U.S. launches secret drone campaign to hunt Islamic State leaders in Syria
The campaign may have once been secret. But the story, even the mere headline, makes certain that it will no longer be so. Hard to know what is lost in the way of tactical advantage. People who are being bombed are usually aware of the fact. So the news comes as no surprise to our enemies who are the targets of the strikes. And if the Post is publishing now, then it seems likely that the “secret” was well known to many in Washington where inside information is coin of the realm, freely traded for status.
Somebody (or somebodies) told the Post andthere must have been something in it for the leaker(s). It might seem a betrayal of some sort to the rubes and innocents outside of Washington but they famously don’t understand the rules. Washington is enjoying itself enormously right now by pawing through the e-mails of former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. One wonders what the long term price of this short term guilty pleasure will be. Somehow, if you think about national security and safety, it seems less funny. This is the United States State Department. At the very least, there is a loss of dignity. Which ought to count for something.
But the game is the game. This is the same Washington that was obsessed for months over the question of who blew the cover of a CIA officer. This, in spite of the fact that it was well known in Washington where she worked and she was no more “undercover" than that drone program is “secret." Still, the chase went on and prosecutors eventually ran someone to ground. He turned out to be the wrong guy, but they got him on, essentially, a jaywalking beef.
DHS chief Jeh Johnson agreed with Chuck Todd that drones could make protecting 2016 presidential candidates more difficult. And, Johnson said as an example, he was a giving a speech recently when he looked up to see "a little drone flying over my head."
At a Washington, D.C. event hosted by the Foreign Policy Initiative, Senator Ted Cruz defended the use of drones but also expressed some concern. "I'm worried about what I would call video game warfare," said Cruz in response to a question about drones.
There is a shortage of drones in the theater where the U.S. is engaged against ISIS. They are needed in another theater of operations, one where we do have troops engaged and are committed to getting them out.
The U.S. is running up against a shortage of surveillance drones to conduct reconnaissance of the various battlefields where it is engaged. Right now, the theater where its combat troops are directly engaged is getting priority … as it most certainly should be.
Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus reiterated that he believes Rand Paul’s 13-hour filibuster over the Obama administration’s drone policy was a “unifying moment” for the GOP and that the party is "totally on board" with the libertarian senator.
"The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Kentucky senator Rand Paul said Thursday to the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?” he added coyly.
Before Rand Paul even arrived at the Gaylord National Harbor convention center in Maryland for his Thursday afternoon CPAC address, the stage was set for his raucous reception. Outside the convention hall, a team of eager young volunteers began passing out t-shirts, stickers, and posters emblazoned with the catchiest political slogan since “Yes We Can.”
Senator Ted Cruz, joining Rand Paul's filibuster on the floor of the Senate:
"And I'm pretty certain--for the record, I can confirm that no teleprompter was in front of the senator from Kentucky's desk," said Cruz, taking a shot at President Obama's frequent use of Teleprompters. "Senator Rand Paul, Jimmy Stewart would be proud, sir."
Senator Ted Cruz, joining in support of Rand Paul's filibuster, said today was the first day he had the chance to speak on the Senate floor. "It don't get no better than this," Cruz said, quoting a beer commercial: