Posted 5 years ago on Oct. 15, 2012, 11:26 p.m. EST by arturo
from Shanghai, Shanghai
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
Two new studies on President Obama’s practice of mass-killing through drones strikes, have recently been issued by top law schools in the U.S. The two studies are hair-raising— both in their debunking of the notion of “surgical precision” which Administration officials claim for drone strikes, and for their demonstration of the illegality of Obama’s practices under the laws of war and international humanitarian law.
In other words, by the standards of international law, particularly those established for the protection of civilians, after the atrocities of World War II, Barack Obama, President of the United States, is a war criminal. The first of these studies, issued on Sept. 24, was a joint project of Stanford Law School and New York University Law School. Entitled “Living Under Drones: Death, Injury, and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan,” it is based on 130 interviews, including of 69 persons who were either victims of drone strikes, witnesses, or family members of victims from North Waziristan, in the Federally Protected Tribal Areas (FATA) on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
The second, titled, “The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions,” conducted by the Columbia Law School and the Center for Civilians in Conflict, was released Oct. 1, and deals with drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia, in addition to Pakistan. Taken together, the two studies constitute a damning indictment of Obama’s killing policy using covert drone strikes. A major theme of both studies, more explicit in the Columbia study, is to debunk the claimed notion of “precision” in drone strikes; Obama, for example, has described the strikes as “precise, precision strikes against Al Qaeda and their affiliates.” In truth, there is no such “precision” in either the targeting before strikes, or in assessing casualities and damage after the fact.
…the Stanford study reports that when George W. Bush left office, the U.S. had carried out 45-52 drone strikes from 2002-08. Obama has conducted almost 300 strikes in just three and one-half years—roughly six times more than Bush, in half the time.
Accurate figures on casualties are impossible to come by, but the Stanford report says that what it considers the best estimate, that made by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ), is that 2,562 to 3,325 people were killed by drone strikes during the period from mid-2004 to mid-2012—most since Obama took office in 2009. The BIJ estimate is that 474 to 881 of these were civilians, including 176 children, these being the only cases that the BIJ could actually identify as civilians. The accounts of mass killings obtained in on-the-ground interviews in Pakistan show a much higher percentage of civilian deaths.