CommunityFDL Main Blog

Problem: CIA Drone Program Under Attack. Solution: al Qaeda Number 3!

Unmanned Predator MQ-1 drone (photo: JimNTexas via Flickr)

What a coincidence! Just as we learn that Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings is about to recommend to the UN Human Rights Commission that the CIA be removed from the drone program, with only the military controlling drones in the future, it suddenly turns out that a CIA-directed drone has killed the number 3 person in al Qaeda.

Here is Charlie Savage, writing in the New York Times about Philip Alston:

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Thursday that he would deliver a report on June 3 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that the “life and death power” of drones should be entrusted to regular armed forces, not intelligence agencies. He contrasted how the military and the C.I.A. responded to allegations that strikes had killed civilians by mistake.

“With the Defense Department you’ve got maybe not perfect but quite abundant accountability as demonstrated by what happens when a bombing goes wrong in Afghanistan,” he said in an interview. “The whole process that follows is very open. Whereas if the C.I.A. is doing it, by definition they are not going to answer questions, not provide any information, and not do any follow-up that we know about.”

Further, it turns out that there are serious legal issues with non-military personnel controlling the drones:

Under the laws of war, soldiers in traditional armies cannot be prosecuted and punished for killing enemy forces in battle. The United States has argued that because Qaeda fighters do not obey the requirements laid out in the Geneva Conventions — like wearing uniforms — they are not “privileged combatants” entitled to such battlefield immunity. But C.I.A. drone operators also wear no uniforms.

So with the UN breathing down their necks, the CIA magically comes up with an important kill using drones:

Al Qaeda’s third-in-command, whose role spanned from operations to fundraising, is believed to have been killed last month in a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan, dealing a serious blow to the embattled group.

Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was believed to be killed along with members of his family in a strike by a pilotless CIA-operated drone attack. Al Qaeda confirmed his death in a statement on a Islamist website earlier on Monday.

Somehow, the idea of our having killed al Qaeda’s number three in command is getting a little hard to believe, considering how many times it has happened:

Five other al Qaeda leaders considered third-in-command have been killed or captured since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, but al-Masri may be the most difficult to replace.

But not to worry. There will be plenty of others to take his place, especially considering how many other family members were killed in the attack, as reports are stating that his wife, three daughters and a granddaughter were also killed in the attack.

Mustafa, Mufasa, or whatever they called him, this seems like how the CIA is operating here:

CommunityMy FDLSeminal

Problem: CIA Drone Program Under Attack. Solution: al Qaeda Number 3!

What a coincidence! Just as we learn that Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings is about to recommend to the UN Human Rights Commission that the CIA be removed from the drone program, with only the military controlling drones in the future, it suddenly turns out that a CIA-directed drone has killed the number 3 person in al Qaeda.

Here is Charlie Savage, writing in the New York Times about Philip Alston:

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Thursday that he would deliver a report on June 3 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that the “life and death power” of drones should be entrusted to regular armed forces, not intelligence agencies. He contrasted how the military and the C.I.A. responded to allegations that strikes had killed civilians by mistake.

“With the Defense Department you’ve got maybe not perfect but quite abundant accountability as demonstrated by what happens when a bombing goes wrong in Afghanistan,” he said in an interview. “The whole process that follows is very open. Whereas if the C.I.A. is doing it, by definition they are not going to answer questions, not provide any information, and not do any follow-up that we know about.”

Further, it turns out that there are serious legal issues with non-military personnel controlling the drones:

Under the laws of war, soldiers in traditional armies cannot be prosecuted and punished for killing enemy forces in battle. The United States has argued that because Qaeda fighters do not obey the requirements laid out in the Geneva Conventions — like wearing uniforms — they are not “privileged combatants” entitled to such battlefield immunity. But C.I.A. drone operators also wear no uniforms.

So with the UN breathing down their necks, the CIA magically comes up with an important kill using drones:

Al Qaeda’s third-in-command, whose role spanned from operations to fundraising, is believed to have been killed last month in a U.S. missile strike in Pakistan, dealing a serious blow to the embattled group.

Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, was believed to be killed along with members of his family in a strike by a pilotless CIA-operated drone attack. Al Qaeda confirmed his death in a statement on a Islamist website earlier on Monday.

Somehow, the idea of our having killed al Qaeda’s number three in command is getting a little hard to believe, considering how many times it has happened:

Five other al Qaeda leaders considered third-in-command have been killed or captured since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, but al-Masri may be the most difficult to replace.

But not to worry. There will be plenty of others to take his place, especially considering how many other family members were killed in the attack, as reports are stating that his wife, three daughters and a granddaughter were also killed in the attack.

Mustafa, Mufasa, or whatever they called him, this seems like how the CIA is operating here:

Previous post

Early Morning Swim

Next post

Israel Blocks Access to Flotilla Press and Participants

Jim White

Jim White

Follow me on Twitter @JimWhiteGNV