United States: Ad for drone pilots to refuse runs in Air Force Times


An article by Courage to Resist

On Monday, September 14, the Air Force Times, a weekly newspaper with a circulation of over 65,000 subscribers who include active, reserve and retired U.S. Air Force, Air National Guard and general military personnel and their families, published the advertisement below, carrying a message from 54 veterans urging US drone pilots to refuse to follow orders to fly surveillance and attack missions, citing international law. Courage to Resist is proud to have contributed to this historic effort, which was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, KnowDrones.com, Veterans for Peace, and World Can’t Wait.


Retired and Former U.S. Military Personnel Urge Drone Operators to refuse to fly Missions

As retired and former members of the U.S. military, we urge U.S. drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/assassination missions. These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.

“According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as of September 1, 2015, up to 6,069 lives have been taken by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. This figure does not include uncounted lives lost to U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan before 2015, or in Iraq, Libya, the Philippines and Syria. All were killed without due process. These attacks, which are also terrorizing thousands, are undermining principles of international law and human rights such as those enumerated in the U.N. International Declaration of Human Rights, written in 1948 with the blood of the atrocities of World War II freshly in mind. The United States is a signatory to this declaration.

“Those involved in U.S. drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting in accordance with Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950: ‘The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him of responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible.’

“So, yes, you do have a choice — and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one.”

(Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

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