The specter of private contractors carrying out assassinations on behalf of the US government has been raised in a New York Times article that says the CIA hired contractors from security firm Blackwater to help carry out its recently-revealed hit squad program.
The CIA hit squad, ostensibly meant to target al Qaeda’s leadership in the years after 9/11, became public news when CIA Director Leon Panetta informed congressional intelligence committees about it in late June. Since then, stories have appeared linking Vice President Dick Cheney to the decision to keep the hit squads secret — a decision that may violate the National Security Act, which mandates congressional oversight of the CIA.
"Congressional oversight?!? We don't need no stinking congressional oversight!" - former official white horse souse.