"... 'I think a lot about why they kill us innocent people,' says Zubair Ur Rehman, a young man who survived a drone strike that killed his grandmother while she was chopping vegetables outdoors. ..."
In 2001, the White House concluded that it was legal to use armed drones to kill senior al-Qaeda leaders. Within weeks of the 9/11 attacks, US President George W Bush signed off on an order which authorised the CIA to capture and kill al-Qaeda operatives. ...
For some, drones are the greatest weapon ever to be developed by the CIA; for others, they present a constant, deadly and terrifying threat. ...
What happens when you spend hours in a pitch-black room, day after day, shooting at "targets" halfway across the world on a pixelated screen in the hinterland of Nevada?
Why are former pilots speaking out against the drone war and is the US government attempting to silence them? And how do drone operators process killing with a joystick?
Brandon Bryant is a former drone operator and now whistleblower who has spoken out about his role in the CIA's covert war.
Few drone operators have spoken out.
Since Bryant began talking publicly about being a drone pilot, former friends and colleagues have harassed him.
Michael Haas, another former drone operator, also shares his experiences.
Thousands of kilometers away in the isolated territory of Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan, civilians live under the constant presence of drones, and the threat of yet another attack and the deaths of more innocent family members and friends.
"I think a lot about why they kill us innocent people," says Zubair Ur Rehman, a young man who survived a drone strike that killed his grandmother while she was chopping vegetables outdoors. "It was a horrible day. It felt like the end of the world.
With further advancements in drone technology, the US government is not likely to cease its drone activity any time soon, instead placing special focus on early recruitment by targeting young gamers.
Video gamers do have a skillset that is very important and enhances the skillset of drone operators. So when I talk to people about this, I say, we don't need Top Gun pilots - we need Revenge of the Nerds, says Missy Cummings, associate professor of aeronautics at MIT and a former US Navy pilot.