I’m Tom Dwyer,
Debate about drone killing of American citizens without trial overshadows another facet of this lethal program.
“Signature strikes” account for many, perhaps even most, drone strikes. More common than targeted strikes, they don’t focus on American citizens, Al Qaeda leaders, or, in fact, any specific person.
Unidentified individuals are vaporized based solely on suspicious “signatures” in their behavior.
The administration hasn’t released any information about signature strikes, but Bradley Manning has and he’s still a political prisoner for exposing video of a signature strike to the world.
This malignant policy raises fundamental questions…
What are the legal justifications ?
In areas like Yemen or Pakistan where virtually all men, including civilians, carry weapons, what qualifies as a ‘signature”?
Do targeted people have to pose a threat to the US?
How many of the estimated 4700 drone deaths so far were signature strikes? How many innocents were killed?
And one more question… what will prevent the domestic adoption of these policies?
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