Pentagon Drones Kill Civilians in Afghanistan As Protesters Arrested At Beale Air Force Base

By Lisa Savage, Went 2 the Bridge

Drone protesters Sharon, Chris, Toby, Shirley, Barry, and Cathy.  All but Barry crossed onto the base.
Drone protesters Sharon, Chris, Toby, Shirley, Barry, and Cathy. All but Barry crossed onto the base.

My sister activist Toby Blome connected the dots in an email this morning:

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, the very day that activists were at Beale Air Force Base protesting endless wars and illegal drone killing, a U.S. Drone attack killed 13 civilians and wounded 14 others in Afghanistan.

Initially the Pentagon claimed that most of those killed were “suspected militants,” but a day later they are admitting to most or all being civilians.  (story here)  Who will be next?

Toby pointed me to an account of the arrests and the rationale for being arrested by Sharon Delgado on her blog post “Campaign Nonviolence Action at Beale” which I repost here:

This morning I was arrested with four other women at Beale Air Force Base after crossing onto base property.   We were taken by military bus to a building on base, given citations, and released.  We may be given an arraignment date and we may go to trial, although in recent months all charges for peace activists have been dismissed.

We were wearing blue scarves and we had #enough written on our hands because we took this action in solidarity the Afghan Peace Volunteers and their blog Our Journey to Smile.  Afghan Peace Volunteers is a group of young people working for peace in Afghanistan.   I became aware of them when peace activist Kathy Kelly came with us to Beale a couple of years ago.  Our blue scarves and the #enough banners and words written on our hands are a response to their invitation “Join us to say #enough.”

Before we were arrested, each of us explained what we have had enough of.  I explained that I have had enough of drone warfare.  (Beale is the home of the Global Hawk Drone, a surveillance drone that identifies targets for armed Predator and Reaper drones.)  I have also had enough of the U.S. Air Force Vision for 2020, which is geared toward “full spectrum dominance” for the purpose of “protecting U.S. interests and investments” as “the globalization of the world economy… continues, with a widening between “haves” and “have-nots.”

 I have had enough of the U.S. military enforcing a global order that is enriching the already wealthy, protecting the privileged, exploiting those who are vulnerable, causing massive suffering, and destroying this beautiful earth.  #Enough war. #Enough “accidental” (or incidental) killing of children.  #Enough suffering.  #Enough extrajudicial killing.  #Enough.

We also took this action in coordination with the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.  Over 700 separate Campaign Nonviolence Actions have taken place in recent days.

If you want to know more about drones or past demonstrations and trials related to Beale, seemy past blogs on drones.   Follow my blog by clicking the “Follow Sharon Delgado” button at the right or by “liking” the Shaking the Gates of Hell Facebook page.  

I note that yesterday Congress overrode Obama’s veto of what’s being called the “Sue the Saudis” bill that allowing families of those who died on 9/11 to seek relief in the courts. Obama presumably vetoed it because Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the U.S., a country to whom billions of weapons are shipped regularly. Similar to our other good buddy in the region, Israel, Saudi Arabia has a horrendous record of human rights violations.

From RT’s report on the veto:

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has argued that allowing JASTA to become law could lead to US being sued in foreign courts and subjected to an “intrusive discovery process.”

Can I get an Amen?
Image result for 9/11 brooklyn bridge

Perhaps some good will come of the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism” law. Perhaps a court case will involve some authentic disclosure of facts surrounding the fire bombing of the World Trade Center in 2001.

Perhaps it will also set a precedent for victims of state-sponsored terrorism and their families to sue the governments responsible — including their own.

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