Why Can’t CIA Handle the Same Level of Oversight the Military Gets?

"We tortured Qahtani," the convening authority for military commissions, Susan Crawford, admitted to Bob Woodward earlier this year. "His treatment met the legal definition of torture."

Though I’m sure it happened, any criticism of Crawford for this admission was muted. I know of no one who claimed that Crawford was causing servicemen and women to be distracted from their core mission of protecting the country. No skies fell, and few claimed they had or would.

But it’s not just Crawford who confessed that the military tortured a Gitmo detainee. Congress, too, has chronicled the ways in which the military tortured detainees. The Senate Armed Services Committee spent eighteen months investigating the way in which the military adapted SERE techniques for use on al Qaeda, Afghan, and Iraqi detainees. Their report describes how techniques approved by Donald Rumsfeld for some circumstances–sleep deprivation and stress positions contributed to homicides in Afghanistan.

In December 2002, two detainees were killed while detained by CITF-180 at Bagram. Though the techniques do not appear to have been included in any written interrogation policy at Bagram, Army investigators concluded that the use of stress positions and sleep deprivation combined with other mistreatment at the hands of Bagram personnel, caused or were direct contributing factors in the two homicides.

It describes how, a month before those homicides, the Special Forces wrote a memo noting their risk in participating in such interrogations.

"we are at risk as we get more ‘creative’ and stray from standard interrogation techniques and procedures taught at DoD and DA schools and detailed in official interrogation manuals."

It describes the CIA’s General Counsel warning DOD that certain units in Iraq were using methods that not even the CIA would use on the same detainees (suggesting the military interrogators were violating the Geneva Conventions in a legal war zone).

CIA General Counsel Scott Muller had called Jim Haynes and told him that the techniques used by military interrogators at the SMU TF facility in Iraq were "more aggressive" than techniques used by CIA to interrogate the same detainees.

It describes the actions those who tortured, those who planned the torture, and those who authorized it.

It describes interrogators stripping detainees, beating them, making them stand for 12 hours, interrogating them for 20 hours, threatening death and the detention of detainee family members, female interrogators touching them inappropriately. It describes the documents that authorized some version of those actions.

It describes James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen developing interrogation plans based on SERE and Colonel Randy Moulton pitching those techniques throughout the military and intelligence services. It describes Major General Dunlavy asking to use harsher interrogation methods in Gitmo and Captain Carolyn Wood adopting the methods from Afghanistan in Iraq. It describes Jim Haynes recommending methods amounting to torture in a mere one page memo and Rummy approving that memo even as he added a snarky comment asking why detainees didn’t have to stand more. It describes David Addington and Alberto Gonzales helping to craft the legal cover for these activities. It describes the multiple warnings, internally, that this program constituted torture.

In short, SASC produced a report that showed how torture was systematically introduced into the military, with the participation of figures from the White House on down to unit commanders. SASC produced that report and–with a reasonable amount of redaction–released it to the public.

And while some Republicans (notably, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s ranking member, Kit Bond) tried to claim the report had been a partisan hit job, none of the Republicans on the Committee dissented in its release: not John McCain, not Jeff Sessions, not even James Inhofe.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates did not write op-eds wailing that such oversight would distract servicemen and women and impede their ability to defend the country. While some people who had personally been involved in setting up Gitmo–most notably Kirk Lippold–have personally attacked Obama for ending torture and moving to close Gitmo, even Lippold’s complaints were not directed against oversight itself.

There were, for a few weeks, claims that Congress’ oversight of the military’s role in torture would make the sky fall, but the sky didn’t fall. Admittedly, there were many more claims that the release of new detainee abuse pictures might make the sky fall, but even there, those cries were directed against ACLU, and not oversight in general.

In this day and age, those Special Forces personnel involved in interrogation are every bit as exposed as the CIA. They did everything the CIA did except perhaps for waterboarding (and some may have even participated in the abusive interrogations of top al Qaeda figures). So the military is just as exposed because of its involvement in torture as the CIA. 

Yet the military withstood oversight and exposure of its role in torture.

Compare that to the CIA’s response, as the Senate Intelligence Committee conducts what appears to be a thorough investigation and as the House Intelligence Committee begins a broader investigation into CIA’s role in covert ops. Such oversight will doom the morale of the men and women at CIA! In doing so, it will distract these professionals and prevent them from doing their jobs! 

