#95 – American Tune

“Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken”

In August 2021, after a bomb was detonated at the Kabul airport, killing thirteen Marines, President Biden declared that he would seek revenge. The terrorist attack was to goad the U.S. government to overreact, which it did. Three days later, a drone strike on August 29, 2021, incinerated Zemari Ahmadi’s entire family. 

Zemari Ahmadi, was a family man. He had a wife and seven children. He was working diligently to obtain refugee visas to the United States. Zemari Ahmadi was a U.S. aid worker, an electrical engineer by training, worked for a California-based NGO, Nutrition and Education International. Who would believe that carrying water and transporting colleagues around town in a white Toyota Corolla would be a death sentence?

“And many times confused”

Revenge justice became an injustice for Ahmadi and his family. While the Pentagon believed that the target was behaving suspiciously, in fact, he was going about an ordinary day of running errands. Security camera footage of Ahmadi moving about with colleagues, holding laptops and empty plastic water containers. The Pentagon interpreted the water bottles and laptops as evidence of an imminent terrorist attack. 

In press conferences after the strike, officials maintained that a large secondary explosion showed that the car contained bombs. They surmised that the non-existing bombs were to be used to disrupt the evacuations underway at Kabul airport. However, independent weapons experts enlisted to assess the damage at the scene found no evidence of a secondary blast. They found no damage to peripheral structures and no indication that the destruction of the car and the deaths of ten human beings resulted from the missile of a U.S. drone, only.

“Yes, and I’ve often felt forsaken”

During the Vietnam War, hatred and fear of communism led U.S. government administrators to devise immoral programs such as Phoenix, which resulted in widespread civilian carnage. In the 1970s, the Church Committee and the Pike Committee reined in the CIA and the Pentagon. A moratorium was put on assassination by President Ford in 1976 through Executive Order 11905. However, in response to the events of September 11, 2001, the Global War on Terror ended the moratorium on assassinations. 

After the events of September 11, 2001, the U.S. government launched a War on Terrorism. Under the Geneva Convention, it was illegal for a soldier to execute an unarmed enemy soldier point-blank. In the Drone Age, it is perfectly permissible for an operator located thousands of miles away from a “battlefield” devoid of allied soldiers to push a button and eliminate a suspected enemy combatant, along with anyone who happens to be around him at the time.

And certainly misused

The drone program assumes that it is perfectly acceptable to execute anyone anywhere based on purely circumstantial evidence. In addition to cellphone SIM card data, drone video footage and the testimony of bribed informants on the ground are also used to add names to hit lists. “Crowd killing,” entire groups of men of unknown identity have been eliminated under the assumption of guilt by association.

Politicians and the populace have been “tricked” into believing that a soldier located in a trailer in Nevada could kill a person without being provided the right to surrender or be allowed to prove that he was not a terrorist. Many of those executed were unarmed, innocent, women, and children. 

U.S. taxpayers funded this large-scale program of mass murder. Yet this killing was ignored by most citizens, in large part because the mainstream media outlets choose not to discuss the matter, deferring to the Pentagon pretext of national self-defense. Their truth is corrupt as military bureaucrats convinced the populace that was doing nothing wrong, even when, under the guise of national defense, they killed scores of human beings at gatherings such as funerals and weddings. Hell, they have even bombed hospitals.

These premeditated executions, formerly known as assassination and considered illegal under international law, were rebranded as targeted killing and embraced as a new standard operating procedure of was billed as “smart” war. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs) or lethal drones was good news for politicians who promoted the drone program without thinking about the consequences for the people on the ground. Lethal drones made it possible for war without the troops risking their lives without boots on the ground. 

“Oh, but I’m alright, I’m all right”

Daniel Hale, who worked in the drone assassination program in Afghanistan he stole and shared top-secret documents. “The Drone Papers,” were published online by Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept and later in his book, “The Assassination Complex.” The documents reveal; little analysis is giving to ensure the safety of innocent civilians, that the people killed were of entirely unknown identity, the targets were considered guilty without any ability to prove themself innocent. 

I’m just weary to my bones

For whistleblowing, Hale will spend 45 months in prison for violating the Espionage Act. His defense, “I believe that it is wrong to kill, but it is especially wrong to kill the defenseless.” He went on to say that he felt a need to share what “was necessary to dispel the lie that drone warfare keeps us safe, that our lives are worth more than theirs.”

*Sub titles taken from Paul Simon’s lyricsAmerican Tune

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