David Kirkpatrick

August 5, 2010

Will the WikiLeaks issue close military/intelligence doors?

Michael Hayden hopes not. The relationship between intelligence agencies and the military is always pretty fragile and the WikiLeaks incident over posting classified video of a 2007 Baghdad helicopter attack a couple of months ago threatens to shut down a lot of communication between the government entities.

From the first link:

The recent publication of classified military documents on the whistleblower site WikLeaks should not be allowed to chill information sharing that’s been going on within the military and intelligence communities, the former director of the CIA said Tuesday.

In an interview, retired Gen. Michael Hayden, who led both the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA), expressed concern over the potential for knee-jerk restrictions on data sharing in response to the incident.

“Senior leadership in the country will have to guard against over-reaction,” Hayden cautioned. “Clearly, we need to be careful. We have to pay more attention to security,” he said.

Wikileaks last week posted more than 90,000 military and intelligence documents on the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst already charged with supplying WikiLeaks with a video allegedly showing a deadly U.S Apache helicopter attack in Iraq, is the prime suspect in the leak of the Afghanistan war documents.

July 12, 2009

Is Dick Cheney sweating yet?

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:55 pm

He should be. If nothing else, Obama has shown a great propensity to allow circumstances to ferment to the point he is totally removed from the ultimate result. Cheney is nearing the end of long, slow walk.

From the link:

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

March 29, 2009

Torture and (the lack of) intelligence

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 8:00 pm

Did we get any useful information from initiating systemic torture under the Bush 43 regime? Apparently not.

Cheney and his apparatchiks continue to insist that they got reliable and vital information from these torture sessions, but they can never verify it:

 

Since 2006, Senate intelligence committee members have pressed the CIA, in classified briefings, to provide examples of specific leads that were obtained from Abu Zubaida through the use of waterboarding and other methods, according to officials familiar with the requests. The agency provided none, the officials said.

We sold our souls for lies.

January 5, 2009

Panetta to head CIA

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:55 pm

An interesting choice for a beleaguered agency. Panetta will have his hands full between dealing with the Bush 43 torture aftermath, international terrorism and a somewhat tarnished public brand.

From the link:

President-elect Barack Obama has selected Leon E. Panetta, the former congressman and White House chief of staff, to take over the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization that Mr. Obama criticized during the campaign for using interrogation methods he decried as torture, Democratic officials said Monday.

Mr. Panetta has a reputation in Washington as a competent manager with strong background in budget issues, but has little hands-on intelligence experience. If confirmed by the Senate, he will take control of the agency most directly responsible for hunting senior Al Qaeda leaders around the globe, but one that has been buffeted since the Sept. 11 attacks by leadership changes and morale problems.

Given his background, Mr. Panetta is a somewhat unusual choice to lead the C.I.A., an agency that has been unwelcoming to previous directors perceived as outsiders, such as Stansfield M. Turner and John M. Deutch. But his selection points up the difficulty Mr. Obama had in finding a C.I.A. director with no connection to controversial counterterrorism programs of the Bush era.

February 6, 2008

CIA admits to waterboarding

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:40 am

CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress the agency used waterboarding on three occasions. This is the first official declaration that the US government waterboarded detainees.

Before September 11, 2001, the interrogation technique was considered torture and US military personnel have been court martialed as recently as the Vietnam War for waterboarding.

Head to this postto join a comments section conversation on waterboarding, torture and US policy.

(Update: Here’s a former Naval instructor’s testimony on waterboarding. Short version, he says it absolutely is torture.)

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