Friday, Oct 09th

Last update03:31:45 AM GMT

You are here News War C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strike

C.I.A. Is Disputed on Civilian Toll in Drone Strike

E-mail Print PDF

CIA civilian death claim disputedOn May 6, a Central Intelligence Agency drone fired a volley of missiles at a pickup truck carrying nine militants and bomb materials through a desolate stretch of Pakistan near the Afghan border. It killed all the militants — a clean strike with no civilian casualties, extending what is now a yearlong perfect record of avoiding collateral deaths.

Or so goes the United States government’s version of the attack, from an American official briefed on the classified C.I.A. program. Here is another version, from a new report compiled by British and Pakistani journalists: The missiles hit a religious school, an adjoining restaurant and a house, killing 18 people — 12 militants, but also 6 civilians, known locally as Samad, Jamshed, Daraz, Iqbal, Noor Nawaz and Yousaf.

The civilian toll of the C.I.A.’s drone campaign, which is widely credited with disrupting Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan’s tribal area, has been in bitter dispute since the strikes were accelerated in 2008. Accounts of strike after strike from official and unofficial sources are so at odds that they often seem to describe different events.

The debate has intensified since President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John O. Brennan, clearly referring to the classified drone program, said in June that for almost a year, “there hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency, precision of the capabilities we’ve been able to develop.” Other officials say that extraordinary claim still holds: since May 2010, C.I.A. officers believe, the drones have killed more than 600 militants — including at least 20 in a strike reported Wednesday — and not a single noncombatant.

Cutting through the fog of the drone war is important in part because the drone aircraft deployed in Pakistan are the leading edge of a revolution in robotic warfare that has already expanded to Yemen and Somalia, and that military experts expect to sweep the world.


Most Recent Related Stories...

Top general on Afghan hospital raid: US brass behind decision to strike

US General blames US for hospital hitThe top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, accepted the United States’ responsibility Tuesday for...

U.N.: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reach record levels

Afghanistan civilian casualtiesThe number of women and children killed or injured through the year in Afghanistan increased by...

Medical charity says up tp 20 dead in air strike on northern Afghan hospital, including 3 children

Hopsital hit by US in AfghanistanThe United States has been condemned for launching an airstrike on a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors...

The Company Getting Rich Off the ISIS War

Paul WolfowitzFor the Middle East, the growth of the self-proclaimed Islamic State has been a catastrophe. For...
America's # 1 Enemy
Tee Shirt
& Help Support!
TVNL Tee Shirt
Conserve our Planet
& Help Support!
Get your 9/11 & Media
Deception Dollars
& Help Support!
The Loaded Deck
The First & the Best!
The Media & Bush Admin Exposed!