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Drones Ad Hoc Hearing Testimony - Baraa Shiban

Drones Ad Hoc Hearing Testimony - Baraa Shiban

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Published by kgosztola3278
Testimony delivered at Congressional Progressive Caucus hearing on drones and oversight for the executive's "targeted killing" authority.
Testimony delivered at Congressional Progressive Caucus hearing on drones and oversight for the executive's "targeted killing" authority.

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Published by: kgosztola3278 on May 08, 2013
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05/10/2013

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CongresswomanBarbara,thankyouforinvitingmetospeak.I’mBaraaShiban,andI’mReprieve’sProjectCoordinatorinYemeninvestigatingtargetedkillings.I’malsoaYouthrepresentativeinYemen’sNationalDialogue,whichI’llsaymoreaboutlater.TodayIwanttoexplainwhatthesecretairwarhasmeanttothepeopleofYemen,andhowthataffectsUSinterests.Iwanttobeclear:Yemenfacesmanychallenges,andal-Qaidaisoneofthem.ButIfirmlybelievetheseairstrikesareharmingtheinterestsofbothourpeoples.Youhavealreadyheardthatdronesleadtociviliancasualties.Butthatblandlabeldoesn’tconveythemagnitudeofthesemistakes,orjusthowdamagingdeadinnocentsaretotheUS’interestsinYemen.OnereasonthestrikesharmUSandYemeniinterestsisthattheysendthemessagethatUSeithercan’tordoesn’tbothertosiftfriendfromfoe.Lastsummer,astrikeinKhashamirinsoutheastYemenkilledananti-al-Qa’idaimamSalembinAliJaber,andhis21-year-oldnephewWaleed.Justdaysbeforehewaskilledtheimamhaddenouncedal-Qa’ida’shatefulideology.Ispoketotheimam’srelativeFaisal,whosaidthefamilyhadfearedSalemmightbeassassinatedbymilitants.Theyhadnoideahe’dbekilledbyaUSdrone.AndwhileSalem’sfamilyonlywantjustice,otherswillcertainlyexploitthissadstoryandpersuadedesperateYemenisthatrevengeistheonlyway.AnotherreasonstrikesaremoredamagingthantheUSrealizesisthat,whiletheUSmaynotbeacknowledgingordiscussingdeadcivilians,Yemenisare.ReprieveinterviewedseveralwitnessestothestrikelastSeptemberontheshuttlebetweenSaboolandRadaavillages.Atleast12civiliansdiedinthisstrike.Oneyoungfarmerwespoketo,Ahmed,lostbothparentsandhisten-year-oldsisterintheattack.TheUSgovernmenthasnotinvestigatedthesedeaths.Thereisnopublicevidenceitiseventryingtocountthem.ButeveninaplaceaspoorasRadaa,manyvillagershaveacameraphone.ThefarmersfromSaboolshowedusvideosofpeoplepullingcharredbodiesfromthewreckage.Theywerescarcelyrecognizable.Butbesidesthehorrorofitall,onethingstruckmeaboutthefootageIwatched.Init,youcouldseemanyYemenifarmersgatheredaroundthecarnage
 filmingexactlythesamething
.ThisishowstoriesofUSinjusticepercolatethroughYemen.TerribleimageslikethoseIsawcantakeonalifeoftheirown.USaidreachestheseareasrarely,ifever.WhatdoestheUSmeantothesepeoplenow?Ablastedcar,andgruesomefootageofdeadfamilies.ThisisnotapointlesspopularitycontestforAmerica.EverylethalmistaketheUSmakesiskeroseneforaninsurgency.AnditallcomesatacriticaltimeforYemen.Yousee,weYemenisarecurrentlyinaNationalDialogue.ThinkofthisasasortofConstitutionalConvention.ThisisaprocesstheUSsupportstothetuneofmillionsof

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