The nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director has prompted intense debate on Capitol Hill and in the media about U.S. drone killings abroad. But the focus has been on the targeting of American citizens – a narrow issue that accounts for a miniscule proportion of the hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen in recent years.
The U.S. Congress—one of the branches intended by America’s founders to balance the president’s power—is showing just as much and in some cases more interest in preserving a growing culture of secrecy as its executive counterpart, says Steven Aftergood, secrecy researcher at the Federation of American Scientists.
Human rights lawyer Scott Horton, on the Harper’s Magazine website, asks career CIA counterterrorism agent Henry Crumpton what America can do to balance the need for secrecy with the people’s right to know what their government is doing. Crumpton is author of the new book “The Art of Intelligence.”
The recently uncovered al-Qaida plot to take down a U.S.-bound airliner took a dramatic turn Tuesday: It turns out that the would-be bomber who was chosen to carry out the mission was actually an informant for the CIA.
Is the CIA following your tweets? Or perhaps it “Likes” your latest thoughts while showering that you have posted on Facebook. These startling considerations may apply only if you’re overseas—or so the agency says.
Italian journalist Olivia Poli joined John R. MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper’s Magazine, for a stroll through New York City’s Washington Square Park, where they had an unusually candid conversation about the so-called drawdown of the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. (more)
Last month’s arrest in Pakistan of one Raymond Davis, an American working security for other U.S. operatives in Lahore—and an American with clear employment ties to the CIA and previously to Blackwater Worldwide—has made for additional diplomatic strain between the two nations.
In a report that’s sure to surprise absolutely nobody, The New York Times revealed on Saturday that former Vice President Dick Cheney explicitly ordered the Central Intelligence Agency to keep a “counterterrorism program”—of an as-yet-unknown nature—secret from Congress. The program reportedly existed for eight years.