US drone operations that kill scores of innocent people have been described by Donald Trump as a ‘win.’ Government officials claim that these strikes are targeted with precision. They claim that innocent casualties are almost zero. They claim to be keeping us safe from our enemies.
But our investigations reveal the opposite – here are 8 facts that expose the US Assassinations Program for what it is:
1. 4,925 people have been killed by the Government’s Targeted Killing Program in Pakistan and Yemen, including more than 250 children. Far from being targeted, more than 80% of those killed have never even been identified by name.
2. Those targeted have included prominent politicians, peace activists and acclaimed journalists.
3. Drone strikes and ground attacks that killed 23 Yemini citizens, including 10 children under the age of 12, instead of achieving any objective have been described by Donald Trump as a ‘win.’
4. ‘Militant leaders’ account for just 2% of drone-related deaths and the CIA’s own leaked documents concede that they often do not know who they are killing.
5. The US military and CIA count all military-age males in a strike zone as targets unless evidence is produced after their death proving them innocent. This has allowed officials to claim that “civilian” casualties are in the “single digits.”
6. In failed attempts to kill just one named target, the CIA killed 76 children and 29 adults.
7. Cell phones are often targeted instead of named individuals, with the hope that the person using it is the right one.
8. “Double Tap” strikes are a common practice – second strikes on a target after more people have rushed to the scene to assist the injured. Those killed are often first responders, family members or neighbours trying to help.