Monday, April 19, 2010

US CIA: What Happens When the Gloves Come Off !

PESHAWAR: At least 24 people including a child and police officials were killed Monday in bombings hours apart at a high school and a crowded market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, officials said. The attacks take the number of people killed in bombings in Pakistan's troubled northwest to 73 in three days, after weekend suicide strikes bearing the hallmarks of Taliban militants left 49 people dead in the city of Kohat. As dusk fell Monday at Peshawar's bustling Qissa Khawani Bazaar, a suicide bomber walked into the crowd and detonated explosives. An AFP reporter at the scene saw scattered shoes, human limbs and destroyed cars. “Twenty-three people were killed including three police officials. At least 27 people have been admitted to the hospital,” senior police official Imran Kishwar told AFP. Senior provincial minister Bashir Bilour confirmed the toll. Bomb disposal squad chief Shafqat Malik told reporters that the explosion was caused by a bomber wearing a vest packed with six to eight kilogrammes (13 to 17 pounds) of explosives and pellets and ball-bearings. “We have recovered the head and legs of the attacker,” he said. REFERENCE: Bombs at market, school kill 24 in Peshawar Tuesday, 20 Apr, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, made a rare public apology Saturday over the deaths of civilians during military action and issued orders to avoid further incidents. Military and political officials initially said at least 42 militants were killed in a gunfight and air strike in the Tirah valley of northwest Khyber district, where Pakistani jets targeted local Islamist militants last Saturday. But tribesmen said dozens of civilians were killed and the military on Saturday released a rare public apology over the deaths, in what is part of Pakistan's lawless and semi-autonomous tribal belt neighbouring Afghanistan. Kayani apologised to the Kukikhel tribe over the “unfortunate” incident “which resulted in loss of precious and innocent civilian lives,” the military said in a statement. “He offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The chief of army staff stated that he has ordered measures to avoid reoccurrence of such incidents in future,” it added. Political officials had tasked a six-member committee of tribal elders from the area to report on the precise numbers of civilian casualties. Two tribesmen on the committee told AFP that 61 civilians were killed and 21 wounded, but so far there has been no official confirmation of the numbers from either the military or the political administration. Kayani's statement provided no precise details on how the civilians were killed and military spokesmen were not immediately reachable for comment. Authorities in Khyber - part of Pakistan's tribal badlands where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have a presence - set aside 10.5 million-rupee (125,000 dollars) compensation fund for any innocent victims killed or wounded. REFERENCE: General Kayani apologises over civilian deaths Saturday, 17 Apr, 2010

"Why Jordan?" The question puzzled Abu Hamza al-Tabuki, a Saudi citizen who claims that US agents arrested him in Afghanistan in December 2001 and, after interrogating him in Pakistan, flew him in a private jet to Jordan. Al-Tabuki is one of more than a dozen terrorism suspects delivered to Jordan from US custody as part of the Central Intelligence Agency's secret rendition program. In Jordan, nearly all were subject to interrogation using torture. "Why wasn't I sent to America since I was arrested by Americans?" al-Tabuki asked, in a narrative he sent to contacts in Jordan after he was released. The best answer to al-Tabuki's question can probably be found in the directives, memoranda, and internal cables that relate to the CIA's rendition program, many of which remain classified. The documents of this sort that have been released publicly not only assert that normal human rights rules do not apply in the "war on terrorism," they purport to authorize torture. The statements of current and former US officials are another good, albeit conflicting source of information. While Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has insisted that the United States "does not transport, and has not transported, detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture," other officials have told a very different story. REFERENCE: What Happens When the Gloves Come Off by Joanne Mariner, terrorism and counterterrorism director APRIL 8, 2008

[April 5th 2010] WikiLeaks has released a classified US military video depicting the indiscriminate slaying of over a dozen people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters news staff. Collateral Murder Overview The video, shot from an Apache helicopter, clearly shows the unprovoked slaying of a wounded Reuters employee and his rescuers. Two young children involved in the rescue were also seriously wounded, left to be taken to a local hospital Leaked video shows US forces killing reporters, civilians By Daniel Tencer Monday, April 5th, 2010 -- 2:33 pm

