Slate has an update on our ever-increasing deadly drone strikes, Truthseekers, and it's worth repeating.
"Two new reports out today cast a disturbing light on America's drone war. One by Amnesty International focuses on recent strikes in Pakistan. Another, by Human Rights Watch, assesses U.S. targeted killings in Yemen. Most discomfiting, in the Amnesty report, is the story of Mamana Bibi, a 68-year-old grandmother killed by hellfire missiles while tending her garden on Oct. 24, 2012:
"'She was standing in our family fields gathering okra to cook that evening,' recalled Zubair Rehman, one of Mamana Bibi's grandsons, who was about 119ft away also working in the fields at the time. Mamana Bibi's three granddaughters: Nabeela (aged eight), Asma (aged seven) and Naeema (aged five) were also in the field, around 115 and 92ft away from their grandmother to the north and south respectively. Around 92ft to the south, another of Mamana Bibi's grandsons, 15-year-old Rehman Saeed, was walking home from school with his friend, Shahidullah, also aged 15.
"Accustomed to seeing drones overhead, Mamana Bibi and her grandchildren continued their daily routine. '"The drone planes were flying over our village all day and night, flying in pairs sometimes three together. We had grown used to them flying over our village all the time,' Zubair Rehman continued. 'I was watering our animals and my brother was harvesting maize crop,' said Nabeela.
"Then, before her family's eyes, Mamana Bibi was blown into pieces by at least two Hellfire missiles fired concurrently from a US drone aircraft.
"A second strike hit the field nearby a few minutes later, badly injuring one of Mamana Bibi's grandsons who had run to the scene of the first explosion."
And yet, despite this report, the White House is denying allegations that its use of drone strikes in various nations around the world constitutes war crimes.
"Human Rights Watch (HRW) released Tuesday a detailed 102-page report on US drone attacks and airstrikes in Yemen against militants of the Al-Qaeda wing in the country. Amnesty International (AI) released its own report simultaneously, on US drone strikes in Pakistan.
"The reports outline a variety of longstanding issues and controversies surrounding the US covert drone program, including details of civilians killed by strikes in violation of the law and US policy.
"'We are reviewing these reports carefully,' White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday.
"'To the extent these reports claim that the US has acted contrary to international law, we would strongly disagree.
"'The administration has repeatedly emphasized the extraordinary care that we take to make sure counterterrorism actions are in accordance with all applicable law.'
"Carney insisted using unmanned drones against those the US labels terror suspects is better than sending troops or using other weapons, saying the Obama administration was 'choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.'"
Well, Jay-Jay, it's not working. A grandmother working in her garden, is she an enemy of America? US drones are massacring civilians every single day. 70% of drone strike victims in attacks on Yemen were civilians. Does that seem a course of action "least likely to result in the loss of innocent life" to you, Truthseeker?
"The HRW report considers six drone strikes that killed civilians in Yemen, one of which took place in 2009, and other five occurring in 2012-2013. These six attacks claimed the lives of 82 people, 57 of whom -- or 70 percent -- were civilians."
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