Former CIA Leader Defends Drone Strikes, Torture: ‘Hundreds Of Lives Were Saved’

CBS DC

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama ordered a barrage of CIA drone strikes in Yemen in 2013 that killed the al-Qaida operatives behind the most serious plotting against American interests in years, a former CIA leader says in a new memoir that broadly defends the targeted killing of terrorists.

When the U.S. closed 20 diplomatic facilities across the Middle East and Africa in August of 2013, officials said it was in response to intercepted communications about an unspecified plot. They said little about how and why they later deemed the threat abated. But former CIA official Michael Morell says the reason was that that many of the key operatives involved in the plot were killed by U.S. air strikes.

Morell, who retired in 2013 as deputy CIA director after years in leadership posts, offers the most detailed account of the episode to date in a book obtained by The Associated…

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