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Calls grow for probe of CIA plan for al-Qaida hits

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The program, which never got off the ground

This is the program Panetta scrapped the minute he heard about it?!?

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And what exactly is wrong with a program to target and kill Al Qaeda leaders? In war it is acceptable to kill the enemy before they kill you. Whack 'em all!

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Big deal about nothing. I can't imagine there would have been one politician in any party who would have said no to an opportunity to kill Bin Laden.

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"And what exactly is wrong with a program to target and kill Al Qaeda leaders?"

It wasn't blabbed to Congress in order to tip off Al Qaeda leaders. Can't have any secrecy, you know.

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"Big deal about nothing"

Nothing? But some JT posters are insisting that Cheney be jailed over this.

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Sarge:

It wasn't blabbed to Congress in order to tip off Al Qaeda leaders. Can't have any secrecy, you know.

Especially around Leahy and Biden!

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NuckinFutz at 08:28 AM JST - 14th July “And what exactly is wrong with a program to target and kill Al Qaeda leaders? In war it is acceptable to kill the enemy before they kill you. Whack 'em all!”

I personally agree with you, but I think you need to take a look at American law on this subject & that brings me to something a bit weird. Have you noticed that congress is unhappy because it wasn’t told what was possibly going to be done, yet they are not unhappy about what was possibly going to be done is in fact illegal?

You cannot go wandering around the world shooting people in the head because you think they are terrorists. They need to be taken to court & found guilty using credible evidence & then you can shoot them in the head, or what other method suits you. You might argue that the Binman has made a lot of public statements claiming that he is responsible for the attacks on the US & in effect has made himself guilty, but you might also remember that Sadam claimed to has all sorts of horrible weapon that he never in truth had. And this is one of the reasons why court cases need to take place before sending out assassins. Which is what all this is about & why it is against the American law to do such things. Strange then that congress is only upset about not having been told. Not the illegality of of what was being talked about.

As I suggested at the beginning, for my own part I see nothing at all wrong with killing the bad guys where ever they happen to be & by whatever means, for once in this sick game let them be the ones that make the rules & then we can play on a level playing field & use just as many dirty tricks as they do. It’s only fair really, isn’t it?

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Don't see any problems with such a program. The CIA has checks and balances in place with regard to any operations that target the heads of foreign governments (something that grew out of the shenanigans of the 1960s and 1970s), but the last time I looked Al Qaeda was not a nation state. As such, the black ops boys (and girls) should be allowed to go about their business.

Furthermore, I don't like this trend in the US of politicians (from both sides) putting their nose in where it does not belong. Bush and Cheney did it back in 2001 (and thus derailed possibly the CIA's finest hour in modern times - the forging of the North Alliance in Afghanistan and some subsequent plans that ended up being canceled), and Congress seems to be doing it now. Sure the Congress would like to fillet certain people (like a former Vice President) over issues of accountability, but getting all hot and bothered about issues that are essentially operational in nature is not much help to anyone.

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grafton: And this is one of the reasons why court cases need to take place before sending out assassins.

Is that really how it works? Isn't a missile fired from a drone essentially the same as someone shooting the same people in a car (or anywhere else) at close range?

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SuperLib at 09:56 AM JST - 14th July “grafton: And this is one of the reasons why court cases need to take place before sending out assassins.” “Is that really how it works? Isn't a missile fired from a drone essentially the same as someone shooting the same people in a car (or anywhere else) at close range?”

Be careful where you might go with this, because I also see no difference, but it would seem that there is one. The question that needs to be asked, or maybe not asked depending on who you support, is if it is alright for the US to go out killing terrorists (in other peoples countries) either at close quarters or by missile firing drones, then why is it not acceptable when Israel does the same thing? Extra-judicial killing even in a war is a crime. And it doesn’t have to be a head of state. A murder is a murder. As I said in my above post I accept that some murders are necessary, but that does not mean I would ignore the fact that they are illegal.

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We had lots of snipers in Iraq. Not just military, but from the CIA, FBI, and other law enforcement. What did they do? What they always do, take out assigned targets, often potential suicide bombers before they could detonate their explosives. This was widely reported in the press.

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Some things just need to be left alone.

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If the government is going to prosecute and harass people for doing their job under one administration by the following administration, then all CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, and Military should cease working immediately until they receive written guarantee of immunity for doing their jobs.

