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Assassination Permission Slips and Hall Passes

Yesterday, Dennis Blair gave the House Intelligence Committee an explanation of the “specially permission” that the Government grants itself before it places a US citizen on its kill list. The U.S. intelligence community policy on killing American citizens who have joined al Qaeda requires first obtaining high-level government approval, a senior official disclosed to Congress […]


Revisiting the al-Harithi/Derwish Assassination

I wanted to expand on this comment, because the discussion of whether Anwar al-Awlaki is on both the JSOC and CIA kill lists or not has focused new attention on the assassination, on November 3, 2002, of Abu Ali al-Harithi and Kamal Derwish. Greg Miller mentions the assassination in his story today. The CIA has […]


The List of US Citizens Targeted for Killing (or Capture)

This Dana Priest article is interesting for the way it fleshes out the way the US is working in Yemen (primarily), Pakistan, and Somalia. But note this line, which she kind of buries in there. As part of the operations, Obama approved a Dec. 24 strike against a compound where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, […]


Peace on Earth Air Strike in Yemen

What Siun dubbed our Fourth War continues to heat up, this time with air strikes that reportedly kill Anwar al-Awlaki, the cleric who communicated with Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan via email in the months leading up to the Fort Hood killings. Backed by U.S. intelligence, Yemeni forces struck a series of suspected al-Qaida hideouts […]


Nidal Hasan’s Dots

Mark Ambinder and I had a productive disagreement on Twitter today about what the appropriate focus of the investigation into Nidal Hasan should be. My overall point is that, at least given what we know now, our focus ought not to be on the treatment of the intercepts of Hasan’s attempts to contact radical cleric […]