January 6, 2010
by Ray McGovern & Coleen Rowley
Yesterday, a blogger with the PBS’ NewsHour asked former CIA analyst Ray McGovern to respond to three questions regarding recent events involving the CIA, FBI, and the intelligence community in general.
Two other old intelligence hands were asked the identical questions, queries that are typical of what radio/TV and blogger interviewers usually think to be the right ones. So there is merit in trying to answer them directly, such as they are, and then broadening the response to address some of the core problems confronting U.S. counter-terror strategies.
After drafting his answers, McGovern asked former FBI attorney/special agent Coleen Rowley, a colleague in Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) to review his responses and add her own comments at the end. The Q & A is below:
Question #1 – What lapses in the American counter terrorism apparatus made the Christmas Day bombing plot possible? Is it inevitable that certain plots will succeed?
The short answer to the second sentence is: Yes, it is inevitable that “certain plots will succeed.” A more helpful answer would address the question as to how we might best minimize their prospects for success. And to do this, sorry to say, there is no getting around the necessity to address the root causes of terrorism or, in the vernacular, “why they hate us.”
If we don’t go beyond self-exculpatory sloganeering in attempting to answer that key question, any
“counter terrorism apparatus” is doomed to failure.… Continue reading
Democrats were routinely briefed on Bush torture techniques, document
By John Byrne
May 8, 2009
The CIA has leaked a devastating document detailing the dates and explicit details
of secret Congressional briefings in which members of Congress were told of the
Bush administration’s torture techniques and when they had been used.
The document is explicit (PDF here). Most damningly, perhaps, is its description
of a meeting held between CIA staff and then-House Intelligence Committee Chairman
Porter Goss and now-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which shows that Pelosi was
briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture techniques in 2002 —
even though she’s publicly said she was never told about the use of waterboarding.
Equally striking, however, are the volume of the briefings that have been conducted
on the CIA’s interrogation practices since 2002. The document runs ten
pages, with up to four briefings a page.
Briefings given to Democrats are of particular significance because the party
has been the most vocal about the Bush Administration’s torture practices.
Apparently, however, they had known about the practices for years. At least
19 Democrats were briefed about the techniques in detail by end of 2006.
Pelosi was briefed on waterboarding in 2002, despite saying she wasn’t:
May 7, 2009
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was briefed on the Bush Administration’s torture
techniques in 2002 — even though she’s publicly said she was never
told about the use of waterboarding, according to a new report.
ABC News’ Rick Klein revealed Thursday evening that a report from the
Director of National Intelligence fingered Pelosi as having been briefed in
2002, even though she denied last month ever having knowledge of the Bush administration’s
so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
“The report, submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee and other
Capitol Hill officials Wednesday, appears to contradict Pelosi’s statement
last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special
interrogation tactics,” Klein writes.…
The former FBI translator and whistleblower suggests blackmail may be at the
heart of Congressional refusal to bring accountability and oversight to its
own members – such as both Hastert and Harman – in matters of espionage and
Guest Editorial by Sibel Edmonds
May 4, 2009
Exclusive to The BRAD BLOG
I have been known to quote long-dead men in my past writings. Whether eloquently
expressed thoughts by our founding fathers, or those artfully expressed by ancient
Greek thinkers, these quotes have always done a better job starting or ending
my thoughts – that tend to be expressed in long winding sentences. For this piece
I am going to break with tradition and start with an appropriate quote from a
living current senator, John Kerry: “It’s a sad day when you have members of
Congress who are literally criminals go undisciplined by their colleagues. No
wonder people look at Washington and know this city is broken.”
The people do indeed look at Washington and know that this city is ‘badly’ broken, Senator Kerry. The public confidence in our Congress has been declining drastically. Recent poll results highlight how the American people’s trust in their Congress has hit rock bottom. A survey of progressive blogs easily confirms the rage rightfully directed at our Congress for abdicating its role of oversight and accountability. Activists scream about promised hearings that never took place – without explanation. They express outrage when investigations are dropped without any justification. And they genuinely wonder out… Continue reading
by Dave Lindorff
For some time now, many Americans have wondered how Congress, the elected body that the nation’s Founding Fathers saw as the bulwark of liberty, could have been so thoroughly unwilling to, or incapable of challenging the dictatorial power-grabs and the eight-year Constitution wrecking campaign of the Bush/Cheney administration.
There has been speculation on both the far left and the far right, and even among some in the apolitical, cynical middle of the political spectrum, that somehow the Bush/Cheney administration must have been blackmailing at least the key members of the Congressional leadership, most likely through the use of electronic monitoring by the National Security Agency (NSA).
I’ll admit that I considered the idea of blackmail a bit far out. But now suddenly there is at least some evidence that such seemingly wild speculation may not have been off the mark, with reports that the NSA was indeed monitoring Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), and that the Bush Administration used the evidence it had obtained of her improper conversations with and promises to assist agents of the Israeli government and its lobby here in the US, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to blackmail her into supporting the NSA’s warrantless spying program–the very kind of spying that led to her being caught on tape plotting with an agent of a foreign power.
