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16 July 2009


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What are your thoughts about this report that delta force commandos had performed a mission as part of this program and that it went very poorly in Kenya? (http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2009/07/14/cia-hit-teams/)
Granted, CIA was 'busy' at the time, so the extent of their involvement is uncertain. Is this report plausible?

Do we really know enough yet about this to either get huffed up or nonchalant?

Patrick Lang


CIA "SOG" teams... What a joke. How many ex-SF men or marines in them?

Why would you think that SOCOM would/could not have run this failed mission on its own? pl



Your -- So, it seems that Cheney ordered the CIA to abstain from properly briefing Congress on a plan that was just BS. How dumb is that?--

Cheney has never been know for 'brains' to begin with, he usually lets either Libby, Addington, the Israelis or his neocon/think tank buddies do his 'thunking' for him.

Operation Thunderbolt and Operation Sword of Gideon were most probably playing through Cheney's cranium as he had visions of himself being at the forefront. Snarf.

Cheney (because of Cheney's actions) should have been forced to register himself under FARA as an agent for a Foreign Government irrespective of his VPrez status.


For the sake of argument, if policy leaders decided to kill an individual in a foreign country (NOT on a field of battle, let's say, Serbia, for example):

That would be in the DOD?

It just seems odd that the military would do this all on their own since it is not a battlefield. I grant that the individuals would have to have had extensive military training.

Eric Dönges

... but the weirdness over the "ASSASINATION PROGRAM" is silly.

Yes, but 40+ years of James Bond movies have convinced us (the public) that being a spy is a glamourous occupation with lots of exciting cloak and dagger intrigue. And since those people that actually know what is going on are unlikely to say anything, the rest of us get to let our imaginations run wild.


Why was this program a "secret" at all? It's been well known for years that we try to blow away Al-Q operatives and leaders using missiles from Predator drones. I honestly don't see the difference between this and a team on the ground using .50 cal. sniper rifles, except the bluntness of the instrument.

We were trying to kill bin Laden & Co.? Who knew?

Someone, please enlighten me before I display further ignorance.


Last fall I stumbled upon a BookTV interview with Roland Haas, the author of an autobiography in which he claimed to have been a contract assassin for the CIA for roughly the last three decades of the 20th century. So I read the book and found his tale quite convincing.

The author claims to have been recruited while in the Naval ROTC program at Purdue University and then given extensive training, including ultra high altitude parachuting. According to the author during this period the Agency facilitated his employment at military bases and government contractors plus an occasional educational gig. He also started a gym business in the SF Bay area with a partner who turned out to have a silent partner unknown to him, one Sonny Barger of Hells Angels fame.

The book is entitled Enter the Past Tense: My Secret Life as a CIA Assassin, and this is a link to the BookTV video.


Haven't been on this site as of late, but I'm curious what you think of what Wilkerson has to say about it:


My hunch is that he's right, Bush and Co. could hide a lot more behind Rumsfeld's Pentagon than under the pretense of military operations than behind the CIA.

Farmer Don

Col Lang,
One reason that you are hearing "so much nonsense" is that the US has engaged in so much nonsense these last years, and the US government has told it's citizens so much nonsense.
The average person hasn't even heard of SOCOM. The CIA is just the the most well known.
With torture, preemptive warfare, abductions and secret prisons, why wouldn't people believe damm near anything? Which adgency does what is a fine point with most people.

William R. Cumming

Helpful post and rational at that on the subject. What I find interesting is the Ford Executive Order prohibition has never (NADA) been the subject of Congressional review. I would hope that a bipartisan policy could be developed on "sanctioning" non-state actors that may harm the US and are not elected politicians or heads of state? Why? Just that we need to know what the lawyers and others think of this issue so we can line up for or against based on reason not the Bourne movies. There is no doubt the OSS did have operatives with authority to kill but that was another time and place.

Cold War Zoomie

There was "no nothing" except a nocturnal emission on the part of a few people who "dreamt the impossible dream." Now that's some good ole soldier talk.

Well, since the CIA isn't moving forward with this project, then the NSA must have picked it up, teaming with NRO and NGA. People think the SIGINT eggheads are intense, but they've never seen those crazy-ass, high-speed-low-drag, adrenaline junky, über-spooky map makers and satellite controllers, all hopped up on intercontinental assassination buzz, takin' care o' bidness slinging hot lead downrange to the severe detriment of all terrorists, everywhere!

