Edward Snowden and drone warfare

This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 1: “It’s a War on Whistleblowers”: Snowden Pens Foreword to New Scahill Book

3 May 2016

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden wrote the foreword for the new book by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, “The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program,” which is based on leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower.

Snowden writes, “These disclosures about the Obama administration’s killing program reveal that there’s a part of the American character that is deeply concerned with the unrestrained, unchecked exercise of power. And there is no greater or clearer manifestation of unchecked power than assuming for oneself the authority to execute an individual outside of a battlefield context and without the involvement of any sort of judicial process.” We speak with Scahill, who says the Obama administration has targeted Snowden for being a whistleblower, while allowing others to leak information that benefits it.

This video from the USA says about itself:

Part 2: “It’s a War on Whistleblowers”: Snowden Pens Foreword to New Scahill Book

This video from the USA says about itself:

“The Assassination Complex”: Jeremy Scahill & Glenn Greenwald Probe Secret US Drone Wars in New Book

3 May 2016

As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, we look at a new book out today that paints a very different picture of the U.S. drone program. “The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program” is written by Jeremy Scahill and the staff of The Intercept, and based on leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower.

The documents undermine government claims that drone strikes have been precise. Part of the book looks at a program called Operation Haymaker in northeastern Afghanistan. During one five-month period, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The book is based on articles published by The Intercept last year. It also includes new contributions from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and The Intercept’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. We speak with Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald.

Drone strikes and the anger they generate effectively serve to recruit people into the Taliban and other extremist organizations. Even those involved in the program have come to the same conclusion: here.

The Army Chaplain Who Quit Over ‘Unaccountable Killing’ of Obama’s Secretive Drone Program: here.

Night and day, U.S. “pilots” sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime, writes Dennis J Bernstein.

The US government today claimed it has killed between 64 and 116 “non-combatants” in 473 counter-terrorism strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya between January 2009 and the end of 2015. This is a fraction of the 380 to 801 civilian casualty range recorded by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism from reports by local and international journalists, NGO investigators, leaked government documents, court papers and the result of field investigations: here.

Numbers in Obama’s drone deaths report just don’t add up: here.

THE UK could well be ‘complicit’ in US War Crimes committed using drones, and could face prosecution, a new report released yesterday after two years of research by a parliamentary committee warned: here.

11 thoughts on “Edward Snowden and drone warfare

  1. Wednesday, 11 May 2016

    UK DRONE STRIKES – ‘Could be vulnerable to a charge of murder’ – Harman

    UK military personel carrying out drone strikes ‘could be vulnerable to a charge of murder,’ Labour MP Harriet Harman said yesterday.

    Harman chairs the cross-party Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights who published a report yesterday examining the legality of UK drone strikes. Two UK citizens were killed in Syria last year by an RAF drone attack.

    Legal charity Reprieve warned yesterday that 25% of those killed in drone strikes are civilians. The Tory government has conceded that a ‘hit list’ of names of several ‘British jihadis’ has been drawn up. Harman said: ‘When there is a planned killing in cold blood, they have to be sure that they are complying with the law.’

    On August 21st last year 21-year-old Cardiff born Reyaad Khan was killed by an RAF drone in what has been described as a ‘targeted assassination’. Referring to the killing of Khan, Harman said: ‘He was targeted on a list. The government have said that they are going to be doing more of these possibly if they feel it is necessary in say Libya, or Yemen and Somalia and if they are going to do that there needs to be some independent check afterwards.

    ‘There is a committee called the Intelligence and Security Committee which actually is security cleared, so it can look at secret information, to say “Was the Intelligence Service right? Was this the right person that they actually did kill? Was it necessary?”

    ‘If our military kill somebody abroad then actually they could still be vulnerable to a charge of murder, unless they have a proper legal defence. And I think that we need that independent check, because if you are taking a life, if the state is taking a life, even to protect lives it is a serious matter.’

    Jennifer Gibson is a lawyer from Reprieve who represents families who have been killed by drone attacks. She gave evidence to the committee which was used in their report. Gibson said: ‘The confusion around the legal framework has led to potentially as many as 25% of those killed being civilians, killed without any accountability.

    ‘It has created massive amounts of resentment on the ground in the countries where these strikes are going on. You now have US generals coming out – General Michael Flynn just last year – saying that the programme is a failed strategy.’

    Referring to US airstrikes she added: ‘The basis and strength of the intelligence has been proven to be very weak. They were willing to take strikes on weak or non-existent intelligence where they were killing people they did not even know, what or who they were on the ground.

    ‘They were basing their strikes on “signatures”, which are effectively patterns of behaviour. One of the leaks from inside the CIA, was that at one point the CIA director of the operation used to see three men in a field doing jumping jacks and he would think it was a terrorist training camp and take a strike.’

    The MoD issued the following statement yesterday: ‘We are clear that where we identify a direct and imminent threat to the UK we will take lawful action to address it and report to Parliament after we have done so.’



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