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Just so much wrong in this

I heard Lew Rockwell mention the other day that the people of a nation that wins a war are often the losers because their loss of freedom is born in the governmental transformation necessary to win the war.   That seems true to me of WW2 and certainly the war on terror.


In the decade since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the agency has undergone a fundamental transformation. Although the CIA continues to gather intelligence and furnish analysis on a vast array of subjects, its focus and resources are increasingly centered on the cold counterterrorism objective of finding targets to capture or kill.

The shift has been gradual enough that its magnitude can be difficult to grasp. Drone strikes that once seemed impossibly futuristic are so routine that they rarely attract public attention unless a high-ranking al-Qaeda figure is killed.

But framed against the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 2001 attacks — as well as the arrival next week of retired Gen. David H. Petraeus as the CIA’s director — the extent of the agency’s reorientation comes into sharper view:

●The drone program has killed more than 2,000 militants and civilians since 2001, a staggering figure for an agency that has a long history of supporting proxy forces in bloody conflicts but rarely pulled the trigger on its own.

●The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, which had 300 employees on the day of the attacks, now exceeds al-Qaeda’s core membership around the globe. With about 2,000 on its staff, the CTC accounts for 10 percent of the agency’s workforce, has designated officers in almost every significant overseas post and controls the CIA’s expanding fleet of drones.

●Even the agency’s analytic branch, which traditionally existed to provide insights to policymakers, has been enlisted in the hunt. About 20 percent of CIA analysts are now “targeters” scanning data for individuals to recruit, arrest or place in the cross­hairs of a drone. The skill is in such demand that the CIA made targeting a designated career track five years ago, meaning analysts can collect raises and promotions without having to leave the targeting field.


“You’ve taken an agency that was chugging along and turned it into one hell of a killing machine,” said the former official, who, like many people interviewed for this story, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence matters. Blanching at his choice of words, he quickly offered a revision: “Instead, say ‘one hell of an operational tool.’ ”

5 Replies

Re: Just so much wrong in this

You're right every way to Friday.


Of all possible presidential candidates only Ron Paul would actually oppose this.  It is my strong belief that if RP actually got close he would be Wellstoned on account of the fact that he is as clean as they come so Spitzering is out. Might have been a bit of a Deaning attempt on him with the Bruno abomination but that didn't seem to go anywhere.


Anyway, he's a brave man of principle and I say go for it. Unlikely that he'll be permitted to get that close and if he does, well, he's getting up there in years anyway. Worse reasons to go.


The shame of it is, of course, that his anti-Fed message is being co-opted by Bachmann, Perry and others who othrewise appear to be completely under the sway of Christian Zionism and are all in for killing Islamofascists. My belief, for what it is worth- is that combo doesn't get any better for the folks running things- a continuation of the domestic and international security complex while social programs are gutted and tax rates flattened. Boo-yah.


As far as Obama goes, the joke is on everybody- those on the left who thought he was explicitly against these things (never really said that) and the folks on the right who work themselves into a lather believing that a continuation of Clinton and Bush is some sort of wild eyed leftist radial. A joke all the way around, I'm afraid.

Veteran Advisor

Re: Just so much wrong in this

I really thought that most of the hawks (most of the right on here at least) were ready, willing and able to fight the Mooslems whenever and wherever and with whatever was available until they were all dead.  Seems they would be very hap-py to nuke'em, gas'em or shoot'em any day of the week.  But yet, you guys are saying that the military's use of "futuristic" weapons systems is not good.  I say it is if it saves one American life.  I don't think we should send a man to do a job that a drone can do cheaper and more effectively.

Senior Contributor

Re: Just so much wrong in this

Send me a couple sniffbutt. I will do my part!

Veteran Advisor

Re: Just so much wrong in this

Couple of what?


Re: Just so much wrong in this

It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E Lee.