CIA Has 'Acquired A Taste' For Killing People With Drones; Won't Give It Up

from the that-seems-problematic dept

The US's use of drones is nothing if not controversial, and the overall secrecy around the program -- including the belief that it can be used against Americans as well -- has worried an awful lot of people. Even those in the administration who support the program apparently are uncomfortable with it implicitly, as the Obama administration had drawn up a whole bunch of rules that would limit drone killing... which they wanted to put in place in case Romeny won the election. But, when Obama won, they abandoned the idea. In other words, the position of the administration is basically, "trust us with these drone killing programs... but no one else." Under significant pressure about all of this, the President finally announced in May that the drone killing program would be moved from the CIA to the Defense Department, where it would have more oversight (slightly) and limits.

Except, as Foreign Policy is now reporting, that isn't actually happening and may never happen. The main reason appears to be fairly simple: the CIA loves killing people with these drones, and people in the Defense Department are kind of uncomfortable with doing so. So, the CIA wants to keep control, and the Defense Department doesn't want it.
The U.S. official said that while the platforms and the capabilities are common to either the Agency or the Pentagon, there remain distinctly different approaches to "finding, fixing and finishing" terrorist targets. The two organizations also use different approaches to producing the "intelligence feeds" upon which drone operations rely. Perhaps more importantly, after years of conducting drone strikes, the CIA has developed an expertise and a taste for them. The DOD's appetite to take over that mission may not run very deep.
Yes, the CIA has developed a taste for killing people from the skies with drones controlled from far away. It's like a sport.

Remember when the US banned assassinations by the CIA? Yeah. Weren't those the days?

Filed Under: assassinations, cia, defense department, dod, drones, targeting killing


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  1. icon
    nasch (profile), 7 Nov 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Innocent bystanders? How do you determine who is innocent?

    Someone who hasn't committed any crimes.

    "A joint research study released by Stanford University and the New York School of Law, recently claimed that US drone warfare had killed 50 civilians for each terrorist taken out in the name of Washington’s counter-terrorism strategy of targeted killing. "

    Al Majala, in 2009, was one example of where a drone attack went tragically wrong. At least 41 people were killed including 14 women and 21 children. Summing up the shock and grief, one angry survivor, an elderly man, said: “If they kill innocent children and call them al-Qaeda, then we are all al-Qaeda. If children are terrorists, then we are all terrorists.”

    The range of public estimates of civilian deaths from drone strikes, at the low end, includes the June 2011 statement by then-White House Counterterrorism Advisor John Brennan that there had not been “a single collateral death” in a year as a result of American drones. At the other extreme, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a London-based non-profit organization, puts the number of civilian casualties between 84 and 193 in 2010, and between 52 and 146 in 2011—the years that together encapsulate the period in which Brennan said there had been none.

    Anyway, I could go on. But I'll ask again, are you claiming that everyone killed by drones was involved with terrorism in some way?

    And of course the problem is not one of drones specifically, but of attacks, particularly air attacks, based on faulty information. For example:

    "On July 6, 2008, a large number of Afghan civilians were walking the bride of a wedding ceremony to the groom's village in an area called Kamala in Dih Bala district of the eastern province of Nangarhar.[6][7] When the group stopped for a rest, it was hit in succession by three bombs from United States military aircraft."

    I say particularly air attacks because if that had been soldiers on the ground presumably they would have seen that it was a wedding party with women and children. And before you mention it, no, I'm not saying that the solution is to send in the Army.

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