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CIA To Hand Over Drone Program To Pentagon?

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the you-take-it dept.

Government 142

An anonymous reader writes "According to a report at The Daily Beast, the Obama administration has decided to give the drone program to the Pentagon, taking it away from the CIA. This could lead to increased transparency for the program and stricter requirements for drone strikes. From the article: 'Officials anticipate a phased-in transition in which the CIA’s drone operations would be gradually shifted over to the military, a process that could take as little as a year. Others say it might take longer but would occur during President Obama’s second term. “You can’t just flip a switch, but it’s on a reasonably fast track,” says one U.S. official. During that time, CIA and DOD operators would begin to work more closely together to ensure a smooth hand-off. The CIA would remain involved in lethal targeting, at least on the intelligence side, but would not actually control the unmanned aerial vehicles. Officials told The Daily Beast that a potential downside of the agency’s relinquishing control of the program was the loss of a decade of expertise that the CIA has developed since it has been prosecuting its war in Pakistan and beyond. At least for a period of transition, CIA operators would likely work alongside their military counterparts to target suspected terrorists.'"

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Toys for the boys (4, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230115)

Sorry you lost control of your toy, CIA.
You are permitted to read, but not to erase.

Re:Toys for the boys (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230567)

It could be worse, if the Pentagon were to give it to the TSA...

Re:Toys for the boys (2, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230675)

It could be worse, if the Pentagon were to give it to the TSA...

Given all the pre-flight checks that the TSA would no doubt do, that might be a good thing. The things would never get off the ground...

Re:Toys for the boys (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231887)

i would love to be the remote pilot in control of a UAV with a TSA officer's hand up the tailpipe

"whoops was that me that just accidentally started the engine?"

Re:Toys for the boys (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231311)

They'll have to go back to using their fleet of black helicopters.

Transparancy? Or dodging? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230161)

It could be more transparency, or it could be the administration trying to confuse things (as they have done with other hot issues) by changing the owner and trying to either divest responsibility or knowledge. "I don't knwo what's going on in that program - we don't do that here" or "We transferred all records when we transferred the program. What do you mean they were lost?"

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (3, Interesting)

Livius (318358) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230529)

During the transition period, the Pentagon will murder whoever the CIA asks them to, and vice versa, and it will be impossible to pin blame on either of them.

After the transition, the CIA will probably keep using drones the same way as before, just keeping it slightly more secret, and pulling out different legal nonsense when they get caught.

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230573)

During the transition period, the Pentagon will murder whoever the CIA asks them to, and vice versa, and it will be impossible to pin blame on either of them.

After the transition, the CIA will probably keep using drones the same way as before, just keeping it slightly more secret, and pulling out different legal nonsense when they get caught.

It's not like the director of the CIA is ever going to end up in a federal prison for the rest of his life for murder, getting pounded in the asshole by Bubba his cell-mate. Not even if he personally authorizes their hits and admits it.

Until that changes, expect more unaccountable bullshit from unaccountable agencies. Far as I can tell, we could eliminate the CIA and DHS entirely and no regular citizen would even notice anything except the slightly lower federal taxes.

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233613)

During the transition period, the Pentagon will murder whoever the CIA asks them to, and vice versa, and it will be impossible to pin blame on either of them.

After the transition, the CIA will probably keep using drones the same way as before, just keeping it slightly more secret, and pulling out different legal nonsense when they get caught.

Exactly.

Go and look up how they organised the Osama Bin Laden kill / capture mission for an excellent example. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Osama_bin_Laden) They had to assign the troops going in to be under the control of the CIA as the US is not currently "at war" with Pakistan. They will just do something similar with the drone pilot any time the CIA need a drone to kill someone.

Pentagon assets are assigned to the CIA or other agencies all the time so they can take skilled operators with experience of similar situations but use them as a one off somewhere (or against someone) the US military is not allowed to.

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (1)

jc42 (318812) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233679)

During the transition period, the Pentagon will murder whoever the CIA asks them to, and vice versa, and it will be impossible to pin blame on either of them.

There have been explanations for a while (including from various professional comedians ;-) that the real issue in this story is that the DoD is rather upset that for the past few years the CIA has had a higher kill count than the military. Since the military considers killing people with impunity to be their job classification, it's understandable that they might be a bit upset by this young upstart outperforming them.

Of course, if the result is that they both claim credit for all kills, it won't fix the problem at all.

Isn't bureaucratic competitiveness wonderful?

