Brandon Bryant is a former drone sensor operator. He admits that he “couldn’t stand” himself for participating in his country’s drone program for a period of six years, and that he had fired upon targets that were not confirmed combatants.
Under the Obama administration, America has been utilizing drone strikes at an increasing rate against targets alleged to be part of terrorist organizations. The program is kept hidden from the public eye and has been criticized for the high number of civilian casualties.
Pakistan’s Peshwar High Court has decreed that the attacks are war crimes, stating in 2013 that they violate the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights. However, Obama insists that drone strikes are precise and effective as a means of destroying terrorists.
Reprieve is a human rights group monitoring the situation. According to their data, published last November, attempts to target and assassinate only 41 individuals had caused the deaths of some 1147 people. A SINGLE target would require multiple strikes, and 28 people would have to die in order for America to kill a single person.
Bryant was a senior drone operator and had manned their cameras and intelligence gathering operations. He resigned in 2011, speaking negatively about the program and its leaders.
“There was no oversight. I just know that the inside of the entire program was diseased and people need to know what happens to those that were on the inside,” he told RT’s Anissa Naouai. “People need to know the lack of oversight, the lack of accountability that happen.”
Bryant railed against the, “black hole putrid system that is either going to crush you or you’re going to conform to it,” and apologized to families of victims whose deaths he was responsible for. By his own estimation, he had helped to kill some 1626 people. “I couldn’t stand myself for doing it,” he added.
“I’m sorry that the mistake happened. I’m doing everything that I can to prevent further mistakes from happening.”