Skip to comments.CIA drone strikes will get pass in counterterrorism ‘playbook,’ officials say
Posted on 01/19/2013 10:11:44 PM PST by Seizethecarp
The Obama administration is nearing completion of a detailed counterterrorism manual that is designed to establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations but leaves open a major exemption for the CIAs campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan, U.S. officials said.
The carve-out would allow the CIA to continue pounding al-Qaeda and Taliban targets for a year or more before the agency is forced to comply with more stringent rules spelled out in a classified document that officials have described as a counterterrorism playbook.
The adoption of a formal guide to targeted killing marks a significant and to some uncomfortable milestone: the institutionalization of a practice that would have seemed anathema to many before the Sept. 11 , 2001, terrorist attacks.
Among the subjects covered in the playbook are the process for adding names to kill lists, the legal principles that govern when U.S. citizens can be targeted overseas and the sequence of approvals required when the CIA or U.S. military conducts drone strikes outside war zones.
The decision to allow the CIA strikes to continue was driven in part by concern that the window for weakening al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan is beginning to close, with plans to pull most U.S. troops out of neighboring Afghanistan over the next two years. CIA drones are flown out of bases in Afghanistan.
Theres a sense that you put the pedal to the metal now, especially given the impending withdrawal, said a former U.S. official involved in discussions of the playbook. The CIA exception is expected to be in effect for less than two years but more than one, the former official said, although he noted that any decision to close the carve-out will undoubtedly be predicated on facts on the ground.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
Clear as mud. New “playbook” but doesn’t happen to cover Af/Pak, and especially doesn’t cover “signature strikes” based on suspicious behavior (signatures of terrorist logistics activity) without any ID of the targets.
So what Dick Nixon used to say has come to pass? “It isn’t illegal if the president does it.”
Thanks Seizethecarp. G’night all.
I’m going to write the shortest book on “Counter-terrorism warfare” around.
Title: “Kill Our Terrorist Enemies By Any Means Necessary”
Full Text: “Kill our terrorist enemies by any means necessary.”
End of manual
Copies available from the author. Signed if you ask nicely.
The more Obama kills terrorists with drones (instead of sending our precious young people to do the job), the more I say, “Go, Obama!”