Twenty Years of Drone Attacks

Author: Mary Ellen O'Connell
Published: 15.11.2022
On November 2, 2002, the United States conducted its first targeted killings using a drone. CIA agents based in Djibouti launched the drone’s two Hellfire missiles at a vehicle traveling in rural Yemen, killing six. Several weeks later the Los Angeles Times reported details, including the fact that while the U.S. Air Force controlled the drone fleet, the CIA ran the Yemen operation. Air Force lawyers had raised legal objections, while the CIA was “enthusiastic about the idea of shooting individual enemy leaders…” Plus, the Bush administration wanted a covert operation to try to keep the killings secret. But missile…