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Sun May 26, 2013, 07:00 AM

Hancock's Reaper Drone; Remote Control There and Here


Hancock's Reaper Drone; Remote Control There and Here
Saturday, 25 May 2013 13:11
By Ed Kinane, Syracuse.com | Op-Ed

Here in upstate New York, pretty much below the radar, a tragedy unfolds. But not without resistance.

For several years the unmanned robotic Reaper drones of the 174th Attack Wing of the New York National Guard have been piloted from Hancock air base. These weaponized robots kill and maim - and terrorize - the people of Afghanistan. Many - maybe most -- of these hapless Afghans are non-combatants: infants, children, mothers, elders, unarmed men; also livestock.

The Attack Wing does its killing by remote control from its safe perch at Hancock just outside Syracuse thousands of miles from where the Reaper's Hellfire missiles and 500-pound bombs strike. Nonetheless the Attack Wing technicians and their chain of command play judge, jury and executioner. They play God with human life. Few of these players know anything about the culture, politics, or people of Afghanistan. Few, if any, know whom they slay or even why. Robotically, drone-like, they follow orders.

Hancock's cowardly remote control tactics not only wreak havoc "over there," they are mirrored here. By deploying their influence on - their remote control of -- local law enforcement agencies and the judges of the DeWitt Town Court, Hancock tactically targets those seeking to expose its war crimes.

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