1 00:00:02,996 --> 00:00:06,510 Nowadays we are just reporting drone attacks 2 00:00:06,610 --> 00:00:10,324 suicide-bombing, fighting and this, this, blah-blah-blah-blah 3 00:00:15,800 --> 00:00:19,178 The Taliban or the military are lying about what is going on there 4 00:00:19,504 --> 00:00:24,789 and the civilian deaths are, therefore, in my personal opinion, misreported 5 00:00:29,723 --> 00:00:34,311 Whatever we are seeing reported in the media, either in Pakistan or the US 6 00:00:34,411 --> 00:00:37,341 or the UK, or wherever, it's second-hand information 7 00:00:42,610 --> 00:00:49,942 Is it legitimate to simply kill people with no prior judicial process? 8 00:00:56,154 --> 00:00:59,096 It's very tempting to think it's... 9 00:00:59,381 --> 00:01:08,272 people dropping in a desert through faceless machines 10 00:01:13,694 --> 00:01:17,756 In order to understand the politics and actions of the drones 11 00:01:17,856 --> 00:01:21,553 it's kind of vital to understand those systems behind it as well 12 00:01:40,938 --> 00:01:45,240 If you Google "drone" the first image result is a picture of 13 00:01:45,340 --> 00:01:48,972 what appears to be a Reaper drone firing a missile 14 00:01:49,072 --> 00:01:53,385 and this image, because it's the first result on Google, 15 00:01:53,485 --> 00:01:55,097 this is the power that gives it 16 00:01:55,197 --> 00:02:00,388 has been endlessly transmitted through the media, endlessly reproduced 17 00:02:00,488 --> 00:02:03,900 and you see it everywhere from the front page of newspapers 18 00:02:04,000 --> 00:02:07,039 to activist reports 19 00:02:07,139 --> 00:02:11,540 The origins of that image are in a 3D hobbyist forum online 20 00:02:11,640 --> 00:02:16,479 Some guy a few years ago created it, modelled it in 3D, 21 00:02:16,579 --> 00:02:20,255 painted it in Photoshop and put it on a background of some mountains 22 00:02:20,804 --> 00:02:22,538 That drone doesn't exist 23 00:02:22,638 --> 00:02:27,828 And so the most widely distributed image of this 24 00:02:27,928 --> 00:02:31,363 incredibly liminal, strange technology is itself 25 00:02:31,463 --> 00:02:32,636 a dream 26 00:02:44,776 --> 00:02:52,415 FATA is a Pakistani area with the border of Afghanistan 27 00:02:52,515 --> 00:02:59,177 and FATA means Federally Administered Tribal Area 28 00:02:59,440 --> 00:03:02,206 Tribal people are the ones who have been living here 29 00:03:02,306 --> 00:03:06,926 in this region, geographical area, between Afghanistan and Pakistan 30 00:03:07,026 --> 00:03:11,273 for centuries following their own customary laws 31 00:03:11,373 --> 00:03:14,829 and because of the fact that there's an absence 32 00:03:14,929 --> 00:03:17,507 of the judiciary or police in these areas 33 00:03:17,607 --> 00:03:21,063 they also have their own weapons and their old defence systems 34 00:03:21,163 --> 00:03:23,895 houses over there are made into castles 35 00:03:23,995 --> 00:03:28,242 and the tribal head is the one that leads the whole family 36 00:03:28,342 --> 00:03:30,701 and there are feuds between families 37 00:03:30,801 --> 00:03:33,818 So, they deal with them in the old customary ways 38 00:03:33,918 --> 00:03:37,440 before urbanisation, before globalisation came 39 00:03:37,540 --> 00:03:40,799 The impression I've gotten, especially from the Western journalists 40 00:03:40,899 --> 00:03:42,709 coming into Pakistan for the first time 41 00:03:42,809 --> 00:03:46,506 they presume it's some kind of medieval tribal society 42 00:03:46,606 --> 00:03:49,558 and it gives them images of these... I don't know 43 00:03:49,658 --> 00:03:52,434 raw wild warriors who cannot be tamed and thus 44 00:03:52,534 --> 00:03:54,256 have to be governed under a separate law 45 00:03:54,356 --> 00:03:57,461 It's nothing like that, it's a part of Pakistan 46 00:03:58,295 --> 00:04:01,105 There are seven agencies in FATA 47 00:04:01,205 --> 00:04:05,298 South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Kurram Agency 48 00:04:05,398 --> 00:04:10,918 Bajaur Agency, Mohmand Agency, and Khyber Agency 49 00:04:11,018 --> 00:04:16,055 Orakzai Agency. It's totally seven agencies 50 00:04:17,196 --> 00:04:19,677 According to estimates - we haven't had a 51 00:04:19,777 --> 00:04:26,043 proper census in ages - but according to estimates made in 2008 52 00:04:26,143 --> 00:04:30,895 I think there are 5.3 million people living in FATA right now 53 00:04:36,032 --> 00:04:40,664 In around 1849, when colonisation was still taking shape 54 00:04:40,764 --> 00:04:45,954 in the Indian subcontinent, the Britishers introduced a separate law in FATA 55 00:04:46,054 --> 00:04:51,091 In 1901, the first Frontier Crime Regulations were introduced 56 00:04:51,191 --> 00:04:54,494 which is the FCR, and that law has prevailed 57 00:04:54,594 --> 00:04:57,655 from 1901 till now, almost intact 58 00:04:57,755 --> 00:05:00,772 The FCR is what does not give 59 00:05:00,872 --> 00:05:03,121 any political rights to the people 60 00:05:03,221 --> 00:05:05,382 severe human rights violations there 61 00:05:05,482 --> 00:05:07,138 no press freedom rights 62 00:05:07,238 --> 00:05:13,768 There are also no mobile services and no net facilities 63 00:05:13,868 --> 00:05:15,151 no internet facilities. 64 00:05:15,251 --> 00:05:19,915 In many areas, there is ban on camera mobiles 65 00:05:20,015 --> 00:05:23,713 and even on the net, even on the TV channels. 66 00:05:23,813 --> 00:05:27,137 What the FCR does is actually gives judicial power, 67 00:05:27,237 --> 00:05:30,430 even judicial power, to the administrative set-up in FATA 68 00:05:30,530 --> 00:05:34,865 which allows whatever criminal activities are going on there 69 00:05:34,965 --> 00:05:36,709 to be governed by their own laws, 70 00:05:36,809 --> 00:05:38,860 by their own people, by the administrative structure 71 00:05:38,960 --> 00:05:43,689 So, it kind of cuts off the region from the country's own legal systems 72 00:05:43,789 --> 00:05:48,585 In 2011 for the first time, we start seeing a bit of amendments being introduced 73 00:05:48,685 --> 00:05:54,249 In 2002, a FATA Secretariat was set up which was the beginning 74 00:05:54,349 --> 00:05:56,598 of what you can call 'political reforms' there 75 00:05:56,698 --> 00:06:00,769 but the reforms have so far been very ineffective 76 00:06:00,869 --> 00:06:03,074 in a way that they are not radical 77 00:06:03,174 --> 00:06:06,015 Under FCR residents of FATA are denied following rights 78 00:06:06,115 --> 00:06:09,791 Appeal - the right to request a change to a conviction in ANY court 79 00:06:09,891 --> 00:06:12,338 Wakeel - the right to legal representation 80 00:06:12,438 --> 00:06:14,643 Daleel - the right to present reasoned evidence 81 00:06:14,743 --> 00:06:18,133 Collective responsibility and punishment are still in operation 82 00:06:20,131 --> 00:06:22,963 Drones are this is almost slightly mysterious thing 83 00:06:23,063 --> 00:06:28,604 It's very strange, in an age of pervasive surveillance 84 00:06:28,704 --> 00:06:31,107 technological network communication, 85 00:06:31,207 --> 00:06:32,863 constant visual imagery 86 00:06:32,963 --> 00:06:35,542 that something that's so visible 87 00:06:35,642 --> 00:06:37,078 particularly in the media at the moment 88 00:06:37,178 --> 00:06:40,152 can actually remain deeply invisible in many ways 89 00:06:40,613 --> 00:06:43,203 Drones, particularly, are sort of designed to be invisible 90 00:06:43,303 --> 00:06:45,442 because they operate at altitude 91 00:06:45,542 --> 00:06:46,869 They operate above our heads 92 00:06:46,969 --> 00:06:51,040 We don't look up and look for them very often 93 00:06:51,140 --> 00:06:52,950 We're not used to doing that 94 00:06:53,050 --> 00:06:55,496 They are also, in military terms 95 00:06:55,596 --> 00:06:59,448 capable of operating so high above that we can't see them 96 00:06:59,548 --> 00:07:02,785 They are equipped with cameras that can look far further than we can 97 00:07:02,885 --> 00:07:04,717 Drones are used in three main ways 98 00:07:04,817 --> 00:07:09,788 They are used for surveillance, certainly in the military context 99 00:07:09,888 --> 00:07:13,717 and, increasingly, within the coming decade 100 00:07:13,817 --> 00:07:18,064 we will see more and more civilian applications of surveillance drones 101 00:07:18,722 --> 00:07:21,510 Then, there's military armed drones 102 00:07:21,610 --> 00:07:25,220 used alongside conventional weapons in Afghanistan 103 00:07:25,320 --> 00:07:27,833 in Iraq, in Libya, for example 104 00:07:27,933 --> 00:07:31,652 And then, there is this third category of covert drones 105 00:07:31,752 --> 00:07:33,935 Now, covert drones are drones which are used 106 00:07:34,035 --> 00:07:37,975 away from the battlefield to kill specific 107 00:07:38,075 --> 00:07:40,411 sometimes not that specific 108 00:07:40,511 --> 00:07:43,331 individuals or to target specific groups 109 00:07:43,431 --> 00:07:45,724 which are believed to pose a threat 110 00:07:45,824 --> 00:07:48,578 and this is the area that we've studied 111 00:07:48,678 --> 00:07:51,541 because it seems to me that... It seems to us 112 00:07:51,641 --> 00:07:55,273 that this is the most problematic area 113 00:07:55,373 --> 00:07:57,117 of the use of drones 114 00:07:57,217 --> 00:08:00,410 I became slightly obsessive and started making models of them 115 00:08:00,510 --> 00:08:03,132 I have little children's plastic models 116 00:08:03,232 --> 00:08:05,240 of drones that you can buy 117 00:08:05,340 --> 00:08:07,677 I wanted to actually stand in front of one of them 118 00:08:07,777 --> 00:08:09,630 and look at it eye to eye 119 00:08:09,730 --> 00:08:12,067 So, we went out into the car park of my studio 120 00:08:12,167 --> 00:08:14,548 and using a schematic downloaded from the internet 121 00:08:14,648 --> 00:08:18,587 we literally outlined the shadow of one of these things 122 00:08:18,687 --> 00:08:21,507 a 1:1 scale outline of it on the ground 123 00:08:21,607 --> 00:08:23,307 And as soon as we did that, we realised 124 00:08:23,407 --> 00:08:26,600 we had hit upon something quite serious 125 00:08:26,700 --> 00:08:30,244 and something quite powerful, because it immediately 126 00:08:30,344 --> 00:08:33,295 communicated the scale of these things 127 00:08:33,395 --> 00:08:35,908 The first reaction for everyone who sees it is 128 00:08:36,008 --> 00:08:37,796 "Wow, I had no idea how big it was." 129 00:08:37,896 --> 00:08:40,825 But just by drawing the outline, it also emphasises 130 00:08:40,925 --> 00:08:42,889 the invisibility of this thing 131 00:08:42,989 --> 00:08:47,103 the fact that it's this void at the heart of the discussion. 