National Bird (2016) Script

Heather: You were omniscient in people's lives.

And you've literally just kind of hover over their area.

And sometimes you would watch them for days, And then you'd have Intel that- that this guy is a bad guy.

And you would wait until he walks out To the field to meet with some friends for something And you'd blow him up.

Drop a hellfire missile on him.

Are you guys going to have anything to drink tonight?

Woman: Uh, yes water.

All right, here you go.

And the bottled water is back there if you wanna grab one.

Thanks guys, have a good night.

Heather: I originally was interested in the navy At first because the guy that I was dating Had been in the navy.

And I was like, oh, maybe I'll just join the navy.

And you know, travel and see the world.

And fight for my country and protect people from terrorist.

And I ended up being recruited into the air force Because I actually saw the posters with the drones, And I was like, wow that is so cool."

Like unmanned aircraft like that's really badass.

And I was still, like, under the impression that America Was saving the world.

Like, that we were big brother and we Were helping everyone out.

So when I saw this possibility that I could get out of, Like, this small town that I was in, and get out of Pennsylvania And- and just travel.

And- and I thought that was the only way to do it.

And they didn't make it seem like you wouldn't Be- that one of your only options of places to go Is Afghanistan.

Man: Titan 1-4 hold your position.

What have you got?

Unmanned aircraft is identifying enemy sniper.

Copy that.

Let's move.

Heather: I was in the military prior To being in massage school- I got out two years ago.

I was in air force intelligence.

I flew the drones.

I was part of a unit that- we fought in Afghanistan, And I've lost friends to the war.

I've lost friends to suicide that were a part of that unit.

And I've seen a lot of people die in the war.

So for me I brought to the massage table pain, And just absolute despair.

And memories, like, horrible memories.

And along with that is an anxiety Disorder and a sleep disorder.

And I thought, you know, I came here I think, subconsciously Looking for healing for myself.

To be able to find something that in learning To heal other people maybe I could heal myself as well.

It was like slow motion, and it was Like, you're watching someone just drag Themselves across the field.

When you watch someone in those dying moments, What their reaction is, how they're reacting And what they're doing. it's so primitive.

It's really raw, stripped down death.

That's what it is, this is real, like, This isn't- it's not a joke.

I have specific memories of many of them that I know I killed.

But it's so messy and, like, they don't report it down to us Who we kill.

Maybe we kill our objective, maybe we kill a guy who We thought was our objective.

You don't know.

And I can say the drone programs wrong because I don't know How many people I've killed.

After we do a strike I would ask for a break And, like, go outside and smoke a cigarette and just think.

And like, try to decompress and just try To push the, like, idea that I was involved in killing People out of my mind.

And I try not to think about it.

Sometimes if I couldn't really get out Of the situation for very long, I would just go to the bathroom And- and just sit on the toilet.

Like just sit there in my uniform, and just, like, cry.

And just think about what I was doing.

It was just different emotional responses.

I mean a lot of times afterwards I would feel just empty.

And if I was crying it was because I just didn't know How to stop feeling like that.

How to stop feeling like a shell and it was an empty void.

And it was- I was like always shaking after we do strikes Because it's such an adrenaline rush, you're killing someone.

You see someone die because you said it was ok to kill them.

Man: This is the future and it's already here.

The predator, it just doesn't give up, it doesn't quit.

It will find you, it will hunt you down.

Man: You step into the ground control Station which is your cockpit.

You immediately feel like you're in an airplane.

Man: It's kind of like, having an eagle or something Over your head, constantly landing on your arm, Recording what's going on.

Woman: A spy in the sky really.

Let's the see what they need to see.

Man: It's really a good feeling to know that you're Helping the guys around.

That's really why I think all of us do it.

Man: Being part of the air force makes me feel proud.

And people tell me, thank you.

That's when I remember that I'm doing something bigger than me.

Daniel: Before I joined the military, I was well aware that what I was about to enter Was something that I was against, that I disagreed with.

I joined any ways out of desperation because I Was homeless, I was desperate.

I had nowhere else to go.

I was on my last leg, and- if- in the air force Was ready to accept me.

I still work in intelligence, as a contractor, Basically until I go to school in- in the fall semester.

And I saw the top secret clearance.

I- it's- once you're given a top secret clearance, It's good for five years, and then it needs To be renewed every five years.

And when I leave this job my clearance will expire.

Nobody ever thinks about speaking out Against the government who's worked for them And hasn't considered what the possible consequences are.

But I don't dwell on them because I don't- I don't want It to affect my voice.

I don't want it to silence my words, or to curtail my speech.

I generally feel like they don't- they being The government, they being the justice department-

They shouldn't hold that power over me.

This ominous threat that they'll go after me, In the same way that they've gone after so many people, Especially since 9/11.

I didn't find out what I was going to be doing until I Made it to fort Bragg, for the joint Special operations command.

At the time I didn't really realize The significance or important of organization itself.

I- I'd simply been told by some people in the military, Oh they're the, you know, kind of Like the elite special ops people That you hear about in video games, and in movies.

And that they were actually responsible for the killing Of Osama bin laden.

So I would find targets using signals intelligence, You know the- I was stationed at fort Meade, which Is where NSA is headquartered.

I had a clearance for NSA.

I was so- you know, and NSA is the intelligence Directorate which handles signals intelligence.

So naturally I would be put into a position, You know, overseas working in a signals intelligence capacity.

And using the technology on the drone through the means Of signals intelligence- sorry it's really, really tough.

It's really tough.

And I know it's core and it's central to what I was doing and, like, my whole reason for speaking here, So- but I'm also very unaware of where that line is drawn.

And- so I have to be very extraordinarily Cautious about what I can and can't say on camera.

The- though it's something so simple, And so benign that you wouldn't imagine it were even of, you Know, it would even of concern there's still- there's no-

There's no doubt in my mind that if I said the wrong thing, Or give away the wrong kind of information about what I was Doing that I wouldn't- that I would be safe From prosecution of any kind.

Lisa: When I first got into the military, I mean, I was thinking it was kind of a win-win.

It was a force for good in the world.

I could actually help people, I could go places, I could learn things.

There was nothing negative about it At the time, that was my thinking Or in my consciousness.

And you know, I thought I was gonna Be on the right side of history, and today I Don't believe I was.

I worked on a DGS, a distributed ground system.

As the name implies, I mean, it's a distributed system.

And it spans the globe, and it eats data.

And it eats lots, and lots, and lots, of data.

This is global, this is getting information Anywhere, at any time.

Shooting people from anywhere, at any time.

And it's not just one person sitting there With a little remote control, a little joystick, Moving around a plane that's halfway across the world.

That's not all there is.

It's like borders don't matter anymore.

And there's a huge system that spans The globe that can just suck up endless amounts of your life.

Your personal data.

I mean this could grow to get so out of control.

And we're not the only ones that have this.

This is gonna be commonplace, if it's not already.

need some water?

It's a secret program, and what that means Is that I can't just go shouting off the hilltops Telling the public what it is.

What I can tell you is that to me, One person who worked within this massive thing,

If I'm getting this really long sentence.

"sergeant Lang also spearheaded the emission security And accreditation process for four coalition computer Networks enabling the exploitation of 2,400 sorties, And resulted in the timely and accurate identification Of 121,000 insurgent targets in support Of operations, Iraqi freedom, and enduring freedom."

And then it goes on.

That means that the system that I worked on basically Identified 121,000 insurgent targets.

121,000 lives affected by technology that we control.

And in this case, we're talking about a two year period.

So how many years have we been at war now?

At least 12, multiply, add up some numbers And see what's really going on.

Dear lord, we thank you for this beautiful day.

We thank you for friends and families.

Thank you for everyone, everything That you've given us.

Bless this food and nourish our bodies.

Give everyone safety in their travel.

Amen.

Dig in.

Heather: I was an imagery analyst, and a screener.

My job was to watch what's happening In the video- the drones- the live video of course.

And identify everything.

Another remote duty station- you'd Have the pilot of course- who was flying the actual aircraft.

And the sensor operator, who is moving the camera around, They were the ones that actually push the button.

I do not push the button.

I just identify what necessitates a button pushing.

We can't just bomb someone and fly away.

We have to follow through.

The bomb hit, and wait for it to cool down a little bit.

And then you can see, like, the body parts.

You can identify, like, that could Be the lower half of his body, and that could be the leg.

And then sometimes you'll stick around, and watch Family come in and get them.

Or like, pick up the parts, and put their family member In a blanket.

And a couple of people hold on to a corner of the blanket, And carry him back to their compound.

According to my mental health records, I was high risk for suicide because of the way I acted about my job.

My psychologist called my first sergeant, And he recommended that I be possibly moved To anything that wasn't involving watching People die all the time.

And the first sergeant said that our team was undermanned, And that they absolutely needed me to work mission.

So he would look into it, but never returned My psychologist phone calls.

And never gave him any indications That I was gonna be moved to a better Job and I obviously wasn't.

I stayed doing that job until the last possible moment When they had to let me out of process Because I was actually getting out of the military.

So I guess that's the cost of a human life Because the fact that I was on a suicide watch list, And they still wouldn't allow me to do something else that might Help me, a little bit, obviously didn't matter to the military.

And that- that shows how much the air force cares About its intelligence troops.

Look down the bottom there.

There's ice on the steps too.


You could tell she'd have a stressful day If she'd call me up, and she'd be crying, or she'd be upset.

But then she couldn't talk about it.

And then when you ask her, well you- can you talk to anybody Else about it?

Well, no we're not supposed to talk to anybody.

So she was having more and more issues Each day that things went on.

A mom knows these things, and then When you hear your daughter talking to you on the phone, And you can tell that she's in trouble.

Just by the emotion, and the inflection In the stress that you could hear in her voice.

I knew she was in trouble.

And the only thing I could do is just stay in touch with her On a daily basis, so she felt like she had someone there.

Because I have a feeling if somebody wasn't there for her, She wouldn't be here right now.

And her friends, a lot of them were in the same boat she was.

All drinking, all carrying on, trying to forget the pain.

Heather: I've- I'm just scared, I'm always scared.

All those little kids were just scared to go outside.

Woman: Now I would like To play a clip of president Obama, Addressing us drone warfare at national defense University in Washington dc.

President Obama: And before any strike is taken, There must be near-certainty, that no civilians Will be killed or injured.

The highest standard we can set.

Yes, the conflict with Al-Qaeda, like all armed conflict Invites tragedy.

But by narrowly targeting our action Against those who want to kill us And not the people they hide among, We are choosing the course of action Least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.

Daniel: When the president gets up in front of the nation And says that they're doing everything they can to ensure That there is near-certainty, that there will be No civilians killed, he is saying that because he Can't say otherwise.

Because any time an action is taken To finish a target there is a certain amount Of guesswork in that action.

Because it's only in the aftermath of any kind Of ordnance being dropped, that you know just how Much actual damage was done.

And oftentimes we, the intelligence community, Is reliance.

The joint special operations command, the CIA included Is reliant on intelligence coming afterwards That confirms that who they were targeting Was killed in that strike, or that they Weren't killed in that strike.

Lisa: We all know people die in war.

We all know that.

If we don't, we're diluted.

The fact of the matter is, is that these things, These devices can go pretty much unimpeded anywhere in the world And blow crap up.

And there is no single governing body about how they're used.

And that is something that will promote war, not deter it.

The people that really get the impact, aside From the people at the distant end who are getting Hit by these weapons, are all these new recruits That are coming in.

And you know, the people that are being affected Are America's children.

People die, things get destroyed, And people who are aged 18 to 24 sit and watch it.

How can anyone not find that disturbing?

Heather: Hearing politicians speak about drones, Being precision weapons, being able to make surgical strikes, To me it's completely ridiculous.

It's completely ludicrous to even make those statements.

It's as flawed as it can be with people operating It from across the world.

If they really think they can send a bomb through a window Of a compound and hit one militant, Then why are we seeing so many civilians Dying of collateral damage?

I'd like to ask those politicians, Have they not been notified of that?

Do they not know what's going on in their own war That they're controlling?


Reporter: A former us drone Operator and analyst has slammed American and British militaries For fabricating faulty information On the civilian deaths and the us led drone war, worldwide.

Heather Linebaugh has questioned the accuracy of the information Collected by the drone saying, "the videos Provided are not clear enough to detect Militants from civilians."

The former American analyst also said That drones in the us at wars are not used as protection But rather as a weapon.

Heather: This is a perfect example of what It would look like, unaltered.

This is probably the best you'll get on a good day.

It's why it's so difficult to make that choice.

I say there's at least two possible, possible children.

And then one of them runs away.


It's like, I care because of what I've- what I've seen happen to like, My fellow veterans and stuff.

Like, how- what I've seen happen to people.

Like, my friends have suffered so much.

I've had so many friends that are like, oh, man, I Can't live with myself for what I did in Iraq.

Like, I can't live with myself for the things that I've done.

And not- this isn't just for myself.

Like, this isn't some kind of like, self-healing thing For me.

Like, I found more self-healing through doing Massage and everything.

This isn't even that therapeutic for me.

Every time I do one of these things I'm like, I feel awful, because then I have to talk about it, And tell people about it and all kinds of stuff.

And people think my story's all mega important or something.

And it's- I'm not saying this for like, The importance of myself.

I'm saying it because I need to say it, Because my other veteran friends are too Drunk to spend time to say anything about it, Or they're not around anymore.

Trying to just get people to change how they view things And they're like, policymakers aren't listening, Policymakers don't care.

It's not going to change anything.

So I'm gonna put myself out there, Risk being put on some kind of FBI Watch list or something for just saying That, yeah, the drone program makes people feel bad.

Like, I'm basically saying the drone program can give you Post-traumatic stress disorder.

That shouldn't be a surprise.

And like, for me to just say something like that, And then have people say it's not gonna make a change.

"you're gonna be the next Edward Snowden,"

Its just- it pisses me off.

