Nation & World News

Report: Memos Unmask Pakistan’s Approval Of Drone Strikes

By Mark Memmott on October 24th, 2013

While it is been “one of the more poorly kept national security secrets in Washington and Islamabad” that Pakistani leaders privately endorse U.S. drone strikes aimed at terrorists in their country, The Washington Post says that:

“Top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos” it has obtained show that “top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts.”

The Post’s exclusive, written by intelligence correspondent Greg Miller and investigative legend Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, adds that:

“The files expose the explicit nature of a secret arrangement struck between the two countries at a time when neither was willing to publicly acknowledge the existence of the drone program. The documents detailed at least 65 strikes in Pakistan and were described as ‘talking points’ for CIA briefings, which occurred with such regularity that they became a matter of diplomatic routine. The documents are marked ‘top ­secret’ but cleared for release to Pakistan.

“A spokesman for the Pakistani Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment. A CIA spokesman declined to discuss the documents but did not dispute their authenticity.”

The report came just hours after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Obama at the White House. Voice of America writes that:

“As he has done elsewhere in Washington, Prime Minister Sharif called for an end to drone strikes the United States has used to target al-Qaida and militant figures in Pakistan’s tribal areas.”

But as NPR’s Philip Reeves said Tuesday on Morning Edition:

“There’s a difference between the public and the private positions of senior Pakistani government officials on this issue. Some senior figures in government and in the army are known to have in the past privately supported drone strikes. And, indeed, a certain element of the Pakistani public actually feels the same way.”

Nawaz is expected to be back in Pakistan on Friday.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

St. Louis Rams draft pick Michael Sam watches pregame festivities before the start of the South Dakota State-Missouri NCAA college football game on Saturday, in Columbia, Mo. Sam, the first openly gay player drafted by an NFL team, was released by the St. Louis Rams Saturday.

Michael Sam, First Openly Gay NFL Draft, Is Dropped By Rams

The former Missouri defensive end was edged out in a competition against undrafted rookie Ethan Westbrooks for a spot on St. Louis’ roster.


A member of the Lesotho military looks on as he stands guard in front of an armed personnel carrier at the entrance of the army barracks in the capital Maseru on Saturday. Lesotho's Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has accused the army of staging a coup.

South Africa Condemns Apparent Coup In Lesotho

Early Saturday, soldiers in the tiny kingdom completely surrounded by South Africa took to the streets amid gunfire, forcing the prime minister to flee. The army has denied a takeover.


Smoke rises near a Syrian flag hoisted up a flagpole as a result of the fighting between Syrian rebels and the Syrian Army over the control of Quneitra crossing, on Saturday. The area is where  dozens of U.N. peacekeepers had been under siege by Nusra Front fighters.

U.N. Peacekeepers Rescued After Being Trapped By Syrian Militants

Dozens of blue-helmeted Filipino soldiers were extracted after a firefight with militants on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.


Nicaraguan Miners Trapped After Collapse

Four miners remain trapped after 22 others were rescued at a gold and silver mine near the south central city of Bonanza.


An Oct. 28, 1985 photo of John A. Walker, Jr., being escorted by a federal marshal as he leaves the Montgomery County Detention Center in Rockville, Md., enroute to a federal court in Baltimore. He was ultimately sentenced to life in prison on espionage charges.

John Walker Jr., Cold War Spy For Soviets, Dies At 77

The U.S. Navy warrant officer recruited his son, his brother and a friend to help him steal and sell classified message keys to the USSR over a 17-year period.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments