Sunday, November 3, 2013

Is The CIA Freelancing? Juan Cole Examines The Possibility

Juan Cole:
Pakistan: North Waziristan (yellow)
The CIA drone strike in North Waziristan yesterday killed 25 persons and targeted a high-level meeting of the Pakistani Taliban (Tehrik-i Taliban Pakistan or TTP). It finally killed TTP leader Hakimu’llah Mahsoud of the large and important Mahsoud tribe in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of northern Pakistan. ... [Mahsoud's killing] was confirmed by the TTP ...

The deadly attack comes only weeks after Mahsoud said in an interview that he was ready for peace talks with newly elected Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, over the objections of TTP hard liners. ...

This context for the drone strike has to raise the question of whether John Brennan, head of the CIA, is deliberately attempting to forestall Pakistan-TTP peace talks and is determined to prevent Nawaz Sharif and Obama from cementing a strong relationship. Pakistani officials are talking about a ‘sabotaging’ of the talks. ...

The TTP will certainly launch reprisals... The Pakistani public is bracing itself for attacks.

(Bolds original by Cole. Red is emphasis by SB.)

Is there any possibility that Brennan is acting without direct authorization of President Obama?  Does he have that little control of his department heads? I understand there are some aspects of CIA and NSA operations that have to be independent of direct control by the executive branch, but this one seems to me to bear specifically on a matter of foreign policy, of which one would think a president would keep close personal control.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know there are aspects of our government that are run by the NSA. Are there also aspects of foreign policy that are not merely implemented through the CIA but are actually established by that agency? Or is Obama, as so often seems the case, content to let his appointees do whatever they think best, even in cases where their actions may lead to war?

No comments:

Post a Comment


• Click here to view existing comments.
• Or enter your new rhyme or reason
in the new comment box here.
• Or click the first Reply link below an existing
comment or reply and type in the
new reply box provided.
• Scrolling manually up and down the page
is also OK.

Static Pages (About, Quotes, etc.)

No Police Like H•lmes