Here is a long piece in the LA Times chronicling but one of our accidental bombings by a Predator drone in which we killed a boatload of civilians:
Nearly three miles above the rugged hills of central Afghanistan, American eyes silently tracked two SUVs and a pickup truck as they snaked down a dirt road in the pre-dawn darkness.
The vehicles, packed with people, were 3 1/2 miles from a dozen U.S. special operations soldiers, who had been dropped into the area hours earlier to root out insurgents. The convoy was closing in on them.
At 6:15 a.m., just before the sun crested the mountains, the convoy halted.
“We have 18 pax [passengers] dismounted and spreading out at this time,” an Air Force pilot said from a cramped control room at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, 7,000 miles away. He was flying a Predator drone remotely using a joystick, watching its live video transmissions from the Afghan sky and radioing his crew and the unit on the ground.
The Afghans unfolded what looked like blankets and kneeled. “They’re praying. They are praying,” said the Predator’s camera operator, seated near the pilot.
By now, the Predator crew was sure that the men were Taliban. “This is definitely it, this is their force,” the cameraman said. “Praying? I mean, seriously, that’s what they do.”
“They’re gonna do something nefarious,” the crew’s intelligence coordinator chimed in.***
None of those Afghans was an insurgent. They were men, women and children going about their business, unaware that a unit of U.S. soldiers was just a few miles away, and that teams of U.S. military pilots, camera operators and video screeners had taken them for a group of Taliban fighters.
You all know what happens next in this story, so you can just click through to read the whole thing in detail.
Of all the colossally stupid, counter-productive, vile, and disgusting things the United States does, our policy of just launching missiles at every problem or threat that we have, or, as is the case here, every perceived problem or threat, has to be at the top of the list. We need to get out of Afghanistan NOW.
And by the way, at the very least, since we all know we’re never leaving, can we have these drones flown by someone other than some ignorant shitheel who thinks that a group of Muslims praying is a sign they are up to something and need to be bombed? yeah. They hate us for our freedoms.
*** Update ***
I almost forgot the best part, the CIA is running the Drone war in Pakistan, so who the hell only knows what is going on there. Although they are mighty pissed off with us at the moment for other things, so they may either kick us out or shake us down for a couple more billion. But think about that for a minute- Pakistan, not exactly scrupulous when it comes to butchering their own people, thinks we’ve gone overboard. That’s like being told by Andy Dick that you’ve had too much to drink.