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 @StevenTDennis Nope. Plus NSA almost certainly keeps tapes against the rules (reasonable amounts of evidence to the effect).
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