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Obama 'drone-warfare rulebook' condemned by human rights groups


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#1 Joker

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:16 PM

Imagine the shit storm from the left if Bush had attempted something like this. GO TEAM :rolleyes:


Obama 'drone-warfare rulebook' condemned by human rights groups


New York Times reports administration attempting to set out circumstances in which targeted assassination is justified


President Barack Obama's administration is in the process of drawing up a formal rulebook that will set out the circumstances in which targeted assassination by unmanned drones is justified, according to reports.

The New York Times, citing two unnamed sources, said explicit guidelines were being drawn up amid disagreement between the CIA and the departments of defense, justice and state over when lethal action is acceptable.

Human-rights groups and peace groups opposed to the CIA-operated targeted-killing programme, which remains officially classified, said the administration had already rejected international law in pursuing its drone operations.

"To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there is already a rulebook" said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Center for Democracy. "But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war]."

He said the news was "frustrating", because it relied on "self-serving sources". The New York Times piece was written by one of the journalists who first exposed the existence of a White House "kill list", in May.

ACLU is currently involved in a legal battle with the US government over the legal memo underlying the controversial targeted killing programme, the basis for drone strikes that have killed American citizens and the process by which individuals are placed on the kill list.

Jaffer said it was impossible to make a judgement about whether the "rulebook" being discussed, according to the Times, was legal or illegal.

"It is frustrating how we are reliant on self-serving leaks" said Jaffir. "We are left with interpreting shadows cast on the wall. The terms that are being used by these officials are undefined, malleable and without definition. It is impossible to know whether they are talking about something lawful or unlawful.

"We are litigating for the release of legal memos. We don't think the public should have to reply on self-serving leaking by unnamed administrative officials."

The New York Times said that, facing the possibility that the president might not be re-elected, work began in the weeks running up to the 6 November election to "develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures, according to two administration officials".

It went on to say that Obama and his advisers were still debating whether remote-controlled killing should be a measure of last resort against imminent threats to the US, or whether it should be more widely used, in order to "help allied governments attack their enemies or to prevent militants from controlling territories".

Jaffer said he was sceptical about the significance of the debate outlined in the piece. He said: "The suggestion is that there is a significant debate going on within the administration about the scope of the government's authority to carry out targeted killings. I would question the significance of the debate. If imminent is defined as broadly as some say it is within the administration then the gap between the sides is narrow.

"It matters how you define 'imminent'. The Bush administration was able to say it didn't condone torture because of the definition of torture. You might think that if someone says, 'I believe we should only use targeted killings only when there's an imminent threat,' you might think that sounds OK. But without terms like 'imminent' being defined it is impossible to evaluate the arguments."

Medea Benjamin, the co-founder of Code Pink, an anti-war group, said the news that formal rules were being written for targeted killing was "disgusting".

"That they are trying to write the rules for something that is illegal is disgusting" said Benjamin. "They are saying, 'The levers might be in the wrong hands.' What about the way they are using them right now? There is nothing about taking drones out of the hands of the CIA – which is not a military organisation – or getting rid of signature strikes, where there is no evidence that people are involved in terrorist activities."

In Pakistan and Yemen, the CIA and the military have carried out "signature strikes" against groups of suspected and unnamed militants, as well as strikes against named terrorists.

Benjamin said she had just come back from Pakistan, where the "intensity of the backlash will take generations to overcome".

The New York Times quotes an official who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was "concern that the levers might no longer be in our hands" after the election.

In October, Obama referred to efforts to codify the controversial drone programme. In an interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show on 18 October, the president said: "One of the things we've got to do is put legal architecture in place and we need congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president is reined in, in terms of some of the decisions we're making".

While Obama and administration officials have commented publicly on the legal basis for targeted killings, the program is officially secret. In court, government lawyers fighting lawsuits by ACLU continue to claim that no official has ever formally acknowledged the drones, and that there might not even be a drone programme.

Two lawsuits – one by the ACLU and the other by the ACLU and the NYT – seeking information on the legal basis on targeted killing, are still pending.


http://www.guardian....arfare-rulebook

#2 concert andy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:53 PM

Imagine the shit storm from the left if Bush had attempted something like this. GO TEAM :rolleyes:


Are you a conservative or a liberal?

Because I think this should be ripped by the left, and feel that it will. Obama will use Bin Laden somehow in a round about political excuse to make it seem justifiable. That is politics.

Why does it matter anyway? Both sides cry about everything.

I just do not find why calling out the left for not calling itself out is going to prove anything? That is the same thing when a republican is so anti gay, and then is actually gay in some weird way. Makes no sense except to laugh at how hypocritical most everyone is.

Are you outraged by this?

Would you prefer we had soldiers die or get the person we are looking for without injury?

I am sure bush would have been applauded for this effort.

#3 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:23 AM

I just do not find why calling out the left for not calling itself out is going to prove anything? That is the same thing when a republican is so anti gay, and then is actually gay in some weird way. Makes no sense except to laugh at how hypocritical most everyone is.


Holding an opinion and assassinating people equates these days, heh? Well, that sure is interesting.

Would you prefer we had soldiers die or get the person we are looking for without injury?

Seems the rules of our constitution and international law would be a better way to handle it than either of those flawed ideas.

#4 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:25 AM

I just do not find why calling out the left for not calling itself out is going to prove anything? That is the same thing when a republican is so anti gay, and then is actually gay in some weird way. Makes no sense except to laugh at how hypocritical most everyone is.


Holding an opinion and assassinating people equates these days, heh? Well, that sure is interesting.

Would you prefer we had soldiers die or get the person we are looking for without injury?

Seems the rules of our constitution and international law would be a better way to handle it than either of those flawed ideas.


I am just saying it happens on both sides and pointed out an exact example. I am not assassinating anyone.

I am asking questions.

#5 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:28 AM

And I am saying that calling the ketle black from the side doing the wrong who are so out spoken about something else.

It happens all the time. Why is this different than anything else.

It is politics, there is no right opinion, there is spin spin spin.

#6 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:21 AM

It's people's lives, not opinion or politics.

#7 Julius

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:04 AM

It's tough running a country. What do you expect, duckies and bunnies every day?

#8 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:00 PM

I'm certain every dictator, magistrate or king have felt the same way over the course of history. That's why we devised rules to keep such despotic and tyranical actions in check. I'm sure Chairman Mao would be very proud of our assassination system.

#9 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:04 PM

It's people's lives, not opinion or politics.


No, it is politics trying not to put lives in jeopardy with controversial drone's. That is what the story is about.

All I am saying is to call one side out for not calling themselves out as hypocritical is stupid and common place.

Just like the left using right war tactics that are not liked by the pussy left, or the right not calling out their own leaders when they have a gay extra martial affair.

Hypocrites on all sides, so why take shots, and say go team?

#10 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:11 PM

No, it is politics trying not to put lives in jeopardy with controversial drone's. That is what the story is about.


Yeah, what's a few civilians casualties between a dear leader and his assassination program? Screw it.

#11 Mr_Pat

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:23 PM

I think the responce is just the same as if Bush was in office... most people just dont give a shit

#12 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:25 PM

Hardly. The crying foul that went on over Bush was loud. Real loud. But now it's just a part of what needs to be done. YES WE DID!!

#13 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 02:56 PM

Yup, while there are still some voices out there, the anti-war movement has pretty much gone into hiding since Bush has been out.

Hell, Pakistan is supposed to be our ally and we continue to bomb their country and their people despite repeated requests for us to cease.


Obama Administration’s Unremitting Indifference to Pakistan’s Drone Opposition




We're making enemies of future generations of our friends and allies by illegally bombing and murdering innocent men, women and children. Yet most of those who protested and voiced their objection to these types of actions seem to have given this administration their tacit approval to continue to say fuck international law we're going to do as we please even if we are killing innocents.

#14 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

YES WE CAN!

#15 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:39 PM

Yup, while there are still some voices out there, the anti-war movement has pretty much gone into hiding since Bush has been out.

Hell, Pakistan is supposed to be our ally and we continue to bomb their country and their people despite repeated requests for us to cease.


The anti war movement was the outcry of a war based on a blatant lie.

Why would there be anti war movement now? We are already planning withdrawal from Afghanistan, that is another reason why this has died down. Another reason the movement died down was because the culprit/lier in this case is now irrelevant.

#16 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:44 PM

and yet the war crimes, international law breaches and unconstitutional behaviour and legislation continues without a peep. I think it has a lot more to do with the fact that it isn't in the MSM news daily anymore. And there is a "liberal" sitting president. The "anti-war" crowd moved on to welfare issues once we changed regimes. Now these pesky war crimes, unconstituional laws etc.. are just a side issue to teh ever more important "tax the rich" meme that everyone has been sipping off for four years now.

#17 Tim the Beek

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:50 PM

I'm in favor of calling out either side when they take measures which are counter to the constitutional principles I hold dear.

Especially when it comes to extrajudicial execution.

#18 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:34 PM

And they both should be called out.

The excuses and the silence based on the party in power is sickening and unfortunately it will eventually come back to haunt all of us.

#19 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

I'm ready to embrace the mandate. The people have spoken. Wealth redistribution, assassinations, class warfare, suspension of due process, etc..etc..etc..

YES WE CAN!

