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Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. The U.S. is conducting drone strikes in in at least three countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stanley Thompson)
by Cora Currier
ProPublica, Jan. 11, 2013, 1:14 p.m.
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Jan. 11, 2013: this post has been corrected.
You might have heard about the “kill list.” You’ve certainly heard about drones. But the details of the U.S. campaign against militants in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia -- a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s national security approach – remain shrouded in secrecy. Here’s our guide to what we know—and what we don’t know.
Where is the drone war? Who carries it out?
Drones have been the Obama administration’s tool of choice for taking out militants outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones aren’t the exclusive weapon – traditional airstrikes and other attacks have also been reported. But by one estimate, 95 percent of targeted killings since 9/11 have been conducted by drones.  Among the benefits of drones: they don’t put American troops in harm’s way.
The first reported drone strike against Al Qaeda happened in Yemen in 2002. The CIA ramped up secret drone strikes in Pakistan under President George W. Bush in 2008. Under Obama, they have expanded drastically there and in Yemen in 2011.
The CIA isn’t alone in conducting drone strikes. The military has acknowledged “direct action” in Yemen and Somalia. Strikes in those countries are reportedly carried out by the secretive, elite Joint Special Operations Command. Since 9/11, JSOC has grown more than tenfold, taking on intelligence-gathering as well as combat roles. (For example, JSOC was responsible for the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.)  
The drone war is carried out remotely, from the U.S.  and a network of secret bases around the world. The Washington Post got a glimpse – through examining construction contracts and showing up uninvited – at the base in the tiny African nation of Djibouti from which many of the strikes on Yemen and Somalia are carried out. Earlier this year, Wired pieced together an account of the war against Somalia’s al-Shabaab militant group and the U.S.’s expanded military presence throughout Africa.
The number of strikes in Pakistan has ebbed in recent years, from a peak of more than 100 in 2010, to an estimated 46 last year. Meanwhile, the pace in Yemen picked up, with more than 40 last year. But there have been seven strikes in Pakistan in the first ten days of 2013.
Drone War Jargon
AUMF The Authorization for Use of Military Force, an act of Congress passed days after the 9/11 attacks, giving the president authority to take "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone involved in the attack or harboring those who were. Both Bush and Obama have claimed broad authorities to detain and kill terror suspects based on the AUMF.
AQAP Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is the Yemen-based al Qaeda affiliate tied to the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing in 2009. Over the past year, the U.S. has ramped up strikes against AQAP, targeting leaders as well as unspecified militants.
DISPOSITION MATRIX A system for tracking terror targets and assessing when – and where – they could be killed or captured. The Washington Post reported this fall that the Disposition Matrix is an attempt to codify for the long haul the administration's "kill lists."
GLOMAR A response rejecting a request for information on a classified program asserting that the information's mere existence can neither be confirmed nor denied. The name comes from 1968, when the CIA told journalists it could neither "confirm nor deny" the existence of a ship called the Glomar Explorer. The CIA has responded to information requests about its drone program with Glomar responses.
JSOC Joint Special Operations Command is a secretive, elite segment of the military. JSOC squads carried out the Bin Laden raid and run the military's drone programs in Yemen and Somalia and also conduct intelligence gathering.
PERSONALITY STRIKE A targeted attack on a particular individual identified as a terrorist leader.
SIGNATURE STRIKE A strike against someone believed to be a militant whose identity isn't necessarily known. Such strikes are reportedly based on a "pattern of life" analysis – intelligence on their behavior suggesting that an individual is a militant. The policy, reportedly begun by Bush in Pakistan in 2008, is now allowed in Yemen.
TADS Terror Attack Disruption Strikes, sometimes used to refer to some strikes when the identity of the target is not known. Administration officials have said that the criteria for TADS are different from signature strikes, but it is not clear how.
How are targets chosen?
A series of articles based largely on anonymous comments from administration officials have given partial picture of how the U.S. picks targets and carries out strikes. Two recent reports – from researchers at Columbia Law School and from the Council on Foreign Relations– also give detailed overviews of what’s known about the process.
The CIA and the military have reportedly long maintained overlapping “kill lists.” According to news reports last spring, the military’s list was hashed out in Pentagon-run interagency meetings, with the White House approving proposed targets. Obama would authorize particularly sensitive missions himself.
