OMNI DRONE/ASSASSINATION NEWSLETTER #
13, December 28, 2013. Compiled by
Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice. (Newsletter
#1, Dec. 29, 2010; #2 July 20, 2011; #3 Feb. 16, 2012; #4 May 3, 2012; #5 June
9, 2012; #6 Oct. 12, 2012; #7 Dec. 20, 2012; #8 Jan. 22, 2013; #9, Feb. 16,
2013; #10 May 11, 2013; #11 May 29, 2013; #12 Nov. 1, 2013.) See Newsletters on ACLU, Air War, Assassinations, CIA, Civil Liberties, Constitution
and Drones, Democracy and Drones, Extra-Judicial Killing, Geneva Conventions, International
Law, Killing Civilians, Media and Drones,
Pentagon, Privacy, Surveillance, Terror,
War Crimes, and more. Obama,
The multifarious methods of oppression employed by
an oppressor state would fill an encyclopedia.
One general method is the control of language,
including rhetorical devices. A specific
figure is euphemism, one of many
effective linguistic devices designed to
hide the truth. For example, our
government has rebranded
state assassination as “high value targeting.” US
any subject links these drone newsletters with other newsletter subjects, it is
violence, its complexity, and how to reduce it. “Make World Less Violent, New UA Graduates
Told.” (ADG 12-16-12). OMNI, you and
I, are engaged in basic work of proselytizing, of converting people, especially
people with power, from violence to nonviolence. US
Write or Call the White HousePresident Obama has declared his commitment to creating the most open and accessible administration in American history. That begins with taking comments and questions from you, the public, through our website.
Call the President
PHONE NUMBERSComments: 202-456-1111
Visitor's Office: 202-456-2121
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4. And finally, be sure to include the full address of the White House to make sure your message gets to us as quickly and directly as possible:
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
My blog: War Department/Peace Department
Peace, Justice, Ecology National Days
Visit OMNI’s Library.
“Act in such a way that the principle according to which the action is performed can be accepted as a universal law.” Immanuel Kant’s Categorical Imperative. Ahimsa. Nonviolence. Reverence for life.
DRONE WATCH: www.MuckRock.com , a free, online data-base.
Nos. 7, 8, 9, 10 at end
Robert Greenwald Film Needs Our Help
Extra-Judicial Killing, UN Rapporteur
Medea Benjamin Challenges President Obama
Sprusansky on Muslimi and Obama Admin. Preference for Killing
BOOKS ON DRONES (in reverse chronological order)
Scahill, Dirty Wars
Benjamin, Drone Warfare
Engelhart and Turse, Terminator Planet
Cavallaro, Living Under Drones (a long report)
Contents #12 Nov. 1, 2013
Goodman, Resistance to Obama’s Drone Wars
United Nations: Put Drones Under International Law
Draft Drone Ban Treaty
Malala to Obama: Dones Cause Terrorism
Dirty War Film
Palast, Drones, Missiles, Etc.
FAIR, Media Not Examining Drone Attacks
Against Alleged “Terrorists” in
Savage and Baker, Obama Limits Targets and Shifts to Military Control
Drones Coming to
NG 188th at Ft.
Moyers on Drones.
New Greenwald Film, Unmanned:
Drone War America
Moyers & Co. Nov. 3
Now: Tahir, Director, Wounds of
Waziristan, New Film on US Drone War in
Porter, CIA Revenge Strike Blocks
Peace Initiative Pakistan
Extra!, Media Downplay Drones
Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial Killing
Reprieve Organization Defending People Sentenced to Death
Hina Shamsi, ACLU vs. Targeted Killing, Extra-judicial Murder
CCR & ACLU Suit Soon to Be Decided by USSC
NATIONAL GUARD 188TH TO INCLUDE DRONES ARKANSAS
swtimes.com › News
Feb 29, 2012 - WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said Wednesday that the Air Force should expand Fort Smith's 188th Fighter Wing mission to ...
Feb 3, 2012 - The Fort Smith-based fighter wing of the
National Guard will
shift from fighter planes to drones next year. Arkansas
May 9, 2013 - “The intent is to have (the drone mission) operational in the first quarter of Fiscal '16, ...
Demonstration draws participants from across
The ANSWER Coalition joined CodePink and other anti-war organizations on Nov. 15 for a march from the White House to General Atomics in protest of the
Speakers at the White House included a delegation from
Click here to view a slideshow of photos from the demonstration!
Read Article | Share:
Your contributions are needed to sustain the work of ANSWER
Feb 10, 2013
By the standards of slaughter in
the deaths by drone are hardly a blip on the
consciousness of official ... Vietnam
Sent to Ashlie, Dale, Chele, Sidney, Joel, Carl, Caleb, Kelly, Gerry, Mark S, Jesse, Jay J, John G, Gladys
Robert Greenwald, Brave New Foundation
GREENWALD’S UNMANNED AVAILABLE AT PRESENT FREE STREAMING
's Drone Wars for FREE.
