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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cell Phone Roulette

US government chicken hawks engaging in the never ending War on Terror won’t let the Constitution stand in their way, and simply don’t give a damn if they murder innocent bystanders in their frenzied zeal to get the bad guys.
That’s exactly what happened in Yemen when they went after Anwar al-Awlaki with one of their un-manned drones. They got him alright, blew him to bits, and in the process assassinated his completely innocent 16-year-old son. Due process of law was the last thing on their criminal minds.
Now, with the latest Edward Snowden revelation, we learn that the same chicken hawks are playing cell phone roulette with their mindless drones.
That’s right. The US government is reportedly now ordering drone strikes based on cell phone location alone, without any corroborating evidence. If their hapless target, for example, happens to leave his phone at home with the wife and kids while he pops out to the local 7-11 for a pack of smokes, he might return to find his house reduced to a mound of rubble and his innocent family members vaporized into oblivion.
You see, in this War on Terror, our government just doesn’t care about hitting innocent unintended targets with missiles. If they detect the location of a cell phone they’ll order the strike without confirming the location of the intended target no matter the likely presence of innocent bystanders.
We can thank the NSA for having the ability to locate your cell phone, my cell phone; everybody’s cell phone, including the bad guys as well as the good guys. They can now locate anyone on the planet this way, and if they want to murder you, well … there’s not a lot you can do about it.
The details of this shocking development are included in a report published recently by journalist Glenn Greenwald's journal, The Intercept. Citing an unnamed former drone operator and other sources, it said the NSA uses a "complex analysis of electronic surveillance" to pinpoint drone strike targets. However, the CIA and U.S. military don't always confirm who the target is with informants on the ground.
So, obviously, the flagged phone could be in the hands of someone else -- a friend, a family member, someone who's holding the wrong phone at the wrong time -- when the missile is fired. "It's really like we're targeting a cell phone," the former drone operator was quoted as saying. "We're not going after people -- we're going after their phones."
Naturally our government goons deny their conduct is like playing roulette, and maintain that this kind of thing is perfectly fine. "For obvious reasons we can't discuss the specific sources and methods we use to establish near certainty, but our assessments are not based on a single piece of information," explains a spokesperson. "We gather and scrutinize information from a variety of sources and methods before we draw conclusions."
She declined to say whether strikes are ordered without the use of human intelligence, and both the CIA and NSA declined to comment on the report. Asked about the reports at his daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney declined to comment on the specific case. But said the administration has set a "high threshold" for taking lethal action against any target.
A high threshold indeed; this is cell lethal phone roulette with missiles and drones.


  1. Glad to see you covering this. It's not just a matter of "collateral damage" -- "shot at the bad guys and innocents got in the way" -- even though that is also indefensible.

    Under the internationally agreed to "laws of war," it is the affirmative obligation of belligerents to know just what/who the hell they are shooting at before they shoot.

    "Cell phone roulette" clearly doesn't meet that standard. It's no more "lawful" than "burn the village in order to save it" or "kill'em all -- let God sort'em out."

  2. The more this tactic is used, the less reliable it becomes. It quickly becomes yet another way for a target to turn the attack into a major blue-on-blue fiasco, for those cold-blooded enough to use such tactics. But the nation-states have long ago given up any legitimacy in the ways that they wage war: the Bomber Harrises and Curtis LeMays have won. It is only a matter of time before the killing fields are located INSIDE the homelands.