CIA drone attacks & the explosive rift between U.S. & Pakistan

The already hostile friendship between the U.S. and Pakistan is getting more uncomfortable. Tens-of-thousands of Islamists rallied in Peshawar and Lehore yesterday condemning the United States and denouncing a NATO attack. All this as Pakistanis along the Afghan border insist dozens of U.S. drone attacks this year killed civilians, not just combatants as the U.S. insists.



Part Three of The Current

CIA drone attacks and the explosive rift between U.S. and Pakistan

In its war against the Taliban and its allies in rural Pakistan, the U.S. has a terrifying weapon. Death falls from the sky with almost no sound and, usually, with frightening precision.

The remote controlled drones take the war to the front door of America's enemies, and the U.S. believes it's killed more than 600 militants with the missiles in the last year. But sometimes, the drones fall on the front doors of allies as well.
It's not known how many civilians have been killed by the strikes. The estimates vary widely.

But Karim Khan tells us he knows at least two victims: his son and brother. Earlier this year, he filed a lawsuit for murder against the CIA , including its station chief in Pakistan. Karim Khan says his brother and son were killed by a U.S. drone attack on his house, and he is suing the CIA. We heard from him.

Obaidullah Khan's younger brother Kunar is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and is a patient at the Lady Redding Hospital's psychiatric ward in Peshawar near the Afghan border. We aired a clip.

Dr. Mir Alam Khan works at the psychiatric ward at the Lady Redding Hospital in Peshawar. He says Kunar Khan is not an isolated case. We heard from him.

CIA drone attacks and the explosive rift between U.S. and Pakistan

Rahimullah Yusufzai has lived in the Tribal Areas of Pakistan all his life, and is one of the country's best known journalists.Rahimullah Yusufzai is the Editor of the Peshawar bureau of The News International. We reached him in Mardam, north of Peshawar, Pakistan.

CIA drone attacks and the explosive rift between U.S. and Pakistan

As we just heard, the US drone attacks in Pakistan's tribal region have pushed the already volatile relationship between Pakistan and the U.S. to the edge.

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He is the co-author of The Ally from Hell, an article in the December issue of the magazine, Atlantic.
He joined us from Washington, D.C.

Related Links:

Last Word - Hitchens on Pakistan/U.S. relationship

We've been talking today about the difficult relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It's a subject that really rattled the late journalist Christopher Hitchens. He died last week from cancer.

Earlier this year, when he was already struggling to speak, Mr. Hitchens was asked if his failing health had caused him to lose interest in Current Events. He said not at all, and then went on to say what worried him most. On today's Last Word, the late Christopher Hitchens --- tired, sick, and gloriously expressive.


Other segments from today's show:

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