Pakistani Boy Files Lawsuit Against US Officials After Losing Legs in Missile Attack
Sadaullah Wazir had both of his legs amputated over a year ago. He now hobbles on artificial limbs and crutches. He is 17 years old, has lost an eye and does not attend school. Along with his physical ailments, Wazir lost three of his relatives as a result of a missile attack in September of last year. Now, he and his family want justice, and they’re filing a civil suit against U.S. officials, who they say are behind the attack.
Wazir’s losses are the grim result of just one of hundreds of attacks by the U.S. government in the northwest area of Pakistan, where a covert “war on terror” is being played out through an even more secretive weapon—the drone.
Cases like Wazir’s rarely make their way outside of the tribal regions in which they occur, partially because the CIA and U.S. government will never openly acknowledge the use of drone attacks in Pakistan, which now average about twice a week. Privately, U.S. officials do say that the attacks are highly accurate and harm few who are innocent.
“The CIA’s counterterrorism operations are precise, lawful, and effective,” CIA spokesman George Little said in response to the threat of possible lawsuits.
But international law experts are beginning to question the legality of drone usage, urging officials to lay out rules and publish figures on the amount of civilians that are killed in the attacks.
Drone strikes are a controversial tactic even outside of Pakistan, and have received widespread criticism. Many believe they are counter-productive because they could lead to increased resentment toward the US among an already frustrated population.
The lawyer that will represent Wazir in the civil suit, Shahzad Akbar, says he realizes there’s hardly a chance the CIA will react to the case at all. But he does hope for a symbolic victory and public criticism of the CIA’s secret war.
Read the full story from the AP.
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