With drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and soon Mali, that Obama has stated are “precision strikes against al Qaeda and their affiliates,” such precision does not apparently fit the definition of targeted killings, at least in Pakistan. It’s also less than comforting that those responsible for the deaths of hundreds of civilians – at least 10 for every 1 ‘militant’ in Pakistan alone – refer to their manual of guidelines in sports and theater terminology.
But what else should we expect from a regime that has redefined the term ‘militant’ to include “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” thus lowering the potential registered number of civilian deaths. (Source)
The architect of the playbook is newly nominated CIA director John Brennan who is being painted as a voice of moderation and restraint, even as he has presided over an increase in drone strikes during his tenure as chief counterterrorism advisor. We should remember, however, that Brennan also called drone strikes, “ethical, and just” while claiming that there hadn’t been a single collateral death in Pakistan from drone strikes.
This playbook is yet another piece of Orwellian obfuscation that seeks to reassure the public that the greatest care is being taken when they decide in weekly White House meetings who should be part of the Disposition Matrix, being murdered outside the court of law . . . including U.S. citizens.
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