Wednesday, November 24, 2004

I've Got a Bad Feeling About This

The Bush administration has had some really bad ideas in the past four years. And I had no doubt that we'd see plenty more in the next four. I just really didn't expect to see something this bad (WSJ; subscription) so quickly.

Pentagon officials have drafted a secret order telling U.S. Special Forces to be prepared to conduct clandestine operations against terror groups, many with ties to al Qaeda in the Middle East and Asia, according to military and civilian officials.


If adopted, the Pentagon document would lay the groundwork for special-forces operations against terror groups in countries where the military hasn't been active, possibly including missions in nations friendly to the U.S., officials said. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top aides want special-operations troops to have greater involvement in jobs traditionally handled by the CIA. The missions under consideration range from intelligence gathering to apprehending individual terrorists to lethal attacks, people involved said.
It's pretty much assumed that if you have disagreements with a country (and often, even if you don't), there will be spooks from your intelligence agencies trying to figure out what's going on. These professionals are trained and their agencies are set up so that the US maintains a level of diplomatic and legal deniability in these operations. It would seem to me to be an entirely different situation if you have members of the military snooping around, kidnapping or killing people in another country.

While spies and agents are reasons for diplomatic complaints and expulsions, isn't the presence of military operatives a casus belli?

No comments: