November 5, 2013. The world is unanimous in calling the indiscriminate murder of first responders like ambulance drivers and firemen a war crime and a terrorist act. So, why then is the US President the globe’s number one perpetrator of the deadly tactic? More importantly, why aren’t the American people aware of it?
One of the 4,700 casualties of the US Drone War was an American teen. Image courtesy of WentToTheBridge blog.
Since this author wasn’t even aware of President Obama’s shocking record of targeting first responders for murder, it’s safe to say that most others aren’t either. But buried deep in the book reviews and news accounts of the new book ‘Double Down’ are references to one of the President’s favorite and most-used weapons of terror and mass murder – the ‘double tap.’
The new book is titled ‘Double Down’ and is written by two well known Washington political insiders named Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. In it, they cover the 2012 Presidential election between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. The book is slowly breaking into the corporate news cycle with the shocking story of the President bragging to aids that he’s, “really good at killing people.”
Few Americans are aware that President Obama has personally ordered the assassination by drone strike of thousands of people, including American citizens. One such personal target for murder was just a kid – 16 year-old American Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. An open letter to the world from the grandfather of that teenage American citizen sheds light on how President Obama’s Drone War manages to kill so many women, children, first responders and other innocent civilians.
‘I learned that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman - a United States citizen - had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died,’ Nasser al-Awlaki painfully wrote in the New York Times, ‘The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.’
Blowing up a crowded restaurant at dinner time, knowingly killing innocent people? Does that sound like the repeated acts of the American people or the actions of an anti-American terrorist? How about the tactic of waiting for the brave and selfless first responders to show up, and then blowing them up too? Both of those actions are considered acts of terror and war crimes by not only the United States and the United Nations, but the entire world.
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Explaining President Obama’s proud killing style, the book Double Down refers to the above-described double-bombing as a ‘double tap.’ It’s widely reported to be the President’s preferred method of long-distance execution. Unfortunately, the tactic kills vastly more innocent bystanders than actual terrorists. And the highest casualties are among first responders. That’s why the world considers it a heinous act of terrorism.
In an article two days ago, Business Insider covered the shocking details from the book Double Down. The authors write, ‘Under Obama US drone operators began practicing “signature strikes,” a tactic in which targets are chosen based on patters of suspicious behavior and the identities of those to be killed aren’t necessarily known. (The administration counts all “military-age males” in a strike zone as combatants.)’
The account continues, ‘Furthermore, the disturbing trend of the “double tap” - bombing the same place in quick succession and often hitting first responders - has become common practice. Needless to say, a lot of innocent people have been killed.’
NYU student busts the President
Believe it or not, it was a college student who discovered the White House tactic of mass killing with the ‘double tap’ tactic. As explained by a separate Business Insider report from December 2012, it was NYU student Josh Begley who noticed and exposed the trend. Begley has been monitoring and posting on Twitter every single US drone strike since 2002 as they happen.
‘NYU student Josh Begley is tweeting every reported US drone strike since 2002 and the feed highlights a disturbing tactic employed by the US that is widely considered a war crime,’ the publication reports, ‘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.’
The account also confirms that a 2007 Homeland Security Institute report called double taps a “favorite tactic of Hamas” and writes that the FBI considers it a tactic employed by terrorists. In addition, it quotes a United Nations report warning 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 critical report even includes a few excerpts from Begley’s drone strike log. One post on June 18, 2009 shows a recurring theme, “2 drone missiles killed 1 person. When rescuers rushed to the scene, 2 more struck, killing 8 (Pakistan).” Another entry on January 6, 2010 is similar, “Shortly after the first strike, as the rescue efforts were underway, the death toll rose to 15 (Pakistan).”
Another unsettling recurrence is the tactic of carrying out drone strikes against funeral gatherings. One entry from Begley’s log serves as a perfect example, “Jun 23, 2009: Up to 80 more people were killed when several US drones targeted a funeral (Pakistan).”
The elusive Drone War death count
With the Drone War being a secret war begun under President Bush and accelerated under President Obama, nobody has ever been able to verify any facts regarding the number of drone sorties or the number of fatalities. Even the President’s personal ‘kill list’ is top secret. But public statements by US Senators and various media outlets give us some statistics.
The above-referenced Business Insider account says the Bush administration carried out 52 drone strikes. By comparison, the Obama administration is reported to have carried out almost 600 (330 in Pakistan, 145 in Libya, 95 in Yemen and a handful in Somalia). An account from The Telegraph quotes US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) putting a casualty number to those drone strikes. “We've killed 4,700," Senator Graham told reporters in South Carolina, “Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that. But we're at war and we've taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda."
So while the mainstream media fixates on the scandal surrounding President Obama’s bragging that he’s “really good at killing people,” it would be nice if America’s media told the American people just who it is he’s so good at killing. Because with ambulance drivers, doctors, nurses and firemen being our typical targets, it’s obviously not who we all think.
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