This video is Part 2.
From EA WorldView blog:
Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:29
Author: Scott Lucas
A Marine unit under fire called in a drone attack on “hot spots” moving in their direction. Those “hot spots” turned out to be Marine reinforcements, including the two US troops killed in the strike.
This is believed to be the first time that US personnel have been killed by a Predator.
“Nearly three miles above the rugged hills of central Afghanistan, American eyes silently tracked two SUVs and a pickup truck as they snaked down a dirt road in the pre-dawn darkness.
The vehicles, packed with people, were 31/2 miles from a dozen U.S. special operations soldiers, who had been dropped into the area hours earlier to root out insurgents. The convoy was closing in on them.
At 6:15 a.m., just before the sun crested the mountains, the convoy halted.
“We have 18 pax [passengers] dismounted and spreading out at this time,” an Air Force pilot said from a cramped control room at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, 7,000 miles away. He was flying a Predator drone remotely using a joystick, watching its live video transmissions from the Afghan sky and radioing his crew and the unit on the ground.
The Afghans unfolded what looked like blankets and kneeled. “They’re praying. They are praying,” said the Predator’s camera operator, seated near the pilot.
By now, the Predator crew was sure that the men were Taliban. “This is definitely it, this is their force,” the cameraman said. “Praying? I mean, seriously, that’s what they do.”
“They’re gonna do something nefarious,” the crew’s intelligence coordinator chimed in.
At 6:22 a.m., the drone pilot radioed an update: “All … are finishing up praying and rallying up near all three vehicles at this time.”
The camera operator watched the men climb back into the vehicles.
“Oh, sweet target,” he said.
None of those Afghans was an insurgent. They were men, women and children going about their business, unaware that a unit of U.S. soldiers was just a few miles away, and that teams of U.S. military pilots, camera operators and video screeners had taken them for a group of Taliban fighters.
The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe.
This is the story of that episode. It is based on hundreds of pages of previously unreleased military documents, including transcripts of cockpit and radio conversations obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, the results of two Pentagon investigations and interviews with the officers involved as well as Afghans who were on the ground that day.”
Read full article here.
Robert Dreyfuss interviews Malalai Joya, a revolutionary Afghan woman against the Taliban, the warlords, and NATO: here.
USA: Military spouses face difficulties finding employment: here.
Pakistan to CIA: Get the Hell Out, Please: here.
Great piece on CIA drone strikes in Pakistan by David Rose in Mail on Sunday: here.
Investigators for human rights group Reprieve in Pakistan this week said that up to 2,283 people have been killed by US drones since 2004.
Stop the War’s Anti-War Song of the Week: No More Weapons by Steel Pulse. Video here above. Lyrics: here.