AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #22-09 dated 16 June 2009
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
CIA Asks Court to Keep Interrogation Records Secret. CIA Director Leon Panetta asked a federal judge to keep records of U.S. interrogations of top al Qaeda captives secret, arguing their release could cause "exceptionally grave" damage to national security. The records' release would give al Qaeda "ready-made" propaganda ammunition, the CIA's Leon Panetta said.
In a sworn declaration, Panetta stated that releasing detailed cables from CIA agents would disclose "sensitive intelligence and operational information" regarding the interrogation of al Qaeda figure Abu Zubaydah - and provide "ready-made ammunition for al Qaeda propaganda."
"Al Qaeda has a very effective propaganda operation," Panetta wrote. "When the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison was disclosed, al Qaeda made very effective use of that information in extremist Web sites that recruit jihadists and solicit financial support."
The statement came in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which in April won the release of Bush administration legal opinions justifying the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists. Critics say those techniques amounted to the torture of prisoners in U.S. custody.
Critics have called for investigations and possible prosecutions of U.S. officials who authorized the "enhanced" techniques. But in his declaration, Panetta said his request was "in no way driven by a desire to prevent embarrassment for the U.S. government or the CIA, or to suppress evidence of any unlawful conduct."
"My sole purpose is to prevent the exceptionally grave damage to national security likely to occur from public disclosure of any portion of these documents, and to protect intelligence sources and methods," he wrote.
Most of the 65 documents Panetta is asking U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein to keep under wraps are top-secret and represent "the most contemporaneous documents the CIA possesses concerning these interrogations." Others include notes from 92 videotapes that depicted the interrogations. The CIA has admitted it destroyed those videotapes.
There was no immediate response from the ACLU to Panetta's filing. The group has already asked Hellerstein to find the CIA in contempt for destroying the videotapes, which Panetta's predecessor disclosed were destroyed in 2005. [CNN/8June2009]
Al Qaeda's Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani Pleads Not Guilty to Embassy Bombings. Accused Al Qaeda henchman Ahmen Ghailani was spirited from Guantanamo Bay to New York - where he pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 1998 embassy bombings that killed 224 people.
Ghailani was the first alleged terrorist removed from Guantanamo to be prosecuted in the United States, and he arrived in Manhattan under super-tight security.
He's accused of conspiring to blow up embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, where a dozen Americans were killed.
Ghailani - who prosecutors say is a diminutive forger and bomb-maker for Al Qaeda known as "Foopie" - appeared in Manhattan Federal Court five years after he was nabbed during an intense shootout in Pakistan.
He was considered one of the CIA's biggest post-9/11 catches.
One former FBI counterterror agent, who worked the embassy bombings investigation on the ground in Nairobi, told the Daily News he was elated at Ghailani's arrival in New York because "finally justice will be done."
He faces 286 counts in a March 2001 indictment for conspiring with Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden to murder the bombings' victims.
He was among 14 "high value" detainees President Bush announced in 2006 were being placed in Gitmo's prison camp and afforded legal representation after years in a secret CIA jail.
Ghailani is the first defendant who was originally held without charge by the CIA to appear in a civilian court since the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
He is also the first moved into the U.S. civilian court system for trial since President Obama took office and declared Gitmo will be closed by January 2010. [Zambito&Meek&McShane/NYDaileyNews/9June2009]
FBI Director Defends Use of Informants in Mosques. FBI Director Robert Mueller defended the agency's use of informants within U.S. mosques, despite complaints from Muslim organizations that worshippers and clerics are being targeted instead of possible terrorists.
Mueller's comments came just days after a Michigan Muslim organization asked the Justice Department to investigate complaints that the FBI is asking the faithful to spy on Islamic leaders and worshippers. Similar alarm followed the disclosure earlier this year that the FBI planted a spy in Southern California mosques.
He called relations with U.S. Muslims "very good," but acknowledged disagreements without providing specifics.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder after mosques and other groups reported members of the community have been asked to monitor people coming to mosques and donations they make. The FBI's Detroit office has denied the allegations.
In the California case, information about the informant who spied on the Islamic Center of Irvine came out at a February detention hearing for a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden's bodyguard, an Afghan native and naturalized U.S. citizen named Ahmadullah Niazi who is accused of lying on his citizenship and passport applications about terrorism ties.
Local Muslim leaders say they suspected since at least since 2006 that the FBI was trying to infiltrate Muslim organizations in the area.
FBI agents and prosecutors say spying on mosques is one of the best weapons to uncover lurking terrorists or threats to national security, but it has posed a politically and legally thorny issue with Muslims who see themselves as unjustly monitored.
Mueller also said that there will be no change in the FBI's priorities in the new administration.
"My expectation is that we'll see an uptick in terms of resources devoted toward our domestic criminal responsibilities, but we will not ... relax our responsibilities when it come to counterterrorism or counterintelligence," he added. [Blood/AP/9June2009]
London Police Accused Of Water Torture. Six Scotland Yard officers have been suspended over allegations of "waterboarding" drug suspects. The men are said to have pushed the suspects' heads repeatedly into buckets or bowls of water in a bid to force them to reveal the locations of drugs.
The accusations suggest they were simulating the notorious "waterboard" torture techniques employed against al Qaeda suspects by CIA staff. The process involves hooding and strapping a suspect to a board and then tipping him head-first into a bath of water. The effect is to make the suspect believe he is drowning.
The claims come as Scotland Yard is investigating similar allegations against the British Security Service MI5. The incidents are said to have taken place at the homes of four young men arrested on suspicion of drug offences at properties in North London in November.
The officers, including a detective sergeant, were originally suspended over allegations they stole property during the drugs raids.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the allegations after they were referred by Scotland Yard. It is understood the allegations were made by a fellow officer.
The victims of the "waterboarding" are thought to be young, foreign nationals who did not make any complaints themselves.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "Whilst the investigation is ongoing it is not appropriate to make assumptions. "That said, these are serious allegations that do raise real concern. The Met does not tolerate conduct which falls below the standards that the public and the many outstanding Met officers and staff expect. Any allegations of such behaviour are treated very seriously, as this case illustrates, and if found true the strongest possible action will be taken." [Brunt/Skynews/8June2009]
Army Report Shows How Rules That Don't Work Are Ignored. There is a "conflict between obtaining accurate, timely information and treating detainees humanely," concluded the Army colonel overseeing the initial investigation of the December 2002 deaths of two Afghan detainees at the Bagram air base detention facility in Afghanistan. The colonel's assessment was included in a 2004 report by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command.
The report shows how dozens of senior and junior Army officers and enlisted men at Bagram, facing the post-Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist threat and under pressure to get information, ignored or directly violated interrogation elements in the Army Field Manual then in effect. That manual said the U.S. government did not authorize or condone the use of force, mental torture, threats, insults or inhumane treatment of any kind.
The 2004 report, more than 1,000 pages, offers an important lesson for today, especially because a revised 2006 version of that Army Field Manual has become the bible not only for military interrogators facing uncooperative "unlawful combatants," but also for CIA operatives. The lesson: When the rules don't seem to get results, people tend to ignore them.
One of the 2002 Bagram dead was Mullah Habibullah, an Afghan about 30 years old who was captured by a warlord Nov. 28, 2002, and turned over to the CIA. Two days later, agency personnel delivered him to the Bagram Collection Point, where the prime purpose of interrogations was to gather tactical intelligence and to determine who was of high enough value to be shipped to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Military intelligence interrogators ordered Habibullah, alleged to be the brother of a former Taliban commander, to be deprived of sleep during his four days at the Bagram Collection Point. He was forced to stand, his wrists chained - at chest height - to a fixture attached to the ceiling. If he nodded off and his body sagged, the chains would jerk him by the wrists, preventing him from dropping to the floor, and wake him. He was also repeatedly beaten on his legs with wooden batons, particularly behind the knees, as a means of getting him to kneel during interrogations. In the end, according to the autopsy report, "a blunt force injury to Habibullah's left leg was where a fatal blood clot formed." But, according to the autopsy finding cited in the report, "the prolonged, enforced standing.... significantly aided in formation of the blood clot."
When asked where the techniques being used at Bagram came from, a lieutenant colonel told investigators that Army Field Manual 34-52, then in effect, "contained 'approaches' which were very vague."
"I do not believe there was any written policy in existence prior to our identification of a need for it.... But I believe the impetus for that guidance was the unfortunate deaths of those two detainees," added the lieutenant colonel, who in 2002 was the Joint Task Force deputy Army judge advocate general, or the military lawyer.
However, the former Joint Task Force intelligence operations officer, who was at Bagram when the events took place, told investigators he contributed to and reviewed an August 2002 Joint Task Force standard operating procedure (SOP) paper for the interrogation facility. It "was constantly under revision," the former operations officer said. It contained sleep deprivation, he said, but he saw only one case in which a detainee was chained to the ceiling.
Normally, he said, the Military Police officers "yelled or made loud noises at them to wake them up, made them stand, made them walk around, the lights were always on."
The operations officer said he did not know who authorized use of sleep deprivation at the Bagram facility. "It was in practice when I arrived there, so I assumed it was acceptable," he said.
Investigators then showed the intelligence operations officer an "annex" to the Joint Task Force August 2002 SOP titled "Use of Force." (The 2004 report does not disclose what the annex said.)
The operations officer replied, "I've never seen that."
Knowledge of the activities at the Bagram detention facility was widespread.
An MP supply officer, when asked by investigators who beyond his Military Police platoon was aware of detainees being subjected to standing restraints, sleep deprivation and baton strikes on the legs, responded: "The commander knew of all those things. Everybody knew about standing restraints."
The Joint Task Force provost marshal, a major who in 2002 controlled operation of the Bagram facility but not MP operations there, told investigators what he observed on visits: "Hooding, hooding with handcuffs in the airlock [a device on the ceiling], sometimes chained to the airlock and sleep deprivation," he said.
In 2002, the practices were relayed to the military intelligence noncommissioned officer in charge, who, according to the investigative report, "excused it as necessary to the mission, did nothing to stop the behaviors and failed to report it or prevent further occurrences." [Pincus/WashingtonPost/8June2009]
Resolution To Honor Intel Community. Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican, upon returning from a trip to southwest Asia, where he met with intelligence officials, has proposed a resolution that he says honors "the brave men and women of the intelligence community of the United States, whose tireless and selfless work has protected America from a terrorist attack for the past eight years."
"These professionals, at home or across the globe, execute a critical mission with quiet dedication and without the luxury or need of public recognition," Mr. Rogers, a member of the intelligence committee and terrorism subcommittee, said in a statement. "They continue to display selfless service in protecting the United States and the American people."
Mr. Rogers said he and House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, have called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to quickly bring the resolution to a vote.
That could put Mrs. Pelosi, California Democrat, in a potentially awkward situation as she has recently been embroiled in controversy after accusing the CIA of lying to Congress about the use of interrogation techniques that some consider torture.
"We should send a clear signal that the United States stands firmly behind its intelligence professionals and we support them as they risk their lives every day to keep America safe," Mr. Rogers said.
Twenty Republican lawmakers co-sponsored the resolution with Mr. Rogers. [WashingtonTimes/8June2009]
Report: U.S. Technology Helped Uncover Israel Spy Ring in Lebanon. American training and technology enabled a breakthrough to crack the alleged Israeli spy ring in Lebanon, media in the Arab world reported.
Over 20 suspects, including a high-ranking army official, have been charged with spying for Israel over many years.
Since 2006, the United States has supplied the Lebanese with $1 billion in assistance, including $410 million to improve the work of the Lebanese police and intelligence services.
The value of American assistance can be seen in a reported break in the investigation into the 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hezbollah is increasingly seen as the culprit, not Syria as first thought. Details about Hezbollah's alleged involvement were published in May in the German newsweekly Der Spiegel. The magazine reported that the Hezbollah connection was discovered using American technology supplied to the Lebanese. The technology allowed the Lebanese authorities to survey the history of cellular telephone usage for phones in the area of the attack at the time. A common denominator was found among eight numbers. The phones were all bought on the same day in the same city. They were all activated six weeks before the assassination and were used only for communications with the other phones purchased at the time. They were not used after the attack, with the exception of one instance that pointed to Hezbollah, the magazine reported.
The plot was uncovered after a three year delay, when Hezbollah member Abd al-Majid Ghamlush used one of the eight cellphones to call his girlfriend. This was enough to identify him and lead to the other alleged members of the ring, which was reportedly headed by Hajj Salim. Salim has since risen in prominence and was thought to be a possible successor to Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's head of terror operations, who was killed a year and a half ago when his car was blown up in Damascus. Ghamlush has since disappeared, and Der Spiegel reported that he may no longer be alive.
If he was killed, he is not alone - the man who headed assassination investigations for Lebanese intelligence, Captain Wissam Eid, was killed in an attack in January 2008. It is not yet clear who was responsible for that attack.
The Der Spiegel report discloses technological abilities on the part of an Arab intelligence agency - the ability to survey cellphone records that were years old on a massive scale. It can also be determined when and where the phones were used, and who was calling whom.
