Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Drone Killing: Cash Is No Substitute for Genuine Transparency

WASHINGTON -

In response to reports that the Obama Administration has agreed to pay €1m to the family of an Italian aid worker who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, Jennifer Gibson, Reprieve staff attorney, said:

“The Lo Porto family’s terrible ordeal shows that the secret drone program is nothing like as accurate as the US Government claims.  Yet there are many more civilian victims who have yet to receive a public apology – notably Faisal bin ali Jaber, who lost two innocent relatives to a drone strike in Yemen.

“Cash payouts are no substitute for genuine transparency.   Why won’t the US Government come clean and apologize to all the civilians, including non-Westerners, wrongly killed by the misguided drone program?”

Giovanni Lo Porto, 37, was being held hostage by al-Qaida at the time of his death. Last year, President Obama, acknowledged that Lo Porto and an American named Warren Weinstein, 73, had accidentally been killed in a secret counter-terrorism mission.

In April 2015, President Obama publicly apologized for the drone killing of Giovanni Lo Porto – and announced an independent inquiry into their killings.

Faisal bin ali Jaber, a Yemeni environmental engineer whose innocent family members were killed in a US strike, has not yet had an acknowledgement of their deaths.

Faisal’s brother-in-law Salem and his nephew Waleed died in an August 2012 strike in their village. Salem was an anti-al Qaeda imam who is survived by a widow and seven young children; Waleed was a 26 year-old police officer with a wife and infant child.

Leaked intelligence indicates that U.S. officials knew they had killed civilians shortly after the strike on Mr Jaber’s family. In July 2014, the family was offered a plastic bag containing $100,000 in sequentially-marked US dollar bills at a meeting with the Yemeni National Security Bureau (NSB). The NSB official who had requested the meeting told a family representative that the money came from the US and that he had been asked to pass it along.

In November 2013, Faisal had traveled to Washington D.C. and discussed the strike with Senators and White House officials. Many offered personal regrets, but the US government has refused to publicly acknowledge or apologize for the attack.

###

Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.

Biden Urged to Fire Covid Response Chief Over 'Damning' Failures

"Zients has failed to provide the materials necessary to improve the U.S. response, or the guidance necessary to keep the pandemic under control," argued one critic.

Jake Johnson ·


As Sinema Defends Filibuster, Progressives Say 'Vote Her the Hell Out'

"The filibuster is a meaningless Senate rule. It's a remnant of slavery used to block civil rights for generations."

Jake Johnson ·


Poor People's Campaign Readies 'Massive, Nonviolent' Effort to Save Democracy

"We are not in this for a moment, but for a movement," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. "Our deadline is victory."

Jake Johnson ·


Tsunami Triggered by Huge Volcanic Eruption Hits Tonga

The undersea volcano's eruption also sparked tsunami warnings for Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, and the West Coast of the United States.

Common Dreams staff ·


Sanders Says Manchin and Sinema Are Imperiling US Democracy

"It is a sad day when two members of the Democratic Caucus are prepared to allow the Freedom to Vote Act to fail and undermine the future of American democracy."

Jake Johnson ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo