Six activists arrested at Hancock Field during protest of U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan

photo by John Amidon

from Upstate Drone Action

30 Pine Nut farmers in Afghanistan killed by a U.S. Drone Strike – Was Hancock Drone Base Responsible?
Syracuse, NY – At approximately 10:30 a.m. on September 24, 2019, six members of Upstate Drone Action (UDA) were arrested while expressing deep anguish and grief over the recent U.S. drone attack in Afghanistan responsible for killing at least 30 pine nut workers, and for the numerous other civilians slaughtered by the U.S. government. Holding a banner reading “Drones Fly, Children Die – Our Hearts Are Breaking”, the six activists requested that the Sheriff’s department enforce the law and stop the killings by the drone assassination program conducted at Hancock Field and other Air Force bases across the U.S. They were arrested while standing in the road at the main gate entrance of Hancock Field in Syracuse, New York.
From supporter John Amidon: “With the veil of secrecy and lack of full disclosure, which drone attack center is responsible for this latest slaughter presently remains unknown to the American public. Will anyone ever be held responsible for these wrongful deaths?” 

The six arrested and taken to jail were Ed Kinane, Ann Tiffany, Julienne Oldfield, Rae Kramer and Les Billips, of Syracuse, New York and Mark Scibilia-Carver of Trumansburg, New York.

photo by John Amidon

   24 September 2019     

 To the men and women of the 174th Attack Wing of the NYS National Guard:


Each of you, when you joined the United States Armed Forces raised your right hand and solemnly swore to uphold the United States Constitution. Article VI of that Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause. The Supremacy Clause declares that when the U.S. ratifies international treaties, those treaties become the “supreme law of the land.” This means they trump all local and federal law – including the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice.

One such treaty is the United Nations Charter. Signed by the U.S. president in 1945 and ratified by a Senate vote of 89 to two, that charter remains in effect today.

The Charter’s Preamble states that its purpose is to “save future generations from the scourge of war.”  It further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”

This U.N. Treaty applies to all levels – federal, state, and local – of the three branches of our government – Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The personnel of all these entities must act consistent with U.S. treaties and obey the U.S. Constitution, including Article VI.                                                                                                                                         

Under the U.N. Charter and under long-established international law, anyone – civilian, military, government official or judge – who knowingly participates in or supports illegal threat or use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.                                                                                           

Men and women on duty at Hancock AFB: Several years ago four of your colleagues, veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, formerly operating weaponized drones at other U.S. bases, have — courageously — gone public about drone war crimes they acknowledge committing.

The 174th Attack Wing of the NY Air National Guard deploys hunter/killer Reaper drones 24/7 over Afghanistan and probably elsewhere. These weaponized robotic drones are instruments of terror. They perpetrate extrajudicial killings, violate due process, violate national sovereignty, and kill non-combatants and civilians. They bring dishonor on the United States and upon its armed services.

Under the U.S. Uniform Code of Military Justice you must not be complicit in these crimes against peace, crimes against humanity and war. In fact, you are required to disobey unlawful orders from a superior.

Those protesting here today are exercising our First Amendment right to petition our government for a redress of grievances (the vile use of our tax money). We urge you to do the honorable thing. We urge you to heed your conscience.

                                                                        Upstate Drone Action Coalition