Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Drone Papers

The Intercept has managed to get their hands on documents that explain, for the first time, how a drone strike is carried out by the American government, who’s responsible, and the efficacy of the program. It’s not good:

The White House and Pentagon boast that the targeted killing program is precise and that civilian deaths are minimal. However, documents detailing a special operations campaign in northeastern Afghanistan, Operation Haymaker, show that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations airstrikes killed more than 200 people. Of those, only 35 were the intended targets. During one five-month period of the operation, according to the documents, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. In Yemen and Somalia, where the U.S. has far more limited intelligence capabilities to confirm the people killed are the intended targets, the equivalent ratios may well be much worse.

Abhorrent. This policy and these figures are something every American — at the very least — should be angry about.

This is the culmination of reporting that was first revealed at the end of Citizenfour, where Glenn Greenwald shows Edward Snowden a chain of command chart for authorizing a drone strike.