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“We’re lead to believe that the drone strikes we’re doing in Pakistan and elsewhere in the world have this kind of laser precision—that we’re only getting the bad guys, the imminent threat to Americans. Once we started researching this topic we realized that’s not quite the case.”
Wesley Grubbs, Creator, in Huffington Post
How do you tell a story that’s hidden from view? The team at Pitch Interactive sought to tackle that question by taking the raw data collected on U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and weaving them into an interactive data visualization that reveals the narrative and dramatically reasserts the human costs behind these military actions. The project takes the form of a timeline beginning at the Pakistan drone program’s inception in 2004. For each moment in time, the visualization plots each strike and the number of casualties. What becomes clear is that the smallest percentage of these deaths fall into the category of “High Profile” targets who were deemed security threats or U.S. enemies. Before viewers’ eyes the numbers of deaths of children, civilians, and those labeled “other” soar. In addition to telling the story of these facts and figures, the project presents the most recent headlines on drone strikes pulled from the web with links for users to delve into the often ignored subject matter. The site is a simple but powerful call to viewers to engage with the realities of drone warfare and to fight against the temptation to allow their effects to remain out of sight, out of mind.