As the drone wars expanded and it became more clear how this was being fought - this was inevidable. Via Noah at DangerRoom;
When the Air Force activated its first unmanned aircraft wing in 2007, the military invited journalists out to Creech Air Force Base in Nevada to come take a look at the robotic future taking off.It is a bit more than that. You only have to put on your red hat for a few minutes with the right people on your team to sketch this out.
Today, that kind of openness would be unthinkable. The Air Force began to limit press access to Creech in 2009. In the last six months, they’ve closed it off almost entirely, turning down every American media request to visit the drone pilots. The only visit approved during that period was from a British outlet, involving Creech’s UK drone squadron, Air Force officials tell Danger Room.
The blue lights signaling the presence of journalists haven’t come on for a while. New guidelines put in place have made it harder for journalists to be let in. Starting in 2009, media requests to visit the base had to be run up the chain of command, first through Air Combat Command, which oversees the drones and all other Air Force tactical aircraft, and then relayed to Air Force headquarters, where they were “more or less denied,” said Staff Sgt. Dustin Holmes, Creech spokesperson.
“The change in guidance wasn’t a light switch that turned off all public access to information about [remotely piloted aircraft],” said Lt. Col. Tadd Sholtis, spokesman at Air Combat Command, but “it was a recognition of the sensitive nature of the mission and the risks involved in unrestricted media access to an operational unit.”
film producer Daniel Desure put up a Craiglist ad in desperation. Were there any drone operators who would talk to a group of artists about non-classified parts of their job? Dozens of responses came in. Desure filtered out the obvious fakes, found eight people who sounded legitimate, and set up interviews with four people.
But then, a call from the FBI spooked the team. Desure was warned that “there are a lot of people who don’t want this to happen.” Shortly after that, two drone operators who already agreed to talk to him went dark.
One of the pilots sent an apologetic email, excerpts of which were forwarded to Danger Room. “My commander just briefed the entire base that we are not to discuss details regarding our aircraft, or mission, with outside agencies and press offices,” the email reads. “Everyone is spun up over personnel releasing information to the public.”
Desure’s team eventually found one airman who agreed to speak, but wouldn’t allow himself to be identified. In the final product, 5,000 Feet Is the Best, a former drone pilot addresses the camera, his voice digitally distorted, his face cast in a blurry halo. We have to take the word of the filmmakers that he is who he says he is. He describes the heat patterns of the landscape that stretches out before him, and spots something that looks like a “white blossom.” He must be in his 20s. As he tries to make out the images on the screen, we too, try — and fail — to meet his eyes
We are engaged in a war where drones are killing a lot of high profile people on the other side. Many doing that killing are "civilian" while others wear the uniform. Some of those people are in theater - some are doing their job in CONUS. By any measure, they are legitimate combatants engaged in combat.
I can tell you what is on my Red Team's Top-3 planning priorities; that is easy.
Do I need to continue this line of thought, or does everyone get it now? Welcome to a secondary effect of the drone war.