Take a good long look at the face of this 4 year-old boy. He could be your child, your grandchild or nephew. The photo seems to reflect a childhood innocence, an innocence that is so treasured and so valued that it must be protected at all costs. Who among us could deny that this precious little boy deserves to be protected, deserves to experience the joys of a secure childhood like most of us had so long ago? Funny, that, for it is the very same people who argue that they are acting “for the children” when instead, they are criminally responsible for destroying their childhood, by ruthlessly and shamelessly exploiting them for their own geopolitical agenda. Worse yet, it’s all being done in your name, in our names, with our collective, tacit approval. For behind this face of innocence is a veil of darkness so black that it should shake you to your core as you look at the next image of this same young boy.
Behind the black mask is the face of the young boy identified only as Muhammad, depicted here shooting an AK-47 in Syria. You’ve probably seen it, or at least heard about it. But do you know the whole story behind it? Do you know that it’s our government—your government—that is behind these unspeakable atrocities? Averting your gaze and claiming that this is mere hyperbole might make you feel more comfortable, but it will not change the fact that many of us have looked away for far too long or clung to the belief that what we are seeing is a centuries-old artifact of Islamic savagery. Whatever helps you sleep at night. However, that does not change the truth, a truth from which you cannot flee.
RT January 30 2014
Top-secret documentation collected by Pakistani field officers gives detailed information on 330 US drone strikes that have occurred in Pakistan since 2006. The CIA-run program is estimated to have killed 2,371 people.
From solitary individuals riding on horseback to mountain hideouts crammed with people, the CIA drone program has had no shortage of targets in the Islamic Republic, according to newly released information obtained by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ).
The most complete official record of American drone activity in Pakistan yet published provides an account as to the time and place of each strike, even including in some cases the identity of the homeowners.
The document is unique in that it provides a “strike-by-strike account,” opening the window on Pakistan’s view of each incident with that of other authorities.
Strangely, the retrieved data stops recording civilian casualties after 2008, while even failing to mention details of civilian deaths that have been widely acknowledged by the Pakistani authorities. It also inexplicably excludes information from the year 2007.
The news watchdog said the leaked documents are based on information filed to the FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas) Secretariat each evening by local Political Agents in the field. However, TBIJ noted that the leaked documents are just one of several sources of information the Pakistani government has on US drone activity in the country.
‘Naming the dead’
Referring to the administration’s ongoing targeted assassination program in his State of the Union address recently, President Obama said—despite the statement’s glaring inaccuracy—that his executive branch, throughout the development and execution of the “kill list” program, had “kept Congress fully informed of our efforts.”
New reporting by the New York Times on Thursday, however, reveals the effort now underway to keep Congress—not to mention the public—permanently uninformed about the nature and content of several still secret memos used by the president to justify the targeted killing of foreign and US citizens it suspects of terrorist activities.
Leading up to the confirmation hearings for the president’s nominee to lead the CIA John Brennan—the chief architect of the ‘kill list’ and Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser—members of Congress, most notably Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), demanded more detailed information about the legal framework used to appropriate such extreme executive authority.
Subsequently, after the controversy mounted during dramatic protests during Brennan’s testimony, members of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee put a hold on the confirmation, demanding more information on the killing program and requesting access to the undisclosed legal memos.
But now, the Times reports: