May 15, 2014

Barack Obama - "The drone president"

 
Jeremy Scahill called Obama is "the drone president". He said on Democracy Now:
"On this issue of the drones and the permanent war footing, I mean, Obama has been the drone president. And his line with liberals is sort of "Trust me. I know what I’m doing. I’m monitoring this. I’m doing everything I can to make sure that civilians aren’t killed." But time and time again, we see incidents where large numbers of civilians are being killed, and there seems to be no public accounting for how this happened. They say that they investigate when civilians are killed, and yet we are now two years, almost, removed from the killing of this 16-year-old kid, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who appears to have been killed because of who his father was, was killed in a drone strike while having dinner with his teenage cousin and some other young people from their tribe while they were sitting down for dinner, killed in a drone strike. 
Two weeks after his father had been killed. His father is a separate issue. And I think it was extraordinary that Obama sentenced an American citizen to death without even charging him with a crime related to terrorism, and served as the prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, but that’s a separate issue from this kid. What was his crime that he committed, other than sitting there having dinner with his cousin and other teenagers? The White House told me that when—that they review all cases when civilians are killed. Where is that review? I’ve asked for it, and the White House said they won’t confirm or deny that there has been a review of that case. So, there are a lot of unanswered questions here. 
And on the NSA issue, I mean, the panel that was empowered to investigate this was a setup from the beginning. It was largely made up of intelligence industry people, part of the, you know, intelligence- or spying-industrial complex. And the end results of it are going to be largely a whitewashing of these operations. And, you know, the Republicans want Obama to go further than the NSA is already going. So the parameters of the debate in Washington are: Should we figure out a way to streamline this and sell it to the American people, or should we do more surveillance, which is what a lot of the Republicans want?"
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