The Damage Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki Was Collateral To? Not Dead.

I’m not sure which details from Michelle Shephard’s story on 16-year old Adbulrahman Al-Awlaki’s death in a US drone strike are most compelling. I find the description of the carnival rides Abdulrahman snuck past as he ran away from home to go look for his father haunting.

Abdulrahman al Awlaki crossed the front yard past potted plants and a carnival ride graveyard — Dumbo, Donald Duck, an arched seal balancing a beach ball — debris from his uncle Omar’s failed business venture to install rides in local shopping malls.

I’m intrigued by the report that Ali Abdullah Saleh denied to Nasser al-Awlaki, Adbulrahman’s grandfather and Anwar’s father, that he had any role in Anwar’s death.

“(Deposed Yemeni president) Saleh sent me a message through the former prime minister that said, ‘Tell Dr. Nasser I swear to God that I have nothing to do with the killing of his son,’ ” Nasser said.

By far the most infuriating, however, is the juxtaposition of Leon Panetta’s boasts of how accurate the targeting on these drone strikes are with Shephard’s reminder of the previously reported news that the claimed target of the strike that killed Abdulrahman, Ibrahim al Bana, was not killed in the attack.

It later emerged, but was not widely reported, that the strike did not kill its purported target, AQAP’s media chief, Egyptian Ibrahim al Bana.

[snip]

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta responded to questions about drone use during a 2009 public appearance when he was the head of the CIA.

“I think it does suffice to say that these operations have been very effective because they have been very precise in terms of the targeting and it involved a minimum of collateral damage,” he said.

That’s what we call American teenagers now: a minimum of collateral damage. To a target that our purportedly precise targeting somehow missed.

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7 Responses to The Damage Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki Was Collateral To? Not Dead.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @cocktailhag @lrozen But, hey, I am only 50+ years old+not an international sage who has called for intervention over years. Whatta I know?
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bmaz @cocktailhag @lrozen No, inspire of all the war drum bangers, I have, per long history, no respect, and only contempt.
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bmaz @cocktailhag Well, my original indoctrination to the principle was: "Long arm for taking, and a short arm for giving". About 30 years ago.
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bmaz Whats scary pathetic is that half wit "experts" in "press" are again agitating, just like Vietnam, Iraq, Libya etc for war in Syria+Ukraine
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bmaz I am not sure you geniuses on the east coast with long arm for asking, and short arm for answering, actually give a shit about Sep of Pwrs.
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bmaz I KNOW all you DC Press Peoples are all up on everything, but after weeks of telling you, now @lawfareblog says so, can you pay attention?
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bmaz Maybe the war drum bangers for Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Somalia+all the other asinine places in world are right; history says no. cc: @lrozen
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bmaz .@nicholsong Ooops, yeah, I fell for that BS back in the day, see: http://t.co/zj45YfdKlZ But turned out to be total bullshit. cc: @lrozen
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bmaz .@nicholsong You have something that says the current, apparent, Obama Admin. rolling desecration of the WPR is fine and dandy? Really?
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bmaz So, sorry, hope I didn't insult any of high holy 30 somethings over petty little thing like Sep of Pwrs. Cause, you know #PoliticalBullshit
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bmaz Lawdy, I JUST CAN'T WAIT for some nubes at @TNR to tell me how freakin OK+normal it is for Obama to be desecrating WPR Separation of Powers.
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bmaz @timmathews Really, that is a great location, right in the heart of New Orleans. #BonusPointsForFalseCheer?
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