The testy nature of the public relationship between Donald Trump and the CIA is well known with the agency putting forth a number of unproven and laughably ridiculous assertions that Trump is working with Russia as well as the President publicly criticizing the intelligence community for these claims. More serious, however, is the fact that the CIA monitored and essentially ousted former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn.
So with Trump engaging in a relatively public and behind-the-scenes war with the CIA, it may come as a surprise that Trump has given the agency even more authority to conduct secret drone strikes.
While Barack Obama earned himself the title of “Drone Bomber In Chief,” pressure from human rights groups, activists, and independent media coverage of CIA drones dropping bombs on families, children, wedding parties, and other social gatherings caused enough of a controversy that the administration attempted to mitigate the bad public relations it was getting by allegedly taking away the authority of the CIA to control the drone program and given to the U.S. military. Barack Obama, the Nobel Prize Winner and the left’s favorite warmonger, was well known for evaluating and approving the “kill list” every morning before beginning his daily performance of receiving worship and fake crying after questionable acts of gun violence. Indeed, during Obama’s term, the President of the United States was perhaps the world’s best-known assassin.
But the alleged removal of carte blanche from the hands of the CIA meant nothing. In reality, it only added a few seconds of bureaucracy to the process. The Pentagon also tends to report many of its drone strikes while the CIA does not.
Trump, however, has now removed that little detail of bureaucracy and is allowing the CIA the carte blanche it is used to operating with.
President Trump has given the CIA new authority to conduct covert drone strikes, the Wall Street Journal reports. This authority was apparently exercised in the targeted killing of al-Qaida commander Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in the Idlib province of Syria in late February.
While the agency has had such authority in the past, the Obama administration, under pressure from human rights and civil liberties groups, gradually shifted control of the drone program from the CIA to the military over the past few years. By the end of the Obama administration, according to the Journal, the CIA would use drones to locate suspected terrorists, but the military would carry out the actual strike. The distinction is important for transparency: The Pentagon reports most strikes while the CIA doesn’t.
Trump’s order is meant to apply to operations against ISIS and al-Qaida in Syria, but it could also allow the agency to conduct strikes in other countries. This may already be happening. The Journal notes that a suspected U.S. drone strike in Pakistan earlier this month was not acknowledged by the Pentagon, as it normally would be.
The contradiction between Trump’s public display and his private decisions was even picked up by Slate who wrote “Trump’s allies have suggested an ongoing campaign by the “deep state” to undermine his presidency. Still, it appears Trump does trust the CIA to kill people.”
So, what is Trump actually thinking? Did his skirmish with the Deep State apparatus show him who the real boss is? Is he finally getting the message and backing down, giving the CIA what it wants little by little? Certainly, if he is truly in a battle with the Deep State, giving the CIA permission to launch drone strikes at will is perhaps the worst possible strategy to fight it. With this setup, if Trump gets out of line, all the CIA needs to do is drone bomb a mosque, or a school, or a home for sick puppies. After all, the buck stops with the President. Trump will be blamed for the atrocity and the CIA can sit back and let him take the heat. This new decision certainly sounds ill advised for someone battling the intelligence community.
Or is there another explanation for such a bizarre decision? Are Trump and the Deep State really fighting at all? Or is he just another puppet serving his purpose for the next four (or maybe less) years? The complexity and secrecy surrounding the United States government and especially the Deep State apparatus (it is the Deep State after all) is currently such that no one fully knows for sure.
However, whether there is a rift between Trump and the Deep State or not, giving the CIA the authority to launch drone strikes on its own is clearly a very bad idea.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President, and Resisting The Empire: The Plan To Destroy Syria And How The Future Of The World Depends On The Outcome. Turbeville has published over 1000 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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