Dear USA Today: Civilian Drone Deaths Aren’t ‘Charges’

Predator drone over Kandahar (photo:  Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

USA Today’s photo illustration of a drone (photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

To the Editor:

Your June 15 report about a new Pew poll showing broad opposition to US drone strikes included an odd characterization of those attacks:

The administration has carried out strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere, often prompting charges in those countries that innocent civilians have been killed.

There are not “charges” that civilians are killed in those strikes; such deaths are well-documented. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which tracks drone strikes in several countries, estimates that drones have killed at least 400 civilians in Pakistan alone. According to a recent UN report, there were 45 civilians killed by drone strikes in Afghanistan in 2013.

Perhaps those opposed to US drone attacks are aware that drones indeed kill innocent civilians.


Peter Hart

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.