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231257)

Seriously, for a president who ran on the idea of being the most transparent president in history.... well lets just say that it was opposite day when he made that statement.

Re:Transparancy? Or dodging? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233933)

The Nobel Peace Prize medal must have faded out of existence due to all this transparency by now.

Transparency (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230187)

This could lead to increased transparency for the program and stricter requirements for drone strikes.

HAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaa ha. Funny. This is the same administration that was mercilessly mocked by Jon Stewart [thedailyshow.com] for it's total and abject lack of transparency, to the point of trying to use a "jedi mind meld trick" on the assembled reporters regarding the mere existance of the requirements... which were basically "We'll do whatever we want, whenever we want, however we want, to whomever we want."

Re:Transparency (4, Informative)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230395)

Worse than Nixon according to the attorney who worked for the NY Times during the Nixon administration and was involved in the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/19/goodale-obama-press-freedoms-secrecy-nixon [guardian.co.uk]

Obama = Another Nobel Prize (1, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230959)

Obama should get another Nobel Peace Prize for this...he's clipping the wings of the military-industrial complex.

Absolutely any notion that this **adds** secrecy is insane. This is what Kennedy tried to do and it cost him his life.

This is taking our country back and adding accountability to something that previously had none (especially under Bush, who started using Hellfire missiles on drones, btw).

And WTF about is this above ^^ about Nixon? Obama *stopped* two wars...Nixon intervened at the end of LBJ's term to keep a peace agreement (that would've ended Vientnam) from happening before the election: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21768668 [bbc.co.uk]

Read up chumps...

Re:Obama = Another Nobel Prize (4, Interesting)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231097)

OMFG. "Obama Stopped Two Wars"

You have to be fucking joking or retarded.

Iraq: Iraq ended because the Iraqi government refused to extend the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which was set to expire in December 2011 (date ring a bell?). Obama tried in the time period before SOFA expired to get the Iraqis to extend it. That was politically impossible for the Iraqi government partly as a result of war crimes confirmed by the information Bradley Manning released through Wikileaks. That's who you should thank for ending Iraq because if Obama had had his way, we'd still be there. But when Democrats get a hold of the FACT that what Obama did was fail to extend the war, they say "Iraq over: Check!" As if Obama is some peacenik. By that same logic, you should be lauding as a hero any person who intends to shoot a bunch of people on campus, but gets arrested before he can go on a rampage. Obviously, the guy is a humanitarian -- look at how many people he saved by failing to do what he wanted to. THAT is exactly the logic used to commend Obama on the end of the Iraq war.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/obama-iraq_n_1032507.html [huffingtonpost.com]
http://www.salon.com/2011/10/23/wikileaks_cables_and_the_iraq_war/singleton/ [salon.com]

As for the second war -- which was that? Afghanistan is still going (and remember, Obama tripled the troops there, GWB's max was about 35k, we're still at around 65K troops, so still almost double) and Libya is spilling over into Mali. Of course Libya is a thing in itself -- even GWB had congressional approval for the Iraq debacle, but Libya was prosecuted without that token congressional acknowledgment required by the War Powers Act (a law designed in the post Viet Nam error to prevent future Viet Nams) because our constitution says that wars are not declared by the president, but by congress. So next time we have a Dick Cheney type in the office and he decides he's going to war with anyone and everyone, Congress be damned, remember to send Obama a "thank you" note.

And how is that even after Iraq ended, Obama can't figure out how to spend less on the offense budget than GWB did in his worst (i.e., highest spending) year?

offense spending (Trillions)
2007: 0.7T
2008: 0.7T
2009: 0.8T
2010: 0.8T
2011: 0.9T
2012: 0.9T
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/breakdown_2012USrt_13rs5n [usgovernmentspending.com]

Obama is up 200 billion over GWB in military spending and he cries big sad tears about the sequester which is what, 80B? Even if the entire sequester came out of the military budget, we'd still be paying 120B more than we were when the Iraq war that Obama failed to extend, was hot.

Wise up and quit being an apologist for the worst president ever -- which is an amazing feat considering the depths GWB plumbed.

no one but Obama could have (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231653)

You know that stopping a war is not stopping a car, right?

If Obama had not taken action then we would not be leaving now, that's for sure. Are you really saying Romney and the GOP would have done the same???

You didn't disprove my contention at all. Obama, as commander and chief, ordered the ending of our operations in Iraq/Afghanistan.

No one but him could do it.

Re:no one but Obama could have (0)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231669)

Jesus Christ you Obama lovers are so far up his ass it's ridiculous.

HE DID NOT TRY TO END IRAQ -- HE TRIED TO EXTEND IT AND FAILED.

What the fuck is hard to understand about that. He wasn't trying to stop the car, he was trying to gas it up.

Fuck. You're a shill or a retard.

evidence (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232171)

Look...you want to say something like this:

HE DID NOT TRY TO END IRAQ -- HE TRIED TO EXTEND IT AND FAILED

you need to present a serious number of links and some logic.

On the face of it you're making flamebait claims. Start making sense or don't expect a response. Please include links in your response.

I'm a 'shill' for a non-biased, honest look at what Obama has done and what this 'drone' thing means in that context....can you participate in such a discussion?

Re:evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43232313)

"I'm a 'shill' for a non-biased, honest look"

"No one but him could do it."

Bwahahhaahahahaa.

Slashdot Socialist, smoke another doobie bra and sock it to the man!

Re:no one but Obama could have (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231899)

Ron Paul would have pulled the troops out immediately after taking office

Ron Paul (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232183)

Absolutely impossible. Please explain how he could have done it faster than what was done under Obama.

In your response, explain how those who opposed Obama's efforts would have supported Ron Paul's **earlier** (your words "immediately after taking office") removal timeline. See, they opposed Obama, so they'd logically oppose your Ron Paul earlier plan.

Just start with this, and if you make a logical, contestable, coherent argument then I'll give you a bigger list of things for you to explain like the one above.

You're way off, and you're trolling....and "Ron Paul" is just a sigil for people who agree with Democrat policies but won't vote or express their agreement for whatever reason (racism, subborness, trolling with their vote)

Re:Ron Paul (1)

sargon666777 (555498) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232917)

I don't see how this would have been hard.. he could have simply done as he said.. you put them on ships and planes and they come home. Whatever happens in the country *shouldn't* have been our concern in the first place. Some might argue that they wouldn't be as free, but try going there and seeing just how "free" we have made them. Honestly if we did as he suggested and stopped constantly sticking our noses into everyone's country then maybe.. just maybe... we wouldn't be in such a declining state.. I'm sure some will argue that we aren't declining as a nation, or that this approach wouldn't change anything, but if I can be so bold as to point out.. We really haven't tried just minding our own business.... Even though Ron Paul does not identify as a libertarian his views are strikingly similar to that of libertarianism.. and libertarianism is VERY far from Democrat policies.. as one simple example look at gay marriage.. A democrat would most likely say "legalize gay marriage", and a republican might say "protect the sanctity of marriage", but a libertarian would say "what has government got to do with marriage? It should not be a government institution"...

Re:Obama = Another Nobel Prize (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233671)

Iraq ended because the Iraqi government refused to extend the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which was set to expire in December 2011 (date ring a bell?). Obama tried in the time period before SOFA expired to get the Iraqis to extend it.

He obviously didn't try very hard since it didn't get extended. I doubt Bradley Manning was a factor here. They could have reduced and modified the US military presence in a variety of ways. They could have offered a bunch of foreign aid and other incentives. I think it more likely that Obama wanted to get out and bribed the Iraqis to provide him political cover.

And how is that even after Iraq ended, Obama can't figure out how to spend less on the offense budget than GWB did in his worst (i.e., highest spending) year?

Well, his administration is claiming the spending [defense.gov] is going down. I don't know how to reconcile your numbers with those numbers since I don't know what's not included in the Obama administration figures and whether the numbers you quote (for FY 2011 and 2012) are real or estimates made at some point in the past.

Re:Obama = Another Nobel Prize (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233965)

Well, the administration also claim that unemployment is going down.... http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Don't believe everything at face value.

Re:Obama = Another Nobel Prize (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231345)

Obama *stopped* two wars
 
But they are still going on!? Oh wait, did he stop them the same way Bush stopped the war in Iraq in 2003 with his Mission Accomplished speech?

  under Bush, who started using Hellfire missiles on drones
 
If you think the technology of launching missiles from drones was Bush's invention, you are probably giving him too much credit. Btw, drone operations have been a decent success, scoring over 50 high level terrorist leaders so far and over 2500 militants overall with minimum risk to US troops. This is probably why Obama expanded their use dramatically, launching over 6 times as many strikes as Bush.

what's your point? (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231661)

Are you saying that Obama, as commander and chief, did *not* set the war plans and timelines that ends these wars?

Stopping a war is not like stopping a car. It takes months if not years...especially when you've been fighting for a Decade.

You didn't offer any counterpoints....if you want to have direct clash on a topic, make a point.

Re:what's your point? (0)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231917)

Are you saying that Obama, as commander and chief, did *not* set the war plans and timelines that ends these wars?

hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahahaha!!!!!!

but seriously, go back to your beloved CNN

Re:what's your point? (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232121)

Are you saying that Obama, as commander and chief, did *not* set the war plans and timelines that ends these wars?

Since we pulled out of Iraq the day that Bush's plan had us leave Iraq.... no, Obama did not set to war plans and timelines to end this war.

Was there another war that you were thinking of that ended? You seem to think that we've left two (or more) wars... but we have only left one war...

I've got to agree with the other people that responded to you. You're an ignorant tribal idiot sucking on (apparently) Democrat cock.

facts and links (0)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232157)

Ok 'Rockoon' I'm going to have to see links for these:

we pulled out of Iraq the day that Bush's plan had us leave Iraq

but we have only left one war...

I want links to support these claims because they are prima facia false.

So, Iraq...Afghanistan (the 'other' war that you were baiting me to bring up so you can say "derp we're still in Afghanistan! my cousin was just there...)..."war"...."our troops"...

If you are worth talking to, you understand the context of my comment and what I meant by "ending" a war. If you are trolling, well you'll keep fsking with me on definitions of terms until comments for this thread are disabled.

Obama gets credit for ending Iraq and Afghanistan (as planned). As commander in chief that's his call...I don't care how many "plans" his predecessors had...when he took over it was all up for grabs, and you know this. The endings of these wars are absolutely not on 'Bush's timeline'...I really can't believe you said 'same day as Bush's plan' for the end of the Iraq war...

So let me see those links!

Re:Transparency (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231435)

Probably almost every US President since has been worse than Nixon in some way. Ford most definitely was and sold out to Indonesia in exchange for a donation. Reagan pardoned the guy that sold US made weapons to Hezbolla only a year after they had killed over a hundred US Marines. What the CIA etc got up to while Clinton was in charge makes you wonder why people that wanted to being him down couldn't do any better than point out an odd place a Cuban cigar ended up. As for the Bushes, they'd better hope there is no such place as hell.

Re:Transparency (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231925)

yeah Nixon was great... he floated the US dollar... genius

Re:Transparency (1)

denvergeek (1184943) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233263)

I don't think he is arguing that Nixon was in any way great. But I think it's true that the executive branch has become more secretive over time, and every presidency has tried to amass more power than the previous administration. Freaks me out to think of what the white house will look like 8 years from now, no matter which party is in office.

Re:Transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230721)

Since when have secret operations by the CIA been transparent? This whole outrage about the drone program would be nothing but silly if not for the fact that the effects of American drone usage has been too excessive to qualify it as a secret operation. Moreover, the outrage is aimed at the tool being used, not at the agency handling it to do what it always has been doing with the mindset you describe and probably loathe. So giving the drones to the military is absolutely the right thing to do, albeit rather late, and will indeed increase average transparancy and accountability.

I don't see how you can mock this administration when none before has been transparent about ongoing CIA operations. Instead I would like all Americans to direct their moral outrage towards the general existence and behaviour of the CIA. Unfortunately the average male American attitude towards non-Americans is similar to that of the CIA, so I'll not live to see that agency being abolished.

So... (0, Flamebait)

hairyfish (1653411) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230189)

Does this mean the President can still murder his own citizens whenever he feels like it? I still can't work out how this is acceptable to anyone in the western world?

Re:So... (2, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230297)

It's acceptable because it's not Bush who's doing it.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230345)

When has he done it? Under what conditions have they said they would?

No offense, but I was always under the impression if I made myself a military target(say getting a lot of explosives with intent to use them) anything up to and including the military would respond. I don't see how anything has changed, other than now it's drones that might kill you rather than an F-22.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230669)

When has he done it? Under what conditions have they said they would?

No offense, but I was always under the impression if I made myself a military target(say getting a lot of explosives with intent to use them) anything up to and including the military would respond. I don't see how anything has changed, other than now it's drones that might kill you rather than an F-22.

Uh, speaking of who dun it and when, at least try not to use the example of an advanced stealth fighter attack over US soil. The same track record cannot be said for drones.

