C.I.A. Secrecy

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Bob Baer, former Middle East C.I.A. field officer and's intelligence columnist will discuss the uproar over the recent revelation that the C.I.A. was running a secret assassination program.


Bob Baer

Comments [26]

Simon from Manhattan

Elimination by assassination of radical elements we're at war with and who seek to injure us without provocation is absolutely fine. It is a burden of maintaining a sovereign nation.

The unbelievable lapse in judgement in this case is that apparently it was only answerable to one person, Cheney. Cheney, one of the biggest cowards to have served in ANY gov't, real or fictional (5 deferments during Viet Nam War + 1st daughter born 9months 2days after Selective Services declared that married men without children would have to serve).

Cheney, who can only argue in terms of legal loopholes and NEVER in terms of ethics; he doesn't know the meaning much less the etymology of the word ETHICS.

THAT is the scary part. That the whole program would be answerable only to him. And it is something we must challenge and get to the bottom of, just to make it clear that though such programs are amoral they still must be conducted/overseen with integrity so as not to misuse as it can easily would be someone like Cheney had he still the chance.

Pay attention to what happens when you have one whole section of a military thinking one general is more important than their elected officials, their Constitutions, their basic laws. The planet is littered with such examples people. Woo us had Cheney the chance to exercise such total control without answerable to anyone else.

Jul. 22 2009 01:00 PM
hjs from 11211

har har

Jul. 22 2009 12:25 PM
DAT from Nathan Straus Projects

Who killed the DC Madam?

Cheney was suppose to be one of her clients.

Jul. 22 2009 12:21 PM
Calls'em As I Sees'em from Langley, VA

hjs - no one has done more to undermine (not under mind) freedon, democracy and liberty then this bunch of criminals currently running this country into the ground.

Jul. 22 2009 12:13 PM
hjs from 11211

i feel your pain but i fear civil war more (if not with guns with words.) the crazy wing of the GOP are already out in force trying to under mind our elected government. they don't need any more fuel for their fire. maybe we SHOULD let history judge the bush team?

Jul. 22 2009 11:31 AM
Alma De Jesus from Park Slope

For many decades, it is a common belief from Puertorricans born and/or raised in Puerto Rico, and are from the Independence Party (PIP: Partido Independentista Puertorriqueno, or other) that the FBI and/or CIA has gone after them by listening to their telephone conversations, following their whereabouts, even killing them (such as the two University of PR students who were killed in the Cerro Mararilla), among other acts. Many PRicans left PR to NY claiming they were safer elsewhere than there. Brian, yes, many of us do believe that the C.I.A. was running a secret assassination program.

Jul. 22 2009 11:04 AM
Jenni o from Brooklun NY

It was disgusting to hear the commentators of this segment talk so flippantly about how it should not be important to investigate or convict the former vice president for constitutional & international crimes of which there is plenty of strong evidence. Why don't you just chuck the constitution out the window, or set it on fire to the delight of extremist enemies who can then demonstrate how hypocritical the US is.

Jul. 22 2009 10:40 AM
Phil from Brooklyn

I caught the last five minutes of this discussion. But I will only say that the "morality" that is being talked about is actually situational ethics. The fact is that a policy of assassination whether secret or not is irrational. Morality or so-called American values have no relevance in this discussion. If our policy is to assassinate then the targets or even those merely fearful of being a target can use the same or similar tactics in this "war" and target for assassination any and all they see fit. The solution to terrorism lies in the seeds of its creation. The ends rarely if ever justify the means.

Jul. 22 2009 10:40 AM
Sydney from NYC

When your guest said that 99 percent of Americans would be fine with assassinating world leaders, that was incorrect. A Gallup poll from one month after 9/11 found that 52 percent of respondents "would allow the government to assassinate leaders of countries that harbor terrorists." Today, that number is different.

Jul. 22 2009 10:33 AM
Chris from New York

I agree with Freddy Jenkins. As long as people are left jobless, starving, without access to eductation and the opportunity to improve their lives, terrorism will continue.

Jul. 22 2009 10:32 AM
Eric from B'klyn

a 'Lethal Finding'. Brian you will also probably be shocked to know that it would not be legal for you to ask a Congress person about it or for them to answer your question.
Cheney breaks the law... yawn. But when did it become optional to choose to investigate the breaking of the law; to allow political calculus to trump the law. this is a problem... And what happens to Presidential war powers when the 'war' is openended like the 'war on terror?'

