News you may have missed #337

  • Another Iranian nuclear researcher reportedly defects. An academic linked with Iran’s nuclear program has defected to Israel, according to Ayoub Kara, Israel’s deputy minister for development in the Negev and Galilee. Kara said it “is too soon to provide further details”, adding that the defector is “now in a friendly country”.
  • Dutch spies to become more active abroad. The Dutch secret service, the AIVD, has announced a shift in strategy, deployed increasingly more officers abroad: “in Yemen, Somalia, and the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan”.
  • Why did the CIA destroy waterboarding evidence? It has been established that Porter J. Goss, the former director of the CIA, in 2005 approved the destruction of dozens of videotapes documenting the brutal interrogation of two terrorism detainees. But why did he do it? Former CIA officer Robert Baer examines the question.

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Comment: Blackwater’s role in CIA ops runs deep

Blackwater/Xe HQ


North Carolina-based military and intelligence contractor Xe had a major role in the CIA’s rumored post-9/11 assassination program and is active today in the Agency’s Predator drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The New York Times and The Washington Post cited “government officials and current and former [Xe] employees” in revealing that the CIA worked briefly with Xe –formerly known as Blackwater– in the context of a top-secret program to locate and murder senior al-Qaeda leaders. According to The Washington Post, Blackwater’s role in the operation was far from consultative, and included “operational responsibility for targeting terrorist commanders [and awards worth] millions of dollars for training and weaponry”.  The New York Times alleges that Blackwater’s central role in the operation was “a major reason” in CIA director Leon Panetta’s decision last June to inform Congress about the program, which CIA had kept hidden from Congressional oversight for seven years. Read more of this post

Analysis: Are CIA Agents out of Control (Again)?

What’s going on at the CIA? As the corruption trial of Kyle “Dysty” Foggo, the Agency’s no. 3 under former CIA Director Porter Goss, continues this week, news has emerged that the Agency’s station chief in Algeria has been unceremoniously recalled back to Washington after being accused of drugging and raping two Algerian women at his residence. Meanwhile, an unidentified “former CIA station chief in Baghdad, allegedly ‘notorious’ for womanizing and the licentious behavior of his aides, is in line to become chief of the spy agency’s powerful Counterterrorism Center”. One might be excused for wondering what’s next for the troubled agency. Read article→

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