Sunday, November 17, 2013

When Anonymous Is No Longer Anonymous

I have no idea why Anonymous have grabbed my attention. But they have.  I don't claim to be right.. just opinionated.

Their presence on the world stage is starting to evolve into a  "who done it and why" serial. I omit the "crime" because quite honestly, I am unsure if they are criminals or unsung hero's.

Public opinion truly is split.. with the greater weight for the hacking groups. Those who only hear blurbs on the national news count them as criminals. Those who have followed their activity and have any moral fiber when it comes to governmental/corporate wrongs count them as hero's.

In Europe they receive more accolade than in the United States, where most people tend to be caught up in the political rift that has consumed the nation. 

If we ask, "what do they gain from this" the answer is almost chilling.  Nothing. They go to jail. For unreasonably periods of time.

What do we gain from this? Everything. We are more informed and those who commit nefarious acts can no longer hide, their deeds are uncovered.

Jailed Anonymous hacker Jeremy Hammond: 'My days of hacking are done'

Jeremy Hammond, the Anonymous hacktivist who released millions of emails relating to the private intelligence firm Stratfor, has denounced his prosecution and lengthy prison sentence as a “vengeful, spiteful act” designed to put a chill on politically-motivated hacking.

Hammond was sentenced on Friday at federal court in Manhattan to the maximum 10 years in jail, plus three years supervised release. He had pleaded guilty to one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) flowing from his 2011 hack of Strategic Forecasting, Inc, known as Stratfor.
In an interview with the Guardian in the Metropolitan Correction Center in New York, conducted on Thursday, he said he was resigned to a long prison term which he sees as a conscious attempt by the US authorities to put a chill on political hacking.
He had no doubt that his sentence would be long, describing it as a "vengeful, spiteful act". He said of his prosecutors: "They have made it clear they are trying to send a message to others who come after me. A lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face.”
Most pointedly, Hammond suggested that the FBI may have manipulated him to carry out hacking attacks on “dozens” of foreign government websites. During his time with Anonymous, the loose collective of hackers working alongside WikiLeaks and other anti-secrecy groups, he was often directed by a individual known pseudonomously on the web as “Sabu”, the leader of the Anonymous-affiliated group Lulzsec, who turned out to be an FBI informant.

Hammond, who is under court orders restricting what he says in public, told the Guardian that Sabu presented him with a list of targets, including many foreign government sites, and encouraged him to break into their computer systems. He said he was not sure whether Sabu was in turn acting on behalf of the FBI or other US government agency, but it was even possible that the FBI was using Sabu’s internet handle directly as contact between the two hackers was always made through cyberspace, never face-to-face.
“It is kind of funny that here they are sentencing me for hacking Stratfor, but at the same time as I was doing that an FBI informant was suggesting to me foreign targets to hit. So you have to wonder how much they really care about protecting the security of websites.”
In the interview, conducted in a secure prison meeting room hours before the 28-year-old Chicagoan was sentenced, he was sanguine about his prospects. “I knew when I started out with Anonymous that being put in jail and having a lengthy sentence was a possibility. Given the nature of the targets I was going after I knew I would upset a lot of powerful people.”
Dressed in a brown prison jump suit, and with a long wispy goatee and moustache (he planned to shave both off before the sentencing hearing), Hammond was scathing about the way the CFAA was being twisted in his view for political ends. “They are widening the definition of what is covered by the Act and using it to target specifically political activists,” he said.
He invoked the memory of Aaron Swartz, the open-data crusader who killed himself in January while awaiting trial under the CFAA for releasing documents from behind the subscription-only paywall of an online research group. “The same beast bit us both,” Hammond said. “They went after Aaron because of his involvement in legitimate political causes – they railroaded charges against him, and look what happened.”