The technology provides a gold mine for investigators, whether from the police or military. Not surprisingly, the press has shown an interest in the achievements of Lebanese intelligence and the technology they received from the Americans. [Harel/Haaretz/12June2009]
Feds Try to Block Evidence Release in Posada Case. Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to block the potential public release of "sensitive" evidence in a perjury case against an aging anti-Castro Cuban militant who once worked for the CIA.
In a motion filed in federal court last week, prosecutors asked District Judge Kathleen Cardone to block the release of information that "potentially implicates the privacy, propriety, law enforcement, and other interests of third parties and foreign governments" in the case against Luis Posada Carriles.
The 81-year-old former CIA operative and U.S. Army soldier is accused of lying to U.S. authorities about his involvement in a series of 1997 bombings in Havana that killed an Italian tourist. He also is charged with lying to immigration authorities about how he sneaked into the United States from Mexico in 2005.
Posada has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty in the perjury case.
Prosecutors contend that "the government has a compelling interest in preventing certain sensitive but unclassified discovery materials from being disclosed to anyone not a party to the court proceedings in this matter; such material may include information relevant to ongoing national security or criminal investigations and prosecutions."
In previous filings, lawyers for Posada asked prosecutors to turn over copies of documents detailing Posada's "long-term association with U.S. government intelligence and law enforcement agencies."
Besides the criminal case, which marked the first time U.S. authorities have accused the one-time ally of being involved in a terrorist event, Posada also is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela on charges that he plotted the deadly 1976 bombing of a Cuban jetliner.
Posada, who is scheduled to stand trial in February, is living with his family in Miami.
A federal immigration judge in El Paso ordered Posada out of the country in 2005. But the judge also ruled that he cannot be sent to Cuba, where he was born, or Venezuela, where he is a naturalized citizen, because of fears that he could be tortured.
No other country is willing to let him in. [Caldwell/AP/13June2009]
U.S. Urges New Look at State-Secrets Case. The Obama administration petitioned a full federal appeals court to hear its argument that it should not have to reveal details of the CIA's "black site" prison program, adopting an expansive position that activists say would prevent victims of rendition in the Bush years from having their day in court.
The Justice Department urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit to reconsider a case of "exceptional importance" and to overturn an April ruling that sharply limited the executive branch's authority. That ruling by a three-judge panel cleared the way for a lawsuit filed by five foreign-born men who say they were kidnapped, flown to other countries and questioned using practices they liken to torture.
Civil liberties groups and Democrats on Capitol Hill have been closely watching how often the Obama administration has argued, as the Bush administration did, that some lawsuits should be thrown out to prevent revealing state secrets. Lawmakers are pushing measures in both houses of Congress to ensure that, when a state-secrets claim is made, judges review sensitive evidence piece by piece rather than throwing out an entire case.
During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama criticized the Bush administration for using state-secrets arguments dozens of times to stop lawsuits over warrantless surveillance, alleged abuse of terrorism suspects and other controversial subjects.
One day after the judges issued a sharply worded ruling in the rendition case, known as Mohamed et al v. Jeppesen Dataplan after the Boeing subsidiary that provided support for the overseas rendition flights, the president said he would direct his lawyers to develop a more "surgical" policy on state secrets. That effort continues, according to the White House and the Justice Department.
But the court filing frustrated civil libertarians who said their hopes for a significant break from the Bush era on state-secrets policy had been all but dashed.
"This is a watershed moment," said Ben Wizner, a staff lawyer at the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project. "There's no mistake any longer . . . the Obama administration has now fully embraced the Bush administration's shameful effort to immunize torturers and their enablers from any legal consequences for their actions."
In the government court filing, lawyers reported that the "highest levels of the Department of Justice" had reviewed the case and had sided with former CIA director Michael V. Hayden. He had twice submitted sworn statements warning that any release of information would cause "grave harm" to the agency's intelligence-gathering efforts and its relationships with foreign leaders.
"It is the government's position that allowing this suit to proceed would pose an unacceptable risk to national security and that the reasoning employed by the panel would dramatically restructure government operations by permitting any district judge to override the executive branch's judgments in this highly sensitive realm," the Justice Department filing said.
Wizner and other advocates for greater disclosure called the argument puzzling, because details about the rendition program have already emerged. European researchers have compiled documents tying Jeppesen to the CIA-commissioned flights, and one of the five men suing in U.S. court has recovered $450,000 from the Swedish government for its alleged role in his capture.
Developments in the rendition lawsuit are the latest tensions to surface for new government leaders over how much information to release about Bush initiatives in the campaign against terrorism. The Justice Department is also using the state-secrets argument in a lawsuit filed by an Oregon charity whose lawyers say they were unlawfully wiretapped, as well as in numerous ACLU Freedom of Information Act cases focused on detainee treatment and the development of interrogation policy. [Johnson/WashingtonPost/12June2009]
Pentagon Cyber Unit Prompts Questions. The Pentagon's development of a "cyber-command" is prompting questions about its role in the larger national strategy to protect government and private-sector computer networks and whether privacy can be protected. And the command is fueling debate over the proper rules to govern a new kind of warfare in which unannounced adversaries using bits of computer code can launch transnational attacks.
Defense officials are creating the command to defend military networks and develop offensive cyber-weapons, based on a strategy that brings together the military's cyber-warriors and the National Security Agency, the organization responsible for electronic espionage.
The launching of the command reflects the Pentagon's determination to respond urgently to the growing sophistication of other nations' abilities to penetrate the military's global data networks and obtain or alter sensitive information.
"NSA is the only place in the U.S. government that has the capabilities we need for defense of the private networks," said James A. Lewis, a senior fellow and cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "We need to find a way to use those capabilities without putting civil liberties at risk."
The cyber-command will focus strictly on military networks, administration officials have said. But senior intelligence officials have also urged that the NSA use its abilities to help the Department of Homeland Security defend America's critical computer systems - those operated by the civilian government and by the private sector.
"DHS lead[s]," said Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the NSA and the official who is expected to lead the cyber-command, in an April speech to industry. "We support. Technical support. I see that as our role. And I think that's where you need us."
Some national security experts fear that the Pentagon's push to develop its cyber-warfare ability may clash with the administration's efforts to forge partnerships with the private sector and with governments and businesses abroad, who might be wary of the Defense Department's intentions.
"This whole notion of being global means we have to work collaboratively with other countries," said Suzanne Spaulding, a former CIA assistant general counsel. "They'll be suspicious and uncomfortable if they're dealing with NSA and perhaps more so with DOD. If DOD goes to them and says, 'Let's collaborate on defensive tools. Tell us what you've developed,' they'll be justifiably concerned that what DOD is really doing is perfecting its offensive capability.' "
Some intelligence officials worry that the cyber-command will put new burdens on the NSA, detracting from the agency's role of gathering electronic intelligence for national strategic purposes, such as determining Russia's intention in building its military.
But the effort is necessary, senior Pentagon officials say.
Cyberspace, said Gen. Kevin P. Chilton, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, is as much a "domain" as is air, land or sea, in which the abilities to defend and attack must work in tandem. "You always . . . want to bring those two elements together so that the left hand knows what the right hand is doing."
In the cyber domain, he said in a meeting with reporters last month, the NSA has "unique" capability, through electronic intelligence gathering and analysis, to inform the military of threats and of an adversary's intent, and to "prepare for attack, and attack."
Every day, unseen operators, using automated software, are conducting millions of scans or probes of the military's Global Information Grid, which handles 56 terabytes of data a day - the equivalent of 5 1/2 Libraries of Congress - and is used by millions of military and civilian personnel.
Most of the intrusions have had espionage as their goal, raising fears that the stolen information would aid an adversary in planning an attack against the United States, Chilton said. More important, he said, he worries about the potential for a crippling manipulation of information. "So I put out an order on my computer that says I want all my forces to go left, and when they receive it, it says, 'Go right.' . . . I'd want to defend against that."
And of course, experts say, the United States would like to be able to do the same to an adversary.
An April report by the National Research Council highlighted the need for a national policy on cyber-attack.
If a foreign country flew a reconnaissance plane over the United States and took pictures, for instance, the United States would reserve the right to shoot it down in U.S. airspace, experts said. But if that same country sent malicious code into a military network, what should the response be?
"That question is under active debate at the highest levels of government," said Herbert S. Lin, who directed the National Research Council study.
Some intelligence officials believe that a sustained network penetration that results in theft of operational documents shows "hostile intent" and may justify an aggressive response, Lin said.
But taking down a power plant that serves a number of hospitals that treat civilians may not be a "proportional" response, said Harvey Rishikof, a national security law professor at the National War College.
"In the cyberworld, we're trying to move to a new regime," he said. "What are the rules of the road that dictate when you can use cyber-weapons in an offensive manner?" [Nakashima/WashingtonPost/12June2009]
Air Force Officially Cancels TSAT Program. The Air Force announced that it was officially cancelling the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT) program. In a move that reinforces Defense Secretary Robert Gates previous statements about eliminating the program, the Department of Defense has formally terminated contracts with companies that include Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen.
According to the Associated Press, the TSAT program was to provide a network of satellites to help the military integrate data for purposes such as relaying surveillance information to troops in battle. The program could have been worth up to $26 billion, but was dogged by questions over its cost and capabilities. [GotGeoint/9June2009]
Britain to Investigate Role in Iraq. After years of delay, the British government said Monday that it would go forward with a wide-ranging inquiry into the country's role in the Iraq war, an issue that has caused deep political divisions and protest since American and British troops overran the country in 2003.
But Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the inquiry panel would hold its hearings behind closed doors and stipulated that, while seeking to identify "lessons learned" from the war, it would "not set out to apportion blame or consider issues of civil or criminal liability."
That brought quick condemnation from war opponents as well as the Conservative opposition, which supported the war originally, but has been harshly critical of its conduct.
"If mistakes were made, we need to know who made them, and why they were made," said David Cameron, leader of the opposition Conservatives. He described the conditions set by Mr. Brown for the inquiry, including his failure to appoint any major public figures to the panel, as "an establishment stitch-up."
Mr. Brown said the panel would be empowered to summon "any British document" and "any British citizen," implying that American officials would not be asked to testify. But it could shed light on American intelligence and decision-making: Under Commons questioning on Monday, Mr. Brown said the panel would have access to "all foreign documents that are in British archives," including, presumably, any papers originating in Washington.
He said, however, that the panel would be denied "the most sensitive information" touching on Britain's national security.
With all but a small contingent of British military trainers due out of Iraq by July 30, the war has lost much of the bitterness it sowed in Britain, but the decision to go to war in the first place remains highly contentious.
Much of the dispute in Britain has centered on the close partnership between Mr. Bush and the former prime minister, Tony Blair, which was central to Britain's decision to commit more than 40,000 troops to the 2003 invasion.
Though Britain's costs - $10 billion in military outlays, 120,000 service personnel deployed to Iraq over six years, and the deaths of 179 British troops - are a fraction of the United States', they have made Iraq Britain's most contentious foreign policy issue in 50 years.
Inevitably, a key role of the panel will be to examine the use - or abuse, as critics of the war have contended - of the prewar intelligence provided by Britain's security agencies, particularly MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service.
The panel is also likely to summon senior British military commanders who have complained privately that many British casualties resulted from equipment shortcomings forced by government underfinancing.
The panel is also expected to summon Downing Street insiders familiar with what many in Britain consider to be the war's greatest scandal, the suicide in 2003 of Dr. David Kelly, a top weapons specialist hounded by the government after he criticized the misuse of intelligence on Iraq's secret weapons programs.
The intelligence issues have already been examined twice in two public inquiries, one on Dr. Kelly's death. Both investigations broadly exonerated the government, while revealing disturbing patterns of compliance in the way that top intelligence officials worked in providing the central rationale for going to war: the contention, later proved wrong, that Saddam Hussein had amassed stockpiles of biological and chemical weapons.
The inquiry will be led by John Chilcot, a 70-year-old retired civil servant who held several important security posts, the last of them as head of the Northern Ireland office.
Others named to the inquiry panel included Lawrence Freedman, a war historian at King's College in London; Martin Gilbert, also a historian, and best known for his biography of Winston Churchill; Roderick Lyne, a former British ambassador to Russia; and Usha Prashar, a Kenyan-born social worker who served as chairman of the parole board in England and Wales.
The absence of well-known figures from the British political, judicial and military establishments - the ranks from which many other major public inquiry panels in Britain have drawn their members - drew criticism from those who had been hoping the board would produce a no-holds-barred overview of what went wrong in Iraq. But Mr. Brown, as current leader of the Labor Party government that took Britain to war, appeared to have opted for caution.
Indeed, Mr. Brown has reasons to be wary of what too free-ranging an investigation into the war may reveal. In examining the political decisions that led to the invasion, the panel may call on him to explain why he suppressed his own deep reservations about the war, which Labor left-wingers say he expressed privately at the time.
Mr. Cameron, the Conservative leader, also protested the decision to give the panel 12 months to complete its report, putting its findings beyond a general election that must be held before Labor's five-year parliamentary mandate expires in early June 2010. [Burns/NyTimes/16June2009]
US Supreme Court refuses "Cuban Five" Spy Case. The US Supreme Court Monday refused to hear the case of five Cubans serving prison sentences for spying in the United States, effectively upholding their conviction by a lower court.
The so-called "Cuban Five," whom Havana regards as political prisoners, had argued that they did not receive a fair trial in Miami in 2001 because of strong anti-Castro sentiments there.
In turning aside the case, the high court effectively upheld a decision by a federal appeals court in Atlanta in 2006 that reinstated their convictions and sentences and reversed an earlier order for a new trial.
The Cubans were arrested in 1998 and convicted three years later. Three of the Cubans were sentenced to life in prison and the other two were given sentences of between 15 and 19 years in prison.
Havana acknowledged that the five were spies, but said their aim was not to spy on the US government but solely to gather information on "terrorist" plots by Cuban expatriates in Florida, a bastion of anti-Castro fervor.
A federal appeals court in Atlanta ordered a new trial in 2005, but reversed the decision the following year, after the US government requested a review.
In Havana, the head of Cuba's legislature, Ricardo Alarcon, blamed US President Barack Obama for the "outrageous" outcome.
"The judges did what the Obama administration asked them to do," said Alarcon said in a statement.
"Once again the arbitrary nature of a corrupt and hypocritical system and its cruel and merciless attitude towards our five brothers is apparent," Alarcon said.
The struggle "must continue ... until we can force the US government to end this monstrous injustice," he said.
Cuban President Raul Castro has said he is willing to swap jailed political dissidents for the imprisoned men, who are considered by Havana to be "anti-terrorist fighters" - an idea the US government has rejected. [AP/12June2009]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Turf Battles on Intelligence Pose Test for Spy Chiefs. On May 19, Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, sent a classified memorandum announcing that his office would use its authority to select the top American spy in each country overseas.
One day later, Leon E. Panetta, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, sent a dispatch of his own. Ignore Mr. Blair's message, Mr. Panetta wrote to agency employees; the C.I.A. was still in charge overseas, a role that C.I.A. station chiefs had jealously guarded for decades.
The dispute has posed an early test for both spymasters, with Gen. James L. Jones, the national security adviser, now trying to negotiate a truce. The behind-the-scenes battle shows the intensity of struggles continuing between intelligence agencies whose roles were left ill defined after a structural overhaul in 2004 that was intended to harness greater cooperation and put an end to internecine fights.
The C.I.A. has run foreign intelligence operations from American embassies since the 1940s, and agency officials fear that Mr. Blair and his Office of the Director of National Intelligence are making a power play that could jeopardize longstanding relationships with foreign intelligence services.
For his part, Mr. Blair, a career Navy man, is said to have been furious about what he perceived as insubordination by Mr. Panetta, whose agency is now outranked by the national intelligence director's office.
Mr. Blair came to the job determined to cement the intelligence chief's authority over 16 disparate spy agencies, and intelligence experts said that the current dispute with the C.I.A. was a litmus test for whether the White House was willing to back him in this effort.
Mr. Panetta, meanwhile, has tried to calm nerves in Langley, Va., in part by assuring agency employees that he will fight for C.I.A. authorities at the White House. Mr. Panetta, a White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, has close relationships with several of President Obama's senior aides, including Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff.
But it is Mr. Blair who appears to be garnering the support of influential lawmakers, some of whom say they are angry that the C.I.A. has not accepted its reduced role in the intelligence firmament.
"We need to move intelligence away from the cold war mind-set, and the C.I.A. has a problem to some extent accepting that," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee.
Mr. Blair and Mr. Panetta met for the first time just days before Mr. Obama stood with them on a stage in January and announced their nominations. Despite having very different professional backgrounds, they have for the most part developed a cordial working relationship, officials said.
Although Mr. Panetta maintains close ties to some White House officials, it is Mr. Blair who spends more time in the Oval Office, as he sometimes delivers Mr. Obama's daily intelligence briefing in person. Mr. Blair, a retired admiral, also has known General Jones for years, as the two men ascended to the military's highest ranks during the same period.
Mr. Blair took over an office born out of the intelligence failures before the Iraq war, and almost since its inception the national intelligence director's operations have been criticized as being bloated and ineffective. Last year, the inspector general at the national intelligence director's office issued a withering report criticizing it as unable to end the turf battles that for years plagued the intelligence community and were partly responsible to the failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks.
Even more criticism comes from current and former C.I.A. officials, who often portray the intelligence chief's office as an unnecessary bureaucracy that gums up machinery in need of streamlining. For their part, officials who work for the director of national intelligence sometimes portray the C.I.A. as hidebound, turf-obsessed and insular.
More than a dozen current and former government officials were interviewed for this article, most insisting on anonymity because they were concerned about appearing to try to influence White House officials in the dispute. The fact that the White House has intervened in the matter was first reported by The Associated Press.
Some current and former officials portray the C.I.A. resistance to the May 19 directive as petty, as C.I.A. station chiefs are likely to remain America's senior intelligence representatives in a vast majority of countries. These officials say nevertheless that in some countries it may be more appropriate for a representative from another agency, like the National Security Agency or the Drug Enforcement Administration, to be the senior intelligence representative.
For instance, the National Security Agency, responsible for electronic eavesdropping, has a large listening station in Britain that is part of an extensive eavesdropping partnership between the United States and Britain. Some argue that the national intelligence director's office should designate an N.S.A. official to coordinate intelligence activities in London.
Other examples that officials raise are countries like Iraq and Afghanistan, where a large American military presence might lead the national intelligence director to pick an official from the Defense Intelligence Agency.
But some outside experts criticize Mr. Blair's decision to take on the C.I.A., especially when the Pentagon still controls large parts of the secret intelligence budget.
"It could be that Blair is picking on the C.I.A. because he knows that he can't take on the Pentagon, which is by far a bigger player," said Amy Zegart, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, who writes extensively on intelligence matters.
The C.I.A. has insisted for years that the issue is about far more than bureaucratic turf. Some central intelligence officials even threatened to resign in 2005 when John D. Negroponte, then the director of national intelligence, proposed installing an N.S.A. operative as the top American intelligence official in Wellington, New Zealand.
The biggest danger, the C.I.A. has argued, is jeopardizing the relationships between its station chiefs and foreign intelligence operatives that have taken years to cultivate.
Michael V. Hayden, who ran the C.I.A. from 2006 until the end of the Bush administration, often jousted with officials from the national intelligence director's office over who should be station chiefs. Under the law, Mr. Hayden said, it is the C.I.A.'s duty to manage the United States' partnerships with foreign spy services, and changing that dynamic might further bewilder allies who already do not understand America's intelligence bureaucracy.
"When we get a liaison partner coming to Washington, they are already confused about who they should be dealing with here," he said. "Now, you could be creating that same circumstance in a foreign capital." [NewYorkTimes/9June2009]
In Intelligence And National Security, Words Matter. Did President Obama's Director of National Intelligence declare that the National Security Agency's secret domestic wiretapping wasn't illegal?
Depends on the meaning of the word "illegal." Blair, in his first speech since becoming the head of the U.S. intelligence community, told a reporter that the the program, known by the code word "Solar Wind," wasn't illegal.
Think of Blair's institutional interest here. His National Security Agency still gets raked over the coals for carrying out the orders of the executive branch; the policy makers have already been drummed out of office, and whatever the NSA did, they carried out the law as it was construed at the time. Whether the legal rationale was appropriate is a different matter, and one that Blair isn't qualified to answer. You'll note that Congress later ratified much of the legal rationale while trimming the program of its excesses and instituting a new level of checks on the wiretaps. An official familiar with Blair's point of view said that he did not mean to express an opinion on whether the program was "legal" in the sense of the interpretation-independent constitutional reality. He certainly did not intend to suggest that NSA employees could carry out surveillance was "illegal".
Most likely, Blair is just tired of the NSA getting stigmatized for carrying out the wishes of policymakers, even if he agrees that the policymakers circumvented the law. If culpability were to be ascribed to every NSA employee who participated in the program, had reason to know it was probably illegal and didn't blow the whistle (through mechanisms unknown to most NSA employees), then the government ought to prepare for 1,000 prosecutions or more.
The problem with Blair's remark is more about the difference between the Platonic legality of the Terrorist Surveillance Program during the Bush era and the ability of policymakers to correctly discern the actual, real, answer to whether a certain practice is legal. It's a hallmark of the Obama era that reasonably certain truths are pursued openly, and that the preponderance of the evidence and scholarship outweighs the vagaries of an individual's interpretation of the law. The Obama doctrine seems on first appearance very formalist in this way. The President made an example of the Office of Legal Counsel memoranda precisely because they so clearly violated this reality principle; the law was changed around to fit the circumstances. In Obama's world, there seems to be a capital-T truth when it comes to the legality of the program. And so Blair's acknowledgement of the old Platonic rationale was ill-advised.
Give with one hand and take away with another: the ACLU argues today that the Obama administration is changing the law to prevent the pursuit of justice... that it is using the mechanisms of the executive branch to prevent capital-A Accountability in order to lay the groundwork for a more lasting, more balanced approach to national security and civil liberties. [TheAtlantic/15June2009]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Can Leon Panetta Move the C.I.A. Forward
Without Confronting its Past?, by Jane Mayer. Panetta has no C.I.A. experience, but, an ex-officer says, it's not "a bad thing to have a powerful guy with access to the President."
The Central Intelligence Agency typically fights distant enemies, but on May 21st its leaders were preoccupied with a local opponent. A few miles from the agency's headquarters, which are in Langley, Virginia, former Vice-President Dick Cheney delivered an extraordinary attack on the Obama Administration's emerging national-security policies. Cheney, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, accused the new Administration of making "the American people less safe" by banning brutal C.I.A. interrogations of terrorism suspects that had been sanctioned by the Bush Administration. Ruling out such interrogations "is unwise in the extreme," Cheney charged. "It is recklessness cloaked in righteousness."
Leon Panetta, the C.I.A.'s new director - and the man who bears much of the responsibility for keeping the country safe - learned the details of Cheney's speech when he arrived in his office, on the seventh floor of the agency's headquarters. An hour earlier, he had been standing at the side of President Barack Obama, who was giving a speech at the National Archives, in which he argued that America could "fight terrorism while abiding by the rule of law." In January, the Obama Administration banned the "enhanced" techniques that the Bush Administration had approved for the agency, including waterboarding and depriving prisoners of sleep for up to eleven days. Panetta, pouring a cup of coffee, responded to Cheney's speech with surprising candor. "I think he smells some blood in the water on the national-security issue," he told me. "It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point. I think that's dangerous politics."
Panetta was also absorbing criticism from the left. The day before, a group of progressive human-rights advocates had been given an off-the-record briefing with Obama, where they discussed his plans for handling terrorism suspects; some of the advocates were enraged at what they saw as a tacit continuation of the Bush approach. According to a participant, Obama warned the group that such comparisons were "not helpful." Nevertheless, Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, who also attended the briefing, went on to denounce the Administration for considering "preventive detention" - incarcerating certain terror suspects indefinitely, without trial. Obama's position, Roth said, "mimics the Bush Administration's abusive approach."
Since January, the C.I.A. has become the focus of almost daily struggle, as Obama attempts to restore the rule of law in America's fight against terrorism without sacrificing safety or losing the support of conservative Democratic and independent voters. So far, he has insisted on trying to recalibrate the agency's policies without investigating past mistakes or holding anyone responsible for them. Caught in the middle is Panetta, who is seventy years old and has virtually no experience in the intelligence field. Indeed, his credentials for running the world's foremost spy agency are so unlikely that when John Podesta, the head of Obama's transition team, asked him to take the job he responded, "Are you sure?" Podesta assured Panetta that his outsider status was actually an advantage: "He said, 'You don't carry the scars of the past eight years. Besides, the President wants somebody who will talk straight to him on these issues.' "
Although Panetta served briefly in the military, half a century ago, his reputation has been built almost entirely on his mastery of domestic policy. For sixteen years, he was a Democratic congressman from his home town, Monterey, California. In 1989, he became the chairman of the House Budget Committee, making him a natural choice as President Bill Clinton's first budget director. In 1994, he became Clinton's chief of staff.
Panetta, the son of Italian immigrants, grew up washing dishes in his parents' restaurant. He is disarmingly forthright, with an easy laugh; he is also a stern disciplinarian and a workaholic. Colleagues say that Panetta, who attends Mass regularly, can be principled to the point of rigidity. It was partly Panetta's rectitude that got him the C.I.A. job. During the Bush years, he decried the country's loss of moral authority; in a blunt essay for Washington Monthly last year, he declared that Americans had been transformed "from champions of human dignity and individual rights into a nation of armchair torturers." He concluded, "We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don't. There is no middle ground."
