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Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:58 PM

The Wrong Man for the C.I.A. - NYT Op-Ed By GREGORY D. JOHNSEN Published: November 19, 2012

WITH the resignation of David H. Petraeus, President Obama now has a chance to appoint a new C.I.A. director. Unfortunately, one of the leading candidates for the job is John O. Brennan, who is largely responsible for America’s current flawed counterterrorism strategy, which relies too heavily on drone strikes that frequently kill civilians and provide Al Qaeda with countless new recruits. Rather than keeping us safe, this strategy is putting the United States at greater risk.

.... The strikes Mr. Brennan asks the president to approve frequently lead to civilian casualties. Indeed, the first strike Mr. Obama ordered on Yemen, in December 2009, destroyed a Bedouin village that was mistaken for a terrorist training camp. American missiles killed more than 50 people, including 35 women and children. Watching that strike live on a grainy feed the military calls Kill TV, Jeh Johnson, the Pentagon’s top lawyer, later admitted, “if I were Catholic, I’d have to go to confession.”

Mr. Petraeus’s departure presents Mr. Obama with an opportunity to halt the C.I.A.’s drift toward becoming a paramilitary organization and put it back on course. For all of the technological advances America has made in a decade of fighting Al Qaeda, it still needs all the old tricks it learned in the days before spy satellites and drones.

More and better human intelligence from sources on the ground would result in more accurate targeting and many fewer civilian casualties. That would be a Yemen model that actually worked and a lasting and more effective counterterrorism legacy for Mr. Obama’s second term.

Gregory D. Johnsen is the author of “The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda, and America’s War in Arabia.”

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Reply The Wrong Man for the C.I.A. - NYT Op-Ed By GREGORY D. JOHNSEN Published: November 19, 2012 (Original post)
anobserver2 Nov 2012 OP
anobserver2 Nov 2012 #1
Angry Dragon Nov 2012 #2
reusrename Nov 2012 #3

Response to anobserver2 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:59 PM

1. I agree

I agree -- the CIA need not be a paramilitary organization, in my layman's opinion.

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Response to anobserver2 (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:17 PM

2. intelligence gathering

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Response to anobserver2 (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:39 PM

3. Whoever he gets should be chosen to walk back this whole drone program.

 

But it's going to be used. I don't see any way of stopping it now. Unless the international community gets focused. But I don't expect that to happen any time soon.

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