US Drones Have Killed Over 4,700

Tyler Durden's picture

The Obama drone program has been shrouded in secrecy, but after the leaking of the 'kill list' white papers, Russia Today notes, many critics are demanding transparency from the administration when it comes to the exact number of causalities. Due to the confidentiality of drone strikes abroad, it has proven difficult to get an accurate figure - until now.

As Wired.com reports, US Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has estimated that 4,700 people have been killed. As of now it is unclear how he obtained that figure, but his 'approving' comments raise questions about the accuracy of these attacks: "Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of al-Qaida."

Graham did not offer an estimate of how many innocent people the drones have killed. Given the 430 or so strikes known about, this would imply around 10 kills per strike - but judging from the context of his remarks, Wired.com suspects, he's not counting the strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a U.S. senator has offhandedly revealed specific and unacknowledged information about the drones, following Diane Feinstein's 2009 gaffe, but Graham’s disclosure underscores the extraordinary secrecy around the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism efforts - a military action in all but name, operated by an agency that need not explain to the public how it carries out the program.

 

Via Russia Today,

Via Wired.com,

The government says you can’t know how many people U.S. drone strikes have killed, because that’s a state secret. But one of the most hawkish members of the U.S. Senate just said the strikes have killed 4,700 people. And his math raises questions.

 

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We’ve killed 4,700,” Graham said, according to an Easley website. “Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of al-Qaida.” Graham did not evidently offer an estimate of how many innocent people the drones have killed.

 

...

 

The CIA declined to comment about whether Graham revealed classified information. Counting the death toll from drones is a notoriously imprecise, murky business.

 

Graham’s death count would raise questions about the much-vaunted precision of the strikes. Using the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s count, the U.S. has launched between 416 and 439 drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia since the U.S. first successfully weaponized an MQ-1 Predator a decade ago. If Graham’s right, each strike would have to kill more than 10 people. It’s certainly possible — the 100-pound Hellfire missile carried by the drones is capable of it

 

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Yet Graham’s count is simultaneously low. Judging from the context of his remarks, he’s evidently not counting the U.S. military’s drone strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

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It wouldn’t be the first time that a U.S. senator has offhandedly revealed specific and unacknowledged information about the drones. In 2009, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), the chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, blabbed that the Pakistani government was hosting CIA drones for strikes on Pakistanis.

 

But Graham’s disclosure underscores the extraordinary secrecy around the centerpiece of U.S. counterterrorism efforts — a military action in all but name, operated by an agency that need not explain to the public how it carries out the program.

 

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DJ Happy Ending's picture

Are my dronez protected by the 2nd amendment?
From my cold, dead hands...

Dr. Engali's picture

It's fucked up that's for sure.

erg's picture

I'd like to think that most here have heard of Boston Dynamic's Big Dog. Even when it was filmed it was old technology. Disturbing.

Relentless.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1czBcnX1Ww

philipat's picture

So I assume that The US would have no problem if the Mexican Government started using drones to take out Drug Barrons who are hiding over the Border? After all, it's a war. And they will promise to keep the collateral damage to a minimum so that as few San Diego civilians as possible ( Which would still break theire hearts) get taken out?

malikai's picture

RE erg:

This is what you want, this is what you get..

Hardware, 1990. It was a fucking prophecy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbmqfSo_zq4

Uber Vandal's picture

And Carl McCoy (The Nomad) from the band the Fields of the Nephilim found the damned thing to boot......

Loved the movie, don't love how we soon will be living it.

Popo's picture

We are not "at war" by the way. Only Congress can declare war. We have open military operations, but those do not enable the same emergency governmental powers that a declaration of war enables.

In peacetime (yes, PEACETIME) military operations the US has killed 4700 with drones. If the "peacetime" status of these killings concerns anyone in Congress then they need to declare war and stop ignoring the law.

Harlequin001's picture

It's a cunning plan, kill everyone, and then you'll never be attacked...

it used to go by the name of 'murder', and you could be sent to jail for it.

CH1's picture

9-11 never forget?

Military equipment marketers will never forget, that's for sure!

SilverTech's picture

I don't forget 9-11, nor who was really responsible.

There's a question you should always ask when investigating a crime: "Cui bono?"  translated: "To whose benefit?"

Why is it in Latin? Because it's so old and universal.

Who benefited from 9-11? Bush-Cheney, Israel, the "defense" industry.

Major Major Major's picture

Ed, there's

very angry San Diego-ites.

San Diego-ins.

San Diego-uns.

- San Dieg-ons.

- San Diegans.

San Diegans out

in front of the station.

They want Ron's blood.

http://www.hark.com/clips/gjrldmbrgs-ed-theres-300-very-angry-san-diego-ites

waterwitch's picture

I'm waitin for the Chinese to hack into the drone computers and use them to take out a few banksters. woohoo!

SilverTech's picture

Exactly. The US is developing all this drone technology.

