‘Paramilitary’ CIA here to stay, despite 9/11 recommendations

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks has focused attention again on the high-profile commission set up to investigate them, but one of the blue-ribbon panel’s most significant recommendations on how to combat terrorists is virtually ignored these days — and has been forcefully rejected by two successive administrations.

The 9/11 commission’s unanimous report issued in 2004 recommended that the CIA surrender control over “paramilitary” operations, specifically including unmanned armed drones, to the Defense Department’s Joint Special Operations Command.

“Lead responsibility for directing and executing paramilitary operations, whether clandestine or covert, should shift to the Defense Department,” the commission wrote. “Whether the price is measured in either money or people, the United States cannot afford to build two separate capabilities for carrying out secret military operations, secretly operating standoff missiles and secretly training foreign military or paramilitary forces. The United States should concentrate responsibility and necessary legal authorities in one entity.”

If anything, the Obama administration has run headlong in the other direction, massively ramping up the CIA’s program while also maintaining a parallel military drone campaign.

Politico

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