Disturbing

I understand drones are effective tools in our military’s aresenal.  I understand they minimize the risk in-close fighting brings to our side. But there is something about this that’s more than a little chilling:

DronePilotsHolloman sits on almost 60,000 acres of desert badlands, near jagged hills that are frosted with snow for several months of the year — a perfect training ground for pilots who will fly Predators and Reapers over the similarly hostile terrain of Afghanistan. When I visited the base earlier this year with a small group of reporters, we were taken into a command post where a large flat-screen television was broadcasting a video feed from a drone flying overhead. It took a few seconds to figure out exactly what we were looking at. A white S.U.V. traveling along a highway adjacent to the base came into the cross hairs in the center of the screen and was tracked as it headed south along the desert road. When the S.U.V. drove out of the picture, the drone began following another car.

“Wait, you guys practice tracking enemies by using civilian cars?” a reporter asked. One Air Force officer responded that this was only a training mission, and then the group was quickly hustled out of the room.

Here, via NoisyRoom.net, is a simulation that brings things into sharper focus:

That’s just a little too easy… and the potential for abuse, very large…

In the wrong hands, in corrupt hands, in hands not morally cognizant of the power being wrought…

Disturbing indeed.

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