And to an extent I agree with you, the military could take out anyone at any time, and chances are wouldn't leave enough evidence behind to find blame. But we're not talking about black ops here, we're talking about your ordinary average attack on civilians, where we should still be afforded due process.

Re:So... (2)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230367)

Well, then, we need to get all those drone strikes completed before 2016.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231927)

Obama has one up on Bush because you can't really tell if his skin is corrupted by oil or if it's just caused by his lack of personal hygiene.

Re:So... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230315)

Yup - the President is still commander in chief of the armed forces. This changes nothing but makes a great PR story for slashdot to pass on...

See? He's no longer in control of the drone strikes because it's under the control of the Pentagon now...

The first question anyone should ask is... if the CIA has been running its own defacto military force with its own strikes that means the CIA has been running its own war... WTF have they been doing that we don't know about?!

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230633)

Yup - the President is still commander in chief of the armed forces. This changes nothing but makes a great PR story for slashdot to pass on...

Heh if you really believe that what we do with the military is a decision that actually ORIGINATES with the President and only happens with the President's personal agreement and approval ... well, in that case you have a lot to learn about how American power actually works. We've been Fascist for quite a while now. Even when Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, even then it was a bit too late. Too much inertia is behind it.

It's like what Douglas Adams said. The President exists not to wield power, but to distract attention away from it. The illusion of choice is very important to the power elites and their idea of maintaining order. The truth is, a two-party system is the perfect way to control things while making it look like you could actually vote for change. The trick is, "change" is code for "becoming more so". Truth is, no candidate who sincerely wanted to change things would ever get the sponsorship and political support it takes (from the real power behind the throne) to win an election.

Re:So... (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231935)

it's all the queen of england.... that raggedy wrinkly shit stinking pussy of hers is still controlling the world after all these years

Re:So... (2)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230355)

Does this mean the President can still murder his own citizens whenever he feels like it?

No.

I still can't work out how this is acceptable to anyone in the western world?

I don't know that it is.

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230451)

you are wrong. the white house has repeatedly asserted its right to kill U.S. citizens without due process, in violation of the constitution.

Re:So... (3, Interesting)

Livius (318358) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230501)

Does this mean the President can still murder his own citizens whenever he feels like it?

Well, not legally, obviously, but if he can do it secretly, the law will count for as much as a politician's promise.

Re:So... (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231117)

And if he is ever called to task for it, congress will just retroactively immunize him, or the president will pull a Ford and pardon him.

Re:So... (1)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232063)

And if he is ever called to task for it, congress will just retroactively immunize him, or the president will pull a Ford and pardon him.

So... FUD.

Re:So... (2)

kwerle (39371) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232059)

And if martians give him a super shrink ray then he can just zap anyone he wants and feed them to goldfish.

Re: So... (1)

s.petry (762400) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230909)

It is acceptable because the average citizen is ignorant to the ... Well, so much that it is frightening. There is no media coverage, at least in main stream media( aka propaganda on TV) for any important issues. It is a small percentage of the populace that looks for real news and information.

lethal force or pacifist (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230975)

President can still murder his own citizens

Either your are a pacifist or not. If you are a true pacifist, then you should stipulate that b/c it changes your argument.

If you are **not** a full pacifist, then it is simply a question of **when to use** lethal force.

Any discussion of drone weapons must be in the context of using a manned plane for the same "kill mission"....otherwise it is a completely pointless argument over a distinction (Drone kills!) without a difference (still killing no matter what device).

Can you address this?

Re:lethal force or pacifist (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231717)

Using bombs and missiles on one's own citizens, on native soil short of those citizens using weapons with equal or greater chance of collateral damage is inappropriate. It's pretty simple.. if the bad guy isn't launching missiles or dropping bombs from planes... you using them is overkill. I think that for the most part the same is true in terms of foreign targets, though in many of those cases, I'm not convinced it's appropriate to go into a foreign nation we don't have an active war front in/with.

Step in the right direction. (5, Insightful)

Celeritas 5k (1587217) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230269)

It may just be switching a program from one hand to another, from my viewpoint in the regular military I think it's a step in the right direction. A huge chunk of my coworkers are the "freedom loving gun nut" types-- and regardless of your opinion of the "God Bless 'murrica" crowd, if the order ever comes down to kill Americans, they'll be the first ones to refuse that order. Same goes for forcibly taking guns away, or any other egregious violations of basic human rights.

