Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

JSOC Private Killing Machine of the US President

They’re known as “JSOC” — Joint Special Operations Command. They report directly to the president and, as National Journal reporter Marc Ambinder put it “operate worldwide based on the legal (or extra-legal) premises of classified presidential directive.”

“Kill/capture” has been waged by the Joint Special Operations Command, or JSOC, 3,000 operations in only the past 90 days. Essentially, it sends special forces out in the dark of night into slumbering Afghan villages to force Taliban leaders out of their hiding places and then shoot them or capture them.

There is only one major problem: It appears rather too often that the American intelligence planners are not certain that the men they are killing or capturing are really Taliban. There is, of course, a larger question: Why are we killing and capturing Taliban when this war was supposed to be about al-Qaida?

Under Gen. David Petraeus, now named to be head of the CIA, the American forces have killed or captured more than 12,000 militants in the past year, according to Frontline. Lt. Col. John Nagl, one of the officers involved in the campaign, is quoted as saying that these American troops are “getting very good at this . . . almost industrial-scale counterterrorism killing machine.”

Indeed, the examples of kill/capture are not reassuring. The show was many months in the making and did not appear to be ideologically motivated or to be anti-military. It turns out that a bus bombed to smithereens because it was filled with Taliban men was actually full of enthusiastic election workers. “They killed ordinary people,” a local teacher says.

Forgive me for asking, but why we are doing this at all? We went into Afghanistan 10 years ago because al-Qaida was there. Today, by our own military’s count, there are merely 50 to 100 members of al-Qaida in Afghanistan.

[Excerpts of an article by Georgie Anne Geyer]


One Response to “JSOC Private Killing Machine of the US President”

  1. Of JSOC, Marc Ambinder also writes in the National Journal:

    “JSOC costs the country more than $1 billion annually. The command has its critics, but it has escaped significant congressional scrutiny and has operated largely with impunity since 9/11.

    “Some of its interrogators and operators were involved in torture and rendition, and the line between its intelligence-gathering activities and the CIA’s has been blurred.”

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