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Tag: Cia

Obama’s Salvage Operation

Repairing the damage that George W. Bush did to the nation’s values, honor and pride will be complicated and, at times, politically inconvenient. But nothing is more urgent, and nothing will ultimately reap more benefits at home and abroad.

Posted on Jan 23, 2009 READ MORE


Bush’s Short View of History

In his eyes, there’s “no such thing as short-term history.” It’s true that some presidencies look different after a few decades. But it’s also true that presidential acts can have immediate consequences—and Bush’s eight years are seen as a nadir that will take years to recover from.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 READ MORE


Should the Torturers Go on Trial?

The impending end of the Bush administration and the inauguration of Barack Obama pose the enormous and explosive question of what to do about those responsible for what are regarded by a significant part of the world as war crimes.

Posted on Jan 8, 2009 READ MORE



CIA

Obama Picks Top Spies

The president-elect has reportedly chosen Leon Panetta to head the CIA and retired Adm. Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence. Both men bring a mixed bag. Panetta is an experienced bureaucrat, but he’s no James Bond. Blair has been praised for his terrorist-fighting skills, but he was criticized for a supposed conflict of interest that benefited defense contractors.

Posted on Jan 5, 2009 READ MORE


Voices of Resistance Sing On

Strong voices for peace have left us this year, people who used their art for social change, often at a high personal price.

Posted on Dec 31, 2008 READ MORE


Torture Proponents Have No Serious Argument

George W. Bush’s war against terror has brought out of the darker places in America a lot of people who want to torture, or like the idea of it. We know it doesn’t work, so what drives Dick Cheney and his colleague to champion such moral depravity?

Posted on Dec 18, 2008 READ MORE


Let's Get Ready to Rumsfeld
AP photo / Rick Browmer

Senate Panel’s Report on U.S. Torture Abuse

Read the devastating bipartisan report from the Senate Armed Services Committee that indicts high-level Bush administration officials—including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—as bearing major responsibility for the torture at Abu Gharib, Guantanamo, and other detention facilities.

Posted on Dec 12, 2008 READ MORE


O'Reilly

O’Reilly: Dangerous ‘Far-Left Loons’ Nixed Torture

The CIA would still be able to keep America safe by using harsh interrogation methods (read: torture) on terrorists if it weren’t for those despicable, meddling “far-left loons”—according to Bill O’Reilly, Fox News pundit and well-known international terrorism expert.

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
signonsandiego.com

U.S. Hegemony on the Outs

Maybe it was the past eight years, or maybe it was the past three months, but a new report by the U.S. intelligence community estimates that American global power is on the decline, and will be for the next two decades as upcoming powers like China and India gain greater international standing.

Posted on Nov 21, 2008 READ MORE


Why Obama Can Keep Gates

If the prospect of appointing Hillary Clinton as secretary of state irritates the Obama base, what will they make of keeping the man who has executed President Bush’s policies at the Pentagon?

Posted on Nov 20, 2008 READ MORE


Bracing for a Major Disappointment

The Americans who voted for Barack Obama as president were promised change they could count on, but it rather looks as if they may actually be asked to make do with a mildly refurbished Clinton administration, with many of the same officials and nearly all of the same policies.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo

No More Torture

We will look back on the Bush years and find it incredible, and disgraceful, that individuals were “purchased” from tribal warlords, tortured at Abu Ghraib, abducted to secret CIA prisons, whisked to Guantanamo and held for years without charges.

Posted on Nov 18, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian

With Iran, Obama Needs More Carrot, Less Stick

Now that the presidential election has liberated Barack Obama from the need to play to the fickle whim of domestic politics, he should put away the saber and take a more enlightened approach to Iran.

Posted on Nov 13, 2008 READ MORE


Bush
AP photo / Charles Dharapak

Paying for Eight Years of Bush’s Delusions

How is Barack Obama going to repair the titanic damage which his vicious, lying predecessor has perpetrated around the globe and within the U.S. itself?

Posted on Nov 8, 2008 READ MORE


Tenet Bush
worldbiography.net

Bush Memos OK’d CIA Torture

Two recently disclosed memos from 2003 and 2004 show the Bush administration giving CIA torture techniques, most famously waterboarding, an explicit executive nod after worries arose in the intelligence community about the legality of the treatment of detainees.

Posted on Oct 15, 2008 READ MORE


Morales y Chavez
blogspot.com

‘¬°Adios, Ambassador!’ Say Chavez and Morales

Two Latin American leaders, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, expelled the U.S. ambassadors to their nations after claiming that the American embassies in both countries were supporting rebel groups aimed at toppling their governments. Salvador Allende and Jacobo Arbenz were unavailable for comment.

Posted on Sep 12, 2008 READ MORE


Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Cleaning Up After Bush

The Bush administration has lived by a strategy of tension, and will go out of office bequeathing the wars it has started and the ill will it has created to its successors, to compromise those who come after.

Posted on Aug 28, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

James Blight on the Cuban Missile Crisis

In “One Minute to Midnight,” Michael Dobbs’ definitive book on the 1962 crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation, the question of lessons learned and unlearned remains as acute as ever.

Posted on Aug 21, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Bullit Marquez

“Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?”

Dave continued pacing back and forth in front of Mohammed. “My president,” he said, “is in trouble. Can you help him?” Mohammed was taken aback by the question. “Excuse me?” he asked. “Could you repeat yourself?” Dave sat down next to the Iraqi. “George Bush is in trouble. Our people did not find any WMD in Iraq. Can you help us?”

Posted on Aug 11, 2008 READ MORE


Ron Suskind on Bush’s ‘Great Lies’

Ron Suskind’s new book alleges that the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate a link between Iraq and al-Qaida. The CIA director at the time, George Tenet, calls the claim “ridiculous.” Suskind says that’s just an example of “George’s memory issue.”

Posted on Aug 5, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

White House Fabricated Iraq Intelligence, Book Alleges

According to Ron Suskind, former Wall Street Journal reporter and best-selling Bush critic, the White House ordered the CIA to fabricate evidence linking Saddam Hussein to al-Qaida and knew before the invasion that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. The White House denies the allegations, published in Suskind’s new book, “The Way of the World.”

Posted on Aug 4, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Brennan Linsley

Acts of War

The war between the United States and Iran is on. American taxpayer dollars are being used, with the permission of Congress, to fund activities that result in Iranians being killed and wounded, and Iranian property destroyed. This wanton violation of a nation’s sovereignty would not be tolerated if the tables were turned.

Posted on Jul 29, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
U.S. Navy / Jordon R. Beesley

The Military-Industrial Complex: It’s Much Later Than You Think

Since 1961, there has been too little serious study of, or discussion of, the origins of the military-industrial complex, how it has changed over time, how governmental secrecy has hidden it from oversight by members of Congress or attentive citizens, and how it degrades our constitutional structure of checks and balances.

Posted on Jul 27, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
AP

Justice Torture Memos Say ‘Good Faith’ Is Legal Defense

Ah, good intentions, with which that famous path was paved: According to Justice Department documents   obtained and released by the ACLU on Thursday—albeit heavily redacted—CIA interrogators were authorized to use waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” that they believed “in good faith” would not “have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.”

Posted on Jul 24, 2008 READ MORE


U.S. Tehran Embassy
wikimedia.org

U.S. to Maybe Consider Thinking About Talking to Iran

Plans for a bastardized version of a U.S. embassy—an “interests section”—are reportedly in motion in Iran as the Bush administration tries to supplement its bellicose rhetoric with what it calls “people-to-people exchanges” between Iranians and U.S. citizens.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Bush Claims Privilege Over Cheney Interviews

One of the benefits of saturating the American people with scandal is that folks eventually stop paying attention. That’s certainly the case with Plamegate, which is still being investigated despite the president’s best efforts to the contrary and a public that has generally moved on.

Posted on Jul 16, 2008 READ MORE


Michael Hayden
nsa.gov

Al-Qaida Analysis: Election Year Edition

Only a year after his agency warned of a resurgence of al-Qaida in the Arab world, CIA Director Michael Hayden remarked on Friday that U.S. “counter-terrorism work” has led to the strategic defeat of al-Qaida in Iraq and Saudi Arabia and significant setbacks for al-Qaida globally.

Posted on May 30, 2008 READ MORE


Guantanamo protest
AP photo / Mary Altaffer

Where Is the Outrage?

Are we Americans truly savages or merely tone-deaf in matters of morality, and therefore more guilty of terminal indifference than venality? It’s a question demanding an answer in response to the publication of a 370-page report on U.S. complicity in torture.

Posted on May 27, 2008 READ MORE


Harman and al-Jamadi
blogs.nytimes.com

The Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

Documentary whiz Errol Morris is turning his camera on Abu Ghraib’s most notorious moments in his latest film, “Standard Operating Procedure,” in which he unearths a host of unsettling information about torture, “ghost” prisoners and interrogators, and, as Morris describes in this blog about his new project, exactly what happened to prisoner Manadel al-Jamadi’s body after he died under interrogation at the prison in Iraq.

Posted on May 20, 2008 READ MORE


MIR report

Syria: Nukes or Peace?

This past week, Syria made headlines not once but twice. One story implicates the country in enriching uranium and says that the CIA confirmed to Congress that the target of a mysterious Israeli air raid in northern Syria on Sept. 6, 2007, was a reactor built with North Korean help.

Posted on Apr 27, 2008 READ MORE


A Torture Debate Among Healers

The American Psychological Association is in the midst of its own heated presidential campaign. The central issue is whether APA members should be banned from participating in “harsh interrogations.”

Posted on Apr 9, 2008 READ MORE


John Yoo
Washington Post / Karen Ballard

Torture’s Poet Laureate

A recently declassified memo shines the spotlight once again on John “Take Them to the Point of Death” Yoo, a UC Berkeley law professor and once deputy legal counsel in the Justice Department.

Posted on Apr 2, 2008 READ MORE


The Only Lesson We Ever Learn Is That We Never Learn

The Independent’s Robert Fisk looks back at five years of catastrophe in Iraq and is reminded of Winston Churchill’s depiction of Palestine as a “hell-disaster.”

