Shut Down Creech Civil Resistance, March 6, 2015

The March 6 Resistance at Creech AFB saw 34 activists arrested for protesting the drone assassination program conducted by the CIA and USAF. Murder is wrong. It us unacceptable. #ShutDownCreech

9 courageous anti-drone activists arrested at Creech AFB

On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, at about 8:10 AM, 9 courageous anti-war activists were arrested at Creech AFB when attempting to serve a War Crimes Indictment (indictment below) to  Creech AFB Commander Col. Jim Cluff.  The 9 are members of the 2014 NDE Sacred Peace Walk which will end at the Nevada National Security Site on Friday, April 18, 2014.


The illegality of  the CIA “secretive cluster of units within the wing called the 732nd Operations Group” can no longer be denied or covered up.  Hundreds of children have been murdered along with thousands of innocent men and women. The CIA is using Creech Air Force Pilots to carry out drone strikes in Pakistan. The War Indictment could not be delivered  at a more timely moment. 


The 9 courageous activists arrested today are:

Vera Anderson, Las Vegas, NV
Barry Binks Sacramento, CA

Darcy Ike, San Diego, CA

Seamus Knight, Los Angeles, CA
Robert Majors, las Vegas, NV

Margaret McChesney, Phoenix, AZ
Marcus Page, Sheep Ranch, CA
Dan Shay, Santa Rosa, CA
Brian Terrell, Maloy, Iowa

Attached photo: Closing the gate on war crimes at Creech AFB. The 9 anti-drone activists arrested from Left To Right are:
Vera, Anderson, Marcus Page, Robert Majors, Margaret McChesney, Brian Terrell, Seamus Knight, Barry Binks, Dan Shay and Darcy Ike in front. 

Closing the gate on war crimes at Creech AFB. The 9 anti-drone activists arrested from Left To Right are:
Vera, Anderson, Marcus Page, Robert Majors, Margaret McChesney, Brian Terrell, Seamus Knight, Barry Binks, Dan Shay and Darcy Ike in front.

NDE volunteer John Amidon said, “The unconscionable killing of so many innocent people by drone strikes will forever be a stain on the USAF.”


WAR CRIMES INDICTMENT
Colonel Jim Cluff 
Creech Air Force Base
Indian Springs, Nevada
April 16, 2014

To President Obama, to Secretary of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, to the full Military Chain of the Command, including Commander Colonel Jim Cluff, to all Service Members and civilian staff of Creech Air Base, and to the local police and Sheriffs Department of the Clark County, Nevada:
Each one of you, when you became a public servant, serving in a government position or when you joined the United States Armed Forces or police, you publicly promised to uphold the United States Constitution. 

We take this opportunity to call your attention to Article VI of the US Constitution, which states:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary not with standing.”

This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the Constitution and laws of the U.S., including treaties made under authority of the U.S. shall be supreme law of the land.
The Supremacy Clause provides part of the Supreme Law of the Land.
One Treaty duly ratified by the U.S. is the United Nations Charter. It was ratified by a vote of 89 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is part of supreme law of the land.
The Preamble of the U.N. Charter states that its purpose is to “save future generation from the scourge of war” and it further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”
This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all three branches of government, on all levels, U.S. federal, state and local governments, starting with the executive branch: the U.S. President and the executive staff; the judicial branch: all judges and staff members of the judiciary; the legislative branch: all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all departments of Law Enforcement and all civilian staff, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI.
Under the U.N. Charter and long established international laws, anyone–civilian, military, government officials, or judge- who knowingly participates in or supports illegal use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.
Today you must recognize that when you promised to uphold the Constitution, you promised to obey Treaties and International Law – as part of the Supreme Law of the Land and furthermore, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., you are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.
Based on all the above,

WE, THE PEOPLE, CHARGE THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENT, BARAK OBAMA AND THE FULL MILITARY CHAIN OF COMMAND TO COMMANDER COLONEL JIM CLUFF, EVERY DRONE CREW, AND SERVICE MEMBERS at CREECH AIR BASE, WITH CRIMES AGAINST PEACE & CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, WITH VIOLATIONS OF PART OF THE SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND, EXTRAJUDICIAL KILLINGS, VIOLATION OF DUE PROCESS, WARS OF AGGRESSION, VIOLATION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, AND KILLING OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS.
We charge that the United States Air Force, headquartered at Creech Air Force Base, home of the of the 432nd Wing and 432nd Air Expeditionary Wing, Commander Colonel Jim Cluff, is maintaining and deploying the MQ-9 Reaper robotic aircraft, called drones. These drones are being used not only in combat situations for the purpose of assassinations but also for killings far removed from combat zones without military defense, to assassinate individuals and groups far removed from military action.
Extra judicial killings, such as those the U.S. carries out by drones are intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force to commit murder in violation of U.S. and International Law.
It is a matter of public record that the US Military has used drones in Afghanistan and in Iraq for targeted killings to target specific individuals which has nearly always resulted in the deaths of many other non-targeted innocents. Recent evidence has come forth indicating the personnel at Creech AFB also have used drones similarly in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia for the C.I.A. 
There is no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can or cannot be used, no legal criteria for deciding which people can be targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality of the decision to kill and the accuracy of the assassinations.
In support of this indictment we cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates 

“a highly problematic blurring and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force…. The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum…. In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules.” 

