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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Looking for Mister Fat Finger

"Operators of Drones Are Faulted in Afghan Deaths" -- NY Times headline, May 29, 2010

"The civilian deaths highlighted the hazards on relying on remotely piloted aircraft to track people suspected of being insurgents. In this case, as in many others where drones are employed by the military, the people steering and spotting the targets sat at a console in Creech Air Force Base in Nevada."

If you've ever wondered how the drone jockeys of Creech AFB, Nevada, spend their evenings after a day of remote control killing...

There's only one place to go in Creech, and that's the Bar at Indian Springs. Otherwise, a long couple hours drive to Las Vegas. So you get off your shift, stretch your back, step outside--not knowing if you'll find day or night, you're always surprised to have to squint in the sun--and with that feeling in the pit of your stomach that won't go away, you decide you need a drink. Get in the car and drive. Park in the dusty lot. You step into the bar. A bar named Bar--that's the ticket to amnesia. So you've only been out in the bright sunshine for 15 minutes and here you are, back in a dark shadowy cave. You order. Nobody bothers with small talk. Not near an AFB. Mind your own business. Which is to stare your hands and wonder why you didn't wait before pressing >Enter
Or, more likely, to order another cold one and say "F*** that, you did your job. Let God sort them out."

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