New Film Exposes Secret U.S. War + Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars

Dandelion Salad

Protesting Drones at Obama's Inauguration

Image by World Can’t Wait via Flickr

democracynow on Oct 31, 2013 – A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. Today we air extended clips from the new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” and speak to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with attack survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials, and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old Tariq Aziz who was killed by drone. just days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, “Living Under Drones.”



“Too Scared to Go Outside”: Family of Pakistani Grandmother Killed in U.S. Drone Strike Speaks Out

democracynow on Oct 31, 2013 – One year ago, a 67-year-old Pakistani woman was killed by an alleged U.S. drone while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren on October 24, 2012. The United States has never acknowledged killing her or any other drone strike victims in Pakistan, always claiming that it is militants locked in the crosshairs. This week, her son and two of her grandchildren traveled to Washington, D.C., to became the first drone victims to testify before members of Congress — even though only five Democrats appeared at the hearing. Live in studio, we speak to Rafiq Rehman and his two children, nine-year-old Nabila and 13-year-old Zubair, both of whom were injured in the strike. “I don’t understand why this happened to me. I have done nothing wrong,” Zubair says. “What I would like to say to the American people is to please tell your government to end these drones because it is disrupting our lives.”


Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars-Part 1-26 Oct 2013-Part 1




[Same video as above]

Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars • FULL DOCUMENTARY FILM • BRAVE NEW FILMS

Brave New Films on Apr 1, 2015

“Unmanned” investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad, observing their effect on the War on Terror, the lives of individuals, and U.S. foreign policy.

In Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars, the eighth full-length feature documentary from Brave New Films, director Robert Greenwald investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad through more than 70 separate interviews, including a former American drone operator who shares what he has witnessed in his own words, Pakistani families mourning loved ones and seeking legal redress, investigative journalists pursuing the truth, and top military officials warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life.

Throughout Unmanned, Greenwald intersperses in-depth interviews with never-before-seen footage from the tribal regions in Pakistan to humanize those who have been impacted by our drone policy. This footage, alongside interviews with Pakistani drone survivors, describes the brutal reality of drone attacks ordered during the Obama Administration. The film highlights the stories of 16 year old Tariq Aziz, killed by a drone a mere week after he participated in a public conference in Islamabad in 2011, and a school teacher, Rafiq ur Rehman, grappling with the loss of his elderly mother and the hospitalization of his children due to a drone strike last year, showing how delicate life can be in this virtual war where no one is accepting responsibility for the casualties.

00:00 Brandon Bryant, Former U.S.A.F. Drone Sensor Operator discusses his start in the drone program.

2:10 October 28, 2011 Pakistan, A press conference (Jirja) that brought community leaders and political organizers together with the media to discuss the inhumanity and fears of the current state of drone strikes.

7:10 Islamabad, Pakistan, A rally is held in protest of the drone attacks. People from all over the country with many different backgrounds came in the thousands to protest the United States drone program.

8:15 Tariq and friends were on their way to a soccer match when their car was hit by a drone. His friends reflect on the incident and discuss the injustice.

12:35 Tariq had been to the press conference, and discussed the issue with media. CIA decided to use a drone, instead of peaceful and lawful capture.

16:15 Breakdown of targeted killing methodology. Imminent threat is needed in order to use drones.

18:40 Brendon Bryant discusses hitting targets, and the graphic nature of brutal drone attacks.

21:05 The vast majority of drone victims have not been high profile targets. Signature strikes are attacks against civilians who may fit the profile of suspected terrorists.

24:23 Jirja are part of Pakistani conflict resolution, this open public event, where the community gathers. A drone strike attacked this peaceful event, killing the elders, devastating the community.

30:23 John O. Brennen former Chief Counterterrorism Advisor for the Obama Administration states in a press conference that there has not been a single collateral death in drone attacks.

31:06 Drone strikes have created a significant anti-American sentiment.

33:44 Pakistan court rules CIA drone strikes are an illegal war crime.

36:34 Brendon Bryant discusses firing a drone strike on what was believed to be a high level terrorist. Before drone landed, he saw a small movement around the building.

39:00 Rafiq ur Rehman, a schoolteacher, recalls the day a drone hit his home. Injuring his children, destroying his home, and murdering his mother.

45:54 Dr. Rizwan Taj and community members discuss the constant fear that the citizens of the region.

49:15 The drone strikes in Waziristan have created more terrorists, as the citizens are looking for revenge for the brutal killings.

52:05 Defense and aerospace firms are lobbying for continued drone use as it is a multi-billion dollar industry. The drone industry is also growing internationally with more countries developing attack drones.

54:00 Community based solutions are much more effective than the drone attacks.

56:15 Drone victims discuss their personal damages from the attacks. Brandon Bryant discusses his remorse for being involved in the drone program.

ABOUT BRAVE NEW FILMS Robert Greenwald and Brave New Films are at the forefront of the fight to create a just America. Using new media and internet video campaigns, Brave New Films has created a quick-strike capability that informs the public, challenges corporate media with the truth, and motivates people to take action on social issues nationwide.

From the archives:

Pakistan Drone Story Ignored Military Opposition to Strikes by Gareth Porter

Empire Under Obama, Part 4: Counterinsurgency, Death Squads, and the Population as the Target by Andrew Gavin Marshall

Drone Island in the East River by David Swanson

Empire Under Obama, Part 3: America’s “Secret Wars” in Over 100 Countries Around the World by Andrew Gavin Marshall