Former US Drone Operator Says US Military ‘Worse Than The Nazis’

| Educate!

Above photo: Brandon Bryant. From Daily Mail.

A former US drone operator is speaking out against the atrocities he says he was forced to inflict during his time in the armed forces and says the American military as ‘worse than the Nazis’. 

Brandon Bryant was enlisted in the US Air Force for six years. During his time with the military, he operated Predator drones, remotely firing missiles at targets more than 7,000 miles away from the small room containing his workspace near Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mr Bryant says he reached his breaking point with the US military after killing a child in Afghanistan that his superiors told him was “a dog.” Mr Bryant recalls the moment: After firing a Hellfire missile at a building containing his target, he saw a child exit the building just as the missile struck. When he alerted his superiors about the situation after reviewing the tape, he was told “it was a f***ing dog, drop it.”

Following that incident, Mr Bryant quit the military and began speaking out against the drone program.

During his time in the Air Force, Mr Bryant estimates he contributed directly to killing 13 people himself and says his squadron fired on 1,626 targets including women and children. He says he has been left suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.    

Mr Bryant said he saw the man he targeted bleed out from his legs and watched as his body went cold on his thermal imaging screen. 

“The smoke clears, and there’s pieces of the two guys around the crater. And there’s this guy over here, and he’s missing his right leg above his knee. He’s holding it, and he’s rolling around, and the blood is squirting out of his leg … It took him a long time to die. I just watched him,” Mr Bryant said in an interview with GQ.

“That image on the screen is still in my head. Whenever I think about it, it still hurts me,” Mr Bryant said. “When I pulled the trigger, I knew that it was wrong. When the middle struck I knew in my soul I had become a murderer.”

Other airmen in Mr Bryant’s squadron celebrated his first kill, saying “Brant’s popped his cherry.” 

Mr Bryant was enlisted from 2006 to 2011, working as a sensor operator, which helps direct missiles to their targets.  

In a conversation with the Roots Action Network, Mr Bryant recalled an instance early in his enlistment where he and his fellow drone operators were shown a video montage of drone strikes, after which they were told their jobs were to “kill people and break things.”

It went against everything that I had ever learned about honor and justice and training. It was terrifying how dismissive people were about the whole affair. We were safe in the U.S. and those over there were not. We win. But that’s not how it goes,” Mr Bryant said. 

Mr Bryant said that despite his misgivings about the program, his superiors used punitive measures and mockery to keep him in line. 

“It broke my spirit. It went against everything I learned about being a warrior, about holding yourself to higher standards. My superiors psychologically beat me and ridiculed me to keep me in line. They took away my free time and forced me to sit in a seat or be tried under the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) for disobeying orders,” Mr Bryant said. “In a sense, it was my prison. I served my time to learn and reflect. And so I hold the key now, to the entire apparatus. I just don’t know what to do with it.”

He has said the US military is “worse than the Nazis” because “we should know better.” 

Mr Bryant said he and his family have been threatened for speaking out against the drone program and that he has lost friends and been estranged from other members of his family over his whistle-blowing. 

Ultimately Mr Bryant wants the public to understand the dehumanizing effect of the drone program on the operators and the individuals targeted. 

“I would want people to know, beyond its existence, the consequences it has on us as a species to delineate our power into something so easily destructive. Every time we get closer to that edge, we’re going to have to realise where it places us,” Mr Bryant said.

  • voza0db

    … he was forced to inflict…” another coward.

    We only do what we choose to do.

  • brekinla

    This is what happens when we distance ourselves from our constitution. Our founding fathers were genius in their writing of our constitution. 5th “no person shall be deprived or life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The court has defined a person as a living human being. The power to declare war is congress’s, yet there has been no declaration of war. Sad, sad that the greatest country in the world ever is going down the tubes. If your gov can kill without due process in a foreign country, it is only a small step to do it domestically.

  • voza0db

    They already do it domestically…

  • loud-n-proud

    Clearly, you don’t understand how the military works.

  • irategrandmother

    Yes they do. It’s done gradually through government policies that are intended to create wealth inequality and poverty. They do it by allowing corporations to price medical care out of the reach of those who need it. They do it with institutional racism. They do it by denying people a living wage and affordable housing – increasing mental illness and suicide. They do it in so many “invisible” ways that chip away at the domestic population, stealthily and often undetectable. They do it by propaganda causing division in society, prompting violence against “others.” They do it by mass incarceration with inadequate health care – physical and mental. They do it by creating a culture of violence and supplying the domestic population with weapons.They do it through training police to view the domestic population as enemies, etc.

  • mwildfire

    We get whistleblowers like this guy, and Bradley Manning, and Snowden, only because some people who actually have a conscience, are so indoctrinated as youths that they join the military (CIA and NSA in Snowden’s case) before coming to an understanding of what’s really happening. Thus the imperial military keeps working to automate, to eliminate the need for humans altogether. Most are pretty easy to keep in a completely indoctrinated state, especially among those who join voluntarily–witness that unspeakably obscene line, “Brandon has popped his cherry.” But then you get the few who slip through, who may engage in morally filthy behavior for a time before their consciences grab them by the scruff of the neck and drag them away to face the consequences in a society which often rewards criminals and punishes heroes. Only one person has done jail time for the enormously criminal US torture program–the guy who blew the whistle on it. Assange is being tortured essentially and will likely be killed, because he revealed the crimes of governments–not only the US government but others as well, which is why he gets no sympathy from any government or any “mainstream” media. The corporate media and governments and corporations are wings of the corporate-government-media complex, they are not separate entities.

  • JohnKStoner

    I commend Brandon as a man of courage. He has asserted his basic humanity; we need millions of people doing that. He suffers not only from PTSD, which results from injuries inflicted upon us, but more profoundly, moral injury, which results from injury and injustice we inflict upon others.

  • rgaura

    Mr Bryant has my prayers and respect. The only way to heal is to expose the truth. It takes courage and devotion. Thank you, and may this pave the way for more and more citizens standing up for truth and righteous behaviors, in all areas of our society. May all the holy beings protect you and your family.

  • RickW

    “I was following orders” didn’t wash at Nuremburg. But then, that side “lost”. For the winners, there is no questioning without consequences.

  • Brian Moreau

    You are absolutely correct….refreshing insights….”Know the enemy”…People are waking up to the crimes of the American military…… finally.

  • voza0db
  • voza0db

    Yes I do… Hence my comment!

  • CALynnie

    Greatest country in the world? Uh, when?

  • Lucius

    Whoa… unsettling, to say the least.
    But War is always unsettling.

  • brainworks

    sounds like you fucvking idiots following the words of the new nazis , the murderous indigenous males who have killed hundreds of their own women and girls.

  • brainworks

    wow you are a very special kind of stupid.

  • RickW

    You should give your “brain” a checkup to see if it works.

  • brainworks

    at least i have one, you braindead idiot.

  • brainworks

    you get stupider every day. Harper and Trudeau are murderers LOL. f you are referring to the missing indian females, ASK THEIR FATHERS, BROTHERS, UNCLES. They are the murderers