And, most recently, the Director of the CIA issued a veiled threat, suggesting CIA shouldn’t use intelligence on Congress (and vice versa).  Imagine the response if, in response to Congressional oversight, the Secretary of Defense were to raise using DOD’s weapons on Congress (which is not to say NSA hasn’t collected some Congressional communications over the years).

I know it’s a perennial game in DC to wail that the intelligence community will simply melt if Congress exercises oversight over it. But really. In the face of DOD withstanding precisely the same kind of oversight Congress is discussing for the CIA, isn’t it time to simply laugh at the cries that the sky is falling?

  1. Gitcheegumee says:

    OT b ut interesting.

    More Kabuki theater??

    Source: ABC News

    Al Qaeda Offers ’Truce’ to President Obama
    August 3, 2009

    Al Qaeda deputy Ayman al Zawahiri, in a newly released video interview, extends a truce offer from the terrorist group to President Obama today if the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan.

    The video references the President’s speech in Cairo in early June, making it at least two months old, and suggesting that despite the U.S. manhunt for the terrorist leader, he is still able to follow current events. Zawahiri, like bin Laden, has a $25M reward for his capture.

    Zawahiri said the truce was a continuation of Osama bin Laden’s 2006 offer to President George W. Bush, which required that U.S. forces leave Afghanistan as well as all Muslim countries in the Middle East. Al Qaeda has often offered truces before launching an attack.

    In the video, bin Laden’s deputy is made to look scholarly in a white turban and white robe, sitting in front of a large bookcase filled with Islamic texts background. Zawahiri appeared healthy, gesturing often with his arms.

    Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/…..038;page=1

  2. Mary says:

    I do have an actual answer for you if you are interested.

    While it is a bit true to say that there’s been some oversight, I guess it depends on what you mean by oversight. Notice that, despite Crawford’s decision (showing she has a pair she could let Obama borrow) no one has ever been brought to any account for the Qhatani torture. When they did have soldiers who forced detainees to jump to their death off bridges, or who engaged in the massive and ongoing, widespread torture of a cabdriver whose legs were left pulverized in his death, or the combined hostage taking of minors, threateing their lives, beating them, getting their father to turn himself in and then parcelling him out for torture and suffocating him to death in a sleeping bag contemporaneous with a staged mock execution of his 15 yo son (so he died thinking his son had been murdered in the next room too) – what was it that happened to those guys? Reprimands? 60 or 90 day detentions. When pilots took out a marked British vehicle and killed the British soldier in the vehicle, didn’t they get promotions?

    Under the SOFAs and non-Sofas-that-we-pretended-were and the way the US has embraced military “law” during the Afghan and Iraq conflicts, soldiers who torture and murder don’t really face much in the way of consequence. Certainly not from a Congress that passed a blanket amnesty in the DTA and MCA and certainly not from the commissions they faced that would hand out things like 60 and 90 day “home and church” detentions for hostage taking, mock executions and torture murder. Contrast the penalty handed out to someone for being a driver for Bin Laden with the penalty handed out for kidnapping a General’s children, torturing them, setting up a mock execution and torturing the General who turned himself in to see his children for days, climaxing in torturing him to death.

    OTOH, the CIA by and large isn’t covered by the military memes that allow for them to get a quickie “tsk tsk” from a military commission or to claim exemption from the reach of civilian courts. If they got to a court, under a civil or criminal charge, a “remand on their record” isn’t a possiblity. They have way more on the line and that’s why they are that much more resistant. The military doesn’t much care what it became, and what it embraced, and what it is doing with the torturers and civilian killers it created and is now sending home. It’s not really anyone in particular’s problem. The CIA agents directly involved in torture have skin in the game. That’s the difference.

  3. Leen says:

    Ew you are clearly not getting the message “move on, next chapter, turn the page” all ready. Stop focusing on what many of the Republicans and some Democrats call “vengeance retribution” or on a “witch hunt”. Your need to focus on torture, false pre war intelligence, the outing of Plame. just demonstates over and over again that you have a conscience and soul and that is just not in demand these days . The message is clearly move on all ready.

    Just a bit difficult to move on climbing over the tens of thousands of dead, tortured, and injured Iraqi , Afghani, Pakistani people and U.s. soldiers bodies.

    Just move on with the rest of the Americans who do not want to think about these crimes

  4. alinaustex says:

    It would be nice if the Leon Panetta that used to be the head of the Monterrey Institute -that regularly spoke out against the torture and abuse perpetrated by gwb 43 -would sit down and have a cup of coffee with the Leon Panetta who is now the DCI -and the former Monterrey Institute Leon would explain to current DCI Leon that homicides , waterboarding, kidnaping of dependents are all criminal acts and that those who orderd them comitted as wells as those that carried out these heinious acts must be brought to justice .