Who has the industrial base to really produce a shitload of cheap drones? The Chinese, of course. Ho-ho-ho

The Heart's picture

"Disturbing."

Gawd! Does it come with a Midas muffler?

a growing concern's picture

I think Michael Crichton already wrote that book.

Kitler's picture

A teensie bit of overkill?

Leon Panetta states fewer than 50 Al Qaeda left in Afghanistan... but then there's Africa and Venezuela...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/27/leon-panetta-there-may-be_n_627...

Shell Game's picture

While the Fed fights monetary deflation by creating money out of thin air, the MIC fights insurgent deflation by creating bogeymen out of thin air...

Freddie's picture

Lindsay Graham-nesty said we have to kill people when we are war?  War with whom?  Why are they letting Muslims in the country and infesting the govt like 1600 Penn?  What a joke.   The enemy is Wash DC.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

What have we Americans become if not essentially international terrorists? Sad......so very sad.

<We have fallen so far, yet we have so much further to fall.>

Dr. Engali's picture

Amen CD..it makes me sick, especially when I see the degenerated filth people distract themselves with on TV. Our "policy makers" are killing whomever they want and the sheeple are fine with it as long as it doesn't interrupt honey boo boo.

disabledvet's picture

technically speaking "we're transnational terrorists" since we are a State and are acting in said capacity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaGyPYTKTH4 that's the studio version(which is pretty friggin' good)...let's see here...here's a RIPPIN guitar version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W74CazlVa6o hee haw! "they say they're so accurate even if they miss it's assumed that was the target." what's scary is that there's probably a lot of truth to that...

Shevva's picture

Well at least history will show that the US gave the world celeb's, social media and faceless killing of women and children from 20,000 ft.

The Heart's picture

Yes sir Mr. CD, at least we have come so far as to finally admit it IS we that are to blame.:

Monkey see and no do nothing to stop it's own demise.

Makes the game of shat splatting far more intelligent than it seems eh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KKvvOFIHs4k

 

 

 

new game's picture

i am fearfull of the goes around comes around, and we become the bystanders.

drones>bankster-just a thought...

i know - hypacritical; hey just trying to solve the real problem.

Freddie's picture

The terrorists are in DC, NYC, London, Brussels and Frankfurt.

A Lunatic's picture

Though I can't quite put my finger on it, there's just something dishonorable about shooting an unsuspecting someone in the fucking back from 20 thousand feet..........

DJ Happy Ending's picture

Even if that person is a psychopathic POS?

A Lunatic's picture

Ever heard of a jury of your peers asshole? You might want to think about who gets to decide just who is or is not a psychopathic POS.......

DJ Happy Ending's picture

Hey old timer, I grew up in a world of plea bargins and mandatory minimums. What are these juries you speak of?

IridiumRebel's picture

The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a Due Process Clause. Due process deals with the administration of justice and thus the Due Process Clause acts as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law. The Supreme Court of the United States interprets the Clauses however more broadly because these clauses provide four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Due_Process_Clause

We need swift emotional "justice" decided by one dude for expediency cuz he knows best.

hooligan2009's picture

the constitution of the US does not apply to foreign countries...the governments of the countries where innocents are killed do have the right to bring charges of murder in the first degree against us drone pilots on US soil

the drone pilots will be moved offshore shortly..problem solved.

Shell Game's picture

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

It used to apply to all humankind, now it doesn't even apply to the people in this country..

new game's picture

tell that to the native american.   sounds good and just, but find people of power that can impliment impartialy.

people suck in general-liars, book sellers, self promoter, blamers, douches, cheats and make it look so fucking good.

spend a day carefully observeing body language vs talk and you will discover humans are as decietfull as any species to exist.

for me always comes back to the gun, because peoples of power WILL NEVER be trustable...

AnAnonymous's picture

Those countries cannot even try an 'american' in their judicial system when an 'american' commits murder on their soil, 'americans' bringing back their own so they could be tried, let alone an 'american' who murders someone from an 'american' nation.

hooligan2009's picture

how about trying a drone pilot on american soil? i guess the pentagon can't be prosecuted because it is protected by "war time" secrecy laws 

The Heart's picture

"We need swift emotional "justice" decided by one dude for expediency cuz he knows best."

Already happening out in the radioactive regions of Utah.

Dr. Engali's picture

Who is the psychopathic piece of shit? The person being bombed or the person thousands of miles away playing video games with people's lives?

A Lunatic's picture

I suppose you heard they are going to be giving out medals for this shit..........

DOD defends new combat medal for drone pilots, cyber warriors ...

 

Water Is Wet's picture

20 thousand feet and about 7000 miles away.

DaveyJones's picture

20,000 feet, 7000 miles, and 20 video games away

CH1's picture

Though I can't quite put my finger on it, there's just something dishonorable about shooting an unsuspecting someone in the fucking back from 20 thousand feet..........

Yes!  It's not supposed to be fast, easy and sterile to kill human beings.