Central Intelligence Agency

Backward Runs 'Newsweek'
May 21, 2009

Blah blah newsmag remake blah blah

Tortured Logic
May 20, 2009

REMEMBER THE Rule of Law? In the late 1990s, it was all the rage in conservative circles. Having maneuvered Bill Clinton into a position where he could either lie under oath or suffer massive personal and political embarrassment, conservatives reasoned that Clinton must be held accountable for perjury or the basic underpinnings of democracy would be shattered. The Republican sensibility was best reflected by the Wall Street Journal editorial page, which not only crusaded for impeachment but demanded, in 2001, that Bill Clinton be indicted even after leaving office.

Pelosi's New Defender
May 20, 2009

Who said the following in defense of Nancy Pelosi? The CIA has a very bad record when it comes to - I was about to say 'candid'; that's too mild - to honesty. . .  Director Panetta says the agency does not make it a habit to misinform Congress. I believe that is true. It is not the policy of the Central Intelligence Agency to misinform Congress. But that doesn't mean that they're all giving out the information. That would be Arlen Specter. Amazing what the prospect of a contested Democratic primary will do to a guy.

The Cheney Fallacy
May 18, 2009

Former Vice President Cheney says that President Obama's reversal of Bush-era terrorism policies endangers American security. The Obama administration, he charges, has "moved to take down a lot of those policies we put in place that kept the nation safe for nearly eight years from a follow-on terrorist attack like 9/11." Many people think Cheney is scare-mongering and owes President Obama his support or at least his silence. But there is a different problem with Cheney's criticisms: his premise that the Obama administration has reversed Bush-era policies is largely wrong.

Flashback: Panetta And The Cia
April 24, 2009

From Nexis--Washington Post, November 4 1987 (emphasis added): Thirty-three House Democrats proposed legislation yesterday that would extend the authority of the General Accounting Office to carry out audits and investigations of Central Intelligence Agency activities.The bill, introduced by Rep. Leon E.

Torture Memos And The Iraq Syndrome
April 24, 2009

I think President Obama did the right thing in releasing the torture memos and also in rejecting the call for further investigations and for prosecutions. It's not a question of whether I think John Yoo and Jay Bybee and the CIA officials who even exceeded the bounds of these memos deserve some kind of punishment.  They do, but not at the hands of the federal government. And not now.

Obamamania At The Cia
April 21, 2009

  Not to be ornery, but is it really appropriate for CIA officers to cheer the president--as they did during Obama's visit to Langley yesterday--as though they're at a political pep rally? (The beginning of this video gives you some of the flavor.) I guess it's comforting to see that the entire agency doesn't resent Obama for releasing the torture memos. But the people at yesterday's event almost certainly weren't from the clandestine operations side of the CIA, which handles the nasty work.

Small Change
March 04, 2009

Dick Cheney is never known for his good cheer, but, when Politico interviewed him recently, he sounded especially dour on the subject of Barack Obama's intentions vis-a-vis counterterrorism. In what seemed like a direct slap at the new president, Cheney warned that national security is "a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business ... and we're not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek." While Cheney didn't come out and say so, he sounded pretty convinced that Obama was planning a civil-liberties bender.

The Things They Carried
January 16, 2009

I’m not supposed to be here. This vast training base near the Gaza border where thousands of reservists are preparing for battle is off-limits to the press. Still, everyone in Israel knows someone, and my travelling companion knows a senior army commander who’s willing to break the rules. “Just say you’re my friends,” says the commander, who picks us up in his car near the gate. The commander, whom I’ll call Shmulik, is eager to slip us in. He wants us to meet his men, to tell the world the truth about Israel’s soldiers. Tomorrow morning, he says, they’re crossing into Gaza.

Richard Clarke Assesses Obama's Intel Team
January 10, 2009

Counterterrorism expert John O. Brennan was reportedly Obama's original choice for director of the CIA, but he withdrew from consideration after complaints about his past involvement in Bush-era interrogation programs. Now, Obama has appointed Brennan as deputy national security adviser for homeland security--a White House position best described as "counter-terrorism czar"--and has selected Leon Panetta to head the CIA, where he will be subordinate to the Director of National Intelligence, Admiral Dennis Blair.  To get some perspective on these appointments, I contacted Richard A.