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File photo of a pilotless Predator aircraft - the type of aircraft used in November's Yemen operation when the CIA killed an al-Qaida leader and five other operatives. The Bush Administration has prepared a list of about two dozen terrorist leaders that the CIA is authorised to kill if capture is impractical and civilian casualties can be minimised, military and intelligence officials said. (USAF photo)...






Bush: High tech bounty hunter

In this high tech world, Bush has issued orders to take out a couple dozen alleged terrorist.  No human rights what-so-ever.  Someone hands Bush a list of bad guys and he authorizes the use of deadly force to wipe them out.

It is hard to imagine the fact that we have drone aircraft that can be flown by some computer jockey and at the right moment kill some alleged terrorist.

We all know the truth.  We all know that these targeted terrorist may not be terrorists at all.  And in addition, it is OK to take out a few innocent civilians who happen to get in the way.

This immoral and unethical abuse of power is numbing.  

The President of the United States has not only set himself up as the god of all nations but now has set himself up as the god of all people.

The question I have is: "How long will it be before George gets the idea of turning this high tech assassination mechanism on Americans at home?"

John WorldPeace
December 15,  2002

Bush lists wanted terrorists - dead or alive

By James Risen and David Johnston in Washington
December 16 2002

The Bush Administration has prepared a list of about two dozen terrorist leaders that the Central Intelligence Agency is authorised to kill if capture is impractical and civilian casualties can be minimised, military and intelligence officials said.

The previously undisclosed CIA list of targets includes senior al-Qaeda leaders such as Osama bin Laden and his chief deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other principal figures from terrorist groups affiliated to the organisation. President George Bush has provided legal authority to the CIA to hunt down and kill the terrorists without seeking approval each time the agency is about to launch an operation.

A spokesman for the White House declined to discuss the list or issues involving the use of lethal force by the United States against terrorists. A spokesman for the CIA also declined to comment on the list.

Despite the authority given to the agency, Mr Bush has not waived the executive order banning assassinations, officials said. The presidential authority to kill terrorists defines operatives of al-Qaeda as enemy combatants and thus legitimate targets for lethal force. Mr Bush issued a presidential finding after the September11 attacks on New York and Washington, providing the basic executive and legal authority for the CIA to either kill or capture terrorist leaders. Initially, the CIA used that authority to search for al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan.

That authority was the basis for attempts by the CIA and the military to kill bin Laden, other al-Qaeda leaders and several Taliban leaders. The newer list represents an expanded CIA effort against a larger number of al-Qaeda operatives beyond the borders of Afghanistan.

Mr Bush is not legally required to approve each name added to the list, nor is the CIA required to obtain presidential approval for specific attacks.

In November, the CIA killed an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen. A pilotless Predator aircraft operated by the CIA fired a Hellfire anti-tank missile at a car in which Qaed Salim Sinan
al-Harethi, also known as Abu Ali, was a passenger. Harethi and five other people, including one suspected al-Qaeda operative with US citizenship, were killed in the attack.

Harethi is believed to have been on the list of al-Qaeda leaders that the CIA had been authorised to kill. After the Predator operation in Yemen, US officials said Mr Bush was not required to approve the mission before the attack, nor was he specifically consulted.

Intelligence officials said the presidential finding authorising the agency to kill terrorists was not limited to those on the list.

Officials said the CIA, working with the FBI, the military and foreign governments, would seek to capture terrorists when possible and bring them into custody. Counter-terrorism officials prefer to capture senior al-Qaeda leaders for interrogation, if possible.

Under intelligence law, the US president must sign a finding to provide the legal basis for covert actions to be carried out by the CIA. The decision-making process has grown into a highly formalised review in which the White House, the Justice Department, the Pentagon and the CIA take part. The Administration must notify congressional leaders of any covert action finding signed by the president.

The New York Times

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