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new disclosures that a secret CIA program to capture or kill al-Qaida leaders

Not bad idea.....

concealed from the U.S. Congress for eight years, perhaps at the behest of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Very bad

Sarge at 08:32 AM JST - 14th July "And what exactly is wrong with a program to target and kill Al Qaeda leaders?" It wasn't blabbed to Congress in order to tip off Al Qaeda leaders. Can't have any secrecy, you know.

Oh Sarge, I know you guys on the far right hate that little word,"oversight" but that is what was missing from this whole mess.

The far right in their zeal to get the evil doers forgot to follow the rules.

Pssst Sarge, the guys that would have gotten the report were not members of Al Quida but members of the Congress Intelligence Committee.

Opps forgot to wear my aluminum cap....sorry let me get it....

Ok as I was saying, please if you have inside information of any traitors in that committee pass it along to the DOJ so they can lockem up!

Here is the link of Congress men and women who are (and were) part of that committee since Cheney was playing,"hide the truth"

http://intelligence.senate.gov/members107thcongress.html

BTW when you find the traitor or traitors please pass it on to the FBI so they can arrest them.

(link also provided)

http://www.fbi.gov/contact/legat/asia.htm

This link will get you to the local FBI office so you can help them hunt down those Congressional members that are part of Al Qaida......

Well all I can say is god bless Dick Cheney for saving us from the evil of the world...Himself....LOL

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I don't hate oversight, as long as those doing the oversight can be trusted.

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If the government is going to prosecute and harass people for doing their job under one administration by the following administration, then all CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, FBI, and Military should cease working immediately until they receive written guarantee of immunity for doing their jobs.

If they are not guilty of committing crimes then there is nothing to worry about. Those that broke laws and committed war crimes should be in jail. The USA, despite what the bush criminals displayed, is a nation of laws.

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Let's hope that the wrongdoers here are exposed and severely punished for their deceit.

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sarge: "Nothing? But some JT posters are insisting that Cheney be jailed over this"

I have yet to see one poster say cheney should be jailed for this. Can you show me where?

What I HAVE heard is, on other threads, people saying cheney should be jailed for not informing Congress about illegal wiretappings and torture. Not informing them of this is illegal, and therefore he should be jailed yes. If this falls into the same realm of illegality then the fact that he did something illegal -- yet again -- means he should face some form of punishment. You suggesting that people want him jailed because 'he wants to kill terrorist leaders' is not the same thing, and not true. The ends, which clearly have never been reached, do not justify the means.

What I WILL agree with to an extent is that this is simply the most recent revelation of the illegal activities of bush and cheney, and that as such while this program doesn't seem that much of a 'big deal' compared with illegal spying/stealing Americans' freedoms and that of crimes against humanity (torture), etc., it is riding the coat-tails and getting a lot more mileage than perhaps it should.

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WhiteHawk: "I don't hate oversight, as long as those doing the oversight can be trusted."

And how do you know they canNOT be trusted? The only person that it's clear cannot be and should never have been trusted is the former VP, but you guys seem to have no problem bowing down and shoveling up his every word no ifs, ands, or buts.

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If CIA wants to make a record of Al-Qaeda hits -It better be on Vinyl.

Dems are just mad because they didn't get a chance to muck this one up. Even since Saddam was brought to justice they have been hell-bent on protecting the terrorists. Even Barrack (Barry) Hussein Obama is more pro-terrorist than against. =We must keep this war going at all costs =Protect the terrorists.

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And how do you know they canNOT be trusted?

Pelosi? Reid? Can you honestly tell me you trust them?

The only person that it's clear cannot be and should never have been trusted is the former VP, but you guys seem to have no problem bowing down and shoveling up his every word no ifs, ands, or buts.

And you're okay with Joe Biden? Somehow I doubt that, seeing how hard libs/leftists try to pretend he doesn't exist.

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Badsey,

oh, you mean the way bush and cheney protected Osama Bin Laden. Last time I checked he was still free as a bird. 8 years to get him and the bush idiots let him go free after they let him attack the USA. That is the bush doctrine for you, let them attack and let them go free afterward cause in the end its all about the price of oil anyway.

I guess that is what you mean.

