Mark Mazzetti

R - Z


Mazzetti, Mark. "A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood." New York Times, 6 Apr. 2013. []

In June 2004, the CIA for the first time "deployed a Predator drone in Pakistan to carry out a 'targeted killing.' The target was not a top operative of Al Qaeda, but a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill him in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies.... The deal ... paved the way for the C.I.A. to change its focus from capturing terrorists to killing them, and helped transform an agency that began as a cold war espionage service into a paramilitary organization."

[CIA/10s/13; Recon/UAVs/10s; Terrorism/10s/13]

Mazzetti, Mark. "Senate Panel to Pursue Investigation of C.I.A." New York Times, 27 Feb. 2009. []

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.

[CIA/00s/09; Oversight/00s]

Mazzetti, Mark. "Spy Agencies Say Iraq War Worsens Terror Threat." New York Times, 24 Sep. 2006. []

In a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), U.S. intelligence agencies provide a "stark assessment of terrorism trends," finding that "the American invasion and occupation of Iraq has helped spawn a new generation of Islamic radicalism and that the overall terrorist threat has grown since the Sept. 11 attacks." The NIE "was overseen by David B. Low," NIO for transnational threats. It was commissioned in 2004 after Low joined the National Intelligence Council.


Mazzetti, Mark. "A Storied Operative Returns to the C.I.A." New York Times, 30 May 2006. []

Although the appointment has not been formally announced, former CIA clandestine service head Stephen R. Kappes is expected to be named the agency's deputy director. He "would become the first person since William E. Colby in 1973 to ascend to one of agency's top two positions from a career spent in the clandestine service."


Mazzetti, Mark. "U.S. Expands Role of Diplomats in Spying." New York Times, 28 Nov. 2010. []

According to classified cables, originally obtained by WikiLeaks, the State Department "has expanded the role of American diplomats in collecting intelligence overseas and at the United Nations, ordering State Department personnel to gather the credit card and frequent-flier numbers, work schedules and other personal information of foreign dignitaries.... The cables give a laundry list of instructions for how State Department employees can fulfill the demands of a 'National Humint Collection Directive.' ... While the State Department has long provided information about foreign officials' duties to the Central Intelligence Agency to help build biographical profiles, the more intrusive personal information diplomats are now being asked to gather could be used by the National Security Agency for data mining and surveillance operations. A frequent-flier number, for example, could be used to track the travel plans of foreign officials."


Mazzetti, Mark. "U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast." New York Times, 24 May 2010. []

According to defense officials and military documents, Gen. David H. Petraeus signed a secret directive -- the Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order -- on 30 September 2009 authorizing the sending of U.S. "Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces." The "order is meant for small teams of American troops to fill intelligence gaps about terror organizations and other threats in the Middle East and beyond, especially emerging groups plotting attacks against the United States."


Mazzetti, Mark. "U.S. Is Still Using Private Spy Ring, Despite Doubts." New York Times, 15 May 2010. []

According to American officials and businessmen, "military officials have continued to rely on a secret network of private spies ... inside Afghanistan and Pakistan,... despite concerns among some in the military about the legality of the operation." A review of the program by the New York Times found that the operatives in the contractor network originally set up by Michael D. Furlong "were still providing information using the same intelligence gathering methods as before. The contractors were still being paid under a $22 million contract,... managed by Lockheed Martin and supervised by the Pentagon office in charge of special operations policy."

[MI/2010 & Ops/Afgh/10]

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

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.


Mazzetti, Mark. The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth. New York: Penguin, 2013.

Bergen, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2013, finds that, in this "deeply reported and crisply written account," the author "documents the militarization of the CIA and the stepped-up intelligence focus of Special Operations forces." While recounting "the important shifts in the architecture of the U.S. military and intelligence communities," this work "also reveals the many eccentric characters who emerged during this era of shifting portfolios and illustrates another important theme of the book: the privatization of intelligence operations, which were traditionally a core government function."

For Orzetti, Proceedings 139.12 (Dec. 2013), the author provides "a thoroughly researched and thought-provoking portrait of ... the most consequential shift of the American national security complex since the Cold War." Freedman, FA 92.5 (Sep.-Oct. 2013), "Mazzetti describes in compelling detail the agency's turf battles with the Pentagon, its awkward relations with its Pakistani counterpart, and its reliance on a motley collection of freelancers and private contractors." Willing, Studies 57.3 (Sep. 2013), comments that while the book "is not a negative screed,... it does little to acknowledge the CIA's successes or to offer historical context."

Seeger, Studies 57.4 (Dec. 2013), says the author's "writing style is clear and concise, and his access to senior officials in the US government is obvious." However, he "selects his research material ... in large part to support" a biased viewpoint. "[F]or anyone outside the IC, the book simply reads like a list of failures in Washington and in the field.... [T]his litany of failures tends to obscure other stories -- discussed but covered less thoroughly in The Way of the Knife -- that underscore that fact that good leaders can cooperate to resolve bureaucratic conflict. These stories do not receive equal treatment within Mazzetti's discussion of failures and bureaucratic conflict."

[CIA/10s/Gen; MI/SpecOps/10s/Gen; Terrorism/10s/Gen]

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