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muRda
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#1
09-27-2012
Default The Drone War President

Quote:
Obama’s Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit [VIDEO]
By: Kevin Gosztola Sunday April 29, 2012 10:28 am

Activists, lawyers, human rights advocates, civil liberties defenders and others came together for a major international summit on drone warfare and the issues created by drone use yesterday. The summit was co-organized by CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Reprieve. An exceptional lineup of speakers addressed participants detailing salient and significant aspects around the Obama administration’s expansion of the covert drone wars in countries like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The day wrapped up with a speech from Jeremy Scahill of The Nation, who has been one of the few journalists to actually travel to these countries where the covert drone war is playing out. Scahill has produced reports on Yemen and Somalia that show how the US is carrying out its “war on terrorism” and using drones to target and kill people.

Scahill opens his speech by saying, “The real death panels that we have in this country were unleashed on our own citizens. Republicans like to talk about death panels having to do with health care. President Obama is the one that is operating secret death panels” that include United States citizens and often include non-US citizens. The vast majority of the victims of this policy around the world are not US citizens.

He strongly condemns the al-Majalah massacre that was authorized by Obama and was a brutal massacre, more brutal than anything that has been done in Yemen in the past decade. The strike was authorized on a Bedouin village because “intelligence” showed it was an al Qaeda training facility at the time. “Cruise missiles and cluster bombs rained down.” The US was not mentioned and did not take credit for the attack. Abdulelah Haider Shaye, a journalist, who is now imprisoned by order of the Obama administration, went and took photos. His photos gave human rights groups evidence that weapons used were not weapons the Yemen government had. And then WikiLeaks released cables that “confirmed” what was suspected—that there was a coverup. General David Petraeus conspired with Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh to prevent anyone from knowing the US was bombing Yemen.

Noting how the Obama administration has approved expanded authority for the CIA to carry out “signature strikes,” which basically is profiling, he explains:

The “signature strikes” are anything but surgical. The idea of the signature strikes is that you can develop a pattern of life and you can study a pattern of life being engaged in by certain people in Yemen and you can determine without knowing their identity or knowing that they’ve had any connection to terrorism whatsoever that they are a terrorist – because of how they act, because of who they associate with. And that once you develop that pattern of life, you then create a very efficient pattern of death for those people, which is to bring in the drones and take them out.

He mentions how Anwar al-Awlaki was not an al-Qaeda leader. Only after he was killed was he the “head of external operations” for al Qaeda. Obama was able to get away with this because of the Authorized Use of Military Force (AUMF), which was passed under President George W. Bush and is still in effect. Al-Awlaki was killed by the President of the United States, who served as “judge, jury and executioner.”

Scahill then gives a stirring account of a meeting he had with the mother of Samir Khan, who was killed in the same strike that killed al-Awlaki.

She told me about how disturbed he was when he saw the images that came out of Abu Ghraib in the mid-2000s and he started blogging about US policy and eventually he went to Yemen to study Arabic and somehow he got hooked up with Anwar al-Awlaki. But, the reason I am bringing up is this: the FBI began visiting that family in 2007, when Samir Khan was still living in the United States, and they were concerned about his speech. They visited Samir Khan’s mother and father to express concern about his blogging and the things that he was saying. And they were very clear with the Khans. They said he’s engaged in First Amendment-protected activities. And they were sort of incredulous. “Well, then why are you here?” Well, we’re just concerned about your son.

And then they got in touch with them multiple other times when Samir was in Yemen. And each time the FBI came to the Khans, they told them that they have no evidence that he had done anything criminal and that he was engaged in First Amendment-protected activities. The next time they heard from the United States government was the State Department calling them to tell them that Samir had been killed in Yemen. When they asked who killed them, they said we can’t talk about that.

The critical nature of this anecdote from Scahill cannot be overstated. Tarek Mehanna, who refused to become an FBI informant, was charged and convicted of “terrorism” for venting his frustrations with US policies. The FBI has spied on Muslims looking for “suspicious” speech. They have manipulated impoverished and sometimes mentally unstable Muslims and pushed those who have engaged in aggressive rhetoric against the US to take that rhetoric to the next level and engage in “plots” against the US.

