For troops and CIA, the fog of war gets foggier
Only 15 months into the Obama Administration and the fog of war gets even foggier for our troops on the field of battle, and for the CIA.
Imagine you are an infantry company commander in either Iraq or Afghanistan. Suddenly, enemy troops firing AK-47s and RPGs attack your men. Your troops return fire. But wait. One of the jihadists looks Caucasian.
Lest you kill or wound an American citizen, the Obama White House has ordered any decision that might result in lethal force being used against a U.S. citizen must get “special permission.” You order a cease fire. While you are radioing for “special permission,” the Caucasian-looking jihadist fires a RPG, killing one of your troops and wounding others.
Fortunately, a Remotely-Piloted Aircraft (RPA) operated by the CIA observes your situation; The RPA’s incredibly precise camera is focused in on the light-skinned terrorist. Face-recognition software identifies the Caucasian-looking person as a high-ranking, al-Qaeda political operative.
Using the RPA’s Hellfire missile, the CIA blows away the al-Qaeda official and some of his armed escorts. Battle over; however, an America family is now going to be heart-broken over the loss of a loved one. Other Americans have been maimed, perhaps, for life.
The light-skinned jihadist turns out to be a high-ranking Hamas official from Syria who was being escorted to meet with an Iranian arms dealer to obtain long-range missiles for use against Israel.
One jihadist is only wounded, and conscious. But the Obama White House has decreed that your captive must be read Miranda Rights before he can be questioned. The wounded jihadist, having been taught just enough English to ask for an American lawyer, refuses to talk. End of interrogation. As with the Christmas bomber, fleeting, perishable intelligence just escaped.
Because your inaction resulted in the death of one of your troops, you are relieved from command until your name can be cleared (or not) by a board of inquiry. Even if cleared, the incident will remain in your file, and your military career won’t go very far – if at all.
For sure, if you had blown away an American-citizen-jihadist without permission, your career would have been over. On the other hand, your unit would not have suffered any dead or wounded from that RPG round. Go figure.
The CIA, which saved what remained of your unit, is also in trouble. In actual fact, the Democrat-controlled House Oversight and Government Reform committee just held hearings concerned that when the CIA uses “drones” to attack Islamic jihadists on its “target list” that the CIA is, in practice, carry out “extrajudicial executions” or assassinations.
Testifying before the Committee, American University Professor, Kenneth Anderson, said, “This is all really terrible and illegal and anybody that does it should go to The Hague.” That means be tried for war crimes in Holland.
A few weeks ago, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit demanding that the State Department and other agencies disclose the legal basis for carrying out “assassinations” overseas with unmanned aircraft. The lawsuit asks for information on when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized.
Recall, without any credible proof, the police in Dubai claimed that Mossad sent its agents into Dubai to assassinate Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh while Mabhouh was in Dubai to consummate a deal for Iranian missiles to be used against Israel. The U.N., the ACLU, and the Obamessiahs were quick to blame Mossad when, in fact, it could just as well have been a plot by Hamas to get rid of al-Mabhouh and, at the same time, try to pin the assassination on Mossad.
Oh, well. The Obama White House says the War on Terror is over. Gee, I don’t know why I even bother to bring these matters to your attention.
Nationally syndicated columnist and retired Army officer, William Hamilton, is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College, a former Research Fellow at the U.S. Army War College, and a member of the Association for Intelligence Officers.
©2010. William Hamilton.