Drone Papers 'No Surprise to Yemenis,' Says Man Who Lost Family
"For years, we have been confused by the sharp contrast between what we see with our own eyes and what the U.S. government tells the world," said Faisal bin Ali Jaber.
One man who lost family members to the covert U.S. drone war in Yemen responded Friday to The Intercept's explosive new exposé of the American "assassination complex" by proclaiming he is not surprised but now more hopeful "the whole truth will come out."
"I read that the Americans have very little knowledge of the innocent civilians they are killing in Yemen," said Faisal bin Ali Jaber, a Yemeni engineer whose nephew Waleed bin Ali Jaber and brother-in-law Salem bin Ali Jaber were killed in a 2012 U.S. drone strike attack on their village of Khashamir.
"This is no surprise to Yemenis," he continued. "For years, we have been confused by the sharp contrast between what we see with our own eyes and what the U.S. government tells the world. Slowly, the whole truth will come out."
"I hope that my American court case will help that happen. But how many innocent Yemeni men, women and children will die before it does?" Jaber added, referencing his months-long court battle for justice or, short of that, acknowledgment of his loss. The administration of President Barack Obama earlier this month rejected a settlement offer that would have required a formal apology for the drone strike that killed Jaber's family.
Joe Pace, an attorney for the legal charity Reprieve who represents Jaber, said: "We were told that the drone program was 'safe' and 'effective.' When we raised concerns with the Administration that it was anything but, we were told 'trust us.'"
"These leaked reports confirming the staggering inaccuracy of the U.S drone program may be news to the American people who have been lied to by this Administration, but there's nothing revelatory for [Jaber] or the millions who live under constant threat of U.S. drone strikes," Pace continued. "[Jaber] and countless others have witnessed their loved ones literally blown to pieces based on a toxic combination of garbage intelligence and U.S. indifference to foreign lives."