Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn shooter

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BWV 1080
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Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn shooter

Post by BWV 1080 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:33 am

where are the presidents tears for that?
CNN) -- U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, have traumatized innocent residents and largely been ineffective, according to a new study released Tuesday.
The study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%.
The report accuses Washington of misrepresenting drone strikes as "a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer," saying that in reality, "there is significant evidence that U.S. drone strikes have injured and killed civilians."
It also casts doubts on Washington's claims that drone strikes produce zero to few civilian casualties and alleges that the United States makes "efforts to shield the drone program from democratic accountability."
Obama reflects on drone warfare use Drones in Action
The drone strike program has long been controversial, with conflicting reports on its impact from U.S. and Pakistani officials and independent organizations.
President Barack Obama told CNN last month that a target must meet "very tight and very strict standards," and John Brennan, the president's top counter-terrorism adviser, said in April that in "exceedingly rare" cases, civilians have been "accidentally injured, or worse, killed in these strikes."
In contrast to more conservative U.S. statements, the Stanford/NYU report -- titled "Living Under Drones" -- offers starker figures published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent organization based at City University in London.
"TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of "double-striking" a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.
It also highlights harm "beyond death and physical injury," publishing accounts of psychological trauma experienced by people living in Pakistan's tribal northwest region, who it says hear drones hover 24 hours a day.
"Before this we were all very happy," the report quotes an anonymous resident as saying. "But after these drones attacks a lot of people are victims and have lost members of their family. A lot of them, they have mental illnesses."
People have to live with the fear that a strike could come down on them at any moment of the day or night, leaving behind dead whose "bodies are shattered to pieces," and survivors who must be desperately sped to a hospital.
The report concedes that "real threats to U.S. security and to Pakistani civilians exist in the Pakistani border areas now targeted by drones." And it acknowledges that drone strikes have "killed alleged combatants and disrupted armed actor networks."
But it concludes that drone strikes, which are conducted by the CIA in a country not at war with the United States, are too harmful to civilians, too sloppy, legally questionable and do more harm to U.S. interests than good.
"A significant rethinking of current U.S. targeted killing and drone strike policies is long overdue," it says. "U.S. policy-makers, and the American public, cannot continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm and counter-productive impacts of U.S. targeted killings and drone strikes in Pakistan."
The study recommends that Washington undertake measures to rectify collateral damage -- including making public detailed legal justification for strikes, implementing mechanisms transparently to account for civilian casualties, ensuring independent investigations into drone strike deaths, prosecuting cases of civilian casualties and compensating civilians harmed by U.S. strikes in Pakistan.
Nine months of research went into the report, according to its authors, which included "two investigations in Pakistan, more than 130 interviews with victims, witnesses, and experts, and review of thousands of pages of documentation and media reporting."
U.S. authorities have largely kept quiet on the subject of drone strikes in Pakistan.
However, the use of armed drones to target and kill suspected terrorists has increased dramatically during the Obama administration, according to Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst and a director at the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank that monitors drone strikes.
Obama has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office, Bergen wrote earlier this month. As a result, the number of estimated deaths from the Obama administration's drone strikes is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration -- somewhere between 1,494 and 2,618.
However, an analysis by the New America Foundation says that the civilian casualty rate from drone strikes has been dropping sharply since 2008 despite the rising death toll.
"The number of civilians plus those individuals whose precise status could not be determined from media reports -- labeled 'unknowns' by NAF -- reported killed by drones in Pakistan during Obama's tenure in office were 11% of fatalities," said Bergen. "So far in 2012 it is close to 2%. Under President Bush it was 33%."
The foundation's analysis relies on credible media outlets in Pakistan, which in turn rely on Pakistani officials and local villagers' accounts, Bergen said, rather than on U.S. figures.
The drone program is deeply unpopular in Pakistan, where the national parliament voted in April to end any authorization for it. This, however, was "a vote that the United States government has simply ignored," according to Bergen.
Obama told CNN's Jessica Yellin this month that the use of armed drones was "something that you have to struggle with."
"If you don't, then it's very easy to slip into a situation in which you end up bending rules thinking that the ends always justify the means," he continued. "That's not been our tradition. That's not who we are as a country."
Obama also addressed his criteria for lethal action in the interview, although he repeatedly declined to acknowledge any direct involvement in selecting targets.
"It has to be a target that is authorized by our laws. It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative. It has to be a situation in which we can't capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States," Obama said.
His security adviser, Brennan, gave the Obama administration's first public justification for drone strikes in his April speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center, a Washington think-tank.
Such strikes are used when capture is not a feasible option and are conducted "in full accordance with the law," Brennan said.
"We only authorize a strike if we have a high degree of confidence that innocent civilians will not be injured or killed, except in the rarest of circumstances," he said.
Despite the "extraordinary precautions" taken by the United States, Brennan said, civilians "have been accidentally injured, or worse, killed in these strikes. It is exceedingly rare, but it has happened. When it does, it pains us, and we regret it deeply, as we do any time innocents are killed in war."
Brennan also cited the "the seriousness, the extraordinary care" taken by Obama and his national security team in deciding whether to use lethal force.
The London-based rights organization Reprieve, which with the help of a partner organization in Pakistan facilitated access to some of the people interviewed for the Stanford/NYU study, backed its finding that the drone program causes wider damage than is acknowledged by the U.S. government.
"This shows that drone strikes go much further than simply killing innocent civilians. An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies," said Reprieve's director, Clive Stafford Smith.
"Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meetings, or anything that involves gathering in groups. Yet there is no end in sight, and nowhere the ordinary men, women and children of North West Pakistan can go to feel safe."
http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asi ... index.html