132 00:08:47,203 --> 00:08:49,277 It's the void at the heart of the network 133 00:08:49,377 --> 00:08:50,791 It's the void at the heart of the war 134 00:08:50,891 --> 00:08:54,282 We installed one outside the gallery which faces 135 00:08:54,382 --> 00:08:56,324 onto the main entrance of the White House 136 00:08:56,424 --> 00:09:00,429 So, this is the gallery and you have the Washington Monument in the background 137 00:09:00,529 --> 00:09:02,668 and this is the entrance to the White House over here 138 00:09:02,768 --> 00:09:06,246 I don't think these things have a very direct effect on power 139 00:09:06,346 --> 00:09:10,703 This isn't a threat to anyone, immediately, in any way 140 00:09:10,803 --> 00:09:13,930 My hope is that it creates a debate and creates an image 141 00:09:14,030 --> 00:09:16,805 in people's mind that makes it stick there 142 00:09:16,905 --> 00:09:20,076 If there's a drone 5000 feet overhead that you can't see 143 00:09:20,176 --> 00:09:23,764 you have no power and no agency in this situation 144 00:09:23,864 --> 00:09:26,223 and the drone and its operators and the systems around it 145 00:09:26,323 --> 00:09:28,111 have all of the power and the agency 146 00:09:28,211 --> 00:09:30,921 So, you already have a deeply unequal power relationship 147 00:09:31,021 --> 00:09:33,292 which always, always ends in violence. 148 00:09:46,749 --> 00:09:50,590 In June 2011, we started re-examining everything 149 00:09:50,690 --> 00:09:54,213 that was in the public domain on drone strikes 150 00:09:54,313 --> 00:09:56,979 and particularly, on the impact on civilians 151 00:09:57,079 --> 00:10:01,874 And what we found was several hundred civilian casualties 152 00:10:01,974 --> 00:10:05,979 that simply hadn't been included in the independent estimates 153 00:10:06,079 --> 00:10:08,065 So the CIA, at that point, was claiming that 154 00:10:08,165 --> 00:10:11,599 drones were an incredibly surgical and accurate weapon 155 00:10:11,699 --> 00:10:14,585 that was causing virtually no civilian casualties 156 00:10:14,685 --> 00:10:17,746 and what we found was something considerable more disturbing 157 00:10:17,846 --> 00:10:20,644 We found several hundred civilian casualties 158 00:10:30,127 --> 00:10:32,147 Earlier on, I mean in the tribal belt 159 00:10:32,247 --> 00:10:34,452 nobody really knew what the tribal belt was about 160 00:10:34,552 --> 00:10:37,657 what was going on there in the '90s or even before 161 00:10:37,757 --> 00:10:41,257 I mean, the tribal belt has existed since independence time 162 00:10:41,357 --> 00:10:45,165 But after 9/11, the tribal belt became a focus 163 00:10:45,265 --> 00:10:50,345 for many international journalists who started interacting 164 00:10:50,445 --> 00:10:52,211 with the local journalists over there 165 00:10:52,311 --> 00:10:55,285 And because of the fact that this was where 166 00:10:55,385 --> 00:10:58,161 the Taliban fled, I mean, we do know that Osama Bin Laden 167 00:10:58,261 --> 00:11:01,388 also came through the tribal areas into Pakistan 168 00:11:01,488 --> 00:11:03,934 and other such international terrorists have come 169 00:11:04,034 --> 00:11:06,217 into Pakistan through the tribal belt 170 00:11:06,317 --> 00:11:09,554 So the tribal belt has become a hotbed of all of this 171 00:11:09,654 --> 00:11:11,903 international terrorism and global jihad 172 00:11:12,003 --> 00:11:16,184 Why people confuse the fact that Taliban and the tribal people 173 00:11:16,284 --> 00:11:19,762 might be the same is because they are occupying the same territory 174 00:11:19,862 --> 00:11:22,572 That happened during the '80s when 175 00:11:22,672 --> 00:11:24,416 we had a military dictator here called 176 00:11:24,516 --> 00:11:28,236 General Zia-ul-Haq who sided with the Americans 177 00:11:28,336 --> 00:11:30,102 to fight the Soviets 178 00:11:30,202 --> 00:11:33,504 And at that time, the Saudis also got involved 179 00:11:33,604 --> 00:11:39,212 and a lot of jihadis, as they were called, or jihadists as they were called 180 00:11:39,312 --> 00:11:41,144 were exported to this area 181 00:11:41,244 --> 00:11:45,051 And they were trained over here in camps and 182 00:11:45,151 --> 00:11:48,959 they were then sent to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets 183 00:11:49,059 --> 00:11:52,735 Before 9/11, America and the world 184 00:11:52,835 --> 00:11:57,762 was supporting these jihadi organisations and groups 185 00:11:57,862 --> 00:12:02,569 They are fighting for Islam and they are doing jihad 186 00:12:02,669 --> 00:12:05,906 and you should support them 187 00:12:06,006 --> 00:12:10,341 And after 9/11, the scenario totally changed 188 00:12:10,441 --> 00:12:15,631 So this was, like, unbelievable 189 00:12:15,731 --> 00:12:21,075 that for the last 20 years America is saying to us, 190 00:12:21,175 --> 00:12:25,444 and funding them, that these are jihadis and you should support them 191 00:12:25,544 --> 00:12:29,637 and now directly they are saying to us that these are not jihadis 192 00:12:29,737 --> 00:12:31,635 these are terrorists and this, this, this... 193 00:12:31,735 --> 00:12:35,542 When 9/11 happened, Pakistan was asked 194 00:12:35,642 --> 00:12:40,064 to join the