guy, but they don't know the husband and the father and the man and the artist, the struggling artist. and it's just a great privilege to be able to share that part of my dad with the world. so if you guys have any questions, we'd love to take some guess. some questions. >> yes, ma'am. can we bring mic? >> what -- >> you hold on? whether they want that for the tv -- >> they're bringing it over here. >> tv. ..
went the lincoln memorial, and the presidential helicopter went over our heads, and it was obama visiting the white house for the first time. and i just cried such tears, for my father, because my father would have been -- my father was a huge advocate, having grownup harlem, and black cull tour and black music, if you know his earlier class clown albums, he talks about it a lot. a huge influence on him, and he was absolutely just -- he would have been thrilled to have seen that happen. but now he would be -- he'd --
the show, the spectacle of it all. so i wish he was here to give us more specifics, because he would have a unique take on it that no one else has come up with, but i feel we're in -- as far as satirical comedy goes we're in really good hands. a lot of great satirical comics who do political work. if you hasn't seen samantha bee's new "full frontal show" highly recommend it. she is my front-runner rights now. i love her. >> question right here. >> i learn a new expression this week. post traumatic thriving. i wonder -- >> i love that. >> -- share your experience strength and hope about post traumatic thriving. >> that's so beautiful. yay. let's reframe that. yeah, there's a -- i think part of it is we're kind of lucky with our genetics. we get some thriving genes
russian sillens genes. i come from -- resilience genes. i come from good stock. and something about love. i was lucky to know, no matter all the chaos in hi -- my life, i knew i was loved, deeply loved, and they're something being that earl childhood attachment theory is real. so i knew i was ultimately safe. took me a while to ultimately figure that out as an adult. i did have panic attack syndrome some agore phobia for ten years, but there is something about that, and at some point in all of our healing process, you need to move from the -- it's important to feel your pain, to feel your rage, to feel the place of victimhood that you are because you were a child. you were completely powerless. into, okay, now what? that's a really important shift
in a life, and in a healing, and because it's ultimately our life, and we're adults and we have to take responsibility for it, and i had to learn to take responsibility for my anxiety and my depression and my life and what i was going to do with it, and it was terrifying and confusing, but it's the only thing that really saved my life ultimately. thank you for that question. >> hi, kelly. wendy edward withnews radio 10.70 radio. my question is when it comes to daddisms that -- especially in your teenage years made you roll your eyes and grown and say, dad, are you saying this. >> that would be the correcting of my pronuns situation and stuff like that. my dad was the coolest dad ever. i mean, hello. when i was in high school we shared weed. kind of hard to roll your i'd at
that kind of a dad. i think my parents were the first generation where it was really confusing for parents because they partied a lot and didn't buy into the, just say no campaign and it was actually before that, that i was in high school. i was in high school in the late 70s so thigh couldn't put their food down and say -- die wish they had a little bit snore yes, wish they create more limits for me and more rules. probably would have saved me ten years of my fiscal cliff my 20s, -- of my life in my toys, but the canned and i had to learn from that. my dad was a god to me. and still a god to a lot of people. i've had to learn to take him off the pedestal and realize he is human, but i think for the most part it was that kind of -- his wanting to control my speech. which is so ironic.
>> right here. >> so, first of all, thank you very much for being here. thank you very much for writing this book and sharing insights into someone that i know many of news here miss desperately. >> yes. >> in the -- there was a blurb on this session and there was a comment about george's commitment to truth in everything he said, and one of my earlier memories of george carlin was his description of a tomato include thought was so dead on truthful. >> yes. i barely eat them because of that description. >> can you talk about that aspect, the truth and honesty. >> beautiful. i would love. to something we actually didn't gate chance to talk about here. another big theme of my book. first of all, the description of the tomato is my dad -- considered it a food that was not finished. it was still undone. had not finished developing.
my other favorite food thing was you never ate anything he had to break into his house to eat. like a clam or something like that. i love that. i don't eat clams or oysters because of that. the was very eninfluential in my life. one of the ironies of the car lib household and a theme of the book is truth-telling me. father was the truth-teller to quite a few generations. but -- growing up an alcoholic, drug addicted household, truth is a sleepry slope, and it was confusing for me as a kid because -- a slippery slope and it was confusing for me as a kid because with dysfunction comes denial, and denial is about ignoring the truth, the big elephant in the room. so insane things would go on in my life, a very famous story i
telephone is my father waking me up one morning, in the mid-'70s, and we had just been to hawai'i, on hawaiian vacation. my dad came into my room and woke me up and said, kelly, i need you wake up. i think the sun has exploded and we have about seven minutes to live. and my father had been up for about five days, doing a lot of coke and he was hallucinating and screwed up. and we went outside and it cass kind of hazy, weird sun. my point is i couldn't go to school on monday and when i was asked about easter vacation, how it was, couldn't say, well, my dad is freaking out on drugs, and my mom and dad almost tried to kill each other with knives. i couldn't speak the truth. so i had this very difficult relationship with learning what my truth was, and how to express myself, my emotions and reality. there wasn't a lot of reality going on.
i was living a parallel life. i started living -- that's when i started living a parallel life, which is my persona and then my private life, and that got me. >> a lot of trouble when i got into an abusive relationship, that i didn't tell anybody about in high school. got me into trouble when i was doing too much cocaine and knew i needed help go me into trouble when i was agore phobia and cooperate drive around and couldn't explain why it wasn't leaving my house so a very delicate thing and one thing that happened with my dad and i was that i -- in '99 had written a one-woman show because i wanted to talk about my mother and her death and how is transformed me, and part of it was i wanted to talk about my childhood and that was part of shaping me, and how difficult that was for my dat -- dad when i said wanted to do the show. i talked about thing necessary show i never actually talked to my dad about before. feelings i had about things that
had gone on. he said why did i have to read your script to find out about this? and i said, well, maybe i felt like i had to be on your stage for you to finally hear me. truth -- so, that's something my dad and i -- that was a healing my dad and i had in our life, was we got to actually talk to each other and learn to share the scary things inside of us that humans go. >> share our feelings, but truth is interesting. it is relative at times. >> how do you think your -- just for your information, exterior butt back into the questioning -- you have also done a one-woman show. >> a solo show now that a tour a little bit. >> which i was fortunate enough to see in los angeles, and it is really a parallel to the book. >> scaffolding for the book. this booking much more in depth but there's a lot there. >> how do you think your father would feel about that show? that was written after his
passing. it start evidence earlier. >> i think that part of my role in the family is to -- if he was alive and i was doing it -- first i don't know if that would be possible because a lot of what i say in the book -- times i talk about how i'd back away from telling my story while he was alive for different reasons. but i really see now that my role in the world as a truth-teller because my dad did teach know be a truth-teller, is to speak my truth and talk about our shared humanity, and that we're all broken and we're all messed up and we're all just trying to figure it out and that's right why i want to tell me story. i want people to feel safe to tell their stories, whether it's to their loved ones or on a stage or wherever it is. we're only as sick as our secrets that's say in aa, and i think in the end my father would be very proud of me because i
have figured out what my rolfe is as a truth-teller and this is not -- there's nothing daddy dearest in the book at all. when the book came out people were like, oh, daddy dearest, trolls on the internet. i'm like, halve you read the book? there's so much love in this book. not a moment of complaining victimhood, and i think my dad would -- one people i say when people see my show, they loved my dad so much more than they used to because now he is a whole person to them, and only once at a speaking engagement did a guy come up to me and say, i got to tell you. i've lost respect for your dad now that i know that he -- that he couldn't function that well as a human and stuff. i was like, wow, dude, that says a lot more about you than it does my dad. >> i think the cover photo that you chose for the book, says so much about your relationship. you can see it in this picture.
>> i'm daddy's little girl. >> look at the photograph. next question. >> height here. >> coming back to your reminding us of what the seven words are, you can't say, i was thinking, i wonder how they're going subtitle that. if someone is running subtitles as they watch the television. that led know thinking about what publications do where they'll take the seven letters -- stenwords and print the first letter, x, x, x, or asterisks -- sure like you don't know what they're saying? >> this is more a first amendment question than anything else. the question is, what's the point? and what kind of trouble would a publication, a general purpose publication, get in for actually shocking the world with the full spelling of those seven words? >> well, i'd actually -- if you were here i'd -- i have john jeffries, former dean of the law school and member of the board of trustees. so i'm very nervous in answering it myself because probably get
it wrong but the fact is, in a publication, that's probably a question of the publication. to get in any trouble, particularly if they're talking about it in this context, but to use those words, in a publication, or something like that, that would not meet the definition of obscenity. the indecency provision only applies to broadcasting. this lesser protecting of speech. so basically it's not the actual content, it is -- a big part of the definition is where it's being done, and in fact, here's where i think i'm right, john, but the words we said here -- when you see the -- "daily show" with jon stewart and they bleep those out, or cable television or satellite television, that's
a question of choice of the people producing the show. it's not a requirement. those shows aren't presented to you via the broadcast spectrum. i won't go too much into the weeds as to why the government has that greater control, but it's an interesting development because i don't think any of us today think about, oh, this is a cable access television show as opposed to nbc access television show. but therein lies the difference why the government can have greater control over broadcast spectrum and that indecency provision only as a matter of law applies if it is on the broadcast spectrum. is that, that? >> you read the word. you're reading the word. the word is being said in your head so it's not like you're going, wow, wonder what that word is. maybe it's spot.
or fork. it's just so silly. >> well, we were just talking about this. there's a television show on recently, a few years ago, "battle star galactica," which took place -- humanoid beings but in another universe. the way they got around this was they created their own curse words and the word was fracking. now, just imagine -- >> now it is an indecent word. >> imagine a word that begins with f that maybe of us may be offends by but used liberally. i don't give a frack. go frack yourself. they just completely -- because it was a different culture. the other thing in virginia beach there's an ordinance whici think is incredibly unconstitutional you can't curse in public. >> what? >> area. it's still on the books. >> have to protest it. >> but on street signs, and
virginia there's -- the exactly the kind of thing you see, the little asterisk and pound sign for cuss words. so, only they're all put up there and then there's the red circle with the line through it, and it's posted. walk down virginia beach, and the streets and you'll see the signs there. and people are fine with -- >> that's amazing. >> next question. >> my friend sheryl. >> hello, kelly, glad you're hearing. i'm curious because i actually don't know the answer, back in the day before paparazzi was as big as it is today, was your family unit ever -- >>o. we were -- >> -- violate. >> we were so lucky. we weren't, because my dad wasn't part of the pop culture. the sickest thing about tabloid stuff is that the one time we showed up there is when my mother was dying of liver cancer, and we were in the
national inquirer for that. i'm like, you've got to be kidding me. i was just horrific. but we're very lucky. very lucky. that in my teenage years, there was nothing like that really around yet. i was hanging out -- i went to school in l.a. with celebrities' kids and we were doing a lot of illegal things, a lot of drugs and stuff, and just crazy teenage stuff, and thank god we weren't. it felt like the -- it's not like the kardashians or anything. thank god there as no facebook. we were always very protected, and really back in the day, when we knew -- cheryl is a friend of mine from venice, we lived there in the early '7s so together. during that time what was really dangerous was the cops. that was more dangerous in our family than anything, was feeling like my dad could be arrest at any moment because he
usually was going to be. but i'm really glad there wasn't, thank god. anyone else? >> hi, kelly. >> hi. >> yesterday we did a great podcast and i'm with the thomas jefferson center as well and kelly came on and discussed a lot of things you didn't hear today,; but one thing i think fascinated me the most was the response both of his fans, after his death, to you, and kind of desperate responses as well as the response of the comedy community could you had not been part of. >> before my dad died i was not -- i'd watch a little bit of comedy. it was my dad's job and my dad did theaters so we didn't good comes clubs. there were no comedy clubs when i was growing up. i didn't know a lot of comedians. i knew maybe one or two. when my dad died, comedians started calling me immediately.
the next day. and i found myself sitting on the floor of my bathroom crying into the phone with gary sand sand ling one morning and its was really incredible because the comedy family -- a lot of comedian weather you talked about some of them who really -- my dad was like their father, great uncle of comedy. and they all said to me we're here for you. we know you're alone. and we are your family now, and if you ever need anything, please pick up the phone and call us. that was an uncredible feeling. my dad was the sun in my solar system and he was gone, and because social media became a thing that summer -- 2008 is when i got involved in facebook and it really became a thing. his fans found me and the first year and a half or two i don't
know what i would have done without the fans because they really lifted me up and they loved me unconditionally and took me in and really -- we shared, we shared everything about my dad. i could have conversations with. the about them, and we could share his humor and his material and his stuff, and in some ways i had to eventually grow out of that and walk out of the shadow of that a little bit. but -- for my sanity, but i felt like they -- like this beautiful web of love and light that had caught me and kept my head just above the water of grief for a few years, so i didn't completely disappear into its. it's really an interesting thing about grief. as many of you know. a very unique process, but enough that the book is out, which came out last september, i feel like on some level that i'm
done being george carlin's daughter. i mean i still am but i'm actually able to now have my own time of personal grief. that i don't have to be on display anymore, and even though die events like this and do my show a little bit, it is a private space for me now because there's this -- the public thing here. so this is a fascinating -- i've been watching my journey and it's been fascinating. we got a time from the t lady. we're good? i'm going to sign some books if someone wants to buy books i'll sign them and we'll meet -- >> before we set off, please fill out an evaluation. you can turn your cell phones back on. the other thing i was going say, petition whatever local theater, paramount or something to have the play version of this book to bring this to charlottesville. it's such an entertaining production. >> thank you all so much.
i'm with the local -- good evening tough for coming. i'm with the local amnesty international group in charlottesville. i like to thank you for coming here for this presentation tonight. the use of drones is becoming more and more widespread, and there's a lot of issues related to this topic. local, national, international. war and peace, privacy, uname it. -- you name it. before i introduce our special guest, the moderator of the event is dr. bill anderson. i'll introduce himself. dr. abiderson is a local peace activist, the chair of the charlottesville peace and justice -- center for peace and justice. he has been over 15 missions all
over the world, for peace. he is a retired -- from the university of virginia. as you know amnesty international is a human right group has been working for 50 years, most interest in the local group is conscious. so if you like to work on people who are detained illegally, unlawfully, for simple expression of their opinion, just like we do right now here, please join us. we meet every month and we work on a lot of activities that relate to human rights. without further adieu aid like to introduce dr. anderson. [applause] >> thank you so much. really an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to this event on behalf of virginia foundation for the humanities.
and the festival of the book, and i'm sure that most of you have gotten this brochure which you can get down at the omni and some other stores on the mall, like the new dominion book store. we have such a wonderful set of programs here today. you can't have me? i need to -- you need to mic me. people can't hear? >> just has to be in front of you. >> okay, all right. technical difficulties. is this the one. no this is the one? >> both of. the. >> oh, both of them, okay. we really want to thank you for coming out for this event, which is very timely and very
interesting. i want to ask you all to please silence your cell phones. i've got one that has a very irritating ring, so turn any kind of cell phones or other electronic devices -- turn them off now at this time. and i want to encourage you tweet to others about the event at hash tag v-a-book 2016. i really want to thank u-er and the amnesty international for bringing miss cohn here and i want to thank miss cohn for coming. i want to ask you also to remember to support the festival of the book. it's free of charge, but not of cost, and you can either go
online to give a gift of support, or you can make a contribution by picking up an envelope which -- these envelopes are available down at the omni. at the end i'll remind you to please give an evaluation because that also helps to strengthen the festival of the book, and it well help it to endure. those two things, contribution and your evaluation, will help to us endure for years to come. the topic for discussion today is, as i said, by miss cohn, and she is going to talk about her book "drones and targeted killing." miss cohn is a professor at the thomas jefferson school of law,
in san diego, and she is the author of several other books which are related and which are very fascinating books. among those are "o" cowboy republic: six ways the bush gang has defied the law." "rules on disengagement" the politics of or some military dissent, and the editor of another volume entitled" u.s. and torture: interrogations, incarceration and abuse. " today's book is really interested. its starts off with a very interesting forward by aitch bishop tutu and in it he asked the -- he talks about the problem of drones and the
crockses -- contributions miss cohn has make and he says a very interesting thing i thought we should ask yourselves. he did is in an article he write for "new york times." he side do the united states and its people really want to tell those of white house live in the rest of the world that our lives are not the same -- of the same value as yours? that president obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an american? would your supreme court, he asks, really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave dred scott in the 19th 19th century, are not as human as you are? i cannot believe it, he says.
