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Obama Measures to Prevent Drone Deaths 'Untrustworthy'

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President Barack Obama’s executive order to reduce civilian casualties from drone strikes is untrustworthy in light of the suspiciously low noncombatant casualty estimates released by the intelligence community, experts told Sputnik.

Both Bank and CIA legal counsel John Rizzo were charged with murder by a court in Pakistan earlier this month, over the death of two residents of the North Waziristan region who died in a CIA drone attack in December 2009. - Sputnik International
Obama Releases Numbers on Civilian Casualties Caused by US Drones
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On Friday, Obama announced new measures to reduce civilian casualties resulting from counterterrorism strikes, which killed up to 116 noncombatants from 2009 through 2015, according to US intelligence.

"Obama's executive order to protect civilians from drone strikes is as untrustworthy as the ludicrously low innocent victim death count his administration announced today," political commentator and author James Bovard said on Friday.

The claim in a report approved by Obama that only 116 people had been killed around the world in US drone strikes since 2009 revealed the fundamental dishonesty and disregard for documented facts, Bovard maintained.

"If the Obama team cannot be honest about the innocent people slain by the United States since 2009, there's no reason to expect honesty about the women and children who perish in future carnage approved by the White House," Bovard commented.

Institute for Public Accuracy Communications Director Sam Husseini noted that Obama had tried to minimize media coverage of his new order by issuing it at the very beginning of the Fourth of July holiday weekend when media coverage in Washington was minimal.

"Burying lowball numbers of civilian drone kills on Friday afternoon before July 4 is the height of [the adage that] ‘patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels,’" he stated.

Veteran US foreign policy analyst and author Joe Lauria sad the executive order would prove to be meaningless since the White House and its senior commanders would not disclose details of future directives that could result in heavy civilian casualties in future military operations.

Obama’s executive order, furthermore, would not bind his successors, especially as the president now has less than half a year to exercise power, Lauria noted.

"It is a welcome step to reveal civilians killed — if it is not whitewashed — but Obama's successor might not follow suit, so we will never know if there will a reduction in civilian deaths," he pointed out.

The US government previously had refused to document or acknowledge accurate numbers of civilians killed in recent wars, Lauria added.

"Washington says it does not keep such statistics. It only counts their own dead. That tells you one thing: they don't care," he stated.

The US government had never issued its own estimates on the number of Vietnamese, Iraqis, Libyans, Panamanians or Afghanis killed by the United States, Lauria recalled.

Research conducted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that over 3,000 people, including nearly 500 civilians, have been killed by drones under the Obama administration.

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