Twenty children and six adults were killed this past week in Newtown, Connecticut, by a deranged individual. These children are not the only ones to have been killed.
On Sept. 25, a study was published by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law entitled, "Living under Drones," which reported that, contrary to Obama and his top counter-terrorism adviser, John Brennan, civilian deaths are not "exceedingly rare" in drone attacks. (See EIR, Oct. 12, 2012)
The Stanford/NYU report offers figures published by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), an independent organization based at City University in London.
"TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562- 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228-1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
Obama has already authorized 283 strikes in Pakistan, six times more than the number during President George W. Bush's eight years in office. As a result, the number of estimated deaths from the Obama administration's drone strikes is more than four times what it was during the Bush administration — somewhere between 1,494 and 2,618.
Every Tuesday, the President of the United States attends a kill meeting in the White House, in which he selects targets and gives approval to drone attacks, which have already killed 176 innocent children and a total of approximately 1,000 civilians in Pakistan alone. Since Obama also authorizes drone attacks in other nations, the number of children and civilians killed by the President is undoubtedly much higher.
Moreover, according to the London-based rights organization, Reprieve, which with the help of a partner organization in Pakistan facilitated access to some of the people interviewed for the Stanford/NYU study, the psychological damage to the surviving family members is extensive.
According to Reprieve's director, Clive Stafford Smith, "drone strikes go much further than simply killing innocent civilians. An entire region is being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies. Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meetings, or anything that involves gathering in groups. Yet there is no end in sight, and nowhere the ordinary men, women and children of North West Pakistan can go to feel safe."