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Thursday, 07 November 2013


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"He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he
knew, they were shepherd’s staffs." Really, they can't tell metal from wood? Why not?

Perhaps a little artistic licence from Mr. Power!

Afghanis are going to be carrying guns are they not? Even if they are just something the British Army dropped in the 19th century. Those 3 Afghanis have almost certainly got fathers, brothers, sons, nephews etc. These will have long memories and will be addicted to revenge. They'll be killing Americans till the cows come home.

Why aren't we flying drones over Syria and targeting the al Qaeda groups operating there? Especially those hosting our home grown terror tourists. Assad seems to have gone off the boil, 'bout time someone turned up the heat, and it's not as though he's going to complain. Perhaps the authorities are waiting for the few thousand extremists still hanging around in Blighty (head of MI5's words) to shift their arses over there, and then zap them. Good idea, fair play to them.


I have some misgivings too. Having 'worked' as a DS, FAC and on a FOP (showing my age, FST now) the act itself is not 'unusual'. No, the issue for me is 'verification'. These targets are being decided and designated 'all' from afar without, in the main, any input other than from SIGINT and photo/video reconnaissance (the US lack of HUMINT is legendary, as is certain pols reluctance to put boots on the ground to get it and do the necessary CTR).

So some guys were walking down a road? They were judged to have had rifles, I hate to say it but in most of the world that simply fact means they are your average male (not to have one is seen as shaming in most places). So it is, probably, nothing more than the usual theatre -'we're doing something'. Arbitrarily chosen 'targets' with, probably, no real knowledge of who/what they actually were.

I disagree with the premise to do so without risk is wrong (alls fair ..) but randomly? For show? No!

AS BoE says, this very randomness will do nothing but create new enemies.

I cry Bullshit

Disbelief crept in when I read about the drone control room 'smelling of cigarette smoke' - in the US of A? those things kill you know.....

Thanks, Obligato, for providing a chuckle on a wet November morning!

Well Obligato, I have just returned from my morning coffee and cigar at the top of the garden. According to the supreme authority here, I smell of cigar smoke. So, I suggest that the chaps at Nellis are popping out for a smoke behind their nice cabin, in between zapping Afghanis etc.

Not the sort of thing you RAF-types would do, is it, BOE?

I did a tour flying in Comet 2Rs. There were 26 operators down the back. When we landed the smokers would get to the rear exit first, disembark and rush across the tarmac, not to get in the waiting coach, but to have a fag. After 5 hours they were desperate.

This has got nothing to do with your piece of course.

'Ah, yes, I remember it well' - not flying in Comets, of course, but any interruption to my 60-a-day habit was torture! In fact, in my last (service) year as an interrogator we always tried to spot any nicotine stains on the hands of our 'victims'. This would lead eventually to a somewhat theatrical performance as a new pack of 'ciggies' was slowly unwrapped, one extracted, lighter flicked on and slowly raised to the cigarette and a deep and very satisfactory inhalation would be followed by and equally slow exhalation of smoke across the victim's face. Oh dear, was that against the Human Rights Act?

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