Revealed: Why Obama won’t show the rest of his drone memos to Congress

posted at 5:21 pm on February 22, 2013 by Allahpundit

The Senate Intel Committee’s seen four memos. Turns out, per Dianne Feinstein, that the White House has many more in its files and is very, very reluctant to share the rest — to the point that it’s willing to make a deal with the hated GOP to keep them covered up. From Wednesday’s NYT:

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.

The strategy is intended to produce a bipartisan majority vote for Mr. Brennan in the Senate Intelligence Committee without giving its members seven additional legal opinions on targeted killing sought by senators and while protecting what the White House views as the confidentiality of the Justice Department’s legal advice to the president.

That made it sound like the White House was holding back simply to make things easier for its nominee, a revelation that didn’t go over well in civil libertarian circles and ended up giving Jon Stewart 10 minutes of material about the Most Transparent Administration Evah last night. So now it’s time for Plan B — the real reason why they won’t release the memos. Is this it, or will we move to Plan C next week if Obama takes heat for this too?

A key reason for that reticence, according to two sources who have read the memos or are aware of their contents, is that the documents contain secret protocols with foreign governments, including Pakistan and Yemen, as well as “case-specific” details of strikes…

“That is what is missing from the white paper but forms a core part of memos,” the expert told National Journal, speaking on condition of anonymity because the information is classified. He said the administration believes that the protocols would almost certainly leak to the public if they were shared with Congress…

It’s not clear how many such secret government-to-government protocols exist. At least some were made with since-deposed dictators such as Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen. Others may have been signed with the leaders of Algeria and Mali, the legal expert said. Given the widespread unpopularity of the drone program, the disclosure of these agreements could prove extremely embarrassing both for the United States and partner governments. That’s especially true of Pakistan, where Islamabad’s troubled military alliance with Washington and an intense U.S. drone campaign against Taliban and al Qaida targets have provoked fierce anti-Americanism…

“These guys don’t even know what the hell they’re asking for,” [an Obama administration] official said. “They think they can ‘reverse-engineer’ the [drone] program by asking for more memos, but these are not necessarily things that exist or are relevant … What they’re asking for is to get more people read into very sensitive programs. That’s not a small decision.”

Any reason why the White House would be worried about fueling a backlash in Yemen or Pakistan? Well, here’s where we’re at right now opinion-wise in the latter:

ga

If a memo leaks and lays out in gory detail just how deeply involved the Pakistani government is in facilitating U.S. drone attacks, at a minimum you risk Islamabad pulling out of the arrangement in embarrassment and leaving the CIA’s hands tied. Beyond that, the White House’s absolute worst-case foreign-policy scenario is seeing Pakistan destabilized by jihadis and its frighteningly large nuclear stockpile ending up in play. Could be that O and his advisors have concluded that, with anti-Americanism peaking there, it’s simply too risky to further weaken the government with an unpopular revelation. Although in that case (a) isn’t continuing the drone program a much, much greater risk? And (b) if Pakistanis are sufficiently aware of the drone program to fuel the sort of polling you see above, don’t most of them already assume the complicity of their government? We’ve been firing missiles at people on the ground there for years and years; Pakistanis can’t be so naive as to think this is all being done against Islamabad’s wishes. Then again, who knows what’s in the memos? Could be that some of the less rogue elements in ISI are helping identify targets or steering them covertly to locations where it’s easier for us to reach them. Or maybe this is all a smokescreen and the real reason Obama doesn’t want the memos released is because they’re a bit more candid about the death toll — which could be much, much higher than Americans have been led to believe.

Anyway. Your move, Dianne Feinstein. Better move quickly, too — the next drone base is being built as we speak. Exit question via lefty William Saletan: If drones are an unacceptable form of war, despite involving no risk to Americans and minimal risk to foreign civilians, what’s left?


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If drones are an unacceptable form of war, despite involving no risk to Americans and minimal risk to foreign civilians, what’s left?

Well Duh, the option to which all Lefties seem intent on subjecting our country… unconditional surrender.

Metanis on February 22, 2013 at 5:27 PM

Or maybe this is all a smokescreen

In the Obama regime, that’s about the only thing we can be sure of.

petefrt on February 22, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Well too, it seems Richard Windsor wrote most of them and sent them via a govt.org e-mail addriss, plus it was from his dog house not the White House.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on February 22, 2013 at 5:34 PM

EVERYTHING this guy does is politically motivated.

He is the purest political animal the country has ever produced.

Opposite Day on February 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Then again, who knows what’s in the memos? Could be that some of the less rogue elements in ISI are helping identify targets or steering them covertly to locations where it’s easier for us to reach them

Shouldn’t that be be more rogue elements as the ISI and Taliban seem to be working together.

RickB on February 22, 2013 at 5:37 PM

Minimum risk to foreign civilians? That’s a good one….

sandee on February 22, 2013 at 5:40 PM

According to information from a source know on the internet as “White House Insider”, Obama spends much of his days watching a big screen TV, dressed in sweats and smoking. According to this source, Obama has the greatest enthusiasm for drone killing and watches the recordings of them over and over “like porn”.

VorDaj on February 22, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Ahhh only if GW were still President……..

the only place the left is transparent is in their hypocrisy.

CW on February 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Ahhh only if GW were still President……..

Yeah remember when Bush keep killing all those innocent civilians at wedding parties?

sandee on February 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

The place to fight drones is on the ground. They gotta park sometime.

rayra on February 22, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Is DiFi’s husband in the drone building business now? Just askin’ cuz if the powers that be can’t make a dime on defense, they wouldn’t be bothered.

Kissmygrits on February 22, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Yeah remember when Bush keep killing all those innocent civilians at wedding parties?

sandee on February 22, 2013 at 5:43 PM

Bush was just a pure killer.

CW on February 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM

He’s got something to hide?

davidk on February 22, 2013 at 6:01 PM

The Senate Intel Committee’s seen four memos. Turns out, per Dianne Feinstein, that the White House has many more in its files and is very, very reluctant to share the rest — to the point that it’s willing to make a deal with the hated GOP to keep them covered up.

Those who are unable or willing to identify who their enemies are, will always be defeated— Sun Tzu.

These are the strategic tactics being employed against America’s Conservative majority every single day by the Democrat and Republican Leadership, by the Fifth Column Treasonous Media, by Academia, and by those within the Legal/Jurisprudence system.

The GOP leadership are every bit as much the enemy as Barack Insane Obama and his Marxist Democrat Party are.

SWalker on February 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Ahhh only if GW were still President……..

the only place the left is transparent is in their hypocrisy.

CW on February 22, 2013 at 5:42 PM

Will this be a Troll-Free thread?

Between January of 2001 and January of 2009, dissent against a President’s policies was “Patriotic”.

Now, it’s RACIST.

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Between January of 2001 and January of 2009, dissent against a President’s policies was “Patriotic”.

Now, it’s RACIST.

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2013 at 6:11 PM

+1000

unclesmrgol on February 22, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Well it appears bho/hill/team didn’t use drones to help out our four American’s killed in benghazi? It seems they ALLLLL did squat to save them and bho was aol doing whatever he did best that day/night and after going to Vegas! bho and his whole team/past and present are so bad they make me puke!
L

letget on February 22, 2013 at 6:27 PM

If drones are an unacceptable form of war, despite involving no risk to Americans and minimal risk to foreign civilians, what’s left?

Well, we can always pretend to be having our periods, urinate or puke on our attackers, blow our whistles, or use the call boxes.

And if all else fails, we can go at them with a pair of scissors.

Lily on February 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

^did not do squat
L

letget on February 22, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.

 
Reread that if you missed it.

rogerb on February 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.

Reread that if you missed it.

rogerb on February 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

…yeah…what’s up with that?

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM

EVERYTHING this guy does is politically motivated.

He is the purest political animal the country has ever produced.

Opposite Day on February 22, 2013 at 5:36 PM

Not so. If he were a purely “political” animal, he’d be able to maneuver in ways that would foster compromise between the parties…ostensibly, for the ‘good’ of the country.
He is unable to do that. All he can do is threaten, lie, demagogue and then lie some more.
He’s a puppet…with his strings being pulled by more powerful people. And that probably suits him just fine, because what motivates him is a need to “punish” America and the American people (at least, those Americans who disagree with him and the plans of his masters).

Solaratov on February 22, 2013 at 8:04 PM

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.

