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Drones: Instruments of State Terror

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Drones: Instruments of State Terror

Drones are murder machines.

by Stephen Lendman

A new report jointly prepared by Stanford University's International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic (SU) and New York University School of Law's Global Justice Clinic (NYU) is titled "Living Under Drones."

Part one discusses strikes on rescuers, funerals, and other civilian targets. Part two examines surveillance, the effects of drones overhead, and how their use creates fear and distrust. Part three considers the economic and impoverishment hardships families and communities sustain.

Overall SU/NYU examines key aspects of the CIA's drone policy. It exposes facts political Washington and media scoundrels suppress.

The dominant narrative claims drone strikes are precise and effective. They involve "targeted killings." Terrorists are assassinated with "minimal downsides or collateral impacts." As a result, America is much safer.

"This narrative is false." It's a bald-faced lie. Drone strikes are indiscriminate. Mostly noncombatant civilians are killed. The SU/NYU report followed nine months of intensive research.

They included two investigations in Pakistan. Over 130 interviews were conducted with victims, witnesses, and experts.

Thousands of pages of documentation and media reports were reviewed. This report "presents evidence of the damaging and counterproductive effects of" America's drone-strike policy.

Firsthand evidence confirms it. So-called benefits don't exist. Civilians sustain enormous harm. "Living Under Drones" exposes what official accounts won't say.

Reevaluating Washington's drone policy is urgently needed. Civilian casualties are rarely acknowledged. Significant evidence proves they're commonplace.

US officials claim "no" or "single digit" civilian casualties alone. They lie. Coverup is policy.

At the same time, "it's difficult to obtain data on strike casualties because of US efforts to shield the drone program from democratic accountability, compounded by the obstacles to independent investigation of strikes in North Waziristan."

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) provides best available aggregate public data. Last February, TBIJ published a report titled "Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals," saying:

Predator drones sanitize killing on the cheap. Currently about one-third of US warplanes are drones. One day perhaps they'll all be unmanned. Secrecy and accountability aren't addressed. Aggressive killing is official policy. Little about it gets reported.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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