CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2009

January - March

Materials presented in chronological order.

Shipman, Tim. "CIA Spies Recruiting Record Number of British Pakistani Informers." The Standard (Hong Kong), 5 Jan. 2009. [http://www.thestandard.com.hk]

According to security sources in Washington and London, the CIA "is recruiting and handling a record number of informers in the British Pakistani community with the tacit agreement of the British government.... Intelligence from CIA informers has helped thwart more than one terrorist atrocity on British soil."

Mazzetti, Mark, and Carl Hulse. "Panetta Is Chosen as C.I.A. Chief, in a Surprise Step." New York Times, 6 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Leon E. Panetta, a former congressman and White House chief of staff, has been selected by President-elect Barack Obama to head the Central Intelligence Agency.... [T]wo senior lawmakers [Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV)] questioned why Mr. Obama would nominate a candidate with limited experience in intelligence matters.... Democratic officials said Mr. Obama had selected Mr. Panetta for his managerial skills, his bipartisan standing, and the foreign policy and budget experience he gained under President Bill Clinton."

Abramowitz, Michael. "Panetta's Peers Back Him for CIA." Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2009, A6. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Several of Leon E. Panetta's "former White House colleagues [have] rebutted criticism that he lacked the necessary experience and qualifications" to be CIA director. "They said Panetta worked closely with President Bill Clinton and his most senior lieutenants on every national security issue that came through the White House between 1994 and 1997."

Ignatius, David. "A Surprise for Langley." Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2009, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Complementing Leon Panetta's nomination to head the CIA "is the choice of Dennis Blair to succeed [Mike] McConnell as DNI.... Obama's advisers say [Blair] will bring a 'light touch' to his new job of coordinating the intelligence community. They insist he won't try to duplicate CIA management functions, as McConnell was sometimes accused of doing. Blair's mission, according to Obama's advisers, will be to streamline the 2004 intelligence reorganization that created the DNI structure to oversee the nation's 16 intelligence agencies.... Blair is likely to move quickly to reduce the number of personnel and contractors in the DNI bureaucracy, and to make other changes that signal he wants a leaner and more disciplined organization."

Peters, Ralph. "An Awful Pick." New York Post, 7 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nypost.com]

The author, "a career intelligence officer in the US Army," protests vehemently Leon Panetta's nomination to head the CIA.

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

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."

Shane, Scott, Mark Mazzetti, and Helene Cooper. "Obama Reverses Key Bush Security Policies." New York Times, 23 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 22 January 2009, President Obama "signed executive orders closing the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, within a year; ending the Central Intelligence Agency's secret prisons; and requiring all interrogations to follow the noncoercive methods of the Army Field Manual.... One new task force, headed by the attorney general and the secretary of defense, will study detainee policy and report to the president in six months. A second, led by the attorney general, and with the secretary of defense and director of national intelligence as vice co-chairmen, will study whether the Army Field Manual should remain the only standard for interrogators and review the practice of extraordinary rendition, in which captured terrorism suspects are transferred to other countries."

See also, Joby Warrick and Karen DeYoung, "Obama Reverses Bush Policies on Detention and Interrogation," Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2009, A6.

Smith, R. Jeffrey, Candace Rondeaux, and Joby Warrick. "2 U.S. Airstrikes Offer a Concrete Sign of Obama's Pakistan Policy." Washington Post, 24 Jan. 2009, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 23 January 2009, there were "[t]wo remote U.S. missile strikes that killed at least 20 people at suspected terrorist hideouts in northwestern Pakistan.... The separate strikes on two compounds, coming three hours apart and involving five missiles fired from Afghanistan-based Predator drone aircraft, were the first high-profile hostile military actions taken under Obama's four-day-old presidency.... At least 132 people have been killed in 38 suspected U.S. missile strikes inside Pakistan since August, all conducted by the CIA."

Associated Press. "Panetta Confirmed." 13 Feb. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 12 February 2009, the U.S. Senate "confirmed Leon Panetta as director of the CIA.... During two days of confirmation hearings last week, Panetta told senators that the Obama administration would not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations, even if the tactics constituted torture, as long as they did not go beyond their instructions."

Benson, Pam. "Panetta Sworn in as Spy Chief." CNN, 13 Feb. 2009. [http://www.cnn.com]

"Leon Panetta was sworn in [on 13 February 2009] as the 19th director of the CIA."

Warrick, Joby, and Karen DeYoung. "CIA Helped India, Pakistan Share Secrets in Probe of Mumbai Siege." Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2009, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"In the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the CIA orchestrated back-channel intelligence exchanges between India and Pakistan, allowing the two former enemies to quietly share highly sensitive evidence while the Americans served as neutral arbiters, according to U.S. and foreign government sources familiar with the arrangement."

Coghlan, Tom, Zahid Hussain, and Jeremy Page. "Secrecy and Denial as Pakistan Lets CIA Use Airbase to Strike Militants." Times (London), 17 Feb. 2009. [http://www.timesonline.co.uk]

A Times investigation has found that the "CIA is secretly using" Shamsi airfield "in southern Pakistan to launch the Predator drones that observe and attack al-Qaeda and Taleban militants on the Pakistani side of the border with Afghanistan.... Key to the Times investigation is the unexplained delivery of 730,000 gallons of F34 [JP8] aviation fuel to Shamsi. Details were found on the website of the Pentagon's fuel procurement agency."

Kamen, Al. "In the Loop: Leaving Langley." Washington Post, 19 Feb. 2009, A13. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson announced on 18 February 2009 that "he will retire from the federal government in 30 days."

DeYoung, Karen, and Joby Warrick. "Drone Attacks Inside Pakistan Will Continue, CIA Chief Says: Panetta Calls Strikes 'Successful' at Disrupting Insurgents." Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2009, A10. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 25 February 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta said in his first news briefing since taking the job that "U.S. aerial attacks against al-Qaeda and other extremist strongholds inside Pakistan would continue."

Mazzetti, Mark. "Senate Panel to Pursue Investigation of C.I.A." New York Times, 27 Feb. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The SSCI "is completing plans to begin a review of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation program,... despite White House concerns about the impact of unearthing the past." On 25 February 2009, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta "said he opposed a blanket investigation into the C.I.A. program, saying agency operatives had been carrying out orders and acting with approvals from the Justice Department." See also, Joby Warrick, "Senate Panel to Examine CIA Detainee Handling," Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2009, A4.

Mazzetti, Mark. "U.S. Says C.I.A. Destroyed 92 Tapes of Interrogations." New York Times, 3 Mar. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 2 March 2009, documents submitted by federal prosecutors to a court in New York as part of an FOIA lawsuit brought by the ACLU revealed that in November 2005 CIA "officers destroyed 92 videotapes documenting the harsh interrogations of two Qaeda suspects [Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri] in C.I.A. detention." See also, Carrie Johnson and Joby Warrick, "CIA Destroyed 92 Interrogation Tapes, Probe Says," Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2009, A1.

David, Ariel. "Italy's High Court Sinks CIA Rendition Case." Associated Press, 11 Mar. 2009. [http://www.ap.com]

On 11 March 2009, Italy's Constitutional Court "ruled that prosecutors impermissibly used classified information" to build the case against 26 Americans charged with kidnapping an Eygptian terrorism suspect Abu Omar from a Milan street in 2003.

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