As John Brennan is considered for confirmation by the US Senate, Eleven senators including both Oregon senators have raised the simple question: “If the United States targets a US citizen to be killed, does that person merit being notified as to why?”
Bizarre! In a country ruled by a constitution which states that a person cannot be deprived of life liberty or property without due process of law. ….. this question is asked by a Senator to a drone assassination champion who has supported or overseen over 2,700 people killed in three countries in which we are not at war, including 200 children. These are the minimum numbers as reported by the British: Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
If this were Kabuki, what masks would they be wearing in this senate hearing… The supporters, the CIA ‘leader’, the questioners?
“We are at war with terror.” says the drone champion Brennan. ” I support rendition and now banned interrogation techniques. I have strongly advocated public discussion of thresholds and limitations of CIA authority in this. (really ?) A trust deficit with this committee is wholly unacceptable to me.
The CIA will do all it can to protect Americas secrets, Americas classified information. The CIA indicates 103 deaths of CIA agents. ”
The above was my ragged shorthand from the confirmation hearing today.
According the Federation of American Scientists there are somewhere between 4.2 and 4.8 million Americans with security clearances.
According to Dana Priest and the Top Secret America project of the Washington Post: “(1) Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. (2) An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances. ”
“(4) Many security and intelligence agencies do the same work, creating redundancy and waste. For example, 51 federal organizations and military commands, operating in 15 U.S. cities, track the flow of money to and from terrorist networks. (5) Analysts who make sense of documents and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year – a volume so large that many are routinely ignored.”
I ask the discriminating reader this question: If the congress usually has very little oversight of the CIA , as Senator Murkowski said, and its only power to influence it is Now, during a confirmation hearing….. what oversight does the American People have over the ” 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies ” listed above? Who cuts their checks?, who directs their directors? *
In short, and you can quote me….. “You are being protected by a genuine self-breeding cluster fuck.” …. suffering from too many resources and resulting in too much overlapping confusion. ___ David Bean. Many duplications are seeking to solve the problem and none are looking to find the source of it if you ask me. (hint: it is not a personality… second hint: ask Pogo.^) As stated elsewhere, a war on a tactic can never find its end.
The world has changed. We have got what we worked for these many years…. magnificent productivity. Yet we are stuck thinking we are in the old world and people want our stuff. We are locked in the past in our own minds. Like peoples through the centuries, all people do not want to me messed with. As we screw them more and more with our “security” procedures and assassination drones is there any wonder they fight back? Isn’t ten years fighting goatherds on the other side of the planet in stark mountains with a population with an illiteracy rate of 70% an indication of misspent resources? ” We have the technology…. why not use it?” say the consultants. They are paid well… as are the drone makers. America has been captured by our own tools.
Well, from my observation of the hearing, Brennan is a shoe in. Yes Sir, Gumby. A shoo in.
Here is my concern. Leon Panetta, a budget wizard, has been the head of the CIA and Defense, and he is stepping down. He has not, nor has the President, in my humble opinion, been in charge of either. They grow exponentially as exemplified by the drone boom. It is a pathology that I believe will come home to bite us, and perhaps destroy our civilization. I have no opinion about what motivates the current President who now operates a kill list. I do not believe he is a good administrator, as evinced by the burgeoning security state, the consequent budget hole it, the military and the militarized CIA create. That the press and the parties can only discuss social security and cutting entitlements without addressing this mammoth fiscal hemorrhage is an example inability to prioritize.
NOW is the time for congress, and the people telling congress….. Get a Grip! Rare it is to have a handle to comment on our national secret police. We are captives of our own technology and it will impoverish us. … in security and in health. We have to say No to ourselves, to the technological equivalent to “I believe I want to investigate myself.”… and we cannot seem to say “no” to technology. How about cutting our spook agencies to a mere thousand, and top secret spooks to a mere hundred thousand. Even that may be too many to keep track of.
Thus my plea to you to write your senator, your congressman. Do not confirm Brennan for CIA Director. To do so would implicitly support drone assassinations, which are lawless. Tell your congressman to get a grip on self breeding security agencies.
* constitutional note: Letters of Marque and Reprisal. Readers of this blog may recall my emphasis on the King Clause of the constitution. It reads:” (only) The Congress shall have the power to declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water. ” (It is called the King Clause because if not observed, we have a king with fiat rule over all of us.) Not well taught in school is what is that danged letter of marque and reprisal. Here is the scoop: It is a Pirate’s License.
Today we would call it a Private Contractor’s License, a license to kill on the authority of the People of the United States. That power is only granted to the congress….. and is not granted to either the executive branch (the President, CIA, FBI, NSA et all) nor the judicial branch.
This King Clause makes it explicit that only representatives of our people can kill and really piss off their people. Not agents of the President on his own initiative. Thus saving us, in theory, from the innumerable idiotic wars that our founders observed being started by irascible kings.
Whatever say the eloquent and well endowed constitutional lawyers, including the one that currently runs a kill list in our name… the words of the constitution are written for you, citizen, to grasp and understand. The King Clause can be found in Article I, Section 8, clause 11. Let your own intelligence decide, for together we stand, if we defer to the experts (who inevitably quote statute and not the constitution) we will find ourselves divided and sold off to the highest bidder.
^ the cartoon character Pogo in the midst of the Viet Nam War famously said : “We have met the enemy, and they is us.” (The Gulf of Tonkin incident which gravely escalated that war was consequence of a ‘radar shadow’, i. e. electronic feedback from our own equipment.)