This news has been received from: alternet.org

All trademarks, copyrights, videos, photos and logos are owned by respective news sources. News stories, videos and live streams are from trusted sources.

mail: [NewsMag]

On August 29, in the final days of our 20-year occupation of Afghanistan, the United States launched a drone strike, firing a 20-pound Hellfire missile at an aid worker named Zemari Ahmadi as he parked his car outside his home in a residential neighborhood of Kabul. The lethal strike killed Ahmadi and nine members of his family, including seven children, five of whom were younger than 10.

The children had come outside to meet Ahmadi as he returned home from his job at an American NGO where he distributed food to Afghans displaced by the war. He and his family had applied for refugee resettlement in the United States.

When a surviving member of Ahmadi's family complained publicly about the errant strike that slaughtered so many members of his family, the Pentagon did what it has been doing for 20 years in Afghanistan. It lied.

According to the New York Times, the Pentagon claimed that Ahmadi was a facilitator for the Islamic State, and that his car was packed with explosives, posing an imminent threat to U.S. troops guarding the evacuation at the Kabul airport. General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of the U.S. Central Command, said the drone strike dealt ISIS Khorasan a crushing blow. General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called it a "righteous strike."

When it was confirmed that children as young as two had died in the strike, the Pentagon suggested that any civilian deaths resulted from the detonation of explosives inside the vehicle that was targeted. The military produced an assessment that the occupants of the vehicle were wearing suicide vests and that the car itself was packed with explosives.

Most of our drone strikes take place in remote areas and no follow-up investigation is ever conducted. However, the slaughter of Ahmadi's family took place 2 miles from the Kabul airport, at which American reporters were stationed covering the chaotic evacuation of U.S. troops and allies. In the days following the deadly drone strike, reporters from the New York Times conducted a thorough investigation, visiting Ahmadi's home and place of work, viewing video footage from security cameras, and consulting with weapons experts.

This investigation quickly confirmed that every official statement of the Pentagon was false. Ahmadi did not visit an Islamic State safe house on the day of his death; he visited his office. His car was not loaded with explosives; it was loaded with water canisters he was bringing home to his family because there was a water shortage in his neighborhood.

After the publication of the New York Times investigation, the Pentagon conceded that it had made a tragic, but "honest" mistake when it assassinated Ahmadi and his family by drone. No one has been held accountable for the deadly mistake.

Targeted drone killing is an innovation of the war on terror. It facilitates continuous war by making it appear less costly and more humane. Indeed, President Biden has already announced that the U.S. will continue launching drone strikes from afar after its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Similar language was used when Biden announced an end to American support "for offensive operations in the war in Yemen," while reserving the right to continue killing Yemenis if it believes they are linked to ISIS or Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

And of course don't expect any peace dividend from the end of the Afghan war. In September, the House approved, in bipartisan fashion, $778 billion in military spending for 2022, a $37 billion increase over our 2021 military budget. More than half the funds we've sent to the Pentagon since 9/11—or about $8 trillion—has ended up in the pockets of private corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman. These companies then use some of those taxpayer dollars to lobby Congress and the president to keep the wars going and the money flowing into their pockets.

President Eisenhower warned of the danger that a profit-seeking "military-industrial complex" will produce a state where wars are not fought with an intention of winning them but to ensure that they never end. The author George Orwell articulated these dangers in his classic novel 1984 (published in 1949) wherein he described continuous war as an opaque, low-intensity conflict whose primary purpose was to siphon off resources and perpetuate itself.

Begun under President George W. Bush, the drone program was fully embraced and escalated under the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. President Obama assured Americans that our drones are so "exceptionally surgical and precise," "narrowly target[ed]… against those who want to kill us" while not putting "innocent men, women and children in danger."

The claim that drones are humane and effective has always been a lie. But by classifying the program as top secret and by aggressively prosecuting whistleblowers, the U.S. has been able to hide the truth about drones from most Americans. Ironically, of course, the people targeted by our drones know the truth about who is being killed. Thus the classification of all information about drones does nothing to protect national security; rather it protects government officials from any accountability.

