Democracy Now! - October 16, 2015 - Free Speech TV

One of the most secretive military campaigns in U.S. history is under the microscope like never before. In a major exposé based on leaked government documents, The Intercept has published the most in-depth look at the U.S. drone assassination program to date. "The Drone Papers" exposes the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia, revealing a number of flaws and far more casualties than the intended targets. The documents were leaked to The Intercept by an unnamed U.S. intelligence source who says he wanted to alert Americans to wrongdoing. We are joined by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, lead author of the exposé, "The Drone Papers."

The Intercept series "The Drone Papers" exposes the inner workings of how the drone war is waged, from how targets are identified to who decides to kill. They expose a number of flaws, including that strikes have resulted in large part from electronic communications data, or "signals intelligence," that officials acknowledge is unreliable. We speak to Intercept reporter Cora Currier, whose article "The Kill Chain," reveals how the U.S. identifies and selects assassination targets, from the collection of data and human intelligence all the way to President Obama’s desk.

President Obama has reversed plans to withdraw most U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the time he leaves office. On Thursday, Obama said a deteriorating security situation will force him to maintain the current deployment of 9,800 soldiers through 2016. When Obama’s term ends in 2017, the U.S. will keep at least 5,500 troops at four bases across Afghanistan. After 14 years of war, the Taliban now holds more of Afghanistan than at any point since the 2001 U.S. invasion, and some estimates put them in control of half the country. President Obama’s announcement comes nearly a year after he declared an official end to the U.S. combat mission, though U.S. military operations have continued. The move assures that despite previous pledges, the war will continue under his successor. We are joined by Intercept reporters Jeremy Scahill, Ryan Devereaux and Cora Currier, whose new series "The Drone Papers" includes a detailed look at the drone war in Afghanistan based on government leaks.

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