Dr. Bramhall is a retired American child and adolescent psychiatrist, activist and political refugee in New Zealand.

Her first book The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee describes the circumstances that led her to leave the US in 2002. She has also published two young adult novels about political activism: The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable

View All Books by Dr. Bramhall >>>

She is involved in the national leadership of the New Zealand Green Party and has a political blog at StuartJeanneBramhall.com


View Latest Posts >>>

Hundreds of Drone Operators Quit Air Force

“We didn’t even really know who we were firing at.”

predator drone

The traumatic nature of their work is leading drone operators to quit the Air Force by the hundreds.

In the following video, former senior drone operator Brandon Bryant expresses deep regret for the six years he spent with the US drone program between 2005 and 2011. It especially bothered him that he was expected to fire on targets without being clear of their identities: “We didn’t even really know who we were firing at.”

Last November the human rights group Reprieve published a study indicating attempts to kill 41 alleged terrorists in Pakistan and Yemen resulted in more than 1100 civilian deaths.

photo credit: KAZVorpal via photopin cc

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Related Posts:



The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT, VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors, partners, technicians, or the Veterans Today Network and its assigns. LEGAL NOTICE - COMMENT POLICY

Posted by on January 26, 2015, With 16035 Reads Filed under Afghanistan War, WarZone. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

FaceBook Comments

25 Responses to "Hundreds of Drone Operators Quit Air Force"

  1. jmreeves  January 30, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    We all learn by playing ‘let’s pretend’.
    Later in adulthood, we call it ‘war gaming’
    or a ‘thought experiment’.
    Kids will be kids, most of us were kind of stupid up to some point.

    John

  2. jmreeves  January 30, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    Good, I commend them, and I commend VT for giving a venue.
    Thousands of Doctors are abandoning the medical business,
    Sadly, about all we can do most days is not participate.

    John

  3. John Kirby  January 29, 2015 at 3:34 am

    The Hellfire air-to-ground missile has a warhead of about 20 pounds of modern very high explosive. This not you old-fashioned dynamite. It is enough to destroy a large house. Given the accuracy of these things why not a one or two pound warhead? Drones of all sizes are now being mass-produced. Using GPS they can be accurate to the nearest yard. There is even a GPS guided artillery shell now available.

    I hate war, but sometimes you really have to go out and kill the really bad guys, and I reckon that drones are the best way to do it

  4. ayelyahbenjamin  January 28, 2015 at 10:30 am

    …”a system that will crush you if you don’t conform to it”

  5. 60sstreetpunk  January 27, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I think most of us on this site would run in and pull a confused man or woman out of a burning building.
    Bryant reflected as he matured. Some people never reflect (and we live in an idiot society if television programming and music is any indicator).

    • jmreeves  January 31, 2015 at 9:31 am

      Have you seen that picture,
      of the Fireman flying out the door with the baby?
      (Flashover).
      Glad somebody got a picture.

      John

  6. 60sstreetpunk  January 27, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    I feel that Brandon Bryant “matured”. Some teenagers are precocious and /or had knowledgeable parents talk to them on a regular basis. The masses of teenagers usually do not have parents who are up on current events nor do they have mentors. In the 60s many young men were drafted and others joined because they believed that the adults running the USA sought the good in the world (and they were lied to in many instances). After all, the USA stood for the “good” and anti Communism (considering the Bolsheviks there was nothing wrong with being anti Communist/Bolshevik back then). Of course, in the 60s, young men were thrown into Vietnam.
    Back then just as today I saw that the majority of those in the Marines believed in doing good. Many young men had a rapid change in values once in uniform in the zone. There were some that gave up and were killed because they saw no meaning or hope in that deadly existence called war. Some shot themselves in the foot; some did things to go to prison.
    I watched Bryant’s gestures and listened to his words- he woke up to a different reality- I wish him well. Dr. Bramhall is a psychiatrist. She could comment better on this than I could.
    All human beings have to learn. I never look for lame excuses and I don’t see Bryant as lame- he is a serious dedicated man . Bryant thought he was fighting that well advertised thing called terrorism because his schooling and the mass media made him think he was fighting evil terrorists. I would help the guy.

