In an interview published in the Sun this Thursday, a former drone operator-turned whistleblower recounted his 6 years in the US military operating the weapon systems on drones in a base in the Nevada desert — 7,000 miles away from the conflicts the remote-controlled aircraft he operated were engaged in.
Brandon Bryant, 34, became disillusioned with the US drone program after he killed a child in one of his missions, and decided that he needed to speak out. According to him, the line of work gave him post-traumatic stress disorder. To his knowledge, he killed 13 people.
“When I pulled the trigger, I knew that it was wrong,” he said. “When the missile struck I knew in my soul I had become a murderer.”
In his interview, he spoke of the time when he accidentally killed a child, only to have his superiors tell him it was just a “dog.”
During the operation, which he said was his most traumatic experience, Bryant trained his sights on an enemy target believed to be inside a building, but just before the missile struck, a child ran into his cross-hairs.
An image analyst who watched the feed told him it was a dog, but a colleague sitting next to him agreed that it was likely a child.
“Yeah, whatever, probably,” his colleague nonchalantly said.
Bryant went to his superiors, but was told it was a “f*cking dog” and to “just drop it. ”
He later testified before the United Nations about his experiences. Now, he says the US military is “worse than the Nazis, because we should know better.”
“We think about the Nuremberg Trials. All these guys that got convicted during the trials, the one thing that convicted them all was, ‘well I was just doing my job.'”
Read the full piece over at the Sun.
‘Congrats on an epic self-own’: Internet bursts into laughter as Ted Cruz freaks out over vasectomy bill
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) was the subject of criticism this weekend when he commented on a news story surrounding an Alabama Democrat's bill that would "mandate every Alabama man to undergo a vasectomy within one month of his 50th birthday or the birth of his third biological child, whichever comes first."
State Rep. Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) put forth the bill in response to the fact that there's "no restrictions on the reproductive rights of men" under existing state law.
‘Morale is at a low point’ under Bill Barr as career attorneys flee Justice Dept: ex-federal prosecutor
Appearing on MSNBC with host Ayman Mohyeldin, former prosecutor Glenn Kirschner relayed that morale is at an extremely low point at the Department of Justice under Attorney General William Barr with some longtime employees not only fleeing the department but also continuing working for the government.
Discussing a letter that has been signed by over 1,100 ex-Justice Department calling for Barr to either resign or be dismissed, Kirschner didn't disclose if he was one of the signees, but agreed wholeheartedly with their conclusions.
"Let me get your thoughts as a former DOJ official yourself," Mohyeldin began. "Would you be willing to add your name to the letter -- I apologize, I haven't gone through the 1,100 names but do you agree with the sentiments expressed it?"
‘Visibly Jewish’ communities ‘singled out’ for anti-Semitic abuse in Trump era
On Monday, The New York Times published a report on how the rising incidence of anti-Semitic attacks in America has affected Orthodox Jewish communities, who much more outwardly advertise their faith than some other practitioners of Judaism and are therefore more vulnerable.
"A rabbinical student was walking down a quiet street in Brooklyn last winter, chatting on the phone with his father when three men jumped him from behind. They punched his head, knocking him to the ground before fleeing down the block," wrote Liam Stack for the Times. "When police officers arrested three suspects later that night, the student, a Hasidic man who asked to be identified by his first name, Mendel, learned that another Hasidic Jew had been attacked on the same block in Crown Heights just minutes before he was. Video of the earlier attack showed three men knocking a man to the ground before kicking and punching him."