Excerpt from Medea Benjamin's Speech at the 2014 Peace Breakfast

Drones are just the latest technology of killing. If it were not drones, it would be something else. This is part of a larger problem of a military-industrial-congressional-security complex that is keeping us in a perpetual state of war. Thousands of people have been killed by these drones, many of them civilians and only 2% of them can be identified as high level al Qaeda operatives. The rest of them are either low level people or innocent people. We know that in Pakistan (because of reporters who have tried to piece together this information) that there have been between 2500-3500 people killed by drones in Pakistan---a country that we are not formally at war with. Most of the people that we are killing are teenagers. They were ten years old at the time of 9/11. So we are creating enemies. We are creating terrorists. Here is a policy that is beyond the law. Right now we think that we can get away with this because we are the most powerful country. [...]

I met a woman in Yemen. She’s a journalist. She’s 25 years old. She had the audacity to write in the newspapers that she thought the extremists were ruining her country and that there should be a separation between religion and state. And for that she was called blasphemous and al Qaeda put a fatwa on her and said that she should be killed. She went into hiding for a year. Later she thought it was safe enough to come out. When we met her, I said, "You must hate al Qaeda and be in favor of the drones, aren’t you?" She laughed and said, "Of course I hate al Qaeda. I think they are a bunch of thugs, a bunch of bloodthirsty killers. But I also hate the drones. When you kill somebody with a drone," she went on, "you make them into a martyr. When you kill someone with a drone, you recruit more people to their cause. But when you pick them up and you capture them and give them a trial and you find them guilty and have them rot in jail for the rest of their lives, then you show what they are, which are criminals. In my vision of the future of Yemen," ---she, along with many young people are working hard to build a democratic Yemen---"in my vision of the future of Yemen, there are no drones in that future. In my future vision there is a strong rule of law, a strong court system, prisons that can’t be broken into where people remain in the prison if they are convicted of heinous crimes. And I would like for the United States to help us build the rule of law, not violate international law, not kill people without any charges." She said: "Go home and tell your people that we must work together to ground the killer drones and build a world that loves, respects, depends on and nurtures the rule of law.”"                     

-- Medea Benjamin, Author, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control