Archive for CIA – Page 2

CIA Attempt To Kill Fmr. Spy Chief And Defense Secretary Gates Foiled

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Robert Gates

It's actually quite easy to start rumors. Both major political parties do it all the time. They take minuscule facts -- it's always good to start with a little verifiable foundation -- then spin it in fantastical ways.

Take the case of Robert Gates, the 26 year spy veteran, former CIA chief as well as Bush US Defense Secretary. He's the guy with all the secrets and knows literally where all the bodies are buried. He's been retired for a few years now, so chances are he doesn't pose too much of a risk. Or does he?

He's got a new book coming out, a tell-all memoir, later this month. That's got a lot of politicians and spies jumpy. What if he does a Snowden or Chelsea Bradley job. His publisher, Knopf has described "DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary At War" as an eye-opening exposé . Biographile.com:

In his new book, Gates notes his story will be "principally about" Iraq and Afghanistan. Our gains in both countries were "squandered," Gates says, "by mistakes, shortsightedness, and conflict in the field as well as in Washington, leading to long, brutal campaigns to avert strategic defeat.

Something as potentially explosive as this sent shivers through Washington and especially the 'Company.' Those spies don't like having their secrets revealed and they might have taken steps to silence their former darling and Republican operative.

Just a few days ago, New Years Day, the top secrets keeper took a suspicious fall in his home, fracturing his first vertebrae.

This injury is not expected to curtail his book promotion. Then again, Gen. George S. Patton sustained a a similar 3rd vertebrae injury, not unlike the one Gates suffered, and he was dead within two days of a hospital stay. Controversy and conspiracy theories continue today as to how Patton, who Eisenhower despised, was recovering enough to be readied to leave the German hospital for a return to the US, then suddenly died. And in his case, there was no autopsy and no formal investigation into the "accident" driver responsible.

Will this happen to Gates?

Taking the facts and spinning them just a little, here's the story as a rumor monger or conspiracy theorist might analyze it.

Early New Year's Day, two operatives secretly entered the home of Robert Gates who's in his bedroom on the second floor in his two story home. He's just gotten dressed and hears a noise downstairs. He goes to investigate. At the top of the landing he sees operative number one. Gates turns to retrieve his gun from his bedside nightstand. That's when he's surprised by operative number two who pushes Gates down the stairs, tumbling toward his death. While operative number two hurries down the stairs, operative number one checks for vital signs, to see if the "accidental fall" permanently took out the former Director. When they see he's still alive, they're about to inject him with a lethal dose of meds that will make it look like he's had a heart attack -- to make the fall look accidental.

But suddenly the two "spooks" hear someone coming from upstairs, responding to the thuds of Gates fall. The approaching footsteps scare away the two agents before they can finish their job.

Gates, who's book was going to reveal some very shameful and illegal activities by the Bush administration during the Iraq war survives. He decides its safer to keep the details of the botched assassination attempt on his life quiet for now, hoping once the book is released he won't be harmed. Now, with 24 hour security covering him like stink on fresh dog poop, the next CIA assassination attempt will have to wait or be called off.

Of course the Republican spin machine is torn on whether to blame the Democrats or keep silent, as the condemning material in the Gates book might get some unwanted attention, embarrassing the GOP demagogues and setting the more liberal or progressive tongues wagging. Only time will tell.

Watch for Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity to grab this story and run with it.

Okay, this is just speculation. But take the facts. Put a little GOP conservative fairy dust on them and you have this story. Will this be tomorrow's headlines? I'm just sayin'!

Follow me on Twitter: @Linzack

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Video- The Daily Show: Charlatan's Web

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Call Me, Irresponsible, Call Me John McCain

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shut up

Once again, it's Sunday's favorite talking heads GOP puppet John McCain who's running off at the mouth without really thinking of what he's saying. Along with his apology for overstating the significance of the Obama-Raul Castro handshake, McCain took to the winds with another tack.

This time it's the Obama White House not doing enough to find an American who disappeared while on a secret intelligence mission to Iran back in March of 2007. If you start first with the date, you'll find it's nearly two years before Obama was first inaugurated. If we're going to place initial blame on anyone, it should be the Bush Administration which had been in total charge of the CIA for over 7 years at that time.

Initially the report of American Robert Levinson going missing in Iran was that he was a U.S. citizen, a tourist. No mention was made publicly that he actually was a CIA spy. And realistically, getting caught is a routine risk these brave men and women serving in that capacity run. Though I'm not a CIA operative or know for sure, I've certainly heard through numbers of articles and documentaries that agents are told that their affiliation with "the organization" or "the Company" would be denied. So why the CIA didn't come forward to report US spy Robert Levinson went missing and is believed to be in Iranian hands makes a lot of sense.

Yet not to Senator McClain. According to Talking Points Memo:

McCain said he is confident the U.S. is doing all it can to learn what has happened to Robert Levinson, but he told CNN's "State of the Union" the CIA has not been forthcoming with the Congress about him.

