CIA drone strikes over the last few days have taken the lives of “more than 3 dozen militants” according to US and Yemen government statements. They admit to kiling three civilians, and if patterns hold, may be forced to admit that people branded as “militants” may not have been armed combatants, and certainly may not have been part of al Queda, as the U.S. military has alleged.
Kevin Gosztola poses Questions That Should Be Asked About Recent Operations, Including Drone Strikes, in Yemen: “How much of it is targeting fighters, who are opposed to the current regime led by President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi?” Given that there is no formal agreement between Yemen and the U.S. on the use of drone strikes, with each side allowed “plausible deniability,” who is to say who is being killed and why?
Even New York Times coverage quoted Obama’s claim last May that strikes were used “only against militants who posed a ‘continuing and imminent threat to the American people.’ He also said no strike could be authorized without ‘near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,’ a bar he described as ‘the highest standard we can set.’”
The coverage went on: “Given that the administration would not even confirm that American drones carried out the strikes over the weekend, it was unclear how the people targeted in the strike posed a threat to Americans.” Exactly.
Nick Mottern of knowdrones.com reports: “Since mid-March, over 80 events are scheduled, from Hawaii to Maine, addressing drone warfare/robotic war/militarization, including civil resistance, drone base protests, teach-ins, street and campus leafletting and film screenings of Unmanned: America’s Drone War and Wounds of Waziristan. More than 100 events expected by the end of May.” Dozens of people have been arrested, or are awaiting trial, at Creech, Beale, and Hancock Air Force bases.