Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory.
The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. Because the names of the dead and the threat they were believed to pose are secret, it is impossible for anyone without access to U.S. intelligence to assess whether the deaths were justified.I am actually prepared to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this, for the same reason that I was prepared to give Bush that same benefit on other national security matters. Still, it does concern me that the use of drones may not be the best way to win friends and influence people, and what really upsets me is how much the establishment left media is sitting silent on this question. It makes me inclined to think that their concern about civil liberties and the rule of law was really just partisan politics, so that they could figure out how to get their snouts back into the public trough.