January 1st, 2010
02:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Intel officer: CIA officers' deaths will be avenged

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) - An American intelligence official vowed Thursday that the United States would avenge a suspected terrorist attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of seven CIA officers.

Two of those killed were contractors with private security firm Xe, formerly known as Blackwater, a former intelligence official told CNN. The CIA considers contractors to be officers.

A current intelligence official confirmed that the casualties included a mix of people - CIA staff and contractors. Six others were wounded.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred on Wednesday.

Full story


Filed under: CIA
December 31st, 2009
12:36 PM ET
7 months ago

Panetta releases statement on CIA casualties

(CNN) – CIA  Director Leon Panetta has released a statement on the suicide bombing in Afghanistan Wednesday that killed seven CIA employees:

“Those who fell yesterday were far from home and close to the enemy, doing the hard work that must be done to protect our country from terrorism,” Director Panetta said in a message to employees. “We owe them our deepest gratitude, and we pledge to them and their families that we will never cease fighting for the cause to which they dedicated their lives—a safer America.”;

Full statement from the CIA after the jump

FULL POST


Filed under: CIA
September 18th, 2009
02:25 PM ET
5 years ago

Former CIA chiefs call on Obama to stop interrogation probe

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Seven former CIA directors are urging President Barack Obama to stop the criminal investigation of people involved in the CIA's harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists.

In a letter sent to the president Friday, the former directors called on Obama to reverse Attorney General Eric Holder's decision last month to reopen an investigation that they say would put intelligence officers in "continuous jeopardy" and make them risk averse.

The letter was signed by former directors who served both Democratic and Republican presidents, including three who worked in the most recent Bush administration.


Filed under: CIA • President Obama
August 31st, 2009
11:34 AM ET
5 years ago

Cheney wrong on interrogation inquiry facts, Obama official says

Cheney had his facts wrong on interrogation inquiry facts.
Cheney had his facts wrong on interrogation inquiry facts.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Vice President Dick Cheney had his facts wrong when he blasted Attorney General Eric Holder last week for launching an investigation into past CIA interrogation techniques, an administration official asserted Monday.

Holder's decision to review waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques was politically motivated, Cheney claimed in remarks broadcast on FOX News Sunday. Cheney made clear in the interview, conducted last Friday, that he believes President Barack Obama directed Holder to launch the review in response to pressure from left-wing Democrats.

But the administration official, who asked not to be identified, said, "The attorney general made a determination independently, based on the facts and the law."

The official also objected to Cheney's statement that "the president is the chief law enforcement officer in the land."

FULL POST


Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • Eric Holder
August 30th, 2009
03:22 PM ET
5 years ago

Dem on CIA probe: 'No one is above the law'


WASHINGTON (CNN) – A week before Congress returns from its August recess, there are already signs that a recently announced Justice Department investigation into the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects will be a source of tension between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“This investigation is very appropriate,” Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “No one is above the law. This is not a political process. This is a legal process. It’s a legal process to find out whether the law was broken.”

Cantwell was answering Republican criticism – most notably from former Vice President Dick Cheney - that the recent decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into CIA interrogations was politically motivated and runs the risk of making the spy agency timid in tracking down terrorists who intend to do the country harm.

Related: CIA probe is political, Cheney says

“They’re making it so the people at the CIA are afraid to do anything,” said Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “Frankly, it’s gone way too far,” Hatch told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.
FULL POST


Filed under: CIA • Orrin Hatch • Popular Posts • State of the Union
August 30th, 2009
02:44 PM ET
August 30th, 2009
02:43 PM ET
5 years ago

Cheney: Investigating CIA interrogations a political move

In an interview broadcast Sunday, former Vice President Cheney said he thought President Obama is 'trying to duck responsibility' when it comes to a recently announced probe of the CIA.
In an interview broadcast Sunday, former Vice President Cheney said he thought President Obama is 'trying to duck responsibility' when it comes to a recently announced probe of the CIA.

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview broadcast Sunday that the Justice Department's decision to review waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques is politically motivated.

Cheney said he opposes the decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to ask a former prosecutor to review CIA interrogations of high-profile terrorism suspects.

