Obama Using Drones to Kill Others besides al-Qaeda despite Public Statements
The United States has spent years bombarding sites in Pakistan with missiles fired from drones, claiming all of the targets were either al-Qaeda operatives or those allied with the terrorist group behind the September 11, 2001, attacks.
But an investigation by McClatchy Newspapers found hundreds of examples in which U.S. drones have attacked people not involved with al-Qaeda or any associated group.
These other victims of the American drone campaign consist of Afghan insurgents whose organizations weren’t on the U.S. list of terrorist groups at the time of the 9/11 strikes, including the Haqqani network; an extremist group that didn’t exist at the time of 9/11; and unidentified individuals described as “other militants” and “foreign fighters,” Jonathan S. Landay of McClatchy wrote after reviewing classified U.S. intelligence reports.
Others groups targeted by the drone campaign are the Pakistani Taliban and Lashkar i Jhangvi, another Pakistani extremist group. None of these groups has been proven to have targeted the United States homeland.
According to McClatchy, “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.”
These facts run contrary to President Barack Obama’s public claims that drone attacks are carried out only against “specific senior operational leaders of al Qaida and associated forces” involved in the 9/11 attacks who are plotting new “imminent” violent attacks on Americans.
“It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative,” Obama said in September 2012 on CNN. “It has to be a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.”
“I’m thankful that my doctors don’t use their (the administration’s) definition of imminence when looking at imminent death,” Morris Davis, a former Air Force lawyer who served as chief prosecutor of the Guantánamo Bay terrorism trials, told McClatchy.
“A head cold could be enough to pull the plug on you.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
To Learn More:
Obama’s Drone War Kills ‘Others,’ Not Just Al Qaida Leaders (by Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers)
Secret 2004 US-Pakistan Deal Revealed: CIA Assassination In Exchange for Drone Airspace (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
CIA Increases Drone Killings of Pakistanis Who “Might be Militants” (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Unnamed U.S. Official Denies Drones Have Killed 168 Children in Pakistan (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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