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Tag: Cia

waterboarding cartoon
Wikimedia Commons / tales-of-iraq-war.blogspot.com

Obama Aims to Improve America’s Interrogation Record

Monday saw more than one move on the part of Team Obama to deal with U.S. intelligence agencies’ treatment of terror suspects: In addition to Attorney General Eric Holder’s bid to take a second look into certain CIA-related cases from years past, President Obama has approved the formation of an integrated interrogation central command called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

AG to Appoint Torture Prosecutor

Although President Obama and others who were privy to information about alleged prisoner abuse by CIA employees and contractors previously passed on the possibility of prosecution, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has taken a different tack after reviewing the cases. Updated

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


Robert Novak
zimbio.com

Robert Novak Dies at 78

Conservative columnist Robert Novak died Tuesday in Washington at 78 after fighting brain cancer since 2008. Novak’s career spanned half a century, but he knew many would most remember him for his central role in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame during the Bush II era.

Posted on Aug 18, 2009 READ MORE



U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith

War Without Purpose

Al-Qaida could not care less what we do in Afghanistan. We are fighting with the wrong tools. We are fighting the wrong people. We are on the wrong side of history. And we will be defeated in Afghanistan as we will be in Iraq.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
fortunespawn.com

House Committee to Launch CIA Probe

Former Vice President Dick Cheney may have some ’splainin’ to do, and to the House Intelligence Committee at that, when the panel kicks off its investigation into claims that the CIA kept information about a covert counterterrorism program secret from Congress for eight years. Rep. Jan Schakowsky announced the probe Friday.

Posted on Jul 17, 2009 READ MORE


Darth Cheney [A Cartoon From Germany]

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Posted on Jul 16, 2009 READ MORE


Stains From the Bush Era Won’t Fade

The legacy of that administration’s anti-terrorism tactics cannot be washed away in a tide of feel-good rhetoric about moving on, nor will it fade eventually if we apply Obama’s spiritual wisdom that this should be a time for “reflection, not retribution.”

Posted on Jul 15, 2009 READ MORE


Dick Cheney
White House / David Bohrer

CIA Program Too Good to Be True?

What is so controversial about killing al-Qaida bigwigs and avoiding civilian casualties that the CIA would have to conceal such things from Congress? The usual anonymous officials have emerged to explain the secret CIA program Dick Cheney and the agency are supposed to have hidden, and something smells awfully fishy.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



Original: Flickr / kiwanja

Bush’s Wiretaps Now Even More Warrantless

It turns out George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretap program wasn’t just illegal, it was pretty useless. A new report by the inspectors general of the agencies charged with catching the evildoers determined that many agents were flummoxed by the vague information coming out of the overly secretive program, and those who weren’t couldn’t demonstrate how it was helpful.

Posted on Jul 13, 2009 READ MORE



cia.gov

CIA ‘Lied’ to Congress

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes wrote that his panel “has been misled, has not been provided full and complete notifications, and (in at least one occasion) was affirmatively lied to” by the CIA. The committee learned of the matter in the secret testimony of CIA Director Leon Panetta, who revealed that the agency he just inherited has been deceiving Congress since 2001.

Posted on Jul 9, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Classic Coups, Cloaks and Daggers

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in his pajamas in a 1980s-style coup, while the CIA has begun recruiting laid-off Wall Street financial analysts to screw up other economies. Check out Jon Stewart’s take on things in this clip from Monday night’s “Daily Show.”

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 READ MORE


Iran’s Regime Reveals Its Brutality

The truly significant result of the suppressed Iranian revolt is that the most important Islamist radical movement in the contemporary world has demonstrated that it has become a brutally repressive dictatorship whose leaders rig elections and beat down clear popular demands.

Posted on Jun 23, 2009 READ MORE



AP photo / Ali Zare

Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away

Iranians do not need or want us to teach them about liberty and representative government. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran.

Posted on Jun 22, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

No Big Surprise: Torture Yields Bogus Info

New declassified information reveals that the CIA’s torture programs produced false information. September 11th mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed admitted he made up stories under torture, refuting a long-standing and still-used Bush administration argument that harsh interrogation yields highly valuable information. Rachel Maddow provides the details.

Posted on Jun 16, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer / Archive

CIA Chief Wonders Whether Cheney Wishes for Terrorist Attack

Leon Panetta responds to the former vice president’s constant sniping in the latest New Yorker: “I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue. ... It’s almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that’s dangerous politics.”

Posted on Jun 14, 2009 READ MORE


Being Obama Matters

I used to fear that the president was overestimating the power of his personal history as an instrument of foreign policy. Now I wonder if he might have been underestimating.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Mr. Fish

Hold Your Applause

We may thrill to Obama’s rhetoric, but very few of the 1.3 billion Muslims in the world are as deluded. They grasp that nothing so far has changed for Muslims in the Middle East under the Obama administration.

Posted on Jun 8, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / joewcampbell

Justice Dept. Lawyers Opposed Torture but Saw It as Legal

While George W. Bush’s torture policies stained the reputations of a number of administration lawyers, others have been lauded for their resistance to backing harsh interrogation. However, newly revealed communications show that there was broad consensus in the Justice Department—even among lawyers who opposed such practices—that torture was legal.

Posted on Jun 7, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
fbi.gov

Nominee Pulls Out Before Being Questioned About Torture

In the latest bout over who was in the know about torture, President Obama’s nominee for Homeland Security intelligence chief, Philip Mudd (above), withdrew from consideration on Friday before having to disclose his involvement in the CIA’s interrogation practices. John O. Brennan, who was the leading candidate to head the CIA, withdrew from consideration for the top post because of similar reasons last November.

Posted on Jun 6, 2009 READ MORE



Library of Congress

Elderly Couple Arrested as Spies

A 72-year-old former State Department employee and his 71-year-old wife were arrested Thursday on charges of spying for the Cuban government. An undercover FBI agent reportedly tricked the couple into giving up their secret after they allegedly had been engaged in espionage for 30 years.

Posted on Jun 5, 2009 READ MORE


Petraeus
USAF / Staff Sgt. Bradley A. Lail

Replace Petraeus

Gen. David Petraeus has proven the rule that past military victories do not guarantee future success. The general has made a mess of Afghanistan and Pakistan, yet he remains dangerously popular.

Posted on Jun 2, 2009 READ MORE


What Will Obama Say in Cairo?

Next week President Barack Obama travels to Cairo to deliver what is expected to be a major statement on relations between the United States and the Islamic world, but informed skeptics predict his new approach to the region will resemble the late months of the Bush administration.

Posted on May 29, 2009 READ MORE


Obama and the Limits of Mastery

President Obama wants to build a new liberal majority and to do it he’s trying to charm everyone left of Rush Limbaugh. That strategy has led to some awkward moments.

Posted on May 24, 2009 READ MORE


Graham and Colbert

Was Bob Graham Briefed About Torture?

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham says the CIA didn’t brief him about the use of waterboarding on suspected terrorists, and he has the records in his personal notebooks to prove it, as he points out during a timely book tour stopover on Wednesday’s “Colbert Report.”

Posted on May 21, 2009 READ MORE


Guantanamo prisoner
AP photo / Lynne Sladky

A Truth Commission Beckons

The partisan firefight over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s incendiary allegation that the CIA lied to Congress about its use of “enhanced interrogation techniques”—torture—is a blessing. It turns the compelling case for a public inquiry into the Bush administration’s policies toward terrorism detainees into an urgent necessity.

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
AP photo / Alex Brandon

Pelosi Finds Some Backing

Three new developments in the Nancy Pelosi drama this week: The Democrats are said to stand “solidly behind” the House speaker, who is under fire from Republicans for talking smack about the CIA that “misled” her on waterboarding. Meanwhile, President Obama gives a vote of confidence to Pelosi, while CIA Director Leon Panetta urges Congress to focus on actual national security threats, stating “We are a nation at war.”