Panetta's impassioned essay unexpectedly became an asset during the Obama transition, after John Brennan - the initial candidate for C.I.A.director - was pressured to withdraw. Critics accused Brennan, who had been a top agency official during the Bush years, of complicity with the torture program. (A friend of Brennan's from his C.I.A. days complained to me, "After a few Cheeto-eating people in the basement working in their underwear who write blogs voiced objections to Brennan, the Obama Administration pulled his name at the first sign of smoke, and then ruled out a whole class of people: anyone who had been at the agency during the past ten years couldn't pass the blogger test.")
Panetta had one other strong qualification: he was close to Rahm Emanuel, the new chief of staff. During the Clinton Administration, Emanuel, serving as the White House political director, was suspected by former First Lady Hillary Clinton and others of leaking information, and was very nearly fired. Emanuel entered what he calls his "wilderness period." When Panetta became chief of staff, however, he reinstated Emanuel as a top aide. "I thought he had a lot of street smarts and good political sense," Panetta told me.
In 1994, Panetta discovered, to his dismay, that the President had quietly turned to Dick Morris, a political consultant with a dubious ethical reputation. Harold Ickes, a former White House aide, recalls Panetta walking the halls late one night and saying that he needed a shower after attending a meeting with Morris. Later, a tabloid newspaper reported that Morris had been meeting with a prostitute in a nearby Washington hotel. In 1997, Panetta left the White House, by mutual agreement; he and his wife, Sylvia, founded the nonpartisan Panetta Institute for Public Policy, in Northern California. In January, 1998, it was revealed that Clinton had conducted an extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky - Panetta's former intern. An associate described Panetta then as "very disappointed in Bill Clinton, because of Monica Lewinsky. He saw him as a man with no personal discipline."
Eleven years later, Barack Obama called Panetta for advice on who might make a good chief of staff. Panetta recommended Emanuel, telling him that "Rahm knows the Hill, he certainly knows the White House, and he's got the tough side" necessary for the job. In January, Emanuel recommended Panetta for the C.I.A. post. Emanuel said of Panetta, "Leon has great judgment, a great compass. He's a great manager, and he's trusted by both parties." (Panetta was a Republican until 1971.) Some former C.I.A. officers, such as Tyler Drumheller, who retired in 2005 as the head of clandestine operations in Europe, welcome the choice. "It's not such a bad thing to have a powerful guy with access to the President," he told me. Panetta, he predicted, "will restore the integrity of the intelligence process. After what we've been through on Iraq and torture allegations, that's a big deal."
Michael Waldman, who was President Clinton's chief speechwriter, and who now runs the Brennan Center for Justice, at the New York University School of Law, describes Panetta as "one of the more honorable, decent, and principled people in government," but considers it "amazing that he was such an outspoken critic" of the agency. Given Panetta's reputation for integrity, and the C.I.A.'s central role in the interrogations scandal, Waldman wondered, "can he ride the tiger without being eaten?" He added, "An agency like that can turn on a director. That's the challenge: he's got to both lead it and reform it."
The record of outsiders taking over the C.I.A. is mixed. John McCone, a California shipping magnate who ran the agency in the Kennedy and Johnson years, is often cited as being among the most successful directors; having been trained as a mechanical engineer, he was skilled at assessing threats posed by both conventional and nuclear weapons. But other outsiders have been met with intense hostility. James Schlesinger was named C.I.A. director by President Richard Nixon after heading the Atomic Energy Commission. Given instructions to "get rid of the clowns," Schlesinger dismissed or forced into retirement more than five hundred analysts and a thousand clandestine officers. He faced death threats, and his tenure lasted six months. In 1995, President Clinton appointed John Deutch, who had previously served at the Pentagon. Deutch tried to improve the oversight of clandestine operatives after evidence surfaced that an agent in Guatemala had covered up two murders. Deutch was reviled by many operatives, and he left the agency after eighteen months. Eventually, he was accused of mishandling classified documents and stripped of his security clearance. "You pick on the C.I.A. at your own peril," Michael Waldman says.
Nevertheless, many critics believe that the agency must reckon with the legacy of the Bush era. In the past few years, irrefutable evidence has emerged that after 9/11 the agency lost its moral bearings. A confidential Red Cross report has come into public view, along with formerly classified government documents, leaving no doubt that the agency subjected scores of terror suspects to prolonged physical and psychological cruelty. Officers shackled prisoners for weeks in contorted positions; chained them to the ceiling wearing only diapers; exploited their phobias; propelled them head first into walls. At least three prisoners died.
Torture is a felony, and is sometimes treated as a capital crime. The Convention Against Torture, which America ratified in 1994, requires a government to prosecute all acts of torture; failure to do so is considered a breach of international law. The issue of torture assumed symbolic importance during the 2008 campaign, and when Obama took office many of his liberal supporters expected him to hold the perpetrators of abuse accountable. Democratic leaders in Congress pushed particularly hard for action. Senator Carl Levin, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, had investigated the military's role in detention and interrogation abuse but was kept by his committee's limited jurisdiction from investigating the C.I.A.; he urged the new Attorney General, Eric Holder, to open an inquiry, saying, "There needs to be an accounting of torture in t6his country." Senator Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, argued for the creation of an independent "truth commission," which could grant immunity to witnesses - thus helping to insulate the Obama Administration from charges that it was exploiting the torture issue for partisan gain.
The C.I.A.'s role in providing misleading intelligence about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has also provoked calls for reform. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the new chairman of the Intelligence Committee, told me, "There's no vote that I regret more than the vote to authorize war with Iraq"; her vote was based on intelligence that she describes as "flat wrong." Feinstein went on, "I am absolutely determined to reform the process of gathering and analyzing intelligence."
As soon as Obama took office, he overturned most aspects of the Bush Administration's interrogation policy. He issued an executive order banning inhumane treatment of prisoners by any government officials, and one closing the C.I.A.'s network of secret "black site" prisons, which stretched from Poland to Thailand. He also vowed to close the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where fourteen former C.I.A. prisoners are being held. But Obama's message has been uncharacteristically muddled on the question of accountability. He has said that Attorney General Holder should be the one to decide whether to take criminal action; he has also said that he would support further congressional investigation, as long as it was done in a bipartisan fashion. At the same time, he has signalled that he has no appetite for "looking backwards," and in late April, during a private White House meeting with congressional leaders, he rejected the idea of an outside truth commission. In the meantime, Republicans have seized the political initiative, expressing grave concern about the plans to close Guantánamo and transfer the prisoners to U.S. facilities.
Tim Weiner, the author of "Legacy of Ashes," a recent history of the C.I.A., says that Panetta is facing a series of "unappetizing choices." Weiner believes that the country is in a period similar to the Watergate era, when a series of disturbing state secrets - such as the existence of the Phoenix Program, a C.I.A.-supported initiative, in which the South Vietnamese were alleged to have tortured civilians - spilled out. Speaking of Panetta, he said, "It can't be comfortable for a man who said, 'This is un-American,' to be put in the position of saying, 'Well, we hold no one accountable.' "
Panetta, whose conversation with me at C.I.A. headquarters was his first lengthy interview on the topic of abusive interrogations, said that when he took over the agency he "wanted to be damn sure" that there was nobody on the payroll who should be prosecuted for torture or related crimes. He asked John Helgerson, then the C.I.A.'s inspector general, to conduct a review. In theory, the inspector general is politically independent, and therefore able to render unbiased judgments. In 2004, Helgerson had written a classified report on the C.I.A.'s secret detention-and-interrogation program, in which he questioned both the legality and the effectiveness of the agency's brutally coercive techniques. Panetta cited Helgerson's "credibility" as a reason to trust his assessment. According to Panetta, Helgerson, who is not a lawyer, assured him that no officer still at the agency had engaged in actions that went beyond the legal boundaries as they were understood during the Bush years. Helgerson, who retired from the agency in May, says he told Panetta only that he was not aware of any cases that merited prosecution, though "continuing work was being done."
Panetta told me, "I'm going to give people the benefit of the doubt. . . . If they do the job that they're paid to do, I can't ask for a hell of a lot more." His words echo those of President Obama, who on April 16th promised immunity from prosecution to any C.I.A. officer who relied on the advice of legal counsel during the Bush years. Jeffrey H. Smith, a former general counsel to the C.I.A., points out that this is a low standard, given that "what the Justice Department approved was outrageous." For example, for more than a century the U.S. had prosecuted waterboarding as a serious crime, and a ten-year prison sentence was issued as recently as 1983. Indeed, the memos authorizing interrogators to torment prisoners clashed so glaringly with international and U.S. law that some of them were later withdrawn by lawyers in Bush's own Justice Department.
Smith, who has advised Obama informally on how to handle the C.I.A.'s legacy of abuse, thinks that prosecutions are not politically viable at this point, and would in any case be unfair to officers who thought they were adhering to the law. And many Republicans, from Newt Gingrich to John McCain, have argued that pressing charges against government officials would threaten morale and inhibit risk-taking at a time when the agency faces wars on two fronts and a continuing threat from Al Qaeda. The Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe disagrees. "It's hard not to do something to those who performed the act," he says. "It's not beyond the pale to imagine that even people armed with legal opinions might be held legally responsible for violating the criminal law in the area of torture."
Panetta told me, "Frankly, I didn't support these methods that were used, or the legal justification for why they did it. . . . I also believed if I were to take this job it was about dealing with the threats that are out there, and trying to really bring the C.I.A. into a new chapter." He said that once he felt confident that there was no criminal liability inside the agency he "didn't want to spend a lot of time dealing with the past and what mistakes were made."
It turns out, however, that Panetta initially supported the creation of a truth commission. "I'm not big on commissions," Panetta told me. "On the other hand, I could see that it might make some sense, frankly, to appoint a high-level commission, with somebody like Sandra Day O'Connor, Lee Hamilton - people like that." The appeal was that Obama could delegate to others the legal problems stemming from Bush Administration actions, allowing him to focus on his ambitious political agenda. "In the discussion phase - early in the spring, before Obama decided the issue - I was for it," Panetta said. "Because every time a question came up, you could basically say, 'The commission, hopefully, is looking at this.' " But by late April Obama had vetoed the idea, fearing that it would look vindictive and, possibly, inflame his predecessor. "It was the President who basically said, 'If I do this, it will look like I'm trying to go after Cheney and Bush,' " Panetta said. "He just didn't think it made sense. And then everybody kind of backed away from it."
Ken Gude, an associate director at the Center for American Progress, who specializes in national-security issues, and who has close ties to the White House, believes that Obama's instinct, like Panetta's, was to set up a truth commission of some sort. "I think the political staff walked it back," he says. "They said it would be a distraction." Obama's political advisers dread any issue that could trigger a culture war and diminish his support among independent voters. They also see little advantage in picking a fight with the C.I.A. But the decision to discourage an accountability process, Gude says, has backfired. The Administration has lost control of the story, as revelations about C.I.A. misdeeds have continued to emerge through lawsuits and the press. "It's now become the distraction they wanted to avoid," Gude says. "The White House briefings have been dominated by questions about releasing documents and photos." It's understandable, he says, that Obama wouldn't want to spend his energy on Bush's mistakes. But, he warns, "they can't leave the impression that they're trying to cover it up."
Panetta may not have scars from the past eight years, but he is surrounded by people who do. Some of his closest advisers have connections to the torture program. Panetta brought only one person with him to the agency: Jeremy Bash, the well-regarded former chief counsel to the House Intelligence Committee, who now serves as his chief of staff. Phil Trounstine, a California-based political consultant and analyst who has known Panetta for years, says of him, "Here's a guy who has been very critical of the Bush world view, who has to enforce a new set of guidelines and policies by leading the same agency and the same people as in the past."
Several of Panetta's top deputies worked closely with George Tenet, the agency's director from 1997 until 2004. Under Tenet, the C.I.A. took the lead role in fighting terrorism, and its officers became the jailers, and sometimes the tormentors, of many U.S.-held detainees. Tenet, who is now a managing director of the investment bank Allen & Company, has all but disappeared from public sight in Washington. He recently cancelled an appearance scheduled at the Panetta Institute this month. ("George has not wanted to do stuff in front of a camera," Panetta noted.) But in his 2007 memoir, "At the Center of the Storm," Tenet defended the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques on terror suspects, claiming that the information they elicited had prevented other attacks and saved American lives. (He also assured President Bush that the case for going to war in Iraq was "a slam dunk.") But a former senior agency official who worked with many of Tenet's top team members says, "These people carried out this policy... but they'll muddy the waters by explaining why what they did was O.K. They will say that 'Bush was bad' but they weren't. A lot of it is just to protect their own positions. It's amazing to me that all these Tenet people survived!"
