Monday, October 15, 2012


An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft takes off from Joint Base Balad, Iraq. Photo: USAF
A new analysis from a global citizen advocacy group on the secretive U.S. drone campaign claims there is very little knowledge of the actual number of civilian casualties connected with each strike, despite official information to the contrary, according to a report on

The Obama administration has previously stated that civilian casualties from the Pakistan drone war were in the single digits, while the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates the minimum death toll is closer to 450, according to the story.
Single digits?  The claim is laughable.  No one knows the body count of innocents killed by covert drone attacks in the Middle East, not even the White House, not Congress.  The drones haunt me not only because of innocents killed, not only because of grieving families left behind, but also because of the toll on the living, the people of Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, who go about their daily lives in fear of the sound of drones, who can't sleep nights because they're frightened of a drone attack.

I've thought I should not write about the drones three weeks before a crucial election, because the reckless use of our military might would be much worse under the living nightmare of a Romney administration, but the haunting remains, and so I write.  The drone attacks are done in our name, in the name of each one of us who claims citizenship in the US, without discussion or accountability, and that's not right.  Attention must be paid.

H/T to Wired for the photo.