Monday, December 31, 2012

Brandon Bryant: Drone operator followed orders to shoot a child... and decided he had to quit | Mail Online

Drones. A topic many ignore because the initial message we get from the image is almost toy like. It's just a toy. A remote controlled plane toy. Semantically, the word "drone" does just that: drones quietly on in our subconscious, just a silent toy we are detached from. We forget these drones are operated by humans thousands of miles away; like a video game. Killing from afar. The obvious tragedy of what it does to the victims, as well as the less obvious toll it takes on the "detached" humans operating the drones from afar. What will be the effects of this long distance killing by machine be on our humanity in a few years?

Brandon Bryant: Drone operator followed orders to shoot a child... and decided he had to quit | Mail Online:
'Did we just kill a kid?' he asked the pilot next to him.

'Yeah, I guess that was a kid,' the man replied.

Thoughts jotted in his diary on uneventful days clearly show the heavy burden his job was placing on him.

'On the battlefield there are no sides, just bloodshed. Total war. Every horror witnessed. I wish my eyes would rot,' he wrote on one occasion.

He began to shut himself off from his friends, and his girlfriend complained about his bad moods.

'I can't just switch and go back to normal life,' he said to her. He stopped sleeping and began to exercise instead.


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