war on terror with the United States, and Pakistan 195 00:12:40,164 --> 00:12:43,840 gave a lot of bases here to operate from 196 00:12:43,940 --> 00:12:46,870 So the US forces would use the supply route also 197 00:12:46,970 --> 00:12:51,041 and would use bases in Pakistan to operate in Afghanistan 198 00:12:51,141 --> 00:12:54,400 Pakistani military, which was ruling at that time here 199 00:12:54,500 --> 00:12:57,166 was giving safe havens to the Taliban who 200 00:12:57,266 --> 00:13:00,393 were fleeing from Afghanistan into the tribal belt 201 00:13:00,493 --> 00:13:04,476 because of geographical proximity and the near... nearby-ness of it 202 00:13:04,576 --> 00:13:07,110 and at the same time was telling the world 203 00:13:07,210 --> 00:13:09,481 and NATO and the US forces that 204 00:13:09,581 --> 00:13:11,698 "'We're with you and whatever you want, 205 00:13:11,798 --> 00:13:13,674 you can do from here." 206 00:13:13,774 --> 00:13:15,167 So it was playing a double game 207 00:13:15,267 --> 00:13:18,196 You see, 9/11, it didn't just change FATA 208 00:13:18,296 --> 00:13:20,523 In my opinion, it changed the whole world 209 00:13:20,623 --> 00:13:22,696 in terms of military engagements 210 00:13:22,796 --> 00:13:25,331 and what was legitimate and not 211 00:13:25,431 --> 00:13:29,634 We saw all these invasions happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and then drones 212 00:13:37,251 --> 00:13:40,807 The landscapes of conflict were part of the reporting of those conflicts 213 00:13:40,907 --> 00:13:43,508 and they've deeply influenced our understanding of them 214 00:13:43,608 --> 00:13:49,545 For the last almost 200 years, journalists and illustrators 215 00:13:49,645 --> 00:13:52,684 and then photographers would be present on battlefields 216 00:13:52,784 --> 00:13:54,901 This isn't the case with the drone war 217 00:13:55,001 --> 00:13:59,950 We may occasionally hear the names of places where strikes have occurred 218 00:14:00,050 --> 00:14:03,199 but there's no formal reporting, so that's very unclear 219 00:14:03,299 --> 00:14:05,724 So I don't know what these places look like and yet 220 00:14:05,824 --> 00:14:08,051 it struck me at the same time we've... 221 00:14:08,151 --> 00:14:12,880 We spent the last 20 years building civilian online systems 222 00:14:12,980 --> 00:14:16,480 that are designed to allow us to see things more clearly 223 00:14:16,580 --> 00:14:19,290 So I started researching the.. 224 00:14:19,390 --> 00:14:21,969 the sites of drone strikes using data gathered by 225 00:14:22,069 --> 00:14:24,800 the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and finding, 226 00:14:24,900 --> 00:14:30,420 as best I could, the locations of those strikes on online digital maps 227 00:14:30,520 --> 00:14:34,394 and I'd take screen-shots, essentially photograph that landscape 228 00:14:34,494 --> 00:14:36,172 of the satellite images 229 00:14:36,272 --> 00:14:41,704 and I'd post that information back to Instagram, which is 230 00:14:41,804 --> 00:14:44,207 a social service for sharing photographs 231 00:14:44,307 --> 00:14:47,499 The real thing is simply to show that these are real places 232 00:14:47,599 --> 00:14:52,022 I think most peoples' mental image of where these things happen 233 00:14:52,122 --> 00:14:55,139 is of empty deserts. They're not 234 00:14:55,239 --> 00:14:57,180 They're towns 235 00:14:57,280 --> 00:14:58,849 they're places where people live. You can see 236 00:14:58,949 --> 00:15:01,922 cars in the street, you can see the buildings 237 00:15:04,183 --> 00:15:07,520 Like the rest of the world, even Pakistanis 238 00:15:07,620 --> 00:15:11,055 are guilty of seeing FATA as 'the other.' 239 00:15:11,155 --> 00:15:14,589 In Urdu, we call it ilaqa-e-ghair. Ilaqa-e-ghair means 240 00:15:14,689 --> 00:15:16,499 'the place of the other.' 241 00:15:16,599 --> 00:15:18,826 So if you see them as 'the other' 242 00:15:18,926 --> 00:15:20,780 you cannot empathise with them 243 00:15:20,880 --> 00:15:26,926 I think it's very hard to disentangle what is 244 00:15:27,026 --> 00:15:32,722 indifference and what is invisibility, and just what... 245 00:15:32,822 --> 00:15:35,356 What counts as invisibility? 246 00:15:35,456 --> 00:15:40,712 because we've also discussed how a lot is actually known 247 00:15:40,812 --> 00:15:46,135 there are actually fairly well-documented reports 248 00:15:46,235 --> 00:15:53,752 of the abuses, deaths, casualties, interventions, strikes, failed strikes 249 00:15:53,852 --> 00:16:01,480 Yet we are inclined to not consider that kind of information 250 00:16:01,580 --> 00:16:06,573 and knowledge as producing visibility because 251 00:16:06,673 --> 00:16:10,085 that information and knowledge does not translate into action 252 00:16:10,185 --> 00:16:13,312 So it seems to lack efficacy 253 00:16:13,422 --> 00:16:16,868 and information that lacks efficacy 254 00:16:16,968 --> 00:16:21,083 does not dispel the darkness 255 00:16:25,649 --> 00:16:31,006 We were seated in Mir Ali, North Waziristan Agency 256 00:16:31,106 --> 00:16:40,533 our tribe bazaar, and some group came there and kidnapped a person 257 00:16:40,633 --> 00:16:43,980 and shifted him to the other village 258 00:16:44,080 --> 00:16:50,390 So we thought that if we mentioned the