The use of drone planes enables the American government to reduce military casualties while killing lots of people. The assumption is that drone attacks ONLY kill bad people, since it is not the policy of the American government to kill nice people. A Pakistan based group, the Foundation for Fundamental Rights is prepared to take the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron Munter, to court and charge him with abetting murder. Mirza Shahzad Akbar, has the names of Pakistani civlians who were killed during a drone attack. He offered Ambassador Munter an opportunity to explain why civilians die.
The Obama administration does allow the State Department to appeal a decison to kill someone with a drone attack, but they can not veto such killings. I admit to cynicism when it comes to air attacks, after all, during the Vietnam war, the US military insisted only the Viet Cong were being killed.
Reality. A drone hits a target in a house. The bomb blows up the house. Just possibly, the missile also blows up the next house. Just possibly the missile kills someone who is visiting the person who lives in the house. Just possibly, there is a mistake. I realize the very idea of a “mistake” is simply not part of military jargon. I too often forget those in charge of drone attacks have a 100% record of being right.
Tell that to relatives of children who died during a drone attack. Mr.Akbar would be more than willing to supply such names.