The Light of God

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    "We call it in, and we're given all the clearances that are necessary, all the approvals and everything else, and then we do something called the Light of God - the Marines like to call it the Light of God. It's a laser targetting marker. We just send out a beam of laser and when the troops put on their night vision goggles they'll just see this light that looks like it's coming from heaven. Right on the spot, coming out of nowhere, from the sky. It's quite beautiful."

    That is a drone operator talking about targetting an IED site in Afghanistan or Iraq. It follows identification of the site by the operator using a thermal camera, and is immediately followed by a hellfire missile strike, watched by the operator as well as troops on the ground, and other military personnel in command centres, all the way up to the Pentagon. It's a quote from Omer Fast's extraordinary film "Five Thousand Feet is the Best" (2011, excerpt).

    I couldn't find any pictures of the Light of God, so I made this one, based on laser targetting night systems and a CC-licensed photograph of the Iraqi desert by Rob Bakker.

    adactio, blech​, chriswoebken, and 36 other people added this photo to their favorites.

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