by Philip Giraldi, September 29, 2011
If it is actually true that those whom the gods seek to destroy they first make mad, it would seem that the insanity process has at its epicenter the White House. How else to explain the various bits and pieces of counterterrorism policy that have been revealed over the past two weeks?
A Sept. 15 New York Times feature article, “At White House, Weighing Limits of Terror Fight,” had an intriguing title, but the content revealed that the only weighing taking place is an internal dispute over whether the CIA drone program should be used to take out only “high-value” targets when attacks are staged in Yemen and Somalia or whether the Hellfire missiles can be used to kill large numbers of suspected al-Qaeda rank and file in what would amount to a bombing campaign. Nowhere in the article was there any suggestion that the drone operation might in itself be counterproductive, that it is killing far too many civilians, and that it has encouraged militancy in places like Pakistan. Apparently when the White House weighs limits, the possible choices are themselves limited.
As in the glory days of the Bush administration, the Obamas preach legality while violating every international norm. As the missiles rain down on Pakistan, the Times article dryly notes that the “legal authority to attack militants who are battling U.S. forces in adjoining Afghanistan is not disputed inside the administration” (my emphasis). The precise legal framework being discussed is apparently the work of Defense Department lawyers who are “trying to maintain maximum theoretical flexibility.” The article concedes that the maximum-flexibility doctrine could well lead to an unconstrained and unending global war, but it views that possibility as an unfortunate detail that has to be worked out by the Pentagon planners. Congress, for its part, appears to be prepared to provide its own imprimatur on the process by including in the impending defense bill a clause authorizing military action anywhere against al-Qaeda and “its associates” as a condition of what amounts to a permanent state of emergency. Even the bill’s supporters admit that “associates” can be interpreted to mean almost anyone who objects to Washington’s imperial agenda…
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