President Trump ends Obama-era policy on stating number of civilian drone deaths
March 7, 2019
President Trump has today revoked a 32-month-old requirement for the Department of Defense and other U.S. agencies to report on strikes and civilian harm in areas outside active zones (Yemen, Pakistan).
This is without a doubt no doubt a major transparency blow to those of us who require honesty and truthfulness from their governments. However, today’s Trump executive order appears to leave all other elements of the original Obama-era Executive Order 13732 intact. It includes key areas relating to casualty mitigation, and the reporting of civilian harm from the battlefield itself. The White House is arguing that the measure was redundant because there’s a congressional requirement for DOD to submit such a report like it initially. The transparency is muddled especially when the DOD report doesn’t cover Title 50 actions.
The increasingly dangerous thing is with little to no transparency the United States military can basically go kill anyone, and they wouldn’t have to report it nor acknowledge it. Not to mention regardless of what the trump administration says they do not tell you that Congress will no longer have to issue the initial annual public estimate of civilian casualties but it disregards CIA strikes. That’s even scarier. The Obama administration changed the definition of “militant” so that the reports stopped showing multiple civilians murdered by drones.
A democracy will never function if citizens are denied information about their government and its actions at home and abroad. Denying the crimes that our government makes doesn’t make us less guilty, if anything, it makes our crimes much worse.
Whether it was Obama or its trump these killings of innocent people is uncalled-for and unnecessary, its detrimental to mankind’s ability to trust their neighbor. Not to mention the elephant in the room here is whether it’s against this president or the last these airstrikes killing civilians is in violation of the Geneva convention. The Geneva Convention prohibits violence against noncombatants.
According to AirWars, they estimated that during Obama’s administration they estimated the Obama drone strikes killed between 2,300 and 3,400 innocent civilians were murdered averaging around 60 a day. In just the 7 months of the first year of the presidency for President Trump, they estimated between 2,800 and 4,500 innocent civilians were murdered averaging 360 a day in the first 7 months of his term. It took Obama until 2016 to come up with that executive order by the way.
We must ask where will transparency come from and who will be accountable if there isn’t any provided?