Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy Keeps Heat on Biden’s Drone Strike: ‘So Worrying’

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) speaks during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on June 9, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The committee is hearing testimony about the Fiscal Year 2022 budget request for the Department of Health and Human Services. (Photo by Al …
Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images

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 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.'”

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, speaks during a press conference about the situation in Afghanistan on August 18, 2021, at The Pentagon in Washington, DC. - Austin said Wednesday that US forces would evacuate as many people as possible from the Kabul airport as thousands pressed to leave after the Taliban takeover of the country. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. (OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images).

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.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, September 14, 2021 in Washington, DC. Blinken was questioned about the Biden administration's handling of the U.S. withdraw from Afghanistan. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images).

“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.

Biden has yet to comment on the drone strike’s “anomaly.”

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 15: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during an event in the Executive Office Building September 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. President Biden delivered his remarks while meeting with business leaders and CEO’s on the administration’s COVID-19 response. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

U.S. President Joe Biden. (Win McNamee/Getty Images).

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.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø 


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