Disrupting the Accommodation:
Why? The grieving family members ask. Why did the terrorists kill our loved ones? The hardnosed colleagues of the four fallen CIA officers comfort the wives and children (and one husband). They shake off their sorrow, huddle together by the graves, and vow vengeance. They bathe themselves in their seething anger like it was the blood of the lamb.
Why? The American public and its officials ask. Why? The media repeats, adding in shock and awe, Dont the terrorists know that you cant kill CIA officers?
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Why, everyone wonders, did a Jordanian suicide bomber target the CIA, knowing that the wrath of the biggest, baddest, bloodthirstiest Gang on Planet Earth is going to start dropping bombs and slitting throats until its lust for death and suffering is satisfied?
Over the course of its sixty year reign of terror, in which it has overthrown countless governments, started countless wars costing countless lives, and otherwise subverted and sabotaged friends and foes alike, the CIA has lost less than 100 officers.
On a good day, one CIA drone, and one CIA hit team, kills 100 innocent women and children, and nobody bats an eye.
Why would the terrorists suddenly deviate from the norm the sacred accommodation and throw the whole game into chaos? Why?
OK, Ill Tell You Why
There is a phenomenon called The Universal Brotherhood of Officers. It exists in the twilight zone between imagination and in reality, in the fog of war. It is why officers are separated from enlisted men in POW camps and given better treatment. It is why officers of opposing armies have more in common with one another than they have with their own enlisted men.
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Officers are trained to think of their subordinate ranks as canon fodder. Their troops are expendable. They know when they send a unit up a hill, some will be killed. That is why they do not fraternize with thee lower ranks. This class distinction exists across the world, and is the basis of the sacred accommodation. No slobs need apply.
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It is why the Bush Family flew the Bin Laden Family, and other Saudi Royals, out of the United States in the days after 9-11. If anyone was a case officer to the 9-11 bombers, or had knowledge about the bombers or any follow-up plots, it was these protected people.
CIA officers are at the pinnacle of the Universal Brotherhood. They are the Protected Few, blessed with false identities and bodyguards, flying in jet planes, living in villas, eating fancy food and enjoying state of the art technology. CIA officers tell army generals what to do.They direct Congressional committees. They assassinate heads of state and innocent children equally, with impunity, with indifference.
In Afghanistan they manage the drug trade from their hammocks in the shade.They know the Taliban tax the farmers growing the opium, and they know that Karzais warlords convert the opium into heroin and fly it to the Russian mob. They are amused by the antics of earnest DEA agents, who, in their ignorant patriotic bliss, cannot believe such an accommodation exists.
CIA officers are trained to exist in this moral netherworld of protected drug dealers, for the simple reasons that the CIA in every conflict has a paramount need to keep secure communication channels open to the enemy. This is CIA 101. The CIA, as part of its mandate, is authorized to negotiate with the enemy, but it can only do so as long as the channel is secure and deniable.
January 6, 2010