when the dust clears

Words about and images of matters political, social, and military

Naming the Dead…

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Naming the Dead is a project of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based nonprofit that monitors drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan. (NTD focuses on people killed in CIA drone strikes Pakistan.)

This from its mission statement: 

“In most cases, there is little information available about who the drones are really killing. Most of the dead – an estimated four-fifths of those killed – are believed to be militants. But their deaths are typically reported as a number – their names, origins and livelihoods remain a mystery.

For so many people to die in obscurity, unnamed and unacknowledged, is a tragedy. But it is a further tragedy that the public, and even policy makers, are unable to properly test whether drones are ‘highly precise weapons’ when so little is known about who is actually dying.

Through Naming the Dead, the Bureau aims to increase the transparency around this conflict and inform the public debate. Initially this project will record all names published in open-source material – in credible reports by journalists, in legal documents presented in court, in academic studies and in field investigations carried out by human rights groups.”

This is, in my view, is essential journalism that’s both hard-nosed and human-centered. 

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