#20 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 05:54 PM

Why Drones Stayed Out of Sight in the 2012 Campaign



Homeland,” Showtime’s series about an al-Qaeda sleeper agent in Congress, is both implausible and addictive. President Barack Obama is a fan. That means he has heard more discussion of the downside of drone strikes in a television drama than he has in the presidential race.
In the foreign-policy debate on Oct. 22, moderator Bob Schieffer of CBS asked Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, about the use of drones. Romney responded, “I support that entirely and feel the president was right to up the usage of that technology and believe that we should continue to use it to continue to go after the people who represent a threat to this nation and to our friends.”

This bouquet in hand, Obama didn’t even have to use the word “drone” when his turn came to speak.
Neither side wants to look softer than the other on terrorists. Hence the bipartisan support for the strikes. Liberal groups that might be inclined to protest the policy have been quiet because Obama put it in place. The lack of debate about our reliance on drones is a shame, because there are both practical and moral objections to it.

Bipartisan Worries

A few conservatives have raised one practical concern: Killing terrorists is justified, they say, but we need to kill fewer and capture more to gain intelligence. You don’t have to support waterboarding, as some of these critics do, to agree with that point.
Another concern, raised by a few liberals, is that the strikes have increased anti-Americanism abroad. (On “Homeland,” one of them turns an American soldier into a terrorist.) The Pew Research Center has found strong opposition to drone strikes in almost every country. The strikes may also be setting a dangerous precedent, goes another argument, since “more than 70 countries now own some type of drone.”
But the morality of the policy is what most deserves scrutiny. The tradition of thinking about wartime ethics holds that it is permissible to cause the death of innocent civilians under certain conditions: when the war itself is just, the deaths are unintended and the number of innocents killed is proportional to the good the military action is expected to achieve.
Attacks on terrorists from the air meet the first two criteria even if civilians get killed. Whether they meet the third is harder to determine, largely because we don’t have reliable numbers. In January, Obama said, “I want to make sure that people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.” A report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found hundreds of civilian casualties in Pakistan, including 176 children.
In May, the New York Times reported one possible explanation for the discrepancy in estimates: Obama “in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” In other words, Obama has not found much evidence of civilian casualties because he’s not looking for any. The Times also reported that former senior intelligence officials doubt the administration’s public line about low casualties.
The alternatives to drone strikes have costs. Ground operations would also cause civilian casualties and could put American troops at risk. Scaling back the drone strikes risks letting some terrorists go to plot more evil. But the costs of killing, injuring, endangering and terrifying civilians have to be entered into the equation.
Robert P. George, a professor of politics at Princeton University and a leading social conservative, argues that “considerations of justice to noncombatants” sometimes forbid drone strikes “even if that means grave risks must be endured by our own forces in the prosecution of a war.”

Rule of Thumb

If we wouldn’t be willing to expose our troops to those risks, then maybe the mission isn’t so compelling that it justifies exposing civilians to them either. That’s the conclusion that Kurt Volker, the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former ambassador, has reached. He writes that “a good rule of thumb might be that we should authorize drone strikes only if we would be willing to send in a pilot or soldier to do the job if a drone were not available.”
Rules of thumb are probably the best we can hope for on this question, since we need a policy that makes use of drone strikes while drawing the line when the risks to civilians become too high. The danger is that using them is so convenient for policy makers that we will use them too much.
The president’s aides told the Times that he is a “student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas” and can be trusted to make the right judgments. His practical definition of combatants as anyone we happened to kill suggests otherwise, although too much of the program is secret to say for sure. The fact that we have barely debated this issue makes it hard to believe that our political system is getting it right, either.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-05/why-drones-stayed-out-of-sight-in-the-2012-campaign.html

#21 PeaceFrog

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:19 PM

well, first of all the drone program actually was created under the Bush administration and it's all so classified that it may not even really exist. Nobody will know for several hundred years I'm sure. Even then there will be destroyed evidence and everything else. The Pentagon and the CIA (and the FBI and every other organization in the world) seem to have a life of their own.

secondly, I haven't noticed anyone praising Obama for carrying through with it except Mitt Romney.

#22 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

The silence on this subject is deafening.

#23 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

And they both should be called out.

The excuses and the silence based on the party in power is sickening and unfortunately it will eventually come back to haunt all of us.


I agree, but on every issue not just the ones where we cherry pick the subject matter.

Joker, why do you post a lot of articles bashing obama? Do you have a secret man crush on him?

I am not defending Obama here he should be criticized. I am just merely pointing out the fact that happens on both sides, but there is only outrage for Obama. Oh it is cyclical, who ever the president is gets our outrage. Now it makes sense.

#24 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 06:53 PM

Oh and there is no outrage?