One of the helicopter crew is then heard saying that one of the group is shooting shooting back. But the video shows there is no shooting or even pointing of weapons. The men are standing around, apparently unperturbed. The lead helicopter, using the moniker Crazyhorse, opens fire. “Hahaha. I hit ‘em,” shouts one of the American crew. Another responds a little later: “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.” The ruthless murders then open fire on a van that drives up to pick up a wounded. [Transcript] Collateral Murder

Collateral Murder - Wikileaks - Iraq

It seems Wikileaks as more videos, even from a May 2009 attack in western Afghanistan which killed over 100 civilians, including many women and children, through bombs. The U.S. Military has said it would release the video, but it has not, and most likely it might not Words cannot covey the utter shock I am in having watched this murder, I then shudder to think that if these were the loose knit rules of engagement in Iraq during the American invasion, then I can easily speculate what might be going on within our own border where these gun-totting trigger-happy American soldiers have been let loose to target and engage at their won free will. Most of the targeting in Pakistan is done remotely, one then has to wonder, if these soldiers mistook a ‘camera’ as an AK-47 and an PRG, while hovering right above in an Apache, how accurate their targeting be sitting remotely in a bunker in Washington target practicing via satellites. I can almost bet these drones must be dead blind as bat, killing mostly innocent people, and occasionally getting lucky at killing a militant. Rightfully then I must ask, with such a hideous track record, what assurance do we have that they wouldn’t do that in Pakistan….. Its time to convince our own government to stop these criminals from destroying our country even further. The American are as good as the terrorists who blow themselves up against this American hegemony. When do we say stop !!!! REFERENCE: US are Collateral Murderers in Iraq … and they wouldn’t do that in Pakistan, will they? Posted by Teeth Maestro April 6, 2010

How CIA and other such outfits work?

They create Pseudo Anti US Factions [and those who are in those Factions don't know that they are created by whom] and these factions target strategic targets assuming that they are attacking Pro US Elements and in doing so they often hit non-combatants who are bystanders. Through this the Intelligence community [the handlers of such Anti US Factions] hit not one but many targets and achieve desired results. During Afghan War, the CIA AND FBI used to assist Pakistani Apparatus within the major cities of Pakistan to counter KGB and that’s how they know Pakistan like the back of their hands.

ISLAMABAD: One of the top security agencies on Wednesday picked up Raja Ehsan Aziz, a member of Tehrik-e-Islami (TI), for his alleged connections with terrorists who had attacked the Parade Lane Mosque in Rawalpindi and Moon Market in Lahore. Tehrik-e-Islami is a splinter group of the JI. Two female members of the Tehrik have already been taken into custody. Sarwat Wahid, another female member whose son’s car was used in the Parade Lane Mosque attack, is missing. Also her son, Jawad, who was studying in Faisalabad after doing A Level from Beacon House School System, is missing. Aziz, a graduate of Columbia University who also served on senior positions at the Foreign Office, is a retired professor of International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University. His elder son is an Army doctor. Aziz was taken away from his house in G/10-3 on Wednesday evening by sleuths of the Counter-Terrorism Cell, his wife Amira Aziz told The News. Amira, an ex-MNA of Jamaat-e-Islami and now a Shura member of the Tehrik, is a religious scholar and writes columns in an Urdu daily. Aziz’s driver, Phool Zeb from Nowshera, has already been arrested as investigators found a mobile SIM allegedly used for conversation during the attacks on the Parade Lane Mosque and Moon Market, was issued in his name. Likewise, the car used in the mosque attack belonged to Jawad, the son of a Tehrik-e-Islami woman, Sarwat Wahid, a resident of I-8 Sector, Islamabad. Both of them are missing since then. Likewise, Aziz’ son, Omer, a student of Islamic International University, has not returned home for the last five days.

