Joby Warrick

I - Z


Warrick, Joby. "Jan. 1 Attack by CIA Killed Two Leaders of Al-Qaeda." Washington Post, 9 Jan. 2009, A12. []

U.S. counterterrorism officials confirmed on 8 January 2009 that a New Year's Day CIA missile strike in northern Pakistan "killed two top al-Qaeda members[,] ... Usama al-Kini, a Kenyan national who was described as al-Qaeda's chief of operations in Pakistan,... along with his lieutenant, identified as Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan." Kini "was the eighth senior al-Qaeda leader killed in clandestine CIA strikes since July, the officials said."

[CIA/00s/09; Terrorism/00s/09]

Warrick, Joby. "Jordan Emerges as Key CIA Counterterrorism Ally." Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2010, A1. []

The death of Jordanian General Intelligence Department (GID) captain Sharif Ali bin Zeid in the suicide attack on CIA Forward Operating Base Chapman in Afghanistan provides a look "into a partnership that U.S. officials describe as crucial to their counterterrorism strategy. Although its participation is rarely acknowledged publicly, Jordan is playing an increasingly vital role in the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups.... Traditionally close ties between the CIA and the Jordanian spy agency ... [were] strengthened" after the 9/11 attacks.

[CIA/2010s/2010; OtherCountries/Arab/Jordan]

Warrick, Joby. "Justice Advised CIA in '02 About Legal Waterboarding." Washington Post, 25 Jul. 2008, A8. []

"Lawyers for the Bush administration told the CIA in 2002 that its officers could legally use waterboarding and other harsh measures while interrogating al-Qaeda suspects, as long as they acted 'in good faith' and did not deliberately seek to inflict severe pain, according to a Justice Department memo made public" on 24 July 2008.


Warrick, Joby. "Little Blue Pills Among the Ways CIA Wins Friends in Afghanistan." Washington Post, 26 Dec. 2008, A1. []

"[A]ccording to officials directly involved in such operations," CIA "efforts to win over notoriously fickle warlords and chieftains" in Afghanistan have included "a variety of personal services. These include pocketknives and tools, medicine or surgeries for ailing family members, toys and school equipment, tooth extractions, travel visas, and, occasionally, pharmaceutical enhancements for aging patriarchs with slumping libidos....

"Officials say these inducements are necessary in Afghanistan, a country where warlords and tribal leaders expect to be paid for their cooperation, and where, for some, switching sides can be as easy as changing tunics. If the Americans don't offer incentives, there are others who will, including Taliban commanders, drug dealers and even Iranian agents in the region."

[CIA/00s/08; MI/Ops/00s/Afghanistan/08]

Warrick, Joby. "Obama Cites CIA's Possible 'Mistakes' But Vows Support; President Is Met With Enthusiasm." Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2009. []

On 20 April 2009, President Obama traveled to CIA headquarters "to vow continued support for the agency." He "gave no hint of wavering from his pledge to oppose prosecutions of CIA workers who used interrogation methods that the president's own advisers have called torture."


Warrick, Joby. "Senate Intelligence Panel Seeks CIA Nominee's Withdrawal." Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2007, A11. []

SSCI members "have requested the withdrawal of the Bush administration's choice for CIA general counsel, acknowledging that John Rizzo's nomination has stalled because of concerns about his views on the treatment of terrorism suspects.... Rizzo has served with the CIA since 1976 and acted as interim general counsel from 2001 to 2002 and from August 2004 to the present."

[CIA/00s/07 & Components/ODCIA]

Warrick, Joby. "Suicide Bomber Attacks CIA Base in Afghanistan, Killing at least 8 Americans." Washington Post, 30 Dec. 2009. []

According to U.S. officials, "[a] suicide bomber blew himself up [on 30 December 2009] inside an Afghan military base used by the CIA, killing at least eight Americans.... The blast also wounded eight people, several of them seriously." Forward Operating Base Chapman in the eastern province of Khost "serves as an operations and surveillance center for the CIA near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border." See also, Alissa J. Rubin and Mark Mazzetti, "Afghan Suicide Bomber Killed C.I.A. Operatives," New York Times, 31 Dec. 2009.

[CIA/00s/09/Deaths; MI/Ops/Afgh/09]

Warrick, Joby. The Triple Agent: The al-Qaeda Mole who Infiltrated the CIA. New York: Doubleday, 2011.

Hendricks, Washington Post, 22 Jul. 2011, finds "admirable drama" in The Triple Agent, the story of Humam Khalil al-Balawi, the Jordanian doctor whose December 2009 suicide bombing of the CIA base at Khost in Afghanistan killed nine people. The author's "account is potent, swift, sometimes prone to the lazy phrase..., descriptive rather than reflective, anonymous in voice rather than textured and ... undaring of prose. He has a skill with words but lacks a felicity with them, and he is not much interested in exploring the large moral questions his tale raises. He is also firmly establishmentarian "

For Drogan, Los Angeles Times, 16 Jul. 2011, this is "a compelling narrative" by "a brilliant reporter and a fine writer." However, "the book comes off at times as a hurried snapshot more than a nuanced portrait. There is too little context or history, and several minor errors, sometimes breathless prose and repetitive passages don't help." Noting that the author "tears back the curtain on how the CIA conducted the operation," Goldman, Associated Press, 18 Jul. 2011, concludes that Warrick "clearly got help from the CIA and the Jordanian General Intelligence Department (GID) to write his book." This "riveting tale" is "a must-read for counterterrorism and spy junkies."

Garber, Studies 55.3 (Sep. 2011), says that this "is an absorbing book, although a difficult one to evaluate without personal knowledge of the events and without access to the classified internal examinations of the tragedy.... [O]ne glaring omission ... is discussion of what led [Jordanian intelligence officer Ali] bin Zeid to think" that using al-Balawi to penetrate al-Qaeda "was even worth trying.... One other criticism of this worthwhile book is that it essentially reads like a dramatic screenplay rather than an analysis of historical events."

To Daniel, Proceedings 137.11 (Nov. 2011), the author tells his "story in a gripping style worthy of the best fiction." He "is at his best" in portraying "the personal side of the drama.... The only obvious defect" is that he "fails to capture and develop the motivations" of al-Balawi" whose "character arc ... seems incomplete and ultimately unconvincing." Freedman, FA 90.6 (Nov.-Dec. 2011), notes that "Warrick shows how the pressure for results led the CIA to take shortcuts when it came to handling an agent who some feared, correctly, was too good to be true."

Terrill, Parameters 42.1 (Spring 2012), comments that this "is a well-researched book that has a great deal to say about the ways in which intelligence organizations under pressure can be drawn into the deadliest of traps." For the reviewer, the "extensive biographic information about the Americans killed in the Khost strike ... can easily become excessive.... Nevertheless, on balance, this is an exceptionally valuable book that is well worth the short time required to read it." For Chapman, IJI&C 25.2 (Summer 2012), this is "[a]n excellent book, leading to deeper thought about the world of spies. It is like no other."


Warrick, Joby. "Warnings on WMD 'Fabricator' Were Ignored, Ex-CIA Aide Says." Washington Post, 25 Jun. 2006, A1. []

Former CIA officer Tyler Drumheller, "who is writing a book about his experiences, described in extensive interviews repeated attempts to alert top CIA officials to problems with the defector, code-named Curveball, in the days before the Powell speech" to the United Nations on 5 February 2003.


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