CHESTER HAS MOVED!: More on Intel Reform

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

More on Intel Reform

[Next few posts will reference articles found in the Early Bird] An article in today's New York Times (Bush Wants Plan for Covert Pentagon Role) is filled with good news for the war on terrorism. Bush has essentially given orders to the Pentagon, CIA, and FBI that he wants clear updates from them by early next year on several key issues: Defense "President Bush has ordered an interagency group to devise a plan that could expand the Defense Department role in covert operations that have traditionally been the specialty of the Central Intelligence Agency, administration officials said Monday." CIA and FBI "The separate directives on the intelligence agency and the F.B.I. laid out an accelerated schedule for the leaders of those agencies to report to the White House on their operations, including areas the Sept. 11 panel and Senate Intelligence Committee have sharply criticized in recent reports." "For the bureau, the directive acknowledges that it has made significant changes but orders it to produce in 90 days "a comprehensive plan with performance measures including timelines for achievement of specific measurable progress in analysis, products, sources, field intelligence operations" and other activities that produce information for the president." Chester says: Transferring covert operations and paramilitary operations from the CIA to the DOD, or figuring out a way for the two agencies to work better on this is part and parcel of the ideas behind the jointness concept we discussed on Sunday. One major issue, briefly touched in the article, is the legal aspects of paramilitary forces. Whenever a military member operates with no uniform, or within other certain regulations, he is violating the Geneva Convention and the Law of Armed Conflict. This is one big stumbling block. There are probably ways around this that we are unaware of here, but it is a sample of the issues arising when you combine CIA paramilitary types and active duty US personnel. [I don't think I've yet mentioned on this blog that the Geneva Convention is completely obsolete. Doesn't mean we shouldn't follow it, but there are some serious changes needed. Many are probably being figured out domestically within our own judicial system via all of the war-related cases currently taking place. We'll touch on the Geneva Convention more in a future post.]


Blogger TZ said...

I happen to be at USNA (the Naval Acdemy) and in my Military Law class, we were told legal combatants can be two types, those in uniform and those who carry their arms openly and have some sort of identifying mark to sort them out from the civilian population. This enables us to legally have SF runnning around Afghanistan in less than uniform apparel. However, this blurs that line between legitimate combatants and non legitimate ones. However, most of the Iraqi insurgency does not meet his criteria either as they violate almost all the other rules of the Geneva convention like fighting from Mosques, Hospitals, and targeting non-combatants deliberately, rendering them not privy to the rule of the Geneva Convention, although we oblige them that status. What I really find entertaining though is all this bally hoo certain individuals raise about "International Law" and "breaking the Geneva Convention" when A) International law for the most part does not exist- it is merely agreements between countries, and B) if we truly followed the Geneva Convention down to the last word we could legitimately execute these terrorists on the spot. Lucky them. Also, if International Law exists, where is the court that tries it? What body makes up the laws? (I'll give you a hint: the UN is not it.... it makes resolutions, not law) So most of these "international law" arguments people make saying "it violates International Law!" are totally spurious.

November 23, 2004 at 6:53 PM  

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