January - April

Materials presented in chronological order.

Mazzetti, Mark. "Obama Faults Spy Agencies' Performance in Gauging Mideast Unrest, Officials Say." New York Times, 4 Feb. 2011. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to current and former U.S. officials, "President Obama has criticized American spy agencies over their performance in predicting and analyzing the spreading unrest in the Middle East.... The president was specifically critical of intelligence agencies for misjudging how quickly the unrest in Tunisia would lead to the downfall of the country's authoritarian government."

Goldman, Adam, and Matt Apuzzo. "AP IMPACT: At CIA, Grave Mistakes, Then Promotions." Associated Press, 9 Feb. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

In the years since the 9/11 "terrorist attacks, officers who committed serious mistakes that left people wrongly imprisoned or even dead have received only minor admonishments or no punishment at all, an Associated Press investigation has revealed.... The AP investigation of the CIA's actions revealed a disciplinary system that takes years to make decisions, hands down reprimands inconsistently and is viewed inside the agency as prone to favoritism and manipulation. When people are disciplined, the punishment seems to roll downhill, sparing senior managers even when they were directly involved in operations that go awry."

Mckelvey, Tara. "Inside the Killing Machine." Newsweek, 13 Feb. 2011. [http://www.thedailybeast.com]

This article is based on an interview with former CIA acting general counsel John Rizzo. The focus is on the approval process for "CIA's operations to kill suspected terrorists.... A look at the bureaucracy behind the operations reveals that it is multilayered and methodical, run by a corps of civil servants who carry out their duties in a professional manner.... How CIA staffers determine whether to target someone for lethal operations is a relatively straightforward.... The president does not review the individual names of people; Rizzo explains that he was the one who signed off....

"The hub of activity for the targeted killings is the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, where lawyers -- there are roughly 10 of them, says Rizzo -- write a cable asserting that an individual poses a grave threat to the United States. The CIA cables are legalistic and carefully argued." Requests for "targeting for lethal operation" are signed off on by the general counsel.

This article has caused Rizzo legal difficulties as Marc Ambinder and Yochi J. Dreazen, "Former Top CIA Lawyer Under Investigation," National Journal, 10 Nov. 2011, report that "[t]he Justice Department is investigating whether ... John Rizzo[] improperly disclosed classified information about the CIA's drone campaign.... The probe is ongoing, and it's not clear when it will reach a conclusion about whether to recommend that Rizzo be disciplined for his participation in the Newsweek piece."

CNN. "U.S. Official: Accused American in Pakistan a CIA Contractor." 21 Feb. 2011. [http://www.cnn.com]

Raymond Davis, the "American accused of shooting and killing two Pakistani men in January[,] is an independent contractor to the CIA who provided security for U.S. officials, a U.S. official said" on 21 February 2011. "While acknowledging that Davis is a CIA contractor, the U.S. official said that Davis is not a case officer or paramilitary officer." See also, Mark Mazzetti, et al., "American Held in Pakistan Worked With C.I.A.," New York Times, 21 Feb. 2011; and Greg Miller, "U.S. Officials: Raymond Davis, Accused in Pakistan Shootings, Worked for CIA," Washington Post, 21 Feb. 2011.

Hosenball, Mark. "Two CIA Contractors Spirited Out of Pakistan." Reuters, 23 Feb. 2011. [http://www.reuters.com]

"Two U.S. citizens with diplomatic status were quietly withdrawn from Pakistan after being involved in a fatal car accident last month while trying to help Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor being held by Pakistani authorities on murder charges. Two officials familiar with U.S. government activities in Pakistan said the two Americans who left the country worked for the CIA under contract as protective officers."

Gannon, Kathy, and Adam Goldman. "Pakistan's Intelligence Ready to Split with CIA." Associated Press, 24 Feb. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Pakistan's ISI spy agency is ready to split with the CIA because of frustration over what it calls heavy-handed pressure and its anger over what it believes is a covert U.S. operation involving hundreds of contract spies, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with U.S. and Pakistani officials."

Gall, Carlotta, and Mark Mazzetti. "Hushed Deal Frees C.I.A. Contractor in Pakistan." New York Times, 16 Mar. 2011. [http://www.nytimes.com]

Raymond A. Davis, the CIA security officer jailed for killing two Pakistanis in Lahore, was released on 16 March 2011 "after weeks of secret negotiations between American and Pakistani officials, a pledge of millions of dollars in 'blood money' to the victims' families, and quiet political pressure by Pakistani officials on the courts.... Lawyers for the families and Pakistani officials said the total compensation was about $2.3 million." Davis "was immediately flown out of the country to Kabul, Afghanistan." See also, Greg Miller, "CIA contractor Raymond Davis Freed after 'Blood Money' Payment by U.S.," Washington Post, 16 Mar. 2011.

DeYoung, Karen, and Greg Miller. "In Libya, CIA Is Gathering Intelligence on Rebels." Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. officials, "[t]he Obama administration has sent teams of CIA operatives into Libya in a rush to gather intelligence on the identities and capabilities of rebel forces opposed to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi." Officials added that the President "has issued a secret finding that would authorize the CIA to carry out a clandestine effort to provide arms and other support to Libyan opposition groups." However, the officials "insisted that no decision [to do so] has been made." See also, Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, "C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels," New York Times, 30 Mar. 2011.

Miller, Greg, and Karen DeYoung. "Pakistan Threatens to Impose New Restrictions on CIA Activities." Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to a senior Pakistani official, at a meeting on 11 Apri 2011 with CIA Director Leon Panetta, the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, "asked the CIA for a complete list of its employees and contractors in Pakistan and made clear that some may be asked to leave.... The Pakistanis also said that they wanted a reduction in the number of Predator strikes and more timely information about intended targets before attacks are launched."

Tate, Julie. "CIA's Brain Drain: Since 9/11, Some Top Officials Have Moved to Private Sector." Washington Post, 12 Apr. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

In the decade since 9/11, "private intelligence firms and security consultants have peeled away veterans from the top reaches of the CIA, hiring scores of longtime officers in large part to gain access to the burgeoning world of intelligence contracting."

Finn, Peter. "CIA Recipe for Invisible Ink among Newly Released WWI-era Documents." Washington Post, 19 Apr. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 19 April 2011, the CIA released "a cache of six World War I-era documents. The documents, which deal mostly with invisible ink, date from 1917 and 1918.... The six documents were first held by the Office of Naval Intelligence during World War I, and at least one was obtained from the French." The documents are available at: http://www.foia.cia.gov.

Wilson, Scott. "Obama Officially Announces His Senior National Security Nominees." Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2011. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 28 Spril 2011, President Obama officially announced his nomination of Leon E. Panetta to be Defense secretary; Lt. Gen. John R. Allen to be commander of international forces in Afghanistan; Gen. David H. Petraeus to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Ryan C. Crocker to be ambassador to Afghanistan.

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