Pakistan for years secretly endorsed the CIA’s drone program in spite of repeated denouncements of the campaign, according to a new report by The Washington Post based on CIA and Pakistani documents it obtained.
Markings on the papers indicate they were intended to be shared with Pakistan’s government, and in the early years of the campaign, the CIA used Pakistani airstrips, the Post reports.
Neither the Pakistan Embassy in Washington nor the CIA press office could be reached Wednesday night.
There has been a secret agreement in place since the administrations of George W. Bush and Pervez Musharraf whereby Pakistani authorities have approved many of the drone strikes, National Journal is reporting, crediting that news to U.S. and Pakistani officials.
Pakistani intelligence made a practice of “protesting against the drones publicly while privately negotiating over whom the drones would target,” National Journal quoted Husain Haqqani, former Pakistani ambassador to Washington, as saying.
The files that provide the basis for the Post story also illustrate antagonism between the United States and Pakistan.
One document details a conversation in which then-secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton cites “cell phones and written material from dead bodies that point all fingers” at a militant group in Pakistan, the Post reports.
In a 2010 memo from Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its embassy in Washington, it provides a list of 36 U.S. citizens believed to be CIA special agents and planning to visit Pakistan, according to the Post.
“Kindly do not repeat not issue visas to the same,” the memo reads.
The documents also appear to show the CIA’s willingness to go beyond key al-Qaeda targets, the Post reports. For instance, the CIA struck a Taliban training camp where 17 people were gathering because the site was linked to an al-Qaeda facility hit three years earlier, according to the Post.