    • newspaperbrat says:

      Leon Panetta wasn’t head of the Monterey Institute but the much more recent Panetta Institute affiliated with the more recent California State University of Monterey Bay.

  5. FormerFed says:

    Panetta has been co-opted completely by Langley. But then, so has Obama, Holder and the rest of the ‘change’ crowd.

    And to be real cynical, so what if the military gets investigated? I agree with Mary that the consequences have been non-existent. Until some GOs and senior civilians go to jail for their actions, nothing is going to change. The troops are pretty damned smart and if they see the biggies going Scott free, then they will continue to do what they want. And remember, the military is pretty damned good at covering for their own.

  6. emptywheel says:

    Well, the other reason is that DOD has men and women put at risk by our torture. CIA does too but they’re less exposed. Therefore there’s an institutional incentive to allow oversight to work. Whereas CIA could care less.

    • stryder says:

      These issues in a leveymg diary posted in 2007 still ring true,
      where (he/she)wries about the Safari Club that rose out of the ashes of the post Watergate era/church committee clamp down on the cia and created the intel vacuum that formed the Saudi/ISI/Cia/ Khan network.

      “A large part of Valerie Plame’s job at CIA was to track the illicit trade in nuclear technologies peddled by Dr. Khan’s network”

      “There was never any chance that AQ Khan or Libby would do hard time – they were both “made men” who know too much”

      “Khan was a founding member of the CIA and ISI partnership, going back to the mid-1970s, when he first started stealing U-235 enrichment technologies from the nuclear lab where he worked in the Netherlands. According to a BBC interview with the former Dutch PM, Ruud Lubbers, the Dutch police wanted to arrest A.Q. as early as 1975, but the CIA interceded to prevent Khan’s arrest and enforcement of an INTERPOL warrant after he fled back the following year to Pakistan.”

      “the Saudi royal family had taken over intelligence financing for the United States”

      I’m taking this all to mean that these are the consequences of intel oversite

      • Gitcheegumee says:

        Thanks for quoting leveymg.

        Incredible researcher.

        REAMS of his archived material,accumulated from many years, over at Democratic Underground website.

        Just go to Journals,and type in leveymg.

        THE definitive site for the most scrupulously documented info I’ve come across so far.

        • stryder says:

          thanks,I’ll check it out
          I think of those kind of writers as a Campbell’s Soup(condensed),no fluff to the point approach
          A very remarkable diary to say the least

  7. fatster says:

    Excellent article, EW. Secrets! Everything has to be secret. That raises the question of why and I think more people are asking that question. Please keep hitting this hard.

    “Such oversight will doom the morale of the men and women at CIA!” At least they didn’t say they were concerned that Jon Stewart would embarrass them with humor. Sheesh

    And another disturbing aspect is from this article that WTFOver linked to back on the Gold Bars thread.

  8. fatster says:

    Holy Toledo, Batman!

    Obama names CIA leak prosecutor to senior Justice Dept. post


Published: August 3, 2009 
Updated 13 hours ago

    Also rehires US Attorney Bush Justice Dept. fired

    “Patrick Fitzgerald,  who as a special prosecutor investigated the Bush administration’s involvement in leaking former CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity to the press,  has been appointed by the Obama administration, to a new position in the Justice Department with important new responsibilities.”


  9. fatster says:

    O/T Timmy’s getting cranky.

    Geithner Vents at Regulators as Overhaul Stumbles


    WASHINGTON — “Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner blasted top U.S. financial regulators in an expletive-laced critique last Friday as frustration grows over the Obama administration’s faltering plan to overhaul U.S. financial regulation, according to people familiar with the meeting.”


    And Goldman Sachs is trying to cut-back on conspicuous consumption. Or something like that. Do they really think anybody’s going to like them if they do?

    August 4, 2009 11:30 AM

    Goldman CEO Tells Employees to Tone Down Spending

    “Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein is telling employees of the powerful bank to avoid displays of conspicuous consumption, the New York Post reports. “


    • bobschacht says:

      Is there a place where I can read the whole article? Your link only provides a preview, and I don’t see any link for the rest of the article.

      Bob in HI

      • fatster says:

        I had two articles linked in 11. Which one did you have trouble with and I’ll see if I can find the whole thing for you. Sowwy.

        • bobschacht says:

          The first one, on Geithner getting hot under the collar about regulators. I want to know which regulators he has a problem with. I’m likely to side with the regulators against Geithner.

