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Tue Oct 20, 2015, 12:09 PM

The US drone assassinations

The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.

The Kill Chain

Some key parts:

Despite the small number of people on the kill list, in 2011 and 2012 there were at least 54 U.S. drone strikes and other attacks reported in Yemen, killing a minimum of 293 people, including 55 civilians, according to figures compiled by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. In Somalia, there were at least three attacks, resulting in the deaths of at minimum six people.

... it is also clear that the military sometimes harmed multiple other people in trying to kill one of those high-level targets.

... people can be targeted based on patterns of suspect behavior. In 2012, administration officials said that President Obama had approved strikes in Yemen on unknown people, calling them TADS, or “terror attack disruption strikes,” ...

If you don’t have certainty about your target, it follows that you may well be killing innocent people. In Iraq and Afghanistan, “when collateral damage did occur, 70 percent of the time it was attributable to failed — that is, mistaken — identification,” ...

... there were multiple well-reported, high-profile incidents in which reported JSOC strikes killed the wrong people. Perhaps most famously, in October 2011, a 16-year-old U.S. citizen named Abdulrahman Awlaki, the son of Anwar al Awlaki, died in a JSOC strike while eating dinner with his cousins, two weeks after his father was killed by a CIA drone. In press accounts, one anonymous official called Abdulrahman’s death “an outrageous mistake,” ...

A September 2012 strike in Yemen, extensively investigated by Human Rights Watch and the Open Society Foundations, killed 12 civilians, including three children and a pregnant woman. No alleged militants died in the strike, and the Yemeni government paid restitution for it, but the United States never offered an explanation.

“We’re left with no explanation as to why they were targeted and in most cases no compensation, and the families are aware of no investigation.”

... two hostages held by al Qaeda — an American and an Italian — had been killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan in January.


http://failedevolution.blogspot.gr/2015/10/the-us-drone-assassinations_20.html

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