National Bird – Drone warfare w/ Lisa Ling – Ep 108

Today, Keagan and I will be talking with Lisa Ling, a former intel analyst and whistleblower who worked with drones.  She’s the one of the subjects of National Bird, the award winning documentary on former drone unit members that included Daniel Hale (the handsome fella gracing our episode thumbnail today) and several other drone whistleblowers.  Please do take a listen to an episode of Primary Sources Podcast, as Lisa, Keagan, Cian Westmoreland, and host Chip Gibbons discuss drone warfare in depth, along with a breakdown of the horrific drone strike that punctuated the U.S. departure from Afghanistan.

Lisa joined the military in 1991, serving as an army medic and nurse before transferring to the Air National Guard (ANG). In the Guard, she became a communications technician, working on various types of electronic equipment including DCGS (Distributed Common Ground System; the U.S. Air Force defines DCGS as its “primary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance collection, processing, exploitation, analysis and dissemination” system).

Besides her overseas deployments and prior years in the U.S. drone program, Lisa served with the 234th intelligence Squadron and 48th Intelligence Squadron at Beale Air Force Base from Oct 2007-Sep 2009. The 48th Intelligence Squadron provides communications and logistics maintenance for the DCGS.

She served more than six years on active duty and more than 15 years as both active and inactive National Guard.

She decided to speak out against the misuse of drones after traveling to Afghanistan and seeing for herself how what she participated in was not a war on terror, but a war of terror. She has spoken out against armed drones killing with inaccurate data, and the program’s immense unchecked power around the world, writing for (and sometimes being featured in) the Los Angeles Times, the Daily Beast, on Cyberwar—Viceland, and ABC Australia.

Lisa is one of three protagonists from the U.S. drone program featured in the documentary film National Bird, directed by Sonia Kennebeck.


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