Posted on May 19, 2009 READ MORE


mike huckabee
www.craigmichaelsinc.com

Don’t Quit Your Day Job, Mike Huckabee

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was visited by the GOP Muse and out plopped this elephant patty of a poem. The chef-d’oeuvre comes at a time when Republicans and Leon Panetta are calling for an apology from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the CIA for accusing the agency of “misleading” her on their interrogation methods.

Posted on May 18, 2009 READ MORE


Farah injury
AP photo / Abdul Malek

Report: U.S. Marine Unit Killed Hundreds of Afghan Civilians

The Independent reported Saturday that a single group of American troops, the U.S. Marines Corps’ Special Operations Command, otherwise known as MarSOC—a creation of one Donald Rumsfeld—was responsible for “at least three of Afghanistan’s worst civilian casualty incidents” to date.

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi and Panetta
Wikimedia Commons / digitaljournal.com

The Pelosi Puzzle

It’s been a rough week for Our Lady Speaker of the House. In Act I, she claimed ignorance about the full extent of the CIA’s torture repertoire. However, thanks to the magic of technology and documentation, her version of the story clashed with that of a pissed-off Leon Panetta. (See Robert Scheer’s latest column for an editorial critique.)

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

‘Nancy, It’s Leon. We Have to Talk.’

On Friday, CIA Director Leon Panetta fired back at Nancy Pelosi’s claims that she had been misled by the agency on its use of harsh interrogation techniques, declaring that congressional leaders had been “briefed truthfully” on the methods in September 2002. The controversy surrounding Pelosi has led some to call for a probe of Bush administration abuses while others, such as Rush Limbaugh, are demanding her resignation.

Posted on May 16, 2009 READ MORE


Gingrich
bioguide.congress.gov

Newt vs. Nancy

Nancy Pelosi has made herself vulnerable to attacks after appearing to venture into Equivocation Land this week in her public tussle with the CIA over when she knew the U.S. was employing what we call “torture” on suspected terrorists. Enter Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, stage right, to do his part to bring Pelosi down from her vaunted position.

Posted on May 15, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Cheney Denied by the CIA

The CIA has denied the lovable Dick Cheney’s request to release memos that, in the ex-veep’s eyes, would prove the effectiveness of torture administered under Bush’s reign. “I’m convinced, absolutely convinced, that we saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of lives,” he said last week. The documents in question will not be declassified, as they are the subject of pending litigation.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
flickr.com / army.mil

House Speaker Speaks Up

Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi stammered her way through a statement at a tense news conference on Thursday, acknowledging she had learned as early as February 2003 of the CIA’s waterboarding practices. She defended her position on the grounds of being “misled”  by the CIA and she accused Republicans of scapegoating her to divert attention away from those actually responsible for the acts.

Posted on May 14, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Reneges on Torture Photo Release

On Wednesday, President Barack Obama went back on his administration’s previous plan to release photos reportedly showing prisoner abuse at American military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan. Team Obama may also follow in the Bushies’ footsteps by detaining some prisoners “on U.S. soil” and “indefinitely and without trial,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Posted on May 13, 2009 READ MORE


Boehner, Bush and Pelosi
White House / Eric Draper

Pelosi Sticks By Her Waterboarding Denial

Despite evidence, helpfully provided by the CIA, to the contrary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi still insists she wasn’t aware that waterboarding would be on the menu of the Bush administration’s interrogation techniques when she was briefed in secret in 2002.

Posted on May 8, 2009 READ MORE


Pelosi
AP photo / Alex Brandon

What Did Pelosi Know?

The official paper trail about torture has apparently caught up with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has claimed that she wasn’t aware of the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on suspected al-Qaida operatives—but it now seems that she may well have been among the first to know.

