Members of Congress have expressed outrage over the "secret" CIA assassination program that former vice president Dick Cheney allegedly ordered concealed from Congress. But this program-and the media descriptions of it-sounds a lot like the assassination policy implemented by President Bill Clinton, particularly during his second term in office.
Regarding the Bush-era assassination program, there is great reason to be skeptical that the program CIA Director Leon Panetta alleges was concealed from Congress is actually the program the public is currently being led to believe it is. Why would the CIA need to conceal a program that never was implemented and, if it never was implemented, why did Panetta need to shut it down? Moreover, who was running this inactive program from the minute Obama was sworn in until June 24 when Panetta supposedly announced its cancellation?
Now, if it turns out that the actual plan Cheney allegedly concealed is something other than what has been publicly described, that will be a different matter. For instance, if the CIA had a secret post-9/11 program planning assassinations on US soil or of US citizens and it was ordered concealed by Cheney. Or, if it was a plan to target in other ways "enemies of the state" within the U.S. as Seymour Hersh has suggested: "The Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state," Hersh said in March. "Without any legal authority for it. They haven't been called on it yet. That does happen."
It is pretty clear that when the Bush administration took over, it picked up the Clinton administration's policy on assassination and ran with it-albeit with more of a missionary zeal for killing and a removal of some of the layers of lawyering. In short, the Bush team expanded and streamlined the longstanding U.S. government assassination program.
"When I don't know who I Am, I follow You When I know who I am, You & I are One"
good for scahill to point out the moral equivalence of R and D on this. that said, i have little problem with picking off al qaeda bigs. i have big problems with maufacturing a pack of lies to invade a sovereign nation that had nothng to do with anything an using jingoism as a 2x4 to get away with it, and with a government that thinks it not only doesn't, but shouldn't, answer to the people.