Friday, October 24, 2014

The CIA's Drone Queens

"When President Barack Obama went to the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to be briefed on drone operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, he was taken aback by the number of female spies directing the agency’s secret killing program.
A week later, the CIA’s top expert on Pakistan was summoned to the Oval Office. She was strikingly attractive in her stiletto heels. “You don’t look like a Pakistan expert,” the president told her, breaking into a grin. [And proving that Clinton isn't the only President to practice sexual harassment.]
Obama was mistaken: the expert was typical of the new generation of CIA officers. Many are women in their thirties with a decade or more of experience in hunting down terrorists and vaporizing them with Hellfire missiles.
The CIA is now almost 50% female. Its director is a man but the next three posts below him are filled by women. They are instrumental in waging the CIA’s anti-terrorist war, playing a disproportionate role in some of the most lethal and morally ambiguous tasks of an organization that has long been regarded as a bastion of outdated machismo.
More enlightened employment practices have contributed to this. But could it be, as some senior intelligence officers argue, that the true-life drone queens are simply better than men at stalking terrorists and deciding when and how they should die?
“IT’S a reality,” said Bruce Riedel, who spent 29 years in the CIA and later became an adviser to Obama. “Girl power. That’s what they call it within the CIA.” Women, he posited, tend to be better “at seeing connections than most of their male counterparts” when they are dealing with data.
“I’ve seen it, particularly on issues where there’s a tremendous need for precision in remembering enormous amounts of very detailed information. It seems there’s an advantage in having female chromosomes.”"
Under Obama, 349 drone strikes in Pakistan have killed almost 4,000 people, an estimated quarter of them innocent civilians. [That's ONE THOUSAND DEAD CIVILIANS.] It is five years since Obama’s visit to CIA headquarters to meet the real “drone queens” for the first time. Several have risen to more senior positions in the CIA’s killing apparatus.
The next time Obama authorizes a strike in Pakistan, the odds are that it will be a woman who gives the green light moments before death is delivered from a drone stationed several miles away." 

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