The missile strike on Sept. 30, 2011, that killed Mr. Awlaki — a terrorist leader whose death lawyers in the Obama administration believed to be justifiable — also killed Mr. Khan, though officials had judged he was not a significant enough threat to warrant being specifically targeted. The next month, another drone strike mistakenly killed Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had set off into the Yemeni desert in search of his father. Within just two weeks, the American government had killed three of its own citizens in Yemen. Only one had been killed on purpose.
Entries in Mark Mazzetti (2)
A curious --- and telling --- juxtaposition of stories this morning about the US use of drones for "targeted" killings in Pakistan.
The New York Times finally gets to the difficult question of relations between Washington and Islamabad, given that the US is taking out dozens of people on Pakistani soil, but notice how carefully it treads.
The opening paragraph makes clear that this is an operation --- implying, in my opinion, that it is a necessary operation --- against the "Taliban" and to prevent "possible terrorist attacks". Then, almost to forestall the response that might come from Islamabad, the story declares the "mounting frustration both in Afghanistan and the United States that Pakistan’s government has not been aggressive enough" in its approach.
And, while the article adds reassurances --- airstrikes that take out 50 people "are rare"; no US ground invasion imminent --- notice the caveat from US officials, which goes beyond any minor consideration of Pakistani opinion: "[This] could change...if Pakistan-based militants were successful in carrying out a terrorist attack on American soil."