This year, the process reportedly changed, to concentrate the review of individuals and targeting criteria in the White House. According to the Washington Post, the reviews now happen at regular interagency meetings at the National Counterterrorism Center. Recommendations are sent to a panel of National Security Council officials. Final revisions go through White House counterterror adviser John Brennan to the president. Several profiles have highlighted Brennan’s powerful and controversial role in shaping the trajectory of the targeted killing program. This week, Obama nominated Brennan to head the CIA.
At least some CIA strikes don’t have to get White House signoff. The director of the CIA can reportedly green-light strikes in Pakistan. In a 2011 interview, John Rizzo, previously the CIA’s top lawyer, said agency attorneys did an exhaustive review of each target.
Doesn’t the U.S. sometimes target people whose names they don’t know?
Yes.  While administration officials often have frequently framed drone strikes as going after “high-level al Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks” against the U.S., many strikes go after apparent militants whose identities the U.S. doesn’t know. The so-called “signature strikes” began under Bush in early 2008 and were expanded by Obama. Exactly what portion of strikes are signature strikes isn’t clear.
At various points the CIA’s use of signature strikes in Pakistan in particular have caused tensions with the White House and State Department. One official told the New York Times about a joke that for the CIA, “three guys doing jumping jacks,” was a terrorist training camp.
In Yemen and Somalia, there is debate about whether the militants targeted by the U.S. are in fact plotting against the U.S. or instead fighting against their own country. Micah Zenko, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who has been critical of the drone program, toldProPublica that the U.S. is essentially running “a counterinsurgency air force” for allied countries. At times, strikes have relied on local intelligence that later proves faulty. The Los Angeles Times recently examined the case of a Yemeni man killed by a U.S. drone and the complex web of allegiances and politics surrounding his death.
How many people have been killed in strikes?
The precise number isn’t known, but some estimates peg the total around 3,000.
A number of groups are tracking strikes and estimating casualties:
·         The Long War Journal covers Pakistan and Yemen.
·         The New America Foundation covers Pakistan.
·         The London Bureau of Investigative Journalism covers Yemen, Somalia, and Pakistan, as well as statistics from on drone strikes carried out in Afghanistan.
How many of those killed are have been civilians?
It’s impossible to know.
There has been considerable back-and-forth about the tally of civilian casualties. For instance, the New America Foundation estimates between 261 and 305 civilians have been killed in Pakistan; The Bureau of Investigative Journalism gives a range of 475 - 891. All of the counts are much higher than the very low numbers of deaths the administration claims. (We’ve detailed inconsistencies even within those low estimates.)  Some analyses show that civilian deaths have dropped proportionally in recent years.
The estimates are largely compiled by interpreting news reports relying on anonymous officials or accounts from local media, whose credibility may vary. (For example, the Washington Post reported last month that the Yemeni government often tries to conceal the U.S.’ role in airstrikes that kill civilians.)
The controversy has been compounded by the fact that the U.S. reportedly counts any military-age male killed in a drone strike as a militant. An administration official told ProPublica, “If a group of fighting age males are in a home where we know they are constructing explosives or plotting an attack, it's assumed that all of them are in on that effort.” It’s not clear what if any investigation occurs after the fact.
Columbia Law School conducted an in-depth analysis of what we know about the U.S.’s efforts to mitigate and calculate civilian casualties. It concluded that the drone war’s covert nature hampered accountability measures taken in traditional military actions. Another report from Stanford and NYU documented “anxiety and psychological trauma” among Pakistani villagers.
This fall, the U.N. announced an investigation into the civilian impact – in particular, allegations of “double-tap” strikes, in which a second strike targets rescuers.
Why just kill? What about capture?
Administration officials have said in speeches that militants are targeted for killing when they pose an imminent threat to the U.S. and capture isn’t feasible. But killing appears to be is far more common than capture, and accounts of strikes don’t generally shed light on “imminent” or “feasible.”  Cases involving secret, overseas captures under Obama show the political and diplomatic quandaries in deciding how and where a suspect could be picked up.
This fall, the Washington Post described something called the “disposition matrix” – a process that has contingency plans for what to do with terrorists depending where they are. The Atlantic mapped out how that decision-making might happen in the case of a U.S. citizen, based on known examples. But of course, the details of the disposition matrix, like the “kill lists” it reportedly supplants, aren’t known.
What’s the legal rationale for all this?