lennygoran
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by lennygoran » Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:38 am

BWV 1080 wrote:where are the presidents tears for that?
Isn't a war situation different than what happened in Newtown? Regards, Len

BWV 1080
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by BWV 1080 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:10 am

lennygoran wrote:
BWV 1080 wrote:where are the presidents tears for that?
Isn't a war situation different than what happened in Newtown? Regards, Len
is the family's grief any different?

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by lennygoran » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:26 am

BWV 1080 wrote: is the family's grief any different?
I don't know how to measure the grief of a family that has innocent bystanders killed when the US is going after terrorists against the grief of the families whose young children were senselessly mowed down in Ct? Wars always seem to produce innocent casualties and I'm sure Obama regrets this--still isn't the nature of what happened in Newtown different than what goes on with the drones? Are you equating Adam Lanza with President Obama--I find this bizarre. Regards, Len

BWV 1080
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by BWV 1080 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:06 pm

not to mention the impact on those charged with carrying out the killing

http://www.spiegel.de/international/wor ... 72726.html
For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn't be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

ANZEIGE

The container is filled with the humming of computers. It's the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren't flying through the air. They're just sitting at the controls.
Bryant was one of them, and he remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.

"These moments are like in slow motion," he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.

With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.

Second zero was the moment in which Bryant's digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

"Did we just kill a kid?" he asked the man sitting next to him.

"Yeah, I guess that was a kid," the pilot replied.

"Was that a kid?" they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

Then, someone they didn't know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. "No. That was a dog," the person wrote.

They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?

John F
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by John F » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:37 pm

This is sheer nonsense. The President has killed nobody. He has given no orders that innocent civilians be killed. We're not talking about London or Dresden or Hiroshima here. If he has given orders that enemy combatants be killed, what of it? That's what war is. And if innocent civilians have been inadvertently killed in war, that's certainly regrettable, but it always happens. War is Hell.

If you have a problem with the use of unmanned guided weapons instead of conventional fighter planes, if you'd rather our pilots were put in harm's way to achieve essentially the same ends, let's hear it. If you have a problem with going after enemies who have sworn to kill us, and have shown that they mean it and can do it, let's hear it. If you would rather our enemies go freely about trying to kill us, so that no innocent civilians are harmed, make your case. But spare us the empty and offensive rhetoric of this absurdly false and inflammatory comparison.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:14 pm

The POTUS sanctions actions that inevitably kill children by the score. Others may be saved, but the fact remains. What reason do we have to think that Mr. Obama does not weep for the innocent victims?
Last edited by Mark Harwood on Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:04 pm

Is there a sin of omission that is greater than these atrocities?
Each day around 5,000 children die for lack of clean water. Establishing good wells for all would be the first priority for a better species than ours.
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Tarantella
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Tarantella » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:42 am

I cannot belief the level of discussion going on here! The invective, bile and finger-pointing. Dreadful.

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Cosima___J » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:12 pm

To the contrary Tarantella. I think we are having a discussion that needs to take place. We all know that innocent people are being killed by the drones. We all also know that terrorists who threaten us and our interests are being killed by the drones. Some important terrorist leaders have been taken out.

We need reliable, factual information in order to weigh the benefits and the "collateral damage" (ugly but useful phrase). Is the fact that innocent victims are killed by the drones helping to create more terrorists among the grieving and angry families over there who see loved ones killed????? I'm not smart enough to know the answer. But it's a worthwhile question to pose.

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by piston » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:31 pm

I tend to agree that the situation of first graders being killed, in multiple global scenarios which do not involve declared wars, is far more widespread and prevalent than what is happening in our current domestic scene. We simply measure such grief on a totally different scale at home. And I also very much doubt that guns can be regulated on a microscopic, nuclear family level, unless such law or laws would be made retroactive, back to the 1960s, which is totally out of the political picture. Believe it or not, we live in a country where weapons intended for warfare --to utterly devastate the enemy-- have become privatized in several million homes and, unless Obama has the political strength to dispossess Americans of such weapons, they are here to stay. Everything we are now observing at Walmart and Dick Store is geared toward the immediate present, inclusive of getting a surge on financial markets, and not to any long-term future.

Speaking of markets, Obama is actually exerting an impact on gun sales with every statement he makes about regulation, and that impact is best summarized as follows: more sales!
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

piston
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by piston » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:26 pm

Combine to the privatization of deadly weapons the de-institutionalization of mental health care, closely associated with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and you have an interesting mix of two different variables.
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by John F » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:39 am

piston wrote:we live in a country where weapons intended for warfare --to utterly devastate the enemy-- have become privatized in several million homes and, unless Obama has the political strength to dispossess Americans of such weapons, they are here to stay.
No doubt. But if the sale of bullets for them is made illegal except to the military, then the guns will be just inert hunks of metal, collectors' items rather than weapons.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:31 am

Some bullets can be made at home.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by John F » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:24 am

Mark Harwood wrote:Some bullets can be made at home.
True but irrelevant to the issue.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by jbuck919 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:53 pm

Mark Harwood wrote:Some bullets can be made at home.
In Woody Allen's flawed but not bad movie Cassandra's Dream, murderers in England fashion a zip gun (Allen's way of getting around British gun laws in a movie about murder, as he did with a hunting rifle in Match Point) but then improbably know of a cache of real bullets hanging around with which they can load it. I see that your solution would have saved Allen a plot hole. :wink:

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:38 am

John F wrote:
Mark Harwood wrote:Some bullets can be made at home.
True but irrelevant to the issue.
How is it irrelevant? You state that banning the sale of bullets will make guns useless. I say it won't.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by John F » Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:29 am

Mark Harwood wrote:You state that banning the sale of bullets will make guns useless. I say it won't.
You're stating, in effect, that it would make no difference. That's plainly not true; for nearly all gun owners it would. The skill set, equipment, and state of mind required to make large quantities of reliable bullets from scratch for a semi-automatic weapon such as the Newtown murderer used, that won't blow up in the gun and kill the shooter, must be rare even in the population of gun owners. Add to that the time it would take to make so many bullets, machining the cartridges and cases from scratch, and the difficulty of keeping this mass production secret, and the chance of success would have to be very small.

In a nation of over 300 million, the illegal selling and making of banned weapons such as 45 mm cartridges for a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle can't be completely eliminated. But that's no argument against a ban.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:47 am

I'm not arguing against a ban. I'm saying it will make little difference, especially in the short term. There are enormous stockpiles in private hands. People will import & manufacture bullets & cartridges, as they import & manufacture drugs & counterfeit goods. Banning things raises the price & diverts money from the taxman to the bad man, but you can still get the stuff. Long-term, perhaps, it's a policy that's worth trying, but there seems to be little prospect of that in the good ol' US of A, with its "cold, dead hands".
"I did it for the music."
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:18 am

Mark Harwood wrote:I'm not arguing against a ban. I'm saying it will make little difference, especially in the short term. There are enormous stockpiles in private hands. People will import & manufacture bullets & cartridges, as they import & manufacture drugs & counterfeit goods. Banning things raises the price & diverts money from the taxman to the bad man, but you can still get the stuff. Long-term, perhaps, it's a policy that's worth trying, but there seems to be little prospect of that in the good ol' US of A, with its "cold, dead hands".
All solutions to the gun problem in the US are long-term solutions. Even people in favor of gun control sometimes argue that it is pointless because there are already so many guns out there. But this is fallacious thinking. If nothing is done, the problem is certain to persist into future generations. One might as well argue that there is no point in doing cancer research because in the time it takes to find a cure millions will have died anyway.

(The fact that we can expect little immediate improvement from most gun-control legislation may also contribute to the baseless but persistent concern of gun owners that there is a secret agenda to confiscate guns they already legally own.)

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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Dec 21, 2012 12:53 pm

"If nothing is done, the problem is certain to persist into future generations."

Evidence?
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by John F » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:09 pm

Mark Harwood wrote:People will import & manufacture bullets & cartridges, as they import & manufacture drugs & counterfeit goods.
There's always a black market in illegal goods that people nonetheless want to buy. Even so, the black market will be much smaller than the current open market, and the number of bullets people sell and buy - knowing they are breaking the law - would be sharply reduced. What's more, the police have a direct personal interest in enforcing such a law, since such weapons in private hands put their own lives in danger. We're not talking marijuana or fake Rolex watches here. You might be surprised at what a motivated and determined police force can achieve. We New Yorkers wouldn't be surprised, as we saw it happen here in the 1990s.
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Re: Obama has killed nearly 10x as many kids as the conn sho

Post by Mark Harwood » Fri Dec 21, 2012 1:30 pm

I'm trying to argue that gun control laws will have slow & limited effect.
There are plenty of guns in Canada but a small fraction of the gun violence. That suggests that other factors are at play, and if we're not too sure what they are then someone ought to make it their business to work it out. It's not all about guns & ammo. It's why people misuse them. The control vs. right to bear arms argument is too narrow.
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