Posted on Mar 19, 2008 READ MORE


Ahmed Chalabi
AP photo / Hadi Mizban

Dinner With Ahmed

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the invasion and occupation of Iraq, I find myself thinking back on how we got ourselves into this predicament. ... As I examine where we are today and contemplate our future and those who are positioning themselves to play a role in Iraq, it seems to me that there is at least one such incident, a dinner party I attended at the home of Ahmed Chalabi in June 1998 that is worthy of a more public illumination.

Posted on Mar 17, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT
news.bbc.co.uk

Inside a CIA Black Site

A Yemeni man has told Amnesty International that he was abducted and tortured and spent nearly three years in secret prisons at the hands of the CIA. Khaled al-Maqtari says that without charge, legal representation or even a word to his family he was shuttled from one prison to another and ultimately dumped into Yemeni custody, once the U.S. had finished with him.

Posted on Mar 14, 2008 READ MORE


waterboarding protest
AP photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta

Waterboarding, ‘Harsh’ Techniques OK by Bush

The reputation of the U.S. on the world stage might be further colored by President Bush’s veto of a bill that would have limited the CIA’s (and other intelligence agencies’) array of interrogation techniques to those in the Army field manual. In defending Saturday’s veto, Bush once again invoked 9/11.

Posted on Mar 8, 2008 READ MORE


Mughniyeh coffin
AP photo / Hussein Malla

The Mughniyeh Enigma

Imad Mughniyeh was once America’s most-wanted terrorist, and his crimes were truly abhorrent. But his assassination, Ritter argues, will only lead to more violence.

Posted on Feb 26, 2008 READ MORE


Justice Investigates Itself Over Waterboarding Approval

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating memos and opinions rendered by the department that endorsed the practice of waterboarding, which many consider to be torture. The inquiry is unrelated to the FBI’s criminal investigation of the CIA, which destroyed video recordings of the waterboarding of suspects.

Posted on Feb 22, 2008 READ MORE


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Posted on Feb 21, 2008 READ MORE


Castro greets a crowd
AP photo / Javier Galeano

Castro and the Colossus

The Cuban president, who is resigning after five decades in power, has caused his people suffering, but the giant to the north bears even greater responsibility for the island’s plight.

Posted on Feb 19, 2008 READ MORE


McCain
AP photo / Lauren Victoria Burke

McCain Votes Against Torture Ban

Sen. John McCain has established himself as an outspoken critic of torture, which makes his vote Wednesday against the Feinstein Amendment, which would set limits on the types of interrogation techniques used by American intelligence agencies, all the more puzzling—or, in the case of The Atlantic columnist Andrew Sullivan, heartbreaking.

Posted on Feb 14, 2008 READ MORE


Senate Votes to Outlaw Waterboarding

The House of Representatives and Senate have now both signaled their disapproval of the CIA’s use of waterboarding by voting for a ban on any techniques but the 19 officially approved by the Army, but President Bush has already, in turn, signaled his intent to veto any legislation that would rule out harsh interrogation methods.

Posted on Feb 13, 2008 READ MORE


Tortured Semantics

The campaign for the White House is great fun, but it can also be a distraction. While the leading contenders to replace Bush continue to duke it out, the president and his lieutenants are still trying to justify torture in the name of protecting this once great democracy.

Posted on Feb 8, 2008 READ MORE


waterboarding
wikipedia.org

CIA: Waterboarding Possibly Illegal

CIA Director Michael Hayden told lawmakers Thursday that waterboarding is a useful technique but might not be “lawful under current statute.” Hayden said his agency used waterboarding because of “misshaped and misformed” direction from Washington.

Posted on Feb 7, 2008 READ MORE


Bush Approved CIA Waterboarding Disclosure

The confirmation, delivered by CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday, that the U.S. intelligence agency did indeed use the now-infamous severe interrogation technique of waterboarding on three major 9/11 suspects was given the green light by President Bush in a rare show of (relative) transparency.

Posted on Feb 6, 2008 READ MORE


Western Civilization: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

At a time when Attorney General Mukasey dodges Senate questions about waterboarding, Americans should be asking a question of their own: Can we call ourselves civilized if torture is practiced in our name?

Posted on Jan 30, 2008 READ MORE


The Invisible War

It’s the deadliest conflict since World War II. More than 5 million people have died in the past decade, yet it goes virtually unnoticed and unreported in the United States.

Posted on Jan 23, 2008 READ MORE


Charlie Wilson
politics-now.com

The Price of America’s Patronage

Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council staff under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, has written a fascinating history of the United States’ many interventions in Pakistan. It’s the sordid story of “the world’s longest running military despotism, and of America’s most generous and tragic patronage.”

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE


Bhutto vigil
AP photo / K.M. Chaudary

Closing In on Bhutto’s Killer

Although members of her Pakistan People’s Party remain skeptical, and although the late Benazir Bhutto herself might have disagreed, American and Pakistani intelligence officials believe that Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mahsud and his associates were behind the assassination of Bhutto in Rawalpindi last month.

Posted on Jan 18, 2008 READ MORE


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