On the day this episode broadcast, four suspected militant were killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan. Earlier in the week, as Oliver noted, the US hit Pakistan (10 dead) and Yemen (two killed, some children reportedly injured) and barely anyone reported on it. Were the individuals killed in the strikes Al-Qaeda, militants of some kind? Sure, maybe. Or maybe not. Hard to tell — not that the US government wants us to tell.
Oliver’s funny, angry piece is a great summary of the lawlessness of the US’s drone policy, going from President Obama’s ill-advised drone striking the Jonas Brothers joke in 2009, to the fact that “imminent threat” and “civilian casualty” mean whatever the government wants them to mean.
The highlight in terms of gut punches is footage of Yemeni civilians testifying to the psychological terror that drones bring.
Or, send it to people who know less about drones than you do, so that they get the picture. Iraq and Syria are a fair distraction, but we need to remember that this stuff is happening, too. Oliver gets many props for summing up the dark absurdity of the drone program in such an accessible, and grimly hilarious fashion.