Intelligence

The Dark Side of ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Movie-goers across America can now see the hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” and its graphic portrayal of torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distort the facts and ignore the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, writes Marjorie Cohn.

Waking Up to Iran’s Real History

Americans have a deeply distorted understanding of Iran and what has driven that country’s political change over the past six decades. This false history has become the backdrop for a possible new war, as David Swanson notes in reviewing a new book, Waking Up in Tehran.

The Grilling that Brennan Deserves

Exclusive: When President Obama’s national security nominees reach the Senate, the toughest challenge is expected against Chuck Hagel for Defense, but CIA Director-designee John Brennan has more to explain about his work over the past decade on the terror war’s “dark side,” says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

The Moral Challenge of ‘Kill Lists’

From the Archive: In naming counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to be the new CIA director, President Obama praised Brennan’s work ethic, but there are other more pressing ethical issues tied to this promotion, like the morality of “kill lists” that Brennan maintained, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern noted last May.

Excusing Torture, Again

Exclusive: The neocon Washington Post let ex-CIA official Jose Rodriguez, who oversaw waterboarding and other torture and then destroyed the videotaped evidence, make his case that there was no torture, just effective interrogation that helped get Osama bin Laden. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern disagrees.

How FBI Monitored Occupy Movement

The FBI and other federal agencies coordinated with banks and local authorities in reacting to the Occupy Movement, which was put in the category of a domestic terrorist threat despite the group’s advocacy of nonviolence, Dennis J. Bernstein reports.

An Incurious ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

Exclusive: Zero Dark Thirty, the big-screen chronicling of the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, has been hailed by some critics for its taut storytelling, but it fails to confront the larger questions about 9/11, including the complex history between the CIA and its target, writes Jim DiEugenio.

The Why Behind the Benghazi Attack

From the Archive: A State Department inquiry found serious lapses in security at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, where the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans died in an assault last Sept. 11. But the CIA’s connection is still downplayed, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman noted last month.

Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War

Exclusive: Gen. David Petraeus was so cozy with neocon think-tankers that he ensconced two of them in his Afghan War command and granted them top-secret access to U.S. military policy. One later leveraged Petraeus’s friendship to impress military contractors for funding support, writes Robert Parry.

Iraq War’s Fallout in Syria

Repercussions from the disastrous Iraq War continue to reverberate through the Middle East, now with battle-hardened jihadists crossing into Syria and taking a key role in that civil war. A U.S. attempt to isolate them with a terrorist designation is likely to fail, says the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.