING about military information are not the same thing. Have I said that civilians were not killed? No. Am I saying that drones are preventing more civilian deaths than if we did not use drones, yes.


How do you know this?

The Brookings institute has given only vague lip service to the issue, as an apparently non-partisan group. I can't find anything that points one way or the other. As it stands we will obviously be hearing conflicting information from Pakistani officials and U.S. officials. Each party's stance will reflect their agenda...

I'm uncomfortable with the idea of drones as it seems we're moving in the direction of fully automated battlefields and targeted assassinations. I just can't see any of it ending well. You do understand the effect civilian deaths have on the families involved? And where their ensuing frustration is directed?

But it looks like operations are ramping up in Yemen. CNN is covering Syria now, too! Let's bring 'em some democracy.
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Re: Drones

#49  Postby HomerJay » Jun 16, 2011 1:06 am

willhud9 wrote:I would like
specific sources
please HomerJay of these credible "lies" the US Military has "time and time again" been known to tell. Please, specific links and credible sources. Thanks :)

One specific case to look at is the recent case that had the highest body count.

Back in the Gulf War, the first major Information led war, we used to get a daily briefing from General Schwarzenegger, sorry, Schwarzkopf, Stormin Norman, as he talked us through the day's highlights. We saw high precision weapons hitting their targets, once famously taking out a bridge, as we watched the missile landed just a few feet behind a jeep crossing the bridge - "The luckiest guy in I-raq". It was great stuff, although they didn't joke about or even mention some of the disasters, like hospitals.

We don't get that now but if we did, even a still photo or screen grab, imagine a bombed out Taliban compound, just visible the body of an insurgent, rag on his head, AK strapped to his back and a hellfire engine lying next to him. An obvious case of an insurgent death and a successful mission? Be crazy talk to try to claim him as a non-combatant or just insane to assert he could be a civilian, right?

How could a guy armed with an AK47, come to be inside a known Taliban compound and NOT be an insurgent? How the fuck could he ever be considered a civilian?

To be specific let's look at the Datta Khel incident in March this year.

Local tribes people had called a jirga, a tribal meeting, to settle a land dispute. Some local Taliban were supposedly there in order to oversee things. A concerted drone strike left 40-50 dead. How many of these were insurgents, Taliban or civilian is less than clear. But there seems little doubt the majority were civilians. Why would civilians be caught up in a Taliban operation? Well, you have to understand the situation on the ground. The Taliban are operating a quasi-judicial function across large parts of FATA and even NWFP. Under these circumstances the Talbian may insist on being the adjudicators in disputes, people may be too fearful to hold tribal meetings without first consulting the local Taliban. If you are called to a meeting with the Taliban and especially if you are a tribal leader, you may well take a hefty number of armed guards - and why not? In the FATA and NWFP tribal areas people are routinely armed and have been for decades. If the intelligence identifies that militants are travelling to a large tribal meeting then the assumption may well be made that the purpose of the meeting could be considered military, although as administrators the Taliban will have a few meetings to troop along to, to settle disputes, discuss taxes, close schools etc.

It's not clear here if civilians attending these meetings will be Taliban sympathisers or merely paying lip service to the Taliban - their lives may depend on them not arguing.

The, very widely reported, counter narrative here is that armed civilians (and children) were present in compound visited by Taliban commmanders, were killed via a drone strike.

Going back to our photo question previously, there seems little doubt that we have a situation whereby even apparently documented evidence of insurgent deaths could be shown to be false and misleading (ie dead guy, armed with AK in Taliban compound, is not afterall, Taliban).

Even if the guys concerned were political supporters of the Taliban, it doesn't make them insurgents, as Alston says above if they were not “directly participating in hostilities”.

If the reality on the ground is such that Taliban and civilians mix for administrative reasons and the purpose of meetings is not clear, whether they are military meetings or civil ones, if this cannot be discovered via intelligence then because "legality of a drone strike depend[s] on the human intelligence upon which the targeting decision is based", it renders the action illegal.

If you have a single case where the evidence seems highly valuable (armed guy in Taliban compound) but the intelligence is shown to be wrong (civilian purpose for being in the compound) then it's possible you have other cases that are similarly wrong.

There is no point arguing about numbers when we don't know how the US military is assessing the value of the intelligence it has or how accurate it is or how they are classifying insurgents v civilians and we don't know how credible that classification is (all points in Alston, above).

It is possible that the counter narrative is wrong, in numbers or even in it's entirety, but that is why I would describe it as credible rather than accurate.

What is clear is that the US military narrative paints a hugely simplistic depiction of everyday life in Taliban controlled areas where the distinction between combatants and non-combatants is obvious and well defined, which doesn't stand up to scrutiny. So it casts doubt on the ability of the military to offer accurate information, even if it choose to try. If the purpose of this simplistic scenario is to obscure the civilian death count then it is a very big lie.

I wonder why we have transitioned from a daily briefing with video of ordance dropping in 1991 to a complete information lockdown in 2011, precisely when we need more oversight into civilian deaths?
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Re: Drones

#50  Postby SafeAsMilk » Jun 16, 2011 1:24 am

:coffee:
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Re: Drones

#51  Postby Father O Rielly » Jun 16, 2011 5:22 am

In past conflicts, including Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq, American strategists have repeatedly missed the nuances of local politics and conditions on the ground. Since 9/11, we have again seen the trend of wanting to see a black and white world ("you're either for us, or against us"). In fact the event of 9/11, the start of the so called war on terror, was not a clear cut attack against a state. At its core, it was a criminal act, driven by those with personal angst and convoluted motivations. Like in similar events, the perpetrators may feel they are acting out a higher motive, and there can be some seeds of reason in among the dysfunctional logic. Al Queda complained about the one-sided support the US gives to the Israel/Palestine conflict for example. But, this seems to be lost under the imperative to assign blame to a clear-cut enemy.

Because of recent history, in no small measure, there is a great deal of hostility towards the US in the Middle East. This has been stoked by the US framing the post 9/11 conflict as a "war" against Islamic extremism. The area in question (Afghanistan/Pakistan) is not known for the cosmopolitan and well educated views of its population. Many there may only know that, yet again, foreign troops are killing people, and they have been handed a gun and a few coins, and exhorted to go on a mission that will please god. Seeing people killed around them is hardly an incentive to refrain from such activity.

Endless strikes that kill bystanders and others with dubious association with actual terrorists keeps the cycle of violence going, and likely pushes some on the margins into the militant camp. It's too bad that the US didn't push hard to frame the 9/11 attack as a criminal act, and us the considerable good will it had at the time to strengthen police networks, and to use military forces to the smallest extent possible, rather than shouting- we're at war! It's become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
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Re: Drones

#52  Postby HomerJay » Jun 21, 2011 12:22 pm

The_Metatron wrote:HomerJay, in this post of yours, you misrepresented another member, whose posts in the topic state or infer nothing of the sort:
HomerJay wrote:...perhaps Weaver's tactic of reducing you to a child like trust has worked.

HomerJay wrote:..Weaver wants to take away the ability of people to challenge the facts...

You agreed not to do this when you accepted our Forum User's Agreement. Misrepresentation is discussed in section 1.2.m.

Accordingly, I am awarding your first warning, for misrepresentation.

The_Metatron, it is exactly one week since I appealed this sanction and you have not replied by way of acknowledgement or update nor any response whatsoever.

In the circumstances the appeal should be allowed as Uncontested and the sanction removed.

I acknowledge your desire not to see moderation discussed in the thread that originated it but this is over-ridden in this case and the original thread is the best place to discuss it.
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Drone watch

#53  Postby DougC » May 25, 2014 6:20 pm

They are everywhere. And there are more to come.
Its not just some Jihad junkie in the 'Stan waiting for the Hellfire with his name on it. There will soon be one for you.

India: Police investigate pizza deliveries by drone
The flying wi-fi camera
Last edited by DougC on May 26, 2014 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drone watch

#54  Postby Macdoc » May 25, 2014 11:31 pm

I actually thought I spotted one but after photographing it at long range turns out to be

Image

le gyrocopter
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Re: Drone watch

#55  Postby DougC » May 25, 2014 11:39 pm

Might be a mannequin in the seat? (Kidding)

I know that the Army in the UK where looking at 'drone-ing' up some of their old Aérospatiale Gazelles.
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Re: Drone watch

#56  Postby igorfrankensteen » May 26, 2014 12:00 am

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Re: Drone watch

#57  Postby DougC » May 26, 2014 12:37 am

B.B.C. - Flying robots: Nature inspires next generation design
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Re: Drone watch

#58  Postby SkyMutt » May 26, 2014 1:12 am

DougC wrote:They are everywhere. And there are more to come.
Its not just some Jihad junkie in the 'Stan waiting for the Hellfire with his name on it. There will soon be one for you.

India: Police investigate pizza deliveries by drone
The flying wi-fi camera


That little camera looks nice, and is probably a lot less expensive than the DSLRPros.com Ultimate Aerial Film Drone.
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Re: Drone watch

#59  Postby DougC » May 26, 2014 1:19 am

Nice, steady tracking with that one. :thumbup:
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Re: Drone watch

#60  Postby DavidMcC » May 26, 2014 2:28 pm

DougC wrote:Might be a mannequin in the seat? (Kidding)

I know that the Army in the UK where looking at 'drone-ing' up some of their old Aérospatiale Gazelles.

Don't give them ideas! Putting a mannequin in the seat would be a "cunning plan" to disguise a drone!
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