Even with countless news reports and a leaked government memo, it's still difficult for many to fathom the scope of the United States' ongoing covert drone wars in Asia and the Middle East. "Out of Sight, Out of Mind," a visceral and elegantly designed interactive infographic from Pitch Interactive's Wesley Grubbs, puts the numbers into perspective, showing every known US drone strike on Pakistani soil since 2004. The numbers come from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a watchdog organization that has been gathering eyewitness accounts from within Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, where an estimated 3,105 deaths have occurred.
"Are civilian deaths worth the cost of all the other lives we take?"
The graphic doesn't pull any punches, animating a chilling barrage of thin, arced lines to illustrate the concentrations of strikes across the timeline, which extends to the most recent attack on March 22nd which killed three alleged militants. Meanwhile, tiny squares representing casualties are "buried" below each data point. Of those deaths, only 1.5 percent have been senior al-Qaeda leaders and other "high value" targets; the vast majority (noted on the graph as "Other") have been alleged militants, which the US government designates as any male of military age present within the areas drones surveil, as well as a sizable percentage of civilians, including children. "Are their deaths worth the cost of all the other lives we take, not to mention the effect this has on the general population living in fear?" Grubbs asks, speaking with FastCoDesign. "The ultimate goal is for people to see this visualization and ask themselves this question."