The US has blurred the lines on assassination for decades

By Jim Campbell

December 29th, 2019

Leave it to the U.N. a worthless organization to begin examining something that happened 61-years ago.

Seriously, does anyone in their right mind believe that Gaddafi posed a threat to the U.S. worthy of war?

CIA Helped Gaddafi With Rendition

[Well now, that’s a big shocker said no one ever]

Of course, I’ve yet to hear a cogent belief that they weren’t out of their minds.

Leave it to this worthless organization to wait 61 years to examine a murder that they can do nothing about.

Human Rights Watch has discovered secret CIA and MI-6 documents in Tripoli exposing the British government’s cooperation with Muammar Gaddafi in carrying out renditions of terror suspects to Libya.

Abdel Hakim Belhaj—now the rebel commander in Tripoli—and his family were removed from Hong Kong to Tripoli with British cooperation, despite the risk that they would be tortured by Gaddafi’s thugs.

“This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over recent years,” M-I6’s counterterrorism chief wrote to the head of Libyan intelligence after the operation.

The CIA, while not involved in the planning of the operation, offered assistance in its execution and financial support.

Britain has recently tried to downplay the extent of its cooperation with Gaddafi’s regime. Belhaj has demanded an apology from London

It’s time the U.N. be completely abolished.

As I’ve discussed in the past, it’s my belief that we continue to participate in it so our spies/diplomats can have diplomatic immunity.

Moon couldn’t inspire starving dogs to eat fresh meat.

The creators of the United Nations Charter conceived that five countries — China, France, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) [which was succeeded in 1990 by the Russian Federation], the United Kingdom and the United States, because of their key roles in the establishment of the United Nations, would continue to play important roles in the maintenance of international peace and security.

They were granted the special status of Permanent Member States at the Security Council, along with a special voting power known as the “right to veto.”

It was agreed by the drafters that if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote in the 15-member Security Council, the resolution or decision would not be approved.

All five permanent members have exercised the right of veto at one time or another.

If a permanent member does not fully agree with a proposed resolution but does not wish to cast a veto, it may choose to abstain, thus allowing the resolution to be adopted if it obtains the required number of nine favorable votes.

New documents have surfaced that seem to implicate the CIA – which should, perhaps, not come as a complete surprise.

From the late 1950s, the CIA was involved more or less directly in plots to assassinate several foreign leaders.

Patrice Lumumba moments before he was assassinated.

Among them was Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, and the Dominican Republic’s Rafael Trujillo.

In the mid-1970s, a series of revelations about the CIA’s involvement in assassination attempts prompted numerous inquiries by the government and Congress.

One Senate committee concluded that the CIA had been able to get involved in these incidents thanks to a combination of secrecy, ambiguity about lines of responsibility between the agency and the White House, and “plausible deniability.”

The term – initially coined to suggest that US covert operations should be conducted in such a manner as to plausibly deny US involvement – was later interpreted as the need to isolate the president from the details of covert operations in order for him to plausibly deny knowledge of them.

The committee recommended establishing a statute that would outlaw “assassination” and would specify the meaning of the word and identify categories of foreign officials that could not be targeted (including leaders of movements and parties).

But in 1975 the Ford administration blocked any congressional effort to reform the intelligence services. Ford did ban assassination in an Executive Order of 1976 but the meaning of assassination remained deeply vague.

It stated:

No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.

The order was expanded during the Carter years by dropping the adjective “political” and was confirmed by Reagan in Executive Order 12333.

This remains the standing regulation when it comes to US involvement in assassination.

Its inherent ambiguity has not ceased to cause problems ever since.

Skirting around the order:

In the mid-1980s, the Reagan administration identified Muammar Gaddafi as its main enemy.

Gaddafi had been sponsoring terrorist attacks and after Libya was connected to a 1986 bombing in Berlin in which two US servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed.

The US retaliated.

