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CIA's Operation Mockingbird, "Stil Alive and Well !"

Guest Tom Scully

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Guest Tom Scully

I was prompted to draft this after overhearing a seemingly educated and well dressed man, yesterday, remarking disapprovingly, about how "Nancy Pelosi has thrown the CIA under the bus." I submit that the exact opposite is in progress

...I'm still alive and well

I'm still alive and well every now and then it's kind of hard

To tell I'm still alive and well

Rick Derringer - Still Alive And Well


The organization with essentially no oversight, unlimited budget, and a history of breaking domestic and international laws would never ever lie. So Pelosi must be...



The CIA broke the law by waterboarding it's prisoners as an interrogation technique in summer, 2002, including the waterboarding of one individual, 83 times. Since last week, teamed with republican political allies and it's "Mockingbird" stooge stenographers implanted in the press corps, the CIA had embarked in a massive smear campaign, unprecedented, even for it....in many years, to take the onus that justifiably should be on the CIA because of the evidence of it's lawbreaking, and to attempt mightily, and with much success....to shift it almost solely on House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi:


......Republican House leader John Boehner of Ohio said Pelosi's responses "continue to raise more questions than provide answers." He said it is "hard for me to imagine that anyone in our intelligence area would ever mislead a member of Congress."


...Despite Boehner's comments, CIA records show Pelosi attended only one briefing - the one in the fall of 2002 where she says she was told that waterboarding had not been used.....


Op-Ed Contributor

Congress’s Torture Bubble by Vicki Divoll

JUST four members of Congress were notified in 2002 when the Central Intelligence Agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” program was first approved and carried out, according to documents released by the agency last week.....

..The National Security Act also requires that when the president approves a covert action program the two Congressional intelligence committees shall be “notified.” The committees do not have disapproval power, nor can they force changes at that time. But the law does require the executive branch to provide timely, written notice to the full committees — which together consist of fewer than 40 members — of the plans.

It is unlawful for the executive branch to limit notification, as it did here, to the Gang of Four. There is no such entity recognized in the National Security Act. Federal law does provide, however, for notification of fewer lawmakers than the full intelligence committees, but only when “extraordinary circumstances affecting vital interests of the United States” are at stake. Under those very limited situations, the notification may be to the “Gang of Eight,” which includes the majority and minority leadership of the House and Senate, in addition to the intelligence committee leaders.

It should be noted that there is a legal argument that the interrogation program was merely foreign intelligence “collection,” and not “covert action” at all, because it was used to elicit information that already existed in the minds of the detainees. In that case, there is no exception in the law for Gangs of Four or Eight, and every member of the two committees should have been notified....

Vicki Divoll, a former deputy counsel to the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center, was the general counsel of the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2001 to 2003. She teaches government at the United States Naval Academy.


Mark Mazzetti, the Gray Lady’s Grammar-Impaired Spook Stenographer

By: emptywheel Thursday May 14, 2009 3:08 pm

"May 14, 2009, 12:33 pm

Pelosi Acknowledges She Was Told of Waterboarding in 2003

....By then, that C.I.A. already used a number of harsh methods on Mr. Zubaydah, including waterboarding...."

.....Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting.

....Mark, Mark, Mark. I spelled this all out here, back when it became apparent to anyone with a command of the English language that Goss' dispute with Pelosi had nothing to do with her contention (which was clear even then) that the CIA hadn't told Congress that it had already been using waterboarding. Rather, Goss argued that Pelosi should have known that the CIA was going to use waterboarding given that they told Pelosi they had gotten approval for it.

Now, that's clear even from the excerpt you've included in the post. But here, I'll give you the whole excerpt so you can begin to understand how the English language works so you won't be so susceptible to Porter's spin next time.

In the fall of 2002, while I was chairman of the House intelligence committee, senior members of Congress were briefed on the CIA's "High Value Terrorist Program," including the development of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and what those techniques were.


Today, I am slack-jawed to read that members claim to have not understood that the techniques on which they were briefed were to actually be employed; or that specific techniques such as "waterboarding" were never mentioned.

Now Goss asserts five things with respect to that first briefing in 2002:

1. He and Pelosi were briefed on the CIA's High Value Terrorist Program

2. He and Pelosi were briefed on the development of EITs

3. He and Pelosi were briefed on what those techniques were

4. Waterboarding was mentioned

5. Those techniques--including, presumably, waterboarding--"were to actually be employed"

Pelosi agrees that she and Goss were briefed on the program and, generally, that they discussed techniques. She even agrees that waterboarding was mentioned; the phrase "waterboarding was not being employed" certainly counts as a mention of waterboarding.

But see what number 5 doesn't say? It doesn't say, "those techniques had already been employed." "Were to be employed," a prospective use of waterboarding, not "had been employed," a past use of waterboarding.

Now, Mark. If you want to continue doing Porter's bidding, you're going to have to go back to him--I'm sure you've got him on speed-dial?--and get a stronger statement from him. But as things stand today, Porter Goss' statement is completely consistent with Nancy Pelosi's. The CIA, when it briefed Goss and Pelosi in 2002, did not tell them they had already been using waterboarding with Abu Zubaydah.

As a spook stenographer, Mark, I'm sure you're familiar with the National Security Act, but if you need a primer, why not read about it on the pages of the NYT? You'll see that the National Security Act requires the Administration inform Congress--arguably, the entire intelligence committees--about their covert ops. Requires. But instead, what happened here is that CIA took up torturing, and then, when they "briefed" Pelosi and Goss on it in September 2002, they didn't tell them they were already doing it. They didn't get around to revealing that until five months later--and six months after they had gotten into the torture business.

