Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CIA: "One Hell of a Killing Machine"

How the Agency Became "One Hell of a Killing Machine" The CIA and the Drones by GARETH PORTER

In human history, its never been a good thing when a government turns into a killing machine.

During 2010, the CIA “drone war” in Pakistan killed as many as 1,000 people a year, compared with the roughly 2,000 a year officially estimated to have been killed by the SOF “night raids” in Afghanistan, according to a report in the Sep. 1 Washington Post.

A CIA official was quoted by the Post as saying that the CIA had become “one hell of a killing machine”, before quickly revising the phrase to “one hell of an operational tool”.

The shift in the CIA mission’s has been reflected in the spectacular growth of its Counter-terrorism Center (CTC) from 300 employees in September 2001 to about 2,000 people today – 10 percent of the agency’s entire workforce, according to the Post report.

Now lets see, our propaganda machine is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their great victory around 9-11. If we think back, one of the big parts of the tragedy of 9-11 is that our intelligence agencies failed to put together the bits and pieces of information that they did have in order to predict and thwart the deadly attacks of that day.

In response, we had commissions and inquiries and reports that pointed out the failures. Now, what have we done to fix that problem?

The agency’s analytical branch, which had been previously devoted entirely to providing intelligence assessments for policymakers, has been profoundly affected.

More than one-third of the personnel in the agency’s analytical branch are now engaged wholly or primarily in providing support to CIA operations, according to senior agency officials cited by the Post. And nearly two-thirds of those are analysing data used by the CTC drone war staff to make decisions on targeting.

Some of that shift of internal staffing to support of the drone has followed the rise in the number of drone strikes in Pakistan since mid-2008, but the CIA began to lay the institutional basis for a bigger drone campaign well before that.

So, we know on 9-11 our billion dollar intelligence agencies let us down. Just like they failed to predict everything from the fall of the Berlin Wall to the collapse of our Egyptian dictatorship. So, what's the answer the brilliant folks running things come up with? Lets shift nearly a third of the intelligence analysts over to be a part of the killing machine and away from doing something that might be useful like piecing together the clues that might just prevent another disaster for the American people.

Yeah, that'll work.

So, lets review. In order to protect Americans, the CIA has become "one hell of a killing machine". Those killings of course piss off the friends and family circle of the people we kill, as well as the friends and family of all the innocent "collateral damage" that piles up like waste coming out the back of our 'killing machine'. This in turn means more future terrorists who will be willing to die in suicide attacks in order to revenge their loved ones. Meanwhile, the part of the CIA that might be able to detect such attacks coming and maybe, just maybe warn us and protect us is cut by 1/3rd in order to supply people to the killing machine that in the long run is probably just creating the groundwork for future 9-11's.

Feel safer now?

Now, however, Petraeus’s personal view of the drone war may no longer be relevant. The CIA’s institutional interests in continuing the drone war may have become so commanding that no director could afford to override those interests on the basis of his own analysis of how the drone strikes affect U.S. interests.

In all of human history, its never been a good thing when a state becomes a "killing machine". Its always been a very hard machine to turn off once it has been created.

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