The MSM is not reporting this. We could only find one report on Russia’s English-language propaganda network RT.com and this via Who will drones target? Who in the US will decide? – Boston.com.
WASHINGTON—White House counterterror chief John Brennan has seized the lead in choosing which terrorists will be targeted for drone attacks or raids, establishing a new procedure for both military and CIA targets.
The effort concentrates power over the use of lethal U.S. force outside war zones within one small team at the White House.
The process, which is about a month old, means Brennan’s staff consults with the State Department and other agencies as to who should go on the target list, making the Pentagon’s role less relevant, according to two current and three former U.S. officials aware of the evolution in how the government goes after terrorists.
In describing Brennan’s arrangement to The Associated Press, the officials provided the first detailed description of the military’s previous review process that set a schedule for killing or capturing terror leaders around the Arab world and beyond. They spoke on condition of anonymity because U.S. officials are not allowed to publicly describe the classified targeting program.
Who are all these anonymous people who talk regularly to AP?
Anyway, as we noted before we now have a situation where a few folks can determine who is a terrorist, can detain them indefinitely without telling them why even if they are American citizens on U.S. soil, and can give the green light on killing them by drone attack. With 30,000 drones, some armed, soon to be flying over the U.S., spying on citizens non-stop, how long before the first citizen is killed by drone on U.S. soil?
Anyway, back to the blundering – but Arabic speaking – Brennan:
- Brennan: We are not at war with Islamic Jihadists
- Brennan bolts when asked about jihad (video)
- Brennan Defends Jihad as ‘Legitimate Tenet of Islam’
- John Brennan: Witless for the defense
- National security nightmare: John Brennan and the notorious flying imam
- Brennan: Give Hezbollah more power
- Obama’s counterterrorism czar John Brennan: “They are not jihadists, for jihad is a holy struggle”
- The Strange Case of John Brennan
- White House admits national intelligence chief Brennan clueless on UK terror arrests
We should all be fearful that Obama has named an Assassination Czar and worse, that he has named John Brennan to the post. Jihadists, however, are likely cheering.
Update: Obama’s secret kill list
We have known for some time that President Obama is waging a private war. By that I mean he is using the CIA on his own – and not the military after congressional authorization – to fire drones at thousands of persons in foreign lands, usually while they are riding in a car or a truck. He has done this both with the consent and over the objection of the governments of the countries in which he has killed. He doesn’t want to talk about this, but he doesn’t deny it. How chilling is it that David Axelrod – the president’s campaign manager – has periodically seen the secret kill list? Might this be to keep the killings politically correct?
Can the president legally do this? In a word: No.
The president cannot lawfully order the killing of anyone, except according to the Constitution and federal law. Under the Constitution, he can only order killing using the military when the U.S. has been attacked, or when an attack is so imminent and certain that delay would cost innocent American lives, or in pursuit of a congressional declaration of war. Under federal law, he can only order killing using civilians when a person has been sentenced lawfully to death by a federal court and the jury verdict and the death sentence have been upheld on appeal. If he uses the military to kill, federal law requires public reports of its use to Congress and congressional approval after 180 days.
The U.S. has not declared war since World War II. If the president knows that an attack on our shores is imminent, he’d be hard-pressed to argue convincingly that a guy in a truck in a desert 10,000 miles from here – no matter his intentions – poses a threat to the U.S. so imminent and certain that he needs to be killed on the spot in order to save the lives of Americans who would surely die during the time it would take to declare war on the country that harbors him, or during the time it would take to arrest him. Under no circumstances may he use civilian agents for non-judicial killing. Surely, CIA agents can use deadly force to protect themselves, but they may not use it offensively. Federal laws against murder apply to the president and to all federal agents and personnel, wherever they go on the planet.
June 8 Update: Patrick Poole writes Meet John Brennan, Obama’s Assassination Czar
Last month, it was revealed that Brennan was implicated in a serious intelligence breach detailing an ongoing counterterrorism operation led by British and Saudi intelligence agencies that had placed an operative deep inside the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) organization. The White House leak forced the termination of the operation and the immediate withdrawal of the double agent, infuriating our foreign intelligence allies.
Just two weeks ago, internal White House documents obtained by Judicial Watch through a FOIA request revealed that Brennan and other White House officials had met twice with Hollywood filmmakers preparing a movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden, providing them unparalleled access including the identity of a SEAL Team 6 operator and commander along with other classified information. Amazingly, these high-level White House meetings between Brennan and the Hollywood filmmakers took place just weeks after the Pentagon and CIA had publicly warned of the dangers posed by leaks surrounding the successful SEAL raid killing bin Laden.
John Brennan is the man under whom President Obama has consolidated the unprecedented power of assassination. He directly controls and oversees all aspects of the program that had been previously divided between the Pentagon, the CIA, and other officials. If this is the kind of policy change that Americans can expect in light of Obama’s promise to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev of “more flexibility” after the 2012 elections, Americans of all political stripes have reason for grave concern.