. . .One of the most sensitive areas has been what we do in friendly countries that don’t want to co-operate or maybe we don’t have enough confidence to entrust them with information. If you have an al-Qaida guy wandering around certain bits of the world we might decide that we need to deal with that ourselves, directly, without making a lot of noise,” he said. “There was a plan to deal with that. It was much talked about in the CIA and the military had its own operation.”
Another former senior intelligence official responsible for dealing with al-Qaida said that assassination plans were reined in after similar covert operations by the military were botched and proved to be embarrassing, particularly the killing in Kenya. He did not give details of the operation. . .
There appears to be common agreement among knowledgeable former intelligence officials that the controversy goes beyond the immediate question of assassination and capture of al-Qaida operatives. . .
Quick — who did we kill, and badly, in Kenya? Any guesses? A two second Google search turns up this coverage, in The New York Times:
. . .Neither of the opposition lawmakers killed this week [February 1, 2008] was especially prominent. Both were just weeks into their new jobs as national politicians. Opposition leaders, however, say that is not the point. The opposition holds a slight edge in Parliament, and its leaders contend that the government is trying to reduce their numbers, an accusation it denies.
On Tuesday, Melitus Mugabe Were, a lawmaker and businessman who grew up in a slum, was shot to death in his driveway by two gunmen. The police are closely investigating the killing, but Mr. Were’s friends and family say he was not robbed and that the killing was a professional hit. . .
As ever, there will be more, on this — and that, as it is now reported, by Scott Shane, that then-CIA Director Hayden ordered the secret program scaled back, after he first learned of it, in the Spring of 2008.
That would be only several weeks after this “professioanl hit” — in Kenya.
By the way, neither of the dead Kenyan legislators had any known ties to Al Qaeda. [Which, sadly again, echos a sub-plot of the first installment of the Bourne trilogy — the (first-failed, then ultimately completed) killing of a Sub-Sarahan African reformer, named Nykwana Wombosi (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). I do not mean to trivialize this, but it is possible that Cheney’s evil is just this banal — to follow, and closely, some impluasible movie script.]