Tuesday, 7 August 2012

" Fair game"

The false statistics of US media reports on civilian drone deaths, including those of CNN, have misled Americans about such deaths caused by Washington’s use of drones, study reveals.

The revelation comes as many US journalists have started to reassess how they report on deaths in drone strikes after the New York Times recently disclosed that the CIA considers all military-aged males in Pakistan’s Waziristan to be ‘fair game’ in its drone attacks.

CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen’s views were therefore the subject of strong criticism when he produced a graph claiming that ‘no civilians have been killed in Pakistan this year by US drones’.
Among Bergen’s critics was a columnist for the American magazine The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, who accused CNN and Bergen of running ‘bogus data’.
The accuracy of Bergen’s drone killings data is of great importance as he is the director of the New America Foundation (NAF) - the most common source of statistics for the US media, including CNN.
The New America Foundation has run a database on CIA drone strikes in Pakistan for more than three years and provides estimates of the causalities.
For example, out of 148 - 220 deaths in Pakistan this year until July 16 between three and 27 civilians have been reported killed, some of whom were clearly defined as civilians by news organizations including Reuters and AFP.
Yet the civilian deaths are not necessarily limited just to these. Uncertain reports sometimes refer to those killed as ‘people’ or ‘local tribesmen’ killed.
The US has so far been able to name just 13 individuals of the remaining alleged militants killed thus rendering Bergen’s claim of zero reported civilian casualties this year as "factually inaccurate".
Speaking with such certainty is also illogical. The Bureau’s own data shows that the identities of merely around 500 of the at least 2,500 people killed by the CIA in Pakistan since 2004 are known, whilst most of the others have been reported by local and international media as being ‘alleged militants’.

This inconsistency is not limited to NAF’s 2012 data, in which reliable reports of civilian deaths have been either missed or ignored. There are also factual errors in NAF’s Pakistan data, wherein confirmed strikes are left out and the estimated numbers of people killed are considerably lower than even that of the CIA’s own accounts.
Pakistan contends that the drone strikes against suspected Taliban militants are ‘unlawful’ and ‘counterproductive.’
The US claims the airstrikes target Taliban militants. But locals say civilians are the main victims.
The aerial attacks, initiated by former President George W. Bush, have escalated under President Obama.


  1. Asalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu dear slave of Allah, jazakAllah khair for sharing this information which many turn a blind eye to, we can all pray if we cannot give to the Yateem..

    Take Care.

  2. replied to your words over at ireminisces..