Jamat e Islami Terrorist Dr. Usman was mastermind of Attack on GHQ

Aziz has been picked up for the second time, his wife said, denying any links of the family with terrorism incidents. “I’m a sworn enemy of America and can pay any price for it but I strongly oppose terrorism within Pakistan,” Amira Aziz told The News. She said the intelligence operatives had been following the women activists of Tehrik-e-Islami for the last six months and harassed them. She alleged that her husband was beaten black and blue when picked up last time and kept in illegal custody for a night. Amira said her son, Omer, a heart patient, was very upset when intelligence guys kept his father in their custody for a night. A female member of Tehrik, Najma Sana, who lives in G-9/1, is already in the agency’s custody for the last 10 days. Sarwat Wahid, after being chased by the intelligence agency, left Islamabad for Karachi where she was again pursued by the police. Her sister and children in Karachi have been arrested to press for recovery of Sarwat who has gone underground there. Sarwat’s son, Jawad, is also missing. Tahira Mumtaz, another female member of the Tehrik, was twice called for investigation over her alleged assistance to Sarwat to flee the capital. Altaf Aziz Khattack, SHO, said he was not aware of any such incident. He asked this correspondent to take up the matter with the R A Bazaar police in whose jurisdiction the mosque was attacked. When contacted, officials of the concerned police station said that they had not arrested Ehsan Aziz, adding the Army was investigating the attack and the matter may be taken up with them. The DG ISPR could not be contacted. REFERENCE: JI splinter group leader, females held for links to suicide attackers Friday, December 18, 2009 By Umar Cheema

COINTELPRO is an acronym for a series of FBI counterintelligence programs designed to neutralize political dissidents. Although covert operations have been employed throughout FBI history, the formal COINTELPRO's of 1956-1971 were broadly targeted against radical political organizations. In the early 1950s, the Communist Party was illegal in the United States. The Senate and House of Representatives each set up investigating committees to prosecute communists and publicly expose them. (The House Committee on Un-American Activities and the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy). When a series of Supreme Court rulings in 1956 and 1957 challenged these committees and questioned the constitutionality of Smith Act prosecutions and Subversive Activities Control Board hearings, the FBI's response was COINTELPRO, a program designed to "neutralize" those who could no longer be prosecuted. Over the years, similar programs were created to neutralize civil rights, anti-war, and many other groups, many of which were said to be "communist front organizations." As J. Edgar Hoover, longtime Director of the FBI, put it

The forces which are most anxious to weaken our internal security are not always easy to identify. Communists have been trained in deceit and secretly work toward the day when they hope to replace our American way of life with a Communist dictatorship. They utilize cleverly camouflaged movements, such as peace groups and civil rights groups to achieve their sinister purposes. While they as individuals are difficult to identify, the Communist party line is clear. Its first concern is the advancement of Soviet Russia and the godless Communist cause. It is important to learn to know the enemies of the American way of life.

The FBI conducted more than 2000 COINTELPRO operations before the the programs were officially discontinued in April of 1971, after public exposure, in order to " REFERENCE: - Pakistan: Partition and Military Succession – Documents from the U.S. National Archives

President Bush last month signed an intelligence order directing the CIA to undertake its most sweeping and lethal covert action since the founding of the agency in 1947, explicitly calling for the destruction of Osama bin Laden and his worldwide al Qaeda network, according to senior government officials. The president also added more than $1 billion to the agency's war on terrorism, most of it for the new covert action. The operation will include what officials said is "unprecedented" coordination between the CIA and commando and other military units. Officials said that the president, operating through his "war cabinet," has pledged to dispatch military units to take advantage of the CIA's latest and best intelligence.

