May
28
2013

Did Obama's Speech Really 'Narrow' the War?

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If you followed the coverage of President Barack Obama's May 23 speech at the National Defense University, you would think something big happened to the "war on terror." That was probably the message the White House wanted the press to send. But is true?

Mar
18
2013

Two Sides to Every Drone Death

John Brennan and Dianne Feinstein

The UN's special human rights envoy found that the CIA's drone strikes in Pakistan have "resulted in far more civilian casualties than the U.S. government has recognized." But that message was muddled by the Washington Post's he said-she said approach to the question of civilian deaths.

Nov
30
2012

NYT Undercounts Drone Deaths in Pakistan

bureau-pakistan

The New York Times editorial page (11/30/12) weighs in on the Obama administration's drone policies. What the paper wants is more accountability: The government "must stay within formal guidelines based on the rule of law." That's all well and good–but the paper should do a better job of counting the innocents killed by drone attacks. The Times explains that aspect of the story this way: For eight years, the United States has conducted but never formally acknowledged a program to kill terrorists associated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban away from the battlefield in Afghanistan. Using drones, the Central Intelligence Agency […]

Feb
24
2012

NYT Public Editor on Anonymity and Drone Story

After our new alert (2/24/12), the New York Times public editor's office contacted FAIR to let us know that Arthur Brisbane responded to readers who complained about one of the articles discussed in the alert. Below is that response, which was emailed to readers. It was not published on the Times' site. Thanks for your message, one of a number I received about this story. I have had an opportunity to ask the reporter, Scott Shane, about it and reflect on the circumstances. On the positive side, I applaud the Times for covering the findings of the Bureau of Investigative […]

Feb
06
2012

NYT Lets Nameless Official Smear Drone Researchers as Al-Qaeda Fans

Not even a week after Barack Obama declared that not too many civilians die in the CIA's drone strikes in Pakistan, a new report from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism finds that "at least 50 civilians" have been killed in rescues attempts, 20 in strikes on funerals, with at least 282 total civilians killed since Obama took office. That much you learn from the New York Times report by Scott Shane (2/6/12): WASHINGTON – British and Pakistani journalists said Sunday that the CIA's drone strikes on suspected militants in Pakistan have repeatedly targeted rescuers who responded to the scene of […]