PressTV: Drones have killed 4,700: US senator

A US Predator drone (file photo)A US Predator drone (file photo)

Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:19PM GMT

A US senator says assassination drone strikes have killed around 4,700 people, including civilians, a number that exceeds some independent estimates of the toll.

“We’ve killed 4,700,” said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a staunch supporter of drone use, AFP reported on Wednesday.

“Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of al-Qaeda,” Graham added.

Graham defended President Barack Obama’s use of drones to carry out assassinations overseas, saying “It’s a weapon that needs to be used.”

“It’s a tactical weapon. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle that is now armed,” the senator noted.

US officials refuse to publicly discuss any details of the covert program and the death toll from drone strikes remains a mystery.

A report by the Washington-based New America Foundation has said that there have been 350 US drone strikes since 2004, most of them during President Obama’s terms in office. The foundation has put the death toll between 1,963 and 3,293, with 261 to 305 civilians killed.

According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 2,627 and 3,457 people have been killed by US drones in Pakistan since 2004, including between 475 and nearly 900 civilians.

Graham, however, did not make it clear weather the figure was the US government’s own estimate of casualties from drone strikes.

The use of assassination drones overseas under the administration of Obama has caused a national debate.

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also called for the formation of a third group to check on the president’s ability to conduct drone strikes.

“I think this idea of being able to execute, in effect, an American citizen, no matter how awful, having some third party — informing the Congress or the intelligence committees or something like that…some check on the ability of the president to do this has merit, as we look to the longer term future,” Gates said.

On February 14, Obama promised to be more forthcoming with the American public on his administration’s campaign of drone strikes.

“What I think is absolutely true is it’s not sufficient for citizens to just take my word for it that we’re doing the right thing,” Obama said in an online video question-and-answer session sponsored by Google.

He vowed to work with Congress to craft a “mechanism” to be more open about how the drone war is conducted.

Washington uses assassination drones in several countries, claiming that they target “terrorists.” According to witnesses, however, the attacks have mostly led to massive civilian casualties.

MN/AS

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7 Responses to PressTV: Drones have killed 4,700: US senator

  1. gdazer says:

    Let’s not beat around the bush. There is no other way to put it. The United States is without doubt the ultimate Terrorist organisation on the planet. The killing of innocents and even their own citizens is deplorable,

  2. What hurts some of us hurts ALL of us…Obama ( whom I am now REALLY believing is not a light worker, but time may STILL tell) and his administration AND the congress SO need to learn the lesson of interconnectedness. Then again, if Obama and his people are with the cabal, most likely, the best that they can hope for is a nice trip to the sun from our space family. We KNOW that the congress is with the cabal (the last congress member that I was holding out hope for was Kucinich, but he retired in January).
    Whether or not all of these politicians shrug off the shackles of the cabal is not really the issue, though. There are forces at work that will make all of their hubris and self-aggrandizement irrelevant. Our space family will not only ensure that these people learn some VERY harsh lessons about the lives they took, but we can also look forward to a bright future which includes VERY LARGE advances in the areas of science, technology and medicine. To get there, though, will require all of us to traverse an ever more bumpy road, but eventually, the truth will win out, and we will all be in a MUCH happier place.
    I don’t believe that we have to wait much longer. As I said in a previous comment, things are happening in the world that make it seem like a well-calculated chess game is being played by the good guys. It feels like something happens in one part of the world (i.e. Queen Beatrix’s abdication) and then something else happens like the pope retiring. It seems to me, that things are being set up for a VERY big check-mate. This is the feeling that I have been getting lately.

  3. Your all right about it I feel the games are about to turn on them. They say Obama is a light worker Light workers don’t kill. Things are said to be happening soon change of all Governments. We can only wait and see? Love to all send some love to Mother Earth to night.

  4. Carol K says:

    How is it that we are “at war” with Pakistan or any other nation undeclared? If so, they can do the same thing here, right? WE are supposed to agree with them as long as it is over there !
    Sen. Graham ought to be sent over there to see what it’s like to be on the other end of those flying deathtraps.

  5. Franz Glaus says:

    Obviously, “Obama” (Barry Soetoro) is lying again.

  6. Captain says:

    We need drones to follow Senators and House Reps around and see what they are doing, what Corporations they are making hidden deals with. That would be a better investment for USA.

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