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Ex-CIA boss admits to BBC Panorama that it tortured

Originally published at BBC News by Hilary Andersson on 8/3/15

The agency’s position has always been that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques it used under George W Bush, did not amount to torture, because they were legally approved by the White House at the time.

President Obama closed the CIA’s programme down when he came to power in 2009.

Torture is illegal under American law, but President Obama has been reluctant to prosecute high level officials.

The CIA tortured terror suspects in its programme of “enhanced interrogation”, the agency’s former executive director, Buzzy Krongard, has admitted to the BBC’s Panorama programme.

CIA Inspector-General’s Report on the CTC



The just-released CIA Inspector-General’s Report with this promising title should have been at least as interesting as the I-G Report of 1967 on CIA Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro. It should have addressed why in 2000 the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) withheld from the FBI important information about the arrival in the US of two of the future alleged 9/11 hijackers.…

Is the NSA lying about its failure to prevent 9/11?

Originally published at Foreign Policy by James Bamford on 7/21/15

Missed Calls

On March 20, 2000, as part of a trip to South Asia, U.S. President Bill Clinton was scheduled to land his helicopter in the desperately poor village of Joypura, Bangladesh, and speak to locals under a 150-year-old banyan tree. At the last minute, though, the visit was canceled; U.S. intelligence agencies had discovered an assassination plot. In a lengthy email, London-based members of the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, a terrorist group established by Osama bin Laden, urged al Qaeda supporters to “Send Clinton Back in a Coffin” by firing a shoulder-launched missile at the president’s chopper.…

FBI Agent: The CIA Could Have Stopped 9/11

Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 6/19/15

Updated | Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, says he is “appalled” by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency’s efforts to detect and stop the plot.

Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S.…

The Cutting Edge: But, but, bin Laden died in 2001, didn’t he??!

Originally published at Nafeez Ahmed’s Blog by Nafeez Ahmed on 7/15/15

Last month, I broke an exclusive in-depth investigation into the real story behind the bin Laden raid, based entirely on open sources available in the public record, including some pioneering journalistic investigations by others, official records, and declassified documents.My piece concluded that both the official history of the bin Laden raid and events leading up to it, as well as the alternative story put out by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh, were flawed.…

CIA torture appears to have broken spy agency rule on human experimentation

Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman  on 6/15/15

Exclusive: Watchdogs shocked at ‘disconnect’ between doctors who oversaw interrogation and guidelines that gave CIA director power over medical ethics

The Central Intelligence Agency had explicit guidelines for “human experimentation” – before, during and after its post-9/11 torture of terrorism detainees – that raise new questions about the limits on the agency’s in-house and contracted medical research.

Sections of a previously classified CIA document, made public by the Guardian on Monday, empower the agency’s director to “approve, modify, or disapprove all proposals pertaining to human subject research”.…

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Mock America in 9/11 Trial

Originally published at Washington’s Blog by Kevin Ryan on 6/13/15

Last year, it was discovered that the FBI had attempted to infiltrate the legal defense team of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner. The defendant is charged, along with four others including Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM), of conspiring to commit the 9/11 attacks. As a result, the military trial was moved out for approximately one year to allow for an investigation into the FBI’s offense. Recently, Al-Jazeera reported that the trial has been moved out yet again because the Department of Justice team leading the investigation (of its own bureau) needs more time to complete its secret report.…

CIA Sheds Light on Sept. 11 Accountability Reports

Originally published at Courthouse News Service by Tim Ryan on 6/15/15

WASHINGTON (CN) – The CIA declassified five documents Friday that show differing perceptions of the agency’s counterterrorism efforts prior to the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

One 480-page report from the Office of the Inspector General reviews the findings of a joint inquiry by the House and Senate intelligence committees regarding the performance of CIA employees before 9/11.

The OIG said its “overall conclusions on most of the important issues” coincided with Congress but that it did reach different findings “in a number of matters.”

“Concerning certain issues,” the CIA and its officers “did not discharge their responsibilities in a satisfactory manner,” the report states.…

Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World

J. Michael Springmann has just published, Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. As a former member of the US Foreign Service, Mr. Springmann exposes the truth about American involvement in the training and international movement of Muslim terrorists and the subsequent increase in jihadist terrorism. Some of these terrorists have links to 9/11.

