“President Obama” adopts the Shaggy Defence against drone attack charges

June 26, 2013

Image of a drone flying

A parody video has been launched in which “President Obama” adopts the so-called Shaggy Defence – just say it wasn’t you – against charges he has killed thousands of people in illegal drone strikes around the world. 

The video – from human rights charity Reprieve and Lush Cosmetics, and produced by Don’t Panic London – premiered last night at an event at the Soho Hotel. Parodying Shaggy’s 2001 hit ‘It Wasn’t Me’. Featuring “President Obama”, “Shaggy” and “a drone”, the video is intended to raise awareness of Obama’s ongoing illegal drones programme in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – all countries with which the US is not at war. 

Attacks in these countries have so far killed an estimated 4,700 people including children, while drones circle overhead 24/7 terrorising entire communities.

UK companies and the UK government are complicit in the drone strikes through supplying material support and sharing intelligence.

Clive Stafford Smith, Director of Reprieve, said: “The Shaggy Defense’ is arguably Shaggy’s greatest contribution to popular culture. Following the release of his eponymous smash hit, cheating spouses around the world began to heed his invaluable advice and just say, ‘it wasn’t me’, when caught philandering. The true brilliance of ‘the Shaggy defense’ is that it can be applied to almost any situation including international war crimes such as drone attacks. When asked, just say: “it wasn’t me, it was my drone.” Free legal advice: you’re welcome, Mr President.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information please contact Clemency Wells in Reprieve’s Press Office: clemency.wells@reprieve.org.uk

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