Data on the monthly number of American drone strikes in Afghanistan has been quietly scrubbed from public records, reports The Air Force Times. Last October, the Air Force began releasing the monthly totals of strikes in Afghanistan in an effort to give the public more information on its overseas operations. But the move appears to have been reversed. The February numbers released March 7th just contain empty boxes for the drone strike data, and all of the previous data has also been deleted from older press releases on the site. Metadata in the files indicates that the revised versions were all created on the same day, February 22nd. Interestingly, the Defense Department says it wasn't involved in the decision to remove the statistics.
Scrutiny of American drone operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere continues to build. Last month, a United Nations report that the number of drone strikes increased 72 percent in 2012, and last week Senator Rand Paul filibustered John Brennan's CIA confirmation for 12 hours to draw attention to US drone policy.