The Washington Post is reporting new revelations about how the National Security Agency uses its vast global surveillance capabilities to assist the CIA in its controversial worldwide drone assassination program.
To be more accurate, however, the Post is only releasing information deemed non-threatening to what it describes as “ongoing operations” and “national security,” based on the guidance of the U.S. government itself.
The newspaper admits that it is “withholding many details […] at the request of U.S. intelligence officials” and that the documents discussed in their redacted coverage may, in fact, “bolster the agency’s case that its resources are focused on fighting terrorism and supporting U.S. operations overseas.”
It has long been suspected that the NSA has played a key role in the CIA’s overseas drone operations and President Obama’s so-called “kill list” program, but the documents reviewed by the Post are the first to confirm that role with internal documents.
The NSA files, provided to the Post by whistleblower Edward Snowden, explain how the NSA leveraged its large budget and technical capabilities to help the CIA pinpoint a man, Hassan Ghul, they claimed to be a major figure within al-Qaeda believed to be in the tribal areas of western Pakistan in 2012.
According to the report:
According to the Bureau of Investigation Journalism’s most recent estimate, between 407 and 926 innocent people have been killed by U.S. drones in Pakistan since 2004, with as many 200 children among the dead.
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