September - December

Materials presented in chronological order.

Warrick, Joby. "Senate Intelligence Panel Seeks CIA Nominee's Withdrawal." Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2007, A11. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

SSCI members "have requested the withdrawal of the Bush administration's choice for CIA general counsel, acknowledging that John Rizzo's nomination has stalled because of concerns about his views on the treatment of terrorism suspects.... Rizzo has served with the CIA since 1976 and acted as interim general counsel from 2001 to 2002 and from August 2004 to the present."

Joby Warrick, "Nominee Withdraws Bid for Key CIA Post," Washington Post, 26 Sep. 2007, A12, reports that on 25 September 2007, John A. Rizzo withdrew his candidacy for the position of CIA general counsel. His nomination had encountered "opposition from Democrats who questioned his views on the agency's methods of interrogating terrorism suspects." Clark comment: This is a shame, as Rizzo has spent his career preparing for this job (and actually holding it as acting general counsel since 2004). There are few (if any) individuals more capable. John, you have served long and well; you have my sympathy for a raw deal.

Mazzetti, Mark. "Ex-Official Returns to Key Post at the C.I.A." New York Times, 15 Sep. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

The CIA announced on 14 September 2007 that Michael J. Sulick has been named to head the agency's clandestine service. Sulick retired from the number two position in the clandestine service in 2004 following a dispute with then-DCI Porter Goss's staff. In this position, "Sulick will have a role that extends beyond the agency to include broad oversight of human intelligence operations in other agencies, including the military and the Defense Intelligence Agency." See also, Walter Pincus, "CIA Veteran to Head Clandestine Service," Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2007, A2.

White, Rebecca N. "Inside Track: The Facts of the Matter." National Interest, 21 Sep. 2007. [http://www.nationalinterest.org]

On 19 September 2007, Paul R. Pillar "told a crowd at an event hosted by The National Interest and Georgetown's Center for Peace and Security Studies ... [that] we knew that war in Iraq would be a disaster. Two U.S. intelligence reports foresaw a post-invasion Iraq in turmoil.... But these documents, like all input that did not support the Bush Administration's Iraq policy line or sales pitch, were summarily rejected or blatantly ignored. The course of U.S. policy had been set before the repercussions of an invasion were ever assessed." See also, David Ignatius, "When the CIA Got It Right," Washington Post, 23 Sep. 2007, B7.

Whitlock, Craig. "Germans Drop Bid for Extraditions in CIA Case: 13 Agency Operatives Charged in Kidnapping." Washington Post, 24 Sep. 2007, A9. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

German authorities confirmed on 23 September 2007 "that they have dropped their efforts to seek the extradition of 13 CIA operatives charged in the kidnapping" of Khaled el-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, four years ago.

Shane, Scott, David Johnston, and James Risen. "Secret U.S. Endorsement of Severe Interrogations." New York Times, 4 Oct. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"[S]oon after Alberto R. Gonzales's arrival as attorney general in February 2005," the Justice Department issued a secret opinion that was "an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques" ever used by the CIA. According to officials briefed on it, the opinion "provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures." Later in 2005, "the Justice Department issued another secret opinion" declaring that "none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated" the standard of no "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment.

Eggen, Dan, and Michael Abramowitz. "Congress Seeks Secret Memos on Interrogation." Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2007, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Democratic lawmakers assailed the Justice Department [on 4 October 2007] for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh CIA interrogation techniques, demanding that the Bush administration turn over the documents. But officials refused and said the tactics did not violate anti-torture laws."

Mazzetti, Mark, and Scott Shane. "Watchdog of C.I.A. Is Subject of C.I.A. Inquiry." New York Times, 11 Oct. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

CIA Director Gen. Michael V. Hayden "has ordered an unusual internal inquiry into the work of the agency's inspector general, whose aggressive investigations of the C.I.A.'s detention and interrogation programs and other matters have created resentment among agency operatives." Current and former officials speaking on condition of anonymity "said the inquiry was being overseen by Robert L. Deitz, a trusted aide to the C.I.A. director and a lawyer who served as general counsel at the National Security Agency when General Hayden ran it. Michael Morrell, the agency's associate deputy director, is another member of the group, officials said."

Shane, Scott, and Mark Mazzetti. "Lawmakers Raise Concerns Over Call for Investigation of C.I.A. Watchdog's Work." New York Times, 13 Oct. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 12 October 2007, Sen. Christopher S. Bond (R-MO), "[t]he top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee[,] joined Democrats ... in expressing strong concern about an unusual inquiry into the work" of CIA Inspector General John L. Helgerson, "saying the review could undermine Mr. Helgerson's role as independent watchdog."

Walter Pincus, "Lawmakers Criticize CIA Director's Review Order," Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2007, A3, reports that HPSCI Chairman Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) "said in a statement ... that the review of the agency's inspector general ... is 'troubling' because of its possible impact on the official's independence, 'which Congress established and will very aggressively preserve.'"

Shenon, Philip. "C.I.A. Officer Admits Guilt Over Hezbollah Files." New York Times, 14 Nov. 2007. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 13 November 2007, Nada Nadim Prouty, "[a] Lebanese-born C.I.A. officer" who previously worked for the FBI, "pleaded guilty ... to charges that she illegally sought classified information" from FBI computers about the radical Islamic group Hezbollah. Prouty "also confessed that she had fraudulently obtained American citizenship." She "faces up to 16 years in prison." The plea agreement "appeared to expose grave flaws in the methods used" by the CIA and FBI "to conduct background checks."

See also, Michael Isikoff, et al. "Dangerous Liaisons: Nada Prouty Worked for the FBI and CIA. Now There's Worry She's Not Who They Thought She Was," Newsweek, 26 Nov. 2007, 35; and Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen. "Ex-FBI Employee's Case Raises New Security Concerns: Sham Marriage Led to U.S. Citizenship," Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2007, A3.

Whitlock, Craig. "Jordan's Spy Agency: Holding Cell for the CIA." Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2007, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"[A]ccording to documents and former prisoners, human rights advocates, defense lawyers and former U.S. officials," Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) has provided "a covert way station for CIA prisoners captured in other countries."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Has Recruited Iranians to Defect." Los Angeles Times, 9 Dec. 2007. [http://www.latimes.com]

According to current and former U.S. intelligence officials, "[t]he CIA launched a secret program in 2005 designed to degrade Iran's nuclear weapons program by persuading key officials to defect.... The program has had limited success. Officials said that fewer than six well-placed Iranians have defected, and that none has been in a position to provide comprehensive information on Tehran's nuclear program."

Kissinger, Henry A. "Misreading the Iran Report: Why Spying and Policymaking Don't Mix." Washington Post, 13 Dec. 2007. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"The executive branch and the intelligence community have gone through a rough period. The White House has been accused of politicizing intelligence; the intelligence community has been charged with promoting institutional policy biases. The Key Judgments document [of the NIE on Iran's nuclear program] accelerates that controversy.... Intelligence personnel need to return to their traditional anonymity. Policymakers and Congress should once again assume responsibility for their judgments without involving intelligence in their public justifications."

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