The Numbers Game

Libertarians often point out that the government in unable to do anything efficiently. In most cases that is true but there is one thing governments are very efficient at, killing people:

A secret document obtained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals for the first time the Pakistan government’s internal assessment of dozens of drone strikes, and shows scores of civilian casualties.

The United States has consistently claimed only a tiny number of non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan – despite research by the Bureau and others suggesting that over 400 civilians may have died in the nine-year campaign.

The internal document shows Pakistani officials too found that CIA drone strikes were killing a significant number of civilians – and have been aware of those deaths for many years.

Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes outlined in the document, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims, 94 of those are said to be children.

I’m guessing these higher numbers are due to the fact that the creators of the document and the Pakistani government aren’t using the new definition of militant. They should get a newer edition of the Newspeak Dictionary.