With all the leaks the Congress is responsible for -- just look to Darrell Issa as a perfect example -- it's understandable sharing this kind of news with every congressperson is irresponsible. Maybe it was shared, but not with McCain or his committees. It might have been shared with others. Yet even if it wasn't disseminated, who do you point the finger at? I'd think the sitting president who in this case was George W. Bush.

The U.S. long has publicly described Levinson as a private citizen who traveled to an Iranian island on private business. McCain, R-Ariz., told CNN "the CIA did not tell the truth to the Congress" about Levinson.

As of this writing, the Iranian government actually has denied they are holding U.S. Spy, Levinson. and let's hope their right. It was only last week that the issue of Levinson being a CIA operative came to light:

An Associated Press investigation published last week found that Levinson was working for the CIA -- investigating the Iranian government. The U.S. long has publicly described Levinson as a private citizen who traveled to an Iranian island on private business.

How the AP got this info is something the CIA and perhaps congress might want to look into. But to have McCain going out on national television, taking away some deniability by the CIA on this man's true identity and his mission puts Levinson's life in a more precarious position. Frankly, it's irresponsible.

There still is no definitive proof of CIA sanctioned activity by Levinson.

After he vanished, the CIA at first told lawmakers he had previously done contract work for the agency, but he had no current relationship with the agency and there was no connection to Iran. However, in October 2007, Levinson's lawyer discovered emails in which Levinson told a CIA friend that he was working to develop a source with access to the Iranian government. The emails were turned over to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which touched off an internal CIA investigation.

Three veteran analysts were forced out of the CIA and seven others were disciplined as a result of a breach of agency rules.

Well if Levinson went rogue, it was bad enough. Sharing that news with others was his risk. But when this info came to light, the CIA did what it was supposed to do. It notified Congress. More so, it took action by firing and disciplining those guilty of leaking this info or taking part in this activity. Now McCain joins the public fray. Perhaps an investigation sanction against the senator from Arizona is called for.

Darrell Issa, are you listening?

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Political Carnival's Top Secret Proof of Domestic Spying

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ExclusiveA Political Carnival exclusive: with a h/t to foreign correspondent Dave Levenstein in South Africa.

To hear the NSA folks, at least James Clapper, our Director of National Intelligence, domestic phone calls are not being listened to without a FISA issued warrant.

Okay, he lied to Congress. They are being listened to. But the contents are not being shared -- at least publicly, or so Pinocchio Clapper claims. Well we here at the Political Carnival have uncovered the proof by intercepting photos leaked by Edward Snowden and meant for Julian Assange at Wikileaks.

NSA 1

nsa 2

NSA 3

NSA 4

NSA 5

NSA 6

How much more proof do we need?

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Candidate to lead CIA Clandestine Service ran secret 'black site' prison, later approved destruction of torture videos

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lather-rinse-repeat

Oh goody! Just what we need! Go Brennan!

L.A. Times:

The acting chief of the CIA's operations wing ran a secret "black site" prison overseas after the 2001 terrorist attacks and later signed off on the decision to destroy videotapes of brutal interrogations, according to current and former U.S. officials. The woman, who remains undercover, now is one of several candidates that CIA chief John Brennan is considering to head the National Clandestine Service, which conducts espionage overseas and runs the agency's paramilitary operations. [...]

The CIA is preparing to dispute the report's conclusions, sources said.

Via Salon:

[From] Brennan’s December 5, 2005 appearance on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, in which he vehemently defended the Bush administration’s use of rendition — one of the key tools to subject detainees to torture:

JOHN BRENNAN: I think it’s an absolutely vital tool. I have been intimately familiar now over the past decade with the cases of rendition that the U.S. Government has been involved in. And I can say without a doubt that it has been very successful as far as producing intelligence that has saved lives.

[...]

In November, 2007, Brennan — in an interview with CBS News’ Harry Smith — issued a ringing endorsement for so-called “enhanced interrogation tactics” short of waterboarding:

Mr. BRENNAN: There have been a lot of information that has come out from these interrogation procedures that the agency has in fact used against the real hard-core terrorists. It has saved lives. And let’s not forget, these are hardened terrorists who have been responsible for 9/11, who have shown no remorse at all for the deaths of 3,000 innocents.

When in doubt, revive and aggravate existing anger over egregious actions (the now-discredited CIA detention and torture programs) by sticking by and promoting those who were a part of them. That's the way to move forward, everyone knows that.

wtf moments 2013

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Senate Confirms John O. Brennan as C.I.A. Director

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fyi smaller

Via a New York Times news alert:

The Senate on Thursday afternoon approved John O. Brennan’s nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency by a vote of 63 to 34. The vote followed a filibuster by Senator Rand Paul, who spent nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor in pursuit of more information about the administration’s domestic drone policy.

After receiving a brief letter from Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. assuring him that the president does not have the “authority to use a drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil,” Mr. Paul declared his effort a success, and ultimately voted to end debate (though against the nomination), bringing the total votes in favor of cloture to 81 over 16 against.

Just FYI.

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