‘Naming the Dead’ project will name and number people killed by drone airstrikes to challenge CIA claims of no civilian deaths

from rawstory.com: A project launched on Monday aims to record properly the names and
numbers of people who are killed by US drone airstrikes in Pakistan.

The website, “Naming the Dead”, is an initiative by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism
(TBIJ), a not-for-profit organisation that has won awards for its work
exposing some of the realities of the covert drone wars that are being
run by the US and UK militaries in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and

It aims to keep as comprehensive a record as possible of the
victims of drone airstrikes in Pakistan, after research revealed that
only one in five of the victims of the 370 airstrikes that have taken
place have been identified outside their own, often remote, communities.

At least 2,537 people are reported to have been killed by drone
strikes in the country
, with some estimates suggesting up to a quarter
may have been civilians, although the TBIJ plans to name both civilians
and militants using a mixture of media reports, court documents,
academic studies and researchers on the ground.

The objective, said TBIJ deputy editor Rachel Oldroyd, is to take
these deaths out of obscurity and make it easier to test statements
about the nature and use of drones. US authorities have been reluctant
to acknowledge any civilian deaths caused by the drone operations, which
have been going on since 2006. The CIA has claimed a high rate of
killings of militants, saying that strikes since May 2010 have killed
more than 600 militants but no civilians. This claim is contested by
experts, journalists and researchers on the ground.

Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer with legal campaign group Reprieve, has
backed the project, saying: “All we have is the US government saying,
‘trust us, these are bad guys we are killing, trust us’. We can’t start
to get to the bottom of who is being killed until we know the names of
those who are being killed.”

The TBIJ is backed by the US Freedom of the Press Foundation and has
been raising money for the project for the past eight months through

On Monday the first names will be published, in both English and
Urdu, of which 200 are adult civilians, 95 are children and 255 are

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