These Are Just Some Of My Favorite Things

by | May 11, 2009

60 Minutes, Lara Logan and unmanned aerial vehicles.

Good excerpt:

"We called down to the convoy and said, 'Hey how about if you start your engines and just move ten meters for me,'" he recalled. "And as soon as they did that this individual reached down and pulled a rifle out."

"We were in short order able to engage that individual successfully," Gough told Logan.

The target was hit with a Hellfire missile. 
"What if you get it wrong?" Logan asked.

"We don't," Gough replied.

"Ever?" Logan asked.

"That's a tough question," Gough said after a pause. "Yeah. We have the resources to make sure we're right. In battle, in combat, in the fog and friction of war, there are always gonna be times that your judgment isn't with hindsight, you can see things with more clarity."

These guys sitting at an airbase in Arizona are judge, jury and executioner for people 7,500 miles away. There's something a little creepy about that. But I think a point the soldier goes on to make is right. We generally accept that mistakes will unfortunately be made in war. But drone pilots thousands of miles away, whose lives are not in imminent danger and who have a clearer view, are probably less susceptible to making them than soldiers on the ground and under fire.

--Michael Crowley

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