Saturday, April 16, 2011

Drones, dead soldiers and their dads..............

Do you think THIS INFORMATION is better released once all details are known?  There's been an apparent friendly fire tragedy in Afghanistan.

From the linked article:  Military officials in Afghanistan declined to provide any details, saying only that it was a friendly fire incident. "A formal investigation will determine the circumstances that led to the incident," the International Security Assistance Force said in a statement last week.   But reports from the field indicate that the Marines who were under attack mistook Smith and Rast for militants heading their way and called in a strike from a U.S. Air Force Predator, one official said.

Here is the most stunning part, this man deserves our utmost respect and sympathy:

Smith, 26, and Rast, 23, were with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, a reserve unit in Houston.
Smith's father, Jerry, said he didn't want to place blame for what happened.
"Whoever that young man or woman was, they didn't send that drone over there to kill my son or Doc Rast," Jerry Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "If it was a royal screw up, it was a royal screw up. Make corrections because I don't want another family to have to go through this."
He said "trying to put a bigger burden on that person who fired the missile is not something I would do." "I guarantee you if he was standing in front of me, he'd be asking for forgiveness, and I would give it to him," Jerry Smith said.

That's the media's windup ("Drones kill our own kids") and here's the pitch ("they're getting more drones"  You do the math):

Under pressure from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the Air Force has dramatically increased the number of armed and unarmed drones in the war zones over the past three years..
The Pentagon plans to add another $2.6 billion in drone targeting and surveillance equipment for the Afghan campaign this year, according to a senior intelligence official in Afghanistan. The boost is an acknowledgment of the new focus on intelligence, for a mission that previously was last in line for assets and personnel after the war in Iraq, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence.  

How much information given by anonymous officials needs to be told to the world?
I suppose the soldiers' parents know so it's not information that is classified...and so I suppose it can be printed for the world to see.........but I sure do wonder sometimes why we need to give so much information before all the information is in.....especially the kind of information given by anonymous officials........And what do you think of Mr. Jerry Smith?   THAT is grace, my friends........grace under REAL fire.   God bless him and his family and the family of Rast, too.



Ducky's here said...

Drones are good for the GDP.

Common Sense said...

I would hope that someday, maybe after a few billion more.......they would at least be able to tell the bad guys from the goods guys.

Is that really to much to ask?

Pris said...

Z, you're right. We don't have to telegragh to the world what our plans are.

It's a heads up to the enemy that we are ramping up our intelligence ops. which put's the enemy more on guard, and more likely to be prepared.

I don't believe the parents would be told anymore than they have to be. I think it's likely the info is classified, and the details would be kept under wraps. At least I hope they would be.

There's that old saying, "loose lips sink ships". It still applies as far as I'm concerned.

Pris said...

Common Sense, there's something called the fog of war. It's not a video game, it's human beings doing the best they can under the most difficult of circumstances.

As sad as it is, these kinds of things happen. I'm sure no one, except the families of the dead, will suffer more than he who fired that missile.

It's too easy to sit in one's home, safe and secure, and pass judgement from afar. I for one won't do that.

Even the father of one of the men killed won't do that. He understands what war is. He is a heroic man himself, and one who has forgiveness in his heart.
God bless him and both families who lost their brave sons.

beamish said...

0.13% of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been killed by firendly fire from Predator drones.

Not perfect, but pretty damned close.

Elmers Brother said...

Every drone...unmanned vehicle likr the ones I worked in in Iraq means factors of soldiers are kept out of harms way and that too duhkkky is good for the GDP.

Ducky's here said...

Pris, Obama loves drone flights. Maybe you and z were the only ones in the world who didn't know?

We aren't telegraphing anything.

FairWitness said...

Wow, grace is absolutely the perfect word to describe this father.

I do wish we held our cards closer to our vests, too.

I don't understand why we disclose so much. It seems to me that we endanger our troops when we do that.

Anonymous said...

Am I here??? Man O man...what a painful process.

Pris said...

"Am I here??? Man O man...what a painful process."

Hi Major, yes you're here. Welcome back.

Pris said...

"We aren't telegraphing anything."

Yes we all know about the drones. However, it seems we're ramping up our intelligence gathering. Does the enemy have to know that? No.

Btw, we have Marines on the ground, or didn't you read the post. Who do you think called for air cover?

The drones can't do everything.

Major said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Z said...

Common Sense...from your lips to God's ears. OUr intel is so badly failing us, even since the Iraq war! I don't know what's going on, but though I haven't posted it since you've been a regular here, I"ll just say that 'When my husband who did business with Iraq for years, about 40 years ago now, knew more about IRaq's fighter jet locations than OUR INTEL DID, we're in big trouble"

BUT, when their people can be more cunning because they don't have to report to their senate on if they're torturing or beheading, and they can shoot at mosques when WE can't, and on and on...when our hands are TIED and theirs are SO untied, I start to wonder whose side we're on.