The FBI has also targeted activists like Hatem Abuddayeh, who engages in Palestinian solidarity activism. Abuddayeh is one of twenty-three activists in the Midwest to have his home raided by the FBI. He was given a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury. He also has had his bank account frozen by the Treasury Department. This is presumably all because of the “First Amendment-protected activities,” which the FBI has “concern” about.
http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/201...-summit-video/

Four-part lecture by Jeremy Scahill of The Nation:
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#2
10-07-2012
Default

Can't wait til I have time tonight to watch this, I wanted to learn more about these drone strikes anyway.
muRda
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#4
10-22-2012
Default

Posted this in another thread; I think it is pretty relevant. It's an article about the 16 year old US citizen killed overseas in a drone strike conducted in a country where we are not at war (so they say):An American Teenager in Yemen: Paying for the Sins of His Father?
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muRda
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#5
10-22-2012
Default

Obv I need to l2usethickerlines, but I also got interviewed live and "asked a question to the candidates" about what they would do to stop drone strikes in Pakistan.

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#6
05-28-2013
Default

Quote:
The Obama Administration Finally Admits Killing 4 Americans
Thus surprising absolutely nobody.

By Asawin Suebsaeng | Wed May. 22, 2013 4:00 PM PDT

After nearly two years of (officially [1]) keeping quiet about what the whole world already knew [2], the Obama administration on Wednesday formally [3] acknowledged that the United States government had indeed killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. This had been fairly common knowledge ever since the strikes occurred in 2011, but the White House, CIA, and other involved parties have maintained (but not really [4]) an official policy [4] of not acknowledging that a targeted killing program exists.

Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the administration had signed off on a drone strike that killed, without due process [5], the Al Qaeda-linked cleric Anwar al-Awlaki [6] in Yemen in September 2011 in a letter sent to congressional leaders [7] on Wednesday, which was obtained by New York Times reporter Charlie Savage [8]. The letter also acknowledged the killing of Samir Khan (killed in the same drone operation), Awlaki's teenage son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (killed [9] in Yemen later that month), and Jude Mohammed (killed in Pakistan in November 2011). However, all except Anwar al-Awlaki were "not specifically targeted [10] by the United States," according to Holder's letter.

"Today's disclosure builds on the administration's effort to pursue greater transparency around our counter-terrorism operations," an anonymous White House official told Fox News [11] correspondent Ed Henry.

Here is Holder's letter [12]:
[http://www.scribd.com/doc/143070298/...ism-operations]

The letter was released the day before President Obama is scheduled to deliver a big speech [13] on national security at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. He is expected to touch on his administration's controversial ramped-up use [2] of drone warfare and the status of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay [14], Cuba.

The last time Obama publicly discussed US drone strikes and his administration's targeted killing program was in a Google+ "Fireside Hangout" on February 14 [15]:

First of all, I think, there's never been a drone used on an American citizen on American soil [16]. And, you know, we respect and have a whole bunch of safeguards in terms of how we conduct counter-terrorism operations outside the United States. The rules outside the United States are going to be different then the rules inside the United States. In part because our capacity to, for example, to capture a terrorist inside the United States are very different then in the foothills or mountains of Afghanistan or Pakistan.

But what I think is absolutely true is that it is not sufficient for citizens to just take my word for it that we are doing the right thing. I am the head of the executive branch. And what we've done so far is to try to work with Congress on oversight issues. But part of what I am going to have to work with Congress on is to make sure that whatever it is we're providing Congress, that we have mechanisms to also make sure that the public understands what's going on [17], what the constraints are, what the legal parameters [18] are. And that is something that I take very seriously. I am not someone who believes that the president has the authority to do whatever he wants, or whatever she wants, whenever they want, just under the guise of counter-terrorism. There have to be legal checks and balances on it.
http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013...four-americans
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#7
05-28-2013
Default

I bet this will be huge international news and on all major news networks. The political comedy pundits will have a field day.

Wait, no.
muRda
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#8
05-28-2013
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I was shocked when I tried tuning into even Fox, and they didn't have his speech on. Thankful to at least have a station for BBC.
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#9
06-07-2013
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http://dirtywars.org/
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#10
06-08-2013
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A nuclear holocaust would be so fetch.
 

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