Thursday, August 6, 2009


That's the number of anticipated civilian casualties it was necessary for predicted USer drone/air attacks on suspected targets in Afghanistan and tribal Pakistan to EXCEED to necessitate approval for such an attack from "command" higher-ups, the Pentagon, i.e. Up to 30 anticipated civilian casualties, local USer commanders were on their own discretion.


Jon. Schwartz' blog, A Tiny Revolution, today contained the fascinating detail. Posts on ATR are typically short and pithy and this one by Aaron Datesman is a paradigm case:
The Old Testament President

By: Aaron Datesman

Maybe it’s all those years I attended Mennonite Bible School, but this report in the LA Times
We don't know much about how it works, but in 2007, Marc Garlasco, the Pentagon's former chief of high-value targeting, offered a glimpse when he told Salon magazine that in 2003, "the magic number was 30." That meant that if an attack was anticipated to kill more than 30 civilians, it needed the explicit approval of then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld or President George W. Bush. If the expected civilian death toll was less than 30, the strike could be OKd by the legal and military commanders on the ground.
reminds me of this (Genesis 18:22-26)
The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Then Abraham approached him and said: "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?" The LORD said, "If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake."
I don’t think we want any American politician to be playing in the same league as the Old Testament LORD. Generally I would prefer instead that the President be about as powerful as a big-city mayor.

That this is moral idiocy of the highest order is blazingly obvious. But it’s also something else: cowardice. Any person willing to contemplate the murder of innocents to preserve himself is a coward.

President Obama, I’m looking right at you.
Interesting that there's an 'acceptable' limit on, but no prohibition against, the numbers of innocents slaughtered for the "greater gory glory," "freedomocracy" or some other made-up shit.

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