Intelligence

A backgrounder for Matt Apuzzo

Featured image New York Times reporter Matt Apuzzo joined the Times in 2012. He’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, but his article on the testimony of Condoleezza Rice at the trial of Jeffrey Sterling last week suggests he doesn’t know much about the Times. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Rice met with Times editors to persuade them not to publish James Risen’s draft article disclosing the highly classified, Clinton-era CIA »

At the Sterling trial

Featured image Last week the government commenced its prosecution of former CIA official Jeffrey Sterling for violation of the Espionage Act. The government alleges that Sterling leaked the details of a program intended to undermine Iran’s nuclear program to New York Times reporter James Risen. The program was subject to a security classification indicating its extreme sensitivity. Sterling did not publicly disclose the details of the CIA program; he laundered them through »

Domestic surveillance — we need it now more than ever

Featured image In his observations on terrorism in Belgium, John writes that electronic surveillance of some sort very likely played a role in enabling the authorities to strike before the terrorists could carry out their planned attack. John is right. But we don’t need to look to Belgium to see the critical role such surveillance plays in protecting against terrorism. Recently, authorities here in the U.S. were able to prevent an attack »

Risen rules

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen was subpoenaed to testify in the prosecution of CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. Sterling is under prosecution for blowing a CIA program intended to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. The program was subject to a security classification indicating its extreme sensitivity. To no discernible public good, Risen publicized the program in his book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. »

Sen. Cotton to serve on intelligence committee

Featured image In my post last night listing Tom Cotton’s committee assignments, I failed to include the Select Committee on Intelligence. Arguably, this is the Senator’s must important assignment. We live in a time when defense budgets are being slashed and the U.S. president is largely unwilling to put American boots on the ground, even to fight bloody thirsty terrorists with designs on attacking America. In this environment, our intelligence professionals are »

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 »

Risen risin’

Featured image New York Times reporter James Risen is under subpoena to testify in the prosecution of CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. Sterling is under prosecution for blowing a CIA program intended to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. The program was classified beyond top secret. To no discernible public good, Risen publicized the program in his book State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. The government thinks that »

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 »

Who tortured what? Let’s go to the sources

Featured image John Hinderaker took a preliminary look at the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Democrats’ report on the CIA detention and interrogation program here. I am still trying to get a handle on what the Democrats have done. I offer the partial list of sources and commentary below as a resource to others like me trying to understand what has happened here. Dianne Feinstein et al., Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, »

James Risen would prefer not to; Eric Holder must decide what he prefers

Featured image James Risen is the New York Times reporter who, on several occasions, has materially harmed the United States with his reporting on top secret affairs. As Scott Johnson has written, “If you are a disgruntled intelligence officer or official and want to preserve your anonymity while undermining a top secret program or aiding the enemies of the United States, Risen is your go-to guy.” Scott went on to document this »

Who tortured what? The Feinstein factor

Featured image I confess that I do not understand the rationale supporting the publication of the Democrats’ Senate Select Committee study of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. On its face, it seems like ancient history (of a highly tendentious kind) in the service of a personal grudge. It is not clear to me what is new and it is not clear that what is new is reliable, given the absurd limitations »

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 »

Who tortured what? Let’s go to the tape

Featured image The Washington Free Beacon has compiled a set of videos commenting on the torture report issued yesterday by the Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I want to set this up with the clip below from the Media Research Center. In the clip, NBC news anchor Brian Williams asks former CIA Director Michael Hayden “How are we better than our enemies?” (and more). What a ponderous fool Brian »

Dianne Feinstein and her one-sided, self-serving report on enhanced interrogations

Featured image The big news today will be the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation policy during the Bush years, which has finally been made public. The mainstream media will see to it that the story dominates the headlines. It already dominates the Washington Post’s main page. I expect we’ll have lots to say about the report, whose contents have been leaked over the past months. For now, I’ll link »

Contradicting Dianne Feinstein’s sham report on CIA interrogation

Featured image We have written about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s forthcoming “Feinstein Report,” an attack on the Bush-era CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. By all accounts, the report will conclude that the CIA regularly tortured terrorism suspects, lied to Congress about it, and gained no valuable information as a result. I view the report as not only a political document — the latest salvo in the war between Democrats on the Senate Intelligence »

Ishmael Jones: Panetta’s betrayal

Featured image Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer. He is the author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture, the book that serves as the point of reference in the column below. Mr. Jones advises us that this column has been approved for publication by the CIA’s Publications Review Board. He writes: In 2008 I wrote a book that criticized CIA bureaucracy. The book contains no secrets »

“We Are Going To Win the Cold War”—A Conversation with Herbert Meyer, Part 3

Featured image In this installment of our conversations with Herbert Meyer (part one here, and part two here), we look back at the end of the Cold War, and especially Herb’s prescience in a memo he wrote in the fall of 1983, since declassified, entitled “Why Is the World So Dangerous?” (PDF link). Here he remarks that this memo was not just controversial, but also unwelcome even among many hard-liners in the »