‘OK, fine. Shoot him.’ Four words that heralded a decade of secret US drone killings

‘OK, fine. Shoot him.’ Four words that heralded a decade of secret US drone killings

November 3rd, 2012 | by Chris Woods | Published in All Stories, Covert Drone War, Drone War, Top Stories | 1 Comment

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Predator drones increasingly a museum piece thanks to more lethal models (Justinpickard/ Flickr)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) usually gets all the credit for the first US drone targeted killing beyond the conventional battlefield.

But it was the military which gave the final go-ahead to kill on November 3 2002.

Lt General Michael DeLong was at Centcom headquarters in Tampa, Florida when news came in that the CIA had found its target. The deputy commander made his way down to the UAV Room, showing live video feeds from a CIA Predator high above Marib province in Yemen.

The armed drone was tracking an SUV on the move. The six terrorist suspects inside were unaware that a decision had already been made to kill them.

Interviewed by PBS, DeLong later recalled speaking by phone with CIA Director George Tenet as he watched the video wall:

‘Tenet goes “You going to make the call?” And I said, “I’ll make the call.” He says, “This SUV over here is the one that has Ali in it.” I said, “OK, fine.” You know, “Shoot him.” They lined it up and shot it.’

Eight thousand miles away and moments later, six alleged terrorists were dead. Among them was a US citizen.

‘Orchestrator’ killed
The media carried detailed accounts of the ‘secret’ attack within days. Yemen’s government, which had co-operated on the strike, also released the names of the six men killed, including that of US citizen Kemal Darwish.

The growing use of drones in undeclared wars

By Glenda Cimino - Irish Anti War Movement

The politics of the Obama administration has been rightly labelled the “politics of illusion” by writer Jeffrey St Clair. While Bush tortured ‘suspected’ enemies and sent them to Guantanamo and other illegal secret prisons, Obama has been approving the assassination of  “suspected militants’ in several countries with drones, whether or not war has been declared.

Jo Becker and Scott Shane reported in the New York Times that Obama maintains a “kill list.” After consulting with his counterterrorism adviser John O. Brennan, Obama personally makes the decision to have individuals executed. Brennan was closely identified with torture, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition during the Bush administration. The Times story, based on interviews with three dozen current and former Obama advisers, reports that “Mr. Obama has avoided the complications of detention by deciding, in effect, to take no prisoners alive. While scores of suspects have been killed under Mr. Obama, only one has been taken into U.S. custody” because he doesn’t want to add new prisoners to Guantanamo. This is far from what many American people expected in the last election when they voted and applauded Obama’s [unfulfilled] promise to close Guantanamo.

Letter in Irish Times on Muslim protests re hate inciting film - 250912


while acknowledging that religious fanatics may always exist Vincent Durac (Irish Times, 22 September) is right to contextualise the often violent protests directed against US Embassies over the silly but hate inciting film Innocence of Muslims.

The reaction to the film may have been very different had not Muslim countries being bombed, invaded and occupied, their citizens tortured and their natural wealth exploited over the last eleven years in a war that former US President Bush coined a ‘crusade’.

Hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been killed. The latest atrocity, committed by NATO last Sunday in Afghanistan, killed eight women and injured seven including a 10-year old girl according to a report in the Irish Times (17 Sept.).  

It is crimes like these that are the real cause of anger in the Muslim world.

The US Government and its apologists should truthfully confront the justified anger of Muslims. The memory of US Ambassador Chris Stevens, of the eight dead women in Afghanistan and of all the victims of a flawed US foreign policy deserves no less.

Yours etc.

PRO Steering Committee,
Irish Anti War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

Tel. 087 6472737

War Is A Racket- Major General Smedley Butler

Major General Smedley Butler, USMC joined the Marine Corps when the Spanish American War broke out, earned the Brevette Medal during the Boxer Rebellion in China, saw action in Central America, and in France during World War I was promoted to Major General. Smedley Butler served his country for 34 years, yet he spoke against American armed intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations.

War Is A Racket  A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC. 

WAR is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

US warships in Dublin - letter in Examiner

Slap in the face to Irish revolutionaries

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Regarding ‘Why we should welcome warships’ (Letters, Sept 9) Anthony Leavy is missing some basic facts.

1. Ireland does not owe its ‘democratic freedoms... to the US military’. That’s a slap in the face to Irish revolutionaries who forced the English out.

Fact: The Russian people bore the brunt of Hitler’s savagery. Almost 25 million Russians lost their lives in Second World War. China lost about ten million. The Germans lost over six million.

The US about 450,000.

The US contributed in other ways: dropping two nuclear bombs on Japan when they were asking to surrender.

Today, the United States is a thug regime. There is nothing democratic about torture and rendition and the continuous wars being waged since 9/11.

The country of my birth is, as Dr Martin Luther King Jr said in his speech ‘Beyond Vietnam — A Time to Break Silence’ "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world".

I submit that what the US military have been doing across this globe are reasons to say No.

Paul Meuse

Ground Zero Redux By Pepe Escobar

Ground Zero Redux By Pepe Escobar

September 12, 2012 "Asia Times" -

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