Obama administration officials have given a series of speeches broadly outlining the legal underpinning for strikes, but they never talk about specific cases. In fact, they don’t officially acknowledge the drone war at all.   
 The White House argues that Congress’ 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force as well as international law on nations’ right to self-defense provides sound legal basis for targeting individuals affiliated with Al Qaeda or “associated forces,” even outside Afghanistan. That can include U.S. citizens.
“Due process,” said Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech last March, “takes into account the realities of combat.”
What form that “due process” takes hasn’t been detailed. And, as we’ve reported, the government frequently clams up when it comes to specific questions – like  civilian casualties, or the reasons specific individuals were killed.
Just last week, a federal judge ruled that the government did not have to release a secret legal memo making the case for the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen. The judge also ruled the government did not have to respond to other requests seeking more information about targeted killing in general.  (In making the ruling, the judge acknowledged a “Catch-22,” saying that the government claimed “as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.”)
The U.S. has also sought to dismiss a lawsuit brought by family members over Awlaki’s death and that of his 16-year-old son – also a U.S. citizen -- who was killed in a drone strike.
When does the drone war end?
The administration has reportedly discussed scaling back the drone war, but by other accounts, it is formalizing the targeted killing program for the long haul. The U.S. estimates there Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has a “few thousand” members; but officials have also said the U.S. cannot “capture or kill every last terrorist who claims an affiliation with al Qaeda.”
Jeh Johnson, who just stepped down as general counsel for the Pentagon, gave a speech last month entitled, “The Conflict Against Al Qaeda and its Affiliates: How Will It End?” He didn’t give a date.
 John Brennan has reportedly said the CIA should return to its focus on intelligence-gathering. But Brennan’s key role in running the drone war from the White House has led to debate about how much he would actually curtail the agency’s involvement if he is confirmed as CIA chief.
What about backlash abroad?
There appears to be plenty of it. Drone strikes are deeply unpopular in the countries where they occur, sparking frequent protests. Despite that, Brennan said last August that the U.S. saw,“little evidence that these actions are generating widespread anti-American sentiment or recruits.”
General Stanley McChrystal, who led the military in Afghanistan, recently contradicted that, saying, “The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes ... is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one.” The New York Times recently reported that Pakistani militants have carried out a campaign of brutal reprisals against locals, accusing them of spying for the U.S.
As for international governments: Top U.S. allies have mostly kept silent. A 2010 U.N. report raised concerns about the precedent of a covert, boundary-less war. The President of Yemen, Abdu Hadi, supports the U.S. campaign, while Pakistan maintains an uneasy combination of public protest and apparent acquiescence.
Who to Follow
For reporting and commentary on the drone war on Twitter:
@drones collects op-eds and news on well, drones. (Run by members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has been outspoken about privacy concerns in the use of domestic drones, but it also covers national security.)
@natlsecuritycnn has breaking news.
@Dangerroom from Wired covers national security and technology, including a lot on drones.
@lawfareblog covers the drone war’s legal dimensions.
@gregorydjohnsen is an expert on Yemen, who is closely following the war there.
@AfPakChannel from the New America Foundation and Foreign Policy tweets news and commentary on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Correction: An earlier version of this piece referenced a speech given by former State Department legal adviser Harold Koh. The speech was in fact given by Jeh Johnson, then general counsel for the Pentagon.
Follow @coracurrier
26 comments
trash trasisfree
Jan. 11, 2:10 p.m.
The only real difference between Nazi Germany’s V2 rockets and our drones, our drones kill far more people per attack. Many of them have nothing to do with terrorism. Every time you kill someone, especially children, you foster hate against America.
Tim Kelly
Jan. 11, 7:16 p.m.
I think something that is missed about the drone strikes is who really all knows.  As you notice you don’t hear the major confrontation players from the UN being China and Russia complaining.  Everything about these drones surveillance or strike would be like kicking a bees nest regularly unless the CIA counterparts were being involved.  Nobody knows where these drones are taking off from because it could be anyway being prop driven.  They can also carry weaponry upto strategic nuclear weapons that can be mounted on a fighter and the surveillance drones are just common prop planes and don’t show significant speed or elevation and probably have some very interesting radar avoidance for tracking or targeting.  As at example Iran took a shot at one of them and either they intensionally missed or for some reason could hit a prop driven plan which would seem unlikely unless the technology prevented it and of course we tracked and recorded Iran’s encounter.  What I am saying is China and Russia knows about this program at a level that makes them comfortable and works perfect for them because they don’t want to be a particpant and have the crazy’s start going after them.
