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Posts Tagged ‘CIA Director Leon Panetta’

Holder: Bin Laden Made No Attempt To Surrender

TPM Muckraker

Ryan J. Reilly | May 4, 2011, 12:46PM

“There was no indication” that Osama bin Laden wanted to surrender to U.S. forces who killed him on Sunday night, Attorney General Eric Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

Holder says Osama bin Laden killing was legal and justified.

“It was justified as an act of national self-defense,” Holder said. “If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate.”

In his address on Sunday night, President Barack Obama said that bin Laden was killed “after” a firefight at his compound in Pakistan. But senior administration officials spiced up the narrative a bit. John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism advisor, said at a televised press conference that bin Laden had used his wife as a human shield. But hours later, the administration walked back that account.

Since then, the White House has said that bin Laden did not have a gun but did say he was “resisting.”

“Resistance does not require a firearm,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters yesterday.

“Let me make something very clear, the operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful,” Holder said Wednesday. “He was the head of al Qaeda, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11. He admitted his involvement.”

CIA Director Leon Panetta said in an interview Tuesday that “the authority here was to kill bin Laden.”

“Obviously under the rules of engagement, if he in fact had thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn’t appear to be representing any kind of threat then they were to capture him,” Panetta said. “But they had full authority to kill him.”

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by Jeremy Scahill, CommonDreams.org, July 18, 2009

Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to hold hearings to investigate the role of vice president Dick Cheney in allegedly ordering the CIA to conceal a secret assassination program from Congress. As I reported yesterday, there are two crucial issues at play: the nature of the U.S. assassination program and the role of former vice president Dick Cheney in concealing aspects of it from Congressional oversight. On the broader issue of U.S. government assassination, it is very unlikely that will become a central focus given that there has long been a bipartisan assassination program that continues under President Obama. Indeed, most legislators frame their opposition to this program through the lens of the concealment issue, not the assassinations.

Early moves, however, by the Obama administration indicate that it is backing Cheney and the CIA In May, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was under fire over allegations she had been briefed on U.S. torture tactics, she publicly accused the CIA of misleading her. In what many viewed as a response to Pelosi, CIA Director Leon Panetta wrote CIA staff a memo, saying, “Let me be clear: It is not our policy or practice to mislead Congress. That is against our laws and our values… My advice — indeed, my direction — to you is straightforward: ignore the noise and stay focused on your mission. We have too much work to do to be distracted from our job of protecting this country. We are an Agency of high integrity, professionalism, and dedication.”

Continued >>

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