Prayers For The Fallen

We feel only grief for the fallen at the CIA Afghan base while noting tragically events confirmed our long standing concerns about the Agency’s [sic] operational skills. Our hearts go out to the individuals and their families. Institutionally, however, this catastrophe demands answers to hard questions. You know things are grim when Old Institutional Conventional Wisdom David Ignatius utters those banned words ‘poor tradecraft.’ Ignatius’ feeders are right.

Panetta’s cavalier claim that his deadly fiasco is a normal occurrence during war is patently offensive and a desecration of sacrifice of those gone.. Panetta obviously is an empty suit, merely shoveling sludge churned by incompetents scrambling to cover their ass. How obscene to see ‘Panetta’ brazenly compare the Agency’s [sic] deadly incompetence with the American military’s casualties suffered in the chaos of combat. It is a lie and deception worthy of Cheney.


  1. RedPhillip says

    Grief on behalf of the CIA agents, Blackwater/Xe mercenaries and the Jordanian mukhabarat agent killed by Al-Balawi is misplaced. Al-Balawi was reportedly initially recruited to operate against Al-Qa’ida because he rejected their indiscriminate killing of civilians. His family has said that he became increasingly conflicted because the information he was providing his US/Jordanian handlers was leading to massive civilian deaths. His motivation may have been in some degree in support of the Pushtun resistance, and his video testament claiming he was acting to revenge the killing of a Taliban leader could well have been quid pro quo for Taliban logistical support. Whatever degree of collaboration Al-Balawi may have had with the Taliban, it is not evidence that he was being run by Al-Qa’ida.

    The CIA agents and Blackwater/Xe mercenaries may have believed they were performing patriotic service by running their robot death raids. They were deluded. They were in fact war criminals actively participating in indiscriminate, high-tech murder of civilians. Grief is more appropriately felt for their victims.

  2. argo says

    I can’t imagine what misinformation AQ would need to pass to an organization that would behave so when enticed with the magical coordinates to Mr. al-Z. Obviously, they knew less than nothing, which has always been the best the agency could do.

    And I’d bet he didn’t have a bomb. He just gave them their own coordinates and Predator did the hard work.

  3. sglover says

    But was all the incompetence on the American side? I mean, if al-Balawi was really in such a position of trust, wouldn’t his Al Qaeda handlers have done better using him as a conduit for misinformation, as a classic double agent? Sure, blowing up a roomful of knowledgeable intelligence officers is useful — but mightn’t it even more useful to run a guy who can misdirect the next Predator missile, or finger the tribal chief or Afghan official whom Al Qaeda wants dead?

    It’s a given that there are layers of subtlety here that we don’t know, that probably nobody knows… But what do all the spooks and players who haunt this comment section have to say about it?

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