Sunday, December 20, 2009

CIA Specialty Menu: Palestinians torturing Palestinians

One sees that the only remarkable feature of the otherwise ho-hum tale of CIA proxy torture is that the CIA has managed to jump behind Palestinians torturing fellow Palestinians. One further imagines the CIA labeling this a "win."
US agency co-operating with Palestinian counterparts who allegedly torture Hamas supporters in West Bank

Palestinian security agents who have been detaining and allegedly torturing supporters of the Islamist organisation Hamas in the West Bank have been working closely with the CIA, the Guardian has learned.

Less than a year after Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibited torture and provided for the lawful interrogation of detainees in US custody, evidence is emerging the CIA is co-operating with security agents whose continuing use of torture has been widely documented by human rights groups.

The relationship between the CIA and the two Palestinian agencies involved – Preventive Security Organisation (PSO) and General Intelligence Service (GI) – is said by some western diplomats and other officials in the region to be so close that the American agency appears to be supervising the Palestinians' work.

One senior western official said: "The [Central Intelligence] Agency consider them as their property, those two Palestinian services." A diplomatic source added that US influence over the agencies was so great they could be considered "an advanced arm of the war on terror".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Top 10 Weirdest CIA Programs"

Question Everything drops off a top ten list dear to the heart. The "weird" stuff; from the Acoustic Kitty to the Bay of Pigs. (C'mon! no Lithuanian horse stable torture chamber?) Weird, apparently, does not exclude illegal, dangerous, sociopathic, pointlessly short-sighted, or murderously stupid.

It begins.
Over the years, the American Central Intelligence Agency has gained a reputation for being the most far-reaching, sophisticated, and effective government intelligence agency on the planet. At the same time, the CIA has also become known for its incredible paranoia and propensity to undertake costly, sometimes illegal, and often downright absurd projects in the name of gaining an edge on the competition. From spy cats to psychic hippies, the following are ten of the weirdest spy programs the government has proposed and funded over the years.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Brotherly Love on the Down-low: Blackwater and the CIA

Made to sound like a management seminar:
“Contractors give you flexibility in shaping and managing your talent mix."
Which naturally led a public-private partner-in-crime-ship to become “a very brotherly relationship.” What's not to like?
Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret Raids by the C.I.A.

Private security guards from Blackwater Worldwide participated in some of the C.I.A.’s most sensitive activities — clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees, according to former company employees and intelligence officials.

The raids against suspects occurred on an almost nightly basis during the height of the Iraqi insurgency from 2004 to 2006, with Blackwater personnel playing central roles in what company insiders called “snatch and grab” operations, the former employees and current and former intelligence officers said.

Several former Blackwater guards said that their involvement in the operations became so routine that the lines supposedly dividing the Central Intelligence Agency, the military and Blackwater became blurred. Instead of simply providing security for C.I.A. officers, they say, Blackwater personnel at times became partners in missions to capture or kill militants in Iraq and Afghanistan, a practice that raises questions about the use of guns for hire on the battlefield.

Separately, former Blackwater employees said they helped provide security on some C.I.A. flights transporting detainees in the years after the 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

The secret missions illuminate a far deeper relationship between the spy agency and the private security company than government officials had acknowledged. Blackwater’s partnership with the C.I.A. has been enormously profitable for the North Carolina-based company, and became even closer after several top agency officials joined Blackwater.

Friday, December 4, 2009

CIA AfPak Drone War Gets Authorized Expansion

The White House has authorized an expansion of the C.I.A.’s drone program in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, officials said this week, to parallel the president’s decision, announced Tuesday, to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. American officials are talking with Pakistan about the possibility of striking in Baluchistan for the first time — a controversial move since it is outside the tribal areas — because that is where Afghan Taliban leaders are believed to hide.

By increasing covert pressure on Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan, while ground forces push back the Taliban’s advances in Afghanistan, American officials hope to eliminate any haven for militants in the region.

One of Washington’s worst-kept secrets, the drone program is quietly hailed by counterterrorism officials as a resounding success, eliminating key terrorists and throwing their operations into disarray. But despite close cooperation from Pakistani intelligence, the program has generated public anger in Pakistan, and some counterinsurgency experts wonder whether it does more harm than good.
More ...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CIA Jetsam Drone War IO

Caught deep in the bowels of the AfPak drone war tale, we learn, rather surprisingly, that the CIA
"doesn’t have much experience with killing."

The toss-off statement came from John Radsan, a former CIA lawyer. Radsan has since pressed the civilian front and is now a professor at William Mitchell College of Law. Perhaps this small frame provides a peak through a glass, darkly, and one can glean how history and law is laid waste by mala fide abuses of academic authority: hey, kids, you too can learn the history of the world from the CIA! CIA-blessed and Establishment backed, get your diploma today!

The curiously jarring statement follows a similar pattern seen earlier regarding CIA torture regimes, when the shiny screwdrivers in the liberal media toolbox were driving the head of an IO screw that insisted the CIA had little or no experience torturing people, and more so that the CIA were "largely in the dark on interrogation tactics."

Lining up the all the claims describing all the things the CIA doesn't seem to know how to do, the conclusion is obvious: the CIA do nothing and know nothing.

And you can sleep safely at night.