In Operation El Dorado Canyon, US planes bombed one of Gaddafi’s residences and military targets.

US officials denied that the bombing constituted an assassination attempt.

They argued that the strike was not directly aimed at the Libyan dictator, but at degrading his military capabilities and support for terrorism.

Officials, including the secretary of state George Shultz, argued that terrorists represented a particular category of the enemy and that a more aggressive posture – including pre-emptive strikes – was needed.

In 1989, officials in George H W Bush’s administration allegedly lamented that the constraints imposed by the ban on assassinations had prevented the US from playing a larger role in a (failed) coup to oust Panama’s dictator Manuel Noriega.

A few months later, a memorandum written by Hays Parks in the Office of the Judge Advocate General of the Army seemed to ease these concerns.

The memorandum provided a new legal position for counter-terrorism operations.

Gaddafi: a legitimate target? EPA

The memorandum clarified that “a decision by the president to employ clandestine, low visibility or overt military force” did not constitute assassination.

It also added that the ban on assassination didn’t prevent the targeting of a broad category of the enemy, including terrorists.

Since they could be said to pose an imminent threat, they could be targeted in self-defense under both international law and the power of the president as commander-in-chief.

These arguments – similar to those used in the Reagan years – would provide a baseline for future justifications.

Later on, the administration targeted Saddam Hussein’s residence and headquarters.

When Air Force chief of staff Michael Dugan admitted that Saddam himself had been the target of the bombing, secretary of defense Dick Cheney fired him.

In 1998, the Clinton administration also targeted the residence of Saddam Hussein. Once again, officials denied that Saddam himself was the target.

Al-Qaeda and 9/11

The rise of al-Qaeda in the late 1990s brought the issue of assassination back to the fore. The 9/11 Commission report revealed that the Clinton administration had authorized several kills or capture operations against Osama Bin Laden.

The operations never went ahead but US officials agreed that if Bin Laden had been killed in one of them, it would not have amounted to an assassination.

He was a terrorist leader, they reasoned, and the US would have been acting in self-defense against him.

The waters were muddied further after 9/11. George W Bush gave the CIA authority to target terrorists abroad (including American citizens).

The Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress also made clear that the US could now target “persons,” that is, conduct premeditated strikes against individual targets.

A US Predator drone. EPA

The Obama administration has dramatically increased the number of operations against suspected terrorists, especially through drone strikes.

The alleged imminence of the threat posed by terrorists still plays a key role in the justification used for these operations.

Where are we now?

So, while Executive Order 12333 prohibits any form of assassination, a series of targets has been identified as permissible.

Several operations (such as those described above) have been defined as legal, regardless of how close they have come to the commonsense understanding of assassination.

What started as a black-and-white distinction soon developed into an endless series of qualifications and exceptions.

In this context, two main interpretations can be identified. If we interpret the order as being a ban on killing outside war, its erosion is almost complete.

However, it could be argued that the order only aimed to prevent the type of stealth assassination conducted in the 1960s – operations using explosive shells, poisoned darts, and other devices, like those conducted against Castro and Lumumba. In this second interpretation, the order has stood the test of time, but its applicability is so narrow as to be, perhaps, meaningless.

Still, the fact that the Obama administration has been hard-pressed to explain why its policies – and even its aggressive drone campaign – do not constitute a violation of the ban might suggest that it prefers to assume the second interpretation over the first.

About JCscuba

I am firmly devoted to bringing you the truth and the stories that the mainstream media ignores. This site covers politics with a fiscally conservative, deplores Sharia driven Islam, and uses lots of humor to spiceup your day. Together we can restore our constitutional republic to what the founding fathers envisioned and fight back against the progressive movement. Obama nearly destroyed our country economically, militarily coupled with his racism he set us further on the march to becoming a Socialist State. Now it's up to President Trump to restore America to prominence. Republicans who refuse to go along with most of his agenda RINOs must be forced to walk the plank, they are RINOs and little else. Please subscribe at the top right and pass this along to your friends, Thank's I'm J.C. and I run the circus
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9 Responses to The US has blurred the lines on assassination for decades

  1. Senator Frank Church tried to clean up CIA in the 1970’s- – – and failed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The CIA was part and parcel of Kennedy’s assassination.

