More than two years later, the Raymond Davis episode has been largely forgotten in the United States. It was immediately overshadowed by the dramatic raid months later that killed Osama bin Laden — consigned to a footnote in the doleful narrative of America’s relationship with Pakistan. But dozens of interviews conducted over several months, with government officials and intelligence officers in Pakistan and in the United States, tell a different story: that the real unraveling of the relationship was set off by the flurry of bullets Davis unleashed on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2011, and exacerbated by a series of misguided decisions in the days and weeks that followed. In Pakistan, it is the Davis affair, more than the Bin Laden raid, that is still discussed in the country’s crowded bazaars and corridors of power.
- The Spy Who Lost Pakistan
(SL NYTIMES Magazine)
posted by beisny
on Apr 9, 2013 -
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]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 21, 2011 -
That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet
on Jan 29, 2010 -
"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 -
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 -
The administration's latest innovation in its effort to export democracy: Soviet-style gulags
, a network of secret C.I.A. prisons known as "black sites." [From the Washington Post
]. Meanwhile, SecDef Rumsfeld says no thanks
to the idea of U.N. inspectors talking to detainees in Guantanamo Bay.
posted by digaman
on Nov 2, 2005 -
Why outing Plame mattered.
If you wonder what's really at stake behind all the media buzz around the Fitzgerald indictments, read this lengthy and cogent analysis by Stratfor's
no-nonsense George Friedman. "Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a 'bodyguard of lies' -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities... The minimal story -- that they talked about Plame with a reporter -- is the end of the matter."
posted by digaman
on Oct 18, 2005 -
"It wouldn't surprise me if we paid rewards"
--As part of the AP's receipt of transcripts of the millitary tribunals in Guantanamo, multiple reports of our allies using money the US gave them to buy "terrorists" for shipment there. ..."When I was in jail, they said I needed to pay them money and if I didn't pay them, they'd make up wrong accusations about me and sell me to the Americans and I'd definitely go to Cuba," he told the tribunal. "After that I was held for two months and 20 days in their detention, so they could make wrong accusations about me and my (censored), so they could sell us to you."
Another prisoner said he was on his way to Germany in 2001 when he was captured and sold for "a briefcase full of money" then flown to Afghanistan before being sent to Guantanamo....
posted by amberglow
on Jun 1, 2005 -
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 -
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 -
'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 -
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 -
Created by the CIA in Saigon in 1967, Phoenix
was a program aimed at "neutralizing"--through assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture--the civilian infrastructure that supported the Viet Cong insurgency in South Vietnam. The CIA destroyed its copies of the documents related to this program, but the creator of Phoenix gave his personal copies to author Douglas Valentine. He, in turn, has given them to The Memory Hole
. They have never previously been published, online or in print. Via Politech
posted by gd779
on May 27, 2003 -
Is this World War IV, and is it for a just cause?
Former CIA director James Woolsey says the U.S. is engaged in World War IV, to democratize the Arab world. It's not propaganda, but a reasoned argument that the U.S.'s long-term objective should be to give the people of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt the right to self rule. Self-congratulatory or visionary?
posted by darren
on Apr 3, 2003 -
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 -
U.S.' first Afghanistan conflict casualty may be C.I.A. operative "Mike"
Time magazine's Alex Perry reported from the scene outside Mazar-i-Sharif that at least one American, whom he identified as "Mike'' and said belonged to U.S. special operations forces, was missing and presumed dead after prisoners began firing smuggled weapons. If the man was confirmed as a soldier, it would be the first known U.S. combat death in Afghanistan since Washington began attacking Taliban forces -– although it is suspected that "Mike" is a covert CIA operative.
posted by marc-hamilton
on Nov 25, 2001 -