According to the US government unmanned drones are the perfect weapon in the continuing War on Terrorism, allowing for surgical precision and preventing risk to American life. During the Obama administration the use of drone strikes has exploded, faced with a backlash about Guantanamo Bay’s interminable detention of suspects they preferred this tactical program claiming that it also spared civilian life. But is that really the case?
This investigation goes to Yemen and Pakistan to find people claiming that the civilian casualty toll is much higher than Washington admits. In Yemen witnesses claim that 2 of the people killed in a strike which was reported in the Western media as being of 6 Al Qaeda militants, were in fact a student taxi driver and a teacher. We have also obtained harrowing exclusive footage from Pakistan; images of civilians, including children injured and killed in drone strikes. Since 2004 at least 350 drone strikes have been carried out in Pakistan and some journalists have evidence that up to half of the 3000 casualties were civilians.
Lastly we look at the even more worrying system of ’signature strikes’ in which no solid evidence is gathered on the suspects, not even their names, but their actions (as seen from the drones cameras) suggest that they may have terror links. Certain human rights organisations are starting to make a lot of noise about war crimes and international laws being broken. Is it time to listen to them?