Eight Americans Killed by CIA Drone Strikes

Originally published on April 25, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Since the inception of the drone program, the CIA has killed at least eight U.S. citizens with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). On Thursday, President Obama announced that the agency recently used drones to kill two al-Qaeda hostages including a kidnapped American. According to estimates, nearly 4,000 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes including at least 476 innocent civilians.

After weeks of reviewing intercepted cellphone conversations, drone feeds, satellite data, and informants’ reports, the CIA launched drones from a base in Afghanistan on January 15. The drones crossed the border into Pakistan and flew over the Shawal Valley to conduct a signature strike against four suspected al-Qaeda operatives. After the attack, surveillance video recorded six bodies being pulled from the debris instead of four.

Two of the bodies belonged to kidnapped aid workers, Dr. Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto. Abducted in 2011, Dr. Weinstein had lived in Maryland before moving to Pakistan to become director for a consulting firm working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Lo Porto, an Italian national, was taken hostage in 2012 while attempting to perform humanitarian work in Pakistan.

Included amongst the rubble was the body of another American. Alleged al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ahmed Farouq also died in the strike. According to U.S. officials, Farouq was born in the United States and moved to Pakistan as a child.

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Less Than 4% of Pakistanis Killed by CIA Drone Strikes Named as al-Qaeda Members

Originally published on October 23, 2014, at NationofChange.org

Although the U.S. government claims only confirmed terrorists at the highest level are being targeted in drone strikes, the CIA does not know the names or identities of the majority of people the agency has killed in Pakistan since June 2004. After a decade of drone strikes in Pakistan, less than 4% of the victims have been identified as named members of al-Qaeda. Since the inception of the drone program, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have unconstitutionally murdered at least four American citizens.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the CIA has launched 400 drone strikes in Pakistan killing at least 2,379 people. Only 704 of these drone strike victims have been identified. 295 have been classified as militants belonging to either the Afghan Taliban or the Pakistani Taliban, while only 84 have been positively identified as members of al-Qaeda.

At least 168 Pakistani children have died in drone strikes, but only 99 have been identified by name. Sixty-seven of these children were executed in a drone strike on a madrassa in October 2006 that left 81 civilians dead.

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Revisiting Why the US Government Launched Drones to Kill a 16-yr-old American Citizen

Originally published on November 25, 2013 at WeAreChange.org

Mourning the recent death of his father, Abdulrahman decided to return home after the roads had cleared. Encouraged by his cousins to join an outdoor barbeque on the evening of October 14, 2011, Abdulrahman suddenly heard drones piercing the sky moments before the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles executed him. Methodical in application, the UAVs indiscriminately butchered everyone within his vicinity.

Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi was born in Denver, Colorado. Before his government sanctioned death, he loved hip-hop music and talking with his friends on Facebook. He had been living with his grandparents in Yemen when he ran off in search of his estranged father, Anwar al-Aulaqi, commonly misspelled as “al-Awlaki”.

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