CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY

2012

July - December

Materials presented in chronological order.

Chow, Denise. "CIA Declassifies Spy Satellite Saga with a Deep-Sea Twist." MSNBC, 10 Aug. 2012. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com]

On 8 August 2012, the CIA released documents that detail how in 1972 the U.S. Navy used its "most sophisticated deep-sea submersible,"the Trieste II Deep Sea Vehicle, or DSV-1, to retrieve a film capsule from a Hexagon photo reconnaissance satellite "that had settled more than 16,000 feet ... underwater on the ocean floor. At the time, the expedition was the deepest undersea salvage operation ever attempted."

Archibold, Randal C., and Eric Schmitt. "Americans Shot in Mexico Were C.I.A. Operatives Aiding in Drug War." New York Times, 28 Aug. 2012 [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to officials on 28 August 2012, "[t]he two Americans who were wounded when gunmen fired on an American Embassy vehicle last week were Central Intelligence Agency employees sent as part of a multiagency effort to bolster Mexican efforts to fight drug traffickers." See also, William Booth and Greg Miller, "U.S. Workers Shot in Mexico May be CIA Employees," Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2012.

Miller, Greg. "Justice Closes CIA Probe Without Charges." Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The Justice Department said [on 30 August 2012] that it would not file charges in connection with the deaths of two prisoners held in CIA custody a decade ago, closing the last active criminal investigation into the agency's treatment of prisoners after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks."

Bergen, Peter, and Megan Braun. "Drone Is Obama's Weapon of Choice." CNN, 6 Sep. 2012. [http://www.cnn.com]

The authors discuss an analysis by the New America Foundation of drone strikes. Some conclusions: "Under Obama, the drone campaign, which during the Bush administration had put emphasis on killing significant members of al Qaeda, has undergone a quiet and unheralded shift to focus increasingly on killing Taliban foot soldiers.... [S]o-called 'signature strikes' have become a hallmark of Obama's drone war. These are drone attacks based on patterns of merely suspicious activity by a group of men, rather than the identification of a particular individual militant.... The number of drone strikes in 2011 fell by 40% from the record number of strikes in 2010. So far this year, the number of strikes has dropped by a further 25%."

Shapira, Ian. "Italy's High Court Upholds Convictions of 23 Americans in Abu Omar Rendition." Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Milbank, Dana. "Letting Us in on a Secret." Washington Post, 10 Oct. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The purpose of the 10 October 2012 "hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why 'congressional intelligence' is an oxymoron. Through their outbursts, cryptic language and boneheaded questioning of State Department officials, the committee members left little doubt that one of the two compounds at which the Americans were killed, described by the administration as a 'consulate' and a nearby 'annex,' was a CIA base. They did this, helpfully, in a televised public hearing."

Miller, Greg. " CIA Seeks to Expand Drone Fleet, Officials Say." Washington Post, 18 Oct. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. officials, CIA Director David H. Petraeus "is urging the White House to approve" the addition of "as many as 10 drones" to the agency's inventory of armed drones "that has ranged between 30 and 35 over the past few years."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Rushed to Save Diplomats as Libya Attack Was Underway." Washington Post, 1 Nov. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. intelligence officials on 1 November 2012, "[t]he CIA rushed security operatives to an American diplomatic compound in Libya within 25 minutes of its coming under attack and played a more central role in the effort to fend off a night-long siege than has been acknowledged publicly..... The agency mobilized the evacuation effort, took control of an unarmed U.S. military drone to map possible escape routes, dispatched an emergency security team from Tripoli,... and chartered aircraft that ultimately carried surviving American personnel to safety."

Miller, Greg, and Sari Horwitz. "David Petraeus Resigns as CIA Director." Washington Post, 9 Nov. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"CIA Director David H. Petraeus resigned [on 9 November 2012] and admitted to having an extramarital affair." Officials said "Michael J. Morell, who served as Petraeus's deputy at the CIA, will serve as interim director." See also, Michael D. Shear, "Petraeus Quits; Evidence of Affair Was Found by F.B.I.," New York Times, 9 Nov. 2012.

Pincus, Walter. "Time to Rethink the CIA?" Washington Post, 15 Nov. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"President Obama should pause before choosing a successor to CIA Director David H. Petraeus and rethink the role of the nation's primary intelligence agency.... The first question to ask: Has the CIA become too much of a paramilitary organization? The second: Should this be the time to put the agency's main emphasis on being the premier producer and analyst of intelligence for policymakers, using both open and clandestine sources?"

Miller, Greg. "Report Finds Harsh CIA Interrogations Ineffective." Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2012. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"After a contentious closed-door vote," the SSCI "approved a long-awaited report" on 13 December 2012 "concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said. The 6,000-page document ... was not released to the public." The committee's "9 to 6 vote indicates that at least one Republican backed the report."

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