from ACLU, CCR Request Information on US Drone Strike That Caused Al-Majalah Massacre
The Yemen government apologized to the victims. They “paid out compensation at local levels to affected families.”
[Put on your hip-waders for this excerpt. Then put a larger pair over the first.]
In the most dramatic possible way, the Fort Hood shootings in November and the attempted Christmas Day bombing had shown the new danger from Yemen. Mr. Obama, who had rejected the Bush-era concept of a global war on terrorism and had promised to narrow the American focus to Al Qaeda’s core, suddenly found himself directing strikes in another complicated Muslim country. [Obama: "Oh, I did that?" Petraeus: "We'll say you did."]
The very first strike UNDER HIS WATCH IN YEMEN, on Dec. 17, 2009, offered a stark example of the DIFFICULTIES of operating in what General Jones described as an “EMBRYONIC THEATER that we weren’t really familiar with.” [Barf]
It killed not only its intended target, but also two neighboring families, and left behind a trail of cluster bombs that subsequently killed more innocents. It was hardly the kind of precise operation that Mr. Obama FAVORED. [His actual words were something like "I'd prefer not to shred dozens of innocent people if possible."] Videos of children’s bodies and angry tribesmen holding up American missile parts flooded You Tube, fueling a ferocious backlash that Yemeni officials said bolstered Al Qaeda.
The SLOPPY STRIKE shook Mr. Obama and Mr. Brennan, officials said, and once again THEY TRIED TO IMPOSE SOME DISCIPLINE. [But without actually holding anyone responsible.]from Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will
Sometimes I wish I had the acid pen of an Arthur Silber (blog), because I don't think I have a vocabulary that can express my utter disgust at this slippery BS, which was intended to gloss over the Al Majala massacre, once Jeremy Scahill exposed it on NPR, and convince us that it's just one of those things for which nobody can actually be held responsible. Its key points are that it just happened "under his [Obama's] watch," and that it wasn't mass murder of women and children, but just a "sloppy strike" caused by the "difficulties" of obtaining good information in an "embryonic theatre." Please try to understand - it's a hard job.
But the simple fact is that the "training camp" was out in the open, and all we had to do was aim a spy satellite or drone at it to get accurate information. There are no excuses for what happened.
Somebody within our government with the authority to declare it to be a legitimate target is responsible, even if they screwed up, and that person should be HELD responsible. The fact that they aren't being held responsible indicates that they are untouchable.