‘She Kills People From 7,850 Miles Away’

"Her name is ‘Sparkle.’ She operates a drone. She is sick of whiny boys. And she is perfectly OK with dealing out death."

Editor’s note: What follows is a pro-Empire classic from 2015 by The Daily Beast–which is what newspapers would look like if they were published directly by the CIA.

“Anne, [“SPARKLE”] an Air Force staff sergeant, was—and still is—a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) sensor operator or “sensor.”

“When you hit a truck full of people, there are limbs and legs everywhere,” Sparkle said. “I watched a guy crawl away from the wreckage after one shot with no lower body. He slowly died. You have to watch that. You don’t get to turn away.”

Anne crawled out of bed in her North Las Vegas house around 10 p.m. and started to get ready for her shift.

She pulled her chestnut hair into a bun and slipped on her olive green flight suit. In the kitchen, she packed fruit to snack on during her shift and stuffed her schoolwork into her backpack-sized lunchbox just in case it’s a boring night. Most nights she doesn’t have a chance to open a book.

Giving her dog, a tan Sher-Pei/pit bull mix, one last pat, she left her house and joined thousands of other workers leaving for the midnight shift. While most people were heading to hotels and casinos in town, Hubbard was on her way to Creech Air Force Base and a war.

At Creech, she is assigned to a reconnaissance squadron flying missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. Few weapons in the American arsenal are more relentless than the RPA fleet, often called drones. For more than a decade, the United States has flown RPAs over Afghanistan and Iraq, providing forces on the ground with an eye in the sky to spot terrorists and insurgents, and in most cases the firepower to destroy them.

As she rode to work, Anne—or “Sparkle” as she’s known to her fellow drone operators—wasn’t focused on the desert outside her window. It was 2009 and President Obama was sending troops in a surge to Afghanistan. Sparkle’s mind was on a desert 7,000 miles away. Over the next 24 hours she would track an insurgent, watch as he was killed by a Hellfire missile, and spy on his funeral before ending her night with a breakfast beer and a trip to the dog park.

The RPA has become the symbol of America’s ongoing wars, from Afghanistan to Somalia to Syria. And, 14 years after a U.S. “drone” first fired a missile at an al Qaeda operative, the morality and legality of remote strikes remains a matter of intense controversy. Earlier this year, the U.S. government revealed it accidentally killed one of its own citizens with a drone—a hostage held by al Qaeda—triggering another round of debate about when the U.S. is justified in using the remotely piloted planes to attack.

On Thursday, the Intercept published a cache of new documents about RPA missions in Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. The documents paint a damning picture of the RPA, including an internal U.S. military study that found a “critical shortfall” in how targets are identified. The government’s reliance on cellphones has led to the wrong target being killed. The new documents also call into question the accuracy of the RPA. The Intercept reports more than 200 people were killed – only 35 were actual targets – in Afghanistan between January 2012 and February 2013.

“This outrageous explosion of watchlisting—of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers…  assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield—it was, from the very first instance, wrong,” the source of the documents told the Intercept. “We’re allowing this to happen. And by ‘we,’ I mean every American citizen who has access to this information now, but continues to do nothing about it.”

But for all the attention paid to RPAs, the men and women who operate the 21st century’s most divisive weapons system remain largely hidden from public view—except for reports about strikes, especially when a missile kills civilians.

Source: The Daily Beast

  1. yuri says

    for uncivilized amerikans morality is LGBT “equality”, transgender politicians, torture and genocide

    1. Helga Weber says

      It is all for freedom and democracy

      1. yman says

        no freedom and centralized control

    2. Eddy says

      Have no fear, KARMA will ensure such people get their just deserts and in most cases, it’s not pretty.

  2. xgen says

    Soon Sparkle won’t even be a real person. Think Alexa.

  3. Pablo says

    “Sparkle” is what you get when you have a “Politically Correct” culture. Women like Anna/’Sparkle’ out to “prove” that Womyn (the proper spelling for Women in a Politically Correct Culture.There is NO ‘Men’ in Womyn. That’s sexist) can be as Macho and ruthless as ANY Man. Put Sparkle in front of a War Crimes Tribunal and let’s see just how “Macho” she really is.

    1. freddie Toor says

      Worse than any man

      1. Eddy says

        They have to be, to prove they are just as tough as men, or tougher still.

  4. Helga Weber says

    One day the chickens will come home to roost….

    1. Eddy says

      KARMA !

  5. Raptar Driver says

    Most Americans would not do such a thing.
    But there are mentally disturbed people here that if you pay them they will do whatever you ask.

    1. Death from above says

      Most Americans would not do such a thing.” look at US gun violence stats… most Americans will shoot their neighbour without a second thought. Brown people overseas doesn’t even register.

      1. yuri says

        Milgram’s studies found that amerikans would all gladly torture

      2. Pablo says

        Not true. If you look at the Homicide numbers deeper than just numbers, you find that American Blacks are the Main Cause for the Homicide violence If you exclude the murders committed by Blacks (Gang violence, Drug violence) the USA has a gun murder rate close to those of Europe. Just look up the Homicide numbers in one American city, Chicago. It is routine for that City to have 4-6 murders EVERY weekend!!

    2. yuri says

      utter nonsense
      Stanley Milgram and Philip Zimbardo’s studies demonstrated that amerikans love torture and inflicting pain

    3. Eddy says

      L.O.L. I beg to differ. Americans have been brought up from the womb, to believe it’s their right, to kill and butcher people all around the World by bringing them FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY, even if they didn’t ask for it, or even want it. Every time I hear or see such comments, it reminds me of the MAJORITY, who vote these leader butchers into power willingly every time. Then when they commit a atrocity, they claim they didn’t have anything to do with it, at the same time, the Polls for their leader go thru the roof. The hypocrisy seems to be implanted in their DNA.

      1. silver9blue says

        They also do it when they even have Democracy.

  6. Don V Pittman says

    Hope Karma shreds this inhuman POS.

    1. Eddy says

      It will, rest assured.

  7. Mr. Evans says

    Maybe 1 Day A Drone Will Wipe That “Sparkle” Off Her Evil, Soulless, Empathy-Less Psychopathic ” I Was Only Following My Orders ” Fascist NAZI Non-Human Blowing Up & Mass-Murdering Living Breathing Thinking & Caring & Loving Human Beings Face . . . 

    1 Can Only Hope To De-Sparkle Her . . . 

    It’s Only Fair, So Karma Should Kick In . . . ;-0

    1. ken says

      well said.

  8. Ziggy says

    The Bravery of Being Out of RangeRoger Waters
    You have a natural tendency
    To squeeze off a shot
    You’re good fun at parties
    You wear the right masks
    You’re old but you still
    Like a laugh in the locker room
    You can’t abide change
    You’re at home on the range
    You opened your suitcase
    Behind the old workings
    To show off the magnum
    You deafened the canyon
    A comfort a friend
    Only upstaged in the end
    By the Uzi machine gun
    Does the recoil remind you
    Remind you of sex
    Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
    Old timer who you gonna kill next
    I looked over Jordan and what did I see
    Saw a U.S. Marine in a pile of debris
    I swam in your pools
    And lay under your palm trees
    I looked in the eyes of the Indian
    Who lay on the Federal Building steps
    And through the range finder over the hill
    I saw the frontline boys popping their pills
    Sick of the mess they find
    On their desert stage
    And the bravery of being out of range
    Yeah the question is vexed
    Old man what the hell you gonna kill next
    Old timer who you gonna kill next
    Hey bartender over here
    Two more shots
    And two more beers
    Sir turn up the TV sound
    The war has started on the ground
    Just love those laser guided bombs
    They’re really great
    For righting wrongs
    You hit the target
    And win the game
    From bars 3, 000 miles away
    3, 000 miles away
    We play the game
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We zap and maim
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We strafe the train
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We gained terrain
    With the bravery of being out of range
    With the bravery of being out of range
    We play the game
    With the bravery of being out of range

  9. SanityClaus says


    1. Eddy says

      And Americans support their Pentagon and it’s actions 100%.

  10. Post-It says

    AI will make Sparkle loose her luster. Meanwhile, one can only hope Iran develops AI drone tech so that Sparkle gets smeared all over the road on the way to work. Drone pilots have NO HONOR!

    1. Eddy says

      Ever since my days serving in Vietnam, I have known there is no such thing as HONOR.

  11. yuri says

    Shopenhauer and Darwin observed the essential immorality of the female character …”like a woman, he lied for the sake of lying”. Emile Zola

  12. LawW says

    thjs article puts a pit deep in my stomach.. I recall a couple of videos posted by the US military a few years ago from a couple of drone strikes done in Syria, the first was a town square where the strike obliterated a gathering of men, the excuse was they looked like they had an RPG, the second video bothered me most. The drone strike obliterated a few farm workers who were doing nothing but harvesting.Any farm kid could have told you that what the military saw as a tank was an old style combine pulled by a tractor. Did not matter to the joystick operator and his commander thousands of miles away cause in a fraction of a second they were gone..

    We have become de humanised, the generation at the controls of this have been raised on a steady diet of video games where gloification is a screen turnng red when the objective has been met, fed lies from our leaders that what they do is of a noble cause, and a military that does every thing they can to sanitize any sense of remorse so that you will not question what you do as right or wrong…I fear for the future as at this moment the military are working on projects to take that little bit of control away from human hands and put it the uncaring algorithm of AI, in fact just this week I have read of a story of an AI drone expiring a Lybian target based on facial recognition…No the future does not bode well for future generations

    Apologies for the length of my post

    1. XSFRGR says

      Never apologize for the truth.

  13. Jerry Hood says

    ZioNazi murderers with talmudic ” values” made America killer nation number one in the world.

  14. bluebird says

    So many evil people in this world, she is just one of them. I hope there is a Karma. Women like her are beyond evil.

  15. Bryon says

    The cowardice in war is proportional to distance from the enemy. “Sparkle” is a creation of US policy, and what goes around will come around. Drone technology is constantly improving, and even the Pentagon buys Chinese drones because they have no choice. Weaponized drones are coming to America, and someday Americans will experience the feelings of dread that Afghans currently experience.

  16. Ronnie says

    You need the aptitude for these kind of jobs…..death camps or murder squads or torture etc
    They have doctors design the interview procedures and test. Mask on.

  17. XSFRGR says

    Dear America: What goes around comes around.

  18. abinico warez says

    Such the brave woman.

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