This week President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ron Kirk announced that Canada and Mexico have been invited to join the secret negotiations aimed at establishing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
According to U.S. senior defense officials, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered some slightly falsified information in order to put pressure Russia to abandon its relationship with Syria, seemingly as part of a larger agenda to intervene in Syria.
Twenty-six members of Congress — 24 Democrats and 2 Republicans (including Ron Paul) — sent a letter to President Obama demanding information on the authorization and use of drone strikes by the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command. It reads in part, “The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound. They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have. They can generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”
The letter asks about the “nature of the follow-up that is conducted when civilians are killed or injured ... and the mechanisms that ensure civilian casualty members are collected, tracked and analyzed.”
It seems that not a day passes without reports of “militants” being killed by remote control. Drones patrol Pakistan using high-powered optics to find and fire on those considered enemies by the men with the joysticks.
Early Thursday morning, for example, an American drone attack killed at least three of these suspected belligerents in northwest Pakistan, a region described by American intelligence and military officers as a “hotbed” of Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives.
Hissing through the pre-dawn silence, two missiles were fired from the drone into a market in Miranshah, the administrative headquarters of the North Waziristan agency of the tribal region of Pakistan. Miranshah is located along the banks of the Tochi River in a wide valley between the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains. It is just a few miles from the border with Afghanistan.
Talks with Pakistan over the end of an embargo on supply routes through that nation have broken down over U.S. refusal to apologize for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers killed by an American airstrike.