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Thread: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

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    C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/us/14intel.html?hp

    Since 2001, the Central Intelligence Agency has developed plans to dispatch small teams overseas to kill senior al Qaeda terrorists, according to current and former government officials.

    The plans were never carried out, the officials said, and Leon E. Panetta, the C.I.A. director, cancelled the program last month.
    The program was designed in the frantic weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks when President Bush signed a secret order authorizing the C.I.A. to capture or kill Qaeda operatives around the world. To be able to kill Osama bin Laden or his top deputies wherever they might be — even in cities or countries far from a war zone — struck top officials as an urgent goal, according to people involved in the discussions.

    But in practice, creating and training the teams proved to be difficult.

    “It sounds great in the movies, but when you try to do it it’s not that easy,” said one former intelligence official. “Where do you base them? What do they look like? Are they going to be sitting around at headquarters on 24-hour alert waiting to be called?”

    A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment for this article.

    There has been intense speculation about the nature of the program since members of the House Intelligence Committee disclosed last week that Mr. Panetta had put an end to it. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that the secret program was intended to capture or kill senior Qaeda leaders.

    Current and former officials said that the program was designed as a more “surgical” solution to eliminating terrorists than missile strikes with armed Predator drones, which cannot be used in cities and have occasionally resulted in dozens of civilian casualties.

    “The Predator strikes have been successful, and I was pleased to see the Obama administration continue them,” said Senator Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “This was another effort that was trying to accomplish the same objective.”

    Senator Bond would not discuss specific details about the terminated C.I.A. program.

    It is not clear why Mr. Panetta decided to cancel the program, although several current and former government officials said that the program never developed beyond vague concepts. The C.I.A. never proposed a specific operation to the White House for approval, said the officials, who would only speak anonymously because the program had been classified.

    Because the program was only nascent, and because Congress had already signed off on the C.I.A.’s broad authoritiesafter the Sept. 11 attacks, the officials and some Republican lawmakers said that the spy agency was not required to brief lawmakers on specifics about the program.

    But Congressional Democrats were furious that the program had not been shared with the committees. The Senate and House oversight committees had been created by law in the 1970s as a direct response to disclosures of C.I.A. abuses, notably including assassination plots against Patrice Lumumba in the Congo, Fidel Castro in Cuba, and other foreign politicians. In addition, President Gerald Ford in 1976 issued an executive order banning assassinations.

    But the ban does not apply to the killing of enemies in a war. . The Bush administration took the position that killing members of Al Qaeda, a terrorist group that has attacked the United States and stated that its goal is to attack again, is no different than shooting enemy soldiers on the battlefield. The Obama administration, which has continued to fire missiles from Predator drones on suspected Qaeda members in Pakistan, has taken the same view.

    Kenneth Anderson, a law professor at American University who has studied targeted killings, said the United States first made the argument in 1989 that killing terrorists would not violate the assassination ban and would be a legal act of self-defense under international law. The killings would be premised on the condition that authorities in the country where the terrorist was located were unable or unwilling to stop the terrorist , he said.
    This was the evil, corrupt, despicable plan that Cheney was hiding from the rest of us? This is what caused Pelosi, et al. to throw tizzy fits, screaming about how the Republicans were criminals?

    My god, what a diabolical plot. To think that the Bush administration advanced a plan to kill terrorists under a rationale that Obama has adopted.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    The Libbos desperately need a distraction from the economic debacle they've created. They can't much blame the economy on Bush anymore, so they had to do something, anything to get Bush back on the front page. It's the reason that Holder is now re-considering bringing charges for the enhanced interrogation hoop-la.
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    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    I am a Demcrat, but I agree whole-heartedly. I think the CIA needs more freedom to get the job done. Covert operations are by-far more effective in fighting terror than the military.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/us/14intel.html?hp





    This was the evil, corrupt, despicable plan that Cheney was hiding from the rest of us? This is what caused Pelosi, et al. to throw tizzy fits, screaming about how the Republicans were criminals?

    My god, what a diabolical plot. To think that the Bush administration advanced a plan to kill terrorists under a rationale that Obama has adopted.
    Huh? What makes you think that this was the plan that caused Pelosi to throw a tizzy fit?
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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Huh? What makes you think that this was the plan that caused Pelosi to throw a tizzy fit?
    She and her friends are certainly neck deep in it.

