January - May

Materials presented chronologically.

CNN. "Obama Taps Brennan as CIA Director." 7 Jan. 2013. [http://www.cnn.com]

On 7 January 2013, President Barack Obama "nominated John Brennan ... to be the next CIA director.... Brennan, 57, has been Obama's assistant for counterterrorism and homeland security since 2009." Brennan spent 25 years at the CIA, "developing a deep knowledge of the Mideast and fluency in Arabic." See also, Peter Bergen and Jennifer Rowland, "John Brennan, Obama's Drone Warrior," CNN, 7 Jan. 2013; and Greg Miller and Scott Wilson, "Obama's Nominations of Hagel and Brennan Signal Course Adjustments at Pentagon and CIA," Washington Post, 7 Jan. 2013.

Miller, Greg, Ellen Nakashima, and Karen DeYoung. "CIA Drone Strikes Will Get Pass in Counterterrorism 'Playbook,' Officials Say." Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

According to U.S. officials, "[t]he Obama administration is nearing completion of a detailed counterterrorism manual that is designed to establish clear rules for targeted-killing operations but leaves open a major exemption for the CIA’s campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan.... The document, which is expected to be submitted to President Obama for final approval within weeks, marks the culmination of a year-long effort by the White House to codify its counterterrorism policies and create a guide for lethal operations through Obama's second term."

Jouvenal, Justin. " Former CIA Officer John Kiriakou Is Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Leaks." Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 25 January 2013, U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema sentenced John Kiriakou to 30 months in prison "for disclosing a covert operative's name to a reporter." The sentence "had reached as part of an October [2012] plea deal" between Kiriakou and federal prosecutors.

Liptak, Kevin, and Ashley Killough. "Brennan Confirmed for CIA after Drone Delay." CNN, 7 Mar. 2013. [http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com]

By a vote of 63-34, the U.S. Senate on 7 March 2013 confirmed John Brennan as the next CIA director. Associated Press, 8 Mar. 2013, reports that Vice President Joe Biden swore Brennan in on 8 March 2013.

Chivers, C.J., and Eric Schmitt. "Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With C.I.A. Aid." New York Times, 24 Mar. 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"With help from the C.I.A.," the governments of Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey "have sharply increased their military aid to Syria's opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders. The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows."

Miller, Greg, and Julie Tate. "CIA Director Faces a Quandary Over Clandestine Service Appointment." Washington Post, 26 Mar. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

This article discusses CIA Director John Brennan's dilemma on whether to promote the acting director of the National Clandestine Service to the top job. The acting director "is a veteran officer with broad support inside the agency. But she also helped run the CIA's detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and signed off on the 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment critics have called torture." Brennan is using "a group of three former CIA officials to evaluate the candidates.... The group's members were identified as former senior officials John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes and Mary Margaret Graham."

See also, Mark Mazzetti, "Officer Tied to Tapes' Destruction Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder," New York Times, 27 Mar. 2013.

Mazzetti, Mark. "A Secret Deal on Drones, Sealed in Blood." New York Times, 6 Apr. 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

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."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Pushed to Add Boston Bomber to Terror Watch List." Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 24 April 2013, U.S. officials said "[t]he CIA pushed to have" the name of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev placed on the National Counterterrorism Center's "database known as the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment" (TIDE), used "to feed information to other lists, including the FBI's main terrorist screening database."

Rosenberg, Matthew. "With Bags of Cash, C.I.A. Seeks Influence in Afghanistan." New York Times, 28 Apr. 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan's president -- courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency. All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader."

See Matthew Rosenberg, "Afghan Leader Confirms Cash Deliveries by C.I.A.," New York Times, 29 Apr. 2013: Speaking at "at a news conference in Helsinki, Finland" on 29 April 2013, Afghan President Hamid Karzai acknowledged that the CIA "has been dropping off bags of cash at his office for a decade, saying the money was used for 'various purposes' and expressing gratitude to the United States for making the payments." See also, Matthew Rosenberg, "Karzai Says He Was Assured C.I.A. Would Continue Delivering Bags of Cash," New York Times, 4 May 2013; and Kevin Sieff, "Karzai Acknowledges CIA Payments," Washington Post, 4 May 2013.

