US Global Assassination Campaign Kills Numerous Unreported Civilians

© AP Photo / dpa, Hannibal HanschkeThomas Drake
Thomas Drake - Sputnik International
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Former National security Agency (NSA) executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake said that the US assassination campaign has "metastasized" in dark shadows over the years, and has killed far more civilians than has been reported.

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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States has been operating a shadowy global assassination campaign in tandem with a mass surveillance program that has led to more civilian deaths than the public will ever know, former National security Agency (NSA) executive and whistleblower Thomas Drake told Sputnik on Thursday.

"We [the United States] have mass surveillance and we have a mass assassination program," Drake said. "It is two sides of the same coin."

Drake explained that the US assassination campaign has "metastasized" in dark shadows over the years, and has killed far more civilians than has been reported.

On Wednesday, The Intercept revealed secret documents related to the US military’s "kill/capture" program in Afghanistan from a source who requested anonymity given the US government’s relentless prosecution of whistleblowers.

The US military has conducted a 14-year high-value targeting program that has relied too heavily on signals intelligence and has caused "incalculable" civilian deaths, according to the documents revealed by The Intercept.

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A few high-value targets that have been killed were perhaps legitimate threats to US national security, Drake suggested.

"But it all gets lost in the sheer scope and scale of who’s dying at the other end," he added. "It’s an extraordinary tragedy… I call it the entrails of empire."

The secret documents also showed that most people killed in US airstrikes in Afghanistan were not direct US military targets.

US airstrikes killed more than 200 people in Afghanistan between January 2012 and February 2013 who were later tagged as "enemies killed in action." Only 35 of those killed were targeted individuals, according to The Intercept.

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