U.S. Drones Kill 16 in Pakistan; Victims Left Unidentified [thenewamerican]

Despite having declared war on no one — not al-Qaeda, not the Taliban, no one — the United States fired four missiles from a drone Thursday killing 16 “suspected militants.”

Although stories relating the event will not say it, “suspected militant” is a post-9/11 euphemism for someone not charged with any crime, not identified as an enemy combatant, but killed by our government anyway.

According to Pakistani news outlet Dawn.com, the Buland Khel area of the Orakzai agency in Pakistan was the site of the attack on October 11, the 39th drone attack in Pakistan this year.

“The attack was aimed at the compound of Maulana Shakirullah, who is the commander of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),” officials said according to the Dawn.com report.

The author of the Dawn.com article explains the relationship between the group targeted by President Obama and the known coterie of alleged terrorists:

The militant wing run by Shakirullah has been linked with the Haqqani network and Al-Qaeda. The Hafiz Gul Bahadur group has been repeatedly accused by the US for being involved in cross-border attacks into Afghanistan.

This was the second drone attack in Orakzai agency. The first came in 2009 in the Khadezai area of Mamozai in Upper Orakzai agency, in which 11 militants affiliated to TTP’s Hakimullah group were killed.

As has become standard operating procedure for these drone strikes, the unmanned vehicles were reportedly still buzzing over the site of the attack, keeping anyone from approaching the rubble and retrieving the bodies.

Another regular feature of the President’s death-by-drone program is the lack of names associated with the attack — neither the target nor the victims are identified. Logically, it would be very difficult to eliminate “suspected militants” when that term goes undefined by those ordering the attacks. Of course, by not explicitly defining that term, anyone killed in the drone war can be so identified without fear of contradiction.

Just a day earlier, five other “suspected militants” were killed in a U.S. drone strike and none of those victims have been identified, either.

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