Killing Machine: The Complete Collection
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Voltron Dvd. Captain America Dvd. Hentai Dvd. How to Train Your Dragon. Rare Horror Dvd. Wall E Dvd. There were 53 known strikes inside Pakistan in according to numbers assembled from press reports by The Long War Journal , up from 35 in , and just five the year before that. In , the annual total more than doubled, to The onslaught was effective, at least by some measures: letters seized in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden show his consternation over the rain of death by drone.
The definition of a legitimate target and the methods employed to track such a target were increasingly suspect. Reporters and academics at work in zones where Predator strikes had become common warned of a large backlash. He showed that drone attacks in Yemen tended to have the opposite of their intended effect, particularly when people other than extremists were killed or hurt. Brennan launched an effort to select targets more carefully.
Formalizing a series of ad hoc meetings that began in the fall of , Brennan in instituted weekly conclaves—in effect, death-penalty deliberations—where would-be successors to bin Laden and Khalid Sheik Mohammed were selected for execution before being presented to Obama for his approval. Brennan demanded clear definitions.
The usual participants included representatives from the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, National Counterterrorism Center, and, initially, the Justice Department—although after a while the lawyers stopped coming.
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In the first part of the meetings, questions of legality were considered: Was the prospect a lawful target? Was he high-level?
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Was arrest a viable alternative? Only when these criteria were deemed met did the discussion shift toward policy. Was it smart to kill this person? What sort of impact might the killing have on local authorities, or on relations with the governments of Pakistan or Yemen?
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What effect would killing him have on his own organization? Would it make things better or worse? Brennan himself was often the toughest questioner. Koh was confident that even if his criteria did not meet all the broader concerns of human-rights activists, they would support an international-law claim of self-defense—and for that reason he thought the administration ought to make the criteria public. Many of the sessions were contentious. The price of every target the White House rejected, military commanders said, was paid in American lives. Cameron Munter, a veteran diplomat who was the U.
Munter saw American influence declining with nearly every strike. While some factions in the Pakistani military and Inter-Services Intelligence believed in the value of strikes, the Pakistani public grew increasingly outraged, and elected officials increasingly hostile. Matters came to a head in the summer of during a meeting to which Munter was linked digitally.
The dynamics of such meetings—where officials turned to policy discussions after the legal determination had been made—placed a premium on unified support for policy goals.
Killing Machine: The Complete Collection
At the decision meetings, it was hard for someone like Munter to say no. He would appear digitally on the screen in the Situation Room, gazing out at the vice president, the secretary of defense, and other principals, and they would present him with the targeting decision they were prepared to make.
It was hard to object when so many people who titularly outranked him already seemed set. By June of , however, two events in Pakistan—first the arrest and subsequent release of the CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who had been charged with murdering two Pakistanis who accosted him on the street in Lahore, and then the Abbottabad raid that killed bin Laden—had brought the U. Concerned about balancing the short-term benefits of strikes removing potential enemies from the battlefield and their long-term costs creating a lasting mistrust and resentment that undercut the policy goal of stability and peace in the region , Munter decided to test what he believed was his authority to halt a strike.
As he recalled it later, the move played out as follows:. Leon Panetta, the CIA director, said the ambassador had no veto power; these were intelligence decisions. Munter proceeded to explain that under Title 22 of the U. Code of Federal Regulations, the president gives the authority to carry out U. At that point, the discussion moved on.
When the secretary of state and the CIA director clash, the decision gets made upstairs. Panetta won. A week later, James Steinberg called Munter to inform him that he did not have the authority to veto a drone strike. Steinberg explained that the ambassador would be allowed to express an objection to a strike, and that a mechanism would be put in place to make sure his objection was registered—but the decision to clear or reject a strike would be made higher up the chain.
It was a clear victory for the CIA. Later that summer, General David Petraeus was named to take over the intelligence agency from Panetta. Before assuming the job, Petraeus flew from Kabul, where he was still the military commander, to Islamabad, to meet with the ambassador. Petraeus had observed the clash via a secure link from his command post in Afghanistan. He thought the new CIA director, whom he liked and admired, was about to threaten him. If you have a long-term concern, if you have a contextual problem, a timing problem, an ethical problem, I want to know about it earlier.