And it makes me not even want to try.

Because if I'm gonna get all this awful horrifying attention From like, the government and stuff, what's the point?

Like, if I ended up- if someone come in to my house And puts a bag over my hand and hauls me away, Then what was the point of anything I did?

Am I really changing people's minds?

Or are people just going to share it on Facebook And then move along?

I'm spending all this time Doing all this stuff and it could Be for absolutely nothing.

Like, I could be living a normal life, Spending time with friends, spending time with family.

And like, I'm spending all this time for this thing, That I don't know if anybody is going to care about.

And I don't know if anybody's gonna be like, oh, well, let's Really care about the soldiers in the drone program Because according to the left, we're All a bunch of baby killers.

And according to the right, we shouldn't Be having any problems because we're not Walking around in Afghanistan.

Exposed facts is dedicated to supporting whistleblowers, Whistleblowing, and independent journalism.

Our next speaker, Jesselyn Radack, Is a director of a national security And human rights program at the government Accountability project.

As an attorney, she's represented Many whistleblowers.

And I'll mention just a few of them, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, and John Kiriakou.

I represent seven people, investigated, Charged, or prosecuted under the draconian espionage act.

Espionage act prosecutions occur largely in secret, And have been brutal.

I hope that will change.

I hope also that whistleblower protection will be extended To protect people in the national security And intelligence arenas who have made all of the bomb shell Disclosures, about war crimes, about torture, About secret surveillance that you've heard About over the past decade.

Heather: When "the guardian" thing first happened, I was so scared because everybody started calling me A whistleblower and saying like, this is another Edward Snowden.

And I didn't think I mentioned anything classified, But then they started saying like, she Mentioned capabilities.

Well most whistleblowers are not blowing a whistle On classified, and if they do have access To classified information, they're Able to blow the whistle on things Without ever getting into the classified.

And what you're disclosing that hasn't been out There is the ill effect in the horrible negative effect That this has had on the actual people doing the work.

And on the innocent people being blown up, And the shaky legal reasoning.

I mean all three of these are the perfect storm Of this cluster-fuck that we call it the drone program.

From pacifica, this is democracy now.

America does not take strikes to punish individuals.

We act against terrorists who pose A continuing and imminent threat to the American people.

And when there are no other governments Capable of effectively addressing the threat.

Anchorwoman: In a major policy address on Thursday, President Obama defended the secret overseas drone war, But said the united states cannot Continue waging what he described as a boundless Global war on terror.

Obama's comments came one day after attorney general Eric Holder confirmed us drone strikes have killed four us Citizens in Yemen in Pakistan.

President Obama: Simply put, These strikes have saved lives.

Moreover, America's actions are legal.

We were attacked on 9/11.

Within a week, congress overwhelmingly Authorized the use of force.

The people would defend drones, and defend The way that they're used.

They always say, you know, they-

They protect American lives by not putting them in harm's way.

But what they really do is they just embolden commanders.

They embolden decision makers because there is no threat.

There is no immediate consequence.

They can do the strike, and they can potentially Kill this person that they're so desperate to get And to eliminate because of how dangerous-

Potentially dangerous- they could be to us.

But if it just so happens that they don't kill that person Or there's some other people involved in the strike, And you get killed as well, you know, There's no consequence for it.

When it comes to high value targeting, Every mission is to go after one person at a time.

But anybody else that's killed in that strike Is just blanketly assumed to be an associate Of the targeted individual.

So as long as they can reasonably Identify that all the people in the field of view of the camera Are military aged males- meaning anybody who is believed To be of age 16 or older- they are a legitimate target Under the rules of engagement.

If that strike occurs and kills all of them, They just say that they got them all.

Woman: Ok, we'll take one more question for John McCain.

Doesn't McCain have a daughter that's of military age?

Crowd: Oh, good idea send his daughter.

Yeah, how about sending your daughter john, what about that?

Daniel: People often times get mixed Up in the anti-drone movement.

Trying to say that we should just ground drones, And we just eliminate drones from our lexicon, And never allow them to exist in this world.

It's just too dangerous.

And I don't necessarily agree with them Because drones are going to be a part of our life Here pretty soon.

They're going to be- most likely they're Going to be doing things that we were only able to do With people in a plane before.

They're gonna be like dusting crops, or planting seeds, Or are doing humanitarians surveillance To- during floods and disasters-

To try and locate victims.

You know, they're gonna be there, But there's also that other dangerous side To them that makes war so easy and so Convenient and so simple.

That the people who have access to this technology and access To this capability just say, well, why wouldn't I use this?

It's too easy.

The most disturbing thing about my involvement in drones Is the uncertainty if anybody that I was involved in kill Or capture was civilian or not.

There's no way of knowing.

Lisa: There's a bomb, they'd drop it, it explodes.

Then what?

Does somebody go down there and asked for somebody's driver's License?

Excuse me sir, can I have your driver's License to see who you are?

I mean, does that happen?

How do we know?

How is it possible to know who ends up living or dying?

Woman: So folks, welcome to the commonwealth club.

We have the great privilege tonight to have a chance To talk with general Stanley McChrystal, who Had a very distinguished 34 year career In the American military.

His last assignment was as the commander Of the international security assistance force In Afghanistan.

Won't you, commonwealth club members, Join me in welcoming Stan McChrystal.

Stanley McChrystal: Think about today's world, And you can get information from everywhere in real time.

You can talk to anyone in your organization.

In my situation awareness- from what we would call it-

We had about 12 screens on the wall, And they were all showing operations in real time-

Full motion video we called it.

Like, live TV from predator, unmanned, aerial vehicles Above them.

So we could watch every one of our operators Land in a helicopter, get out of a vehicle, move on the target.

And because of a system we set up That went through our secure internet, We could hear every radio transmission.

And if I were sitting in Baghdad, I could hear radio transmissions from a raid in Afghanistan.

And if I wanted to, I could reach down And talk to sergeant X on the ground, On an objective in Afghanistan.

Now I never did that, but the technology Now allows you to do that.

So the first thing to understand is that's deceptive.

It's seductive and deceptive because if you see things In two dimension, you get the opinion that you're At 10,000 feet, you see this photograph, You know what's going on.

You don't know what's going on, you know What you see in two dimensions.

Lisa?

L-I-s-a?

Yep.

And I'm-

Go on with the question, please.

Ok, so I'm very curious.

I understand that you're a little Wary about the drone program.

And I'm wondering what your views of the program are.

Yeah, I think drones are here to stay and they're necessary.

But you have to understand how people pursue things.

So it's one thing to do things, but it's another to anger A population in the process.

So I think you've got to make the value decision.

You gotta say- in each case you gotta make The decision- is it worth it?

Because you are going to create some ill-will in the process.

I also think we need to explain it to the world better.

But again I'm not one of those people who thinks It's not gonna be around.

I mean, technology- oh, no.

Doesn't go back.

It doesn't- yeah, once it's out of the bag, It's out of the bag.

And it's not immoral or moral, but it has to be understood.

And it has to be described to people, And it has to be carefully used.

I just think it's that important.

Well, I just want to say thank you.

I read your book and I so appreciate-

Well you're so much.

Your understanding so of the afghan culture, And all of that.

It just touched my heart.

Lisa: One of my neighbors, her name is, And she was born in Afghanistan.

And she goes there every year distributing seeds, And doing humanitarian work.

And was willing to take me this year And it's a beautiful thing.

I'm aware that Afghanistan is a dangerous place.

I'm aware that there is still war going on there, But I believe that doing this is the right thing to do.

I lost part of my humanity working in the drone program.

And humanity was what was missing there.

And seeing these people as human beings, It'll be nice to just see it up close.

I missed you.


Lisa: When I'd meet these people, part of it Is making reparations for my participation In a program that's a huge, huge weapon System that kills more innocent people than actual targets.

There's no way that I can make amends, or change anything That I've participated in.

But if there's any way that I can Somehow give back to that country, That's what I wanna do.

I said, give the ladies two.

Lisa: I wanna be able to be helpful even just a little bit, By talking to somebody who has been directly Impacted by the drone program.

And asking, what do you need?

What do you want people to hear?

Basically, how can I be helpful?

Because being a part of a weapon system can't be helpful, It can only be hurtful.

All: Hi!

I'm finally here, sorry about that.

My feeling of her moving to California is mixed emotions.

I feel it's an opportunity for her, But I'm concerned about a young lady being that far from home, Without family support that can't be nearby.

And if she needs help, it would take some time for us To get help to her.

Heather's mom: She has episodes at least once or twice a week, Sees things, hears things.

But it's so hard for our vets and our soldiers, And men and women to get help.

And with drone people, they consider That they didn't see combat because they weren't overseas.

And that's not the truth.

They see a lot of combat, but nobody Takes that into consideration It's not just my granddaughter that has had trouble getting The treatment she needed.

I know she attempted to get help.

And she had trouble finding a therapist To talk to because they didn't have The right security clearance.

And she was in violation of the law And could go to prison for even talking To the wrong therapist about what was really bothering her.

And that made me a little angry at our own government For putting these kids through hell.

If we put our young people in this kind of an environment, We have an obligation to look after them, To help them make the adjustment back to normal life.

And we're not doing that, and that's shame on us.

Jesselyn Radack: The government recently Contacted two of the drone whistleblowers, Whom I represent.

The government, meaning the air force office Of special investigation and the federal bureau of investigation Contacted them, told them that they were on some sort Of terrorist kill list.

In heather's case, my understanding Was that the air force office of special investigations Contacted her stepfather to relay the message That a known terrorist organization Had been searching her name.

And on the one hand they said, there was not A specific or imminent threat.

On the other hand, they had very tailored solutions for heather, Which was that she needed to tone down her social profile In general.

And that would include writing op-eds, That would include the use of twitter and Facebook.

It's not like heather's been out screaming From the rooftop about drones.

But clearly the government is very aware of the fact That she had written about drones before.

To me that's a blatant attempt to silence whistleblowers, And it doesn't surprise me that that happens To the very few people who have been Brave enough to be speaking out against the drone program.


Daniel: When they arrived, it was actually Just hours after I had turned in my badge, And was finishing my last day.

I had gotten home, was relaxing, I had poured myself a drink.

And somebody downstairs was knocking at the door, And immediately- both people at the door, man and woman-

Shoved FBI badges in my face, pushed me inside Into the kitchen, and immediately behind them Came- I'd say about 20 agents- basically all of them With pistols drawn somewhere, in body armor.

And at this point I'm extremely scared.

I didn't understand what was going on.

Altogether, I think there might have been at least 30 To 50 agents in and out of the house at different points Throughout the evening, taking photos in every room, And of everything, searching for different things.

Once they were done, they left and I Didn't even have a phone on me.

So I had retained a number- one of the agents allowed me To retrieve a number from my phone-

And then I used that to call my friends in dc to ask them If they could- if they could help me get in touch With the- the right people that knew How- that knew how to deal with these kinds of cases.

Once I was in touch with Daniel, we met at one location And promptly moved to another location.

And he started telling me what was going on.

And it became very apparent that he Had been subject to search warrants That he had brought with him and showed me.

And I drafted up an attorney-client agreement-

A temporary one- on a napkin so I could provide Immediate representation and then eventually Was able to do a full agreement with him, but he was terrified.

Everything that we know so far between me and my attorneys, I've been keeping in here.

And it's basically just the warrants That were issued that day, and the items that they took.

And so there were three warrants issued.

One for the room, of the house that I was in, And the house itself.

The- there's a warrant issued for me and my smartphone, That I may have in my possession.

There's this- there's one for my motorcycle, And then there's a list of all the things that they took.

So basically there was a list for electronics, And there was a list for papers.

The next was just an explanation of what they were looking for.

So under category 1, "information and documents, In any format or medium, all originals, computer files, Copies, and manipulated versions of that Are the property of the United States government, Or any agency of the United States government, Including the NSA, the NGA, JSOC, The Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force.

All classified information, materials, or documents Are defined in 18 U.S.C. 1924.

So those five departments or agencies-

However you look at them- those are all Places I have worked for.

793e, and 130a1, 130a2b, and 1924.

So I'd have to actually do some research on that.

I should've probably done that if I- if I were More responsible for myself.

But I'm pretty sure, you know, they're all Just intels in generic blanket.

This is a criminal investigation for espionage act.

The espionage act is one of the most serious charges you Can level against an American.

It's like, treason, it's that serious Because basically it paints you as an enemy of the state.

And it's a David versus Goliath struggle.

It is a single person against the entire executive Branch of the united states government.

And that's the kind of power we're Supposed to reserve for going after our enemies, Not after people who are patriotic.


Lisa: We're going to meet some of the families that have Been affected by drone warfare.

I want to respect them, and so I'll stay back.

Because I can't imagine how they'd feel seeing somebody That worked on the system that killed their child, Or killed members of their family, or took limbs.

So I'll stay back, and Will be there and talk to them.


Sensor: Looks like people on the back of the pickup.

One, two, three, at least five people so far.


See, this is what pisses me off, Where these fucking assholes are like-

They're saying in here DGS supposedly Sees women and children.

They're saying DGS supposedly sees it.

We went to school for almost a year To be able to identify women and children.

And this was a- this is a daily thing.

Where the pilot and the sos and everybody that's at creech Is constantly saying, no no DGS is full of shit, They don't see anything.

This happened all the time, and I'd Have to literally sit there arguing with these dick heads, And have them just be saying shit like this to the people That I can't talk to.

Because I don't have access to talk to them.

God damn the DGS fucking hated creech, because they were Always trying to kill people.

They always wanted to be blowing someone up.

And all these officers- the, The pilot, all these people- it looks good on their resume If they kill more people.

And then here they're saying that everything supposedly-

DGS is supposedly calling this out.

And then they just have an outright lie That DGS didn't call out any women or children prior To this point when about an hour before that was when They killed all those people.

And DGS was saying, right before they killed Them that they saw children.

I know what- I know what crews did this mission And it wasn't at my base, I can safely say that.

Because I remember this- this call sign, But it's- this wasn't- these crews weren't- this DGS wasn't my DGS.

But they're all set up the same in terms Of the people that are working them, And it's just such bullshit.

There's this one thing in here where The pilots typing, "the lady is carrying a kid, huh?

Maybe."

And then sensor operator says, "uh, yeah."

If you were to read a DGS transcript- which you'll Probably never be able to get your hands on- you Would see lingo and jargon, specifically designed To make statements short and make them possible, probable, Or confirmed.

You wouldn't be seeing people saying, "maybe it's A kid," "uh, we don't know." "uh, we think it's Possible woman." I couldn't talk about this stuff Because it's classified, but now that I have this unclassified Thing sitting right in front of me of these dickheads Saying all this shit about us. we were the ones who had to really try to stop Them all the fucking time.

You shouldn't have to stop your own people From killing civilians.

To the great people of Afghanistan, as-salamu alaykum.

I've spoken with president Karzai, And apologize to him and to the Afghan people.

I've instituted a thorough investigation to prevent This from happening again.

We're extremely saddened by this tragic loss of innocent lives.

I've made it clear to our forces that we're here To protect the Afghan people.

I pledge to strengthen our efforts, to regain your trust, To build a brighter future for all Afghans.

Most importantly, I express my deepest, Heartfelt condolences to the victims and to their families.

We all share in their grief, and we'll keep them In our thoughts and prayers.


What did they tell you?

You know, there was three buses full of people From this village.

And one of the story was that the wife Lost a- a husband and a child.

And she went outside with the child, and lifted up And showing the child to the helicopters, And the drones that this is a really peaceful Family caravan going someplace.

By the time he turned around, it was hit.

They're not stupid.

They knew, they know exactly what it is.

They know what drone is, they know what's a helicopters.

They told us drone is a- it's a plane from above, It has cameras, and they can watch And look and take information.

They thought drone was not for striking.


Jesselyn Radack: Daniel is in the worst of all worlds Because the government clearly has an espionage Investigation into him.

And now this is a sword of Damocles hanging over his head, That he could be indicted any day, Or years from now for espionage because the government suspects That he is a source of information About the drone program that the government doesn't Want out there.

Daniel: I've discussed with my lawyers To the full extent, everything that I Think that this investigation could be about.

A lot of that is details that I simply Could never talk about on film.

But what I will say is that it's likely to do with the fact That I'm someone who has both worked For the intelligence community, and who's politically active.

And therefore they are suspicious of my-

Of my background.

When did you move here?

Daniel: August.

Yeah.

You probably remember back in like, August, I called you out Of nowhere, and asking you about- yeah.

So there's a long story to that.

I'm ok, but it's- it's a bit of a legal matter.

No, thank- I just wanna thank you again for like, Being available.

That's really very- like, if I couldn't get a hold of you, I would- I didn't know what I was gonna do.

But it- yeah, anytime.

Yeah, thanks.

But it all- it got resolved?

It's in the middle of being resolved, hopefully.

But as far as now is concerned, I can't talk about it.

Right now my biggest concern is- well, It's certainly not school, even though I'm in school.

And it's basically like the least- the thing I'm least focused on.

Even though it should be the number one priority I have right now, but right now I'm just constantly going Over my head and constantly thinking about what I'm saying And who I'm saying it to.

And making sure that I'm not saying anything to somebody, Whether a stranger, or somebody I know, Somebody I think I can trust, or I know I can't trust.

I'm just- I'm always afraid of saying the wrong thing, The wrong time.

And I'm always second guessing my words everywhere I go.

I mean, me personally, like, I just live every day trying To become more and more comfortable with the idea That it's probably gonna happen.

That I'm probably gonna get indicted and I'm probably going To get charged with a crime.

And that there's probably a real chance I'll have to fight to stay out of prison.

I think it's kind of funny- a little ironic too- because so Far I'm probably the only adult male In my entire family in media and external That has not been to prison so far.

So I come from a long lineage of prisoners, actually.

Great proud tradition of fuck-ups Who get drunk, and go driving, or sell pot, or, you know, Carrying a gun when they shouldn't Be carrying a gun in the wrong place, the wrong time.

A lot of that where- where I'm from.

But I've- I don't know.

Is it scary to think about one day being in prison?

Yeah, I don't have a good answer for that Because it's scary in prison.

Yes, that's it. that was a fucking three minute yes.

All the clients I've represented-

Although I've represented them pro Bono- we have to involve Criminal defense attorneys.

And all of them owe legal bills upwards of a million dollars, And that usually only goes before trial even began.

The million dollar bill, that doesn't even Take you through at the beginning of trial.