Hammond has been in custody since March 2012 having been arrested in Chicago on suspicion of the Stratfor leak of millions of emails that were eventually released by Wikileaks as the Global Intelligence Files. His sentence is an indication of the aggression with which prosecutors have been pursuing political hackers in the US – other Anonymous members in Britain involved in the breach of Stratfor were sentenced to much shorter jail terms.
Hammond stressed that he had not benefitted personally in any way from the Stratfor email release, that exposed surveillance by private security firms on activists including Anonymous members themselves, Occupy protesters and campaigners in Bhopal, India involved in the push for compensation for victims of the 1984 industrial catastrophe. “Our main purpose in carrying out the Stratfor hack was to find out what private security and intelligence companies were doing, though none of us had any idea of the scale of it.”

Paradoxically, Hammond insists that he would never have carried out the breach of Stratfor’s computer system had he not been led into doing it by Sabu – real name Hector Xavier Monsegur – the fellow hacker who is himself awaiting sentencing having pleaded guilty to 12 hacking-related criminal charges. “I had never heard of Stratfor until Sabu brought in another hacker who told me about it. Practically, I would never have done the Stratfor hack without Sabu’s involvement.”
Hammond discovered that Monsegur was an FBI informant the day after his own arrest. As he was reading the criminal complaint against him, he saw quotes marked CW for “co-operating witness” that contained details that could only have come from Sabu.
“I felt betrayed, obviously. Though I knew these things happen. What surprised me was that Sabu was involved in so much strategic targeting, in actually identifying targets. He gave me the information on targets.”

Part of Sabu’s interest in him, he now believes, was that Hammond had access to advanced tools including one known as PLESK that allowed him to break into web systems used by large numbers of foreign governments. “The FBI and NSA are clearly able to do their own hacking of other countries. But when a new vulnerability emerges in internet security, sometimes hackers have access to tools that are ahead of them that can be very valuable,” he said.
Looking back on his involvement with anonymous, the Chicagoan said that he had been drawn to work with Anonymous, because he saw it as “a model of resistance – it was decentralised, leaderless.” He grew increasingly political in his hacking focus, partly under the influence of the Occupy movement that began in Wall Street in September 2011 and spread across the country.
Chelsea Manning, the US soldier formerly known as Bradley who leaked a massive trove of state secrets to WikiLeaks now serving a 35-year sentence in military jail, was a major influence on him. Manning showed him that “powerful institutions – whether military or private security firms – are involved in unaccountable activities that the public is totally unaware of that can only be exposed by whistleblowers and hackers”.
Hammond has often described himself as an anarchist. He has a tattoo on his left shoulder of the anarchy symbol with the words: “Freedom, equality, anarchy”. Another tattoo on his left forearm shows the Chinese representation of “leader” or “army”, and a third tattoo on his right forearm is a glider signifying the hacking open-source movement that is drawn from the computer simulation Game of Life.

He says he plans to use his time in prison “reading, writing, working out and playing sports – training myself to become more disciplined so I can be more effective on my release”. As to that release, he says he cannot predict how he will be thinking when he emerges from jail, but doubts that he would go back to hacking. “I think my days of hacking are done. That’s a role for somebody else now,” he said.

FBI warns that Anonymous has hacked US government sites for a year

Official memo says that activist collective launched a rash of electronic break-ins beginning last December

(Reuters) - Activist hackers linked to the collective known as Anonymous have secretly accessed U.S. government computers in multiple agencies and stolen sensitive information in a campaign that began almost a year ago, the FBI warned this week.
The hackers exploited a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc's software to launch a rash of electronic break-ins that began last December, then left "back doors" to return to many of the machines as recently as last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a memo seen by Reuters.
The memo, distributed on Thursday, described the attacks as "a widespread problem that should be addressed." It said the breach affected the U.S. Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and perhaps many more agencies.
Investigators are still gathering information on the scope of the cyber campaign, which the authorities believe is continuing. The FBI document tells system administrators what to look for to determine if their systems are compromised.
An FBI spokeswoman declined to elaborate.
According to an internal email from Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz' chief of staff, Kevin Knobloch, the stolen data included personal information on at least 104,000 employees, contractors, family members and others associated with the Department of Energy, along with information on almost 2,0000 bank accounts.
The email, dated October 11, said officials were "very concerned" that loss of the banking information could lead to thieving attempts.
Officials said the hacking was linked to the case of Lauri Love, a British resident indicted on October 28 for allegedly hacking into computers at the Department of Energy, Army, Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Sentencing Commission and elsewhere.
Investigators believe the attacks began when Love and others took advantage of a security flaw in Adobe's ColdFusion software, which is used to build websites.
Adobe spokeswoman Heather Edell said she was not familiar with the FBI report. She added that the company has found that the majority of attacks involving its software have exploited programs that were not updated with the latest security patches.
The Anonymous group is an amorphous collective that conducts multiple hacking campaigns at any time, some with a few participants and some with hundreds. In the past, its members have disrupted eBay's Inc PayPal after it stopped processing donations to the anti-secrecy site Wikileaks. Anonymous has also launched technically more sophisticated attacks against Sony Corp and security firm HBGary Federal.
Some of the breaches and pilfered data in the latest campaign had previously been publicized by people who identify with Anonymous, as part of what the group dubbed "Operation Last Resort."
Among other things, the campaigners said the operation was in retaliation for overzealous prosecution of hackers, including the lengthy penalties sought for Aaron Swartz, a well-known computer programmer and Internet activist who killed himself before a trial over charges that he illegally downloaded academic journal articles from a digital library known as JSTOR.
Despite the earlier disclosures, "the majority of the intrusions have not yet been made publicly known," the FBI wrote. "It is unknown exactly how many systems have been compromised, but it is a widespread problem that should be addressed."

 I don't expect the governments or corporations to understand that THEY have given birth to this new platform of activism that is nothing more than a fight for the freedoms many military members have lived and died for.

They will continue to be loved, despised, hated, respected, feared, revered and respected. But what I doubt that they will do... is go away.

In Memory of Aaron Swartz:

Aaron Swartz, an early employee of Reddit, information freedom advocate, and Internet Hall of Fame inductee, was found dead earlier this year, after a period of over-the-top bullying from the federal government over some downloaded JSTOR documents. Now, after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Wired contributor Kevin Poulsen, many previously secret details about that investigation have become public knowledge. More detail on the charges and the controversy surrounding Swartz can be seen on one of my colleague's articles here.

Although only 104 pages out of the Secret Service's 14,500 pages of documents on Swartz have so far been released, and much of that content is redacted, some very interesting facts can still be extracted from the files. We can expect more releases periodically every 45 days or so.

This is, again, for downloading JSTOR files off of MIT computers, after JSTOR decided not to press charges. The level of extreme inconvenience caused to this man, eventually resulting in suicide, is mind-boggling.

Among the documents released are accounts of the several raids the federal government made on Swartz's property. In these accounts are pages upon pages of lists of all of the property the government confiscated from him. Pages worth of hard drives, phones, computers, iPods, and compact discs were seized.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Remember, Remember The 5th Of November

  The Fifth of November
Remember, remember, The fifth of November
The Gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason, Why the Gunpowder treason, Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes and his companions, Did the scheme contrive,
To blow the King and Parliament, All up alive.
Threescore barrels, laid below. To prove old England's overthrow.
But, by God's providence, him they catch, With a dark lantern, lighting a match.
A stick and a stake, For King James's sake!
If you won't give me one, I'll take two, The better for me, And the worse for you.
A rope, a rope, to hang the Pope, A penn'orth of cheese to choke him,
A pint of beer to wash it down,  And a jolly good fire to burn him.
Holloa, boys! holloa, boys! make the bells ring,
Holloa, boys! holloa boys! God save the King.
Hip, hip, hooor-r-r-ray!

In 1605, thirteen young men planned to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Among them was Guy Fawkes, Britain's most notorious traitor.

After Queen Elizabeth I died in 1603, English Catholics who had been persecuted under her rule had hoped that her successor, James I, would be more tolerant of their religion. James I had, after all, had a Catholic mother. Unfortunately, James did not turn out to be more tolerant than Elizabeth and a number of young men, 13 to be exact, decided that violent action was the answer.

A small group took shape, under the leadership of Robert Catesby. Catesby felt that violent action was warranted. Indeed, the thing to do was to blow up the Houses of Parliament. In doing so, they would kill the King, maybe even the Prince of Wales, and the Members of Parliament who were making life difficult for the Catholics. Today these conspirators would be known as extremists, or terrorists.

Robert Catesby was the charismatic leader of the group of conspirators. He had a way with people, and convinced a number of his impressionable friends to go along with the murderous plan which would later be known as the Gunpowder Plot. Even as problems with his plot later arose and some members expressed doubt, Catesby remained convinced that violent action was the only way forward.

Catesby first recruited his close friends and relatives: Thomas Wintour, Jack Wright and Thomas Percy, but the group quickly grew to include Guy Fawkes. The small core of conspirators felt Guy would be a strong addition. Guy was not part of the close knit circle of Catesby's small group, but he had spent time in the Netherlands and in Spain where he had fought, many said very well, as a mercenary. While in Spain he also earned the nickname Guido. Indeed, he even signed his name Guido Fawkes in a number of places.

He was as passionate about the plight of the Catholics in England as his colleagues. As a member of the group, he quickly became a trusted member, and was later charged with the dangerous task of acquiring 36 barrels of gunpowder and storing them in a rented space beneath the House of Lords.
Soon after Fawkes' addition, others who joined the group were Robert Wintour, Christopher (Kit) Wright, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates. Latecomers to the group were John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Francis Tresham, and Everard Digby. In all, there were 13 conspirators in the Gunpowder Plot.

To carry out their plan, the conspirators got hold of 36 barrels of gunpowder - and stored them in a cellar, just under the House of Lords.
But as the group worked on the plot, it became clear that innocent people would be hurt or killed in the attack, including some people who even fought for more rights for Catholics. Some of the plotters started having second thoughts. One of the group members even sent an anonymous letter warning his friend, Lord Monteagle, to stay away from the Parliament on November 5th.
The warning letter reached the King, and the King's forces made plans to stop the conspirators.
Another tradition still observed by Britons is the annual visit of the Queen to Parliament every year. Ever since the Gunpowder Plot, the reigning monarch enters the Parliament only once a year, on what is called "the State Opening of Parliament". Prior to the Opening, and according to custom, the Yeomen of the Guard search the cellars of the Palace of Westminster. Today, the Queen and Parliament still observe this tradition.

 On November 5th, 2013 Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the Pirate Party, Occupy and Oath Keepers combined forces, world-wide,taking a stand against governmental corruption and oppression.The turn out was incredibly impressive on a global scale..

The issues were diverse.. In Parliament Square, protesters burned energy bills to oppose the rising cost of fuel and there were minor clashes with police in riot gear as protesters also gathered near Buckingham Palace, where a fire was started yards away from its gates. No arrests took place, according to the Metropolitan police.

The numbers of those protesting in central London were swelled by a gathering on Westminster Bridge organised by the People's Assembly, an anti-cuts umbrella group whose "Bonfire of Austerity" was addressed by the Labour MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Jon McDonnell.

In the US, protesters in Washington DC gathered at the Washington Monument before walking to the White House to raise awareness of causes including opposition to mass surveillance and genetically modified foods. Other protests, of varying size, took place in cities including Vancouver, Tel Aviv, Dublin, Paris, Chicago and Sydney.

 From The Million Mask March web site:
If you are tired of empty promises, new unconstitutional laws being passed every day, ever-increasing taxes that are only funneled into more wasteful spending and debt we cannot afford or laws that eliminate jobs and increase living expenses, then you are welcome to join. This is a public event. In the short time since it was created, the event is already gaining overwhelming popularity, and many attendees have committed to carpooling. This is an opportunity for you to express your right to free speech while you still have it. This is not a time for violence or causing trouble. This is a time to peacefully show our country’s leaders that we are all tired of the corruption and would like to see them make some positive changes that benefit the struggling people of this weary nation. There is already too much violence and hate in the world as it is, so it is time we stand together as citizens and assemble peacefully. Forget religious affiliations, forget sexual orientation, forget political party affiliation, forget race, forget gender – we are all American citizens and we all want our freedom back. Until we stop dividing ourselves, we can never stand together for the common good of everyone.
The Million Mask March site below is incredibly good, it gives video's, directories, news articles and dates.

From around the world:


 Washington DC, USA 

Los Angeles, USA


London, England

Manchester, England



New York, USA

South Africa



 Czech Republic





We live in a complex and changing world, but the one thing that never changes is the desire for freedom,governmental transparency, justice.. and it will be at their peril if governments ignore what is happening across the globe today.

No one can deny.. the time has come!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Rise of the Drones: Death & Destruction From America With Love. Warning Graphic.

We drove by the USAF base on a regular basis - and we didn't know a thing about what was happening inside the perimeters. From Africa to Asia and Middle East, the U.S government have, for years, been destroying many lives in the Middle East under the disguise of fighting terrorists, especially the murdering of children.

And the military action starts to happen hidden in plain sight on military bases IN America. By 2013 there were 66 drone bases on American soil. The U.S. has now deployed drones armed with lethal force in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. Some 60 bases throughout the world are directly connected to the drone program–from Florida to Nevada in the U.S., from Ethiopia and Djibouti in Africa, to Qatar in the Middle East and the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean.
According to Turse, for the last three years, Xe Services, the company formerly known as Blackwater, has been in charge of arming the fleet of Predator drones at CIA clandestine sites in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The current and future drone bases can be viewed at:

In February 2013 Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was speaking to the Rotary Club in Easley, S.C when he enthusiastically announced that the drone strikes had killed 4,700 people ( we do not know the actual count ) failing to specify that the majority of these deaths are innocents and children.

How can one justify such massacres let alone be enthusiastic? This is not only bad foreign policy, but cold blooded murder.

I doubt that any grief can equal the grief of a mother or father holding his/her dead child. I also doubt that any anger can be as justified as when a parents seeks out to punish the murderer of their child.

A Pew survey reported that 75% of Pakistanis consider us their enemy. How can they think any differently? A former adviser to General Petraeus stated, “Every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement.” Indeed, militant groups have rapidly been forming, such as Lashkar, which has been attacking U.S. troops across the border in Afghanistan. The sentiment goes beyond Pakistan. A spokesperson for Yemen, also under attack told a U.S. Senate committee, “What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village, one drone strike accomplished in an instant: There is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America.”

The use of such unmanned aircraft in the area began under President George W Bush, but their use has more than doubled under the Obama administration. Although the US does not routinely speak publicly about operations involving drones, President Obama confirmed that they regularly strike suspects in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Source:

A soldier sets out to graduate at the top of his class. He succeeds, and he becomes a drone pilot working with a special unit of the United States Air Force in New Mexico. He kills dozens of people. But then, one day, he realizes that he can’t do it anymore.
For more than five years, Brandon Bryant worked in an oblong, windowless container about the size of a trailer, where the air-conditioning was kept at 17 degrees Celsius (63 degrees Fahrenheit) and, for security reasons, the door couldn’t be opened. Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world.

The container is filled with the humming of computers. It’s the brain of a drone, known as a cockpit in Air Force parlance. But the pilots in the container aren’t flying through the air. They’re just sitting at the controls.
Bryant was one of them, and he remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact.
“These moments are like in slow motion,” he says today. Images taken with an infrared camera attached to the drone appeared on his monitor, transmitted by satellite, with a two-to-five-second time delay.
With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.
Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“Did we just kill a kid?” he asked the man sitting next to him.
“Yeah, I guess that was a kid,” the pilot replied.
“Was that a kid?” they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.
Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. “No. That was a dog,” the person wrote.
They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?

