A federal investigation alleged Enrique Prado's involvement in seven murders, yet he was in charge when America outsourced covert killing to a private company.
It was one of the biggest secrets of the post-9/11 era: soon after the attacks, President Bush gave the CIA permission to create a top secret assassination unit to find and kill Al Qaeda operatives. The program was kept from Congress for seven years. And when Leon Panetta told legislators about it in 2009, he revealed that the CIA had hired the private security firm Blackwater to help run it. "The move was historic," says Evan Wright, the two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist who wrote Generation Kill. "It seems to have marked the first time the U.S. government outsourced a covert assassination service to private enterprise."
The quote is from his e-book How to Get Away With Murder in America, which goes on to note that "in the past, the CIA was subject to oversight, however tenuous, from the President and Congress," but that "President Bush's 2001 executive order severed this line by transferring to the CIA his unique authority to approve assassinations. By removing himself from the decision-making cycle, the president shielded himself -- and all elected authority -- from responsibility should a mission go wrong or be found illegal. When the CIA transferred the assassination unit to Blackwater, it continued the trend. CIA officers would no longer participate in the agency's most violent operations, or witness them. If it practiced any oversight at all, the CIA would rely on Blackwater's self-reporting about missions it conducted. Running operations through Blackwater gave the CIA the power to have people abducted, or killed, with no one in the government being exactly responsible." None of this is new information, though I imagine that many people reading this item are hearing about it for the first time.
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I do not share the author's sense of outrage here. I'd like to go on the record here as saying I personally have no problem with this program; this is NOT the first time the United States Government has "outsourced" warfighting and killing to private contractors. Apparently this author has no sense of history, and is not aware of the privateer fleet of the years leading up to the War of 1812, the role of Jean Lafitte the Pirate in defeating the British Army at the Battle of New Orleans, or perhaps the fabled history of the Flying Tigers. Conflict is a constant of the human condition, war is fluid, and to even attempt to constrain ourselves to a set of rules when our enemies operate with impunity across the wide spectrum of war is nothing short of folly. War is simple, brutal and direct; Patton
- STORMBRINGER SENDS