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La Vanguardia, Spain


By Alfredo Abián

Translated By Pedro Garcés Satué

9 February 2013

Edited by Lau­ren Gerken

Spain - La Vanguardia - Original Article (Spanish)

In the U.S. Senate, the future director of the CIA has defended the need to use “lethal force” against al-Qaida far from the battlefields. Using that warlike euphemism, John Brennan alluded to the increasingly massive use of radio-controlled planes in Pakistan, Yemen or wherever the cameras of the drones focus on a suspicious target. If this target later turns out to be a group of kids, an assembly of old people, a wedding, or a funeral, there’s nothing you can do: collateral damage. In the race to shorten distances, technology has also managed to increasingly automate wars. In fact, the unmanned planes that sweep the border with Afghanistan are being piloted more than 13,000 kilometers away — in New Mexico, for example, by a sort of video game console geek. The problem is that the screens are not PlayStation flight simulators, and when the little button for shooting is pressed, a missile may end up blowing you up in matter of seconds. These pygmy planes operate with an astonishing cartographic precision, even though human snipers sometimes manipulate them incorrectly, targeting babies for destruction. One of the advantages of these selective murders is their apparent tidiness and the fact that you never end up with prisoners to guard uncomfortably or to torture with improved interrogation techniques. It is worrying that a madman might be at the controls of these flying predators, but the fact that police are starting to use those damn winged robots it is even more worrying. They start by watching you from cameras in the sky and eventually they will install rubber bullet guns to dissolve gatherings.



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