See also, Robert Baer, "Cash for Karzai -- Don't Blame the CIA for Flushing Money Down the Drain," Time, 1 May 2013: "I have no idea what the precise justification for giving money to Karzai was, but I'm almost certain that the White House, Congress and the Pentagon were breathing down the CIA's neck to do something about Afghan's political leadership.... No one apparently understood that in a place like Afghanistan you can only rent compliance, and for the shortest of time.... From its earliest days, the CIA has been saddled with orders to prop up corrupt regimes.... It invariably fails, and just as invariably leaves egg on the CIA's face."

Miller, Greg. "CIA Selects New Head of Clandestine Service, Passing over Female Officer." Washington Post, 7 May 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 7 May 2013, CIA Director John O. Brennan announced that "a 57-year-old longtime officer who served tours in Pakistan and Africa and was recently in charge of the agency's Latin America division" had been named to lead the National Clandestine Service. The interim head, "the first woman to lead the agency's clandestine service," was not selected for the job, and "is expected to resume her prior role as [NCS} deputy." CIA spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood "noted that women will fill two other senior CIA jobs": Meroe Park was named executive director and Deb Bonk will serve as Brennan's chief of staff."

Jeff Stein, "Nice Invisibilty Cloak!" Newsweek, 11 Oct. 2013, reports the naming in May 2013 of Frank Archibald as NCS director.

Associated Press. "Russian FSB Detains U.S. Diplomat Accused of Spying." 14 May 2013. [http://world.time.com]

Russia's security services, the FSB, said on 14 May 2013 that they have detained "Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow." They claim that Fogle "is a CIA agent" and that "they caught him red-handed trying to recruit a Russian agent." See also, David M. Herszenhorn and Ellen Barry, "From Russia, With Wig: American Spy Suspect Is Ejected," New York Times, 14 May 2013.

Mazzetti, Mark. "New Terror Strategy Shifts C.I.A. Focus Back to Spying." New York Times, 23 May 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"[U]nder a new plan outlined by the Obama administration on [23 May 2013], the [CIA's] Counterterrorism Center over time would cease to be the hub of America's targeted killing operations in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where presidents might choose to wage war in the future." CIA Director John O. Brennan "is trying to shift the C.I.A.'s focus back toward traditional spying and strategic analysis, but that is not an easy task.... Some American officials and outside experts believe it could take years for a spy agency that has evolved into a paramilitary service to rebalance its activities....

"[A]dministration officials said ... that some drone operations would shift to the Pentagon, particularly those in Yemen, where the Pentagon's Joint Special Operations Command is already running a parallel drone program. And, they said, the 'preference' for the future is for all drone operations to be run by the Defense Department.... While C.I.A. officers and analysts will continue to play a role in any drone operations run by the Pentagon, the White House plan is for the Defense Department to assume control over all drone operations in less than two years."

Miller, Greg. "Obama's New Drone Policy Leaves Room for CIA Role." Washington Post, 25 May 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

In 2009, the Obama administration decded to attack an al-Qaeda affiliate in Yemen with airstrikes as it was doing in Pakistan. But the strikes "would be carried out by the U.S. military, not the CIA." Two years later, CIA drones were flying over Yemen. The reasons for the change included "errant strikes that killed the wrong people, the use of munitions that left shrapnel with U.S. military markings scattered about target sites and worries that Yemen's unstable leader might kick the Pentagon's planes out. But President Obama's decision also came down to a determination that the CIA was simply better than the Defense Department at locating and killing al-Qaeda operatives with armed drones."

Dozier, Kimberly. "Drone Strike Shows that Secret CIA Attacks Will Continue Despite Obama Pledge for Transparency." Associated Press, 30: May 2013. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

The drone attack that killed Pakistan Taliban deputy leader Waliur Rehman [Wali ur-Rehman] on 29 May 2013 "was a clear signal that despite President Barack Obama's promise last week of new transparency in the drone program, the CIA will still launch secret attacks on militants in north Pakistan." See also, Mark Mazzetti and Declan Walsh, "Pakistan Says U.S. Drone Killed Taliban Leader," 29 May 2013; and Ismail Khan and Ihsanullah Tipu Mehsud, "Hints of a Rift After Pakistani Taliban Deputy's Death," New York Times, 30 May 2013.

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