By Andrew Kreig
Today’s column is a round-up of troubling news regarding government secrecy regarding the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus in November, as well as increased war-making, detention without charges or trial, and other police state powers by the Obama administration as it proceeds on its second term.
Just in is a report that the Petraeus affair was much deeper and darker than previously reported. This is part of the theme of my forthcoming book, Presidential Puppetry. Today, Bush biographer Russ Baker and co-author Douglas Lucas report in collaboration with WikiLeaks that:
1) Petraeus was suspected of having an extramarital affair with biographer Paula Broadwell, shown with the general at left, nearly two years earlier than previously known; 2) Petraeus’s affair was known to “foreign interests with a stake in a raging policy and turf battle” in which Petraeus was an active party; and 3) Those providing the “official” narrative of the affair—and an analysis of why it led to the unprecedented removal of America’s top spymaster— have been less than candid with the American people.
Additional alarms documented below on related national security, civil rights, and due process topics are provided by commentators of widely diverse politics, including supporters of the president. A White House photo shows the president at right in the Situation Room. Two weeks ago, we provided coverage of his eloquent Inauguration speech and related uplifting developments at the beginning of the president’s second term. Now comes an edition of the rest of the story.
The news items below are especially timely in advance of Thursday’s Senate confirmation hearing for John Brennan, the administration’s nominee to become CIA director. Brennan, deputy national security director and chief of counter-terrorism at the White House, is a career CIA employee for the most part. In 2008, Brennan was president of a private security company that performed government work, and he also served as national security advisor for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. On Feb. 6, the White House bowed to pressure to release its legal justification for the killings without trial. Details below n Obama will let lawmakers, see targeted-killings memo.
Under Obama, the the CIA’s traditional intelligence capabilities have been augmented with paramilitary and drone warfare activities. Brennan is reputed to lead Tuesday briefings whereby the White House chooses kill targets for drones.
Columns below include an exclusive from NBC News describing the government’s leaked analysis claiming a legal basis for such a killing program, which has included a U.S. citizen living in Yemen and regarded as a terror threat. Other columns analyze that rationale, as well as diminishing due process safeguards for terror suspects and domestic U.S. citizens accused of crime.
Among the authors are human rights advocates Ralph Nader and Naomi Wolf, each loss of traditional American freedoms.
Some of the commentaries become more compelling with the addition of biographical background about the authors. Former Reagan assistant treasury secretary and scholar Paul Craig Roberts, for example, raises the question of why guns rights advocates do not fear and protest vastly greater deprivations of their freedoms than gun laws. Chicago public defender Jeanne Bishop, whose sister and brother-in-law were murdered two decades ago by a thrill-killer in a mystery long unsolved by police pursuing mistaken leads, calls for stricter gun laws.
read the rest of the article at the Justice Integrity Project