Government Sources Say Pentagon Will Take Over Some CIA Drone Operations



According to government sources the Obama administration is planning to give the Pentagon control of some of the CIA's drone operations. Although the plan is for the Pentagon to eventually take control of drone strikes in Pakistan they will continue to be the CIA's responsibility for the time-being, which will allow the Obama administration to maintain deniability.

The Obama administration hopes that the move will make the use of drones more transparent as it will open up the program to Congressional oversight. While the Obama administration might think that the change in controls is a step towards transparency the fact is that any change in drone policy that does not include a change in how drone strikes in Pakistan are carried out signals only a small change in attitude towards transparency, especially given the secrecy that surrounds drone strikes carried out in Pakistan.

From Reuters:

President Barack Obama's administration has decided to give the Pentagon control of some drone operations against terrorism suspects overseas that are currently run by the CIA, several U.S. government sources said on Monday.

Obama has pledged more transparency on controversial counterterrorism programs, and giving the Pentagon the responsibility for part of the drone program could open it to greater congressional oversight.

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  1. You know, why not let kids take them over? Make drones flyable via game console.

    1. If my kids were given control of a hellfire equipped drone, Justin Bieber would be converted into a smoking crater by repeated strikes in much the same way as NORAD headquarters in Heinlein’s Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

      1. Drones can throw rocks from the moon? Wow, they’ve really advanced the technology.

        1. That’s it, you’re on the list!

          1. The Disposition Matrix? That list?

      2. No, no, the kids don’t select the targets. They just pilot the drones within the set parameters.

    2. ProLib, that has to be the most ham-fisted and indelicate Ender’s Game reference I have ever seen.

      Obviously you must have learned to write from Orson Scott Card.

      1. As a matter of complete disclosure, I had the thought, typed it, then thought of the book. Whether I was influenced by Card or not, I cannot say.

      2. Dammit, should have scrolled down.

    3. You know, why not let kids take them over? Make drones flyable via game console.

      Agree. Those kids will be the ones fighting the buggers* the future. They must train now.

      *no relation to british homosexuals

  2. There is one benefit of moving the stuff to the Pentagon..

    In my experience, military officers are far more likely to make decisions based on principles, especially decisions that will harm them personally. See, for example, the heroic work of military officers assigned to defend prisoners at Gitmo.

    My guess is that it’s a difference of 20% vs 1% willing to do the right thing, which may seem small, but it is significant.

  3. I think, in the new country that I will form any day now, that my constitution will have written into it a clause that prohibits my intelligence services from killing anyone with anything more powerful than an assault rifle.

    Why the fuck is the CIA running an assassination program with missiles?

      1. No I didn’t. Who is “we”, white man?

        1. I don’t see you doing anything to stop the CIA, so you’re right, it’s your fault.

          1. I blame Bush

            1. Well, yes, naturally. Episiarch and Bush.

              1. Blame me all you want. I am, after all, responsible for everything. But remember, I get your daughters at the end of it if I’m responsible for everything. Prices must be paid.

                1. Prices were paid, procedures were followed, asses were raped….mistakes were made….

                2. Not by me–I got a Groupon.

  4. OT:FROM WRONG-HOUSE RAIDS TO WRONG-CAR RAIDS: SWAT Team Rams Wrong Man’s Car.“Even after officers realized that he was not the suspect, he said, they kept him in handcuffs for half an hour while they questioned him and ran a warrant check that came up with nothing. Then they let him go.”

    1. “I had to let him go.”


    2. They turned a botched raid into a stop and frisk. What’s the big deal?

      1. Exactly. Three words: “no dogs killed”.

        So it’s all good. Lighten up, Francis!

  5. I’m sure the administration is more comfortable working with the spy agency than with the military.

    1. The IRS has drones? Fuck, that’s a bad development.

  6. Ah, brings to mind the Sesame Street song:

    Sunny day
    Dronin’ the….serfs away
    On my way to where my conscience is clear
    Can you tell me how to get,
    How to get to Dronehappy Street?

    Come and play
    Drones are, like – A-OK
    Friendly neighbors killed –
    that’s really neat!
    Can you tell me how to get
    How to get to Dronehappy Street?

  7. Obama has pledged more transparency on controversial counterterrorism programs, and giving the Pentagon the responsibility for part of the drone program could open it to greater congressional oversight.

    Obama has pledged lots of stuff – why would anybody believe him on this?

    Well, my first thought was that as long as Obama was immune from criticism from the press, he felt comfortable doing whatever the hell he wanted to do. Now that he is fair game for criticism, he knows damn well what is going to be criticized next. He’s gittin’ while the gittin’s good.

    But I agree that military weapons are better off in the hands of the military – the Pentagon, I think, would be more inclined to view launching drones as an act of war and therefore want to be much more circumspect in their use.

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