That is a violation of the law--some might even consider it news. But not the NYT!!! Nope, the NYT is going to keep recycling Porter Goss' carefully parsed statements and imply they refute Nancy Pelosi when they don't. The NYT is going to obsess over the fact that a staffer told Nancy Pelosi something that CIA should have told her almost a year earlier.

But the NYT is not, apparently, going to tell its readers that the CIA broke the law.


.....“The U.S. government adopted an unprecedented program of cooly calculated dehumanizing abuse and physical torment to extract information,” Mr. Zelikow testified (pdf). “This was a mistake, perhaps a disastrous one. It was a collective failure, in which a number of officials and members of Congress (and staffers), of both parties played a part, endorsing a CIA program of physical coercion even after the McCain amendment was passed and after the Hamdan decision. Precisely because this was a collective failure it is all the more important to comprehend it, and learn from it.”....

Mr. Zelikow cited two noteworthy official documents in his testimony, though these were not published on the Judiciary Committee web site. Copies were obtained by Secrecy News.


....Philip Zelikow, who served as the executive director of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission and was a counselor to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice from 2005 to 2007, said it was unclear whether the administration had briefed lawmakers prior to using waterboarding and other tough techniques on terror suspects.

“I don’t know if folks were briefed before the fact,” Zelikow said, adding that during his time in the administration an intense debate on torture occurred. He also said the White House used Congressional briefings as the basis for insisting lawmakers had authorized the interrogation methods.

“We were having heated arguments within the White House,” Zelikow said, adding that backers of the tactics would argue that since Members were briefed and didn’t object it meant that “they didn’t have a problem with it.”...

Dick Durbin and Philip Zelikow discuss Congressional Consultation

DURBIN: So, when members of Congress were briefed of this, was it before the fact? Were they being asked to authorize these techniques and give their approval?

ZELIKOW: Sir, I think Senator Feinstein mentioned, SSCI is apparently really trying to break down the chronology. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has been publicizing chronologies of briefings, which then need to be matched up against when we were actually doing things.

And so, the honest answer is, I don't know whether folks were briefed before the fact....

,,,,ZELIKOW: Formally, what's supposed to happen is, a memorandum of notification is prepared that lets key members of Congress know that a program is being undertaken with the authorization of the president, pursuant to some prior presidential finding.

And therefore, members of Congress are being informed...

DURBIN: After...

ZELIKOW: ... pursuant to this finding, we are now doing certain things.

DURBIN: After the fact?

ZELIKOW: It could be after the fact. It should be at the time the program is initiated and before the program is implemented, so that it appears that you're taking the congressional consultation seriously, which the administration should.


* MAY 8, 2009

CIA Says It Briefed Congressional Leaders


WASHINGTON -- Congressional leaders were briefed in detail about techniques used in the Central Intelligence Agency's interrogation program, according to a new intelligence document.

The document appears to conflict with recent statements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was then the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee. Ms. Pelosi has said she hadn't been told that the CIA was using the technique known as waterboarding, or simulated drowning. According to the document, Ms. Pelosi was one of the first lawmakers briefed on the interrogations in 2002.

Ms. Pelosi's spokesman Thursday reiterated the speaker's earlier contention that she was told in the briefing that waterboarding had been authorized but not yet used.....

...The document lists 40 briefings provided to lawmakers on intelligence, judiciary and other panels, the first of which was provided to then-House intelligence committee chairman Porter Goss, a Florida Republican, and Ms. Pelosi of California on Sept. 4, 2002. That briefing is described as covering "enhanced interrogation techniques." It included the use of the techniques on detainee Abu Zubaydah, background on legal authority, and "a description of the particular [enhanced interrogation techniques] that had been employed."

A recently declassified Justice Department memo on the CIA program dated May 30, 2005, states the CIA used waterboarding to interrogate Mr. Zubaydah "at least 83 times during August 2002."...


* MAY 11, 2009

What Congress Knew

Congress got 40 briefings from the CIA on interrogations.

On September 4, 2002, Porter Goss, then the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Nancy Pelosi, the ranking Democratic member, were given a classified briefing by the CIA on what the Agency calls "enhanced interrogation techniques," or, in persistent media parlance, "torture." In particular, the CIA briefed the members on the use of these techniques on Abu Zubaydah, a high-ranking al Qaeda operative captured in Pakistan the previous March.






APRIL 22, 2009


The release of the following declassified narrative completes an effort that I began last

year as Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. The document is an effort to provide

to the public an initial narrative of the history of the opinions of the Department of Justice’s Office

of Legal Counsel (OLC), from 2002 to 2007, on the legality of the Central Intelligence Agency’s

detention and interrogation program.

In August 2008, I asked Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey to join the effort to create

such an unclassified narrative. The Attorney General committed himself to the endeavor, saying

that if we failed it would not be for want of effort. Over the next months, Committee counsel

and representatives of the Department of Justice, CIA, Office of the Director of National

Intelligence, and the office of the Counsel to the President discussed potential text. The shared

objective was to produce a text that, putting aside debate about the merits of the OLC opinions,

describes key elements of the opinions and sets forth facts that provide a useful context for those

opinions, within the boundaries of what the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Intelligence

Community would recommend in 2008 for declassification.

The understanding of the participants was that while the final product would be a

Legislative Branch document, the collaborative nature of this process would provide the

Executive Branch participants with the opportunity to ensure its accuracy. Before the end of the

year, this process produced a narrative whose declassification DOJ, the DNI and the CIA

supported. However, the prior Administration’s National Security Council did not agree to

declassify the narrative.

I renewed this effort in early February as soon as Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.,

took office. Except for this preface, some minor edits, and the addition of a final paragraph to

bring the narrative up to date as of President Obama’s Executive Orders of January 22, 2009, this

document is the same as the one that secured support for declassification last year. This

declassification, which National Security Adviser James L. Jones effected on April 16, 2009 and

Attorney General Holder transmitted to the Committee on April 17, 2009, is supported again by

the DOJ, the DNI, and the CIA. Because the text of the narrative was settled prior to the release

on April 16, 2009 of the declassified OLC opinions from August 2002 and May 2005, the

narrative does not include additional information from those opinions that is now in the public



In April 2002,

attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel began discussions with the

Legal Adviser to the National Security Council and OLC concerning the CIA’s

proposed interrogation plan for Abu Zubaydah and legal restrictions on that

interrogation. CIA records indicate that the Legal Adviser to the National Security

Council briefed the National Security Adviser, Deputy National Security Adviser,

and Counsel to the President, as well as the Attorney General and the head of the

Criminal Division of the Department of Justice.

Page 3

According to CIA records, because the CIA believed that Abu Zubaydah

was withholding imminent threat information during the initial interrogation

sessions, attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel met with the

Attorney General, the National Security Adviser, the Deputy National Security

Adviser, the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, and the Counsel to

the President in mid-May 2002 to discuss the possible use of alternative

interrogation methods that differed from the traditional methods used by the U.S.

military and intelligence community. At this meeting, the CIA proposed particular

alternative interrogation methods, including waterboarding.

The CIA’s Office of General Counsel subsequently asked OLC to prepare an

opinion about the legality of its proposed techniques. To enable OLC to review the

legality of the techniques, the CIA provided OLC with written and oral

descriptions of the proposed techniques. The CIA also provided OLC with

information about any medical and psychological effects of DoD’s Survival,

Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) School, which is a military training

program during which military personnel receive counter-interrogation training.

On July 13, 2002, according to CIA records, attorneys from the CIA’s Office

of General Counsel met with the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, a

Deputy Assistant Attorney General from OLC, the head of the Criminal Division

of the Department of Justice, the chief of staff to the Director of the Federal

Bureau of Investigation, and the Counsel to the President to provide an overview

of the proposed interrogation plan for Abu Zubaydah.

On July 17, 2002, according to CIA records, the Director of Central

Intelligence (DCI) met with the National Security Adviser, who advised that the

CIA could proceed with its proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaydah...

Page 4

On July 24, 2002, according to CIA records, OLC orally advised the CIA

that the Attorney General had concluded that certain proposed interrogation

techniques were lawful and, on July 26, that the use of waterboarding was lawful.

OLC issued two written opinions and a letter memorializing those conclusions on

August 1, 2002.

August 1, 2002 OLC Opinions

On August 1, 2002, OLC issued three documents analyzing U.S. obligations

with respect to the treatment of detainees. Two of these three documents were

unclassified: an unclassified opinion interpreting the federal criminal prohibition

on torture, and a letter concerning U.S. obligations under the Convention Against

Torture and the Rome Statute. Those two documents were released in 2004 and

are publicly available.

The third document issued by OLC was a classified legal opinion to the

CIA’s Acting General Counsel analyzing whether the use of the interrogation

techniques proposed by the CIA on Abu Zubaydah was consistent with federal law.

OLC had determined that the only federal law governing the interrogation of an

alien detained outside the United States was the federal anti-torture statute. The

opinion thus assessed whether the use of the proposed interrogation techniques on

Abu Zubaydah would violate the criminal prohibition against torture found at

Section 2340A of title 18 of the United States Code. The Department of Justice

released a highly redacted version of this opinion in July 2008 in response to a

Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

The classified opinion described the interrogation techniques proposed by

the CIA. Only one of these techniques—waterboarding—has been publicly

acknowledged. In addition to describing the form of waterboarding that the CIA

proposed to use, the opinion discusses procedures the CIA identified as limitations

as well as procedures to stop the use of interrogation techniques if deemed

necessary to prevent severe mental or physical harm. Although a form of

“waterboarding” has been employed on U.S. military personnel as part of the

SERE training program, the Executive Branch considers classified the precise

operational details concerning the CIA’s form of the technique.

Page 6

Events after issuance of August 1, 2002 OLC opinion

According to CIA records, after receiving the legal approval of the

Department of Justice and approval from the National Security Adviser, the CIA

went forward with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and with the interrogation of

other high-value Al-Qa’ida detainees who were then in, or later came into, U.S.

custody. Waterboarding was used on three detainees: Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-

Rahim al-Nashiri, and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. The application of

waterboarding to these detainees occurred during the 2002 and 2003 timeframe.

Page 7

In the fall of 2002, after the use of interrogation techniques on Abu

Zubaydah, CIA records indicate that the CIA briefed the Chairman and Vice

Chairman of the Committee on the interrogation.2 After the change in leadership

of the Committee in January of 2003, CIA records indicate that the new Chairman

of the Committee was briefed on the CIA’s program in early 2003. Although the

new Vice-Chairman did not attend that briefing, it was attended by both the staff

director and minority staff director of the Committee. According to CIA records,

the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee were also briefed on aspects of

the program later in 2003, after the use of interrogation techniques on Khalid

Sheikh Muhammad....


Rachel Maddow asks Lawrence Wilkerson....

Maddow: Col. Wilkerson, you're a Republican and I think that the, you're not a politician, but I think that the political implications of Cheney being out there so publicly on this issue are pretty obvious.....

