THE WORLDPOST
10/01/2012 04:24 pm ET Updated Oct 01, 2012

The Human Cost Of Drones (WATCH)

When the mainstream media decides to cover the Obama administration's drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas and surrounding Muslim countries, they tend to neglect the human cost of drones.

The word "militant" is frequently sprinkled into headlines, but missing always, are the names of those killed. Many, including Pakistan's foreign minister, say drones are the main reason for a rise in anti-American sentiment across much of the Muslim world.

While the Obama administration claims that drone strikes in Pakistan are precise and successful, two new reports, one by Stanford University's Law School and NYU, and another by Columbia Law School and Center for Civilians in Conflict reveal that the truth is we know very little about the actual number of civilian casualties connected to each strike.

Evidence gathered in these reports from one-on-one interviews with the people in these areas casts serious doubt on the legality of these drones strikes.

I was joined by Naureen Shah from the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School; Omar Shakir, co-author and researcher of "Living Under Drones"; Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer who represents the family members of non-combatant victimes of U.S. drone strikes; and Zmarak Yousefzai, a national security litigator.

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