Mark Mazzetti

A - D

Mazzetti, Mark. "Blackwater Loses a Job for the C.I.A." New York Times, 12 Dec. 2009. []

According to CIA spokesman George Little on 11 December 2009, CIA Director Leon E. Panetta has canceled "a contract with the security company formerly called Blackwater Worldwide [now Xe Services] that allowed the company to load bombs on C.I.A. drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan."

[CIA/00s/09; MI/Ops/00s/Afgh] 

Mazzetti, Mark. "Bush Hails Role of C.I.A. as New Chief Takes Oath." New York Times, 1 Jun. 2006. []

Addressing CIA employees on 31 May after Gen. Michael V. Hayden was sworn in as CIA director, "President Bush delivered a pep talk..., assuring them that the beleaguered agency played a critical role in the nation's security and remained 'vital' to the work of the White House." This was Hayden's second swearing-in, following a private ceremony on 30 May 2006. See also, Walter Pincus, "Spies Are Called Essential: Bush Says U.S. Must Continue to Develop Covert Agents," Washington Post, 1 Jun. 2006, A3.


Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. to Be Overhauled to Fight Modern Threats." New York Times, 7 Mar. 2015, A15. []

In a briefing with reporters on 4 March 2015, DCIA John O. Brennan discussed a restructuring of the CIA that "would partly abandon the agency's current structure that keeps spies and analysts separate as they target specific regions or countries. Instead, C.I.A. officers will be assigned to 10 new mission centers focused on terrorism, weapons proliferation, the Middle East and other areas with responsibility for espionage operations, intelligence analysis and covert actions.... Brennan said he was also adding a new directorate at the agency responsible for all of the C.I.A.'s digital operations -- from cyberespionage to data warehousing and analysis."

See also, Greg Miller, "CIA Plans Major Reorganization and a Focus on Digital Espionage," Washington Post, 6 Mar. 2015.

The "Unclassified Version of March 6, 2015 Message to the Workforce from CIA Director John Brennan: Our Agency's Blueprint for the Future" is available at:


Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Closes Unit Focused on Capture of bin Laden." New York Times, 4 Jul. 2006. []

Intelligence officials confirmed on 3 July 2006 that the CIA "has closed a unit that for a decade had the mission of hunting Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants.... The unit, known as Alec Station, was disbanded late last year and its analysts reassigned within the C.I.A. Counterterrorist Center." CIA officials said that tracking bin Laden and his deputies "remained a high priority, and that the decision to disband the unit ... reflects a belief that the agency can better deal with high-level threats by focusing on regional trends rather than on specific organizations or individuals."

[CIA/00s/06/Gen; Terrorism/00s/06]

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Lays Out Errors It Made Before Sept. 11." New York Times, 22 Aug. 2007. []

The executive summary of CIA Inspector General John Helgerson's report, released on 21 August 2007, cites the agency's "failures to grasp the role being played by ... Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and to assess fully the threats streaming into the C.I.A. in the summer of 2001." The release of the report has "reignited a debate about whether the C.I.A. should have done more before the attacks and whether [former DCI George] Tenet and other officials should be held accountable." See also, Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus, "CIA Finds Holes in Pre-9/11 Work: Agency Reluctantly Releases 2-Year-Old Document Critical of Tenet," Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2007, A1.


Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Official in Inquiry Called a 'Hero.'" New York Times, 10 Dec. 2007. []

"At a conference in El Paso in mid-August," HPSCI chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) "heaped praise" on Jose A. Rodriguez Jr,. who recently stepped down as head of the CIA's National Clandestine Service. Now, Rodriguez’s "role in the destruction of hundreds of hours of videotape of harsh interrogations of two operatives of Al Qaeda is at the center of an inquiry" by Reyes's committee. A separate Justice Department inquiry "could lead to a full criminal investigation into the matter." Thus, "the man who spent a career in the shadows has been thrust uneasily into the spotlight."

[CIA/00s/07; CIA/Components/NCS]

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Said to Find No Hussein Link to Terror Chief." New York Times, 9 Sep. 2006. []

A report issued on 8 September 2006 by the Senate's intelligence committee says that the CIA "last fall repudiated the claim that there were prewar ties between Saddam Hussein's government" and Al Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In a second report, the committee "also sharply criticized the administration for its reliance on the Iraqi National Congress during the prelude to the war in Iraq."

[CIA/00s/06/Gen; GenPostCW/00s/06/WMD; Terrorism/00s/06]

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Sought Blackwater’s Help in Plan to Kill Jihadists." New York Times, 20 Aug. 2009. []

According to current and former government officials, the CIA "in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda.... Blackwater's work on the program actually ended years before [CIA Director Leon] Panetta took over the agency, after senior C.I.A. officials themselves questioned the wisdom of using outsiders in a targeted killing program." See also, Joby Warrick and R. Jeffrey Smith, "CIA Hired Firm for Assassin Program: Blackwater Missions Against Al-Qaeda Never Began, Ex-Officials Say," Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2009.


Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Takes On Bigger and Riskier Role on Front Lines." New York Times, 1 Jan. 2010. []

"The deaths of seven Central Intelligence Agency operatives at a remote base in the mountains of Afghanistan are a pointed example of the civilian spy agency's transformation in recent years into a paramilitary organization at the vanguard of America's far-flung wars.... Over the past year, the C.I.A. has built up an archipelago of firebases in southern and eastern Afghanistan, moving agency operatives out of the embassy in Kabul and closer to their targets."


Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Tells of Changes for Its Internal Inquiries." New York Times, 2 Feb. 2008. []

In a message to employees on 31 January 2008, CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden announced that Inspector General John L. Helgerson "has agreed to a series of changes in the way the office conducts its investigations of the agency's practices." Among the changes are "new procedures to allow agency officers to lodge complaints against the inspector general's office." The changes follow an internal review begun in April 2007 and led by Hayden aide Robert L. Deitz. In addition to an ombudsman in the inspector general's office, "a new position of quality control officer is being established ... to attest, as General Hayden put it, 'that reports include all exculpatory and relevant mitigating information.'" See also, Joby Warrick, "CIA Sets Changes To IG's Oversight, Adds Ombudsman." Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2008, A3.

[CIA/00s/08/Gen & Components/ODCIA]

Mazzetti, Mark. "C.I.A. Withheld Data in Peru Plane Crash Inquiry." New York Times, 21 Nov. 2008. []

An August 2008 report by CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, parts of which were made public on 20 November 2008, "has found that the agency withheld crucial information from federal investigators ... trying to determine whether C.I.A. officers committed crimes related to the accidental downing of a missionary plane in Peru in 2001." The report said the CIA."repeatedly misled the White House and Congress ... about the Peru operation." Rep. Peter J. Hoekstra (R-MI), "the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said he was asking the Justice Department to consider whether the C.I.A.'s actions after the incident amounted to obstruction of justice."

See also, Joby Warrick, "CIA Withheld Details on Downing, IG Says." Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2008, A8.


Mazzetti, Mark. "Computer Searches at Center of Dispute on C.I.A. Detentions." New York Times, 6 Mar. 2014, A20. []

"Senior lawmakers contend that C.I.A. officers conducted unauthorized searches of the computers used by committee staff members in an effort to learn how the committee gained access to the agency's own 2009 internal review of the interrogation program.... But other officials, not speaking publicly, have implied that it was the committee that acted improperly by penetrating parts of the C.I.A.'s computer network it was not authorized to access, and rejected the accusations."

[CIA/10s/14; Oversight/10s]

Mazzetti, Mark. "Delays in Effort to Refocus C.I.A. From Drone War." New York Times, 6 Apr. 2014, A1. []

"A number of factors -- including bureaucratic turf fights, congressional pressure and the demands of foreign governments -- have contributed" to the delay in moving drone operations from the CIA to the Pentagon. CIA Director John O. Brennan "is in charge of a counterterrorism apparatus that has steadily grown in budget, manpower and influence for more than a decade.... [T]he agency's Counterterrorism Center ... remains a powerful force both inside the agency and on Capitol Hill.... Influential lawmakers from both parties have fought to protect the C.I.A.'s role in the drone wars and prevent the proposed shift of the bulk of drone operations to the Pentagon."


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