CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2009

April - June

Materials presented in chronological order.

Saralayeva, Leila. "Russian TV Accuses US of Spying on Russia, China." Associated Press, 6 Apr. 2009. [http://www.ap.com]

A film aired on the Rossiya TV channel on 5 April 2009 "accused the U.S. of using an air base in Kyrgyzstan to spy on Russia and China -- an allegation a spokesman for the base flatly denied" on 6 April 2009. The film also shows "a building it said was used for electronic surveillance" and "shows a woman identified as Vicki Lynn Rundquist, whom it says is first secretary of the political division at the U.S. Embassy in Kyrgyzstan and an undercover CIA agent."

Benson, Pam. "CIA Director Says No More Contractor Interrogations." CNN, 9 Apr. 2009. [http://www.cnn.com]

On 9 April 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta told Agency employees that he had notified the Congressional oversight committees that the CIA would no longer use independent contractors for conducting interrogations of terror suspects. In addition, the "harsh interrogation techniques" previously authorized will no longer be used. Questioning of suspected terrorists "will follow the approaches authorized in the Army Field Manual." Karen DeYoung, "CIA Has Quit Operating Secret Jails, Chief Says," Washington Post, 10 Apr. 2009, A3, adds that Panetta also said that "[t]he CIA no longer operates any secret overseas prisons."

Mazzetti, Mark, and Scott Shane. "Interrogation Memos Detail Harsh Tactics by the C.I.A.." New York Times, 17 Apr. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 16 April 2009, the Justice Department made public detailed memos describing "the methods approved by the Bush administration for extracting information from senior operatives of Al Qaeda.... The interrogation methods were authorized beginning in 2002, and some were used as late as 2005 in the C.I.A.'s secret overseas prisons." At the same time, President "Obama said that C.I.A. officers who were acting on the Justice Department's legal advice would not be prosecuted, but he left open the possibility that anyone who acted without legal authorization could still face criminal penalties."

Carrie Johnson and Julie Tate, "New Interrogation Details Emerge: As It Releases Justice Dept. Memos, Administration Reassures CIA Questioners," Washington Post, 17 Apr. 2009, adds that officials said "they would provide legal representation at no cost to CIA employees subjected to international tribunals or inquiries from Congress. They also said they would indemnify agency workers against any financial judgments."

Warrick, Joby, and Peter Finn. "Psychologists Helped Guide Interrogations: Extent of Health Professionals' Role at CIA Prisons Draws Fresh Outrage From Ethicists." Washington Post, 18 Apr. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The Bush administration memos released on 16 April 2009 "show a steady stream of psychologists, physicians and other health officials who both kept detainees alive and actively participated in designing the interrogation program and monitoring its implementation.... Most of the psychologists were contract employees of the CIA, according to intelligence officials familiar with the program." See also, Joby Warrick and Peter Finn, "Internal Rifts on Road to Torment: Interviews Offer More Nuanced Look at Roles of CIA Contractors, Concerns of Officials During Interrogations," Washington Post, 19 Jul. 2009.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "Statement by the Director of National Intelligence, Mr. Dennis C. Blair." Washington, DC: 21 Apr. 2009. [http://www.dni.gov/press_releases/20090421_release.pdf]

Clark comment: This is DNI's statement with regard to the memos made public by the Justice Department on 16 April 2009, detailing the methods approved by the Bush administration for extracting information from Al Qaeda senior operatives.

"I recommended to the president that the administration release these memos, and I made clear that the CIA should not be punished for carrying out legal orders. I also strongly supported the president when he declared that we would no longer use enhanced interrogation techniques. We do not need these techniques to keep America safe.

"The information gained from these techniques was valuable in some instances, but there is no way of knowing whether the same information could have been obtained through other means. The bottom line is these techniques have hurt our image around the world, the damage they have done to our interests far outweighed whatever benefit they gave us and they are not essential to our national security."

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

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."

Shane, Scott. "Woman in Rendition Case Sues for Immunity." New York Times, 14 May 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Sabrina De Sousa, charged with kidnapping in Italy in the 2003 seizure of radical Muslim cleric Abu Omar, filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington on 13 May 2009 "seeking to force the State Department to invoke diplomatic immunity to halt the prosecution." Italian prosecutors claim that De Sousa "was a C.I.A. officer serving under diplomatic cover" in the U.S. Consulate in Milan at the time of the abduction. In the lawsuit, De Sousa describes herself as a diplomat and denies that she worked for the CIA. "The lawsuit asks the court to order the government to invoke diplomatic immunity, provide her with legal counsel in Italy and pay her legal bills and other costs associated with the case."