    • jmreeves  January 30, 2015 at 3:09 pm

      You said a mouthful.
      I am not one to whine, and I count my Blessings..
      But a lot of our parents (mine for example)
      were actually clueless.
      And there is No Excuse, they were derelict.
      It is very important that knowledge be passed,
      and not subject to the rent seeking gatekeepers.
      My parents did things to me no one else could.
      I never want to see them again (in this life or any other)
      A lot of work to get that unpopular.. don’t you think?
      Now ‘they’ are trying to cripple a whole generation,
      how many ‘shots’ by when?
      Then we have Common Core..
      test them to death, don’t bother educating them.
      (and put them on Drugs, while you demonize Drugs!)
      This is not new..
      They always saw smart people as a necessary hazard.
      They (including the Sheep and Sports Fans)
      Never did much like us anyway.
      If they are not careful, they will get their ‘wish’ (HELLWORLD).
      I am getting a short-timer attitude..
      about twenty years and I will be out of here.
      In the meantime I aim to cause as much trouble
      as practicable (just in case it does not go South).

      John

    • jmreeves  January 30, 2015 at 3:25 pm

      Let me see.. no kids,
      why give a rats ass.
      Well, that is one of the mysteries of human behavior.
      I think the system at large worthy of preservation,
      some of the participants, not so much so.
      I learned a bunch of stuff, people spent time on me..
      I have in mind to not dissipate their investment.
      Take it from a ‘harmless crank’ (thanks for the cover, I can do that)..

      John

  7. Estipi  January 27, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    To Brandon, THANK YOU.

    By recognizing your wrong, and openly (very publicly) disavowing it and discontinuing it — you are inspiring me to continue and complete all of the cleanup that I still have to do in my life (all that I am aware of, and all that I may not yet be aware of).

    Someone I respect (I met him once and sometimes still think about him) said to me that in his view — when a person sees their wrong and stops doing it (“I don’t do that anymore”) — that in itself, is complete atonement. Thank you, Brandon, for reminding me.

    Thank you also to SJB for posting this. And thanks to VT for existing.

    Sam

  8. rmstock  January 27, 2015 at 12:31 pm

    http://crashrecovery.org/daily/22.01.2015/Former_US_drone_operator_tells_IN_THE_NOW_he_is_sorry.mp4
    [ Editor’s note: VT Policy – Only one link per comment, please. ]

  9. Jack Heart  January 27, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Not as sorry as you will be on that day

  10. mary  January 27, 2015 at 9:44 am

    nsw123drld123 ..think maybe you are Brandon, if not, this is to Brandon, It took courage to come forward, and I can only imagine what daily life may be for you now. Forgiveness is a part of our spiritual path that is one of the hardest for a soul to accomplish, and do not take too seriously those who cannot express the act. much is mentioned here on the obvious mind-programming that is used to get people to perform acts against others, every day war comes to mind, yet millions deny their part in it by stating they have done it for their country. perhaps some of the people who died played a part for you to be able to grow spiritually, in the cosmic sense.. I applaud your act of courage, their are many who understand the values in the act of forgiveness, and the value of courage as you have taken. There is a great movie called the railway man, with Colin firth. I see it as a masterpiece for both the one who forgives and the one who needs the forgiveness. keep moving forward.

  11. joe chuy-medina  January 27, 2015 at 8:01 am

    to the comments in fb above about chemtrail pilots: I have followed the horizon to horizon trails around central Ky skies, and recently began using flightaware.com. On 1/20, there were more than 100 trails from dawn until dusk. I tried to verify the flight on flightaware, and the majority of the ones I checked -I am not on the computer all the time- were not on there. I visually verified many of them and recognized SWA red bellied planes, also DAL, also the Korean Air Lines daily flight 36 over this area. “persistent trails,” that extend over the entire sky, but not on flightaware on that day.
    the day before and after, there were no trails horizon to horizon.
    so, to think that no pilot would fly the planes is probably inaccurate.
    joe

  12. mirageseekr  January 27, 2015 at 7:32 am

    If more former military spoke out like this man about how the system truly works the world would be a better place. I had always told my son growing up that you fight in defense only and not to be fodder for the elite and big business that prosper off of war. I also engaged him in critical thinking regarding the military at an early age. He was 10 when 9-11 happened and all day everyday they tried to make it seem like the military was defending us. The reality is they have been using false flag after false flag to manipulate well intentions young men and women who come home damaged and then left basically to their own devices with regards to recovering from it. I was glad that VT covered the Christmas truce of WWl and how the top commanders insisted the fighting continued at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives, what a great lesson. This does not mean however that I have not shown him how to defend himself, years of martial arts, weapons training and hunting would make him pretty lethal should a real threat present itself. He is now 22, and it breaks my heart that so many of the once little boys who would come to our house today are now being chewed up in the military because of lies.

