Thursday, April 11, 2013

Why aren't we hearing "Obama lied, people died"?

Yes, I know that slogan originated as "Bush lied, people died", but it seems his successor has been no less mendacious - and no less deadly to people not demonstrably guilty of any crime or offense.  Foreign Policy reports:

It turns out that the Obama administration has not been honest about who the CIA has been targeting with drones in Pakistan. Jonathan Landay, national security reporter at McClatchy Newspapers, has provided the first analysis of drone-strike victims that is based upon internal, top-secret U.S. intelligence reports. It is the most important reporting on U.S. drone strikes to date because Landay, using U.S. government assessments, plainly demonstrates that the claim repeatedly made by President Obama and his senior aides -- that targeted killings are limited only to officials, members, and affiliates of al Qaeda who pose an imminent threat of attack on the U.S. homeland -- is false.

. . .

Landay's ... most important finding is this:

At least 265 of up to 482 people who the U.S. intelligence reports estimated the CIA killed during a 12-month period ending in September 2011 were not senior al Qaida leaders but instead were "assessed" as Afghan, Pakistani and unknown extremists. Drones killed only six top al Qaida leaders in those months, according to news media accounts.

Forty-three of 95 drone strikes reviewed for that period hit groups other than al Qaida, including the Haqqani network, several Pakistani Taliban factions and the unidentified individuals described only as "foreign fighters" and "other militants."...

At other times, the CIA killed people who only were suspected, associated with, or who probably belonged to militant groups.

This scope of targeting complicates the Obama administration's claim that only those al Qaeda members who are an imminent threat to the U.S. homeland can be killed.

. . .

According to the documents reviewed by Landay, even the U.S. intelligence community does not necessarily know who it has killed; it is forced to use fuzzy categories like "other militants" and "foreign fighters."

. . .

The hypocrisy behind U.S. targeted killings has long been apparent to casual news readers, and it is now confirmed by internal intelligence documents. The Obama administration has a fundamental choice to make if it is serious about reforming its targeted-killing program: Either target who officials claim they are targeting, or change their justifications to match the actual practice. If they are unable or unwilling to do this, then other White House efforts toward drone-strike reform or transparency will be met with skepticism.

There's much more at the link.  Essential reading for those who have moral qualms about anyone in the US government ordering the quasi-judicial execution of anyone without due process.

We heard much from left-wing, liberal and progressive groups and individuals about how President Bush was a war criminal over his policies, statements, actions, etc. concerning the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  (Frankly, they have evidence to substantiate at least some of their claims, particularly about the torture of detainees - something the right-wing, conservative side of the debate mostly refuses to acknowledge.)  Why are we not hearing precisely the same outrage from those same groups (and others) about the Obama administration's outright lies over the murder - there's no other word for it, IMHO - of individuals who may or may not have anything to do with terrorism, and who might not be America's enemies at all?

Ethics.  Morality.  They work both ways.  (Matthew 7:1-5 comes to mind . . . )



Well Seasoned Fool said...

You can find the occasional article at "Common Dreams".

Stretch said...

Double standards are the only standards they have.

perlhaqr said...

I sense bumper stickers!

"Obama lied, people died

"died" should be overstruck, with the second line in red, possibly in a sort of "scrawled in blood" font, probably leaking across the first line somewhat.

Maybe with a graphic of a drone across the background.