The CIA leaking to hurt the President..( long, but interesting)

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Stephanie, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. Stephanie
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    Stephanie Diamond Member Supporting Member

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    What the CIA is willing to do to hurt the Bush administration.
    by John Hinderaker
    11/30/2005 12:00:00 AM

    THE CIA'S WAR against the Bush administration is one of the great untold stories of the past three years. It is, perhaps, the agency's most successful covert action of recent times. The CIA has used its budget to fund criticism of the administration by former Democratic officeholders. The agency allowed an employee, Michael Scheuer, to publish and promote a book containing classified information, as long as, in Scheuer's words, "the book was being used to bash the president." However, the agency's preferred weapon has been the leak. In one leak after another, generally to the New York Times or the Washington Post, CIA officials have sought to undermine America's foreign policy. Usually this is done by leaking reports or memos critical of administration policies or skeptical of their prospects. Through it all, our principal news outlets, which share the agency's agenda and profit from its torrent of leaks, have maintained a discreet silence about what should be a major scandal.

    Recent events indicate that the CIA might even be willing to compromise the effectiveness of its own covert operations, if by doing so it can damage the Bush administration. The story began last May, when the New York Times outed an undercover CIA operation by identifying private companies that operated airlines for the agency. The Times fingered Aero Contractors Ltd., Pegasus Technologies, and Tepper Aviation as CIA-controlled entities. It described their aircraft and charted the routes they fly. Most significantly, the Times revealed one

    of the most secret uses to which these airlines were put:


    When the Central Intelligence Agency wants to grab a suspected member of Al Qaeda overseas and deliver him to interrogators in another country, an Aero Contractors plane often does the job.

    The Times went on to trace specific flights by the airlines it unmasked, which corresponded to the capture of key al Qaeda leaders:


    Flight logs show a C.I.A. plane left Dulles within 48 hours of the capture of several Al Qaeda leaders, flying to airports near the place of arrest. They included Abu Zubaida, a close aide to Osama bin Laden, captured on March 28, 2002; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who helped plan 9/11 from Hamburg, Germany, on Sept. 10, 2002; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashri, the Qaeda operational chief in the Persian Gulf region, on Nov. 8, 2002; and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the architect of 9/11, on March 1, 2003.

    A jet also arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from Dulles on May 31, 2003, after the killing in Saudi Arabia of Yusuf Bin-Salih al-Ayiri, a propagandist and former close associate of Mr. bin Laden, and the capture of Mr. Ayiri's deputy, Abdullah al-Shabrani.

    Flight records sometimes lend support to otherwise unsubstantiated reports. Omar Deghayes, a Libyan-born prisoner in the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, has said through his lawyer that four Libyan intelligence service officers appeared in September in an interrogation cell.

    Aviation records cannot corroborate his claim that the men questioned him and threatened his life. But they do show that a Gulfstream V registered to one of the C.I.A. shell companies flew from Tripoli, Libya, to Guantánamo on Sept. 8, the day before Mr. Deghayes reported first meeting the Libyan agents. The plane stopped in Jamaica and at Dulles before returning to the Johnston County Airport, flight records show.

    The Times reported that its sources included "interviews with former C.I.A. officers and pilots." It seems difficult to believe that the information conveyed in those interviews was unclassified. But if the agency made any objection to the Times's disclosure, it has not been publicly recorded. And the agency's flood of leaks to the Times continued.

    The other shoe dropped on November 2, when the Washington Post revealed, in a front-page story, the destinations to which many terrorists were transported by the CIA's formerly-secret airlines--a covert network of detention centers in Europe and Thailand:


    The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

    The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

    The Post's story caused a sensation, as the "current and former intelligence officials" who leaked the classified information to the newspaper must have expected it would. The leakers evidently included officials from the highest levels of the CIA; the Post noted that the facilities' existence and location "are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few

    top intelligence officers in each host country." Further, the paper said that it "is not publishing the names of the Eastern European countries involved in the covert program, at the request of senior U.S. officials." So this top-secret leak was apparently not a rogue operation. On the contrary, it appears to have been consistent with the agency's longstanding campaign against the Bush administration, which plainly has been sanctioned (if not perpetrated) by officials at the agency's highest levels.

    Both the Post and the leaking officials knew that publication of the secret-prisons leak would damage American interests:


    [T]he CIA has not even acknowledged the existence of its black sites. To do so, say officials familiar with the program, could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad.

    The damage foreseen by CIA leakers quickly came to pass. Anti-American elements in a number of European countries demanded investigations into the use of their countries' airports and air space by civilian airlines that are known or suspected CIA fronts. In Spain, the foreign minister testified before a parliamentary committee that no laws were broken in what allegedly were CIA-linked civilian landings in Majorca. But that site will be closed to the agency in the future:


    [H]e said the government would immediately step up checks on civilian aircraft that flew over or stopped in Spanish territory to make sure they were civilian flights. If necessary, the government would implement more exhaustive checks inside aircraft, he said.

    Similar outcries and investigations occurred in the Canary Islands, Portugal, Norway, and Sweden.

    The twin leaks to the Times and the Post have severely impaired the agency's ability to carry out renditions, transport prisoners, and maintain secret detention facilities. It is striking that top-level CIA officials are evidently willing to do serious damage to their own agency's capabilities and operations for the sake of harming the Bush administration and impeding administration policies with which they disagree.

    The CIA is an agency in crisis. Perhaps, though, there is a ray of hope: the agency has referred the secret-prison leak to the Post to the Justice Department for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. It is a bitter irony that until now, the only one out of dozens of CIA-related leaks known to have resulted in a criminal investigation was the Valerie Plame disclosure, which was trivial in security terms, but unique in that it helped, rather than hurt, the Bush administration.


    John Hinderaker is a contributing writer to THE DAILY STANDARD and a contributor to the blog Power Line.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/417aldhj.asp?pg=1
     
  2. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    An agency in crisis (and fighting for the status quo) is the right description. The CIA must be totally reformed from its functioning during the Clinton Administration to be a vital national asset. Let's hope the Bush Administration can clean house and rid the CIA of the "insurgency within".
     
  3. tim_duncan2000
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    tim_duncan2000 Active Member

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    Of course the only leak story the media is interested in is this Valerie Plame bullshit. :rolleyes:
     
  4. Hobbit
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    Hobbit Senior Member

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    So, shouldn't these guys get indicted for misappropriation of funds? I didn't even think it was lawful for the CIA to operate in the U.S. without special permission from Congress or the President or something.
     
  5. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    Well, the CIA "insurgents" didn't get quite the leverage they were hoping for with the Plame story, so now they have floated the secret prison story to see if they can do any better with that one.
     
  6. Adam's Apple
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    Adam's Apple Senior Member

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    A follow-up to Stephanie's post from Mona Charen.

    Investigate the CIA
    By Mona Charen, The Conservative Voice
    December 01, 2005

    The Dec. 1 edition of The New York Times carried a story about the damage done to U.S. interests by the revelation that the CIA maintains a number of secret interrogation prisons for terrorists in Europe and elsewhere.
    ("Reports of Secret U.S. Prisons in Europe Draw Ire and Otherwise Red Faces.") Governments throughout the continent are now demanding explanations from the U.S. Department of State and otherwise strutting their outrage that the U.S. might be kidnapping suspected terrorists from European soil and transferring them to other nations.

    How did this bit of classified information become public? It was a leak from within the CIA (to The Washington Post in that case) -- and a breathtaking one at that. Though the agency has been steadily leaking damaging stories about the Bush administration since 9/11, it has now crossed a new threshold with a leak that severely damages CIA activities and arguably harms national security -- all for the sake of crippling George W. Bush.

    Most people outside the Beltway, as well as many within it, still think of the CIA as the home of swashbuckling hardliners who break all the rules in order to advance America's national interests. Not in this century. As attorney and former counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee Victoria Toensing put it, "Derring-do is dead." When she interviewed a CIA station chief in a major country, he bragged about the diversity of his operatives rather than their accomplishments. Political correctness reigns in the U.S. government at every level, and the CIA is no exception. The result is an agency that is conducting a steady leak campaign against President Bush designed to discredit the Iraq war and undermine the war on terror.

    Thomas Joscelyn of The Weekly Standard analyzes another leak by the agency, this one concerning the relationship between al Qaeda and Iraq. On June 9, 2003, The New York Times reported that captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah had told CIA interrogators that there was no link between Iraq and al Qaeda. (Headline: "Captives Deny Qaeda Worked with Baghdad.") Only a year later, when the Senate Intelligence Committee issued its own report on intelligence in Iraq, did the full context of the Zubaydah quote become clear. The unabridged quote included this statement: "Abu Zubaydah indicated that he had heard that an important al-Qaeda associate, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and others had good relationships with Iraqi intelligence." Why did the CIA leaker not include that quote in his or her discussions with the Times reporter? Was the agency cherry-picking its intelligence? For more extensive examples of CIA leaking, see "Leaking at All Costs" by John Hinderaker, The Weekly Standard. Hinderaker describes the CIA's campaign against the president as "one of the great untold stories of the past three years."

    The CIA has been known to hold up the publication of books by former employees for months or more on national security grounds. And CIA employees are required to sign a confidentiality agreement. Yet the agency permitted an active employee, Michael Scheuer (he has since retired), to pen a broadside against the Bush administration under the provocative pen name "Anonymous." In "Imperial Hubris," Scheuer lambastes Bush for what he calls the "avaricious, premeditated, unprovoked war" against Iraq, and argues (in the Cindy Sheehan mode) that under Bush's leadership, America has declined from "the much-admired champion of liberty and self-government to the hated and feared advocate of a new imperial order." These are the words of one of the CIA's top counterterrorism officials.

    And there is the peculiar story of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. The CIA permitted Wilson to publish an op-ed about his mission to Niger in order to damage the president though the agency knew a) that Wilson's claims in the op-ed were quite different from his verbal report about the trip, and b) that the identity of Wilson's wife (who was, after all, the expert on WMDs) would probably come to light. Toensing, who has urged the Congress to investigate the CIA, further notes that Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Scooter Libby includes this allegation in paragraph 5: "On or about June 9, 2003, a number of classified documents from the CIA were faxed to the Office of the Vice President. . . . The documents, which were marked as classified, discussed, among other things, Wilson and his trip to Niger, but did not mention Wilson by name. After receiving these documents, Libby and one or more other persons . . . handwrote the names 'Wilson' and 'Joe Wilson' on the documents." Sinister? But at this time, Wilson was actively talking to the press and would publish his own op-ed in July.

    The CIA is no longer in the business of political assassination. It has, however, moved on to character assassination. The oversight committees of the Congress would do well to investigate.

    http://www.theconservativevoice.com/articles/article.html?id=10418
     

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