This Is a Big Deal

Another Donald Trump policy change with major implications flying under the radar today: Donald Trump has revoked "an Obama-era requirement for reporting civilian casualties that resulted from U.S. intelligence operations in non-combat areas across the globe."
Trump struck a section of an executive order issued by former President Barack Obama, which required both the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies to report on civilian casualties that occurred during their operations. There are other provisions that still require the Pentagon to report on civilian casualties caused by military operations outside of combat areas.

"I don't know why they're being coy," said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the private Federation of American Scientists. "They are not saying 'We don't want to report CIA operation casualties,' but that's what they're doing. They are eliminating reporting of casualties arising from CIA operations."
Emphasis mine.

This is particularly concerning to me because of the administration's continual drum-banging on Venezuela and the history of covert U.S. interventions in Latin America. I worry that this is, in fact, a signal that the administration is preparing for an operation in Venezuela. Or elsewhere.

I also want to note that this policy change is being made while we don't have a permanent Secretary of Defense, as Sarah Kendzior noted yesterday in a good thread on Twitter.

As I've said before, Trump loves to make these sorts of sweeping policy changes while there is an acting cabinet head, because they are sycophants who give him zero pushback.

This is a big deal. I am so angry and so frustrated that it will slide by virtually unnoticed.

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