Why the CIA? Why no U.S. acknowledgement?

Just to follow up on Ryan’s post:  Mark Mazzetti’s story for the Times, assuming it is accurate, confirms what I tried to explain in a post a few weeks ago — namely, that whether one U.S. agency rather than another engages in the use of force abroad, and whether the U.S. acknowledges its role in that use of force, are typically a function not of the law, but instead of the particular things that allies might insist upon as a condition of their cooperation and/or consent.  Accordingly, to the extent anyone wishes to change U.S. practices in these respects, it is essential to consider how, if at all, one might work to change those underlying diplomatic realities.


About the Author(s)

Marty Lederman

Professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. He was Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the Office of Legal Counsel from 2009-2010, and Attorney Advisor at the Office of Legal Counsel from 1994-2002. Member of the editorial board of Just Security. You can follow him on Twitter (@marty_lederman).