The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the U.S. government doesn’t actually know who it’s killing with many of its drone strikes in Pakistan. That suggests the United States may well be violating international law.As the Journal reports, the bulk of the CIA’s drone strikes are “signature strikes,” which “target groups of men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren’t always known.”[...]John Brennan, President Obama’s senior counterterrorism advisor, has actually claimed “there hasn’t been a single collateral death” from drone strikes, due to their precision.But that stands in stark contrast to the findings of such groups as the Bureau for Investigative Journalism, which has been reporting on the casualties of drone strikes since 2004. The team of British and Pakistani journalists in a report released in August documented 306 strikes from remotely piloted drones that killed between 2,359 and 2,959 people. The bureau reports that in Pakistan, it has found credible reports of 392 civilian deaths, include 175 children.
I just love it when the CIA admits I'm right, i.e. that the primary purpose of the drone strikes is air-terrorism. (This is what Brennan meant by claiming that there have been no collateral deaths - they all serve the primary purpose.) Try to imagine knowing that you could be blown up AT ANY MOMENT as if struck by a bolt of lightning out of the blue, because someone at the controls of a drone can simply CLAIM to really, really, really believe (where have you heard THAT before?) that there's a terrorist somewhere in your vicinity.