Archive for the ‘CIA’ Tag

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Jon Stewart “Well, by now we’ve all had an opportunity to digest, in all its putrid glory, the shocking acts carried out by our government after 9/11 in the name of keeping us safe.  From forced rectal hydration to a half naked prisoner dying of hypothermia chained to a floor.  On the other hand, isn’t 24 hours long enough for us to feel bad about ourselves as a country?  There’s got to be myriad ways we can minimize this.  To the push back mobile.”

Reporter “George Tenet was the head of the CIA…He maintains that it wasn’t torture.”

Reporter “Dick Cheney is slamming the release of this report and the references to, he says, so called torture.”

Reporter speaking to former CIA director Michael Hayden “General, do you think what took place was torture?”

Hayden “No, legally not.”

Stewart “Look, I understand the release of this report puts these gentlemen in a stressful and painful position and that they would probably say anything to make it stop.  But, not torture?  I mean, sleep deprivation, forced stress positions, waterboarding, beatings.  I’m sorry, I’m reading that from what the Germans did to US soldiers and our allies in World War II, which we subsequently treated as war crimes and prosecuted in the Nuremberg trials.  My confusion.”

http://thedailyshow.cc.com/videos/h3d8hb/america-s-got-torture

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John Oliver “Speaking of the President, he ended this week having to deal with the imminent release of a major report on the CIA and torture. Leaks suggest that this country is about to have to confront the brutality that has been committed in it’s name.  And, the President attempted to prepare us all for that in a bizarrely casual way.”

President Obama “We did some things that were wrong.  We did a whole lot of things that were right.  But, we tortured some folks.”

Oliver “What? Folks?  When you are admitting one of the darkest chapters in recent American history, it’s maybe best to not come off like an old man in a Country Time lemonade commercial.  ‘Well, that was the day I met your grandmother.  We spent the whole afternoon at the county fair.  Then, that night we tortured some folks.  We did it, and we’ve been together, that’s our story.’  Even the CIA’s conduct toward the Senate committee that wrote the report is proving to be controversial.  Back in March Diane Feinstein (D-CA) accused them of hacking in to the Senate committee’s computers, which CIA director John Brennan thought sounded crazy.”

Brennan March 11, 2014 “The allegations of CIA hacking into Senate computers, nothing could be further from the truth.  We wouldn’t do that.  That’s just beyond the scope of reason.”

Oliver “Uh huh, OK, beyond the scope of reason.  I get it.  Guess what?”

Reporter “CIA director John Brennan apologized today after an internal investigation determined the agency had spied on staff members of the United States Senate.”

Oliver “OK, so it wasn’t so much beyond the scope of reason as it was nestled extremely deep within the scope of reason…This man has either lied to Senators or been guilty of not knowing what his own agency was doing.  At the very least this has got to knock the President’s confidence in John Brennan.”

President Obama “I have full confidence in John Brennan.”

Oliver “How?  How is that possible?  The only way you can have full 100% confidence in him, is if you somehow had 300% confidence in him before all of this happened. In fact Mr President, let me try and put this in terms you might understand.  You really might want to consider disciplining some folks.”

 

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Megyn Kelly – Fox News: Let me ask you about DOD [Department of Defense]. Because I know your report concludes that DOD officials believed nearly from the onset that this was a terrorist attack and not some sort of a protest gone awry. Now, I want to get specific, because so many people have said, ‘So then why did Susan Rice go out and talk about protests? Why did she mention a video?’ But the CIA talking points, the very first draft that went out and was circulated, that Susan Rice ultimately was provided, that top officials ultimately saw, talked about a protest. They did. The CIA actually came out, I want to look at it here, and said this is a draft from September 14th, 11:15 am, ‘We believe based on currently available information that the attacks in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the embassy in Cairo and evolved into a direct assault.’ So, tell me, does that — does it or does it not answer the question about how our officials started to come out and talk about protests and the video?

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/02/12/fox-host-finally-accepts-the-truth-about-bengha/198030

 

Posted February 15, 2014 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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Peter Ludlow (New York Times):

To get some perspective on the manipulative role that private intelligence agencies play in our society, it is worth examining information that has been revealed by some significant hacks in the past few years of previously secret data.

Important insight into the world these companies came from a 2010 hack by a group best known as LulzSec  (at the time the group was called Internet Feds), which targeted the private intelligence firm HBGary Federal.  That hack yielded 75,000 e-mails.  It revealed, for example, that Bank of America approached the Department of Justice over concerns about information that WikiLeaks had about it.  The Department of Justice in turn referred Bank of America to the lobbying firm Hunton and Willliams, which in turn connected the bank with a group of information security firms collectively known as Team Themis.

Team Themis (a group that included HBGary and the private intelligence and security firms Palantir Technologies, Berico Technologies and Endgame Systems) was effectively brought in to find a way to undermine the credibility of WikiLeaks and the journalist Glenn Greenwald (who recently broke the story of Edward Snowden’s leak of the N.S.A.’s Prism program),  because of Greenwald’s support for WikiLeaks. Specifically, the plan called for actions to “sabotage or discredit the opposing organization” including a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error. As for Greenwald, it was argued that he would cave “if pushed” because he would “choose professional preservation over cause.” That evidently wasn’t the case………

……Several months after the hack of HBGary, a Chicago area activist and hacker named Jeremy Hammond successfully hacked into another private intelligence firm — Strategic Forcasting Inc., or Stratfor), and released approximately five million e-mails. This hack provided a remarkable insight into how the private security and intelligence companies view themselves vis a vis government security agencies like the C.I.A. In a 2004 e-mail to Stratfor employees, the firm’s founder and chairman George Friedman was downright dismissive of the C.I.A.’s capabilities relative to their own:  “Everyone in Langley [the C.I.A.] knows that we do things they have never been able to do with a small fraction of their resources. They have always asked how we did it. We can now show them and maybe they can learn.”

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/14/the-real-war-on-reality/?smid=fb-share

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John Fugelsang:

Today we got to watch the John Brennan confirmation hearings for CIA director, and I gotta say Mr. Brennan came off as the most thoughtful, soft-spoken, reflective man who could also kill you with his bare hands.

John Brennan was kind of like all the members of the Fantastic Four rolled into one — he looks kind of like “The Thing,” he talks like Reed Richards, he can easily set things on fire halfway across the world and he knows how to make CIA docs invisible.

Now, I know that the media’s been trumpeting that drone bombings enjoy widespread support. But so does Honey Boo Boo, and that doesn’t make it right.

Of course, drone warfare is preferable to putting U.S. troops in harm’s way. And it’s the future of warfare, whether we like it or not. Personally, I think anybody who wants to send machines into battle for us needs to watch the first three “Terminator” films.

But I was surprised that no one asked Mr. Brennan about how drone bombs don’t just kill America haters — they create new ones.

I was surprised no one asked him why all adult males are considered combatants and that’s how they keep the civilian death casualties numbers so low.

I was surprised no one asked him about the CIA’s new definition of the word “imminent” for all those imminent threats. Turns out, all they have to do is think you might be a threat one day. Nothing like a little pre-emptive Bush/Cheney nostalgia — forgive us our trespasses as we trespass against those we think might one day trespass against us.

But I guess I was most surprised by Mr. Brennan’s unwillingness to say if waterboarding was torture. He said, “I can’t say if it’s torture, I’m not a lawyer.” The only thing we learned for sure today was that John Brennan should’ve coached Chuck Hagel.

Now, to his credit Mr. Brennan was totally against waterboarding — but is OK with killing Americans for stuff they haven’t done yet because they’re an imminent threat that’s not necessarily imminent. That’s a Jersey thing.

A lot of Democrats will be upset by any criticism of President Obama, but I gotta say, some of us criticize him because we care about his legacy, and even the most hardcore down-the-line Obama defender has to acknowledge it’s a bit screwy to have policies in a world like this where he gets to keep the Nobel Peace Prize but Milli Vanilli had to give the Grammy back.

See, what most Americans don’t know — or don’t think about — won’t hurt them. In fact, I’m pretty sure you could open a waterboarding salon for the housewives of Beverly Hills as long as you told them it was good for the pores.

It’s a certainty, my friends, that Mr. Brennan will be confirmed. I hope he will keep America safe, change the policies that keep America hated and prevent people from wanting to kill Americans — because that’s the only way a so-called war on terror will or can ever be won.

http://current.com/shows/viewpoint/videos/john-fugelsang-on-why-john-brennan-is-like-all-the-members-of-the-fantastic-four-rolled-into-one/

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On his Friday show, Bill Moyers had Vincent Warren, the executive director for the Center for Constitutional Rights, and Vicki Divoll, who used to serve as a legal advisor to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, to discuss torture, drone strikes, and President Obama.

Divoll also authored an op-ed for the New York Times last month, titled, “Who Says You Can Kill Americans, Mr. President?”

Vicki Divoll, who worked at the CIA until 2000, said that during her time at the intelligence organization, “harsh interrogation, detention, and certainly killing were not on the table. You would have been laughed out of a conference room if you brought up any tactics such as those, at that time.”

Warren said that he was deeply troubled by the secrecy of the Obama administration in regards to torture. “Clearly the Senate Intelligence Committee wants to and needs to keep some of this stuff classified. But we run into this problem where if you look historically, the only way that a country and certainly a country like the United States can torture is if they do it in secret, right? There was a connection between the secrecy and the torture.”

When Moyers asked if Obama was “fighting the war on terror within the rule of law,” Warren replied, “I do not. In fact, I know that he is not.”

Divoll was somewhat more lenient, saying, “I am concerned that he may not be. But I’m not going to go quite so far as to say that he is not following the rule of law. I think his lawyers have told him he is and he believes them.”

Warren asserted that “There’s no judicial oversight for how they determine who they’re going to kill and who they don’t want to kill.”

In regards to Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen killed overseas by the government, Divoll said that there is “plenty of evidence that lots of people are suspected of doing lots of things. And that doesn’t mean we shoot them from the sky.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/02/01/moyers-guest-on-drone-strikes-governments-interpretation-of-the-law-is-akin-to-a-state-secret/

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Tom Ricks, author of the Generals on Morning Joe on MSNBC “It’s harder in these smaller, unpopular wars, to know what success looks like.  World War II, it was pretty clear what we were doing.  Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, these have been messy smaller unpopular wars.  That said, we did know what success looked like when David Petraeus achieved it in Iraq.  Now, I think his mission was to get us out of Iraq, and he achieved it.  So yes, success …

Mike Barnacle “Was Petraeus a great general?”

Ricks “I think Petraeus is a terrific general.”

Barnacle “What about Tommy Franks?”

Ricks “I call him, in my book, a two time loser.  Most generals only get a chance to screw up one war.  He screwed up two, Afghanistan and Iraq.  Here’s a guy who thought it was a net gain to push al-Quaeda from Afghanistan to Pakistan, who thought it was a good idea to let Osama bin Laden escape.  The CIA said put a regiment of Army Rangers on the Pak border to stop the escape, and Franks and Donald Rumsfeld said no.  We could have got bin Laden if they had followed the CIA’s repeated request in late 01.”

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Richard Wolf at the end of Morning Joe saying what he learned on the show today “11 commanders in 11 years in Afghanistan and we wonder why we don’t have a strategy.”

Posted November 8, 2012 by tmusicfan in Politics, Quote of the Day

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