Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

CIA drone attacks produce America's own unlawful combatants
Washington Post ^ | Friday, March 12, 2010 | Gary Solis

Posted on 03/29/2010 11:17:07 AM PDT by Sherman Logan

In our current armed conflicts, there are two U.S. drone offensives. One is conducted by our armed forces, the other by the CIA. Every day, CIA agents and CIA contractors arm and pilot armed unmanned drones over combat zones in Afghanistan and Pakistan, including Pakistani tribal areas, to search out and kill Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters. In terms of international armed conflict, those CIA agents are, unlike their military counterparts but like the fighters they target, unlawful combatants. No less than their insurgent targets, they are fighters without uniforms or insignia, directly participating in hostilities, employing armed force contrary to the laws and customs of war.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; drone; gwot; predator
I thought the author makes a darn good point.

If CIA guys engage in combat as ununiformed civilians, I'm curious why they wouldn't be considered illegal combatants. Sauce for the goose and all that.

Anybody got an idea?

1 posted on 03/29/2010 11:17:08 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

The CIA guys don’t sound like they are on the field of battle. So, as long as the drones have USA markings, what’s the problem?


2 posted on 03/29/2010 11:19:47 AM PDT by circlecity
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
It's the WaPo. Every single word they write is to be considered enemy propaganda.

The CIA answers to a definable chain of command therefore they are complying with the Laws of Warfare.

End of story.

3 posted on 03/29/2010 11:19:56 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
Excellent point here.

In addition to that, the use of civilian contractors in roles that meet any objective definition of "combat" operations has also raised some concern among folks who understand the risks of applying this label to detainees captured by the U.S. military.

4 posted on 03/29/2010 11:21:45 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Since Obama is CiC, doesn’t this make him a War Criminal? When his term expires, shouldn’t he be turned ver to The Hague to face charges?


5 posted on 03/29/2010 11:21:58 AM PDT by theDentist (fybo; qwerty ergo typo : i type, therefore i misspelll)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
Moreover, CIA civilian personnel who repeatedly and directly participate in hostilities may have what recent guidance from the International Committee of the Red Cross terms "a continuous combat function." That status, the ICRC guidance says, makes them legitimate targets whenever and wherever they may be found, including Langley.

Sounds like sedition and plotting against the government to me.

6 posted on 03/29/2010 11:24:35 AM PDT by thethirddegree
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Another self righteous secularist demanding we follow the rules of war while our enemies try to destroy the very country that makes those rules.


7 posted on 03/29/2010 11:24:42 AM PDT by Walkingfeather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Because they’re flying armed and marked aircraft?


8 posted on 03/29/2010 11:25:04 AM PDT by Little Ray (The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Lurker
Interesting. One of the risks associated with this scenario is that it potentially exposes CIA employees to "legitimate" (at least under the international laws of warfare) attack right here in the U.S.

The murder of two CIA employees outside the gate of CIA headquarters in Langley, VA back in 1993 immediately comes to mind.

9 posted on 03/29/2010 11:25:40 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("Let the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Been there done that. This is NOTHING new and is just hash over re-hash. Have you ever heard of Air America? The real one not the liberal spew radio station? Try Vietnam, try South America, try anywhere in the world combat is ongoing.


10 posted on 03/29/2010 11:25:41 AM PDT by Gaffer ("Profling: The only profile I need is a chalk outline around their dead ass!")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
The face presented to the enemy is the drone. It doesn't matter who is flying it. The drone is not unmarked. The drone is clearly identified as a US military asset.

No attempt to disguise the drone so that it could “mix” into a population of civilian drones was made./s

The intent of the unlawful combatant rules of uniform was so that combatants would clearly be differentiated from noncombatants - thus cutting down on noncombatant deaths.

There is no attempt to disguise the drone as a nonmilitary drone.

The analogy is weak sauce at best, for either the goose or the gander.

11 posted on 03/29/2010 11:25:47 AM PDT by allmendream (Income is EARNED not distributed. So how could it be re-distributed?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: allmendream

“It’sa Catcha 22!”


12 posted on 03/29/2010 11:27:59 AM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

You can’t have US Armed Forces regularly killing terrorists inside Pakistan. But the CIA is another thing.


13 posted on 03/29/2010 11:29:02 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (The money goes to the health care of people who do not even take care of their health.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

We’ve been making this argument in JAG circles for years. I frankly have a hard time seeing how they’re not unlawful, or in violation of the “no assassinations” EO. But hey, that’s just me...