i hope that his disbelief is really true, that we won't tolerate this, that we will find ways to resist. but now i'd like to introduce miss cohn and have her say some things about this really, really interesting book, which i found to be very revealing. [applause] >> i want to thank amnesty international, share lostville chapter for inviting me, and bill for his very nice introduction, and i thank you up for coming. i'm delighted to be here. in his 2009 acceptance speech for the nobel peace prize, president barack obama declared, where force -- i'm going like this when i quote -- where force is necessary we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of
conduct, and even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by in rule is believe the united states of america must remain a standard-bearer in the conduct of war. by the time obama accepted the award, one year into his presidency, he had ordered more drone strikes than george w. bush had a authorized during his two presidential terms. the bush administration detained and tortured suspected terrorists. the obama administration has chosen to illegally assassinate them. often with the use of drones. the continued indefinite detention of many at guantanamo belies obama's pledge two days after his first inauguration to close the prison camp there however, obama has add evidence only one detainee to the
guantanamo roster. this government has decided that instead of detaining members of al qaeda at guantanamo, they're going to kill them, according to john bellinger, who formulated the bush administration drone policy. on terror tuesdays, obama and john brennan, his former counterterrorism adviser, now cia director, goes through the kill list to identify which individuals should be assassinated that week. obama orders two different types of drone strikes. personality strikes, which target named high-value terrorists, and signature strikes, which target training camps and suspicious compounds in areas controlled by militants, and we often see in newspapers leak "the new york times," a u.s. drone strike killed four militants or ten militants or 12 militants.
not sure what a militant looks like. in the signature strikes, sometimes called "crowd killings" the obama administration often doesn't even know who it's killing. but, writes joe becker and scott shane in the "new york times," some state department officials have complain to the white house that the criteria used by the cia, sees three guys doing jumping jacks -- i'm sorry -- the signature for identifying a terrorist signature were too lax. the joke was when the cia sees three guys doing jumping jacks the agency thinks it's a terrorist training camp. many loading a truck with fertilizer could be bombmakers but they also might be farmers. as the news broke on march 7th , 2016, that u.s. drone
strikes had killed 150 people in somalia, the white house announced it will reveal for the first time the number of people killed by drones and manned airstrikes outside areas of active hostilities. since 2009. the tallies will include civilian deaths. this is a critical first step toward much-needed transparency but it will not go far enough. the obama administration has been lying for years about how many deaths result from its drone strikes and manned bombers. in 2011, john brennan falsely claimed that no civilians had been killed in drone strikes in near lay year. the bureau of investigative journalism -- this is an anthology, a collection of -- one of the chapters is written bay pin from the bureau of investigative journalism,
nongovernmental organization that tallies civilian casualties from drone strikes. they're based in london. the bureau of investigative journalism and other nongovernment organizations that calculate drone deaths put the try brennan's claim. it's believed that of the estimated 5,000 people killed on obama's watch, approximately 1,000 were civilians. but the administration has never released complete casualty figures. plus, the numbers by themselves are not sufficient. even if the white house makes good on its promise to publicize death tallies it must also pressure the presidential policy guidance which has provided the legal justification for the u.s. targeted killing program. in may 2013, responding to international criticism about men starving themselves to death at guantanamo, and his drone
policy, obama delivered a speech at the national defense university in washington, dc. he proclaimed, america does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists. our preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them. then why has he add only one man to guantanamo during his tenure? as he gave his 2013 speech, the white house released a fact sheet that purported to contain preconditions for the use of lethal force outside areas of active hostilities. but the presidential policy guidance on which the fact sheet was based remains classified. so, what does the fact sheet say? first, there must be a legal basis for the use of lethal force. it does not define whether legal basis means complying with ratified treaties and when the
united states ratifies a treaty, it becomes part of u.s. law, domestic law, under the supremacy clause of the constitution which says treaties shall be the supreme law of the land. these treaties including the united nations charter which prohibits the use of military force except in self-defense or when approved by the security council. it also includes the geneva conventions which prohibitses the targeting of civilians. and the international covenant on civil and political rights which guarantees due process and the right to life. the administration justifies its drone strikes by reference to the 2001 authorization for the use of military force, or the aumf, that congress gave george w. bush after the 9/11 attacks. that aumf authorizes only the targeting of al qaeda and
affiliated forces. but in somalia, the 150 people killed, according to the administration, were from al-shabaab. al-shabaab didn't even economist -- exist when the aumf was enacted and sal shabazz has nothing do with national. the administration says that the 150 people killed in somalia were terrorists and militants and members of this group, al-shabaab, but provided no evidence to support that assertion. the dead fighters were assembled for what american officials believe was a graduation ceremony and a prelude to an imminent attack again americanss. i guess that's what people do before they mount an imminent attack, they go to graduation ceremonies.
secondly, and back to the fact she's requirements. the target must post a continuing imminent threat to u.s. persons. a u.s. department of justice white paper leaked in 2013 says that u.s. citizen can be killed even where there is no clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future you wonder what does imminent mean? and presumably the administration sets an even lower bar for noncitizens. third there must be near certainty that the terrorist target is present, but the fact sheet doesn't address the signature strikes where the obama administration doesn't even target individuals but, rather, areas of suspicious activity. fourth there must be near certainty that noncombatants will not be injured or killed,
but the administration defines combatants as all men of military age in a strike zone, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. five there must be an assessment that capture is not feasible at the time of the operation, and i don't like the word capture. animals are captured. people are apprehend but nevertheless we'll use their terminology. an assessment that capture is not feasible at the time of the operation. it is unclear what feasibility means. the department of justice white paper seems to indicate that infeasible means inconvenient and it was fees able to cap tower osama bin laden who was not armed at the time that the u.s. military assassinated him. now, i just want to diverge for a moment and talk about this idea that people have that, well, osama bin laden was this
evil man, it's a good thing we took him out. let's forget about due process. after world war ii, and the holocaust the leaders of the victorious powers got together to decide what to do with the nazi leaders, and whenston churchill said just take them out and shoot them. but to his credit, justice robert jackson, who took a leave from the superior court to be the chief u.s. prosecutor at nuremberg said, no. if we don't provide due process, even to the nazi leaders, we will pass a poisoned challis to future generations. well, my feeling is that if due process is good enough for natz eu si leaders -- nazi leaders if it would have been good enough for osama bin laden. number six there must be an assessment that relevant governmental authorities in the country where action is contemplated cannot or will not effectively address the threat to u.s. persons which is left
undefined. and seventh there must be an assessment that no other reasonable alternative exists to address the threat to u.s. persons, also left undefined. finally, the fact sheet would excuse all of these preconditions when the president takes action in extraordinary circumstances, which are both lawful and necessary to protect the united states and its allies. there is no definition of extraordinary circumstances, or what would be lawful. releasing the presidential policy guidance, declassifying it, would clarify the gaps in the guidelines for the use of lethal force in the fact sheet. in february 2016, the bipartisan stimson task force on u.s. drone policy gave the obama administration an f in three areas the task force flagged for
improvement in its june 2014 report. the first area is focused on the flowing releasing information on drone strikes. the second involved explaining the legal basis under u.s. and international law for the drone program. the third is about developing more robust oversight and accountability mechanisms for targeted strikes outside traditional battlefieldes. regarding the first area, releasing information, stimson concluded that the administration has made almost no information public about the approximate number, location or death tolls from lethal attack, which agency is responsible for what strikes, the cia or the military. the organizational affiliation of people known to have been killed by strikes and the numbers and identities of civilians who are known to have been killed. speaking about the second area of focus, the legal basis for the drone program, stimson
mentioned that a few governmental documents have been made public that relate to the u.s. lethal drone program primarily as a result of court orders. one was a redacted -- that means ed didded -- black lines through much of it dash redacted memo from the department of justice about the legality of the 2011 targeted killing of u.s. citizen onwar al-awlaki without due process of law. this followed a successful aclu "new york times" freedom of information act request. the other released document was the department of defense's law of war manual, with three short sections on the use of remotely piloted aircraft in war. the only qualifications it contained was that the weapones cannot be inherently indiscriminate or calculated to cause superfluous injury. the bet geneva conventions --
the stimson report says that the administration continues to oppose the release of any public information on the lethal drone program which has obstructed mechanisms for greater oversight and accountability. the lack of action reinforces the culture of secrecy surrounding the use of armed drones, according to the report. the stimson report noted that the administration has, as a rule, been reluctant to publicly acknowledge the use of lethal force by unmanned aerial vehicles in foreign countries. stimson identified one notable exception. after the discovery that two westerners had been -- who were held by al qaeda had been killed bay u.s. drone strike in january of 2015, the administration admitted the deaths but provided few specific details. note, they were westerners who were killed.