    TheHill.com - With Pelosi?s blessing, Dems push ahead with probe of CIA

    With their Speaker behind them, House Democrats are pushing ahead with plans to hold a series of hearings investigating instances in which intelligence officials may have misled members of Congress.

    Senior Democratic aides said that a major announcement could come by the end of week, but it was already clear on Monday that House Democrats are seizing on weekend news reports that former Vice President Dick Cheney hid information from Congress.

    The New York Times reported on Sunday that the CIA, under the direction of Cheney, developed a secret counterterrorism program and then was directed by the vice president to conceal it from Congress.

    The Wall Street Journal first reported that the program was a classified initiative to kill or capture al Qaeda operatives. Cheney has not commented on the media reports.

    Members of both the House and the Senate Intelligence committees learned about the program last week, when CIA Director Leon Panetta told them in classified hearings that he had just learned about the program and had ordered it terminated.

    But Panetta also told Democrats and Republicans on the Intelligence panels that Cheney had directed his predecessors to conceal the program from all members of Congress, even the so-called Gang of Eight House and Senate leaders and top Intelligence committee members, who are directed under federal law to receive regular intelligence briefings.

    Senior congressional aides said Panetta’s latest briefing angered members of the panels, even though Panetta had only weeks prior admitted to members of the Intelligence committees that the CIA had, under past directors, engaged in obfuscation following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    The latest development on Cheney has prodded some senior Democrats to begin calling for hearings, which up until late last week had been something many leading Democrats were hesitant to do.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday signaled that she would give the House Intelligence Committee a green light to investigate incidents in which the CIA misled or lied to Congress, including times when Cheney was supposedly involved.
    Pelosi and the CIA: Do Leon Panetta's Comments Vindicate Speaker Nancy Pelosi? - ABC News

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's war of words with the CIA may not be fully over as the speaker's allies seize on comments made by CIA Director Leon Panetta that some say could vindicate her charge that the agency routinely misleads Congress.

    But while Pelosi's supporters say Panetta's recent revelation of a previously unpublicized covert intelligence operation proves she was right, that is not the way the CIA sees it.

    Republicans are delighted that this latest dustup revives the controversy surrounding her war of words with the CIA just when it had seemed to fade away.

    At issue is a hastily arranged classified briefing by Panetta to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees on June 24. Panetta called the briefing to inform the committee about a covert CIA operation that had begun shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. Panetta himself had just found out about the program and believed Congress should have been informed of it long ago.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    When you declare war on America I think you should expect death to come without warning, without the American Communist Lovers United's (ACLU), or Nancy Pelosi's to come to your rescue, or for there to be any trial, or stay of execution. For anyone to to complain about this policy or defend those who do is to say we need some dainty, limp wristed rules for fighting a war.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    If it were not for the CIA, Afghanistan would be another North Korea, a nuclear power under Russian influence. I think it is one of our most valuable defenses in America's arsenal.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Huh? What makes you think that this was the plan that caused Pelosi to throw a tizzy fit?
    It's not. But, that's not the point. The Dems needed two things,

    1) A distraction for the economic debacle.

    2) A bailout for Nancy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Top Cat View Post
    At least Bill saved his transgressions for grown women. Not suggesting what he did was OK. But he didn't chase 14 year olds.

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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    When you declare war on America I think you should expect death to come without warning, without the American Communist Lovers United's (ACLU), or Nancy Pelosi's to come to your rescue, or for there to be any trial, or stay of execution. For anyone to to complain about this policy or defend those who do is to say we need some dainty, limp wristed rules for fighting a war.
    President Bush, 20 Sep 2001
    This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat. Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
    He told us all in the beginning.
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    Re: C.I.A. Had Plan to Assassinate Qaeda Leaders

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    This was the evil, corrupt, despicable plan that Cheney was hiding from the rest of us? This is what caused Pelosi, et al. to throw tizzy fits, screaming about how the Republicans were criminals?

    My god, what a diabolical plot. To think that the Bush administration advanced a plan to kill terrorists under a rationale that Obama has adopted.
    Made even more diabolical because it never got past the planning stage. It was never more than an analytical exercise.

    Might be why they never briefed the Congress on it....nothing to say about it.

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