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"These Drones Attack Us and the Whole World is Silent": New Film Exposes Secret U.S. War

A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since

http://www.democracynow.org/images/story/49/23949/w320/Rehman_Family_from_Pakistan.jpg?20131023

 

 

 

 

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. Today we air extended clips from the new documentary, "Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars," and speak to filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with attack survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, who was killed by a drone just days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. We are also joined by human rights attorney Jennifer Gibson of Reprieve, co-author of the report, "Living Under Drones."

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A U.S. drone strike killed three people in northwest Pakistan earlier today, marking the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif publicly called for President Obama to end the strikes. Just last week, Amnesty International said the United States may be committing war crimes by killing innocent Pakistani civilians in drone strikes. In a new report, Amnesty closely examined two drone strikes in 2012, including one that killed a 68-year-old woman in North Waziristan who was picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, on Tuesday, the dead woman’s son and her two grandchildren, who were with her in the field, spoke at a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. It marked the first time victims of the U.S. drone wars addressed members of Congress. Nine-year-old Nabila described how she was injured when working in the field with her grandmother when the drone hit them.

NABILA UR REHMAN: [translated] It was the day before Eid, and my grandmother had asked me to come help her outside as we were collecting okra, the vegetables, and then I saw from the sky a drone, and I heard the dum-dum noise. Everything was dark, and I couldn’t see anything, but I heard a scream. I don’t know if it was my grandmother, but I couldn’t see her. I was very scared, and all I could think of doing was just run. I kept running, but I felt something in my hand. And I looked at my hand. There was blood. I tried to bandage my hand, but the blood kept coming. The blood wouldn’t stop.

AMY GOODMAN: That was nine-year-old Nabila Rehman describing the October 2012 U.S. drone attack that killed her grandmother. Her brother, 13-year-old Zubair, who was injured with shrapnel wounds in the strike, told Congress, quote, "My grandmother was nobody’s enemy." It was the first time ever Congress has heard directly from drone strike victims. However, just five lawmakers, all Democrats, chose to attend. Congressmember Alan Grayson organized the briefing.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON: There needs to be increased oversight of the decisions to fly lethal weapons over another nation and kill people. And we should never accept that children and other loved ones in a faraway land are acceptable collateral damage.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Later in the program, we’ll speak with members of the Rehman family here in our New York studio, but we begin with a new documentary called Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars by filmmaker Robert Greenwald. The film looks at the impact of U.S. drone strikes through more than 70 interviews with drone survivors in Pakistan, a former U.S. drone operator, military officials and more. The film opens with the story of a 16-year-old, Tariq Aziz, who lived in a Pakistani village that had been hit by drones many times. In 2011, he attended an anti-drone conference in Islamabad.

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