i want to just say that when we hear about isis beheading someone, we are justifiably outraged. of course we don't hear about saudi arabia beheading people almost daily, but we don't hear about or see the images of the babies whose limb are strewn about after they're killed with drone strikes. and interestingly, one of the essays in the book, the one only reprisons from yes was called "the predator war. "pie 2009 piece in the "the new yorker" by jane mayer and the first report on the drone program, and jane mayer interviewed former cia lawyer vicky devol who now i teaches at the u.s. naval academy in annapolis -- this is 2009 -- vicky devol told jane mayer
people are a lot more comfortable with a predator drone strike that kills many people or with a throat slitting that kills one. she was prescient. lethal drone strikes have been reported in yemen, pakistan, libya, afghanistan, and somalia. and against isis in iraq and syria. the stimson report identified 12 countries believed to host u.s. drone bases. they include afghanistan, ethiopia, kuwait, niger, the fell teens, qatar, saudi arabia, turkey, the the identitied emirates and yemen. former cia director miningal hayden gave a defense of the u.s. drone program in a february 2016 "new york times" op-ed. hayden claimed the targeted
killing program has been the most precise and effective application of fire power in the history of armed conflict. annihilating the ranks of al qaeda. but his claims are impossible to verify without documentation. hayden also said, we kill people based on metadata. youman heart before the metadata when edwards snowden, famous whistleblower, reveals that the national security, they nsas was celting metta data on all of us and that is the phone calls we make, the sites we visit, our e-mails and they're supposedly not reading the content but just looking at the metadata. so, hayden said, quote, we kill people based on metadata, but our -- recently revealed that the nsa's skynet program, which uses an algorithm to gather metadata in order to identify and target terror suspects in
pakistan, somalia and afghanistan, would result in 99,000 false positives. so what happens is that they target a cell phone believed to be carried by a terrorist, let's say gives it to his mother. she is the one who gets killed, based upon this metadata. obama said in an interview in the "atlantic" he has no second thoughts about the drone strikes in the middle east. armed drones are operated by pilots located thousands of miles from their targets. how many of you saw the film "good kill"? do you know who was in the film? january jones and ethan hawk. two very famous popular actors, and yet it never made it into the major theateres. i saw it in a tiny little venue in san diego. "good kill" refers to what
people sitting in the little trailer outside of las vegas in the military say, after one of the pilots presses the button that drops the missile and kills people and then they say good, kill. and it traces ethan hawk plays a drone operator who, even though he is thousands of miles from his target, and can go home to his family every night in the suburbs of las vegas, he develops post traumatic stress disorder from what he is doing you. can see pictures of the strike zone and between the time that the button is pushed to release the missile and the missile deploys, it takes ten seconds. meanwhile, a woman and child walk in to the strike zone, and after doing this enough times he got very, very ill. i wonder if that had nothing do with why it never made it into the big theaters. before launching its payload the
drone hovers above the area. it emits a buzzing sound that terrorizes communities. the drones were terrifying, observed "new york times" journalist david idaho what capture evidence by the tale ban and escaped. from the ground it is impossible to determine who are what they are tracking as the circle overhead. the buzz of a distant propeller is a constant reminder of imminent death. drones fire missiles that travel faster than the speed of sound. a drone's victim never hears the missile that kills him. after the drone drops a bomb on its target, second strike, often bombs people rescuing the wounded from the first strike. and it's called a double tap. and frequently a third strike targets moshers at funerals -- mourners at funerals for those
killed in prior strikes. u.s. drones have killed children, rescuers and funeral processions on multiple occasions according to the council on foreign relationes. the council on foreign relations also reports that the vast majority where neither al qaeda nor taliban leaders. instead, most were low level, anonymous, suspected militants who were predominantly engaged in insurgent or terrorist operations against their government rather than an active international terrorist plot. drones are obama's weapon of choice because, unlike piloted fighter aircraft, they don't jeopardize the lives of u.s. pilots. there are claims that the use of drones resumeses in fewer civilian casualties than manned bombers. however a study base owned classifieds military data conduct philadelphia center for naval analysises and the center for civilians in conflict, found
that the use of drones in afghanistan has cautioned ten time -- caused ten times more civilian deaths than manned fighter aircraft. in the united states, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the u.s. safer by enabling targeted killing of terrorists with minimal downsides or collateral impact. this narrative is false, according to the comprehensive report, "living under drones" issued by stanford law school and nyu law school. many killed by drones are civilians or in the administration's parlance, bug splat. referring to the collateral damage estimate methodology the u.s. military the cia employ. targeted killing with drones is counterproductive. general stanley mcchrystal, architect of the u.s.
counterinsurgency strategy in afghanistan, declared that drones are hated on a visceral level and contribute to a perception of american arrogance. kurt volcker, former u.s. ambassador to nato concurs. drone strikes do not solve our terrorist problem. in fact drone use may prolong it. even though there is no immediate retaliation, in the long run, the contributions to radicalization through drone use may put more americans at risk. melissa barra, southern tribal sheikh from yemen, told the journalist jeremy scahill thest sees al qaeda as terrorism and we consider the drones terrorism. the drones are flying day and night, frightening women and children, disturbing sleeping people. this is terrorism, he said. the council on foreign relations
reported a strong correlation in yemen between stepped up targeted killings since december 202009 and height end anger toward the united states and sympathy with or allegiance to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. drone strikes breed increased resentment against the united states and lead to the recruitment of more terrorists. drones have replaced guantanamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants, according to "the new york times" becker and shane. they quoted assad, who, while pleading guilty to trying to detonate bomb in times square told the judge when the drones hit, they don't see children. jeremy scahill writes the secret war in pakistan became large lay drone bombing campaign described by cia officers at the u.s. embassy in islamabad as boys
with toy is. byes on the obama's first year as president, me and his new counterterrorism team would begin building the infrastructure for a formulated -- formalized u.s. assassination program. with an aggressive embrace of assassination as a centerpiece of u.s. security policy. the united states uses two tipoffs armed drones. the pret predator, which costs $4.5 million each, and the reaper, valued at 15 million. both produced by general atomics aeronautical systems in san diego, and since i live in san diego i feel i qualify as an expert on drones because that's where they are manufactured. the reaper houses up to four hellfire missiles and two 500-pound bombs and can fly heights of 21,000 feet for up to 22 hours. its cameras enable the pilots operating the drone 7500 miles away to see the faces of their
targets on the computer screen as the bomb hits. tom dispatch has identified 60 bases used in u.s. drone operations, all her to e throe could more as there is a cloak after secrecy surrounding the drone war warfare program though drone industry stun like to refer to their killer row bosts as drones because of the negative connotation of these machines droning above communities. they prefer to call them unmanned aerial vehicles. an interesting story is that on the amazon page for my book there's room for comments. ...