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WhiteHawk: "Pelosi? Reid? Can you honestly tell me you trust them?"

I don't like either to be honest, but do you think they are AQ spies? or do you just not like them either? Regardless, were they part of Congress when cheney and bush were hiding these things illegally?

"And you're okay with Joe Biden? Somehow I doubt that, seeing how hard libs/leftists try to pretend he doesn't exist."

I'm glad you cannot deny that cheney should never have been trusted. Anyway, go ahead and reveal to us all the lies that Biden is hiding. Until then, I'll just chalk up the comment ot more bitterness that your poor choice for VP lost, and I'll say I'm fine with him where he is, yes.

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Let's hope that the wrongdoers here are exposed and severely punished for their deceit.

Has to have been wrongs done first. The question is, when should congress be briefed. This program never even became operational. So when should they have been briefed in? Back in 2001 when it was first proposed? Or perhaps under the various succeeding CIA directors who all thought that the program wasn't ripe enough to be worth briefing congress over. That an appointee from the Obamanation administration now brings this up, and refers back to Dick "the demon" Cheney, is to me no real surprise. Now that Palin is gone, Cheney is the Dems boogeyman. Everything gets back to him. Everything is about him. That really what this is about.

The CIA has a responsibility to inform congress about their programs. Congress has a responsibility to oversee these organizations. Regardless of who is in charge, and as free from politics as possible. At this point, the Obamanation administration is definitely failing. This latest witch hunt is the latest example of this.

I'm glad you cannot deny that cheney should never have been trusted. Anyway, go ahead and reveal to us all the lies that Biden is hiding.

You ever hear the man speak? Then I'll just stop there. Joe 'the horses ass' Biden has no business being VP. He is worse then Cheney ever was.

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I can't believe how naive some of the posts here are. Do you really think it is ok for a branch of government to carry on covert activities in conflict with national law because a hand full of individuals think they are above the law?

These laws exist to protect our democracy. If we allow police or security agencies to do as they will, how long will it be before loyal Americans are disappeared, tortured or killed for having beliefs that these groups or individuals disagree with.

The right wingers always talk about the protection of America while displaying zero clue about what America is or means. It is not just a place, a flag or a government. America is an idea based upon the belief in the rule of law, protection of civil rights and liberties and the will to uphold higher values that represent our civilization. When it is blatantly violated in this manner it endagers the very idea of America.

I truly believe the Cheney and others of the Bush administration should be tried and, if found guilty, imprisoned for lying to congress, failing to comply with our laws and for violations of our international treaties and obligations that constitute war crimes.

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A program will be gotten with! somewhere! by someone! That's all we can say at this point.

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Just running on from my earlier post about politicians mixing up the issues here, specifically the issues of accountability and operational necessity, who here has heard the phrase "Loose Lips Sink Ships" (circa 1942 when the the u-boat menace on the US Eastern Seaboard was causing some major head-aches - the phrase was actually used in the 1st World War as well).

Anyway, the point I am trying to make is that while Congress wants to nail a certain former Vice President for fundamentally sabotaging national security to pursue his own agenda (and in the process dragging the reputation of many US intelligence resources through the mud), it is also important to remember that knowledge needs to be distributed on a need-to-know basis. Does everyone in Congress need to know what the CIA is doing at the bottom of the garden with regard to wiping out the blight that is OBL and friends? I don't think so. Indeed, increasing the circle of people "in the know" too much would be counter productive, because simply based on the law of averages the possibility for leaks increases (intentional or otherwise).

Furthermore, the folks to the left of me on the political spectrum need to realize that Cheney is not going to be prosecuted. He received a pardon when President Obama came into office. This is not to say that I think he should be prosecuted. Indeed, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld in particular need to come clean regarding the manner in which they sabotaged the US national interest in driving the US to a war that it did not need (and overriding solid military opinion while doing so), while on the other hand ignoring the real threat of radical Islam in places such as Afghanistan.

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a secret CIA program to capture or kill al-Qaida leaders was concealed from the U.S. Congress for eight years, perhaps at the behest of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

If memory serves correctly, the CIA director when "W" first started out was a Clinton holdover (someone please give me the name, seem to have forgotten it). So if this program did indeed get started at the behest of Cheney, and they want to bring people to trial, then they should first start with the head of the CIA at the time. Why? Well the idea may have been the VP's, but to make that thing happen and to get the ball rolling would have taken someone like the CIA director to make it work, since he is supposedly the one in charge and knows how his orgainzation works.

