Drones' Body Count Reveals 'Double Tap' Kills
A fully armed MQ-9 Reaper taxis down a runway in Southwest Asia. The Reaper's primary mission is as a persistent hunter-killer against emerging targets.
CREDIT: U.S. Air Force | Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson
A "double tap" has usually referred to a gunman shooting the same target twice in quick succession. But the same term has gained an even deadlier meaning in the 21st century with its new reference to U.S. drones striking the same target area twice with missiles.
The CIA or military drone "double tap" does more than ensure targeted militants or terrorists in Pakistan or Afghanistan end up dead — much evidence suggests that the practice also kills civilians who rush to help after the first strike. Such casualties become very apparent in a personal project by NYU student Josh Begley to tweet every reported U.S. drone strike since 2002.
Michael Kelley of Business Insider points out that the double drone strike has eerie resemblances to the improvised bomb "double tap" practice of Palestinian militants belonging to Hamas. A 2007 Homeland Security report describes how the Hamas would often set off a first bomb to draw police and emergency responders before setting off a second, larger bomb.
The "double tap" strategy's grim effects even get detailed in the popular "Hunger Games" books — though anyone who wants to find out how should read the trilogy before the third film comes out. ['Hunger Games' Exposes Myth of Technological Progress]
As a result of the U.S. "double tap" drone strikes, both civilians and humanitarian aid workers have become scared of going anywhere near a drone strike area for hours afterward — even if wounded innocents lie exposed in the open. Their fears are detailed in a ""Living Under Drones" report issued by Stanford Law School and the NYU School of Law in September.
The report's mention of the "double tap" effects include statistics drawn from news reports and accounts from eyewitnesses and survivors. One humanitarian organization has even created a policy forbidding its members from going near a reported drone strike for six hours afterward.
Begley's Twitter project isn't alone in trying to highlight the human toll of U.S. drone strikes. Freelance designer James Brindle created "Dronestagram" to show satellite images of towns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia both before and after strikes by U.S. or U.K. drones.
Source: Business Insider