    Like

    • JCscuba says:

      Thank you, Susan, there is no doubt about it. They had serious issues, actually, it was Bobby they hated as he was trying to control them.

      Like

  3. Pamela Kelly says:

    After Reagan’s bombing raid on Qaddafi’s compound back in 1986 the wily Bedouin dictator seemed to vanish off the radar. At least for awhile anyway. I remember when President Reagan came on television after the raid that night to inform the American people of what he had ordered to be done. No beating around the bush, no subterfuge. Fast forward 30 years later to the drone strike which killed Libyan al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in Pakistan in June, 2012. This unwarranted action on behalf of the Obama Administration later served as the catalyst for the attacks on our embassies in Benghazi and Cairo only a few months later-attacks planned to coincide with the anniversary of September 11th-and in which Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans suffered horrible deaths.
    Instead of coming forward with the information about al-Libi, Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood in the White House Rose Garden and outright lied to the American people concerning the reason why our embassies were targeted for these attacks. They blamed it on an “offensive” video made about the prophet Mohammad. If they felt it was a necessary action to take out al-Libi then why didn’t they come forward and make a clean breast of it with the American people? Why did they allow Chris Stevens and the three other Americans stay in Libya when they knew that our embassies could be targeted for revenge? The very fact that they both lied about what really happened and got away with it makes me sick.

    Like

  4. Dave the Differentiator says:

    I am not understanding the difference between killing a person and assassination of a person.

    Looking at the Benghazi Incident and the various rumors about what actually was taking place at the time, We, the People, were lied to about the incident. Subsequently, Hillary made some of her really callous comments about “What difference does it Make, now” relating to the entire incident. As noted in these comments above, the “Difference it Makes’ is all about TRUST. The American People do not trust Hillary and so America has President Trump. The liars in the government keep trying to unseat a “sitting President” which is the definition of Sedition.

    This “TRUST” issue has now become the main focus of these absurd “Impeachment Hearings”. The Democrats have completely violated any and all concepts of TRUST and the doubt as to their lies is gone = the Democrats are pathological liars. America thought it was just Hillary who was the liar but have now learned via the “Fake Impeachment Hearings and Investigations” that the Democrats are simply not trustworthy! The Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings was just another example of how dishonest the Democrats are. Senator Diane Feinstein was contemptible if her bold faced lies! Dr. Christine Ford made an attempt for a sympathy vote but it was clear she was a liar. The Democrats do not appear to have learned anything from that experience. Then the Democrats concocted the Mueller Investigation with fake evidence = a fraud upon the court which is a felony. Now we have the idiot Adam Schiff making false statements to the American public which the Trump telephone call transcripts clear refute Schiff’s statements.

    Then the disclosure of the Ukraine Corruption by the now famous four, Pelosi, Biden, Romney and Kerry. Of course, Hillary once again has turned out to be the biggest liar of all!

    Not only will President Trump be re-elected in 2020, but the Democrats may not even have a candidate. What this all means is that the “Deep State” has verbally assassinated their own candidates!

    Like

    • JCscuba says:

      Well, Said David, I agree with you on all points. You left out that most if not all on the far left are clinically insane as Trumps impeachment has become insane. They need to be medicated for Obsessive Compulsion Disorder.
      NIMH » Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
      https://www.nimh.nih.gov › health › topics › obsessive-compulsive-disord…
      Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a common, chronic, and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts (obsessions) and/or behaviors (compulsions) that he or she feels the urge to repeat over and over.
      ‎WHAT IS OCD? · ‎Treatments · ‎What is it like having OCD? · ‎Signs & symptoms

      Like

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