Thursday, March 7, 2019

Trump cancels reports on civilian deaths in US drone strikes

from RT
US President Donald Trump has revoked the executive order requiring public reports on civilian casualties in drone strikes carried out by the CIA, as well as US military. 
The new executive order, issued Wednesday, revokes the reporting requirement introduced by President Barack Obama in July 2016.  The action required the Director of National Intelligence to release an unclassified summary of US strikes against terrorists “outside areas of active hostilities” and assessments of non-combatant deaths caused by those strikes.

The Pentagon still has an obligation to report on civilian casualties caused by US military operations, as it is mandated by the National Defense Authorization Acts of 2018 and 2019, Trump’s executive order noted.

In a statement commenting on the decision, the White House National Security Council said that the order removes “superfluous reporting requirements” that “distract our intelligence professionals from their primary mission.”

Obama’s former NSC spokesman Ned Price was furious, however, arguing that the reporting requirement allowed the US to “counter disinformation from terrorist groups with facts about the effectiveness and precision of our operations.”

 Canceling the reports will allow the Pentagon to conduct military engagements without any “accountability,” Brian Becker, the national co-coordinator of the anti-war Answer coalition told RT, noting that Trump seems to be already betting on a “tough guy” image for the 2020 campaign.

“These wars are so important that we don't actually need to tell you about them” is the narrative Trump is trying to push, Becker said. “Donald Trump wants to be able to have the Pentagon commit war crimes, and crimes against humanity and do so with complete immunity and impunity.”...

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