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The United States does not {video tape} torture.

CIA destroys videotapes of "advanced interrogations" [more inside]
posted by zerobyproxy on Dec 6, 2007 - 117 comments

Valerie Plame v. The CIA

Wilson et al v. McConnell et al. This site has all the legal documents surrounding Valerie Plame's legal case against the CIA over her new book. CIA censors blacked out 10 percent of the copy, as can seen in this excerpt from the book, and Plame is not allowed to speak freely in her interviews. [Via No Quarter.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 22, 2007 - 87 comments

Scooter throws Turd Blossom under the bus

Politics/PlameFilter: In opening arguments today in the Plame investigation perjury case against Vice President Cheney's former Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, the prosecutor portrayed Libby as an agent of a Cheney-driven media offensive. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came from Libby's attorney, who portrayed his client as a White House-chosen scapegoat for Karl Rove's misdeeds. A conservative reporter saw in Libby's emerging defense a "dramatic split inside the Bush White House." An MSNBC host asked whether this hullabaloo could lead to Cheney's resignation. Background on the case. Liveblogging of today's arguments from an anti-administration perspective.
posted by ibmcginty on Jan 23, 2007 - 16 comments

Personality, Ideology and Bush's Terror Wars

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."[...]
posted by Postroad on Jun 20, 2006 - 56 comments

Ouch.

CIA vet Michael Scheuer: "I think Iraq is finished. We’ll just find a way to get out. I frankly don’t think we ever intended to win there." And: "As a professional intelligence officer, the last people you want to report to are generals and diplomats. And if General Hayden comes to the CIA, we’ll have Mr. Negroponte [a career diplomat] as head of the community, and a general as the head of the CIA."
posted by js003 on May 19, 2006 - 48 comments

Porter Goss Resigns at CIA

Newsfilter: CIA director Porter Goss resigns. After taking some of the fall heat for bad intelligence in the months before 9/11, Cheney's "cat's paw" finally gets out of the kitchen.
posted by digaman on May 5, 2006 - 200 comments

This isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.

CIA warned White House -- no WMD programs in Iraq. A retired senior CIA official interviewed by 60 Minutes claims that the White House ignored intelligence from Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri in the run-up to the invasion. CIA Director George Tenet delivered the information to President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other high-ranking officials in September 2002, according to the CIA official. A few days later the administration said it was no longer interested. "...we said 'Well, what about the intel?' And they said 'Well, this isn't about intel anymore. This is about regime change.' " The interview airs on CBS, Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
posted by insomnia_lj on Apr 22, 2006 - 59 comments

Cherry-Picking on the Road to War

"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
posted by digaman on Feb 10, 2006 - 49 comments

They have no idea what an Arab is. . .

Seeing Only Evil: An Interview with Retired CIA Agent Robert Baer, Author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War Against Terrorism.
posted by exlotuseater on Feb 5, 2006 - 21 comments

wmd intelligence

Curveball's motive, CIA officials said, was not to start a war. He simply was seeking a German visa.
You would think that there would be some serious repercussions for "mishandling" intelligence used to start a war.
Then again it's not like this is really news (dated 4/2004)
A different angle previously discussed here on Metafilter
posted by threehundredandsixty on Nov 20, 2005 - 12 comments

The American way of torture

Has the C.I.A. legally killed prisoners? Two years ago, Manadel al-Jamadi, a suspected Iraqi insurgent, walked into a Baghdad interrogation room. He was dead in 45 minutes, his head covered with a plastic bag, shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that led to his asphyxiation. U.S. authorities classified his death a homicide. His CIA interrogator has not been charged with a crime and continues to work for the agency. President Bush says "We do not torture." But if that’s true, then why is Vice President Cheney fighting to exempt CIA interrogators from a torture ban? And al-Jamadi? His case is stalled in the Alberto Gonzalez Justice Department, two years after soldiers posed for thumbs-up pictures next to his corpse.
posted by sacre_bleu on Nov 9, 2005 - 49 comments

Parsing Terror

Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA via Pakistan's ISI -- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by digaman on Nov 3, 2005 - 57 comments

"La Pistola Fumante"

The Great Italian Yellowcake Scam. Three- part translation of a three- article series in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica that "attempted to reconstruct the who, where and why of the manufacture and transfer to British and American intelligence of the dodgy dossier for war." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 26, 2005 - 17 comments

The world's biggest thief?

The world's biggest thief? A warrant has been issued against former Iraqi Interim Defense Minister Hazim Shaalan for defrauding Iraq of over $1 billion. In January, I posted to MeFi about Shaalan's possible involvement in a $300 million fraud scheme and the murder of two American arms merchants. What is more troubling, however, is that the U.S. government may have turned a blind eye to this massive defrauding of the Iraqi people. Prior to his role as Defense Minister, Shaalan ran a real estate agency in Britain and had no prior military qualifications. For this reason, Juan Cole believes it likely that Shaalan was a CIA agent, while Ahmed Chalabi accused Sha'alan of spying for Saddam. Meanwhile, the insurgents accused Shaalan of conspiring with the Bush administration to scrap Iraq's heavy weaponry. What does seem clear is that he apparently tried to buy broken Soviet-era armored vehicles and 28-year-old, second-hand Polish helicopters too old to fly at a premium, while pocketing lucrative kickbacks. Which begs the question -- if the U.S. government really wanted a strong, independent Iraqi military, then why doesn't it give Iraq the heavy arms they'll need to defend themselves?
posted by insomnia_lj on Sep 20, 2005 - 17 comments

Jihad U

President Bush pledged in 2003 that "A free Iraq will not be a training ground for terrorists... A free Iraq will not destabilize the Middle East." This past January, the CIA's National Intelligence Council observed that Iraq had become "a training ground, a recruitment ground" for jihadists. Now the senior Marine commander in Iraq, Lt. Gen. James Conway -- in a statement that has not yet been picked up by the media -- acknowledges that the war is furnishing a new "a training ground" for foreign fighters trained in urban warfare who will export terror all over the world, saying, "But there's not much we can do about it at this point in time."
posted by digaman on Jul 2, 2005 - 19 comments

The Still Unsolved Stoffel Affair: How Is Known – but Not Who or Why

The Still Unsolved Stoffel Affair: How Is Known – but Not Who or Why Iraqi guerrillas calling themselves Rafidan – the Political Committee of the Mujahideen Central Command – have recently woken up and begun releasing a series of communiqués claiming to shed new light on the still unsolved deaths on December 8, 2004, of two Americans, Dale C. Stoffel, 43, whom they describe as “a CIA shadow manager in Iraq, close friend of George Bush,” and his associate Joseph J. Wemple, also 43.
posted by Postroad on May 10, 2005 - 8 comments

Nope, no weapons over there...maybe under here?

Iraq's WMD capability was essentially destroyed in 1991, according to the report by the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq.
posted by kirkaracha on Oct 6, 2004 - 28 comments

Federally funded Sci-Fi

Federally Funded Science Fiction. The CIA announced today that next month's final report on Iraq's weapons program under Saddam Hussein will mostly encompass an analysis of what they believe Iraq would be like through 2008 had Bush not invaded the country. Because when you want accurate, detailed analysis of the future of Iraq's weapons, you turn to the group that got it completely wrong during the present.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 20, 2004 - 27 comments

A Temporary Coup

"A Temporary Coup" -- after a brief commercial, read Salon's interview with CIA historian Thomas Powers, who wrote The Trouble with the CIA and The Failure previously for the NYRB, and herein relates a tale of terror and truly Byzantine intrigue.
posted by y2karl on Jun 14, 2004 - 6 comments

Sarin Gas in Iraq...

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?
posted by darian on May 17, 2004 - 63 comments

Ahmad Chalabi - It's All Bad News

Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's heartthrob and the State Department's and CIA's heartbreak, has taken the lead in a yearlong political marathon. Temporary constitutional arrangements are structured to give the future prime minister more power than the president... Chalabi holds the ultimate weapons -- several dozen tons of documents and individual files seized by his Iraqi National Congress from Saddam Hussein's secret security apparatus. Coupled with his position as head of the de-Baathification commission, Chalabi, barely a year since he returned to his homeland after 45 years of exile, has emerged as the power behind a vacant throne... All the bases are loaded for a home run by MVP Chalabi. If successful, it will be an additional campaign issue president Bush could have done without. Saddam was good riddance. But was Chalabi a worthy democratic trade?
posted by y2karl on Mar 29, 2004 - 18 comments

CIA admits lack of specifics on Iraqi weapons before invasion

CIA admits lack of specifics on Iraqi weapons before invasion...and then some justification etc etc follows
posted by Postroad on Nov 30, 2003 - 5 comments

CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak

CIA Seeks Probe of Iraq-Al Qaeda Memo Leak The CIA will ask the Justice Department to investigate the leak of a 16-page classified Pentagon memo that listed and briefly described raw agency intelligence on any relationship between Saddam Hussein's Iraqi government and Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist network, according to congressional and administration sources...and if this probe is like so many others, that will be the end of this news item.
posted by Postroad on Nov 18, 2003 - 10 comments

Iraq Lacked Atom Whack

At least four times in the fall of 2002, the president and his advisers invoked the specter of a "mushroom cloud," and some of them, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, described Iraq's nuclear ambitions as a threat to the American homeland... Among the closely held internal judgments of the Iraq Survey Group, overseen by David Kay as special representative of CIA Director George J. Tenet, are that Iraq's nuclear weapons scientists did no significant arms-related work after 1991, that facilities with suspicious new construction proved benign, and that equipment of potential use to a nuclear program remained under seal or in civilian industrial use.

So in regards to Iraq's possession of the one weapon we can be certain causes mass destruction: the atomic bomb, as Gregg Easterbrook put it, the verdict is the unsurprising (and unsurprisingly closely held) nope, not, zero, zip, nada...
posted by y2karl on Oct 27, 2003 - 21 comments

Spooks & State Took Dim View On Prospect For Iraqi Democracy

Democracy might be impossible, US was told
The CIA's March report concluded that Iraqi society and history showed little evidence to support the creation of democratic institutions, going so far as to say its prospects for democracy could be "impossible," according to intelligence officials who have seen it. The assessment was based on Iraq's history of repression and war; clan, tribal and religious conflict; and its lack of experience as a viable country prior to its arbitrary creation as a monarchy by British colonialists after World War I.
The State Department came to the same conclusion. "Liberal democracy would be difficult to achieve in Iraq," said a March State Department report, first reported by the Los Angeles Times. "Electoral democracy, were it to emerge, could well be subject to exploitation by anti-American elements."

posted by y2karl on Aug 14, 2003 - 60 comments

It's not censorship if it doesn't work

GOP Warns TV Stations Not to Air Ad Alleging Bush Mislead the Nation Over Iraq They claim that the ad itself is dishonest, and cite the obligation of broadcast outlets to be free of misleading information. “Such obligations must be taken seriously. This letter puts you on notice that the information contained in the above-cited advertisement is false and misleading; therefore, you are obligated to refrain from airing this advertisement.” Despite the implicit threats, only one station has refused to run the ad, a Fox station.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 23, 2003 - 74 comments

John Dean case for War in Iraq

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."
posted by thedailygrowl on Jul 18, 2003 - 73 comments

Rumsfeld made his own intelligence

Rumsfeld's personal spy ring The defense secretary couldn't count on the CIA or the State Department to provide a pretext for war in Iraq. So he created a new agency that would tell him what he wanted to hear. Today, Salon also looks into the role played by John Bolton. Is investigative journalism now just relegated to the web? [you have to look at an ad, I believe]
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly on Jul 15, 2003 - 26 comments

'No real planning for postwar Iraq'

'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis on Jul 12, 2003 - 64 comments

Bush Lied, People Died

The First Casualty. The New Republic is one of the few left-leaning political journals who supported the war on Iraq. Now it seems like they've come to their senses and have written a very exhaustive story on how exactly Team Bush manipulated evidence to support the war on Iraq: "Rather, interviews with current and former intelligence officials and other experts reveal that the Bush administration culled from U.S. intelligence those assessments that supported its position and omitted those that did not. The administration ignored, and even suppressed, disagreement within the intelligence agencies and pressured the CIA to reaffirm its preferred version of the Iraqi threat. Similarly, it stonewalled, and sought to discredit, international weapons inspectors when their findings threatened to undermine the case for war."
posted by owillis on Jun 19, 2003 - 11 comments

Let's Just Send Suge Knight In To Do It Right!

Let's Just Send Suge Knight In To Do It Right! A radio station thought to be backed by the CIA has been broadcasting a gangsta rap-style parody of Saddam Hussein to Iraq.
posted by turbanhead on Apr 11, 2003 - 16 comments

“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.”
posted by raaka on Oct 12, 2002 - 44 comments

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
posted by risenc on Sep 10, 2002 - 27 comments

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