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21 Drone Pilots Face Racketeering Charges In Arizona

Written by John Odermatt on October 25, 2013

The Predator drone pilot’s cockpit is a safe, air-conditioned trailer. They do not breathe the air of the foreign lands their bombs destroy. Yet they are able to snuff out lives on the ground with the push of a button.

The scrutiny directed towards drone pilots continues to increase as more open their eyes to discover the number of innocent women and children killed by drones. The use of the “double tap” drone strike tactic has elicited outrage. This disturbing tactic, which was explained in an article published by The Atlantic, targets first responders and mourners attending the funerals of those killed during the first strike. The last thing drone pilots needed was more bad press, but this week news broke that paints the profession in a criminal light.

Earlier this week, AZ Central reported that 21 National Guard Airmen will face felony charges for allegedly bilking $1.4 million tax payer dollars through an expense scam. All of those listed in the indictment belonged to the Guard’s 214th Reconnaissance Group, which operated top-secret Predator drone flights over Iraq and Afghanistan.

This was not a minor racketeering scam. Most of the defendants collected more than $100,000 by falsifying expenses between 2007 and 2010.

It is unclear how these charges relate to misconduct uncovered in 2009. In that investigation, Air Force auditors discovered more than twenty airmen had submitted false expense claims. As a result of the 2009 revelations airmen were disciplined and ordered to reimburse what they had illegally acquired. Criminal conduct was to be forwarded to the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.

The charges brought this week were filed by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and not by federal prosecutors.

(For the rest of this article, click the link.)

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10 thoughts on “21 Drone Pilots Face Racketeering Charges In Arizona

  1. And why not…We've the most corrupt administration in history…Everybody want t join in and share the wealth…Even those in the military!

  2. 2warabnvet says:

    Corruption starts from the top down. When you look to your leadership and see absolute malfeasance, it's a temptation to fill your own pocket. It helps, of course, to create a Godless immoral society where fraud is the new normal.

  3. If you look to your faith, you do not have these kind of problems.

    Anybody remember the phrase "Godless communist"?

  4. i find it a little disconcerting that this article equates the operations of the drone pilots with the apparent illegal activities of National Guard members allegedly stealing money. the two are not the same. What the pilots are doing may or may not be proper and appropriate, but it is not the equivalent of stealing money from the government.

  5. Theft would carry no guilt, if murder was your mainstay.

  6. are you blind or di you NOT read the article "Earlier this week, AZ Central reported that 21 National Guard Airmen will face felony charges for allegedly bilking $1.4 million tax payer dollars through an expense scam" …. " This was not a minor racketeering scam. Most of the defendants collected more than $100,000 by falsifying expenses between 2007 and 2010."
    pretty clear they were STEALING MONEY!!!!

  7. While they are members of the 214th Reconnaissance Group, they are not all necessarily drone pilots. Most people in the Air Force are not pilots, and most fill various supporting roles. We will see just who is a pilot and who is not as this unfolds. I would venture to guess that sensor operators, unit clerks and others are also involved.

  8. Kathy Sudduth says:

    That's all people are about now a days! Stealing from someone else. Then you get this administration that wants to flush us all down the toilet and give our country to the Enemies of our country. I hope when Obama bows to kiss the next hand, that they chop his head off!

  9. Patriot-Research says:

    Now, Now, we can't have other people besides OB and his Commie/Muslim/Cronies stealing "We the People" Tax dollars. That's criminal…!!! If we could look in all of the hidden bank accounts by this Administration I would bet "We the People" would find Hundreds of Billions of missing Tax Dollars…!!!

  10. I'm not surprised that it was a state prosecuter and not the feds. Why do you think the feds look forward to a day when the states will become provinces, with no sovereignty?