No Americans on CIA "Kill List" -- Just JSOC's

I recently wrote about the controversial White House policy of approving Americans for targeted killing by the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). However, the Washington Post has amended the January 27 article that first reported the "kill lists" of approved American and non-American targets. The correction states that the CIA's list does not include any Americans. They leave standing, however, the report that JSOC's parallel kill list still includes four Americans. Here's the correction:

The article referred incorrectly to the presence of U.S. citizens on a CIA list of people the agency seeks to kill or capture. After The Post's report was published, a source said that a statement the source made about the CIA list was misunderstood. Additional reporting produced no independent confirmation of the original report, and a CIA spokesman said that The Post's account of the list was incorrect. The military's Joint Special Operations Command maintains a target list that includes several Americans. In recent weeks, U.S. officials have said that the government is prepared to kill U.S. citizens who are believed to be involved in terrorist activities that threaten Americans.

Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair was clear that the White House has approved Anwar al-Awlaki and other Americans for targeted killing (a program that lacks court approval or Congressional oversight), so obviously someone is handling it. If JSOC has indeed been tasked with killing Americans believed to be terrorists, a job Bush assigned to the CIA, it would be yet another example of the shadowy military outfit taking over tasks once performed by the CIA. JSOC lacks the CIA's mandatory Congressional oversight and has a history of being run directly out of the White House.

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Max Fisher is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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