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Why bother spying: another advantage ceded to our enemies?

Actionable military intelligence is next to impossible to obtain without concerted costly overt and covert operations. And the names of those captured on the battlefield may provide a significant advantage to an enemy force as it allows them to alter their plans and operations to mitigate the damage caused by and potential information provided to the enemy force during interrogation. 

So, why I might ask, are we voluntarily cooperating with the International Red Cross when it is believed that such an organization is leakier that a old rowboat?

I am limiting my comments to “high value” detainees who were complicit in the planning and execution of significant military operations against our nation … not the common enemy combatant/soldier picked up on the field of battle.

According to the New York Times …

“U.S. Shifts, Giving Names of Detainees to the Red Cross”

“In a reversal of Pentagon policy, the military for the first time is notifying the International Committee of the Red Cross of the identities of militants who were being held in secret at a camp in Iraq and another in Afghanistan run by United States Special Operations forces, according to three military officials.”

Does this not place the detention facility at a greater risk of attack to silence or retrieve a high-value target?

“The change begins to lift the veil from the American government’s most secretive remaining overseas prisons by allowing the Red Cross to track the custody of dozens of the most dangerous suspected terrorists and foreign fighters plucked off the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“It is a major advance for the organization in its long fight to gain more information about these detainees. The military had previously insisted that disclosing any details about detainees at the secretive camps could tip off other militants and jeopardize counterterrorism missions.”

I wondered what changed? And I highly doubted it was the military or the intelligence agencies who foresee the additional risks associated with disclosure of any information related to their operations.

Making us “wrong” in the eyes of the world …

How effin stupid do you have to be to concede a major propaganda coup to our enemies, both foreign and domestic? Couching this negative information in the form of “enlightened self-disclosure?” Or perhaps it goes far beyond stupidity … and into the realm of the far-left activists continuing to aid and abet their far-left cohorts in other lands?

Detention practices will be in the spotlight this week. The Central Intelligence Agency on Monday is to release a highly critical 2004 report on the agency’s interrogation program by the C.I.A. inspector general.”

Just “effin” wonderful …

“The long awaited report provides new details about abuses that took place inside the agency’s secret prisons, including C.I.A. officers carrying out mock executions and threatening at least one prisoner with a gun and a power drill. “

Oh the American public is going to feel so wonderful about this cathartic purge of the past horrors of the Bush Administration – especially if it serves to distract the American public from the far-left , and I might add, socialist  takeover of our financial and industrial institutions as well as the continual weakening of the military and the intelligence community.

Our enemies would be so pleased …

“Also, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is expected to decide in the next several days whether to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate the interrogations of suspects accused of being involved in terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.”

Let us assume that mistakes were made in an effort to protect our nation from the unknown … following an enemy strike which assumed the proportions of the Japanese sneak attack at Pearl Harbor in 1941.  So compensate those who were unfairly or unjustly retained and send them on their way. Quietly with a minimal fuss.

Is the Obama Administration giving in to our enemies in order to curry favor with their far-left base? Maybe as a sop to ease the blow of the removal of a mis-named public/government option in healthcare?

“The new Pentagon policy on detainees took effect this month with no public announcement from the military or the Red Cross. It represents another shift in detention policy by the Obama administration, which has already vowed to close the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, by next year and is conducting reviews of the government’s procedures for interrogating and detaining militants.”

How soon will it be before the Obama Administration confers United States Citizenship on enemy combatants and criminalizes “acts of war” so that they may be prosecuted in federal courts using highly-paid (by the American taxpayer) far-left lawyers? Lawyers who will potentially seek further information about our military operations and disclose it to our enemies?

Pseudo security from an organization that leaks like a rusty sieve?

“A spokesman for the Red Cross in Washington, Bernard Barrett, declined to comment on the new notification policy, citing the organization’s longstanding practice of refusing to talk about its discussions with the Defense Department about detention issues.”

As it should be …

The Red Cross is allowed access to almost all American military prisons and battlefield detention sites in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the Special Operations camps have been excluded.

Where are the reports of real torture in foreign prisons operated by other sovereign governments? Does al Qaeda allow the Red Cross access to captured enemy combatants?

“Any improvement in I.C.R.C. notification and access is a positive development because it not only accounts for the whereabouts of a person, but hopefully will expedite notification to the family who is left anxious wondering about the fate of his or her relative,” said Sahr MuhammedAlly, a senior associate for law and security at Human Rights First, an advocacy group.

Not to mention their former associates who want to perform a damage assessment related to the capture of a high-value detainee.

Human Rights First – I remember that group …

“Michael Posner, founder and president of Human Rights First (formerly the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights), has been at the forefront of the international human rights movement for 30 years.”

“July 7, 2009 – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Michael H. Posner to serve in the State Department as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.”

Back to the demonization of the Bush Administration …

“The change in notifying the Red Cross stemmed largely from a new climate that emerged after Mr. Obama’s election, military officials said. The new administration set out the larger goal to revamp detention and interrogation practices that had drawn international condemnation under the Bush administration.”

Providing cover to the Administration by invoking the name of the military?

“Into this environment stepped Gen. David H. Petraeus, newly selected to lead the Central Command of American military operations in the Middle East. When he was the top commander in Iraq, General Petraeus supported ideas promoted by Maj. Gen. Douglas M. Stone to overhaul the detention system there, separating hard-core militants from petty criminals who could be easily radicalized, offering detainees vocational training and family visits. The United States is now adopting this approach to revamp the Afghan prison system.”

This spring, based on a request by General Petraeus, Mr. Gates ordered a review of the Special Operations camps. Lt. Gen. Philip M. Breedlove, an Air Force officer who had served on the military’s Joint Staff in Washington, spent several weeks in Afghanistan and Iraq examining the sites. At the request of Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Breedlove also accompanied Special Operations teams on some of their missions to observe how they treated prisoners at the point of capture.”

Lest we forget, the top brass serve at the pleasure of the Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama and at that level must be part military commander and part politician.

“In July, Admiral Mullen sent a confidential message to all of the military service chiefs and senior field commanders asking them to redouble their efforts to alert troops to the importance of treating detainees properly.”

This is as it should be. Prisoners should be treated in accordance with military policy and law. The abuse of prisoners should be reported, investigated and punished under military law. With little or no disclosure except to the appropriately cleared Congressional oversight committees. There is little or no value in providing the enemy with a propaganda coup that can be used for recruiting more militants or justifying the mistreatment of captured Americans or their allies.

Under public pressure, Obama was apparently forced to make the right decision?

“Admiral Mullen felt compelled to issue his message after viewing photographs documenting abuse of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan by American military personnel in the early years of the wars, a senior military official said. “

Mr. Obama decided in May not to make the photographs public, warning that the images could ignite attacks against American troops.”

Bending over backwards to accommodate a detainees beliefs …

“In a classified report dated June 17, General Breedlove largely praised the conditions at the camps. He found only minor problems, including a failure to provide a Koran to each detainee, and a lack of arrows or other symbols indicating which direction Muslim prisoners should face to pray toward Mecca.”

The Red Cross has been lobbying the Pentagon for years for access to those held at the Special Operations camps, or least information about who is being detained in them. General Breedlove’s recommendation gave the group’s efforts a prominent military endorsement.

Bottom line …

We are engaged in asymmetrical warfare, where the enemy operates without uniforms or rules of engagement. Where all U.S. citizens are targets – not just our military. Covert enemy operations are underway – ostensibly in the United States, Mexico, Canada and elsewhere – and we should reserve the options of maintaining operational secrecy in any and all military and intelligence operations.  It is bad enough that we place our own fighting forces at greater risk with rules of engagement designed to protect the civilian population, but to allow the continuous denigration of the United States, its military and intelligence operations, is to convey a further advantage to an enemy which respects nothing but force. Especially since they fight and place weapons among the civilian population in order to provide an innocent human shield against retaliatory strikes. These are people who make bombs and plan military operations sitting in their kitchens surrounded by their families.

One must question whether or not the United States could have won World War I or World War II with the type of intervention we see from the far-left activists? It seems that the cold war and the infiltration of Marxists  into our nation’s institutions has not stopped – and may have reached a peak with the nomination of far-left radical activists to high positions of power.

It’s high time we return to the protection of American citizens and American allies and stop providing funding, weapons, aid and comfort to our enemies. Something to consider as we approach the 2010/2012 election cycle.

Be well, be safe and take care of yourself and your family first.

-- steve

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OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …

Reference Links …

U.S. Shifts, Giving Names of Detainees to the Red Cross - NYTimes.com


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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