At the time of the taping of Harman’s incriminating phone conversations, the administration was trying desperately (and ultimately successfully) to get the New York Times to hold off on publishing a shocking investigative report by journalist James Risen about a massive campaign of warrantless tapping of Americans’ phone and internet communications.…Continue reading
by Joseph Cannon, Monday, December 10, 2007*
When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.
As you know, CIA Deputy Director of Operations Jose Rodriguez reportedly made the decision to destroy tapes of prisoner interrogation, allegedly to protect the identities of the interrogators. This action, we are told, ran contrary to the wishes of Porter Goss, who then ran the Agency.
Joseph Cannon in his blog of Dec. 10 recalls how past CIA claims of lost evidence later turned out to be untrue: “When the CIA tells you that a piece of evidence has been destroyed, you should react as skeptically as you would to the death of a Marvel supervillain.”
One certainty is that the CIA lied, either when it told the 9/11 Commission that tapes of certain interrogations were never made, or else in its current claim that such tapes did exist but have been destroyed. This serves to underline the absurdity of accepting any CIA statements, any at all, especially about 9/11. By extension, the 9/11 Commission is yet again tainted for using the CIA’s prisoner “transcripts” uncritically as a main source in its report; whether out of cynicism or unforgivable naivete is irrelevant.
It’s near impossible to tell on how many levels the CIA can be (and probably is) lying about the torture tapes. They may be lying about having certain… Continue reading
Submitted by Jon Gold
Some of you may have noticed that I have started a new “Who Is?” series with regard to 9/11. The reason I started this was because I thought too much emphasis was being placed on the physical aspects of 9/11, and not enough on the background information, the people who may have had something to do with it, the people who participated in the cover-up, the whistleblowers, the family members, the people who represent discrepancies, and so on.
I am using the work compiled by Paul Thompson at www.cooperativeresearch.org. There are links available to each of the stories sourced on the original website. Unfortunately, it’s just too much work to duplicate what Paul and others have done with regard to links. I want to thank them all for their tremendous efforts.
I also want people to know that the information provided is not the “end all/be all” of 9/11. However, it is most definitely an excellent starting point.
Here are the articles archived. As more are produced, they will be added here.
Who Is Jack Abramoff?
Who Is Elliott Abrams?
Who Is David Addington?
Who Is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed?
Who Is Omar Al-Bayoumi?
Who Was Khalid Almihdhar?
Who Is Prince Turki Al-Faisal?
Who Is Ahmed Al-Hada? With Introduction By Kevin Fenton
Who Was Nawaf Al-Hamzi?
Who Is Yassin al-Qadi?
Who Is Michael Anticev?
Who… Continue reading
September 11th Advocates Regarding Declassification and Release of Documents
The Public’s Right to Know – Declassification and Release of Documents petition ( http://www.petitiononline.com/july10/petition.html ) surpassed 15,000 signatures. As promised, we have hand delivered it to lawmakers in Washington, DC.
Recently, during our meetings with lawmakers, we discussed the declassification and release of all transcripts and documents relating to the July 10, 2001 meeting that took place between former CIA Director George Tenet and then National Security Advisor, Condoleezza Rice, the redacted 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry Into The Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001 (JICI) and the CIA Inspector General’s report, “CIA Accountability With Respect To The 9/11 Attacks”, as mentioned in the Petition.
Almost six years have passed since September 11, 2001, yet critical information continues to be withheld from the American public regarding the attacks. Included in this statement is an “Action Alert” and background information explaining the importance of transparency in our government. Since there is currently active legislation (Wyden-Bond Amendment attached to bill #S.4) regarding the CIA Inspector General’s Report, we decided, for the moment, to focus our attention on this particular document. After reviewing the evidence produced by the Joint Inquiry of Congress into the 9/11 Attacks, both Republican and Democratic Congressmen agreed that a CIA Inspector General review into individual responsibility was necessary. Faced with the facts, these Congressmen understood that accountability in the Intelligence Community was crucial. Their intent was that a final declassified CIA/IG report was to be released to… Continue reading
[Note: the following text originally published by Global
Research on October 26, 2003 was excerpted by the author from a much longer
text, see references at the foot of this article]
The Official Legend of 9/11 as a prefabricated set-up.
The 9/11 Commission made “dramatic changes” to its final report to omit information about the role of Pakistan, according to The Friday Times, a Pakistani weekly. After learning that the report would contain damaging revelations, the Pakistani government dispatched lobbyists to Washington to influence the 9/11 Commission, and may have even paid bribes to Commission members or their staff, the weekly says, citing an official at the Pakistani Foreign Office. “The disclosure sheds doubt on the integrity and honesty of the members of the 9/11 Inquiry Commission and above all on the authenticity of the information in their final report,” according to one source cited by the weekly.
The story was picked up yesterday by The Telegraph of Calcutta, India and is now shooting around the blogosphere. We cannot vouch for its veracity, but we can guess at the sort of information that both the US and the Pakistani government might have wanted to omit from The 9/11 Commission Report:
For example, prior to Sept. 11 the chief of the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI allegedly approved a $100,000 wire transfer to a certain Mohamed Atta. Yet the same ISI chief, Mahmud Ahmed, was in Washington for a working visit to his counterparts in the US government for more than a week prior to Sept. 11. On the morning of 9/11 itself, he was having breakfast at the Capitol with the future congressional investigators of the September 11th events. These alleged investigators, Porter Goss and Bob Graham, somehow failed… Continue reading
9/11 Commission Report – one year later… By Gregor Holland 911truthmovement.org
One year after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, serious questions that were raised before and during the Commission proceedings remain unanswered. For many, the Commission Report raised more questions than it answered. Not the least of these has been posed by honorable Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. McKinney recently questioned Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers “about the four war games that were taking place on September 11 and how they may have impaired our ability to respond to those attacks.” McKinney got a partial answer a week later. In the first on-the-record acknowledgement that there were four war games underway on 9/11/01, Myers told her that all battle positions were manned because of the drills…
“..so it was an easy transition from an exercise into a real world situation. It actually enhanced the response.”
This answer echoed one provided by General Ralph Eberhard during the final 9/11 Commission hearing. The question to Eberhard, posed by Commissioner Roemer, was coerced by hearing attendees who interrupted the hearing, forcing the issue by yelling “What about the war games?” The failure of air defenses to respond on that morning does not support the given answer by Myers and Eberhard.…Continue reading
by Kristen Breitweiser
Mr. Rove, the first thing that I would like to address is Afghanistan – the place that anyone with a true “understanding of 9/11″ knows is a nation that actually has a connection to the 9/11 attacks. One month after 9/11, we invaded Afghanistan, took down the Taliban, and left without capturing Usama Bin Laden – the alleged perpetrator of the September 11th attacks. In the meantime, Afghanistan has carried out democratic elections, but continues to suffer from extreme violence and unrest. Poppy production (yes, Karl, the drug trade) is at an all time high, thus flooding the world market with heroin. And of course, the oil pipeline (a.k.a. the Caspian Sea pipeline) is better protected by U.S. troops who now have a “legitimate” excuse to be in that part of Afghanistan. Interesting isn’t it Karl that the drug “rat line” parallels the oil pipeline. (Yet, with all those troops guarding that same sliver of land, can you please explain how those drugs keep getting through?)
Now Karl, a question for you, since you seem to be the… Continue reading
Report asks whether anyone should be held accountable, names individuals
By DOUGLAS JEHL
THE NEW YORK TIMES
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Ed. Note:The Cover-up Grinds On: Porter Goss slams shutters on CIA accountability (and no doubt further demoralizes any remaining honest underling spooks)
WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has blocked, at least temporarily, the distribution of a draft internal report that identifies individual officers by name in discussing whether anyone should be held accountable for intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, members of Congress from both parties said.
The delays began in July, at the direction of John McLaughlin, then the acting director of central intelligence, and have continued since Porter Goss took over as the intelligence chief last month, members of Congress said. The delays have postponed the next step in the process, which calls for the draft report to be reviewed by affected individuals.
It is not known who is named in the report, conducted by the CIA’s inspector general, an independent internal investigator.
The review was sought in December 2002 by the joint congressional committee that investigated intelligence failures leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks. The purpose, that panel said, should be to determine “whether and to what extent personnel at all levels should be held accountable” for any mistakes that contributed to the failure to disrupt the attacks.
In a Sept. 23 letter to McLaughlin, the top Republican and Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan… Continue reading
Philip Zelikow, executive director of the Kean Commission, has compared popular doubts about the 9/11 Commission report to a dangerous disease. Nicholas Levis of 911Truth.org responds to his comments in the Washington Post of Oct. 7, 2004 …
An open Letter to Philip Zelikow and The Washington Post
By Nicholas Levis
[also featured at summeroftruth.org]
NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2004 –
Philip Zelikow, a high-level national security adviser to both Bush administrations, acknowledges that America faces a new infectious disease: lack of faith in the U.S. government’s 9/11 Commission report.
As executive director of the freshly-retired Kean Commission, Zelikow was a principal author of the 567-page document, which purports to explain everything that matters about September 11th, 2001.
Sales of the 9/11 report have far outpaced those of his earlier study in statecraft, “Germany Unified and Europe Transformed.” He co-wrote that book in 1999 together with one of his closest associates from the original Bush White House, Condoleeza Rice.
Despite blockbuster sales for the 9/11 report, Zelikow tells the Washington Post he is alarmed by the concurrent spread of “conspiracy theories” about the attacks, which he describes as pathogens:
“Our worry is when things become infectious, as happened with the [John F. Kennedy] assassination,” Zelikow says. “Then this stuff can be deeply corrosive to public understanding. You can get where the bacteria can sicken the larger body.” (1)
It’s too late, Dr. Zelikow. The “bacteria” are winning, and your own work is to blame.
Perhaps… Continue reading