More on the Drones
Tariq Aziz (centre, second row) attending a meeting about drones strikes in Waziristan, held in Islamabad, Pakistan on 28 October 2011. Three days later, the 16 year old was reported killed by a drone-launched missile.
A few weeks ago, I gave a shout out to Jemima Khan for giving cameras to people in Pakistan's tribal areas so they could document that civilians are dying from US drone strikes there.
There is already a chilling and outrageous new chapter in that story, as a 16 year old boy who stood up publicly to challenge the drone strikes, was killed 72 hours later, by a drone strike. More below.
Another shout out is due the Hancock 38, protesters who were tried last week near Syracuse NY for protesting last spring at Hancock Air Force Base, against drone training there. They were charged with 2 counts of disorderly conduct in a 5 day trial. No verdict yet, but good for them for putting the government's drone wars on trial.
And good for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, for the show Harun Farocki: Images of War (at a Distance) through January 2.
Last Friday, I met a boy, just before he was assassinated by the CIA. Tariq Aziz was 16, a quiet young man from North Waziristan, who, like most teenagers, enjoyed soccer. Seventy-two hours later, a Hellfire missile is believed to have killed him as he was travelling in a car to meet his aunt in Miran Shah, to take her home after her wedding. Killed with him was his 12-year-old cousin, Waheed Khan.
Over 2,300 people in Pakistan have been killed by such missiles carried by drone aircraft such as the Predator and the Reaper, and launched by remote control from Langley, Virginia. Tariq and Waheed brought the known total of children killed in this way to 175, according to statistics maintained by the organisation I work for, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Continue reading.