Behind Panetta's desk - next to a framed, tattered American flag that was rescued from the ruins of the World Trade Center - is a door leading to the office of Stephen Kappes, whom Panetta has kept on as the agency's second-in-command. Kappes, a former U.S. marine, is widely admired within the agency, in particular for his role in persuading the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to abandon his nuclear-weapons program, in 2003. "Kappes is the case officer's case officer," John Radsan, who was a lawyer at the C.I.A. during President Bush's first term, says. Intense, serious, and fluent in Russian and Farsi, Kappes has served as a station chief in Moscow, New Delhi, and Frankfurt, and has supervised many clandestine operations. In April, President Obama paid a visit to C.I.A. headquarters and singled out Kappes as the wise "graybeard" in the building. Senator Feinstein insisted to Obama Administration officials privately that Kappes continue as deputy director; it was a condition of her support for Panetta, whose lack of experience in covert operations she questioned.
During the first term of the Bush Administration, Kappes was a top official in the Directorate of Operations. This group oversaw the agency's Counterterrorist Center, which, in turn, managed the secret detention-and-interrogation program. Few doubt that he was aware that the C.I.A. was engaging in brutality. One former officer recalls that Kappes voiced qualms, warning that the program amounted to "torture." According to the former officer, once Kappes was overruled he went along; Kappes was "the brains" of the directorate, the former officer says. (Kappes, through a spokesman, denied having had a direct role in the interrogation program, or having called its tactics torture.) Another former C.I.A. operative says, "It would be hard to say someone so involved could be robustly objective" in advising Panetta.
Panetta says that most of the individuals who managed the secret interrogation program have since left the agency. One of the holdovers is Jonathan Fredman, who was formerly the chief counsel to the division that ran the interrogation program; he is now on temporary assignment with the director of National Intelligence. According to notes from a 2002 meeting, which were disclosed at a recent Senate hearing, Fredman advised that torture "is basically subject to perception. If the detainee dies, you're doing it wrong." The notes, whose accuracy Fredman has disputed, describe him saying that videotapes of interrogations would look "ugly." Fredman's former boss is John A. Rizzo, the C.I.A.'s acting general counsel, who was the recipient of many of the Justice Department's torture memos. (Rizzo is scheduled to leave the agency once a replacement has been confirmed.) And the current head of the Counterterrorist Center - the officer, who is undercover, cannot be identified - ran the interrogation program for part of Bush's second term. Several current station chiefs and division chiefs were also deeply involved in brutal interrogations, as were pilots, logistical experts, medical personnel, and others.
Meanwhile, John Brennan - the man who was considered too politically toxic for the top C.I.A. job - has become a senior official on the National Security Council. Brennan, who, as one former C.I.A. officer puts it, was once "joined to George Tenet at the hip" - he served as Tenet's chief of staff - now advises Obama on terrorism and other national-security issues. He has reportedly lobbied hard to maintain secrecy on past abuses. According to Newsweek, Brennan recently persuaded Panetta to join him in protesting Obama's plan to release four shocking Justice Department memos about the interrogation program. The documents, written by lawyers in the Office of Legal Counsel, showed that the C.I.A. had waterboarded one suspect at least a hundred and eighty-three times and subjected many others to harrowing mistreatment. Opponents have argued that exposing such details could spark an anti-American backlash. Panetta also argued forcefully in favor of indemnifying any C.I.A. officers whose actions, as described in the memos, might have opened them up to criminal charges.
Several well-respected former C.I.A. officials - including Fred Hitz, a former inspector general, and Paul Pillar, a former Middle East analyst - told me that they saw no harm in releasing the documents. Dennis C. Blair, the director of National Intelligence, who oversees the U.S. intelligence establishment, including the C.I.A., also supported the release of the documents, after his staff concluded that the disclosures would likely do no damage.
After intense consideration, and a late-night meeting in Rahm Emanuel's office, Obama rejected Panetta's arguments for secrecy, deciding that it was in the public interest to release the memos. But Obama also endorsed the notion of giving blanket amnesty to any C.I.A. officers performing authorized work.
Panetta's resistance to public disclosure seemed out of character to some longtime colleagues. "I was surprised by Leon's position on the O.L.C. memos," Phil Trounstine told me. "It's tough to maintain your principles when you're head of the C.I.A., because you need to be seen as someone that the people inside the agency want to follow." Panetta had become an advocate for secrecy so quickly, a White House official joked, that "it's like 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers.' "
Panetta's advisers may have had a personal stake in opposing transparency. Another former C.I.A. official, who knows Brennan well, noted that, if the Bush torture program were to be further investigated, "potentially, both Brennan and Kappes could have a lot to lose." Brennan's supporters have argued that he had no operational control over the interrogation program, and point out that his tenure as Tenet's chief of staff ended in March, 2001, before the Al Qaeda attacks. But he was subsequently named deputy executive director, and served in that position until March, 2003 - the period when the most brutal detainee treatment occurred. In addition, Brennan often briefed President Bush about daily developments in the war on terror. Brennan has described himself as an internal critic of waterboarding - a position that friends, such as Emile Nakhleh, a former senior officer, confirm. Yet, in an interview with me two years ago, Brennan defended the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques and extraordinary renditions, in which the C.I.A. abducted terror suspects around the globe and transported them to other countries to be jailed and interrogated; many of those countries had execrable human-rights records. He also questioned some people's definition of "torture." "I think it's torture when I have to ride in the car with my kids and they have loud rap music on," he said. Asked if "enhanced" interrogation techniques were necessary to keep America safe, he replied, "Would the U.S. be handicapped if the C.I.A. was not, in fact, able to carry out these types of detention and debriefing activities? I would say yes."
Anthony Lake, who was the national-security adviser under Clinton, said of Brennan, "I've known John a long time, and he's a really good guy. I would argue, you can't throw out the whole agency." Lake, in fact, recommended Brennan to the Obama campaign when it was looking for intelligence advisers - after consulting with their mutual friend George Tenet. America's intelligence community is an incestuous one, making it difficult for a President to break with old ways of thinking.
Indeed, a well-informed analyst with close ties to the White House says that the C.I.A. has been lobbying hard to get Obama to support some form of preventive detention for terror suspects. An agency spokesman denies this. But the analyst says, "They definitely want the flexibility to hold people in some form of detention. They have been saying, 'We need deep authorities.' They've been presenting the President with nightmare scenarios."
Panetta, for his part, has been persuaded that renditions are a tool worth keeping. The rendition program began, in a more carefully monitored form, during the Clinton Administration, but in the Bush years it was transformed into what John Radsan, the former C.I.A. lawyer, called "an abomination." As many as seven detainees were misidentified and abducted by mistake; many other suspects have alleged that they were hideously tortured by foreign governments. Panetta told me, "The worst part of rendition was rendition to a black site. That will not be the case anymore. If we render someone, it will be to a country with jurisdiction over that individual." During the Bush years, however, some of the most horrific allegations of abuse were made by detainees rendered not to black sites but to Egypt, Syria, and Morocco. The Obama Administration, Panetta says, will take precautions to insure that rendered suspects are treated humanely, as the law requires. "I've talked to the State Department, and our people have to make very sure that people won't be mistreated," Panetta said. "Some places, obviously, it's more difficult to do. But we're going to have to press to make sure it doesn't happen, because it would fly in the face of everything the President has said we stand for." The Bush Administration professed to be taking similar precautions.
The C.I.A. has apparently done nothing to penalize the officer who oversaw one of the most notorious renditions - that of a German car salesman named Khaled el-Masri. He was abducted while on a holiday in Macedonia, and flown by the agency to Afghanistan, where he was detained in a dungeon for five months without charges, before being released. From the start, the rendition team suspected that his case was one of mistaken identity. But the C.I.A. officer in charge at Langley - the agency asked that the officer's name be withheld - insisted that Masri be further interrogated. "She just looked in her crystal ball and it said that he was bad," a colleague recalls. Masri says that he was chained in a freezing cell with no bed, and given water so putrid that he could smell it across the room. He was threatened and stripped, and could hear other detainees crying all around him. After several weeks, the C.I.A. officer in charge learned that Masri's German passport was not a forgery, as was originally suspected, and that he was not the terror suspect the agency thought he was. (The names were similar.) Even so, the officer in charge refused to release him. Eventually, Masri went on a hunger strike, losing sixty pounds. Skeptics in the agency went directly over the officer's head to Tenet, who realized that his agency had been brutalizing an innocent man. Masri was released after a hundred and forty-nine days. But the officer in charge was not disciplined; in fact, a former colleague says, "she's been promoted - twice." Masri, meanwhile, has been unable to sue the U.S. government for either an apology or damages, because the courts consider the very existence of rendition a state secret - a position that the Obama Justice Department has so far supported.
No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as the result of mistreatment. In the first case, an unnamed detainee under C.I.A. supervision in Afghanistan froze to death after having been chained, naked, to a concrete floor overnight. The body was buried in an unmarked grave. In the second case, an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died on November 4, 2003, while being interrogated by the C.I.A. at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad. A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs. Military pathologists classified the case a homicide. A third prisoner died after an interrogation in which a C.I.A. officer participated, though the officer evidently did not cause the death. (Several other detainees have disappeared and remain unaccounted for, according to Human Rights Watch.)
During his tenure at the C.I.A., John Helgerson, the former inspector general, forwarded the crucifixion case, along with an estimated half-dozen other incidents, to the Justice Department, for possible prosecution. But the case files have languished. An official familiar with the cases told me that the agency has deflected inquiries by the Senate Intelligence Committee seeking information about any internal disciplinary action. (Helgerson told me, "Some individuals have been disciplined. And others no longer work at the agency.")
Panetta acknowledges that there are some people still at the C.I.A. who may be tainted by the torture program. Nevertheless, he says, "I really respect the people who say we shouldn't have gotten involved in the interrogation business but we had to do our jobs. I don't think I should penalize people who were doing their duty. If you have a President who exercises bad judgment, the C.I.A. pays the price."
On June 1st, former Vice-President Cheney asserted in a speech that the C.I.A., rather than the White House, first proposed hurting prisoners during interrogations. "It was their initiative," he said. "They had a couple of cases where they thought enhanced interrogation techniques would provide information." Panetta has a different view. "There is no question in my mind," he said. "The interrogation thing, to some extent, was cast upon us, because the military walked away from it, and the F.B.I. walked away from it, and so everybody came down on the C.I.A.," he said. This is technically true, although the F.B.I. "walked away" from interrogations of terrorism suspects after its director, Bob Mueller, heard complaints from an agent, Ali Soufan, that the C.I.A.'s interrogation methods amounted to "borderline torture." John Helgerson told me that he holds the C.I.A., the Pentagon, and the White House equally responsible: "They went arm in arm into it."
Without a thorough public investigation, it's difficult to assess the truth behind such contradictory accusations. "Everyone says, 'It's over, it's known,' " Nathaniel Raymond, who works with the advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights, told me. "But what is known? We still don't know how many detainees were in the black sites, or who they were. We don't fully know the White House's role, or the C.I.A.'s role. We need a full accounting, especially as it relates to health professionals." The recently released Justice Department memos, he noted, contain numerous references to C.I.A. medical personnel participating in coercive interrogation sessions. "They were the designers, the legitimizers, and the implementers," Raymond said. "This is arguably the single greatest medical-ethics scandal in American history. We need answers."
Some conservatives are also calling for greater openness. Will Taft, the general counsel to the State Department in the Bush Administration, told me, "There are some twenty or thirty people whom the C.I.A. said it formerly held but no longer does. Those names have never been released. The government should identify all the people in the program and account for them."
The Senate Intelligence Committee recently embarked on its own, closed-door investigation of the torture program; Panetta told me that he has been assured that the committee members' work "would be about lessons learned, as opposed to going after people." So the C.I.A. is "coöperating with them, giving them whatever information they need to try to conduct their review." He says that the committee has already identified some ten million relevant documents. "It's going to take a while," he said.
The Senate investigation will, among other things, probe the question of torture's efficacy. Dick Cheney has repeatedly claimed that "enhanced" interrogations yield results. Opponents say that torture is counterproductive. Panetta is more agnostic. He told me, "The bottom line would be this: Yes, important information was gathered from these detainees. It provided information that in fact was acted upon. Was this the only way to obtain this information? I think that will always be an open question." But he is certain that "we did pay a price for using those methods."
A number of recently released documents call into question the notion that the C.I.A. played a passive role in relation to torture policy. A 2008 report by the Senate Armed Services Committee indicates that the agency hired contract psychologists who went on to design and implement specific forms of abuse - such as locking a detainee, doubled up, in a tiny, airless cage - months before August, 2002, when the Justice Department granted legal authorization with its infamous "torture memo." More troublingly, footnotes in the Office of Legal Counsel memos suggest that some C.I.A. interrogators may have egregiously exceeded the legal boundaries set down by the Justice Department and the White House - which seemingly puts them outside the legal safety zone demarcated by Obama and Panetta. In 2002, the Bush Administration authorized interrogators to re-create the ostensibly safe waterboarding techniques used in military training. But, instead of limiting the sessions to a maximum of two twenty-second bouts of controlled drowning, as prescribed in military training, the C.I.A. interrogators forced one detainee to undergo at least a hundred and eighty-three sessions, and another at least eighty-three. And, instead of using a very small amount of water, as the Justice Department stipulated, the C.I.A. interrogators subjected the detainees to "large volumes" of water. The memos quote Inspector General Helgerson's finding, in his secret 2004 report on coercive techniques, that the interrogators amplified the pain deliberately, in order to make the sensation of drowning "more poignant and convincing." Helgerson also found that the psychologists and interrogators who designed the agency's protocols - and who claimed that their judgments were based on knowledge of military standards - had "probably misrepresented" their "expertise." In addition, the C.I.A.'s Office of Medical Services found that there was "no reason to believe that applying the waterboard with the frequency and intensity with which it was used by the psychologist/interrogators . . . was either efficacious or medically safe."
