The Burr Family USE to Assassinate People in Light of Day

At the end of a must-read article on how the people — whom it names — in charge of the CIA’s drone program are the same people who were in charge of the torture program, the NYT also reveals that Richard Burr joined Mike Rogers pressuring CIA to kill American citizen Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh — who recently got captured and charged in the US with material support for terrorism — be drone killed.

The Republican lawmakers, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, said during the closed sessions that the administration was being timid, and urged that [Mohanad Mahmoud Al] Farekh be hunted and killed.

Burr is, as he likes to point out, a relative of Aaron Burr, who killed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel, a detail about which Burr reminded Treasury Secretary Jack Lew last year. It appears the Burr family no longer operates with the faux honor of dueling, but instead sits inside secret closets and demands CIA conduct assassination by remotely piloted drone.

And that’s why NYT’s decision to name names is so notable.

The C.I.A. asked that Mr. D’Andrea’s name and the names of some other top agency officials be withheld from this article, but The New York Times is publishing them because they have leadership roles in one of the government’s most significant paramilitary programs and their roles are known to foreign governments and many others.

The article names D’Andrea — the long-time head of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, whom Gawker named last month but whom the WaPo continued to refer to under the pseudonym Roger last month, it named his replacement, Chris Wood, who has served in ALEC station and oversaw operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and it named the Operations Chief, Greg Vogel, who was Kabul Station Chief before leading the CIA’s paramilitary Special Activities Division.

These are the men who invite people like Rogers and Burr and Dianne Feinstein (who is a champion of D’Andrea) and their staffers to watch a monthly snuff film of drone operations and with it convince them that CIA should remain in charge of assassinations.

As the NYT notes in explaining why it was refusing to cede to John Brennan’s demand that the paper hide these identities, others know who they are. It’s just the public, those who pay their salaries and in whose name those assassinations are conducted, that didn’t know.

That, of course, prevents anyone — the family of Warren Weinstein, for example — from holding them to legal account.

But it also prevents us from holding Feinstein accountable when she shields the same people who oversaw the torture program she claims to abhor.

Perhaps the NYT’s decision to break the spell of false secrecy will demonstrate that these men’s identities were’t really secrets. They were rather just a vacuum of accountability.

16 replies
  1. What Constitution? says:

    While perhaps it isn’t completely shocking to learn that the torture/drone machinery has the same “revolving door” syndrome that prevails elsewhere in Washington, it is almost reassuring to learn that it’s perhaps becoming harder and harder to find conscience-free assassins with no concern for their own exposure to war crimes prosecution without returning to the original well of neanderthals who Dick Cheney released on the world. It is a very good thing that the NYT has recognized the importance of identifying who is under discussion when what is under discussion is under discussion. Pointing out that the absence of accountability for the masterminds has only facilitated absence of accountability for the program itself seems rather obvious, but it is 2015 after all, so at least it’s finally some progress.

  2. jv says:

    it’d be nice if people who refer to aaron burr did some reading about him besides just repeating the standard and tired attacks upon him put forth about him by his political enemies, a practice which most people on the left today decry justifiably…many of his writings still exist and can be accessed or purchased for perusal…gore vidal did the yeoman’s task, and turned his insights into a novel; a rather good one as well…all i can say about burr’s modern day distant relative is: how far from the tree this particular fruit has fallen…burr’s main point of contention with hamilton’s constitution and politics was that it was not nearly democratic enough, in that women had no vote, and there were property/wealth requirements for voting as well…both criticisms would eventually be addressed centuries later…compared to burr, jefferson as president acted like a vindictive prick, and hamilton resorted to name-calling and slander to try to trump his political and courtroom rivals, of whom burr was but one…at least read vidal’s novel, if not some of the admittedly few biographies written by people who have something of a preference for objectivity, who do original research, and refrain from mere repetition of cliched political charges put forth as historical fact…lord knows we get enough of that from the nyt alone

    • emptywheel says:

      I’m sorry. Are you saying Burr did not have multiple fights with Hamilton, the last of which led to wounds that caused his death?

      That’s the only claim I made here. If you’re going to suggest people are making shit up, you might want to start by not suggesting I’ve made claims I have not. I said nothing about what kind of man Burr was (beyond that dueling, generally, was about honor) and thank you I’m quite familiar with what a jerk Hamilton was.

      • Rich says:

        “I’m sorry”. LoL. Well, did you read Burr by gore Vidal? I still can’t believe I asked for and was given that novel for Christmas way back in 6th grade. Anti-iconography at its best. And yes, my god how far the descendants fell from the tree.

