Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cheney's secret assassination program

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It is being reported -- by the Times and the Guardian, inter alia -- that the secret (and never fully operational) program that Cheney didn't tell Congress about would have involved assassinating al Qaeda leaders around the world, including in countries friendly to the U.S.

Really? That's it. Not that an assassination program isn't serious, or illegal, but I was expecting more, something more juicy. (After all, the U.S. already does this, more or less -- in Pakistan, for example.) But maybe there's a lot more to it, as TPM's David Kurtz suggests:

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.

*****

It doesn't add up. There's more to this story to be told.

It's all speculation at this point, but I tend to agree.

Undoubtedly, there's still a lot more we don't know about this hyper-controversial program. There was a reason Cheney kept it so secret, after all. And the reason is that it was probably much worse than these reports indicate (like a much broader assassination program, perhaps targeting citizens of friendly countries).

We shall see. Maybe.

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