Tag Archives: cia assassination program

The War Drones on

By Robert C. Koehler

“Complaints about civilian casualties have also stirred concern among human rights advocates.”

The problem is that a sentence like this — arguably a dead sentence, with a few quasi-facts entombed in an inert moral sensibility — parades as serious news. I mean, it’s lifted straight from the New York Times: from a story about drones, the CIA hit list and our cool new PlayStation way of killing bad dudes (and everyone else in the vicinity). Someone with an active conscience could come upon a sentence like that, in the middle of a painfully ill-focused story on the endless war, and think she must be going insane.

As an archeological find, it’s worth examining in closer detail, but first let me put it in context. The use of pilotless aircraft in Pakistan and Afghanistan to assassinate Taliban or al-Qaida leaders and other Islamic, America-hating insurgents — with missiles, no less — seems to have hit a snag of legal controversy lately because of the news that one of the people on the list of targets, Anwar al-Awlaki, was born in New Mexico. He’s an American citizen.

This is where my moral consternation begins, and immediately radiates in several directions:

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Blackwater: CIA Assassins?

By Jeremy Scahill

In April 2002, the CIA paid Blackwater more than $5 million to deploy a small team of men inside Afghanistan during the early stages of US operations in the country. A month later, Erik Prince, the company’s owner and a former Navy SEAL, flew to Afghanistan as part of the original twenty-man Blackwater contingent. Blackwater worked for the CIA at its station in Kabul as well as in Shkin, along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where they operated out of a mud fortress known as the Alamo. It was the beginning of a long relationship between Blackwater, Prince and the CIA.

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