When drone strike victims Rafiq ur Rehman and his children Nabila, 9, and Zubair, 13, travelled all the way from Pakistan to testify before Congress on the destruction wrought by the US drone strike program, nobody listened. Or at least precious few did. Only five members of Capital Hill showed up to hear their story, reportsTruth-Out's Rania Khalek.
The Oct. 29th hearing organized by Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson included Jan Schakowsky (D- Ill.), Rush Holt (D-NJ), John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) No Republicans were in attendance, despite Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's now legendary drone filibuster earlier this year.
"On October 24, 2012, a CIA drone killed my mother and injured my children," lamented Rehman, who Khalek informs spoke through a translator. "Nobody has ever told me why my mother was targeted that day; she was the string that held our family together."
Rehman's daughter, Nabila, was injured in the strike and described her own terrible experience:
"I felt some pain in my hand. When I looked, it was bleeding. I tried to bandage it and wipe it with my scarf to stop the bleeding but the blood just kept coming out. I had lost a lot of blood. Next thing I know I ended up in a hospital and it was evening time."
Rehman's son Zubair was also injured, and has "undergone multiple surgeries to have shrapnel removed from his leg."
The translator was reportedly brought to tears by the recounting of that day's horrific events, as was Rep. Grayson. As for President Obama's whereabouts the day of the testimony, Khalek reports that he was in fact in meetings with the CEOs of drone manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. The daily schedule for the POTUS linked to by Khalek doesn't corroborate that, exactly, but does confirm that Obama held a meeting with the Sec. of Defense and met with industry heads for ideas on a "Cybersecurity Framework."