Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The Assassination Complex: US drones (video)

Jeremy Scahill (Goodreads.com) and Staff of The Intercept; TheIntercept.com; Amy Goodman (DemocracyNow.org); Pat Macpherson, Pfc. Sandoval, Seth Auberon, Wisdom Quarterly
"This Isn't a War on Leaks, It's a War on Whistleblowers": Snowden writes book's foreword.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden writes in the foreword for The Assassination Complex: Inside the Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Program, which is based on leaked documents: "These disclosures about the Obama administration’s killing program reveal that there’s a part of the American character that is deeply concerned with the unrestrained, unchecked exercise of power. And there is no greater or clearer manifestation of unchecked power than assuming for oneself the authority to execute an individual outside of a battlefield context and without the involvement of any sort of judicial process." More
The Assassination Complex (Simon & Schuster)
Bestselling author Jeremy Scahill and his colleagues at the investigative website The Intercept expose stunning new details about America’s secret assassination policy.
Here are some major revelations about the US government’s drone program. The book includes original contributions from Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden.
When the government discusses drone strikes publicly, it offers assurances that such operations are a more precise alternative to troops on the ground and are authorized only when an “imminent” threat is present and there is “near certainty” that the intended target will be killed. ["Collateral" damage.]

The implicit message on drone strikes from the Obama administration has been Trust, but don’t verify.
(DN!) As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the body count for drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, Democracy Now! looks at a new book that paints a very different picture of the U.S. drone program. The Assassination Complex is based on leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower. They undermine government claims that drone strikes have been precise. Part of the book looks at a program called Operation Haymaker in northeastern Afghanistan. During one five-month period, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The book includes new contributions from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and The Intercept’s Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald. More
The Intercept exposes the military after it obtained a cache of secret slides that provide a window into the inner workings of the US military’s operations in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.

Whether through the use of drones, night raids, or new platforms yet to be employed or made public, these documents show that illegal assassinations are central to US counterterrorism policy.

The classified documents reveal that Washington DC’s 14-year targeted killing campaign suffers from an overreliance on flawed signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from suspects.

This campaign, carried out by two presidents (Bush and Obama) through four presidential terms, has been deliberately obscured from the public and kept from democratic debate.
It allows readers to understand the circumstances under which the US government grants itself the right to hand out death sentences with no checks and balances. More

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