Protesters question new drone facility


Construction of a new, $3.9 million unmanned aerial systems training facility at Camp Ripley sparked protest from antiwar groups outside the camp’s front gate Friday.

[…] The U.S. military says the drones perform tasks that once fell to manned aircraft, saving soldiers’ lives and significant expense in the process. But critics say drones are leading the U.S. into uncharted legal and ethical territory, especially if they’re used to kill suspected terrorists without due process.

One of the organizers of Friday’s protest, Robin Hensel of Little Falls, said drone use detaches combatants from the horror of war, and not necessarily to a positive end.

“It makes it less personal — makes it easier to kill,” Hensel said.

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