anticapitalist
laliberty:

Giant Portrait Shows Drone Operators That People Aren’t “Bug Splats”

From where a drone operator’s sitting, one blurry blob of pixels looks almost exactly like the next blurry blob of pixels, which is how the term “bug splat” worked its way into modern military slang as a way of referring to a kill. Now, though, a giant art installation in Pakistan wants to show drone operators that its people are anything but anonymous white blobs—and that that “bug splat” belongs to an actual human being.

laliberty:

Giant Portrait Shows Drone Operators That People Aren’t “Bug Splats”

From where a drone operator’s sitting, one blurry blob of pixels looks almost exactly like the next blurry blob of pixels, which is how the term “bug splat” worked its way into modern military slang as a way of referring to a kill. Now, though, a giant art installation in Pakistan wants to show drone operators that its people are anything but anonymous white blobs—and that that “bug splat” belongs to an actual human being.

U.S. boycotts talks on Pakistan drone strike resolutionMarch 20, 2014
Pakistan is trying to push a resolution through the United Nations Human Rights Council that would trigger greater scrutiny of whether U.S. drone strikes violate international human rights law. Washington, though, doesn’t want to talk about it.
The Pakistani draft, which was obtained by Foreign Policy, urges states to “ensure transparency” in record-keeping on drone strikes and to “conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.” It also calls for the convening of “an interactive panel discussion” on the use of drones.
The Geneva-based human rights council held its third round of discussions about the draft on Wednesday, but the Obama administration boycotted the talks.
The White House decision to sit out the negotiations is a departure from the collaborative approach the administration promised to take when it first announced plans to join the Human Rights Council in March 2009.
The Bush administration had refused to join the body out of concern that repressive states might exercise undue influence over the council and that it would focus disproportionate attention on Israel. The Obama administration, by contrast, argued it was better to reshape an imperfect organization from within than to complain about its failings from afar.
"Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy," then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement at the time. “With others, we will engage in the work of improving the U.N. human rights system…. We believe every nation must live by and help shape global rules that ensure people enjoy the right to live freely and participate fully in their societies.”
Rhetoric aside, though, the Obama administration has largely refused to supply U.N. experts with details about the classified U.S. drone program, which has killed hundreds of suspected militants in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries over the past decade. Independent investigators say the strikes have also killed thousands of civilians, including large numbers of women and children, a charge the White House — without providing evidence to the contrary — denies.
Ben Emmerson, the U.N.’s current special rapporteur for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, has urged the United States to provide more basic information on the U.S. program, including its own list of civilian casualties. “The single greatest obstacle to an evaluation of the civilian impact of drone strikes is lack of transparency, which makes it extremely difficult to assess claims of precision targeting objectively,” he said.
Those demands are nothing new. Micah Zenko, an FP columnist and expert on drones at the Council on Foreign Relations, recalled in a recentpiece that U.N. human rights investigators have been raising concerns about the U.S. targeted killing program since Nov. 15, 2002, just 12 days after the first confirmed American strike.
Asma Jahangir, then the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, asked the United States and Yemen for information the Nov. 3, 2002, missile strike, which killed Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi and five suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen. She also expressed concern that “an alarming precedent might have been set for extrajudicial execution by consent of government.” The United States declined to comment on the specific allegations, but it challenged any suggestion that “military operations against enemy combatants could be regarded as ‘extrajudicial executions by consent of governments.’”
It remains unclear what Washington will do when the Pakistani resolution is put forward for consideration next week.
Most resolutions in the Human Rights Council are adopted by consensus, but the United States has the option of forcing a vote on the resolution.But a State Department official made it clear that the United States would not support the resolution. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that the United States has in the past “regularly participated in negotiations on resolutions dealing with the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism. But this particular resolution deals solely with the use of remotely piloted aircraft.”
Full article

U.S. boycotts talks on Pakistan drone strike resolution
March 20, 2014

Pakistan is trying to push a resolution through the United Nations Human Rights Council that would trigger greater scrutiny of whether U.S. drone strikes violate international human rights law. Washington, though, doesn’t want to talk about it.

The Pakistani draft, which was obtained by Foreign Policy, urges states to “ensure transparency” in record-keeping on drone strikes and to “conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.” It also calls for the convening of “an interactive panel discussion” on the use of drones.

The Geneva-based human rights council held its third round of discussions about the draft on Wednesday, but the Obama administration boycotted the talks.

The White House decision to sit out the negotiations is a departure from the collaborative approach the administration promised to take when it first announced plans to join the Human Rights Council in March 2009.

The Bush administration had refused to join the body out of concern that repressive states might exercise undue influence over the council and that it would focus disproportionate attention on Israel. The Obama administration, by contrast, argued it was better to reshape an imperfect organization from within than to complain about its failings from afar.

"Human rights are an essential element of American global foreign policy," then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement at the time. “With others, we will engage in the work of improving the U.N. human rights system…. We believe every nation must live by and help shape global rules that ensure people enjoy the right to live freely and participate fully in their societies.”

Rhetoric aside, though, the Obama administration has largely refused to supply U.N. experts with details about the classified U.S. drone program, which has killed hundreds of suspected militants in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries over the past decade. Independent investigators say the strikes have also killed thousands of civilians, including large numbers of women and children, a charge the White House — without providing evidence to the contrary — denies.

Ben Emmerson, the U.N.’s current special rapporteur for the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, has urged the United States to provide more basic information on the U.S. program, including its own list of civilian casualties. “The single greatest obstacle to an evaluation of the civilian impact of drone strikes is lack of transparency, which makes it extremely difficult to assess claims of precision targeting objectively,” he said.

Those demands are nothing new. Micah Zenko, an FP columnist and expert on drones at the Council on Foreign Relations, recalled in a recentpiece that U.N. human rights investigators have been raising concerns about the U.S. targeted killing program since Nov. 15, 2002, just 12 days after the first confirmed American strike.

Asma Jahangir, then the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, asked the United States and Yemen for information the Nov. 3, 2002, missile strike, which killed Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi and five suspected al Qaeda militants in Yemen. She also expressed concern that “an alarming precedent might have been set for extrajudicial execution by consent of government.” The United States declined to comment on the specific allegations, but it challenged any suggestion that “military operations against enemy combatants could be regarded as ‘extrajudicial executions by consent of governments.’”

It remains unclear what Washington will do when the Pakistani resolution is put forward for consideration next week.

Most resolutions in the Human Rights Council are adopted by consensus, but the United States has the option of forcing a vote on the resolution.But a State Department official made it clear that the United States would not support the resolution. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that the United States has in the past “regularly participated in negotiations on resolutions dealing with the need to protect human rights while countering terrorism. But this particular resolution deals solely with the use of remotely piloted aircraft.”

Full article

More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years
January 23, 2014

Five years ago, on January 23 2009, a CIA drone flattened a house in Pakistan’s tribal regions. It was the third day of Barack Obama’s presidency, and this was the new commander-in-chief’s first covert drone strike.

Initial reports said up to ten militants were killed, including foreign fighters and possibly a ‘high-value target’ – a successful first hit for the fledgling administration.

But reports of civilian casualties began to emerge. As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. At least nine civilians died, most of them from one family. There was one survivor, 14-year-old Fahim Qureshi, but with horrific injuries including shrapnel wounds in his stomach, a fractured skull and a lost eye, he was as much a victim as his dead relatives.

Later that day, the CIA attacked again – and levelled another house. It proved another mistake, this time one that killed between five and ten people, all civilians.

Obama was briefed on the civilian casualties almost immediately and was ‘understandably disturbed’, Newsweek reporter Daniel Klaidman later wrote. Three days earlier, in his inauguration address, Obama had told the world ‘that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.’

The Pakistani government also knew civilians had been killed in the strikes. A record of the strikes made by the local political administration and published by the Bureau last year listed nine civilians among the dead. But the government said nothing about this loss of life.

Yet despite this disastrous start the Obama administration markedly stepped up the use of drones. Since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, the CIA has launched 330 strikes on Pakistan – his predecessor, President George Bush, conducted 51 strikes in four years. And in Yemen, Obama has opened a new front in the secret drone war.

Lethal strikes
Across Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Obama administration has launched more than 390 drone strikes in the five years since the first attack that injured Qureshi – eight times as many as were launched in the entire Bush presidency. These strikes have killed more than 2,400 people, at least 273 of them reportedly civilians.

Although drone strikes under Obama’s presidency have killed nearly six times as many people as were killed under Bush, the casualty rate – the number of people killed on average in each strike – has dropped from eight to six under Obama. The civilian casualty rate has fallen too. Strikes during the Bush years killed nearly more than three civilians in each strike on average. This has halved under Obama (1.43 civilians per strike on average). In fact reported civilian casualties in Pakistan have fallen sharply since 2010, with no confirmed reports of civilian casualties in 2013.

The decline in civilian casualties could be because of reported improvements in drone and missile technology, rising tensions between Pakistan and the US over the drone campaign, and greater scrutiny of the covert drone campaign both at home and abroad.

The apparent change in targeting  is well demonstrated by comparing a strike carried out by the Bush administration in 2006 and one seven years later under Obama. On October 30 2006 at least 68 children were killed when CIA drones destroyed a madrassa – a religious school – in the Bajaur area of Pakistan’s tribal belt. The attack was reportedly targeting then-al Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al Zawahiri. He escaped. On November 21 last year, drones again targeted a madrassa, this time in Hangu, outside the tribal regions. As many as 80 students were sleeping in the building. But the strike destroyed a specific portion of the building – just one or two rooms – and killed between six and nine people.

In Yemen, however, civilians continue to die in US drone strikes. Last year saw the highest civilian casualty rate since Obama first hit the country in 2009.

Drones were not the first weapon the administration turned to when it started to attack the country. On December 17 2009 a US Navy submarine launched a cluster bomb-laden cruise missile at a suspected militant camp in al Majala, southern Yemen.

The missile slammed into a hamlet hitting one of the poorest tribes in Yemen. Shrapnel and fire left at least 41 civilians dead, including at least 21 children and 12 women – five of them were pregnant. A week earlier President Obama had been awardedthe Nobel Peace Prize. He used his acceptance speech to defend the use of force at times as ‘not only necessary but morally justified’. He warned that ‘negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms’.

Full article

…can we all just talk about this? Where is the outrage?

mylittlerewolution
aljazeeraamerica:

Thousands of drone protesters in Pakistan block NATO supply route

Thousands of people protesting U.S. drone strikes on Saturday blocked a road in northwest Pakistan that is used to move NATO troop supplies and equipment in and out of Afghanistan, the latest sign of rising tension brought on by the U.S. strikes. The U.S. drone program is deeply unpopular in Pakistan and condemned by Islamabad as counter-productive and a violation of sovereignty, although previous governments have given their tacit support to the strikes.
The protest, led by Pakistani politician and former cricket star Imran Khan, had more symbolic value than practical impact as there is normally little NATO supply traffic on the road on Saturdays. The blocked route in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province leads to one of two border crossings used to send supplies overland from Pakistan to neighboring Afghanistan.

Read more
Photo: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

aljazeeraamerica:

Thousands of drone protesters in Pakistan block NATO supply route

Thousands of people protesting U.S. drone strikes on Saturday blocked a road in northwest Pakistan that is used to move NATO troop supplies and equipment in and out of Afghanistan, the latest sign of rising tension brought on by the U.S. strikes. The U.S. drone program is deeply unpopular in Pakistan and condemned by Islamabad as counter-productive and a violation of sovereignty, although previous governments have given their tacit support to the strikes.

The protest, led by Pakistani politician and former cricket star Imran Khan, had more symbolic value than practical impact as there is normally little NATO supply traffic on the road on Saturdays. The blocked route in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province leads to one of two border crossings used to send supplies overland from Pakistan to neighboring Afghanistan.

Read more

Photo: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

Germany recognizes a third gender option for intersex childrenNovember 5, 2013
Germany became the first European country to legally recognize intersex children on November 1. Australia, India, Pakistan and Nepal already have some form of legal recognition of a third gender on legal and official documents.
The new German law, intended to ease the pressure on parents and prevent hasty decisions regarding newborn sex-assignment surgery, allows parents to leave gender blank on birth certificates.
The German Interior Ministry also announced that the law will also create a third designation for gender in German passports; alongside “F” and “M,” Germans will soon be able to choose “X.”
Intersexuality describes a group of conditions where an individual’s chromosomes, genitalia or anatomical sex differs from the generally accepted definitions of male or female.
Each year an estimated 2,000 babies are born intersex, a set of over 60 different conditions that fall under the diagnosis of “DSD” (Differences/Disorders of Sex Development), occurring more often than Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. DSD, however, is not a diagnosis, but an umbrella term used to describe various differences. 
While sex-assignment surgery has been performed on intersex infants in the U.S. since the 1950s, the ethics of the practice (of arbitrarily deciding a sex for a baby, mutilating them and forcing them to perform the corresponding gender) have been questioned in recent years by advocates and some clinical practitioners.
In cases where children are born with mixed or ambiguous markers of biological sex (chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive system, genitalia), current medical authority supports assigning a child a gender but not performing surgery until the child is old enough for gender identity to emerge and the child and guardians can make the appropriate decisions regarding surgery.  This also includes the choice whether to have any surgery at all, since surgery involves the risk of sterilization and elimination of sexual function.
However, sex-assignment surgery on newborns is still practiced in the U.S. and in other parts of the world—many times with potentially devastating physical and psychological effects on the individual. According to several sources, a person with CAH, a type of DSD, will generally have surgery before the age of two; a majority of those born with AIS, another type of DSD, will have undergone a gonadectomy before completing their teens.
Lawsuits have begun to arise, as surgery is increasingly seen as a choice that should be left to the individual once they are old enough to make it. In the case of M.C., for example, the adoptive parents of an intersex child sued the state for consenting to assignment surgery when M.C. was an infant and under custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. In a 2009 case, a German court awarded damages of over 100,000 Euro to an intersex individual, raised as a boy, whose uterus and womb were removed as a teen.
“I think any measure, legal or otherwise, granting a parent of any child more time to carefully consider how best to honor and preserve their child’s emotional and physical health is encouraging,” wrote Jim Bruce, a 36-year-old writer and intersex individual, to ABC News.
However, many activists point out that the German law does not go far enough. According to a 2011 report filed with the European Commission, intersex individuals face unique and especially complex barriers and discrimination in their legal, social and medical lives.
Many point out that this law does not address the most pressing problems faced by the intersex community, namely surgery on infants and discrimination. 
“That we forbid cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns, that is our first demand,” Lucie Veith, leader of the Association of Intersexed People in Germany, said to AFP.
The group, which supports a ban on sex-assignment surgery until the age of 16, said that while the law is a step in the right direction, it is unlikely to put an end to surgery on infants.  
Nelson Jones of New Statesman equates medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery on an infant to the broadly condemned genital mutilation of girls for religious or tribal reasons. 
“Surgical or hormonal treatment for cosmetic, non-medically necessary reasons must be deferred to an age when intersex people are able to provide their own free, prior and fully informed consent,” said Silvan Agius, policy director for ILGA Europe, the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, to Deutsche Welle. “The right to bodily integrity and self-determination should be ensured and past abuses acknowledged.”
Other activists recognize that while it is commendable that Germany is at least attempting to address intersex issues, the result of this new law remains to be seen. 
“Whilst this law may be seen to have been enacted from the best of intentions, it doesn’t really address the deeply embedded medical protocols that shadow many of our lives. It doesn’t change how those are engaged at all, but it does give space for parents to learn,” a UK intersex advocate said to Communities. “On the other side of the coin, this law change lays a platform for having an open and honest debate about what happens to us, and issues of self determination and bodily integrity. It gives a greater urgency for the need to educate parents, and wider society about our existence.”
Source

Germany recognizes a third gender option for intersex children
November 5, 2013

Germany became the first European country to legally recognize intersex children on November 1. Australia, India, Pakistan and Nepal already have some form of legal recognition of a third gender on legal and official documents.

The new German law, intended to ease the pressure on parents and prevent hasty decisions regarding newborn sex-assignment surgery, allows parents to leave gender blank on birth certificates.
The German Interior Ministry also announced that the law will also create a third designation for gender in German passports; alongside “F” and “M,” Germans will soon be able to choose “X.”
Intersexuality describes a group of conditions where an individual’s chromosomes, genitalia or anatomical sex differs from the generally accepted definitions of male or female.
Each year an estimated 2,000 babies are born intersex, a set of over 60 different conditions that fall under the diagnosis of “DSD” (Differences/Disorders of Sex Development), occurring more often than Down syndrome or cystic fibrosis. DSD, however, is not a diagnosis, but an umbrella term used to describe various differences. 
While sex-assignment surgery has been performed on intersex infants in the U.S. since the 1950s, the ethics of the practice (of arbitrarily deciding a sex for a baby, mutilating them and forcing them to perform the corresponding gender) have been questioned in recent years by advocates and some clinical practitioners.
In cases where children are born with mixed or ambiguous markers of biological sex (chromosomes, gonads, internal reproductive system, genitalia), current medical authority supports assigning a child a gender but not performing surgery until the child is old enough for gender identity to emerge and the child and guardians can make the appropriate decisions regarding surgery.  This also includes the choice whether to have any surgery at all, since surgery involves the risk of sterilization and elimination of sexual function.
However, sex-assignment surgery on newborns is still practiced in the U.S. and in other parts of the world—many times with potentially devastating physical and psychological effects on the individual. According to several sources, a person with CAH, a type of DSD, will generally have surgery before the age of two; a majority of those born with AIS, another type of DSD, will have undergone a gonadectomy before completing their teens.
Lawsuits have begun to arise, as surgery is increasingly seen as a choice that should be left to the individual once they are old enough to make it. In the case of M.C., for example, the adoptive parents of an intersex child sued the state for consenting to assignment surgery when M.C. was an infant and under custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services. In a 2009 case, a German court awarded damages of over 100,000 Euro to an intersex individual, raised as a boy, whose uterus and womb were removed as a teen.
“I think any measure, legal or otherwise, granting a parent of any child more time to carefully consider how best to honor and preserve their child’s emotional and physical health is encouraging,” wrote Jim Bruce, a 36-year-old writer and intersex individual, to ABC News.
However, many activists point out that the German law does not go far enough. According to a 2011 report filed with the European Commission, intersex individuals face unique and especially complex barriers and discrimination in their legal, social and medical lives.
Many point out that this law does not address the most pressing problems faced by the intersex community, namely surgery on infants and discrimination. 
“That we forbid cosmetic genital surgeries for newborns, that is our first demand,” Lucie Veith, leader of the Association of Intersexed People in Germany, said to AFP.
The group, which supports a ban on sex-assignment surgery until the age of 16, said that while the law is a step in the right direction, it is unlikely to put an end to surgery on infants.  
Nelson Jones of New Statesman equates medically unnecessary cosmetic surgery on an infant to the broadly condemned genital mutilation of girls for religious or tribal reasons. 
“Surgical or hormonal treatment for cosmetic, non-medically necessary reasons must be deferred to an age when intersex people are able to provide their own free, prior and fully informed consent,” said Silvan Agius, policy director for ILGA Europe, the European chapter of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, to Deutsche Welle. “The right to bodily integrity and self-determination should be ensured and past abuses acknowledged.”
Other activists recognize that while it is commendable that Germany is at least attempting to address intersex issues, the result of this new law remains to be seen. 
“Whilst this law may be seen to have been enacted from the best of intentions, it doesn’t really address the deeply embedded medical protocols that shadow many of our lives. It doesn’t change how those are engaged at all, but it does give space for parents to learn,” a UK intersex advocate said to Communities. “On the other side of the coin, this law change lays a platform for having an open and honest debate about what happens to us, and issues of self determination and bodily integrity. It gives a greater urgency for the need to educate parents, and wider society about our existence.”
(The drone attack) created a disruption in our lives. Our children live in fear. They don’t want to go to school. They don’t want to play outside.

