News Release

“Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence”

An aerial drone launches from the guided-missile frigate USS Thach. (Photo: U.S. Navy / Flickr)

Reuters reports: “A flurry of drone attacks pounded northern Pakistan at the weekend, killing 13 people in three separate attacks, officials and witnesses said on Sunday. The attacks came as Pakistanis celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the festival of Eid al-Fitr.”

AP reports: “The U.S. military’s top general met with senior officials in Afghanistan on Monday to attempt to stop a recent wave of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police against international forces in the country.”

GARETH PORTER, [in D.C.] porter.gareth50 at gmail.com
Porter is an investigative journalist and historian specializing in U.S. national security policy. He just wrote the piece “Cover-Up of Civilian Drone Deaths Revealed by New Evidence,” which states: “Detailed information from the families of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan and from local sources on strikes that have targeted mourners and rescue workers provides credible new evidence that the majority of the deaths in the drone war in Pakistan have been civilian noncombatants – not ‘militants,’ as the Obama administration has claimed.

“The new evidence also shows that the statistical tally of casualties from drone attacks in Pakistan published on the web site of the New America Foundation has been systematically understating the deaths of large numbers of civilians by using a methodology that methodically counts them as ‘militants.’

“The sharply revised picture of drone casualties conveyed by the two new primary sources is further bolstered by the recent revelation that the Obama administration adopted a new practice in 2009 of automatically considering any military-age male killed in a drone strike as a ‘militant’ unless intelligence proves otherwise.

“The detailed data from the two unrelated sources covering a total 24 drone strikes from 2008 through 2011 show that civilian casualties accounted for 74 percent of the death toll, whereas the NAF tally for the same 24 strikes showed civilian casualties accounted for only 30 percent of the total.”