Shahislam
Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Drone is a dangerously smart tool but feasibly use-able for fighting against future’s global terrorists cornered in some land pieces of mostly brutal minded civilians.
Wise folks must take a note: this machine should be used honestly under one further honest UN-power led by ‘North-American non-violent public power. We are lusky to be the homeland of a emerging New UN power.
Realization of this human-thought, via fearless great leaders like Biden, Obama and you, is possible within only a decade.
Euan Smith
Jan. 12, 4:53 a.m.
A major difference between V2s and Drones, is that V2s were an unguided weapon, while the Drones are consciously directed against specific targets (admittedly, the use of Hellfire Missiles and 500lb LGBs does mean that the specific target covers quite a large area). So which is worse; indiscriminate attacks against a general population or targeted attacks against specific targets and their surroundings? Frankly I don’t know. All I know is that neither is likely to earn you friends.
John Henry Bicycle LucasJan. 12, 11:25 a.m.
The drone program for killing people is totally wrong. It reduces the act of taking another human’s life down to a clean, removed act, without incurring any risks, and without having to witness the aftermath.
It is also an act of cowardice.
It is a tool of terror.
Instead of making us safer from “terrorist” it breeds terrorist, or hatred of our nation at least.
How do we know we are not on the “secret kill list”? Whatgets you on this list? Well, we sure know the only way off of it! Since the United States has been declared a battlefield, and the POTUS has decided that taking American Citizen’s lives overseas is legal for his office to administer, he can do it here and be all nice and legal. Great.
Our country has gone so far off the rails in what we are doing to ourselves and other nations, it’s doubtful we will ever get back to where we need to be.
James M. Fitzsimmons
Jan. 12, 2:56 p.m.
The difference in the media’s treatment of the Obama/Biden administration’s aggressive counter-terrorism policies vs. Bush/Cheney’s is stark. The media unabashedly tilts left and is apologetic for its heroes. The citizen who wants to be accurately informed has a formidable challenge. Thank you Cora Currier and ProPublica for this objective report.
Mew
Jan. 12, 5:26 p.m.
“John Rizzo, previously the CIA’s top lawyer, said agency attorneys did an exhaustive review of each target.”
If that’s true, then why did they murder Abdulrahman Awlaki, an American teenager?
If they targeted him, they targeted an American child.  If they murdered him by accident, it proves that they’re indiscriminate about targeting.  After all, scores of others were killed along with him.  If the target is at a restaurant, murdering everyone present is just murder, pure and simple.
I suppose if the goal of the U.S. government is to subvert U.S. values, secret kill lists are a great option.
Pugnacious
Jan. 13, 8:17 a.m.
The “V” in V-1 and V-2 isGerman for “Vergeltungswqaffen,” or reprisal weapons used against Bomber Harris’  and Churchill’s blanket terror bombing of German cities. Churchill ordered the first terror bombing of Germany on May 1940, followed by Hitler’s warnings of reprisals if the firebombings did not cease. Churchill continued the bombings and the so-called Blitz began. Read David Irving;s “The War Between the Generals” and “Hitler’s War” for the REAL history nof WWII. Irving’s work is based upon original sources, de-coded intelligence material, personal memoirs, diaries and interviews with living witnesses of members of Hitler’s inner circle.  Not Hollywood Bolshevik scripwriters and pulp fiction con artists.
Marc Rodgers
Jan. 13, 9:18 a.m.
This is another disgusting abuse of power by OBOZO. There is no longer a threat of global terror after Arab Spring and the MURDERS he commits by using these weapons of indiscriminate destruction is simply another way of advancing the socialist goals set forth by his controllers. I will never support our troops so long as this evil man is the commander-in-chief.
Matt
Jan. 13, 9:56 a.m.
Thanks for this. Question: why do you say, as well as other reporters, that the administration does not acknowledge the drone strikes? John Brennan has talked about them openly (e.g. http://www.npr.org/2012/05/01/151778804/john-brennan-delivers-speech-on-drone-ethics​).
Or is that not considered an official acknowledgement?
THE TRUTH
Jan. 13, 10:18 a.m.
