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Speechwright

By William F. Gavin

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Tag: Cia

Drones

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Posted on Feb 19, 2013 READ MORE



Jill Clardy (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Shooting Gallery: Obama and the Vanishing Point of Democracy

We live at a time in the United States when the notion of political enemies has become a euphemism for dismantling prohibitions against targeted assassinations, torture, abductions and indefinite detention.

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 READ MORE



:mrMark: (CC BY 2.0)

Dumb and Dumber

Last week there was a perfect drone storm of a story, only a year or so late. The most striking thing is that it should have set everyone’s teeth on edge, yet next to nobody even noticed.

Posted on Feb 13, 2013 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: Drones and the Saturday Mail Shocker

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss the war over drones that has erupted during confirmation hearings for John Brennan as CIA director. Should the president be allowed to use unmanned drones to execute a U.S. citizen overseas without due process or judicial review?

Posted on Feb 8, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Jacquelyn Martin

America’s Global Torture Network

When it comes to torture in the post 9/11 era, the record of the United States is so appalling that one must question our claimed abhorrence of the barbarism of other nations. 

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

CIA Nominee Can’t Evade Drone Questions at Senate Hearing

The confirmation hearing of John Brennan to become CIA director began and ended Thursday with questions about his oversight of the drone program that is said to have been responsible for the deaths of at least 2,629 people.

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE



Sanders Wants to End Corporate Tax Handouts, O’Reilly Makes Big Error, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including GOP infighting involving Karl Rove and the latest Republican-led assault on women’s rights.

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE



DonkeyHotey (CC BY 2.0)

U.N.’s Drone Investigator Backs Brennan for Top CIA Job

The head of the United Nations inquiry into drone strikes and targeted killings has endorsed John Brennan, President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser who is facing Senate scrutiny Thursday at his confirmation hearing to become CIA director.

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE


What Brennan Should Explain

Amrit Singh, author of a new report showing the extent of international complicity in the United States’ secret prison, rendition and torture program, discusses her findings and the role of counterterrorism czar John Brennan, whose nomination to head the CIA is being considered by a Senate panel Thursday morning.

Posted on Feb 7, 2013 READ MORE



Brennan and Kiriakou, Drones and Torture

John Brennan and John Kiriakou worked together years ago, but their careers have dramatically diverged. Brennan is now on track to head the CIA, while Kiriakou is headed off to prison.

Posted on Feb 6, 2013 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama’s Place in History Already Assured

The overall failure of American foreign policy during the first Obama presidency was foreseeable.

Posted on Jan 22, 2013 READ MORE



Still from "Zero Dark Thirty," released by Columbia Pictures.

Another Word for Propaganda

Why aren’t film director Kathryn Bigelow’s claimed government sources, including employees of the CIA, in jail like Pfc. Bradley Manning?

Posted on Jan 18, 2013 READ MORE



facebook.com/ZeroDarkThirty

‘Zero Dark Thirty’: Kathryn Bigelow Shows Us the Things We Carried

When “Zero Dark Thirty” opens nationally Friday, many moviegoers will already have made up their minds.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 READ MORE



John Brennan, Sami Al-Hajj and the Blight of Guantanamo

A journalist’s 7-year detention by the United States should be front and center in the forthcoming confirmation hearings for President Barack Obama’s choice the lead the CIA, John Brennan.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 READ MORE


What Is Real and What Is Reality

If Calvin Coolidge of Vermont were alive and awake now—he was noted for taking long naps—he might want to change it to, "The business of America is show business."

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Obama’s CIA Pick Stinks of Torture, Targeted Killings

John Brennan has spent the last four years as President Obama’s counterterrorism adviser and the “architect” of the administration’s expansive drone assassination program. Some time before that, he was a deputy executive director of the CIA when that agency pioneered the use of extradition and torture under President George W. Bush.

