Nick Turse
Infographic of CIA Torture Techniques
(via CIA ‘misled public about interrogation techniques’ - Yahoo News)
Infographic of CIA Torture Techniques 

(via CIA ‘misled public about interrogation techniques’ - Yahoo News)
The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn’t enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents.
Where are U.S. Special Operations forces and what are they doing?
In my latest article, I reveal — for the first time anywhere — the full extent of black ops deployments during 2013 and analyze the potential pitfalls of conducting a globalized secret war.  Without a clear picture of where the U.S. military’s covert forces are operating and what they are doing, Americans may not even recognize the consequences of and blowback from our expanding secret wars as they wash over the world.  But if history is any guide, they will be felt — from Southwest Asia to the Mahgreb, the Middle East to Central Africa, and, perhaps eventually, in the United States as well.
For the full story, see “The Special Ops Surge: America’s Secret War in 134 Countries” 

Where are U.S. Special Operations forces and what are they doing?

In my latest article, I reveal — for the first time anywhere — the full extent of black ops deployments during 2013 and analyze the potential pitfalls of conducting a globalized secret war.  Without a clear picture of where the U.S. military’s covert forces are operating and what they are doing, Americans may not even recognize the consequences of and blowback from our expanding secret wars as they wash over the world.  But if history is any guide, they will be felt — from Southwest Asia to the Mahgreb, the Middle East to Central Africa, and, perhaps eventually, in the United States as well.

For the full story, see “The Special Ops Surge: America’s Secret War in 134 Countries” 

Exclusive: The CIA, Not The Pentagon, Will Keep Running Obama’s Drone War 
Earlier this year, official White House “leaks” spread the word that it, in the interests of transparency, drone operations (that is, targeted killings) would be shifted from the CIA to the Department of Defense.  Turns out, that’s not going to happen.  Foreign Policy reports that “the complexity of the issue, the distinct operational and cultural differences between the Pentagon and CIA and the bureaucratic politics of it all has forced officials on all sides to recognize transferring drone operations from the Agency to the Defense Department represents, for now, an unattainable goal.”

Exclusive: The CIA, Not The Pentagon, Will Keep Running Obama’s Drone War

Earlier this year, official White House “leaks” spread the word that it, in the interests of transparency, drone operations (that is, targeted killings) would be shifted from the CIA to the Department of Defense.  Turns out, that’s not going to happen.  Foreign Policy reports that “the complexity of the issue, the distinct operational and cultural differences between the Pentagon and CIA and the bureaucratic politics of it all has forced officials on all sides to recognize transferring drone operations from the Agency to the Defense Department represents, for now, an unattainable goal.”

Max Fisher of the The Washington Post writes: “A just-out report, released by the Open Society Foundation, sheds new light on its shocking scale. According to the report, 54 foreign governments somehow collaborated in the program. Some of those governments are brutal dictatorships, and a few are outright U.S. adversaries.”
(via A staggering map of the 54 countries that reportedly participated in the CIA’s rendition program)

Max Fisher of the The Washington Post writes: “A just-out report, released by the Open Society Foundation, sheds new light on its shocking scale. According to the report, 54 foreign governments somehow collaborated in the program. Some of those governments are brutal dictatorships, and a few are outright U.S. adversaries.”

(via A staggering map of the 54 countries that reportedly participated in the CIA’s rendition program)

IRIN: Growing risks for aid workers in Pakistan 
“NGO security threats are at an all-time high. I have never in almost 20 years known things as bad as this,” Chris Cork, country security adviser for the UK-headquartered Abaseen Foundation, an NGO working chiefly in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, told the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN.
IRIN reports that over the past few weeks there “has been an upsurge in attacks on aid workers, many of them linked to a national polio eradication campaign in one of the world’s last three countries where the disease remains endemic.”  This is thought to, at least partially, be fallout from the U.S. effort to kill Osama Bin Laden.  IRIN goes on to state:  
"In 2011 Shakil Afridi, a government-employed doctor, collected DNA samples from a residential house in Abbotabad which helped the US Central Intelligence Agency identify the whereabouts of Bin Laden, who was killed in a US raid. It is alleged that Afridi, since sentenced to 33 years in jail, masqueraded in his native Khyber Agency as a polio vaccinator in order to collect the samples. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, told IRIN: ‘Afridi was a traitor and naturally people now suspect all anti-polio workers of being US agents.’”

IRIN: Growing risks for aid workers in Pakistan

“NGO security threats are at an all-time high. I have never in almost 20 years known things as bad as this,” Chris Cork, country security adviser for the UK-headquartered Abaseen Foundation, an NGO working chiefly in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province, told the United Nations’ news agency, IRIN.

IRIN reports that over the past few weeks there “has been an upsurge in attacks on aid workers, many of them linked to a national polio eradication campaign in one of the world’s last three countries where the disease remains endemic.”  This is thought to, at least partially, be fallout from the U.S. effort to kill Osama Bin Laden.  IRIN goes on to state: 

"In 2011 Shakil Afridi, a government-employed doctor, collected DNA samples from a residential house in Abbotabad which helped the US Central Intelligence Agency identify the whereabouts of Bin Laden, who was killed in a US raid. It is alleged that Afridi, since sentenced to 33 years in jail, masqueraded in his native Khyber Agency as a polio vaccinator in order to collect the samples.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for militant group Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, told IRIN: ‘Afridi was a traitor and naturally people now suspect all anti-polio workers of being US agents.’”

Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak - NYTimes.com
John Kiriakou is the first CIA officer to go to prison for America’s War on Terror torture program. But John Kiriakou didn’t torture anyone. His crime?  He told members of the press about the CIA’s torture program.
Read the New York Times' account here.  And for more (and in my opinion, better) context, read this piece by State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren here.

Ex-Officer Is First From C.I.A. to Face Prison for a Leak - NYTimes.com

John Kiriakou is the first CIA officer to go to prison for America’s War on Terror torture program. But John Kiriakou didn’t torture anyone. His crime?  He told members of the press about the CIA’s torture program.

Read the New York Times' account here.  And for more (and in my opinion, better) context, read this piece by State Department whistleblower Peter Van Buren here.

A poster general for American decline, David Petraeus will be a footnote to history, a man out for himself who simply went a bridge or a book too far. George W. and crew were the real thing: genuine mad visionaries who simply mistook their dreams and fantasies for reality.

But wasn’t it fun while it lasted? Wasn’t it a blast to occupy Washington, be treated as a demi-god, go to Pirate-themed parties in Tampa with a 28-motorcycle police escort, and direct your own biography… even if it did end as Fifty Shades of Khaki?

In his 1987 Princeton dissertation, David Petraeus wrote this on perception: “What policymakers believe to have taken place in any particular case is what matters — more than what actually occurred.” On this and other subjects, he was certainly no dope, but he was a huckster — for himself (given his particular version of self-love), and for a dream already going down in Iraq and Afghanistan. And he was just one of many promoters out there in those years pushing product (including himself): the top officials of the Bush administration, gaggles of neocons, gangs of military intellectuals, hordes of think tanks linked to serried ranks of pundits. All of them imagining Washington as a battlefield for the ages, all assuming that the struggle for “perception” was on the home front alone.