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]
'The committee is, to put it bluntly, basically under the control of the White House," said Jay Rockefeller, vice-president of the Senate Intelligence Committee, after the committee quashed a broad inquiry into the legality of the NSA spying on Americans -- despite an increasing number of legal scholars coming forward and declaring that the program is "blatantly illegal," in the words of Yale Law School dean Harold Koh. Meanwhile, the GOP proposes giving spying on Americans the "force of law" while subjecting it to "rigorous oversight."
Everyone's favorite unidentified 22-year CIA veteran who used to hunt Osama bin Laden, Anonymous, is back with a new book, "Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror," and suggests that al-Qaida may try to reward Bush before the election. Last year, Anonymous created a stir with another book and was interviewed on Nightline. If only he had a scramble suit, he could do a book tour.
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?