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
emptywheel @DanaHoule Yeah, but you'd be working for a loser GOP candidate by definition, so wouldn't you have already resigned out of futility?
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emptywheel @adamjohnsonNYC To protect a force smaller than the Niners' season roster, at 53, too.
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bmaz @ScottGreenfield Thinking about Instagramming some decorations for you!
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bmaz @stephenlemons @azcentral Certainly would be an upgrade, but Romley didn't even have the residual heft to beat Montgomery, how then Arpaio?
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bmaz Hahahahahaha From the Bloomberg Comedy Channel. https://t.co/QWBKVmFsIk
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emptywheel @normative For a second I thought you meant Admiral Mike -- that is, someone who is still relevant to this debate and not a ShockJock.
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emptywheel Not the Onion. No, really. https://t.co/aQf2dE2nCP
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emptywheel @ddayen @LukeWarmCriminalJusticeReformThatRetainsExpansiveFederalDiscretion
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emptywheel If WH DOES roll out a Twitter account for each policy issue, they should invent their own Vox for geek discussions of All You Need To Know.
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bmaz @laRosalind @JasonLeopold Yeah, I gotta try.
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emptywheel New game hunt: llama-eating lions. https://t.co/JPBvBEVmIG
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emptywheel Is the White House gonna roll out Twitter account for every policy priority during Lame Duck? Iran Deal, Climate Plan? Where's Free Gitmo?
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