A former Air Force drone operator who says he participated in missions that killed more than 1,600 people remembers watching one of the first victims bleed to death Brandon Bryant says he was sitting in a chair at a Nevada Air Force base operating the camera when his team fired two missiles from their drone at three men walking down a road halfway around the world in Afghanistan. The missiles hit all three targets, and Bryant says he could see the aftermath on his computer screen – including thermal images of a growing puddle of hot blood.
“People say that drone strikes are like mortar attacks,” Bryant said. “Well, artillery doesn’t see this. Artillery doesn’t see the results of their actions. It’s really more intimate for us, because we see everything.”
He describes the arc of becoming the sociopath who wanted to kill these people to receiving an award for having caused the most kills, which made him disgusted with himself, for having lost respect for life.