Report: Drones Killing Innocents Based on NSA Metadata

Greenwald launches site with new allegations

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 10, 2014 12:28 PM CST

(Newser) – America's drone program is "absolutely" killing innocent people because it launches strikes solely based on NSA phone metadata and tracking technologies, a former drone pilot tells Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, in the first post for Greenwald's much-hyped new media venture, The Intercept. The NSA's involvement with the drone program has been previously reported, but the Intercept piece focuses on the flaws of the approach, which eschews traditional human intelligence. Most notably: The terrorists appear to have caught on.

Aware that the NSA geolocates cell phones, militants will now carry extra SIM cards, or worse, pass cell phones to civilians, says the drone pilot, who's a Joint Special Operations Command member. He says he's participated in strikes where the target's phone was found, but someone else was killed. "People get hung up that there's a targeted list of people," he says. "It's really like we're targeting a cellphone." But Greenwald does describe him as "adamant" that the tactic has eliminated actual terrorists. Greenwald is largely being touted as the face of First Look Media, a new venture from eBay mogul Pierre Omidyar, a strategy that the Daily Beast worries could prove problematic given Greenwald's aggressive style. In announcing The Intercept, First Look made clear that the Greenwald vehicle would be "the first of what will eventually be a family of digital magazines."

This Nov. 8, 2011 file photo shows a Predator B unmanned aircraft landing after a mission, at the Naval Air Station, in Corpus Christi, Texas.
This Nov. 8, 2011 file photo shows a Predator B unmanned aircraft landing after a mission, at the Naval Air Station, in Corpus Christi, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
2%
3%
10%
2%
75%
8%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   BuzzFeed   |   Cracked   |   World History Project   |   POPSUGAR Tech   |   Business Insider   |   HuffPost Entertainment