Obama’s Air Force No Longer Making Drone Strike Records Public
You are no longer on a need-to-know basis
As scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website.
Last October, Air Force Central Command started tallying weapons releases from RPAs, broken down into monthly updates. At the time, AFCENT spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender said the numbers would be put out every month as part of a service effort to “provide more detailed information on RPA ops in Afghanistan.”
The Air Force maintained that policy for the statistics reports for November, December and January. But the February numbers, released March 7, contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been.
Additionally, monthly reports hosted on the Air Force website have had the RPA data removed — and recently.
Those files still contained the RPA data as of Feb. 16, according to archived web pages accessed via Archive.org. Metadata included in the new, RPA-less versions of the reports show the files were all created Feb. 22.
Defense Department spokesman Cmdr. Bill Speaks said the department was not involved in the decision to remove the statistics. AFCENT did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
The data removal coincided with increased scrutiny on RPA policy caused by President Barack Obama’s nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA. Brennan faced opposition in the Senate over the use of RPAs and his defense of their legality in his role as Obama’s deputy national security adviser.
On Feb. 20, two days before the metadata indicates the scrubbed files were created, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sent a letter to Brennan saying that he would filibuster the nomination over concerns about using RPA strikes inside the U.S., a threat he carried out for over 12 hours on March 6 (Brennan was confirmed the next day).
That same day, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., told a crowd in South Carolina that strikes by American RPAs have killed 4,700 people. source – Air Force Times
|Print article||This entry was posted by NTEB News Desk on March 9, 2013 at 3:45 am, and is filed under Drones, Headline News, Military, Obama. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|
about 3 days ago - 319 comments
about 1 week ago - 115 comments
about 1 week ago - 226 comments
about 2 weeks ago - 36 comments
about 2 weeks ago - 81 comments
about 2 weeks ago - 39 comments
about 2 weeks ago - 52 comments
about 2 weeks ago - 178 comments
about 3 weeks ago - 51 comments
about 3 weeks ago - 46 comments