TCG

AUDIO

 

VIDEO

00:00:01

MUSIC

 

OPENING TITLE

00:00:04

 

OBAMA: There is a wide gap between U.S. assessments of such casualties, and non-governmental reports. Nevertheless, it is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in all wars. For the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live.

 

**SFX** Obama video of speech

 

00:00:55

VO: What does it mean to be haunted by loss?

 

BROLL: Wreckage after attack

 

00:01:07

MT: How is your brother's condition?

OFF SCREEN

00:01:10

 

 

SADDAM HUSSEIN:  When he's alone though, he doesn't do well.

ON SCREEN

 

00:01:15

 

He's okay when he is with someone. He remembers his baby girl a lot.

 

BROLL: Picking through rubble

 

00:01:21

 

She was his love.

 

ON SCREEN

00:01:25

 

VO: So the story isn't so much about the dead. It's the way they haunt the living. The way they linger. The way they hang on.

 

**SFX**

Definition of Haunted

BROLL: caps; slippers shot

00:01:40

 

VO: The US began bombing Pakistan in 2004. Now it's 9 years later and the American conversation on drone attacks is only just beginning.

 

BROLL: protests; driving shot

00:01:49

 

 

 

 

 

00:02:07

 

 

VO: I've lived most of my life moving between America and Pakistan - one sees itself as the center of the world and the other is on the margins. But, Waziristan - where most of the drones attack, is at the margins of that margin.

Like so many Americans and Pakistanis, I knew very little about the place.

 

**SFX**

Photo Montage

 

 

 

 

 

BROLL: Waziristan

00:02:13

 

VO: Waziristan is part of what's called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas-or FATA. It's in Pakistan, and it borders Afghanistan. And it has been bombed before, nearly a 100 years ago by the British when they occupied India. The British used the Tribal Areas as a buffer zone. They bombed it to suppress rebellion.

 

They called it air policing.

 

**SFX**

Map to historical footage

 

 

00:02:47

 

VO: They said there was no law here so force was necessary.

**SFX**

"In warfare against savage tribes who do not conform to codes of civilized warfare[,] aerial bombardment is not necessarily limited in its methods or objectives by rules agreed upon in international law." -Royal Air Force Chief of the Air Staff, Hug Trenchard | March 1, 1924

 

00:03:04          

VO: Waziristan is only a day's drive from the capital. But, checkpoints dot the border. No one can go there independently.

 

Pakistan's security forces have killed many people here. The insurgents have, too. And now the American drones are doing the killing. 

 

When it comes to language - nobody describes the insurgents -or the Pakistani military's tactics as precise.

 

But that very word - precise - is often thrown around in discussions about the American drone program. These attacks are described as "neat" "surgical" tactics in precision-based warfare. They seem to suggest that killing can be like surgery.  You can take out the bad without disturbing the good.

 

No consequences for anyone. No sorrow. No loss. They promise a death that isn't a death at all.

BROLL: bicycle; Islamabad; security forces shots

 

 

00:04:08

VO:  And, that's WHY drones are becoming acceptable among Americans as a way to kill in Yemen, in Somalia, and in Pakistan.

 

BROLL: fire; whiteboard; Islamabad

00:04:08

VO: And Waziristan? Waziristan is made to seem a world away.

 

BROLL: streets; lock

00:04:29

VO: So, how could I be haunted by what I didn't know? Ghosts can only haunt if we feel their presence. And the dead can only persist if the living can recall them.

 

BROLL: photos on floor

00:04:44

VO: Karim first made that world real to me.

 

I met him in 2011. Here's me playing a radio story I had done about him.

BROLL: Karim; sitting with Karim

00:04:53

RADIO: The US has been conducting drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004. They're controlled by the CIA, and they're supposed to be secret. The US doesn't confirm or deny the strikes, and it generally doesn't release information on who's been killed. But, the local and international media does report on the attacks.

 

SITTING WITH KARIM

00:05:08

Karim Khan: In 2009, my home was attacked by a drone. My brother and son were martyred. 

 

Listening to it with Karim Khan

00:05:18

KK: My son's name was Hafiz Zaenullah.

My brother's name was Asif Iqbal. There was a third person who was a stone mason. He was a Pakistani. His name was Khaliq Dad.

 

ONSCREEN

 

00:05:34

MUSIC

**SFX**

PHOTOS OF RUBBLE HOUSE

LOWER THIRDS

 

00:05:50

KK: Their coffins were lying next to each other in the house.

PHOTO: Karim's Son

 

 

00:05:57

KK: Their bodies were covered with wounds.

LOWER -THIRDS

00:06:04

KK: Later, I found some of their fingers in the rubble.

 

PHOTO: Karim's Bro

LOWER-THIRDS

00:06:16

KK: As you know, y son had memorized the Qur'an. He was a security guard at the girls' school, and he was studying for grade 10.

 

ONSCREEN

00:06:27

KK: My brother had a masters degree in English. He was a government employee. He loved to debate, but he was so short, he didn't reach the dais so they wouldn't give him many chances to makes speeches.

ONSCREEN

00:06:53

VO: I met Saddam a couple of years later. He's a school going teenager with a shy smile and a quiet, apologetic demeanor.

 

BROLL: Saddam standing around; Saddam in INTV

00:07:00

PHONE GOING OFF AUDIO

CLICKING ON PHONE

00:07:06

SADDAM HUSSEIN: Yaar [friend], Sorry.

ONSCREEN

00:07:08

MT: It's okay

OFF SCREEN

00:07:10

The attack just missed him. He was sleeping next door.

BROLL: rubble

00:07:13

SH: It happened at 9pm. On my home.

 

BROLL: rubble to ONSCREEN

LOWER-THIRDS

 

00:07:17

MT: on your home?

OFF SCREEN

00:07:19

SH: yes.

 

ON SCREEN

00:07:19

MT: who died?

 

OFF SCREEN

00:07:22

 

SH: My sister-in-law and my niece were martyred. 

ON SCREEN

FADE TO BLACK

00:07:30

SH: When the attack happened, my mother told me to get my sister-in-law. I told her, ok, you go. I'll get her. I already knew she was martyred. But, I didn't want to tell my mother because she would cry.

FADE BACK IN -- ON SCREEN

00:07:43

NATSOT

BROLL: Picking up wreckage.

00:07:50

SH: After the attack, my brother came home. He asked about his baby daughter. I told him she was alive. But, he found out. He went into shock. We took him to the hospital. They gave him an I.V. After some days, we sent him to a hospital in Peshawar. The doctor there prescribed some medication. That helped him a little.

 

ON SCREEN

00:08:24

MUSIC

***SFX***  MAP

00:08:25

VO: This is Pakistan. And this is America. What if brought death to your hometown?

 

***SFX***  MAP

00:08:35

That's Waziristan. And that's NJ.

 

It's where I grew up. We moved there after a military dictator began destroying Pakistani society.

 

The events that would force my family out would also wound Waziristan.

 

***SFX***  MAP

00:08:51

NATSOT

***SFX***  MAP

ZIA ON SCREEN

00:09:02

That man was General Zia-ul-Haq. Those were the 1980s.

 

Pakistan's TRIBAL AREAS were being used as a staging ground for the American war against the Soviet Union.

 

***SFX***  MAP

PHOTO OF REAGAN AND ZIA

00:09:12

Reagan: We have with us 6, the Afghanistan freedom fighters. We have a man here whose wife was killed in front of

 their two children. //CUT// One of them lost a brother.

***SFX***  MAP

REAGAN ON SCREEN

 

 

 

 

 

 

00:09:23

VO: They're still losing brothers.

 

***SFX***  MAP

REAGAN VIDEO STILL PLAYING, AUDIO SILENT. VIDEO Goes to click off when VO says "brothers."

00:09:27

Waziristan is only half the size of New Jersey. How would it feel if bombs rained over New Jersey for 9 years?

 

Would you be frightened? If they killed your son, your cousin or your husband and got away with it, would you be angry? You probably couldn't forget about it if you tried. You'd be haunted.

 

The British thought you were all savages. Now they think you are all militants.

***SFX***  MAP

CUT JERSEY. THEN BOMBING ON MAP STARTING W/ BUSH YEARS

00:10:02

AMY GOODMAN: Chris Woods, can you talk more about the redefinition of "civilians" outlined in the New York Times piece, President Obama embracing this disputed measure of counting civilian casualties, in effect counting all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants?

***SFX***  MAP

ON SCREEN

00:10:21

CHRIS WOODS: This revelation really is extraordinary, that any adult male killed in effectively a defined kill zone is a terrorist, unless posthumously proven otherwise. 

 

***SFX***  MAP

00:10:34

VIDEO MONTAGE:  "US drone strikes kills __ militants"

 

**SFX** VIDEO MONTAGE

00:11:17

 

SH HOLDS PHOTO

00:11:30

VO: That's Javeria's funeral photo. She was less than a year old.

SH HOLDS PHOTO - Fade to BLACK

00:11:34

VO: The photos of many of the people living in the Tribal Areas don't exist. So, a local journalist began to take photos to document their deaths. 

 

Their deaths would have to stand in for their lives.

Noor Behram sitting with photos

00:11:47

NOOR BEHRAM: Around 7 children were martyred in this attack. It also struck a home.

NB holding photos.

 

[Strike info: Nisar, 7 years old; May 2010]

00:11:57

NB: 21 people were killed in this attack. 7 women. 3 children.

ON SCREEN

 

[Strike info: Bismullah family orphans; August 23, 2010]

00:12:13

NB: When I arrived, there were bodies everywhere. This child was killed in that attack too. There were one or two other kids as well.

 

ON SCREEN

00:12:25

VO:  This is Shahzad Akbar. He's Karim's lawyer. They've filed a case against drone attacks in Pakistani courts. He told me why it's difficult to narrate his clients' lives for the court and the media.

 

PHOTOS:  SHAHZAD AKBAR

00:12:39

SA: For example, you know, when I have a client and we want, okay, this is the person who was killed so we'd like to construct his life on photographs, you know, you have family photos, and when he was young, when he was in school or when he was in teens and then he grew up - and all those photos - they're missing. They're not there because you don't have the culture of taking pictures for that matter.

ON SCREEN

00:13:02

NB: This attack was in S Waziristan. When I got there, I saw body parts. Hands. Feet. When a drone attack happens, the media immediately claims to know how many terrorists were killed. Actually, you only find body parts on the scene. So people can't tell how many have died. That's why the media reports it incorrectly.

ON SCREEN 

00:13:40

KK: Our Pakistani government thinks of itself as the frontline in this war. They only visit after an attack to check if they've destroyed us completely and to see if the body is in pieces or in tact. That's all.

ON SCREEN

00:13:59

VO:  I asked Saifullah Khan Mehsud to explain the Pakistani government's relationship to the tribal areas. Saifullah Khan is a researcher at the Fata Research Center. He's from South Waziristan himself.

 

BROLL: SK in office

00:14:14

Saifullah Khan Mehsud: FATA is like Federally Administered Tribal Areas. I mean, it's governed by an archaic law that was introduced by British in that area known as the Frontier Crimes Regulations Act. So it's still that system whereby, you know, the President -the governor on behalf of the president appoints a Political Agent in that area. The office of the Political Agent basically has all the judicial and legisla-legislative, the executive and the judicial power in his hands-in the hands of the Political Agent, so you know absolutely there is no accountability. If a Political Agent, you know, kind of comes up and makes a decision-a judicial decision or any kind of decision-there is no other authority, no body available there which can actually hold him accountable.

 

ON SCREEN

00:14:59

VO:  People in the Tribal Areas call this colonial era system "the black laws." Under these laws, people living in the Tribal Areas didn't even get the right to vote till 1996. So, the "Tribal Areas" are a political category-a place haunted by its past. It just means a place where colonial laws still exist, and the Pakistani constitution doesn't apply, a place with at least 4 different kinds of security forces, from militias to the Army.

 

The Pakistani state still claims there is no law so force is necessary.

 

It means a place that's kept invisible.

BROLL: voting; dancing; security forces

00:15:49

VO:  And that's been to the advantage of the US and the Pakistani army.

 

 

PHOTO: KAYANI AND PETRAEUS

00:15:59

VO: America has paid billions to the Pakistani security forces. Together, they have used Pakistan and especially Waziristan. During the Cold War, it was to battle communism and to train and fund the mujahideen.

 

**SFX** GRAPH

 

FIGURES ON SCREEN FROM CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH REPORTS (CRS).

00:16:23

NATSOT FROM VIDEO: This is a training camp for Aghan guerillas or mujahideen. These camps aren't supposed to exist on Pakistan's soil, a contradiction which is circumvented not very neatly by the technical point that they are in an area only partly controlled by Pakistan - the Tribal Areas, near the border with Afghanistan.

 

 

**SFX** GRAPH

80s Mujahideen

00:16:42

VO:  Now, it's to support the US as it occupies Afghanistan.

 

**SFX** GRAPH

 

100:16:52

VO: So, America, the Pakistani security forces and the insurgents they've created - they're linked --- and for decades they've been destroying Waziristan together.

 

 

BROLL: walking shot; photo of Bush and Musharraf; historical footage

00:17:09

VO: And now America is just blowing the place up. The reason? They say there's no law here and force is necessary.

 

PHOTO: Obama

00:17:19

OBAMA:  So neither conventional military action, nor waiting for attacks to occur, offers moral safe harbor, and neither does a sole reliance on law enforcement in territories that have no functioning police or security services and, indeed, have no functioning law.

 

BROLL: Obama photo; loading missiles: flapping wing; drone operators; target site.

00:17:43

KK: You asked me a question about terrorism. Can I ask you one? What is the definition of terrorism and terrorist?

              

ON SCREEN

00:17:55

MT: I don't know. What do you think it is?

 

OFF SCREEN

00:17:57

KK: I think there is no bigger terrorist and Bush or Obama. Those who have weaponry like drones, who drop bombs on us while we are in our own homes. There are greater terrorists than them.

 

ON SCREEN

00:18:16

NATSOT from video: SONG

 

**SFX** Military.com video

 

00:19:30

MT: did you play with her?

 

SH putting photo away.

00:19:32

SH: yes, she had just learned to say ‘dad.' She used to say "dad dad." But, now she's been martyred.

 

ON SCREEN

00:19:46

SH: They circle overhead, 7 or 8 of them.

 

ON SCREEN

00:19:49

MT: you mean in a week?

 

OFF SCREEN

00:19:51

SH: No no! I mean daily.

 

ON SCREEN

00:19:55

SH: They fly very low at night. It's very stressful.  A lot of people lose their minds. They go to Peshawar for treatment.

 

ON SCREEN

00:20:04

SH: When they come near I go to my room and close the door to shut out the noise.

 

ON SCREEN

00:20:12

SH: I don't like the sound at all.

 

ON SCREEN

00:20:17

VO: Noor Behram had showed me the photos of the dead. But, I wanted to understand they come to haunt the living. I spoke with Dr. Javed Akhtar. He's a psychiatrist. Lots of people who suffer from the violence in Waziristan come to him. He didn't want to appear on camera. But, he told me about how the bombing impacts people.

 

BROLL: NB picking up photos; photo close-ups; street shots

00:20:41

Javed Akhtar (Psychiatrist): The suddenness of a drone attack and its impact - The things that are happening right now and especially the drone attacks. They happen completely out of blue. Within a second your world is turned upside down. You can't hug a body that's been blown apart. You can't hold him and cry. So, the neighbor or brother or sister or wife of the dead, she doesn't know what to do. Whom can she hold near? She doesn't get closure. 

 

BROLL: NB's photos

00:21:15

VO: So, what does it mean to be haunted by loss?

 

 

**SFX** Obama video of speech

 

00:21:19

OBAMA NATSOT: just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred throughout conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. But as commander in chief, I must weigh these heart-breaking tragedies against the alternatives.

 

**SFX** Obama video of speech

 

00:21:38

VO: There is no escape for the haunted. There are are no alternatives for the haunted. The loss lingers. The sorrow persists.

 

In a haunted land, the dead do not exist among the living. The living exist among the dead.

 

**SFX** Obama video of speech

 

00:22:07

SH: I feel guilty about being alive. My sister-in-law is dead. Why am I alive? I should be dead too. That would be good. I wish I had also been martyred that day. Death would be better than this kind of life.

 

ON SCREEN

00:22:28

MT: Why do you say that?

 

OFF SCREEN

00:22:30

SH: I say it because I'm sick of the drone attacks. I'm tired of innocent people being martyred. That's why I don't like my life anymore. I study, but I'm really interested in it anymore. When I hear a drone has attacked, I feel ill all day.

 

ON SCREEN

00:22:55

KK: Even if we are afraid, what can we do? Run away and leave our homes and land? No. That can't happen.

 

ON SCREEN

 

 

00:23:06

MUSIC

BROLL: picking through rubble

00:23:24

MUSIC

By the time the truth arrives lies will have laid waste to villages -Pashto proverb

 

00:23:34

MUSIC

Thank you to all those who shared their stories

 

00:23:45

 

END CREDITS --MUSIC

 

 

 

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