Letter: Drones illegal, immoral and counter-productive
Op-Ed · April 12, 2013

Last night I had the strangest dream. I dreamt that President Obama called me asking my advice on how to dispose of 24,000 Hellfire missiles that the Pentagon bought in October.
In the dream, President Obama realized it was a mistake to spend a billion dollars more or less on ordnance designed to spread terror and death. I awoke and realized that the wonderful dream was displaced by the nightmarish realization that, in fact, the Hellfire missiles have been purchased, much to the satisfaction of Lockheed Martin.

Taxpayers didn’t notice the obscene pre-sequester waste, and many do not realize that our fleet of Reaper drones, the new favorite delivery system for Hellfires, is set to triple in the next few years.

What does this have to do with Iowa? Neither the Hellfires nor the Reapers are made here. However, unless plans are changed, Reapers will be piloted and Hellfires triggered from Iowa’s 132nd Air National Guard in Des Moines.

Our use of war drones has been illegal, immoral, and counter-productive. Air National Guards in many states are being converted to drone warfare. As citizens of the United States and Iowa, we must protest this transformation of our state into a battlefield.

Ed Flaherty, Iowa City

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