Tag: CIA (page 2)

Dennis Blair Resigns : The Future Belongs to the Spies

Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence, is resigning at the request of President Obama.

Among the agencies Blair has supervisory authority over is the National Counterterrorism Center. Analysts at the NCTC have been blamed for failing to connect intelligence dots and for not sharing information about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who planned to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day.

Blair took a big hit from the Senate Intelligence Committee this week when it released a declassified report on the failed attack. (More from the report here.)

While Blair, as Director of National Intelligence, is responsible for supervising the NCTC and 15 other intelligence-related agencies, the actual Director of the NCTC is Michael E. Leiter. Will he keep his job? The FBI and State Department were also found to have contributed to the intelligence lapses that failed to prevent Abdulmutallab from boarding the plane. Is anyone being canned from those agencies? Or is Blair just expendable and a convenient fall guy? [More...]

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Afghan CIA Suicide Bomber Being Groomed as Informant

Update: 1/1/10: More confirmation here.

As I speculated here, new reports show the suicide bomber who killed 8 CIA agents yesterday at a U.S. intelligence post in Afghanistan, was a person being groomed to be an informant. He had been invited onto the base, and although he had never been there before, he wasn't searched. As to why he was invited on to the base:

An experienced Central Intelligence Agency debriefer came from Kabul for the meeting, suggesting that the purpose was to gain intelligence, the official said.

Among the seven CIA officials killed was the female base chief, a mother of three. While some reports say the attack happened in the gym, others says it happened as he was getting out of a car. Maybe she walked up to the car to greet the would-be informant and he blew himself up as he was getting out.

The Taliban, which has taken credit for the attack, says the bomber was posing as an Afghan officer. So the CIA thought they had flipped the guy, but he was playing them. This story is still developing.

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Ethics Group Claims CIA Doctors Used "Human Experimentation" During Torture Sessions

About those doctors who attended the CIA interrogation sessions at which enhanced technigues, aka torture, were used:

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a non-profit group that has investigated the role of medical personnel in alleged incidents of torture at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram and other US detention sites, accuses doctors of being far more involved than hitherto understood.

....The most incendiary accusation of PHR's latest report, Aiding Torture, is that doctors actively monitored the CIA's interrogation techniques with a view to determining their effectiveness, using detainees as human subjects without their consent. The report concludes that such data-gathering was "a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation".

The report cites the recently released 2004 CIA Inspector General's report. [More...]

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AG Eric Holder Launching Preliminary Review of CIA Abuse Cases

Attorney General Eric Holder issued this statement today about his decision to conduct a review of some cases of CIA abuse of detainees as recommended in the Inspector General's report.

"I have reviewed the OPR report in depth. Moreover, I have closely examined the full, still-classified version of the 2004 CIA Inspector General’s report, as well as other relevant information available to the Department.

As a result of my analysis of all of this material, I have concluded that the information known to me warrants opening a preliminary review into whether federal laws were violated in connection with the interrogation of specific detainees at overseas locations.


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CIA Secret Overseas Prisons to Close, Contractors' Role Ended

The C.I.A. today announced the closure of overseas CIA prisons for detainees. Private contractors will no longer be involved in interrogating prisoners.

The C.I.A. has never revealed the location of its overseas facilities, but intelligence officials, aviation records and news reports have placed them in Afghanistan, Thailand, Poland, Romania and Jordan, among other countries.

More from CIA Chief Leon Pannetta's statement: [More...]

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Another Detainee Alleges Torture At CIA Black Hole

Huffington Post has an exclusive interview with Yemen citizen Mohamed Farag Bashmilah:

From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run "black sites" with no contact with the outside world. On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen. I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges.

He's never gotten an explanation and all of his attempts to obtain documentation have been ignored or rejected. Why is he coming forward at Huffpo today? As part of an effort underway to get President Obama to establish a commission. [More...]

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Guilty of Torture: Stephen Kappes

Spencer Ackerman links to me today in his piece, "Do We Really Have to Call Steve Kappes a Torturer?" He picks up on the central charge of my post, that Kappes signed off on the rendition of Abu Omar. He writes as follows:

"The most serious charge against Kappes, as best I can tell, comes from his role in the abduction and rendition of Abu Omar, the Egyptian cleric taken by the CIA off the streets of Milan and tortured in Egypt. A 2007 article from The Chicago Tribune about the rendition reports briefly that Kappes was "one of those who signed off on the Abu Omar abduction." (h/t TalkLeft.) No doubt that's troubling. Extraordinary rendition is legally and morally problematic. Italy is prosecuting in absentia the CIA agents involved in the Abu Omar rendition."

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Envisioning Intelligence Post-Bush

Tim Shorrock is one of the most well-informed and fascinating writers on the intelligence world (check out his interview with Glenn Greenwald here). His recent book, "Spies for Hire," uncovers the extremely cozy relationship between the official CIA and its corresponding "trade association," the INSA (Intelligence and National Security Alliance). You can read some more about that relationship, especially as it relates to John Brennan, in a diary I wrote here. Brennan was until mid-Nov of this year the chairman of the INSA.

Shorrock and Frank Naif recently wrote two really excellent articles for the Huffington Post that describe the problems a post-Bush intelligence agency is going to face as well as the skills and attitudes that are going to be needed to face them.

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Net Neutrality vs. Torture Policy

Something struck me today while catching up on my blog headlines.  Remember the WSJ article BTD blogged about that set off an online firestorm?  We were all supposed to sit tight and dismiss the article until Obama appointed someone like Brennan to the CIA.  Then we could complain.  Then we would find out if Obama had changed his policy.

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CIA at the crossroads

As I continue my research into Obama's reported CIA and DNI candidate fields, I am finding it remarkable that among the candidates there is such dissent when it comes to what they believe is right/acceptable in interrogation policy and information collection. It's really quite amazing.

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Psst...Rand Beers for CIA.

Us liberal blogging types are such a destructive bunch, aren't we?  We hardly know anything if you go by what the MSM says.  

But what confuses me most is that the press seems ignorant of the CIA transition process as anything more than Brennan, and now perhaps, Hayden.  I have read very little on any other possible candidates.  Wondering if Obama will appoint a progressive, who agrees with his views, is apparently beyond them.  Even if that guy is one of his advisers!

So here is my suggestion, made once before, now expanded into its own diary.  Beers for CIA Director.

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Report: Obama May Keep Hayden as CIA Chief

U.S. News and World Reports writes that President-Elect Barack Obama may keep Michael Hayden as head of the CIA.

I don't see Obama keeping Hayden. I hope the US News Report is just a rumor being floated for reaction.

Keeping Hayden would be unfortunate. It would represent the wrong kind of change for Obama who voted against Hayden's confirmation. Here's Obama's 2006 speech on why he opposed Hayden for CIA director. [More...]

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