Former President, George W. Bush set in motion, and President, Barack Obama has aggressively followed suit upon a grisly War on Terror campaign of murder and mayhem in which clandestine CIA operatives sitting comfortably behind computer screens in the U.S. indiscriminately assassinate human beings by joystick in foreign countries using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV drones) as though they were simply playing action video games in their basements at home.
Independent sources estimate that around 2,500 and perhaps more than 3,500 people have been killed in UAV strikes in Pakistan alone since 2004, and President Obama has ramped up the program significantly since coming into office.
A leaked 12-page report, entitled ‘Details of Attacks by NATO Forces/Predators in FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas)’ describes 75 CIA drone attacks between 2006 and 2009, with death tolls compiled by officials for internal use by the government.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a UK news website, says it obtained three identical copies of the classified document from various sources in Pakistan.
The report reveals a death toll of 746 people, 147 of whom were confirmed as civilians. Of those civilian victims, 94 are children. Statistically, it means at least one in five victims of US drone strikes was a civilian, and more than 12 per cent were minors. So at least one in five of these murder victims were innocent non-militants; most of them kids.
“There was no benefit in officials ‘cooking the books’ here, since this document was clearly never intended to be seen outside the civilian administration, “said Rauf Khan Khattak, who recently served as Pakistan’s interim finance minister.
“What you end up with in these reports is reasonably accurate, because it comes from on-the-ground sources cultivated over many years. And the political agent is only interested in properly understanding what actually happened,” he told the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
This report belies US claims to the contrary. CIA Director John Brennan, considered to be the architect of the drone program, has said that “we only authorize a strike if we have a high degree of confidence that innocent civilians will not be injured or killed, except in the rarest of circumstances,” and that collateral deaths themselves are “exceedingly rare.”
The CIA has claimed that only one out of every 482 people it killed was a civilian and President Obama has even asserted recently that that the CIA has a "near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured" before each drone attack.
But at the same time, the U.S. admits that it picks the majority of its targets based on a pattern of behavior – suspicious movements, contact with established targets, attendance of training centers, and other indirect indicators. Often, follow-up events that occur as a result of its previous strikes are targeted, such as funerals of the murder victims of past drone targets.
So the U.S. government readily admits that it targets with bombs the funerals of its earlier assassination victims. That is the commission of an act of terror by any rational definition. The murderers have to know that innocent civilians, including wives, children and other relative would be attending those funerals.
No wonder one in five of the victims of U.S. drone strikes are totally innocent of any crimes against Americans. In these instances it is the Americans who are the terrorists.
It’s murder by joystick.