|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 5, 2015
For more information:
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace Vice President, 206-499-1220
Veterans to Drone Operators:
“We Will Help You if You Decide You Cannot Kill”
St. Louis, MO. Veterans groups are offering support to Drone Operators and Support Personnel who decide they no longer want to participate in drone assassinations.
Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against the War have joined with peace activists from around the U.S. who are camped outside of Creech AFB this week, just north of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Civil disobedience actions are being planned at Creech AFB for early Friday morning, March 6.
“It is not normal or healthy for human beings to kill other human beings,” said Gerry Condon, Vice President of Veterans For Peace. “Many veterans continue to suffer from PTSD and ‘moral injury’ for the rest of their lives. The suicide rate for active duty GI’s and veterans is extremely high.
“We are here to offer a helping hand to our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters who cannot in good conscience continue to participate in killing human beings, many of them innocent civilians, half way around the globe,” continued Gerry Condon.
The message to Creech airmen says, in part:
“We encourage you to think carefully about your place in the scheme of things. Can you, in good conscience, continue to participate in killing other human beings, no matter how remotely? If, after serious soul-searching, you come to believe you are against all wars, you can apply for a discharge from the Air Force as a Conscientious Objector. If you need advice, there are conscientious objector organizations that can help you.
Military personnel have the right and the responsibility to refuse to participate in war crimes, according to international law, U.S. law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And then there are the higher moral laws.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you decide to refuse illegal orders or to resist illegal wars, we are here to support you.”
In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first U.S. base in the country to carry out remotely controlled assassinations using the MQ-1 Predator drones. In 2006, the more advanced Reaper drones were added to its arsenal. Last year, in 2014, it was leaked that the CIA’s drone assassination program, officially a separate operation from the Air Force’s, has been piloted all along by Creech’s super-secret Squadron 17.
According to recent independent research, the identity of only one out of 28 victims of drone strikes is known beforehand. Though officials deny it, the majority of those killed by drones are civilians.