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View Diary: Sen. Wyden plans tough questions for Brennan on targeted killings. ACLU files suit in the matter (192 comments)

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  •  Has anybody done a study on the propensity of (3+ / 0-)

    drone strikes to kill civilians?

    What I'm thinking about is this:

    We think of drone strikes as a more sanitary, targetted way to kill our enemies than actual warfare. That's certainly the case for our soldiers, who don't have to expose themselves to risk, but...

    horrible as warfare is, it tends to announce itself.  Civilians often have at least some opportunity to leave battle zones or seek shelter.

    How do you do that with something that can rain death on you anywhere at any time?

    So -- a lot of quiet little pops, but do they add up to a big civilian count?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:22:31 PM PST

    •  A key question is whether, in addition... (16+ / 0-) the inevitability of deaths that are "collateral damage," first responders are being killed with follow-up strikes. That goes a good deal further than just killing bystanders by mistake; it amounts to state terrorism. But are such follow-up strikes policy? It's not clear because of the secrecy involved in the whole program.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:29:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Drones are not the issue. (7+ / 0-)

      It would be the same if the strikes were done by F-16s (which also don't give civilians much time to run for shelter) or by a SEAL team in the middle of the night.

      •  In theory, yes. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But neither F-16s nor SEAL teams seem to have the ability to routinely penetrate, seek out, and kill at arbitrary locations.

        It is, admittedly, a difference of degree than kind.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 02:38:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  really? (0+ / 0-)

          you realize that when a F-16 drops a 1,000 pound bomb it's going to kill just about everything in a city block and maim and/or wound many in the surrounding area?

          drone strikes are more accurate and less risk over a bombing any day of the week

          •  Really. (0+ / 0-)

            Your 1,000 lb bomb will certainly wreak havoc, though not so sestructive as you seem to think.

            But, yeah, a single F16 strike can do more damage than a single Hellfire missile.

            That's not exactly rocket, or bomb, science.

            If you take out a terrorist in a House, you probably take out anybody else who's in the house, including sons, daughters, vistors, the cook, etc.

            The question was this: If you add 'em up, which kills more civilians?

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 01:32:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the US miltary and executive branch (0+ / 0-)

              all but literally bends over backwards to avoid such deaths and you know it

              Hell if our grandfathers saw the level of accuracy and how low relatively speaking civilian casualites have been over the last 20 years it would likely blow their minds.

              My heart bleeds for any loss of life even our enemies but that doesn't blind me to the ugly necessicity of this either.

              And if you seriously think drones kill more people we're just not going agree

    •  Some data (0+ / 0-)
      CIA Drone Strikes in Pakistan 2004–2013
      Total reported killed: 2,634-3,468
      Civilians reported killed: 473-893
      Children reported killed: 176
      Total reported injured: 1,268-1,431

      US Covert Action in Yemen 2002–2013
      Total reported killed (all): 374-1,112
      Total civilians killed (all): 72-178
      Children killed (all): 27-37

      US Covert Action in Somalia 2007–2013
      Total reported killed: 58-170
      Civilians reported killed: 11-57
      Children reported killed: 1-3

      So between 3000 to 5000 murders. And 500 to 1000 of which we have a pretty good idea they were civilians.
      •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        That's a prety high rate of "collateral damage" -- otherwise known as wifes, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers,friends, employees, etc.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 07:09:01 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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