We all know when it happens: media reports describe drone attacks, Pakistani officials confirm the death toll and complain, and the CIA stays mum. But not this time: after two drone attacks killed up to 10 people in February, including two senior al Qaeda members, American officials say they had nothing to do with them. “They were not ours,” one official said. “We haven’t had any kinetic activity since January.” Though Pakistani officials made formal complaints, three American officials speculated to The New York Times that, in fact, the Pakistanis carried out the strikes, which hit a remote part of the country. The U.S. denial may not exactly be convincing when it refuses officially even to confirm the existence of its drone program, but speaking up at all is a rare move.
NOT THIS TIME Drone protests in Peshawar, Pakistan on Monday. (Mohammad Sajjad/AP)