If Attacking Rescuers and Funerals is Evil When Others Do It, Why is It Okay if It’s Done by the CIA?
Friday, June 08, 2012
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has revived controversial tactics in its drone war against Islamic militants, targeting funerals and rescuers of those hit in previous airstrikes.
These are the same tactics that have been condemned when they have been used by the Taliban and other militia. In December, for example, following a suicide bomber attack at a funeral in northeastern Afghanistan, the U.S. embassy in Kabul issued a statement that said that “This reprehensible attack on a funeral further illustrates that the Taliban and other insurgents are waging a murderous campaign against innocent Afghan civilians, including women and children.”
According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between May 2009 and June 2011, the Obama administration launched at least fifteen attacks on rescuers in Pakistan alone. Although most of the victims were militants, several dozen were simply local civilians trying to save survivors from rubble. The Bureau also concluded that at least 20 people were killed while attending funerals or other group expressions of mourning.
From July 2011 until just recently, the CIA stopped launching follow-up attacks using unmanned aircraft against those aiding or burying the dead. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism says that the cessation of such attacks coincided with the departure of Leon Panetta as director of the CIA.
But starting last month, U.S. drones again began hitting mourners and rescue workers. One took place in Yemen on May 15 and others in Pakistan on May 28, June 3 and 4.
Because the operations are carried out by the CIA instead of the U.S. military, the Obama administration appears to take the position that they are not subject to the Geneva Conventions and that it does not have to answer questions about them, even in court, because they are part of a classified program.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
CIA ‘Revives Attacks On Rescuers’ in Pakistan (by Chris Woods, Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
Obama Terror Drones: CIA Tactics in Pakistan Include Targeting Rescuers and Funerals (by Chris Woods and Christina Lamb, Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
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