Failures and Lies of U.S. Drone Policy Exposed in New Film and Human Rights Reports [VIDEO]
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For almost a decade, the United States government has downplayed the effects of drone warfare in Pakistan and other locales. Now, for the first time, a groundbreaking documentary, " Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars” by the award-winning film maker, Robert Greenwald, focuses on the human cost of drone strikes. The hard-hitting film exposes the lies and double talk emanating from the U.S. government about the extent of civilian death and destruction on the ground in Pakistan.
The film opens this week in New York, London and Islamabad, just as two highly damning reports documenting the magnitude of civilian casualties in the face of Obama administration denials have emerged from the human rights community. In addition, firebrand progressive Congressman, Alan Grayson, will hold a hearing in D.C this week with drone victims, some who appear in the film and have traveled from Pakistan to the U.S. to share their tragic stories.
Most Americans would be surprised to learn that since 2004, the government has launched close to 400 drone strikes abroad with the Obama administration responsible for over 300 of those attacks.
As drone technology continues to expand at a rapid pace globally, there are no signs to suggest the United States has any intention of slowing down its drone development program. This is despite overwhelming evidence proving that U.S drones strikes are responsible for between 400-900 civilian casualties in Pakistan alone and directly in violation of international law – potentially amounting to war crimes.
In fact, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have released two investigative reports confirming that U.S drone strikes have been carried out unlawfully in both Pakistan and Yemen killing thousands of civilians.
Moreover, United Nations Special Rapporteur, Ben Emmerson, last week criticized the Obama administration for creating “almost insurmountable obstacles to transparency” and calling upon the United States to declassify information about the drone operations coordinated by the CIA in order to clarify its position on the legality of aerial attacks.
Yet, despite such measures, the U.S. drone program continues to be shrouded in a blanket of secrecy with the American public kept virtually in the dark about its questionable procedures. Instead, we have been fed false and vague media and CIA reports which have glossed over the true extent of the human death toll, with high-level authorities intent on assuring us that all drone attacks have resulted in “militant deaths” and no civilian fatalities.
That is, until folks like Greenwald, began to question such dubious accounts and set out to unveil the real story behind the US drone program. The result of his unrelenting, full-scale, investigation culminated into his latest Brave New World film, “ Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars”.
Watch a trailer of the film:
This full-length feature documentary centers around drone warfare as told through the eyes of strike victims in an effort to educate the American public about remote-controlled warfare and the methods behind drone targeted killings. Greenwald explained to AlterNet his impetus behind the film:
“I started to see these articles, ‘no civilian casualties’ and it fundamentally made no sense to me. I did not believe it. I decided there was only one way to find out what was really happening, and that was to go to Pakistan and investigate. So I went there and it was certainly a profound experience to hear the countless stories from person after person about a wife, husband, sister, cousin or child who had all been killed by drones. I came back impassioned about doing what we could to tell this story and to help people understand that this bipartisan philosophy that ‘we can invade, occupy or drone our way to safety’ is a complete fallacy. It is a fundamental issue in the United States and unless we challenge this militaristic approach, we will never have the country or world we want to have,” he said.