Re:Step in the right direction. (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230449)

We can only hope that military are, in fact, less flexible on the matter than cops have proven to be...

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231335)

Police are the only ones trained to view the general public as an [i]adversary[/i].

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231445)

Interestingly enough, Comissioned Officers in the US Army swear allegiance to the Consitution rather than the government itself. Of course they normally have to swear the Oath of Enlistment before they get to that point, which includes following the orders of higher-ranking Officers and the President. Still, it's something to consider.

Source: http://www.history.army.mil/html/faq/oaths.html

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231931)

Funny, in an awfull kind of way. I'm no expert on US constitution, but I do remember there being something about "being innocent until proven guilty". Now the same generals that swear oaths to the constitution will be launching murder drones on SUSPECTED terrorists? And don't start talking crap about being at war. You are not at war. If some country declares war on terrorists and starts murdering suspected terrorists in US suburbs you will get really mad about it.

Re:Step in the right direction. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230707)

It may just be switching a program from one hand to another, from my viewpoint in the regular military I think it's a step in the right direction. A huge chunk of my coworkers are the "freedom loving gun nut" types-- and regardless of your opinion of the "God Bless 'murrica" crowd, if the order ever comes down to kill Americans, they'll be the first ones to refuse that order. Same goes for forcibly taking guns away, or any other egregious violations of basic human rights.

Ah, your "freedom loving gun nut" types would be the first to be eliminated, thus would be a non-issue to contend with.

And it really kills me to think that people assume anything other than that. Put yourself in their position and tell me how or why you would use any other tactic to mitigate the largest threats so you can best control the masses.

Re:Step in the right direction. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230881)

Says the nutless pussy who is just waiting to bend over and take his overlord's spunk load up his cowardly shit tube.

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43232339)

"any other tactic to mitigate the largest threats"

Now you see the true reason for the "assault weapons" ban.

Molon labe

Re:Step in the right direction. (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230929)

Your comment sounds nice but it flies in the face of every human behaviour experiment ever done. If an unaccountable govt wants to kill people, it will do it regardless of what you and I think about it. We know how it works now, you simply label anyone who disagrees unpatriotic and let the mob take care of any resistance. It's how it worked in WW2, it's how it worked in Iraq, and it's how it will work next time around.

Leap in the right direction. (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230987)

It's more than a "step"...

Obama is quietly doing to the CIA what Kennedy tried to do (and cost him his life)...

Obama is clipping the military/industrial complex's wings. All the 'black helicopter' set is completely missing this...

Re:Leap in the right direction. (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231587)

All that is happening is the CIA's out of control for profit private contractor behaviour with billions disappearing is slowly clamped down and operations handed over to the Pentagon so the US government can pretend what happened under the CIA never happened. The Pentagon will now generate tons upon tons of evidence, approvals, validations, forms at al to bury anything that might leak out. Private contractors under the CIA proved to be a horrendous debacle basically the establishment of an intelligence operation whose only true function was the justification of the intelligence program and spending billions of dollars so that the bulk of it could be creamed off by corrupt contractors, government administrators and politicians.

Re:Leap in the right direction. (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231689)

All that is happening is...

What's your point? Are you saying "meh, no big deal, I agree, but all Obama is really doing is just this minor stuff"?

Because that's not true. You are correct that Obama has cleaned up the private contractor debacle, but that is not the only thing he has done.

You agree with me that yes, Obama is dealing a significant blow to the military/industrial complex by ending their CIA sponsored 'drone wars'....then you minimize it and then tell me *another* thing Obama is doing to make reform...

What's your point?

Re:Step in the right direction. (1)

Falconhell (1289630) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231231)

The idiotic concept of gun ownership being a human right is fortunately confined to violence crazed americans. I am so grateful I live in a country where guns are never seen in public or needed. Your freedom loving gun nuts are just overcompensating for their ahem "inadequacies" .

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231283)

enjoy your higher crime rate!

Re:Step in the right direction. (2)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231451)

Yes, we enjoy the fact that the crime rate is a lot lower than in Washington DC.

Re:Step in the right direction. (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233785)

funny you pick DC, where there is a HANDGUN BAN. Why not pick a location with open carry and compare it to that location???

Re:Step in the right direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233593)

And what country would that be?

Re:Step in the right direction. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43232089)

Sorry to break it to you, but "the order [...] to kill Americans" has already come down. What do you think the controversy about Awlaki (both of them) was anyway?

In related news ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230283)

... the CIA pouts and threatens to hold its breath until the administration buys it an even bigger, shinier drone program.

Re:In related news ... (3, Interesting)

White Flame (1074973) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230303)

I suspect when all is said and done that the CIA will still have surveillance drones, and just the armed drones will go to the military (where they really should be anyway).

At least, that'll be the public line...

Re:In related news ... (2)

russotto (537200) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230467)

Don't be silly. The CIA already has a better drone program, they're just dumping their old crap on the military.

Brilliant, Holmes, brilliant! (3, Insightful)

Un pobre guey (593801) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230311)

This could lead to increased transparency for the program and stricter requirements for drone strikes.

  1. We're supposed to believe that the agency chartered for secret activities will give up its secret drone program and not continue subsequent drone attacks in secret.
  2. DoD, home of DIA, will for some reason not keep the formerly secret CIA drone program secret within the DIA. They will be transparent about it.
  3. It came out in The Daily Beast, so it must be true. These highly secretive organizations are now being open, honest, and accoutable to the general public.

really? (1, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230359)

> "You can’t just flip a switch"

Sure you can. See that power switch on the console? Flip it to "off". Good. Now, don't flip it to "on" until transition is complete. If we're talking about live assets, especially deployed, I could agree, in many cases you can't just flip a switch. But they're machines. They can be switched off.

It makes some sense. (2)

tsotha (720379) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230431)

If you're going to prosecute the "war on terror" as an actual war, from an organization standpoint this makes sense. However, the whole reason the CIA was given the program to start with was they were supposed to have human intelligence on the ground to identify targets. I'm curious to know if the CIA wasn't very effective in that area, the CIA will still be providing HUMINT, or the military will be expected to do so.

Re:It makes some sense. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231491)

I'm curious to know if the CIA wasn't very effective in that area

There has certainly been a lot of rumours about utter fuckups with CIA people playing at being toy soldiers, and more publicly visible fuckups like the day they let Bin Laden get away by hiring locals that leaked the plan. There's autobiographies of ex-CIA agents with things like nineteen year old rookies with a week or two of military style training on top of college getting air dropped alone to organise military operations instead of sending in a green beret. When the Brits did that sort of thing in WWII France they gave people a lot more training and did far more careful selection even though they were far more shorthanded.

A war in Pakistan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230461)

Boy, I must have fallen behind the times. When did Pakistan become part of the arena for this war? I remember Iraq, I remember Afghanistan, there was a strike in Pakistan when they found Bin Laden living there. Did that end up including Pakistan as part of the arena and how far beyond Iraq, Afghanistan and, now, Pakistan does this military action go?

Drone handover (1)

cdm3 (1728338) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230559)

I think that this handover is designed to allow for the operation of these drones in American skies in a "more legal" manner. It is well known that the CIA is not SUPPOSED to operate domestically. But since 9/11 the US military has increasingly ignored Posse Comitatus. With this handover the federal government will have a quasi legal means of commiting drone strikes domestically. It will happen. I promise you that it's coming. But before that thee drones will be used for more illegal domestic surveillance.

unresolved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230561)

Not clear where the drones from HR will go...I kid, I kid.

What they mean. (3, Insightful)

gallondr00nk (868673) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230637)

Is that instead of one there will now be two agencies doing drone missions. The Pentagon will take over, but the CIA will still do it in secret.

CAPTCHA: Truthful

Re:What they mean. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231013)

The CIA, do things in secret? What kind of agency do you think they are?!

Re:What they mean. (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233611)

Really it isn't like they are the NS.. um I mean No Such Agency... nope don't exist..... please point that in another direction.

Re:What they mean. (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232715)

There already are two agencies doing drone missions.

What this means (if it's true) is that the US will be fielding fewer unlawful combattants.

War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43230857)

expertise that the CIA has developed since it has been prosecuting its war in Pakistan and beyond.

So nobody should be concerned if Pakistan flies a drone over the USA shooting up Americans that are on their 'naughty list'??

CIA operators would likely work alongside their military counterparts to target suspected terrorists

"target suspected terrorists"?
 
I don't like the look of that guy. Must be a terrorist. Open fire.

drone schmone (3, Insightful)

alienzed (732782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43230991)

What does it matter if it's a drone? What's the difference between a drone and a regular fighter jet? Or missiles launched from ships? You're all acting like there's some new element in all this, but there isn't, it's still the American armed forces taking out targets. This has been going on for a very very long time...

Re:drone schmone (1)

Ly4 (2353328) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231879)

It used to be that cost and resources would severely constrain the number of 'targeted killings'.

Those constraints made for a type of check and balance; only targets that reached a very high threshold were attacked. Now that it's much cheaper and easier to launch an attack, that threshold is much lower.

In short, as is true of many systems, a change *is* quantity is a change in quality.

Re:drone schmone (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232723)

Since when were the CIA "the American armed forces"?

Re:drone schmone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43232829)

What does it matter if it's a drone? What's the difference between a drone and a regular fighter jet? Or missiles launched from ships?

That's supposed to be the point of this transfer. The CIA doesn't have fighter jets or missile-launching ships, because those are instruments of war and the CIA does not prosecute war. When the drones were surveillance devices, armed primarily with cameras and radar, they were reasonable tools for the CIA. When they started carrying Hellfires, they crossed the line from spyplane to warplane, and it's about time they got transferred to the proper authority. This is a symbolic admission that armed drones are exactly as war-like as armed fighter jets.

Re:drone schmone (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233051)

You are absolutely correct, its not different. Except, that it IS treated as if its different by the administration.

Nobody is really complaining about the use of drones in the battlefield. Thats not the issue at all. The CIA drone strikes are happening in places like Yemen and Pakistan. Since when do US missles launched from ships, or fighter jets get aimed at yemen or pakistan? Why should drones suddenly be treated differently?

Differently in that they are in the CIA hands, differently in that they have been used in a far broader way that other, similar capabilities.

It doesn't matter as much how you prosecute a war in theater as it does how you decide when and where a theater of war exists, because it is nothing less than the ability to decide when the rule of law applies and when its suspended.

definition of a terrorist (1)

Dareth (47614) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233633)

You are a terrorist if you do not have a plane to drop your bombs.

Having bomb/rockets on planes without pilots like the drones is pushing the line back to terrorist level, ie flying reusable bomb.

Re:drone schmone (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233701)

What does it matter if it's a drone?

Well, for one thing, what's the control over who does something with the drone? At least with a manned plane, in order to control the operation of the plane you need to get a pilot on the plane, and that is going to be hard since the air field is a controlled area. But with a drone all you have to do is subvert either the communication or the software and then you control the drone. No need to hop into the plane physically.

Expertise (1)

detritus. (46421) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231089)

Officials told The Daily Beast that a potential downside of the agency’s relinquishing control of the program was the loss of a decade of expertise that the CIA has developed since it has been prosecuting its war in Pakistan and beyond.

Yeah, they've been doing a real bang-up job so far.

What they Really mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231105)

The Cia cannot operate domestically If they want to use Drones domesticity they have to be in control of a different agency i.e the Pentagon

Location of drone command centre (1)

aedil (68993) | about a year and a half ago | (#43231203)

And now it is also known where the drones will be controlled from, although I am not convinced that there is only a single command centre. That would be rather stupid... Anyway, so, one of the control centres will be located in Horsham, PA near Philadelphia on part of the grounds of the format naval air base, according to the following article: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130320_Horsham_command_center_for_drones_stirs_controversy.html [philly.com]

Real Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43231897)

Open Letter to US Citizens

Please stop killing innocent people with drones. That only creates misery and terrorists.

CIA operators would likely work alongside their military counterparts to target suspected terrorists.

Right at the end, the words "suspected terrorists". If you can't see what's wrong with that you should get your ass hauled to federal prison for being suspected guilty of stupidity. I don't actually hope death for anyone, but because US keeps slaugtering people all over the world I won't be crying too much when the next widows plane meets the next american highrise. You will get what you are ordering.

Re:Real Nice (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43233899)

What makes you think that US citizens are in control of this government?

The federal government has declared that even US citizens can be labeled "suspected terrorists" by government bureaucrats and arbitrarily murdered or imprisoned. They are blatantly ignoring The Constitution. Furthermore, they are claiming that for "national security" reasons, their un-Constitutional policies are immune from the judicial review which was formerly an integral part of our system of checks and balances.

Please direct the blame where it belongs and don't equate the US people with the US government.

So what (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43232873)

As long as their continues to be an Imperial Presidency with self-granted extra-judicial murder powers, it doesn't matter in which Palace stable these thouroughbreds are kept.

Hope they don't read... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43233793)

This. [slashdot.org]

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