predators: how the east was (not) won

May 13, 2009

While watching 60 Minutes for the first time in at least 5 years at my grandma’s house last Sunday, I was presented a story about “America’s New Air Force”—Predators and Reapers, the military’s new breed of unmanned aircraft that fly over Iraq and Afghanistan while being controlled by “pilots” in front of a computer screen at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. Reporter Lara Logan tackled the subject how any South African-accented journalist covering American military advancements would—with a War on Terror’s-worth of naivete. See, when I watched Logan’s “unprecedented access” to the only air force base that exclusively flies planes with no one in them, instead of seeing the bright, risk-less future of war she wanted to present (look how progressive we are in our forward-thinking technology!), I was brought back to the past, to the incident that sparked this whole war in the fucking first place.

I don’t know how to say this without coming across like a total conspiracy theorist, but I’m a total conspiracy theorist. And when I first did some research about the obvious misinformation regarding the attacks on 9/11, I realized that the “OMGZ we had no idea this was going to happen” claim was total bullshit and started seeing that the “we have technology and power of information on our side–let’s do this” mentality was far more likely. So aside from the fact that the World Trade Centers fell in a planned demolition and the plane crash on a former CIA agent’s farm in Pennsylvania was more likely a missle (or bomb), the issues of what flew into the tallest buildings in the New York skyline and smashed a hole in an “under construction” area of the pentagon remains unanswered. Some eyewitnesses (and the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report) say they were commercial airplanes, but others said the planes bore no markings or windows and others still called them out as military transport planes.

Since the flights reported to have been hijacked were actually secretly rerouted through a tangle of untracable orders, the aircrafts that were visible in the final moments had to be the government’s planes that swapped identities with the commercial flights and after eight years of speculation as to what kind of military plane actually did the damage on 9/11 (and making martyrs out of the non-existent passengers of flight 93), 60 Minutes finally shed light on the USAF’s unmanned plane operations, telling me they’ve been going on since the mid-90s and unknowingly replacing my kamikaze air force pilot theory with the “planes that look like Boeing 737s that can fly 8000 miles in 22 hours while being controlled by someone on the ground halfway across the world” liklihood.

Poor Miss Logan thought it was a wonderful advancement that we can use these planes to keep a watchful eye on our ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq (she even asked the hard-hitting questions about what it’s like to be in battle from a computer chair in Nevada and then go home to your family) but had no idea that she was fueling conpiracy fire by definitively placing our unmanned aircraft technology into the endless field of 9/11 “could haves” and forcing me to explain to my sweet grandmother why our government would want to be its own fear-mongering terrorists.


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