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Drones: Instruments of State Terror

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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"All the stones in the vicinity had become black." Ahmed Jan lost his foot last March. He discussed challenges rescuers face in identifying bodies, saying: 

"People were trying to find the body parts. We find the body parts of some people, but sometimes we do not find anything." It's incinerated and gone.

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Rescuers, community and family members, and humanitarian workers are vulnerable. Parents keep children at home. With good reason, they're traumatized. Fear grips everyone.

Families who lost loved ones or their homes now struggle to survive.

Official statements about drone killing keeping America safer are false.

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At most, only 2% of victims are high-level combatants. Evidence suggests that US strikes facilitate anti-American recruitment. The New York Times said drone attacks replaced Guantanamo as "the recruiting tool of choice for militants."

The vast majority of Pakistanis consider America the enemy.

Targeted killings also undermine respect for international and US rule of law principles. They're lawless and unconscionable. Secrecy is official policy. Transparency and accountability are absent.

In light of serious concerns, SU/NYU's report said Washington must conduct "a fundamental re-evaluation of current targeted killing practices, taking into account all available evidence, the concerns of various stakeholders, and the short and long-term costs and benefits."

A "significant rethinking (is) long overdue." Policy makers can't ignore civilian harm and counterproductive impacts much longer.

Rule of law principles are fundamental. Violating them encourages others to replicate US practices. US lives become vulnerable. That alone is reason enough to rethink policy. Most important is state-sanctioned murder. Nothing justifies what's clearly illegal.

Stanford's James Cavallaro was one of the report's authors. He said "real people are suffering real harm," but they're largely ignored by US officials and in media accounts.

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Cavallaro added that the study was intended to challenge official notions of precise targeted killings with little fallout. Investigative work proved otherwise.

CIA officials and National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor declined comment. Perhaps they fear anything they say can be used against them. Whatever they say is false.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at Email address removed

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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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