Law And Order: SVU Features 'Double-Tap' Procedure of Drone Strikes

Law & Order: SVU recently ran an episode that was likely inspired by the Stanford and NYU report, Living Under Drones, about U.S. drone attacks currently taking place in Pakistan. In the episode, a character plotting a terrorist attack in the U.S. reveals that her father was killed by a "double-tap" strike in North Waziristan.

The report examined the "double-tap" procedure that has been shown as a feature of U.S. drone strike policy in Pakistan. "Double tapping" is when a initial drone strike occurs, then a second strike happens in the same spot shortly after, often injuring or killing civilian rescuers who responded to the first strike. 

First noticed by Just Foreign Policy, an organization focused on transforming U.S. foreign policy to better emulate the concerns of the American majority, the episode touched on what's likely a new topic for many of its viewers.

Drone use in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia targets suspected militants for extrajudicial assassination, and has been given little coverage over the years thanks largely to the fact the U.S. government does not officially recognize drone use by the CIA in those countries. Shows like SVU provide a media spotlight to expose the effects of what has happened and puts the topic on the minds of the public.

Just Foreign Policy applauded Law & Order for its interest in creating awareness about highly-controversial drone strikes, citing a Pew poll that exposes the American citizens’ favorable opinion of strikes despite their low familiarity with the secretive policy. The poll also shows how unfavorable the strikes are around the rest of the world.

You can read the report and watch War Costs' video coverage of Living Under Drones, which includes personal testimonies of drone victims, and their families, in Pakistan. 

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  • Theo Walcot
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