“With nearly 10,000 air strikes, we’re taking out their leadership, their oil, their training camps, their weapons,” Obama stated during his farewell State of the Union address earlier this month. Conveniently, in those 10,000 air strikes, he failed to include the bombings of hospitals, weddings, tribal council meetings, and, at least, eight U.S. citizens, with no concern for due process or a constitutionally mandated fair trial.
The Obama administration is also responsible for allowing the CIA to deploy drone strikes against a Yemeni wedding and a Pakistani tribal council meeting with total impunity.
On October 3, 2015, a U.S. airstrike killed at least 20 patients and MSF staff at a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, occupied by the group Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the French charitable organization, “Doctors Without Borders.”
On Friday, that changed as the US Central Command admitted that they killed and injured multiple civilians in the ‘vicinity’ of a drone strike meant for Junaid Hussain, on August 13, 2015.
Sadly, it’s not surprising to those who pay attention to the atrocities carried out by the military-industrial complex, but what makes this case unique is that not only did the US admit to killing civilians, they also admitted to missing their target.
According to The Guardian, born in Birmingham, Hussain, 21, joined Isis’s “cyber caliphate” after a stint as part of the UK hacker group Team Poison. Known by the handle Trick and later Abu Hussain al-Britani, Hussain served six months in jail in 2012 for publishing details from an illegally obtained address book belonging to former prime minister Tony Blair.
For his alleged role in other high-profile hacking incidents, and in spite of his British citizenship, Hussain became the target of a US drone strike last year. But, instead of killing their target, the US government blew up noncombatants said to be “in the vicinity” of the strike, near IS’s Syrian capital of Raqqa.
Eleven days after killing innocent civilians, the US launched another strike on the British hacker on August 24. With the UK playing a “consulting” role, Hussain was actually confirmed killed this time. However, it is unknown how many civilians were killed in this strike.
Since the inception of the war on terror, US drone strikes have killed thousands of innocent civilians, including hundreds of children throughout Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Syria.
Michael Haas, Brandon Bryant, Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis, who served as drone operators in the US Air Force, have gone public with detailed accounts of the widespread corruption and institutionalized indifference to civilian casualties that characterize the program.
After the U.S. Government failed to deter them through threats of criminal prosecution, and clumsy attempts to intimidate their families, these four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen.
There is no question — those who expose the crimes of the US government become enemies of the state.
The reality is that since 9-11, the US and their NATO allies have fostered a breeding ground for extremist and fundamentalist groups. As Americans sat back on their couches and watched the “Shock and Awe” on CNN, the US was sowing the seeds for perpetual war.
They were planting a garden in which a million Bin Ladens would later bloom.
This policy played right into the hands of the, then, tiny and insignificant fundamentalist groups. However, every time a US bomb dropped into a village, this was a recruiting haven for the fundamentalists. Now, a group who was never heard of 3 years ago is recruiting people on a global scale and growing their ranks daily.
As drone whistleblower Staff Sgt. Brandon Bryant said in his open letter to Barack Obama, “We kill four and create 10. If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”
It’s time to stop this cycle.
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world.