U.S. Drone War Crimes

The NYU Student Tweeting Every Reported US Drone Strike Has Revealed A Disturbing Trend

The NYU Student Tweeting Every Reported US Drone Strike Has Revealed A Disturbing Trend

The NYU Student Tweeting Every Reported US Drone Strike Has Revealed A Disturbing Trend

NYU student Josh Begley is tweeting every reported U.S. drone strike since 2002, and the feed highlights a disturbing tactic employed by the U.S. that is widely considered a war crime. Known as the “double tap,” the tactic involves bombing a target multiple times in relatively quick succession, meaning that the second strike often hits first responders.  A 2007 report by the Homeland Security Institute called double taps a “favorite tactic of Hamas” and the FBI considers it a tactic employed by terrorists. UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings Christof Heyns said that if there are “secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping (the injured) after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime.” The U.S. refuses to discuss the merits of its overtly covert drone program, but the reports featured on @dronestream clearly document that U.S. hellfire missiles have intentionally targeted funerals and civilian rescuers.

Jun 18, 2009: 2 drone missiles killed 1 person. When rescuers rushed to the scene, 2 more struck, killing 8 (Pakistan) nytimes.com/2009/06/19/wor…

— Dronestream (@dronestream) December 11, 2012

Jun 23, 2009: Up to 80 more people were killed when several US drones targeted a funeral (Pakistan) aljazeera.com/news/asia/2009…

— Dronestream (@dronestream) December 11, 2012

Jan 6, 2010: Shortly after the first strike, as the rescue efforts were underway, the death toll rose to 15 (Pakistan) aljazeera.com/news/asia/2010…

— Dronestream (@dronestream) December 11, 2012

Apr 16, 2010: Missiles fired from US drones killed 4 in Tolkhel, hitting a car and people rushing in to help (Pakistan) google.com/hostednews/afp…

— Dronestream (@dronestream) December 12, 2012

And that’s only a 10-month window in Pakistan. It has happened in Afghanistan as well, and the first instance of “explicit intelligence posthumously proving” that an innocent civilian had been killed happened in Yemen. In September the NYU and Stanford law schools released a report detailing how double taps by U.S. drones affect the Pakistani population, and noted that “high-level” militants killed only accounted for two percent of U.S. drone strike casualties.

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