[Editor’s note: Brandon Bryant is a former U.S. Air Force Airman, who served as a sensor operator for the Air Force drone program (2005-2011). Following his active duty in the Air Force, he was provided a certificate that credited his squadron for 1,626 kills. His Letter to the Editor was submitted in response to yesterday’s guest post by Chris Jenks and Geoffrey Corn.]
I’d like to clear up several errors that Jenks and Corn make in their criticisms of the Scahill and Greenwald news story.
I was heavily involved in the surveillance of al-Awlaki in Yemen, but I never claimed to be the one who killed him. I got out a few weeks before the first attempted take down of al-Awlaki, as I realized the grave error we were making in hunting him down. My guilt in the matter comes from the fact that I, as an Airman who swore an Oath to defend our Constitution, was a party to the violation of what I swore to defend. That violation made me an Enemy of the American people and unworthy to wear the uniform.
Also, Professors Jenks and Corn try to discredit me because I was “junior enlisted.” But what is that supposed to mean? I paid attention to what was going on and I was always learning about how our systems work, if not always who they were working for. Which is more than could be said about many of the people I knew.
Finally, Jenks and Corn act as if I’m the only source for the piece. But Scahill and Greenwald very clearly reference two sources — me and an anonymous JSOC Operator. I learned just as much from the article as many people did. Jenks and Corn should carefully reread the article before attributing things to me, or they should ask me directly. I’m freely available for questions or clarifications.