Bush's order, called an intelligence "finding," instructs the agency to attack bin Laden's communications, security apparatus and infrastructure, senior government officials said. U.S. intelligence has identified new and important specific weaknesses in the bin Laden organization that are not publicly known, and these vulnerabilities will be the focus of the lethal covert action, sources said. "The gloves are off," one senior official said. "The president has given the agency the green light to do whatever is necessary. Lethal operations that were unthinkable pre-September 11 are now underway." The CIA's covert action is a key part of the president's offensive against terrorism, but the agency is also playing a critical role in the defense against future terrorist attacks. For example, each day a CIA document called the "Threat Matrix," which has the highest security classification ("Top Secret/Codeword"), lands on the desks of the top national security and intelligence officials in the Bush administration. It presents the freshest and most sensitive raw intelligence on dozens of threatened bombings, hijackings or poisonings. Only threats deemed to have some credibility are included in the document.

One day last week, the Threat Matrix contained 100 threats to U.S. facilities in the United States and around the world -- shopping complexes, specific cities, places where thousands gather, embassies. Though nearly all the listed threats have passed without incident and 99 percent turned out to be groundless, dozens more take their place in the matrix each day. It was the matrix that generated the national alert of impending terrorist action issued by the FBI on Oct. 11. The goal of the matrix is simple: Look for patterns and specific details that might prevent another Sept. 11. "I don't think there has been such risk to the country since the Cuban missile crisis," a senior official said. During an interview in his West Wing office Friday morning, Vice President Cheney spoke of the new war on terrorism as much more problematic and protracted than the Persian Gulf War of 1991, when Cheney served as secretary of defense to Bush's father. The vice president bluntly said: "It is different than the Gulf War was, in the sense that it may never end. At least, not in our lifetime."

Pushing the Envelope

In issuing the finding that targets bin Laden, the president has said he wants the CIA to undertake high-risk operations. He has stated to his advisers that he is willing to risk failure in the pursuit of ultimate victory, even if the results are some embarrassing public setbacks in individual operations. The overall military and covert plan is intended to be massive and decisive, officials said. "If you are going to push the envelope some things will go wrong, and [President Bush] sees that and understands risk-taking," one senior official said. In the interview, Cheney said, "I think it's fair to say you can't predict a straight line to victory. You know, there'll be good days and bad days along the way." The new determination among Bush officials to go after bin Laden and his network is informed by their pained knowledge that U.S. intelligence last spring obtained high quality video of bin Laden himself but were unable to act on it. The video showed bin Laden with his distinctive beard and white robes surrounded by a large entourage at one of his known locations in Afghanistan. But neither the CIA nor the U.S. military had the means to shoot a missile or another weapon at him while he was being photographed.

Since then, the CIA-operated Predator unmanned drone with high-resolution cameras has been equipped with Hellfire antitank missiles that can be fired at targets of opportunity. The technology was not operational at the time bin Laden was caught on video. The weapons capability, which was revealed last week in the New Yorker magazine, was developed specifically to attack bin Laden, the officials said. In addition, with the U.S. military heavily deployed in some nations around Afghanistan, commando and other units are now available to move quickly on bin Laden or his key associates as intelligence becomes available. U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies recently received an important break in the effort to track down terrorist leaders overseas, according to officials. The FBI and CIA have been given limited access in the last several weeks to a top bin Laden lieutenant who was arrested after Sept. 11 and is being held in a foreign country. The person, whose various aliases include "Abu Ahmed," is "a significant player," in the words of one senior Bush official. Ahmed was arrested with five other members of al Qaeda. He is believed by several senior officials to be the highest-ranking member of al Qaeda ever held for systematic interrogation. Though Ahmed has not given information about future terrorist operations, he has provided some details about the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole in a Yemeni port, when 17 sailors were killed. One source said he also has information about the planned terrorist attacks in the United States that were disrupted before the millennium celebrations in December 1999.

The New Normalcy

When specific facilities or locations are threatened, as they have been repeatedly in the last month, the FBI informs local law enforcement authorities or foreign intelligence services that are supposed to increase security and take protective measures. The Threat Matrix lists where the intelligence comes from -- intercepted communications, walk-in sources, e-mails, friendly foreign intelligence services, telephone threats, and FBI or CIA human sources. The public is not informed except when the threat is considered highly credible or specific, as it was on Oct. 11 when the FBI issued its nationwide alert. In the interview, Cheney said that deciding when to go public and when to withhold threat information is one of the most difficult tasks the administration faces. "You have to avoid falling into the trap of letting it be a cover-your-ass exercise," Cheney said. "If you scare the hell out of people too often, and nothing happens, that can also create problems. Then when you do finally get a valid threat and warn people and they don't pay attention, that's equally damaging."

He also noted, "If you create panic, the terrorist wins without ever doing anything. So these are tough calls." Making details from the Threat Matrix public could result in chaos, several officials said. Literally hundreds of places, institutions and cities from across the country have been on the list. "It could destroy the livelihood of all those organizations and places without a bomb being thrown or a spore of anthrax being released," another senior Bush official said. The official was asked what would happen if there was a major terrorist incident and many were killed at one of the facilities or places on the Threat Matrix and no public warning had been issued.

"Then they would have our heads," the official said.

Intelligence and law enforcement agencies attempt to run every threat to ground to see if it is genuine, officials said. The results at times have been unexpected. In early October, a woman called authorities to say it was her patriotic duty to report that her husband, who is from the Middle East, was planning an attack with eight or nine friends on Chicago's Sears Tower. The woman sounded credible and her allegations were reported in the Threat Matrix. The FBI then detained her husband and friends. On the next Threat Matrix the CIA reported that the FBI might have broken up an al Qaeda cell. Upon further investigation, the FBI learned that the woman was furious with her husband, who had a second wife. Her allegations had no merit, but the bureau discovered that some of the people were involved in an arranged-marriage scheme. "Instead of terrorism," one official said, "we found an angry wife." Another senior official said, "There can be a problem in a marriage and it results in, you know, an allegation that shows up in the Threat Matrix." During the interview in his West Wing office, Cheney, with a large map of Afghanistan on an easel near his desk, spoke of life post-Sept. 11. "The way I think of it is, it's a new normalcy," he said. "We're going to have to take steps, and are taking steps, that'll become a permanent part of the way we live. In terms of security, in terms of the way we deal with travel and airlines, all of those measures that we end up having to adopt in order to sort of harden the target, make it tougher for the terrorists to get at us. And I think those will become permanent features in our kind of way of life."

New War, Old Problems

Though the new intelligence war presents the CIA with an opportunity to excel, several officials noted that the campaign is also fraught with risk. The agency is being assigned a monumental task for which it is not fully equipped or trained, said one CIA veteran who knows the agency from many perspectives. Human, on-the-ground sources are scarce in the region and in the Muslim world in general. Since the end of the Cold War more than a decade ago, the Directorate of Operations (DO), which runs covert activity, has been out of the business of funding and managing major lethal covert action. The CIA has a history of bungling such operations going back to the 1950s and 1960s, most notably when the agency unsuccessfully plotted to assassinate Fidel Castro. In one of the celebrated anti-Castro plots, a CIA agent code-named AM/LASH planned to use Blackleaf-40, a high-grade poison, with a ballpoint-hypodermic needle on the Cuban leader. The device was delivered on Nov. 22, 1963, and a later CIA inspector general's report noted it was likely "at the very moment President Kennedy was shot." Though no connections were ever established between the Castro plots and the Kennedy assassination, the CIA's reputation was severely tarnished. The covert war in Nicaragua in the 1980s was another source of negative publicity, as the CIA mined harbors without adequate notification to Congress and published a 90-page guerrilla-warfare manual on the "selective use of violence" against targets such as judges, police and state security officials. It became known as the "assassination manual."

William J. Casey, President Ronald Reagan's CIA director from 1981 to early 1987, was mired in the disastrous outcome of the "off-the-books" operations of the Iran-contra scandal. That scandal involved secret arms sales to Iran and the illegal diversion of profits from those sales to the contra rebels supported by the CIA in Nicaragua. Reagan and Casey had trouble when they sought to punish covertly the terrorists responsible for the 1983 truck bombing of the U.S. Marine compound in Lebanon, which killed 241 American servicemen in the deadliest terrorist attack on Americans before Sept. 11. Casey worked personally and secretly with Saudi Arabia to plan the assassination of Muslim leader Sheikh Fadlallah, the head of the Party of God or Hezbollah, who was connected to the Marine bombing. The method of retaliation was a massive car bomb that was exploded 50 yards from Fadlallah's residence in Beirut, killing 80 people and wounding 200 in 1985. But Fadlallah escaped without injury.

Since the Ford administration, all presidents have signed an executive order banning the CIA or any other U.S. government agency from involvement in political assassination. Generally speaking, lawyers for the White House and the CIA have said that the ban does not apply to wartime when the military is striking the enemy's command and control or leadership targets. The United States can also legally invoke the right of self-defense as justification for striking terrorists or their leaders planning attacks on the United States.

Bush's new presidential finding differs from past findings against the terrorists in a number of significant ways. First, it puts more military muscle behind the clandestine effort to crush al Qaeda. Second, it is far better funded. Third, senior officials said, it has the highest possible priority and will involve better coordination within the entire national security structure: the White House, the president's national security adviser, the CIA, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the departments of State, Defense and Justice. On Friday, Cheney said the country had a sense of confidence in Bush's team, which includes an experienced trio of advisers -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Cheney himself. CIA Director George J. Tenet has developed an unusually close relationship with the new president, becoming a regular during Camp David weekends and briefing the chief executive most days. "There's a lot of tough decisions that are involved here, and some of them very close calls," Cheney said. "But if I had to go out and design a team of people . . . this is it."

The vice president added that the war on bin Laden and terrorists in general is going to be particularly difficult. "They have nothing to defend," he said. "You know, for 50 years we deterred the Soviets by threatening the utter destruction of the Soviet Union. What does bin Laden value? "There's no piece of real estate. It's not like a state or a country. The notion of deterrence doesn't really apply here. There's no treaty to be negotiated, there's no arms control agreement that's going to guarantee our safety and security. The only way you can deal with them is to destroy them."

'Smoke Them Out'

Six days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush publicly declared the intentions of his administration with the statement that bin Laden was "Wanted: Dead or Alive." In those remarks at the Pentagon, he said that the new enemy, bin Laden and other terrorists, liked "to hide and burrow in" and conceal themselves in caves. He first mentioned "a different type of war" that would "require a new thought process." Two days later, Sept. 19, Bush made his first public mention of "covert activities," noting that some foreign governments would be "comfortable" supporting such action. He added a broad outline of the goal: "Clearly, one of our focuses is to get people out of their caves, smoke them out and get them moving and get them. That's about as plainly as I can put it." Bush sounded this theme again during his nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 20, when he spoke of "covert activities, secret even in success." In public remarks to CIA employees at the agency's headquarters in Langley a week later, the president dropped more hints: "You see, the enemy is sometimes hard to find; they like to hide. They think they can hide, but we know better."

Officials said that the covert activities approved by the president include a wide range of traditional CIA operations, such as close cooperation with friendly foreign intelligence services and covert and overt assistance to the Afghan rebels fighting to overthrow the Taliban leadership that harbors bin Laden. The CIA has studied bin Laden and his al Qaeda network for years. A special unit or "Bin Laden station," created in 1996, works round the clock at headquarters. When Cheney gave a speech Thursday night in New York City, he noticed a sea change. As his motorcade went through Manhattan, people stopped their cars, got out and applauded. During his short speech before the 56th Annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner, he was interrupted by applause 15 times. On Friday morning, while sitting in his comfortable, well-lit West Wing office, he said with a smile, "There wasn't a dove in the room." Researcher Jeff Himmelman contributed to this report. REFERENCE: CIA Told to Do 'Whatever Necessary' to Kill Bin Laden Agency and Military Collaborating at 'Unprecedented' Level; Cheney Says War Against Terror 'May Never End' By Bob Woodward Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, October 21, 2001; Page A01

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