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Cast Bios

Ahmed_Akbar.pngAkbar Ahmed, Former Pakistani Ambassador to the UK, and Chair of Islamic Studies at American University
Ambassador Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington DC. and a non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is the author of “The Thistle and the Drone,” which is offers a poignant and striking shift in the framework of central governments and their peripheral populations in the global war on terror. 


Akbar_Shahzad.pngShahzad Akbar,  Lawyer and Founder of Foundation for Fundamental Rights
Akbar is Pakistan's leading anti-drone attorney and advocate. He has represented family members of civilian victims of US drone strikes in several trials, including one in which he is suing former Acting General Counsel of the CIA, John Rizzo, for approving a strike which killed a 9 year old boy in South Waziristan. He is also co-founder, legal director and a trustee of Foundation for Fundamental Rights, an organization that provides legal aid to enforce fundamental rights guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan.


Alston_Philip.pngPhilip Alston, United Nations, Former Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions
Alston is a former UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. In 2010 he wrote an influential report about the conduct of targeted killings where he laid out the associated legal problems, and even specifically addressed the US’ drone war. He is currently Co-Chair of the NYU Law Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.


Bacevich_Andrew.pngAndrew Bacevich,  Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University
Bacevich is a Professor and writer on US Foreign Policy and American Diplomatic History.   In addition to his academic work, Bacevich has been a staunch critic of the projection of US military power around the world. He is a retired Colonel in the US military.


Benjamin_Medea.pngMedea Benjamin , Co-Founder Code Pink
Medea Benjamin is the co-founder of Codepink, an activist organization committed to forwarding human rights around the world.  Her most recent book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, is a scathing critique of the US drone policies in its fight against Al Qaeda.  She has been tireless in her efforts to bring an end to the US drone wars. 


Bryant_Brandon.pngBrandon Bryant, Former USAF Drone Sensor Operator
Brandon was a Drone Sensor Operator for 6 years in the United States Air Force. During his time in combat operations, he was witness the harsh culture surrounding the drone pilot/operator community and the disturbing realities of remote warfare. He now works in his local community helping to rehabilitate veterans through outdoor activities and provides a strong, positive environment for youth as a high school wrestling coach.


Carvallo_James.pngJames Cavallaro, Stanford Law Professor
Cavallaro is a law professor and co-auhtor of the groundbreaking report, “Living Under Drones,” the study that brought together an investigation of the actual totals of drone casualties and the numerous negative effects drone strikes have had on peace and stability in the regions in which they occurred. He is the founder and director of the International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic at the Mills Legal Clinic at Stanford Law School.


Chatterjee_Pratap.pngPratap Chatterjee, Investigative Journalist
Chatterjee is an investigative journalist and author who has extensively covered drone attacks in Waziristan. He met Tariq Aziz at the anti-drone jirga he attended two days before he was killed in a drone strike, and has publicly questioned his killing. He works for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and writes regularly for The Guardian. He also serves on the board of Amnesty International USA.


Cole_David.pngDavid Cole,  Professor Georgetown University Law
Cole is a civil rights lawyer who has appeared in front of the Supreme Court three times, including once when he defeated Attorney General Eric Holder in a free speech case (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project). He previously worked as a staff attorney for the Center for Constitutional Rights before moving to his current position at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law, national security, and criminal justice. He is also co-chairman of the Constitution Project's Liberty and Security Committee.


Currier_Cora.pngCora Currier, ProPublica
Currier is a national security journalist for ProPublica who has written extensively on drone strikes, detailing the growth and ramifications of their use. Her writings focus on the secrecy of the program and how that affects the grand strategy of the War on Terror.


Davis_Morris.pngUSAF Col. Morris Davis (Ret.), Former Lead Prosecutor For Guantanamo Bay
Davis was the chief prosecutor for the military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 2005 to 2007, when he took on the Bush Administration for attempting to use evidence gained by torture. After resigning from his post over this issue, he retired from the Air Force in 2008, and took up a career as a law professor at Howard University. He currently speaks out regularly on national security and legal issues, and has become a major advocate for free speech.


DeYoung_Karen.pngKaren DeYoung,  Senior National Security Correspondent, The Washington Post
DeYoung is an award-winning journalist and expert on US foreign policy and intelligence. Her coverage of the War on Terror for the Washington Post earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 2002. In 2006 she authored Soldier, a definitive biography of former Secretary of State Colin Powell. She has spent most of her career at the Post, where she is now Associate Editor.


Divoli_Vicki.pngVicki Divoll,  Former General Counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Former Deputy Legal Adviser to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center
Vicki Divoll is a national security advisor who served as the General Counsel (2001-2003) and Minority Counsel (2000-2001) for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Assistant General Counsel for CIA. She also served under John Deutch and George Tenet as deputy legal advisor to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center from 1995-2000. She is an expert on the relationship between the CIA and civilian government.


Eviatar_Daphne.pngDaphne Eviatar, Human Rights First’s Senior Counsel Law and Security Program
Eviatar is the senior legal counsel for Human Rights First’s Law and Security Program, where she investigates and reports on U.S. national security policies, practices and their implications for human rights. She has spoken and written about the lack of transparency in the targeted killing program for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Politico, Harper’s, and several other media outlets.


Glazier_David.pngDavid Glazier, Professor Loyola Law School
Before his academic career, Glazier spent 21 years as a Navy surface warfare Officer, dealing in US-Japan Navy relations as well as UN sanction enforcement.  He has been quoted as expanding culpability of drone pilots and CIA officers to the laws of the countries they attack: “CIA drone pilots are liable to prosecution under the law of any jurisdiction where attacks occur for any injuries, deaths or property damage they cause,” as well as international law, “Under the legal theories adopted by our government in prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, these CIA officers as well as any higher-level government officials who have authorized or directed their attacks are committing war crimes.”


Gorman_Siobhan.pngSiobhan Gorman,  Intelligence Correspondent The Wall Street Journal
Gorman is a reporter for the Wall Street Journal covering topics of terrorism, counter terrorism, and intelligence.  Gorman has won the Delta Chi Award for Washington Correspondence.   


Greenwald_Glenn.pngGlenn Greenwald, National Security Columnist, Guardian
Greenwald is an award-winning journalist and commentator who specializes on political and legal issues. He has also covered major stories such as the Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing on the NSA, Valerie Plame scandal and John Brennan’s appointment to the CIA directorship. He is currently writing a column for The Guardian newspaper.


Heller_KevinJon.pngKevin Jon Heller,  Associate Professor of International Criminal Law, Melbourne Law School
Heller is professor of international criminal law who introduced the framework for applying criminal law to the drone debate in his 2012 article “'One Hell of a Killing Machine': Signature Strikes and International Law.” He has also been involved in the International Criminal Court’s negotiations over the crime of aggression and served as Human Rights Watch’s external legal advisor on the trial of Saddam Hussein. He currently teaches international criminal law at Melbourne Law School.


Hinji_Osama.pngOsama Hinji, Writer, Researcher and Activist
Osama Hinji is a researcher writer and activist concerned with human rights.  Osama was working as a translator for foreign press agencies at the Jirga held by Reprieve to showcase stories of drone attacks.  It was there where he met Tariq Aziz.  He was able to talk with Tariq and convey his yearning for peace in Waziristan. 


Jameel_Jaffer.pngJameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU
Jaffer is a human rights and civil liberties attorney for the ACLU. He recently won a monumental victory in a lawsuit against the CIA, in which the court ruled the agency was required to respond to the ACLU’s request to supply information related to the drone program. He is currently serving as deputy legal director of the ACLU.


Jeffrey_James.pngJames Jeffrey, Former British Army Captain
Jeffrey is a former British Army captain who coordinated the operation of drones in Afghanistan. Jeffrey served over nine years in the Queen’s Royal Lancers in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Wanting to avoid unpleasant memories, he left the UK military in 2010. He achieved his master’s in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.


Johnson_Gregory.pngGregory Johnsen, Yemen Expert, Author “The Last Refuge”
Gregory Johnsen is a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University who has covered Yemen and the Islamic insurgency in the Middle East. Johnsen is also the author  of “The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al Qaeda and America’s War in Arabia. He has written for Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, and The Boston Globe. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog.


Kebriaei_Pardiss.pngPardiss Kebriaei, Senior Staff Attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights
Kebriaei is a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She is currently lead counsel in the ongoing Al-Awlaki v Panetta federal lawsuit, in which the CCR & ACLU are suing top level Pentagon and CIA officials on behalf of relatives of the 3 Americans (Al-Awlaki, his son, and Samir Khan) killed in drone strikes in Yemen. She also previously challenged the existence of a “kill list” in a similar 2010 court case


Khan_Imran.pngImran Khan,  Chair of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf
Khan is Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf. Khan ran for Presidency in the 2013 elections. His goal is to pull Pakistan out of the US war on terror and bring peace in the Pashtun tribal belt.


Khan_Jemima.pngJemima Khan,  Associate Editor, New Statesman
Khan is a major fixture in British and Pakistani philanthropy, politics and journalism. While living in Pakistan from 1995 to 2004, she took the lead in efforts to promote free speech, help war refugees find shelter, and promote economic independence for poor women. Since then she has established herself as a journalist covering international politics. She is currently Associate Editor of the New Statesman and European editor-at-large for Vanity Fair.


Kilcullen_David.pngDavid Kilcullen,  CEO of Caerus Associates
Kilcullen is one of the world’s foremost counterterrorism strategists, having served as the Counterinsurgency Adviser to NATO and the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from 2009-10. He also co-wrote the field manual that established modern counterinsurgency strategy and was a senior advisor to General Petraeus during the 2007-8 Iraq War troop surge. He currently is the CEO of Caerus Associates, a strategy and design consulting firm in Washington, D.C.


Knucky_Sarah.pngSarah Knuckey, Human Rights Lawyer, Professor, New York University
Sarah Knuckey has worked with non-governmental and international organisations in Australia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, the UK and the USA, leading human rights fact-finding missions, reporting on human rights violations and providing humanitarian and human rights legal and policy advice. Knuckey is a human rights lawyer and professor at New York University.  She is the Co-author of the groundbreaking report “Living Under Drones.”


Landay_Jonathan.pngJonathan Landay, Senior National Security and Intelligence Correspondent for McClatchy Newspapers
Landay is a senior national security and intelligence correspondent for McClatchy newspapers.  He has covered foreign affairs and defence and intelligence policy for over 25 years.  His groundbreaking reporting on top secret intelligence papers uncovered the dearth of  intel with which the CIA was carrying out drone strikes in Pakistan. 


Mazzetti_Mark.pngMark Mazzetti, National Security Correspondent The New York Times and Author "The Way of the Knife"
Mazzetti is a national security correspondent at the New York Times and author of The Way of the Knife, a revealing look into modern American warfare. While researching the book he uncovered decisions that led to the rise of drone strikes as a central part of US counterterror policy. He currently works at the Washington, D.C. office of the New York Times.


Miller_Greg.pngGreg Miller,  National Security and Intelligence Reporter, The Washington Post
Greg miller covers the intelligence beat for the Washington  Post.  Winner of the Overseas Press award and co-author of The Interrogators, Miller is a highly accomplished reporter.  He has reported internationally in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kuwait and Serbia.  Miller presented a brilliant expose on the Disposition Matrix that the Obama administration has developed as a playbook for targeted assassination and terrorist disruption, revealing the institutionalization of the US targeting program.   


Monge_Ozzie.pngOzzie Monge, Former Defense Contractor for Titan Systems Corporation
Monge was a defense contractor for Titan Systems Corporation, which sold parts to General Atomics for their drone’s camera system. He was also a board member of the San Diego chapter of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International until 2004. Before that he served in the US Navy and fought in the First Gulf War.


Oconnel_MaryEllen.pngMary Ellen O' Connell, Notre Dame International Law Professor
O’Connell is an international law professor at Notre Dame University. She has been a vice president of the American Society of International Law and chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on the Use of Force. In 2009 she authored Unlawful Killing with Combat Drones: A Case Study of Pakistan, 2004-2009, a study which brought her international recognition as a leading expert on drone legality.


Pagnamenta_Robin.pngRobin Pagnamenta , South Asia Correspondent The Times of London
Pagnamenta is a Journalist for the Times of London, covering Southeast Asia.  Pagnamenta has worked to document point by point reports of drone strikes in Pakistan.  While working to detail the anatomy of a drone strike, Pagnamenta reported on the Rehman family.  While working in a field the family’s 8 children and matriarch were struck by hellfire missiles, killing the grandmother and wounding several of the children. He brought this story to light in October 2012. 


Shah_Naureen.pngNaureen Shah, Former Associate Director Counterterrorism & Human Rights Project Columbia Law
Shah is a civil rights attorney who focuses on counterterrorism issues. As Director of the Human Rights Clinic at Columbia, she authored Civilian Impact of Covert Drone Operations Overlooked, a seminal work that brought victims’ perspectives of US drone strikes to the targeted killing debate. Since filming for this piece, she has joined Amnesty International as a legal advisor.


Shah_PirZubair.pngPir Zubair Shah,  Council on Foreign Relations Former New York Times Reporter
Zubair Shah is a Pakistani Journalist, hailing from South Waziristan- a highly targeted region of Pakistan.  He has reported for the New York Times and recently concluded a fellowship with the Council on Foreign Relations


Shamsi_Hina.pngHina Shamsi, Director, ACLU’s National Security Project
Shamsi is a civil rights attorney and head of the ACLU’s National Security Project, which “is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.” She is currently representing the ACLU, along with Pardiss Kebriaei of the CCR, in a court case that challenges the lawfulness of the drone strikes that killed Anwar Al-Awlaki and his son. She has also litigated cases upholding the freedoms of speech and association, torture, unlawful detention, and post-9/11 discrimination against racial and religious minorities.

Shane_Scott.pngScott Shane,  National Security Reporter The New York Times
Scott Shane is a national security reporter at the New York Times.  His reporting focuses on the United States intelligence community, and he has written about the nature of terrorists threats, the reorganization of intelligence agencies, and the Justice Department’s secret legal opinions approving harsh interrogation techniques.


StaffordSmith_Clive.pngClive Stafford Smith, Founder of Reprieve
Smith is a British civil rights attorney and founder of Reprieve, a UK based human rights organization. He has fought several cases on behalf of Guantanamo detainees and death row inmates in the United States, and has argued cases in front of the Supreme Court several times. In 2005 he received the Gandhi International Peace Award for his work against the Bush Administration’s illegal detention of Guantanamo prisoners.  Smith and Reprieve are currently active in taking legal action against parties involved in carrying out repressive and terrorizing drone strikes around the world. 


Taj_Rizwan.pngDr. Rizwan Taj,  Psychiatrist, President of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society
Dr. Rizwan Taj is the President of the Pakistan Psychiatric Society.  Dr. Taj has studied the psychological impact of drones on the people in the tribal areas of pakistan. His work has proven the severely detrimental impact of drones on not only the direct victims of attacks, but also those who live under the constant fear from the ominous weapons.


Wilkerson_Lawrence.pngLawrence B. Wilkerson , Former Chief of Staff Secretary of State Colin Powell
Wilkerson served as Special Assistant to General Colin Powell when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1989-93, and later as his Chief of Staff while Powell was Secretary of State. He is a frequent commentator on national security issues in the media, having appeared on CNN, MSNBC and Democracy Now! He currently teaches national security at the College of William & Mary.


Williams_Neal.pngNeil Williams,  Photographer and Journalist
Neil is a London-based photographer and journalist. In 2011 Neil Williams traveled to Pakistan with a London based human rights charity called Reprieve. This trip was to help educate people about the drone strikes that have been occurring for the last 8 or so years in the FATA region; while at a jirga in Islamabad, Neil met several young boys from the villages around Miranshah who came to speak out against drone strikes killing their family and friends.

Neil met Tariq Aziz, and struck up a friendship with the 16 year-old.   Tragically a few days later Neil received a call from his sources in FATA claiming that Tariq and his cousin had been killed in a drone strike while traveling  near Mir Ali. Tariq was decapitated and his body unrecognizable. His killing deeply angered and perplexed everyone who knew Tariq, and in particular for Neil, who struggled for a long time to come to terms with this tragic loss.


Woods_Chris.pngChris Woods,  Investigative Journalist
Formerly of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Woods is an investigative journalist focused on word conflicts,but especially targeted killing by drones.  While at the Bureau Woods led the way to establishing the most  accurate data regarding civilian deaths in drone strikes.  He found that casualty rates were far above the CIA and Obama administration estimates, helping to take on the dominant narrative in the US about drones.