OVER TWO THOUSAND WOMEN AND CHILDREN HAVE DIED . HOW CAN YOU KILL PEOPLE , AND YOU DONT EVEN KNOW THEIR NAMES . IT MEANS YOUR JUST KILLING AND DONT CARE OR REALLY RESEARCH ON WHOSE A TERRORIST . YOU ENJOY KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE . THIS YOUR VODOOO RITUAL KILLING MUST STOP IMMEDIATELY. I CALL ON YAWEH ABOUT THIS SITUATION
Tim
Jan. 13, 11:45 a.m.
This war is not what we wanted but had no choice.  I do think at times about wars for the wrong reason just makes us become the same versus when we fight and die for the right reasons.  The people we are fighting have no rules or wear uniforms.  They embed themselves with innocent people in the hope they will be killed so we are identified as just killing innocent people.  We will be exiting all this because realize we can’t do it alone.  All the killing of innocent people will continue in some other form or fassion as it still does to much with us and time we start taking care of ourselves and have no problem with that.
Timcarn
Jan. 13, 12:43 p.m.
Hey Tim, here’s a solution…
We do have a choice. How about we leave them the fuck alone. They are all innocent. We in he west are the fucking terrorists.  And now with the drones we are cowardly fucking terrorists. Wake the fuck up!
Shahislam
Jan. 13, 4:55 p.m.
We better collectively believe in the ultimate power of CC (Clue is in http://www.shahislam.com​). CC works through humans for the humans sometimes aggressively for humanly good reasons or the otherwise if majority still remains belief-blind ignorants.
This century is a starter of difficult time for the gun makers, private gun users and gun lovers.
It’s now will be wise to get used to popular Propaganda of time: Gun is criminal (Like last century’s item: Cigs).
Pugnacious
Jan. 13, 5:30 p.m.
Tim~
It was the war of our choice with CIA’s capo di tutti capi , George H. W. Bush initiating the terror bombing of Baghdad based upon C-SPAN’s false flag Iraqi Baby Incubator hoax engineered by California congressman Tom Lantos and his so-called Human Rights Caucus… and Brian Lamb knowingly allowed the gullible goyim to be duped by these falsehoods.
I hear that Bush aide sent to lure Saddam Hussein into the Kuwait trap, April Glaspie, is now living in South Africa. She is prohibited from publishing her memoirs and notes from that meeting.
Pugnacious
Jan. 13, 5:45 p.m.
The other witness to the “green Light”  Kuwait trap set by Bush and Glaspie was Tariq Aziz, who was sentenced to death. I hear that he is living in London.
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Iraq/April_Glaspie.html
John
Jan. 14, 10:10 a.m.
Apart from the things other people have pointed out:
- Drones are our suicide bombers, which offended us so
- Blowing up people remotely breeds more enemies than it kills
- Nobody can list a single plot that has been genuinely foiled
- Any of us might be on a kill list, waiting for us to renew our passports
...militants are targeted for killing when they pose an imminent threat to the U.S. and capture isn’t feasible…
Seriously?  Hundreds and hundreds of people in destitute surroundings were all JUST ABOUT to do grievous harm to the United States?  Are we expecting them to walk across the Pacific Ocean, perhaps?
Yesterday
Jan. 15, 3:11 p.m.
my favorite part is where she skipped the targeting and murder of US citizens via. drone strikes….cute, vapid aritcle…must be her first day.
Shane
Jan. 16, 1:27 a.m.
What about the targeting of rescue workers and the targeting of funerals with drone strikes? Why is that missing from the article? This is missing a lot of key facts that show just how horrific the war crimes of the Obama administration actually are (and Bush for that matter as well)
Rick B
Jan. 16, 1:50 a.m.
What about the term “Double Tap”? Going back and striking the same target after medics, family members, bystanders or whomever are trying to pull out and help any survivors. Is this true? Is it not a War crime? Why are other countries and or the UN ... mmm looking away?
Cora Currier
Jan. 16, 10:28 a.m.
@Matt—You’re right, it’s an issue of official acknowledgement. In court cases the administration has argued that while it has discussed drones and targeted killings in general, those statements don’t constitute an official acknowledgement of particular strikes. Brennan’s speech also never mentions who is conducting strikes. You can read more in our article: http://www.propublica.org/article/how-the-govt-talks-about-a-drone-program-it-wont-acknowledge
@Shane and Rick B—There’s discussion of a U.N. investigation into alleged double-tap strikes under the civilian casualties question.
Mark
Jan. 16, 6:18 p.m.
Wow, I am amazed at some of the comments in here criticizing the use of the drones.
Do you critics realize why we are in Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan in the first place? Have you forgotten September 11, 2001 already which 3 THOUSAND innocent civilians were murdered by international terrorists?
The amount of terrorists or supposed terrorists killed by our drones is NOTHING compared to the THOUSANDS of civilians murdered on 9/11.
I don’t give a hoot if civilians are caught in the explosions of the drone bombs or not. They’re future terrorists removed from the terrorist watch list.
TRAITORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Colleen Adams
Jan. 16, 6:49 p.m.
Mark, why do you think 9/11 happened?  It happened because of the ill will toward the usa for involvement in other countries.  Your third paragraph would be laughable, except it isn’t funny.  The usa and its coalition of the willing is responsable for 100,000’s of thousands of deaths in the middle east and africa in the last 10 or so years.  Ill will toward the usa is growing and not only in the middle east.  You may have the acquiencence of our governments but I can assure you there is a growing revulsion towards the usa and its foreign policies amoung every day folk the world over, not only in those countries destroyed by you. 
The usa will not be able to complain or call fowl play when China rules the world.  Be careful what you teach your enemies.
John Henry Bicycle LucasJan. 16, 8:04 p.m.
Mark, all the Islamic people do not want to blow us up. Only a small fraction of them do.
We are encouraging more and more bad guys by the drones blowing them up, sure, we would be ready to fight someone if they were doing it to us.
We are in Afghanistan to build a nation and put in a regime that is friendly to us, we are nation building. Just like the USSR did a few years ago. We condemned them for it, and financed huge amounts of funds and weapons to Osama Bin Ladin and his groups to run the USSR out.
Oh, and by the way, Afganistan has been having record opium crops since we have stabalized the country.
I have no idea why we are in Yemen except the strategic location, and we want the regime that is there to stay in power. Since they are friendly to us. We are conducting drone strikes in Yemen, I do know this.
Pakistan is in the nuclear club, so we want to stay friendly with them. So we do a little dirty work for them.
Why are we in Africa with drones? I don’t have any idea…yet. It will come out.
We went to Iraq to cause the death of over a million people and make Haliburton and Blackwater and contractors like them wealthy, as far as I can see. Oh, and don’t forget the largest embassy in the world is there that can hold over 15,000 people. Kind of sounds like a military base doesn’t it?
Indiscriminate killing of other people in other countries without a war being declared is against our own Constitution and against international laws.
Colladeral damage is a “justification” for killing of innocents. It is just another term to rename something that is totally WRONG and dressing it up to make it sound less WRONG.
Mark, how long do you think it will be before the drones that are flying over our country, keeping a watch over us are armed? I hope the thought conforts you, because it does not comfort me nor make me feel any safer at all, in fact it does the opposite.
Mark when you get to a certain age, you realize all life is sacred, you obviously have not reached this realization yet. The only reason to take someone else’s life is when you have no other choice.

Mark, just who do you think is a terrorist? Maybe I think you are.
Linda
Jan. 17, 9:36 a.m.
#1 We are not at war with anyone. (Officially). #2 No one will ever forget 9/11, but do you really think the answer is to assinate and bomb people that may or may not be terrorists? With the “intelligence gathering” we have we can stop any threats to our soil. This is not happening on our soil, and it’s such a threat to the US our hailed leader would love to be in front of the cameras bragging about it. I think we just got our answer to the “hot miked” comments Obama had to be delivered to Putin. We’re doing Russia’s dirty work, and probably China’s too. Ever read other countries news about US?  Anybody see reports that Hilary’s “illness” was actually the result of aircraft crash with secret meeting with Prez in Iran and Navy seal that allegedly killed himself in Afghanistan was actually part of security detail and. died in crash. Russian Pravda reporting that. Talk about conspiracy theory! Won’t see that in MSM. Maybe ProPublica can check into that.
John
Jan. 17, 9:44 a.m.
Yes, Mark.  We’re in Afghanistan because twenty Saudi Arabian men funded by Pakistan destroyed the World Trade Center with hijacked aircraft.  And it totally makes sense, too, because we found Osama bin Laden in Afgha…well, OK, Pakistan.
I guess all those countries look the same, right?  As long as any people die for a crime in enough volume, your thirst for revenge will be satisfied.
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