      • jv says:

        making shit up? not at all…it is the reiteration of dubious stereotypical perspectives put forth as historical fact which leads to a distorted view of the past and thereby taints our actual situation in the present…”Aaron Burr, who killed Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel” reads like every other reference to the event, in which Hamilton is the innocent and wronged party senselessly murdered by an overly aggressive and hence insane and unreasonable Burr…”the faux honor of dueling” does not suggest that dueling had “something” to do with honor, but just the opposite in fact…what miffed me about your reference to B/H is that it implicitly sanctions the prevailing myths surrounding the event, which is more in keeping with the style of writing in the NYT than with your own…my intent was to imply that a seemingly casual reference carries with it not only a precipitous responsibility, but also an opportunity to create a new impression in peoples’ minds which could perhaps serve your message more faithfully than the standard non–critical approach to the Event, which is at this point rather crusted over with a candy coating a bit too sugary and mind-rotting for our current common good…

  3. Don Bacon says:

    National Security Strategy, February 2015
    IV. Values (p. 19)
    To lead effectively in a world experiencing significant political change, the United States must live our values at home while promoting universal values abroad…
    Defending democracy and human rights is related to every enduring national interest. …
    To that end, we strengthened our commitment against torture and have prohibited so-called enhanced interrogation techniques that were contrary to American values, while implementing stronger safe-guards for the humane treatment of detainees… Where prosecution is an option, we will bring terrorists to justice through both civilian and, when appropriate, reformed military commission proceedings that incorporate fundamental due process and other protections essential to the effective administration of justice…
    Our vital intelligence activities are also being reformed to preserve the capabilities needed to secure our interests while continuing to respect privacy and curb the potential for abuse. We are increasing transparency so the public can be confident our surveillance activities are consistent with the rule of law and governed by effective oversight. …

  4. Don Bacon says:

    How America will lead the world:
    Fact Sheet: The 2015 National Security Strategy
    The strategy sets out the principles and priorities that describe how America will lead the world toward greater peace and a new prosperity.
    — We will lead with purpose, guided by our enduring national interests and values and committed to advancing a balanced portfolio of priorities worthy of a great power.
    — We will lead with strength, harnessing a resurgent economy, increased energy security, an unrivaled military, and the talent and diversity of the American people.
    — We will lead by example, upholding our values at home and our obligations abroad.
    We will lead with capable partners, mobilizing collective action and building partner capacity to address global challenges.
    — We will lead with all instruments of U.S. power, leveraging our strategic advantages in diplomacy, development, defense, intelligence, science and technology, and more.
    –We will lead with a long-term perspective, influencing the trajectory of major shifts in the security landscape today in order to secure our national interests in the future.

  5. galljdaj says:

    Way to go Marcy!

    I am somewhat impressed with the news regarding the ‘nyt’, as my update(following) indicates my feelings as to how low it has sunk!

    Some months ago the nyt began dunning me for a subscription I never placed. Many years ago I left the nyt because it Killed ABUZZ. Plus, it had been using wire services to ‘write’ its articles rather than reporting Truth as the nyt found it to be via investigating. For years I have been chiding the ‘editors’ regarding its falsehoods published via emailing the editors regarding their trangressions against the Truth!

    After the second dunning notice I called the nyt to complain, and told them if it continues I will report them to the NY Attorney General. The nyt disregarded my protest exactly as it did with my objections to falsehoods, by turning the matter over to and in house collection agency owned by the nyt. I promptly turned in a complaint to the NYAG as a ‘fraud, and a tax dodge’ being conducted by the nyt. Yesterday, I got a notice from another agency mcu. Seems the NYAG has likely contacted the nyt and in a move to appear ‘truthful’ dumped its in house portion of the fraud.

    I have been a strong critic of the nyt and long ago stopped reading it. It used to be the NYT the Nation’s Paper. Today its seems to be like the lil bush and lil obama gang ‘window dressing’!

  6. Don Bacon says:

    There have been many mea culpas for the Iraq War, which should console the 4.5 million Iraqi orphans as well as others. One such–
    The New York Times: “We have found a number of instances of coverage that was not as rigorous as it should have been. In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in re-examining the claims as new evidence emerged – or failed to emerge. . . Editors at several levels who should have been challenging reporters and pressing for more skepticism were perhaps too intent on rushing scoops into the paper. Accounts of Iraqi defectors were not always weighed against their strong desire to have Saddam Hussein ousted. Articles based on dire claims about Iraq tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.”

  7. der says:

    “These are the men who invite people like Rogers and Burr and Dianne Feinstein (who is a champion of D’Andrea) and their staffers to watch a monthly snuff film of drone operations and with it convince them that CIA should remain in charge of assassinations.”
    And what a fine job they do. Today MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki ran a clip of an interview he did with Maine’s Senator King this past week. King is a regular goer to the monthly film watching, he thinks the drone warriors are doing the job that needs doing – going after the al Qaeda baddies, killing them there before we have to kill them here you know. As King sees it we were lucky the al Qaeda Hitlers only killed 3 thousand Americans 14 years ago on 9/11instead of the 3 million they were aiming for. WTF. Playing Cokie rules, it’s out there.

    • bloopie2 says:

      I can’t wait for 10-15 years from now when (1) Al Qaeda has finally gotten tired of being beaten up first and (2) weaponized drone technology is so cheap and good that anyone can do it and (3) AQ has enough sympathizers (or sleepers) here that they will use them drones and start taking out the CIA folk one by one. Articles like the NYT one, naming names, will help them. There is no easy answer, of course. It’s war, straight out, not terrorism. Anyone for a cease fire?
      Marcy, thank you so much for this pointer, great post.

      • Don Bacon says:

        “I can’t wait for 10-15 years from now….”
        Why wait? Conducting a drone attack isn’t difficult.
        1. Purchase an radio-controlled aircraft.
        UAV RQ-1 Predator 4 Channel Eletric RC Airplane Kit
        List Price: USD $129.99 — Sale Price: USD $119.99 – Free Shipping:
        2. Arm it
        Pack it with explosives — it’ll be a “suicide” mission
        3. Plan your attack with bomb
        A Moroccan national was detained without bail in Connecticut after FBI agents discovered his plot to fly bombs on drone-like devices made out of radio-controlled airplanes into a school and a federal building, according to federal authorities.
        4. Or without bomb
        Telegraph: “But what if that was a terrorist that had bought several drones on the internet? They could surround the aircraft with multiple drones at 200ft after take-off and take out the engines and leave it with nowhere else to go.”

  8. wallace says:

    quote”The article names D’Andrea — the long-time head of CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, ..”unquote


    quote”As the NYT notes in explaining why it was refusing to cede to John Brennan’s demand that the paper hide these identities, others know who they are.”unquote

    Indeed they do…

    Along with a whole shitload of other CIA sadists, murderers, and kidnappers under indictment.


    Now that it’s blindingly clear, the United States government has devolved into regime that tortured hundreds of human beings at secret “black sites” around the planet, to the point of murder, performed torture experiments on human beings who have been detained for over a decade in a secret CIA dungeon in Guantanamo known as “Penny Lane”, even though they have been deemed innocent and slated for release, overthrows sovereign governments, starts wars based on lies, provides billions of dollars in cash and arms support to terrorists, rebel groups and government regimes who still behead human beings as punishment for alleged crimes, has illegally initiated a global surveillance state of such power that would astound even Orwell, who’s President presides over a star chamber group who weekly decides the fate of various human beings, including American citizens, by virtue of some vague criteria, are then placed on a “murder list”, to which they are then assassinated via Drone delivered missiles in a blast of flesh burning Hellfire, notwithstanding vaporizing hundreds if not thousands of innocent men, women and children who are deemed just “collateral damage”….I now believe this nation, whose flag I pledged allegiance to for 12 stinking years, has now become the United States of Depravity. Shame on us. Our great great grandchildren will spit on our graves.

    As for Burr and Rodgers. know already.

  9. Don Bacon says:

    CIA Weighs ‘Targeted Killing’ Missions
    Administration Believes Restraints Do Not Bar Singling Out Individual Terrorists
    By Barton Gellman
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Sunday, October 28, 2001; Page A01
    Armed with new authority from President Bush for a global campaign against al Qaeda, the Central Intelligence Agency is contemplating clandestine missions expressly aimed at killing specified individuals for the first time since the assassination scandals and consequent legal restraints of the 1970s. . .

  10. GKJames says:

    How many years have we been at this, almost 15? How often during that time has the reasonable person thought we’ve hit bottom in the depravity stakes, only to be surprised [sic] yet again. Now — as confirmation that killing’s become a Washington parlor game — we’ve got people in the legislative branch baying for blood, egging on Brennan, our perpetually hair-triggered Thug-in-Chief, and having him take out people (along with the unfortunates nearby — to our great regret, of course) on request. That he does it goes without saying; he’s been the Saudis’ hit-man in Yemen for some time now. But that members of Congress would ask, as if they were ordering a sandwich at the deli…. And the nation yawns.

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