Wilkerson:....Likewise, what I have learned is that as the administration authorized harsh interrogation in April and May of 2002--well before the Justice Department had rendered any legal opinion--its principal priority for intelligence was not aimed at pre-empting another terrorist attack on the U.S. but discovering a smoking gun linking Iraq and al-Qa'ida.

So furious was this effort that on one particular detainee, even when the interrogation team had reported to Cheney's office that their detainee "was compliant" (meaning the team recommended no more torture), the VP's office ordered them to continue the enhanced methods. The detainee had not revealed any al-Qa'ida-Baghdad contacts yet. This ceased only after Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, under waterboarding in Egypt, "revealed" such contacts. Of course later we learned that al-Libi revealed these contacts only to get the torture to stop. ....

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, at her press conference, yesterday:


....The CIA briefed me only once on some enhanced interrogation techniques, in September 2002, in my capacity as Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee.

I was informed then that Department of Justice opinions had concluded that the use of enhanced interrogation techniques was legal. The only mention of waterboarding at that briefing was that it was not being employed.

Those conducting the briefing promised to inform the appropriate Members of Congress if that technique were to be used in the future.

Congress and the American people now know that contrary opinions within the Executive Branch concluded that these interrogation techniques were not legal. However, those opinions were not provided to Congress.

We also now know that techniques, including waterboarding, had already been employed, and that those briefing me in September 2002 gave me inaccurate and incomplete information. ...


Bob Graham: I Wasn’t Told About Waterboarding Or EITs In My Briefing

Former Senator Bob Graham, who received a classified briefing on terror detainees during the same month in the fall of 2002 as Nancy Pelosi, was not briefed about the use of either waterboarding or enhanced interrogation techniques during the meeting, he claimed in an interview with me.

Graham’s assertion — his first public comments since the release of the intelligence document detailing torture briefings given to members of Congress — directly contradicts the document’s claim that he had been briefed on enhanced interrogation techniques, or EITs. Graham is now the second Dem official to deny on the record the document’s contents and raises questions about its claim that Pelosi had been told, which she has denied.....


14 May 2009 07:49 pm

The CIA vs. Sen. Bob Graham: how to keep score at home

It's easy! If the CIA says one thing and former Sen. Graham says another, then the CIA is lying. Or, "in error," if you prefer.

(Background here and here, in which Graham says that some of the briefings in which he was allegedly filled in about waterboarding and related techniques never occurred. This matters, because the CIA's claims are part of the same argument that Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress had known about and acquiesced to waterboarding all the way along.)

Part of the payoff of reaching age 72 and having spent 38 years in public office, as Graham has, is that people have had a chance to judge your reputation. Graham has a general reputation for honesty.....

The "Op", as presented by CIA's cadre of cooperating "journalists" and CIA's partisan political allies:


How Waterboarding Is Drowning Pelosi

By Jay Newton-Small / Washington Thursday, May. 14, 2009


* MAY 11, 2009

What Congress Knew

Congress got 40 briefings from the CIA on interrogations.

......These days, Speaker Pelosi insists she heard and saw no evil. "We were not -- I repeat -- were not told that waterboarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used," she told reporters late last month. "What they did tell us is that they had . . . the Office of Legal Counsel opinions [and] that they could be used, but not that they would."

That doesn't square with the memory of Mr. Goss, who has noted that "we were briefed, and we certainly understood what the CIA was doing," adding that "Not only was there no objection, there was actually concern about whether the agency was doing enough."

Ms. Pelosi's denials are also difficult to square with a chronology of 40 CIA briefings to Congressional Members compiled by the CIA and released this week by Director Leon Panetta. For the September 4, 2002 meeting, the CIA's summary of the discussion reads: "Briefing on EITs including use of EITs on Abu Zubaydah, background on authorities, and a description of the particular EITs that had been employed." We emphasize the verb tense to underscore the contradiction with Ms. Pelosi's categorical denials of last month......


May 14, 2009

Categories: Pelosi

Hoyer questions Pelosi's CIA charge UPDATED


Editorial: Torture is losing issue for Democrats


No Sale, Nancy

Melinda Henneberger is the editor-in-chief of PoliticsDaily.com. She spent 10 years as a reporter for the New York Times


....Questions surrounding Pelosi’s knowledge of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” have been a recurring distraction for Democrats in recent weeks......

There are literally hundreds of news "reports" intentionally twisting this away from what happened and what is needed next:

The CIA broke the law by not informing and consulting with 40 members of congress authorized to be briefed on it's "plans" to use harsh interrogation techniques. The record from the recently publicly released OLC memo shows that CIA waterboarded a prisoner 83 times before Porter Goss and Nancy Pelosi received a Sept. 4, 2002 briefing when they were advised by CIA that waterboarding was a possibility that had not yet been implemented.

The DOJ must launch a criminal investigation of how and why congressional oversight was skirted during the summer of 2002, if the US is to credibly continue to describe itself as "a nation of laws".

Edited by Tom Scully
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But first the CIA has to acknowledge their role, and/or that of if its Agents in the whole JFK assassination plus their roles in Watergate, Orlando Letelier, Jacobo Arbenz, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Juan Bosch, etc. and that is never going to happen either.

What is it about banana republics and the CIA? Is that their JOB? (joke intended)

The whole world thinks we are a nation of Lies not Laws...

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But first the CIA has to acknowledge their role, and/or that of if its Agents in the whole JFK assassination plus their roles in Watergate, Orlando Letelier, Jacobo Arbenz, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Juan Bosch, etc. and that is never going to happen either.

What is it about banana republics and the CIA? Is that their JOB? (joke intended)

The whole world thinks we are a nation of Lies not Laws...

It is interesting how President Barack Obama is supporting the CIA in preventing these photographs from being released. Today he is expected to announce that he is reviving military trials for some of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. It seems that his "human rights" period did not last too long.

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Guest Tom Scully

Attacking a congressman of another generation, here is some disinformation from the former CIA "historian":


Looking for a Rogue Elephant

The Pike Committee Investigations and the CIA

Gerald K. Haines

...The investigations of the Pike Committee, headed by Democratic Representative Otis Pike of New York, paralleled those of the Church Committee, led by Idaho Senator Frank Church, also a Democrat. While the Church Committee centered its attention on the more sensational charges of illegal activities by the CIA and other components of the IC, the Pike Committee set about examining the CIA's effectiveness and its costs to taxpayers. Unfortunately, Representative Pike, the committee, and its staff never developed a cooperative working relationship with the Agency or the Ford administration.

The committee soon was at odds with the CIA and the White House over questions of access to documents and information and the declassification of materials. Relations between the Agency and the Pike Committee became confrontational. CIA officials came to detest the committee and its efforts at investigation. Many observers maintained moreover, that Representative Pike was seeking to use the committee hearings to enhance his senatorial ambitions, and the committee staff, almost entirely young and anti-establishment, clashed with Agency and White House officials....

If you walked into the white house during the "Ford Administration", you would have been confronted by dominant staffers, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. In the midst of an investigation of a powerful secretive intelligence agency, what constitutes development of a "working" relationship?

If Obama was the "progressive", so many thought they voted for, and not the puppet chosen by the PTB to effect the least change they could get away with without provoking fed up, but hopelessly indoctinated, American sheeple to take to the streets, there might actually be a discussion of whether the CIA is out of control and, as presently constituted, a threat to the best interests of the country instead of an entity in the intelligence gathering and analysis, "business", as it is chartered and budgeted to be doing..... Remember the recent, nearly three year period when abruptly resigned DCI, Porter Goss, kept his mouth shut and did not engage in a series of politically motivated, barrages of propaganda in defense of the agency he once headed, and attempted to wreck?

Edited by Tom Scully
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But first the CIA has to acknowledge their role, and/or that of if its Agents in the whole JFK assassination plus their roles in Watergate, Orlando Letelier, Jacobo Arbenz, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Juan Bosch, etc. and that is never going to happen either.

What is it about banana republics and the CIA? Is that their JOB? (joke intended)

The whole world thinks we are a nation of Lies not Laws...

It is interesting how President Barack Obama is supporting the CIA in preventing these photographs from being released. Today he is expected to announce that he is reviving military trials for some of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay. It seems that his "human rights" period did not last too long.

At one point one of Senator Claiborne Pell's sons told me that his father had once tried to pursue an investigation into the death of JFK and the CIA informed him that he would be glad to know that the CIA or the Secret Service had recently discovered and aborted a scheduled attempt on Pell's life in some far off banana republic he had visited recently. He was not convinced that this was entirely accurate based on conversations with the security director in that unnamed country later. He thought that this was a subtle way of telling him that most assassination attempts originate in far off banana republics, that it is their job to intercept and interdict these attempts and that they would greatly appreciate it if he did not interfere with their credibility or with the timely execution of their appointed rounds by opening up a can of worms. Pell's son said his father believed he was being coerced in a subtle manner to abandon his request for answers regarding JFK lest the CIA might choose to ignore the next assassination attempt on his life, real or imagined, which they might become aware of in the future.

I think that the CIA could convince almost any President that certain actions or inactions are in the interest of National Security and that his compliance is advisable using any means necessary. In his defense, Obama probably had little choice in the matter even though he might have been able to trump their card, he decided against it, probably wisely.

He probably got them to agree to cease and desist such actions during his term of office in exchange for not releasing the photos. So at least for 4-8 years, Human Rights compliance will be greatly increased and at least until Jeb Bush becomes President the world will be a more humane place regarding prisoner torture and interrogation. Did Obama attain his technical goals to improve Human Rights? Yes. Did he cop out just a bit? Probably. Can we do anything about it now? Not likely. But I agree with your points well taken here.

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Guest Tom Scully

Folks who are running the CIA's part of the "smear Pelosi", "Mockingbird Op", are apparently still, after six years, too immersed in their own, far right POV, to rationally sort out who "shafted: that agency, and who has supported it.....

Who better to spell out for us why al qaida suspects were, for a brief period, subjected to suddenly harsher "interrogation mehtods", and how his influence on NY Times' Nicholas Kristoff led up to the June 8, 2003 questioning of Condi Rice by George Stephanopouios on ABC's "This Week", than Joseph Wilson, husband of Valerie Plame?

(The CIA and former republican officials want to convince you that this is about Nancy Pelosi.....)


April 21, 2009

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link

By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration applied relentless pressure on interrogators to use harsh methods on detainees in part to find evidence of cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official and a former Army psychiatrist.

Such information would've provided a foundation for one of former President George W. Bush's main arguments for invading Iraq in 2003. In fact, no evidence has ever been found of operational ties between Osama bin Laden's terrorist network and Saddam's regime.

The use of abusive interrogation — widely considered torture — as part of Bush's quest for a rationale to invade Iraq came to light as the Senate issued a major report tracing the origin of the abuses and President Barack Obama opened the door to prosecuting former U.S. officials for approving them.....

