NY judge: CIA can keep 9/11 videotape info secret
By LARRY NEUMEISTER (AP) – 4 hours ago
NEW YORK — A New York City judge says he won't order the release of hundreds of documents the CIA has refused to make public regarding the destruction of videotapes of detainee interrogations following the Sept. 11 attacks.
Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled Wednesday after viewing a few of nearly 600 documents related to the CIA's 2005 destruction of videotapes documenting new harsh questioning techniques.
He said a federal judge must defer to the CIA director in assessing information related to such an issue of national security.
The judge also said he probably would have ruled on the same grounds that the videotapes would not have to be released if they had not been destroyed.
A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union says he doesn't know if he'll appeal.
Source: Auburn Journal
Submitted: 9/18/09 03:27 PM
Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio, has told Italy's oldest and most widely read newspaper that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad, and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies. In what translates awkwardly into English, Cossiga told the newspaper Corriere della Sera:
"All the [intelligence services] of America and Europeknow well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the Mossad, with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part in Iraq [and] Afghanistan."
Cossiga was elected president of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide election to become president of the country in 1985, and he remained until 1992.
Identity Of CIA Officer Responsible For Pre-9/11 Failures, Tora Bora Escape, Rendition To Torture Revealed
The name of the CIA officer who ran Alec Station, the agency’s bin Laden unit, in the run-up to 9/11 can be revealed. Known by a variety of aliases in the media until now, such as “Rich” in Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars, “Richard” in the 9/11 Commission report and “Rich B” in George Tenet’s At the Center of the Storm, his real name is Richard Blee.
Blee was a key figure in the pre-9/11 intelligence failures, the CIA station chief in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden escaped from Tora Bora and instrumental in setting up the Bush administration’s rendition and torture policies.
I confirmed Blee’s identity in this document, notes drafted by a 9/11 Commission staffer, apparently in preparation of the drafting of the final report. The notes were found along with thousands of other 9/11 Commission files at the National Archives by History Commons contributor Erik Larson, who uploaded them to the 9/11 Document Archive at Scribd. I previously blogged other interesting aspects of the notes here and here.
Blee is mentioned several times in the 9/11 Commission’s files, but his name is always redacted, as it has been in the media until now. However, in one case the people doing the redactions let it slip past them.
Tim Reid in Washington
Art Keller, a blond, blue-eyed CIA agent, sits inside a decrepit building deep inside al-Qaeda territory, staring at his computer screen. He is forbidden by his Pakistani minders from venturing out into the badlands of Waziristan to help to find and kill the world’s most wanted man.
He is sick and exhausted, and suffering from food poisoning. Back home in the US his father is dying of cancer. The plumbing is basic, the heat intense — the generator has failed again. He pores over cables looking for any scrap of information — an intercepted phone call, an aerial photograph — that might finally end the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
The fruitless search has essentially been outsourced by the US to a network of Pashtun spies run by the Pakistani intelligence services.
Gall, hypocrisy, disinformation, war mongering
Middle East - Sep 5, 2009
Taliban's bombs came from US, not Iran
By Gareth Porter
WASHINGTON - In support of the official United States assertion that Iran is arming its sworn enemy, the Taliban, the head of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Dennis Blair, has cited a statement by a Taliban commander last year attributing military success against North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces to Iranian military assistance.
But the Taliban commander's claim is contradicted by evidence from the US Defense Department, Canadian forces in Afghanistan and the Taliban themselves that the increased damage to NATO tanks by Taliban forces has come from anti-tank mines provided by the United States to the jihadi movement against the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
One of the biggest pieces of news in the last couple of weeks has been the release of the CIA inspector general's report into the usefulness, or rather lack thereof of its torture techniques. It has been practically everywhere, but one thing that has been lost is that there were a whole bunch of supporting documents released from the inspector general’s investigation. One of these caught my eye in particular.
It is a memorandum drafted by an inspector general employee about a 16 July 2003 interview of a female CIA officer who appears to be very involved in the agency’s rendition and torture programme.
The officer said the agency judged the success of the programme by "the quality of the information" detainees provide. The report adds:
A document recently found in the National Archives shows that the CIA station in Yemen knew that al-Qaeda leader and USS Cole bombing mastermind Khallad bin Attash had attended the organisation’s Kuala Lumpur summit. However, other information proves that the Yemen station never communicated this to the FBI, even though it was working closely with FBI investigators into the Cole bombing. This raises questions as to why the CIA station in Yemen failed to pass this information on and whether this failure was part of a wider agreement to withhold information from the bureau.
How a Detainee Became An Asset
Sept. 11 Plotter Cooperated After Waterboarding
By Peter Finn, Joby Warrick and Julie Tate
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, August 29, 2009
After enduring the CIA's harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency's secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called "terrorist tutorials."
In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture.
Please read my article entitled, "A "Working Relationship To Fund, Train, And Use Terrorists For Terrorist Activities?" Also, here's a small collection of articles I've collected with regards to the below article. - Jon
Tuesday, 25 Aug, 2009 | 09:34 PM PST |
ZAHEDAN: A top Sunni rebel who is awaiting execution in Iran said on Tuesday that his militant group received orders from the United States to launch terror attacks in the Islamic republic.
Abdolhamid Rigi, brother of shadowy Jundallah (Soldiers of God) group leader Abdolmalek Rigi, told reporters his brother was an Al-Qaeda point man in Iran six years ago but that later the group broke off ties with him.
Report Reveals CIA Conducted Mock Executions
A long-awaited report on post-9/11 interrogation tactics will reveal harrowing new details about treatment of suspected terrorists.
A Torture Timeline
For hundreds of years, atrocities have been committed in the name of empire-building, religion or national security
By Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff | Newsweek Web Exclusive
Aug 21, 2009 | Updated: 6:58 p.m. ET Aug 21, 2009
A long-suppressed report by the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general to be released next week reveals that CIA interrogators staged mock executions as part of the agency's post-9/11 program to detain and question terror suspects, NEWSWEEK has learned.
I have found a photograph of Tom Wilshire, the CIA officer involved in pretty much all the pre-9/11 intelligence failings. It is here. I don't reproduce it here for reasons of copyright, although I guess I could claim fair use. The photo was taken when he testified to Congress about the al-Qaeda threat in late 2001.
I have to say he looks a lot older than I thought he was, but I guess people never seem the way you imagine them.
I also read a lot of articles about the testimony and found the transcript. They all refer to him as Tom Wilshere (with two "e"s), so perhaps this is the correct spelling of his name and the one we use is wrong. We got the spelling from Lawrence Wright, who mentioned Wilshire in his 2006 Pullitzer Prize-winning book The Looming Tower and a New Yorker article that accompanied the book, but was focused on FBI agent Ali Soufan.
BY CAROL ROSENBERG
U.S. military defense lawyers for accused 9/11 conspirator Ramzi bin al Shibh cannot learn what interrogation techniques CIA agents used on the Yemeni before he was moved to Guantánamo to be tried as a terrorist, an Army judge has ruled.
Bin al Shibh, 37, is one of five men charged in a complex death penalty prosecution by military commission currently under review by the Obama administration. He allegedly helped organize the Hamburg, Germany, cell of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers before the suicide mission that killed 2,974 people in New York, the Pentagon and Pennsylvania.
But his lawyers say he suffers a ``delusional disorder,'' and hallucinations in his cell at Guantánamo may leave him neither sane enough to act as his own attorney nor to stand trial. Prison camp doctors treat him with psychotropic drugs.
Army Col. Stephen Henley, the military judge on the case, has scheduled a competency hearing for mid-September.
"US 'waterboarding' row rekindled"
BBC, July 13, 2009
Fresh claims have emerged that a key al-Qaeda suspect was waterboarded before the Bush government lawyers issued written authorisation to do so.
A former CIA agent has told the BBC that Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded by the CIA in May or June 2002.
The date was provided by former CIA agent John Kiriakou. The practice was sanctioned in written memos by Bush administration lawyers in August 2002.
The CIA says waterboarding did not take place before August 2002.
Officials have refused to tell the BBC when it did occur.
Mr Kiriakou led the CIA team that captured Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan on 28 March 2002, and was the first to speak to the badly injured captive before returning to the US.
There he monitored the internal communications that came in (cable traffic) on Abu Zubaydah's interrogation at a secret CIA prison from the organisation's headquarters in Virginia.
by Kevin Connolly
BBC, July 13, 2009
In the world of intelligence gathering the past never really goes away - it stays around to haunt the present and set traps for the future.
The issue of how America conducted its "war on terror" - who it tortured and detained and on whose orders - is full of such traps.
We know that Barack Obama knows this - he talks about the need to move forward rather than to look back - but that is no guarantee that he will be able to resist calls for some sort of investigation of the Bush administration's intelligence policies.
The argument from the human rights lobby and the left of the Democratic Party appears to have gained ground in Washington in the last week or so - some sort of enquiry is now necessary, they believe, to re-assert the rule of law and restore America to the moral high ground of international diplomacy.
The case against re-opening the wounds of the recent past lacks moral clarity, perhaps, but it is no less passionately held among Republicans.
Democracy now today is reporting that CIA Director Panetta admits to misleading congress since 2001. The 2001 date is very interesting. That and the fact that this is related to an "unspecified matter" makes this very pertinent.