'Leading the Targeted Killing Revolution': Weapons Maker General Atomics Gets Punk'd

by
Jon Queally

Some clever bugger (likely in the UK) has punked weapons manufacturer General Atomics by cloning their website and offering some rather more useful information about the company's role in the global targeting killing campaign operated by US and British forces.

So government military officials looking to purchase a new Predator C Avenger drone might be surprised to learn:

The company is dedicated to providing long-endurance, mission-capable aircraft with the ability to provide continual surveillance of suspect populations and the targeted killing of any person deemed a threat to US/UK interests in the Middle East and beyond. Click here to download 'Living Under Drones' a recent Stanford/NYU report demonstrating the effectiveness of our products.

The fake website (www.ga-as.com) is visually identical to the real site (www.ga-asi.com), but the modified version takes the opportunity to link to important resources critical of the operation of the armed, un-piloted machines.

For example, the 'News & Information' link takes visitors to the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which has been doing in-depth reporting on the impact of drones on civilian populations in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. And the 'About' page is a direct link to Medea Benjamin's recently published book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.

Screen Shot:

And whereas the GA's tag line on its site reads, 'Leading the Situational Awareness Revolution,' the impostor site more accurately states, 'Leading the Targeted Killing Revolution.'

The real GA explains its approach with this language:

The company's Aircraft Systems Group designs and manufacturers game-changing, life-saving unmanned aircraft systems, including the ground stations that control them and provides pilot training and support services for field operations. Revolutionizing aviation by expanding the capabilities of UAS, the group develops innovative high-tech solutions that have produced an ever-growing line of versatile, reliable, cost-effective, and combat-proven aircraft.

But the cloned site offers this helpful and euphemism-free translation:

General Atomics' Predator and Reaper drones are being used to kill thousands of innocent people and terrorize hundreds of thousands more. Now the company has spread to the UK, enabling Britain to operate its Reaper drones from our own soil for the first time, and siphoning off the talents and expertise of British employees whose valuable skills could be making the world a better place instead of a worse one. General Atomics is making enormous profits from the futile, perpetual 'War on Terror'. The families and communities ripped apart by its products have been less fortunate.

No individual or group had taken public responsibility for the site's creation on Friday, but anti-drone and human rights campaigners were celebrating the effort on Twitter:

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