Hess, Pamela. "CIA, Intel Director Locked in Spy Turf Battle." Associated Press, 27 May 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to current and former government officials, DNI Dennis Blair and CIA Director Leon Panetta "are locked in a turf battle over overseas posts, forcing National Security Adviser James L. Jones to mediate." The dispute "centers on Blair's effort to choose his own representatives at U.S. embassies instead of relying only on CIA station chiefs."

Reacting to Hess's report, Marc Ambinder, "An Intelligence Turf War or Just Unfinished Business," The Atlantic, 28 May 2009, cautions: "don't draw from [the term "turf battle"] the notion that Blair and Panetta are at daggers drawn. They've simply asked the White House to resolve a question that Congress dropped in their laps when it created the DNI structure and took away the CIA chief's power to direct the activities of the nation's other 15 intelligence agencies." See also, Mark Mazzetti, "Turf Battles on Intelligence Pose Test for Spy Chiefs," New York Times, 9 Jun. 2009.

Meyer, Josh. "FBI Planning a Bigger Role in Terrorism Fight." Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2009. [http://www.latimes.com]

Under the still developing "global justice" initiative, the FBI and Justice Department will "significantly expand their role in global counter-terrorism operations, part of a U.S. policy shift that will replace a CIA-dominated system of clandestine detentions and interrogations with one built around transparent investigations and prosecutions.... The approach effectively reverses a mainstay of the Bush administration's war on terrorism, in which global counter-terrorism was treated primarily as an intelligence and military problem, not a law enforcement one."

Warrick, Joby. "CIA Announces Push to Improve Agency's Language Proficiency." Washington Post, 30 May 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 29 May 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta launched a "program to double the number of analysts proficient in languages deemed critical in the fight against America's enemies." The effort includes "recruiting more officers fluent in foreign languages," as well as offering "night classes and online training" and enabling "new recruits to study languages while awaiting security clearance."

Benson, Pam. "CIA Reveals Fallen Officer." CNN, 1 Jun. 2009. [http://cnnwire.blogs.cnn.com]

On 1 June 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta disclosed that Gregg Wenzel, killed six years ago "by a drunken driver on the streets of Addis Ababa," was a CIA officer. Panetta "noted that Wenzel was a member of the first clandestine service class to graduate after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.... There are now 90 stars ... displayed on the memorial wall" in the atrium at CIA headquarters, "each commemorating an officer ... who died while serving the country."

Ghosh, Bobby, and Mark Thompson. "The CIA's Silent War in Pakistan." Time, 1 Jun. 2009, 38-41.

"In the fight against al-Qaeda, pilotless drones [Predator and Reaper] are redefining warfare. But they could be doing more harm than good."

CNN. "CIA Asks Court to Keep Interrogation Records Secret." 8 Jun. 2009. [http://www.cnn.com]

On 8 June 2009, CIA Director Leon Panetta asked U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein "to keep records of U.S. interrogations of top al Qaeda captives secret, arguing their release could cause 'exceptionally grave' damage to national security."

Smith, R. Jeffrey, and Joby Warrick. "CIA Fights Full Release of Detainee Report: White House Urged to Maintain Secrecy." Washington Post, 17 Jun. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to intelligence officials, the CIA wants the Obama administration "to maintain the secrecy of significant portions" of the CIA inspector general's May 2004 report on the agency's interrogation program.

Hayden, Michael V. "Defenders At Risk: How Blame Games Are Costing Spy Agencies." Washington Post, 19 Jun. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The retired general and former DCIA, argues that because of Phillip Mudd's refusal to participate in a political circus, "the republic will do without the officer clearly most qualified to fill the head intelligence position at DHS." Hayden broadens his comment by adding that "Phil's fate is symptomatic of a larger and even more troubling reality. A whole swath of intelligence professionals -- the best we had, the ones we threw at the al-Qaeda challenge when the nation was in extremis -- are suffering for their sacrifice, being held up to recrimination for many decisions that were never wholly theirs and about which there was little protest when we all believed we were in danger."

Warrick, Joby. "Airstrike Kills Dozens of Insurgents." Washington Post, 24 Jun. 2009. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Missiles fired by a suspected CIA drone aircraft [on 23 June 2009] struck a funeral attended by Taliban militants in South Waziristan, killing dozens in what is thought to be the deadliest such attack since the U.S. government began its covert campaign against Pakistan-based fighters last summer."

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