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CIA May Have Bought Faulty Drone Software

Flaxman is the former chief electronic-solutions technology officer for Fannie Mae (FNM), where he worked from 2002 to 2006 in the years leading up to the subprime mortgage crisis. During his tenure, the company announced plans to streamline the mortgage process through automatic underwriting and launched an online counseling program targeting would-be minority homeowners.

Predator drones' target errors

The Pentagon has acknowledged target errors with its predator drones, which are operated 6,000 miles away on American soil, at Creech Air Force Base in the Nevada desert. In one report, the International Security Assistance Force details a Feb. 21, 2010, military strike in which 23 Afghani civilians were killed and several children injured when they were mistaken for insurgent forces.

According to the report, the attack was the result of "inaccurate and unprofessional reporting of the Predator crew operating out of Creech, AFB Nevada, which deprived the ground force commander of vital information. ... Information that the convoy was anything other than an attacking force was ignored or downplayed by the Predator crew."

In May, the United Nations issued a report that criticized the use of predator drones for targeted attacks for a number of reasons.

"A drone-operation team sitting thousands of miles away from the environment in which a potential target is located may well be at an even greater human intelligence gathering disadvantage than ground forces, who themselves are often unable to collect reliable intelligence," the U.N. report says.
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