Category Archives: CIA

Family of Afghan man tortured by CIA demands US reveal location of his body

Gul Rahman was killed in a secret CIA interrogation facility where he endured being doused with frigid water and shackled naked

It took almost 15 years for Gul Rahman’s family to receive a direct acknowledgment that he had been killed in a secret CIA interrogation facility in Afghanistan.

Now the family is pressing the United States to disclose what happened to his remains.

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Source: gad

Torture allegations dog Gina Haspel as she is poised to be first female CIA head

Trump’s nominee to run the agency is accused of having run a black site and authorised destruction of videotapes of waterboarding

Gina Haspel is set to become the first female director in the 70-year history of the CIA. But smashing that glass ceiling will depend on offering the US Senate a convincing explanation about her dark past.

More than a decade ago Haspel reportedly oversaw an infamous secret CIA prison in Thailand where a terrorism suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was waterboarded, a process that simulates drowning. She is also said to have drafted orders to destroy video evidence of such torture, which prompted a lengthy justice department investigation that ended without charges.

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Source: gad

Russia is aiming to interfere in US midterm elections, warns CIA chief

Mike Pompeo says ‘I have every expectation that they will continue to try’ to meddle in House and Senate races in November

Russia is set to continue its campaign of meddling in foreign elections by targeting the congressional midterm races in America, the head of the CIA has warned.

Related: FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe steps down early

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Source: gad

Directorate S by Steve Coll review – the US v al-Qaida and the Taliban

This sequel to Ghost Wars might well become the definitive account of the CIA and America’s secret wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

“No man who has read a page of Indian history will ever prophesy about the Frontier. We shall doubtless have trouble there again.” So wrote Lord Curzon, then viceroy, in 1904. The British were by then a little weary of the burdens of empire; they were having trouble with the tribespeople of the Frontier, who seemed uninterested in the sort of governance the colonialists wished for them. The smugly racist Curzon blamed it on the “fanaticism and turbulence” that “ferment in the blood” of the Pashtun. The neocolonialists of today cannot explain things away so easily. As Steve Coll documents in Directorate S, the current war has for ever altered the fates of all three countries involved – the US, Afghanistan and Pakistan – and, after 15 years, there is no end to the “trouble” in sight.

Directorate S, from which the book gets its title, lies buried deep in the bureaucracy of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), Pakistan’s spy agency. Ensconced thus, the directorate works to “enlarge Pakistan’s sphere of influence in Afghanistan”. It goes about this task, Coll explains, by supplying, arming, training and generally seeking to legitimise the Taliban, the AK-47 toting terrorists who took over Afghanistan in 1992, stringing up decapitated corpses in town squares and shoving women into the confines of their homes. Nobody paid much attention then, and perhaps never would have, had the Taliban not become host to Osama bin Laden.

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Source: gad

‘Very discreet’: arrested CIA spy kept a low profile in Hong Kong

Jerry Chun Shing Lee lived in the former British colony, where he was largely unknown in security and intelligence circles

A former CIA agent arrested on suspicion of keeping classified information, including the names of informants in China, was virtually unknown in Hong Kong, where he lived, according to interviews with security experts.

Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, kept a low profile in the former British colony, where he lived for most of the time since leaving the CIA in 2007. He was largely unknown in security and intelligence circles in the city and avoided leaving a digital footprint.

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Source: gad

CIA rendition flights from rustic North Carolina called to account by citizens

A Gulfstream jet from a quiet airport south-east of Raleigh flew captives to be tortured around the world. The government failed to act but local people have refused to let the issue die

A year after he was released from captivity in Guantánamo, Binyam Mohamed received a letter from Christina Cowger, an agricultural researcher from North Carolina. Enclosed was a petition of apology signed by nearly 800 visitors to the North Carolina State Fair.

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Source: gad

How the heroin trade explains the US-UK failure in Afghanistan

After 16 years and $1tn spent, there is no end to the fighting – but western intervention has resulted in Afghanistan becoming the world’s first true narco-state. By Alfred W McCoy

After fighting the longest war in its history, the US stands at the brink of defeat in Afghanistan. How could this be possible? How could the world’s sole superpower have battled continuously for more than 16 years – deploying more than 100,000 troops at the conflict’s peak, sacrificing the lives of nearly 2,300 soldiers, spending more than $1tn (£740bn) on its military operations, lavishing a record $100bn more on “nation-building”, helping fund and train an army of 350,000 Afghan allies – and still not be able to pacify one of the world’s most impoverished nations? So dismal is the prospect of stability in Afghanistan that, in 2016, the Obama White House cancelled a planned withdrawal of its forces, ordering more than 8,000 troops to remain in the country indefinitely.

In the American failure lies a paradox: Washington’s massive military juggernaut has been stopped in its steel tracks by a small pink flower – the opium poppy. Throughout its three decades in Afghanistan, Washington’s military operations have succeeded only when they fit reasonably comfortably into central Asia’s illicit traffic in opium – and suffered when they failed to complement it.

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Source: gad