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Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:51 AM

CIA operating drone base in Saudi Arabia, US media reveal

Source: bBC

The US Central Intelligence Agency has been operating a secret airbase for unmanned drones in Saudi Arabia for the past two years.

The facility was established to hunt for members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which is based in Yemen. A drone flown from there was used in September 2011 to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born cleric who was alleged to be AQAP's external operations chief.

US media have known of its existence since then, but have not reported it.

Senior government officials had said they were concerned that disclosure would undermine operations against AQAP, as well as potentially damage counter-terrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

The US military pulled out virtually all of its troops from Saudi Arabia in 2003, having stationed between 5,000 and 10,000 troops in the Gulf kingdom after the 1991 Gulf war. Only personnel from the United States Military Training Mission (USMTM) officially remain.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21350437

35 replies, 3447 views

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Reply CIA operating drone base in Saudi Arabia, US media reveal (Original post)
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 OP
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #1
sadalien Feb 2013 #4
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #5
onwardsand upwards Feb 2013 #2
another_liberal Feb 2013 #3
hack89 Feb 2013 #7
cosmicone Feb 2013 #6
rachel1 Feb 2013 #13
cosmicone Feb 2013 #14
rachel1 Feb 2013 #17
cosmicone Feb 2013 #18
rachel1 Feb 2013 #19
cosmicone Feb 2013 #23
rachel1 Feb 2013 #28
cosmicone Feb 2013 #29
rachel1 Feb 2013 #35
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2013 #22
cosmicone Feb 2013 #24
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2013 #26
cosmicone Feb 2013 #27
ForgoTheConsequence Feb 2013 #30
cosmicone Feb 2013 #31
lib2DaBone Feb 2013 #33
triplepoint Feb 2013 #8
green for victory Feb 2013 #10
UnrepentantLiberal Feb 2013 #11
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 #15
dipsydoodle Feb 2013 #9
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2013 #16
quadrature Feb 2013 #12
Katashi_itto Feb 2013 #20
AntiFascist Feb 2013 #21
alp227 Feb 2013 #25
snooper2 Feb 2013 #32
yurbud Feb 2013 #34

Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 06:54 AM

1. Damn thats a surpirse, I had guessed it was being staged from American Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:22 AM

4. They probably are.

 

Drone bases in Djibouti and the Seychelles also.

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Response to sadalien (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:25 AM

5. Good point, didnt think about it like that :)

It's not like you have to have alot to run a drone base

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 07:47 AM

2. Osama bin Laden's key demand was that the US get its troops out of Saudi Arabia ...

... and the US complied.

Maybe that's why there were no further attacks on US soil.

Maybe, with this news, that may come to an end.

Sigh ...

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 08:22 AM

3. This is just another example . . .

This is just another example of our unbounded arrogance and exceptionalism. As far as the rest of the World is concerned, our national motto seems to be:

"It's either our way, or . . . we'll kill you, your family and anyone else who happens to be standing near you!"

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Response to another_liberal (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:12 AM

7. If everyone objected

then why are they letting us operate drone bases on their soil. Even Pakistan hosted a CIA drone base for years.

Saudi Arabia hosts a drone base because they view al Queda bases in Yemen as a threat. The Saudis are very willing hosts - they were not forced to do anything.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:50 AM

6. I don't care what anyone thinks ....

The drones have been an effective tool to neutralize Pakistani and Kashmiri terrorism.

I wholeheartedly support the drones and what they accomplish in the war against terrorists.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 10:29 PM

13. Were you supportive of those warmongering & imperialistic drone strikes that Bush approved?

Does it concern that you countless innocent civilian lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, were also slaughtered without trial?


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-greenwald/us-drone-strikes-are-caus_b_2224627.html

http://www.cfr.org/united-states/columbia-university-counting-drone-strike-deaths/p29291

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan#Civilian_casualties


Any concern whatsoever?

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:19 AM

14. Many more innocent lives

would have been lost in a conventional war.

It doesn't matter which president orders terrorists killed ... I support the policy.

Furthermore, a smaller percentage of civilians killed are truly innocent. Many are harboring terrorists in their houses or businesses willingly and while they themselves are not terrorists, they are accomplices nevertheless.

War is hell and I'd love to live in a utopian world where there are no terrorists and no wars. Unfortunately, that is not reality and I refuse to live in a fantasy world.

If it is a choice between kill and be killed, I'd choose the other guy to die over me every single time.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:48 AM

17. A conventional war against whom? Those opposing the imperialistic government spreading "democracy"

and "freedom" by bombing, occupying, and establishing puppet dictatorships?

Would you care if any of your family members or friends were also murdered without trial so long as suspected "terrorists" were murdered as well?

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 12:25 PM

18. Let's not be knee-jerk incensed here

Ask the people of those countries -- espeially Afghanistan where Taliban wreaked havoc, killing women, forcing them to wear burqas, preventing them from getting an education and even banning cassette players.

I know a few dozen Afghani people and none of them oppose the drones. The drones are popular amongst non-terrorists because they are beneficial to the normal law-abiding, non-fanatic, peaceful people.

In fact, the opposition to the drones mainly comes from Al Q'aeda, Pakistan's state terrorist apparatus and some people on DU. No one else opposes the drone strategy.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:07 PM

19. If they're so "popular" why is that a 2012 poll surveying 1,000 people from over 18 random countries

found mostly negative reactions to US drone strikes?

http://www.statista.com/statistics/233004/global-opinion-on-us-drone-strikes/

Of course 1,000 people don't accurately represent an entire country but it doesn't surprise me such opinions aren't as supportive as you claim.

Perhaps there's so much opposition to the despicably reckless drone strikes because they've been employed to slaughter innocent civilians and suspects without trial and because people oppose the violation of another country's sovereignty?

Ever wonder why crowds of people all over Pakistan chant anti-US slogans and express so much anti-US sentiment when drone strikes are launched against their country? I can assure that most of those angry demonstrators aren't terrorists at all.

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:18 PM

23. Pakistanis have been anti-American all along

I wish they would chant against American aid in billions as well.

Pakistan is a small country with a large population and a superpower ego on a handout budget.

Pakistan is a state sponsor of terror and its ISI and military are focused on committing terrorist acts in India.

Pakistan's ISI is the founder of many terrorist outfits including Al Q'aeda, Taliban, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and many too numerous to name.

The only reason drone warfare began was Pakistan's refusal to carry out terrorist mopping operations themselves AND refusal to allow NATO forces to do it. Pakistan wanted to protect its terrorist assets at any cost and had the audacity to take American funds on one hand and then using them to support the Taliban on the other.

Drones are the answer for this situation. They kill far fewer innocent lives, risk no NATO lives and have decimated the terrorist networks.

People who know the above concrete facts say, "Go drones!!!!" while others complain in the abstract.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:03 PM

28. Could the anti-US sentiment be the result of "blowback" which the CIA used to decribe

the consequences of a militaristic and imperialistic foreign policy? It's not just limited to Pakistan but it's been harbored worldwide and has been increasing from decades before due to prior US presidents's foreign policies imposed on other countries.

I know a few dozen Afghani people and none of them oppose the drones. The drones are popular amongst non-terrorists because they are beneficial to the normal law-abiding, non-fanatic, peaceful people.

In fact, the opposition to the drones mainly comes from Al Q'aeda, Pakistan's state terrorist apparatus and some people on DU. No one else opposes the drone strategy.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=393077

Can you cite any evidence detailing the so-called "popularity" of drone strikes in among the Afghan people?

In addition, can you cite ANY evidence detailing significant popularity for drone strikes outside the US?