The years of directing missiles by laser in so-called “terminal guidance” operations and watching their impact on the ground left him a broken man, he told the GQ magazine in the profile entitled “Confessions of a Drone Warrior.”

When he quit the air force in 2011 after six years’ service, he was presented with a list of achievements for his squadron’s missions that counted the number of enemies killed in action as 1,626.
“The number made me sick to my stomach,” he said.
Der Spiegel -

Pakistani family of drone strike victim gives harrowing testimony to Congress 

Translator brought to tears by family's plea as Congress hears from civilian victims of alleged US drone strike for the first time

The family of a 67-year-old midwife from a remote village in North Waziristan told lawmakers on Tuesday about her death and the "CIA drone" they say was responsible. Their harrowing accounts marked the first time Congress had ever heard from civilian victims of an alleged US drone strike.
Rafiq ur Rehman, a Pakistani primary school teacher who appeared on Capitol Hill with his children, Zubair, 13, and Nabila, 9, described his mother, Momina Bibi, as the "string that held our family together". His two children, who were gathering okra with their grandmother the day she was killed, on 24 October 2012, were injured in the attack.
"Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day," Rehman said, through a translator. "Some media outlets reported that the attack was on a car, but there is no road alongside my mother’s house. Others reported that the attack was on a house. But the missiles hit a nearby field, not a house. All of them reported that three, four, five militants were killed."
Instead, he said, only one person was killed that day: "Not a militant but my mother."
"In urdu we have a saying: aik lari main pro kay rakhna. Literally translated, it means the string that holds the pearls together. That is what my mother was. She was the string that held our family together. Since her death, the string has been broken and life has not been the same. We feel alone and we feel lost."
An Amnesty International report, published last week, lists Bibi among 900 civilians they say have been killed by drone strikes, a far higher number than previously reported. The Amnesty report said the US may have committed war crimes and should stand trial for its actions.
The US has repeatedly claimed very few civilians have been killed by drones. It argues its campaign is conducted "consistent with all applicable domestic and international law". Unofficial reports, however, have suggested that hundreds have been killed in Pakistan alone, with up to 200 children killed.
In poignant testimony, Rehman's son, Zubair, described the day of the attack, the day before the Muslim holy day of Eid, as a "magical time filled with joy". He told lawmakers that the drone had appeared out of a bright blue sky, the colour of sky most beloved by his grandmother and himself, he said.
"As I helped my grandmother in the field, I could see and hear the drone hovering overhead, but I didn’t worry" he said. "Why would I worry? Neither my grandmother nor I were militants."
"When the drone fired the first time, the whole ground shook and black smoke rose up. The air smelled poisonous. We ran, but several minutes later the drone fired again. "
"People from the village came to our aid and took us to hospital. We spent the night in great agony in at the hospital and the next morning I was operated on. That is how we spent Eid."
Zubair said that fear over the drone attacks on his community have stopped children playing outside, and stopped them attending the few schools that exist. An expensive operation, needed to take the shrapnel out of his leg, was delayed and he was sent back to the village until his father could raise the money, he said.
“Now I prefer cloudy days when the drones don’t fly. When the sky brightens and becomes blue, the drones return and so does the fear. Children don’t play so often now, and have stopped going to school. Education isn’t possible as long as the drones circle overhead.”
According to Zubair, the fundraising took months.
His sister, Nabila, told lawmakers that she had been gathering okra with her brother and grandmother when she saw a drone and "I heard the dum dum noise."
"Everything was dark and I couldn't see anything. I heard a scream. I think it was my grandmother but I couldn't see her.
"All I could think of was running."
Rehman told lawmakers that he is seeking answers to why his mother was targeted. The strike has affected his wider family, who no longer visit because they fear the drones might kill them too.
In testimony that caused the translator to stop and begin to weep, he said: "Congressman Grayson, as a teacher, my job is to educate. But how do I teach something like this? How do I explain what I myself do not understand? How can I in good faith reassure the children that the drone will not come back and kill them, too, if I do not understand why it killed my mother and injured my children?"
He said that his mother was not the first innocent victim of drone strike, but that "dozens of people in my own tribe that I know are merely ordinary tribesman had been killed". He said that numerous families in his community and the surrounding area had lost loved ones, including women and children over the years.
"They have suffered just like I have. I wish they had such an opportunity as well to come tell you their story. Until they can, I speak on their behalf as well. Drones are not the answer."
Rehman said that although the Pakistani government accepted his claim and confirmed details, it said it was not responsible and he has had no compensation to help with the medical treatment for his children.
Rehman said: "In the end I would just like to ask the American public to treat us as equals. Make sure that your government gives us the same status of a human with basic rights as they do to their own citizens. We do not kill our cattle the way US is killing humans in Waziristan with drones. This indiscriminate killing has to end and justice must be delivered to those who have suffered at the hands of unjust."
Asked what he would say to President Barack Obama, Rehman called on the Pakistani and US government to work together to achieve peace.
"I would say to President Obama if I had the opportunity to meet with him is: 'What happened to me and my family was wrong'. I would ask him to find an end, a peaceful end, to what is happening."
"I think that's something that the American government and the Pakistani government can work together to achieve."
Missing from the briefing on Tuesday was the account of Shahzad Akbar, an international critic of US drone policy and the family lawyer, who spearheaded the idea of bringing civilian victims of drone strikes to Congress and who was refused a visa for the third time. Reprieve, the British rights group which together with Brave New Foundation, helped the Rehman family travel to Washington, said he had 6,000 letters supporting his visit.
The hearing was attended by only five members of Congress, and Grayson said such low numbers of lawmakers at hearings were not unusual. Those attending were all Democrats: Rush Holt of New Jersey, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, John Conyers of Michigan, Rick Nolan of Minnesota, and Grayson, the Florida Democrat responsible for inviting the family to Washington and for holding the hearing.
Each of the lawmakers spoke about the drone programme to call for more transparency or greater oversight. Schakowsky said she agreed with Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and their call for more transparency and debate about the targeted killing programme. Holt and Conyers called for a congressional investigation into drone strikes.
Grayson, a fierce critic of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan told the hearing: "Invading from the skies is no different from invading on the grounds. We should never accept that children and loved ones are acceptable collateral damage.” Was there any other human activity, he asked “where 10-30% of the dead are innocent?”
It began with a broadcast of Unmanned: America's Drone Wars, a film by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Foundation, which features the Rahman family.

CIA Drone Strikes In Pakistan 2004-2013
Total US strikes: 362
Obama strikes: 310
Total reported killed: 2,629-3,461
Civilians reported killed: 475-891
Children reported killed: 176
Total reported injured: 1,267-1,431

US Covert Action In Yemen 2002-2913 

Total confirmed US operations (all): 54-64 

Total confirmed US drone strikes: 42-52 

Possible extra US operations: 135-157

Possible extra US drone strikes: 77-93
Total reported killed (all): 374-1,112
Total civilians killed (all): 72-177
Children killed (all): 27-37

US Covert Action In Somalia 2007-2013
Total US strikes: 10-23
Total US drone strikes: 3-9
Total reported killed: 58-170
Civilians reported killed: 11-57
Children reported killed: 1-3

Partial List of Children Killed
Name | Age | Gender
Noor Aziz | 8 | male
Abdul Wasit | 17 | male
Noor Syed | 8 | male
Wajid Noor | 9 | male
Syed Wali Shah | 7 | male
Ayeesha | 3 | female
Qari Alamzeb | 14| male
Shoaib | 8 | male
Hayatullah KhaMohammad | 16 | male
Tariq Aziz | 16 | male
Sanaullah Jan | 17 | male
Maezol Khan | 8 | female
Nasir Khan | male
Naeem Khan | male
Naeemullah | male
Mohammad Tahir | 16 | male
Azizul Wahab | 15 | male
Fazal Wahab | 16 | male
Ziauddin | 16 | male
Mohammad Yunus | 16 | male
Fazal Hakim | 19 | male
Ilyas | 13 | male
Sohail | 7 | male
Asadullah | 9 | male
khalilullah | 9 | male
Noor Mohammad | 8 | male
Khalid | 12 | male
Saifullah | 9 | male
Mashooq Jan | 15 | male
Nawab | 17 | male
Sultanat Khan | 16 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 13 | male
Noor Mohammad | 15 | male
Mohammad Yaas Khan | 16 | male
Qari Alamzeb | 14 | male
Ziaur Rahman | 17 | male
Abdullah | 18 | male
Ikramullah Zada | 17 | male
Inayatur Rehman | 16 | male
Shahbuddin | 15 | male
Yahya Khan | 16 |male
Rahatullah |17 | male
Mohammad Salim | 11 | male
Shahjehan | 15 | male
Gul Sher Khan | 15 | male
Bakht Muneer | 14 | male
Numair | 14 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Taseel Khan | 18 | male
Zaheeruddin | 16 | male
Qari Ishaq | 19 | male
Jamshed Khan | 14 | male
Alam Nabi | 11 | male
Qari Abdul Karim | 19 | male
Rahmatullah | 14 | male
Abdus Samad | 17 | male
Siraj | 16 | male
Saeedullah | 17 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Salman | 12 | male
Fazal Wahab | 18 | male
Baacha Rahman | 13 | male
Wali-ur-Rahman | 17 | male
Iftikhar | 17 | male
Inayatullah | 15 | male
Mashooq Khan | 16 | male
Ihsanullah | 16 | male
Luqman | 12 | male
Jannatullah | 13 | male
Ismail | 12 | male
Abdul Waris | 16 | male
Darvesh | 13 | male
Ameer Said | 15 | male
Shaukat | 14 | male
Inayatur Rahman | 17 | male
Adnan | 16 | male
Najibullah | 13 | male
Naeemullah | 17 | male
Hizbullah | 10 | male
Kitab Gul | 12 | male
Wilayat Khan | 11 | male
Zabihullah | 16 | male
Shehzad Gul | 11 | male
Shabir | 15 | male
Qari Sharifullah | 17 | male
Shafiullah | 16 | male
Nimatullah | 14 | male
Shakirullah | 16 | male
Talha | 8 | male
Afrah Ali Mohammed Nasser | 9 | female
Zayda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 7 | female
Hoda Ali Mohammed Nasser | 5 | female
Sheikha Ali Mohammed Nasser | 4 | female
Ibrahim Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 13 | male
Asmaa Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 9 | male
Salma Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | female
Fatima Abdullah Mokbel Salem Louqye | 3 | female
Khadije Ali Mokbel Louqye | 1 | female
Hanaa Ali Mokbel Louqye | 6 | female
Mohammed Ali Mokbel Salem Louqye | 4 | male
Jawass Mokbel Salem Louqye | 15 | female
Maryam Hussein Abdullah Awad | 2 | female
Shafiq Hussein Abdullah Awad | 1 | female
Sheikha Nasser Mahdi Ahmad Bouh | 3 | female
Maha Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 12 | male
Soumaya Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 9 | female
Shafika Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 4 | female
Shafiq Mohammed Saleh Mohammed | 2 | male
Mabrook Mouqbal Al Qadari | 13 | male
Daolah Nasser 10 years | 10 | female
AbedalGhani Mohammed Mabkhout | 12 | male
Abdel- Rahman Anwar al Awlaki | 16 | male
Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki | 17 | male
Nasser Salim | 19

The United States motto is, "In God We Trust." We need to change that because it would be hard to justify such a hypocritical motto if we continue to do Satan's bidding.  We have met the enemy - and he is us!