Tag: CIA

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

The Blowback from Interventionism

American foreign policy remains locked in a cycle of violence, with the Obama administration failing to escape the neocon insistence on a swaggering “tough-guy-ism” abroad. That reliance on military intervention also comes with the cost of “blowback,” as ex-CIA analyst…

Obsessing Too Much on ‘Terror’

After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. intelligence community threw extraordinary resources into the hunt for al-Qaeda terrorists, so much so that some experts fear a possible new blindness to other threats, a dilemma addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.