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Tag: Cia

The Crushing Legacy of Bush and Cheney

Now it’s “Obama’s war,” but we should not ignore the events that led us to this moment and the inexplicable decisions of the Bush administration.

Posted on Dec 2, 2009 READ MORE


JFK

Delay Worked for Kennedy

With Vietnam, John F. Kennedy counted on the fact that one of the most effective ways to take a decision is to postpone it until it no longer is relevant. This is what Barack Obama has been able to do until now.

Posted on Nov 24, 2009 READ MORE


What Is So Patriotic About Hysteria?

The loudest voices on the right never tire of telling us that they are the truest patriots, but when did fear-mongering in a time of war become an act of patriotism?

Posted on Nov 18, 2009 READ MORE



Modified from an archival White House photo by David Morse

The Demilitarization of the White House

Barack Obama has made a welcome change to the presidency, dropping the praetorian guard that used to flank his predecessor at every opportunity.

Posted on Nov 17, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Herbert Knosowski

Gorbachev’s Sermon on the Mount

Mikhail Gorbachev is not honored enough for the example he set. His past practices and recent cautions about Afghanistan should be heeded by Barack Obama.

Posted on Nov 11, 2009 READ MORE


Learning to Speak Anew in a Tribal World

The international conversation since the Second World War tended to be something of an American monologue, but that’s changing now that the United States is widely perceived as a large part of the current world problem.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE



Flickr / lightmatter

Italy Convicts CIA Agents for Rendition

Twenty-three CIA agents are going to have to think twice about leaving the U.S. now that an Italian court has convicted them in absentia for snatching an imam in Milan and sending him to Egypt, where the cleric says he was tortured. (continued)

Posted on Nov 4, 2009 READ MORE


The Tortured Logic Continues

“Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for kidnapping. Just ask Maher Arar. He’s a Canadian citizen who was “rendered” by the U.S. to Syria, where he was tortured for almost a year.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 READ MORE



AP / David Guttenfelder

McChrystal Doesn’t Get It—Does Obama?

President Obama may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but if he allows himself to be bullied into supporting Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s foray into Afghanistan, he will reveal himself as the worst kind of warmonger.

Posted on Oct 29, 2009 READ MORE


With Al-Qaida Fading, Why Expand the Afghan War?

Given the Western world’s obsession with al-Qaida, it’s remarkable that public discourse makes little mention of the fact that the terror group is going out of business.

Posted on Oct 15, 2009 READ MORE


Afghan landscape
Flickr / U.S. Army

A War of Absurdity

There is no indication that any of the contending forces in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, are interested in bringing al-Qaida back. On the contrary, all the available evidence indicates that the Arab fighters are unwelcome and that it is their isolation from their former patrons that has led to their demise. 

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 READ MORE



AP / Lynne Sladky

Washington Plays the Idiot With Guantanamo

With the arrest of Najbullah Zazi, the man allegedly behind the biggest terror plot since 9/11, the truth is clearer than ever: Law enforcement stops terrorism. Not secret island prisons.

Posted on Sep 29, 2009 READ MORE


Irving Kristol
AP / The Weekly Standard

Reflections on the ‘Godfather’ of Neoconservatism

It is puzzling that obituary notices of Irving Kristol obviously intended to be positive designate him the “Godfather” of neoconservatism. Likening this group of thinkers and writers to a gang of Mafiosi may or may not be accurate; it is certainly not flattering.

Posted on Sep 25, 2009 READ MORE



CIA / JFK Presidential Library

Justice to Tackle Federal Secrecy Abuses

How about that Eric Holder? The Justice Department plans to make it harder for the government to hide behind “national security” in legal cases—a process that has been abused since a highly flawed Supreme Court decision first allowed wide latitude in such matters.

Posted on Sep 22, 2009 READ MORE


Barack Obama
White House / Pete Souza

Obama Won’t Buckle Under on Torture Inquiry

Seven former heads of the CIA formally requested that President Obama halt an ongoing inquiry into suspect abuse (aka torture) by the agency, arguing that important CIA work would be hampered by such an investigation. Obama didn’t bite, claiming that “nobody’s above the law.” Except George W. Bush, it seems.

Posted on Sep 20, 2009 READ MORE


Eric Holder
theblacksentinel.wordpress.com

Ex-CIA Heads Ask Obama to Drop Interrogation Investigation

Attorney General Eric Holder may be convinced that he should go forward with his probe into the interrogation techniques used on terror suspects by CIA agents during the Bush II era, but seven former directors of the intelligence agency disagree—and they’re asking Holder’s boss, President Barack Obama, to intervene.

Posted on Sep 18, 2009 READ MORE


Ashcroft
AP / John Russell

Legal Troubles Might Lie in Wait for Ashcroft

Did then-Attorney General John Ashcroft violate the Constitution in his handling of certain national security investigations shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks? According to the Los Angeles Times, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has reason to believe that he did, and thus Ashcroft can be sued for prosecutorial abuses even this long after the fact, the paper reported Saturday.

Posted on Sep 4, 2009 READ MORE


troops in Afghanistan
AP / David Guttenfelder

Obama’s Meaningless War

True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

Posted on Sep 1, 2009 READ MORE


Redacted

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Posted on Aug 28, 2009 READ MORE


Law, Not Torture, Protects National Security

Former Vice President Dick Cheney and his supporters love America so much they would transform it into Stalinist Russia.

Posted on Aug 27, 2009 READ MORE


Only One U.S. Official Has Taken an Honorable Stand on Torture

Thus far in the torture debate that has gone on in the United States since 2001, I can think of only one high American government figure currently in office taking a stand on torture in terms of justice, honor and national integrity.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE


Cheney
AP / Ron Edmonds

Cheney Chimes In on Interrogation

Hey, hasn’t something—or someone—been missing from this latest round of debate and discussion about America’s use of troublesome interrogation tactics in recent years? Who could it be? Oh, of course. Enter Dick Cheney, stage right.

Posted on Aug 25, 2009 READ MORE



Wikimedia Commons

We Need to Know What Was Done in Our Name

History’s demands can seem inconvenient, unfair or unreasonable. But they can’t be ignored. Especially when it comes to torture.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE



White House

Report: Obama Might Replace CIA Chief

CIA Director Leon Panetta might quit or get canned in the next year, reports ABC News. Anonymous officials said Panetta, who may have already threatened to walk, is unhappy with everything from his role in the hierarchy to some of the nasty things the agency is up to. Both the White House and the CIA vehemently deny the report.

Posted on Aug 24, 2009 READ MORE


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


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