But I doubt if they bring up the name of the former CIA director. I see this as just a smoke screen, to stick it to the CIA for putting them on report when Panetta pretty much embarresed a few with his revelations of saying that some key Dems were present when they were briefing on torture.

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So, the government jumps in action not to go after Al Quaeda but to to go after the people who go after Al Quaeda. The inmates are truly running the asylum now.

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smithinjapan:

I don't like either to be honest, but do you think they are AQ spies? or do you just not like them either?

Of course I don't think they're AQ spies. Where on Earth did you get that idea?

Regardless, were they part of Congress when cheney and bush were hiding these things illegally?

Allegedly. Again, the investigation hasn't even started yet...

I'm glad you cannot deny that cheney should never have been trusted.

Like the AQ spies comment, you're trying to put words in my mouth (post) again. I never said Cheney never should have been trusted, I just don't trust the political partisanship and wanton hunger for power of those (Pelosi, Reid) who would be the oversight.

Anyway, go ahead and reveal to us all the lies that Biden is hiding. Until then, I'll just chalk up the comment ot more bitterness that your poor choice for VP lost, and I'll say I'm fine with him where he is, yes.

Actually, Biden offers the rare window of transparency that Obama promised but has never delivered. Granted, it only occurs when Biden wanders off the script, but still...

So you're okay with Biden as VP, eh? Okay, I'll remember that, and hold you to it.

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WhiteHawk: "Of course I don't think they're AQ spies. Where on Earth did you get that idea?"

Oy, vey! You guys forget comments faster than you can post them. The issue was about why Congress was not informed. sarge went on about how if Congress was informed the secret would slip to AQ ("can't have that!"), and then you went on to say you didn't mind if people were told so long as they were people you 'could trust'. My sarcastic comment (ie. not a question, unless you really consider rhetorical questions to be questions) about them being spies then followed.

"Like the AQ spies comment, you're trying to put words in my mouth (post) again. I never said Cheney never should have been trusted, I just don't trust the political partisanship and wanton hunger for power of those (Pelosi, Reid) who would be the oversight."

Actually a very decent reply. I said directly to you that cheney should never have been trusted and your reply was, "And you're okay with Joe Biden?"... as in a comparison of people you believe should not be trusted (not a contrast, a comparison). But, for the record, if it helps, you can declare, if you like, that you think cheney should or should not have been trusted and that will clear it up once and for all.

I agree that Pelosi and Reid can and may be power hungry, including in their pursuit of cheney, but are you saying that cheney was NOT that way at all as VP in his 'allegedly' illegal decisions not to inform congress of these events?

"So you're okay with Biden as VP, eh? Okay, I'll remember that, and hold you to it."

By all means. And don't worry about us holding you to being okay with cheney and his actions... that's been made pretty clear for awhile, and with each day's scandal. I'm not really sure what your obsession with Biden being so 'bad' is, aside from again the fact that he's not in your party of choice. No one has been, nor will be, as bad a VP as cheney has been. Granted, palin would have made cheney seem like an absolute genius in comparison, and perhaps even less evil, but still.

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Well I've pretty much made up my mind about this issue. dick cheney and george bush have been lieing to the United States Citizens ever since they got into power. Through out their rein they took advantage, had secret plans and misused government funds in an effort to just doing what they want to, right or wrong.

I remember the republican congress pulling out special procecuters at the drop of a hat during the Clinton years for nothing.

What we have here is a vice-president (the real leader) and a president who subverted powers and prividges and position way past anything they were entitled to and used them for their own personal purposes.

Until we get this over with the same old trash is going to come up over and over again.

Authorizing torture. Abuse of power. Crimes against humanity. Abuse of office. Secret energy meetings for dick cheney's personal gains.

I say just get the it over with. There are enough questions to warrant a through investigation of it all. < :-)

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smithinjapan:

But, for the record, if it helps, you can declare, if you like, that you think cheney should or should not have been trusted and that will clear it up once and for all.

I trusted Cheney more than I trusted Pelosi or Reid. Does that work for you?