Thousands of American soldiers and civil servants have lost their lives in the War on Terror. Innocent citizens of many nations, including Americans killed on 9/11, have also paid the ultimate price.…

The Inside Information That Could Have Stopped 9/11

Originally published at Newsweek by Jeff Stein on 1/14/15

Just before Christmas, former FBI special agent Mark Rossini greeted me with his usual good cheer when we met for drinks in a midtown Manhattan restaurant. He told me his life had finally taken a turn for the better. He’s spending most of his time in Switzerland, where he works for a private global corporate-security firm. “Life’s good,” he said.

Good, but with a few major changes.…

Fran Shure: A Spiritual Issue Not To Be Silent About 9/11

Originally published at The Profile by Susan Dugan, Jan. 2015 Issue

Right after 9/11, I remember talking to my women’s group and saying I just don’t think this could have happened without someone knowing about it and allowing it to,” says Fran Shure. “It was totally intuitive, because I knew nothing. And that was received with a lot of censoring remarks. I just looked at them and said, you know, I have the right to think the unthinkable and I’m going to look into this.…

Killing the Messenger: CIA, Contras and Crack

Originally published at BORDC by Christina Murray on 10/17/14

“Some stories are just too true to tell.”

This quote from the trailer of “Kill the Messenger,” a film about the life of reporter Gary Webb, who wrote on the CIA’s role in drug trafficking in 1996, sums up exactly why reporters like Webb are important, and why understanding the role of powerhouses such as the CIA and other government organizations is crucial in how we see ourselves within our own country.…

9/11 trial lawyer: CIA muted me

Originally published at the Miami Herald by on 8/22/14 (Updated 9/26/14)

Image of CIA logoMystery solved, if there was any doubt: It was the CIA that hit the mute button in the war court earlier this year when a defense lawyer for the accused 9/11 mastermind began talking about the CIA’s secret overseas prisons, the lawyer said Monday.

The Jan. 28 episode so embarrassed Army Col. James Pohl, the judge in the Sept. 11 terror case, that he ordered the kill switch unplugged, an order the agency apparently honored because no outside entity has censored the court since.…

The torture meted out by the CIA far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding

Originally published at The Telegraph by by Peter Foster on 9/7/14

Exclusive: As the US Senate prepares to release a report documenting US torture programme after 9/11, Telegraph reveals new details about the scope of CIA excesses

The CIA brought top al-Qaeda suspects close “to the point of death” by drowning them in water-filled baths during interrogation sessions in the years that followed the September 11 attacks, a security source has told The Telegraph.

The description of the torture meted out to at least two leading al-Qaeda suspects, including the alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, far exceeds the conventional understanding of waterboarding, or “simulated drowning” so far admitted by the CIA.…

James Risen calls Obama ‘greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’

Originally published at The Guardian by Joanna Walters on 8/17/14

The New York Times reporter James Risen, who faces jail over his refusal to reveal a source and testify against a former CIA agent accused of leaking secrets, has called President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation”.

Speaking to his colleague Maureen Dowd, Risen accused the president of aggressively pursuing journalists, including himself, who report sensitive stories that reflect poorly on the US government.…

Obama: U.S. ‘crossed a line’ and tortured after 9/11 attacks

Originally published at CNN by Ray Sanchez on 8/3/14

(CNN) — President Barack Obama acknowledged Friday that the United States “crossed a line” and tortured al Qaeda detainees after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The comments at a White House news conference were the President’s strongest on the controversial subject since he came into office denouncing what he described as the Bush years of torturing alleged terrorists, also known as “enhanced interrogation.”

“When we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line,” Obama said.…

CIA admits to spying on Senate staffers

Originally published at The Guardian by Spencer Ackerman on 7/31/14

The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan, issued an extraordinary apology to leaders of the US Senate intelligence committee on Thursday, conceding that the agency employees spied on committee staff and reversing months of furious and public denials.

Brennan acknowledged that an internal investigation had found agency security personnel transgressed a firewall set up on a CIA network, which allowed Senate committee investigators to review agency documents for their landmark inquiry into CIA torture.…

CIA Director George Tenet Facilitated 9/11

Originally published at Dig Within by Kevin Ryan on 7/27/14

After becoming Director of the CIA (DCI) in 1997, George Tenet did what Louis Freeh had done after his appointment as FBI Director. He began to cultivate close personal relationships with the rulers of Saudi Arabia. Like Freeh, Tenet grew especially close to Prince Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Bandar and Tenet often met at Bandar’s home near Washington yet Tenet did not share information from those meetings with his own officers who were handling Saudi issues at the Agency.…