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Obama re-defined “militant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone”

Posted By admin On May 30, 2012 @ 9:03 am In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled

GLENN GREENWALD
Salon [1]
May 30, 2012

[...]

This practice continues even though key Obama officials have been caught lying [2], a term used advisedly, about how many civilians they’re killing. I’ve written and said many times before that in American media discourse, the definition of “militant” is any human being whose life is extinguished when an American missile or bomb detonates (that term was even used [3] when Anwar Awlaki’s 16-year-old American son, Abdulrahman, was killed by a U.S. drone in Yemen two weeks after a drone killed his father, even though nobody claims the teenager was anything but completely innocent: “Another U.S. Drone Strike Kills Militants in Yemen”).

This morning, the New York Times has a very lengthy and detailed article [4] about President Obama’s counter-Terrorism policies based on interviews with “three dozen of his current and former advisers.” I’mwriting separately [5] about the numerous revelations contained in that article, but want specifically to highlight this one vital passage about how the Obama administration determines who is a “militant.” The article explains that Obama’s rhetorical emphasis on avoiding civilian deaths “did not significantly change” the drone program, because Obama himself simply expanded the definition of a “militant” to ensure that it includes virtually everyone killed by his drone strikes. Just read this remarkable passage:

Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

Full article here [1]


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URLs in this post:

[1] Salon: http://www.salon.com/2012/05/29/militants_media_propaganda/singleton/

[2] caught lying: http://www.salon.com/2011/07/19/drones/

[3] was even used: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/global/2011/10/another-us-drone-strike-kills-yemeni-militants/43724/

[4] very lengthy and detailed article: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/world/obamas-leadership-in-war-on-al-qaeda.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

[5] writing separately: http://www.salon.com/2012/05/29/obama_the_warrior/singleton/

[6] ‘Al-Qaeda’ kills 20 Yemen troops after leader eliminated by U.S. drone strike: http://www.prisonplanet.com/%e2%80%98al-qaeda%e2%80%99-kills-20-yemen-troops-after-leader-eliminated-by-u-s-drone-strike.html

[7] Obama Ordered U.S. Military Strike on Yemen Terrorists: http://www.prisonplanet.com/obama-ordered-u-s-military-strike-on-yemen-terrorists.html

[8] Trayvon Death Sparks Riots, Yet US Kid Killed By Obama Drone Strike Ignored: http://www.prisonplanet.com/trayvon-death-sparks-riots-yet-us-kid-killed-by-obama-drone-strike-ignored.html

[9] Suspected U.S. drone strike kills civilians in Yemen, officials say: http://www.prisonplanet.com/suspected-u-s-drone-strike-kills-civilians-in-yemen-officials-say.html

[10] 10 people killed in US drone strike in North Waziristan: http://www.prisonplanet.com/10-people-killed-in-us-drone-strike-in-north-waziristan.html

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