kidnappers in our news story 259 00:16:50,490 --> 00:16:57,020 the next day they will come and sit in front of our elder and say 260 00:16:57,120 --> 00:17:02,881 that your nephew or your son has mentioned me in this story 261 00:17:02,981 --> 00:17:08,677 and I want 30 lakhs or the government will fine me 262 00:17:08,777 --> 00:17:15,196 we also thought that if we would mention the kidnapped person 263 00:17:15,296 --> 00:17:21,080 and say he was kidnapped by them 264 00:17:21,180 --> 00:17:24,900 he will come and say that it is un-honorable 265 00:17:25,000 --> 00:17:30,344 we thought that if we mention that place from where he was kidnapped 266 00:17:30,444 --> 00:17:34,998 then the political administration will arrest the whole village 267 00:17:35,098 --> 00:17:43,098 If we mention the fourth village, that the kidnappers shifted the kidnapped person 268 00:17:43,198 --> 00:17:45,140 to the "Blah..." village 269 00:17:45,240 --> 00:17:49,421 then the political administration will also arrest them 270 00:17:49,521 --> 00:17:54,272 So that's why we made a news story, I remember, 271 00:17:54,372 --> 00:17:57,192 that unknown people came, 272 00:17:57,292 --> 00:18:01,780 kidnapped an unknown person from an unknown place 273 00:18:01,880 --> 00:18:05,644 and shifted him to an unknown area 274 00:18:05,744 --> 00:18:10,912 The majority of the Pakistani reporters or journalists resort to self-censorship 275 00:18:11,012 --> 00:18:12,800 They know there are taboo topics 276 00:18:12,900 --> 00:18:16,598 There are things that they cannot talk about and because of that 277 00:18:16,698 --> 00:18:21,186 they do not talk about, for example, military issues 278 00:18:21,286 --> 00:18:24,347 they do not talk about Taliban issues at times 279 00:18:24,447 --> 00:18:28,079 So it's unknown people who are mentioned 280 00:18:28,179 --> 00:18:30,406 unknown people killed these people 281 00:18:30,506 --> 00:18:33,304 Even though they might know who it is, they will not name it 282 00:18:33,404 --> 00:18:35,214 In the tribal belt, for the longest time 283 00:18:35,314 --> 00:18:38,507 most of the news channels, most of the newspapers, would say 284 00:18:38,607 --> 00:18:41,163 security forces are operating, even though 285 00:18:41,263 --> 00:18:42,985 it is the Pakistani military operating 286 00:18:43,085 --> 00:18:45,049 So why don't you say Pakistani military? 287 00:18:45,149 --> 00:18:47,419 No, you cannot say Pakistani military because the Pakistani military 288 00:18:47,519 --> 00:18:53,303 will come and question you as to why you're referring to them using their name. 289 00:18:53,403 --> 00:18:56,881 I think in 2005 or 2006, Hayatullah was one of the first 290 00:18:56,981 --> 00:19:01,645 journalists who actually pictured a US drone attack. 291 00:19:01,745 --> 00:19:05,486 Before that, the government narrative was that there are no drones coming in 292 00:19:05,586 --> 00:19:07,440 There is no US intervention going on 293 00:19:07,540 --> 00:19:09,965 Then suddenly there is journalist who pictures 294 00:19:10,065 --> 00:19:13,214 some rubble which has "Made in the US" on it 295 00:19:13,314 --> 00:19:16,068 There is a journalist who actually gives concrete proof 296 00:19:16,168 --> 00:19:19,799 He is killed. But he is not the only one who's killed 297 00:19:19,899 --> 00:19:25,573 His wife goes on air, gives some interview which angers a few people 298 00:19:25,673 --> 00:19:28,229 and then she is killed as well 299 00:19:28,449 --> 00:19:33,959 There are just three Ms: military, militancy, and media. 300 00:19:34,059 --> 00:19:37,362 And sometimes the two Ms, the double M, 301 00:19:37,462 --> 00:19:43,552 military and militancy, get together against the third M, the media 302 00:19:43,652 --> 00:19:49,962 you see, there are many crocodiles and groups and powerful stakeholders 303 00:19:50,062 --> 00:19:53,738 and elephants fighting each other 304 00:19:53,838 --> 00:19:58,392 We are just like a sandwich among them 305 00:19:58,492 --> 00:20:01,861 In FATA, most of these reporters that operate 306 00:20:01,961 --> 00:20:04,868 they're not actually journalists to begin with 307 00:20:04,968 --> 00:20:09,654 They're usually... I mean, some of the ones that I met have businesses 308 00:20:09,754 --> 00:20:15,032 They're probably operating a shop 309 00:20:15,132 --> 00:20:17,820 they're operating petrol pumps, and these are the ones 310 00:20:17,920 --> 00:20:20,279 who are working for international agencies like 311 00:20:20,379 --> 00:20:23,462 Reuters, AP and all of them, and in the last 10 years 312 00:20:23,562 --> 00:20:27,194 about 12 journalists have been killed in the tribal belt 313 00:20:27,294 --> 00:20:30,838 and many of them are friends of the ones who are already working there 314 00:20:30,938 --> 00:20:33,450 And these friends that you see, they're working there 315 00:20:33,550 --> 00:20:36,985 they're working under a condition where their friends have been killed 316 00:20:37,085 --> 00:20:40,629 nobody has investigated it, there has been nobody punished 317 00:20:40,729 --> 00:20:41,990 they don't even know who did it 318 00:20:42,090 --> 00:20:45,700 You have to understand, this is probably one journalist a year 319 00:20:45,800 --> 00:20:48,751 So that's a lot of impact. And also, 320 00:20:48,851 --> 00:20:51,583 there are not many journalists operating in the tribal belt 321 00:20:51,683 --> 00:20:54,876 There are I think around about 100 journalists operating 322 00:20:54,976 --> 00:20:58,828 So that's a high percentage if you look at it from that point of view 323 00:20:58,928 --> 00:21:01,572 At the same time, overall, in the country 324 00:21:01,672 --> 00:21:05,809 more than a 100 journalists have been killed in the last 60 years 325 00:21:05,909 --> 00:21:11,143 and a majority of the killings have happened after 9/11 326 00:21:11,494 --> 00:21:17,444 The biggest challenge is simply the lack of information 327 00:21:17,544 --> 00:21:20,561 on particular incidents and particularly the lack of information 328 00:21:20,661 --> 00:21:22,888 about who has been killed 329 00:21:22,988 --> 00:21:28,530 often we will have the name of one individual, maybe a militant leader 330 00:21:28,630 --> 00:21:31,800 but he'll be one of six or seven people who's killed 331 00:21:31,900 --> 00:21:38,891 and about the people who've died alongside him, we will know nothing at all 332 00:21:38,991 --> 00:21:42,579 Over time, you end up with quite a huge range 333 00:21:42,679 --> 00:21:45,653 from a minimum to a maximum number of people killed 334 00:21:45,753 --> 00:21:50,043 So, for Pakistan, at the moment, we show between 335 00:21:50,143 --> 00:21:53,424 2500 and 3500 people being killed 336 00:21:53,524 --> 00:21:57,309 So we can't say with certainty what that number is 337 00:21:57,409 --> 00:21:59,549 but we feel it's somewhere in that range 338 00:21:59,649 --> 00:22:01,041 based on the reporting that we have 339 00:23:00,906 --> 00:23:04,221 The key appeal of drones to policy makers 340 00:23:04,321 --> 00:23:07,558 to those who decide where we go to war and to the military 341 00:23:07,658 --> 00:23:10,675 is that shooting them down has no human cost 342 00:23:10,775 --> 00:23:13,068 They are actually quite a vulnerable technology 343 00:23:13,168 --> 00:23:16,580 They're not that difficult to destroy 344 00:23:16,680 --> 00:23:19,917 It's a lot easier to shoot one down than a fighter jet, for example 345 00:23:20,017 --> 00:23:24,461 But doing so doesn't produce any body bags, essentially, 346 00:23:24,561 --> 00:23:30,147 and that's the greatest political cost for Western politicians in going to war 347 00:23:31,859 --> 00:23:36,294 So it renders the physical cost of these things invisible 348 00:23:36,394 --> 00:23:39,521 because most people only care about deaths on their own side 349 00:23:39,621 --> 00:23:42,484 Politically, therefore, it renders it invisible as well 350 00:23:42,584 --> 00:23:47,248 because there's no political cost involved in doing this 351 00:23:47,348 --> 00:23:50,321 and it seems to render it morally invisible as well 352 00:23:50,421 --> 00:23:54,031 Watching the Watchers is a project where I've been using Google Earth 353 00:23:54,131 --> 00:23:58,817 which is this vast wealth of imagery, and not just current imagery but historical imagery, 354 00:23:58,917 --> 00:24:04,525 to show the locations where drones are based 355 00:24:04,625 --> 00:24:06,896 where they're operated from 356 00:24:06,996 --> 00:24:09,354 They've been captured by satellite photography 357 00:24:09,454 --> 00:24:12,757 Spending a huge amount of time with these digital mapping tools 358 00:24:12,857 --> 00:24:17,543 you realise quite how comprehensive they are, but how little explored 359 00:24:18,333 --> 00:24:22,789 Deep in the desert in Saudi Arabia, it's a long way from anywhere else 360 00:24:22,889 --> 00:24:25,489 This base isn't visible at all on Google Earth 361 00:24:25,589 --> 00:24:30,209 but because of the competing nature of these mapping technologies 362 00:24:30,309 --> 00:24:36,883 if you go and visit this location in Bing maps, a Microsoft service, 363 00:24:36,983 --> 00:24:40,681 again, from high up it appears to be a featureless desert 364 00:24:40,781 --> 00:24:45,532 and as you zoom in, it reveals the contours of this totally remote air strip 365 00:24:45,632 --> 00:24:49,023 with a series of bunkers. Now, there's no drones visible in this one 366 00:24:49,123 --> 00:24:52,316 but various other journalists and researchers have confirmed 367 00:24:52,416 --> 00:24:55,872 that this is a base in which they are planning to fly 368 00:24:55,972 --> 00:25:01,558 For almost 10 years, the US and Pakistani governments totally denied 369 00:25:01,658 --> 00:25:05,707 that there were any Predator aircraft stationed within Pakistan 370 00:25:05,807 --> 00:25:11,019 And yet, some time in 2009-2010, images appeared on Google Earth 371 00:25:11,119 --> 00:25:15,008 This is at Shamsi Airbase in Pakistan, and this one's really significant. 