In an interesting spot, journalist Alice Ollstein today noted that, while Reprieve clients the Rehman family were testifying at Congress about the day a drone strike killed their grandmother in North-West Pakistan, President Obama was meeting the CEOs of arms companies including Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
Both firms are involved in the manufacture of drones – although the Predators and Reapers which fly covert missions over Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere are made by another firm, General Atomics.
More significantly though, Lockheed is the manufacturer of the Hellfire missile – the weapon of choice in drone strikes, and the one which is believed to have killed Mammana Bibi, the grandmother of Zubair and Nabila who spoke to Congress on Tuesday.
So as the Rehmans spoke to Congress (pictures above) about the drone strike which killed their grandmother, the man who signs off on the drone programme was meeting the man who provides the missiles. A useful indication, perhaps, of how strongly (or not) the Obama administration feels about the issue of civilian casualties.
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– NATO airstrike kills 5 civilians in Afghanistan
– Obama nominates drone program proponent to head Homeland Security
– US government admits to killing four American citizens with drones
– US approves drones for civilian use
– Children of the drone
– The drone that killed my grandson
– US led drone strike kills 12 Afghan civilians
– FBI director admits domestic use of drones
– Classified documents reveal CIA drone strikes often killed unknown people
– ‘Naming the Dead’: New project lists people killed by US drones in Pakistan