Drones have killed hundreds of civilians in Pakistan, Yemen
In a wide-ranging foreign policy profile of President Obama in The Atlantic, his deputy national-security adviser, Ben Rhodes, has said that the President “has not had a second thought about drones”.
The US covert drone programme has killed hundreds of innocent civilians in Yemen and Pakistan – countries with which the US is not at war. The details of the programme, and its victims, are shrouded in secrecy. Earlier this week, however, it was announced that the Obama administration will “publicly release an assessment of combatant and non-combatant casualties resulting from strikes taken outside areas of active hostilities since 2009”.
One of international human rights NGO Reprieve’s clients, Faisal bin Ali Jaber, is a Yemeni man whose civilian brother-in-law and nephew were killed in a 2012 US drone strike. The US Government has never offered official acknowledgement of, or an apology for, the strike.
Commenting, Joe Pace, attorney with international human rights group Reprieve which represents civilian victims of drone strikes, said: “According to his interview in the Atlantic, President Obama hasn’t had ‘a second thought about drones’. What a luxury. It is not a luxury that Faisal bin Ali Jaber – whose nephew and brother-in-law were innocent Yemeni civilians killed by a US drone – gets to enjoy. Drones, and the irrevocable damage they have wrought on his family and his life, plague Faisal’s every waking thought. The covert drone programme is not something that can be carried out without a care. It has wrought untold damage on entire communities in countries with which the US is not at war, and it must be stopped.”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.