Dial D For Drones, Death and Denial
Metadata Is Used In Targeted Killings
Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald, in one of the first stories to be broken for their new journalistic joint venture with eBay founder Pierre Morad Omidyar and documentarian Laura Poitras, TheIntercept.org, report special warfare and intelligence sources having described to them how dragnet intercepted metadata, the role of which is casually dismissed by the Five Eyes governments, is being utilised in the assassination process.
Amy Goodman for DemocracyNow.org reports: ‘’A former drone operator for JSOC, the military’s Joint Special Operations Command, said the NSA identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cellphone tracking technologies, but it’s proven to be an unreliable tactic that’s resulted in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people. The U.S. has reportedly carried out strikes without knowing whether the individual in possession of a tracked cellphone or SIM card is in fact the intended target of the strike.
Providing further example of how the democratic Five Eyes governments are largely indistinguishable on the national security front and broadly coordinate their efforts, a British group Drone Wars UK have published a freedom of information request investigation submitted to the Ministry of Defence into UK drone strikes in Afghanistan that were carried out using ‘’borrowed’’ American drone systems.
Meanwhile, in the United Arab Emirates, a plan has been unveiled for the government to deliver public sector service documents to citizens via drone, much in the same fashion as Jeff Bezos’ proposed Amazon Air program. One imagines a scenario in which an official notification of one’s imminent immolation is couriered to your doorstep, upon which time a grace period of 20 seconds or so is extended before a drone missile locks on to your cell phone that you had to use to verify your identity to the delivery drone, after which a receipt of your death is delivered to your next of kin à la Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
For more on Laura Poitras, Scahill, Greenwald and Omidyar’s new venture, you can listen to this Democracy Now segment below.