>> because he said -- by the way, e global hawk is not a drone, it's not a drone. and yet they're received to by experts as drones. and then the other three chimed in. but they don't like to refer to them as drones. targeted killing, which is really the death penalty without due process, is an example of american exceptionalism. reflecting the view that people in in the united states are somehow superior to those in other countries. in his 2013 speech to the u.n. general assembly and his state of the union addresses,
specifically to the general assembly, obama stated: some may disagree, but i believe america is exceptional, in part because we have shown a willingness through the sacrifice of blood and treasure to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interest, but for the interests of all. but in addition to the u.s. soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of people in those countries have been killed and untold numbers wounded. "time" columnist joe kline, considered by many to be a liberal, bought into american exceptionalism in a disturbing way in a 2012 interview by joe scarborough on msnbc's morning joe. scarborough observed, you have 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that says, you know what? instead of trying to go in, take the risk, get the terrorists out
of hiding, we're just going to blow up everyone around them. he mentioned collateral damage. joe kline retorted: the bottom line in the end is, whose 4-year-old gets killed? what we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here are going to get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror. so it's preferable that foreign little girls get killed in order to protect american little girls. american exceptionalism also reared its head after the 2013 leak of the department of justice white paper that describes circumstances you should which the president -- under which the president can order the targeted killing of u.s. citizens. there had been little public concern in the united states about drone strikes killing people many other countries, but when -- in other countries, but when it was revealed that u.s. citizens might be targeted, americans were outraged. this was exemplified by senator rand paul's 13-hour filibuster of john brennan's nomination for
cia director. it is this double standard that motivated archbishop desmond tutu to write in "the new york times," which bill mentioned, do the united states and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? and when i read that letter in "the new york times," i said to myself, i would love archbishop tutu to write the forward to this book k and he graciously agreed, and he elaborates on that thought in his forward. a new whistleblower has joined the ranks of edward snowden, chelsea manning and other courageous individuals. the unnamed person who chose to remain anonymous because of the obama administration's unprecedented and vigorous prosecution of whistleblowers is a member of the intelligence
community. in the belief that the american public has the right to know about the fundamentally and morally flawed u.s. drone program, this source provided the intercept with a treasure-trove of secret military documents and slides that shine a critical light on the country's killer drone program. these files confirm that the obama administration's policy and practice of assassination using armed drones and other methods violate the law. the documents reveal the kill chain that describes who will be targeted -- that decides who will be targeted. as the source said, this outrageous explosion of watch listing, of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them baseball cards, assigning them death sentences without notice on a worldwide battlefield. it was, from the very first instance, wrong.
these secret documents demonstrate that the administration kills innumerable civilians due to its reliance on signals intelligence. in undeclared war zones, as i said, following cell phones or computers that may or may not be carried by suspected terrorists. and the documents show that more than half the intelligence used to locate potential targets in somalia and yemen was based on the method. it isn't a surefire method. you're relying on the fact that you have these all-powerful machines capable of collecting extraordinary amounts of data and intelligence which can cause those involved to think they possess god-like powers according to the source. it is stunning, the number of instances when selectors are misattributed to certain people. and he characterized a missile fired at a argument in a group of people as -- at a target in a group of people as a leap of faith. the administration's practice of minimizing civilian casualties is exaggerating at best, if not
outright lies, according to the source. from january 2012 to february 2013, a campaign called operation haymaker was carried out in the afghan provinces of kunar and four stand. according to these papers, during a five-month period almost 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. this campaign parallelled an increase in drone attacks and civilian casualties throughout afghanistan. what's more, the campaign did not significantly degrade al-qaeda's operations there according to the source. obama's preference for killing instead of apprehension, according to the source, actually prevents the administration from gathering critical intelligence. obama stated in 2013: america does not take strikes when we
have the ability to capture individual terrorists. our preference is always to detain, interrogate and prosecute. but michael flynn, former head of the defense intelligence agency, told the intercept we don't capture people anymore, unquote. slides provided by the drone papers source cite a 2013 study by the pentagon's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance task force that said kill operations significantly reduce the intelligence available from detainees and captured material. so the task portion recommended capture and interrogation rather than killing in drone strikes. the american public is largely unaware of the high number of civilian casualties from drone strikes. a study conducted by american university professor jeff bachman concluded that the
number of civilians killed have been underestimated, and ignored the importance of international law. gregory mcneal, an expert on national security and drones at pepperdine, wrote that in afghanistan and iraq when collateral damage -- that is, civilian casualties -- did occur, 70% of the time it was attributed to failed, that is mistaken, identifications. anyone caught in the vicinity is guilty by association, the drone papers source notes. if a drone attack kills more than one person, there is no guarantee that those persons deserved their fate, so it's a phenomenal gamble. drone strikes are obama's weapon of choice because they don't result in u.s. casualties. it is the politically advantageous thing to do; low cost, no u.s. casualties, gives the appearance of toughness.
according to the former director of national intelligence, dennis blair, it plays well domestically, and it's unpopular only in other countries. and the damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long term. part of the damage, as flynn pointed out, is that drones make the fallen into martyrs. they create a new reason to fight be us even harder. the united nations charter's mandate for peaceful resolution of disputes and military force except in self-defense is not a pipe dream. a study by the rand corporation concluded that between 1968 and 2006 43% of incidents involving terrorist groups ended by a peaceful political resolution with their government. 40% were penetrated and eliminated by local police and excellence agencies, and only 7% were ended by the use of military force.
nevertheless, "the wall street journal" reported that the military plans to increase drone flights by 50% by 2019. in describing how the special operations community views the prospective targets by drones, the drone papers' source said: they have no rights, they have no dignity, they have no humanity to themselves. they're just a selector to an analyst. you eventually get to a point in the target's life cycle that you're following them, you don't even refer to them by the actual name. this results in dehumanizing the people before you even encountered the moral question of is this legitimate or not. many drone pilots, as i said, suffer from ptsd. some are refusing to fly the drones. last september the air force times ran a historic ad paid for by 54 u.s. veterans and vets'
organizations urging air force drone operators and other military personnel to refuse orders to fly drone surveillance and attack missions. i just want to briefly in the couple minutes that i have, i see the -- this reminds me of the o. to j. simpson trial. [laughter] remember, judge ito had a whole collection of hour glasses. i wrote a book on cameras in the courtroom from that, and that's what this reminds me of. i don't know if he ever used them though. so the collection that i put together is an interdisciplinary collection of human rights and political activists, policy analysts, lawyers and legal scholars, a philosopher, a journalist and a sociologist that examine different aspects of the u.s. policy of targeted killing by drones and other methods. and the contributors explore the legality, morality and geopolitical considerations and evaluate the impact on relations
between the united states and the countries affected by the targeted killings. drones and targeted killings will not solve the problem of terrorism. if you use the drone and the selected killings and do nothing on the other side, then you get rid of individuals. but the root causes are till there. former somali foreign minister told jeremy scahill. the root causes are not security, the root causes are political and economic. pentagon study conducted during the bush administration -- the bush administration's pentagon -- concluded muslims do not hate our freedom; but, rather, they hate our policies. it identified -- this is the pentagon study under bush -- american direct intervention in the muslim world through the united states' one-sided support in favor of israel. support for islamic tyrannical regimes in egypt and saudi
arabia and primarily the american occupation of iraq and afghanistan. these policies, which are rationalized to stop terrorism, paradoxically elevate the stature of and support for islamic radicals. becker and shane sounded an alarm about the ramification of drone strikes on the future of u.s. relations with muslim countries. they noted: obama's focus on strikes has made it impossible to important, for now -- to forge, for now, the new relationship with the muslim world that he had envisioned. both pakistan and yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the united states than when mr. obama became president. justly or not, drones have become the provocative symbol of american power running roughshod over national sovereignty and killing innocents. we ignore or this admonition at our peril. until we stop invading other countries with muslim populations, occupying their
lands, torturing their people and killing them with drones, we will never be safe from terrorism. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for a really marvelous presentation. the book is just as fascinating. i mean, it's -- the details, the examples given really drive home this whole problem of drones, the legal implications, the moral implications but also the human implications. this whole thing of collateral damage, you know, your mother, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, you know? just being collateral damage because they're shooting at you, but these other people get it
too. so it's really very problematic. but i want to now open the floor for questions and comments that you may have. finish there's -- wait for the mic. raise your hand, wait for the mic to come to you, and then you can address ms. cohn. with your comments. thank you so much for your question. >> thank you so much for a great overview. i have a very specific question that you may not be able to address, but i'm doing a lot of research on the notion of moral injury, the ptsd, the what happens to those that we put in positions of killing. and it was different in world war ii, for example, when it was very visceral, different on ground. it's taken a different shape and form, this objectification of
people and then killing them. i wonder if you've touched upon that at all or can talk about that, how different way of doing -- how this different way of doing something, it maybe shapes the pilots differently or, you know, the impact on the pilots who are asked to do this. >> yes. this is -- one of the chapters is written by a philosopher, harry van der linden, who is a professor at butler x. he talks about things like during wartime, and we're talking about active war, not these drone wars that obama has basically declared the entire world a battlefield. but the surveillance platform where the drones, the surveillance drones are watching people's lives, people intimately day and night. and then also concept of sleeping soldier. do you kill somebody while they're sleeping?
