U.S. missiles kill 15 "militants" in Pakistan, bodies not identified, quickly buried
The attack looked set to inflame tensions with Islamabad ahead of a visit by a US assistant defence secretary, Peter Lavoy, on a mission to persuade Pakistan to end a six-month blockade on NATO supplies crossing into Afghanistan.
“Fifteen militants were killed in a dawn strike on a compound. The bodies of those killed were unable to be identified,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP.
He said there were unconfirmed reports that foreigners were among the dead.
Local resident Gul Jaan Wazir told AFP that the dead bodies were quickly buried after being pulled out of the rubble. The drone strike destroyed the room in the mud and wooden house where they had all been sleeping, Wazir said.
In the debris, local people found letterheads of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the country’s main umbrella Taliban faction waging an insurgency against the Pakistani government, wooden beds, blankets and mattresses.
So let’s get this straight - 15 people who were "militants", but who also could not be identified, were blown to bits in the middle of the night in North Waziristan. Their alleged bodies were "quickly buried".
In the rubble of the mud and wood house printed letterheads were found, establishing the presence of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, an anti-government faction.
This calls to mind the mysterious and amazing (and useful) appearance of the 9/11 passport, the Flight 93 visa,and yet ANOTHER ’passport discovery’ of an alleged 9/11 hijacker in South Waziristan. Amazing finds, or planted evidence?
Further, this type of strike against ’unidentified militants’ demonstrates the Pentagon and Obama’s willingness to stretch the definitions of ’combatant’ to kill whomever they choose:
It is often been reported that President Obama has urged officials to avoid wherever possible the deaths of civilians in covert US actions in Pakistan and elsewhere. But reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane reveal that Obama inserted a loophole.Source: Antiwar.com
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.
So concerned have some officials been by this ‘false accounting’ that they have taken their concerns direct to the White House, according to the New York Times.
The revelation helps explain the wide variation between credible reports of civilian deaths in Pakistan by the Bureau and others, and the CIA’s claims that it had killed no ‘non-combatants’ between May 2010 and September 2011 – and possibly later.
The investigation also reveals that more than 100 US officials take part in a weekly ‘death list’ video conference run by the Pentagon, at which it is decided who will be added to the US military’s kill/ capture lists.
"Intelligence posthumously proving them innocent"?
That sounds like the ’Trial by Ordeal’ they used during a more barbaric age to judge if a woman was a witch or not.
"In a trial by ordeal, supposed witches were immersed into a vat of water or pond and taken out after some time to afford them the opportunity to confess. This process was usually repeated until the victim drowned or relented, leading to them being executed in another way, usually hanging or, more rarely, burning. Also, if they had their hands/feet tied, they would be left under water. If they floated they were guilty of witchcraft, if they sank they were innocent but would have usually drowned anyway." Source
Perhaps the ’barbaric age’ is now.
If the methods being employed today by our governments and military harken back to ’Witch Trial’ approaches, it’s long past time to call for transparency, accountability, and justice.
Elizabeth Leafloor, RedIceCreations.com
Pakistani ribesmen from Waziristan protest against US drone attacks, outside parliament in Islamabad.
2010 Photograph: T Mughal/EPA