Ken Dilanian / Associate Press & World Can’t Wait – 2015-03-17 00:04:20
ACLU Sues for Records of US Drone Killings
Ken Dilanian / Associate Press
WASHINGTON (March 16, 2015) — The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the federal government, seeking to force a response to its request for documents about drone missile strikes against terror suspects.
The complaint, filed in New York’s southern district, says the Justice and Defense Departments and the CIA have failed to respond to the ACLU’s year-old request for records relating to drone strikes under the Freedom of Information Act. While many details of the strikes are classified, President Barack Obama has acknowledged that the US engages in the practice.
The lawsuit says the government failed to make a reasonable effort to search for records responsive to the request. The ACLU says Obama in May 2013 promised greater transparency about drone strikes, but has failed to deliver.
The government had no immediate comment.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
34 Arrested Blocking Creech Air Force Base, Home of US Drone War
World Can’t Wait
“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent civilians.”
— Howard Zinn
(March 16, 2015) — A protest is underway near Creech Air Force Base northwest of Las Vegas. Itâ€™s centered on allegations that the United States Air Force is operating an anti-terrorism drone program that is killing innocent civilians.
John Amidon is a member of Veterans for Peace, among the organizations staging the protest. He says drone pilots at Creech Air Force Base are remotely piloting missions thousands of miles away and killing innocent people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
“They end up killing children and not the enemy combatants that they hoped for. We have quite a lot of information now that indicates that for every intended target, 28 unknown innocent people are killed,” Amidon says.
Amidon cites information from the U-K-based human rights organization Reprieve, which on its website claims that President Obama personally signs off on each dayâ€™s “kill list.”
Anti-drone Protesters Arrested, Cited at Creech Air Base
Sally Ho / Associated Press
(March 6, 2015) — Anti-drone protesters who said they wanted to spotlight war crimes and connect with pilots were arrested after trying to block the entrance Friday at a US Air Force base in southern Nevada.
More than 100 people were assembled Friday morning outside Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs near Las Vegas, officials said.
The protesters attempted to block the entrance but the workers were able to come and go during the shift change between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., officials said.
Organizers said protesters stood or laid down on the road in front of the two access gates. Others were stationed along the highway carrying photos and tombs to represent drone warfare victims.
“We consider it highly successful,” said Kit Kittredge of the protest she helped organize. “We shut down Creech.”
A total of 34 people from the protest were arrested and cited misdemeanor charges. They were released but another person was taken in for an outstanding warrant, according to Las Vegas police.
Base commander Col. Jim Cluff defended the operation in a statement, saying its mission was to provide life-saving intelligence and surveillance.
“The protesters are exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully assemble, which is a right we as members of the United States military are honored to uphold and protect. That being said, the protests have not and will not affect our mission here at Creech,” Cluff said.
The protesters said they have been at the site for a week to speak out against remotely piloted aircraft flying armed missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Organizers said the protest drew people and advocacy groups from 18 different states.
Casey Stinemetz of Veterans for Peace said the St. Louis-based organization saw the event as an opportunity to reach out to the “cogs in the machine,” such as the pilots and other Creech personnel who carry out drone operations.
“It’s a huge opportunity to reach across the line, even if it’s just planting a seed in their mind,” she said.
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