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View Diary: Stoning vs. Droning (160 comments)

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  •  one has to wonder... (13+ / 0-)

    do the terms of the justification match the mindset of those who order the murders?

    Obama Redefines 'Militant' to Avoid Counting Civilian Drone Deaths

    Buried deep in a lengthy New York Times article about President Barack Obama's secret terrorist "kill list" lies disturbing allegations by several administration officials that the president has embraced a controversial method for counting civilians killed by U.S. unmanned aerial drone strikes in which the definition of "militant" has been deceptively stretched in order to artificially lower civilian death tolls. ...

    Among the linguistic gymnastics embraced by Obama as the Pentagon struggled to deal with the inevitable rise in civilian casualties resulting from a massive increase in unmanned aerial drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen was a deceptive redefinition of the term "militant." In an effort to minimize official civilian death tolls from these strikes, in which hundreds of innocent people have been killed in Pakistan alone, several administration officials told the Times that the administration is effectively counting "all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants," barring "explicit" posthumous intelligence proving their innocence.

    The logic behind Obama's novel approach, say counterterrorism officials, is that young men in an area of known terrorist activity are likely "up to no good," justifying the use of deadly force against them even when there is no evidence that they're actually engaged in or even supporting terrorism. But by counting all military-age males as militants, the Pentagon is able to claim low collateral death figures.

    The problem with this method is that it is, at the very least, deceptive and at most, an outright whitewashing of the killing of innocent men and boys. It wouldn't be the first time the administration has lied about such things; last year, John Brennan, the president's top counterterrorism advisor, declared that there hadn't been "a single collateral death" from U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan.

    i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

    by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 08:40:27 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  So Al Queda is happy to use these people... (0+ / 0-)

      ...as human shields.  And we all expect zero civilian deaths to come of it?

      Suggestion for Facebook: 50 free "starter friends" automatically as soon as you sign up.

      by dov12348 on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 08:48:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, sure, less than 100 al qaeda militants... (7+ / 0-)

        are using the entire population of pakistan as human shields.

        Al-Qaida's leadership is a shattered remnant, reduced to begging funds and munitions from local allies and with its most capable members heading to Syria, according to recent briefings from Pakistan's intelligence services. ...

        With fewer than 100 leaders, fighters and trainers and few experienced operators, the ability of the group's Pakistan-based "general command" under Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian-born militant who replaced Osama bin Laden after he was killed by US special forces in 2011, to launch overseas attacks is limited, Pakistani officials have said.

        i'm part of the 99% - america's largest minority

        by joe shikspack on Fri Dec 13, 2013 at 09:09:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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