Tag Archive for CIA

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The Lasting Pain from Vietnam Silence

Scene from the Vietnam War

Exclusive: Many reflections on America’s final days in Vietnam miss the point, pondering whether the war could have been won or lamenting the fate of U.S. collaborators left behind. The bigger questions are why did the U.S. go to war and why wasn’t the bloodletting stopped sooner, as ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern reflects.

Rearranging the Chairs at CIA

CIA Director John Brennan.

CIA Director Brennan wants to make his mark on the spy agency by shifting around the lines of authority to merge analysts and operatives into specialized “mission centers,” but the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages, according to ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

CIA at 50, Lost in the ‘Politicization’ Swamp

Former CIA Director (and later Defense Secretary) Robert Gates.

From the Archive: Almost 20 years ago – even before the Iraq WMD fiasco – as the CIA was celebrating its half-century anniversary, the impact of a Reagan-era “reorganization” was being felt in the “politicization” of intelligence, Robert Parry wrote in 1997. Now, a new reorganization could make matters worse.

Petraeus: Poster Child for Double Standards

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

Official Washington’s influential neocons love former CIA Director (and retired Gen.) David Petraeus so much that his hand-slap punishment for exposing secrets, including agent identities, was applauded by many despite the double standard of harsh penalties for others, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s CIA Plan

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The original idea of the CIA was to have independent-minded experts assessing both short- and longer-term threats to U.S. national security. Mixing with operations and politics was always a danger, which is now highlighted by CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization, opposed by a group of U.S. intelligence veterans.

A Dangerous CIA ‘Reform’

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

From the Archive: Ignoring the CIA’s original purpose – to coordinate intelligence and provide unbiased analyses to U.S. presidents to avert another Pearl Harbor – CIA Director Brennan is pressing ahead with a plan to merge operations with analysis, a scheme that ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman panned last year.

Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: While lesser Americans face years in jail for leaking secrets – even to inform fellow citizens of government abuses – retired Gen. David Petraeus gets a misdemeanor wrist-slap for exposing covert officers and lying about it, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was jailed just for trying to ask Petraeus a question.

Planting False Evidence on Iran

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence, writes Norman Solomon.

Ronald Reagan’s Torture

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt.

From the Archive: George W. Bush’s torture policies may have been extraordinary in the direct participation of U.S. personnel but they were far from unique, with Ronald Reagan having followed a similar path in his anti-leftist wars in Central America, as Robert Parry reported in 2009.

Convicting Sterling to Chill Whistleblowing

Courtroom sketch of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by Debra Van Poolen (http://www.debvanpoolen.com/)

In the cause of protecting government secrets, the CIA and Justice Department made an example of ex-CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling by convicting him of exposing a dubious covert operation without presenting clear-cut evidence that he did, a chilling message to others, notes Norman Solomon.