Does U.S. Pay Compensation when it Kills Innocent Civilians in Yemen? It’s None of our Business

Thursday, August 15, 2013
Funeral for drone victim in Yemen (AP Photo)

The Obama administration has refused to say whether it is compensating families of civilians killed by drone strikes targeting al-Qaeda in Yemen.


In the past two weeks alone, as many as six civilians died from a recent surge in drone strikes that totaled nine missions.


But neither the White House nor the Department of Defense will reveal if American tax dollars are going to survivors of such attacks.


President Barack Obama told the media last week that he wouldn’t discuss “operational issues” in Yemen. Meanwhile, the Pentagon refused to disclose any records to ProPublica regarding assistance to noncombatants.


U.S. Central Command responded to ProPublica’s Freedom of Information Act request by saying it had 33 pages related to condolence payments in Yemen. But officials said they would not release any of them, citing various reasons, including those pertaining to national security.


“There’s no way to know what the military is withholding,” wrote Cora Currier of ProPublica. “A Pentagon spokesman told us they haven’t actually made condolence payments in Yemen. But CIA director John Brennan said during his confirmation process in February that the U.S. does offer condolence payments to the families of civilians killed in U.S. strikes. (Both the military and CIA fly drones over Yemen.)”

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Does the U.S. Pay Families When Drones Kill Innocent Yemenis? (by Cora Currier, ProPublica)

Centcom Condolence Payment Foia Response (ProPublica)

Yemeni Journalist Jailed for Exposing U.S. Killing of Civilians Finally Released from Prison (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

Drone Killing of Civilians Sparks Outrage in Yemen…Apathy in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


Leave a comment