Tag Archive for CIA

Fixing Intel Around the Syria Policy

President Barack Obama speaking to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24, 2013. (UN photo)

Exclusive: Senior U.S. intelligence analysts disagreed with the Obama administration’s certainty that the Syrian government was behind the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack, but that dissent was suppressed amid the rush to a near war, reports Robert Parry.

The CIA’s Drone-Strike Revenge

Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a reported CIA drone strike on Nov. 1, 2013.

Despite President Obama’s plan to curtail the use of lethal drones, he assented to a CIA strike this month against a Taliban leader as part of the CIA’s revenge for a 2009 suicide bombing that killed seven of its people, reports Gareth Porter for Inter Press Service.

Geopolitics of the Drone

The U.S. drone program has decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups, but it also has alienated people and governments in countries on the front lines by killing civilians and disrupting political alliances, a complexity often missed by the U.S. media, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.

Making the Economy ‘Scream’

Exclusive: In the past when the CIA targeted a troublesome government, a key part of the strategy was to make the economy “scream” to get the people ready for regime change. This tactic now appears to have come home to roost in the Right’s efforts to destabilize President Obama’s government, writes Robert Parry.

The Mysterious Death of a UN Hero

Exclusive: More than a half-century ago – at a pivotal moment in the emergence of independent African states – UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold was brokering peace in a divisive civil war in Congo when he died in a plane crash, leaving behind an enduring Cold War mystery, as Lisa Pease reports.

The Risk from Distorting Intelligence

The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Who’s to Blame for NSA Excesses?

After a terrorist attack – like Benghazi or the Boston Marathon – the press, pols and much of the public decry the failure to prevent the violence, but the mood shifts amid disclosures of intrusive means to counter threats. This ambivalence can put government officials in an impossible spot, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The Painful Truths Told by Phil Agee

Truly objective journalism would value facts and accuracy above all else, but the mainstream U.S. press – while pretending to be “objective” – treasures faux patriotism much more, as is evident with recent whistleblowers as it was with the hostility toward the late Phil Agee who exposed CIA crimes, as William Blum recalls.

Regret over Gary Webb’s Demise

Exclusive: For several decades, mainstream U.S. journalists have fled from the career-threatening label “liberal,” even to the point of destroying honest colleagues who got in the crosshairs of the Right. The story of the late Gary Webb and his Contra-cocaine revelations was a troubling case in point, writes Robert Parry.

The Real Benghazi Scandal

The Republican fixation on Benghazi “talking points” has obscured the bigger scandal of last September’s fatal attacks, the CIA’s use of the consulate as an operational base without sufficient security. That failure underscores a series of other unexamined intelligence failures, says ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.