Saturday, December 27, 2014

The CIA: Where We Are Now

Forget the intricate spy novels of John LeCarre.  Even forget Jack Bauer, whose use of torture foiled a terrorist plot every week.  Under Obama, the CIA has evolved.  Information collection has taken second place to assassination.  The CIA no longer is an intelligence gathering organization, it is a paramilitary force.

It seems that capturing and interrogating individuals associated with terrorist organizations got a little dicey, especially after torture (admittedly useless, but so much fun) was discontinued.  It turned out to be so much easier to blow away "suspects" with drone strikes.  Presumably, there is more evidence against the "suspects" than a resentful brother-in-law, but even so, one has to wonder whether due process of law might reach different conclusions.

The second victim of a CIA drone strike was US citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, age 16.  One supposes it was reasonable to assume he would grow up to be antagonistic to the USofA since victim number one was his father, Anwar.  Just the same, as best we can tell, the kid hadn't actually done anything yet.

Then there's the "collateral damage" — wedding parties and whatnot blown to bits because some terror suspect was the bride's second cousin once removed.  Even if the suspect was killed, the rest of the casualties were just straight-out murders.

Responsibility for drone strikes was supposed to be transferred to the Pentagon, which, at least, is under some oversight — but the CIA was allowed to continue killing with only minor restraint.  Since CIA activities are classified, nobody has to take the blame for screw-ups.

Among those escaping blame is Our President, who allows the CIA to act independently without Executive oversight.  And the band plays on...

No comments: