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Obama's War Crimes

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Hightop, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Hightop

    Hightop Member

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    A total barbaric monster.

    [​IMG]

    <h1 id="entry-title-single" class="entry-title headline lg">
    U.S. drones targeting rescuers and mourners </h1>
    <div id="post-single" class="post-body clearfix writer_glenn_greenwald">
    <h2 class="deck">A new amply documented report demonstrates the use of American tactics that are almost certainly war crimes</h2>
    <div class="meta clearfix">
    <span class="byline">By <A href="http://www.comwww.salon.com/writer/glenn_greenwald/">Glenn Greenwald</A></span>

    <p>On December 30 of last year, <em>ABC News</em> <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/tariq-khan-killed-cia-drone/story?id=15258659#.Ty6WdVxAaYg">reported on</a> a 16-year-old Pakistani boy, Tariq Khan, who was killed with his 12-year-old cousin when a car in which he was riding was hit with a missile fired by a U.S. drone. As I <a href="http://www.salon.com/2012/01/03/matt_taibbi_on_the_2012_election/">noted at the time</a>, the report contained this extraordinary passage buried in the middle:</p>
    <blockquote><p>Asked for documentation of Tariq and Waheed’s deaths, Akbar did not provide pictures of the missile strike scene. Virtually none exist, since<strong> drones often target people who show up at the scene of an attack.</strong></p></blockquote>
    <p><strong></strong>What made that sentence so amazing was that it basically amounts to a report that the U.S. first kills people with drones, then fires on the rescuers and others who arrive at the scene where the new corpses and injured victims lie.</p>
    <p>In a <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/obama-terror-drones-cia-tactics-in-pakistan-include-targeting-rescuers-and-funerals/">just-released, richly documented report</a>, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, on behalf of the <em>Sunday Times</em>, documents that this is exactly what the U.S. is doing — and worse:</p>
    <blockquote><p>The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has<strong> killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals</strong>, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.</p>
    <p>The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”. . . .</p>
    <p>A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that<strong> at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners.</strong> The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.</p>
    <p>Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.</p>
    <p>There have been 260 attacks by unmanned Predators or Reapers in Pakistan by Obama’s administration – averaging one every four days.</p></blockquote>
    <p>As I indicated, there have been scattered, mostly buried indications in the American media that drones have been targeting and killing rescuers. As the Bureau put it: “Between May 2009 and June 2011, at least fifteen attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/world/asia/19pstan.html?_r=1&amp;ref=world" target="_blank">New York Times</a>, <a href="http://articles.cnn.com/2010-12-28/world/pakistan.drone.strike_1_drone-strikes-drone-attack-tribal-region?_s=PM:WORLD" target="_blank">CNN</a>,<a href="http://www.dailyamericannews.com/newsnow/x1738176407/Suspected-US-missiles-strikes-kill-11-in-Pakistan" target="_blank">Associated Press</a>, <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory?id=12489739" target="_blank">ABC News</a> and <a href="http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia/2010/01/20101613294018697.html" target="_blank">Al Jazeera</a>.” Killing civilians attending the funerals of drone victims is also well-documented by the Bureau’s new report:</p>
    <blockquote><p>Other tactics are also raising concerns. On June 23 2009 the CIA killed Khwaz Wali Mehsud, a mid-ranking Pakistan Taliban commander. They planned to use his body as bait to hook a larger fish – Baitullah Mehsud, then the notorious leader of the Pakistan Taliban.</p>
    <p>“A plan was quickly hatched to strike Baitullah Mehsud when he attended the man’s funeral,” according to Washington Post national security correspondent Joby Warrick, in his recent book <a href="http://www.amazon.co.uk/Triple-Agent-Al-Qaeda-Mole-Infiltrated/dp/0385534183/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1324291025&amp;sr=1-1">The Triple Agent</a>. “True, the commander… happened to be very much alive as the plan took shape. But he would not be for long.”</p>
    <p>The CIA duly killed Khwaz Wali Mehsud in a drone strike that killed at least five others. . . .</p>
    <p>Up to 5,000 people attended Khwaz Wali Mehsud’s funeral that afternoon, including not only Taliban fighters but many civilians. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/world/asia/24pstan.html?ref=global-home">US drones struck again</a>, killing up to 83 people. <strong>As many as 45 were civilians, among them reportedly ten children</strong> and four tribal leaders.</p></blockquote>
    <p>The Bureau quotes <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/a-question-of-legality/">several experts stating the obvious</a>: that targeting rescuers and funeral attendees is patently illegal and almost certainly constitutes war crimes:</p>
    <blockquote><p>Clive Stafford-Smith, the lawyer who heads the Anglo-US legal charity Reprieve, believes that such strikes “are like attacking the Red Cross on the battlefield. It’s not legitimate to attack anyone who is not a combatant.”</p>
    <p>Christof Heyns, a South African law professor who is United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extra- judicial Executions, agrees. “Allegations of repeat strikes coming back after half an hour when medical personnel are on the ground are very worrying”, he said. ‘To target civilians would be crimes of war.” Heyns is calling for an investigation into the Bureau’s findings.</p></blockquote>
    <p>What makes this even more striking is how conservative — almost to the point of inaccuracy — is the Bureau’s methodology and reporting. Its last news-making report, issued last July, was <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/07/19/drones/">designed to prove</a> (and unquestionably did prove) that top Obama counter-Terrorism adviser John Brennan lied when he said this about drone strikes in Pakistan: “in the last year, ‘there <strong>hasn’t been a single collateral death</strong> because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we’ve been able to develop.” The <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2011/07/18/washingtons-untrue-claims-no-civilian-deaths-in-pakistan-drone-strikes/">Bureau’s July, 2011 report </a>concluded that Brennan’s claim was patently false: “a detailed examination by the Bureau of 116 CIA ‘secret’ drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2010 has uncovered at least 10 individual attacks in which 45 or more civilians appear to have died.” As I <a href="http://www.salon.com/2011/07/19/drones/">noted at the time</a> — and again when I <a href="http://ggdrafts.blogspot.com/2011/07/transcript-chris-woods.html">interviewed Chris Woods of the Bureau</a> — their methodology virtually guarantees significant<strong> under-counting</strong> of civilian deaths (and, indeed, their July, 2011, count was much lower than <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jul/17/us-drone-strikes-pakistan-waziristan">other credible reports</a>) because they only count someone as a “civilian” when they can absolutely prove beyond any doubt that the person who died by a drone strike was one. The difficulty of reporting and obtaining verifiable information in Waziristan ensures that some civilian deaths will not be susceptible to that high level of documentary proof, and thus will go un-counted by the Bureau’s methodolgy.</p>
    <p>The point is that the Bureau is extremely scrupulous, perhaps to a fault, in the claims it makes about civilian drone fatalities. Its findings here about deliberate targeting of rescuers and funeral attendees are supported by <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/01/04/witnesses-speak-out/">ample verified witness testimony</a>, field research and public reports, all of which the Bureau <a href="http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/get-the-data-obamas-terror-drones/">has documented in full</a>. As Woods said by email: “We have been working for months with field researchers in Waziristan to independently verify the original reports. In 12 cases we are able to confirm that rescuers and mourners were indeed attacked.”</p>
    <p>As the report notes, it’s particularly remarkable that these findings come on the heels of President Obama’s <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16804247">recent boasting</a> about the efficacy of drones and his specific claim that the policy has “not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”, adding that it was “important for everybody to understand that this thing is kept on a very tight leash.” Compare that claim to the Bureau’s almost certainly under-stated conclusion that it has “found that since Obama took office three years ago, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 60 children.” And targeting rescuers and funeral attendees of your victims is quite the opposite of keeping the drone program on a “very tight leash.” As Samiullah Khan, one of the Bureau’s field researchers put it:</p>
    <blockquote><p>In a war situation no one is allowed to attack the Red Cross. Rescuers are like that. You are not allowed to attack rescuers. You know, the number of Taliban is increasing in Waziristan day by day, because innocents and rescuers are being killed day by day.</p></blockquote>
    <p>Strictly speaking, the legality of attacking rescuers may be ambiguous because, as the Bureau put it: “It is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions to attack rescuers wearing emblems of the Red Cross or Red Crescent. But what if rescuers wear no emblems, or if civilians are mixed in with militants, as the Bureau’s investigation into drone attacks in Waziristan has repeatedly found?” But there’s nothing ambiguous about the morality of that, or of attacking funerals (recall the worst part of the <a href="http://www.salon.com/2010/04/07/iraq_video/">Baghdad attack video released by WikiLeaks</a>: that the Apache helicopter first fired on the group containing Reuters journalists, then fired again on the people who arrived to help wounded). Whatever else is true, it seems highly likely that Barack Obama is the first Nobel Peace laureate who, after receiving his award, presided over the deliberate targeting of rescuers and funeral mourners of his victims.</p>
    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/05/u_s_drones_targeting_rescuers_and_mourners/singleton/
     
  2. kyle_R

    kyle_R Member

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    It's nothing new under Obama, US has killed thousands (tens of thousands?) of civilians since the "wars" started in 2001. Of course he is now the man in charge.
     
