Monday, July 13, 2009

Panetta and CIA no Longer Going After Al Qaeda

We lost in Vietnam largely because our government did have the stomach (or political will) to put a 100% effort into securing a victory. Could it be that we will lose the war against terrorism and Al Qaeda for the same reason?

A secret Central Intelligence Agency initiative terminated by Director Leon Panetta was an attempt to carry out a 2001 presidential authorization to capture or kill Al Qaeda operatives, according to former intelligence officials familiar with the matter.

The precise nature of the highly classified effort isn't clear, and the CIA won't comment on its substance.

According to current and former government officials, the agency spent money on planning and possibly some training. It was acting on a 2001 presidential legal pronouncement, known as a finding, which authorized the CIA to pursue such efforts. The initiative hadn't become fully operational at the time Panetta ended it.

In 2001, the CIA also examined the subject of targeted assassinations of Al Qaeda leaders, according to three former intelligence officials. It appears that those discussions tapered off within six months. It isn't clear whether they were an early part of the CIA initiative that Panetta stopped.

The revelations about the CIA and its post-9/11 activities have emerged amid a renewed fight between the agency and congressional Democrats. Last week, seven Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee released a letter that talked about the CIA effort, which they said Panetta acknowledged hadn't been properly vetted with Congress. CIA officials had brought the matter to Panetta's attention and had recommended he inform Congress.

Neither Panetta nor the lawmakers provided details. Panetta quashed the CIA effort after learning about it June 23.


LL July 13, 2009 at 1:39 PM  

Panetta can't make a decision on his own. I'm sure the word was to leave the Muslim Brothers alone. I don't know who would give that order. Maybe another Muslim? Maybe not.

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