Dear Creech Security:
In your April 12, 2010 correspondence responding to my April 3, 2010 article, “Air Force Paranoia at Creech,“ you mentioned the Air Force was paranoid, however not in regard to peaceful demonstrators. Knowing little about Air Force paranoia I decided to research the subject particularly regarding the Predator and Reaper and other drones. You are correct in asserting the Air Force is a paranoid. Unfortunately some of the paranoia is directed at peace demonstrators.
I must admit folks at Creech appear less paranoid than Col. Kevin Bradley at Hancock National Guard Air Field in Syracuse, NY seems. You might want to reference, “Fearing New Threats, Drone Crews Go Top Secret” by Dave Tobin, (12/18/2009, Syracuse Post-Standard) an article discussing the Colonel‘s worries and fears. The Colonel is quoted as saying, “With the increase in the amount of protest at the front gate as well as around the country, the spike in violence against people in uniform, that’s a cause for concern.” So pilots at Hancock are not to be publicly identified. Tobin states, “The change of policy reflects what the unit commander says are worries of threats and harassment of Syracuse-area members of the 174th and their families here.”
After reading this I couldn't help wondering if Air Force paranoia is contagious and carried by drones. There must be some strange goings on at the base that most of the public are unaware of. However, I do know the Syracuse Peace Council, which has been organizing the protests at Hancock has a long, consistent and outstanding record of nonviolence. Apparently the Colonel worries a great deal, but perhaps he is worrying about the increasing discussions whether drone pilots and their chain of command may be charged with war crimes, hence the preemptive need for secret identities. It is possible this will be a security concern at Creech too since it is very well documented that more civilians are killed with drone strikes than are enemy combatants. Of course many of these victims are woman and children
An interesting discussion of some of the legal implications may be found on http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/tag/perils-of-Pakistan/
We also wonder if Col. Bradley and others in the upper echelons of the military chain of command have considered whether this "increase in protest at the front gate and around the country" shows a legitimate concern and reflects serious misgivings among American citizens. Using long range, impersonal, indiscriminate, robotic killing machines causing the death of so many noncombatants is truly objectionable both morally and in terms of national security.
As I continued my research I almost immediately came across the Air Force’s flow chart, “Air Force Web Posting Response Assessment V.2" which provides useful information on when and how to respond to folks like myself who have written about the Air Force on line. The articles surrounding this flow chart also discuss the Air Force’s difficulty in responding to folks, and how this chart was an attempt by the Air Force to guide and shape conversations with bloggers and help improve the Air Force’s public relations. Perhaps this flow chart guided you in your response to my initial post. If you haven’t seen it, the chart is quite amazing and probably would help Col. Bradley with his responses.
For example many of us are wondering about his reference to the spike in violence against military personal. Was the Colonel referencing rape of military women by their male colleagues? The amount of violence in the military against women is quite staggering. Or was he referring to the rash of homicides by military personal against their spouses or the record levels of suicide of active duty personal or veterans? As a veteran of the USMC, I finding it disturbing that veterans commit suicide at twice the rate as the general population.
Pretty soon I felt really nervous for a variety of different and compelling reasons. One frightening prospect is the ever increasing violation of our civil liberties and unparalleled spying on civilians by the government. There is an informative You Tube film clip on the Houston Police department's future plans for police surveillance something which Col Bradley also talks appreciatively about. You can reference, “Police use Drones to spy on Americans!!” on You Tube at:
This is a local news report from KPAC in Houston, Texas. So we really do need to look at the mission and its implications for the United States of America and not just as a preventative approach to stopping potential attacks on our Air Force bases. All of us are being threatened by this new technology and its abuse.
There are other concerns, particularly the lack of due process which make the crews at Creech and Hancock and their chain of command, “witness, investigator, prosecutor, judge and executioner.” Civilians are disregarded and callously referred to as “collateral damage” and due process of law is lost completely.
Finally, I read about the "Al Qaeda suicide cat" that fried a communications node at Creech. "Control over heavily armed US war robots fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan was lost last year after a cat climbed into machinery at an American command base and ‘fried’ everything, a US officer has confirmed." This story may be found at: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/19/us_war_robots_out_of_control_cat_strike/
You might also want to read ,“Drones and Death: The Israeli Connection” by Ed Kinane at:
Kinane notes, “To better service Pentagon contracts, Israel even has drone factories in the US at Starkville, Mississippi and Columbus, Ohio.” Most U.S. citizens are unaware of this fact and of course this raises a whole new series of national security concerns.