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As scrutiny and debate over the use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the American military increased last month, the Air Force reversed a policy of sharing the number of airstrikes launched from RPAs in Afghanistan and quietly scrubbed those statistics from previous releases kept on their website.

Last October, Air Force Central Command started tallying weapons releases from RPAs, broken down into monthly updates. At the time, AFCENT spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender said the numbers would be put out every month as part of a service effort to “provide more detailed information on RPA ops in Afghanistan.”

The Air Force maintained that policy for the statistics reports for November, December and January. But the February numbers, released March 7, contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been.

On Feb. 20, two days before the metadata indicates the scrubbed files were created, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., sent a letter to Brennan saying that he would filibuster the nomination over concerns about using RPA strikes inside the U.S., a threat he carried out for over 12 hours on March 6 (Brennan was confirmed the next day).
From the Air Force Times :

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wash your troubles (7+ / 0-)

    down the drain!


    One of the major differences between Democrats and Republicans is that the former have the moral imagination to see the moral dimension of financial affairs, while the latter do not. Pragmatists are the exception.

    by Words In Action on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:40:24 AM PST

  •  *I was tempted to attribute (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jm214, corvo

    this to Glen Greenwald in The Guardian, just for kicks *

  •  How many (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, fou
    US Army: M4 carbine, M16A2 rifle, M249 Squad Automatic Weapon, M240 General Purpose Machine Gun, M2 (fifty-cal) Heavy Machine Gun, M136 (Shoulder-launched AT weapon), TOW missile, possibly some SMAW-D (Shoulder Launched Assault Weapon - Disposable), 25mm chaingun (Bradley Fighting Vehicle) Javelin (anti tank guided missile) M203 underbarrel grenade launcher, M19 automatic grenade launcher. 60mm and 81mm mortars, 105 and 155 artillery, guided MLRS, guided bombs and missiles from the air US Marine Corps: M16A4 rifle, M203, M136, TOW, M249, M240, SMAW (reloadable version of the SMAW-D) M72 Light Anti-tank weapon. 60mm and 81mm mortars, 105 and 155 artillery, guided MLRS, guided bombs and missiles from the air Iraqi insurgents: Local AK47-copies, RPK Machine guns, RPG anti-tank grenade launchers, Improvised Explosive Device (IED, also in vehicle borne flavours, VBIED), mortars, artillery rockets (katushya-derivatives) Basically find out what's in the US inventory, and chances are that it's out there in some form. Then there's the various multinational forces with their own weaponry and support.
    strikes were there from these weapons in Iraq.  How many innocents did they kill.  Where was Rand then?  Oh he was worried about paying too much taxes.  This war killed many untold number of innocents and will not be paid for by Rand and his freeloaders.

    guns are fun v. hey buddy, watch what you are doing -- which side are you on?

    by 88kathy on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:55:41 AM PST

  •  The Cons are convinced that they've hit on a (0+ / 0-)

    nifty way to circumvent all legal restrictions -- just declare a war, even if nobody's looking for a fight.

    This whole enterprise has to be laid at the feet of Congress. They declared the war against terror, issued the AUMF and then issued a prohibition against boots on the ground going after them. That pretty much left no option but the air war.
    Some people do not want to accept that the Air Force is an anachronism. I guess fighter jet pilots get an incredible high that they don't want to relinquish.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat Mar 09, 2013 at 07:55:43 AM PST

    •  I think the Air Force implements (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      drone policy rather than originating it.

      "Some people" includes just about every major country I can think of.

      Some people do not want to accept that the Air Force is an anachronism.

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