(Jul 18 2012) The Terrifying Background of the Man Who Ran a CIA Assassination Unit
It was one of the biggest secrets of the post-9/11 era: soon after the attacks, President Bush gave the CIA permission to create a top secret assassination unit to find and kill Al Qaeda operatives
The program was kept from Congress for seven years. And when Panetta told legislators about it in 2009, he revealed that the CIA had hired the private security firm Blackwater to help run it.
"The move was historic," says Evan Wright, the two-time National Magazine Award-winning journalist who wrote Generation Kill. "It seems to have marked the first time the U.S. government outsourced a covert assassination service to private enterprise."
The quote is from his e-book "How to Get Away With Murder in America," which goes on to note that "in the past, the CIA was subject to oversight, however tenuous, from the president and Congress," but that "President Bush's 2001 executive order severed this line by transferring to the CIA his unique authority to approve assassinations.