The Central Intelligence Agency continues to rapidly expand its global extrajudicial assassination program under the Obama administration, secretly murdering people with drones from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Somalia and Yemen. Even American citizens are fair game, according to the President.
The dramatic evolution of the agency’s priorities and operations has become so extreme that a former senior intelligence official told the Washington Post the CIA had been turned into “one hell of a killing machine.” The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the paramilitary transformation was “nothing short of a wonderment.”
But the dramatic metamorphosis, detailed in a recent exposé by the Post, entitled “CIA shifts focus to killing targets,” is hardly without critics. Some experts have even warned Congress that the illegal killings may constitute war crimes.
Documents discovered in the rebel-occupied capital of Libya offer evidence that the CIA assisted the now-deposed Libyan ruler Muammar el-Qaddafi in apprehending and jailing suspected terrorists. Those suspects include members of the rebel forces the United States and NATO have aided in toppling the Qaddafi regime.
The files were found by journalists and the activist group Human Rights Watch in the Tripoli headquarters of former External Security Organization chief Moussa Koussa. They show that both the CIA and its British counterpart, MI-6, turned captured enemies of the Qaddafi regime, including suspected al-Qaeda operatives, over to the Libyan dictator. Both the United States and Great Britain sent terrorist suspects to Libya for questioning, knowing the country's reputation for brutal interrogation techniques. Some of the documents included warnings to the Libyan government to respect the human rights of the detainees, the New York Times reported.
According to an American diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks citing numerous officials and reports, a team of U.S. soldiers in Iraq may have handcuffed and then executed an entire family — including five children under the age of six and four women. The troops, who were previously cleared of any wrongdoing by a U.S. investigation, then allegedly called for an air strike on the home in an apparent effort to cover up the evidence.
The 2006 massacre, which happened in an Iraqi town called Ishaqi, left at least 10 civilians dead. Among them were 28-year-old farmer Faiz Khalaf, his young wife, and all three of their children — aged five, three, and five months. Khalaf’s 74-year-old mother, his sister, and his two nieces — five and three years old — were also killed after being placed in handcuffs, officials said.
According to multiple accounts, U.S. forces approached the house for a raid at around 2:30 a.m. on March 15. Shots were reportedly fired, though it remains unclear who was shooting and why. But what happened next — the alleged executions — is being called a war crime.
Usually when U.S. citizens argue in favor of downsizing the military budget, they are treated as anti-American by neoconservatives and other "hawks." When presidential contender Ron Paul advocates bringing the troops home and reducing federal military spending, he is called an isolationist. But what can critics say of a military general who makes such assertions?
Brigadier General John Adams, in a piece for The Hill, makes such declarations. He claims that while the federal government has increased military spending, it has not increased national security, and such spending only serves to threaten economic security and fiscal sanity:
Earlier this month, a special task force assembled by General David Petraeus released the findings from its investigation that determined approximately $360 million in U.S. tax dollars landed in the hands of those that the American military have been fighting for over a decade: Taliban, criminals, and power brokers. More recently, however, another commission determined that the figure is actually closer to $60 billion.
An independent panel, the Commission on Wartime Contracting-established by Congress in 2008- asserts that $60 billion in American tax dollars has been lost to waste and corruption in Afghanistan and Iraq within the last decade.
The Commission’s 240-page report asserts that the United States is expected to have spent beyond $206 billion by the end of the 2011 budget year on its operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of that $206 billion, it has determined that approximately 10 to 20 percent has been spent on “contracting waste” while an additional 5 to 9 percent of that total was absorbed by fraud.
Elements of Al Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups were known to be key players in the NATO-backed uprising in Libya from the beginning, but now it appears that prominent Jihadists and terrorists are practically leading the revolution with Western support.
One terror leader in particular, Abdelhakim Belhaj, made headlines around the world over the weekend after it emerged that he was appointed the chief of Tripoli’s rebel Military Council. Prior to leading rebel forces against Gaddafi’s regime, Belhaj was the founder and leader of the notorious Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
Eventually the terror “Emir,” as he has been called, was arrested and tortured as an American prisoner in the terror war. In 2004, according to reports, he was transferred to the Gaddafi regime — then a U.S. terror-war ally.
The persecution of Christians is the biggest untold story in the establishment media. Consider Iran, a nation that we fear because it may soon acquire nuclear weapons. This fear is so strong in the school of popular punditry that strategic military strikes, embargoes and a host of other fairly dramatic remedies are seriously discussed. But is not our true fear of Iran that it is a nation which is intolerant, warlike and barbaric?
We have lived for more than fifty years with Britain and France, which each has the power to destroy most major American cities on any given day. The Soviet Union and its offspring, the thuggish Russian nation, each have a vast nuclear arsenal, as does China, which bears us no goodwill. Israel, India, Pakistan, South Africa and probably a few other nations have nuclear capacity or could acquire it quickly. Our former Axis enemies — Germany, Japan and Italy — could all go nuclear fairly quickly, if they wished. What is it about Iran that makes us sweat?
While the truth about what is going on in Libya remains concealed behind aweb of lies from both sides, Gaddafi’s forces are still fighting as analysts discuss the future of the nation following “regime change.” Based on available information, it doesn’t look bright. Talk of protracted civil war, genocide, violent retaliation, plundering and deepening chaos is well underway as the bodies of Libyans continue to pile up. Thousands of civilians have already died — some killed by NATO air strikes and Western-backed rebels, others by the Gaddafi regime and its supporters.
And analysts expect the bloodshed and violence to continue for the foreseeable future. A spokesman for the regime said earlier this week that Gaddafi’s forces were able to fight on “for years.” Contingency measures and “alternative plans” have been made, he explained, to ensure that the battle for Tripoli will rage on indefinitely.
Media coverage of the NATO war in Libya has been marked by so much disinformation, lies and deception that it is becoming hard to tell fact from fiction, with both sides engaging in what is termed “psychological operations” to confuse and demoralize their opponents.
Blatant examples of the strategy occurred in recent days as President Obama claimed the Libyan regime was finished even as Gaddafi and his sons vowed to continue fighting “for years” if necessary. Wildly conflicting accounts — often from reporters on the scene — make it almost impossible to tell what has really been going on in Tripoli this week.
“The Gadhafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people,” Obama claimed in a televised speech on August 22. Two days later, the embattled Libyan ruler made a public statement vowing to fight and urging residents of the capital to “free Tripoli” from the “devils and traitors.”