CIA drones killed U.S. citizens in Pakistan, book says
CIA drones killed “many Westerners, including some U.S. passport holders” in Pakistan’s tribal area during the George W. Bush administration, the new book by Bob Woodward says.
Woodward,a longtime Washington Post journalist, writes in "Obama's Wars" that then-CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden disclosed the killings to Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting in New York on Nov. 12, 2008. Hayden was succeeded by Leon J. Panetta in 2009.
Hayden and his deputy, Stephen Kappes, had gone to meet with Zardari, elected only two months earlier, to gauge his reaction to the drone strikes, which were generating widespread protests in Pakistan.
According to Woodward’s unattributed account of the meeting, Zardari said, “Kill the seniors. Collateral damage worries you Americans. It does not worry me.”
Hayden had told Zardari that “many Westerners, including some U.S. passport holders, had been killed five days earlier on the Kam Sham training camp in the tribal area of North Warziristan,” Woodward writes. “But the CIA would not reveal the particulars due to the implications under American law.”
“A top secret CIA map detailing the attacks had been given to the Pakistanis,” Woodward continues. “Missing from it was the alarming fact about the American deaths … The CIA was not going to elaborate.”
The CIA declined to comment for the record or make Kappes, who resigned in April, available for comment. Hayden did not respond to requests for comment.
On Friday the Justice Department faces a deadline to respond to a suit by two human rights groups challenging the Obama administration’s right to kill U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical proselytizer based in Yemen.
correction: Deadline to respond was first erroneously reported as Thursday.
| September 22, 2010; 11:19 PM ET
Categories: Foreign policy, Intelligence, Justice/FBI | Tags: Asif Ali Zardari, Leon J. Panetta, Michael Hayden, Steven Kappes
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