Hillary Clinton implicitly advocates the use of drones to kill suspected militants, and in the past she has defended the use of drones by the U.S. government to carry out assassinations abroad. Remotely operated, unmanned aircraft have become one of the main weapons of the U.S. in its fight against ISIS and other terrorist organizations.
“We will always maintain our right to use force against groups such as al Qaeda that have attacked us and still threaten us with imminent attack,” Clinton said during a 2012 press conference. “In doing so, we will comply with the applicable law, including the laws of war, and go to extraordinary lengths to ensure precision and avoid the loss of innocent life.”
The Government of Pakistan has criticized such operations by considering them illegal and asserted that they violate the country’s sovereignty and cause civilian casualties. However, analysts have claimed that such attacks could not be done without the cooperation of the Pakistani intelligence services.
Meanwhile, there are new developments in the investigation conducted by FBI regarding the use of Hillary Clinton’s secure private email while she was Secretary of State. The Wall Street Journal reported that federal research focuses on a series of emails from 2011 and 2012 regarding CIA drone attacks in Pakistan. The emails were written by U.S. diplomats in Islamabad and State Department officials in Washington, and some were sent to the account of Clinton’s unsecured personal email.
As the FBI’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information heats up, the new report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that then-Secretary of State approved CIA drone assassinations in Pakistan with her cellphone. Investigators are now taking a closer look at a series of emails between American diplomats in Islamabad and their superiors in Washington about whether to oppose specific drone strikes in Pakistan.
The report states that the emails were sent via the “low side”—government slang for a computer system for unclassified matters—as part of a secret arrangement that gave the State Department more of a voice in whether a Central Intelligence Agency drone strike went ahead.
For several years now, the State Department has maintained a secret arrangement with the CIA, giving it a degree of say over whether or not a drone killing would take place. According to Salon, during Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, State Department officials approved almost every single proposed CIA drone assassination. They only objected to one or two attacks.
The CIA drone program is covert and considered classified, so while it is widely discussed in public and in media reports, any discussion of the program on a non-classified system is a violation of government rules. For this reason, the CIA insisted that the emails on the subject be retroactively classified, CNN reports.
An internal government observatory has concluded that Hillary Clinton violated government rules by using a private email server at work, without authorization, while she held the position of Secretary of State. That was the key finding of a report by the inspector general of the Department of State which, after being long awaited, was released on Wednesday. The report found that if Clinton had requested the use of a private server at home, it would have not been approved because it raises “significant security risks.” This contradicts the statements of Clinton, who said she was allowed to use a home server and the authorization was not necessary.
Although the former secretary of state said she would cooperate with all investigations into the matter, she and eight of her subordinates, including Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Huma Abedin, refused to be interviewed for the investigation being undertaken by the inspector general. Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for the affairs of the State Department is the main subject of an ongoing investigation by the FBI and it has affected her presidential campaign for months.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]