Cheney made clear he believes President Obama directed Holder to launch the review because the president is feeling pressure from left-wing Democrats. Cheney said the review will undermine the willingness of CIA personnel to conduct necessary operations.

"I think it's a terrible decision," Cheney said on "Fox News Sunday." "It's clearly a political move. There's no other rationale for why they're doing this."

He criticized Obama for allowing a review considering the president previously said that CIA operatives involved in the interrogations would not be prosecuted. "I think he's trying to duck responsibility for what's going on here, and I think it's wrong," Cheney said.

Full story

Updated: 2:43 p.m.


Filed under: CIA • Dick Cheney • Eric Holder • FBI • Popular Posts • President Obama
August 25th, 2009
05:13 PM ET
4 years ago

Borger: CIA flap a huge headache for Obama

The Central Intelligence Agency is under fire for harsh interrogation techniques used after 9/11.
The Central Intelligence Agency is under fire for harsh interrogation techniques used after 9/11.

Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "Campbell Brown," "AC360°" and "State of the Union With John King," as well as special event coverage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - No matter which way you look at it, the question is painfully difficult: What - if anything - do we do about the post 9/11 behavior of some CIA agents who worked feverishly to interrogate prisoners they believed had information that could save American lives?

First, we now know definitively what we always suspected - that agent actions were sometimes abusive, perhaps even illegal, as they tried to obtain information.

The just-released Justice Department report shows, among other things, that agents choked one detainee repeatedly and threatened to kill another prisoner's children. Not pretty stuff.

But here's what we also know, thanks to another report (purposefully) released by the CIA as a response to the Justice document: Some interrogations worked.

According to these agency reports, chronicling 2004 and 2005, the intelligence community gleaned valuable information in real-time - like tracking down a terrorist network and securing key information from the notorious Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the 9/11 mastermind.

The CIA's message is clear: Whatever we did helped us get what we needed to save lives. So get off our backs and let us do our jobs.

But here's the catch, and it's what complicates all of this: The CIA report does not draw a straight line between any specific interrogation methods and success. Indeed, the report says the "effectiveness" of any particular interrogation technique in gaining star-quality information "cannot be so easily measured."

That is an understatement.

So it's easy to see why the president, who doesn't need another political headache, was happy to toss the hot potato over to Attorney General Eric Holder for review. Holder is independent, the president reminded us. He is supposed to make decisions about whether to prosecute criminal cases without the president. That notion could provide a smidgeon of political cover, but it looks like it won't be enough.

Full story

August 24th, 2009
06:57 PM ET
5 years ago

CIA probe is 'terrible politics' for Obama, Dem strategist says

A Democratic strategist said Monday that the new CIA interrogation probe announced by Attorney General Eric Holder is 'terrible politics' for the Obama administration.
A Democratic strategist said Monday that the new CIA interrogation probe announced by Attorney General Eric Holder is 'terrible politics' for the Obama administration.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A prominent Democratic strategist said Monday that the Justice Department probe of CIA interrogations during President George W. Bush's administration may turn into a political liability for President Obama.

"This is terrible politics for the Obama administration and the Democrats," James Carville, a Democratic strategist and CNN political contributor, said Monday in an interview on 'The Situation Room.' "The country – like – really doesn't want this."

But, Carville added that the decision to open the probe into Bush-era interrogations of terrorism suspects is being driven by a belief that "we are a nation of laws."

Ed Rollins, a Republican strategist and CNN political contributor, agreed with Carville.

"Well, we are a nation of laws," Rollins said. "And, I think, obviously if there's anybody who violated laws, they should be punished."

But, Rollins noted that the probe runs the risk of sapping morale at the CIA "at a time that we need them to be on alert and moving forward."
FULL POST


Filed under: CIA • Obama administration • The Situation Room
August 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET
4 years ago

White House issues statement on CIA interrogation probe

The White House has issued the following statement Monday:

Statement from the Press Secretary on the Department of Justice Inquiry

The President has said repeatedly that he wants to look forward, not back, and the President agrees with the Attorney General that those who acted in good faith and within the scope of legal guidance should not be prosecuted. Ultimately, determinations about whether someone broke the law are made independently by the Attorney General.

Related: Top prosecutor orders probe into interrogations


Filed under: CIA • Justice Department • Obama administration
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