Greg Palast writes at Vice Magazine:
About the time Barack Obama ordered the drone strike that killed Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year-old American kid Facebooked his second-rate choice of hip-hop favorites. I say “second-rate,” because Abdul was my son’s age almost exactly, so I know the kind of crap they listen to.
Every Tuesday, President Obama personally checks off the names of people he wants killed. George Bush, a bit more squeamish than Obama, never did that; but Mr. Obama felt those decisions were the president’s responsibility: he want[s] to keep his own finger on the trigger,” according to one report. A tidy, scheduled man, the President only picks his victims once a week, now called “Terror Tuesday.”
On October 14, 2011, in Shabwah province, Yemen, Abdul, went out with his cousins and friends for a good old US-style barbecue, when Obama’s drone fired a rocket, blowing the teenager to pieces. Or I should say “piece.” All that was left of Abdul was a piece of skull with long curly hair that allowed his relatives to identify this hunk of his head by his US-type haircut.
Obama didn’t order the killings (Abdul’s friends and cousins died too) as a random act of crazy. No-Drama Obama doesn’t believe in random. Abdul’s problem was that his father was Anwar al-Awlaki. Obama killed Abdul’s dad as well. Daddy al-Awlaki, an American imam who voted for George Bush, had gone over to the side of the bad guys, and after leaving the USA, broadcast pro-terrorism radio reports from Arabia.
We can argue until the cows come home about whether Daddy al-Awlaki was a legitimate kill target. It is, after all, right there in the US Constitution that the penalty for treason is death. I suppose that, before executing him, a jury trial would have been nice. But nice was not going to happen. So, OK, Barack, we’ll let that one go.
But what about the 16-year-old? Obama didn’t even pretend that the kid was a terrorist, or terrorist in-the-making, nor adopting in any way his father’s crazed kill-Americans crusade.
What could justify execution of Abdul? When asked, then-White House press spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said, “I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father”
I guess he should have.
Obama’s minions tried to cover up the hit on the teenagers. Attorney General Eric Holder informed Congress of the killings by writing that U.S. drones had blown up Anwar al-Awlaki, the crazy cleric and three other Americans who “were not specifically targeted.”
Holder’s comment makes it seem that Awlaki’s son was blown up with him—a sad case of ‘collateral damage.’
But are you ready for this? The teenager—along with his cousin and friends—was killed two weeks after and hundreds of miles away from the site where rockets killed his father.
Obama’s Seal Team Sick
I was straightened out on the facts by Richard Rowley, America’s most courageous investigative reporter. Rowley filmed, directed and edited the brilliant, horrific and brilliantly horrific documentary Dirty Wars, previewing this week in the US.
The film centres on Rowley’s reporting partner, the indefatigable Jeremy Scahill, whom Rowley follows from the scene of a massacre at a wedding party in Afghanistan to an interview with a warlord in Mogadishu (while under sniper fire).
You might know Rowley as Ricardo, the pathologically calm cameraman portrayed in my book Vultures’ Picnic. In Iraq, Rowley covered the US Army assault on Fallujah “embedded” with the assaulted, the insurgents. That was insane. Insane but brilliant. (Our producer at the BBC warned Ricardo that he was one lucky cat, but he’d already used up seven of his nine lives.)
In Dirty Wars, Rowley and Scahill reveal that drones are just one toy in our Presidents’ murderous toy-chest. And the kill list is far larger than even a smart dude like Obama can tick off on a Tuesday. Scahill calculates that the targeted kills in Afghanistan and Pakistan now total more than 17,000!