Huffington Post, 01/08/2013
In October 2011, 16-year-old Tariq Aziz attended a gathering in Islamabad where he was taught how to use a video camera so he could document the drones that were constantly circling over his Pakistani village, terrorizing and killing his family and neighbors. Two days later, when Aziz was driving with his 12-year-old cousin to a village near his home in Waziristan to pick up his aunt, his car was struck by a Hellfire missile. With the push of a button by a pilot at a US base thousands of miles away, both boys were instantly vaporized — only a few chunks of flesh remained.
Afterwards, the US government refused to acknowledge the boys’ deaths or explain why they were targeted. Why should they? This is a covert program where no one is held accountable for their actions.
The main architect of this drone policy that has killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocents, including 176 children in Pakistan alone, is President Obama’s counterterrorism chief and his pick for the next director of the CIA: John Brennan.
Phi Beta Iota: Honesty — which John Brennan has — is not the same as intelligence with integrity. In many ways Brennan is our version of Henry Kissinger, so wrapped up in arrogance, hubris, and the false information that flourishes in the secret world without accountability, so we thought to offer up Daniel Ellsberg’s short lecture to Kissinger:
The danger is, you’ll become like a moron. You’ll become incapable of learning from most people in the world, no matter how much experience they have in their particular areas that may be much greater than yours” [because of your blind faith in the value of your narrow and often incorrect secret information].
CIA desperately needs to reconnect to its alleged core missions: clandestine human intelligence and all-source analysis. It stinks at both right now, and there is absolutely no prospect of DoD doing any better. Transferring the drone program, doing reparations in Pakistan, agreeing to the Open Source Agency (OSA) that would feed all raw open sources to the high side as received, and rebuilding the CIA from the ground up, would be a good start. Closing down the DNI, eliminating the NRO, cutting the NSA budget in half, and restoring DCI status to the CIA, would all be useful Presidential initiatives.