Target: President Obama and CIA Director John Brennan
Goal: Acknowledge and apologize for civilian deaths from CIA drone strikes.
Recently, an innocent ten year old boy was murdered in a strike on a vehicle in Yemen, and the Obama administration has refused to comment on the tragedy, though the President said this May that “‘there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,'” according to AlterNet.org¹. The government must recognize and properly apologize for these deaths, and a nontransparent policy of ‘near-certainty’ in military operations must not be tolerated.
Despite recently adopted regulations for targeted killing operations (which includes “a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan”)² and government insistence that harm to innocents is avoided at all costs, civilian deaths are still occurring as part of drone strikes in Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan. Several hundred civilians have been murdered since the inception of the drone strike program in 2004, among them nearly 200 children³. These numbers are unacceptable, as is the fact that the United States government continues to refuse to release information about mistakes or civilian deaths as a result of drone operations.
By signing this petition, you will draw attention to the civilian deaths perpetrated by CIA drones and refuse to let the US government sweep these fatalities under the rug as merely a side effect of this supposedly ‘counterterrorist’ campaign. You will show the US government, President Obama, and Director Brennan that the current lack of transparency and accountability with regard to targeted killing operations is intolerable, and that apologies must be made.
¹Currier, Cora. “U.S. Has Nothing to Say About 10-Year-Old Killed in Drone Strike.” AlterNet. 1 July 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.
²Miller, Greg, et al. “CIA drone strikes will get pass in counterterrorism ‘playbook,’ officials say.” The Washington Post: National Security. 19 Jan. 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.
³Serle, Jack, and Chris Woods. “Six-month update: US covert actions in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.” The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 1 July 2013. Web. 11 July 2013.
Dear President Obama and Director Brennan,
Since 2004, your drone strike program has been responsible for the deaths of at least several hundred civilians, including almost 200 children, in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. You cannot promote a targeted killing agenda, claiming minimal danger exists for innocent citizens, while refusing to release figures that make clear the true impact of this program.
I am calling on you to make available to American and global citizens the real figures from drone strike operations. I urge you to apologize and make reparations for civilian deaths resulting from this program, as well as to pursue a policy of transparency and accountability in not just this aspect of American policy but in every facet of governance. ‘Near-certainty’ is too large of a risk margin when innocent lives are at stake.
[Your Name Here]