Tag Archives: CIA

Would Trump’s New CIA Director Reinstate Torture Program? by Ben Swann

Trump’s new pick for CIA Director ran a black site “enhanced interrogation center,” and then destroyed 92 tapes, perhaps because some people might not understand the difference between enhanced interrogation and torture. Not that her record should disqualify her from the CIA Directorship. Trump probably could have dug up someone with an even more checkered record. From Ben Swann at theburningplatform.com:

 

The next director of the CIA might be one of the most controversial picks ever.

Gina Haspel not only helped to oversee the CIA’s torture program, but may have also destroyed evidence in an effort to hide torture techniques. And one CIA whistleblower says Haspel and those around her “tortured for the sake of torture.”

Is this really the person who should run the Central Intelligence Agency?

Let’s give it a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

Gina Haspel is making headlines as the newly nominated director of the Central Intelligence Agency. She’s been chosen to step in for outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who President Trump chose to become Secretary of State in place of outgoing Rex Tillerson.

Some of those headlines are for her being the first woman nominated to the top CIA post. But others are rightfully questioning her connections to the CIA’s failed torture program.

So who is Haspel?

Well, we know she’s been with the CIA since 1985 and was assigned to the Central European Division.

According to the New York Times, Haspel served “in Turkey and Central Asia, before ascending to station chief in New York, where she was posted when Osama bin Laden was killed and worked closely with the F.B.I. as the agencies combed through files taken from his compound.”

In her career, she’s also headed up the CIA station in London — twice — and served as the acting director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service in 2013.

But what’s troubling is her role in torture, and destruction of evidence of torture, dating back to 2002.

In October 2002, Haspel was placed in charge of the CIA “black site” prison named “Cat’s Eye” in Thailand. She arrived after Al Qaeda terror suspect Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded and tortured at the cite.

But, under her watch, another Al Qaeda suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was waterboarded three times.

To continue reading: Would Trump’s New CIA Director Reinstate Torture Program?

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Leaked Texts Suggest Coordination Between Obama White House, CIA, FBI And Dems To Launch Trump-Russia Probe, by Tyler Durden

The noose draws ever tighter around the necks of the CIA, the FBI, the Democratic party, and yes, even Obama. From Tyler durden at zerohedge.com:

Congressional investigators looking into the origins of Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia probe believe they’ve found a smoking gun that could justify the appointment of a special counsel to investigate whether the Obama administration exerted undue influence over the FBI.

A series of text messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page have revealed the involvement of Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, John Brennan, Obama’s CIA director, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in helping create an atmosphere of paranoia that gave them the political cover to launch the Russia probe back in the summer of 2016.

Dennis McDonough

The investigators who leaked the information to Fox said the texts between Strzok and Page “strongly” suggest coordination between the White House, two independent intelligence agencies, and a Democratic Congressional leader. That would “contradict” the Obama administration’s claims of non-involvement.

The texts tell of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe being concerned with “information control,” and suggest a plot to leak details of the FBI’s incipient investigation to both the White House and Reid. Brennan also became involved in agitating for an investigation, though his agency was supposed to be operationally separate from the FBI.

Page texted Strzok on Aug. 2, 2016, saying: “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia, etc. You probably know better than me.”

A text message from Strzok to Page on Aug. 3 described former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as being concerned with “information control” related to the initial investigation into the Trump campaign. According to a report from the New York Times, Brennan was sent to Capitol Hill around the same time to brief members of Congress on the possibility of election interference.

Days later, on Aug. 8, 2016, Strzok texted Page: “Internal joint cyber cd intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”

In the texts, “D” referred to FBI Director James Comey, and and “McDonough” referred to Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, the GOP investigators said.

To continue reading: Leaked Texts Suggest Coordination Between Obama White House, CIA, FBI And Dems To Launch Trump-Russia Probe

Let’s Investigate John Brennan, by Philip Giraldi

You’d expect a CIA guy to be pretty good at hiding his fingerprints, but John Brennan’s fingerprints are all over the fake Russiagate investigation. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Time to find out if CIA interfered in the 2016 election

Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan, a Barack Obama friend and protégé as well as a current paid contributor for NBC and MSNBC, has blasted President Donald Trump for congratulating President Vladimir Putin over his victory in recent Russian national elections. He said that the U.S. President is “afraid of the president of Russia” and that the Kremlin “may have something on him personally. The fact that he has had this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin …continues to say to me that he does have something to fear and something very serious to fear.”

It is an indication of how low we have sunk as a nation that a possible war criminal like Brennan can feel free to use his former official status as a bully pulpit to claim that someone is a foreign spy without any real pushback or objection from the talking heads and billionaire manipulators that unfortunately run our country. If Trump is actually being blackmailed, as Brennan implies, what evidence is there for that? One might reasonably conclude that Brennan and his associates are actually angry because Trump has had the temerity to try to improve relations with Russia.

It is ironic that when President Trump does something right he gets assailed by the same crowd that piles on when he does something stupid, leading to the conclusion that unless The Donald is attacking another country, when he is lauded as becoming truly presidential, he cannot ever win with the inside the Beltway Establishment crowd. Brennan and a supporting cast of dissimulating former intelligence chiefs opposed Trump from the git-go and were perfectly willing to make things up to support Hillary and the status quo that she represented. It was, of course, a status quo that greatly and personally benefited that ex-government crowd which by now might well be described as the proverbial Deep State.

To continue reading: Let’s Investigate John Brennan

Trump Should Withdraw Haspel Nomination, Intel Vets Say

Gina Haspel oversaw a black site torture operation. If she had been German or Japanese and done the same thing during World War II, she would have been hung. Now she’s President Trump’s pick to head the CIA. From the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity at consortiumnews.com:

Two dozen former U.S. intelligence officers urge President Trump to rescind Gina Haspel’s nomination to lead the CIA, citing torture that she oversaw while supervising a black site prison, as well as her role in destroying evidence. 

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity

SUBJECT: Request to Withdraw Nomination of Gina Haspel

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

With respect, we veteran intelligence officers from CIA and other agencies urge you to withdraw the nomination of Gina Haspel for CIA director. From what is already known of her leading role in CIA torture 16 years ago, she has disqualified herself.

Gina Haspel

In 2002 Haspel supervised the first CIA “black site” for interrogation, where cruel and bizarre forms of torture were applied to suspected terrorists. And when the existence of 92 videotapes of those torture sessions was revealed, Haspel signed a cable ordering their destruction, against the advice of legal counsel at CIA and the White House.

Does Torture ‘Work?’

We are confident that if you set aside some time to read the unredacted portions of the Senate Intelligence Committee report of 2014 on the torture ordered and supervised by Haspel and other CIA managers, you will change your mind about her nomination. The five-year Senate investigation was based primarily on original CIA cables and other sensitive documents.

In addition to revealing clear violations of the UN Convention Against Torture, the Senate investigation shows that claims by senior CIA officials that torture is effective are far from true. The US Army — in which many of us have served — has been aware of the ineffectiveness of torture for decades.

General John Kimmons, head of Army Intelligence, drove home that point on September 6, 2006 — approximately an hour before President George W. Bush publicly extolled the virtues of torture methods that became known as “enhanced interrogation techniques.”  Gen. Kimmons stated: “No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices. I think history tells us that. I think the empirical evidence of the last five years — hard years — tell us that.”

We believe that Defense Secretary James Mattis’ lack of enthusiasm for torture reflects lessons drawn from the historical experience of the Marine Corps, as well. Not to mention the twin reality that torture brutalizes the brutalizer, and that US use of torture puts our own troops in serious jeopardy when captured. Moreover, there is no more effective recruitment tool than torture to attract more terrorists.

To continue reading: Trump Should Withdraw Haspel Nomination, Intel Vets Say

Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared, by Ray McGovern

Former CIA Director John Brennan is certainly a contender for the slimiest slimeball in Washington, and that’s saying something. From Ray McGovern at antiwar.com:

What prompted former CIA Director John Brennan on Saturday to accuse President Donald Trump of “moral turpitude” and to predict, with an alliterative flourish, that Trump will end up “as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history”? The answer shines through the next sentence in Brennan’s threatening tweet: “You may scapegoat Andy McCabe [former FBI Deputy Director fired Friday night] but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.”

It is easy to see why Brennan lost it. The Attorney General fired McCabe, denying him full retirement benefits, because McCabe “had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor – including under oath – on multiple occasions.” There but for the grace of God go I, Brennan must have thought, whose stock in trade has been unauthorized disclosures.

In fact, Brennan can take but small, short-lived consolation in the fact that he succeeded in leaving with a full government pension. His own unauthorized disclosures and leaks probably dwarf in number, importance, and sensitivity those of McCabe. And many of those leaks appear to have been based on sensitive intercepted conversations from which the names of American citizens were unmasked for political purposes. Not to mention the leaks of faux intelligence like that contained in the dubious “dossier” cobbled together for the Democrats by British ex-spy Christopher Steele.

It is an open secret that the CIA has been leaking like the proverbial sieve over the last two years or so to its favorite stenographers at the New York Times and Washington Post. (At one point, the obvious whispering reached the point that the Wall Street Journal saw fit to complain that it was being neglected.) The leaking can be traced way back – at least as far as the Clinton campaign’s decision to blame the Russians for the publication of very damning DNC emails by WikiLeaks just three days before the Democratic National Convention.

To continue reading: Former CIA Chief Brennan Running Scared

The Pentagon and Hollywood’s successful and deadly propaganda alliance, by Michael McCaffrey

Hollywood has long been, with a few exceptions, a cheerleader for and in bed with the military. From Michael McCaffrey at rt.com:

The Pentagon helps Hollywood to make money and, in turn, Hollywood churns out effective propaganda for the brutal American war machine.

The US has the largest military budget in the world, spending over $611 billion – far larger than any other nation on Earth. The US military also has at their disposal the most successful propaganda apparatus the world has ever known… Hollywood.

Since their collaboration on the first Best Picture winner ‘Wings’ in 1927, the US military has used Hollywood to manufacture and shape its public image in over 1,800 films and TV shows. Hollywood has, in turn, used military hardware in their films and TV shows to make gobs and gobs of money. A plethora of movies like ‘Lone Survivor,’ ‘Captain Philips,’ and even blockbuster franchises like ‘Transformers’ and Marvel, DC and X-Men superhero movies have agreed to cede creative control in exchange for use of US military hardware over the years.

It’s Sunday and did you know the works with to ensure the is correctly portrayed in films? Find out how these partnerships work: https://go.usa.gov/xneSX .

Be sure to follow our coverage over on @DoDOutreach!

In order to obtain cooperation from the Department of Defense (DoD), producers must sign contracts that guarantee a military approved version of the script makes it to the big screen. In return for signing away creative control, Hollywood producers save tens of millions of dollars from their budgets on military equipment, service members to operate the equipment, and expensive location fees.

Capt. Russell Coons, director of the Navy Office of Information West, told Al Jazeera what the military expects for their cooperation: “We’re not going to support a program that disgraces a uniform or presents us in a compromising way.”

Phil Strub, the DOD chief Hollywood liaison, says the guidelines are clear. “If the filmmakers are willing to negotiate with us to resolve our script concerns, usually we’ll reach an agreement. If not, filmmakers are free to press on without military assistance.

To continue reading: The Pentagon & Hollywood’s successful and deadly propaganda alliance

America’s Troll Farm Media, by Gerald Sussman

For good reason, most Americans no longer trust the media. From Gerald Sussman at counterpunch.org:

Despite all the smoke and mirrors, most Americans seem to see where the stenographers of corporate capitalism are taking us. A recent Gallup poll found that while 84% of Americans see media as “critical” or “very important” to democracy, only 28% see the corporatist mainstream news media (MSM) as actually supporting democracy. They’re right on both counts of course.  The quality of a democracy is only as good as the information people have to make informed judgements about public policy and politicians.

Even as the mainstream news media continue to lose street cred, they persist in a rumor-saturated full court press against the “Trump-Putin presidency,” which only further exposes their lack of professionalism and increasing vulgarity. MSM management and their boardroom bosses have long understood that as long as they spice up their “nothing burger” news, ratings and advertising rates will keep them in business and please their commercial and government clients. Tabloid journalism, which can describe most American mainstream media these days, even when wrapped up as “all the news that’s fit to print,” is in constant search of sensation, scandal, gossip, and profit – and only occasionally in public-oriented investigative integrity.

What else does the citizenry have to say? A mere 18% have “a lot” of trust in the MSM, while 74% see them as “biased” (Pew Research, July 2016). A study by the Harvard-Harris polling organization in May 2017 confirmed this, finding that 65 percent of Americans consider the so-called “free press” biased, obsessed with scandal, and full of “fake news” and therefore cannot be trusted. Among the concurring are a majority of both Democrats (53%) and Independents (60%) as well as 80% of Republicans. Amongst the “informed public,” trust in American institutions in general, that is, the government, business, NGOs, and the MSM, is going through the worst crisis in recorded history, according to the marketing firm Edelman in 2018. The US is the lowest rated of the 28 countries surveyed by the firm on this measure. This is not consistent with the image of a serious “democracy.”

To continue reading: America’s Troll Farm Media