Administration Documents providing legal coverage for drone strikes on Americans are just more of the “tyrannical” ways the president is using his executive powers to run the government, warns Gen. Paul Vallely.
The retired general, a military strategist and co-author of the book “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror,” told Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview that using drones is nothing new, but President Barack Obama's authorization to use them against Americans is “what's in question.”
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“It's a carryover from the Bush administration that had been using drones over the Waziristan in the northern territories of Pakistan, of course, and in Afghanistan,” said Vallely, who also chairs Standup America. “These targeted killings to me are not just a tool. But the law, and what they’re passing to strike Americans anywhere is what’s in question. We won't allow enhanced interrogation or waterboarding to get information out of people, but yet we can go out and kill them with drones.”
While using drones is effective, he said it's “not a way that’s going to continue to take care of the rapid expansion of al-Qaida, particularly in North Africa and other areas of the Middle East. So it, just to me, it’s an interim tool but it’s not going to solve the problem.”
Vallely said Obama's past condemnation of President George W. Bush's stance on waterboarding and torture is “hypocritical,” given that the president has now approved the assassination of Americans.
“First of all, again, it’s just a tool of war,” he said. “It’s an intelligence aircraft with missiles put on it to take out certain targets.”
In addition, using the drones constitutes a “dichotomy,” Vallely said.
“We know some of the drones are being based out of Saudi Arabia with targets in Yemen, but yet you have the Saudis basically still continuing to support radical Islam and Mohabism at the same time they're fighting off al-Qaida,” the general said. “So the whole Middle East is a dichotomy and my feeling is we just don’t have a good strategy anymore how to deal with these global threats.”
Vallely said he's also concerned, as are many other Americans, that Obama has granted himself broader powers without consulting Congress through his use of executive orders and classified documents.
“We have growing here a tyrannical form of government which is supposed to be a shared government with Congress, the White House, and the courts . . . They’re trying to consolidate power solely within the White House and the executive branch while at the same time diminishing the court’s input, he said.
Vallely noted, however, that Congress in his view is “inept and weakened" and therefore won't shut off funding for the drone program despite "what we see happening.”
The retired general also raised concerns about Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's testimony Thursday about the terrorist attack last September on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
He described Panetta's comments as "smoke and mirrors."
“The threat has been there, it was there,” he said. “It seems that the administration, including [former Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton and Panetta, and even Gen. [Martin] Dempsey, were trying to say, 'Well this is what we’re going to try to do now in the future.' But they didn’t act in time, they didn’t act to even send in and execute a rescue operation no matter how many hours it was going to take.”
Vallely also spoke out against John Brennan as Obama's nominee for CIA director, accusing him of being “basically a supporter of Islam.”
“He’s a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood . . . He’s had 25 years in the CIA, but I personally do not trust him, as I do not trust putting [former Sen. Chuck] Hagel in there as secretary of defense," he said. "We’re just mounting more and more inept people that do not have sound grasp of what strategies we need to protect America externally and internally in the future.”
Turning to Iran, the general expressed his view that sanctions won't help stop efforts by Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability or hostilities directed at Israel. He suggested that the U.S. and Israel have actually been at war with Iran since the U.S. diplomats were taken hostage in Tehran in 1979.
He worries that Iran and Egypt are now "saddling up together," saying it's "not going to be good news for Israel or good news for the United States if they become allies."
"They know we're a paper tiger, basically," he said, referring to what he sees as a weakening of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East. Vallely suggested the decision to leave only one carrier fleet in the Persian Gulf region, announced earlier this week, would prove to be a mistake and that further cuts through sequestration would only hurt the military more.
“[This is] probably the worst situation we have faced since World War II with the Iranians and it's not a time to weaken U.S. national strategy,” he said.
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