At Least Eight Americans Have Been Killed By Drone Strikes

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Since the inception of the drone program, the CIA has killed at least eight U.S. citizens with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). On Thursday, President Obama announced that the agency recently used drones to kill two al-Qaeda hostages including a kidnapped American. According to estimates, nearly 4,000 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes including at least 476 innocent civilians.

After weeks of reviewing intercepted cellphone conversations, drone feeds, satellite data, and informants’ reports, the CIA launched drones from a base in Afghanistan on January 15. The drones crossed the border into Pakistan and flew over the Shawal Valley to conduct a signature strike against four suspected al-Qaeda operatives. After the attack, surveillance video recorded six bodies being pulled from the debris instead of four.

Two of the bodies belonged to kidnapped aid workers, Dr. Warren Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto. Abducted in 2011, Dr. Weinstein had lived in Maryland before moving to Pakistan to become director for a consulting firm working with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Lo Porto, an Italian national, was taken hostage in 2012 while attempting to perform humanitarian work in Pakistan.

Included amongst the rubble was the body of another American. Alleged al-Qaeda deputy leader, Ahmed Farouq also died in the strike. According to U.S. officials, Farouq was born in the United States and moved to Pakistan as a child.

In a separate strike on January 19, Adam Gadahn, a U.S. citizen from Oregon and al-Qaeda propagandist, was killed in a CIA drone strike in Pakistan. Due to the fact that the CIA was conducting signature strikesdesigned to attack unidentified people based on evidence of suspicious behavior or other signatures, government officials have admitted that the agency was not aware it was executing Americans until weeks after their deaths.

On November 3, 2002, the CIA launched a Predator drone and fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle in Yemen occupied by suspected al-Qaeda members. The vehicle exploded killing six men including a U.S. citizen named Kamal Derwish. Born in New York, Derwish had grown up in Yemen and Saudi Arabia before allegedly joining al-Qaeda. Although the Bush administration claimed that the CIA did not intentionally kill Derwish, it remains unclear whether the agency deliberately targeted him or not.

On September 30, 2011, two Predator drones launched from a secret CIA base in Saudi Arabia, crossed the border into northern Yemen, and fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle containing Anwar al-Aulaqi, commonly misspelled as “al-Awlaki,” of New Mexico. The government would later learn one of the passengers in Anwar’s vehicle had been another U.S. citizen,Samir Khan. On the evening of October 14, 2011, Anwar’s innocent 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, attended a barbeque with his friends and cousins when a UAV butchered everyone in the vicinity. A month later, a CIA drone strike killed Florida native Jude Kenan Mohammad in Pakistan.

Responsible for launching drone strikes against a Yemeni wedding and aPakistani tribal council meeting, the Obama administration continues to allow the CIA to operate signature strikes with impunity. According to average estimates from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Long War Journal, and New American Foundation, U.S. drone strikes have killed at least 3,852 people in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. At least 476 of those casualties were civilians. Eight were U.S. citizens executed without due process.

Andrew Emett is a staff writer for NationofChange. Andrew is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared at WeAreChange, TravelersToday, The Joy Camp, and ForceChange.

  • AlanMacDonald

    Obama’s Drone Assassinations + Hillary’s Uranium Cash are two “Things that Go Better with Coke”

    Oops, let me correct that spelling and the meaning will become more clear.

    Obama’s drone assassinations + Hillary’s Russian uranium deal scam + Koch brothers political PACs ALL Taste Better with Empire soft-drinks (like Coke) that Americans are swallowing.

    Today, the hot ‘news cycle’ stories are all about Obama’s drone assassinations, and Hillary’s Russian uranium deal, but don’t cover the hundreds of other equally nasty corruption deals, wars, domestic politic killings, spying, Wall Street looting and the like that continually go on behind or under the media’s radar.

    To Be Continued ***

    So, I’m taking the opportunity to show how both Obama’s drone assassinations, Hillary’s treasonous scams through the Clinton Global (empire) Initiative, AND political bribery scam by capitalist crooks like the Kochs (and many others bribing both the neocon ‘R’ Vichy party and the neoliberal-con ‘D’ Vichy party) are all ‘symptom problems CAUSED by the exact friggin same Disguised Global Capitalist Empire

  • Clash_1

    Practice makes perfect, If one takes notice these strikes are carried out in places were the there is a very small chance of holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Makes me glad that the dominant culture has such high moral standards.
    As conditions in the world deteriorate these men of great courage will have had years practiced from the safety of their hidden control rooms, so when it is necessary to acquire their next terrorist targets some were on the world they will be ready.

  • Portlyric

    All 4,000+ may have been innocent. We will never know because they were never tried. Given the history of the CIA and it’s dirty little war against humanity it would be insane to take their word for anything.

  • il corvo

    When a nation has a war machine as big, as expensive, and as deadly as the US’s what else can we expect but war and more war. This military isn’t defensive but offensive. Who and what are these drone strikes really protecting? They are simply spreading terror, fear of extermination with no alternative.

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