So the economic price alone- not To mention the personal price of your relationships-

Because you can't talk to your friends and family About what's going on.

You can't even talk to- theoretically- a therapist About what's going on.

The emotional costs are indescribable-

And it's not an exaggeration to say that most of my clients Who've been under espionage criminal investigations-

Is not at all unusual for them to end up blacklisted, And bankrupt, and broken.

At a minimum almost every one of my clients Who had to deal with this has suffered From severe anxiety, and depression, And suicidal ideation.

And in terms of what it could actually do to him It could imprison him for decades.

It's kind of- it's a big day, but it's also good Because, like, tomorrow I can wake up and not think, Like, I wonder when I'll hear from the Va.

Like, it'll- whether, you know, whatever they Decide at least I know that I don't have To worry about it anymore.

I'm sure they won't even know what My job was in the military.

That's gonna be interesting.

Because- they're, like, if it is a civilian company That they're outsourcing to.

So they're probably be like, what?

What's a- what's a predator?

What's a reaper?

So that should be interesting, and that should probably Have a lot to do with if I don't get my disability-

Don't get the disability.

We will see.

I can see they have ample parking.

I don't care about the money.

It's about- it's about recognizing that someone Can see terrible things and still need To talk to someone about it.

And still need to figure out how to heal from that Without having to get shot at, or without having To be in the war zone.

It's about understanding that people see traumatic things.

And that can affect them just as much as If you're involved in the traumatic things, Because we're all directly involved in the drone program Whether people think they are or not.

But they'll decide that for me.


When I went in I was like- I was expecting like, The whole thing to be them coming up with reasons Why I don't have PTSD.

And the guy sat down, and he was so nice.

And he sat down and he was like, so I was looking At your papers, it seems like you saw A lot of really awful things.

And he was like, he had me describe Some of them and stuff, and I started crying.

And he's like, gave me tissues and he's Just like, I'm so sorry.

And he's like, I'm so sorry you had to see these things.

And he's like, you're way too young for that, you know?

It's- it's really tough and we're gonna try to get you The best help we can get you.

And like, it was- he was like, you Know it's good that you're coming in here And I'm really glad you're seeing a therapist regularly.

And he's like, these are all things That can really help you.

And he's like, I see a lot of people with PTSD.

And he's like, I promise it's not always gonna be like this, You know, you're gonna eventually have Days where it's a lot easier.

He's like, hopefully, you know, you won't feel As guilty as you do, forever.

Daniel: It's really tough to- to describe What that feeling is like.

You know, having the image in your head of, you know, Just taking your own life is- like It's- it's not a good feeling.

It's not something people should-

Should have to deal with.

And- and yet despite- and yet we do.

Yet we do have those thoughts sometimes when we are in our, Like, in our darkest places, we have a lot to worry about And the future is uncertain.

And we are- you know, we feel guilty about our past actions, Or something of that sort.

I'm not sure.


Woman: A federal jury in Virginia Has convicted former CIA officer Jeffrey sterling of nine felony Counts, including espionage.

Prosecutors accuse sterling of leaking Classified information to journalists James risen of new york times.

Supporters of sterling described him as a whistleblower.

But prosecutors claimed he leaked The information to settle a score with the agency.

Sterling is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

He faces a maximum possible sentence of decades in prison.


I was told that they forgave me for the part I played And what happened to them and that's amazing.

And when you think about that these people are considered, You know, of military age, terrorists, all of that, You can see people's hearts.

I just want people to know that not everybody is A freaking terrorist, and we need to just Get out of that mindset.

And we need to see these people as people, families, Communities, brothers, mothers, and sisters Because that's who they are.

Imagine if this was happening to us.

Imagine if our children were walking outside of their door And it was a sunny day, and they were afraid because they didn't Know if today was the day that something Was gonna fall out of the sky and kill someone close to them.

How would we feel?

Daniel: I think as any activist would be, I am primarily Optimistic about the world, you know, for all the cynicism, And pessimism that comes out of me.

I think that when it really comes Down to it you just have a- you have a love for humanity.

A love for human beings and one another, That you believe that there is the possibility of change And that another world is possible, as they say.

Heather: If I see an article about the drone program Or something and, like, see how people Talk about cold hearted killers, things like that.

That was me, like, that was my job.

Of course, like, it still is me, that's- you are your history, But if you have any conscious at all, you know That what you did was wrong.

And you know that for the rest of your life It's going to be that.

You can't undo what he did, and you Can't bring those people back.

So it's something that you live with.

Lisa: We are in the United States of America, And we are participating in an overseas war.

A war overseas, and we have no connection to it Other than wires, and keyboards.

Now if that doesn't scare the crap out of you It does out of me because if that's The only connection, why stop?