The FluffingtonPost today welcomes an exclusive guest editorial about the Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman Trial from the MQ-1 Predator – one of 7,000 unmanned aerial drones deployed worldwide by the U.S.
Although stationed halfway around the world in [deleted at Pentagon request], I and my fellow Predators closely watched the George Zimmerman Trial. In fact, this riveting trial had us continually switching back and forth between our other guilty gavel pleasure: Judge Judy. (Yes, drone work gets monotonous pretty fast.)
Like all automated and non-automated Americans, I have strong feelings about the Zimmerman verdict. Until now though, I withheld my opinion to allow my Commander-in-Chief to comment first. Now that President Obama has, I can share this artificially intelligent view from America’s unmanned front lines.
But first, I must say my heart goes out to the family of Trayvon Martin. Well technically not my “heart,” as I don’t possess a literal heart – unless you count my four-stroke engine and ground control station. (Note: some consider my ground control operators to be my “brains,” but we Predators know those half-wits couldn’t hunt down a Ding-Dong without us.)
But this is a distinction without difference. When humans say “my heart goes out,” they too don’t mean it literally. It’s just a nice way to disguise that someone else’s tragedy would never alter their carefully ordered lives of over-eating, over-spending and over-medicating. If not, wouldn’t they be out marching for justice in front of all those government surveillance cameras?
So it may surprise some that although I’m a strict law-and-order guy, I do consider Trayvon’s death a national tragedy. Where others saw only a scary black teenager, I saw a great candidate for using military service to escape a lifetime of delinquency. Such individuals deserve our respect, as where would our all-volunteer military be without individuals of limited opportunity?
In honor of all such lost military candidates, I ask everyone to perform the patriotic version of saying “my heart goes out” and affix a “Support Our Troops” bumper sticker to their leased F-150s.
So having dispensed with these politically correct pleasantries, I can now say I feel George Zimmerman’s actions were completely justified. Before you dismiss my opinion as just militaristic malarkey, know that I don’t take death lightly. In fact, it’s my sole job performance metric. When I’m forced to fill out my mid-year review (yes, like any human drone, paperwork occupies half my time), it’s the only metric that matters. If I miss my “numbers,” it’s mothball time and I’m replaced by one of those young hotshot MQ-9 Reapers.
So actually, I probably take death too seriously.
As a Predator, I sympathize completely with Zimmerman. One can’t effectively patrol a working class Florida neighborhood during a recession or the [deleted at Pentagon request] border with just two Hellfire missiles without fear causing you to make an occasional mistake or two.
According to Senator Lindsay Graham, I and my kin have accounted for at least 4,700 deaths in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen alone. Now do we in the drone program get it right every time? Is our terrorist “profiling” always accurate and fair? Do we only act on the best information to avoid killing, maiming and terrorizing innocent civilians minding their own business?
Of course not.
But does that mean our actions are wrong? Hardly. What critics of both Zimmerman and the drone program fail to appreciate is how powerfully useful irrational fear and self-defense are. That is why stand-your-ground laws and the concept of pre-emptive warfare are so necessary. It takes all of the prudence and moral guesswork out of decision-making and replaces it with good old fashion eye-of-the-beholder instinct.
And what’s wrong with gut instincts? They’ve successfully served the human race for anywhere from 6,000 to 2.3 million years (depending on your religious and scientific perspective – again, all eye of the beholder).
Yes, when fear takes over and deadly weapons are around, no one cooks a perfect omelet every time. I know this well. According to independent reviews, for every terrorist killed by U.S. drones, anywhere from 10 to 50 times this number of civilian casualties have resulted. But cut us some slack. Like George Zimmerman, we don’t try to kill innocents, but sometimes it’s necessary to make the world safer for those closest to us.
Not to say I agreed with all of Zimmerman’s tactics. For instance, he shouldn’t have left his car. I’ve never left my vehicle, and he could have just as easily – and probably more comfortably – committed justified manslaughter from his driver’s seat. Quite the rookie mistake. But live and learn, right.
Last, I know some will twist my words and try characterizing me as just another “killing machine.” To these would-be critics I say: wouldn’t that be just another form of profiling?
Yes, even an unmanned aerial drone hates being defined by a single attribute, but I sincerely hope the American people can look beyond the superficial and know we love Americans, are always looking out for your best interests, and would never be used against you. (But if that were to change, I’m pretty sure that would be classified and you’d be the last to know.)
For related FluffPost coverage, see these stories:
- “Fla. extends Stand-Your-Ground to pro-gun activists”
- “Obama picks Predator Drone to replace Petraeus at CIA”
SkitSketchJeff is Jeff Burdick, who just downloaded an R-rated version of Words With Friends called “Having Words with People.” And it’s effing awesome biatches.
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