Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) kept up the heat on President Joe Biden for killing Afghan civilians by drone strikes during the deadly evacuation from Kabul.
“The faith experts and pundits have in our nation’s covert military drone program is so worrying. The strike in Kabul wasn’t an anomaly,” Murphy said about Biden’s drone strike that killed ten individuals from one family.
The faith experts and pundits have in our nation’s covert military drone program is so worrying.
The strike in Kabul wasn’t an anomaly. The only leaked data set on drone efficiency suggests we hit the wrong target over 80% of the time.
I won’t stop speaking out about this.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) September 16, 2021
“The only leaked data set on drone efficiency suggests we hit the wrong target over 80% of the time,” Murphy continued. “I won’t stop speaking out about this.”
Days after the strike, the Associated Press (AP) excused the attack for weakening Islamic “extremists.”
“Senior U.S. military officials said the drone strike hit an Islamic State target and weakened the extremists’ ability to further disrupt the final phase of the U.S. withdrawal and evacuation of thousands of people from Afghanistan,” the AP explained. “Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Wednesday that at least one of those killed in the drone strike was an Islamic State ‘facilitator.'”
But during a Senate hearing Tuesday in which Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified, a contradiction arose that Blinken was unable to explain.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) asked Blinken if “the guy the Biden administration droned: was he an aid worker or an ISIS-K operative?” Blinken said he was unsure, but that the State Department was looking into the strike.
“You’d think you’d kind of know before you off somebody with a predator drone,” Paul responded, indicating that if Biden killed civilians instead of those who pose threats to U.S. troops on the ground, war crimes could have been committed.
Sen. @RandPaul: "The guy the Biden administration droned: was he an aid worker or an ISIS-K operative?"
Sec. Blinken: "I don't know because we're reviewing it."
Sen. Paul: "You'd think you'd kind of know before you off somebody with a predator drone." pic.twitter.com/kGWSuTySho
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 14, 2021
Biden has yet to comment on the drone strike’s “anomaly.”
Murphy’s tweet attracted many “experts” who criticized him for challenging the validity of Biden’s strike.
Senior Fellow and Director of the MEI Syria Program Charles Lister tweeted, “As a public figure, @ChrisMurphyCT should know better — this 80% number comes from an Intercept article (not a “data set”) & it’s cherry picked from 1 military operation, in 1 country, in 2012,” Lister said. “What’s more, the #Kabul strike showed the limits of withdrawing; killing off intel.”
Kyle Orton, who focuses on Syria and terrorist groups like ISIS and the PKK, said Murphy is dead wrong.
“This is simply fake news. The best data on the drones suggests the exact opposite – 90% of those killed by strikes in Pakistan are jihadists,” Orton said.
Intercept’s foreign policy writer Murtaza Hussain disagreed and supported Murphy’s claim. “They seem to operate on bad intelligence as a rule and have no serious penalty for operations that kill civilians,” Hussain stated.
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