Another whistle blower has come forward from the ranks of the government with information about the massive assassination program run by the United States. I find that the debate over these documents focuses on whether or not the assassination program has been successful. Even though the vast majority of the world disapprove of drone killings, the US, Israel, Nigeria, and Kenya seem to be the only countries who have a majority of people who approve. What is absent from the discussion on cable news is the fact that murdering people in secret on their soil, based on a hunch that they might be hostile to the US sometime in the future is a horrible crime.
One thing that I have concluded about foreign policy is that I’m not just opposed to much of America’s foreign policy, I’m opposed to the way foreign policy is conducted world wide. I find that as the 21st century continues to unfold and developed countries’ abilities to reap mass destruction become more effective, it is more and more likely that the 21st century will be the century of the nukes.
Our policy of drone killings is creating more terrorists than it is stopping. There are people who think that this is incorrect and that we should continue or even increase our drone killings around the world. One of the things about the study of foreign policy is that the idea of equality is not a possibility. It is the pursuit of hegemonic dominance. Any idea of “treat others as you would like to be treated” does not apply where foreign policy is concerned. So if someone is walking down the road in Yemen and all of the sudden they and everyone around them is blown up by a drone, that is heroic and acceptable. But if you are walking down the road in the United States and all of the sudden you and everyone around you is blown up by a drone from Yemen, that is a terrorist attack. It’s a double standard that is hypocritical and everyone in the world who are the victims of US drone attacks see right thru it.
Here is the report, released by the Intercept, an independent news agency: https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/
Glenn Greenwald is one of the founders of the Intercept. He shared a Noble Prize in journalism with journalists at his previous job with the Guardian and journalists at the Washington Post for there coverage of the Edward Snowden whistleblowing leaks.
Some of the details out lined in the leaked documents:
• Drone strikes in Afghanistan were 10 times more likely to kill civilians than conventional aircraft.
• Nearly 90% of the people who have been killed in drone strikes were not the intended targets.
• Government statements that downplayed how many civilian casualties drone strikes caused were characterized by “exaggerating at best, if not outright lies,” according to the government source.
• In Operation Haymaker, a still-classified operation, of the 219 people killed between January 2012 and February 2013, only 35 were the intended targets.
• Assassinations have depended on flawed intelligence. Much of the information the government has employed for its targeting is from electronic sources, signals intelligence or SIGINT, not backed up by reliable human sources on the ground, HUMINT.
I also wanted to include a debate about the drone program between Glenn Greenwald and Christine Fair, who supports the drone program. It was broadcast on Al-Jazeera America: