A new report, released by international human rights organization Reprieve, has detailed how the U.S. government’s previous statements regarding civilian deaths from drone strikes have been false. Thursday’s report comes ahead of an expected official announcement on the issue.
The report claimed that the U.S. government has mislead the public and hindered accountability.
The government’s claims were contradicted not only by evidence on the ground, but also through government leaks and independent assessments.
“Every previous (rare) public, on-record statement made by the Obama administration on the program has been shown to be false or deeply misleading,” the report read.
Reprieve says that Obama’s administration has secretly redefined “who can be targeted and what it means to be a civilian,” with many drone operators not always certain of who they were killing.
“It has to be asked what bare numbers will mean if they omit even basic details such as the names of those killed and the areas, even the countries, they live in.”
The U.S. government is expected to release its report on drone strikes and claim that only 100 civilians have been killed in more than 500 drone strikes since 2009.
The drone program has been one of Obama’s most controversial policies. Earlier in June,officials said the government report would be Obama’s last attempt to address transparency about the secret drone strikes.
The U.S. military and the Central Intelligence Agency have carried out drone strikes in many countries including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Apart from Reprieve, other monitoring groups have estimated the drone death toll to be up to 1,000 civilians.
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