The CIA, "the Christians In Action," the Klingons," or whatever nickname you prefer for them. I'm not one of them, never was, and I like to make jokes about having caught the odd DO man making a truthful statement from time to time, but the weirdness over the "ASSASINATION PROGRAM" is silly.
A few points:
– CIA thought up this plan AFTER 9/11. That means that they were not set up to kill people before that cataclysmic date. Did you follow that? Forget the movies. CIA is a civilian agency of government that spies on foreign governments using people. Spying is not killing. The law also charters them for a wide variety of covert political actions, but killing is not one of them. The same set of laws require the president of the United States to specifically authorize them to do anything like that in each instance. This is called a "finding" in the law and the law requires the notification of the intelligence oversight committees of the House and Senate BEFORE the finding is acted on.
– The CIA never got the plan past the Power Point stage. There was no "project." Bob Baer is reported to have commented that "the project" was simply nothing more than an idea that Bush approved. There was no training conducted. There was no target planning. There was "no nothing" except a nocturnal emission on the part of a few people who "dreamt the impossible dream." This concept would have required extensive support from the armed forces. Most CIA ventures into what they call the "paramilitary" field have required A LOT of military support and this one would have been no different. "The Bourne ______," this was not.
– So, it seems that Cheney ordered the CIA to abstain from properly briefing Congress on a plan that was just BS. How dumb is that? This was especially weird because at that time the Congress was pathetically eager to approve anything that might demonstrate that, they too, were brimming over with testosterone.
– Why did "the project" never happen? I suspect that it was because there was a great deal of internal resistance at CIA to the idea. "Who, us?" This would have been the reaction. "Get the military to do it…" As usual. If forced to do this, CIA would probably have "borrowed" a lot of people from General McChrystal's former empire, given them the task covered by the "finding" and then stood back as far from the killing as they could manage. There are bones abandoned on far off hilltops that could tell you how this works if only they could speak again.
There is so much nonsense being said about this that it is hard to listen. pl