Colonel, USAFR


14 posted on 03/29/2010 11:29:54 AM PDT by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
If CIA guys engage in combat as ununiformed civilians, I'm curious why they wouldn't be considered illegal combatants. Sauce for the goose and all that.

The DUmmies, Code Pink, etc., are all big on this too.

Besides they are not trying to hide their status. What would declaring them as "unlawful combatants" accomplish?

15 posted on 03/29/2010 11:30:14 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Alfred E. Neuman for President! Oh, wait a minute ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
As long as they have an inentifyable chain of command, a nation-state they support and have some item of identifiable insignia, they are completely “legal.”

In RVN, for Road Runners, we wore black jammies (of course, 6'4” blue eyes, blond hair created a problem within 50 meters, but what the hell?!?!))

For insignia issues, a a US flag and the words “# 1 G.I. Property of Uncle F**king Sam” embroidered in dark OD thread on all clothing.

16 posted on 03/29/2010 11:32:35 AM PDT by MindBender26 (Prezdet Obama is what you get when you let the O.J. jury select a president !)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

WaPo and Gary Solis, quite a combo of the blame America first crowd.


17 posted on 03/29/2010 11:34:13 AM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

If CIA guys engage in combat as ununiformed civilians, I’m curious why they wouldn’t be considered illegal combatants.


Well if they get caught they could easy end for the rest of their life in a place like guantanamo without any trial. (And it would be “legal”) because they are not protected buy any law or something like the geneva convention.


18 posted on 03/29/2010 11:34:44 AM PDT by darkside321
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr

The article seemed reasonable to my non lawyer mind, but couldn’t and shouldn’t these legalities be handled by some simple legal paperwork that the government should already have been doing?


19 posted on 03/29/2010 11:37:53 AM PDT by ansel12 ( If you guys can stop Palin, Romney will not have any real opposition.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr

The Constitution clearly authorizes letters of marque and reprisal. Aren’t those who operate under LOM&R essentially civilian contractors carrying war to the enemies of the US, authorized to do so by US law and US chain of command? Why are the CIA guys and their contractors any different?


20 posted on 03/29/2010 11:39:15 AM PDT by RedElement
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Berlin_Freeper

Including Sarah Palin.


21 posted on 03/29/2010 11:40:05 AM PDT by sport
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: RedElement

The Constitution clearly authorizes letters of marque and reprisal. Aren’t those who operate under LOM&R essentially civilian contractors carrying war to the enemies of the US, authorized to do so by US law and US chain of command? Why are the CIA guys and their contractors any different?


Well you have to differ between national and international (accepted) law.


22 posted on 03/29/2010 11:44:03 AM PDT by darkside321
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
Hey! Obummer/Holder is amnesia`d deja-vu all over agin`.

This WashingMachine Poster has the deleterious disease too! Give him ObummerCaries!

My ancestors at Bunker Hill, Saratoga II and other battles wore no uniforms- they were just farmers with their varmint-poppin` muskets. Only one who had a uniform was Prescott. They were bloodied patriots.

"In August 1775, the King declared Americans in arms against royal authority to be traitors to the Crown. The British government at first started treating captured rebel combatants as COMMON CRIMINALS... Eventually they were technically accorded the rights of belligerents in 1782, by act of Parliament, when they were officially recognized as prisoners of war rather than traitors. At the end of the war, both sides released their surviving prisoners" [not in the MIDDLE of a War!]. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Revolution

23 posted on 03/29/2010 12:02:51 PM PDT by bunkerhill7
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

I was unaware that we stamped each and every bullet fired as US Military ordnance.


24 posted on 03/29/2010 12:08:15 PM PDT by Cyman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
they are fighters without uniforms or insignia

If there is a US insignia stenciled on the Drone they are cleared under any convention. This is a BS article.
25 posted on 03/29/2010 12:19:19 PM PDT by GonzoGOP (There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr

How close are these drone pilots to the “Flying Tigers” in military status?


26 posted on 03/29/2010 12:29:14 PM PDT by ansel12 ( If you guys can stop Palin, Romney will not have any real opposition.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: jagusafr
We’ve been making this argument in JAG circles for years. I frankly have a hard time seeing how they’re not unlawful, or in violation of the “no assassinations” EO. But hey, that’s just me...

Calling it "assassination" doesn't make it so. The role of drones strikes me as more parallel to a sniper on the battlefield, one who shoots an enemy combatant who is not in a position to shoot back. How is the sniper's action unlawful, or is it okay? How is the drone pilot's action different, or is it also okay? As for a uniform, the marked drone's pilot is not on the field of battle, so there is no point in a uniform. If there is a difference, does putting only uniformed personnel at the controls solve the problem? I'd say it does and that makes them quite clearly legally and morally equivalent to their fellow uniformed soldiers - Army snipers.