Reread that if you missed it.

rogerb on February 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

So…the regime is admitting that they either lied about what happened in Benghazi — or they just didn’t give congress all of the information about what happened…and lied about that.

Either way, it’s an admission of lying by the regime.

Solaratov on February 22, 2013 at 8:10 PM

elements in ISI are helping identify targets

…Precisely my fear. It would not surprise me to learn that Obama is running an assassination service for several foreign governments to keep them on the reservation. Did we accidentally miss the terrorist and kill someone else?

Oh.

ElRonaldo on February 22, 2013 at 9:24 PM

For your amusement, a thread from last week at Democrat Underground, also known as DUmmie Land.

Bush’s illegal Iraq invasion. How does it compare to a drone strike?

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Rather than agreeing to some Democratic senators’ demands for full access to the classified legal memos on the targeted killing program, Obama administration officials are negotiating with Republicans to provide more information on the lethal attack last year on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, according to three Congressional staff members.

Reread that if you missed it.

rogerb on February 22, 2013 at 6:43 PM

…yeah…what’s up with that?

KOOLAID2 on February 22, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Somebody is about to go under the bus. My guess? Panetta or Hillary.

Panetta is the most likely, as his career in DC is pretty much over just on grounds of age (he’s 74). Once Hegel is confirmed, Leon can fall on his sword for The One without messing up his retirement, or his status as an eminence grise’ in the Party.

As for Hillary, that’s a different matter. I’m sure The One would like to stick his foot out and trip her, and derail her drive for His job in 2016. He wants Biden in the Oval Office, having animated conversations with the coatrack, so He can continue to play Putin.

But then again, I’m sure The One has seen Macbeth at least once, and has no particular desire to portray King Duncan.

The best estimate is, somebody is going to be a sacrificial lamb. And the best candidate is the one who doesn’t “have a little list”.

And a long memory.

clear ether

eon

eon on February 22, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Or maybe this is all a smokescreen

Roof hits for everyone.

The Rogue Tomato on February 22, 2013 at 11:59 PM

For your amusement, a thread from last week at Democrat Underground, also known as DUmmie Land.

Bush’s illegal Iraq invasion. How does it compare to a drone strike?

Del Dolemonte on February 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Liberals to this day continue to show their partisan ignorance in denying Iraq had WMD’s.

Liberals like to claim they are so much more educated than anyone else, yet they cannot manage to read a simple book, or perform a simple web search.

I’m sure the same liberals will continue to claim those weapons were destroyed, while ignoring other parts of the UN reports of the tons of material the inspectors knew what in the country, but they could not find.

The following information was reported to the UN by UNSCOM inspectors, and is listed in the UN’s own book on the subject titled, The United Nations and the Iraq-Kuwait Conflict 1990-1996.

Note the dates included with the reports, and how long it took to force Saddam to admit what he stockpiled.

Below is the link to where it is currently listed.

Below that are some excerpts from the book.

http://unbisnet.un.org:8080/ipac20/ipac.jsp?session=116909OJ4556F.190&profile=bib&uri=full=3100001~!380955~!6&ri=3&aspect=power&menu=search&source=~!horizon#focus

The United Nations and the Iraq-Kuwait Conflict 1990-1996.

I bought this book from the UN’s web site in 1997. It is still offered for sale there as a part of their “Blue Book series” although you would not recognize the incredible information contained in the book based on the description posted at their site.

I believe most of the reports by the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM could be accessed at the UN web site separately.

Some word-for-word excerpts from the UN book:

18 April 1991 In Iraq’s first declaration regarding weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, denies having weapons grade nuclear material, a biological weapons program or any super guns. It also declares holdings of ballistic missiles and chemical weapons.

7-18 July 1991 The third IAEA inspection uncovers large stocks of natural uranium and 15 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, and reveals the existence of various uranium enrichment programs.

2-8 August 1991 UNSCOM conducts its first biological inspection of Iraqi facilities and uncovers a major biological program. Seed stocks of three biological warfare agents are handed over to the team, and the team removes three further potential warfare strains.

21 February-24 March 1992 The first chemical destruction team destroys 463 nerve agent filled rockets, i.e. approximately 2.5 tons of agent.

1 July 1995 Iraq admits to having had a full-scale offensive biological weapons program.

4 August 1995 Iraq gives UNSCOM a written account of their biological weapons program but denies efforts to weaponize agents.

7 August 1995 Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan, former director of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs defects from Iraq to Jordan.

17 August 1995 Iraq admits it produced biological weapons, a crash program to produce nuclear weapons and made greater progress in producing VX nerve agent.

20 August 1995 Iraq gives UNSCOM 680,000 pages of printed documents, computer disks, videotapes, microfilm and microfiche relating to its banned weapons programs.

25 October 1991 Report by Executive Chairman of UNSCOM

Iraq acknowledged possessing 46,000 filled chemical weapons stored at various sites throughout Iraq.

Conclusive documentary evidence was found at two Iraqi facilities showing Iraq had a program for developing nuclear weapons.

In the course of inspection of Tammuz (Al Taqqadum) Air Base, 200 aerial bombs filled with mustard agent were counted and recorded.

The team examined 30 chemical filled ballistic missile warheads declared by Iraq in the Dujayl area. 14 were binary type filled with isopropanol and cyclohexanol with only DF needing to be added to produce nerve agent prior to use. 56 plastic containers of DF were found. Iraq stated 16 warheads were filled with a mixture of GB and GF nerve agents.

At Al Bakr Air Base, 25 type 250 gauge aerial bombs and 135 type 500 aerial bombs filled with mustard agent were declared by Iraq.

At Al Taji, 6,000 empty aluminum containers intended for filling with nerve agent and inserted into 122-millimeter warheads were found.

At Al Fallujah Proving Ground, Iraq declared the storage of 6,394 mustard-filled 155-millimeter artillery shells. Analysis confirmed the presence of mustard agent.

Of the 14 warheads mentioned above as being filled with chemicals, just prior to their destruction, the senior Iraqi official present said 4 were filled with the nerve agent Sarin.

Iraq has declared 6,120 sarin nerve agent filled 122-millimeter rocket warheads and their attendant motors.

Iraq provided seed stocks of biological warfare agents to the team consisting of Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium perfringens and Bacillus anthracis. Iraq also possessed the following micro-organisms-Brucellus abortus, Brucella melitensis, Francisella tularensis and various strains of Clostridium botulinum.

At one undisclosed site, 30 SCUD warheads filled with chemicals were found.

Second report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM 4 December 1991

Iraq’s recent record in the nuclear area is consistent with, if less dramatic than, its actions over the last six months that included the concealment of evidence of plutonium separation, of uranium enrichment, and of nuclear weapons development, of refusal to permit inspection teams to enter some sites and exit others, and confiscation of documents from inspectors in the course of an inspection.

At Al Tuz, Khamisiyah, and Muhammadiyat numbers of munitions were discovered, including but not limited to 122 mm rockets, which were considered to be in too unsafe a condition to move and for which a drilling and draining (of nerve agent) would be very hazardous.

Report by the IAEA to the Security Council by Hans Blix

These consisted of 68 fuel assemblies of 36% enrichment with a U-235 content of 1.27 Kilograms. In addition, there was a set of fresh fuel plates for the Tamus-2 reactor (French MTR type) with an enrichment of 93% and a total U-235 content of 372 grams.

Since the declarations of 18 and 27 April, inspections have resulted in some 400 tons of additional material being declared by Iraq “natural uranium in many forms, ranging from yellowcake to processed chemicals” Much of the material had been concealed by dispersion or burial in desert areas.

The major discovery has been that of the Electromagnetic Isotope Separation (EMIS) program and its extent. A major concealment effort was made by Iraq to hide the existence of its program from inspectors, equipment being dispersed and in many cases buried in remote areas.

Third Report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM 16 June 1992

A new development was the Iraqi admission of 19 March 1992 that it had omitted to declare 24,470 chemical munitions and these weapons had been unilaterally destroyed in direct contravention of resolution 687.

Fourth Report of the Executive Chairman of UNSCOM 17 December 1992

The agents which Iraq had available were mustard agent, the nerve agents GB and GF (and also about 70 tons of “spoiled” GA) and small research quantities of three other nerve agents. The total quantities involved are approximately 250-300 tons.

Of the filled munitions, mortar bombs were filled with CS, the 155mm shells are filled with mustard and the 122mm rockets are filled with nerve agents, either GB or a GB/GF mix. The aerial bombs are filled with either mustard agent or nerve agents. Some of the SCUD chemical warheads are filled with GB, the others designed to use the binary process.

The number and quantity of munitions and agent destroyed by the Special Commission as of 14 December 1992 were on the order of:

5,000 sarin-filled 122mm rockets
44,500 liters of GB/GF
120 liters of GB
5,000 liters of D4
1,100 liters of dichlorethane
16.5 tons of thiodiglycol
5.5 tons of mustard agent

Report of the Secretary-General 11 October 1995

The Commission has concluded that VX was produced on an industrial scale.

Significant in this context is Iraq’s admission in September 1995 of the production in 1990 of 65 tons of choline, a chemical used exclusively for production of VX. This amount would be sufficient for the production of approximately 90 tons of VX. Furthermore, Iraq had over 200 tons each of the precursors phosphorus pentasulphide anddi-ispropylamine. These quantities would be sufficient to produce 400 tons of VX. At present, there is no conclusive evidence to support Iraq’s claims concerning the complete disposal of these two precursors and the choline.

Iraq has admitted the development of prototypes of binary sarin-filled artillery shells, 122mm rockets and aerial bombs. However the new documentation shows production well beyond prototype levels. Iraq has also admitted three flight tests of long-range missiles with chemical warheads, including one, in April 1990, with sarin.

The foot and mouth disease plant at Daura was converted to biological weapons production of botulinum toxin. The plant was used for production of botulinum toxin from November 1990 until 15 January 1991 by which time 5,400 liters of concentrated toxin had been produced. Production of perfringens for biological weapons began at Al Hakam in August 1990. A total of 340 liters of concentrated perfringens was produced.

Weaponization of biological warfare agents began on a large scale in December 1990 at Muthanna. R400 bombs were selected as the appropriate munition for aerial delivery and 100 were filled with botulinum toxin, 50 with anthrax, and 16 with aflatoxin. In addition, 25 Al Hussein warheads were filled with botulinum toxin (13), anthrax (10), and aflatoxin (2). These weapons were then deployed at four locations in early January 1991 during the war.

In summary, Iraq has declared the production of at least 19,000 liters of concentrated botulinum toxin, (nearly 10,000 liters were filled into munitions), 8,500 liters of concentrated anthrax (some 6,500 liters were filled into munitions) and 2,200 liters of concentrated aflatoxin (1,580 liters were filled into munitions).

In spite of the substantial new disclosures made by Iraq in August 1995, the Commission does not believe that Iraq has given a full and correct account of its biological weapons program.

To summarize the book, it is an 844-page compilation of important documents, reports, or other information regarding the UN and its activities in Iraq since 1990, including summaries of reports from what was found by the UN inspectors making up UNIKOM and UNSCOM.

It cost me about $54.00 when I ordered the book from the UN web site.

91Veteran on February 23, 2013 at 12:24 AM

If drones are an unacceptable form of war, despite involving no risk to Americans and minimal risk to foreign civilians, what’s left?

Apparently women infantry with double barreled shotguns.

BKeyser on February 23, 2013 at 12:32 AM

91Veteran on February 23, 2013 at 12:24 AM

The beauty of being a Democrat/Leftist is in developing instant amnesia to geopolitical issues (such as those you listed above) the moment those facts become inconvenient to Democrat leaders.

After all the fraud and graft that was “Oil For Food” at the UN, I believe that organisation had an immense amount of prestige to lose if, after all of UNSCOM’s efforts, mass stockpiles of WMDs were found in Iraq following Bush’s invasion in March 2003. Although much of the evidence seems to have been taken out of that country immediately prior to the invasion (e.g., the convoys of trucks going to Syria just before US troops reached Baghdad), I recall that there were several cases where, when evidence of WMDs were found by US troops after the invasion, those findings were downplayed or otherwise ignored by the media and the UN.

Wanderlust on February 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM

Wanderlust, I recall reading an article about a US team similar to UNSCOM running around Iraq in 2004 who were securing WMD like items. I recall it because nuclear items used in certain research were secured at one site, and mentioned in the article I read. I wondered at the time how embarrassed the UN would be if more detail on those items were provided…since they were supposed to be secured already. I believe that team shut down in 2006-2007.

91Veteran on February 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Interesting

api on February 27, 2013 at 9:29 AM

api on February 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM