Dirty Little Secret

CIA Made Secret Drone Deal With Pakistan

New details about the origins of the CIA’s drone program are emerging following a New York Times report Saturday. The report alleges that the United States got permission in 2004 to use airspace in Pakistan to carry out drone attacks in exchange for deploying a Predator drone on Nek Muhammad, a Pakistani enemy of the state. Pakistan’s military took credit for the attack. Terms of the secret deal reportedly included Pakistani approval for each drone strike and limiting American drones to narrow tribal areas only. Then-Pakistan-president Pervez Musharraf allegedly told one CIA officer that the deal would not be difficult to keep up because “in Pakistan, things fall out of the sky all the time.”