Going To War

There are a lot of opinions out there right now on this Washington Post story. It seems that extremely high value information was extracted from a few al Qaeda terrorists through so-called harsh interrogation  tactics.

After enduring the CIA’s harshest interrogation methods and spending more than a year in the agency’s secret prisons, Khalid Sheik Mohammed stood before U.S. intelligence officers in a makeshift lecture hall, leading what they called “terrorist tutorials.”

In 2005 and 2006, the bearded, pudgy man who calls himself the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks discussed a wide variety of subjects, including Greek philosophy and al-Qaeda dogma. In one instance, he scolded a listener for poor note-taking and his inability to recall details of an earlier lecture.

Speaking in English, Mohammed “seemed to relish the opportunity, sometimes for hours on end, to discuss the inner workings of al-Qaeda and the group’s plans, ideology and operatives,” said one of two sources who described the sessions, speaking on the condition of anonymity because much information about detainee confinement remains classified. “He’d even use a chalkboard at times.”

These scenes provide previously unpublicized details about the transformation of the man known to U.S. officials as KSM from an avowed and truculent enemy of the United States into what the CIA called its “preeminent source” on al-Qaeda. This reversal occurred after Mohammed was subjected to simulated drowning and prolonged sleep deprivation, among other harsh interrogation techniques.

“KSM, an accomplished resistor, provided only a few intelligence reports prior to the use of the waterboard, and analysis of that information revealed that much of it was outdated, inaccurate or incomplete,” according to newly unclassified portions of a 2004 report by the CIA’s then-inspector general released Monday by the Justice Department.

By all means, do read it all. Here’s my immediate take on this story – literally at the first glance at the headline when I spotted it on Memeorandum:  The CIA just went to war. Eric Holder’s play to punish low level CIA operatives in a trumped up series of show trials has just backfired – badly. Let me put it this way. If the CIA just leaked this to the Post (and who else would have) this is embarrassing for the administration.

That means the CIA has something in reserve that will humiliate the administration. Bet your bottom dollar on that.

The CIA is a very, very ugly enemy, as George Bush found out. I am not happy about that on several levels. But it is still somewhat amusing to see that the CIA is quite willing to go right up against the Obama administration.

Holder made a terrible mistake. Obama is very likely to be hammered a lot worse if he does not call Holder off – right now.

This was a warning shot. They have a lot more in reserve.

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7 Responses to Going To War

  1. Maggie says:

    Hi, Gaius … Long time no bin heeerr …

    Good thing this came out during the wall-to-wall Kennedy funeral coverage or else the MSM might actually have to cover it … Gives Friday/weekend document dump a whole new meaning.

    BTW, guess a little water up the nose does work, as opposed to “bullet to the head” (my choice for them, actually … but that’s just me).

  2. I think something along the lines of “Subject X provided the information which stopped the lethal bombing of XXXXXXXXXXXXX(redacted) which would have killed or maimed thousands of people”

  3. J says:

    Watching what the left-leaning CIA did to President Bush and our war on terror, I do not place a lot of faith in any war between obama and the CIA. There will be a few people offered up for slaughter (probably the one’s really fighting the bad guys, not the wilson/plame group)our CIA will be made impotent and obama can carry on with his new bff-the terrorists trying to destroy this country.

  4. Plumpplumber(balding) says:

    I just wonder what could come up out of the rabbit hole? Do ya think that some records of Obama at school attending Marxist meetings? Video perhaps? What could damage Obama the most? What would make a goat vomit? What could be so blatant tha it couldn’t be denied? What can the CIA do to sabotage Obama? And Rahmbo? What choice things could happen to him?

  5. Andrew X says:

    The CIA is pushing back against Mr. Obama now??

    Golly, whooda thunk? It never even entered my mind that such a thing could happen! And it certainly can’t have occurred to The Most Brilliant President Ever®.

    I’ve said how I was furious about the idea of going after the CIA about six months ago… now I take it more in stride, because I think it may be politically catastrophic for Obama. I think there may be two fronts here, one like this one of full bore undermining, and a second front of one or more highly placed CIA agents/executives resigning and then publicly unleashing both barrels (Panetta?).

    Either way, he has pissed on a hornet’s nest. Let the reaping begin.

  6. Mwalimu Daudi says:

    In this battle the CIA will lose. Badly.

    And they deserve to. I take a contrary position to some of the opinions here by pointing out that many in the CIA waged war on George W. Bush rather than terrorists. I doubt that it will make a great deal of difference to national security if they are prosecuted out of business. And it’s always possible that Holder may slip up and accidentally convict someone who is guilty of compromising national security.

    I doubt that there is anything significant for Obama that will come from Langley. If the CIA had even more damaging information on the Won they would have already served it up. And even if they did have some political bombshell, so what? The Washington Post did publish this embarrassing article, but the most of the rest of the media ignored it. Anyone at the CIA who thinks the lapdog press will pounce on more tidbits like this is better off hiring a good lawyer instead – or buying one-way tickets out of the country ASAP.

    All fascist dictatorships feature political purges of the regime’s friends as well as enemies (to be truly effective you must terrorize supporters and opponents alike). The Holder Purge is directed against one of the Won’s most loyal friends – the CIA.

  7. Andrew X says:

    Mwalimu, interesting points, but I’m not sure I buy them. You are absolutely correct about the CIA’s relationship with Dubya, although the undermining of him appeared to be more of the actions of a handful of “activists” within, rather than the CIA being institutionally opposed to him.

    But our point is, maybe such people were not inclined to do the same to Obama, maybe the more conservative minded CIA people would have never dreamed of doing such a thing to a sitting President maybe the CIA was not institionally opposed to Obama either.

    But now what? He has categorically told them all that he has their back….. targeted for his knife. He is willing to prosecute warriors waging a universally agreed upon war (at the time) for doing their jobs.

    As for “no damaging information that has not already been seen” it’s a good point, but I wonder. They may have not been motivated to really look. Now they are. They may, Hoover-like, be holding onto such as an ace. Many of them may have been sucked into the very same idealism, that got Obama elected, and are now recoiling in horror at what he really is, and the direct threat he represents to their careers and even lives and families.

    Big picture: Obama has no shortage of enemies, and their numbers are growing. To choose to antagonize these of all people is politically insane. Unless of course he is following a brilliant plan we are all not privy to.

    And y’know what? He ain’t that smart. He’s bright, and smooth… when on stage.

    He ain’t smart, he ain’t wise, and I don’t think he is even clever.

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