....A former senior U.S. intelligence official familiar with the interrogation issue said that Cheney and former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demanded that the interrogators find evidence of al Qaida-Iraq collaboration.

"There were two reasons why these interrogations were so persistent, and why extreme methods were used," the former senior intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because of the issue's sensitivity.

"The main one is that everyone was worried about some kind of follow-up attack (after 9/11). But for most of 2002 and into 2003, Cheney and Rumsfeld, especially, were also demanding proof of the links between al Qaida and Iraq that (former Iraqi exile leader Ahmed) Chalabi and others had told them were there."

It was during this period that CIA interrogators waterboarded two alleged top al Qaida detainees repeatedly — Abu Zubaydah at least 83 times in August 2002 and Khalid Sheik Muhammed 183 times in March 2003 — according to a newly released Justice Department document.

"There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people to push harder," he continued.

"Cheney's and Rumsfeld's people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn't any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies."

Senior administration officials, however, "blew that off and kept insisting that we'd overlooked something, that the interrogators weren't pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information," he said.....


Dick Cheney's Torture Hypocrisy April 26, 2009

by Joseph C. Wilson IV

....We have also learned that a principal reason for having tortured senior al Qaeda detainees was not, in fact, to defend the Homeland, but rather to build the case for war with Iraq based on alleged ties between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. Despite literally hundreds of waterboarding sessions, there was no evidence developed that such a link existed. But that did not stop Cheney. He and others in the Bush administration simply asserted a link even though they knew one did not exist...

...The disinformation campaign to manipulate public opinion in favor of the invasion, the torture program, and the illegal exposure of a clandestine CIA agent—my wife, Valerie Plame Wilson—were linked events. In their desperate effort to gather material to whip up public support, Cheney and others resorted to torture, well known in the intelligence craft to elicit inherently unreliable information. Cheney & Co. then pressured the CIA to put its stamp of approval on a series of falsehoods—26 of which were inserted into Secretary of State Colin Powell’s speech before the United Nations Security Council. At the same time, Cheney was furiously attempting to suppress the true information that Saddam Hussein was not seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger. After I published the facts in an article in The New York Times in July 2003, Cheney tried to punish me and discredit the truth by directing the outing of a CIA operative who happened to be my wife....

Consider these excerpts reported during the ten day period before Condi' Rice's, sunday, June 8, 2003 questioning by George Stephanopoulos:


U.S. Hedges on Finding Iraqi Weapons

Officials Cite the Possibility of Long or Fruitless Search for Banned Arms

By Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, May 29, 2003

,,,Looking back at the spotlight the administration cast on the weapons issue in building its case for war, Wolfowitz said, "There was no oversell." But he acknowledged yesterday that there "had been a tendency to emphasize the WMD [weapons of mass destruction] issue" as the primary justification for war because of differences of opinion within the administration over the strength of other charges against the Iraqi government, including its alleged ties to al Qaeda.,,,


Tenet Defends Iraq Intelligence

CIA Chief Rebuts Allegations of Pressure From Administration Before the War

By Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writer

Saturday, May 31, 2003;

...CIA Director George J. Tenet took the unusual step yesterday of publicly defending the agency's intelligence on Iraq's possession of chemical and biological weapons, amid growing criticism that the Bush administration exaggerated what it knew about Iraqi weapons programs to advance the case for going to war....

... Three complaints have been filed with the CIA ombudsman about the administration's possible politicization of intelligence on Iraq, an intelligence official said. He would not describe the substance of the complaints.

One senior administration official said CIA analysts have complained they felt pressured by administration policymakers who questioned them before the war about their assessment of Iraq's arms programs....

... Tenet's statement came in response to the release on Thursday of a "memorandum" to President Bush posted on several Internet sites by a group of retired CIA and State Department intelligence analysts. The analysts said there is "growing mistrust and cynicism" among intelligence professionals over "intelligence cited by you and your chief advisers to justify the war against Iraq."

The group, which calls itself Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, said the failure to find weapons of mass destruction after six weeks of searching "suggests either that such weapons are simply not there or that those eventually found there will not be in sufficient quantity or capability to support your repeated claim that Iraq posed a grave threat to our country's security."...

...But opponents of the war -- some from inside the government, others from outside -- expressed concern that the administration failed to make its case about Iraq's weapons programs, as well as the country's alleged ties to al Qaeda. Opponents focused much of their criticism on a Pentagon intelligence analysis unit established last year by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was among the administration's most prominent advocates for invading Iraq....

... A senior administration official said that during the run-up to the war, the CIA's Iraq analysts had been questioned by administration policymakers, including Cheney. But the official added, "There is nothing wrong with them sitting down with analysts and asking them questions about how they know this or that."

Over the past year, Cheney has made "multiple trips to the CIA on many different subjects, including several times on Iraq," Cathie Martin, a Cheney spokeswoman, confirmed yesterday.....


Some Iraq Analysts Felt Pressure From Cheney Visits

By Walter Pincus and Dana Priest

Washington Post Staff Writers

Thursday, June 5, 2003

Vice President Cheney and his most senior aide made multiple trips to the CIA over the past year to question analysts studying Iraq's weapons programs and alleged links to al Qaeda, creating an environment in which some analysts felt they were being pressured to make their assessments fit with the Bush administration's policy objectives, according to senior intelligence officials.

With Cheney taking the lead in the administration last August in advocating military action against Iraq by claiming it had weapons of mass destruction, the visits by the vice president and his chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "sent signals, intended or otherwise, that a certain output was desired from here," one senior agency official said yesterday.....

