Europe rights court hears of CIA prisons
13 december 2013
Lawyers say a Saudi national and a Palestinian were tortured in a secret US facility in a remote part of Poland.
Human rights groups believe about eight ’terror’ suspects were held in Poland [AP]
The secret network of black site prisons across Europe that the CIA used to interrogate “terror” suspects has had a rare public hearing at Europe’s human rights court.
Lawyers for two suspects, currently held by the US in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, accuse Poland of human rights abuses.
They told the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday that the two fell victim to the CIA’s programme to kidnap suspects and transfer them to third countries.
They also allege they were tortured in a remote Polish prison.
One of the cases concerns 48-year-old Saudi national, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who faces “terror” charges in the US for allegedly orchestrating the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
The second case involves 42-year-old Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian.
Both men say they were brought to Poland in December 2002, where they were detained and subjected to harsh questioning in a Polish military installation in Stare Kiejkuty, a village in the country’s remote northeast.
They are asking the court to condemn Poland for various abuses of rights guaranteed by Europe’s Convention on Human Rights.
Former CIA officials have told the Associated Press news agency that a prison in Poland operated from December 2002 until the fall of 2003.
Human rights groups believe about eight suspects were held in Poland, including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Polish leaders in office at the time, former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller denied the prison’s existence.
Last updated: 03 Dec 2013 16:23
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Two terror suspects sue Poland over ‘CIA torture’
13 december 2013
The European Court of Human Rights is hearing a case brought by two terror suspects who accuse Poland of conniving in US human rights abuses.
The two men are currently held at the US Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
It is the first time that allegations about a CIA “black site” prison in a European country have been heard in an open court.
Abu Zubaydah and another al-Qaeda suspect say they were tortured at a secret prison in Poland in 2002-2003.
Nearly a year ago the court ruled against Macedonia for abuses suffered by Khaled el-Masri, another suspect who was held for CIA interrogation.
Abu Zubaydah, a 42-year-old Palestinian, allegedly made travel arrangements for jihadis loyal to Osama Bin Laden, including those who carried out the September 2001 attacks in the US.
The other suspect in the Poland case is Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, 48, a Saudi accused of organising the 2000 attack on the USS Cole warship in Yemen, in which 17 sailors died.
Their lawyers are representing them in Strasbourg and a court statement said their submissions are based mainly on publicly available sources, because of the restrictions imposed at Guantanamo Bay.
Only part of the hearing is public – the rest is being held behind closed doors.
Mr Nashiri’s lawyers accused Poland of turning a blind eye to CIA abuses
The two men allege that they were subjected to torture, other ill treatment and incommunicado detention in Poland, while in US custody.
The “waterboard” technique – simulated drowning – was among the methods allegedly used during their interrogation. Their lawyers also say the men were subjected to mock executions in Poland and told their families would be sexually abused.
The men were allegedly flown to Poland on the same “rendition plane” in December 2002.
Reports by a Council of Europe investigator, Swiss senator Dick Marty, detailed “war on terror” operations by the CIA in several European countries. He named the Polish detention centre as Stare Kiejkuty, an intelligence training base near Szczytno in northern Poland.
Continue reading the main story
The Polish government’s investigation into the issue was in reality nothing more than a smoke-screen”
Investigator at Reprieve
The Strasbourg judges will deliver their verdict on the case at a later stage.
Former President George W Bush authorised the rendition policy shortly after the 9/11 attacks to allow the CIA to interrogate terror suspects secretly outside the US.
Crofton Black, an investigator at the human rights campaign group Reprieve, said: “European support for the CIA’s torture programme is one of the darkest chapters of our recent history – it is encouraging that the court now looks set to bring it to light, where the [Polish] government has sought to sweep it under the carpet.”
“We have now heard overwhelming and uncontested evidence that the CIA was running a secret torture prison on Polish soil, with the Polish government’s knowledge.
“The Polish government has failed to contest that it knew prisoners were being held beyond the rule of law and tortured by the CIA inside their own country. It has also become clear that the Polish government’s investigation into the issue was in reality nothing more than a smoke-screen, which was neither designed nor intended to get to the truth,” he said.
A lawyer representing Poland said the Polish authorities should be allowed to complete their own investigation into the claims first.
In December 2012 the judges ruled that Macedonia had violated the rights of Khaled al-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen, and ordered Macedonia to pay him 60,000 euros (£50,000; $82,000). He was kidnapped in Macedonia in 2003, flown to a secret jail in Afghanistan and tortured there.
3 December 2013 Last updated at 10:31 ET
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Guantánamo Bay detainees claim Poland allowed CIA torture
13 december 2013
Terror suspects subjected to extraordinary rendition tell European court of human rights they were waterboarded
Judges of the European court of human rights during a hearing at the court in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters
Lawyers for two men subject to extraordinary rendition by the CIA told the European court of human rights (ECHR) on Tuesday that Poland, which permitted a secret “black” site to operate on its territory, should be held responsible for their torture.
The two-day hearing at Strasbourg was the first time a European country has been taken to court for allowing US agencies to carry out “enhanced” interrogation and “waterboarding” programmes. In a highly unusual legal move, the media and public were barred from the opening day’s session.
The military base at Stare Kiejkuty, north of Warsaw, it was revealed, had previously been used by German intelligence and later the Soviet army during the second world war. One of the men, it was alleged, was subjected to mock executions while hooded and otherwise naked.
Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent, and Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, a stateless Palestinian, maintain they were waterboarded and abused during interrogation in Poland. Both men are being held by the US in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The court also heard a submission from Ben Emmerson QC, the UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism, who argued that where gross or “systematic human rights violations are alleged to have occurred, the right to know the truth is not only an individual right that belongs to the immediate victim of the violation, but also a collective right that belongs to the whole of society”.
Nashiri, who was born in 1965, is the prime suspect in the terrorist attack on the US navy ship USS Cole in the harbour of Aden, Yemen, in October 2000. He is also suspected of playing a role in the attack on the French oil tanker MV Limburg in the Gulf of Aden in October 2002.
Husayn, born in 1971, was considered by US authorities to be an important member of al-Qaida and is alleged to have been involved in planning the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington.
They claim that after being captured by the CIA they were transferred on the same “rendition” plane in December 2002 to a secret detention site in Poland, with the knowledge of the Polish authorities, for the purpose of interrogation and were tortured.
Nashiri maintains he was seized in Dubai in October that year and subsequently moved around secret CIA detention facilities in Afghanistan and Thailand before being taken to Poland. He remained in a secret detention centre until early June 2003, when he was secretly transferred, with the assistance of the Polish authorities, to Morocco and then, in September 2003, to Guantánamo Bay.
He claims he was subjected to the so-called “waterboard technique”, where a detainee is tied to a bench with his feet elevated above his head, a cloth placed over his mouth and nose and water poured on to the cloth producing the sensation of drowning and suffocation.
Nashiri alleges he was also forced into prolonged stress positions – kneeling on the floor and leaning back – and was threatened that his family would be abused if he did not provide information.
Amrit Singh, of the Open Society Justice Initiative who represented Nashiri, said that her client had been repeatedly tortured. “The court heard expert testimony [on Monday] confirming how Polish officials filed false flight plans and assisted in the cover-up of CIA operations,” Singh said. “In a secluded villa, hidden from sight, CIA interrogators subjected him to torture: to mock executions while he stood naked and hooded before them; to painful stress positions that nearly dislocated his arms from his shoulders; and to threats of bringing in his mother to sexually abuse her in front of him.” He now faces the death penalty before a US military commission, she added.
Husayn alleges that, having been captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and subsequently transferred to a secret CIA detention facility in Thailand, he was brought to Poland in early December 2002 where he was held in a secret CIA detention facility until September 2003.
According to his submissions, Husayn was waterboarded, placed in a box and exposed to extreme noise.
Communication with his lawyers is restricted, making it impossible to pass on information or evidence directly from him to the ECHR. The presentation of his case is principally based on publicly available sources.
Pádraig Hughes, a lawyer with Interights who presented Husayn, said before the hearing: “We hope that the court’s ruling will make it clear that the actions by the Polish authorities were a clear violation of human rights and should never be repeated by any country that properly respects human rights and the rule of law.”
Crofton Black, a researcher with the London-based human rights organisation Reprieve, who has been researching the issue of secret prisons in Europe during the ‘War on Terror’ sat in on the first, closed day of the hearing.
“We have now heard overwhelming and uncontested evidence that the CIA was running a secret torture prison on Polish soil, with the Polish Government’s knowledge,” he said. “Despite being given many opportunities to do so, the Polish Government has failed to contest that it knew prisoners were being held beyond the rule of law and tortured by the CIA inside their own country.
“It has also become clear that the Polish government’s investigation into the issue was in reality nothing more than a smoke-screen, which was neither designed nor intended to get to the truth.
A Polish offical told the court that his country was the only European state that was “conducting a real investigation” and that the inquiry had been hindered by the fact that it was difficult for the prosecutor to talk to the complainants. Relations between Poland and the US, he added, were subject to secrecy.
Romania and Lithuania also have cases pending at the ECHR for hosting secret CIA prisons. Judgment was reserved.
Owen Bowcott and Ian Cobain
theguardian.com, Tuesday 3 December 2013 13.15 GMT
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CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds
13 december 2013
Doctors were asked to torture detainees for intelligence gathering, and unethical practices continue, review concludes
An al-Qaida detainee at Guantanamo Bay in 2002: the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at the prison in recent years. Photograph: Shane T Mccoy/PA
Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.
The report of the Taskforce on Preserving Medical Professionalism in National Security Detention Centres concludes that after 9/11, health professionals working with the military and intelligence services “designed and participated in cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and torture of detainees”.
Medical professionals were in effect told that their ethical mantra “first do no harm” did not apply, because they were not treating people who were ill.
The report lays blame primarily on the defence department (DoD) and the CIA, which required their healthcare staff to put aside any scruples in the interests of intelligence gathering and security practices that caused severe harm to detainees, from waterboarding to sleep deprivation and force-feeding.
The two-year review by the 19-member taskforce, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, supported by the Institute on Medicine as a Profession (IMAP) and the Open Society Foundations, says that the DoD termed those involved in interrogation “safety officers” rather than doctors. Doctors and nurses were required to participate in the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike, against the rules of the World Medical Association and the American Medical Association. Doctors and psychologists working for the DoD were required to breach patient confidentiality and share what they knew of the prisoner’s physical and psychological condition with interrogators and were used as interrogators themselves. They also failed to comply with recommendations from the army surgeon general on reporting abuse of detainees.
The CIA’s office of medical services played a critical role in advising the justice department that “enhanced interrogation” methods, such as extended sleep deprivation and waterboarding, which are recognised as forms of torture, were medically acceptable. CIA medical personnel were present when waterboarding was taking place, the taskforce says.
Although the DoD has taken steps to address concerns over practices at Guantánamo Bay in recent years, and the CIA has said it no longer has suspects in detention, the taskforce says that these “changed roles for health professionals and anaemic ethical standards” remain.
“The American public has a right to know that the covenant with its physicians to follow professional ethical expectations is firm regardless of where they serve,” said Dr Gerald Thomson, professor of medicine emeritus at Columbia University and member of the taskforce.
He added: “It’s clear that in the name of national security the military trumped that covenant, and physicians were transformed into agents of the military and performed acts that were contrary to medical ethics and practice. We have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again.”The taskforce says that unethical practices by medical personnel, required by the military, continue today. The DoD “continues to follow policies that undermine standards of professional conduct” for interrogation, hunger strikes, and reporting abuse. Protocols have been issued requiring doctors and nurses to participate in the force-feeding of detainees, including forced extensive bodily restraints for up to two hours twice a day.
Doctors are still required to give interrogators access to medical and psychological information about detainees which they can use to exert pressure on them. Detainees are not permitted to receive treatment for the distress caused by their torture.
“Putting on a uniform does not and should not abrogate the fundamental principles of medical professionalism,” said IMAP president David Rothman. “‘Do no harm’ and ‘put patient interest first’ must apply to all physicians regardless of where they practise.”The taskforce wants a full investigation into the involvement of the medical profession in detention centres. It is also calling for publication of the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into CIA practices and wants rules to ensure doctors and psychiatrists working for the military are allowed to abide by the ethical obligations of their profession; they should be prohibited from taking part in interrogation, sharing information from detainees’ medical records with interrogators, or participating in force-feeding, and they should be required to report abuse of detainees.
Sarah Boseley, health editor
The Guardian, Monday 4 November 2013
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The 6,000-Page Report on CIA Torture Has Now Been Suppressed for 1 Year
13 december 2013
It cost $40 million to produce, documents serious wrongdoing, and doesn’t threaten national security. Team Obama won’t release it.
One year ago today, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to adopt a 6,000-page report on the CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation program that led to torture. Its contents include details on each prisoner in CIA custody, the conditions of their confinement, whether they were tortured, the intelligence they provided, and the degree to which the CIA lied about its behavior to overseers. Senator Dianne Feinstein declared it one of the most significant oversight efforts in American history, noting that it contains “startling details” and raises “critical questions.” But all these months later, the report is still being suppressed.
The Obama Administration has no valid reason to suppress the report. Its contents do not threaten national security, as evidenced by the fact that numerous figures who normally defer to the national-security state want it released with minor redactions. The most prominent of all is Vice President Joe Biden.
Another is Senator John McCain.
“What I have learned confirms for me what I have always believed and insisted to be true—that the cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of prisoners is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence,” he said in a statement. “… It is therefore my hope that this Committee will take whatever steps necessary to finalize and declassify this report, so that all Americans can see the record for themselves, which I believe will finally close this painful chapter for our country.”
They are hardly alone.
In order to mark the one-year anniversary of the report being adopted (only to be suppressed), the Center for Victims of Torture has assembled a list of 58 figures of note who insist that the public ought to be able to read the important document. It includes a total of eight U.S. senators and numerous former Obama Administration officials, including Harold Koh and Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering.
Former CIA employees who want the report released include John Rizzo, former CIA general counsel; Vincent Cannistraro, former chief of operations and analysis at the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center; and Glenn Carle, 23-year veteran of CIA (among others). If it’s former military flag officers that will sway you, here are fewer than half of the ones who want the report on CIA imprisonment released:
General Joseph P. Hoar, former Commander, U.S. Central Command; General Charles C. Krulak, former Commandant of the Marine Corps; General David M. Maddox, former Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, Europe; General Barry McCaffrey, former Assistant Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; General Merrill A. McPeak, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; Lieutenant General Robert G. Gard Jr.; Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, former Inspector General, Department of the Navy; Lieutenant General Arlen D. Jameson, former Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Strategic Command; Lieutenant General Charles Otstott, former Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee; Lieutenant General Harry E. Soyster, former Director, Defense Intelligence Agency; Lieutenant General James M. Thompson, former Director for Estimates, Defense Intelligence Agency; Major General Paul D. Eaton, former Commanding General of the command charged with reestablishing Iraqi Security Forces.
Despite all these figures calling for the report’s release, the Obama Administration, which promised voters that it would be the most transparent in history, has bowed to pressure from a faction within the CIA to keep secret the most thorough accounting we have of the agency’s lawless, immoral behavior during the Bush years. In doing so, Team Obama makes it less likely that we learn the lessons of CIA torture, and more likely that America tortures again one day.
Dec 13 2013, 12:01 AM ET
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Copyright © 2013 by The Atlantic Monthly Group
What is the Torture Report?
13 december 2013
The Torture Report, an initiative of the ACLU’s National Security Project, aims to give the full account of the Bush administration’s torture program, from its improvised origins to the systematized, lawyer-rationalized maltreatment of hundreds of prisoners in U.S. custody around the world.
How is the Report being written?
Published serially online in a novel, responsive format, The Torture Report will bring together everything we now know from government documents, official investigations, press reports, photographs, witness statements, testimonials, and several vivid and meticulously-researched books into a single narrative – one that is updated dynamically and subject to critical review and improvement as it unfolds.
The principal author of the Report is Larry Siems, who directs the Freedom to Write and International Programs at PEN American Center and leads PEN’s ongoing efforts to defend writers facing persecution around the world and to protect freedom of expression in the United States. In addition to his human rights work, Siems is a poet and a nonfiction writer who has written and reported on undocumented workers, immigrant politics and human rights abuses along the U.S., and whose poems have appeared in leading literary journals.
We have also invited a group of expert contributors to offer comments and observations as new material appears. These contributors include Matthew Alexander, David Frakt, Glenn Greenwald, Joanne Mariner, Deborah Popowski, John Sifton, and Marcy Wheeler, as well as attorneys from the ACLU; their annotations are viewable in line in the text. We also invite you, the reader, to contribute additional information and comments at the end of the chapter. As new sections are added to the Report, chapters already online will be edited, expanded, or amended to address or incorporate the most valuable suggestions and latest information.
How do I navigate the site?
The Torture Report site encompasses several related web pages. At its core is the Report itself, to which new sections will be added regularly.
The Diary page, which will greet you each time you visit the site and which is updated frequently, will guide you to the latest additions to the Report and to new information or revelations that will be integrated into the Report in the future.
The Documents page makes available much of the primary-source material through which the narrative is revealed, incorporating a searchable archive of official the government documents the ACLU has gathered through litigation under the Freedom of Information Act.
Why do we need The Torture Report?
There is an urgent need for The Torture Report.
Assembling a comprehensive, up-to-the-minute, accessible account of the Bush administration’s torture program is vital to advancing public awareness of what happened, how it happened, and who should be held responsible for violations of U.S. and international law.
The recent appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate specific abuses in CIA custody is not likely to lead to a full accounting: that investigation was narrowly focused at the outset and reportedly grows narrower by the day. Congress has yet to initiate a full, serious investigation of prisoner abuse and other detention violations. There is little political will to press for accountability and little likelihood that any official reviews now underway will produce the kind of authoritative public record that is needed.
Several excellent reports and books have exposed significant elements of the program, but they either don’t attempt to tell the whole story or no longer reflect the full scope of what is known. The direct documentary evidence of abuse is now voluminous – too voluminous for most people to explore and make sense of on their own.
The Torture Report will provide both a readable, up-to-the-minute narrative account of what the evidence reveals and the tools for you to examine the mounting record of abuse yourself.
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Interrogation Inc.: A Window Into C.I.A.’s Embrace of Secret Jails
13 december 2013
WASHINGTON — In March 2003, two C.I.A. officials surprised Kyle D. Foggo, then the chief of the agency’s main European supply base, with an unusual request. They wanted his help building secret prisons to hold some of the world’s most threatening terrorists.
Mr. Foggo, nicknamed Dusty, was known inside the agency as a cigar-waving, bourbon-drinking operator, someone who could get a cargo plane flying anywhere in the world or quickly obtain weapons, food, money — whatever the C.I.A. needed. His unit in Frankfurt, Germany, was strained by the spy agency’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Mr. Foggo agreed to the assignment.
“It was too sensitive to be handled by headquarters,” he said in an interview. “I was proud to help my nation.”
With that, Mr. Foggo went on to oversee construction of three detention centers, each built to house about a half-dozen detainees, according to former intelligence officials and others briefed on the matter. One jail was a renovated building on a busy street in Bucharest, Romania, the officials disclosed. Another was a steel-beam structure at a remote site in Morocco that was apparently never used. The third, another remodeling project, was outside another former Eastern bloc city. They were designed to appear identical, so prisoners would be disoriented and not know where they were if they were shuttled back and forth. They were kept in isolated cells.
The existence of the network of prisons to detain and interrogate senior operatives of Al Qaeda has long been known, but details about them have been a closely guarded secret. In recent interviews, though, several former intelligence officials have provided a fuller account of how they were built, where they were located and life inside them.
Mr. Foggo acknowledged a role, which has never been previously reported. He pleaded guilty last year to a fraud charge involving a contractor that equipped the C.I.A. jails and provided other supplies to the agency, and he is now serving a three-year sentence in a Kentucky prison.
The C.I.A. prisons would become one of the Bush administration’s most extraordinary counterterrorism programs, but setting them up was fairly mundane, according to the intelligence officials.
Mr. Foggo relied on C.I.A. finance officers, engineers and contract workers to build the jails. As they neared completion, he turned to a small company linked to Brent R. Wilkes, an old friend and a San Diego military contractor.
The business provided toilets, plumbing equipment, stereos, video games, bedding, night vision goggles, earplugs and wrap-around sunglasses. Some products were bought at Target and Wal-Mart, among other vendors, and flown overseas. Nothing exotic was required for the infamous waterboards — they were built on the spot from locally available materials, the officials said.
Mr. Foggo, 55, would not discuss classified details about the jails. He was not charged with wrongdoing in connection with the secret prisons, but instead accused of steering other C.I.A. business to Mr. Wilkes’ companies in exchange for expensive vacations and other favors. Before leaving the C.I.A. in 2006, he had become its third-highest official, and his plea was an embarrassment for the agency.
After the 2001 terrorist attacks, the intelligence world’s embrace of dark-of-night snatch-and-grabs, hidden prisons and interrogation tactics that critics condemned as torture has stained the C.I.A.’s reputation and led to legal challenges, investigations and internal divisions that may take years to resolve. The Justice Department is now considering opening a criminal investigation, with much of the attention focused on the agency’s network of secret prisons, which have become known as the “black sites.”
From Fringes to Spotlight
The demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had transformed Mr. Foggo from a fringe player into the C.I.A.’s indispensable man. Before the 9/11 attacks, the Frankfurt base was a relatively sleepy resupply center, running one or two flights a month to outlying stations. Within days of the attacks, Mr. Foggo had a budget of $7 million, which quickly tripled.
He managed dozens of employees, directing nearly daily flights of cargo planes loaded with pallets of supplies, including saddles, bridles and horse feed for the mounted tribal forces that the spy agency recruited. Within weeks, he emptied the C.I.A.’s stockpile of AK-47s and ammunition at a Midwest depot.
He was a logical choice for the prison project: aggressive, resourceful, patriotic, ready to dispense a favor; some inside the C.I.A. jokingly compared him to Milo Minderbinder, the fictional character who rose from mess hall officer to the black-market magnate of Joseph Heller’s World War II novel “Catch-22.”
Early in the fight against Al Qaeda, agency officials relied heavily on American allies to help detain people suspected of terrorism in makeshift facilities in countries like Thailand. But by the time two C.I.A. officials met with Mr. Foggo in 2003, that arrangement was under threat, according to people briefed on the situation. In Thailand, for example, local officials were said to be growing uneasy about a black site outside Bangkok code-named Cat’s Eye. (The agency would eventually change the code name for the Thai prison, fearing it would appear racially insensitive.) The C.I.A. wanted its own, more permanent detention centers.
Eventually, the agency’s network would encompass at least eight detention centers, including one in the Middle East, one each in Iraq and Afghanistan and a maximum-security long-term site at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, that was dubbed Strawberry Fields, officials said. (It was named after a Beatles song after C.I.A. officials joked that the detainees would be held there, as the lyric put it, “forever.”)
The C.I.A. has never officially disclosed the exact number of prisoners it once held, but top officials have put the figure at fewer than 100.
At the detention centers Mr. Foggo helped build, several former intelligence officials said, the jails were small, and though they were built to house about a half-dozen detainees they rarely held more than four.
The cells were constructed with special features to prevent injury to the prisoners during interrogations: nonslip floors and flexible, plywood-covered walls to soften the impact of being slammed into the wall.
The detainees, held in cells far enough apart to prevent communication with one another, were kept in solitary confinement 23 hours a day. For their one hour of daily exercise, they were taken out of their cells by C.I.A. security officers wearing black ski masks to hide their identities and to intimidate the detainees, according to the intelligence officials.
Just like prisons in the United States, the jailers imposed a reward and punishment system: well-behaved detainees received books, DVDs and other forms of entertainment, which were taken away if they misbehaved, the officials said.
C.I.A. analysts served 90-day tours at the prison sites to assist the interrogations. But by the time the new prisons were built in mid-2003 or later, the harshest C.I.A. interrogation practices — including waterboarding — had been discontinued.
Winning a Promotion
Mr. Foggo’s success in Frankfurt, including his work on the prisons, won him a promotion back in Washington. In November 2004, he was named the C.I.A.’s executive director, in effect its day-to-day administrative chief.
The appointment raised some eyebrows at the agency. “It was like taking a senior NCO and telling him he now runs the regiment,” said A. B. Krongard, the C.I.A.’s executive director from 2001 to 2004. “It popped people’s eyes.”
Mr. Foggo soon became embroiled in agency infighting. The C.I.A. was reeling from criticism that it had exaggerated Iraq’s weapons programs. Mr. Foggo came to Washington as part of a new team that almost immediately began firing top C.I.A. officials, causing anger among veteran clandestine officers. Mr. Foggo’s fast rise and blunt approach unsettled some headquarters officials, according to Brant G. Bassett, a former agency officer and friend who served with Mr. Foggo.
“Dusty went in there with a blowtorch,” Mr. Bassett said. “Some people were overjoyed, but there were a few others who said, we’ve got to take this guy down.”
In 2005, before he came under investigation, Mr. Foggo and other officials, including John Rizzo, the agency’s top lawyer, paid a rare visit to some of the prison sites, assuring C.I.A. employees that their activities were legal, according to former intelligence officials. Mr. Foggo also met with representatives of Eastern European security services that had helped with the prisons. He expressed gratitude and offered assistance — a gesture the officials politely declined.
In February 2007, Mr. Foggo and Mr. Wilkes were indicted. Prosecutors believed that the C.I.A. had paid an inflated price to Archer Logistics, a business connected to Mr. Wilkes that had a $1.7 million C.I.A. supply contract. In return, the prosecutors claimed, Mr. Wilkes had taken Mr. Foggo on expensive vacations, paid for his meals at expensive restaurants and promised him a lucrative job when he retired.
“I was taking a trip with my best friend,” Mr. Foggo said in his defense. “It looked bad, but we had been taking trips together since we were 17 years old.”
Mr. Foggo said he had turned to Mr. Wilkes’ companies to bypass the cumbersome C.I.A. bureaucracy, not to provide a sweetheart deal to his oldest friend. “I needed something done by someone I trusted in private industry,” Mr. Foggo said.
