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5 Myths Used to Justify Death By Drone and America's Assassination Policy

Obama's drone war relies on propaganda to keep the American public from understanding the inhumanity of high-tech drone killings.

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Myth #4 Drones Are Cheap

Setting aside the moral, legal, and efficacy arguments about drones, the mantra from the administration, lobbyists and their lackeys in Congress has been drone’s low per-unit cost of $4 million to $5 million.  According to Winslow Wheeler of the Project On Government Oversight, “This is quite incorrect.” He states, “The actual cost for a Reaper unit is $120.8 million in 2012 dollars.” This is far above the $27.2 million dollar F-16C or the $18.8 million A-10. Seemingly, this “aura of inevitability” about investing in this new revolutionizing weapon is the military-industrial-complex at its self-serving worst.   

Myth #5: Drones Are Making Americans Safer

They are not, in fact. Not only are drones effectible destabilizing a nuclear power, Pakistan, in one of the most conflict-ridden regions of the world, they are inciting waves of suicide bombers to attack Pakistan. They are also directly threatening the U.S. 

In a global age connectivity there is a new phenomenon of self- radicalization. People who identify with the Muslim Diaspora are seeing their kinsmen being murdered by America in a most brutal way. The Boston Marathon bombers are only the latest example of this phenomenon. The most notorious self-radicalized terrorist was Faisal Shahzad, who, in 2010, tried to blow up New York’s Times-Square. When asked about his motive, he  directly cited drones.  

These rebels with a cause will sadly become the norm as we push and provoke more of the world’s 1.3-1.4 billion Muslims into the political fringes where American violence begets more violence. 


Last fall I traveled to Pakistan where I witnessed first-hand the horror and challenges people of Pakistan face while living under drones. I went to Pakistan to investigate the civilian casualties caused by U.S. drone strikes and to speak with Pakistani people about how drone strikes impact their families, their communities, and their lives. During my travels I met many people including Rafiq ur Rehman, his son, and his two young daughters whose mother was killed in a drone strike. She was out in a field with no one else around except grazing cattle.

I met with others who had lost limbs and loved ones in the senseless strikes that cause anxiety and terror to everyone in the community.  During my visit, it became clear that I had to bring these stories back to the United States so that everyone could know the horror that occurs in our name.  This fall my organization, Brave New Foundation, will release a documentary on this experience in Pakistan.    

We’re working to break through the myths and expose the truth about drone strikes.  This fall we plan to bring victims of drone strikes in Pakistan to the United States to speak with Congress about the horrors that they face daily living under drones.  Will you help bring these victims here to help expose the truth?   Please donate today. Every dollar makes a difference.

Robert Greenwald is a producer and director, and the founder and president of Brave New Films. He is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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