A field investigation conducted in tribal areas of Pakistan by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found evidence that suggests that the CIA deliberately targeted drone attacks on rescuers of previous strikes.
As noted by Salon ,the tactic, known as “double-tap” strikes, had been previously labeled as a possible war crime by UN investigators, and was supposedly discontinued after a Bureau investigation published evidence of 11 attacks on rescuers in rural Pakistan between 2009 and 2011, some of which resulted in large numbers of casualties. But evidence from the investigation apparently confirms that the tactic was revived in an attempt by the CIA to kill Yahya al-Libi, a senior figure in the al Qaeda organization. Al-Libi was eventually killed by a CIA drone strike on June 4 of last year.
Congressional aides had previously reported viewing a CIA video that showed the drone strike that killed al-Libi. In the video, al-Libi alone was shown to have been killed by the attack. The recent field investigation suggests, however, that the strike that resulted in al-Libi’s death was in fact part of a sequence of “double-tap” strikes against the same location, in which up to 16 people were killed. If the evidence is correct, it would indicate that the video material shown to the congressional aides was purposely edited, leaving out crucial information.
The CIA vehemently denies the Bureau’s charges.
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“The CIA takes its commitment to Congressional oversight with the utmost seriousness,” CIA spokesman Edward Price told the Bureau. “The agency provides accurate and timely information consistent with our obligation to the oversight Committees. Any accusation alleging otherwise is baseless.”