372 00:25:15,108 --> 00:25:20,108 Because if we go up to 2011, which is the most recent kind of image of it 373 00:25:20,208 --> 00:25:23,359 you see a largely empty airbase, you see these hangars 374 00:25:23,459 --> 00:25:28,626 But tracking back to 2004, these Predators are there 375 00:25:28,726 --> 00:25:31,378 and this is really key because this imagery wasn't released 376 00:25:31,478 --> 00:25:34,628 until a couple of years ago and it suddenly gave the lie 377 00:25:34,728 --> 00:25:38,424 to both the American and Pakistani position that no drones were operating here 378 00:25:38,524 --> 00:25:40,322 They'd said that there were no drones based in Pakistan 379 00:25:40,422 --> 00:25:45,969 and yet this image had been captured by Google satellites, 6 or 7 years previously 380 00:25:46,069 --> 00:25:49,599 That immediately became international news and as a result 381 00:25:49,699 --> 00:25:54,913 it forced this release of the information about a huge portion of the drone war 382 00:25:55,013 --> 00:25:56,930 that wouldn't have been possible otherwise 383 00:25:57,030 --> 00:25:58,614 And there is something fascinating to me about that 384 00:25:58,714 --> 00:26:02,481 that was uncovered almost inadvertently by civilian technology 385 00:26:42,861 --> 00:26:46,966 When it comes to the politics of drones, for the longest time in this country 386 00:26:47,066 --> 00:26:50,050 the government had been lying to its people and saying that 387 00:26:50,150 --> 00:26:55,483 the drone attacks are something that are violating our sovereignty 388 00:26:55,583 --> 00:26:59,801 and are being forced on to us. But then recently 389 00:26:59,901 --> 00:27:03,265 we saw Pervez Musharraf, who is the retired general 390 00:27:03,365 --> 00:27:07,844 from the last military dictatorship, at the time of 9/11 391 00:27:07,944 --> 00:27:13,206 he was ruling the country. He accepted on an international TV channel 392 00:27:13,306 --> 00:27:17,073 saying that yes, we did accept these drone strikes 393 00:27:17,173 --> 00:27:21,913 but not in these numbers. Now, the numbers are always questionable 394 00:27:22,013 --> 00:27:26,326 but they did accept. And then WikiLeaks also has shown the same 395 00:27:26,426 --> 00:27:29,623 The last Prime Minister in the former government saying that 396 00:27:29,723 --> 00:27:33,063 "You continue with the drone strikes while we will continue to condemn it." 397 00:27:33,163 --> 00:27:36,551 So the politics is publicly condemn, secretly agree. 398 00:27:36,651 --> 00:27:42,648 One stakeholder is America, I mean the US, in case of drones 399 00:27:42,748 --> 00:27:46,800 one is the Pakistani government, and one is the Taliban 400 00:27:46,900 --> 00:27:51,474 and the fourth are just victims of drones 401 00:27:51,574 --> 00:27:59,137 I mean, the civilians, the common population of the area 402 00:27:59,237 --> 00:28:01,154 The whole thing of drone attacks 403 00:28:01,254 --> 00:28:05,401 they happen there because there is no Parliament, there is no legislator 404 00:28:05,501 --> 00:28:08,864 who would be held accountable for the stuff happening there 405 00:28:08,964 --> 00:28:12,518 Imagine a drone attack happens in, let's say, KP (district outside FATA) 406 00:28:12,618 --> 00:28:18,592 Would the government or the party in power ever have the chance of being elected again? 407 00:28:18,692 --> 00:28:22,672 They won't have the chance. We have 11 representatives from FATA 408 00:28:22,772 --> 00:28:25,140 in the National Assembly and the Senate 409 00:28:25,240 --> 00:28:29,600 but since they do not have the power to legislate for their own area 410 00:28:29,700 --> 00:28:31,854 the people cannot hold them accountable 411 00:28:31,954 --> 00:28:34,582 So in the end, the people who are getting elected into the Assemblies 412 00:28:34,682 --> 00:28:38,307 have nothing to lose and the people there do not have the power 413 00:28:38,407 --> 00:28:41,795 to influence the political decisions that are happening there 414 00:28:41,895 --> 00:28:47,394 So, whatever I do, it's not really gonna harm anybody in the long run 415 00:28:47,494 --> 00:28:49,956 So that's why I think this whole thing is possible 416 00:29:04,215 --> 00:29:06,730 For a long time, there was a discussion 417 00:29:06,830 --> 00:29:09,126 that was going on with journalists asking politicians 418 00:29:09,226 --> 00:29:11,071 about what they called the Kill List 419 00:29:11,171 --> 00:29:13,230 And the Kill List was very literally 420 00:29:13,330 --> 00:29:15,460 What is this list of names of people 421 00:29:15,560 --> 00:29:17,762 that you are assassinating with drones? 422 00:29:17,862 --> 00:29:21,036 Where do those names come from? Who compiles that list? 423 00:29:21,136 --> 00:29:25,164 And politicians pretty much straight up denied there was any such list, 424 00:29:25,264 --> 00:29:29,743 ignoring the fact that there was an assassination program going on 425 00:29:29,843 --> 00:29:32,851 although again, that wasn't officially admitted for a very long time 426 00:29:32,951 --> 00:29:37,904 When that started to be admitted, the US Department of Defense 427 00:29:38,004 --> 00:29:42,175 started coming out with their own terminology to describe this process 428 00:29:42,275 --> 00:29:47,038 And the term that emerged was "Disposition Matrix." 429 00:29:47,138 --> 00:29:50,313 Now, no one's really sure what the "Disposition Matrix" is 430 00:29:50,413 --> 00:29:53,349 All that we know is that it's some kind of intelligence 431 00:29:53,449 --> 00:29:56,600 gathering system that results in a Kill List 432 00:29:56,700 --> 00:30:00,158 The thing is, in the absence of official transparency 433 00:30:00,258 --> 00:30:02,460 about the drone strikes, we are stuck 434 00:30:02,560 --> 00:30:07,039 trying to piece together a picture afterwards, like doing a jigsaw puzzle 435 00:30:07,139 --> 00:30:09,743 from the glass of a broken window or something 436 00:30:09,843 --> 00:30:13,444 You're trying to piece together the clearest picture that you can 437 00:30:13,544 --> 00:30:19,138 but ultimately, the most detailed information about the drones 438 00:30:19,238 --> 00:30:23,195 about who they're targeting, about why they're targeting that individual 439 00:30:23,295 --> 00:30:27,300 about what's known about the other individuals who might die alongside them 440 00:30:27,400 --> 00:30:29,340 all of that is completely secret 441 00:30:29,440 --> 00:30:32,804 And in the absence of official transparency 442 00:30:32,904 --> 00:30:37,336 there's very, very little that we can say with confidence 443 00:30:37,436 --> 00:30:41,891 about the killing program that's in operation 444 00:30:41,991 --> 00:30:44,690 Drones are not just secrets themselves 445 00:30:44,790 --> 00:30:48,581 but they're used as vehicles for that secrecy 446 00:30:48,681 --> 00:30:51,381 They're used as an excuse and as a way of covering up 447 00:30:51,481 --> 00:30:54,062 because we've allowed that to happen, essentially, 448 00:30:54,162 --> 00:30:57,763 and it's absolutely vital that we don't allow that to continue 449 00:31:08,131 --> 00:31:12,989 So for me, one of the dangers of these unequal power relationships 450 00:31:13,089 --> 00:31:17,051 produced by this invisibility is that it's impossible 451 00:31:17,151 --> 00:31:21,440 to know what is going on at any time. And therefore 452 00:31:21,540 --> 00:31:23,908 it's impossible to have a debate around it 453 00:31:24,008 --> 00:31:28,083 There can seem to be cartoon-like distribution between 454 00:31:28,183 --> 00:31:40,183 power and counter-power, where power knows and is quite sophisticated 455 00:31:40,283 --> 00:31:47,372 in its ironic or cynical appreciation of the situation 456 00:31:47,472 --> 00:31:51,903 "Yes, we know that the public good is just a story" 457 00:31:52,003 --> 00:31:58,973 Or, "yes of course, we know that this is a dirty business" 458 00:31:59,073 --> 00:32:04,288 While then, counter-power gets pushed into this role of 459 00:32:04,388 --> 00:32:10,314 a defender of purity, virtue, etc... 460 00:32:10,414 --> 00:32:17,242 That is really something that information activism and digital mapping 461 00:32:17,342 --> 00:32:24,762 has to be really wary of, of being pushed into that role of being the idealist 462 00:32:24,862 --> 00:32:30,575 who cannot appreciate how things really happen or are really done 463 00:32:30,675 --> 00:32:36,530 Because so often, the broader context of public debate is that 464 00:32:36,630 --> 00:32:40,065 we all know we're just having this debate where we're claiming to 465 00:32:40,165 --> 00:32:44,312 care about these issues. But then we know that elsewhere something else happens 466 00:32:44,412 --> 00:32:50,362 So what I would like is for information activism or the left or 467 00:32:50,462 --> 00:32:53,873 whatever name you want to give to these counter-powers 468 00:32:53,973 --> 00:32:58,096 that they also build that intelligence into their own practices 469 00:32:58,196 --> 00:33:01,678 that yes, we know that in different settings, different rules apply 470 00:33:01,778 --> 00:33:04,858 That the government is a different beast in different spaces 471 00:33:04,958 --> 00:33:09,057 I don't think there are quick easy ways to dis-empower those who are in power 472 00:33:09,157 --> 00:33:12,687 But I also think that they're only there because 473 00:33:12,787 --> 00:33:15,534 we don't fully understand how they operate 474 00:33:15,634 --> 00:33:19,520 And technology is a fantastic way of making clear 475 00:33:19,620 --> 00:33:22,912 the processes by which unequal power is maintained 476 00:33:23,012 --> 00:33:27,752 And so the correct use of it can empower everybody 477 00:33:27,852 --> 00:33:33,684 which lowers the power threshold that others might hold over us 478 00:33:33,784 --> 00:33:38,761 What does it mean to be critical or to be engaged 479 00:33:38,861 --> 00:33:45,926 and to use mapping practices politically? 480 00:33:46,026 --> 00:33:54,538 I think it is a lot about shifting the sites 481 00:33:54,638 --> 00:33:58,808 and not accepting the ways in which 482 00:33:58,908 --> 00:34:01,560 the space of accountability is already organized 483 00:34:01,660 --> 00:34:04,550 This is a targeted killing program 484 00:34:04,650 --> 00:34:07,705 These drone strikes are not taking place on a battlefield 485 00:34:07,805 --> 00:34:12,355 The legal arguments under which the drone strikes are taking place 486 00:34:12,455 --> 00:34:15,606 the legal framework under which they're taking place 487 00:34:15,706 --> 00:34:19,283 remains very, very contested. So, even though we can say 488 00:34:19,383 --> 00:34:22,510 that there are improvements in the way that they're being used, 489 00:34:22,610 --> 00:34:27,587 even though we can say that civilian deaths are falling precipitously 490 00:34:27,687 --> 00:34:32,711 the question then is… is that good enough? 491 00:34:32,811 --> 00:34:37,907 Is it acceptable to have, essentially, a targeted killing program? 492 00:34:38,007 --> 00:34:41,205 That to our mind is one of the key issues 493 00:34:41,305 --> 00:34:46,851 Is it legitimising the practice of targeted killing?