ACTION ALERT: The Pentagon’s Civilian Deaths

August 24th, 2023 - by Sam Ratner / Win without War

ACTION ALERT: The Pentagon Lied. People died
Sam Ratner / Win without War

(August 21, 2023) — In 2019, three men in Syria were driving home in a van after their work day at a local olive press. They happened to drive by a village where the Pentagon was conducting a raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

With little warning, U.S. pilots attacked the van, and then targeted them with further airstrikes when they tried to run for their lives. In the end, two of the men were killed, and one was severely injured — just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

After the raid, the Pentagon claimed that there were NO civilian casualties, despite the deaths of two people and one other being seriously injured.

Then-President Donald Trump called the raid “impeccable” and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said the operation “protected all the non-combatants.” But the people in Syria who were there told a different story.

National Public Radio sued the Pentagon to get the information they tried to hide. And because of that investigative journalism, we now know for sure that the Pentagon lied. People died.

When tragedies like this occur, the Pentagon has few answers for the injured or families who have lost loved ones — and this is nothing new. Not acknowledging civilian casualties is a well-established pattern of U.S. military operations abroad. It’s time for accountability for all the destruction and death caused to people and families.

14 civilians killed in a single US drone strike in Afghanistan.

That’s why Reps. Sara Jacobs, Ro Khanna, and Jason Crow recently introduced the Civilian Harm Review and Reassessment Act. This bill will require the Department of Defense to investigate and review allegations of everyday people being harmed between 2011 and 2023 that were wrongfully dismissed. It will also require a report to Congress on concrete next steps on how to prevent similar errors in the future.

We believe the Pentagon needs to be held accountable when it harms everyday people — and if you’re with us, it’s time to act.

There’s been little to no accountability for actions like this, repeated over the years by the Pentagon in different countries. But with the Civilian Harm Review and Reassessment Act, we can start righting the wrongs of the U.S. military.

ACTION: Sign this petition we’re sending to the House telling them to pass H.R. 5112 — the Civilian Harm Review and Reassessment Act!

Thank you for working for peace,
Sam, Stephen, Raimy and the Win Without War team