Not sure this is the outrage you are looking for, but may be the RIGHT should jump on this issue and show the hypocrisy of his words and actions.

http://www.philly.co...ey-does-it.html

I think MSNBC does call out Obama here...
http://www.buzzfeed....e-drone-program

#25 PeaceFrog

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:33 PM

This is the echochamber, and here we are talking about it... how does anyone figure it's being ignored? We wouldn't be talking about it, and it wouldn't be in the news if it was being ignored.

#26 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

I think Joker dislikes Obama, and likes to point out all of his short coming the legions of followers who blindly follow him.

But I do not think anyone here blindly follows him, and we all call him out too when appropriate.

#27 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

What is being done now and what is being said is nothing compared to what would be happening if a Republican was in office pulling the exact same shit.

#28 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 07:55 PM

That's funny. I haven't seen more than a few of us call out the policies of this administration on this board. You're currently defending them by saying Joker shouldn't bother to point out the hypocracy. It's on both sides afterall. So just bash some moonbat republican social conservative and lets talk some other shit. But these things Obama is doing aren't worth pointing out. Which I agree with. But not because they shouldn't be pointed out. Instead, because nobody gives a shit. Especially an Obama supporter.

#29 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

What is being done now and what is being said is nothing compared to what would be happening if a Republican was in office pulling the exact same shit.


I disagree, but this was only published 24 hours ago and is a new story. And MSNBC called OBAMA out and used his own quotes against him in the link I posted so why not address this as MSNBC calling him out.

If in a week from now there is not a bit of outrage or some serious questions, than may be you are right.

But I trust in the media to do the right thing.

#30 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

That's funny. I haven't seen more than a few of us call out the policies of this administration on this board. You're currently defending them by saying Joker shouldn't bother to point out the hypocracy. It's on both sides afterall. So just bash some moonbat republican social conservative and lets talk some other shit. But these things Obama is doing aren't worth pointing out. Which I agree with. But not because they shouldn't be pointed out. Instead, because nobody gives a shit. Especially an Obama supporter.


I am not defending Obama. I am asking questions, none of which has been addressed, except to take shots at me for doing something I am not. But that is ok, I am getting used to it.

I made a point that both sides do not call out their own. That is just showing that there are hypocrisies on both sides.

Please tell me how is that defending Obama?

#31 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:11 PM

That's just it, those who helped put him into office aren't going to stand up and hold him accountable like they would someone who they didn't vote for. Especially not when they can use the old "well their side did it too" argument to justify the wrongdoing of their guy.

#32 PeaceFrog

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:14 PM

wow... joke is wrong again.

you should just step aside and let the adults discuss it.

#33 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

That's just it, those who helped put him into office aren't going to stand up and hold him accountable like they would someone who they didn't vote for. Especially not when they can use the old "well their side did it too" argument to justify the wrongdoing of their guy.


I am not using or justifying the ""well their side did it too" argument". I am saying it is the way it is, why the out rage now?

#34 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

Please tell me how is that defending Obama?

Did you vote for him?

That's just it, those who helped put him into office aren't going to stand up and hold him accountable like they would someone who they didn't vote for. Especially not when they can use the old "well their side did it too" argument to justify the wrongdoing of their guy.

There are a million and two excuses for why supporters will not hold their choice accountable. But this is dead accurate otherwise adn is the part I find the most disgusting. It also says to me that we're not electing representatives to make good choices. We're deeply seeded in a game of two team football.

#35 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

From back in May, this type of shit has been going on for years now yet it pretty much gets swept under the rug.



Naming Those Killed in US Drone Strikes



When drone strikes kill people, rarely do news media bother to name those dead from the attack if they are not alleged by some official to be an al Qaeda leader. The others who are killed in addition to the al Qaeda leader that is believed to be dead are reported as “militants.” Any more information than that is unlikely.

For example, CNN reported yesterday “eight militants in southern Yemen” were killed in a US drone strike. On May 5, the Associated Press reported a US drone strike killed “up to nine suspected militants,” when a “volley” of missiles were fired into a house near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Reuters reported on April 29 that a US drone strike killed “four suspected militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border.” The strike hit an “abandoned girls’ high school” that was believed to be in use by the “militants.”

In all three reports, there are no specifics on who was killed exactly. One report says the “militants” were part of the Ansar al-Sharia network, a group that the US government considers to be an affiliate of al Qaeda. The other reports do not even claim any leaders of al Qaeda were killed. Unlike the recent drone strike that killed Fahd al-Quso in Yemen, who was on the FBI’s most wanted list for his involvement in the USS Cole bombing, there are no senior operatives in al Qaeda named. (Quso’s nephew Fahed Salem al-Akdam was killed too.)

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), based in the United Kingdom, has made it a priority to keep track of those killed by the US covert drone program. They have valiantly worked to put a name to each individual that is killed, especially those that are not reported dead by the media. They have managed to put forward an estimate on the total of civilians killed that is close to the CIA’s own estimate. And, they have, as TBIJ’s Chris Woods writes today, irked the US intelligence community by shining a light on civilians reportedly killed in drone attacks.

As Woods notes:



…the US intelligence community has aggressively sought to attack our findings. Our media partners have been leaned on. The CIA claimed that we were getting our information from a ‘Pakistani spy’ (a barrister representing drone strike victims). And when we definitively showed, with the Sunday Times, that the CIA had been bombing rescuers and funeral-goers, it was suggested that we were ‘helping al Qaeda.’…


John Hanrahan for Nieman Watchdog covered how the New York Times enables US officials, who wish to smear outfits like the Bureau that bring out the truth around the US drone program. Journalist Scott Shane thinks anonymous quotes are necessary to provide ”‘some voice from the other side’ — that is, the government — in articles reporting allegations of civilian deaths.” Hanrahan appropriately qualifies this suggestion by explaining, the problem with the “US government as the anonymous ‘voice from the other side,’ is that the real unrepresented ‘voice from the other side’ in the mainstream news media is that of the civilian victims. Their voices and names seldom appear in the mainstream media.”

The Obama administration, Woods finds, is seeking to redefine the definition of “civilian.” This is inevitable, given the fact that the administration is redefining “due process” too.

In June 2011, counterterrorism chief John Brennan claimed that no civilians had been killed by US drones. George Stephanopoulos, host of “This Week” on ABC, pressed Brennan recently on the idea that no single civilian had been killed. He replied, “What I said was that over a period of time before my public remarks that we had no information about a single civilian, a noncombatant being killed.”

The language can be explained by highlighting the reality that those supportive of the drone program in the Obama administration see people in countries like Pakisan, Somalia or Yemen, which are constantly experiencing strikes, as combatants or non-combatants. Any non-combatants, who are associating with or are nearby enemy combatants, including family members, are not likely to be considered “innocent” civilians.

Additionally, terrorists or civilians are legal terms that are meaningless. The administration operates under the mendacious theory that the Authorized Use for Military Force (AUMF) gives the US authority to kill any person that may pose a “threat.” The term “civilian” presumes that citizens of Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen have legal rights to not be subject to extrajudicial assassination if the US decides they are a “threat.” The administration has no respect for the due process rights of citizens, which they might have in their country. The administration responds to concerns about sovereignty and civil liberties with the callow remark that citizens can either face “targeted” or “surgical” drone strikes or a full-blown US military occupation. It is the administration’s position that citizens in these foreign countries should be grateful there exists technology that does not make it necessary for the US to have a greater presence in their country.

The US wants people to think only “militants” or enemy combatants like Quso are killed. They don’t wish to confirm to news media that others, who are not al Qaeda, are killed. The continuation of the drone program depends on people believing drones do not kill a large number of innocent civilians and can efficiently kill members of al Qaeda and its affiliates. This is why the Bureau estimates “between 170 and 500″ civilians killed have yet to be identified.

It is why, until activists in the US pushed back, the State Department intended to block Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who had sued the US government for drone strikes in Pakistan, from entering the US to attend an international Drone Summit in Washington, DC. He has represented drone victims in Pakistan and sought to name them, share with the world who they are and force the world to not ignore their deaths.

Akbar recently submitted constitutional petitions to the High Court in Peshawar, Pakistan, on behalf of drone victims and sued the Pakistan government. The petitions relate to an attack that occurred on March 17, 2011, and killed Malik Daud Khan, head of the Tribal Jirga [assembly] in North Waziristan. Tribal elders had gathered to resolve a “Chromite mine dispute among two sub tribes.” The dispute had caused a “long feud” and posed a “threat to public peace.” On the day the Jirga met, the CIA targeted the tribal leaders and killed fifty people.

Son of Malik Daud Khan, Noor Khan, filed one petition, calling on the Pakistan government to end its failure to protect the Pakistani people from drone attacks. A second petition was filed on behalf of the forty-nine other victims. The second petition names some of the victims.

The names and descriptions of those killed definitely cuts through the narrative that the US likes to promote:



Din Mohammad aged 25 approx. hailed from Manzar Khel, North Waziristan Agency and was a driver by profession and was also dealing in sale and purchase of chromite. On March 17th 2011, he was in attendance at the Jirga and was killed at the spot by the drone strike. He was buried according to Islamic and Pashtun rituals at his ancestral graveyard. He has left two widows and two small children…
Khanay Khan resident of Miramshah, North Waziristan Agency, aged 40 years approx. was participating at the Jirga as representative of his people. He was the sole bread earner of his family as well. On March 17th 2011, he was in attendance at the Jirga and was killed at spot by the drone strike. His body in pieces was brought back to Miramshah by his sons and buried there…
Mohammad Noor aged 27 resident of Khar Tangi, North Waziristan Agency was in attendance at the Jirga on March 17th 2011 along with his slain Uncle Gull Mohammad and Cousin Mohammad Ismail when around 1100 hrs US operated drone struck the Jirga with hellfire missiles killing dozens at the spot including his Uncle and Cousin. Mohammad Noor was severally injured. His lower body was damaged scarring his legs for life. He was hospitalized and both of his legs were fractured and doctors had to insert a metal rod to act as bones in his legs to enable him to stand and walk with clutches….

Not naming the dead reinforces the unethical, illegal and inhumane aspects of the US drone program. It is no surprise that news outlets in the US rarely publish accounts on the victims. However, it must be noted that, especially in Pakistan, even if one wanted to go report on who was killed, those who run to rescue victims can easily become targets. The CIA and Pakistani military also cordon the area around Waziristan making it impossible for journalists to get in and document those killed and what was damaged in the attacks.

The US cannot have journalists going into areas to do reporting that brings transparency to the nature of the program. This is why President Obama ordered former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh to not pardon and release Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye from prison. Shaye was effective at covering the aftermath of drone attacks. He interviewed victims in the al-Majalah massacre and helped human rights groups uncover the fact that the bombs were not from Yemen but rather the US.

It is also why Tariq Aziz likely became a target. Aziz was 16-years-old. He wanted to photograph drone victims to raise awareness. The UK-based human rights group Reprieve decided to provide cameras to children in Pakistan. He attended a drone conference in October 27, 2011, in Islamabad. He received some training that he could use to cover and report on drone strikes. Days later, he was targeted and killed in a drone strike while driving his mother to the hospital in Waziristan.

*Here is part of Shahzad Akbar’s presentation, which he gave at the Drone Summit. He talks about Aziz and other victims of drone strikes in Pakistan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWVdBvYyQ-k&feature=player_embedded

#36 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

No one cares.

#37 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

Please tell me how is that defending Obama?

Did you vote for him?


Doesn't mean I support him on this issue.

Did you vote at all? How is this even relevant to this discussion?

That's just it, those who helped put him into office aren't going to stand up and hold him accountable like they would someone who they didn't vote for. Especially not when they can use the old "well their side did it too" argument to justify the wrongdoing of their guy.

There are a million and two excuses for why supporters will not hold their choice accountable. But this is dead accurate otherwise adn is the part I find the most disgusting. It also says to me that we're not electing representatives to make good choices. We're deeply seeded in a game of two team football.


Yes. something like Cowboys/New Orleans versus Giants/Patriots?

#38 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

From back in May, this type of shit has been going on for years now yet it pretty much gets swept under the rug.



Naming Those Killed in US Drone Strikes



When drone strikes kill people, rarely do news media bother to name those dead from the attack if they are not alleged by some official to be an al Qaeda leader. The others who are killed in addition to the al Qaeda leader that is believed to be dead are reported as “militants.” Any more information than that is unlikely.

For example, CNN reported yesterday “eight militants in southern Yemen” were killed in a US drone strike. On May 5, the Associated Press reported a US drone strike killed “up to nine suspected militants,” when a “volley” of missiles were fired into a house near Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. Reuters reported on April 29 that a US drone strike killed “four suspected militants in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border.” The strike hit an “abandoned girls’ high school” that was believed to be in use by the “militants.”

In all three reports, there are no specifics on who was killed exactly. One report says the “militants” were part of the Ansar al-Sharia network, a group that the US government considers to be an affiliate of al Qaeda. The other reports do not even claim any leaders of al Qaeda were killed. Unlike the recent drone strike that killed Fahd al-Quso in Yemen, who was on the FBI’s most wanted list for his involvement in the USS Cole bombing, there are no senior operatives in al Qaeda named. (Quso’s nephew Fahed Salem al-Akdam was killed too.)

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), based in the United Kingdom, has made it a priority to keep track of those killed by the US covert drone program. They have valiantly worked to put a name to each individual that is killed, especially those that are not reported dead by the media. They have managed to put forward an estimate on the total of civilians killed that is close to the CIA’s own estimate. And, they have, as TBIJ’s Chris Woods writes today, irked the US intelligence community by shining a light on civilians reportedly killed in drone attacks.

As Woods notes:



…the US intelligence community has aggressively sought to attack our findings. Our media partners have been leaned on. The CIA claimed that we were getting our information from a ‘Pakistani spy’ (a barrister representing drone strike victims). And when we definitively showed, with the Sunday Times, that the CIA had been bombing rescuers and funeral-goers, it was suggested that we were ‘helping al Qaeda.’…


John Hanrahan for Nieman Watchdog covered how the New York Times enables US officials, who wish to smear outfits like the Bureau that bring out the truth around the US drone program. Journalist Scott Shane thinks anonymous quotes are necessary to provide ”‘some voice from the other side’ — that is, the government — in articles reporting allegations of civilian deaths.” Hanrahan appropriately qualifies this suggestion by explaining, the problem with the “US government as the anonymous ‘voice from the other side,’ is that the real unrepresented ‘voice from the other side’ in the mainstream news media is that of the civilian victims. Their voices and names seldom appear in the mainstream media.”

The Obama administration, Woods finds, is seeking to redefine the definition of “civilian.” This is inevitable, given the fact that the administration is redefining “due process” too.

In June 2011, counterterrorism chief John Brennan claimed that no civilians had been killed by US drones. George Stephanopoulos, host of “This Week” on ABC, pressed Brennan recently on the idea that no single civilian had been killed. He replied, “What I said was that over a period of time before my public remarks that we had no information about a single civilian, a noncombatant being killed.”

The language can be explained by highlighting the reality that those supportive of the drone program in the Obama administration see people in countries like Pakisan, Somalia or Yemen, which are constantly experiencing strikes, as combatants or non-combatants. Any non-combatants, who are associating with or are nearby enemy combatants, including family members, are not likely to be considered “innocent” civilians.

Additionally, terrorists or civilians are legal terms that are meaningless. The administration operates under the mendacious theory that the Authorized Use for Military Force (AUMF) gives the US authority to kill any person that may pose a “threat.” The term “civilian” presumes that citizens of Pakistan, Somalia or Yemen have legal rights to not be subject to extrajudicial assassination if the US decides they are a “threat.” The administration has no respect for the due process rights of citizens, which they might have in their country. The administration responds to concerns about sovereignty and civil liberties with the callow remark that citizens can either face “targeted” or “surgical” drone strikes or a full-blown US military occupation. It is the administration’s position that citizens in these foreign countries should be grateful there exists technology that does not make it necessary for the US to have a greater presence in their country.

The US wants people to think only “militants” or enemy combatants like Quso are killed. They don’t wish to confirm to news media that others, who are not al Qaeda, are killed. The continuation of the drone program depends on people believing drones do not kill a large number of innocent civilians and can efficiently kill members of al Qaeda and its affiliates. This is why the Bureau estimates “between 170 and 500″ civilians killed have yet to be identified.

It is why, until activists in the US pushed back, the State Department intended to block Pakistani lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who had sued the US government for drone strikes in Pakistan, from entering the US to attend an international Drone Summit in Washington, DC. He has represented drone victims in Pakistan and sought to name them, share with the world who they are and force the world to not ignore their deaths.

Akbar recently submitted constitutional petitions to the High Court in Peshawar, Pakistan, on behalf of drone victims and sued the Pakistan government. The petitions relate to an attack that occurred on March 17, 2011, and killed Malik Daud Khan, head of the Tribal Jirga [assembly] in North Waziristan. Tribal elders had gathered to resolve a “Chromite mine dispute among two sub tribes.” The dispute had caused a “long feud” and posed a “threat to public peace.” On the day the Jirga met, the CIA targeted the tribal leaders and killed fifty people.

Son of Malik Daud Khan, Noor Khan, filed one petition, calling on the Pakistan government to end its failure to protect the Pakistani people from drone attacks. A second petition was filed on behalf of the forty-nine other victims. The second petition names some of the victims.

The names and descriptions of those killed definitely cuts through the narrative that the US likes to promote:



Din Mohammad aged 25 approx. hailed from Manzar Khel, North Waziristan Agency and was a driver by profession and was also dealing in sale and purchase of chromite. On March 17th 2011, he was in attendance at the Jirga and was killed at the spot by the drone strike. He was buried according to Islamic and Pashtun rituals at his ancestral graveyard. He has left two widows and two small children…
Khanay Khan resident of Miramshah, North Waziristan Agency, aged 40 years approx. was participating at the Jirga as representative of his people. He was the sole bread earner of his family as well. On March 17th 2011, he was in attendance at the Jirga and was killed at spot by the drone strike. His body in pieces was brought back to Miramshah by his sons and buried there…
Mohammad Noor aged 27 resident of Khar Tangi, North Waziristan Agency was in attendance at the Jirga on March 17th 2011 along with his slain Uncle Gull Mohammad and Cousin Mohammad Ismail when around 1100 hrs US operated drone struck the Jirga with hellfire missiles killing dozens at the spot including his Uncle and Cousin. Mohammad Noor was severally injured. His lower body was damaged scarring his legs for life. He was hospitalized and both of his legs were fractured and doctors had to insert a metal rod to act as bones in his legs to enable him to stand and walk with clutches….

Not naming the dead reinforces the unethical, illegal and inhumane aspects of the US drone program. It is no surprise that news outlets in the US rarely publish accounts on the victims. However, it must be noted that, especially in Pakistan, even if one wanted to go report on who was killed, those who run to rescue victims can easily become targets. The CIA and Pakistani military also cordon the area around Waziristan making it impossible for journalists to get in and document those killed and what was damaged in the attacks.

The US cannot have journalists going into areas to do reporting that brings transparency to the nature of the program. This is why President Obama ordered former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh to not pardon and release Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye from prison. Shaye was effective at covering the aftermath of drone attacks. He interviewed victims in the al-Majalah massacre and helped human rights groups uncover the fact that the bombs were not from Yemen but rather the US.

It is also why Tariq Aziz likely became a target. Aziz was 16-years-old. He wanted to photograph drone victims to raise awareness. The UK-based human rights group Reprieve decided to provide cameras to children in Pakistan. He attended a drone conference in October 27, 2011, in Islamabad. He received some training that he could use to cover and report on drone strikes. Days later, he was targeted and killed in a drone strike while driving his mother to the hospital in Waziristan.

*Here is part of Shahzad Akbar’s presentation, which he gave at the Drone Summit. He talks about Aziz and other victims of drone strikes in Pakistan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWVdBvYyQ-k&feature=player_embedded


Again the story I posted from MSNBC quotes the number of people killed using this during each year of the Obama presidency dating back to 2009. I think this is calling him out.

Oh because Rachel Maddow did not talk about it, no one is talking about it?

#39 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:37 PM

It's relevant because if you voted for him, you helped seat him. Whether or not you supported "this issue", still means if you wont hold him accountable, those of us who didn't vote for him, will hold YOU accountable. See how that works?

#40 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:38 PM

No one cares.

Some of us do and I'll continue to preach to the choir in the hopes it might wake up others

#41 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:39 PM

Waste of time. Although i do enjoy a decent parley.

#42 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:42 PM

It's relevant because if you voted for him, you helped seat him. Whether or not you supported "this issue", still means if you wont hold him accountable, those of us who didn't vote for him, will hold YOU accountable. See how that works?


Oh and George Carlin was a comedian. He used what was funny. I know I saw him on his tour when he was trying new material out for HBO shows. The show I saw was very poor and little laughs were had.

That bit about him not voting was a good bit. It was funny.

The logic is not relevant, that was the point of his comedy.

Why do we take a shit? When we really want to leave it. (or how ever that joke went)

See how that works?

#43 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

Excellent obfuscating. OUtstanding, really.

#44 Joker

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

Again the story I posted from MSNBC quotes the number of people killed using this during each year of the Obama presidency dating back to 2009. I think this is calling him out.

Oh because Rachel Maddow did not talk about it, no one is talking about it?


This has been going on for YEARS. Where were the call outs before the election when they might have actually made a difference? Why not call him out back then and stay on him about it until he was forced to do the right thing?

Prolly because he was their guy and they weren't going to bad mouth him when it could have meant him not getting elected again...prolly. GO TEAM

#45 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

YES WE CAN!!!!!

#46 Tim the Beek

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:52 PM

Posted Image

Retread from another thread, but I can't help it...

#47 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

I'd love to see the Obama supporters come on in here and reject these assassination policies. And truly care like they did when Bush was getting us into a war with Iraq. But i know damned well it will never happen. The same way as Bush supporters silently went along with the war in Iraq as needed.

#48 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

This has been going on for YEARS. Where were the call outs before the election when they might have actually made a difference? Why not call him out back then and stay on him about it until he was forced to do the right thing?

Prolly because he was their guy and they weren't going to bad mouth him when it could have meant him not getting elected again...prolly. GO TEAM


I agree, but why didn't the Right or Romney make it an issue? May be because they knew the saving a soldier's life during the election is paramount, and this was easier to attack when a soldier's life is not as important, when getting elected is not as issue. That is what I think. Awful that this is the way politics works.

#49 concert andy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

I'd love to see the Obama supporters come on in here and reject these assassination policies. And truly care like they did when Bush was getting us into a war with Iraq. But i know damned well it will never happen. The same way as Bush supporters silently went along with the war in Iraq as needed.


Stop hyjacking this thread and make a thread about it playa, and lay out what issues coherently.

I took the test on the subject. I was 80% on Obama, 92% on Gary, but I knew he could not win. Rather have a guy win 80% agreement than a 37% agreement for which I was for Romney. Basic math.

#50 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

You actually believed that test was some sort of indicator?