Combatants and "Combatants"

Friday, June 01, 2012


According to an article in The New York Times last week, the Obama administration treats “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants”. Brooke talks to Chris Woods, reporter for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who has been working with reporters on the ground to confirm and put names to civilian casualties of drone strikes, about the discrepancies between his reporting and the reports of the US government.


Chris Woods

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [4]



hypocrisy? the folks who object to these strikes in those countries are many times the same people who excuse the actions of bin ladin and his bretheren.

Bin ladin hid amoung his supporters, they have no right to complain if they paid a price for that.

Jun. 04 2012 06:08 PM
William Ayrovainen

The hypocrisy of the mainstream media on this subject is both astounding
and pathetic. Since Obama is willing to accept credit for the Navy SEALS'
killing of Osama Bin Laden, he'll undoubtedly accept responsibility for
the deaths of innocent civilians in errant drone strikes, don't you think?

This subject, and the media's treatment of it, is such an important one,
I assume that your program will be doing a follow-up? When can we look
forward to that?

Jun. 02 2012 07:24 PM

I think you may be missing the elephant in the room.

The New York Times and Newsweek both ran long – and not very critical – articles on how President Obama selects individual terrorists to terminate. He does it not just with his national-security team, but also with his top political adviser, David Axelrod, and they go over an expanding “kill list” of the terrorists, or “baseball cards.” Then the president decides who lives and who dies.

What would the NY Times – no, what would OTM say, if George W. got together weekly with Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to do the same thing? Remember the shows you did with Carol Rosenberg on Gitmo? All of that outrage at Bush-era detentions or interrogations? But our current President can pick someone off a roster of names and sentence him to death – no, actually execute him – without due process. Makes Bush look saintly for capturing the ones who fall into our hands and keeping them awake at night.

If you forget the counting of civilians from these strikes for a moment, why are the press not calling these strikes "assassinations," and demanding congressional authorization and judicial sign-off? Why aren't they pouring scorn on the secret proceedings, and the entire notion of enemy combatants’ standing outside the criminal-justice system? At least people who are waterboarded live! And we get intelligence from them. Our current president just pulls out a name and they die.

The elephant in the room is that the press has no sense of outrage because this is their – this is your – guy.

Jun. 02 2012 10:59 AM

Is it possible that the US media is deeply partisan and invested in the Obama administration and refuses to depart far from the Obama narrative even at the cost of their professional principles? Quite a difference from five years ago, isn't it?

"The President's national security advisor.."
Why is Obama's name never even explicitly mentioned in this discussion and the role of profound political bias in the media is danced around but never called out?

Apparently we will have to wait for President Romney before the media start their daily casualty count and the long dormant anti-war usual suspects come out of hibernation. Could it be that they both just pretend that they are motivated by the news reporting and promoting peace and are actually just advancing a political agenda?

Jun. 02 2012 09:37 AM

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