From Pine View Farm

Droning On 2

Gamy gaming.

Enthusiasts boast of their (drones–ed>) surgical accuracy and exhaustive surveillance, operated by all-seeing technicians from thousands of miles away in Nevada.

But that’s a computer-game fantasy of clinical war. Since 2004, between 2,464 and 3,145 people are reported to have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan, of whom up to 828 were civilians (535 under Obama) and 175 children. Some Pakistani estimates put the civilian death toll much higher – plausibly, given the tendency to claim as “militants” victims later demonstrated to be nothing of the sort.

Do the arithmetic: batting somewnere between .263 and .336 at getting the wrong persons. That average gets you batting at the top of the order in the bigs.



  1. George

    May 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hmm, the drones he speaks about in that Guardian column are made by General Atomics, not General Electric. Since he uses “we bring good things to life” he’s committed a rather sizable sin based on a stretch — GE makes electric systems for Global Hawk, another drone made by Northrop Grumman. It’s in the business of providing some systems for uavs but is not the manufacturer. 
    The points are valid, they’ve been made before. However, its helpful to have as much rigor as outrage.  

  2. Frank

    May 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    General Dynamics, General Atomics, General Electric.  They all make things that go boom.  

    Confusing them is not excusable in a professional piece, but it’s understandable in the fog of prattle.