No announcement yet.

Obama inheriting covert ops policies...

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Obama inheriting covert ops policies...

    Obama inheriting broad covert ops policies

    By Pamela Hess - The Associated Press
    Posted : Tuesday Nov 11, 2008 6:47:48 EST

    WASHINGTON — President Bush leaves President-elect Obama broad latitude for covert action in countries with which the United States is not at war, powers that Obama could scale back along with other Bush presidential orders now under consideration for rescinding.
    But he’s not likely to do that.
    Obama already has telegraphed his willingness to exercise those powers if he deems them necessary.
    Obama said in an August speech that he would target high-value terrorists in Pakistan without that government’s permission.
    “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and if President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said, referring to Pakistan’s president. Musharraf since has been replaced by President Asif Ali Zardari.
    Rescinding blanket orders would limit Obama’s flexibility and proscribe the ability of U.S. intelligence and military forces to capture or kill wanted terrorists, a U.S. military official told The Associated Press on Monday. The official spoke anonymously in order to discuss sensitive intelligence matters.
    That authority is derived, at least in part, from National Security Presidential Directive 9, signed in October 2001.
    The contents of the document are secret, but in 2004 the White House acknowledged that it allowed the defense secretary to plan for military options “against Taliban targets in Afghanistan, including leadership, command-control, air and air defense, ground forces, and logistics.”
    The NSPD called for the elimination of al-Qaida and its sanctuaries. If diplomatic measures failed to accomplish that, “additional measures” — including military and covert actions — could be considered and authorized.
    It built upon a pre-existing directive from the Clinton presidency that allowed the CIA to operate against al-Qaida network elements outside of Afghanistan.
    The Pentagon in 2001 put U.S. Special Operations Command in charge of coordinating the military arm in the war on terrorism, in large part because its traditional responsibilities cross geographic boundaries, giving maximum flexibility to U.S. forces.
    But that flexibility to act is governed by more focused NSPDs and then orders to execute operations against specific targets, orders that often constrain actions with prohibited targets, or limits on collateral damage, the military official said.
    Bush in July approved an order allowing more aggressive targeting by ground forces of alleged terrorists inside Pakistan’s borders, and last month authorized an operation U.S. military commanders have sought for nearly a year against a top al-Qaida in Iraq figure running a foreign fighter smuggling network in Syria.
    That policy would carry over to the Obama administration, unless and until rescinded or amended, said Steven Aftergood, the director of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists.
    A top aide to Obama said Sunday the new president will use his executive powers to make an immediate impact when he takes office, perhaps reversing Bush administration policies on stem cell research and domestic drilling for oil and natural gas. It is unclear whether that review will apply to policies governing clandestine military operations.
    “There’s a lot that the president can do using his executive authority without waiting for congressional action, and I think we’ll see the president do that,” said John Podesta, Obama’s transition chief. “I think that he feels like he has a real mandate for change. We need to get off the course that the Bush administration has set.”
    The New York Times reported Monday the U.S. military has conducted nearly a dozen secret operations against al-Qaida and other terrorist groups in Syria, Pakistan and other countries since 2004.
    Citing unidentified U.S. officials, the Times story said the operations were authorized by a broad classified order that then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed and Bush approved in spring 2004. The order gave the military authority to attack al-Qaida anywhere in the world and to conduct operations in countries that were not at war with the U.S.
    One such operation was the Oct. 26 raid inside Syria, the Times reported. Washington hasn’t formally acknowledged the raid, but U.S. officials have said the target was a top figure in the group al-Qaida in Iraq. Syria has asked for proof and said eight civilians were killed in the attack.
    In another mission, in 2006, Navy SEALs raided a suspected terrorist compound in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
    The raids typically have been conducted by U.S. Special Forces, often in conjunction with the CIA, the newspaper said.

    ...And shephards we shall be. For thee my lord, for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee. And teeming with souls shall it ever be. E Nomini Patri, E Fili, E Spiritu Sancti.

Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.




There are no results that meet this criteria.

Sidebar Ad