Former CIA officer John Kiriakou (previously
) is serving a 30 month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pennsylvania, and has sent a letter describing his experiences there
. [more inside]
It's been five years
since the death
of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh
in Damascus. No one ever claimed responsibility for killing him. Hezbollah publicly blames
Israel's Mossad, a charge they unsurprisingly deny. So, who killed The Driver? [more inside]
The Permanent War
(video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists.
Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy.
Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war.
"Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory. The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. Because the names of the dead and the threat they were believed to pose are secret, it is impossible for anyone without access to U.S. intelligence to assess whether the deaths were justified." [more inside]
Double or Nothing:
9/11 Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke Speculates That the CIA Tried and Failed to Recruit the Hijackers, and Then Engaged in a Cover-Up. Admitting that he has no proof, he nonetheless alleges
that CIA Director George Tenet and others concealed their knowledge that the suspected Al-Qaeda members were inside the country, which in turn prevented the FBI and other agencies from thwarting the 9/11 attack. Tenet et al. have responded
to this charge via a prepared statement.
"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst
" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it.
" [Black Ops and Blood Money
Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti
after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community
. Justice eventually caught up to Toto
, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
The recent bombing of a a Shi’ite mosque
in SE Iran by the Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundullah
raises again the question of whether the US is in bed with the enemy
. The Groups leader Abdolmalek Rigi was recently executed
by the Iranians.
In 2007 ABC News reported on The Secret War Against Iran
"Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s”.
Gen. Vang Pao’s Last War.
"The U.S. government relied on Vang Pao and his Hmong soldiers
to battle Communism in the jungles of Laos
. Why is the Justice Department now calling him a terrorist?" [more inside]
Remember the new, inscrutable license plate
put out by the state of Oklahoma commemorating 9/11? Well, apparently the CIA can design logos pretty well too. Presenting the Terrorist Buster
Rorschach and Awe.
"America's coercive interrogation methods were reverse-engineered by two C.I.A. psychologists who had spent their careers training U.S. soldiers to endure Communist-style torture techniques. The spread of these tactics was fueled by a myth about a critical 'black site' operation."
Newsfilter: U.S. Seeks Silence on CIA Prisons
"The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the "alternative interrogation methods that their captors used to get them to talk...the government, in trying to block lawyers' access to the 14 detainees, effectively asserts that the detainees' experiences are a secret that should never be shared with the public."
Previously: (1) (2)
...Lawrence Wright tells, for the first time, the story of the F.B.I. agent who had the best chance of foiling the 9/11 plot. Here, with Amy Davidson, Wright talks about how turf wars with the C.I.A. got in the way. Wright’s book “The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11” will be published by Knopf in August.
Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars
[...]Just as disturbing as Al Qaeda's plans and capabilities are the descriptions of the Bush administration's handling of the war on terror and its willful determination to go to war against Iraq. That war, according to the author's sources who attended National Security Council briefings in 2002, was primarily waged "to make an example" of Saddam Hussein, to "create a demonstration model to guide the behavior of anyone with the temerity to acquire destructive weapons or, in any way, flout the authority of the United States."[...]
The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
Sarin gas bomb used in Iraq...
Could this be the beginning of chemical warfare by the insurgents? Sarin
is a particularly nasty one too that has been previously used by terrorists
. Did the CIA actually call it correctly?
CIA Warned of Attack 6 Years Before 9-11
Six years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA warned in a classified report that Islamic extremists likely would strike on U.S. soil at landmarks in Washington or New York, or through the airline industry, according to intelligence officials.
John Dean's analysis of the administrations case for War.
"What I found, in critically examining Bush's evidence, is not pretty. The African uranium matter is merely indicative of larger problems, and troubling questions of potential and widespread criminality when taking the nation to war. It appears that not only the Niger uranium hoax, but most everything else that Bush said about Saddam Hussein's weapons was false, fabricated, exaggerated, or phony."
Ten days ago in Yemen
, a car carrying several men, including an American citizen
, was blown up. They were deliberately killed by a missile fired from a CIA
drone aircraft. The American
is from Lackawanna, New York, about nine miles away
from my house. When I first heard about this bombing, I thought of Orlando Letelier
. Where are the lines
now separating law enforcement and war, targeted strikes and murder?
“President Bush’s case against Saddam Hussein ... relied on a slanted
and sometimes entirely false reading of the available US intelligence, government officials and analysts claimed yesterday.” Another article on the same subject says, “Rumsfeld’s recent remark that the United States has ‘bulletproof’ evidence of links between Al Qaeda and Hussein struck many in the intelligence community as an exaggerated
assessment of the available evidence.” One paper explains the differences this way, “The C.I.A. has to maintain its credibility
for objective estimates. The White House is mobilizing the public and preparing foreign nations for a potential American invasion of Iraq.”
Freeh's misplaced priorities.
"The threat level grew so high that by December 1998, the director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, issued a "declaration of war" on Al Qaeda, in a memorandum circulated in the intelligence community. Yet, Ms. Hill said, the intelligence agencies failed to adequately follow up on the declaration, and by Sept. 10, 2001, the F.B.I. still had only one analyst assigned full time to Al Qaeda. "
Whereas Freeh had 85 agents assigned to the continous microscopic inspection of Clinton's zipper. Politics trumps national security?
Danny pearl, did the wall street journal endanger their own reporter.
The handing over of a laptop to the C.I.A and the department of Defense may hve led to the singling out of a Journal employee.
U.S. authorities had seven chances
to catch the hijackers before September 11th.
Who ya gonna call?!
*cue scary 80's music*
Realism Urgently Needed - Or Not?
David Ignatius's column today in The Washington Post addresses the question of effectiveness in the war against terrorism. He tells the sobering story of the CIA's collaboration with the terrorist Ali Hassan Salameh.
The downside: "The most obvious (lesson) is that collecting intelligence about terrorists is a truly dirty business. This world cannot be penetrated without help from members or friends of the terrorist network".
The upside: "Paradoxically, these tragic days have probably been an ideal time for the CIA to be recruiting new sources of intelligence about terrorism. The barbaric attacks Tuesday aroused disgust around the world --- not least among civilized Muslims. Some of these disgusted Muslims will surely want to help the United States and its allies put the terrorists out of business."
The crucial moral question: It's really a classic means/ends debate. Is it right - or just acceptably expedient - to collaborate with known terrorists in order to strike out at those we don't yet(or otherwise will never) know about?
"A plan to hijack US commercial planes and slam these into targets like the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, was first uncovered in Manila in 1995
after police arrested four suspects in a plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II." So perhaps what happened yesterday shouldn't have been an entirely unforeseeable event.