CLOVIS, NM– An international cable provider with links to the defense industry is refusing to air television commercials produced by U.S. military veterans that are critical of the U.S. drone program, according to vets involved in the production of the spots.
While the controversial commercials – which urge U.S. military personnel to “Refuse to Fly” military drones – have run elsewhere in the U.S. without incident, Suddenlink Cable refused to air them. They were pulled after just a few days of being on the air.
Suddenlink is linked to a financial backer, The Carlyle Group, a major international arms investor which owns drone contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, Edward Snowden’s former employer, according to KnowDrones.com, sponsor of the anti-drone commercials.
Booz Allen Hamiltonis now contracting with the U.S. Air Force to do drone targeting analysis, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. https://www.
Suddenlink, the nation’s seventh largest cable provider with 1.4 million customers in 17 states, pulled the spots within days of when they began airing in early July in Clovis, NM, seven miles from Cannon AFB. The base is home to the 3rdand 33rdSpecial Operations Squadrons that are reported to control MQ-9 Reaper drones in the skies over Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen and possibly elsewhere. https://medium.
Suddenlink, despite repeated requests, refused to give any reason for cancelling the anti-drone commercials.
The anti-drone commercials have run on FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN and other networks on Comcast, Cox and Time Warner throughout the country since early 2015, including near drone operation centers near Las Vegas, Sacramento, New York and Florida. The spots can be seen here:http://youtu.be/
Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.com, said Suddenlink’s decision to censor the adsmay bebecause Suddenlink is controlled by Altice, owned by Patrick Drahi,described by the newspaper Haaretz asa “Franco-Israeli telecoms billionaire.” http://www.
“Suddenlink’s decision to kill our ads raises the extremely disturbing possibility of censorship at the behest ofMr. Drahi, Carlyle, Booz Allenand the U.S. military. Through the images of children killed in drone attacksthe American people can see the illegality and immorality of the U.S. policy of systematically killing people without due process. Suddenlink’s decision to censor the spotsshowshow powerful the commercials are, andit reveals connections that give power to people who profit from war to literally remove the truth from the public airwaves so that Americans only see the sanitized version of how their tax dollars are killing and mutilating people around the world,” said Mottern.
The “Refuse to Fly” message in the ad is reinforced by a letter from about 50 veterans to drone operators urging “drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/assassination missions.” http://www.