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Leaked ‘Drone Papers’ Reveal 90% of People Killed in U.S. Drone Strikes are Innocent Civilians

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Washington, D.C. – An anonymous whistle blower within the U.S. intelligence community provided a cache of classified intelligence documents to The Intercept, which revealed the extremely dysfunctional nature of the American drone warfare/targeted assassination program.

The eight-part investigation, which included documents, analysis, slides, and visuals, was released on Thursday as “The Drone Papers,” by The Intercept.

The insightful reporting by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill and fellow investigative journalists analyzed and explored the manner in which drone strikes have been carried out by the U.S. in Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan; ultimately questioning the legitimacy and legality of these extrajudicial killings.

The stunning array of classified information revealed an extreme lack of precision in the drone assassination campaign, with one document reporting that “nearly 90 percent of people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets” over one five month period.

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The report focused on the use of drones as “President Barack Obama’s weapon of choice, used by the military and the CIA” to carry out assassinations in both declared war zones and areas outside of recognized war zones.

While the administration has consistently stated that the drone program is operated as a precision program carried out with strict oversight and regulation, evidence reveals that this is false. Operations outside of declared war zones were done with very little restriction, as “it was not until May 2013 the White House released a set of standards and procedures for conducting such strikes.”

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