Collateral damage worries you Americans, not me: Zardari
INGTON President Asif Ali Zardari gave his clearance to a former CIA Chief to carry out drone attacks against militant targets inside the Pakistans tribal areas, saying the resulting collateral damage doesnt worry him, the new book by famed journalist Bob Woodward says.
Woodward writes in Obamas Wars that then CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden disclosed the killings of many Westerners, including some US passport holders, to President Zardari during a meeting in New York on November 12, 2008. Hayden was succeeded by Leon Panetta in 2009.
Hayden and his deputy Stephen Kappes had gone to meet with Zardari, elected only two months earlier, to gauge his reaction to the drone strikes, which were generating widespread protests in Pakistan.
According to Woodwards unattributed account of the meeting, Zardari said, Kill the seniors. Collateral damage worries you Americans. It does not worry me.
Hayden had told Zardari that many Westerners, including some US passport holders, had been killed five days earlier on the Kam Sham training camp in the tribal area of North Warziristan, Woodward writes. But the CIA would not reveal the particulars due to the implications under American law.
A top secret CIA map detailing the attacks had been given to the Pakistanis, Woodward continues. Missing from it was the alarming fact about the American deaths ... The CIA was not going to elaborate.
The CIA declined to comment for the record or make Kappes, who resigned in April, available for comment. Hayden did not respond to requests for comment.
On Friday, the Justice Department faces a deadline to respond to a suit by two human rights groups challenging the Obama Administrations right to kill US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, a militant based in Yemen.