The New York Times reported yesterday that the CIA launched a record number of attacks in a single month using unmanned aerial vehicles in the mountains of Pakistan during September.
The unmanned drones, as they're known, are operated remotely from the U.S. and are used to target specific people or groups. This month the CIA has launched 20 attacks on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the most since January when the agency launched 11.
The news comes just a week and a half after 14 activists -- many of them Catholic -- went to trial for an action they committed in April 2009 to protest the use of the drones abroad.
The activists, who walked onto Creech Air Force Base outside Las Vegas, Nev. and held a prayer vigil on Holy Thursday, claimed in a court memorandum that the attacks are akin to "extrajudical killings" and disproportionately kill civilians.
Surprising prosecutors, Clark County, Nev. Judge William Jansen delayed a verdict in the case for four months so he could study the issues at hand.
A few points from the Times report: