Saturday, February 9, 2013

CIA should not be used to carry out traditional military activities: Brennan

Brennan: "The CIA should not be used to carry out traditional military activities." 

Verne Strickland / February 09, 2013

This might to some degree defuse objections that some have toward the drone program, which has a very specific and useful purpose. We are in a war. Anyone who cannot perceive that has apparently not read any history post-dating the War of 1812.

Radical Islamic terrorists and assassins are trying to kill Americans and destroy U.S. facilities around the world. In doing so, they have savagely slaughtered American men, women and children with impunity. We should and do have the right to defend our country and our citizens by whatever means we have at our disposal, with the possible exclusion of mustard gas.

Drones are a breakthrough technology which allows us to kill terrorists where they are hiding (often shielded by their own children and women, while sparing the lives of Americans. No amount of clamor on the part of American protestors should dissuade us from doing that. These home-grown agitators are usually ignited by blatant propaganda produced by the enemy and promoted by MSM. At least one caveat should be observed. We should not respond to beheading the beheading of U.S. citizens by beheading members Al-Quaida, Hezbollah and other funny-sounding terrorists. This might be deserved but it wouldn't be right.

The following is excerpted from an AP article based on Brennan confirmation hearing.

Associated Press / 020913

Administration officials say Brennan would limit the use of drones by the CIA and leave the majority of strikes to the military. Brennan signaled in his written answers that he would not seek to expand the CIA's paramilitary operations.
"While the CIA needs to maintain a paramilitary capability ... the CIA should not be used, in my view, to carry out traditional military activities," Brennan wrote, referring to activities like the special operations raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
The CIA's drone strikes primarily focus on al-Qaida and Taliban targets in the tribal regions of Pakistan, while the military has launched strikes against al-Qaida targets in Yemen and Somalia. The agency also carries out strikes in Yemen, where three American citizens with al-Qaida connections have been killed: Anwar al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old-son and Samir Khan.
Brennan said he would work to improve the CIA's intelligence collection and performance across the Arab world after a spate of unanticipated unrest, from the revolts of the Arab Spring to the terror attack that killed the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya.
Associated Press writers Julie Pace, Lara Jakes and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.
Follow Dozier on Twitter:
Related on HuffPost:
Obama Cabinet: Who's Staying, Who's Leaving

Subscribe to the HuffPost Hill newsletter!