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The NYU Student Tweeting Every Reported US Drone Strike Has Revealed A Disturbing Trend

NYU student Josh Begley is tweeting every reported U.S. drone strike since 2002, and the feed highlights a disturbing tactic employed by the U.S. that is widely considered a war crime.

Known as the "double tap," the tactic involves bombing a target multiple times in relatively quick succession, meaning that the second strike often hits first responders.

A strike against rescuers, a notorious terrorist tactic, is horrifically exposed in "Collateral Murder," a war crime video that Private Bradley Manning allegedly sent to Wikileaks, for which he was arrested and tortured in prison.

Glenn Greenwald wrote a Salon article, U.S. again bombs mourners:  The Obama policy of attacking rescuers and grieving rituals continues this weekend in Pakistan in June of this year.  

The MSM hardly covers drone war crimes, a subject that is equally below the radar on DailyKos and other progressive websites.  

Dick Polman wrote this thought provoking op-ed, The silence from liberals on the drone war.

I’m amazed that so few Americans — most notably, so few liberals — have protested his secretive remote-control assassination program. Drones have killed 3,000 people in Yemen and Pakistan, including collateral-damage civilians, but the actual numbers are secret. So is the process. We don’t know anything about the rules of engagement, how people wind up on Obama’s hit list, who reviews the evidence, and what criteria are applied to that evidence.

The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that “No person shall be . . . deprived of life . . . without due process of law.” Drones are inimical to due process. It would be nice to know how the administration’s lawyers have addressed that conundrum in legal memos. Those memos exist, but they remain classified. The Obama team is reportedly writing rules for itself, a set of standards and procedures, but we may never know whether these rules are scrupulously followed, or even what they are.

Back in May 2009, Obama vowed that his national security actions would be transparent, so that Americans could “make informed judgments and hold us accountable.” But nearly four years and hundreds of drone strikes later, his actions bring to mind the remark Michael Corleone utters near the end of The Godfather Part II: “If anything in this life is certain, if history has taught us anything, it’s that you can kill anybody.”

Where is the sympathy for victims of drones in Pakistan?   Where is the outrage about the slaughter of innocent civilians by drones?  Where are the makeshift teddy bear memorials and flowers for the 168 children killed in drone strikes in Pakistan since start of campaign?

George Monbiot writes about this hypocisy in the Guardian, In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats: Barack Obama's tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones

"Mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts … These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change." Every parent can connect with what President Barack Obama said about the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. There can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people of that town.

It must follow that what applies to the children murdered there by a deranged young man also applies to the children murdered in Pakistan by a sombre American president. These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world's concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world's newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.

If the victims of Mr Obama's drone strikes are mentioned by the state at all, they are discussed in terms which suggest that they are less than human. The people who operate the drones, Rolling Stone magazine reports, describe their casualties as "bug splats", "since viewing the body through a grainy-green video image gives the sense of an insect being crushed". Or they are reduced to vegetation: justifying the drone war, Obama's counterterrorism adviser Bruce Riedel explained that "you've got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back".

The children killed by drones in Pakistan are not "bug splats," and they and all the innocent people killed by drone strikes, their friends, and families deserve just as much sympathy as the loved ones mourning the loss of American elementary school children recently killed by an assault weapon here at home.

The Pakistani children share something else in common with the Connecticut children other than the "Made in America" violence that took their lives: the role played by political action committees (PACs) in their tragic deaths.  The NRA and the military industrial complex control the majority of our Congressmen, which is why they avoid doing anything about gun control and the illegal drone war.

We, the people, need to take back our country to protect innocent lives from heartless corporations who sell and manufacture weapons of mass murder that kill innocent children here and abroad.

Originally posted to Cindy Casella on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:09 AM PST.

Also republished by The Rebel Alliance, Group W: Resisting War, and Pakistan.

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