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Family of Pakistani drone strike victim appears before Congress

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Drone Hearings
Drone Hearings

On October 24th of 2012, a 67-year-old midwife named Momina Bibi was killed by a drone strike in northern Waziristan. At the time, the killing went largely unreported, but today Bibi's son and two of her grandchildren came to Washington DC to testify about the attack before Congress, and speak out against the Obama administration's ongoing program of targeted drone strikes.

"The onus is now on President Obama."

Early reports claimed the attack killed four militants, but it now appears that Bibi was the only victim, which led Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) to question the broader intelligence behind the strikes. "The problem is that specific people in Washington DC are making life-and-death decisions about specific people in Pakistan and Yemen, and that's very problematic," Grayson told the group. "I'm personally uncomfortable with the idea that the president makes these decisions unilaterally."

Reprieve attorney Jennifer Gibson was also at the hearing to represent the family and speak out against the program more broadly, which she claimed had extended from counter-terrorism to a broader program of politically targeted killings. She pointed to the October 30th killing of Tariq Aziz as an example of this, coming just days after Aziz participated in a well-publicized anti-drone rally in Islamabad, where she said authorities could easily have detained him if they viewed him as a threat to national security. Gibson told the group, "the onus is now on President Obama and his administration to bring this war out of the shadows."