  13. David Odell  January 27, 2015 at 7:23 am

    Thanks Brandon,…The collective human consciousness has steadily grown toward non-violence. This is a trend that will increase. I read another report that a group of Israeli intelligence personnel refused to spy on Palestinians after observing innocent lives being taken due to their actions. People are tired of war and more war. It does not fit into where the species is going. The techies would claim that innocent lives would be minimized with the advent of high tech, but that is clearly not the case. The world has enormous abundance, squabbling over distribution is not a case for death. The internet has deputized millions. I support these guys.

  14. CoJonesGrandes  January 27, 2015 at 3:36 am

    A few years ago, Clif High said he was contacted by someone who was a video game designer. These people write the code for the video games. This guy saw some strange code which was to be incorporated into the game and he asked where that came from. He was told to shut up and reminded that he was close to retirement. So he asked no more. I believe that some of the code in these violent video games may originate from military (and possibly non-human) sources. There is likely to be some very powerful mind control built into the games to entrain the players’ brains.

  15. Jack Heart  January 26, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Little late now isn’t Dr? Whatever gave Brandon Bryant the idea that killing anonymous people might be wrong? Did he have an epiphany? Oh well I’m sure he will find Jesus and all will be forgiven…

    • CoJonesGrandes  January 27, 2015 at 3:42 am

      I understand that when a person has done another a great wrong during his lifetime, once they have both passed over to the other side, the soul of the wrongdoer cannot advance until it has been forgiven by the soul he has wronged. If this is the case, the soul of BB will need to seek and obtain the forgiveness of every single soul of the people he has murdered. That might be a very tall order.

    • CoJonesGrandes  January 27, 2015 at 3:44 am

      And that information came from someone who has passed over. The soul of his late mother was waiting for him so she could ask for his forgiveness.

    • mpennery  January 27, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Thanks for that Jack. I was going to say basically the same thing. Seems many are able to find a conscience after the fact. If only they could discover it BEFORE they follow orders to murder people.
      Matt

    • Jack Heart  January 27, 2015 at 11:47 am

      Sorry HM but us Nazi-Qabalistic-Luciferain-Messianic Jew-Satanists are not as forgiving as you are. I refuse to let Yahweh be the sole arbiter of vengeance in this world, I suggest you do the same because you see just what kind of world it has created don’t you? I was raised Roman Catholic, all the rest I learned the hard way, the real hard way… so please refrain from accusing me of aligning with propaganda. If you read my last piece and you know to whom I was addressing it too, you know I made myself a lot of enemy’s out of former friends. Ask me if I care? Like this old mob dude used to always tell me “I calls it the ways I sees it.” Otherwise a very thoughtful and well thought out reply, sorry we got off on the wrong foot. I’m actually very impressed with your intellect.

  16. davor  January 26, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    So sad. Well now instead of drone-bombing weddings they can pursue a career in drone-filming weddings I hear there is some good bucks there.

  17. Dan  January 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    If this is true, it’s good news that calculated murder is no longer a popular MOS. Problem is, these positions may get filled by “allies” with no such compunction, including no compunction using lethal drone strikes against Americans. Sort of like the DHS. When Americans balk at shooting down fellow Americans in cold blood, “allies” trained in “restoring order” may be brought in. After all, bringing in “allies” was so successful in Russia that tens of millions of “enemies of the state,” mostly women and children, could be dealt with without insurrection in the ranks. As I think of it, this kind of work is perfectly suited to the neocons, who are both mass-murdeting cowards and agents of a foreign nation.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login


TOP 50 READ ARTICLES THIS MONTH