Emerging from the shadows: US covert drone strikes in 2012. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism January 3rd, 2013 | by Chris Woods, Jack Serle and Alice K. Ross | http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-news-section/43-43/15412-the-secret-history-of-us-drone-strikes-in-2012[excerpted] In 2012,the US also chose to loosen the bonds of secrecy on its 10-year-old drone targeted killing programme. A number of senior officials went on the record about aspects of the covert war. But details of those killed – still a highly contentious issue - remain classified.
The year also saw a number of significant legal challenges to the campaign, most of them ultimately unsuccessful. UN experts also announced a study into possible war crimes, partly in response to a Bureau/Sunday Times investigation.
...the Bureau and the Sunday Times published evidence in February showing that the CIA has deliberately targeted rescuers and funeral-goers in Pakistan, leading to the reported deaths of civilians. The administration has yet to deny the claims – although one anonymous senior official appeared to claim that the Bureau was ‘helping al Qaeda.’
...A major covert US military offensive in Yemen began in March. Its aim – in which it was successful – was to break al Qaeda’s grip on a number of towns and cities in the south of the country. By late spring, drone strikes were occurring more frequently in Yemen than in Pakistan....
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