(FOX) - News of just how personally President Obama has been involved in the process of killing scores of terror suspects has some folks questioning the arithmetic. FOX’s James Rosen has more on charges of fudging the facts with fuzzy math.
This is usually what we see of the Obama administration's expanded use of drones to strike at terrorists. Craters in the ground, sheet-covered corpses. But the white house is rejecting charges that it is now counting those corpses differently, so as to reduce the number of civilian deaths recorded in the drone campaign.
Carney says: "Yesterday, We have at our disposal tools that make avoidance of civilian casualties much easier, and tools that make precision targeting possible in ways that have never existed in the past.
The "New York Times" on Tuesday reported that President Obama has ordered that all military-age males killed within range of a drone strike be counted as an enemy combatant, unless evidence surfaces to exonerate the dead.
Military analysts believe the number is carefully calibrated as a matter of policy.
Scales says: "They're principally lowballed because of the concern that the reaction to these strikes would be so negative that it would impede the ability of the commander in the region to keep up this mission."
Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, ranking republican on the senate intelligence committee, said he was unaware of a change in accounting during the Obama administration. But that if one had been made; his committee should have been briefed on it. He also suggested civilian deaths probably *have* decreased under President Obama's command.
Chambliss says: "I think there's no question that we're doing a better job. Technology has allowed us to advance to a very, very precise position when it comes to the delivery of weapons systems. I know it's a very clear, stated policy of both the Bush administration and the Obama administration to ensure collateral damage is held to a minimum."
Unofficial tallies suggest the Obama administration has expanded the use of unmanned CIA drones, with their hellfire missiles, by almost 500-percent over the Bush administration.
The commander-in-chief and his aides can cite more than a dozen top al-Qaeda, Taliban, or Haqqani network commanders who have perished in recent drone strikes. But other estimates, impossible to verify, say hundreds, maybe even thousands, of civilians have perished, too.
Rosen says: "A Senior White House official emphasized to Fox news that drones strikes are almost always conducted in remote areas and that if a targeted terrorist appears to be surrounded by civilians, a drone can track the target for hours, even days, to strike once he is alone. In Washington, James Rosen, Fox News."