President Barack Obama readily confirmed the drone war in northwest Pakistan in an interview Monday, breaking with the protocol which normally demands U.S. officials not speak publicly about the classified program.
“I want to make sure people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties,” President Obama said in an hour long interview hosted by Google. “For the most part, they’ve been very precise, precision strikes against against al-Qaeda and their affiliates.”
The claim mirrors previous attempts to downplay the civilian casualties of the drone war. John Brennan, President Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor, told the public back in June that zero civilian casualties have occurred as a result of U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.
This was an obvious lie, but the Bureau of Investigative Journalism helped prove it so in August by cataloguing their lengthy findings on civilian casualties in the drone war, counting hundreds of civilians by name who were killed in drone strikes, including at least 168 children. Investigative reporter Noor Behram, who had been on the ground in Pakistan tallying the dead, estimated that “for every 10 to 15 people killed, maybe they get one militant.”
A Washington Post article last month explained that, although the government has dismissed “reports of collateral damage and the alleged killing of innocents” by claiming that drones “result in far fewer mistakes than less sophisticated weapons,” they have yet to provide any details to support those claims.
The Post report said that the drone war in Pakistan has resulted “in an estimated 1,350 to 2,250 deaths.” But the public simply doesn’t have a good idea of how many have been killed, because “the identities…remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself.”
In the same Google interview, President Obama also down-played the role of U.S. drones in Iraq, saying that “the truth is we’re not engaging in a bunch of drone attacks inside Iraq. There’s some surveillance to make sure that our embassy compound is protected.”
Both Pakistan and Iraq have publicly objected to America’s use of drones flying over their skies, saying it amounts to a violation of their sovereignty.
14 thoughts on “Obama Denies ‘Huge Number of Civilian Casualties’ in Drone War”
"[…]precision strikes against against al-Qaeda and their affiliates.” So if you like dismembering people, be sure to call them 'affiliates' firs– -er- –when you get the time.
"Both Pakistan and Iraq have publicly objected to America’s use of drones flying over their skies, saying it amounts to a violation of their sovereignty."
Then why don't these respective governments simply demand that they end the drone flights? Perhaps they're not as "sovereign" as they think if they're unable to stop another power from violating their airspace and killing their citizens.
Drone attacks and night raids are terror. The real terrorists are the CIA/NATO. Because of their terror Pakistan denies them to be supplied in Afghanistan through Pakistan. Because of the Missile Shield in Europe Russia is threatening to close the supply route through Russia. What will the US/NATO do then ? Fly everything to Afghanistan ? Arrogant terrorists in Washington.
Exactly – "precision strikes against against al-Qaeda and their affiliates." Well, since it's already been revealed there are fewer than 100 al-Qaeda active in Af-Pak, and over 1800 confirmed drone killings, I guess there must have been a lot of civilians killed. Of course, the Taliban in this case are civilians, too, since they are defending their homeland from occupation.
The Wall St. Water boy can deny his love affair with the 1% all the way but his oath of office requires him to be a leader of " we, the people". He's fired for ignorance, narcissism, that mustache and worse. We need HR1489 and NAWAPA.
The President was talking about the 'cost-effect' of the drone program. Absolutely no US citizens are killed or are in grave danger from the program. A few toggle button abrasions, perhaps, or a slight eye-strain, but regular stretching helps minimize repetitive activity stress.
Depleted Uranium in Afghanistan is killing afghan babies http://presstv.com/detail/224042.html
Tell President Obama to google "drone stike victims" set on images. But as Greenwald says, a terrorist is anybody who happens to be standing where a drone strike occurs as far as this administration is concerned.
If a suspected murderer was hiding out in a house next door and the police dropped a hellfire missile from a drone overhead, killing the suspect, killing your family and 12 of your neighbors, destroying 6 houses including yours, and the police claimed mission accomplished, how would you feel?
And we wonder why they fight us?
When are we going to be sick and tired of this death and destruction? Please support Dr. Ron Paul so that this killing will stop.
He's another grinning liar.
OK, your honor, I admit I raped her. But I ejaculated prematurely, so it wasn't really so bad!
Little concern is shown by our War Chief for dead civilians. How easily he lies. Stunning.
Atta boy. Obama is the consummate politician. He lies, lies, lies and when in doubt, he denies, denies, denies. Long live our Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
And btw, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported in August that U.S. drones strikes had killed between about 400 and 800 civilians, including 175 children. The Bureau put the total number of people killed by drones as high as 3,000.
Of course, our illustrious president would argue that those were insurgents or at least considering it.
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