Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheney's mysterious CIA program

There's a lot of conflicting reports and analyses on CIA program that Cheney ordered to kept secret -- from everyone. The mainstream narrative being pushed is that it was a simple covert assassination program, targeting only leading AQ operatives overseas. I find that hard to buy myself. I'm lining up behind TPM who thinks something is not adding up to the total picture just yet.
So regardless of how you might feel about targeted assassinations, it's not at all clear why this particular program would be so radioactive -- compared to what the U.S. was, and still is, doing more or less openly -- that (1) Cheney would demand the CIA not brief Congress about it for eight years; (2) Panetta would cancel it immediately upon learning of it; and (3) Democrats would howl quite so loudly when finally informed.
Of course, as Steve points out, a secret assassination squad was outed by Sy Hersch back in March. But that doesn't really explain why it's a story now. No one was overly concerned then. I think it's far more likely that they had potential targets in the US. For all we know, they might have eliminated a few designated enemy combatants.

Of course, that's pure speculation on my part. Still, it seems highly unlikely we have the whole story yet.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Brian Krenz said...

This program doesn't seem as bad as I had feared it might be, but you're right we don't have the whole story.

I commented on another blog that rotten salmon smells less fishy than Cheney's involvement in this program.

Even if this is totally legit and nothing bad ever happened, it is significant that Cheney deemed himself worthy of wielding another excessive power. But I can practically guarantee the main storyline is going to be about whether or not assassinating terrorists is good or bad, which, of course, totally misses the point.

And it's disturbing that no one really listened to Hersh back in March, but I feel like that's normal. He's probably the best investigative journalist around - one of the best ever - and yet when he speaks only a handful of people notice.

5:03:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Yes, Cheney's excessive power grab is the issue and you're right, no one in the media will make it one.

5:20:00 PM  
Blogger jeff said...

You've all missed the point and bought this smoke about hit squads..this is all BS

Conveniently happening to push the real story--the IG report on surveillance out of the picture.

This hit squad stuff gives a pseudo patriotic spin that is quite intentional.

Why would Panetta rush to congress to tell about a program that never happened?

Why would a non functional program exist for 7 years?

Why did all this happen now--just days after a report describing data mining of email, credit card info, bank records, phone records, internet usage--all said to have accomplished little or nothing against a terror threat. This conclusion by 5 Bush appointed IGs for all intelligence departments.

Somebody wanted to ring the Cheney bell and like Pavlovs dogs the media and you all ran to the BS food dish and are slurping up the misdirection.

There's way more involved than hit squads. Take a deep breath and step back. The view is always more encompassing with a wider lens.

6:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Kvatch said...

...a simple covert assassination program...

Setting aside TPM's opinion, what about covert assassination is simple? Or legal?

9:35:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

As I understand it, it is legal if they're going after AQ because they're enemies. Simple is a relative term of course.

12:27:00 PM  

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