Drones once again. This time two western hostages are killed and Obama apologizes. US drones have now killed “Real People”.
Massacring Muslim wedding parties is, apparently, “Collateral Damage” and is to be expected.
Thursday 23 April 2015 16.10 EDT
The targets of the deadly drone strikes that killed two hostages and two suspected American members of al-Qaida were “al-Qaida compounds” rather than specific terrorist suspects, the White House disclosed on Thursday.
The lack of specificity suggests that despite a much-publicized 2013 policy change by Barack Obama restricting drone killings by, among other things, requiring “near certainty that the terrorist target is present”, the US continues to launch lethal operations without the necessity of knowing who specifically it seeks to kill, a practice that has come to be known as a “signature strike”.
Human-rights observers see little indication, two years after Obama’s speech, that the US meets its own stated standards on preventing civilian casualties in counter-terrorism operations. Reprieve, looking at US drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, concluded last year that the US killed nearly 1,150 people while targeting 41 individuals.
Earlier this month, a collaborative report from the Open Society Justice Initiative and researchers from the Yemeni nongovernmental organization Mwatana Organization for Human Rights documented nine US air strikes between May 2012 and April 2014 that caused civilian harm.
Based on interviews with victims and their relatives, eyewitnesses, doctors and hospital staff, the report cites a US drone strike that killed 12 people, including a pregnant woman and three children, as well as another incident in which the US struck a house containing 19 people, including women and children. read the whole piece here