CIA

The Intelligence Community Finally Scores!

Featured image I have been reading for many years that the CIA is more formidable in Washington infighting than anywhere else. Is there a penalty for rarely seeing what is right around the corner? One might think that is the job of an intelligence agency, but somehow repeated failures have only resulted in larger budgets. While many individual agents are undoubtedly conservatives, the careerists who run the CIA have long been liberals, »

Trump at the CIA, Part Two

Featured image The mainstream media seems unable to let go of the story of President Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters. The visit occurred Saturday. On Tuesday, Wolf Blitzer was still pushing the tired notion that the new president committed an outrage by visiting the CIA and, in the course of praising the men and women who work there, also talking about the size of the inauguration crowd. Blitzer’s guests claimed that the »

Trump at the CIA

Featured image On his first full day in office, President Trump visited the CIA at its Langley, Virginia headquarters. Trump told CIA employees he is “behind” them. He said, “I know maybe sometimes you haven’t gotten the backing that you’ve wanted, and you’re going to get so much backing.” The visit has been harshly criticized by the mainstream media. This is understandable. The mainstream media loves to attack Trump and his family »

Dishonest CIA Director Rips Trump; Trump Should Rip Him Back [Updated]

Featured image John Brennan’s career in the Obama administration, first as counterterrorism adviser, then as Director of the CIA, has been a disaster. We have written about him many times; just search “John Brennan” on this site. Along with being an inept CIA Director, Brennan is a political hack. Today he went on Fox News Sunday and attacked Donald Trump. But the real news was Brennan’s inability to respond to questions about »

Time For Heads to Roll at the CIA

Featured image Between the time I went to bed last night and when I got home from work today, the fake news story about the purported Russian dossier on Donald Trump was born, flowered and died. At this juncture, I think only one point is worth making. The anonymously-sourced memos that are the basis for the report have been kicking around for months. Because they lacked any credibility, no respectable news source–not »

The Case For Russian Hacking

Featured image I wrote here, here and here about the Obama administration’s two reports that purport to show that the DNC’s email system was penetrated by Russian intelligence. (For reasons about which we can only speculate, they don’t talk about the intrusion into the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta.) I concluded that those reports completely failed to make the case that the Russians were behind the DNC hack. »

A good man leaves the Trump transition team (no, not Chris Christie)

Featured image At this time a week ago, polls were still open in many states and it was unclear who would win the election. So it seems premature for talking heads breathlessly to be discussing “chaos” in Donald Trump’s transition team and claiming that the president-elect is off to a start unprecedented in its rockiness. The cause (or pretext) for this chatter is the removal of Chris Christie from the transition team. »

Free speech under attack at the University of Pennsylvania

Featured image Last Friday, protesters at the University of Pennsylvania shut down a campus foreign policy discussion forum featuring CIA director John Brennan. They accomplished this by disrupting Brennan’s speech. The protest was organized by Penn’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). I shouldn’t be surprised that SDS, an odious and notoriously anti-democratic outfit from the 1960s to which I once belonged, is back. Heck, even the Industrial Workers of »

Obama’s CIA Director Is Opposed to Spying

Featured image Unbelievable, but true: President Obama’s CIA Director, John Brennan, doesn’t think the agency should engage in spying. He finds espionage unsavory, apparently. John Sipher, a former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service and a recipient of the agency’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal, explains: In what was otherwise a thoughtful interview with National Public Radio last week, CIA Director John Brennan expressed his personal view that the CIA should be »

“Early signs of Russian intent”

Featured image That’s the front page headline of today’s Washington Post (paper edition). The story is about signs in August that Putin was mobilizing for a military offensive in Syria. Despite these signs, the Obama administration was “caught flat-footed” when the Russian offensive materialized two months later. In a larger sense, “Russian intent” has long been clear. Putin has said he consider the fall of Soviet power a geopolitical catastrophe. He wants »

Dartmouth alum provides clarity on “torture”

Featured image Robert Grenier served in the CIA for 27 years. In 2001, as station chief in Islamabad, he developed a CIA war plan for southern Afghanistan that relied on Afghans to drive Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters from Kabul and install Hamid Karzai as the country’s new president. He describes these events in a new book called 88 Days to Kandahar. Grenier also helped coordinate covert operations in support of the »

Resist this

Featured image Steve Coll is dean of the Columbia Journalism School and an accomplished reporter in his own right. He is a staff writer for the New Yorker and the author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and bin Laden and the Soviet Invasion, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2011, among other books. He reports on issues of intelligence and national security and in the journalism »

The CIA-Mossad joint assassination leak, why now?

Featured image The Washington Post reported today that in 2008, the CIA worked with Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, to kill Imad Mughniyah, an important Hezbollah operative. According to the Post, Mossad did the deed, but the CIA built the bomb that Mossad used, testing it repeatedly to make sure the blast wouldn’t damage a large area thereby causing collateral damage. The story isn’t without inherent interest. However, the big question »

Americans still see Bush-era interrogation techniques as justified and effective

Featured image One of the nobler, if not the only noble purpose of publicly releasing the Feinsten report was to fuel public debate about the very harsh interrogation techniques used in some instances by the CIA after 9/11. Predictably, though, the rekindled debate has been as stale as the original version had become. In any event, the returns from the debate are in. A Pew Research survey shows that, by a wide »

The Context of Harsh Interrogation

Featured image As Dick Cheney and others have emphasized, it is foolish to evaluate the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA without acknowledging their context: in the aftermath of 9/11, the federal government’s most important responsibility was to do everything possible to ensure that there was no sequel. Democratic Senators and Congressmen who were briefed on the CIA’s operations at the time had no problem with what the agency was doing. »

John Brennan’s knowable “unknowables”

Featured image John Brennan spoke to the press yesterday about Dianne Feinstein’s travesty of a report on past CIA interrogation practices. It’s highly unusual for the CIA director to hold take questions from the media, but Brennan did. Unusual though Brennan’s appearance was, the Washington Post, which has devoted its front page to story after story on Feinstein’s hit-job, relegates Brennan to page 14. The Post, it appears, is only marginally more »

Feinstein’s war on the CIA — what purpose does it serve?

Featured image The Obama administration has instituted special security measures to protect U.S. facilities around the world in the event of attacks prompted by the release of Dianne Feinstein’s “torture” report. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that “there are some indications. . .that the release of the report could lead to a greater risk that is posed to U.S. facilities and individuals all around the world.” John Kerry was concerned enough »