... In a signal of administration concern over the controversy, two senior Pentagon officials yesterday held a news conference to challenge allegations that they pressured the CIA or other agencies to slant intelligence for political reasons. "I know of no pressure," said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary for policy. "I know of nobody who pressured anybody."

Feith said a special Pentagon office to analyze intelligence in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks did not necessarily focus on Iraq but came up with "some interesting observations about the linkages between Iraq and al Qaeda."

Officials in the intelligence community and on Capitol Hill, however, have described the office as an alternative source of intelligence analysis that helped the administration make its case that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat....


June 7, 2003 by the Washington Post

Bush Certainty On Iraq Arms Went Beyond Analysts' Views

by Dana Priest and Walter Pincus

During the weeks last fall before critical votes in Congress and the United Nations on going to war in Iraq, senior administration officials, including President Bush, expressed certainty in public that Iraq possessed chemical and biological weapons, even though U.S. intelligence agencies were reporting they had no direct evidence that such weapons existed.

In an example of the tenor of the administration's statements at the time, the president said in the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 that "the Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons. The Iraqi regime is building the facilities necessary to make more biological and chemical weapons."

But a Defense Intelligence Agency report on chemical weapons, widely distributed to administration policymakers around the time of the president's speech, stated there was "no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing or stockpiling chemical weapons or whether Iraq has or will establish its chemical agent production facilities."



On June 8, 2003, George Stephanopolous and Condi Rice had the following exchange:

S: But let me stop you right there, because many in the United States goverment knew before then that this...

R: George, somebody, somebody down may have known. But I will tell you that when this issue was raised with the intelligence community--because we actually do go through the process of asking the intelligence community, Can you say this? Can you say that? Can you say this? -- the intelligence community did not know at that time, or at levels that got to us, that this...

S: But let me show you something here, this is...

R: ...serious questions about this report.

S: [Reads from Kristof's article] That's hardly low level, the vice president's office.

R: Well, the vice president's office may have asked for that report. [snip] ... this particular report, it was not known to us that it was a forgery.


The next day, the very first thing Scooter Libby recorded in his notes was that the President was interested in the Kristof report about the SOTU....

....This is, to the best of my knowledge of the evidence we've seen so far, the first involvement of George Bush in the events that led directly to the outing of Valerie Plame. Mind you, OVP had already been responding to it. In mid-May, the CIA sent Eric Edelman some backup information on the Wilson trip. According to Marc Grossman, Libby first asked about Wilson on May 29 (though Libby disputes that and Carl Ford appears to corroborate Libby).

But on June 9, the day Libby records the President expressing an interest in the issue, events start to go into hyperdrive. The fourth item in Libby's notes from that day records the answer Craig Schmall gave Libby (he says in response to a phone request) regarding whether or not there was evidence OVP had received a copy of Wilson's report.


Friday, May 15, 2009

By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — Then-Vice President Dick Cheney, defending the invasion of Iraq, asserted in 2004 that detainees interrogated at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp had revealed that Iraq had trained al Qaida operatives in chemical and biological warfare, an assertion that wasn't true.

Cheney's 2004 comments to the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News were largely overlooked at the time. However, they appear to substantiate recent reports that interrogators at Guantanamo and other prison camps were ordered to find evidence of alleged cooperation between al Qaida and the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein — despite CIA reports that there were only sporadic, insignificant contacts between the militant Islamic group and the secular Iraqi dictatorship.

The head of the Criminal Investigation Task Force at Guantanamo from 2002-2005 confirmed to McClatchy that in late 2002 and early 2003, intelligence officials were tasked to find, among other things, Iraq-al Qaida ties, which were a central pillar of the Bush administration's case for its March 2003 invasion of Iraq.....


Cheney's Role Deepens

by Robert Windrem

May 13, 2009 | 6:31pm

...Robert Windrem, who covered terrorism for NBC, reports exclusively in The Daily Beast that:

*Two U.S. intelligence officers confirm that Vice President Cheney’s office suggested waterboarding an Iraqi prisoner, a former intelligence official for Saddam Hussein, who was suspected to have knowledge of a Saddam-al Qaeda connection.

*The former chief of the Iraq Survey Group, Charles Duelfer, in charge of interrogations, tells The Daily Beast that he considered the request reprehensible.

*Much of the information in the report of the 9/11 Commission was provided through more than 30 sessions of torture of detainees.

At the end of April 2003, not long after the fall of Baghdad, U.S. forces captured an Iraqi who Bush White House officials suspected might provide information of a relationship between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s regime. Muhammed Khudayr al-Dulaymi was the head of the M-14 section of Mukhabarat, one of Saddam’s secret police organizations. His responsibilities included chemical weapons and contacts with terrorist groups....

...In his new book, Hide and Seek: The Search for Truth in Iraq, and in an interview with The Daily Beast, Duelfer says he heard from “some in Washington at very senior levels (not in the CIA),” who thought Khudayr’s interrogation had been “too gentle” and suggested another route, one that they believed has proven effective elsewhere. “They asked if enhanced measures, such as waterboarding, should be used,” Duelfer writes...

....Duelfer will not disclose who in Washington had proposed the use of waterboarding, saying only: “The language I can use is what has been cleared.” In fact, two senior U.S. intelligence officials at the time tell The Daily Beast that the suggestion to waterboard came from the Office of Vice President Cheney. Cheney, of course, has vehemently defended waterboarding and other harsh techniques, insisting they elicited valuable intelligence and saved lives. He has also asked that several memoranda be declassified to prove his case. (The Daily Beast placed a call to Cheney’s office and will post a response if we get one.)

