New Documents Reveal U.S. Drone Program's Deadly Flaws

Posted Oct. 28, 2015

MP3 Interview with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor with Harper's Magazine, conducted by Scott Harris


An anonymous whistleblower working within a U.S. intelligence agency recently leaked secret documents to the online investigative publication, "The Intercept." The documents provide an uncensored view of the U.S. drone warfare program's operations in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia between 2011 and 2013. The source for the documents said he provided this information to the press because he "believes the public has a right to understand the process by which people are placed on kill lists and ultimately assassinated on orders from the highest echelons of the U.S. government."

The Intercept's eight-part series of articles titled, "The Drone Papers," reveals the flaws in the Pentagon's 14-year air campaign conducted against suspected terrorists that has used unreliable information to make life-and-death decisions in the assassination program. The unknown number of civilians killed in these operations has served to enrage entire communities and been used as a recruiting tool by anti-western and terrorist groups.

The authors of the Intercept series expressed hope that their investigation will provoke a public debate on the legal and moral consequences of a secret assassination program with little or no oversight, or checks and balances. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor with Harper's Magazine and author of a new book on the U.S. drone program titled, "Kill Chain: The Rise of the High Tech Assassins." Here, Cockburn, discusses the value of these secret documents in assessing the deadly flaws evident in the U.S. military's drone warfare program.

For more information visit Flying Blind by Andrew Cockburn; Kill Chain: The Rise of the High Tech Assassins and "The Drone Papers," published by the Intercept.

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