CIA Has ‘Acquired A Taste’ For Killing People With Drones; Won’t Give It Up

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from the that-seems-problematic dept

Mike Masnick
TechDirt
November 6, 2013

MQ-1L Predator UAV armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles

MQ-1L Predator UAV armed with AGM-114 Hellfire missiles

The US’s use of drones is nothing if not controversial, and the overall secrecy around the program — including the belief that it can be used against Americans as well — has worried an awful lot of people. Even those in the administration who support the program apparently are uncomfortable with it implicitly, as the Obama administration had drawn up a whole bunch of rules that would limit drone killing… which they wanted to put in place in case Romeny won the election. But, when Obama won, they abandoned the idea. In other words, the position of the administration is basically, “trust us with these drone killing programs… but no one else.” Under significant pressure about all of this, the President finally announced in May that the drone killing program would be moved from the CIA to the Defense Department, where it would have more oversight (slightly) and limits.

Except, as Foreign Policy is now reporting, that isn’t actually happening and may never happen. The main reason appears to be fairly simple: the CIA loves killing people with these drones, and people in the Defense Department are kind of uncomfortable with doing so. So, the CIA wants to keep control, and the Defense Department doesn’t want it.

The U.S. official said that while the platforms and the capabilities are common to either the Agency or the Pentagon, there remain distinctly different approaches to “finding, fixing and finishing” terrorist targets. The two organizations also use different approaches to producing the “intelligence feeds” upon which drone operations rely. Perhaps more importantly, after years of conducting drone strikes, the CIA has developed an expertise and a taste for them. The DOD’s appetite to take over that mission may not run very deep.

Yes, the CIA has developed a taste for killing people from the skies with drones controlled from far away. It’s like a sport.

Remember when the US banned assassinations by the CIA? Yeah. Weren’t those the days?

This article was posted: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 10:09 am

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