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Top Intel Experts: GOP Covering Their Ass on Torture Investigation

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Hissyspit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:17 PM
Original message
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 05:21 PM by Hissyspit
Source: Raw Story


Top intel experts: GOP covering their ass on torture investigation
By Daniel Tencer

Published: August 23, 2009
Updated 1 hour ago

Far from jeopardizing US security, as some politicians claim, an investigation into torture practices during the Bush administration would prevent future abuses, say three senior veterans of the intelligence community.

An article by Jason Leopold at the Public Record news site says that former FBI counterterrorism expert Jack Cloonan, military interrogator Col. Steve Kleinman, and Matthew Alexander, the pseudonym of a special-ops interrogator who was part of a task force in Iraq, are all urging Congress and the White House to launch investigations into torture practices during the Bush era.

- snip -

What this is really about is cover your ass, Leopold quoted Cloonan as saying. To suggest (intelligence gathering) will come to a screeching halt if there were an investigation is not accurate.

Added Kleinman: Im a professional interrogator, I have 25 years of experience in this, and I dont have any concern whatsoever that an investigation into how we conducted ourselves since 9/11 would in any way undermine our ability to continue gathering intelligence.

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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:51 PM
Response to Original message
1. "Smirk." - xCommander AWOL (R)
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. "Sneer." - xVP Dickie 'Five Military Deferments' Cheney (R)
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. Remember how Cheney warned Daschle off investigating 9-11?
What a bunch of crooks, afraid of the truth. Investigate CIA torture and it leads to CIA assassination and that leads to Cheney and Blackwater and 9-11.

February 4, 2002

The Battle Back Home

On the eve of the State of the Union address, the Democratic leader looks for chinks in a popular war president's armor

Author: Howard Fineman
With Debra Rosenberg and Martha Brant
Edition: U.S. Edition
Section: National Affairs
Page: 28

Dick Cheney was on the line, and it wasn't to chitchat. The vice president rarely calls the Senate leader--a Democrat he dismisses as an "obstructionist"--so Tom Daschle knew the topic was important when he hurried into his Capitol office. What he heard was a plea, and a warning. The Senate will soon launch hearings on why we weren't prepared for, and warned about, September 11. The intelligence committee will study the matter, but mostly behind closed doors. Cheney was calling to pre-emptively protest public hearings by other committees. If the Democrats insisted, Bush administration officials might say they're too busy running the war on terrorism to show up. Press the issue, Cheney implied, and you risk being accused of interfering with the mission. Daschle was noncommittal and, after the call, unmoved. "Intelligence is just a piece of it," he said. "People need to know what happened."


Sneer and his monkey, Smirk, wanted Democrats in the Senate to stay the heck away. For bad reason they don't want people to know what happened.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 05:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. But, the hearings were eventually held 09/02, and a report issued. Media mostly ignored it.
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 05:37 AM by leveymg
We didn't get the complete picture, by any means. But, enough to know that the CIA and NSA had been tracking the Flt. 77 hijackers before they entered the U.S., Cofer Black (head of CIA/CTC) had let them in after briefing Tenet and the head of the FBI, and that CIA/CTC had withheld warning cables to FBI field offices and investigators.

I started writing about this here shortly after the Joint Intelligence Committee published its report:

How U.S. Counterterrorism Failed on 9/11, and Why the Bush Administration Can't Fix It
September 26, 2002


On 9/11, a long and complex chain of events came together when four hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Central Pennsylvania, an attack which left 3,000 innocent people dead. That eventuality was neither unforeseeable nor unforeseen, which is the overwhelming message of the Congressional Joint Intelligence Committee Staff Statement released on Wednesday, September 18, 2002. Shocking testimony heard two days later by the panel showed that investigators in the FBI office in New York, then the Bureau's antiterrorism center, received orders from Washington on August 29, 2001 to abort a criminal probe of the hijackers after NY agents learned that one of the terrorist suspects whose identity and intentions had been known to the CIA for 18 months - had reentered the US on July 4.

Contrary to repeated Bush Administration claims since September 11, 2001, US intelligence had specific, credible and corroborated forewarning that terrorists planned to use airliners to attack New York and Washington, DC area targets. The 9/11 mode of terrorist attack had, in fact, been known of and planned for by American intelligence years in advance. Among the findings of the Congressional staff report released last week:


And then followed that up with a more extensive series:

The Crimes of 9/11
March 1, 2003

The recently-concluded Congressional Joint 9/11 Inquiry confirmed that ranking Bush Administration national security and intelligence officials negligently mishandled counterterrorism operations, misconduct which makes them liable to criminal prosecution and huge civil damages .