Posted on Jan 7, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Jacquelyn Martin

John Kiriakou Becomes First CIA Officer to Face Prison for Classified Leak

The former CIA officer who blew the whistle on waterboarding is preparing to serve a 30-month prison sentence for disclosing to a reporter the name of a covert agent previously involved in the government’s torture program.

Posted on Jan 5, 2013 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

Indefinite War by Design

Guardian columnist Glenn Greenwald asks “whether [the United States’] endless war [on terror] is the intended result of U.S. actions or just an unwanted miscalculation.”

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE



Tax Evasion Lesson No. 1: Become a Russian Citizen

French actor Gerard Depardieu has resorted to becoming Russian in order to avoid paying taxes in France, with a little help from Vladimir Putin of course; Jane Harman is being considered for CIA director, despite her past involvement in an Israeli intelligence influence operation; meanwhile, the Obama administration has been compiling a database that helps it determine how to treat a suspected terrorist. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Jan 4, 2013 READ MORE



Where Are the Tears for Pakistani Children?

President Obama should be crying over kids killed by drones in Pakistan, not just those slain on American soil; apparently some believe that the Sandy Hook massacre was God’s reckoning for our support of abortion and gay marriage; meanwhile, the open Internet comes to an end as the United Nations give governments power to cut off parts of it. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Dec 19, 2012 READ MORE



pareeerica (CC BY 2.0)

How the U.S. Intelligence Community Came Out of the Shadows

The Invisible Government, published by David Wise and Thomas B. Ross in 1964, was groundbreaking, shadow-removing, illuminating. It caused a fuss from its very first paragraph, which was then a shockeroo: “There are two governments in the United States today. One is visible. The other is invisible.”

Posted on Dec 18, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Sony - Columbia Pictures

Hollywood’s Raid on Convention

So far, I have not seen any negative reviews of “Zero Dark Thirty” and it is with some reluctance that I’m about to write one.

Posted on Dec 15, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Fritz Reiss

Court: CIA Tortured Wrongly Detained Terror Suspect

The European Court of Human Rights ruling is the first time the panel has deemed the CIA’s treatment of a suspected terrorist as torture.

Posted on Dec 13, 2012 READ MORE



quinn.anya (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Do Americans Deserve to See These Secret Documents?

From the memo detailing the right to assassinate U.S. citizens worldwide to the paper negotiating the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas, the U.S. government has kept many documents classified for dubious reasons. David Wallechinsky of AllGov looks at 11 of them.

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 READ MORE



Mike Licht (CC-BY)

Obama Rushed Rules for Drone Assassinations in Case Romney Won

The New York Times reports that there is internal strife within the administration about the willy-nilly use of drones to kill people abroad (2,500 since President Obama took office) and, fearing defeat at the polls, the Obama administration was working overtime to lay down a set of rules governing robotic assassination.

Posted on Nov 25, 2012 READ MORE



hectorir (CC BY 2.0)

The Fall of the American Empire (Writ Small)

It couldn’t be clearer now that the “fall” of David Petraeus is playing out as farce of the first order. What’s less obvious is that America’s military golden boy and Caesar of celebrity was always smoke and mirrors, always the farce, even if the denizens of Washington didn’t know it.

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 READ MORE


Spotlight

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Posted on Nov 20, 2012 READ MORE


The GenPetraeus’ Emails

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Posted on Nov 19, 2012 READ MORE


Modern Day Warfare

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Posted on Nov 16, 2012 READ MORE


Death by Email

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Posted on Nov 15, 2012 READ MORE


The Watchdog

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Posted on Nov 14, 2012 READ MORE


The Petraeus Affair

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Posted on Nov 13, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Chris O'Meara

Ridiculous Details Emerge From Petraeus Sex Scandal as Investigation Widens

The Petraeus scandal has expanded to involve another high ranking military officer: Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 READ MORE



CIA

A Bizarro Spy Tale With Missing Pieces

The one familiar aspect of the David Petraeus scandal is that he had an affair. Everything else about this story is weird.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Cliff Owen

How the David Petraeus-Paula Broadwell Affair Was Uncovered

It appears modern technology and a jealous lover cost the ex-CIA director his job.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 READ MORE



The U.S. Army (CC BY 2.0)

General David Petraeus on How Best to Live

Days before David Petraeus resigned from his post as director of the CIA for having an extramarital affair, The Daily Beast’s Newsreek Newsweek column published the general’s “Rules for Living” as documented by his biographer and mistress, Paula Broadwell.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 READ MORE



Democracy Now!

NSA Whistle-Blower: Obama’s ‘Disposition Matrix’ is an ‘Undisciplined Slaughter’

Former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William Binney is appalled but unsurprised by last week’s revelation that President Obama has institutionalized a mechanism for generating targets for his secretive assassination list.

Posted on Oct 27, 2012 READ MORE



AP/Jacquelyn Martin

CIA Torture Whistle-Blower Pleads Guilty in Naming Colleague

Former CIA officer and whistle-blower John Kiriakou pleaded guilty Tuesday to leaking the name of a fellow agent involved in the agency’s post-9/11 rendition and torture program to a reporter. He faces two and a half years in prison.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 READ MORE



Warner Bros./Publicity Still

Let ‘Argo’ Take You Hostage

I don’t know how much of the picture—beyond its basic premise—is “true.” And, frankly, I don’t give a damn.

Posted on Oct 15, 2012 READ MORE



9/11 photos (CC BY 2.0)

Bush Administration Ignored 9/11 Warnings

For those who never knew, the Bush White House received numerous warnings from the counterterrorism desk at the CIA of an imminent attack by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida on the United States. Former New York Times reporter Kurt Eichenwald tells of the still-classified briefs issued to the Bush administration in the months leading up to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Posted on Sep 11, 2012 READ MORE



The Guardian

Children Killed by Teenage Suicide Bomber in Kabul

A teenage suicide bomber who had posed as a street hawker killed six people, including four children gathered around an iPhone, when he detonated explosives hidden in his backpack near the headquarters of the NATO-led military force in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday.

Posted on Sep 8, 2012 READ MORE


Justice Dept. Closes Probe of CIA Prison Deaths

The U.S. Justice Department ordered a “complete whitewash” of accountability in the torture and killing of prisoners in CIA custody at the end of a three-year investigation on Thursday, announcing it will not prosecute anyone involved in those cases, says Glenn Greenwald, columnist for The Guardian.

Posted on Aug 31, 2012 READ MORE



Kradlum (CC BY 2.0)

The Congressional Push for Secrecy

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.

Posted on Aug 8, 2012 READ MORE



FreedomHouse2 (CC BY 2.0)

Obama Reportedly OKs Support for Syrian Rebels

President Barack Obama earlier this year secretly authorized the CIA and other U.S. agencies to support Syrian rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, anonymous sources have told Reuters.

Posted on Aug 2, 2012 READ MORE



david drexler (CC BY 2.0)

That Makes No Sense!

When my daughter was little and I read to her regularly, one illustrated book was a favorite of ours. In a series of scenes, a frustrated young girl booms out: “that makes me mad!” For our present national security moment, however, I might amend the book’s punch line slightly.

Posted on Jul 20, 2012 READ MORE



The Penguin Press

A Former CIA Operative Against Excessive Secrecy

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.”

Posted on Jul 5, 2012 READ MORE



Malakh Kelevra (CC BY-ND 2.0)

More Than $11 Billion Spent Keeping Secrets Secret

The amount the U.S. government spent to keep classified information secret exceeded $11 billion in 2011—12 percent more than during the previous year.

Posted on Jul 3, 2012 READ MORE


Fruit of the Boom

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Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE    



Lance Page/Truthout.org

Would-Be Underwear Bomber Was CIA Double Agent

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.

Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP/J.P. Karas

Report: Al-Qaida Bomb Plot Against Jet Thwarted

The CIA foiled an elaborate new underwear bomb plot by an al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen that was intended to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Posted on May 7, 2012 READ MORE


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