By JG Vibes
January 24, 2013
This week when I published an article about the long list of children who were killed in drone strikes throughout Yemen and Pakistan, a reader brought an interesting fact to my attention that I was not yet aware of.
Whenever the mainstream media releases a story about drone attacks, they typically use the word “militant” to describe the victims. This label implies that the victims are not civilians or are somehow involved in terrorism or violent military activities.
However, this is not what they are actually saying, this is a deception.
Earlier this year the Obama Administration redefined “Militant” to mean “Military Aged Male”, so this way nearly any male who gets killed is considered a violent enemy, at least in the eyes of the general population.
Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good.
“Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.
This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths.
In a speech last year Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s trusted adviser, said that not a single noncombatant had been killed in a year of strikes. And in a recent interview, a senior administration official said that the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan under Mr. Obama was in the “single digits” — and that independent counts of scores or hundreds of civilian deaths unwittingly draw on false propaganda claims by militants.
But in interviews, three former senior intelligence officials expressed disbelief that the number could be so low.
The C.I.A. accounting has so troubled some administration officials outside the agency that they have brought their concerns to the White House. One called it “guilt by association” that has led to “deceptive” estimates of civilian casualties.
“It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.”
This is just another step along in the process to shield the American people from the harsh reality of war.
The language that the establishment uses ultimately becomes the language that the mainstream media uses, because the words on their teleprompters literally come from White House and Pentagon press releases.