When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the significant spying efforts conducted by the NSA two summers ago, it was hard to grasp at first what ramifications would result from the documents release. Since then, the world has been hit by one leak after the other, and ultimately, we've seen that it's not surprising to see the US government do whatever it has to do in order to monitor the people it wants to, regardless of whether or not you feel this type of mass surveillance constitutional.
Now, nearly six years after Chelsea Manning released a staggering collection of sensitive classified and unclassified documents to WikiLeaks, we learn of another whistleblower report that involves the use of drones by the US military, this time from a very different source.
Flickr: Stephen Melkisethian
If you are willing to spend time reading through the reporting on these documents are in for a treat, as The Intercept tackles multiple parts of the leak with dedicated reports. The folks at Wired have pored over this information and distilled some of the most important bits.
One of the most alarming revelations here is that US drone use overseas in war hasn't been a grand success. In fact, the results are downright appalling: over a five-month span, a staggering 90% of targets eliminated were allegedly incorrect. Further, a former British citizen was killed in a strike despite the fact that there were multiple opportunities to capture him alive by other means.
Making this effort more like a game, it was claimed that the government had "baseball cards" of sorts that showed profiles of potential targets.
The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald informing Edward Snowden of this revelation
At this time, the source of this leak is unknown. Along with the cache of information passed along, the leaker includes their motive, "This outrageous explosion of watchlisting—of monitoring people and racking and stacking them on lists, assigning them numbers, assigning them 'baseball cards,' assigning them death sentences without notice, on a worldwide battlefield—it was, from the very first instance, wrong." Further, they write, "We’re allowing this to happen. And by ‘we,’ I mean every American citizen who has access to this information now, but continues to do nothing about it."
Anyone who has watched the Snowden documentary Citizenfour might draw similarities to the end scene (seen above) of the film, where journalist and The Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald informs Snowden of a new source that's revealed the government's drone efforts. He ultimately drew up a chain-of-command that puts the president at the top.
Whether or not this is in fact the same source, we're not sure. Now it's a waiting game to have all of this information dissected, and to see if the alleged leaker can in fact remain hidden - a task that's much easier said than done.