Ex-Powell aide suggests CIA assassination program was actually active

The secret CIA program allegedly aimed at assassinating suspected terrorists abroad has raised the eyebrows of at least one former senior Bush Administration official who hints that the program may have actually gone into effect, despite the denials of the agency and congressional staff who have been briefed.

The aide, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, was chief of staff to Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell. He says he heard “echoes” of the program from US ambassadors abroad, who informed him that clandestine military teams were being dispatched to their countries.

“We, very early on, after 9/11, at the State Department, learned from our ambassadors in the field that there were teams being dispatched to their cities, to their countries, and these teams were clandestine and essentially aimed at capturing al Qaeda leaders or al Qaeda affiliates and interrogating them,” Wilkerson told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Tuesday. “So the fact that it might have gravitated over to the CIA or the CIA might have joined in, which is something that happens a lot these days with Delta Force and other special operators is no surprise to me.

“What I suspect has happened is what began to happen while I was still in the government, and that was we’re killing the wrong people,” Wilkerson added. “And we’re killing the wrong people in the wrong countries. And the countries are finding out about it, or at least there was a suspicion that the countries might find out about it, and so it was shut down. That’s my strong suspicion.”

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