Sen. Feinstein: I Thought Pakistan Drone Strikes Were ‘Secret’

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Puzzled at Obama's Comments

The candor in Obama’s admission yesterday that the US drone war is ongoing in Pakistan, albeit with a dismissal of the large number of civilian casualties, has taken some people by surprise.

Among them is Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), the Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman, who during a committee today reminded members not to discuss the existence of the supposedly “classified” drone program, while expressing annoyance that “various parts of the executive branch may be doing somewhat the opposite.

Begun under President Bush, the drone war in Pakistan has escalated enormously since President Obama took office, killing thousands of people in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

Overwhelmingly, the victims of these strikes are anonymous “suspects,” tribesmen who remain unnamed and with no evidence ever presented that they were in any targeted terrorist groups. The exact civilian death toll will likely never be known, but the best evidence suggests that a solid majority of the victims were innocent civilians. The number of militant “leaders” confirmed killed is miniscule, particularly when one considers how many of the names belong to targets who have supposedly been killed multiple times or who remain at large.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.