Within days of the crime, the White House was hard at work obstructing an independent commission of inquiry, and drafting legislation which would indemnify federal agents for offenses that contributed to the loss of 3,000 innocent lives on September 11, 2001. A draft of the so-called "Patriot II Act" ("The Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003") was leaked from the Justice Department in February. That document shows that the Bush Administration is now trying to legalize previously unlawful official acts, in particular, a domestic surveillance operation of al-Qaeda hijackers conducted without warrants, and other crimes of negligent homicide and obstruction of justice that flowed from that misguided operation. Taken together, the intelligence crimes of 9/11 and the legal cover-up that followed are an enormous and growing scandal just waiting to explode inside the Bush White House.

A Warrantless Domestic Surveillance Operation (01/15/00 - 9/11/01)

Testimony heard by the joint 9/11 committee in September and October revealed that the CIA and FBI had been running a foreign surveillance operation involving several key al-Qaeda hijackers and operations directors, and this covert operation apparently was allowed to spill over into the U.S. .

Criminal violations of federal law and agency regulations occurred when CIA and FBI counterterrorism officials assigned to the CIA's Counterrerrorism Center (CTC) failed to promptly obtain warrants to surveil al-Qaeda operatives who had reentered the US on January 15 2000 after attending a terrorist summit held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That meeting was closely watched by US intelligence, an operation that involved eight CIA stations and a half dozen allied agencies.

Tenet testified on October 17 that the CIA along with the FBI knew in advance that al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi would be traveling to a planned al-Qaeda planning summit in Malaysia, and that the CIA informed the Bureau al-Mihdhar had been identified as an attendee:

"In December 1999, CIA, FBI, and the Department of State received intelligence on the travels of suspected al-Qa'ida operatives to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. CIA saw the Kuala Lumpur gathering as a potential source of intelligence about a possible al-Qa'ida attack in Southeast Asia. We initiated an operation to learn why those suspected terrorists were traveling to Kuala Lumpur" .
The Malaysia meeting seen by CIA as highly important - senior al-Qaeda figures were in Kuala Lumpur. The operatives there would have routinely been added to the terrorist watch list (denying them entry into the US) - if they had not already been under surveillance. Tenet acknowledges that al-Midhar was already being surveilled:

"In early January 2000, we managed to obtain a photocopy of al-Mihdhar's passport as he traveled to Kuala Lumpur. It showed a US multiple-entry visa issued in Jeddah on 7 April 1999 and expiring on 6 April 2000. We learned that his full name is Khalid bin Muhammad bin 'Abdallah al-Mihdhar.
"We had at that point the level of detail needed to watchlist him-that is, to nominate him to State Department for refusal of entry into the US or to deny him another visa. Our officers remained focused on the surveillance operation, and did not do this."

For unexplained reasons, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi, who led the hijacking of AA Flight 77 that slammed into the Pentagon, were nonetheless subsequently allowed to enter the U.S., where they moved around the country, attending flight training, and in Al-Mindhar's case, was allowed readmission to the US on July 4, 2001 without a proper trainee visa. CIA Director Tenet testified on October 17:


And, yes, there was already enough information available to be able to see the contours of the warrantless wiretapping program in place before 9/11.
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:49 PM
Response to Original message
4. Note how the blame is twisted
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 08:50 PM by noise
with the Obama DOJ and the public being considered out of line for objecting to the use of torture. If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Tenet were truly worried about the prospect of interrogators being charged with warcrimes then they shouldn't have ordered the torture in the first place. The key point is that the claimed necessity of employing torture has not been substantiated. So it appears that high ranking officials ordered CIA and military interrogators (including contractors) to use torture for ulterior purposes. This is so sick and Un-American that people don't want to believe it.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. "An article by Jason Leopold..."
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's all you took away
from the article? That Leopold wrote it?
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. What else should I have taken away...
...from something written by a person who is a completely untrustworthy, lying self-promoter?
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noise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. That three interrogators
went on the record to refute the fearmongering, pseudo patriotic spin put forth by advocates of torture and their Congressional apologists.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Back up your allegation with some facts Cessna
or you may well be dismissed as a Homelander Disinformation Dupe.

And that would be, well, unseemly.

The reporter laid his case out. You have done nothing to undermine it other than to attack his character. Can you undermine the truth of the story? Or is the story -- like so many things about the corrupt and occult Republicon Trainwreck Against America -- true.
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Cessna Invesco Palin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. I'm not attacking his charachter. I'm attacking his credibility as a journalist.
And since he is neither credible nor an actual journalist, I see no need to justify myself to you. feel free to defend someone who fabricated demonstrably false stories about Karl Rove being indicted back during the Plame affair (probably in order to drive traffic to his flailing website - a technique he no doubt learned from RawStory.)
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Nice attempt, but...
what do you think of the three names on record in this article?
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Lame attempt, and...
Edited on Mon Aug-24-09 04:59 AM by SpiralHawk
you still have given no reason whatsoever to discredit the story.

Republicons are trying to cover their corrupt, perverted, and totalitarian asses. May they labor in vain. May justice be done.
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