Robert Greenwald's newest full-length
feature is now available to stream for free. The documentary
will ... America
5 days ago - "Unmanned:
's Drone Wars" Hidden
Truth Behind US Drone Program Video One of the most anticipated documentaries
on drones, ... America
5 days ago - A new documentary film, called "Unmanned:
's Drone Wars," ...The full-length feature
documentary is directed by Robert Greenwald, ... America
Thank you for signing up to stream "Unmanned:
Drone Wars" America
We are glad you have joined us in the fight to expose America's Drone Wars.
Here is the link for you to stream the film.
Here is the link for you to stream the film.
Like all of our previous films, this one is made to help create social change. From Outfoxed to Wal-mart to Rethink:
Koch Brothers Exposed, we have worked together using these films to change
hearts, minds and policy. Afghanistan
Thanks to a generous donor, we're able to provide this film for FREE for a limited time! Who else do you think needs to see this film? Can we count on you to send them this link and ask them to sign up to watch this important film? Are there friends or family members that can help us spread the word, people in the media, elected officials, people who disagree with us on this issue? With your help we can educate and engage enough people and work to change the
drone policy. U.S.
The documentary is available to stream for FREE for a limited time. Let's work together to make sure others are receiving this documentary for FREE.
Thank you for your support. War Costs
Thank you for your support. War Costs
MOYERS & CO., UNMANNED
Focused on the first part of the film: Tariq Azis, his cousin killed by CIA drone, then Tariq killed. Neither by judge or jury. Primacy of killing the enemy inevitably results in killing innocent people. Write to Moyers at BillMoyers.com.
'Wounds of Waziristan':
Exclusive Broadcast of New Film on Pakistanis Haunted by
Drone War U.S.
The Pakistani government is warning of a new rift with the
States after a CIA drone strike that killed
the head of the Pakistani Taliban. Hakimullah Mehsud and six other militants
died on Friday when U.S.
missiles hit their vehicle in North Waziristan.
Mehsud had a $5 million bounty on his head and was accused of responsibility
for thousands of deaths. The attack came just as the Pakistani government had
relaunched peace talks with the Taliban.
In a broadcast exclusive, airs a documentary that highlights the stories of civilians directly impacted by drone attacks in
"Wounds of Waziristan," directed by
Madiha Tahir. "Waziristan is only half the size of New Jersey. How would it
feel if bombs rained over New Jersey
for nine years?" asks Tahir in the film. "Would you be frightened? If
they killed your son, your cousin or your husband, and got away with it, would
you be angry? You probably couldn’t forget about it if you tried. You’d be
© 2013 Democracy Now!
DRONE STRIKE SERVED CIA REVENGE, BLOCKED
’S [PEACE] STRATEGY, BY
GARETH PORTER. Published: Friday 8
November 2013 PAKISTAN
But the drone strike that killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud Nov. 1 stopped the peace talks before they could begin.
After a drone strike had reportedly killed Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud Nov. 1, the spokesperson for the U.S. National Security Council declared that, if true, it would be “a serious loss” for the terrorist organization.
That reaction accurately reflected the Central Intelligence Agency’s argument for the strike. But the back story of the episode is how President Barack Obama supported the parochial interests of the CIA in the drone war over the Pakistani government’s effort to try a new political approach to that country’s terrorism crisis.
The failure of both drone strikes and Pakistani military operations in the FATA tribal areas to stem the tide of terrorism had led to a decision by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to try a political dialogue with the Taliban.
But the drone strike that killed Mehsud stopped the peace talks before they could begin.
Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan immediately denounced the drone strike that killed Mehsud as “a conspiracy to sabotage the peace talks.” He charged that the
had “scuttled” the initiative “on the eve, 18 hours before a formal delegation
of respected ulema [Islamic clerics] was to fly to Miranshah and hand over this
formal invitation.” United States
An unidentified State Department official refused to address the Pakistani minister’s criticism, declaring coolly that the issue was “an internal matter for
Three different Taliban commanders told Reuters Nov. 3 they had been preparing for the talks but after the killing of Mehsud, they now felt betrayed and vowed a wave of revenge attacks.
The strategy of engaging the Taliban in peace talks, which was supported by the unanimous agreement of an “All Parties Conference” on Sept. 9, was not simply an expression of naïvete about the Taliban as was suggested by a Nov. 3 New York Times article on the Pakistani reaction to the drone strike.
A major weakness of the Tehreek-e-Taliban
(TTP) lies in the fact that it is a coalition of as many as 50 groups, some of
whose commanders are less committed to the terrorist campaign against the
Pakistani government than others. In the aftermath of the Mehsud killing,
several Taliban militants told Reuters that some Taliban commanders were still
in favour of talks with the government. Pakistan
Join NationofChange today by making a generous tax-deductible contribution and take a stand against the status quo.
The most important success achieved by
in countering Taliban
violence in the past several years has been to reach accommodations with
several militant leaders who had been allied with the Taliban but agreed to
oppose Taliban attacks on government officials and security forces. Pakistan
Sharif and other Pakistani officials were well aware that the
prevent such talks from taking place by killing Mehsud or other Taliban leaders
with a drone strike. United States
The government lobbied the
United States in
September and October to end its drone war in – or at least to give the
government a period of time to try its political strategy. Pakistan
Obama had already suggested in a May 23 speech at
that the need for the strikes was fast diminishing and would soon end, because
there were very few high value targets left to hit, and because the U.S. would be withdrawing troops from .
In August, Secretary of State John Kerry had said the end might come “very,
very soon.” Afghanistan
After the meeting with Sharif on Oct. 23, Obama said they had agreed to cooperate in “ways that respect
sovereignty, that respect the concerns of both countries” and referred
favourably to Sharif’s efforts to “reduce these incidents of terrorism.” Pakistan
Shortly after the meeting, Sharif’s adviser on national security and foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that the Obama administration had promised to “consider” the prime minister’s request to restrain drone attacks while the government carried out a political dialogue.
A “senior Pakistani official” told the Express Tribune that Obama had “assured Premier Nawaz that drone strikes would only be used as a last option” and that he was planning to end the drone war once “a few remaining targets” had been eliminated.
The official said the Pakistani government now believed the unilateral strikes would end in “a matter of months.”
But Obama’s meeting with Sharif evidently occurred before the CIA went to Obama with specific intelligence about Mehsud, and proposed to carry out a strike to kill him.
The CIA had an institutional grudge to settle with Mehsud after he had circulated a video with Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the Jordanian suicide bomber who had talked the CIA into inviting him to its compound at
in Khost province, where he killed seven CIA officials and contractors on Dec.
30, 2009. Camp Chapman
The CIA had already carried out at least two drone strikes aimed at killing Mehsud in January 2010 and January 2012.
Killing Mehsud would not reduce the larger threat of terrorism and would certainly trigger another round of TTP suicide bombings in
’s largest cities in
Although it would satisfy the CIA’s thirst for revenge and make the CIA and his administration look good on terrorism to the
public, it would also make it impossible for the elected Pakistani government
to try a political approach to TTP terrorism. U.S.
Obama appears to have been sympathetic to Sharif’s argument on terrorism and had no illusions that one or a few more drone strikes against leading Taliban officials would prevent the organization from continuing to mobilize its followers to carry out terror attacks, including suicide bombers.
But the history of the drone war in
shows that the CIA has prevailed even when its proposed targets were highly
questionable. In March 2011, U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter had
opposed a CIA proposal for a drone strike just as CIA contractor Raymond Davis
was about to be released from a jail in Pakistan . Lahore
Munter had learned that the CIA wanted the strike because it was angry at
Pakistan’s ISI, which regarded the Haqqani group
as an ally, over ’s
incarceration, according to an AP story on Aug. 2, 2011. The Haqqani group was
heavily involved in fighting Davis U.S.
and NATO troops in Afghanistan
but was opposed to the TTP’s terror attacks in . Pakistan
CIA Director Leon Panetta rejected Munter’s objection to the strike, however, and Obama had supported Panetta. It was later revealed that the strike had been based on faulty intelligence. It was not a meeting of Haqqani network that was hit but a conference of tribal leaders from all over the province on an economic issue.
But the CIA simply refused to acknowledge its mistake and continued to claim to journalists that only terrorists had attended the meeting.
After the strike, Obama had formalized the ambassador’s authority to oppose a proposed drone strike, giving Munter what he called a “yellow card.” But despite the evidence that the CIA had carried out a drone strike for parochial reasons rather then an objective assessment of evidence, Obama gave the CIA director the power to override an ambassadorial dissent, even if the secretary of state supported the ambassador.
The extraordinary power of the CIA director over the drone strike policy, which was formalized by Obama after that strike, was evident in Obama’s decision to approve the CIA’s proposal for the Mehsud strike. The director was now John Brennan, who had shaped public opinion in favor of drone strikes through a series of statements, interviews and leaks as Obama’s deputy national security adviser from 2009 to 2013.
Even though Obama was determined to phase out the drone war in
and apparently sympathized
with the need for the Pakistani government to end it within a matter of months,
he was unwilling to reject the CIA’s demand for a strike that once again
involved the agency’s parochial interests. Pakistan
A late July 2013 survey had shown that 61 percent of
citizens still supported the use of drones. Having already shaped public
perceptions on the issue of terrorism, Obama allowed the interests of the CIA
to trump the interests of U.S. Pakistan
and the United States in
trying a different approach to ’s
otherwise intractable terrorism problem. Pakistan
MEDIA REPORTING DRONES
Rania Khalek, “Seeing What They Want to See in Malala.” Extra! (Dec. 2013). “Media amplify Yousafzai’s criticism of Taliban, not US drones.” The “extensive coverage in US corporate media” of Malala Yousafzai “is well-deserved. But it stands in striking contrast to the muted coverage” of “US drone strikes” in the meeting she had with Pres. Obama. Khalek studied ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT,
LAT following the Oct. 11 meeting. WP,
PHILIP ALSTON, REPORT BY UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR FOR EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLING