This sounds like propaganda. The US military is usually not that sloppy with security. If there is hole in the security, it has probably been plugged by now. The only reason that I can think of as to why the signal would not be encrypted would be due to the propagation delay created by encryption/decryption.
The second article assumes that the drone controllers are in Iraq or Afghanistan. Most of the controllers are in California. With the satellite connection, they can be located anywhere in the world where they have access to a military satellite. They have live video feeds from the drones, so they do not need to be close to the drones.
"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin