Obama’s Afghan plan includes expanding CIA ops in Pakistan

Predator drone

Predator drone

By I. ALLEN & J. FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The Obama Administration’s plan to increase US military presence in Afghanistan includes expanding the CIA’s work in neighboring Pakistan, a country with which the US is officially not at war. An article published yesterday in The New York Times notes that the President has authorized the CIA to expand its Predator drone assassination program to include strikes in places like Baluchistan, which are outside Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal areas and far from the Afghan-Pakistani border. This development represents a major policy victory for the hawkish wing in the Pentagon’s senior leadership, which has been pressing Obama’s advisors to expand CIA assassination operations deeper into Pakistan since November of 2008. It also further reveals the Obama Administration’s policy preference toward undercover operations with a strong deniability proponent. Read more of this post

Comment: Why the Italian Convictions of CIA Officers Matter

Sabrina DeSousa

Sabrina De Sousa

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
An Italian court has convicted 22 CIA officers and a US Air Force officer involved in the abduction of a Muslim cleric from Milan in 2003. All but three Americans tried in the case received jail sentences ranging from five to eight years, for kidnapping Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in broad daylight and for illegally renditioning him to Egypt, where he says he was brutally tortured before being released without charge. As intelNews has previously reported, it is extremely unlikely that the US will agree to extradite the convicted abductors to Italy. Washington has formally invoked the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, arguing that the offenders were operating “in the course of official duty” and fall therefore under US, not Italian, jurisdiction. But the convictions are important nonetheless, for three reasons.

Read more of this post

Analysis: Interesting interview with a CIA psychiatrist

David Charney

David Charney

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Veteran national security correspondent Jeff Stein has published some interesting highlights of an interview with psychiatrist Dr. David L. Charney, who has worked for the US intelligence community for over 20 years. Charney is one of several medical professionals whom the CIA has appointed to assist its personnel in dealing with a variety of emotional issues. Additionally, he has previously been appointed to supervise the psychiatric assessment of a number of American double spies, including Robert Hanssen, the former FBI agent who spied for the Soviet Union and Russia for over two decades. In the interview, Charney identifies a number of psychological disorders that tend to burden CIA officers, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which often plagues agents who have survived “death-defying escapes after their covers were blown”. Read more of this post