Covert Drone War

The use of Predator and Reaper drones (unmanned flying vehicles that are often armed with video-guided missiles) by the US military and CIA is a largely untold story of the "Global War on Terror / Global Contingency Operation" - yet has caused thousands of deaths in Pakistan and Afghanistan, many of whom are women and children.

The Rise of the Killer Drones: How America Goes to War in Secret

by Michael Hastings 

One day in late November, an unmanned aerial vehicle lifted off from Shindand Air Base in western Afghanistan, heading 75 miles toward the border with Iran. The drone's mission: to spy on Tehran's nuclear program, as well as any insurgent activities the Iranians might be supporting in Afghanistan.

With an estimated price tag of $6 million, the drone was the product of more than 15 years of research and development, starting with a shadowy project called DarkStar overseen by Lockheed Martin. The first test flight for DarkStar took place in 1996, but after a crash and other mishaps, Lockheed announced that the program had been canceled. According to military experts, that was just a convenient excuse for "going dark," meaning that DarkStar's further development would take place under a veil of secrecy.

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Anti-Drone Activist Denied Visa to Visit U.S.

by Murtaza Hussain 

“If the U.S. believes in the rule of law, it should not be hindering advocacy of claims against the CIA for wrongful death and injury.”

Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer and co-founder of the Pakistan based legal advocacy organization Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR) has been campaigning for the past several years on behalf of civilians who have been killed and maimed as part of the CIA’s covert drone warfare program in NW Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

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kNOw Drones!

A “reaper” replica spurs sidewalk conversations about drone warfare outside New York’s Museum of Modern Art, click to watch.

“The goals of this tour are an end to US drone warfare and US wars and an international ban on weaponized drones and drone surveillance,” said Nick Mottern, director of the tour. 

The kNOw Drones tour is sponsored by World Can't Wait, Code Pink, and other groups. Sponsorship for us means real involvement, input, and learning as much as we can by being out on the street with the tour. Join us! News from the tour:

The 2012 Know Drones Tour, a public education campaign focusing on legal, ethical and civil liberties concerns raised by the surge in drone warfare and drone surveillance, begins in Brooklyn, New York on April 12, 2012 with sidewalk displays of large-scale replicas of the MQ-9 Reaper drone, the workhorse of drone warfare.

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US Drone Strikes Surged During Yemen Uprising

by Kevin Gosztola

A new study out from the UK-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) provides some of the clearest accounting yet of the United States’ covert war on terror in Yemen, including the use of drone strikes. It shows that seventy-five percent of US drone attacks there have taken place since May 2011 during the instability created by the uprising in Yemen.

Altogether, TBIJ finds 44 US attacks have taken place in Yemen. About 34 of them have happened since May of last year. Somewhere between 275-390 people have been killed. Fifty-four to one hundred of those have been civilians while 221-289 have been “alleged militants.”

Data on recent attacks reveals an escalation in drone strikes this month. The number of attacks are now equal to, if not more than, the number of CIA drone attacks in Pakistan.

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Video: Left Forum Panel on Stopping the US Drone War

A Chilling Feature of the US War of Terror, Expanded by Obama Administration to Include Targeted Assassinations

Organized by War Criminals Watch

Debra Sweet:

Continue watching:

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Attorney General Holder Defends Execution Without Charges

by Glen Greenwald 

In a speech at Northwestern University yesterday, Attorney General Eric Holder provided the most detailed explanation yet for why the Obama administration believes it has the authority to secretly target U.S. citizens for execution by the CIA without even charging them with a crime, notifying them of the accusations, or affording them an opportunity to respond, instead condemning them to death without a shred of transparency or judicial oversight.

The administration continues to conceal the legal memorandum it obtained to justify these killings, and, as The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage noted, Holder’s “speech contained no footnotes or specific legal citations, and it fell far short of the level of detail contained in the Office of Legal Counsel memo.”

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Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals

by

The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of  civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.

The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a ‘targeted, focused effort’ that ‘has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties.’

Speaking publicly for the first time on the controversial CIA drone strikes, Obama claimed last week they are used strictly to target terrorists, rejecting what he called ‘this perception we’re just sending in a whole bunch of strikes willy-nilly’.

‘Drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties’, he told a questioner at an on-line forum. ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists trying to go in and harm Americans’.

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U.S. Accused of Using Drones to Target Rescue Workers and Funerals in Pakistan

via Democracy Now!

The CIA’s drone campaign targeting suspected militants in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to rescue victims or were attending funerals. So concludes a new report by the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. It found that since President Obama took office three years ago, as many as 535 civilians have been killed, including more than 60 children. The investigation also revealed that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. We speak to Chris Woods, award-winning reporter with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. "We noted that there were repeated reports at the time, contemporaneous reports in publications like New York Times, news agencies like Reuters, by CNN, that there were these strikes on rescuers, that there were reports that there had been an initial strike and then, some minutes later, as people had come forward to help and pull out the dead and injured, that drones had returned to the scene and had attacked rescuers," Woods says. "We’ve been able to name just over 50 civilians that we understand have been killed in those attacks. In total, we think that more than 75 civilians have been killed, specifically in these attacks on rescuers and on mourners, on funeral-goers."

Full transcript on democracynow.org. This story appeared on Monday February 6, 2012.

U.S. Drones Targeting Rescuers and Mourners

by Glenn Greenwald 

On December 30 of last year, ABC News reported on a 16-year-old Pakistani boy, Tariq Khan, who was killed with his 12-year-old cousin when a car in which he was riding was hit with a missile fired by a U.S. drone. As I noted at the time, the report contained this extraordinary passage buried in the middle:

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Air America: Under the Imperial Eye

by Chris Floyd 

One unanticipated benefit of the relentless drive to turn every nook and cranny of the American war machine into a cash cow for private profit is the fact that so much of the nitty-gritty operational work is now put out for bids. And this can give us an occasional glimpse -- through the weeds of contract arcana -- of what our poobahs and satraps are really up to on the far-flung fields of empire.

For example, in olden times -- when war pork was confined more to vittles and blankets and bullets and such -- we might never have known of the latest development in the not-at-all-ended American occupation of Iraq. As the New York Times reports, Iraqis were outraged this week to find they are being spied upon by a fleet of American drones hovering constantly in their supposedly sovereign skies, long after the supposed withdrawal of American forces.

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Main Covert Drone War

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.