July 3, 2013.
News of the boy's death indicates the administration is being less than forthright about civilian casualties
On June 9, a U.S. drone fired on a vehicle in a remote province of Yemen and killed several militants, according to media reports.Read the rest here.
It soon emerged that among those who died was a boy – 10-year-old Abdulaziz, whose elder brother, Saleh Hassan Huraydan, was believed to be the target of the strike. A McClatchy reporter recently confirmed the child’s death with locals. (Update: The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism today reported that there was “strong evidence” it was a U.S. drone strike, but it could not confirm the fact.)
It’s the first prominent allegation of a civilian death since President Obama pledged in a major speech in May “to facilitate transparency and debate” about the U.S. war on al Qaida-linked militants beyond Afghanistan. He also said “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured” in a strike.
So what does the administration have to say in response to evidence that a child was killed?
National security spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden would not comment on the June 9 strike or more generally on the White House position on acknowledging civilian deaths. She referred further questions to the CIA, which also declined to comment.
The president’s speech was the capstone on a shift in drone war policy that would reportedly bring the program largely under control of the military (as opposed to the CIA) and impose stricter criteria on who could be targeted. In theory, it could also bring some of the classified program into the open. As part of its transparency effort, the administration released the names of four U.S. citizens who had been killed in drone strikes.
An official White House fact sheet on targeted killing released along with the speech repeated the “near-certainty” standard for avoiding civilian casualties. Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated it a few days later, when he told an audience in Ethiopia: “We do not fire when we know there are children or collateral — we just don’t do it.”
*****Comment: Obama and his attachments lie. It is no big secret anymore, the US kills innocent men, women, and children with impunity.
Just days ago Obama was here in South Africa imploring the youth to work hard and make contributions to the advancement of democracy and its ideals.
Where is that sentiment when it comes to killing innocent children like the 10-year-old described above?
Is there a value to Muslim life in and around the so called Islamist militants that Obama wants to obliterate before they can make their way to the oil and other interests he and his covets?
Obama is a war criminal. An inhumane slick-tongue liar that should be prosecuted and not befriended like Tutu and company did when he was here in South Africa.
And we are not free.