They are like the Kings of old who could name their enemy and wish him dead and lo, a minion would smite him. We no longer make wars on peoples or even countries. As each of the last 3 administration's intelligence tsars have said, we know the names of our enemies and with Total Domain Awareness and drones that can strike any target anywhere on earth, there is no shortage of minions to smite them.
These brainy guys and girls thought they found a new way to fight and win wars of dominance over control of resources and the spread of ideas by killing their enemies by name. Somebody at the top of the Intelligence community sold these people the idea that we had TDA and could effect change by assassination in lieu of overt war. That's called covert war and they are always hideously messy and brutal since they take place in the shadows and, more importantly, they are against the law.
When you wage a war in the shadows, nobody at all is ever held accountable for any atrocity. The rules of land warfare are ignored and the Geneva Convention nothing more than pieces of paper. The real danger is what happens when people try to throw light onto them. All of the people behind the Intelligence curtain can only perceive such people as their enemy and treat them just as they do the nation's enemies. War goes on in the shadows but now they've corrupted the Law to aid them in destroying their enemies.