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CIA Had Plan To Capture, Kill Al Qaeda

From a shocked Wall Street Journal:

CIA Had Secret Al Qaeda Plan


WASHINGTON — A secret Central Intelligence Agency initiative terminated by Director Leon Panetta was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill al Qaeda operatives, according to former intelligence officials familiar with the matter…

According to current and former government officials, the agency spent money on planning and possibly some training. It was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts. The initiative hadn’t become fully operational at the time Mr. Panetta ended it.

In 2001, the CIA also examined the subject of targeted assassinations of al Qaeda leaders, according to three former intelligence officials. It appears that those discussions tapered off within six months. It isn’t clear whether they were an early part of the CIA initiative that Mr. Panetta stopped…

Republicans on the panel say that the CIA effort didn’t advance to a point where Congress clearly should have been notified…

One former senior intelligence official said the program was an attempt "to achieve a capacity to carry out something that was directed in the finding," meaning it was looking for ways to capture or kill al Qaeda chieftains.

The official noted that Congress had long been briefed on the finding, and that the CIA effort wasn’t so much a program as "many ideas suggested over the course of years." It hadn’t come close to fruition, he added.

Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said little had been spent on the efforts — closer to $1 million than $50 million. "The idea for this kind of program was tossed around in fits and starts," he said.

Senior CIA leaders were briefed two or three times on the most recent iteration of the initiative, the last time in the spring of 2008. At that time, CIA brass said that the effort should be narrowed and that Congress should be briefed if the preparations reached a critical stage, a former senior intelligence official said.

Amid the high alert following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a small CIA unit examined the potential for targeted assassinations of al Qaeda operatives, according to the three former officials. The Ford administration had banned assassinations in the response to investigations into intelligence abuses in the 1970s. Some officials who advocated the approach were seeking to build teams of CIA and military Special Forces commandos to emulate what the Israelis did after the Munich Olympics terrorist attacks, said another former intelligence official…

The former official said he had been told that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney didn’t support such an operation. The effort appeared to die out after about six months, he said

One draft cable, later scrapped, authorized officers on the ground to "kill on sight" certain al Qaeda targets, according to one person who saw it. The context of the memo suggested it was designed for the most senior leaders in al Qaeda, this person said.

Eventually Mr. Bush issued the finding that authorized the capturing of several top al Qaeda leaders, and allowed officers to kill the targets if capturing proved too dangerous or risky.

Lawmakers first learned specifics of the CIA initiative the day after Mr. Panetta did, when he briefed them on it for 45 minutes.

House lawmakers are now making preparations for an investigation into "an important program" and why Congress wasn’t told about it, said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, in an interview.

On Sunday, lawmakers criticized the Bush administration’s decision not to tell Congress. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, hinted that the Bush administration may have broken the law by not telling Congress.

"We were kept in the dark. That’s something that should never, ever happen again," she said. Withholding such information from Congress, she said, "is a big problem, because the law is very clear."

Ms. Feinstein said Mr. Panetta told the lawmakers that Mr. Cheney had ordered that the information be withheld from Congress. Mr. Cheney on Sunday couldn’t be reached for comment through former White House aides.

The Senate’s second-ranking official, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, and Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, echoed those concerns and called for an investigation, an indication of how the politics of intelligence continue to bedevil the CIA

Well, we should hope that immediately after the attacks on 9/11 that the CIA and other of our intelligence organizations would be making up contingency plans on how to best attack the enemy.

The revelation that this is the plan that the Democrats were pretending to be so outraged about merely confirms that all of this brouhaha has been to cover-up Ms. Pelosi’s lies about her water-boarding briefings.

Which just goes to show us how ludicrously far the Democrats and their lickspittle media slaveys will go to protect our rulers.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, July 13th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “CIA Had Plan To Capture, Kill Al Qaeda”

  1. Reality Bytes says:

    “Sounds like a great plan to me. I don’t have a problem with it.” WABC’s Mark Simone’s comment this morning during the “journalist’s” reporting on the story.

  2. tranquil.night says:

    I brought this up in the other thread but I’ll rehash the point here. After 9/11 President Bush vowed to bring bin Laden to justice dead or alive – the fact that he was never captured/killed was considered ‘the great failure’ of the Bush Admin, and even used as a point of argument against Iraq. When we went to Afghanistan, the US military’s battle plans were centered around allying with the Afghans for the mutual goal of ousting the Taliban.

    Dick Cheney, November 29, 2001:

    And on Nov 29, Vice President Dick Cheney told ABC’s “Primetime Live” that, according to the reports that were coming in, bin Laden was in Tora Bora.”I think he was equipped to go to ground there,” Mr. Cheney said. “He’s got what he believes to be a fairly secure facility. He’s got caves underground; it’s an area he’s familiar with.”

    A recount of Tora Bora and how Bin Laden escaped: http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0304/p01s03-wosc.html

    We did have crucial evidence on the locations of top Al Qaeda chieftains including Osama, and the presence of this CIA program would’ve probably been effective. I contend again that Panetta cancelled it because Cheney ordered it kept quiet – probably because the Liberals would expose how it was breaking with the Ford Precedent of no assassinations. This might be one of the original rifts between Panetta/Cheney, and the Libs may have really really screwed themselves by taking this feud to the next level.

  3. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh is discussing this article as we speak.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    And the problem is……..?
    Count me in on the flogging and whacking of our enemies …..foreign and domestic!!

    • navymom says:

      And the problem is…? It was never implemented!! I’m over the age limit, but hey, I’d join up if they would take me if they would implement this plan!!! I’m WAAAAYYYY past the “kinder, gentler” crap!

  5. VMAN says:

    Hunt Al Qaeda, find Al Qaeda, kill Al Qaeda. Sounds like a plan to me. Keep it secret from idiot Democrats. That also sounds like a plan to me. So what exactly is the problem here? You tell a Democrat ANY secret plan to deal with our enemies and it on the front page of the New York Time the next day. I was watching “Burn Notice” the other night (great show by the way) and the character Sam Axe said “It’s a shame we don’t hang traitors anymore.” I couldn’t agree more.

  6. pdsand says:

    Well obviously if Bin Laden had been killed he would have been denied his constitutional right to due process of law as an American citizen. Our consciences could not allow that. We are a nation of laws, and not of men!

    Man it’s hard to think like a liberal.

    • proreason says:

      If I may help, pd, I think the problem you are having trying to think like a liberal is clear-cut.

      They don’t think. They feel. You can no more “think” like them than you can reason like a snake.

    • jobeth says:

      “:They don’t think. They feel”

      Man are you on the money there. Years ago I took some training for a ‘hot line” where people would call in with all sorts of serious and silly “problems”

      Being a problem solver, during role playing I would come up with a common sense suggestion of something they may want to try. NO! NO! NO!….You NEVER offer possible solutions…you try to get them to tell you how they FEEL!

      That was the theme of the whole thing…FEELINGS!
      So the actual callers hung up with no more of an idea of what they could do but they felt warm and fuzzy!

      I filed this training under “Stupid liberal methods”

  7. canary says:

    Why not? When you hear all these flip-flopping liberals like Obama saying we shouldn’t do anything. On the day Saddam was hung, I heard what I didn’t expect. Comments like two wrongs don’t make a right, and how terrible it was of “us” to do this. I was quick to point out that “we, the U.S.” did not try or hang the scum, but he deserved alot worse. Obama was mad about the Mexicans coming and taking black people’s jobs away, until a little Mexican girl and her Mexican speaking parents came into his office. That changed his mind. He’d probably take one look at Bin Laden, and say “I feel I’ve met my long lost brother. Obama you are like my idol Malcom X. Together we can work on not hating white people and turn from extremism.”

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