Posted by Brad @ 1:29 pm on May 31st 2012

Civilian Causulties in the War on Terror

Good news folks: there are hardly any!

Mainly, because the Obama administration has redefined the term, such that any military-age man (really any man over 8 or under 80) killed in a War on Terror strike is automatically termed a militant. It is definitionally impossible for any male adult corpse on the ground after a drone strike to be a civilian. Even if that man is, say, surrounded by women and children in birthday hats opening presents or whatever.

Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.[…]

This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths.

Greenwald goes much more in depth here.

I pound, pound, pound this kind of stuff precisely because I think, to casual observers, this is not at all intuitive. A lot of people’s automatic, reflexive thinking is that if a dude’s dead at the hands of our government, he probably must have been doing something to deserve it. Just like, if a dude’s in Gitmo, he must be a terrible terrorist. Because otherwise, what would he be doing in Gitmo!?

It is an idiot’s logic. It is not only POSSIBLY wrong, but the more we learn, the more we might start leaning to PROBABLY wrong.

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