          Bob in HI

          • fatster says:

            Bob, see if this gets you to the article. It’s not very long and the people who appear to have offended Timmy aren’t named. Interesting comments below the article, particularly the succinct one about Warren and Bair (Yay!).


            • bobschacht says:

              It helps clarify that there is an internal battle going on between Big Banks that don’t want regulation, existing regulators and their congressional sponsors, who are fighting to protect their turf, and Geithner, who wants to change the regulatory structure. Surely, regulatory reform is needed, but I would tend to side with FDIC Chair Bair, who is indeed protecting her turf while generally supporting the Administration’s proposal to create a new consumer protection agency.

              Bob in HI

  10. TarheelDem says:

    Why can’t the CIA handle the same level of oversight?

    I suspect it has to do with discovering just how deeply connected George Herbert Walker Bush still is in the CIA.

    Just a hunch.

  11. Gitcheegumee says:

    Apparently the government believes that “Oversight” means to “overlook”.

    Wonder how much coverage THIS will get?


    From the (not so )Great State of Mississippi:

    Source: Associated Press

    By NEDRA PICKLER (AP) – 20 hours ago

    WASHINGTON — A former high-ranking NASA official went on trial Monday on charges that he steered nearly $10 million to a consulting client and lied about it.

    Prosecutors told the jury during opening arguments they would prove Courtney Stadd abused the power of his government office to line his own pockets and mislead ethics officials.

    Stadd’s lawyer insisted his client was only carrying out the orders of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin when he insisted in 2005 that $12 million of the money be spent in the state of Mississippi.

    The client, Mississippi State University, ended up with $9.6 million of the funds. Afterward, prosecutors said Stadd tried to get the university to raise his fee from $7,000 a month to $10,000 a month, citing his help with the funding.

    Stadd, who lives in Bethesda, Md., faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of one conflict of interest count and two counts of making a false statement.

    Stadd was NASA’s chief of staff and White House liaison from 2001 to 2003 and served as former President George W. Bush’s NASA transition chief in 2000. After leaving the agency, Stadd started a lobbying and consulting business called Capital Solutions that specialized in advising aerospace clients.

    Read more: http://www.google.com/hostedne…..qmr…

    Wonder if Michael Griffin is realted the the DOJ lawyer that Rove tried to install in Arkansas?What was his name,Tim Griffin?
    Incidentally, Mississippi IS Haley Barbour/Jack Abramoff country!

  12. Mason says:

    If we assume President Obama spoke the truth when he said he wasn’t going to investigate and prosecute members of the past administration for authorizing and ordering the use of torture in violation of the Geneva Convention and our own laws because that would be a divisive and disruptive impediment to implementing his agenda, he should have realized by now that his strategy isn’t working. Like a dripping faucet, new shocking revelations about torture continue to appear in the progressive blogosphere at the rate of 1-3 per week along with other stories of criminal misconduct all traceable back to Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush.

    Obama can’t keep Jack from popping out of the box no matter how much he huffs and puffs trying to keep the lid closed. Ironically, his struggle to keep Jack in the box has focused attention on him and invited speculation that his motives might involve something more sinister than a naive belief that suppressing the truth was justified so that he would have a better chance to implement his agenda. For example, did Republican loving corporate America buy his effort to keep Jack in the box with $130 million in bundled campaign contributions last September? Recall that he reported $153 million in campaign contributions with the balance coming from individual donors. Corporate America followed that by basically picking up the tab for the most lavish and expensive inauguration in history. Kind of looks like the intensely loyal army of progressive individuals who contributed enthusiasm, time, effort, and small donations that defeated Hillary and delivered the nomination suddenly got lost in the downpour of big money. After he accepted the nomination, he didn’t have much time for the people who took him to the dance. Although they remained loyal and worked tirelessly through the election, his attention was on signing up Hillary Clinton, former members of the Clinton Administration, and reassuring Wall Street, the banking sector, and corporate America that he was on their side. He made it clear that Progressives were not welcome and need not apply for cabinet appointments.

    If he were not the President, Obama’s efforts to keep Jack in the box would be regarded as obstruction of justice, which is a federal felony. Worse than that, however, is the growing realization that with knowledge of their horrific crimes, he has willingly associated himself with the wrongdoers by covering up for them. Isn’t this situation a far greater distraction than would have happened if he green lighted Holder and the Justice Department? Instead of partisan complaints about politically motivated investigations that could be deflected by declassifying and releasing all of the torture records and photographs, which would be viewed as a heroic act by a majority of the population, he finds himself in a far worse situation because he’s losing the people’s trust without which he can achieve nothing of lasting value.

    Does Obama realize the peril he has created for himself? He still can reverse course without appearing weak by stating he is aware of new information. He faces a similar problem if he further escalates the war in Afghanistan and he can still back out of that quagmire and recapture much of his declining support. Ditto for promoting a strong public option in the health reform bill instead of promoting the nonsensical co-op option.

    I see him at a crossroad with his honor, reputation, and leadership at stake, not to mention our nation’s future. Does he have the courage to do the right thing and change course adhering to the principles and ideas he inspired us with during the campaign, or will he continue to ignore them? If he doesn’t change course, did he make all that stuff up during the campaign, or did he succumb to ambition and strike a deal with the devil that he fears to break because he might be assassinated?

    Interesting days and plenty of drama lie ahead. The future of the world and all of its life forms will be affected by what Obama decides to do. It’s going to take a courageous, strong, honorable, and respected man to stand-up to Wall Street and the banks, fix our economy, end the wars, and deal with global warming. What do y’all think we can do to help him make the right choices? Can we afford to assume we are powerless?

    • bmaz says:

      It really is a situation of his own making isn’t it? When you so stridently promise and lead desperate people in one direction and do such an abrupt about face, discord is going to follow. People would have still been unhappy with the same issues with Clinton, but at least they would not feel betrayed as they do with Obama; this is the kind of stuff you figured would be the case had Clinton been elected. But an awful lot of people bought into the hype and the hope and now the truth is setting in.

      • Mason says:

        Yeah, I agree. Lots of people heard what they wanted to hear, but he still said lots of things that he has since repudiated without explanation. Not smart thinking on his part, and when you get right down to it, shows extreme disrespect for his audience.

        The more I get to know about him, the more I dislike him. I really despise him right now. Do you think he might be a stealth neocon? After all, he taught Con Law at the U of Chicago, which was home sweet home for the neocons.

  13. Mason says:

    Sorry, my post is kind of O/T, but EW got me to thinking about the bigger picture and some thoughts came together and there it is.

    • greenwarrior says:

      Please don’t be at all sorry. This is a very measured comment. I would love to know what I can do. I know I pray every day for us to have rulers in this world who rule for the people.

    • fatster says:

      Your post was right on, too, Mason. Of course we can’t give up; our consciences won’t let us. We’re in a long, long line of people who didn’t give up, and as long as there is oppression, their spirit will infuse us.

  14. JasonLeopold says:

    This is really a fantastic report.

    The Scott Muller call to Jim Haynes sounds like it may be what was referenced in the June 2, 2003 secret memo from General George Casey Jr., then director of the Pentagon Joint Staff, who warned General Michael DeLong at Central Command that “CIA has advised that the techniques the military forces are using to interrogate high value detainees (HVDs) . . . are more aggressive than the techniques used by CIA who is [sic] interviewing the same HVDs.”

  15. JasonLeopold says:

    By the way, Antonio Taguba said a couple of years ago that after he started investigating the torture at Abu Ghraib he was “legally prevented from further investigation into higher authority. I was limited to a box,” Taguba said, adding that the “evasions and stonewalling by Rumsfeld and his aides” were rationalized by the supposed need to protect the CIA.”

    • Mary says:

      And that box was enclosed within Abu Ghraib and Military Police activities. But even within that box, he kept getting info that showed that Military Intelligence was what really needed to be investigated and pursued and that has never happened. Obama has obdurately refused to open any MI investigation and Congress has barely touched on what was going on.

  16. JasonLeopold says:

    On a related note, Nadler just sent a letter to Eric Holder reiterating his previous calls for a special counsel on torture

  17. Gitcheegumee says:

    Speaking of military oversight, I posted this piece over at the thread about Cyber Czar earlier.

    It is astounding to me how little is discussed regarding the incestuous relationship with China regarding military matters . I suppose the Chinagate of the Clinton era is all but forgotten…and many have never heard of Li Ka Shing whose ties go all the way back to that adminstration.

    OT, but may be of interest to some:

    GlobeSecNine’s chairman of the board is Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser to Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush. He also was chairman of President George W. Bush’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 2001 to 2005. From 1982 to 1989, Scowcroft also served as vice chairman of Kissinger Associates

    GlobeSecNine – a private equity firm composed largely of top-ranking government and military officials from President George H. W. Bush’s administration – has investment ties with the Chinese firm Hutchinson Ports Holdings that is joint-venturing to place cargo reading sensors on the planned Interstate-35 Super-Corridor.

    On April 21, 2005, Savi Technology, Inc., then a private company, created Savi Networks LLC, a new joint venture company, with Hutchinson Ports Holdings to install active RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) equipment and software in participating ports around the world and to provide users with the information, identity location and status of their ocean cargo containers as they pass through such ports.

    Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, joined the Savi Technology board April 5, 2005, just prior to the deal.

    On the same day, April 21, 2005, HPH made a concurrent $50 million investment in Infolink Systems, Inc., the parent company of Savi Technology, which provided HPH with 10 percent of Infolink on a fully diluted basis.

    On May 4, 2005, GlobeSecNine, made a $2 million strategic investment in Infolink Systems, Inc., the parent company of Savi Technology.

    On June 8 of this year, Lockheed Martin acquired Infolink Systems, Inc., thereby acquiring Savi Technology, Inc.

    A spokesperson for Lockheed Martin confirmed that the HPH interest in the joint venture subsidiary, Savi Networks, survived the acquisition of Infolink by Lockheed.———————————————–

    Bush-41 officials in Chinese cargo-monitor dealGlobeSecNine – a private equity firm composed largely of top-ranking government and military officials from President George H. W. Bush’s administration …
    http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53287 – Cached – Similar

  18. Blub says:


    Wait. That one wasn’t on the list of the TWO people the shrubbies previously admitted to torturing, was it? ;-P hehe.

  19. tjbs says:

    Torture/ Murder/ Treason the question is if 9-11 is another bush/cheney lie, as a possible proposition.

    What information could you possibly get from people who don’t know?
    So,the point isn’t information but power exercised outside the law and the bounds of human decency.
    The people being tortured have nothing of substance to reveal, do they?
    Was there a live feed going to the White House of the Torture/ Treason sessions?
    Who was there, if indeed , they had live feeds?
    What were their bona a fides to participate in the Torture / Treason sessions?
    When will it ever end.

    Pat Tillman’s ghost is waiting for a response………

  20. Boston1775 says:

    What information could you possibly get from people who don’t know?

    The people being tortured have nothing of substance to reveal, do they?
    tjbs at 40,

    Their continued torture keeps good people distracted from the central issue of why. Why them?

    Their torture distracts concerned US citizens from the central question of who committed the murders of 3,000 New Yorkers, Bostonians and other innocent US citizens and visitors to the WTC on 9-11. Those who knew it was coming knew enough to steer clear.

    • Mason says:

      You mentioned 9/11. Check this out.

      Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds dropped a bombshell on the Mike Malloy radio show, guest-hosted by Brad Friedman (audio, partial transcript).

      In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

      These ‘intimate relations’ included using Bin Laden for ‘operations’ in Central Asia, including Xinjiang, China. These ‘operations’ involved using al Qaeda and the Taliban in the same manner “as we did during the Afghan and Soviet conflict,” that is, fighting ‘enemies’ via proxies.

      As Sibel has previously described, and as she reiterates in this latest interview, this process involved using Turkey (with assistance from ‘actors from Pakistan, and Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia’) as a proxy, which in turn used Bin Laden and the Taliban and others as a proxy terrorist army.

      After filling in many of the details, with scores of informational links to support the allegations, Ryland summarizes thusly:
      The bombshell here is obviously that certain people in the US were using Bin Laden up to September 11, 2001.

      It is important to understand why: the US outsourced terror operations to al Qaeda and the Taliban for many years, promoting the Islamization of Central Asia in an attempt to personally profit off military sales as well as oil and gas concessions.

      The silence by the US government on these matters is deafening. So, too, is the blowback.


      • Boston1775 says:

        In the interview, Sibel says that the US maintained ‘intimate relations’ with Bin Laden, and the Taliban, “all the way until that day of September 11.”

      • Leen says:

        Read between the pipelines
        Afghanistan, the Taliban
        and the Bush Oil Team
        According to Afghan, Iranian, and Turkish government sources, Hamid Karzai, the interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan, was a top adviser to the El Segundo, California-based UNOCAL Corporation which was negotiating with the Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan.

        Karzai, the leader of the southern Afghan Pashtun Durrani tribe, was a member of the mujaheddin that fought the Soviets during the 1980s. He was a top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director William Casey, Vice President George Bush, and their Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) Service interlocutors. Later, Karzai and a number of his brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA. Karzai continued to serve the agency’s interests, as well as those of the Bush Family and their oil friends in negotiating the CentGas deal, according to Middle East and South Asian sources.

        When one peers beyond all of the rhetoric of the White House and Pentagon concerning the Taliban, a clear pattern emerges showing that construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from the outset. Although UNOCAL claims it abandoned the pipeline project in December 1998, the series of meetings held between U.S., Pakistani, and Taliban officials after 1998, indicates the project was never off the table.

        Quite to the contrary, recent meetings between U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlain and that country’s oil minister Usman Aminuddin indicate the pipeline project is international Project Number One for the Bush administration. Chamberlain, who maintains close ties to the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan (a one-time chief money conduit for the Taliban), has been pushing Pakistan to begin work on its Arabian Sea oil terminus for the pipeline.

        Meanwhile, President Bush says that U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for the long haul. Far from being engaged in Afghan peacekeeping — the Europeans are doing much of that — our troops will effectively be guarding pipeline construction personnel that will soon be flooding into the country.

        Karzai’s ties with UNOCAL and the Bush administration are the main reason why the CIA pushed him for Afghan leader over rival Abdul Haq, the assassinated former mujaheddin leader from Jalalabad, and the leadership of the Northern Alliance, seen by Langley as being too close to the Russians and Iranians. Haq had no apparent close ties to the U.S. oil industry and, as both a Pushtun and a northern Afghani, was popular with a wide cross-section of the Afghan people, including the Northern Alliance. Those credentials likely sealed his fate.

        ~~~ModNote: Just a reminder – please keep quoted material within Fair Use limits (about 200 words). Thanks.~~~

        • Mason says:

          Obama sent our additional troops straight to Helmand Province, which is where that pipeline will be built.

          • Leen says:

            Read this one a while back… interesting.

            Plame, Pakistan, a Nuclear Turkey, and the Neocons
            “An article published in Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, entitled “She Came to Turkey Too,” cites an anonymous American intelligence expert who verifies that Plame’s job involved “the ‘top secret’ part of nuclear weapons proliferation.” The source also claims that it had brought her to Turkey several times, for follow-up visits with persons of interest:

            “[P]lame and other employees of Brewster & Jennings, the CIA’s fake energy consulting firm, used to visit the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA, located in Vienna] frequently. They used to attend the meetings and undertake deliberate operations to get ‘targeted names’ on their side.

            “Plame and other ‘energy consultants’ used to continue with follow-up meetings for those persons whom they had contacted in Vienna, in Istanbul. … Plame met with foreign dignitaries who are in charge of nuclear weapons in their countries and scientists in Turkey, where she has visited several times as an ‘energy consultant.’”

            Independently of this, former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds told me recently that “Plame’s undercover job involved the organizations [the FBI had been investigating], the ATC (American-Turkish Council) and the ATA (American-Turkish Association).”


      • Leen says:

        Remember reading that Sibel knew quite a bit about Feith and Perle’s defense (hanky panky) transactions with Turkey

        International Advisors, Inc. hit the ground running in 1989, flexing its lobbying muscle immediately by securing the defeat of Congressional efforts to keep Turkey’s US military aid at a level lower than that of neighboring Greece. In addition to cementing the US-Turkey military-to-military relationship, IAI was also part of a joint 1989 Turkish-Israeli effort to quash a US Senate resolution marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks. “Quietly, Israeli diplomats and some American Jewish activists have agreed to help Turkey even as other Jewish leaders have complained they have no business intervening in such a sensitive matter,” reported Wolf Blitzer, then the Jerusalem Post’s Washington correspondent. Blitzer went on to quote a source who explained that “as a people which was itself a victim of genocide, we feel natural sympathy for the Armenians. But Israel wants to foster its relations with Turkey, which it views with great importance.”

        I believe Plame had been doing some covert work in Turkey. Is that right?

        • Mason says:

          Sibel Edmonds got in trouble with the FBI when she reported her suspicions about another translator’s association with ATA in D.C. She and the other translator were the only people capable of translating intercepted communications between the Turkish Embassy, the Turkish government, members of the lobby, and the Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert. To make a long story a bit longer, Sibel overheard discussions about cash bribes paid to Hastert to engineer favorable legislation for Turkey, but the other translator never reported anything improper. Sibel believes she was fired to protect Hastert and avoid embarrassing disclosures about our government’s relationship with the Turkish government. Hastert introduced a bill honoring the Armenians who were massacred by the Turks and then withdrew it for $500,000 cash.

          You gotta love our Congress critters. BTW, Hastert now works as a lobbyist for Turkey.

          I didn’t realize Valerie Plame was involved with ATA. I wonder what that was about?

          • Leen says:

            Jason Vest wrote that article about ATC (Perle’s involvement) a month after they outed Plame.

            Keep wondering if the public will ever have a clue as to just how the outing of Plame undermined U.S. National Security

          • Mary says:

            If you go back and look at the torture briefings schedule that the CIA releaased, Hastert is the name of the “gang of 8″ that never appears. I know they were claiming a “gang of 4″ briefing, but if you look that’s not really what was happening either at first and certainly when Pelosi moved to minority leader from Intel, so the Dem leader was briefed in from prior briefings but still not the Repub leader, it looks very odd. imo, fwiw.

            • bmaz says:

              Right. They were never even complying in good faith with a “Gang of Four” schedule, not that such would have complied with the law in the first place.

            • Mason says:

              My guess is Hastert and the Republicans didn’t care what was going on because they were focused on lining their pockets with as much cash as possible. Hastert probably said something like, “Do anything you want. I don’t need to know or care to know. I’m here to make money and have fun.”

    • greenwarrior says:

      for what it’s worth in the conversation, i don’t think 9/11 was planned to kill people in new york. the time the towers came down was before the normal work day starts in new york. the normal workday in new york is 9 to 5. if they wanted to maximize killing people in the buildings and in the area, they’d have taken down the towers after 9 am. of course people were killed, i just don’t think that was the aim of the action.

      • tjbs says:

        Fact( more or less) building #7, the one with the Enron Records, per chance, came down at 5:00 after absorbing that horrific airliner direct hit.

      • Kathryn in MA says:

        Actually, IIRC, the earliness of the timing was to insure that the hijacked planes had fewer people aboard to subdue.

        • Mason says:

          Assuming for the sake of argument that 9/11 was cooked up by Bush & Cheney with the assistance of Osama bin Laden and financial assistance from the Saudi government, wouldn’t all of us be better off knowing the truth?

  21. tjbs says:

    The difference between crucifixion and the precious human beings we murdered by prolonged stress positions?

    Not lipstick……nails.

  22. tbsa says:

    Why hasn’t Holder had any conversations with Sibel? I guess Obama is just going to move forward and not worry about the horrors perpetrated on those people.

    • Mason says:

      But the Brits are showing signs of opening an official investigation into torture and that may lead to some evidence that Obama doesn’t want us to know.

  23. Kassandra says:

    Anybody see this?
    Blackwater Founder Implicated in Murder

    A former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who has worked as a security operative for the company have made a series of explosive allegations in sworn statements filed on August 3 in federal court in Virginia. The two men claim that the company’s owner, Erik Prince, may have murdered or facilitated the murder of individuals who were cooperating with federal authorities investigating the company. The former employee also alleges that Prince “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe,” and that Prince’s companies “encouraged and rewarded the destruction of Iraqi life.”

    The evidence is mounting. Oughta be fascinating to see if Obama can keep wiggling out of investigating the Bush crime family.

  24. x174 says:

    thanks for bringing the hilarious-seeming disparity out in the open.

    the CIA is deeply pathetic.

  25. bobschacht says:

    Leen @ 68,
    It should be noted that this is from a *2002* Wayne Madsen report, so it does not necessarily tell us much about what is currently in play.

    Bob in HI

  26. Gitcheegumee says:


    Here is an excerpt of an article that may be of interest to you:

    Read entry |
    This all ties in with the Plame and MZM-Cunningham cases

    Posted by leveymg in General Discussion
    Sun May 27th 2007, 10:54 AM

    RESPONSE TO POST: Head Of CIA’s WMD Division-Told Underlings To GIVE BUSH -The Intelligence To ALLOW Him To Go To War http://www.democraticunderground.com/discu… ;forum=389&topic_id=980204&mesg_id=980204
    The October 2002 Iraq WMD NIE and the eventual outing of Valerie Plame have a tie-in with the MZM scandal. They present strong circumstantial evidence that the reason that Valerie Plame was “outed” by WHIG was to shut down CIA-Counter Proliferation Division (CPD), where Plame worked, in favor of CIA WINPAC, which had been tamed and harnessed by the neocons.

    As this tale makes clear WINPAC was delivering the goods, falsified Iraq WMD reports, in large part because of the leadership of Mr. Foley, and also because WINPAC had outsourced much of its analysis work to private contractor MZM, which was stovepiping bad intel through the Army’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) at Ft. Belvoir. See, http://www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exe…