CIA drones targeted “rescuers” in Pakistan


obama drone

What, doesn’t everyone with a Nobel Peace Prize do this?

One of the more repulsive and reprehensible terrorist tactics is the use of secondary explosive devices that target rescuers after an initial attack. There are few things worse than killing people trying to help the people you tried to kill.

Turns out that CIA drones utilized secondary attacks in Pakistan over a couple years, targeting people who arrive at the scene after an initial drone strike:

The Bureau first broke the story of the CIA’s deliberate targeting of rescuers in a February 2012 investigation for the Sunday Times. It found evidence of 11 attacks on rescuers – so-called ‘double-tap’ strikes – in Pakistan’s tribal areas between 2009 and 2011, along with a drone strike deliberately targeting a funeral, causing mass casualties. Reports of these controversial tactics ended by July 2011. But credible news reports emerged a year later indicating that double-tap strikes had been revived. International media including the BBCCNN and news agency AFP variously reported that rescuers had been targeted on five occasions between May 24 and July 23 2012, with a mosque and prayers for the dead also reportedly bombed. —

Killing rescuers is definitely a war crime, but there will definitely be some argument over whether the targets were actual rescuers or just other terrorists checking out their dead bros. Plus the CIA will probably bust out the “they did it first!” argument, but screw that. Superpowers are held to a higher standard than terrorists.

Ever since the Cold War, the CIA is responsible for the worst American atrocities across the world. Although the Agency conducts most operations black-op style with little oversight, the CIA still needs a Presidential Finding before they can operate. It’ll certainly be interesting to see if Obama specifically authorized the “double-tap” strikes, or just generally authorized drone strikes and the CIA ran with their own playbook. And by “interesting” I mean we’ll probably never find out.

Although it has surely saved American lives, the CIA Drone program atrocities will long be a glaring blemish in President Obama’s worldwide legacy. Our government covers-up most of the CIA’s shadiness – so while we might not see it, everyone else in the world does.

Read: Bureau investigation finds fresh evidence of CIA drone strikes on rescuers: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.