U.S. airmen prepare a U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone as it leaves on a mission at Kandahar Air Field, Afghanistan March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Josh Smith
Shane Harris & Nancy Youssef, Daily Beast: Did Obama Just Lowball The Drone War Death Toll?
The White House says its airstrikes only killed 116 civilians. Most independent experts say the real number is in the thousands.
The Obama administration said Friday it had killed as many as 116 civilians through its air campaign against jihadists in places like Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya.
Yet no one who has studied the preferred U.S. tactic in the war against terror groups like al Qaeda consider that figure accurate. Most independent observers put the number of innocents slain by U.S. drones and other aircraft in the thousands.
And because the administration provided no details when, where or how those deaths occurred, there was no way to assess the effects of the U.S. war on extremists outside its war zones. That is, the release of the numbers, which the administration hailed Friday as move toward transparency, instead only added to the obfuscation surrounding America’s counterterror operations.
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Commentaries, Reactions, And Analysis On The White House's Civilian Casualty Report From Drone Strikes Outside Of War Zones
Why the White House claims on drone casualties remain in doubt -- Greg Miller, Washington Post
White House Drone Release Is Big on Numbers, Short on Detail -- Foreign Policy
For the first time, the US has said how many civilians died in airstrikes outside war zones -- Greg Walters and Ky Henderson, VICE
7 Years Of U.S. Drone And Airstrikes: White House Tallies Civilian Deaths -- Bill Chappell, NPR
Obama administration says 64 to 116 civilians killed in drone strikes, rights groups are skeptical -- W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Amnesty International USA Responds to Drone Casualty Disclosure -- Amnesty International
Happy Flag-Waving Drone Document Dump -- Empty Wheel
3 Reasons We Can't Believe President Obama's Dramatically Low Figures on Drone Deaths -- Sarah Lazare, AlterNet
When will the White House tell us the whole truth about drone killings? -- Naureen Shah, The Guardian
How Obama went from reluctant warrior to drone champion -- Greg Jaffe, Washington Post
9 revealing statements Obama has made about transparency and drone strikes -- Julie Vitkovskaya, Washington Post