When Barack Obama came into power as the President of the United States, he promised justice for the American people, specifically those who had lost their lives in acts of terror.
Three years down, Obama’s accomplishments have been many, among them the capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden, as well as other top Al-Qaeda members, but little does the world know that it is the Obama administration under which thousands and thousands of children, women and men have been killed – all to protect the national interests of the United States. And all of it, is kept very well hidden from the view of the public.
‘Drone attack kills many’, is one of the regular features in dailies across Pakistan. With no regard to gender or age, the attacks have seen many killed across the entire stretch of the Af-Pak borders. The latest being 24 Pakistani Army soldiers who were patrolling the border area when they were attacked and killed by drones – and action which led to Pakistan to cease all NATO consignments from crossing from within its territory.
This year, CIA’s drone policy was amended. In simpler terms the President of the United States, Barack Obama had under the CIA authorized the killings of, among others, those ‘who might be militants’. What this does in effect is gives CIA the power to kill foreign nationals whose identities aren’t known and those who are just ‘suspected’ of being associated with terrorist activities. ‘Attacks against such groups of people are referred to as “signature” strikes by the CIA, as opposed to “personality” strikes which target known suspects’, stated a news report.
The report was met with quite a few raised eyebrows.In November 2011, Wired’s Danger Room correspondant Spencer Ackerman was greatly perturbed at the sudden change of policy and wondered “whether it’s acceptable for the CIA to kill someone without truly knowing if he’s the bombsmith or the laundry guy.”
In the space of a couple of years, the network of drones built under Obama – an apparatus to carry out targeted killings – has been the most extensive compared to any other Commander in Chief. It involves ‘dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force¬ -cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents’.
Just last year, www.thebureauinvestigates.com released a finding which marked the 300th drone strike in Pakistan in the past seven years. Over 85% of those drone strikes, were launched by the administration of President Obama – a staggering figure.
Just this year over 175 children have died due to drone attacks – most of which no doubt, will be cited as ‘collateral damage’. The Bureau has also documented some 306 strikes that have killed almost 3000 people – that is almost 10 innocent deaths for every drone attack inside Pakistan.
The number is, no doubt high, but drone strikes are getting results, as the Obama administration will argue. And maybe President Obama and his administration can justify the attacks, after all the safety of the American people is her administrations’ first priority. But no one, not even them can justify the deaths that are meted out to civilians who’ve committed no crime.