The Year in Drones: 2016

Photo by Iwan Gabovitch | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Iwan Gabovitch | CC BY 2.0

 

Barack Obama’s final year in office began with the incarceration of a 59-year old grandmother.  In what must be a first in the annals of crime, Mary Anne Grady Flores was sentenced to six months in jail for a foot fault.  While photographing a peaceful demonstration by her group, the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars, Grady Flores had accidentally stepped onto Hancock Field Air National Guard Base outside Syracuse, NY.  Her momentary presence on the base violated an Order of Protection a local court had granted the base commander.

Five thousand protestors gathered at Ramstein Air Base on June 17.  Ramstein, an American military base in Germany, is integral to the US drone campaign.  In February, 2015, Jeremy Scahill filed a report about Ramstein on The Intercept.  Leaked US slides and their confidential source confirmed what had long been suspected.  Ramstein Air Base is the global relay hub for signals which allow pilots in the United States to control US drones in South and Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa.  The slides put the lie to US and German attempts to minimize Ramstein’s crucial importance in the drone war.  The slides raise the possibility of US personnel at Ramstein facing prosecution under German law for assisting drone assassinations in violation of international law.[1]

Drone Kills inside the United States

Police in Dallas, Texas used a robot to kill Michael Xavier…

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