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Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category

CIA Spied On Bin Laden From Safe House

TPM MUCKRAKER

Eric Lach | May 6, 2011, 9:45AM

The CIA had for months been spying on the compound where Osama bin Laden was found and killed by U.S. forces earlier this week, according to reports.

The agency maintained a rented safehouse near bin Laden’s compound, where a small team of spies “relied on Pakistani informants and other sources to help assemble a ‘pattern of life’ portrait of the occupants and daily activities at the fortified compound where bin Laden was found,” officials told The Washington Post.

A variety of technologies were used, according to The New York Times:

Observing from behind mirrored glass, C.I.A. officers used cameras with telephoto lenses and infrared imaging equipment to study the compound, and they used sensitive eavesdropping equipment to try to pick up voices from inside the house and to intercept cellphone calls. A satellite used radar to search for possible escape tunnels.

Despite the efforts, technology and millions of dollars used in the operation, agents were never able to photograph or record the voice of the man living on the top floor of the compound. According to the Times, agents called a man who took regular walks in the compound’s courtyard “the pacer,” but they were never able to confirm that he was bin Laden.

“You’ve got to give him credit for his tradecraft,” a former senior CIA official who played a leading role in the manhunt told the Post.

On the other hand, the official said, bin Laden’s decision to go to Abbottabad left him vulnerable. While it was not an obvious place to hide, and took him out of range of the U.S. drones that patrol the border with Afghanistan, Abbottabad is a place where “anybody can go.”

“It makes it easier for the CIA to operate,” the official said.

According to the Post, the safehouse was shut down after the raid.

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Pakistan-US Feud Boils Over CIA Drone Strikes

Saturday 23 April 2011
Via: Truthout –  by: Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington – Even as it publicly demands an end to U.S. drone attacks on militants in its tribal area, Pakistan is allowing the CIA to launch the missile-firing robot aircraft from an airbase in its province of Baluchistan, U.S. officials said Friday.

Up to 25 people reportedly died Friday in the latest drone strike, which took place in North Waziristan, a remote tribal agency from which extremists launch cross-border attacks on U.S.-led forces in neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s contradictory positions on the strikes illustrate how the Pakistani army is trying to use public outrage in Pakistan over what are denounced as violations of national sovereignty to squeeze the U.S. into giving it a greater say in the selection of targets.

The Obama administration, however, is insisting that the Pakistani military accede to a longstanding U.S. demand to move against militant groups that control North Waziristan, which is Osama bin Laden’s suspected refuge, and that they use as a base for attacking Afghanistan.

That message was reiterated by Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in talks he held with Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the head of the Pakistani army, in Islamabad on Thursday, said a knowledgeable person who asked not to be further identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Mullen told Kayani that there would be no let-up in drone operations until there are “decisive, verifiable Pak military operations against Haqqani and related groups responsible for actions leading to the deaths of American and coalition troops in Afghanistan,” the knowledgeable person said.

The North Waziristan-based Haqqani network is regarded as the most deadly and capable of the insurgent groups fighting U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan.

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Pakistan demands U.S. cut drone strikes, CIA agents

By Agence France-Presse via: Raw Story
Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 — 10:41 am

WASHINGTON — Pakistan has told the United States to sharply cut the number of CIA agents and special forces operating there, and to rein in drone strikes against militants, a US newspaper said Monday.

The New York Times said the order highlighted the near collapse of US-Pakistani cooperation, the result of a row that erupted when CIA officer Raymond Davis shot and killed two men who tried to rob him in January.

The authorities in Islamabad were asking a total of about 335 CIA officers, contractors and special operations forces to leave the country, according to a Pakistani official involved in the decision who was quoted by the daily.

Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Kayani personally ordered the reductions, it added, citing unnamed US and Pakistani officials.

The news came as Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, the chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s powerful military spy agency, met in Washington with Leon Panetta, director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

George Little, a CIA spokesman, told AFP the talks were productive and that relations between the agency and the ISI remained on a “solid footing.”

The Pakistani official involved in the decision to cut back the US presence told the newspaper that Pakistan suspects that what Washington really wants to do is to neutralize the Muslim country’s nuclear arsenal.

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Iranian Revolution (1979)

CIA’s Mideast Surprise Recalls History Of Intelligence Failures

Huffpost- Marcus Baram

First Posted: 02-11-11 06:35 PM   |   Updated: 02-12-11 12:57 AM

“Despite our best intentions, the system is sufficiently dysfunctional that intelligence failure is guaranteed. Though the form is less important than the fact, the variations are endless. Failure may be of the traditional variety: we fail to predict the fall of a friendly government; we do not provide sufficient warning of a surprise attack against one of our allies or interests; we are completely surprised by a state-sponsored terrorist attack; or we fail to detect an unexpected country acquiring a weapon of mass destruction.” –An excerpt from “The Coming Intelligence Failure,” a Defense Intelligence Agency analysis written in 1997.

The failure of the Central Intelligence Agency to predict the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt dominated last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. At one point, committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said the CIA should have had more warning of the revolts, since demonstrators were using the Internet and social media to coordinate, in many cases publicly. “Was someone looking at what was going on on the Internet?” she quipped.

The country’s preeminent intelligence agency still has a reputation for cloak-and-dagger intrigue, but it has been hobbled by major intelligence failures over the last three decades. Among those embarrassments: being caught off-guard by the Iranian revolution of 1979 and India’s 1998 nuclear tests, failing to foresee the 9/11 attacks or even the end of the Cold War and, more recently, ignoring evidence that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

Even before Iraq, however, the agency’s intelligence lapses in the 1990s led to a “culture of failure … a fatal cycle of error, criticism, overcorrection, distraction and politicization that undermined the quality and quantity of information provided to decision-makers who compounded these failing with major misjudgments of their own,” according to John Diamond, a former congressional staffer and author of “The CIA and the Culture of Failure.”

When the unrest in Cairo began to grow last month, surprising the White House, President Barack Obama reportedly told National Intelligence Director James Clapper that he was “disappointed with the intelligence community” and its failure to predict the unrest that led to the ouster of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia. Emphasizing that policy decisions by the president and Congress depend on timely intelligence analysis, Sen. Feinstein bluntly stated, “I have doubts whether the intelligence community lived up to its obligation in this area.”

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Obama’s Massive Power Struggle with the American War Machine

Even if Barack Obama is seriously betting on his exit strategy, the Pentagon wants infinite war.
September 24, 2010 |

As that self-appointed court stenographer Bob Woodward reveals in his latest court opus Obama’s Wars – conveniently leaked to the Washington Post and the New York Times – the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is shelling out the moolah for its own, 3,000-assassin-plus Murder Inc to roam in AfPak. These paramilitary – brigade-size – outfits, “elite and well trained”, have been branded Counter-terrorist Pursuit Teams (CPT).

Much is being made in US corporate media that this shady CPT posse is able to “cross-over” to the tribal areas in Pakistani territory and, like in that famous Heineken ad campaign, reach the parts US intelligence are not able to reach. Aware Latin Americans – with a shrug – will see this as Bad Joke redux: the “Salvador option” is back. As much as these Afghan assassins have been flown to the US for training, the infamous School of the Americas in the 1970s and 1980s trained death squads of natives to kill their compatriots from Chile to El Salvador. The CIA not exactly excels on thinking outside the box.

Old Afghan hands will also be thrilled; this is a small-scale remix of the Afghan mujahideen fighting the anti-Soviet 1980s jihad. Everyone knows what happened afterwards to those bad asses Ronald Reagan called “freedom fighters”; they turned against the US. Maybe some enterprising CIA analysts should share a kebab with their old pal on a payroll, former Afghan prime minister Gulbuddin “bomb, bomb Kabul” Hekmatyar, an eternal mujahid today on Washington’s most wanted list.

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Shocking New Report: The CIA Performed Human Experiments on Prisoners Under Bush

A new report details how the effects of torture on detainees were closely studied in order to perfect ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’

June 7, 2010 |

Over the last year there have been an increasing number of accounts suggesting that, along with the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” torture program, there was a related program experimenting with and researching the application of the torture.

For example, in the seven paragraphs released by a British court summarizing observations by British counterintelligence agents of the treatment of Binyan Mohamed by the CIA, the first two of these paragraphs stated:

    It was reported that a new series of interviews was conducted by the United States authorities prior to 17 May 2002 as part of a new strategy designed by an expert interviewer….
    BM had been intentionally subjected to continuous sleep deprivation. The effects of the sleep deprivation were carefully observed. [emphasis added]

The suggestion was that a new strategy was being tested and the results carefully examined. Several detainees have provided similar accounts, expressing their belief that their interrogations were being carefully studied, apparently so that the techniques could be modified based on the results. Such research would violate established laws and ethical rules governing research.

Since Nazi doctors who experimented upon prisoners in the concentration camps were put on trial at Nuremberg, the U.S. and other countries have moved toward a high ethical standard for research on people. All but the most innocuous research requires the informed consent of those studied. Further, all research on people is subject to review by independent research ethics committees, known as Institutional Review Boards or IRBs.

In the U.S., there was a major push toward more stringent research ethics when the existence of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study was publicly revealed in the early 1970s. In that study nearly 400 poor rural African-American men were denied existing treatment for their syphilis, and indeed, were never told they had syphilis by participating doctors. The study by the U.S. Public Health Service was intended to continue until the last of these men died of syphilis. When the study became public the resulting outcry helped cement evolving ethical standards mandating informed consent for any research with even a possibility of causing harm. These rules were codified in what has become known as the Common Rule, which applies to nearly all federally-funded research, including all research by the CIA.

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by: Michael Gass, t r u t h o u t | News Analysis, April 15, 2010

photo
(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: GrungeTextures, Tech. Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock / U.S. Army)

On August 19, 1953, pro-Shah supporters in Iran staged a coup on the Iranian government that was planned, organized and supported by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and British Intelligence. Iranians lived under the brutal rule of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi for the next 25 years until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Though the CIA-led coup in Iran was the first time the agency overthrew a democratically elected government, it wasn’t to be the last. In 1954, the CIA orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected president of Guatemala. In 1963, the CIA orchestrated the coup in Iraq that eventually brought Saddam Hussein and the Ba’athist Party to power. In 1973, the CIA orchestrated a coup against the democratically elected leader of Chile. In every case, those who were helped into power instituted regimes of terror and violence. These regimes prompted bloody revolutions, or worse, US-led invasions. Either way, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed due to US foreign policy.

Continues >>

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