Without admitting where the suggestion came from, Duelfer revealed that he considered it reprehensible and understood the rationale as political—and ultimately counterproductive to the overall mission of the Iraq Survey Group, which was assigned the mission of finding Saddam Hussein’s WMD after the invasion.

“Everyone knew there would be more smiles in Washington if WMD stocks were found,” Duelfer said in the interview. “My only obligation was to find the truth. It would be interesting if there was WMD in May 2003, but what was more interesting to me was looking at the entire regime through the slice of WMD.”

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Guest Tom Scully

Disclaimer: I am not a supporter of Nancy Pelosi. I support accurate, independent news reporting and analysis.

Okay, they were at it again, yesterday. In the opening post, I documented how much of the misinformation in this latest, highly partisan, and CIA "friendly" Reuters article, "reported" by this "journalist" is garbage.


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"David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."

CIA briefed 68 lawmakers on interrogation program

David Alexander


Tue Feb 23, 2010 11:48pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - CIA officials briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on enhanced interrogation methods like simulated drowning that were being considered or used against captured al Qaeda members, according to declassified documents released on Tuesday.

The once-secret CIA papers, obtained in a lawsuit by the conservative legal foundation Judicial Watch, shed new light on which lawmakers knew the details of the controversial interrogation program and when.

Human rights groups have argued the harsh interrogation methods were forms of torture and violated U.S. obligations under the Geneva Conventions on treatment of war prisoners. President Barack Obama banned the techniques shortly after taking office in January 2009.

The declassified memos show the program began after the capture of al Qaeda lieutenant Abu Zubaydah, a Saudi-born Palestinian who was the group's operations director, in the city of Faisalabad in central Pakistan in March 2002.

In a statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence dated April 12, 2007, then-CIA director Michael Hayden said the agency decided new "techniques" were needed because "Abu Zubaydah was withholding information that could help us track down al Qaeda leaders and prevent attacks."

The CIA briefed lawmakers as it began seeking expanded authority for the interrogation program. Current House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then minority whip, attended a briefing on Abu Zubaydah's interrogation April 24, 2002, along with seven other members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the documents show.

The CIA did not begin using the interrogation techniques until after receiving legal guidance from the Department of Justice in August 2002.

Pelosi, who became House Democratic leader in late 2002, said at a news conference in April last year that she was never told at the time that simulated drowning -- or waterboarding -- and other harsh interrogation techniques were being used. She said she was only told the CIA had legal opinions that approved harsh interrogation methods....



Reuters’ Unbelievably Bad Reporting on the Ghost Detainee FOIA

By: emptywheel Wednesday February 24, 2010 5:43 am

I wasn’t going to respond to this unbelievably bad reporting from Reuters on the Ghost Detainee FOIA release the other day.

But just in case anyone wants my 2 cents, here it is.

As I’ve shown, the packet of information makes it crystal clear that when Michael Hayden testified before SSCI on April 12, 2007, he lied. Lied about information he had received, in preparation for the briefing, the day before. Lied about precisely whom in Congress had been briefed.

He also lied about important details of the torture program–both why they did it and when.

Yet instead of reporting that–instead of looking at Hayden’s briefing critically–Reuters reports some of the details in the briefing unquestioningly, without noting they have already been debunked.

The CIA did not begin using the interrogation techniques until after receiving legal guidance from the Department of Justice in August 2002.


After the interrogation program began, Abu Zubaydah become “one of our most important sources of intelligence on al Qaeda,” helping U.S. authorities identify alleged al Qaeda operative Jose Padilla and others, according to Hayden’s statement, marked “TOP SECRET.”

Early in his detention, Abu Zubaydah identified Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, Hayden’s statement says. Until that time, it says, Mohammed “did not even appear in our chart of key al Qaeda members and associates.”

I mean, seriously. Has David Alexander not read one thing about torture in the last year? Really? CIA didn’t begin torturing Abu Zubaydah until after August 1, in spite of all the evidence we’ve now seen they did?

And then, in a packet full of examples of CIA–at best–playing word games

in its briefings with Congress, and in spite of abundant evidence of errors in the CIA’s own records on briefings

(errors which we know to be present in this batch of documents), Reuters chooses in its lede to focus on how forthcoming CIA has been with its Congressional briefings.

CIA officials briefed at least 68 U.S. lawmakers between 2001 and 2007 on enhanced interrogation methods like simulated drowning that were being considered or used against captured al Qaeda members, according to declassified documents released on Tuesday.

(It also totally misstates what the briefings show, as the overwhelming bulk of these briefings included no information on torture methods and many of them weren’t even about torture but were instead about renditions.)

This article is going to get a lot of play today. Isn’t it good to see that America’s crappy reporting is continuing to reinforce erroneous myths about our torture program?



JasonLeopold February 24th, 2010 at 8:39 am Comment #5

Reuters basically copied Judicial Watch’s horrible, horrible partisan press release

For example:

According to the documents, previously marked “Top Secret,” between 2001 and 2007, the CIA briefed at least 68 members of Congress on the CIA interrogation program, including so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” The documents include the dates of all congressional briefings and, in some cases, the members of Congress in attendance and the specific subjects discussed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who previously denied she was briefed by the CIA on the use of these techniques, is specifically referenced in a briefing that took place on April 24, 2002, regarding the “ongoing interrogations of Abu Zubaydah.” Zubaydah had been subjected to the enhanced interrogation techniques.

Link to 16 pages of anti Pelosi comments in response to Fox "News' " identically tainted reporting of CIA's lies.:


Edited by Tom Scully
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