An investigation by the BIJ for The Sunday Times discovers:
The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties” … A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts. Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.
Whatever else is true, it seems highly likely that Barack Obama is the first Nobel Peace laureate who, after receiving his award, presided over the deliberate targeting of rescuers and funeral mourners of his victims.
Carpenter asks for a shift in language:
in using the term “drone wars” to describe this campaign of executions, the BJI also inadvertently legitimizes the very discourse it is critiquing: the notion that these killings are justifiable because we’re at war… invoking the laws of war to critique those behaviors – which indeed are war law violations if we’re at war – implicitly legitimizes that very idea, which in fact the anti-drone lobby wants to refute.