News you may have missed #440 (USA edition)

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News you may have missed #349

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News you may have missed #0276

  • Canadian government rejects ex-KGB agent’s deportation appeal. Vic Toews, Canada’s newly installed minister for public safety, has rejected a fresh appeal by former KGB agent Mikhail Lennikov to be allowed to remain in Canada. Lennikov, who has been living in Canada with his wife and teenage son since 1992, is described by Canadian authorities as “a threat to […] national security”.
  • Analysis: CIA and intelligence community mythologies. Former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, currently senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, offers a very informative checklist of what he calls “the mythology that surrounds the [US] intelligence enterprise”. Worth reading.

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News you may have missed #0251 (analysis edition)

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Analysis: Interim report on Obama’s intelligence reforms

Melvin A. Goodman

M.A. Goodman

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
It has been nearly a year since US President Barack Obama initiated his plan to reform the CIA and its tattered relations with the rest of the US intelligence community. How is he doing so far? Not great, says Melvin Goodman, a former CIA analyst, in a well-argued article on the subject. On the one hand, Obama has been successful and “deserves high grades” for addressing the CIA’s renditions, detentions and interrogations programs, argues Goodman. On the other hand, the President has avoided taking a strong leadership role in addressing the major problems of the CIA, including “appoint[ing] leaders willing to address the culture of cover-up that exists at the CIA and to make the necessary strategic changes”. Read more of this post

CIA director says Congress should let go of CIA’s past actions

Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
CIA director Leon Panetta has criticized Congress for its “focus on the past” that “threatens to distract the CIA from its crucial core missions”. In an editorial published last weekend in The Washington Post, Panetta says he is becoming “increasingly concerned” that “wrong judgments” made by the Bush Administration after 9/11 have damaged the broad agreement between the executive and legislative branches of the US government about the CIA’s role and activities. But the CIA director says the “sincerity or the patriotism” of Bush Administration officials should not be questioned, as they “were trying to respond as best they could” in the aftermath of 9/11. Instead, Panetta argues for learning “lessons from the past without getting stuck there”, and warns that “classified information that shapes […] conversations” between the CIA and Congress must be protected. Read more of this post

Former CIA analyst issues critique of Panetta record

Goodman

Goodman

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Former CIA analyst Melvin Goodman, currently senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, has issued a scathing critique of the CIA leadership record of Leon Panetta. In an article published in The Public Record, Goodman, who supported Panetta during his confirmation hearings, accused the Agency director of letting down “[t]hose of us who […] were hopeful that he would bring a much-needed era of openness, accountability and credibility to an Agency that has lost its moral compass”. Goodman takes issue with New Yorker writer Jane Mayer’s recent article on the CIA under the Obama administration, in which she referred to Panetta’s “great judgment, [reputation for integrity, and his ability to] restore the integrity of the intelligence process”. Instead, the former Agency analyst accuses Panetta of actively working to block the release of further documentary evidence of torture of terrorism detainees by CIA interrogators, and of retaining “all the senior [CIA] officials […] who were the ideological drivers for the creation of secret prisons and the use [of torture]”. Read more of this post