Twp_logo_300

In CIA's drone mission, who will protect the CIA?

Posted on June 08, 2010 by Marc Thiessen

CIA Director Leon Panetta made an unusual visit to the agency's Counterterrorism Center last year to buck up his troops. Morale had been devastated by the release of highly classified details of the CIA's interrogation program and the growing calls for prosecution of those involved. According to one top intelligence official, a senior officer involved in targeting terrorists asked Panetta what would happen to him in five years when the political winds shifted. Would he be hung out to dry like those in the interrogation program? Panetta said he could not promise the officer would not be hung out to dry -- only that it would not happen while President Obama was in office.

Only a year later, the wolves are already circling. Last week the CIA celebrated one of its biggest successes when al-Qaeda confirmed that a drone had killed its No. 3 leader, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, in Pakistan. Yet also last week, the United Nations issued a scathing report demanding that the CIA stop using drones and declaring that agency officials involved in targeted killings of terrorists such as Yazid may be in legal jeopardy. The U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions questioned whether the United States was engaged in an "armed conflict" outside of the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, and declared that, outside the "exceptional circumstance" of such an armed conflict, "killings by the CIA would constitute extrajudicial executions assuming that they do not comply with human rights law. If so, they must be investigated and prosecuted by the U.S. and the State in which the wrongful killing occurred."

The special rapporteur, Philip Alston, was joined in his condemnation by the American Civil Liberties Union, which in an April 28 letter to Obama, accused him of supporting a "program of long-premeditated and bureaucratized killing" and declared that the program "violates international law." The ACLU wrote that "financiers, and other non-combat 'supporters' of hostile groups cannot be lawfully targeted with lethal force." Yet that is precisely what Obama did in the case of Yazid.

On The Post's op-ed page Sunday, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey called the killing of Yazid a "major blow" to al-Qaeda because "Yazid has essentially served as al-Qaeda's 'chief financial officer,' coordinating the group's fundraising and overseeing the distribution of money essential to its survival." By the ACLU's reasoning, this would make the strike that killed Yazid illegal. Does the ACLU want to see the Predator operator who took out al-Qaeda's third in command prosecuted for murder? The ACLU has already gone after CIA interrogators -- surreptitiously photographing these covert operatives and sharing the images with al-Qaeda terrorists in Guantanamo. CIA drone operators may soon be in for similar treatment.

Read Full Article

What They're Saying

An important book Rquotest
Senator John Cornyn
Absolutely superb! Rquotest
Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey
One of the most important books of the year. Courting Disaster is a must-must-read. Rquotest
Michelle Malkin (michellemalkin.com)
A terrific and important book Rquotest
Debra Burlingame, (sister of AA Flight 77 pilot Charles Burlingame)
[Thiessen is] the most forceful, serious and articulate new spokesman for hardliners around – one who can back up his opinions with facts that can influence the debate. Rquotest
William Safire
In Courting Disaster, Marc Thiessen sets the record straight. Rquotest
Donald Rumsfeld
You Must Read Courting Disaster. Rquotest
Former CIA Director Mike Hayden
If you want to know what really happened … at the CIA interrogation sites or at Guantanamo Bay, you simply must read this book Rquotest
Dick Cheney

Twitter

RT @JedediahBila: Lamb has as much trouble using the word "terrorists" as Obama does. rquo
Posted on Twitter almost 5 years ago
RT @michellemalkin: MT @dangerroom: State Department: We Monitored Libya Attack 'In Almost Real-Time' (So why'd they blame protesters?) ... rquo
Posted on Twitter almost 5 years ago
RT @RedState: Donald Rumsfeld: Obama’s Handling Of Libya “Embarrassing” http://t.co/Vtbkf26e #TCOT #RS rquo
Posted on Twitter almost 5 years ago

Updates

Sign up to receive email updates from Marc Thiessen

Search

Other Projects

oval office writers