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Signature Strikes' And The President's Empty Rhetoric On Drones

Publication Date: 
July 10, 2013
Source: 
Chicago Tribune - Opinion
Author: 
Ariana Huffington

Professor James Cavallaro is quoted by Arianna Huffington in the Chicago Tribune - Opinion on signature strikes and what happened in Datta Khel on March 17, 2011.

On March 17, 2011, four Hellfire missiles, fired from a U.S. drone, slammed into a bus depot in the town of Datta Khel in Pakistan's Waziristan border region. An estimated 42 people were killed. It was just another day in America's so-called war on terror. To most Americans the strike was likely only a one-line blip on the evening news, if they even heard about it at all.

Who were those 42 people who were killed and what were they doing? And what effect did the strike have? These are the questions raised, and answered, in a must-watch new video just released by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Foundation.

That day in Datta Khel, the signature behavior was a meeting, or "jirga," which is an assembly of tribal elders who convene to settle a local dispute. In this case, a conflict over a chromite mine was being resolved. And, in fact, the elders had informed the Pakistani army about the meeting 10 days in advance. "So this was an open, public event that pretty much everyone in the community and surrounding area knew about," says Stanford law professor James Cavallaro in the video.