Sunday, April 22, 2012

Expanding the 'Bug Splat' Program

By Glenn Greenewald

This headline and first paragraph from today’s Washington Post scoop by Greg Miller speaks volumes about so many things:

There are many evils in the world, but extinguishing people’s lives with targeted, extra-judicial killings, when you don’t even know their names, based on “patterns” of behavior judged from thousands of miles away, definitely ranks high on the list. Although the Obama White House has not approved of this request from CIA Director David Petraeus, these so-called “signature strikes” that “allow the agency to hit targets based solely on intelligence indicating patterns of suspicious behavior” are already robustly used in Pakistan — having been started by George Bush in 2008 and aggressively escalated by Barack Obama. There is much to say on this new report, but in order for me to focus on three discrete points, permit me to highly recommend two superb articles that highlight other vital aspects of this policy: (1) this article from my Salon colleague Jefferson Morley this morning on why this form of drone-targeting is pure American Terrorism, and (2) this essay from Chris Floyd about a recently published Rolling Stone article by Michael Hastings on Obama’s love of drones and secret wars and how the military’s slang for drone victims — “bug splat” — reflects the sociopathic mindset that drive them.

Read more here.


  1. And are those "patterns" not currently being established for Americans by the NSA using e-mail, phone conversations and whatever else? How long before the extra-judicial splat is extended to domestic bugs?

  2. This may be the overarching reason for considering expatriating from the U.S.: karma is an unrelenting bitch.

    Way back in college I took an Old Testament class. It was actually pretty interesting as the professor treated it mostly as an ancient history class based on what could be gleaned from archaeology relating to the Old Testament. In one class I recall the professor making a point about the Assyrians. He said that the Assyrians had been so brutal to their conquered peoples that when the tides turned, they were wiped out so thoroughly that it was two millennia before they were rediscovered.

    That may be an exaggeration, but I think about that when I read about how a U.S. drone has destroyed another village in Pakistan, and I worry about the ensuing karmic retaliation.

  3. great to see glenn's work on your blog bob!