American intelligence

Obama's Controversial CIA Pick Is the Best Man for the Job
January 09, 2013

John Brennan is the best nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency in a generation--alas. The best of a bad lot.

Pakistani Leader Makes World's Silliest Denial
September 23, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] On the same day that Rick Perry displayed a complete inability to answer a hypothetical question about Pakistan, Admiral Mike Mullen accused the Pakistani ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) of aiding and abetting the so-called "Haqqani network," which is believed to be responsible for a recent attack on the American Embassy in Kabul.

Clutching at Straws: The So-Called "Weakness" of Al Qaeda (Plus a Postscript)
January 10, 2010

Jon Chait did me a good deed in rebutting Matthew Yglesias' canard calling me a racist. But the blogoleft has been so deprived of facts that it is left to fight its battles by resorting to epithets, of which "racist" is the most common.

No One Yet Has Said He's A Nutcake. But What Does "Isolated Extremist" Really Mean?
January 01, 2010

Joe Klein, who spent a lot of print trying more or less to exonerate Dr. Major Nidal Malik Hasan by dint of his being a nutcase, has been curiously silent about Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. In fact, there's been a certain shyness among the whole left-wing blogosphere (and among Democrats, generally) about the skivvies terrorist. There is no place for these journalists to hide and no logic, however dubious, with which they can transfer the guilt to us.

Richard A. Clarke, Ex-liberal Hero, And The Reality Of Counter-terrorist War
July 18, 2009

Richard A Clarke came from inside--high-inside--American intelligence. And he was against the Iraq war. It was enough to make him a liberal hero. But in his testimony to (and around) the 9/11 commission he was also critical, devastatingly so, about how the White House under both President Clinton and President Bush had been so pre-occupied with other matters that they'd left the war against terrorism which we needed direly more or less neglected. We know that Clinton barely functioned as president in his second term, and we all know why.

Narrative Dissonance
July 01, 2009

What Obama's Cairo speech got wrong.

Correspondence
February 02, 2004

Known Threat The New Republic's December 1 & 8 cover article seeks to paint as "radical" the vice president's conclusion that Saddam Hussein's Iraq posed a gathering threat ("The Radical," Spencer Ackerman and Franklin Foer). Far from radical, that conclusion had been widely held for years by the U.S.

The First Casualty
June 30, 2003

Foreign policy is always difficult in a democracy. Democracy requires openness. Yet foreign policy requires a level of secrecy that frees it from oversight and exposes it to abuse. As a result, Republicans and Democrats have long held that the intelligence agencies--the most clandestine of foreign policy institutions--should be insulated from political interference in much the same way as the higher reaches of the judiciary. As the Tower Commission, established to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, warned in November 1987, "The democratic processes ...

Finger Tip
June 24, 2002

On its face, Attorney General John Ashcroft's plan, announced last week, to fingerprint about 100,000 foreigners visiting the United States each year sounds prudent. Since "fingerprints don't lie," as Ashcroft recently put it, fingerprinting visitors from Arab and Muslim nations should be a reliable way of identifying terrorists who would otherwise quickly disappear inside the country. In fact, until recently even liberals endorsed this logic.

Green Berets and the CIA
August 23, 1969

Colonel Robert B. Rheault, the former commander of the Special Forces in South Vietnam, seems destined to be the Army's equivalent of Commander Bucher of the ill-fated Navy ship Pueblo. Commander Bucher and his men were captured by the North Koreans, held prisoners and maltreated, then released only to be subjected to a court of inquiry and almost court-martialed.