Today, Brave New Foundation released a short video documenting religious leaders coming out against the use of Just War Theory to defend President Obama’s drone policy.
Franciscan Friar Joe Nangle said it well:
"How can we hold our heads high when remote-controlled, killer aircraft like drones are raining death and destruction on populations half a world away from our borders, on women, men and children who pose no threat to our safety and well-being."
Rev. Dr. Paul F.M. Zahl said "The use of remote-controlled drones to assassinate targeted persons without charge, trial, or even at least the chance to surrender is about as un-Christian a maneuver as I can imagine."Read more
The Obama administration maintains that drone strikes are precise, yet hundreds of innocent people have died in drone attacks. This is a clear disconnect between what we're being told and what we're finding. It's time for a deeper investigation; the evidence doesn't match the claims.
"I want to make sure that people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties…. For the most part, they have been very precise, precision strikes against al- Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it's been applied."
- President Obama, January 2012
I have interviewed many people over the years of doing documentaries. Currently in Pakistan filming with victims of drone attacks (ahead of the film, follow my trip at warcosts.com, Facebook and Twitter), I have never had a more haunting and harrowing experience than looking into the eyes of person after person, children and adults, and hearing them talk about their homes, villages and families destroyed by drone attacks. The pain is palpable, their fear still radiates. And even a question about the CIA sets off terror alerts in peoples' eyes.Read more
So, yes, a candidate for president talks about drones in detail, with great awareness about how they are counterproductive to United States security concerns. Problem is, the candidate is running for president of Pakistan.Read more
In March 2009, I went to Kabul as part of my work on Brave New Foundation’s documentary Rethink Afghanistan. My trip was an effort to understand the realities of life in an unrelenting warzone, and to find voices that weren’t yet heard eight years after U.S. forces invaded the country. In the same spirit, I am going to Pakistan to investigate what life is like for those living under drones.Read more
Law & Order: SVU recently ran an episode that was likely inspired by the Stanford and NYU report, Living Under Drones, about U.S. drone attacks currently taking place in Pakistan. In the episode, a character plotting a terrorist attack in the U.S. reveals that her father was killed by a "double-tap" strike in North Waziristan.Read more
Don't Ask and Don't Tell: Six Critical Foreign Policy Questions That Won't Be Raised in the Presidential Debates
This post was originally published at TomDispatch.com.
By Peter Van Buren
We had a debate club back in high school. Two teams would meet in the auditorium, and Mr. Garrity would tell us the topic, something 1970s-ish like “Resolved: Women Should Get Equal Pay for Equal Work” or “World Communism Will Be Defeated in Vietnam.” Each side would then try, through persuasion and the marshalling of facts, to clinch the argument. There’d be judges and a winner.Read more
Groundbreaking Report and Video on Drone Strikes Documents Harm to Pakistani Civilians and U.S. Security
Brave New Foundation has the honor of releasing a video to accompany a seminal report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University law schools. The report, entitled “Living Under Drones” presents chilling first-hand testimony from Pakistani civilians on the humanitarian and security costs of escalating drone attacks by the United States. The report uncovers civilian deaths, and shocking psychological and social damage to whole families and communities – where people are literally scared to leave their homes because of drones flying overhead 24 hours a day.Read more