Our guest Nick Mottern is a Vietnam veteran and has worked as a reporter, researcher, writer, and political organizer over the last 30 years. He manages a website devoted to education and organizing to stop drone warfare and surveillance www.KnowDrones.com. He was director of the 2012 national ‘Know Drones Tour’ and was an organizer of the 2013 April Days of Action and 2014 Spring Days of Action, and he publishes “The Drone Organizers Bulletin”. He provides stunning revelations & concerns.
Our show focus includes the immorality of drone warfare, the psychological trauma associated with drone operators, and the US public that is so abstracted from the realities of the victims and communities worldwide that are subject to such attacks. The Afghan War our guest argues would have been over a long time ago if it had not been for drones. The prosecution and inhumane conditions now facing Daniel Hale who despite the presiding judge’s recommendation resulted in him being sent to a supermax Marion prison. The prison conditions he faces are not commensurate with his ‘crime’. Daniel Hale is a whistleblower who did not put at risk US national security by releasing ‘confidential’ papers. He revealed to the US public:
1. for the first time the “kill chain,” the bureaucratic process by which targets are selected to be summarily executed.
2. information that helped to expose the existence of the secret programs & that drone strikes killed many more innocent people than their supposed “targets”, &
3. that US citizens have been killed extrajudicially by drone strikes in violation of their constitutional rights to a trial.
The reason Hale cited for pleading guilty is that the Espionage Act charges prevent a public interest defense. In other words, Hale’s lawyers were barred from arguing that the need of the public to be made aware of the criminal activities of the US government was more important than his obligation not to disclose classified information to anyone. Essentially Hale was forced to plead guilty in order to avoid potentially spending decades in federal prison. Whistleblowers are gagged from explaining their actions. Defense attorneys are barred from uttering the words “whistleblower” or “First Amendment” within earshot of the jury. Since all that matters for sustaining a conviction is that a defendant gave classified information to someone not entitled to receive it, that’s all the jury is allowed to hear. The result is often absolutely no accountability of US foreign policy crimes against humanity. Pgatos firstname.lastname@example.org 10/25/2021
If you are not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. Malcolm X