Michael Mukasey refuses to acknowledge that “waterboarding” — a simulated drowning technique that dates back to the Inquisition — constitutes torture. Nevertheless, the Democratic-controlled Senate is on course to confirm him as Attorney General. In this memo, 24 U.S. intelligence veterans appeal to the Senate Judiciary Committee to insist on a straight answer from Mukasey.
Four years ago — on Nov. 2, 2003 — a U.S. helicopter was shot down over Iraq, killing 16 U.S. troops, an early “Vietnam moment” in what was emerging as a powerful Iraqi insurgency. The incident helped convince a newly organized group of former U.S. ingelligence officers that the Iraq War was unwinnable.
November 3, 2007
According to new revelations from telecommunications company Qwest, the origins of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretap program predated the 9/11 attacks by seven months. That would mean the terror attacks became a convenient post-facto rationalization for what the White House already wanted to do. But — former CIA analyst Ray McGovern asks — what did Nancy Pelosi and other senior Democrats know then and what will they do about it now?
Holding onto Power still more important to White House than Preventing Terrorism
Firm says Bush administration’s handling of video ruined its spying efforts
For years, there have been whispers in the U.S. intelligence community that George W. Bush has been transforming his “global war on terror” into an international “dirty war.” But now two U.S. military investigations have revealed that the chain of command has approved rules of engagement that let elite American military units kill Iraqis and Afghanis on mere suspicion that they may be “enemy combatants.”
A Reporter at Large
by Jane Mayer August 13, 2007
In the war on terror, one historian says, the C.I.A. “didn’t just bring back the old psychological techniques—they perfected them.”
The dispute over whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales committed perjury when he parsed words about George W. Bush’s warrantless surveillance program misses a larger point: the extraordinary secrecy surrounding these spying operations is not aimed at al-Qaeda, but at the American people.
By Robert Parry
A federal intelligence court judge earlier this year secretly declared a key element of the Bush administration’s wiretapping efforts illegal, according to a lawmaker and government sources, providing a previously unstated rationale for fevered efforts by congressional lawmakers this week to expand the president’s spying powers.
By Ellen Nakashima and Spencer S. Hsu
Congressional Democrats outlined a temporary plan yesterday that would expand the government’s authority to conduct electronic surveillance of overseas communications in search of terrorists.
We know the administration was spying on us for years in ways even more illegal than in the Terrorist Surveillance Program. Why don’t we know what it was doing?
Glenn Greenwald (more…)
MI5 contributed to the seizure of two British residents by the CIA, which secretly flew them to Guantánamo Bay in a move with “serious implications for the intelligence relationship” between Britain and the US, a cross-party committee of senior MPs said.
Author R.J. Hillhouse caused a stir in Washington last month when she revealed more than 50 percent of the National Clandestine Service has been outsourced to private firms.
Al-Qaida is stepping up its efforts to sneak terror operatives into the United States and has acquired most of the capabilities it needs to strike here, according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment, The Associated Press has learned.
Four years ago on a single day, several events coincided that would mark a trail of deceit that the Bush administration and much of the Washington press corps have followed since. On that day, the Plame-gate scandal was born with Robert Novak’s infamous column; warnings about politicized intelligence were spurned; and George W. Bush got away with rewriting the history of the Iraq War by stating that Saddam Hussein chose war when he refused to let U.N. inspectors in.
By MARJORIE COHN
In 1937, the American Bar Association refused to allow people of color to join its ranks. With the blessing of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the National Lawyers Guild was founded as a multi-racial alternative to the ABA. The Guild’s founding members included the attorney general, several judges, some congressmen, and the head of the National Labor Relations Board.
THE GATES INHERITANCE, Part 3
The world that Bob made
The new US secretary of defense travels the American world, to Kabul and Baghdad in particular, where he frets about Tehran – only to find himself confronting the consequences of the misdeeds of his younger self. In the first two parts of this three-part series, Roger Morris covered the world and spy agency that “made Bob”. Now, he turns to the world that Bob made. It’s a tale of terror bombs and secret plots, of internecine warfare within the CIA and in the Hindu Kush.
Part 1: The tortured world of US intelligence
Part 2: Great games and famous victories
By Coleen Rowley, Former FBI Special Agent
A memorandum I helped write, “Countering Terrorism — How Not To Do It” with other Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity was published on Consortium News. In light of last week’s news about the FBI’s attempt to breath new life into Poindexter’s long discredited “Total Information Awareness” program, among other “how NOT To Do It” things, we feel an approach to the issues from a pragmatic law enforcement/intelligence viewpoint — what works and what doesn’t — is in order.
The U.S. government now outsources a vast portion of its spying operations to private firms — with zero public accountability.
Former CIA Director George Tenet has made the rounds of the talk shows flacking his semi-tell-all book and insisting that he really did believe Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
However, as former CIA analyst Ray McGovern writes, the evidence actually shows that Tenet and his superiors in the Bush administration knew better.
George Tenet’s memoir sheds new light on the Bush administration’s failure to act aggressively on alarming intelligence in summer 2001 about an impending al-Qaeda attack. Not only did the CIA demand an extraordinary meeting with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice in July and send a blunt briefing paper to George W. Bush in August, but Tenet followed up with a personal visit to Bush’s Texas ranch. However, that meeting slid into small talk about the ranch’s “flora and fauna.”
Tenet’s AT THE CENTER OF THE STORM
My Years at the CIA
Reviewed by Bob Woodward
Washington’s big-time media finally has accepted that George W. Bush’s case for invading Iraq in 2003 was bogus. But the press corps still won’t challenge more recent White House lies and distortions about Iraq.
Though Bush’s Iraq intelligence fraud is ongoing and the death toll continues to mount, the U.S. news media has yet to get serious about its watchdog duties.
By Sidney Blumenthal
May. 03, 2007 | If former CIA director George Tenet’s “At the Center of the Storm” were an intelligence operation, it would have to be assessed as achieving precisely the opposite of the results intended. Tenet hoped that his elaborate apology for his government service would cast him as honest, prudent and professional; his admission of his own mistakes would shine a light on his integrity; his disclosures of the machinations of Vice President Dick Cheney and the neoconservative cabal would show him as a truth teller; and his refusal to say nary a bad word about President Bush would demonstrate his respect for the presidency.
In his book and on TV, former CIA Director George Tenet remembers all the things he should’ve said before we invaded Iraq but didn’t.
By Juan Cole
Apr. 30, 2007 | The French call it “the spirit of the staircase” (l’esprit d’escalier), (more…)
The intelligence collection program was secretly instituted under presidential authority shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and was disclosed by the news media in December 2005. It permitted warrantless intercepts of telephone calls and e-mails between the United States and locations overseas if one participant was believed to be a member of al-Qaeda or an associated terrorist organization.
A former CIA analyst claims that falsified documents which were meant to show that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein regime had been trying to procure yellowcake uranium from Niger can be traced back to Vice President Dick Cheney.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson Show, Ray McGovern who served in the CIA for twenty-seven years, said, “the [forged] memo leads right back to the doorstep of the Vice President of the United States
April 28, 2007
By MAUREEN DOWD
Poor Slam Dunk.
Not since Madame Butterfly has anyone been so cruelly misunderstood and misused. Slam Dunk says that when he pantingly told the president that fetching information on Saddam’s W.M.D. would be a cinch, he did not mean let’s go to war.
March 30, 2007
By CLYDE HABERMAN
The Billionaires, with a capital B, were delighted to hear that there are more superrich New Yorkers than they had thought.
Several Billionaires were sitting in Union Square Park the other day, and one of them remarked to us that 45 billionaires, small B, call New York home. Actually, we said, there are 50, judging from the latest Forbes magazine list.
Well, that touched off so many high-fives and shouts of “All right!” that you’d have thought the incredible had happened, like world peace or the Knicks making the playoffs.
One Profile in Courage
“I had come to question whether the (Bush) White House was telling the truth – or even had interest in knowing the truth.”
Author of the upcoming book “The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis”, due for release in September from Polipoint Press, Reese Erlich recently spent three weeks investigating Kurdish resistance organisations in Iran and Iraq’s Kurdish region. He tells IPS that “the United States is officially funding armed groups to overthrow the Islamic government” in Tehran.
IRAN is threatening to retaliate in Europe for what it claims is a daring undercover operation by western intelligence services to kidnap senior officers in its Revolutionary Guard.
“But it turns out he did make that case,” says Wallace, “in a memo he sent to the Senate Intelligence Committee in October of ’03.” Wallace then quotes a Weekly Standard article which describes the memo as saying, “Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein had an operational relationship from the early 1990s to 2003.”
Craig Unger on How the Neoconservatives Are Pushing For An Attack on Iran
“Once again, neocon ideologues have been flogging questionable intelligence about W.M.D.,” Unger writes. “Once again, dubious Middle East exile groups are making the rounds in Washington—this time urging regime change in Syria and Iran. Once again, heroic new exile leaders are promising freedom.”
Robert Scheer: Someday, you are going to read a whole lot about the shenanigans of one Douglas J. Feith and an elaborate scheme to get the United States to invade Iraq. That is because Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., has been determined to get to the bottom of this sordid tale and is now, fortunately, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee and thereby empowered to get at the truth.
The New York Times today published a front-page story by Michael Gordon which recites administration claims about Iran’s involvement in Iraq “without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence.” Greg Mitchell notes, via Glenn Greenwald, that it was Gordon “who, on his own, or with Judith Miller, wrote some of the key, and badly misleading or downright inaccurate, articles about Iraqi WMDs in the run-up to the 2003 invasion.”
The Times story comes even as evidence grows that the administration planned to release contained cooked intelligence in a “briefing” on Iranian involvement in Iraq .
In little noted comments on Feb. 2, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley acknowledged that the Iran briefing washeld back because it was “overstated” and not “focused on the facts.”
. ‘Alternative’ agency set up to link Saddam to al-Qaida
· Mainstream intelligence was cast aside, Senate told
An “alternative intelligence” unit operating at the Pentagon in the run-up to the war on Iraq was dedicated to establishing a link between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, even though the CIA was unconvinced of such a connection, the US Senate was told yesterday.