In April, Panetta fired all the C.I.A.'s contract interrogators, including the former military psychologists who appear to have designed the most brutal interrogation techniques: James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. The two men, who ran a consulting company, Mitchell, Jessen & Associates, had recommended that interrogators apply to detainees theories of "learned helplessness" that were based on experiments with abused dogs. The firm's principals reportedly billed the agency a thousand dollars a day for their services. "We saved some money in the deal, too!" Panetta said. (Remarkably, a month after Obama took office the C.I.A. had signed a fresh contract with the firm.)
According to ProPublica, the investigative reporting group, Mitchell and Jessen's firm, which in 2007 had a hundred and twenty people on its staff, recently closed its offices, in Spokane, Washington. One employee was Deuce Martinez, a former C.I.A. interrogator in the black-site program; Joseph Matarazzo, a former president of the American Psychological Association, was on the company's board. (According to Kirk Hubbard, the former head of the C.I.A.'s research and analysis division, Matarazzo served on an agency professional-standards board during the time the interrogation program was set up, but was not consulted about the interrogations.)
Lawsuits against abusive contractors remain a possibility, and any one of them could expose a line of authorizations leading directly up the chain of command at the C.I.A., and into the Bush White House. George Brent Mickum IV, a lawyer representing Abu Zubaydah, a C.I.A. prisoner who was repeatedly waterboarded, said, "I'd like to sue Mitchell and Jessen in a minute." (Mitchell was an adviser on Zubaydah's interrogation.) After Zubaydah was waterboarded, his lawyers say, his mental state deteriorated, and he has since been prescribed the antipsychotic drug Haldol.
Few activists expect lawsuits against the C.I.A. or its contractors to succeed. But John Sifton, an attorney who specializes in human-rights law, and who is part of Zubaydah's legal team, notes that there are other ways for the detainees' grievances to become public. "The act of prosecuting the high-value detainees will be the accountability process," Sifton said. "It's impossible to try these detainees without allowing them to air all the information about their torture."
Other legal actions threaten to expose yet more secrets of the C.I.A.'s torture program. A prosecutor appointed by the Justice Department, John Durham, has convened a grand jury in Washington to weigh potential criminal charges against C.I.A. officers who were involved in the destruction of ninety-two videotapes documenting the interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and other detainees. Mickum told me that he has met several times with Durham, and believes that the scope of his inquiry may have expanded to include a review of whether the C.I.A. began using brutal methods on Zubaydah before it received written authorization from the Justice Department. (This would provide an extra motive for destroying the videotapes.) Mickum said, "I got the sense he was very serious." (Durham declined to comment.) The A.C.L.U., meanwhile, is suing to get access to classified descriptions of what was on the destroyed videotapes. Last week, Panetta filed an affidavit opposing the disclosure, which he said "could be expected to result in exceptionally grave damage to the national security." Once again, he was protecting Bush-era interrogation secrets.
Pressure is also coming from abroad. In Italy, two dozen C.I.A. officers are on trial in absentia for participating in a 2003 rendition. Robert Seldon Lady, the agency's station chief in Milan at the time, can no longer travel to Italy without danger of arrest, nor can the other C.I.A. officers named in the case. Spain has opened a criminal investigation of six Bush Administration officials in connection with torture. And in London a former rendition victim is suing the British authorities. After a British judge ruled that the plaintiff, Binyam Mohammed, should be given access to C.I.A. intelligence documents that the agency shared with British authorities, the Obama Administration surprised liberals by pressuring the British government to stop the disclosures.
Several other legal challenges to the agency's interrogation program are working their way through the U.S. court system. A judge in California recently rejected the Justice Department's claims of blanket state secrecy in a case brought by five rendition victims against Jeppesen Dataplan, a subsidiary of Boeing, which provided the flight plans for the C.I.A.'s renditions. In a press conference in April, Obama indicated that he had had second thoughts about the Justice Department's assertion of blanket state secrecy in the case, but on June 12th the Administration reasserted its original claim.
Earlier this month, Philip Mudd, Obama's nominee for a top Homeland Security post, withdrew from consideration after it became clear that his Senate confirmation would turn into a fight over his previous role in the C.I.A.'s interrogation program. Rahm Emanuel, speaking of the many challenges posed by the torture scandal, told me, 'It's a day-to-day - I won't say struggle - but problem. There are a lot of cases in the queue that require response. Many of them. But I've seen the President in the Situation Room, and I know he wants to move forward."
Panetta is already forging ahead on one important reform: he plans to replace the abusive interrogation program with a legally acceptable, non-coercive alternative. A task force led by the Harvard Law School professor Philip Heymann has been advising him on a proposal to create an élite U.S. government interrogation team, staffed by some of the best C.I.A., F.B.I., and military officers in the country, and drawing on the advice of social scientists, linguists, and other scholars. "What I'm pushing for is to establish a facility where we develop a team of interrogators trained in the latest techniques," Panetta said. "That's the one thing I'm worried about, frankly. There just aren't that many people who have the interrogation abilities we're going to need." Heymann describes the effort to create "the best non-coercive interrogation team in the world" as the equivalent of "a NASA-like, man-on-the-moon effort" for human-intelligence gathering. He said that members of his task force have travelled to France, England, Japan, Australia, and Israel, in order to compile comparative information on what interrogators do. "We also went to the best people in the U.S.," he added.
Panetta has many ambitions for his tenure at the agency. He spoke to me of the need for the C.I.A. to increase its foreign-language skills, and to recruit officers of more diverse backgrounds, who can more easily infiltrate hostile parts of the world. But, as Panetta sees it, the C.I.A.'s effort to "disrupt, destroy, and dismantle" Al Qaeda remains its top priority. The agency continues to acquire intelligence suggesting that Al Qaeda is planning attacks on America, he told me. "We're conducting pretty robust operations in Pakistan, and I think we're doing a good job of trying to disrupt Al Qaeda. But, clearly, that is a threat." The greatest danger, he said, is that Al Qaeda will "find other safe havens to go to," in states such as Somalia and Yemen. "Our mission is to make sure they can't find a place to hide." Finding and bringing to justice Al Qaeda's leaders - in particular, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri - remains a focal point," Panetta said. "It's not easy, as you can imagine."
Last week, the Times reported on escalating friction over jurisdiction between Panetta and Dennis Blair, the National Intelligence director. "I'm surprised at the number of challenges you have to confront in this job," Panetta confided. "You're a traffic cop, in many ways." When he was the White House chief of staff, Panetta said, he could delegate the big decisions to the President. "Here, though," he said, gazing out over the C.I.A.'s serene grounds, "the decisions come to me. And a lot of them involve life and death." Sometimes, he added, all he can do is "say a lot of Hail Marys." [Mayer/NewYorker/22June2009]
Section IV - CAREERS, BOOK REVIEWS, OBITUARIES AND COMING EVENTS
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James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of
CounterIntelligence, by Michael Holzman, reviewed by Terence Hawkes. Ryder Street in the City of Westminster might not currently seem a site to conjure with, but in 1943, when Section V of MI6 moved to offices there, it stood as the core of Anglo-American chicanery and cozenage. If you came to work early enough you could see, from the upper floors, the employees of Quaglino's restaurant recycling its garbage from the night before.
Counter-intelligence, the concern of the office members, is also a mode of recycling. The task is not to detect and remove the enemy's agents: quite the reverse. Counterintelligence aims to collect and master the enemy's intelligence in order to turn it against him. By sifting and ordering the information that the enemy's agents transmit, it analyses the questions they are aiming to answer, obtains evidence of their plans and intentions as a result, and then tries to influence or supplant these by the answers that it carefully supplies. Rather than execute spies, counterintelligence aims to "turn" them. This proved a handy skill when Russia threatened India, the jewel in the British Empire's crown, and Kipling's novel Kim offers a fitting memorial to what was called the Great Game. An updated scheme called the "Double Cross" later emerged from Whitehall as a way of dealing with the subsequent threat from Hitler's Germany. When the American allies arrived in London in 1942, they were so impressed by the massive British card index of agents that they modeled the system of their own Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on it.
Norman Holmes Pearson, formerly an instructor in the English Department at Yale University before becoming a major element in the OSS, was wholly approving. As a student of literary criticism, he was naturally attracted to the subtleties of a text-based system that put a crucial emphasis on recognition of thematic and structural patterns. New Criticism, as the practice was called at Yale, concerned itself not with literary history and the personality of authors, but with the specific use poems made of language on the page. It fostered an interest in multiple levels of meaning, ambivalence, paradox, wit, puns and the peculiarities of Sprachgefühl: all devices on which cryptic codes or obscure messages might draw. In fact, when he described the whole Double Cross system, Pearson made it sound like a poem elucidated in class, its ironies nicely balanced, its contrasts wittily shaped. The power produced by this kind of close reading was intense, and as a result he was delighted to welcome as one of his new assistants in the OSS a graduate of Yale who had studied these mysteries: James Angleton. Based in Europe, educated at Malvern and clad in bespoke English tailoring, James Angleton fitted comfortably into an Anglophiliac Yale. The photo on the cover of Michael Holzman's book makes him look remarkably like T. S. Eliot. Yet his full name, James Jesus Angleton, sets free its own vitalizing American ambiguity. He was the son of the US-born James Hugh Angleton and Carmen Mercedes Moreno from Nogales, Mexico. And though he never used his Mexican name in later life, that "Jesus" marks him, by our standards, as a Chicano: from a British perspective he seems exotically transatlantic.
Holzman's brisk, uncluttered book offers valuable access to previously untapped material on Angleton, who became the first head of the Counter-intelligence Staff of the CIA. In particular, it makes incisive use of his years as a student of English at Yale and the influence on him of the New Critics and modernist poets of his day. Previous biographers such as Robin Winks have pointed out that at Yale he was co-editor of the literary journal Furioso. But Holzman takes a more spirited line, publishing two of Angleton's grating undergraduate poems and a list of his correspondence with writers such as T. S. Eliot, W. H. Auden, I. A. Richards, William Empson, Ezra Pound and Louis MacNeice. These famous poets all "took this young man very seriously" and he, in return, was greatly impressed by their writings, particularly the book that became a crucial text of New Criticism, Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity. For Empson, ambiguity is the central aspect of language. Not a minor stylistic flourish, it is an unavoidable linguistic feature permanently in place and in effect seems to exploit the fundamental characteristics of language itself. This means that "opposite" meanings will always illuminate and invade the primary meanings of ordinary words, so that "in a sufficiently extended sense any prose statement could be called ambiguous". Thus, Empson argues, a word may have several distinct meanings; several meanings connected with one another; several meanings which need one another to complete their meaning; or several meanings which unite together so that the word means one relation or one process....what often happens when a piece of writing is felt to offer hidden riches is that one phrase after another lights up and appears as the heart of it; one part after another catches fire.
Given the allure of this, it seemed quite appropriate that Angleton should be sedulously practicing in Ryder Street the reading arts he had learned in the Yale classroom. Of course the issue of ambiguity is insignificant when it involves intelligence data of a practical kind. The decoding of military messages is a relatively simple matter. But when counter-intelligence is at stake, when agents may be recognized as "turned", so that what they supply either prevents access to the enemy's spy system or actively penetrates our own, they themselves become "texts" which demand complex analysis. A sensitivity to ambiguity then becomes a crucial weapon. The improbable but undeniable impact of modern literary criticism on practical politics has no better model, and Angleton later described his work in counter-intelligence as "the practical criticism of ambiguity". His rise was swift. In November 1944, Pearson became chief of the OSS counterintelligence department, or X-2, for all of Europe, and his protégé Angleton was transferred to Italy as the commander of SCI (Special Counter Intelligence) Unit Z. One of his tasks was to deal with fascist placemen, and he frequently used double agents. A particular experience in Italy was the capture of Ezra Pound. The spectacle of the much admired poet dejectedly emptying his night-bucket was presumably chastening, and Angleton left a "bottle of good spirits" to Pound in his will.
Angleton was one of a number of professionals in intelligence who chose to remain in government service at the end of the war. In 1947, with the capital of the Western world starting to shift from Whitehall to Washington, he returned to the US. On December 20 of that year he joined the Central Intelligence Group, one of the organizations designed to succeed the OSS. The Italian election of the following year turned out to be a major coup for the intelligence services. A great deal of money was raised in the United States, a massive letter-writing campaign was organized from Italian immigrant neighbourhoods, and Frank Sinatra made a Voice of America broadcast, all designed to browbeat the electorate into voting against the Communists. The campaign's success aided the establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency, legislation supporting it was passed in June 1949, and Angleton joined the organization immediately. He was just thirty-two years old.
Holzman's account of the rest of Angleton's career is unsparing. A special relationship between Angleton and Israel's secret intelligence service, Mossad, gave him a major role in preserving Israel's secrecy in respect of Suez. As the officer in charge of the Israeli "account", he supported the Israeli atomic bomb program, and he managed to obtain a copy of the "secret speech" in which Khrushchev denounced Stalin. Of course there were reverses. Angleton's most significant defector was Anatoly Golitsyn of the KGB. Golitsyn believed that there were moles in the highest reaches of Western intelligence, and for a time it seemed that the KGB had a disturbingly senior agent in the CIA. The suspect, Peter Karlow, was finally drummed out, only to be vindicated in 1989 and, under the "Mole Relief Act", given half a million dollars and a medal. There were other suspects, most of whom turned out to be innocent. By the end wholesale psychotic zeal reigned as Angleton decided that the entire Soviet division of the CIA had to be "cleaned out", and every single member was removed.
Further low points began to appear. One involved another defector from the KGB called Yuri Nosenko. Nosenko named Golitsyn as a fraud and, in the light of Angleton's prior commitment, this meant that Nosenko was forced to undergo "hostile interrogation". That required solitary confinement, lack of proper heating, no air-conditioning, no books or writing materials and sometimes not even a toothbrush. Under these conditions Nosenko was held by the CIA for nearly five years. The spirit of Guantánamo Bay was clearly alive even then, and the sentence tells us a great deal about the notion of language that the CIA seems to have internalized. When Nosenko was questioned, New Criticism ruled. As Holzman points out, the New Critical methodology indicates that "read with sufficient care, all texts, no matter how thoroughly encoded, would yield at least two messages: the overt meaning and the hidden meaning; the latter inherent in some larger pattern, visible only to the elect". Hence, for Angleton, the evasions and lies of prisoners were bound to be confounded, the ambiguities in which they dealt would be exposed and truth, even after five years, would finally be ferreted out.
Yet this oversimplifies the problem by demanding a response only in the stark terms in which its questioners deal. It offers an American solution, but only to issues the presuppositions of which make it into an American problem. Empson's British reflection that ambiguity is the heart and soul of language offers quite different proposals. Had Angleton misread Empson? Winks's earlier study cites Angleton's animus against "the amateur's tendency to attempt to reconcile conflicting statements, as though both might be true, rather than both being false". But Empson took the amateur's tendency as wholly acceptable. He identified a kind of universal, all-purpose ambiguity in human relations which melted simple-hearted trust and wrought havoc with lame notions of truth and clarity. One kind of dramatic irony may result:
Irony in this subdued sense, as a generous skepticism which can believe at once that people are and are not guilty, is a very normal and essential method.... This sort of contradiction is at once understood in literature, because the process of understanding one's friends must always be riddled with such indecisions and the machinery of such hypocrisy; people, often, cannot have done both of two things, but they must have been in some way prepared to have done either; whichever they did, they will have still lingering in their minds the way they would have preserved their self-respect if they had acted differently; they are only to be understood by bearing both possibilities in mind.
It is interesting that this "generous skepticism", which bears "both possibilities in mind", strikes Empson as "very normal and essential" in human life. In short, ambiguity rules. When Angleton expected the fog of ambiguity to clear, as in the case of Nosenko, it pointedly refused. Empson, on the other hand, accepted the persistence of fog as an aspect of the real business of human life. Ambiguity is the air we breathe. Empson's experience of a fractured society in the civil war in China is obviously pertinent, particularly when he talks about the ambiguous fog enveloping his own world at the time. Speaking later of lines in Macbeth which some critics claim to be verging on nonsense, he insists that "no one who had experienced civil war could say it had no sense". Confusion was widespread in those years, but Empson countered it with a peculiarly British conception of ambiguity: "When I was crossing the fighting lines during the siege of Peking, to give my weekly lecture on Macbeth, a generous-minded peasant barred my way and said, pointing ahead: ‘That way lies death'". Empson's response was foggy, gnomic but swift: "Not for me, I have a British passport".
The American approach to ambiguity was far less indulgent. By December 1954, a counter-intelligence staff within the Agency was created and Angleton was duly appointed its head: he became counterintelligence's "chief theoretician". It's easy to condemn what followed. The American literary journal Ramparts was enthusiastically suppressed and any criticism of the government was automatically suspect. Huge lists were compiled of teachers and authors of socialist and even feminist persuasion. By 1967, the CIA began operation of the quaintly named CHAOS, which aimed to investigate the anti-Vietnam war press and the peace movement. The attack on universities was especially vigorous. Entire academic disciplines were sometimes shaped to the goals of the intelligence agencies, or were even initiated by them. All the members of Students for a Democratic Society were placed under surveillance, and most black groups were spied on. The end came for Angleton when the New York Times published Seymour Hersh's story about CHAOS on December 22, 1974. It did not mince its words. "The Central Intelligence Agency, directly violating its charter, conducted a massive, illegal domestic intelligence operation during the Nixon Administration against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States."
This was bound to make a public figure of Angleton, who resigned in the same month. A sort of epitaph was supplied in 1975 by Senator Frank Church, chairman of the Senate Committee on Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities: "Twenty-five years ago, this country had a matchless moral position from which it exercised immense leadership and influence in the world. Anything the United States stood for was automatically endorsed by three quarters of the governments of the world. Now we have had twenty-five years of manipulation by methods that were plainly copied from the KGB". Angleton's replacement downgraded and all but dismantled the whole edifice of counter-intelligence. Moles were still discovered here and there, and the biggest of them all, Aldrich Ames, or Supermole, was arrested in 1994 after a career in espionage that dwarfed all previous suspicions. But Angleton had died on May 11, 1987. (It is also worth recording that Nosenko was later released as innocent, surprisingly "rehabilitated", and then, astonishingly, paid as a CIA consultant. He died at the age of eighty-one in August 2008, having lived under an assumed name in the United States for more than forty years. Just months before, some senior officials of the Agency visited him with a letter from the current Director, thanking him for being so helpful. They presented him with an American flag.)
Back in Westminster, Ryder Street no doubt still has its ghosts. Among them the American James Jesus Angleton might manage an ambiguous glance in the direction of Kim Philby, having spied in the Englishman's nickname an ominous allusion to Kipling's Great Game. And both presences may perhaps be haunted by another figure. As a young man, William Empson was sent down from Magdalene College, Cambridge, for possession of contraceptives. Faced with such unambiguous rectitude, he constructed its ideological opposite, a new idea of criticism seeded with the explosive notion of ambiguity. Did the disgraced Angleton fail to grasp its implications? In an uneasy letter to I. A. Richards, Empson records a visit from Angleton in London in 1944: "The young man Jim Angleton from Yale, of Furioso, turned up here very mysteriously, and I took him to a pub to meet the BBC Features and Drama side, who mocked at him rather". When Angleton left, he "disappeared equally mysteriously but I thought maybe in a huff". Perhaps Angleton's mysterious American disappearance foreshadowed his later zealotry. But Empson carried on, brandishing his British passport and flourishing in our native fog until the end. A Professor of English in Sheffield, an Honorary Fellow of Magdalene College, an Honorary Litt. D of Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy, he even wrote a masque in praise of the Queen. He was knighted in 1979. Michael Holzman's astute study suggests that Angleton's "huff" remained unappeased. [Hawkes/TimesOnline/9June2009]
A New History of the NSA. "The Secret Sentry" by Matthew Aid is a comprehensive new history of the National Security Agency, from its origins in World War II through its Cold War successes, failures and scandals up until the present.
Aid, an independent historian who is also a visiting fellow at the National Security Archive, has synthesized a tremendous amount of research into a narrative that is highly readable and sometimes gripping. All of the familiar stops are there, including the Truman memo of 1952 that established the Agency, the Gulf of Tonkin incident, KAL 007, 9/11 and on to today.
But the book also includes quite a bit of unfamiliar historical material, and almost any reader is likely to discover something new and interesting. I learned, for example, that a few months after seizing the USS Pueblo in 1968, North Korea published a book in French containing the full text of many captured NSA documents, some of which, Mr. Aid says, are still considered to be classified today.
What will make The Secret Sentry indispensable to researchers are its nearly one hundred pages of endnotes, which constitute a unique finding aid to the most current archival releases, internal agency histories, and other valuable records. Some of the documents gathered by Mr. Aid in the course of his decades of research later vanished from public stacks at the National Archives, prompting him to realize that some government agencies were silently - and often improperly - reclassifying declassified records. Portions of those now inaccessible records have been integrated into this new history.
Inevitably, the book contains some minor errors. Mr. Aid repeats an assertion by the 9/11 Commission that Osama bin Laden was alerted to NSA monitoring of his satellite phone as the result of a 1998 news story that appeared in the Washington Times. But he neglects to note that this assertion has been effectively refuted.
The author is generous in his citations to the leading authors in the intelligence field, from David Wise and David Kahn to Seymour Hersh and Jeffrey Richelson and other less celebrated writers - with one strange and disconcerting exception. There is not a single reference in the entire book to James Bamford, whose 1983 book The Puzzle Palace, among others, blazed the trail that The Secret Sentry follows. Perhaps Mr. Aid felt it was necessary to ignore Mr. Bamford so as not to be constantly agreeing or disagreeing with him, and confirming or disputing his accounts. If that is the case, he ought to have said so.
The Secret Sentry is being published this week by Bloomsbury Press. [SecrecyNews/10June2009]
The Art of Espionage: Five Best Spy Novels.
1. Our Man in Havana, By Graham Greene
Graham Greene's work must be included in any survey of top-rank spy novels, and "Our Man in Havana" may be his best. The book itself is a marvel, making fun of the espionage business while still remaining a spy novel. It brings ample suspense and expertly wrought ambience to its tale of a British vacuum-cleaner salesman in Cuba who reluctantly agrees to become an MI6 agent. He begins filing fanciful reports - including sketches of a secret military installation based on a vacuum-cleaner design - that the home office takes all too seriously.
2. The Miernik Dossier, By Charles McCarry
(Saturday Review Press, 1973)
With "The Miernik Dossier," Charles McCarry introduced us to Paul Christopher, the brilliant and sensitive CIA officer who would appear in a series of perhaps more widely known novels. The book itself is the "dossier" in question: the reports and memoranda filed by a quintet of mutually mistrustful espionage agents, including a seductive Hungarian princess and a seemingly hapless Polish scientist, who undertake to drive from Switzerland to the Sudan in a Cadillac.
3. The Levanter, By Eric Ambler
Set in Syria in 1970, this novel tells the story of Michael Howell, a Middle Eastern businessman of complex ethnic descent. Howell discovers that a factory he owns in Damascus has been turned into a bomb-making facility by the Palestine Action Force, which vows to destroy Israel. "The Levanter" features some of the strongest action scenes to be found in Ambler.
4. The Honourable Schoolboy, By John le Carré
The prose in "The Honourable Schoolboy" shows this highly literate novelist at his best. Another plus: The whole le Carré gang is here; the ever-endearing George Smiley, "young Peter Guillam," and the relentless researcher and scourge of Russian Cold War spooks, Connie Sachs. Joined by the journalist and part-time spy Jerry Westerby they leap into action after detecting hints that the elusive Soviet agent Karla is moving money through Hong Kong.
5. Moura, By Nina Berberova
(New York Review Books, 2005)
"Moura" is not a spy novel, but it was written by the Russian novelist and short-story writer Nina Berberova, and the book affords all the pleasures of first-rate fiction. The mysterious baroness, known as Moura, was likely a Soviet spy and possibly a double agent, as Berberova shows in this intricate biography, one that is also a meditation on Bolsheviks, penniless Baltic nobility and the attractions of the femme fatale.
Ernest R. May, International Relations Expert, AFIO National Honorary Board Member. Ernest R. May, a leading historian of international relations who published major works on the United States' entry into World War I and the fall of France in 1940 and who explored how history influences decision-making, died last Monday in Boston. He was 80 and lived in Cambridge, Mass., where he had continued to teach full time at Harvard. Professor May was a long-time member of AFIO's Honorary Board.
The cause was complications of cancer surgery, his wife, Susan Wood, said.
Professor May had particular historical expertise as an analyst of intelligence-gathering failures - for several years he helped teach a course on the subject at Harvard for intelligence operatives - and he brought that knowledge to bear as a senior adviser to the Sept. 11 Commission, the bipartisan panel appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002 to examine the terrorist attacks of 2001.
Professor May was the author or co-author of 14 books. His first, "The World War and American Isolation 1914-17" (Harvard, 1959), based primarily on new material from German archives seized by the Allies at the end of World War II, won the George Louis Beer Prize, awarded annually by the American Historical Association for the best work on European international history.
His 2000 book, "Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France" (Hill and Wang), chronicled the Nazis' stunning victory, after six weeks of blitzkrieg in May 1940, while stripping it of its veneer of inevitability.
France's surrender had commonly been interpreted as "the last gasps by a nation already doomed," Professor May wrote. In fact, he contended, "there was nothing inevitable or foreordained about the German victory." Rather, he found a variety of causes, including poor military decisions, a misperception of Hitler by French and English politicians, and plain bad luck.
"I think Ernest May is the most important scholar of American foreign relations to emerge during the second half of the 20th century," Philip D. Zelikow, a fellow historian and the executive director of the Sept. 11 Commission, said on Wednesday.
Professors May and Zelikow together edited "The Kennedy Tapes: Inside the White House During the Cuban Missile Crisis" (Harvard University Press, 1997), an annotated history of secret recordings made as President John F. Kennedy agonized in October 1962 over whether to order a pre-emptive air strike to destroy Soviet missiles in Cuba, risking nuclear war, or to impose a naval blockade. The book was the main source for the movie "Thirteen Days."
Other books by Professor May examined the Monroe Doctrine, the United States' rise to power at the end of the 19th century and the decisions leading to the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
Professor May was a member of the Harvard faculty for 55 years. He was the dean of Harvard College from 1969 to 1971 and chairman of the history department from 1976 to 1979. He was also a faculty member of the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
As an adviser to the Sept. 11 Commission, Professor May helped prepare its 604-page report on the terrorist attacks. The report, released in 2004, laid bare the failures of American intelligence agencies and warned that without a historic restructuring of them and a new emphasis on diplomacy, the United States would leave itself open to an even more catastrophic attack.
At Harvard, with the eminent historian Richard E. Neustadt, Professor May developed a course on the systematic use of historical comparisons to determine current public policy choices. They also wrote a book on the subject, "Thinking in Time: The Uses of History for Decision-Makers" (Free Press, 1986), whose methodology has since been used by "a cadre of historians" and students, said Graham Allison, the director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the Kennedy School.
"No other historian of recent memory has so successfully bridged the chasm between history and public policy," Professor Allison said.
Ernest Richard May was born in Fort Worth on Nov. 19, 1928, the only child of Ernest and Rachel Garza May. He received his bachelor's degree in 1948 and his doctorate in 1951, both from the University of California, Los Angeles. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, he joined the Harvard faculty in 1954.
His first wife, Nancy Caughey, died in 2000. Besides his wife, Ms. Wood, he is survived by his children from his first marriage, a son, John, and two daughters, S. Rachel May and Donna May; and three grandchildren.
Professor May found that there were major turning points in American foreign policy and believed that the United States had recently arrived at another with the rise of China. In his last published essay, he rejected the view that China's rise must lead to war with the United States.
"Yes, China's rise feels threatening to the sole superpower," Professor Allison said, "but Dr. May believed that China's choice to concentrate on economic growth through integration in global markets offers a path for it to emerge peacefully." [Hevesi/NewYorkTimes/6June2009]
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
25 June 2009 - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO L.A. Area Meeting Notice to hear Sheriff Jeff Blatt.
Jeffrey J. Blatt, deputy sheriff (res) with the Los Angeles County
Sheriff's Department, assigned to the Emergency Operations Bureau, will
address the on-going militant Islamic insurgency in Southern Thailand.
Deputy Blatt will review the historic causes of the insurgency,
ideology, recruitment, tactics and attacks, Thai counterinsurgency
operations, as well as the potential for regional escalation. Deputy
Blatt is the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department's liaison on the ground
in South East and South Asia.
Meeting will take place 6/25/09 at 12:30 PM on the campus of Loyola Marymount University in the Hilton Business building with lunch provided for $15, payable at the door. Please RSVP via email, by 6/19/2009 for your attendance: AFIO_LA@yahoo.com
Saturday, 27 June 2009 - Northampton, MA - AFIO New England Meeting HAS BEEN POSTPONED. New date will be announced later
7 July 2009, 07:30 - 08:45 a.m. -- Arlington, VA -- The National Intelligence Education Foundation holds breakfast meeting featuring LTG, Chief of Intel Staff/ODNI
This is a Post-Graduate breakfast lecture. Details and registration at: http://www.niefoundation.org/events/event_details.asp?id=62233
16 July 2009 - Boston, MA - CIRA New England Chapter hosts luncheon meeting. The New England Chapter of the Central Intelligence Retirees Association [CIRA] will feature a Pinkerton CI Operations director. Event will be at Hampshire House. For more info contact Dick Gay, VP CIRA/NE, 207-374-2169
20 - 24 July 2009 - Alexandria, VA - Espionage Investigations and Interviewing Techniques - Course 518
This course is designed to provide an introduction to the complexities of and the decision making processes associated with investigating and prosecuting espionage cases in the United States in the 21st Century.
The course examines the psychology of espionage and the basis for opening espionage investigations. It explains the evolution of key legal and policy decisions associated with prosecuting espionage cases.
The course provides tools for conducting successful counterintelligence interviews.
These tools include a self assessment of the interviewer's behavioral skills; counterintelligence interviewing techniques; detecting deception during interviews; questioning techniques; and practical exercises in interviewing espionage suspects.
This course provides espionage investigators in the US national security community a deeper understanding of the status of counterespionage today, and their individual roles in the protection of our nation's most vital secrets, plans, and programs. (5 days)
Monday, 20 July 2009, 8:00a-4:00p - Alexandria, VA - Day 1 of 5 - at the CI Centre, Professor Connie Allen
Seminar Introduction and Objectives; The Psychology of Espionage; Anatomy of Espionage; Anatomy of a Sting
Tuesday, 21 July 2009, 8:00a-4:00p - Alexandria, VA - Day 2 of 5 - CI Centre Professors John Martin and Connie Allen
Legal Issues: Understanding past espionage cases which established case law for espionage violations and how these individuals have been exposed; Corroboration: Kampiles; Agent of a foreign power: 1941 case; How long can you talk with a suspect: Pelton; The John Walker case and others; Failures and mistakes encountered during espionage investigations: Cook, Smith, and Koecher cases
Wednesday, 22 July 2009, 8:00a-11:00a - Alexandria, VA - Day 3 of 5 - CI Centre Professor Tawfik Hamid Interviewing an Islamist Terrorist/Extremist Who Belongs to a Jihadist Group or Al-Qaeda Style Organization;
11:00a-4:00p CI Centre Professor Sue Adams: Counterintelligence Interviewing Techniques; Self Assessment for Interviewers - DISC Behavioral Styles; DISC Behavioral Styles and CI Interviewing Techniques: Rapport Building Skills
Thursday, 23 July 2009, 8:00a-4:00p - Alexandria, VA - Day 4 of 5 - CI Centre Professor Sue Adams
Detecting Deception During Interviews: Nonverbal Clues to Deception, Verbal Clues to Deception; Deception and Questioning Techniques
Friday, 24 July 2009, 8:00a-4:00p - Alexandria, VA - Day 5 of 5 - CI Centre Professor Sue Adams
8:00a-4:00p Interviewing Suspects: Theme Development for Espionage Suspects; Interview Plans: Interviewing Suspects; Practical Exercises
TO REGISTER FOR THIS SPECIAL COURSE: A client has allowed us to open up available seats to individuals who hold a current SECRET clearance to attend their running of this course the week of 20-24 July 2009 at the CI Centre in Alexandria, VA. The cost of this five-day course for government attendees is $2,618.70 per person; for corporate attendees is $3,045 per person. To register, fill out this form, or contact Adam Hahn at 703-642-7454.
Wednesday, 29 July 2009; 6:30 pm - More Sex(pionage) - Continued Tales of Spies, Lies, and Naked Thighs [at Spy Museum]“God gave me both a brain and a body, and I shall use them both…”—Rose O’Neal Greenhow, Confederate Spy
It’s one of the oldest tricks of the trade: sexpionage. From ancient intrigues to current schemes, spies, counterspies, and terrorists may conduct their undercover activities under the covers! International Spy Museum Board Member and author H. Keith Melton will reveal how seduction is used as a tool to attract and manipulate assets, to coerce and compromise targets, and to control spies in both reality and fiction. Featuring authentic KGB sexual entrapment videos and newly-released technical details of the infamous Russian “honey traps,” Melton will tell all about the spies who stop at nothing to get their man—or woman! For your further titillation, the country’s leading intelligence bibliographer, whose name we cannot disclose, will review the literature of “sex and espionage” with recommendations for further reading.
18 and older only.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets: $20; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum. To register: https://web.spymuseum.org/e-commerce/ItemList.aspx
Thursday 30 July 2009, Noon - 1 p.m. - Washington, DC - SPY MASTER: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West [at the Spy Museum] He was one of the youngest generals in the history of the KGB, and his intelligence career spanned the better part of the Cold War. As deputy resident at the Soviet embassy in Washington, DC, he oversaw Moscow’s spy network in the United States, and as head of KGB foreign counter-intelligence, he directed several Soviet covert actions against the West. In his memoirs, Spymaster, KGB Major General Oleg Kalugin (Ret.) provides an unparalleled look at the inner workings of Moscow’s famed spy agency. Join Kalugin to hear firsthand how he became disillusioned with the Soviet system, fell out with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and what he thinks of recent intelligence riddles from Moscow, including the death of Russian intelligence defector Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006. Join the author for an informal chat and book signing.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: FREE. No registration required.
August 2009 - Viera (Melbourne), FL - The AFIO Florida Satellite
Chapter luncheon will feature Captain Richard P. Jeffrey USN Retired,
Pearl Harbor survivor. Captain Jeffrey’s account of the
attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 was video-taped by the U.S.
National Park Service and is now an Oral History in the archives of the
USS Arizona Memorial in the harbor at Pearl where it may be viewed by
visitors. Captain Jeffery is a U.S. Navy Academy Class of 1939
graduate. He is a survivor of the 7 December 1941, Pearl Harbor attack,
having been an Ensign aboard the Battleship USS Maryland. Later he
served on General Eisenhower’s Headquarters Supreme Commander Allied
Forces staff in Europe.
The luncheon takes place at the Indian River Colony Club. For further information or reservations contact George Stephenson, Chapter President firstname.lastname@example.org (321 267-6292) or Donna Czarnecki DonnaCZ12@AOL.com Chapter Treasurer.
NEW DAY - Monday, 10 August 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - How To Break A Terrorist [at the Spy Museum]. “Respect, rapport, hope, cunning, and deception are our tools."—Matthew Alexander
Interrogation is the ultimate battle of wills. The most expert interrogators have an arsenal of tactics at-the-ready. Gauging their target, they must quickly assess which psychological strategies will work to gain the most reliable results. Air Force officer Matthew Alexander is part of a small group of military interrogators who went to Iraq in 2006 trained to get information without using harsh methods. He sat face-to-face with hardened members of Al Qaeda and convinced them to talk. Alexander, author of How to Break a Terrorist: The U.S. Interrogators Who Used Brains, Not Brutality, to Take Down the Deadliest Man in Iraq, will describe the true story of the critical interrogation he conducted that led to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. Alexander will share his riveting experiences and reveal what it takes to be a great interrogator.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $12.50; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum.
To register: https://web.spymuseum.org/e-commerce/ItemList.aspx
Thursday, 20 August 2009, Noon - 1 p.m. - Washington, DC - The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America [at the Spy Museum] In 1993, former KGB officer Alexander Vassiliev was permitted unique access to Stalin-era records of Soviet intelligence operations against the United States. The notes Vassiliev took and subsequently made available to Library of Congress historian John Earl Haynes and professor Harvey Klehr, offer unprecedented insight into Soviet espionage in America. Based on this unique historical source, Harvey and Klehr have constructed a shocking, new account of Moscow’s espionage in America. The authors will expose Soviet spy tactics and techniques and shed new light on a number of controversial issues, including Alger Hiss’s cooperation with Soviet intelligence, journalist I.F. Stone’s recruitment and work for the KGB, and Ernest Hemingway’s meeting with KGB agents. Join the author for an informal chat and book signing.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: FREE. No registration required.
13-16 October 2009 - Las Vegas, NV - AFIO National Symposium - Nellis AFB, Creech AFB. Details and registration forthcoming.
AFIO 2009 Fall Symposium
in Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada
13 October to 16 October, 2009
Cold Warriors in the Desert: From Atomic Blasts to Sonic Booms
Presentations on the testing of atomic weapons, airborne reconnaissance platforms, and more. Onsite visits to Nellis Air Force Base - Home of the Fighter Pilot, the U.S. Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site - the former on-continent nuclear weapons proving ground, and Creech Air Force Base - the home of the Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (currently deployed for combat missions in the Middle East, yet piloted from Creech).
Details and registration forthcoming.
Harrah's Hotel Registration is available now at: Telephone reservations may be made at 800-901-5188. Refer to Group Code SHAIO9 to get the special AFIO rate. To make hotel reservations online, go to: http://www.harrahs.com/CheckGroupAvailability.do?propCode=LAS&groupCode=SHAIO9
Special AFIO October Symposium Las Vegas rates are available up to Friday, September 11, 2009.
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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