Jul. 22 2009 10:27 AM
Tara Geer from washington heights

I don't get this mincing morality where we are comfortable waging a war against a country but outraged at targeting it's leaders?

Jul. 22 2009 10:27 AM
Carl Ian Schwartz from Paterson, New Jersey

Some of these comments sound uncomfortably close to the text of the Wannsee Conference. Do we really want to go there? Cheney's sense of "patriotism" was chilling and his oath to support the Constitution was a vain one.

Jul. 22 2009 10:26 AM
Mark from Manhattan

It's great that you're pointing out how EVIL the US when it comes to dealing with foreign powers. I assume you'll take airtime to talk about the vicitmized regime that is holding a US soldier and hauling him in front of cameras in violation of international accords. (sarcasm off)

Jul. 22 2009 10:25 AM
john from office

This is just another attempt to go after Bush and the vice president. Endless politics. Remember JFK assasinated people. The World is not a Court room.

Brian, you present an excellent example of the useful idiot, as stalin called your kind.

Jul. 22 2009 10:23 AM
walter from forest hills

I expect the CIA to model itself after Britains MI5. it can only carry out covert operations if it tells NOBOBY of plans.

Jul. 22 2009 10:22 AM
Hugh from Brooklyn, NY

I guess you could argue that, while the Constitution stipulates that Congress must declare war (though they have violated that clause since the 60s), there is nothing in the Constitution that says any such declaration must be public.

As for the caller idolizing Cheney -- get a reality check. Cheney is REVILED, nationwide and worldwide.

With regard to assassinations, the US publicly disavowed assassination decades ago precisely because it would be way too easy for another nation to do the same here.

Jul. 22 2009 10:22 AM
Monique from Manhattan

Brian: Didn't Congress secretly approve Reagan's attack on Grenada in the 80s?

Jul. 22 2009 10:22 AM
Ben from Manhattan

"When the Vice President does it, it is not illegal!"

Jul. 22 2009 10:21 AM
Tom from Toronto - CANADA

Look, no one is against taking-out known Al Qaeda leaders... and no, they won't be found strolling the streets of Paris. However its these Judge n' Jury drone attacks that are particularly insidious to the U.S. reputation, and if they continue, its going to continue to create a tremendous backlash worldwide. Far too many non-combatants are getting murdered through this tactic, and its something the U.S. or any other democracy should not be using willy nilly, as they are now.

Jul. 22 2009 10:20 AM
Freddy Jenkins

The Israelis do targeting killings and it hasn't done them a heap of good--Hamas and other organizations still scream their rhetoric and rockets are lobbed onto civilians; assassinating Al-Qaeda heads is only a temporary salve for a long-time ailment.
Endemic poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and ignorance are the real enemies of people who fill out the rank and file.
Murder begets murder.

Jul. 22 2009 10:20 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

What does the guest have to say, now, about Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that “the CIA lies to Congress all the time.”
She took a lot of heat for saying that and saying it was ill-advised, but it appears to be true.

Jul. 22 2009 10:19 AM

I love Bob Baer but on 9/12/01 I wondered if the US gov should just close down the CIA and save the $$. Listening to this confirms that my instinct was correct.

Jul. 22 2009 10:13 AM

When I read the headline that the CIA revealed it had been running a secret program to kill Al Quada leaders, and that the CIA chief put a stop to it I did a triple take.

Was this The Onion? April Fool's Day?

After all -- if the CIA isn't doing this -- then just what the heck ARE they doing?

Jul. 22 2009 10:07 AM
Enrique from Elizabeth, NJ

How about the role of Negroponte (CIA's all-time advisor and member "on the side") in the design of this plan when appointed -back then- envoy in Irak-? And talking about former envoy, he (former envoy in Honduras during "the dirty war")
was reported to have visited Honduras two weeks prior to the outgoing coup. Any light you guest can share on that CURRENT matter?

Jul. 22 2009 09:23 AM
George from Bay Ridge

What was the role of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in these operations? Seymour Hersh mentioned several months ago that JSOC was involved in extrajudicial ops.

Jul. 22 2009 06:19 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.