Democracy Now: U.S. Drone Program Spans Continents, Agencies

New details have been revealed on the extensive growth of the U.S. secretive drone program under President Obama. The Washington Post reports the U.S. drone program currently operates out of dozens of clandestine locations and at least six secret bases on two continents. Targets of drone strikes are determined by alternating military and intelligence agencies including the Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA, who both work off of overlapping, yet different assassination lists. The division of authority allows the military and the CIA to avoid the operational review of a single committee. Since President Obama took office in 2009, the drone program has expanded outside of Pakistan, where it was initiated, and the number of strikes has risen from 44 over the course of five years, to nearly 240. The number casualties resulting from drone strikes has reportedly sky-rocketed from roughly 400 to more than 1,600. U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan have all been outspoken supporters of the program in recent years. The only member of Obama’s team known to have formally raised objections is Dennis Blair, who was forced out from his role as director of national intelligence last year.

~ by wheresthemic on December 29, 2011.

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