Trump is the New Droner-in-Chief
Obama killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians during his eight years in the White House.
Trump is on pace to beat Obama's record in just two years.
As reported by Micah Zenko:
During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days — one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days — one every 1.25 days.
Do the maudlin math: despite his promises to reduce American intervention in foreign affairs and despite his oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” under President Trump, these deadly drone strikes have increased 432 percent over the reprehensible pace set by his predecessor.
Trump's critics like to point out where he lacks the will to keep his promises (like "draining the swamp"), but one promise Trump appears to be keeping is: “I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left."
It isn't just the number is of drone strikes. It's also the rules under which they are conducted.
Under the loosening of the rules now under way, avoiding civilian deaths will no longer be an overriding priority. A place that fails to qualify as a war zone may be designated “an area of active hostilities” where rules of engagement can be eased...
A further change is that the CIA will once again be allowed to carry out lethal strikes, as opposed to using its drones only to gather intelligence. Indeed, it has already done so, killing Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, in northern Syria in late February. Because the CIA operates under covert authorities, it is not subject to the same legal constraints and transparency as the Pentagon.
So what does a "loosening of the rules" look like?
Well, you already know. You'll just be seeing it more often.
The U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles and dropped a 500-pound bomb outside Aleppo on Friday in an attack that the Pentagon said killed scores of al-Qaida militants but that local residents described as an assault on a mosque crowded with civilians.
U.S. officials said the strikes in the town of Jinah had killed "dozens" of militants at a meeting of the terrorist group. But local activists and a monitoring group reported that at least 46 people died, and more were trapped under rubble, when the attack struck a mosque during a religious gathering.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring network, described the scene in Jinah as a "massacre," saying the dead were mostly civilians. Photos from the area showed rescue workers pulling mangled bodies from a mound of rubble.