Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Unicorns and CIA Assassins

Many Americans think the agencies of their government are far more powerful and capable than they really are – especially in the areas of defense and intelligence. Unhappily this is often fantasy or wishful thinking. Stories like the one at the link give us a clue to the reality.
I remember back in the eighties, trying to explain to people that we needed strategic and tactical ballistic missile defense. What was odd was the number of people who insisted we already had it; who insisted America had more than enough anti ballistic missiles to stop any soviet attack already – but they were secret. I tried to explain in vain that you may be able to hide an experimental airplane or missile, or maybe a squadron of airplanes; but you cannot hide a massive continental system or an air force. The interceptors simply did not exist. At least now we have a handful of missiles in some places with some anti-ballistic missile capability – but we still would have no chance at all of blunting a Russian attack on the USA.
Assassins are a subject of similar faith on the part of most Americans. We have movies full of professional CIA and MI6 assassins. Thriller novels about CIA assassins are a major share of the book market. Famous conservative talk show hosts celebrate the “realism” of these books. This fiction just reflects reality right? So Americans are constantly killing people secretly all over the world, right? We have super secret hit teams chasing Osama Bin Laden, right? Wrong. It is the stuff of fantasy and wishful thinking. The CIA may help drop bombs on terrorists from drones and airplanes, but it appears they do not and have not been killing Al Qaeda operatives up close and personal.
Oh, they did think about it following 9/11, but they never did it.
So the Congress should be angry that the CIA is not out there killing the terrorists who are trying to kill us, right? No. Actually the Congress is angry the CIA did not tell them they were thinking about killing terrorists. Really. See the articles.
Original article:
Hat tip to Rantburg, who linked article:
To give them a break, you need a Presidential Order to assassinate people, and apparently the supposedly bloodthirsty President Bush did not issue one for up close and personal assassination of Al Qaeda people. Second, all the globalist international law lawyers will insist that such “extrajudicial” killings are illegal – so you could get in more trouble for doing it than you can for water boarding. After all, we live in a world that no longer feels confident to execute pirate caught in the act; why should we think they would let intelligence officers kill terrorist agents planning the murders of thousands?
The truth is the CIA has never been any good at killing people. They mostly try to collect intelligence and explain what they think it means. The CIA consists of much more college professor types than of James Bonds.
Why is this important? Because decisions and policies need to be made and voted on by people who are honest about reality. Neither the public nor the Congress seems to have a grasp on reality.

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