Four former members of the U.S. Air Force have written an open letter denouncing the U.S. drone program, saying that it “only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS,” The Guardian reports.
The open letter is addressed to President Obama, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, and CIA Director John Brennan.
The joint statement — from the group who have experience of operating drones over Afghanistan, Iraq and other conflict zones — represents a public outcry from what is understood to be the largest collection of drone whistleblowers in the history of the program. Three of the letter writers were sensor operators who controlled the powerful visual equipment on U.S. Predator drones that guide Hellfire missiles to their targets.
…The four are represented legally by Jesselyn Radack, director of national security and human rights at the nonprofit ExposeFacts. “This is the first time we’ve had so many people speaking out together about the drone program,” she said, pointing out that the men were fully aware that they faced possible prosecution for speaking out.
…From its inception, the drone program has been troubled by reports of mistaken targeting. Classified government documents leaked to the Intercept revealed that up to 90 percent of the people killed in drone strikes may be unintended, with the disparity glossed over by the recording of unknown victims as “enemies killed in action.”