At any time, the C.I.A. apparently has “multiple drones flying over Pakistan, scouting for targets,” The NewYorker reports.
So many Predators and its more heavily armed companion, the Reaper, are being purchased that defense manufacturer General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, of Poway, Calif., can hardly make them fast enough. The Air Force is said to possess 200.
Mayer writes, “the embrace of the Predator program has occurred with remarkably little public discussion, given that it represents a radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force.”
Today, Mayer writes, “there is no longer any doubt that targeted killing has become official U.S. policy.” And according to Gary Solis, who teaches at Georgetown University’s Law Center, nobody in the government calls it assassination.
“Not only would we have expressed abhorrence of such a policy a few years ago; we did,” Solis is quoted as saying.