Patrick Lang


Any place is a battlefield if you are a soldier and are ordered by competent authority to fight there.

Once the military is given a legal directive by competent authority it will carry through to fulfilment without further orders. pl

Patrick Lang

Minnesota Chuck

Libraries are stuffed with books written by fantasists. pl

Patrick Lang


Wilkerson is a weak man who came late to the fight. When he was working for his hero, Powell, he sent me amessage through an intermediary. The message was that I should shut up and rely on him and Powell to make all right.

I am uninterested in his opinion. pl

Patrick Lang

Farmer Don

I am not responsible for the ignorance of the general public. pl


The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret assassination squad was allowed to operate anywhere in the world, "including the United States", according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post.


'If' as the Wapo article states that the brewhaha was operating on 'home turf' a.k.a. U.S. proper is correct, then it opens up a Pandora's box of legal/Constitutional/Posse Comitatus [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act ] 'stuff', no?



Doesn't the CIA operating on 'home turf' a.k.a. the United States proper in a SOG operational capacity, violate the CIA's Charter?


Is this around the time when Kenya was suddenly all shaky with several political assassination ?

(there was also assassination of Ardeshire Hassanpour, a top nuclear scientist at Iran's Isfahan uranium plant, Brigadier General Mohammed Suleiman, President Bashar Assad's right-hand man, Imad Mugniyah, hezbollah leader.)


The Guardian on Tuesday reported that one of the suspects was assassinated as part of a wider programme against al-Qaeda under the Bush administration.

The assassination turned out to be a "severe embarrassment" and may have contributed to the termination of the programme, the newspaper said. However, security sources in government who spoke to the Nation on Tuesday said they were not aware of such an operation.

Kenya has over the years maintained close ties with the US in the fight against terrorism with the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit being a large beneficiary of US funds.

The cooperation, for instance, saw a man suspected of being a member of al-Qaeda arrested in Mogadishu by the Americans and brought to Nairobi in 2003.


Hi Colonel,

Well, if YOU'RE not responsible for the ignorance of the general public, who the heck is??? Rush Limbaugh, Tom Friedman, Alfred E. Neuman???


Eric: Yes, if James Bond is a spy he's the worst spy in the world. When he walks into a bar, any bar on earth, the staff will instantly recognize him, volubly greet him and offer him a vodka martini (shaken, not stirred).

Farmer Don: SOCOM is pretty well known of late, if only from the video game series. I take your point, though. If anything, I would be less shocked by a secret assassination program than I was by the systematic torturing of kidnapped foreigners in ex-Soviet prisons. It sounds like a James Bond scenario, doesn't it?



Just speculation on my part. But what if all the silliness involved a program to establish the "bona fides" of some undercover operatives seeking to infiltrate/connect with AQ?. And the "bona fides" were to be established by committing crimes, perhaps in America, perhaps not, perhaps against Americans, perhaps not, to demonstrate a level of 'commitment' on the part of the perpetrator?

As I noted....just speculation. But I will put my two cents down on that. I mean, as you note, whatever they may have been holding back from Congress it was NOT about some program to kill AQ members. They would have been--and I believe were-- all over themselves to proclaim this was what they wanted to do. And the Congress, as you note, would have all over them to grant permission and offer good tidings.


I would say it is the responsibility of the American citizenry to educate themselves instead of thinking life functions like a video game.


"The Central Intelligence Agency’s secret assassination squad was allowed to operate anywhere in the world, "including the United States", according to a Thursday report in The Washington Post.



Nowhere in the article you site does it mention conducting assassinations domestically, or even discussing it. Nor have I read any other reports that suggest this was the case.


My hunch is that this program would have been used to neutralize AQ financiers and supporters who cannot be brought to justice via established means without upsetting diplomatic relationships or letting skeletons out of the closet. As Bob Baer says, the individuals who financed 9/11 are still alive and living free, we still don’t even know who recruited the hijackers.

These are people economic or political juice; possibly members of a royal family, and active or retired intelligence officers operating independently of their government. People who cannot be brought to justice through extradition or rendition channels; they can however fall down a flight of stairs at their palace in Marbella and break their neck, have a fatal small aircraft accident, jump in front of a moving truck, or catch a hollow point in the back of their head.

Diplomatic relationships are preserved, royals are not shamed, money keeps flowing, skeletons are kept in the closet, asses are covered, and vengeance is served; that’s if it can be pulled off without getting caught.



See para 12:

"The finding imposed NO GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITATIONS on the agency's actions, "

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