Jeremy Scahill speaks at the Drone Summit
Included at this site is video of a speech by Jeremy Scahill at a large conference on drone warfare. There are four parts and it is on You Tube. Jeremy Scahill writes for the Nation.
Scahill is one of only a few journalists to actually travel to Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen to interview people about the drone attacks.
The very first Obama strike in Yemen was authorized because the target was supposed to be an Al Qaeda training facility supposedly. The U.S. rained down cruise missiles and also cluster bombs. So much for precision targeting. Almost all the victims were women and children.
The Yemeni government at that time headed by President Saleh took credit for the attacks. The U.S. was not mentioned. Photographer Abdulelah Shaye took photos at the site.The Yemeni version of events that claimed the victims were all Al Qaeda militants killed by a Yemeni strike was circulated around the world. Abdulelah Haider Shaye's photos at the scene, showed the remains of the missiles he found were clearly marked 'Made in the USA'. Among the dead were 14 women and 21 children. He is now imprisoned after intervention by the Obama administration when Yemen was actually set to pardon him.. The photos showed that the weapons used were ones the Yemeni government did not have. For more on Shaye see the Nation here and Al Jazeera here among other sites.
Next came the release of Wikileaks cables that showed that there was an agreement that such U.S. attacks would be claimed by the Yemen government so that the U.S. would not be seen to be involved. Of course when there is something to crow about such as taking out Awlaki the U.S. takes the credit.
The Obama administration has now approved expanded use of drones in Yemen the so-called "signature strikes". Scahill claims that such strikes are anything but surgical. In fact the strikes involve a type of profiling. You can decide whether a person or persons are legitimate targets by simply observing their behavior. However often the behavior may be misinterpreted as has happened a number of times in Afghanistan when locals were thought to be planting IED's when they were involved with other activities. For much more see the full article.