The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is no longer the only government program to achieve a 90 percent failure rate. Thanks to an unknown whistleblower, who will hopefully remain unknown, we now know that the United States’ drone assassination program enjoys an abysmal failure rate as well:
On Thursday the Intercept published a groundbreaking new collection of documents related to America’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles to kill foreign targets in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Yemen. The revelations about the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command actions include primary source evidence that as many as 90 percent of US drone killings in one five month period weren’t the intended target, that a former British citizen was killed in a drone strike despite repeated opportunities to capture him instead, and details of the grisly process by which the American government chooses who will die, down to the “baseball cards” of profile information created for individual targets, and the chain of authorization that goes up directly to the president.1
90 percent of the people killed by drones in a five month period were innocent bystanders. I can’t imagine how that could possibly create backlash. Surly all of the people in the Middle East understand that we have to bomb innocent bystanders in order to defend ourselves from terrorists!
The documents reveal a frightening fact: the United States government has almost no mechanisms in place to verify targets. It’s basically dropping bombs willy nilly. Based on the success to failure ratio it appears that the United States only succeeds by random chance.