The confirmation hearings for CIA Director John Brennan put something of a damper on the drone strike program, at least with respect to Pakistan, and also put the practices of the global assassination program under a brief magnifying glass. Only two Pakistan strikes were reported during the month of February, and the US went to the unusual length of disavowing those attacks.
With the filibuster over and Brennan in place, a new drone strike was reported today, hitting North Waziristan and killing two totally unidentified people who were said to be traveling on “horseback.”
Local officials confirmed the strike, as did a Pakistani Taliban spokesman, though neither suggested that they had any idea of the identities of the slain. The US has not commented, which is business as usual for such attacks.
The Pakistani government has been increasingly critical of the attacks as national elections draw closers. The killings have been widely unpopular across Pakistan, sparking anti-US protests and anger at the government, which they suspect is secretly supporting the US in the endeavor.