WASHINGTON -- Five months after the Senate Intelligence Committee released its gruesome report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, someone is finally paying steep professional consequences. Except it’s not the former torturers. Or their superiors. Or even the CIA officials who improperly searched the computers that Senate investigators used to construct the study.
It’s the person who helped expose them.
Alissa Starzak, a former Democratic majority staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, played a critical and controversial role during her time on the panel: She was a lead investigator for the torture report, and was one of two staffers involved in an ongoing feud over damning internal CIA documents obtained by the committee.
But the critics of the torture investigation -- namely, Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr (R-N.C.) -- are orchestrating a quiet campaign to stall Starzak's nomination.
Russ Baker(RB) Interviews Bob Graham (BG) on Sarasota Saudi's and "high level" FBI obfuscation.
BG: Yeah. And then, I had been able to read a couple of files of materials on Sarasota, and I pointed out where their public statement was not consistent with what was in their own classified files. And the FBI officer said: “Well, that was a matter of context, that there was other information which refuted the statements which were contained in the investigative officer’s report.”
So I said, “Well, can I see what that other information is?” And he said “yes” and we set a date for the week after Thanksgiving.
And when I went to the FBI office at the scheduled time, that same agent who [was at the meeting at Dulles] was there and he said: “Your meeting here has been canceled, is not going to be rescheduled, and incidentally, I know you’ve been trying to contact the agent who wrote the report, and I have told him not to talk with you.”
And that was the last time I met with a high-ranking FBI official.
Set Audacity Level to Maximum.
"There was no shortage of mistakes about Iraq, and I made my share of them. The newsworthy claims of some of my prewar WMD stories were wrong. But so is the enduring, pernicious accusation that the Bush administration fabricated WMD intelligence to take the country to war".
by Judith Miller
I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me.
OK, I had some help from a duplicitous vice president, Dick Cheney. Then there was George W. Bush, a gullible president who could barely locate Iraq on a map and who wanted to avenge his father and enrich his friends in the oil business. And don’t forget the neoconservatives in the White House and the Pentagon who fed cherry-picked intelligence about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, or WMD, to reporters like me.
None of these assertions happens to be true, though all were published and continue to have believers. This is not how wars come about, and it is surely not how the war in Iraq occurred. Nor is it what I did as a reporter for the New York Times. These false narratives deserve, at last, to be retired.
via the NYTIMES
"The Senate on Thursday confirmed Ashton B. Carter to be the next defense secretary, installing a new Pentagon chief as the United States increases military action against the Islamic State.
Mr. Carter, a former deputy defense secretary who is President Obama’s choice to replace Chuck Hagel, was approved by a vote of 93 to 5, a striking scene of accord as tensions mount over the wait to confirm Loretta E. Lynch as the next attorney general. Five Republicans opposed Mr. Carter’s confirmation".
911blogger readers and researcher's will recognize Mr. Carters' name from the Catastrophic Terrorism: Tackling the New Danger paper he co -authored with John Deutch and Phillip Zelikow
November / December 1998
"In the late-'90s, Moussaoui claims, he was tasked by Osama bin Laden to create a digital database cataloguing al Qaeda's donors. Every day for two or three months, he claims, he entered names of the group's donors into a Toshiba computer along with how much they gave".
"CNN cannot independently confirm the claims Moussaoui makes in his new testimony, which was made under oath as part of a brief filed in opposition to a motion to dismiss a case against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its alleged involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
Unlike a deposition, Moussaoui was not subjected to cross-examination by the defendants' lawyers".
Via OPEd News
By Elizabeth Woodworth
....."On Wednesday, January 7, Congressmen Walter Jones (R) and Stephen Lynch (D), co-sponsors of House Resolution 428 calling for the President to release the information, held a press conference on Capitol Hill, together with three people who had lost family members in the attacks. 
Before and after this press conference, Jones and Lynch were interviewed by national networks, including CNN, CBS, ABC, CBC, and Fox News.
In at least two cases, news agencies referred to statements by Zelikow, who, after running the 9/11 Commission returned to academics at the University of Virginia in 2007, where he is now:
The CBS anchor commented: "Philip Zelikow, who was the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, says that the pages should not be released, saying that the pages are full of unproven facts." (Congressman Lynch replied that the same people who wrote these pages drafted the entire report, the rest of whose 858 pages have been public all along.)
From The Onion
Jan 6, 2015
WASHINGTON—Saying they felt a duty to reveal what truly transpired on September 11, 2001, numerous high-ranking federal officials announced publicly Tuesday that the United States government was responsible for destroying just the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Representatives from the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and half a dozen other government bureaus revealed at a morning press conference that they were responsible for the development, funding, and execution of a plan to take down 1 World Trade Center in New York’s Financial District. Describing their mission as an unqualified success, officials noted that the completion of their objective was followed 17 minutes later by a separate suicide attack on 2 World Trade Center by al-Qaeda operatives piloting a hijacked airliner.
"The U.S. House Intelligence Committee has denied a Florida congressman’s request for access to 28 classified pages from the 2002 report of Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, told BrowardBulldog.org he made his request at the suggestion of House colleagues who have read them as they consider whether to support a proposed resolution urging President Obama to open those long-censored pages to the public.
“Why was I denied? I have been instrumental in publicizing the Snowden revelations regarding pervasive domestic spying by the government and this is a petty means for the spying industrial complex to lash back,” Grayson said last week, referring to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden".
By Kevin Gonztola
CIA agents “impersonated Senate staffers” while the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was producing its report
“According to sources familiar with the CIA inspector general report that details the alleged abuses by agency officials,” journalists Ali Watkins and Ryan Grim reported, “CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers in order to gain access to Senate communications and drafts of the Intelligence Committee investigation.”
A source “familiar” with the inspector general report, which remains classified, told Huffington Post, “If people knew the details of what they actually did to hack into the Senate computers to go search for the torture document, jaws would drop. It’s straight out of a movie.”
by Shane Harris
The man who claims he killed the world’s most wanted terrorist is now being probed for saying too much about the mission.
The former Navy SEAL who ignited a controversy when he publicly claimed credit for killing Osama bin Laden is under investigation for possibly leaking official secrets, The Daily Beast has learned.
When reached for comment, Ed Buice, an NCIS public affairs officer, confirmed “The Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) is in receipt of an allegation that Mr. O’Neill may have revealed classified information to persons not authorized to receive such information. In response, NCIS has initiated an investigation to determine the merit of the allegations.”
The news that O’Neill is being investigated for potential criminal acts hasn’t been previously reported.
by Dan Froomkin
The Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report will be released “in a matter of days,” a committee staffer tells The Intercept. The report, a review of brutal CIA interrogation methods during the presidency of George W. Bush, has been the subject of a contentious back-and-forth, with U.S. intelligence agencies and the White House on one side pushing for mass redactions in the name of national security and committee staffers on the other arguing that the proposed redactions render the report unintelligible.
Should something emerge, here are some important caveats to keep in mind:
1) You’re not actually reading the torture report. You’re just reading an executive summary. The full Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s interrogation and detention program runs upward of 6,000 pages. The executive summary is 480 pages. So you’re missing more than 80 percent of it.
Robert O’Neill, 38, a Montana native, was near the head of the column of U.S. commandos who burst into bin Laden’s Pakistan hideout on May 2, 2011.The Navy SEAL who fired the shot that killed Osama bin Laden is a highly decorated veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan who agonized for months over whether to publicly reveal his role in one of the most storied commando operations in U.S. history.
Adapted from his book “World Order,” to be published Sept. 9 2014 by the Penguin Press.
“A world order of states affirming individual dignity and participatory governance, and cooperating internationally in accordance with agreed-upon rules, can be our hope and should be our inspiration. But progress toward it will need to be sustained through a series of intermediary stages.
To play a responsible role in the evolution of a 21st-century world order, the U.S. must be prepared to answer a number of questions for itself: What do we seek to prevent, no matter how it happens, and if necessary alone? What do we seek to achieve, even if not supported by any multilateral effort? What do we seek to achieve, or prevent, only if supported by an alliance? What should we not engage in, even if urged on by a multilateral group or an alliance? What is the nature of the values that we seek to advance? And how much does the application of these values depend on circumstance?
"Any serious student of history is on alert for “interesting accidents.” Because sometimes they are accidents. Sometimes, they’re not.
We have no opinion at the moment on the one-car wreck that left former FBI Director Louis Freeh badly injured around noon on Aug. 25. But we do think it is worth reviewing what we know about Louis Freeh. Because all such incidents deserve scrutiny".
8/2/14 Saturday News Dump: Barack Obama
"I was very clear that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, we did some things that were wrong," he said. "We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values."
"We crossed the line and that needs to be understood and accepted. And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that so we don't do it in the future," he added.