Friday, November 20, 2009

CIA Pitchin' Soft to Arab-Americans

They're thinking of this now.
CIA in recruitment pitch to Arab-American

A new television advertisement to be broadcast nationwide in the United States shows an Arab-American family preparing for dinner in a sleek apartment. Middle Eastern tapestries decorate the walls, platters of food are spread out across a large table – it has all the trappings of a modern-day iftar.

It is not until the end of the 30-second spot that you know what is being sold: “Your nation, your world. They are worth protecting,” says a narrator, speaking English with a Middle Eastern accent. “Careers at the Central Intelligence Agency.”

The advertisement is part of an unprecedented push by the CIA to recruit Arab-Americans to its ranks. It was unveiled this week – along with another spot targeting Farsi-speaking Iranian-Americans – at a screening in Dearborn, Michigan, a community outside Detroit with the highest concentration of Arabs in the United States.

A CIA spokeswoman, Marie Harf, said the advertisements were designed to fill “a need” at the agency.

Although the CIA does not release statistics of the ethnicity of its agents, it has said that only about a third of analysts and 40 per cent of overseas operatives are proficient in a foreign language.
Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

CIA Black Site "Discovered" at Lithuanian Riding Academy

The CIA promised everyone a pony:
The CIA built one of its secret European prisons inside an exclusive riding academy outside Vilnius, Lithuania, a current Lithuanian government official and a former U.S. intelligence official told ABC News this week.

Where affluent Lithuanians once rode show horses and sipped coffee at a café, the CIA installed a concrete structure where it could use harsh tactics to interrogate up to eight suspected al-Qaeda terrorists at a time. A full report on the can be seen on ABC's World News with Charles Gibson tonight.

"The activities in that prison were illegal," said human rights researcher John Sifton. "They included various forms of torture, including sleep deprivation, forced standing, painful stress positions."

Lithuanian officials provided ABC News with the documents of what they called a CIA front company, Elite, LLC, which purchased the property and built the "black site" in 2004.

Lithuania agreed to allow the CIA prison after President George W. Bush visited the country in 2002 and pledged support for Lithuania's efforts to join NATO.

"The new members of NATO were so grateful for the U.S. role in getting them into that organization that they would do anything the U.S. asked for during that period," said former White House counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke, now an ABC News consultant. "They were eager to please and eager to be cooperative on security and on intelligence matters."

More ...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

CIA "gets its money's worth" from ISI

Well, thank goodness for that! After learning how much the Pentagon pays the Taliban to not shoot at US supply lines, this is positively great news! After all, when the CIA says it's getting its money's worth from Pakistan's ISI, you just know they had to have gotten some serious bang for those dwindling US taxpayer bucks.
The CIA has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to Pakistan's intelligence service since the Sept. 11 attacks, accounting for as much as one-third of the foreign spy agency's annual budget, current and former U.S. officials say.

The Inter-Services Intelligence agency also has collected tens of millions of dollars through a classified CIA program that pays for the capture or killing of wanted militants, a clandestine counterpart to the rewards publicly offered by the State Department, officials said.

The payments have triggered intense debate within the U.S. government, officials said, because of long-standing suspicions that the ISI continues to help Taliban extremists who undermine U.S. efforts in Afghanistan and provide sanctuary to Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.

But U.S. officials have continued the funding because the ISI's assistance is considered crucial: Almost every major terrorist plot this decade has originated in Pakistan's tribal belt, where ISI informant networks are a primary source of intelligence.

The White House National Security Council has "this debate every year," said a former high-ranking U.S. intelligence official involved in the discussions. Like others, the official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. Despite deep misgivings about the ISI, the official said, "there was no other game in town."

The payments to Pakistan are authorized under a covert program initially approved by then-President Bush and continued under President Obama. The CIA declined to comment on the agency's financial ties to the ISI.

U.S. officials often tout U.S.-Pakistani intelligence cooperation. But the extent of the financial underpinnings of that relationship have never been publicly disclosed. The CIA payments are a hidden stream in a much broader financial flow; the U.S. has given Pakistan more than $15 billion over the last eight years in military and civilian aid.
More ...

Remember, this is the same outfit that still thinks the ol' ISI-mujahideen op worked out just fine. Maybe from their point of view, it still is.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Gettin' Uzbek Medieval: CIA sent people to be ‘raped with broken bottles’

Former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has once again publicly denounced the torture, and the complicity therein, that Uzbekistan carried out at the behest of the CIA. This on top of the torture Karimov was carrying out at the behest of himself.

Murray spills quite a bundle of nasty, bits and pieces of which we've heard here and there.
The CIA relied on intelligence based on torture in prisons in Uzbekistan, a place where widespread torture practices include raping suspects with broken bottles and boiling them alive, says a former British ambassador to the central Asian country.

Craig Murray, the rector of the University of Dundee in Scotland and until 2004 the UK's ambassador to Uzbekistan, said the CIA not only relied on confessions gleaned through extreme torture, it sent terror war suspects to Uzbekistan as part of its extraordinary rendition program.

"I'm talking of people being raped with broken bottles," he said at a lecture late last month that was re-broadcast by the Real News Network. "I'm talking of people having their children tortured in front of them until they sign a confession. I'm talking of people being boiled alive. And the intelligence from these torture sessions was being received by the CIA, and was being passed on."

That ol' chestnut, the TAPI pipeline, is now insistently "on the table," as when Uzbekistan recently hosted the adoring Hillary Clinton, on a whirlwind tour of a fully targeted Central Asia, the oil and especially gas deposits in all of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan of clear import in the grand TAPI pipe dream, something on the Afghan table now for quite some time.

All of which means, of course, that military presence in a decidedly hostile land must needs justification beyond its commercial purview.

Suspects in Uzbekistan's gulags "were being told to confess to membership in Al Qaeda. They were told to confess they'd been in training camps in Afghanistan. They were told to confess they had met Osama bin Laden in person. And the CIA intelligence constantly echoed these themes."

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Italy Convicts 23 Americans for CIA Renditions

What with Indonesia holding War Crimes hearings vis-a-vis CIA Guantanamo torture, now Italy has carried through on a long standing threat and has convicted 23 US agents for their part in CIA "extraordinary renditions," on Italian soil. The justice had the legalistic audacity to call such practice "abduction," thereby stifling trivializing terminology.
In a landmark ruling on Wednesday, an Italian judge convicted a C.I.A. station chief and 22 other Americans accused of being C.I.A. agents of kidnapping in the 2003 abduction of a Muslim cleric from the streets of Milan.

An enormous symbolic victory for Italian prosecutors, the case was the first ever to contest the United States practice of rendition, in which terrorism suspects are captured in one country and taken for questioning in another, presumably one more open to coercive interrogation techniques. The case was widely seen as an implicit indictment of the measures the Bush administration relied on to fight terrorism.

Judge Oscar Magi handed an eight-year sentence to Robert Seldon Lady, a former C.I.A. station chief in Milan, and five-year sentences to 22 other Americans. Three of the other high-ranking Americans were given diplomatic immunity, including Jeffrey Castelli, a former C.I.A. station chief in Rome.

No more trips to Rome!
All the Americans were tried in absentia and are considered fugitives.