Posted on May 7, 2009 READ MORE


Disclosure of ‘Secrets’ in the ’70s Didn’t Destroy the Nation

Back in the Watergate era, the Senate’s Church Committee exposed government abuses. Of course some people tried to block its work. You may have heard of a couple of them—Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

Posted on Apr 29, 2009 READ MORE


Look to the Law—Not to Whether Torture ‘Works’

The calls for an independent commission to investigate torture usually argue that a congressional investigation, or a Justice Department criminal investigation, would become so politicized as to be hopelessly compromised. I am not sure this is true.

Posted on Apr 28, 2009 READ MORE



White House / David Bohrer

Joe Wilson Wants Dick Cheney to Let It All Hang Out

Ever the fan of cherry-picking, former Vice President Dick Cheney has called for the declassification of select intelligence he claims would polish his torture legacy. Whistle-blower extraordinaire Joe Wilson says the “most secretive individual in American politics” shouldn’t stop there—why not air all of the Bush administration’s dirty laundry once and for all?

Posted on Apr 27, 2009 READ MORE


Abu Gharib
smh.com.au

U.S. to Release More Torture Photos

After a series of denials by the Bush administration, the Obama administration has decided it will give in to demands by human rights groups and release up to 2,000 pictures of “prisoner abuse” (torture) to the public by May 28.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Was Used to Try to Link Saddam With 9/11

In order to justify George W. Bush’s illegal and unnecessary invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials put heavy pressure on Pentagon interrogators to get Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah to say there was a link between Iraq and the 9/11 hijackers. That link was never established.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009 READ MORE


Torture Is a Crime, and Crimes Demand Prosecution

Obama wants to avoid a long, wrenching legal drama that almost certainly would be partisan and divisive. But I’m not sure it’s possible to skirt the criminal implications of what we already know.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE



White House / National Archives

Reagan and Nixon Greeted Despots, Too

Few aspects of American politics are as ridiculous and dangerous as the right-wing urge to substitute macho posturing for foreign policy.

Posted on Apr 23, 2009 READ MORE


Torturers Should Be Punished

The door to bringing torturers to justice is open only a crack. Whether it is kicked open or slammed shut is not up to the president. Though he may occupy the most powerful office on Earth, there is a force more powerful: committed people demanding change.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


When Fascism Came to America

In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, the first American writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize, wrote a novel entitled “It Can’t Happen Here” to influence the 1936 presidential election. He was off by about 66 years.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

Obama: Justice Could Prosecute Torture Lawyers

Responding to reporters Tuesday, the president walked back from his “torture is a thing of the past” policy. While the administration still doesn’t want to hassle the good Germans who carried out torture, or even the superiors who ordered it, Obama said the Justice Department may go after the Bush lawyers who tried to legalize such abuses.

Posted on Apr 21, 2009 READ MORE


Bybee Must Go

It is astonishing that someone who has proved in his memos to be so lacking in judgment and so ideologically twisted in his reasoning that he laid a blanket of legal immunity over those who wanted to torture now holds one of the most powerful and prestigious seats a lawyer can attain.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



White House / Pete Souza

When Slapped, Slap Back

(Editor’s note: Eugene Robinson is the 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner for commentary.) It’s hard to argue with the results thus far from President Obama’s “no drama” approach to governing, but I think he should learn to chew a little scenery when the occasion demands.

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE


Obama Stands Nuremberg on Its Head

President Obama’s decision to spare CIA torturers from prosecution stands the Nuremberg principles on their head. “Good Germans who were only following orders” are not exempt from the bar of justice. Individuals must be held responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. 

Posted on Apr 20, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

The 183rd Time’s the Charm

Was it for information or revenge that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who claimed to be the mastermind behind 9/11, was waterboarded 183 times by the CIA? That figure, sussed out of a Justice Department memo by some enterprising bloggers and repeated in the pages of The New York Times, makes the president’s determination not to prosecute such torture all the more curious.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009 READ MORE


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