is that moral? the issue of ptsd on the drone pilots, you know, you have these people who do not, are not at any risk themselves. they -- and that's one of the reasons that obama likes them, because we learned, the u.s. government learned during the vietnam war and i am a child of the vietnam antiwar movement, and i suspect system of you are as well, americans don't like to see americans coming back in body bags. and that really creates opposition to what the u.s. doing. so if we can kill people, the bad guys, the militants, the suspected militants, without endangering our pilots, then that's perfect bl, and that's -- preferable, and that's why obama is using drones on such a widespread basis. and so the pilots are not at any physical risk. they put on their flight suits, they go boo these trailers -- into these trailers out in the
desert. i'm going to a stop the drone week outside of las vegas in a couple of weeks, creech air force base which is where a lot of these pilots are based that control the drones. but when they -- and the technology is so incredible that they can see the faces of people that are about to be killed, and they can see the faces of these people over a long period of time because these drones are stay up in the air about 22 hours at a time without having to refuel. so they can see these people going about their lives, and, you know, taking care of their children and their animals and eating and drinking and sleeping, etc. and then they press a button that blows them away, and many times blows away clearly civilians, women and children, there's not even an argument that in most instances that they're combatants, and that takes its toll psychologically
on drone pilots. there were four former drone pilots who came out with a public letter to obama in the last few months urging him to reconsider this drone program. and we saw almost nothing about it in the corporate media. they really squelched it. but drone pilots, they're having trouble getting drone pilots. they are offering bonuses to get people to become drone pilots because of this ptsd. >> bob? >> thank you, bill. if the drones stop tomorrow, is the legal community in our nation and internationally working on developing an effective international legal infrastructure to deal with nonstate actors planning
terrorism and state actors committing gross humanitarian violations, slaughtering people in their country? is the legal community working to create that kind of international legal infrastructure? >> we have laws that govern off the battlefield killings. and they come from our constitution, and it's called due process. and so if someone is suspected of committing a crime, they are arrested, they're given a full hearing, and they go to trial. when you're off the battlefield, the law enforcement model is what is used, which means that if there's an imminent threat of the use of violence, then action can be taken, police action can be taken. but unfortunately, our leaders -- and this is the obama administration and the bush administration and hillary clinton who was secretary of state who has vowed to continue
this policy, or in fact, she's even more hawkish than obama is in many ways. i can give you examples of that. use military force as a first resort, not a last resort. and, in fact, she has advocated a no-strike zone over syria which until russia mysteriously pulled their planes out would have actually shot down russian planes. and the preference for diplomacy, for including all of the players in the region -- and that includes russia, and that includes iran that, you know, vicious iran who has threatened no one as far as i know and doesn't have nuclear weapons -- has not been fully explored. so if there was -- and the u.n. charter is very clear that military force is a last resort and only in self-defense or when the security council agrees.
and the u.n. charter specifically says that negotiation, miation, arbitration should be used. also if you look at the macro picture and you wonder why are people doing us harm, or other people, we're not directly victimized. although on 9/11, it's interesting, after 9/11 before osama bin laden took responsibility for it, i suspected he was behind it. and so shortly after 9/11 i asked myself how could 19 men, 15 of whom, by the way, came from saudi arabia. none of them came from afghanistan. how could 19 men commit suicide and take 3,000 innocents with them? and so i did some research on osama bin laden and, of course, i'm no fan, but there were three things that osama bin laden pointed to, three things that really infuriated him about the united states. first was the presence of what he called the western infidels, the u.s. troops, in saudi
arabia, in the holy sites of islam, mecca and medina. second was the killing of one million people in iraq during the '90s under bill clinton. half of them children. and the third was israel's treatment of the palestinians. those were the three hinges that really, really -- things that really, really incensed him. so if we really want to be safe from terrorism, rather than using these band-aid, use-of-force, drone strikes, manned bombers, killing people on this incredible level, we need to completely, completely do an analysis, a re-analysis of our foreign policy. where are we invading? what countries are we occupying? i would recommend to you a book, it's a comic book. it's called " addicted to war." it's put out by veterans for peace. it's illustrated. it's a tremendous resource. all of the armed invasions the
u.s. has undertaken from the beginning, almost all of them, to protect corporate interests. no surprise there, i suppose. >> with okay. >> thank you. is this on? >> yeah. >> so while i agree that war is atrocious and war inevitably means that we objectify other people because that's the only way we as decent human beings can find our way into killing, i am a little unclear about what it is specifically that you object to. for one thing, u.s. law is not extraterritorially applicable to nonresidents abroad, so the legal arguments don't strike me as particularly persuasive. the law of war a discreet area of law, or as i'm sure you know, independent of our treaties which over history have never constrained us as warriors. i'm not suggesting that they should or should not, but they
have not. and if the final argument is that, in effect, we're turning our service people into murderers because the theater of war has become so extenuated, then i would have to say our people, our country has decided that we are at war and that our theaters have necessarily extended. so it seems to me that this comes down to the fact that we have not updated our, either our treaties, our laws or our understandings of the laws of war so that it incorporated the kind of behavior that you're -- incorporates the kind of behavior that you're so concerned about. would you address that? >> okay. first of all, first of all, i would not say -- yes, war is atrocious, but i i am not a pacifist. war can be used not as an instrument of foreign policy, which is the way the united states uses it which is what is
prohibited by the u.n. charter, but in self-defense, wars of national liberation are also, i think, just wars. our constitution has what is called the due process clause. it's not limited to u.s. citizens. it says no person, the government shall not deny any person -- you're shaking your head, but you know that this is true. >> [inaudible] >> yes. well, you know -- other people may not know that, so i want to point that out. the due process clause does not apply to -- it says the government shall not deprive any person of due process of law, and it has been interpreted not just to apply to u.s. citizens. our treaties are find. if we followed them, then we would be following the law. we are a nation of laws. if we're not following them, that doesn't mean they should be changed, that means that we should be following the law. and the law of war, as you know, is contained in the geneva
convention and it says civilians shall not be targeted, that civilians -- that the number of civilian casualties cannot be disproportionate to the military advantage sought and that the military has the duty to distinguish, it's called the principle of distinction, between combatants and civilians. united states has 800 military bases around the world. 800 military bases. why do we need all these military basesesome what are we doing there? -- bases? whose interests are we protecting? so rather than amending our treaties which we don't follow anyway, perhaps we should change our policy which means changing our priorities which means -- and i'm surprised bernie sanders hasn't talked about this more. he talked about it in his 1997 book, taking some of that money from the bloated military budget and putting it into universal
health care, free education, etc. >> virginia robniak. >> i have a couple of questions. first is very short. are any other countries or entities deploying and using killer drones? and second is wherever there's a -- whenever there's a new weapon, then the arms people get real busy in figuring out how to deopinioned existence them -- defend against them. so it seems -- are you aware that our military or other militaries are developing anti-drone weapons? i think it's only a matter of time before we start, you know, people start shooting them down, and then you get there are missiles and anti-missiles and other anti-anti-missiles --
[laughter] to get going on this type of weapon, it's not going to last forever. >> right. israel is using killer drones against people in gaza. in fact, israel developed killer drones. the united states is now eling drone technology -- selling drone technology to our allies. difficulty and the danger is that our allies today become our enemies tomorrow. and there's nothing to say that this technology is not going to get into the hands of people who would do us harm. drones fly very, very low. it'd be very easy to shoot them down. but the terrorists that we're trying to take out don't have air forces. so you wonder why we're building up this bloated military as if we're still, you know, fighting the cold war when it's a very different situation. so, yes, it is -- it's not difficult to shoot down the drones. but bad guys that we're trying to take out don't have air forces yet.
