Archive for the ‘Central Intelligence Agency’ tag
John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who gained international fame by affirming the Neo-Conservative wet dream that waterboarding quickly unloosens the tongues of hard-core terrorists, now says he didn’t know what he was talking about. In fact, he wasn’t even in the room during the Zubaydah torture sessions.
Ya see, the information he provided wasn’t so much first-hand experience as water cooler gossip. Kiriakou first claimed waterboarding worked in “thirty to thirty-five seconds,” which is a lie. Zubaydah was waterboarded over 83 times, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times.
Then, Kiriakou reveals on the next-to-last page of his new memoir that he wasn’t even in the room when these interrogations took place.
“Now we know,” Kiriakou says, “that Zubaydah was waterboarded eighty-three times in a single month, raising questions about how much useful information he actually supplied.”
The settlement of a 15-year-old lawsuit has resulted in the U.S. agreeing to pay $3 million to a former government worker who accused officials with the CIA and State Department of spying on him with a “bugged coffee table.”
Richard Horn, a former special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration, alleged that Franklin Huddle, Jr, the former State Department’s mission chief at the U.S. embassy in Burma, and Arthur Brown, who worked for the CIA at the time in Burma, planted listening devices in his home while he was stationed in Burma (now known as Myanmar).
Threat Level reporter, Kim Zetter, observes that a close reading of the case suggests that the Justice Department may have decided to pay off the plaintiff in order to “quash the series of damaging legal rulings issued by the influential judge, [U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth,] overseeing the case that would have forced them to disclose the classified information.”
Horn had been stationed in Burma in the early 1990s as the DEA country attaché to Burma, which ranks as one of the top opium poppy producing countries in the world. He was charged with overseeing the agency’s mission in that country of eradicating the opium poppy, which is used to produce heroin.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
Karzai’s duties include helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA’s direction (for now) in and around the southern city of Kandahar, and he is also the CIA’s landlord. Karzai rents the former home of Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s founder, to the CIA and American Special Operations troops for paramilitary operations spearheaded by a group called the Kandahar Strike Force. On at least one occasion, the Times reports, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government.
This, to put it mildly, seems like a weird strategy considering Karzai is a player in the opium trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.
It appears as though the CIA is — yet again — employing the good ole’ “The Enemy of My Enemy is The Guy Who Screws Me In The End” foreign policy doctrine utilized by the United States and its allies when they supported the Afghan Mujahideen in their efforts to thwart the occupying Soviet power.
That worked out fine, right?
Investigative journalist Allan Nairn reveals Admiral Dennis Blair played a critical role in backing the Indonesian occupation of East Timor during the 1990s. At the height of a wave of ruthless attacks on Timorese that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands, Blair personally informed top Indonesian general Wiranto of unwavering U.S. support. He continued to support the Indonesian military until international outcry forced the Clinton administration to withdraw its military and diplomatic backing.
President-elect Barack Obama has made his final cabinet selections, filling both top intelligence posts. Democratic officials have confirmed Obama has chosen Leon Panetta to head the Central Intelligence Agency. A former Congressmember, Panetta also served as White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton. Many observers call him a surprise pick because of limited intelligence experience and his public opposition to the Bush administration’s policies on torture.
Some top Democrats are suggesting they’ll oppose Panetta. In a brief statement, the new chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, said: “My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time.” The outgoing, intelligence committee chair, Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, says he shares Feinstein”s concerns.
It’s interesting to compare that to the reaction to Obama’s other top intelligence pick. While lawmakers from Obama’s own party are vowing oppositon to a torture opponent, they’ve expressed no complaints about another nominee accused of backing torture and murder abroad.
The former commander of US military forces in the Pacific, Admiral Dennis Blair, has been tapped to become the Director of National Intelligence. It’s the nation”s top intelligence job, overseeing sixteen agencies.
Blair played a critical role in backing the Indonesian occupation of East Timor during the 1990s. At the height of a wave of ruthless attacks on Timorese that killed hundreds and displaced tens of thousands, Blair personally informed top Indonesian general Wiranto of unwavering U.S. support. He continued to support the Indonesian military until international outcry forced the Clinton administration to withdraw its military and diplomatic backing.
Allan Nairn is an award-winning investigative journalist who’s reported from Indonesia for years. In 1999, he broke the story on Blair”s secret meeting backing the Indonesian military. Allan Nairn joins me here in the firehouse.
Allan Nairn, Award-winning journalist who has reported from Indonesia for years. In 1999 he broke the story on Dennis Blair’s secret meeting with Indonesian generals to affirm U.S. support for their violent crackdown on East Timorese.