Obama keeps drone deaths under wraps

Nearly six months ago, President Obama promised more transparency and tighter policies around targeted killings. In a speech, Obama vowed that the U.S. would only use force against a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people.” It would fire only when there was “near-certainty” civilians would not be killed or injured, and when capture was not feasible.  The number of drone strikes has dropped this year, but they have continued to make headlines. On Friday, a U.S. drone killed the head of the Pakistani Taliban. A few days earlier came the first drone strike in Somalia in nearly two years. How much has changed since the president’s speech? We don’t know the U.S. count of civilian deaths.  The administration says that it has a count of civilian deaths, and that there is a “wide gap” between U.S. and independent figures. But the administration won’t release its own figures. Read more.       [BJS]