Saturday, April 25, 2015

Obama-Authorized Murder by Drones

Obama-Authorized Murder by Drones

by Stephen Lendman

Obama-authorized drone killings are cold-blooded murder by any standard - mostly affecting noncombatant civilians, innocent men, women and children in harm's way.

Former Obama White House press secretary Jay Carney lied calling drone strikes "precise, lawful and effective."

They're indiscriminate and lawless. They accomplish no geopolitical objectives. They arouse great public anger in targeted countries.

Days earlier, a drone strike killed a US and Italian hostage. A disingenuous White House press secretary statement said:

"It is with tremendous sorrow that we recently concluded that a US government counterterrorism operation in January killed two innocent hostages held by Al-Qaeda since 2011."

Obama's dishonest apology to surviving family members rang hollow. He lied saying "(b)ased on the intelligence that we had obtained at the time…we believed that this was an Al Qaeda compound, that no civilians were present…"

"Before any strike is taken, there must be near- certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured - the highest standard we can set."

Truth is polar opposite. More on this below.

The White House announced an investigation into the incident. Expect whitewash to follow.

Drone killings have nothing to do with counterterrorism. America's so-called war on terror is phony.

It's waged to advance Washington's imperium - through endless direct and proxy wars, including cold-blooded murder by drones.

US development expert Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto are two of thousands of US victims - murdered by American ruthlessness.

Drones are instruments of state terror. Claims about only targeting terrorists are Big Lies. So is saying using them makes America safer.

A 2012 Stanford/New York University study estimates only 2% of drone victims are so-called high-value targets. Evidence shows drone strikes facilitate anti-American recruitment.

The study said "US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury."

"Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan (and other targeted countries), striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning."

"Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities."

"Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior."

Targeted areas are struck multiple times in quick succession - a practice called "double tap."

Family members, friends and bystanders arriving to help victims are themselves murdered or maimed by drone attacks.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates over 4,400 innocent civilians murdered by US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen alone since 2004 - besides many more in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and other US war theaters.

Dozens of Western civilians have been killed, including at least 10 Americans.

Britain's Reprieve human rights group estimates 28 noncombatants are killed to eliminate one so-called terrorist.

Reprieve's Jennifer Gibson said "(d)rone strikes have been sold to the American public on the claim that they’re ‘precise."

"But they are only as precise as the intelligence that feeds them. There is nothing precise about intelligence that results in the deaths of 28 unknown people, including women and children, for every (so-called real or invented) ‘bad guy’ the US goes after."

John Kerry lied earlier claiming "(t)he only people we fire a drone at are confirmed terrorist targets at the highest level, after a great deal of vetting that takes a long period of time."

"We don’t just fire a drone at somebody and think they’re a terrorist."

It bears repeating. Drone strikes are indiscriminate, lawless, cold-blooded murder. The overwhelming number of victims are noncombatant civilian men, women and children.

They're not so-called terrorists by any standard. Claiming otherwise is one of many Big Lies told to justify US ruthlessness.

In Yemen alone, US drone wars raged since 2002. Hundreds of Yemeni civilians perished. Obama killed many more noncombatants by drones than George Bush - with months left in his tenure to murder many more.

Reprieve's Jennifer Gibson was blunt saying "Obama needs to be straight with the American people about the human cost of this program."

"(H)is claims that this is a precise program look like nonsense, and the risk that it is in fact making us less safe looks all too real."

RAND Corporation senior fellow Seth Jones says "no major terrorist organization in the world…has (ever) been defeated by drones."

It bears repeating. They're instruments of state terror. They're used to commit cold-blooded murder - harming innocent civilians most.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

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