I’ll Be Watching You: Lawfare’s Jack Goldsmith says that “one way to make the president’s secret actions and decisions and authorities legitimate and credible is to have an adversarial institution look at and pass on them.” Right. But it’s not an idle question. As Long War Journal’s Bill Roggio wonders, what if Reaz Qadir Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen indicted in Oregon on March 5 for aiding in an al-Qaeda attack in Pakistan in 2009 had been abroad, rather than on American soil? Would this have been a kill rather than capture situation?
Piggly Wiggly: How connected to al Qaeda do suspects have to be to land on the CIA's kill list? As Spencer Ackerman notes in Danger Room, of the original planners of 9/11, “nearly all of those people are dead or detained.” So what does this mean for the drone program, which was originally formed for 9/11 planners? The Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in response to the 9/11 attacks, could be expanded to include terrorists or suspected terrorists not connected to Al Qaeda--a precedent that maybe gives the executive branch too much wiggle room.
Gotcha: The CIA “intercepted and grabbed” former al-Qaeda spokesman and Osama bin Laden son-in-law Abu Ghaith in Turkey and rendered him to the U.S. on March 1, according to The Washington Times and AFP, based on Turkish reports. Ghaith, suspected of supporting the 9/11 attacks, was first picked up at an Ankara hotel but local Turkish police refused to hand him over to the CIA. Agency operatives grabbed him when he was ordered deported to Jordan and whisked him “to the United States,” according to the reports.