I have asked several members of the U.S. Senate about the drone program and have never received a straight answer. In the fall of 2009, I attended a fundraiser for Senator Chuck Schumer at a Chicago law firm. The United States had just suffered one of its deadliest months in Afghanistan in which more than 50 Americans were killed. Schumer assured the group that Obama was turning things around with his unmanned killer drone program. I asked Schumer about civilian deaths and whether the CIA (which then ran the drone program) had ever studied whether drones killed more terrorists than they created. The senator said he was pretty sure the CIA did reach such a conclusion.

In fact, as WikiLeaks later revealed, the CIA had conducted such a study in July 2009. But that study, called "CIA Best Practices in Counterinsurgency," reached the opposite conclusion: that the clandestine drone and assassination program was likely to produce counterproductive outcomes, including strengthening the very "extremist groups" it was allegedly designed to destroy, particularly if "non-combatants are killed in the attacks." This report was classified as "secret," meaning it could be read by Senator Schumer, but not by you or me, until 2014, when WikiLeaks released it to the public.

Others have come forward to expose the official lies told about our drone program. In 2014, a former signals intelligence analyst in the U.S. Air Force named Daniel Hale leaked internal documents exposing how, in one five-month period in Afghanistan, 90 percent of the people killed by our drones were not the intended target. Hale also disclosed how children in areas targeted by our drones cannot go out and play on clear days because that is when the drones fly. Hale said that drone operators reported having to kill a part of their conscience to keep doing their job. Hale was prosecuted under the Espionage Act for leaking these documents and has been sentenced to 45 months in prison.

The investigation by the New York Times into the drone assassination of Mr. Ahmadi and his family is an important step in bringing some sunlight into the clandestine world of drone warfare. Sadly, most victims of our drones still remain anonymous as the strikes take place in remote areas of faraway countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Much of the work to reveal the truth about drones still falls on independent investigative journalists and whistleblowers like Mr. Hale. They are our best hope to begin holding those responsible accountable and bringing an end to this dangerous lie.

Leonard C. Goodman is a Chicago criminal defense attorney and co-owner of the newly independent Reader.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]#story_page_post_article Should Trump be allowed back on twitter?

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

Read Comments - Join the Discussion Why are teachers in our country are paid less? Because we devalue what they do Why politicians dawdle when it comes to regulating Facebook There are clears signs that sadism is the driving force of the Republican Party #story_page_sidebar MOST POPULAR Texas Republicans stunt massively backfires after Dem colleague embarrasses him on the House floor You’ve admitted to obstruction of justice: A Capitol rioter tried to defend himself in court. He was charged with 2 more felonies Texas Republican’s debt limit stunt massively backfires after Dem colleague embarrasses him on the House floor The sinister story of Kyrsten Sinemas turn to conservatism and political corruption Capitol riot defendant was weeping in court as his lawyer said he was a victim of Trumps lies: report It is statistical fact: A journalist fires back after Justice Alito singled him out for criticism Psaki mocks world-renowned business, travel and health expert Ted Cruz over false Southwest Airline claims Idiot Jim Jordan mocked for claiming Dems are going to cancel Christmas I’m not buying Adam Schiff’s BS. Neither should you Economist Paul Krugman: Increasingly radical Republicans are scaring businesses in GOP-led states Trending Topics
  • george conway
  • noam chomsky
  • civil war
  • Kayleigh mcenany
  • Melania trump
  • drudge report
  • paul krugman
  • Lindsey graham
  • Lincoln project
  • al franken bill maher
  • People of praise
  • Ivanka trump
  • eric trump
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }} ContactAdvertise with AlterNetPrivacy PolicyWriter GuidelinesPress InformationAbout AlterNetMeet the AlterNet [email protected] - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.

Subscribe Annually

$95 / year — Just $7.91/month

Subscribe Monthly

$1 trial

I want to Support More

$14.99 per month

LEARN MOREAlready a member ? Login

    News Source: alternet.org

    Tags: religious right ahmadi’s family ahmadi’s family members of his family the new york times the united states the united states the importance the kabul airport civilian deaths in afghanistan confirmed drone strikes islamic state will continue the pentagon drone strike your support children the vehicle program his car said he loaded

    Trump's TRUTH Social may be sued over apparent breach of open-source software terms

    Next News:

    Psaki Rolls Back Bidens Promise To Taiwan, Wont Say Whether US Would Defend Militarily

    White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to say whether the U.S. would defend Taiwan militarily if China invaded Friday, rolling back a more blunt defense commitment President Joe Biden made during Thursday night’s CNN town hall.

    Psaki clarified that Biden’s Thursday comments were not intended to announce a change in policy, and she refused to say whether the U.S. was committed to a military intervention should China invade Taiwan despite questions from multiple reporters. Biden had stated at CNN’s town hall that the U.S. has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan.

    Referencing Biden’s apparent commitment, a reporter asked Psaki whether there was a change in U.S. policy as it relates to Taiwan. (RELATED: US Military Says Chinese Attack On Taiwan Accelerating As Taiwan Threatens War ‘To The Very Last Day’)

    “There has been no shift. The president was not announcing a change in our policy, nor has he made a decision to change our policy. There is no change in our policy,” Psaki said. “Our defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act.”

    “Some of the principles of the Taiwan Relations Act that the United States will continue to abide by, of course, is assisting Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self defense capability. Another principle is that the United States would regard any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means a threat to the peace and security of the western Pacific and of grave concern to the United States,” she added.

    Psaki then added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin stated Friday that there was “no reason” cross-strait relations between Taiwan and China should “come to blows.”

    Another reporter then pressed Psaki on what specific military measures the U.S. would consider taking in defense of Taiwan.

    “When the president says that the U.S. has a commitment to protect Taiwan, does that commitment include military intervention in the event of a Chinese attack?” the reporter asked.

    Psaki dodged the question, instead reiterating that Biden’s statement did not constitute a change in policy nor an intention to change any policy.

    “So can you just remind us, that policy is: no, there would not be military intervention?” the reporter pressed.

    “Our policy is to be guided by the Taiwan Relations Act,” Psaki repeated.

    WATCH:

    Biden had appeared to affirm America’s commitment to defend Taiwan should China invade on Thursday evening. The Chinese military has grown increasingly bold in its stance toward Taiwan in recent weeks, sending a record-breaking 52 warplanes into Taiwan’s air defense zone in early October.

    “Militarily — China, Russia and the rest of the world knows — we have the most powerful military in the history of the world. Don’t worry about whether they’re gonna be more powerful,” Biden said in response to an audience question. “But you do have to worry about whether they’re going to engage in activities that will put them in a position where they may make a serious mistake.”

    CNN host Anderson Cooper then interjected, asking whether Biden would commit to defending Taiwan. (RELATED: US Military Says Chinese Attack On Taiwan Accelerating As Taiwan Threatens War ‘To The Very Last Day’)

    “Yes, we have a commitment to do that,” Biden said.

    Other News

    • Moose Found Dead In Northwestern Colorado, Wildlife Officials Ask For Help Finding Poacher
    • Alexandria schools launch on-site COVID-19 testing program
    • Whats in, and whats out, as Democrats reshape Biden bill
    • Intelligence agency warns that China is creating global genetic database that could give it dominance over U.S. health care industry and a decisive military edge
    • Are Alabama and Tennessee rivals?
    • De Blasio Administration Disappointed With Judges Decision To Temporarily Stop Plan To Change City Retiree Health Benefits
    • Buying a home is a goal for many Americans. How this bank is helping members of low- and moderate-income communities achieve that
    • EXCLUSIVE: NBA Star Jonathan Isaac Reacts To The Lies And Misinformation Being Spread About His Vaccine Stance
    • Dont bring back horrific, racist, and unlawful Remain in Mexico policy, groups tell Biden admin
    • Biden says paid leave proposal reduced from 12 to 4 weeks
    • Watchdog finds Pentagon appropriately sidelined Trump appointee to key National Security Agency job after alleged security incidents
    • Latest US military hypersonic test fails
    • Serial killer nurse who enjoyed murdering four patients by pumping air into their blood may have killed SIX more
    • 2 Pittsburgh Public Schools Will Act As Pilots For COVID-19 Testing Program
    • US targets graft in Venezuelas flagship food box program
    • Brooklyn Heights historic St. Ann and Holy Trinity Church gets $250K grant from national program
    • Lady Titans win third-straight outright SOC
    • Salvation Army Needs Donations For Angel Tree Program
    • East LA: Sheriff asks for help in identifying killer of 18-year-old man, announces $15,000 reward