John Brennan’s Rules: John Brennan Doesn’t Have to Play by the Rules

While I’m happy about the news that John Brennan, the Moral Rectitude Drone Assassination Czar, managed to finish his Drone Rules before he left to become CIA Director, I laughed my ass off when I read this.

U.S. officials said the effort to draft the playbook was nearly derailed late last year by disagreements among the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon on the criteria for lethal strikes and other issues. Granting the CIA a temporary exemption for its Pakistan operations was described as a compromise that allowed officials to move forward with other parts of the playbook.

The decision to allow the CIA strikes to continue was driven in part by concern that the window for weakening al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan is beginning to close, with plans to pull most U.S. troops out of neighboring Afghanistan over the next two years. CIA drones are flown out of bases in Afghanistan.

“There’s a sense that you put the pedal to the metal now, especially given the impending” withdrawal, said a former U.S. official involved in discussions of the playbook. The CIA exception is expected to be in effect for “less than two years but more than one,” the former official said, although he noted that any decision to close the carve-out “will undoubtedly be predicated on facts on the ground.”

Sure enough, writing a rule book that included a giant exemption was premised on the notion that the Moral Rectitude Drone Assassination Czar doesn’t need rules.

Officials said concerns about the CIA exemption were allayed to some extent by Obama’s decision to nominate Brennan, the principal author of the playbook, to run the CIA.

So glad we’re sending a guy who already can’t play by his own rules to run the Agency. Just what the CIA needs!

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9 Responses to John Brennan’s Rules: John Brennan Doesn’t Have to Play by the Rules

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Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel This is great: The Human Impulse to Live Beyond the Law
emptywheel Your government really spent 11 years trying to hide "s"es showing it asks for phone numbers, plural, using NSLs.
emptywheel Among other things, Govt redacted passage pointing out even "dim-witted" terrorist could figure out redactions.
emptywheel FBI Redacted Passages Showing Judge Mocking Its Stupid Claims Where is EO does it permit hiding mockery?
bmaz @_JGR If and when you do, please advise. Generally they are supposed to bet rather quickly (within 10 court days is std here).
bmaz Not positive I completely agree w/the suggestion (I think QI ought be severely restricted, but this is fascinating
bmaz @_JGR By the way, has the local media reported what day the preliminary hearing is set for? Those are supposed to be set quickly.
bmaz @_JGR Now, I am NOT saying I think that should work here, but with a cop, I think you have a spitting chance with a good expert.
bmaz @_JGR That it was reflexive under the heat+stress of the moment, and therefore not premeditated. Trustme, there are "cop experts" for this.
emptywheel @richietynan He's not REALLY a teenager, just claiming to be.
emptywheel @richietynan The panel needs to know a hacker claiming to be a teenager just got into FBI's counterpart of that system.
emptywheel Don't tell the terrorists the FBI knows some people have separate work phone numbers or they'll win!
January 2013
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