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Response to rachel1 (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:30 PM

29. Certainly

http://mercury.ethz.ch/serviceengine/Files/ISN/118844/ipublicationdocument_singledocument/6b2f708d-2657-4df1-9b9c-d840cf0627dc/en/CSS_Analysis_78.pdf

"Upon being inducted into Afghanistan, drones became a favoured means of assassinating Taliban leaders. Fear of drone strikes led to the Taliban randomly executing members of local tribes on suspicion of being informers. This in turn, increased the flow of community intelligence to security forces, as the tribesmen sought revenge. Of late, US intelligence agencies have been able to build informer networks in regions that were previously closed to their personnel."

"Finally, although drones are depicted as undermining Pakistani sovereignty, the fact remains that Islamabad is happy to countenance their use. 80 % of drone strikes have been concentrated in the Waziristan region, which constitutes the home base of the Pakistani Taliban, a group opposed to Islamabad. Although publicly, Pakistani officials denounce these strikes, in private some officials criticise their American counterparts for not carrying out more strikes."

Afgani leaders like Abdullah Abdullah and Hamid Karzai have welcomed the drones time and time again because of the fundamental fact that unless the Taliban network is severely crippled, they will choke the fledgling democracy in Afghanistan with Pakistani military and ISI help. The Taliban were actually not an Afghani force but was a Pakistani force. Read about the Kunduz Airlift where Musharraf tricked GWBush and withdrew thousands of Pakistani military fighters from Afghanistan before the US invasion.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #29)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:04 PM

35. Popular among governmental officials? I'm not surprised. But how but among the everyday population

in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and elsewhere?

Outside governmental officials and the US, I doubt that you'll find much pro-drone strike sentiment.

http://observers.france24.com/content/20121009-pakistani-protesters-drone-attacks-inciting-more-hatred-peace-march-imran-khan-south-waziristan-taliban-terror

http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/drones-propel-hate-in-pakistan-for-the-u-s.premium-1.484185

https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/07/07-1

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-05-29/world/35456187_1_aqap-drone-strikes-qaeda


In fact, the opposition to the drones mainly comes from Al Q'aeda, Pakistan's state terrorist apparatus and some people on DU. No one else opposes the drone strategy.


So, are the people mentioned in the above articles associated with al Qaida, Pakistani terrorism, or DU in anyway?

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 04:09 PM

22. Whatever helps you sleep better at night.

Personally I'd be pretty pissed if my family members were dying and being written off as collateral damage.

But hey they're brown and on the other side of the world right? They're hardly people! USA USA USA USA




Pissed off family members and dead civilians make for great recruiting material for terrorists.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:21 PM

24. Again, the notion that drones are used against terrorists

because they are brown is erroneous.

Do you think Obama, when he is asked to give a go ahead for certain high value targets asks, "go ahead but make sure they are all brown people?"

This is not about race or religion. This is all about reacting terrorists in inaccessible regions.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:30 PM

26. I didn't say they were.

I was implying that its part of the reason people don't give a shit when innocent people are killed. We live in a racist society.

If you don't care because they're brown and not Christian, or you don't care because its your political team in the White House you're guilty of immoral behavior.


Again would you be ok with it if the bombs were landing in your backyard? I doubt it.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:44 PM

27. I am brown

and Pakistani terrorists have been bombing in my city in India routinely.

I support the drones because that is at least doing something against Pakistani terror networks.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:13 PM

30. Good for you.

The study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%.


The report accuses Washington of misrepresenting drone strikes as "a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the U.S. safer," saying that in reality, "there is significant evidence that U.S. drone strikes have injured and killed civilians."


"TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.



http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/25/world/asia/pakistan-us-drone-strikes

If you're ok with killing innocent people and CHILDREN you were obviously raised with a different set of morals than I.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:22 AM

31. And who do the terrorists kill? NRA members?

They also kill women and children. So are you saying their women and children are more valuable than their victims'?

If they don't want their people to die, they can always give up terrorism.

On Edit added the following:

Furthermore, there are a lot of biased studies out there because no one actually knows how many innocent people died. Propagandists on the terrorist side claim 98% innocents whereas military sources estimate it as low as 15%.

Did Stanford and NY Law go there and do a count before and after in each of the strikes and identifying each person's background as to if that person was a terrorist or not to come up with an accurate number? Otherwise the study is hogwash and a failed methodology.

I could do a study just by asking military officers and come up with a number of 15%. Either way, it is non-credible.

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Response to cosmicone (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:19 AM

33. Ya..killing women and children is a good thing....

 

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:44 PM

8. Know Yer Drones...

 

Last edited Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:46 AM - Edit history (1)




















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Response to triplepoint (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 03:09 PM

10. +1 great post

 

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #8)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:29 PM

11. Great info.

 

That's quite an operation we have set up.

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Response to triplepoint (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:57 AM

15. +1 great post

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 02:44 PM

9. Washington Post was forced into finally revealing drone base secret

Newspaper editors are always conscious of the need to balance the public's right to know with the requirements of national security. And, most often, they oblige governments by acceding to requests not to publish sensitive information that might jeopardise operations.

>

For more than a year, the paper refrained from disclosing the location of a secret US military base in Saudi Arabia from which CIA drones were launched.

It did so at the request of the Obama administration, which argued that exposing the facility would undermine operations against al-Qaida in Yemen and might potentially damage counter-terrorism collaboration with Saudi Arabia.

But the Post learned on Tuesday night that another news outlet was planning to reveal the location of the base, effectively ending an informal arrangement among several news organisations that had been aware of the location.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2013/feb/06/washington-post-drones


see also :

John Brennan faces grilling over drone leak as senators demand answers
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2013/feb/06/washington-post-drones

Chilling legal memo from Obama DOJ justifies assassination of US citizens
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/05/obama-kill-list-doj-memo?INTCMP=SRCH

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Response to dipsydoodle (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:59 AM

16. ‘shameful’ complicity for hiding existence of secret U.S. drone base

US news organisations are facing accusations of complicity after it emerged that they bowed to pressure from the Obama administration not to disclose the existence on a secret drone base in Saudi Arabia despite knowing about it for a year.

Amid renewed scrutiny over the Obama administration’s secrecy over its targeted killing programme, media analysts and national security experts said the revelation that some newspapers had co-operated over the drone base had reopened the debate over the balance between freedom of information and national security.

On Tuesday, following Monday’s disclosure by NBC of a leaked Justice Department white paper on the case for its controversial targeted killing programme, the Washington Post revealed it had previously refrained from publishing the base’s location at the behest of the Obama administration over national security concerns.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/06/newspapers-accused-of-shameful-complicity-for-hiding-existence-of-secret-u-s-drone-base/

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Wed Feb 6, 2013, 09:55 PM

12. are there cheaper ways to do this?

polonium, ricin,
car bombs,
exploding cigars,
etc

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Response to quadrature (Reply #12)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 02:19 PM

20. On economies of scale...in this case, Economies of death...this is very cost efficent.

Everything you listed above (except the car bomb) is highly targeted. You need lots O' inteligence. With drones no so much...You can sit and patrol for hours on end until intel gives you a potential target.


Goes back to the quote from Full Metal Jacket...

&playnext=1&list=PL988252F4CF7CE014&feature=results_video

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:51 PM

21. Judge Dredd takes control....

at the very center of the Muslim faith where the difference between wealthy and poor could not be any more striking. Think about it.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:05 PM

25. The Guardian has an article expanding on US media spiking the story

US newspapers accused of complicity as drone report reopens security debate

One expert described the initial decision not to publish the base's location as "shameful and craven".

Dr Jack Lule, a professor of journalism and communication at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said that the national security implications did not merit holding on to the story.

"The decision not to publish is a shameful one. The national security standard has to be very high, perhaps imminent danger," he said. "The fact that we are even having a conversation about whether it was a national security issue should have sent alarm bells off to the editors. I think the real reason was that the administration did not want to embarrass the Saudis – and for the US news media to be complicit in that is craven."

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:47 AM

32. Good

any 80+ year old fuck with a 15 year old bride is fair game...

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 11:16 AM

34. one of the things on bin Laden's grievance list was US bases in their holy land

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