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The Military

Submission + - Missteps Led to Drone Killing U.S. Troops (

mrquagmire 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.


Submission + - Who's Bankrolling the Climate-Change Deniers? 1

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Bryan Walsh writes in Time Magazine that climate denialism exists in part because there has been a long-term, well-financed effort on the part of conservative groups and corporations to distort global-warming science. "The blows have been struck by a well-funded, highly complex and relatively coordinated denial machine," say sociologists Riley Dunlap and Aaron McCright. Fossil-fuel companies like Exxon and Peabody Energy — which obviously have a business interest in slowing any attempt to reduce carbon emissions — have combined with traditionally conservative corporate groups like the US Chamber of Commerce and conservative foundations like the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity, to raise doubts about the basic validity of what is, essentially, a settled scientific truth. The naysayers seem to be following the playbook written by the tobacco industry in its long, ongoing war against medical findings about the dangers of smoking. For both Big Oil and Big Smoke, that playbook is lethally simple: don't straight-up refute the science, just raise skepticism and insist that the findings are "unsettled" and that "more research" is necessary."

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