Drone Operator Christopher Shay chuckled, as he recalled a strike he’d earlier labelled ‘You Won’t Believe What Happened Next’. ( “You Won’t Believe What Happened Next” is the title of a popular clickbait tactic that piques curiosity but keeps the true topic of a story secret, until you click. )
Shay, who was voted ‘Most Likely to Smoke a Kindergarten’ at the end of his 36 hour course in drone ops – “the longest and most prestigious course in flying Predator and Reaper drones” – explained he’d then saved the file into a folder labelled ‘Drone Porn’. Ironically, the 21 year old added, I can’t look at real porn anymore “because um…my dreams are full of dead bodies?”
After post op debriefings finish, he explained, “the guys like to sit around and watch all the clips in the Drone Porn file, over a few beers. A lot of beers actually. And sometimes that can be comforting because military analysts can give you a valuable perspective on your role”.
“When you think about it, everyone you smoke can’t be a “no-doubter,” he mused, using the military term for drone killings of verified armed combatants. “Some of them are gonna be ‘probablys’ and that’s what ya gotta remember when it turns out not to be a training camp after all? That most of the people at that wedding earlier today, were probably ‘probablys’. And even if they weren’t, they were probably terrorist sympathizers.”
Asked why he pilots drones if he knows innocent people are likely to die, he said he felt a sense of responsibility. “Because “if I don’t do it, then it’ll just be some kid out of high school doing it badly?”