Posted tagged ‘CIA’

WikiLeaks Rape Case to be Reopened

September 1, 2010

According to CNN, the rape case involving WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, which made international news, is being reopened. Swedish police arrested Assange last month on charges of both rape and molestation.

From the article:

“There is reason to believe that a crime has been committed,” read a statement from Marianne Ny, Sweden’s director of public prosecutions. “Considering information available at present, my judgment is that the classification of the crime is rape.”

She said more investigation is necessary before she can make a final decision.

An ongoing investigation about a separate charge of molestation will be extended, she added, but the charge will also be escalated to include a sexual component.

Advertisements

Double Agent Killed CIA Agents

January 5, 2010

It appears that Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a suicide bomber who attacked a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan last week, was a Jordanian citizen working as an Al Qaeda double agent.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The suicide bomber who killed seven Central Intelligence Agency employees and contractors and a Jordanian intelligence officer was a double agent the CIA had recruited to provide intelligence on senior al Qaeda leadership, according to current and former U.S. officials and an Afghan security official.

The officials said the bomber was a Jordanian doctor likely affiliated and working with al Qaeda.

The Afghan security official identified the bomber as Hammam Khalil Abu Mallal al-Balawi, who is also known as Abu Dujana al-Khurasani. The Pakistani Taliban also claimed that Mr. al-Balawi was the bomber, Arabic-language Web sites reported Monday.

Mr. al-Balawi was brought to the CIA’s base in Khost Province by the Jordanian intelligence official, Sharif Ali bin Zeid, who was working with the CIA, according to the Afghan security official.

CIA Hired Blackwater To Go After Al Qaeda Leaders

August 21, 2009

The CIA apparently hired Blackwater back  in 2004 to work on a covert program aimed at targeting and potentially killing top al Qaeda leaders.

From CNN:

The existence of the program, which began in 2001, came to light earlier this year when CIA Director Leon Panetta canceled the effort, but it is only now that Blackwater’s involvement has become known.

That development was first reported Thursday in The New York Times.

The program was part of a broader effort inside the CIA to develop the capacity to conduct training, surveillance and possible covert operations overseas, according to the source. The program was outsourced to contractors to “put some distance” between the effort and the U.S. government.

By mid-2006, Blackwater’s involvement in the program had ended, according to a U.S. official. Other contractors were brought in for other parts of the program, another source said.

The total program cost “millions,” a U.S. official said. It is not known how much Blackwater was paid. The company — now known as Xe — did not return CNN’s calls seeking comment.

Dick Cheney Linked to Concealment of Terror Program

July 11, 2009

According to reports today, the CIA withheld information about a secret counter terrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney.

From the New York Times:

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

The question of how completely the C.I.A. informed Congress about sensitive programs has been hotly disputed by Democrats and Republicans since May, when Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the agency of failing to reveal in 2002 that it was waterboarding a terrorism suspect, a claim Mr. Panetta rejected.

The law requires the president to make sure the intelligence committees “are kept fully and currently informed of the intelligence activities of the United States, including any significant anticipated intelligence activity.” But the language of the statute, the amended National Security Act of 1947, leaves some leeway for judgment, saying such briefings should be done “to the extent consistent with due regard for the protection from unauthorized disclosure of classified information relating to sensitive intelligence sources and methods or other exceptionally sensitive matters.”

Al Qaeda Leaders Waterboarded 266 Times

April 20, 2009

According to newly released documents, CIA interrogators used waterboarding at least 266 times on two top al Qaeda suspects.

From CNN:

The controversial technique that simulates drowning — and which President Obama calls torture — was used at least 83 times in August 2002 on suspected al Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah, according to the memo.

Interrogators also waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times in March 2003. Mohammed is believed to be the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Obama released the memo Thursday, saying that “exceptional circumstances surround these memos and require their release.”

The memo, dated May 30, 2005, was from then-Deputy Assistant Attorney General Steven G. Bradbury to John Rizzo, who was acting general counsel for the CIA.

It paints a different picture from the one described by former CIA officer John Kiriakou. In a December 2007 interview with CNN, Kiriakou said Zubaydah had been waterboarded for “about 30 seconds, 35 seconds” and agreed to cooperate with interrogators the following day.

“Deep Throat” Dead at 95

December 19, 2008

W. Mark Felt, also known as Deep Throat,  who helped bring down President Richard Nixon by resisting the Watergate cover-up, died today at the age of 95.

From the New York Times:

His death was confirmed by Rob Jones, his grandson.

In 2005, Mr. Felt revealed that he was the one who had secretly supplied Bob Woodward of The Washington Post with crucial leads in the Watergate affair in the early 1970s. His decision to unmask himself, in an article in Vanity Fair, ended a guessing game that had gone on for more than 30 years.

The disclosure even surprised Mr. Woodward and his partner on the Watergate story, Carl Bernstein. They had kept their promise not to reveal his identity until after his death. Indeed, Mr. Woodward was so scrupulous about shielding Mr. Felt that he did not introduce him to Mr. Bernstein until this year, 36 years after they cracked the scandal. The three met for two hours one afternoon last month in Santa Rosa, where Mr. Felt had retired. The reporters likened it to a family reunion.

Mr. Felt played a dual role in the fall of Nixon. As a secret informant, he kept the story alive in the press. As associate director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, he fought the president’s efforts to obstruct the F.B.I.’s investigation of the Watergate break-in.

Without Mr. Felt, there might not have been a Watergate — shorthand for the revealed abuses of presidential powers in the Nixon White House, including illegal wiretapping, burglaries and money laundering. Americans might never have seen a president as a criminal conspirator, or reporters as cultural heroes, or anonymous sources like Mr. Felt as a necessary if undesired tool in the pursuit of truth.

Like Nixon, Mr. Felt authorized illegal break-ins in the name of national security and then received the absolution of a presidential pardon. Their lives were intertwined in ways only they and a few others knew.

Nixon cursed his name when he learned early on that Mr. Felt was providing aid to the enemy in the wars of Watergate. The conversation was recorded in the Oval Office and later made public.

Secret Order Allows U.S. Military to Raid Al Qaeda

November 10, 2008

According to Senior US officials, the United States military has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan and elsewhere since 2004. It makes you wonder how many attacks that we have not heard about have been carried out.

From the New York Times:

These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces, were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States.

In 2006, for example, a Navy Seal team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, according to a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency. Officials watched the entire mission — captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft — in real time in the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorist Center at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away.

Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A., according to senior American officials, who said that in others, like the Special Operations raid in Syria on Oct. 26 of this year, the military commandos acted in support of C.I.A.-directed operations.

But as many as a dozen additional operations have been canceled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials said. They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.

More than a half-dozen officials, including current and former military and intelligence officials as well as senior Bush administration policy makers, described details of the 2004 military order on the condition of anonymity because of its politically delicate nature. Spokesmen for the White House, the Defense Department and the military declined to comment.