Rafiq Rehman, whose mother was killed in an American drone strike in North Waziristan. Rehman & his two children went before Congress today to demand an end to covert CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia & in other countries.

According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 376 total strikes have taken place in Pakistan, killing up to 926 civilians and as many as 200 children.

Obama has not delivered on May’s promise on transparency on drone strikesAugust 18, 2013
The media estimate that more than  37 people have died in a series of strikes in Yemen. The US government has refused to officially acknowledge the strikes surge or  reports of potentially unlawful deaths – just as it did, for years, refuse to confirm reports of the more than 300 drone strikes in Pakistan. On drones, secrecy is business as usual – and it carries on.
Earlier this summer, however, there was hope for a different way forward. In late May, the White House released more information about US drone strikes than it ever had before. Following a  major address on national security by President Obama, the government pledged to keep sharing “as much information as possible”.
In fact, since May, the White House has not officially released any new information on drone strikes (though leaks still abound). While NSA surveillance has taken center-stage, the government’s policy of secrecy and obfuscation on drones persists, too. Past critics of the drone program – ranging from Senator Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky) to Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) – should take notice. It is time to renew and expand the demand for answers about who is being killed.
Instead of acknowledging the new strikes and describing a coherent policy and legal approach, the government has again chosen to selectively disclose information that raises more questions than it answers. Thus, an unattributed leak to the  New York Times on Monday served up a major policy change in the form of a morsel, with little elaboration, that a recent terrorist threat has “expanded the scope of people we could go after”.
So, the question of whom the  United States believes it can kill in drone strikes remains, as it ever was, full of unknowns. A handful of bullet-points on the government’s  "policy standards" for using lethal force, which the White House released in May concurrently with the president’s national security speech, initially appeared to provide some guidance. But it expressly does not apply in “extraordinary circumstances”, and since the embassy closures of earlier this month could be interpreted as providing such justification, the memorandum may not be relevant to the latest spate of strikes in Yemen.
The White House could clarify this issue; better yet, it could move beyond conveniently malleable policy standards and describe how the government applies existing international law. Instead, the White House has again chosen to operate secretly and under rules of its own creation, which may permit killing individuals under a concept of “imminence” (of threat) that departs radically from all conventional interpretations of the law.
Even more damning is that, in the absence of any commitment to investigating credible allegations of unlawful deaths, the United States appears indifferent to the question of who is actually dying in drone strikes. President Obama admitted in May that four US citizens had been killed, three of whom – including 16-year-old Abdulrahman Aal-Awlaki – he admitted were not intended targets. But the president did not define the identities of the more than 4,000 other people killed, or specifically address reports that a significant number of the dead – in assessments varying between 400 and nearly 1,000, according to the  Bureau of Investigative Journalism – were civilians.
When the president acknowledges four deaths of US citizens, but not 4,000 deaths of non-Americans, he signals to the world a callous and discriminatory disregard for human life. Perhaps only a fraction of these 4,000 deaths were unlawful. But acknowledging and investigating these deaths is a matter of dignity and justice – for the survivors of strikes, their communities and their countrymen.
Full article

Obama has not delivered on May’s promise on transparency on drone strikes
August 18, 2013

The media estimate that more than  37 people have died in a series of strikes in Yemen. The US government has refused to officially acknowledge the strikes surge or  reports of potentially unlawful deaths – just as it did, for years, refuse to confirm reports of the more than 300 drone strikes in Pakistan. On drones, secrecy is business as usual – and it carries on.

Earlier this summer, however, there was hope for a different way forward. In late May, the White House released more information about US drone strikes than it ever had before. Following a  major address on national security by President Obama, the government pledged to keep sharing “as much information as possible”.

In fact, since May, the White House has not officially released any new information on drone strikes (though leaks still abound). While NSA surveillance has taken center-stage, the government’s policy of secrecy and obfuscation on drones persists, too. Past critics of the drone program – ranging from Senator Rand Paul (Republican, Kentucky) to Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat, Oregon) – should take notice. It is time to renew and expand the demand for answers about who is being killed.

Instead of acknowledging the new strikes and describing a coherent policy and legal approach, the government has again chosen to selectively disclose information that raises more questions than it answers. Thus, an unattributed leak to the  New York Times on Monday served up a major policy change in the form of a morsel, with little elaboration, that a recent terrorist threat has “expanded the scope of people we could go after”.

So, the question of whom the  United States believes it can kill in drone strikes remains, as it ever was, full of unknowns. A handful of bullet-points on the government’s  "policy standards" for using lethal force, which the White House released in May concurrently with the president’s national security speech, initially appeared to provide some guidance. But it expressly does not apply in “extraordinary circumstances”, and since the embassy closures of earlier this month could be interpreted as providing such justification, the memorandum may not be relevant to the latest spate of strikes in Yemen.

The White House could clarify this issue; better yet, it could move beyond conveniently malleable policy standards and describe how the government applies existing international law. Instead, the White House has again chosen to operate secretly and under rules of its own creation, which may permit killing individuals under a concept of “imminence” (of threat) that departs radically from all conventional interpretations of the law.

Even more damning is that, in the absence of any commitment to investigating credible allegations of unlawful deaths, the United States appears indifferent to the question of who is actually dying in drone strikes. President Obama admitted in May that four US citizens had been killed, three of whom – including 16-year-old Abdulrahman Aal-Awlaki – he admitted were not intended targets. But the president did not define the identities of the more than 4,000 other people killed, or specifically address reports that a significant number of the dead – in assessments varying between 400 and nearly 1,000, according to the  Bureau of Investigative Journalism – were civilians.

When the president acknowledges four deaths of US citizens, but not 4,000 deaths of non-Americans, he signals to the world a callous and discriminatory disregard for human life. Perhaps only a fraction of these 4,000 deaths were unlawful. But acknowledging and investigating these deaths is a matter of dignity and justice – for the survivors of strikes, their communities and their countrymen.

Full article

US launches first drone strike in Pakistan since electionMay 29, 2013
A U.S. drone strike killed seven people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region on Wednesday, security officials said, the first such attack since a May 11 general election in which the use of the unmanned aircraft was a major issue.
U.S. President Barack Obama recently indicated he was scaling back the drone strike program, winning cautious approval from Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S. fight on militancy.
A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official condemned all such strikes.
"Any drone strike is against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and we condemn it," the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
Pakistani security officials and Pashtun tribesmen in the northwestern region said the drone fired two missiles that struck a mud-built house at Chashma village, 3 km (2 miles) east of Miranshah, the region’s administrative town.
They said seven people were killed and four wounded. It was not immediately clear if the victims were the intended targets.
"Tribesmen started rescue work an hour after the attack and recovered seven bodies," said resident Bashir Dawar. "The bodies were badly damaged and beyond recognition."
North Waziristan is on the Afghan border and has long been a stronghold of militants including Afghan Taliban and their al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban allies.
Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif said this month that drone strikes were a “challenge” to Pakistan’s sovereignty.
"We will sit with our American friends and talk to them about this issue," he said.
Obama’s announcement of scaling back drone strikes was widely welcomed by the people of North Waziristan, where drones armed with missiles have carried out the most strikes against militants over the past seven years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.
The strike also coincided with the first session of the newly elected provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former Northwest Frontier Province.
Former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party won most seats in the assembly and has been very critical of drone strikes in the region.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said last week it appreciated Obama’s acknowledgement that force alone did not work, adding that the root causes of terrorism had to be addressed.

"On the use of drone strikes, the government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that (they) are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law," it said.
SourcePhoto: Demonstrators in Multan
"We are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership [with Pakistan].”- President Obama on May 23, six days before this attack. 
No, the US isn’t rebuilding partnerships. It is building more networks of enemies with every strike that destroys communities, families & lives of many civilians. 

US launches first drone strike in Pakistan since election
May 29, 2013

A U.S. drone strike killed seven people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region on Wednesday, security officials said, the first such attack since a May 11 general election in which the use of the unmanned aircraft was a major issue.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently indicated he was scaling back the drone strike program, winning cautious approval from Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S. fight on militancy.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official condemned all such strikes.

"Any drone strike is against the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan and we condemn it," the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Pakistani security officials and Pashtun tribesmen in the northwestern region said the drone fired two missiles that struck a mud-built house at Chashma village, 3 km (2 miles) east of Miranshah, the region’s administrative town.

They said seven people were killed and four wounded. It was not immediately clear if the victims were the intended targets.

"Tribesmen started rescue work an hour after the attack and recovered seven bodies," said resident Bashir Dawar. "The bodies were badly damaged and beyond recognition."

North Waziristan is on the Afghan border and has long been a stronghold of militants including Afghan Taliban and their al Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban allies.

Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif said this month that drone strikes were a “challenge” to Pakistan’s sovereignty.

"We will sit with our American friends and talk to them about this issue," he said.

Obama’s announcement of scaling back drone strikes was widely welcomed by the people of North Waziristan, where drones armed with missiles have carried out the most strikes against militants over the past seven years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.

The strike also coincided with the first session of the newly elected provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former Northwest Frontier Province.

Former cricketer Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party won most seats in the assembly and has been very critical of drone strikes in the region.

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said last week it appreciated Obama’s acknowledgement that force alone did not work, adding that the root causes of terrorism had to be addressed.

"On the use of drone strikes, the government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that (they) are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, have human rights and humanitarian implications and violate the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law," it said.

Source
Photo: Demonstrators in Multan

"We are just now beginning to rebuild this important partnership [with Pakistan].”- President Obama on May 23, six days before this attack. 

No, the US isn’t rebuilding partnerships. It is building more networks of enemies with every strike that destroys communities, families & lives of many civilians. 

Hundreds of complaints reporting rigging and irregularities in the May 11 Pakistan parliamentary elections confirmed by EU election monitors have Pakistan youth outraged
May 17, 2013

Pakistan’s May 11 parliamentary elections have been hailed by the national and international observers as landmark and historic, but there have also been complaints of rigging and irregularities in the polls. Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party defeated both the former ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and cricket star turned politician Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the polls, and Sharif looks poised to form the new government in Islamabad.

Though the PPP has conceded defeat without any major complaints, Khan’s PTI has accused Sharif and some other parties of rigging the elections. Earlier this week, Michael Gahler, the chief observer of the European Union’s elections observation mission (EOM), confirmed “serious problems in polling.”

On Thursday, May 16, the Pakistani election commission said in a statement that it received 110 complaints about voting irregularities. The commission ordered recounting of votes in nine constituencies in various parts of the country. It also set up 14 election tribunals which will look into the complaints. The tribunals are headed by retired judges and will have the authority to declare the results null and void if rigging complaints are proven to be correct. “The tribunals will be able to address the complaints to an extent only. There will always be people who won’t accept their decisions,” Amir Zia of the daily The News in Karachi told DW. Zia said that there were certain irregularities in the polls but the elections were generally quite free and fair.

Khan’s supporters do not agree. They have launched a campaign against “rigging” on the social media and have also taken to the streets in big cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The PTI supporters are posting evidence in the form of videos and photographs on Facebook and Twitter to highlight what they call massive rigging.

The PTI has particularly criticized the Karachi-based liberal Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for allegedly rigging the elections in several areas of Karachi. The PTI has held several protest rallies against the MQM in Karachi, which has been the MQM stronghold for more than two decades.

Analysts say that the use of social media to report irregularities and express anger against alleged rigging should be seen as a sign of civil society, but it will also be misleading to think that the evolving social media in Pakistan is a mirror to the whole country. “It is a positive sign that in the cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, rigging and mismanagement are reported and highlighted on the social media. But we must keep in mind that the social media in Pakistan is not used by most Pakistanis and is limited to the rich and the urban middle-class youth,” Jahanzaib Haque of the Express Tribune newspaper’s online edition told DW.

Many analysts in Pakistan believe that the perseverance of the Pakistani youth to make their politicians more accountable to the people is commendable and is a proof that democracy in Pakistan is evolving.

Source

Pakistani court declares US drone strikes in the country’s tribal belt illegal

May 13, 2013

A Pakistani court has declared that US drone strikes in the country’s tribal belt are illegal and has directed the government to move a resolution against the attacks in the United Nations.

In what activists said was an historic decision, the Peshawar High Court issued the verdict against the strikes by CIA-operated spy planes in response to four petitions that contended the attacks killed civilians and caused “collateral damage”.

Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan, who headed a two-judge bench that heard the petitions, ruled the drone strikes were illegal, inhumane and a violation of the UN charter onhuman rights. The court said the strikes must be declared a war crime as they killed innocent people.

“The government of Pakistan must ensure that no drone strike takes place in the future,” the court said, according to the Press Trust of India. It asked Pakistan’s foreign ministry to table a resolution against the American attacks in the UN.

“If the US vetoes the resolution, then the country should think about breaking diplomatic ties with the US,” the judgment said.

US officials have said the drones target al-Qa’ida and Taliban fighters in Pakistan’s tribal regions who are blamed for cross-border attacks in Afghanistan and say the operations are done with the complicity of Pakistan’s military. Activists say hundreds of civilians are killed as “collateral damage” and that there is no transparency about the operation of the drones.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) party is considered frontrunner in this Saturday’s election, this week vowed that he would not tolerate drone attacks on Pakistani soil.

“Drone attacks are against the national sovereignty and a challenge for the country’s autonomy and independence,” he said.

The case was filed last year by the Foundation for Fundamental Rights, a legal charity based in Islamabad, on behalf of the families of victims killed in a 17 March 2011 strike on a tribal jirga.

The jirga, a traditional community dispute resolution mechanism, had been called to settle a chromite mining dispute in Datta Khel, North Waziristan. This strike killed more than 50 tribal elders, including a number of government officials. There was strong condemnation of this attack by all quarters in Pakistan including the federal government and Pakistan military.

Shahzad Akbar, lawyer for victims in the case, said: “This is a landmark judgment. Drone victims in Waziristan will now get some justice after a long wait. This judgment will also prove to be a test for the new government: if drone strikes continue and the government fails to act, it will run the risk of contempt of court.”?

Clive Stafford Smith of the London-based group Reprieve, which has supported the case, said: “Today’s momentous decision by the Peshawar High Court shines the first rays of accountability onto the CIA’s secret drone war.”

He added: “For the innocent people killed by U.S. drone strikes, it marks the first time they have been officially acknowledged for who they truly are - civilian victims of American war crimes.”

Source

The US will surely veto any resolution that goes through the UN, just as it has before in the past (ahem, 41 vetoes to defend Israel)… but this case is monumental in examining the US drone war as a war crime because of the innocent civilians who have been killed, not just in Pakistan (between411-884) but in Yemen (between 99-184) & Somalia (up to 15) as well. (Note: These stats don’t include “militants,” which was redefined to include all males of military age in a strike zone, which often includes innocent civilians.) 

Nestlé chairman denies that water is an essential human rightApril 22, 2013
The current Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the largest producer of food products in the world, believes that the answer to global water issues is privatization. This statement is on record from the wonderful company that has peddled junk food in the Amazon, has invested money to thwart the labeling of GMO-filled products, has a disturbing health and ethics record for its infant formula, and has deployed a cyber army to monitor Internet criticism and shape discussions in social media.
This is apparently the company we should trust to manage our water, despite the record of large bottling companies like Nestlé having a track record of creating shortages:

Large multinational beverage companies are usually given water-well privileges (and even tax breaks) over citizens because they create jobs, which is apparently more important to the local governments than water rights to other taxpaying citizens. These companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé (which bottles suburban Michigan well-water and calls it Poland Spring) suck up millions of gallons of water, leaving the public to suffer with any shortages. (source)

But Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, believes that “access to water is not a public right.” Nor is it a human right. So if privatization is the answer, is this the company in which the public should place its trust?
Here is just one example, among many, of his company’s concern for the public thus far:

In the small Pakistani community of Bhati Dilwan, a former village councilor says children are being sickened by filthy water. Who’s to blame? He says it’s bottled water-maker Nestlé, which dug a deep well that is depriving locals of potable water. “The water is not only very dirty, but the water level sank from 100 to 300 to 400 feet,” Dilwan says. (source)

Why? Because if the community had fresh water piped in, it would deprive Nestlé of its lucrative market in water bottled under the Pure Life brand.
In the subtitled video below, from several years back, Brabeck discusses his views on water, as well as some interesting comments concerning his view of Nature — that it is “pitiless” — and, of course, the obligatory statement that organic food is bad and GM is great. In fact, according to Brabeck, you are essentially an extremist to hold views opposite to his own. His statements are important to review as we continue to see the world around us become reshaped into a more mechanized environment in order to stave off that pitiless Nature to which he refers.
The conclusion to this segment is perhaps the most revealing about Brabeck’s worldview, as he highlights a clip of one of his factory operations. Evidently, the saviour-like role of the Nestlé Group in ensuring the health of the global population should be graciously welcomed. Are you convinced?
Source

Nestlé chairman denies that water is an essential human right
April 22, 2013

The current Chairman and former CEO of Nestlé, the largest producer of food products in the world, believes that the answer to global water issues is privatization. This statement is on record from the wonderful company that has peddled junk food in the Amazon, has invested money to thwart the labeling of GMO-filled products, has a disturbing health and ethics record for its infant formula, and has deployed a cyber army to monitor Internet criticism and shape discussions in social media.

This is apparently the company we should trust to manage our water, despite the record of large bottling companies like Nestlé having a track record of creating shortages:

Large multinational beverage companies are usually given water-well privileges (and even tax breaks) over citizens because they create jobs, which is apparently more important to the local governments than water rights to other taxpaying citizens. These companies such as Coca Cola and Nestlé (which bottles suburban Michigan well-water and calls it Poland Spring) suck up millions of gallons of water, leaving the public to suffer with any shortages. (source)

But Chairman, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, believes that “access to water is not a public right.” Nor is it a human right. So if privatization is the answer, is this the company in which the public should place its trust?

Here is just one example, among many, of his company’s concern for the public thus far:

In the small Pakistani community of Bhati Dilwan, a former village councilor says children are being sickened by filthy water. Who’s to blame? He says it’s bottled water-maker Nestlé, which dug a deep well that is depriving locals of potable water. “The water is not only very dirty, but the water level sank from 100 to 300 to 400 feet,” Dilwan says. (source)

Why? Because if the community had fresh water piped in, it would deprive Nestlé of its lucrative market in water bottled under the Pure Life brand.

In the subtitled video below, from several years back, Brabeck discusses his views on water, as well as some interesting comments concerning his view of Nature — that it is “pitiless” — and, of course, the obligatory statement that organic food is bad and GM is great. In fact, according to Brabeck, you are essentially an extremist to hold views opposite to his own. His statements are important to review as we continue to see the world around us become reshaped into a more mechanized environment in order to stave off that pitiless Nature to which he refers.

The conclusion to this segment is perhaps the most revealing about Brabeck’s worldview, as he highlights a clip of one of his factory operations. Evidently, the saviour-like role of the Nestlé Group in ensuring the health of the global population should be graciously welcomed. Are you convinced?

Source

NYT publishes op-ed from Gitmo prisoner: Gitmo is killing meApril 16, 2013
One man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.
I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.
I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.
I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.
When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.
I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni Embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.
Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.
I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.
I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.
There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.
During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily. I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not.
It was so painful that I begged them to stop feeding me. The nurse refused to stop feeding me. As they were finishing, some of the “food” spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes, but the guard refused to allow me to hold on to this last shred of my dignity.
When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding.
The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.
I do not want to die here, but until President Obama and Yemen’s president do something, that is what I risk every day.
Where is my government? I will submit to any “security measures” they want in order to go home, even though they are totally unnecessary.
I will agree to whatever it takes in order to be free. I am now 35. All I want is to see my family again and to start a family of my own.
The situation is desperate now. All of the detainees here are suffering deeply. At least 40 people here are on a hunger strike. People are fainting with exhaustion every day. I have vomited blood.
And there is no end in sight to our imprisonment. Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made.
I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.
Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, told this story, through an Arabic interpreter, to his lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve in an unclassified telephone call.
Source

NYT publishes op-ed from Gitmo prisoner: Gitmo is killing me
April 16, 2013

One man here weighs just 77 pounds. Another, 98. Last thing I knew, I weighed 132, but that was a month ago.

I’ve been on a hunger strike since Feb. 10 and have lost well over 30 pounds. I will not eat until they restore my dignity.

I’ve been detained at Guantánamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial.

I could have been home years ago — no one seriously thinks I am a threat — but still I am here. Years ago the military said I was a “guard” for Osama bin Laden, but this was nonsense, like something out of the American movies I used to watch. They don’t even seem to believe it anymore. But they don’t seem to care how long I sit here, either.

When I was at home in Yemen, in 2000, a childhood friend told me that in Afghanistan I could do better than the $50 a month I earned in a factory, and support my family. I’d never really traveled, and knew nothing about Afghanistan, but I gave it a try.

I was wrong to trust him. There was no work. I wanted to leave, but had no money to fly home. After the American invasion in 2001, I fled to Pakistan like everyone else. The Pakistanis arrested me when I asked to see someone from the Yemeni Embassy. I was then sent to Kandahar, and put on the first plane to Gitmo.

Last month, on March 15, I was sick in the prison hospital and refused to be fed. A team from the E.R.F. (Extreme Reaction Force), a squad of eight military police officers in riot gear, burst in. They tied my hands and feet to the bed. They forcibly inserted an IV into my hand. I spent 26 hours in this state, tied to the bed. During this time I was not permitted to go to the toilet. They inserted a catheter, which was painful, degrading and unnecessary. I was not even permitted to pray.

I will never forget the first time they passed the feeding tube up my nose. I can’t describe how painful it is to be force-fed this way. As it was thrust in, it made me feel like throwing up. I wanted to vomit, but I couldn’t. There was agony in my chest, throat and stomach. I had never experienced such pain before. I would not wish this cruel punishment upon anyone.

I am still being force-fed. Two times a day they tie me to a chair in my cell. My arms, legs and head are strapped down. I never know when they will come. Sometimes they come during the night, as late as 11 p.m., when I’m sleeping.

There are so many of us on hunger strike now that there aren’t enough qualified medical staff members to carry out the force-feedings; nothing is happening at regular intervals. They are feeding people around the clock just to keep up.

During one force-feeding the nurse pushed the tube about 18 inches into my stomach, hurting me more than usual, because she was doing things so hastily. I called the interpreter to ask the doctor if the procedure was being done correctly or not.

It was so painful that I begged them to stop feeding me. The nurse refused to stop feeding me. As they were finishing, some of the “food” spilled on my clothes. I asked them to change my clothes, but the guard refused to allow me to hold on to this last shred of my dignity.

When they come to force me into the chair, if I refuse to be tied up, they call the E.R.F. team. So I have a choice. Either I can exercise my right to protest my detention, and be beaten up, or I can submit to painful force-feeding.

The only reason I am still here is that President Obama refuses to send any detainees back to Yemen. This makes no sense. I am a human being, not a passport, and I deserve to be treated like one.

I do not want to die here, but until President Obama and Yemen’s president do something, that is what I risk every day.

Where is my government? I will submit to any “security measures” they want in order to go home, even though they are totally unnecessary.

I will agree to whatever it takes in order to be free. I am now 35. All I want is to see my family again and to start a family of my own.

The situation is desperate now. All of the detainees here are suffering deeply. At least 40 people here are on a hunger strike. People are fainting with exhaustion every day. I have vomited blood.

And there is no end in sight to our imprisonment. Denying ourselves food and risking death every day is the choice we have made.

I just hope that because of the pain we are suffering, the eyes of the world will once again look to Guantánamo before it is too late.

Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay since 2002, told this story, through an Arabic interpreter, to his lawyers at the legal charity Reprieve in an unclassified telephone call.

Source

This is what Obama’s Drone War looks like.
The CIA uses tactics considered to be war crimes under international law, such as the double-tap method that targets rescuers & family members, even those attending funerals, with a second strike in the same area. A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.
There have been between 282 and 535 civilians who have been credibly reported as killed, including more than 60 children. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. 
Samiullah Khan, a Waziristan-based journalist, eyewitness & field researcher in drone casualties on his experience: "There was of course a drone up in the air – in that area they seem to be up 24 hours a day. About five minutes into the interview I heard a massive noise from an attack and all the glass in the house broke. I ran out, though the Taliban were urging me not to approach the site. I saw people crying ‘Help us, help us’, there was a huge fire. Since everyone in the [damaged] house was dead or injured, the only people who could help were other villagers or the Taliban I’d been interviewing.
Many people were badly burned. We put three in my pick-up truck and took them to Miranshah town – doctors there told us they were unlikely to live, each having 90 per cent burns to his body. Back in Danda Darpakhel more people had come to the attack site to help with the rescue, thinking that the danger had now passed after 30 minutes. But the drones returned and fired again. If I had been there I would have been caught in that explosion. People there were killed, including two of my friends. They were good people. One was a student; the other ran a stall at the local bazaar. Neither was involved with the Taliban.” 
The latest drone strike killed one to three people in Pakistan on March 10. Several others were injured. The victims’ identities are still unknown.

This is what Obama’s Drone War looks like.

The CIA uses tactics considered to be war crimes under international law, such as the double-tap method that targets rescuers & family members, even those attending funerals, with a second strike in the same area. A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.

There have been between 282 and 535 civilians who have been credibly reported as killed, including more than 60 children. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. 

Samiullah Khan, a Waziristan-based journalist, eyewitness & field researcher in drone casualties on his experience: "There was of course a drone up in the air – in that area they seem to be up 24 hours a day. About five minutes into the interview I heard a massive noise from an attack and all the glass in the house broke. I ran out, though the Taliban were urging me not to approach the site. I saw people crying ‘Help us, help us’, there was a huge fire. Since everyone in the [damaged] house was dead or injured, the only people who could help were other villagers or the Taliban I’d been interviewing.

Many people were badly burned. We put three in my pick-up truck and took them to Miranshah town – doctors there told us they were unlikely to live, each having 90 per cent burns to his body. Back in Danda Darpakhel more people had come to the attack site to help with the rescue, thinking that the danger had now passed after 30 minutes. But the drones returned and fired again. If I had been there I would have been caught in that explosion. People there were killed, including two of my friends. They were good people. One was a student; the other ran a stall at the local bazaar. Neither was involved with the Taliban.” 

The latest drone strike killed one to three people in Pakistan on March 10. Several others were injured. The victims’ identities are still unknown.

dronestagram
dronestagram:

March 10 2013. 2-3 killed by a strike in North Waziristan on the Afghan/Pakistan border, riding horses or motorbikes. Identities unknown. Rescue work was reportedly delayed as drones hovered over the area after the strike. #pakistan #drone #drones (at Datta Khel, Pakistan)

Drones lurk after a strike to target rescue workers, which is known as the double tap method, considered to be a war crime under international law.

dronestagram:

March 10 2013. 2-3 killed by a strike in North Waziristan on the Afghan/Pakistan border, riding horses or motorbikes. Identities unknown. Rescue work was reportedly delayed as drones hovered over the area after the strike. #pakistan #drone #drones (at Datta Khel, Pakistan)

Drones lurk after a strike to target rescue workers, which is known as the double tap method, considered to be a war crime under international law.

Hundreds of people held a protest march in the Pakistani capital Islamabad to demand the release of Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui, who is imprisoned in the United States, Press TV reports.
March 11, 2013

Sunday’s demonstration was organized by the country’s largest political-religious party Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a Press TV correspondent said.

The protesters highlighted the plight of Siddiqui, who is currently detained at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, which provides specialized medical and mental health services to female prisoners.

An activist said that the Unites States’ judiciary had proved that it was fully biased against Muslims and Islam, when it sentenced Siddiqui for 86 years in prison without due process of law.

The protesters were holding placards and banners bearing anti-US slogans. They also denounced the Pakistani government for taking a hands-off approach in dealing with the Siddiqui issue.

In September 2010, a court in New York sentenced Siddiqui to 86 years in prison after she was found guilty of opening fire on FBI agents and US military personnel in a police station in Ghazni, Afghanistan, where she was being interrogated, in 2008.

The mother of three vanished in Karachi with her three children on March 30, 2003. The following day, local newspapers reported that she had been abducted by US forces and charged with terrorism.

Human rights groups say that Siddiqui was secretly transferred to the US base in Bagram, north of Kabul, and tortured for five years prior to the alleged incident in 2008.

She was taken to the US in July 2008 and then convicted in the New York court in February 2010.

Source