See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28, May 2010.

The drone attacks either originating at Creech or supported here are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.
By giving material support to the drone program, you as individuals are violating the Constitution, dishonoring your oath, and committing warcrimes.                      
                                                                   
We demand that you stop participating in any part of the operations of MQ-9 drones immediately, being accountable to the people of United States and Afghanistan.
As citizens of this nation, which maintains over 700 military bases around the globe, and the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, ”the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government”.
There is hope for a better world when WE, THE PEOPLE, hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war. To the extent that we ignore our laws and constitution and allow for the unchecked use of lethal force by our government, allowing the government to kill who ever it wants, where ever it wants, how ever it wants with no accountability, we make the world less safe for children everywhere.
We appeal to all United States citizens, military and civilian, and to all public officials, to do as required by the Nuremburg Principles I-VII, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them, and to resist them nonviolently.
Signed by:
Marcus Page
John Amidon
Nevada Desert Experience

A truth that should not be told


Peace Activist Medea Benjamin of Code Pink interrupted White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan during a press conference about the progress of the war in Afghanistan last week.

When Brennan was espousing the notion that Al Qaeda’s image is badly tarnished around the Muslim world because he claims they’re killing mostly “innocent men, women and children,” Benjamin stood up and challenged him.
Further reading, although watching may be enough….

Pakistani civilian victims vent anger over US drones

From: BBC News
Nov 2, 2011
By Orla Guerin BBC News, Islamabad

When tribal elders from the remote Pakistani region of North Waziristan travelled to Islamabad last week to protest against CIA drone strikes, a teenager called Tariq Khan was among them.

A BBC team caught him on camera, sitting near the front of a tribal assembly, or jirga, listening carefully.

Four days later he was dead – killed by one of the drones he was protesting against.

His family told us two missiles hit the 16-year-old on Monday near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan. His 12-year-old cousin Wahid was killed alongside him.

The boys were on their way to see a relative, according to Tariq’s uncle, Noor Kalam, who we reached by phone.

He denied that Tariq had any link to militant groups. “We condemn this very strongly,” he said. “He was just a normal boy who loved football.”

The CIA’s drone campaign is a covert war, conducted in remote terrain, where the facts are often in dispute.

The tribal belt is off limits to foreign journalists. Militants often seal off the locations where drone strikes take place. The truth can be buried with the dead.

After the missile strike on Monday, Pakistani officials said four suspected militants had been killed.

If the strike actually killed two young boys – as appears to be the case – it’s unlikely anyone will ever be held to account.

There are no confirmed death tolls but several independent organisations estimate that drones have killed more than 2,000 people since 2004. Most are suspected to be militants.

Many senior commanders from the Taliban and al-Qaeda are among the dead. But campaigners claim there have been hundreds of civilian victims, whose stories are seldom told.
Photo: A drone aircraft of the kind used by the US military The use of drone missiles has soared

A shy teenage boy called Saadullah is one of them. He survived a drone strike that killed three of his relatives, but he lost both legs, one eye and his hope for the future.

“I wanted to be a doctor,” he told me, “but I can’t walk to school anymore. When I see others going, I wish I could join them.”

Like Tariq, Saadullah travelled to Islamabad for last week’s jirga. Seated alongside him was Haji Zardullah, a white-bearded man who said he lost four nephews in a separate attack.

“None of these were harmful people,” he said. “Two were still in school and one was in college.”

Asghar Khan, a tribal elder in a cream turban, said three of his relatives paid with their lives for visiting a sick neighbour.

“My brother, my nephew and another relative were killed by a drone in 2008,” he said. “They were sitting with this sick man when the attack took place. There were no Taliban.”
Legal challenges

Viewed from a drone, any adult male in the tribal areas can look like a target, according to Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who is taking on the CIA.

“A Taliban or non-Taliban would be dressed in the same way,” he said. “Everyone has a beard, a turban and an AK-47 because every person carries a weapon in that area, so anyone could be target.”
Clive Stafford Smith, director of the British legal charity Reprieve, holding the fragment of a missile Campaigners like Clive Stafford Smith say drones are resulting in “murder”

Mr Akbar is suing the CIA for compensation in the Islamabad High Court, and plans to file a Supreme Court action.

He claims the US is getting away with murder in North Waziristan. It’s a view shared by the British legal charity Reprieve, whose director, Clive Stafford Smith, has been meeting drone victims in Pakistan.

“What’s going on here, unfortunately, is murder,” he said.

“There’s a war going on in Afghanistan, but none here in Pakistan, so what the CIA is doing here is illegal.”

