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The Military

+ - Missteps Led to Drone Killing U.S. Troops->

Submitted by mrquagmire
mrquagmire (2326560) writes "On the evening of April 5, a pilot settled into a leather captain's chair at Creech Air Force Base in southern Nevada and took the controls of a Predator drone flying over one of the most violent areas of southwestern Afghanistan. Three figures, fuzzy blobs on the pilot's small black-and-white screen, lay in a poppy field a couple of hundred yards from the road.

"Hey now, wait. Standby on these," the pilot cautioned. "They could be animals in the field." Seconds later, tiny white flashes appeared by the figures — the heat signature of gunfire. "There they are," he said, now sure he was looking at the enemy.

Thirty-one seconds after the pilot reported muzzle flashes, the Marines at Alcatraz ordered that the Predator be prepared to strike if the shooters could be confirmed as hostile. At 8:49 a.m., 29 minutes after the ambush began, they authorized the pilot to fire. In minutes, two Americans would be dead."

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Missteps Led to Drone Killing U.S. Troops

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