Apparently an Obama administration official has been running around saying we haven't killed a single innocent person in all of our drone missile strikes in Pakistan this year.
"in the last year, 'there hasn't been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities that we've been able to develop." He added: "if there are terrorists who are within an area where there are women and children or others, you know, we do not take such action that might put those innocent men, women and children in danger."
A London-based group called the Bureau of Investigative Journalism investigated this and other similar claims from Obama administration officials.
Contrary to Brennan's public assertions, "a detailed examination by the Bureau of 116 CIA 'secret' drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2010 has uncovered at least 10 individual attacks in which 45 or more civilians appear to have died."
A British photojournalist providing on-the-scene reporting of the aftermath of drone strikes in Waziristan documented this week that "far more civilians are being injured or dying than the Americans and Pakistanis admit" and "for every 10 to 15 people killed, maybe they get one militant." To describe Brennan's claims as merely "inaccurate" or "untrue" is to be unduly generous.
To say we aren't killing anyone when a very conservative investigation methodology finds "45 or more" deaths in drone attacks is not just mis-speaking. That's more a deliberate lie to the American people. This is a direct attack on democracy, as citizens can only act on information they know. When their government deliberately lies to them, then the government is subverting democracy and preventing the people from acting in a democracy. When a journalist on the ground says we are killing 10 to 15 people for every 'bad guy' we get, to have government officials stand up and say there are no such deaths is just a blatant lie. Your government does not want you to know what they are doing, and they are willing to lie to your face to keep you from knowing.
In an honest democracy, John Brennan would resign or be removed from his post for such a deception of the citizens of this country. Don't hold your breath.
There is one piece of good news in all of this. The government that is killing 10 to 15 people for every bad guy in Pakistan believes that they have to lie about this. This means they believe that people will not accept this if they know about it, and the only way for them to be able to keep killing is to lie to the citizens about this. That's good news, because I hope they are right. That means the American people won't stand for this when they know about it. And eventually, the truth always does come out. If they are telling such lies to keep this going, then it can not go on forever.