In the pre-dawn hours Thursday Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. drone turned a farmhouse in rural Yemen into a smoldering heap of charred wood that served as a bier for at least eight of those “suspected militants.”
The NYU/Stanford study “Living Under Drones” goes beyond reporting estimates of the civilian casualties inflicted by the deadly and illegal U.S. campaign. It also documents the hell the Pakistanis endure under President Barack Obama’s policy, which includes a “kill list” from which he personally selects targets. The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a “militant.”
Just days after a judge ordered military prosecutors to disclose hundreds of emails exchanged between Army officials in charge of overseeing the detention of PFC Bradley Manning, Courthouse News reports that Manning “privately told his trial judge Wednesday how he intends to respond to charges that he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of secret files about U.S. diplomacy and warfare.”
Federal agents convinced a naïve, violence-inclined 21-year-old Bangladeshi that he was a member of “al Qaeda,” giving the dupe fake bombs to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before swarming in and arresting him on October 17. As has become typical, government officials scrambled to put out press releases patting themselves on the back for their work protecting the “Homeland.”
The most recent indication that the U.S. military may well be in Afghanistan to stay comes from Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Appearing on a panel at the annual meeting of the International Stability Operations Association in Washington on October 16, Grossman said that “the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014,” according to Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy magazine.
Libyan rebels backed by the Obama administration and NATO governments committed a wide range of war crimes, including, in one case, summarily executing and torturing dozens of prisoners of war, possibly including strongman Muammar Gadhafi and his son, the non-profit group Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The new Western-backed government ruling parts of Libya out of Tripoli, meanwhile, has failed to investigate or prosecute the well-documented abuses.
In what might be called "Benghazigate," the controversy has continued over what the president and vice president knew, and when they knew, about requests for increased security at diplomatic posts in Libya, prior to the September 11 armed attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Both classified documents and background statements by American and Middle Eastern officials confirm that most of the weapons sent to rebel forces in Syria are going to Islamic Jihadists, according to a report in Monday's New York Times.
On October 11, 16 "suspected militants" were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. As has become standard operating procedure for such attacks, the unmanned vehicles were reportedly still buzzing over the site of the attack, keeping anyone from approaching the rubble and retrieving the bodies.
In charging his Republican opponent with putting "two wars on a credit card" in the October 11 vice-presidential debate, Vice President Joe Biden misrepresented his own voting record on the wars in a misstatement of fact that went unchallenged by both the debate moderator and the Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).