The military and the mob

Double Tap streamMichael Kelley notes that Josh Begley‘s tweeted enumeration of US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia at Dronestream confirms the vile ‘double-tap‘ strategy in which a first strike is rapidly followed by a second targeting rescuers.  As Kelley notes, ‘A 2007 report by the Homeland Security Institute called double taps a “favorite tactic of Hamas” and the FBI considers it a tactic employed by terrorists.’

The militarised practice has been widely reported – not least in Staford/NYU’s Living under Drones – but Begley’s cascade of tweets provides a powerful statement of its relentless rhythm.  In September Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents victims of the attacks, told Britain’s Independent newspaper:

“These strikes are becoming much more common…  In the past it used to be a one-off, every now and then. Now almost every other attack is a double tap. There is no justification for it.”

Far from any justification, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings argues that such attacks constitute war crimes.  In fact, as Gwynne Dyer points out,

“DOUBLE TAP” IS what mobsters do when they put somebody down. One bullet in the heart, one in the head. That way they stay down. It’s practically standard operating procedure among hitmen.

Street gangs of Baghdad.001

It’s not so long ago that the Pentagon was alarmed at the presence of members of US street gangs among its soldiers patrolling the streets of Baghdad (see Frank Main, ‘Gangs claim their turf in Iraq’, Chicago Sun-Times 1 May 2006).  It’s high time the US took a look at mobsters patrolling the skies too.

Thanks to my good friend Oliver Belcher for the original link.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s