>> is this on? okay, thank you. thank you for coming to talk on this important topic. it's kind of an interesting thing. you mentioned the kill chain and, you know, someone had spoken about ptsd in remote drone pilots and that sort of thing. there's an interesting solution to this that's been posed recently, apparently on the 3rd of this month there's a deputy assistant secretary that's in charge of procure toment, logistics -- procurement, logistics and robotics at the department of defense that had spoken to a defense convention saying that it should be on the table to have autonomous targeting. meaning, you talk about targeted killing. so it's -- so i think the legal -- i'm not a lawyer, but i think a lot of the legal arguments for what's happening now in terms of remote killing is that there's still a human being, a soldier at the end making the decision whether to kill or not to kill, then they
push the joystick button, and it happens. but apparently, i assume that there's actually a framework that's going to justify autonomous killing machines, basically terminators or robocop or however -- but i thought this really fascinating. i guess it would solve the problem of ptsd in drone piles, but -- pilots, but i was wondering if you could talk about that a little bit. >> yes. they're calls lars, lethal automatic robot systems. the u.n. is very, very concerned about this, and there have been reports written advocating suspension of the lars and, actually, prohibition of the lars. it's frightening. it's even more frightening than when pilots are deciding who to kill, and they make so many mistakes. so this is where the technology is headed. they have not been used yet. they are on the drawing board
and likely will be used in the future be unless there's a groundswell opposing their use. but that is even more frightening than what we have now. glad you brought it up. >> i had a question about the drone program's relation to the war powers act. most people assume that, you know, the drone program is just an instrument of fighting the war on terror. so how -- so where does the obama administration get it legal justification to use the drone program if it's an instrument of war, and how does it supersede the war powers resolution? >> right. the war powers resolution was passed in 1973 many response to the vietnam -- in response to the vietnam war saying that if a u.s. president puts u.s. forces into active hostilities and he has to report, he or she has to
report within 60 days to congress. and although obama technically complies with that, he uses the aumf, authorization for use of military force as i described, as a legal basis. now, besides the fact that that doesn't apply to al-shabaab and groups that were not associated with al-qaeda, that particular aumf, and he has tried to get congress to give him an updated aumf, we're till bound by the geneva convention. those treaties are part of u.s. domestic law under the supremacy clause. so even if we had an updated aumf, that still would not make these illegal drone strikes legal. >> you know, one of the things that really gets to me is you can talk about the legal constraints when they actually apply, but the problem is there
are many chapters in this book that talk about the way in which we get around those things, the way in which the people who use with the drones and who engage in targeted killing will do all sorts of things to sort of keep the killing anonymous and things like that. but the thing that really gets to me is the thing that we learn in sunday school, you know? we talk about war, and we talk about just wars, and there's a very good chapter here about, you know, what makes a just war, you know? as proposed by st. a.m. bros and -- st. ambrose and st. augustin. and the question i have is, you know, how can you, can we do unto others as we'd have them do unto us? what would happen to us if somebody didn't like our stance,
our politics and then targeted us with drones? and killed our uncle, our aunt, our friends when they're trying to get us, even when there's not been any due process to show that i'm really guilty of the thing for which you're trying to target me. and i think that's why archbishop tutu's statement is so powerful. because you say we are doing this to people out there, but what would happen if they did it to us? if the same thing were being done to us? are there any other questions? >> other questions? >> yeah. >> one more. >> it was very hard to listen to this for me, for one thing. i'm an obama supporter.
i've -- a democrat. a lot of looking at the whole picture. i guess i would say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. i had no idea that you could see the faces of people with a drone. i had a tiny amount of knowledge about drones. that's why i came here, is to learn and to the learn what the rest of the world is doing, what the security council is doing. so, you know, i wish that if there were another session, there could be less reading of quotes and more stimulating points, say in a powerpoint or handout you could have these and get people talking about moral, legal, whatever, more time talking about it, more time analyzing alternatives, looking at the world view. because a little knowledge is a
dangerous thing. and i feel i'm learning about this, but i'm very troubled by it. and i'd like to know more what we can do, what you think all of us can do about these things rather than just increase our knowledge. >> yes. let me respond to that. in a democracy the it is the responsibility of the citizens to speak out when the government is breaking the law, is doing things in their name that are not right. and so one thing, i mean, our government is -- certainly, the congress is quite dysfunctional at the moment. but these congresspersons do respond to pressure. they respond to pressure from their constituents. which means that it's incumbent upon us to contact our representatives in any way we can, by e-mail, by letters, by sitting in their offices, by demonstrating and telling them
that we to not approve of this program that is continuing in our name. it means writing op-eds in the newspaper, it means writing letters to the editor. letters to the editor are not difficult to get published. you peg them to a particular news story or an editorial, keep them under 150 words, and even if your with letter doesn't get in, they count the number of letters from a particular perspective, and they will publish letters from that perspective. so it means, it means demonstrating, it means first amendment protected activity, it means going to the drone base, hancock drone base and protesting in upstate new york, it means going to -- i know it's not convenient, but the if you have the opportunity, going to creech air force base where the drones take off outside of las vegas. it means working in any way you can, organizing and pressuring the government.
that's the only way that this is going to stop. >> well, i think that's a wonderful question and a comment to end our discussion because, again, when i -- before i read book, i mean, i've gotten another book on drones, and i hadn't, you know, drones are things that are going on out there, somebody else is doing it, it doesn't affect me. but then when you say what are we doing with these drones, what is happening and what is being done in our name, you know? and then you see to how horrible as dr. cohn said in her first chapter, these are a dark new weapon of war, you know? it's a dark weapon. and we really need to realize this, how dark these things are. thank you so much for coming, and thank you so much for your
questions and your comments. and i do hope that you'll get this book. we've got copies up here that you can buy. and, please, fill out evaluation form and say what you thought about this thing. because, as i said, this will strengthen the festival of the book. and please line up if you want to get your book autographed by dr. cohn. thank you. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
>> and we wrap up our coverage of the 22nd annual virginia festival of the book with a panel on pandemics. karen masterson and sonia shah are next. [inaudible conversations] >> welcome, everyone. can you hear me? i'm rebecca dillingham from the university of virginia, and i'm absolutely delighted to be moderating this panel today, dark tales of contagion, with two outstanding journalists and authors who are both currently living in ball more and have -- baltimore and have come down to share their stories with us. we are going to be on a tight schedule which i am responsible for keeping. we will look forward to about 15-20 minutes' presentation from
each author, and then there will be ample time for questions. i'd like to remind, request that everyone silence their cell phones. i'd also like to, especially since i'm so excited about this panel and all of the other events, like to remind everyone that the virginia festival of the book is very pleased to keep most events free. and if you would like to help with that, please consider a donation. my third request to, please, evaluate this session as the festival is always working to improve its offerings. and finally, we will have books for sale here and in localing bookstores -- local bookstores throughout the festival, and we hope you'll be interested. so without further ado, i would like to introduce sonia shah, to my far left. sonia shah has written the book under discussion today, "pandemic," as well as other books. he's a prize -- she is a
prize-winning author and science journalist. her work has appeared in "the new york times"es, "the wall street journal," foreign affairs, and she has an outstanding ted talk on eliminating ma malaria if you wt to take a look at that also. she focuses on the sewer section of entwines -- intersection of science, politics and human rights and will be discussing her new book with us today. we also have karen masterson who is a former political reporter for the houston chronicle and the washington bureau of the houston chronicle, and she actually left newspapers to pursue an interest close to my heart and to the hearts of many in this room, microbiology. she won a knight journalism fellowship to study malaria at the cdc in atlanta and also in rural tanzania. she has a masters in journalism from the university of maryland andal a masters in science writing from hopkins where she
is now a teacher of science journalism. and she lives in baltimore with her husband and her twin daughters who i believe just joined us. so we're delighted to have you here. so, again, welcome. please remember to keep those cell phones quiet. i know we're going to have a fascinating discussion, and i'd like to turn the mic over to sonia. >> hi. can you hear -- is this on? no. okay. [laughter] so what i wanted to do with this latest book, this is my fourth book, and i wanted to look at how it is that microbes, which are these little microscopic things that have no independent locomotion, cause these highly disrupt i have, deadly events -- disruptive, deadly events that we call pandemics. so over the past 50 years, we've had about 300 infective
pathogens. we've had ebola in west africa, we have zika virus now washing over the americas, hasn't ever been seen here before, novel kinds of avian influenzas, new kinds of mosquito-borne illnesses, highly antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens. so what i tried to do is track the origins of these things. and what i found is a lot of them are coming out of the environment. about 60% of the pathogens that are coming up today come out of the bodies of animals. over 70% of them are coming from wildlife. and so what's happening is as our populations expand, as our industrial activities expand, we are disrupting and invading and drinking a lot of wildlife habitat. and so this, to of course, means we lose a lot of wildlife species.
but the ones that remain come into ever closer contact with us. and with this novel, intimate contact allows the microbes that live in their bodies to spill over into our bodies. so from bats we got ebola and marburg and nipa virus. from rodents we've got monkeypox and lung disease. from monkeys and chips we got hiv, malaria, probably zika virus. from birds avian influenza, etc. is so these pathogens are moving into human populations, and then we're allowing them these great opportunities to amplify in our cities. now, the process of urbanization that first started in the 19th century is really reaching its peak now. so by 2030 the majority of the human population will be urban. and we're going to be living in giant cities, and they're not going to be cities like lovely charlottesville, they're going to be more like monrovia and
freetown, a lot of ad hoc development, a lot of slums, poor infrastructure. and we've already seen new pathogens take advantage of this. ebola's a great example where we've had ebola outbreaks since at least the 1970s, but they're always rather small and self-limited. and one important reason why is because those viruses never infected places more than a few hundred thousand unhabitants. what happened at -- inhabitanted. what happened at the end of 2013 is ebola virus emerged in guinea and within a few weeks was able to reach three capital cities with a combined population of nearly three million. and that's an important reason why it became such a huge conflagration where we lost 11,000 or more people. more people died in that outbreak than in all the previous ebola outbreaks combined. similarly, zika virus. we've had zika virus around since at least 1940s, possibly
before that. but it was in the equatorial forests of africa and asia, carried by a mosquito that mostly bit animals. so we didn't have a lot of infections in humans. but what's happened just recently is successor ika -- zika virus has has arrived in the americas where we have massively expanding urban populations in these tropical areas. and that means we have massively expanding territories of this miss quito that thrives in -- mosquito that thrives in cities. it's an urban mosquito. it lives in human garbage. it can breed in a drop of water in a bottle cap. so all of our plastic garbage around, a little rains getting in them, it allows them to breed, and this mosquito is a very efficient carrier of diseases because it only bites people. but we're not only crowding ourties together, we're also crowding our animals together.
so it's not just about people, it's also about our livestock. right now we have more animals under domestication than the last 10,000 years of domestication until 960 combined -- 1960 combined. and this is because our populations are getting more wealthy, they're getting bigger, and as we do that, we demand more protein and meat in our indicts. but a lot of -- diets. but a lot of these animals are living in the equivalent of slums. so we have two with billion people living in slums by the year to 2030, but we already have millions and millions of animals living in slums, and those are factory farms, crowded really close together, exposed to each other's fluids and excree that. and this is one important reason why we have this increasing avian influenza. doesn't really make those animals sick at all. when those viruses are able to
reach these factory farms full of captive chickens and birds, they can replicate really quickly, they can spread faster, and they often become more virulent x. this is why we've seen an increasing frequency of these much more virulent forms of avian influenza increasing mostly to out of asia. these slides are advancing way too fast. we're like five slides ahead. i'm not sure why. yeah. that's where i want to be. thank you. so, and the last one, just last year, we had an avian influenza hatched in the giant poultry farms and factory farms of asia reach north america for the first time, caused the biggest outbreak of animal disease in u.s. history. so so a along with the crowding of our animals, we're also getting, of course -- how do we go next here? okay. this is what happens from using
macs all the time. you become tubed at pcs. -- stupid at pcs. >> that's my role. >> thank you. [laughter] technical. oh, my goodness. it's that one that we want to -- number five. yeah, there we go. so we have a massive, we still have a sanitary crisis of human waste in our planet right now. we have 2.6 billion people around the world with no access to modern sanitation. so they're already living, they're till living in the equivalent of 19th century slums. but we also have a new kind of sanitary crisis, and that's with our livestock excreta. they're now producing seven billion tons of waste every year, and this is far more than our croplands could possibly absorb. so what's happening is farmers are collecting them in things like this, manure lagoons. these are, essentially, giant
unlined pits of untreated animal waste. and so when it rains or when there's storms, you know, all of this material can leak out into the environment. and this is one reason why we have an increasing problem with virulent forms of e. coli. there's a strain, about one-half of all cattle in american feed lots are infected with it. doesn't really make the cows sick, but because cattle manure contaminates so much of our food and water, we have about 70,000 people, americans coming down with this virulent form of e. coli every year. now what? okay. so we're driving these pathogens into our populations, we're allowing them to amplify and then, of course, we carry them around in the most efficient way possible which is through our flight network. we don't have just a few airports in a few towns, but we have, you know, hundreds of airports in small towns and
cities and hundreds of thousands of connections between them which means when a pathogen breaks out in one part of the world, it can very rapidly spread to the rest of the world as this is a simulation of a flu pandemic on a geographic map. you can see how quickly it disburses across. but if you plot that same pandemic on a map like this which is all the cities connected by direct flights, you can see when it comes up that a pandemic will resolve into just a series of waves, because you can actually predict where and when a city will get infected just by looking at the number of direct flights between infected and uninfected cities. okay. this is -- the slides are, like, going fast. so one of the things i did in my book is not only do reporting to look at where emerging path. pattiogens
are coming from, but i also looked at the history of some of our most powerful pandemics. and the one i focused on was cholera because it was, it's one of our most successful pathogens, it's caused seven global pandemics since it first emerged in the 19th century. now, we think of cholera as, you know, a disease of poverty, and it is that to today. but when it first emerged -- [inaudible conversations] oh, there we go. okay. so this is, this is a map of epidemic in 1832 of cholera in new york city. thousands of people died. and, you know, this happened again and again over the course of the 19th century. and these -- and it wasn't just new york city, it was also london, paris, new orleans, a number of cities were plagued by cholera epidemics during the
19th century. so what i wanted to look at is how that happened and also how we responded and how that could shed light on the challenges that we face today as we face our own era of new pandemics. so back in the 18, back in 1832 -- [inaudible conversations] doctors collected this data. it shows a pretty clear picture. cholera's coming down the hudson live, it's coming down the erie canal heading straight for new york city. however, nobody in the city of new york wanted to quarantine the rivers or the waterways because this is the engine of economic growth, you know? this is the time of the robber-barons, huge amount of commerce coming down those waterways, so they refused to quarantine the rivers. oh, my god. just make it stay there. i don't know how to do that. [laughter] my powerpoint wants to give you the talk all by itself without me saying anything. it's very annoying.
[laughter] so they didn't want to quarantine any of the waterways, and they didn't. and doctors went along with this, and they said, well, you know, they looked at map and said, yeah, it looks like cholera's contagious and coming down the waterways, but, in fact, it's not. in fact, it's caused by these stinky airs that rise up from decomposing vegetable matter, organic material x. this is based on a 2,000-year-old hippocratic theory. and so they said, no, no, it's not the waterways, it's just these bad smells. and you know who's to blame? well, it's the poor, it's the immigrants, it's the drunks. and so cholera came down the waterways and infected new york city again and again over the course of most of the 19th century. so there's actually companies that were making money selling cholera-contaminated water to new yorkers in the 19th century. the epicenter of a lot of the epidemics of cholera in new york
at the time was in a slum called five points which is pictured here, and this is a slum, this is a slum that if anyone's seen the martin scorsese film, "gangs of new york," that was about five points. very crowded, very dirty, you know, very, very crowded place. about 77,000 people per square kilometer, about six times more crowded than tokyo. but this had actually been built on what was once a pond. that pond had been filled up with garbage, and then the slum had been built on top of that. now, there wasn't a sewer system this 19th century new york. there weren't even rules that you had to empty out your yes, sir pools, so all the human waste was allowed to spill oh into the streets, the alleys, into people's wells and down into the groundwater. now, of course, in this area the groundwater underneath this slum in particular would be extremely contaminated. because the ground underneath it
was low-lying, it was filled with garbage, it wasn't bedrock like the rest of manhattan. now, the company that the state of new york chartered to deliver drinking water to the people of new york, rather than tap upstream sources of water which they knew at the time would be cleaner, fresher and would taste better, they tapped a well right in the middle of that slum. and they delivered that water to one-third of the residents of new york city. and they did this over the course of centuries through repeated epidemics of cholera. and the company that did this, as ap interesting aside, they did this because they wanted to save money. sort of like what happened in flint, michigan. they wanted to save money. the reason they wanted to save money is because they wanted to start a wang. and the company's -- a bank. the company's called the manhattan company. the bank was called the bank of the manhattan company.
does anybody know what it's called today? >> [inaudible] >> jpmorgan chase. yes, thank you. item, if i click the mouse, it's like terrible. oh, sorry. that one. [inaudible conversations] okay. so i'll end the story just by telling you how cholera vanished from new york city, because i think it's instruct i have. ..