‘Honest Mistakes’: How US and Israel Justify Targeting and Killing Civilians | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

‘Honest Mistakes’: How US and Israel Justify Targeting and Killing Civilians

An “honest mistake” is buying your partner the wrong perfume or copying someone into an email chain by accident. It is not firing a drone missile at a car, killing 10 civilians – and doing so when a small child was clearly visible moments earlier.

And yet, a supposedly “independent” Pentagon inquiry this month claimed just such a good-faith mistake after US commanders authorized a drone strike in late August that killed an Afghan family, including seven children. A US air force general concluded that there was no negligence or misconduct, and that no disciplinary action should be taken.

At the weekend, the Pentagon exonerated itself again. It called a 2019 air strike on Baghuz in Syria that killed dozens of women and children “justified”. It did so even after an investigation by the New York Times showed that the group of civilians who were bombed had already been identified as fleeing fighting between US-backed militias and the Islamic State (IS) group.

A US military lawyer, Dean Korsak, flagged the incident at the time as a potential war crime but the Pentagon never carried out an investigation. It came to public attention only because Korsak sent details to a Senate oversight committee.

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