27 posted on 03/29/2010 12:34:56 PM PDT by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
If CIA guys engage in combat as ununiformed civilians, I'm curious why they wouldn't be considered illegal combatants.

Are you under the impression that al queda, the taliban and the rest of the muzzie cutthroats wear uniforms, or are legal combatants?

Holder and 0bamao want to treat them as if they are, but under the Geneva Convention, they do not qualify. The best course of action for the muzzies:

KILL 'EM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT!

28 posted on 03/29/2010 12:47:11 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (der Fuhrer 0bamao's goal: "To Control the People ..." - FUBO! Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pollster1

If there is a difference, does putting only uniformed personnel at the controls solve the problem? I’d say it does and that makes them quite clearly legally and morally equivalent to their fellow uniformed soldiers - Army snipers.

That’s the point: CIA officers are not military members. Having military members flying planes/UAVs that have weapons systems is clearly within the Law of Armed Conflict. Having civilians fly unarmed UAVs is well within CIA’s ISR bailiwick. Having civilians flying armed UAVs is, to my military mind, a bad idea.

Colonel, USAFR


29 posted on 03/29/2010 1:11:34 PM PDT by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Dasimplesolution.

A win for the Pentagon in the Turf War.

All Drone Ops to be run by soldiers.

End of stupid controversy.


30 posted on 03/29/2010 1:13:42 PM PDT by swarthyguy (Join ACFANS - Alleged Conservatives For A Nanny State. www.acfans.com (Ha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

This would matter if the muzzies were actually concerned with whether or not someone was a “lagal combatant” or not. If you’re simply a westerner, legal or illegal combatant, it’s grounds for having your head hacked off so I can see why we don’t care.


31 posted on 03/29/2010 1:16:07 PM PDT by lwd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: The Sons of Liberty

If you want to kill all the terrorists, I’m with you.

If you mean kill all 1B+ Muslims, including 700M+ women and children, I can’t go along with genocide.


32 posted on 03/29/2010 1:31:02 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: ansel12

How close are these drone pilots to the “Flying Tigers” in military status?

They’re not: the Flying Tigers were actually in the employ of China, flying aircraft purchased under lend-lease. These UAV pilots, as I understand the article and from my own experience, are CIA employees. As noted in a previous response, if the UAVs are armed, I have a problem with non-uniformed personnel controlling, no matter where the pilot is physically located.

Colonel, USAFR


33 posted on 03/29/2010 1:35:28 PM PDT by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: RedElement

Why are the CIA guys and their contractors any different?

Because they’re actually employees of the US government, not privateers/carriers of LOM&R. These particular employees aren’t the ones authorized to engage in armed battlefield engagements with the enemy, the uniformed military services are.

Colonel, USAFR


34 posted on 03/29/2010 1:38:06 PM PDT by jagusafr (Kill the red lizard, Lord! - nod to C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan
To simplify: MUSLIM = TERRORIST
35 posted on 03/29/2010 1:39:51 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (der Fuhrer 0bamao's goal: "To Control the People ..." - FUBO! Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: The Sons of Liberty

Just to make it perfectly clear, you think the USA should kill 1B+ people?


36 posted on 03/29/2010 1:48:31 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

If they threaten us, hell yes! Better a thousand taliban mothers cry for their children, than ONE American Mother.


37 posted on 03/29/2010 1:56:15 PM PDT by The Sons of Liberty (der Fuhrer 0bamao's goal: "To Control the People ..." - FUBO! Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

“The CIA answers to a definable chain of command therefore they are complying with the Laws of Warfare.”

I don’t think that it is quite that simple. For example, in the Geneva Convention there were a lot more requirements to meet than simply having a chain of command in order to qualify as a lawful combatant. Under Geneva Convention standards, the CIA, like any spies, would certainly be classed as unlawful combatants. Any country capturing them would be well within their rights to summarily execute them.


38 posted on 03/29/2010 2:58:31 PM PDT by Boogieman
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Boogieman
But they're not operating on foreign soil without the permission of the host government. Those drones are also clearly marked as military assets.

And if the CIA employees are committing war crimes, that means that Obama is, too as they answer ultimately to him.

Now were they operating as sabotuers against the lawful government of Afghanistan your point would be valid. And it seems to me that we've had almost a dozen CIA employees murdered by these monsters already.

When are these 'international law' pinheads going to start worrying about that?

39 posted on 03/29/2010 3:34:52 PM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson