This Drone Assurance Brought to You By Northrop Grumman


Dianne Feinstein gave a speech to the World Affairs Council yesterday. As part of it (after 9:10), she gave the following reassurances regarding the oversight of drone strikes.

We have a special effort on the CIA Predator program. The staff has made 28 visits to various facilities, attended intelligence gathering, we have looked at the intelligence. The key to these, to minimize collateral damage, to go for the targeted individuals, but to have intelligence which is just as good as it can be to be totally actionable. And so the collateral damage is really greatly reduced beyond what you may read in the press. I have asked, “please please please can I release these numbers?” And the answer is [laughs] “no, they’re classified.” So that’s about as far as I could go on that.

Ah, well, that’s about as far as you can go! If the CIA tells you it can’t release its claims about civilian casualties publicly so they can be reviewed by people on the ground, so people who aren’t getting all their information from the same people pressing the trigger double check those claims, I guess that’s as far as you can go then!

What I like best is the prominent role drone manufacturer Northrop Grumman (they don’t make the Predators used in CIA’s assassination program, but they do sell drones to the CIA) had in the talk. In his introduction of her, NG’s CEO Wes Bush hailed her “absolute integrity in addressing the facts.” (Though maybe Bush was talking about DiFi’s recent misrepresentations in support of the NSA’s hoovering of telecom communications, given that NG has a big chunk of the data storage contract.)

These convenient, unverifiable “facts” on drones delivered by someone proven to misrepresent such “facts” brought to you by the drone (and wiretap) industry.

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @CasparBowden Suspect it's more like, "we fucked up and don't want to tell you" or "you're safe but have bad friends" @glynmoody
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bmaz @JasonLeopold Is there a detention facility at Coachella? Also, new drone stoke in Yemen tonight. 18 dead. @carwinb @chrisjwoods @lohphat
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bmaz RT @ionacraig: Up to 18 dead in apparent US #drone strike in al-Baydah, #Yemen. Reports of civilians amongst the dead.
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bmaz @banditelli Pretty fucking awesome.
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bmaz Don't worry, they will again very soon because Ken Kendrick sucks RT @DidDbacksLose No @erinscafe
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bmaz RT @AP: http://t.co/36AvJ2kcCB users told to change passwords due to vulnerability to #Heartbleed security bug: http://t.co/3DArbCgNck
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bmaz Whoa did Nico Rosberg screw Alonso's last hot lap by that shunt in the last corner in Q3?
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bmaz RT @downwithtyranny: You in L.A. tonight? Amato's smoking' punk band is playing at the SilverLake Lounge at 9:30. Amato on sax: http://t.co
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bmaz @downwithtyranny Wow, that's killer. Very nice.
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bmaz RT @abumuqawama: Just got note from @WhiteHouse that it won't act on my petition to deport Justin Bieber. Always the controversial announce…
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bmaz @DLind @zackbeauchamp Get on that girl! Also, impressive start to your new gig, good work.
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bmaz @DLind Tease. Also, you and Jon should be drinking bourbon with Stanton.
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