|Posted by Phil Giraldi on 02/04/10 8:45 PM
[Older: Taking Out the CIA]
I was shocked by yesterday’s House Intelligence Committee comments by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair and am astonished that his statement is not the featured front page item in every news medium today. Blair said that US citizens abroad might be killed by CIA or the Defense Department if they are “taking action that threatens Americans.” He added that in so doing the government would “follow a set of defined policy and legal procedures that are very carefully observed” and described the policy as designed to “protect most of the country.”
Well, I guess it’s just tough luck if you’re not one of the “most” while a “defined policy” being overseen by a Washington bureaucrat whose mission is to kill terrorists might reassure some. One recalls, however, that Washington officials approved waterboarding, secret prisons, and extraordinary rendition. I must admit to having a problem with extrajudicial killing unless someone is absolutely caught in flagrante in a murderous act because, as a former intelligence officer, I know full well how bad intelligence can be. Would we be killing someone without any due process just because someone else bearing a grudge manages to plant some false info, as has occurred all too often in Afghanistan? If it is true that something like 19 civilians die in drone strikes for every bad guy we manage to get, there is something seriously wrong with the intelligence and about the system in general.
And who makes the judgment of what constitutes something that “threatens Americans”? Blair went on to explain that being targeted might be based on being “involved in a group that is trying to attack us.” Involved? What does that mean? That would seem to be a First Amendment issue to me. If I send $5 to an apparent charity that turns out to be a part of Hezbollah can I expect a black helicopter overhead in minutes? The Blair comment is particularly scary in that it is a complete denial of the rights guaranteed to US citizens, including the right to a fair trial. It is also an admission that the White House sees such targeted killings as perfectly acceptable. I would add that no one on the Intelligence Committee protested much either. When a government is selectively targeting and killing its own citizens isn’t it a sign that something is very, very wrong? -Phil Giraldi, American Conservative Defense Alliance