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Obama's war by drone

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Badass Attorney Shoots Down the Case for Drones. Last Sunday, General Michael V.

Badass Attorney Shoots Down the Case for Drones

Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times called "To Keep America Safe, Embrace Drone Warfare. " After an opening scene of a drone operator double-checking for nearby civilians before taking out two enemy targets, General Hayden makes the case that America's program of remote targeted killings, while not perfect, is achieving results. It has disrupted terrorist plots and weakened Al Qaida, he wrote. Furthermore, according to intelligence that Hayden himself claims to have seen, public concerns of massive civilian casualties are overblown. "Unmanned aerial vehicles carrying precision weapons and guided by powerful intelligence offer a proportional and discriminating response when response is necessary," Hayden concluded. The attorney representing the drone whistleblowers, Jesselyn Radack, first came to prominence over a decade ago as a whistleblower herself. The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people.

In 2014, the former director of both the CIA and NSA proclaimed that "we kill people based on metadata.

The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people

" Now, a new examination of previously published Snowden documents suggests that many of those people may have been innocent. Last year, The Intercept published documents detailing the NSA's SKYNET programme. According to the documents, SKYNET engages in mass surveillance of Pakistan's mobile phone network, and then uses a machine learning algorithm on the cellular network metadata of 55 million people to try and rate each person's likelihood of being a terrorist. Patrick Ball—a data scientist and the director of research at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group—who has previously given expert testimony before war crimes tribunals, described the NSA's methods as "ridiculously optimistic" and "completely bullshit.

" Drones Are Now Appearing on Afghan Rugs. When it comes to what to depict on rugs, Afghan weavers traditionally turn to what’s most familiar.

Drones Are Now Appearing on Afghan Rugs

So in the 1980s, when the Mujahedeen were fighting back the Soviet occupation, some local weavers abandoned flowers and water jugs to illustrate what their days consisted of back then: war. Tanks, helicopters, Kalashnikovs, hand grenades and bazookas started creeping into the centuries-old tradition, either as elements of a landscape or as icons in a pattern.

“My favorite one is an old Beluch style one,” says 49-year-old US entrepreneur Kevin Sudeith, “The design dates back to the 19th century but it has two helicopters and two tanks at each end of the rug.” In 1996, Sudeith discovered one of the war rugs in the house of an Italian architect and decided to start collecting them. Shortly after, he was dealing them, both online and in flea markets around New York for prices ranging from a few hundreds to several thousand US dollars each. This may be the dark side of war rugs. US drone strikes kill 28 unknown people for every intended target, new Reprieve report reveals. DN! Yemeni victims of U.S. military drone strike get more than $1 million in compensation. The Yemeni government paid the families of those killed or injured in a U.S. drone strike last year more than $1 million, according to documents that provide new details on secret condolence payments seen as evidence that civilians with no ties to al-Qaeda were among the casualties.

Yemeni victims of U.S. military drone strike get more than $1 million in compensation

The documents, which are signed by Yemeni court officials and victims’ relatives, record payouts designed to quell anger over a U.S. strike that hit vehicles in a wedding party and prompted a suspension of the U.S. military’s authority to carry out drone attacks on a dangerous al-Qaeda affiliate. The records reveal payments that are many times larger than Yemeni officials acknowledged after the strike. The $1 million-plus figure also exceeds the total amount distributed by the U.S. military for errant strikes in Afghanistan over an entire year. Nothing Says "Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party" Like $800,000 And Some Guns.

Covert Drone War. How to Translate a News Story About A Drone Strike. Over the past three days, more than 50 suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula have been killed in a spate of mysterious attacks in Yemen.

How to Translate a News Story About A Drone Strike

But what really happened? That very much depends on the news story you read. The Guardian attributed the attacks to "several air strikes -- presumed to be carried out chiefly by U.S. drones. " The Associated Press and Reuters both cited a statement from Yemen's Ministry of Defense announcing the attack before noting that the United States has been known to use drone strikes in the area targeted this weekend, but both stopped short of saying the attacks were carried out by drones.

These and other news stories leave room for the possibility that the attacks were carried out by the Yemeni Air Force -- which is strange, given that Yemen has no credible way of carrying out such strikes with its crippled fleet of aircraft. Yemen has a fleet of 79 combat aircraft, but they are plagued by parts shortages and equipment malfunctions. How We Read a NYTimes Story on Drone Strikes in Yemen. In this post, we’re trying something new.

How We Read a NYTimes Story on Drone Strikes in Yemen

Below, we present an almost line-by-line annotation of yesterday’s New York Times story on US and Yemeni military operations in Yemen. Among other things, the following is intended to identify legal implications of the news being reported, the significance of some of the revelations, and paths for further investigative reporting. U.S. Drones and Yemeni Forces Kill Qaeda-Linked Fighters, Officials Say By Eric Schmitt. Saeed Al Batati contributed reporting from Sana, Yemen, and Mark Mazzetti from Washington. More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years.

Obama has launched over 390 covert drone strikes in his first five years in office (Pete Souza/White House).

More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years

Five years ago, on January 23 2009, a CIA drone flattened a house in Pakistan’s tribal regions. It was the third day of Barack Obama’s presidency, and this was the new commander-in-chief’s first covert drone strike. Initial reports said up to ten militants were killed, including foreign fighters and possibly a ‘high-value target’ – a successful first hit for the fledgling administration. But reports of civilian casualties began to emerge. As later reports revealed, the strike was far from a success. Later that day, the CIA attacked again – and levelled another house. CIA's Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel. Pakistan. ‘America is our worst enemy’: Pakistani victim of US drone strike speaks out. UPDATE: Kidnapped Anti-Drone Activist Karim Khan Has Been Freed, Says He Was Tortured. Will I Be Next? In October 2012, 8-year-old Nabeela ventured out with her 68-year-old grandmother Mamana Bibi to do daily chores in their family's large, open field.

Will I Be Next?

Moments later, Mamana was blasted into pieces by a US drone strike that appears to have been aimed directly at her. Amnesty International did not find any evidence she was endangering anyone, let alone posing an imminent threat to the US.

War crimes

Jonathan Weiler: Who Lives? Who Dies? On Drone Warfare. In recent months some of the more controversial and troubling aspects of American drone warfare in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and elsewhere have emerged.

Jonathan Weiler: Who Lives? Who Dies? On Drone Warfare

Especially disturbing have been credible reports that significant numbers of noncombatants have been killed in American drone strikes, including those targeted in areas previously attacked or at funerals for those killed in the initial bombing. Recently, drone warfare has received significant media attention, substantially due to a nearly 6,000-word front-page story that appeared two weeks ago in The New York Times. That article detailed several key features of the drone program that had not been widely reported.

For example, the president's intelligence team has prepared for him a "kill list," people deemed to be lethal enemies of the United States. President Obama, according to the Times, has arrogated to himself final and sole authority to determine who on that list will die. "Seduced" is a good word for the new warfare. America's secret empire of drone bases. By Nick Turse Source: Asia Times They increasingly dot the planet.

America's secret empire of drone bases

There’s a facility outside Las Vegas where “pilots” work in climate-controlled trailers, another at a dusty camp in Africa formerly used by the French Foreign Legion, a third at a big air base in Afghanistan where Air Force personnel sit in front of multiple computer screens, and a fourth at an air base in the United Arab Emirates that almost no one talks about. And that leaves at least 56 more such facilities to mention in an expanding American empire of unmanned drone bases being set up worldwide. Despite frequent news reports on the drone assassination campaign launched in support of America’s ever-widening undeclared wars and a spate of stories on drone bases in Africa and the Middle East, most of these facilities have remained unnoted, uncounted, and remarkably anonymous – until now.

Other bases are already under construction or in the planning stages. Predators, Reapers and Sentinels are just part of the story. Afghans describe relatives' deaths in recent U.S. drone strike. JALALABAD, Afghanistan — Miya Jan was filling potholes on the rutted trail that leads to his village in rugged eastern Afghanistan when he heard the whine of a drone aircraft overhead. The sunburned 28-year-old farmer looked up and saw a gray, narrow-winged drone circling the village. A few minutes later, he said, it fired a missile that landed with a tremendous thud across a stony ridge line. Jan ran to the explosion site and recognized the burning frame of his cousin's blue pickup truck. Inside, he said, he saw blackened shapes — people whose torsos had been sheared off.

He recognized the smoking remains of his brother, his brother's wife and their 18-month-old son. "She Was Exploded to Pieces" Survivors of Drone Strike in Pakistan Testify to Members of Congress. Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com October 29, 2013 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. Are US drone killings in Yemen working? Earlier today two US drone attacks killed nine alleged militants in Yemen, part of a recent intensification in the undeclared US air war against jihadis in that country. Skip to next paragraph Dan Murphy Staff writer Dan Murphy is a staff writer for the Monitor's international desk, focused on the Middle East.

US-Drohnen töten 17 Hochzeitsgäste in Jemen. Drone fa strage in un convoglio nuziale nello Yemen: 17 morti. US-Drohne beschiesst Hochzeit in Jemen. Jeemenis tabas droonirünnak pulmarongkäiku - Välisuudised. Jeemeni peigmehed ülemöödunud kuul Sanaas toimunud massilaulatusel. Yémen: des civils tués par un drone. Drone strike in Yemen killed 17, mostly civilians. World | Agence France-Presse | Updated: December 13, 2013 15:07 IST A police trooper mans a weapon mounted on a police vehicle at a checkpoint near the Defense Ministry compound in Sanaa. Sanaa, Yemen: A drone strike on a wedding convoy in Yemen killed 17 people, mostly civilians, medical and security sources said on Friday, adding grist to mounting criticism of the US drone war. "Some" of the dead in Thursday's strike near the central town of Radaa were suspected members of Al-Qaeda, but the rest were all civilians with no connection to the jihadist network, a security official said.

The death toll from the two-missile strike rose to 17 overnight, a medical source in Radaa told AFP. Attaque de drone au Yémen: 17 morts dont des civils. L'attaque a visé jeudi soir un convoi de plusieurs voitures près de la ville de Radaa dans la province d'Al-Bayda, dans le centre du Yémen, une région où le réseau créé par Oussama ben Laden est bien implanté. Elle est intervenue une semaine après une attaque spectaculaire d'Al-Qaïda contre le ministère de la Défense à Sanaa, qui avait fait 56 morts. Le réseau avait affirmé que l'objectif de l'attaque était une salle de contrôle des drones visant régulièrement ses combattants au Yémen, ainsi que des experts américains.

Jeudi, un projectile a touché de plein fouet une camionnette Toyota qui transportait au moins dix passagers, et un autre est tombé près du convoi, selon un responsable local de la sécurité qui a indiqué que l'attaque avait été menée par un drone. Al menos 17 muertos, en su mayoría civiles, en ataque de drone en Yemen. Un ataque de drone (avión teledirigido) contra un cortejo que acudía a una boda causó el jueves 17 muertos, en su mayoría civiles, informaron este viernes fuentes médicas y de seguridad. "Algunas" de las personas muertas en el ataque cerca de la ciudad de Radaa, en la provincia de Al Bayda (centro), eran sospechosas de pertenecer a Al Qaida pero las otras eran civiles sin vínculo con la red, afirmó un responsable de seguridad.

El número de víctimas mortales asciende a 17, afirmó a la AFP una fuente médica en Radaa. Dos de los muertos, Saleh al Tays y Abdulá al-Tays, figuraron en el pasado en una lista de presuntos miembros de Al Qaida buscados, informó un responsable de la seguridad. 17 Menschen bei Drohnenangriff auf Hochzeitszug im Jemen getötet. SANAA. Bei einem US-Drohnenangriff auf einen Hochzeitszug sind im Jemen am Donnerstag 17 Menschen getötet worden, die meisten von ihnen waren nach Angaben von Sicherheitskräften Zivilisten.

When U.S. drones kill civilians, Yemen’s government tries to conceal it. Within seconds, 11 of the passengers were dead, including a woman and her 7-year-old daughter. A 12-year-old boy also perished that day, and another man later died from his wounds. The Yemeni government initially said that those killed were al-Qaeda militants and that its Soviet-era jets had carried out the Sept. 2 attack. Farea Al-muslimi's testimony to US Senate Committee. Drones in Yemen: How U.S. Attacks Are Devastating a Nation. As drone monopoly frays, Obama seeks global rules. Rights Groups: New York Times Exposé a 'One-Sided' Account of al-Awlaki, Drone Strikes.

A Sunday edition New York Times article which traces the origins of drone strikes on three U.S. citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki, Samir Khan, and al-Awlaki's sixteen year old son Abdulrahman, presents itself as a fair and balanced narrative, but actually serves as an overall "one-sided, selective" account, giving aid to the U.S. government's shadowy justifications for its extra-judicial killings across the world, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights said Sunday.

Car in Shabwa Province, Yemen, after drone strike. (Khaled Abdullah/Reuters) On the article How a U.S. Citizen Came to Be in America’s Cross Hairs, the ACLU states: In anonymous assertions to The New York Times, current and former Obama administration officials seek to justify the killings of three U.S. citizens even as the administration fights hard to prevent any transparency or accountability for those killings in court. The Drone War Doctrine We Still Know Nothing About.

President Obama's new normal: the drone strikes continue. There has been yet another violent attack with mass casualties. This was not the act of a lone gunman, or of an armed student rampaging through a school. It was a group of families en route to a wedding that was killed. Our Drone Delusion. CIA shifts focus to killing targets. CIA Seeks to Take Over Intel Programs From U.S. Troops Leaving Iraq.

Military Prepares Realignment: More Drones, Special Forces. U.S. Military Joins CIA’s Drone War in Pakistan. Charles Krauthammer: In defense of Obama’s drone war. Drone strikes: a scandal … or just a sideshow? List of children killed by drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen « Drones Watch. Naming the Dead: Bureau announces new drones project: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. "No country on Earth would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Says Man Who Regularly Bombs Pakistan and Yemen.

US drone attacks 'counter-productive', former Obama security adviser claims. US Kills 44 People in 3 Countries  :  Information Clearing House. US Drone Attack in Somalia. Dronestagram: The Drone’s-Eye View. Dronestagram. Q & A: US Targeted Killings and International Law. Targeted Killing of Terrorist Suspects Overseas. US Targeted Killing. The legalities of the U.S. drone program. Former AFRICOM Chief at Senate Hearing: Using Word ‘Drone’ Fuels Al Qaeda Propaganda. Drone Wars: Counterterrorism and Human Rights. After U.S. Troops Leave, Armed Drones Will Patrol Afghanistan's Skies. Death by drone. What it means to be 'living under drones' Fighting back against the CIA drone war. Afghanistan Predator drones: Despite high-tech tools, a fatal error.

US drone strikes in Pakistan claiming many civilian victims, says campaigner. U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan. Pakistan Court Decision Finds US Drone Strikes Are ‘War Crimes,’ Which Are ‘Absolutely Illegal’ US claims of ‘no civilian deaths’ are untrue. Selective Disclosure About Targeted Killing. Obama Administration’s Drone Death Figures Don’t Add Up. Obama Finally Talks Drone War, But It's Almost Impossible to Believe Him. White House offers rare defense of drone attacks. White House Presses for Drone Rule Book. Obama Begins Inauguration Festivities With Ceremonial Drone Flyover. Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans. The US President's Hit List or "Death by PowerPoint" Holder Letter on Counterterror Strikes Against U.S. Citizens - Interactive Feature. Holder: We've Droned 4 Americans, 3 by Accident. Oops. Obama Admits 4 US Citizens Killed by Drones, Deaths of Those Not Targeted Left Unexplained.