I agree that Pelosi and Reid can and may be power hungry, including in their pursuit of cheney, but are you saying that cheney was NOT that way at all as VP in his 'allegedly' illegal decisions not to inform congress of these events?

Yes. Cheney was already where he wanted to be. He had no aspirations of climbing the ladder any higher, or running for any other office. If he is guilty of keeping the program (which never got off the ground) from Congress, I expect his intentions were to keep sensitive information from being leaked to the media. I don't trust Pelosi, Reid, Feinstein, or Leahy to not leak such sensitive information if there was political gain to be had, and if I were Cheney, I wouldn't trust them either.

adaydream:

Well I've pretty much made up my mind about this issue. dick cheney and george bush have been lieing to the United States Citizens ever since they got into power.

No kidding, really? ;D Gee, I thought you'd wait for the investigation to at least start...

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WhiteHawk, I'm allowed to have an opinion. < :-)

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WhiteHawk: "I trusted Cheney more than I trusted Pelosi or Reid. Does that work for you?"

Whatever, dude. It's pretty clear you can't address the question because you have your doubts.

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I have no problem with plans for assasins taking out these radical nutcases.

Just because dick cheney's name is in the article, it doesn't mean that hit-men taking out al-Qaida leaders isn't a better option than indiscriminate killings from drones that often don't hit the right people.

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This is getting too big. What is wrong with the CIA going in and killing OBL and AQ members?

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I think former Col. Oliver North stated the situation as such:

(paraphrased) There ALWAYS will be a off-the-shelf plan for (all) contingencies. (testimony before the Iran-Contra Investigations).

In an environment where the "rule of law" prevails, the "contingencies" must br consult be w/ Congress if the act is legally questionable. If consultation and approval is not obtainable, the act must be void. The "act" must represent the country, not individuals. W/out approval of the branches of relevant govt. parts, the operatives are vulnerable to prosecution. These guidelines will have to be addressed constantly due to hard realities.

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Correction:

"the "contingencies" must be discussed w/ Congress"

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Skip: "What is wrong with the CIA going in and killing OBL and AQ members?"

I doubt very much Congress would not have approved of it, but as it is cheney and co. skirted the laws that make the US a great nation, making it a land of hypocrisy. This is about the law, and the law only. If you want to brag that the US is a great nation for its beliefs and then turn around and ignore the beliefs when you feel it's okay, that's not really a great nation at all, now is it? Whoever does such needs to be held accountable.

Again, what would have been the harm in sharing this with Congress? They're not spies.

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I'm not really even sure what the situation is here. Congress was informed about a program, but not the specifics of a program that was never used? In the end I guess it comes down to the CIA saying, "We're thinking about doing this" but not "This is how we're thinking about doing this."

The goal itself was to capture or kill Al Queda members without harming civilians, so it's not like there's even an argument there. They're already doing capturing and killing them, so my guess is they already have the authority to do that. What it boils down to is how specific they got in describing how they would go about doing it, so the question is how specific the CIA needs to be (or usually is) with such matters. That's probably something none of us here can answer with any degree of certainty.

There's already a law on the books against assassinations, but not bombing people, so my guess is that the program probably couldn't figure out where to draw the line, or Cheney probably wanted to step over it but never did anyway. Maybe he's guilty of "wanting to assassinate" or whatever. Either way it seems more like a circus to me with the end result being more childish comments about Cheney from the obsessive crowd, which was probably the point of releasing the information in the first place.

Either way, this is probably a political issue that Obama would rather not get involved in. He can't keep exposing problems then do nothing about them, and this problem smells like politics, but in the end he won't really be able to do anything, and he'll probably be criticized for doing nothing.

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smithinjapan: I doubt very much Congress would not have approved of it, but as it is cheney and co. skirted the laws

So he's guilty of breaking the law, right?

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SuperLib: "So he's guilty of breaking the law, right?"

You think so, or just putting words in people's mouths? :)

Check out the definition of 'skirt' as a verb. Contrast it with 'break' in regard to laws. Best of all stop cherry-picking comments.

"Either way, this is probably a political issue that Obama would rather not get involved in. He can't keep exposing problems then do nothing about them, and this problem smells like politics, but in the end he won't really be able to do anything, and he'll probably be criticized for doing nothing."

I do like this comment, and I think that's why he's been threatening (or at least the WH house) to veto a lot of stuff being talked about in the last few days; even saying it as a threat is action, as it sets him up as looking like he is against it, etc.

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I'm not even sure why this is news except that congress is mad that they weren't consulted. This program which as far as we know was never implemented was a way to get around Carter's assinine ban on assassinations. Targeted assassinations are certainly a better tool than full military conflict.

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adaydream:

WhiteHawk, I'm allowed to have an opinion.

Of course. As long as you recognize that's all it is, and don't start referring to it as a "fact". Some folks get a little carried away.

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Whitehouse there are facts that build my opinion.

george bush misinformed the public in his up-take to the war and even used fabricated stuff in his evidence to sway the public. - FACT

george bush sent Colin Powell with as cadre of lies to present to the UN as a reason to attack Iraq.

dick cheney has secret meetings with the big energy companies and wouldn't allow the public to understand what the Whitehouse's plan was for the country. The way they were done just breeds more belief that the bush/cheney was anything but trustworthy.

dick cheney has the sign-in book, maintained by the Secret Service, to be deemed Top-Secret and it's contents unavailable to the public. Who is going to the Whitehouse that they want to keep underwraps?

WhiteHawk, these facts give me good reason to create an opinion that cheney/bush were dishonest.

I have been given every reason under the sun to believe the dishonesty of bush/chaney and that cheney was attepmting to put togther some covert operation of his own design, using federal funds to create and operate a covert operation.

Even if it never left the ground, can you not understand the hypocracy of the right wing.

If Bill Clinton had done this, the special procecutors would be paraded out. If Barack Obama was to do this, the outcry from the GOP would be defeaning.

Because dick cheney did this, it's okay. < :-)

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Correction for my first sent. It should be WhiteHawk vs Whitehouse. < :-)

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Pelosi is correct: We need a certain amount of terrorists alive or else "The War on Terror" is over. What Bush and Cheney did messes up the count. Clinton did the right thing by letting Osama Bin Ladin go.

=Not enough terrorists to support this war. More terrorists are desperately needed for this war to continue. If more terrorists are not found, the US must make them (sort of like printing ObamaDollars).

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Ah, it's good to see you back on form, adaydream. ;)

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WilliB at 01:10 PM JST - 14th July

So, the government jumps in action not to go after Al Quaeda but to to go after the people who go after Al Quaeda. The inmates are truly running the asylum now.

Yeah right, the government is not going after al Qaeda.. Whoops the goes your credibility once again. Not that it ever actually recovers.

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Lot's of the usual namecalling here and personal attacks (from both sides). Personally I did not like the Bush administration and I do not like the Obama administration. I prefer Ron Paul - I only wish he could run under a 3rd Party Ticket because he does not really fall under any of the parties - now, with that out of the way:

American politics is now run more on emotion. If you read the article, all of this is based on "leaks" and "unnamed sources". How about letting all the facts come out first. As a Californian I know alot about Pelosi. She is a multi-millionaire by marriage and wishes to impose rules on Americans that she will be exempt from. On the other hand I do not think much of Cheney either as too many things smell like a week old piece of sashimi that fell under the table and got lost in the mess.

Regarding the top secret White House visits. Yes Cheney and Bush did that and guess what...Obama is doing the same now? Both parties pull the same crap but spin it differently. Our government has not become more transparent. We have bills being passed, spending massive amounts of money, where none of those voting (and they admit to it) read the bill. Both parties are guilty of this and those that bring the issue up are attacked.

Only if I could do something like this and get away with it in my business.

So we sit here and argue among ourselves, call each other names, while the establishment continues to stick it to us.

Bush severely raised the debt/deficit and Obama has spent (has not been spent yet but it is committed) more money in six months than the entire history of the United States. The United States is now faced with a new "political class", where our leaders are nearly all millionairs and are generally not looking out for the nation and lowly citizens as a whole.

I strongly recommend the book "The Revolution - A Manifesto". The book is packed with common sense and I think alot of posters who disagree here would find issues they agree on in his writings.

Finally interesting how heavily American politics is covered here.

I am sure time will tell what really happened. With all of our faults in the U.S. we have generally been able to get to the bottom of things (we certainly like to hang our soiled underwear out for the world to see) and I hope we eventually will in this case as well.

Cheers

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