  3. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    I am not so sure you understand what "war" is, and what it entails.

    Civillian death is a part of it. This is why most of us are completely and emphatically against war (cost aside). This is why most of us are desperate to stop these stupid wars, that the right keeps starting.

    Furthermore, there isn't exactly a drone joystick in the oval office. Obama is given intellegence reports and makes his decisions based on those reports. He doesn't purposefully target civillians.

    If Presidents are punished for bad intellegence, then the last admistration should all be on trial for getting us into these wars.
     
  4. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    You guys need to go review how many civilians died during WW2......war is hell, it sucks.

    I do wish we could limit civilian casualties though, I would prefer assassination over drone strikes.

    DD
     
  5. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    You let us all know when republicans start the impeachment of the guy who killed Osama.
     
  6. QdoubleA

    QdoubleA Member

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    I bet hightop was a Bush nuthugger too. Shame.
     
  7. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    right?

    Somehow I think if it was a white, republican president, he wouldn't be posting these ridiculous threads.
     
  8. thadeus

    thadeus Contributing Member

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    RON PAUL NEEDS TO KILL OBAMA AND BECOME PRESIDENT
     
  9. jo mama

    jo mama Contributing Member

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    WTF thadeus - say hi to the secret service for us, ok!
     
  10. Landry92

    Landry92 Member

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    You want look at it like this if the casualty is your brother, or Wife or father. The problem with Americans is that they view American casualty as victims and others as cheap collateral damage, when in fact their both victims.

    Anyway last time I checked bosh was the president during Afghanistan and Iraq invasions!!
     
  11. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Stay on 'em kid, these acts certainly warrant ethical review. A constant state of undeclared war makes it hard to claim any high ground for The American Way.
     
  12. DaDakota

    DaDakota Contributing Member
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    Actually I get that completely, which is why I prefer assassination over drone strikes.

    Collatoral damage just increases the amount of people that hate you....

    DD
     
  13. rhadamanthus

    rhadamanthus Contributing Member

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    So much fail in this post. Yes, hightop is trolling. But your continued ambivalence to Obama's horrid continuation (and escalation) of much-maligned Bush-era policies is just plain hypocrisy. Ironic given your criticism of hightop as a presumed Bush supporter.
     
    #13 rhadamanthus, Feb 6, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  14. across110thstreet

    across110thstreet Contributing Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  15. SacTown

    SacTown Member

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    Remember when everyone said Obama was a Muslim and would side with the terrorists? lmao
     
  16. Qball

    Qball Contributing Member

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    In fact, he would call these threads ridiculous and go on to blast the OP. Funny thing is, I think someone like you would post the thread. Table would just be flipped.

    Sorry to use you as an example, just trying to prove a point.
     
  17. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    King Barry even kills American citizens....
     
  18. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    So we will note that your preference is for Al Qaeda operatives currently serving with a terrorist group militarily involved in attacking the U.S., and it's troops is to not target them militarily.

    You've changed quite a bit.
     
  19. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

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    Game, set, match...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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    HIghtop is a true "libertarian" lol. Obsessed with Obama's actions on civil liberties and foreign affairs, but not a word about Romney or mainstream GOP ers who are much worse on these issues.

    Takes his orders from the GOP"er/Libertarian poser Ron Paul who supports the Republican Party. lol

    Edit. I should have read Greenwald first instead of reacting reflexively to a Ron Paul bot who never criticizes Republicans and in his naive bubble has no awareness of the tremendous suffering and death caused by laissez faire economics in prior centuries till this day.

    Nevertheless it is important to realize that the guys we are targetting and of course many of the folks accompanying them and going to their aid or funerals had nothing to do with 9/11, the only semi-moral reason for our whole sale killing in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    Obama's and Americans actions are deeply shameful.
     
    #20 glynch, Feb 7, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012

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