The human rights group Amnesty International says an examination of U.S. drone strikes "gives grounds to conclude that U.S. polices and practices are unlawful, violating the fundamental human right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one’s life."
Amnesty International came to that conclusion after looking closely at 45 drone strikes in Pakistan this year. Eighteen civilians were killed in one of those strikes.
The strikes happened even as the Obama administration was claiming greater accuracy and fewer mistakes in drone strikes.
Human Rights Watch also released a report today called "Between a Drone and al-Qaida: The Civilian Cost of U.S. Targeted Killings in Yemen."
That report examined six "unacknowledged U.S. military attacks" against al-Qaida members in Yemen and came to this conclusion:
"Two [of] these attacks were in clear violation of international humanitarian law — the laws of war — because they struck only civilians or used indiscriminate weapons. The other four cases may have violated the laws of war because the individual attacked was not a lawful military target or the attack caused disproportionate civilian harm, determinations that require further investigation. In several of these cases the US also did not take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians, as the laws of war require."
- Bruce Auster, national security editor for NPR.
This segment aired on October 22, 2013.