Pris, ya, isn't that NUTS? We're always telling terrorists what not to do, too ....we read things like "the terror suspect bought these things at a hardware store and was picked up because he'd forgot to.......whatever"
"Well, I guess we won't do that next time!" right?

Ducky..what? :-) "Pris, Obama loves drone flights. Maybe you and z were the only ones in the world who didn't know?"
Obama is absolutely 100% for drone flights, who suggested he is not??? Do tell us where Pris or I suggested differently. thanks :-)


and yes, we are ramping up intel and telling everyone about it and then we show the senate hearings on CSPAN....honestly, you can't make this stuff up. Of course, I felt a LOT safer saying "I don't want to know everything if it means our enemy's hearing it, too" with Bush who adored AMerican than with this president now.

Z said...

Major, I deleted your last comment and someday I'll tell you why. It is absolutely nothing against you.
I'm DELIGHTED you're back! Hoorah!

i'll let you know...believe me. but not now.

COmment away, go on like all's the same!

Major said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Major said...

Oh second post and I've already screwed up?

Whatever I did ( and I don't have one clue ) I apologize for. Computers really confuse me sometimes. Gimme a 1911 to breakdown in the dark and I'm in my realm...

Like I was reading that computer stuff the other day on another thread and I didn't know what the hell these two guys were tossing and turning about.

But...I still couldn't figure out how the heck to post.'s a beauty of a day hit 75 or so.

SAM said...

This kind of unwanted incidents arrives because of the SIMPLEX Communications of the BOMBERS.

The civil communications is HALF DUPLEX or a Masked or False Duplex integral.
The high velocity of the BOMBERS needs a full duplex integral telecom to prevent the friendly causalities.

USAF has the 6 MACH birds that they were never been used in the combats, because their Telecom is always the simplex.

I remember that when Bob Livingston was the head of the Defense Commission in the Congress,
I met him with some members of the defense commission, He was very interested in the project and he was astonishingly aware of the problem, I asked him, how is it possible that he knows this kind of handicap so deeply at the level of a scientist, he replied, "I was a USAF PILOT".

Where is Impertinent, his comment should be very interesting.


Anonymous said...

"Where is Impertinent, his comment should be very interesting."

Hey "Sam"...interesting factoids....but helI I was in a Recon unit so long ago that I barely have an understanding of modern warfare.

I knew all about jamming, chafe drops and other cold war stuff ( I guess it worked ) but am mystified ( and yet delighted ) that electronic warfare has come so far and spared so many lives. Except for the so called "civilian" slime...that are all terrorists anyway...meaning they're all "civilians" too.

They're under no state and no uniforms. So as far as I'm concerned...the babe in a bag is a legitimate target.

For all the squeamish out there ( watch "Unthinkable" ) and then tell me what you think about "civilian terrorists".

Up to a short time ago....if you asked me about an FMS or Global Nav...or a Cat 1 approach...I'd have an opinion!

SAM said...

My post is deleted 3 times!

Z said...

Major, glad you got in.
Let's just stick to commenting and not how you got in, okay?
As I said, please PLEASE...I'll tell you why another time!!!

SAM, I was told that this method of commenting would avoid the curious deletion of comments....I'm sorry this is happening again...I just don't understand it.

SAM said...

6th time deleted;

some words are sensitive words!!

the sensitive words which shutdown the comments, should be listed so that we don't use it.

SAM said...

I'm sorry my answer was deleted 7 time;

I give up

SAM said...

I don't know what is in my answer to imp that is deleted.

I cut it to two comments, and it is deleted too!


SAM said...

I think that T-rrr-o---,,, without the brackets can spark the deletion

Major said...

Thanks Ms. Z.

I understand without further explanation.

The lite bulb went off.

Major said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Z said...

Sam, I really don't need to know each time you're deleted.
ALl I can do is apologize for something I have no control over.
Thank you

Z said...

thnx, Major.xx

SAM said...

They don't do what they should do to reduce the human causalities;

the drone video resolutions are very sensitive to heat, the new researches could bring the better visibilities and resolutions to the drones.

all the research funds for the military purposes were cut by obama this year.

beamish said...

They're under no state and no uniforms. So as far as I'm concerned...the babe in a bag is a legitimate target.

For all the squeamish out there ( watch "Unthinkable" ) and then tell me what you think about "civilian terrorists".

I understand what you're saying, Impy. An enemy who employs suicide bombers makes it difficult to distinguish maternity wards from bomb guidance system factories.