Has America's fleet of deadly Predator drones been infected by some sort of anti-imperialist poltergeist force? That seems to be the only logical conclusion from today's Washington Post story (the last in an excellent series on America's "Secret War") about the activities and happenings at the US drone base in Djibouti. There's this:

In March 2011, a Predator parked at the camp started its engine without any human direction, even though the ignition had been turned off and the fuel lines closed. Technicians concluded that a software bug had infected the "brains" of the drone, but never pinpointed the problem.

And this:

But as the drone descended toward Djibouti City it entered a low-hanging cloud that obscured its camera sensor. Making matters worse, the GPS malfunctioned and gave incorrect altitude readings.

The crew operating the drone... crashed the remote-controlled plane 2.7 miles short of the runway.

The site was in a residential area and fire trucks rushed to the scene. The drone had crashed in a vacant lot and its single Hellfire missile had not detonated.

So Predator drones may start up OR crash due to mysterious malfunction but that's not something we can talk about anyhow. What Predator drones? Hey, look over there. *You are killed by a Hellfire missile.*

[WaPo. Photo: AP]