The CIA would doubtless say otherwise, if it were prepared to discuss the drone programme, but US officials are usually silent on the issue.

In a rare public comment two years ago, the then director of the CIA, Leon Panetta, defended the use of drones.

“We have targeted those who are enemies of the United States,” he said. ” When we use it, it is very precise and it limits collateral damage.”

But the damage is not limited enough, say opponents like Mr Stafford Smith, who is gathering evidence about civilian deaths. From a shopping bag he produced a jagged chunk of metal – a missile fragment – believed to have killed a child in Waziristan in August of last year.

“I have a three-year-old son myself, and the idea that this thing killed someone very much like my little Wilf really tugs at your heart strings,” he said.

Mr Stafford Smith says drones are changing the nature of modern warfare.

“If you are trying to surrender and you put your hands up to a drone, what happens?” he asks.

“They just fire the missile, so there are all sorts of Geneva Conventions issues which are not being discussed.”

Campaigners also warn that drone strikes are counter-productive, generating more radicalism and more hatred of the West. They say the drone strikes are a Taliban recruiting tool.

At Tariq Khan’s funeral, many mourners spoke out against the US, according to his uncle Noor Kalam.

But Washington is unlikely to heed the anger here. Under President Barack Obama, the use of drone missiles has soared – there’s an attack on average every four days.

Increasingly, these remote-controlled killers are Washington’s weapon of choice.

CIA chief in Pakistan leaves after drone trial blows his cover

By The Guardian
Declan Walsh in Islamabad, 17 Dec. 2010 

Jonathan Banks, station chief In Islamabad, back in US after calls for him to be charged with murder over drone attack.

The CIA has pulled its station chief from Islamabad, one of America’s most important spy posts, after his cover was blown in a legal action brought by victims of US drone strikes in the tribal belt.

The officer, named in Pakistan as Jonathan Banks, left the country yesterday, after a tribesman publicly accused him of being responsible for the death of his brother and son in a CIA drone strike in December 2009. Karim Khan, a journalist from North Waziristan, called for Banks to be charged with murder and executed.

In a rare move, the CIA called Banks home yesterday, citing “security concerns” and saying he had received death threats, Washington officials told Associated Press. Khan’s lawyer said he was fleeing the possibility of prosecution.

“This is just diplomatic language they are using. Banks is a liability to the CIA because he’s likely to be called to court. They want to save him, and themselves, the embarrassment,” said lawyer Shahzad Akbar. Pakistani media reports have claimed that Banks entered the country on a business visa, and therefore does not enjoy diplomatic immunity from prosecution.

The recall comes at a sensitive moment for Washington. This week’s Afghanistan policy review brought fresh focus on Taliban safe havens in Pakistan’s tribal belt. Meanwhile CIA drone attacks – which are co-ordinated from the Islamabad embassy – have reached a new peak. Three drones struck targets in Khyber, a previously untouched tribal agency, on Friday, reportedly killing 24 people and signalling a widening of the CIA covert campaign.

The drones enjoy quiet support from the Pakistani government and military but are intensely unpopular among the wider public. Public anger over civilian casualties has focused on Karim Khan, who first publicised his case with a $500m (£323m) civil law suit that named Banks, CIA director Leon Panetta and the US defence secretary, Robert Gates, as respondents.

Few legal experts expect the case to succeed, but it has renewed uneasiness over drones. There have been over 100 strikes so this year, twice as many as in 2009.

The identity of the CIA station chief is a closely guarded secret in any country. Khan’s lawyer said he had obtained Banks’s name from one Pakistani journalist and confirmed it with a second. “I asked around, then got an answer after three or four days of searching,” he said.

Read the rest here.

Lawsuit Over Flawed CIA Drone Code Is Deep Sixed by Settlement


An explosive lawsuit alleging that Boston-area tech company Netezza Corp. sold computer hardware loaded with “hacked,” faulty software to the CIA for use in the agency’s Predator Drone program has now disappeared from public view.
The parties to the lawsuit, which include Netezza and software developer Intelligent Integration Systems Inc. (IISI), announced two weeks ago that they had reached a settlement in the case. A day after that announcement, corporate giant IBM closed on a $1.7 billion deal to purchase Netezza.

Further reading.

What makes the CIA’s drone programme tick

The Suffolk County courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts, is an unlikely place to learn about the CIA’s drone program. Yet a contract dispute currently being litigated in Superior Court there offers a rare glimpse into the computer systems and software that are at the heart of the program.

The suit gives worrying indications that the CIA may have knowingly relied on untested and substandard software to operate its drones. It also raises important questions regarding potential civil and criminal liability for civilian casualties that could result from flawed/erroneous drone strikes.

The CIA is not a party to the Massachusetts case. But its unmanned aerial vehicle program, whose operations are very much at issue in the case, was responsible for at least 20 missile strikes that are believed to have killed more than 150 people last month in the tribal areas of northwest Pakistan.

Further reading.