Friday, January 26, 2007

License to kill

So Bush has authorized killing or capturing Iranians inside Iraq. Not civilians or diplomats, although presumably any members of the Revolutionary Guard, to say nothing of members of spy agencies, would not be in uniform, so there might be the occasional little fatal mistake. The story is based on leaks, and the infuriating WaPo refuses to even hint at the motives of the leakers – people worried this will provoke a wider war? people who want this known so that it will provoke a wider war?

And what exactly do they mean by this sentence: “Though U.S. forces are not known to have used lethal force against any Iranian to date, Bush administration officials have been urging top military commanders to exercise the authority.”

A spokesmodel for the NSC says that “Our forces have standing authority, consistent with the mandate of the U.N. Security Council.” One wonders if other members of the Security Council think they gave authority for this policy. And if they did, why was it kept secret? It will be interesting to see what Maliki has to say about this.

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