Downfall in Court
Mr. Wilkes maintains his innocence, but he was eventually convicted in a bribery scandal involving former Representative Randall Cunningham of California. Mr. Foggo pleaded guilty and is serving a sentence on the fraud count, but he still maintains that he was unfairly prosecuted.
His lawyer, Mark J. MacDougall, said he believed that Mr. Foggo’s legal problems stemmed in part from controversies over his stint as executive director. “Nobody ever accused Dusty Foggo of putting a dime in his pocket, failing to do his job, or compromising national security,” Mr. MacDougall said. “Dusty may have made some mistakes, but this case was driven by professional animosity at C.I.A. and personal ambition.”
When Mr. Foggo’s lawyers tried unsuccessfully to obtain access to agency files about his role in the prison program, prosecutors complained that he was trying to disclose a secret program. Mr. Foggo claimed that he was reluctant to divulge his role in classified programs and pleaded guilty, in part, to avoid revealing his secrets.
In an Aug. 1, 2007, letter, a C.I.A. lawyer informed Mr. Foggo’s lawyers that they could not review any classified files related to the prisons. The agency’s letter concluded, “In light of the president’s statements regarding the extraordinary value and sensitivity of the C.I.A. terrorist detention and interrogation program, the C.I.A. denies your request in its entirety.”
August 13, 2009
By DAVID JOHNSTON and MARK MAZZETTI
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Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
NOMINATION OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL JAMES CLAPPER, JR., USAF, RET., TO BE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
13 december 2013
[Senate Hearing 111-857]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 111-857
NOMINATION OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL
JAMES CLAPPER, JR., USAF, RET., TO BE
DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED ELEVENTH CONGRESS
TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010
Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Intelligence
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SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE
[Established by S. Res. 400, 94th Cong., 2d Sess.]
DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California, Chairman
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri, Vice Chairman
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West ORRIN G. HATCH, Utah
Virginia OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
RON WYDEN, Oregon SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
EVAN BAYH, Indiana RICHARD BURR, North Carolina
BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, Maryland TOM COBURN, Oklahoma
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho
BILL NELSON, Florida
SHELDON WHITEHOUSE, Rhode Island
HARRY REID, Nevada, Ex Officio
MITCH McCONNELL, Kentucky, Ex Officio
CARL LEVIN, Michigan, Ex Officio
JOHN McCAIN, Arizona, Ex Officio
David Grannis, Staff Director
Louis B. Tucker, Minority Staff Director
Kathleen P. McGhee, Chief Clerk
JULY 20, 2010
Feinstein, Hon. Dianne, Chairman, a U.S. Senator from California. 1
Bond, Hon. Christopher S., Vice Chairman, a U.S. Senator from
Mikulski, Hon. Barbara A., a U.S. Senator from Maryland………. 6
Lieutenant General James R. Clapper,Jr., USAF, Ret., Director of
National Intelligence-Designate………………………….. 7
Prepared statement……………………………………. 8
Prepared statement of Senator Russell D. Feingold……………. 33
Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential Nominees………… 52
Article titled “The Role of Defense in Shaping U.S. Intelligence
Reform” by James R. Clapper, Jr…………………………. 67
Prehearing Questions and Responses…………………………. 79
Letter from Robert I. Cusick, Office of Government Ethics, Dated
June 15, 2010, to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Transmitting Public
Financial Disclosure Report……………………………… 168
Letter from Susan S. Gibson, Dated June 7, 2010, to Robert I.
Letter from James R. Clapper, Jr., Dated June 7, 2010, to Susan
S. Gibson……………………………………………… 178
Posthearing Questions and Responses………………………… 179
Article titled “Reorganiztion of DIA and Defense Intelligence
Activities” by James R. Clapper, Jr……………………… 202
Article titled “The Newly Revived National Imagery and Mapping
Agency: Geospatial Imagery & Intelligence in 2002 and Beyond”
by James R. Clapper, Jr…………………………………. 210
Article titled “Desert War Was Crucible for Intelligence
Systems” by James R. Clapper, Jr………………………… 215
Article titled “Defense Intelligence Reorganization and
Challenges” by James R. Clapper, Jr……………………… 219
Article titled “Challenging Joint Military Intelligence” by
James R. Clapper, Jr……………………………………. 227
Article titled “Critical Security Dominates Information Warfare
Moves” by James R. Clapper, Jr. and Eben H. Trevino, Jr……. 235
NOMINATION OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL JAMES CLAPPER, JR., USAF, RET., TO BE
DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
TUESDAY, JULY 20, 2010
Select Committee on Intelligence,
The Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:43 p.m, in Room
SDG-50, Dirksen Senate Office Building, the Honorable Dianne
Feinstein (Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Committee Members Present: Senators Feinstein, Wyden,
Mikulski, Feingold, Nelson of Florida, Whitehouse, Levin, Bond,
Hatch, Snowe, Chambliss, Burr, Coburn, and Risch.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DIANNE FEINSTEIN, CHAIRMAN, A U.S.
SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA
Chairman Feinstein. The hearing will come to order. This
room is on the cool side, probably the coolest place in
Washington today. But I’d like to welcome everyone to this
hearing. We meet today in open session to consider President
Obama’s nominee to be the nation’s fourth Director of National
Intelligence, General James Clapper. So welcome, General
The position of the DNI, as we call him, the Director of
National Intelligence, is the senior most intelligence position
in the government. The DNI is by statute, the head of the 16
different intelligence offices and agencies that make up the
intelligence community, the principal advisor to the President
on intelligence matters, and the official in charge of
developing the intelligence budget.
As has been made clear over the first five years of the
existence of the position, the true extent of the director’s
authority and the exact nature of the job he is supposed to do
are still a matter of some debate. As the articles yesterday
and today in The Washington Post have made clear, the DNI faces
major management challenges caused by the enormous growth
throughout those intelligence agencies and other parts of the
government’s national security complex since 9/11.
The articles raised several issues such as the high
infrastructure expansion of buildings and data systems.
Yesterday’s article specifically names–and I won’t read them
out, but one, two, three, four, five, six–seven, huge new
buildings, all of which, as was pointed out, will obviously
have to accommodate individuals and all kinds of support
services and positions.
The article also describes a contractor number that now
reaches approximately 28 percent to 30 percent of the entire
intelligence workforce and carries out inherently governmental
functions, contrary to policies of the Office of Management and
Budget. The authors count 1,271 government organizations and
1,931 private companies that work on programs related to
counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence.
Under the past two DNIs and CIA directors, the number of
contractors has been coming down slightly. And I’m pleased that
they are no longer being used to conduct interrogation.
Nonetheless, the use of contractors needs to continue to
decrease substantially, and I intend to keep pushing on this
point until contractors are not used for any inherently
Our original fiscal year 2010 intelligence authorization
bill contained a requirement that would have reduced the number
of contractors across the community by 10 percent from 2009 to
2010. But because of the delay in passing the bill, this cut
has not gone into effect.
Like the Post’s articles, this committee has found, as
evidenced by our report on the Christmas Day plot, that
intelligence growth has not always led to improved performance.
Growth in the size and number of agencies, offices, task forces
and centers has also challenged the ability of former Directors
of National Intelligence to truly manage the community.
As a sponsor of the first legislation calling for the
creation of the position, I have long believed that the DNI
needs to be a strong leader and have real authority. Clearly
there is need for a strong, central figure or the balkanization
of these 16 agencies will continue.
However, this cannot be just another layer of bureaucracy.
The DNI must be both a leader as well as a coordinator of this
increasingly sprawling intelligence community. But the DNI must
also be, at times, more than that. He must be able to carry out
Presidential direction and shift priorities based on national
security concerns and emerging needs.
In actual practice, the DNI is constrained from directing
15 of the 16 elements of the community because they reside in
various federal departments. And the Intelligence Reform and
Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 states that, in carrying out
his responsibilities–and this is the rub–the DNI may not
abrogate the statutory responsibilities of the Secretaries.
This is often interpreted in real life to prevent centralized
direction. The 16th agency, the CIA, is not housed within a
department, but it, too, has demonstrated its ability to thwart
the DNI’s directives it dislikes by importuning the White
We understand from former officials in the DNI’s office
that both problems have greatly frustrated past DNIs’ ability
to lead. Every day of every week, month by month, the DNI must
assure coordination between intelligence agencies to eliminate
duplication and improve information sharing. And, when
necessary, he must put an end to programs that are not working
and avoid redundancy and overlap. I increasingly believe that
this is becoming a major issue.
The 2010 Intelligence authorization bill reported out,
again unanimously, in revised form last week, which the White
House has approved and the House intelligence committee
supports, contains 10 provisions that would strengthen or add
management flexibilities for the DNI. Eight of those 10 were
requested by this or prior administrations. I urge the House to
pass this bill.
The primary mission of the DNI is to make sure that the
intelligence community produces information that enables
policymakers to make informed decisions. This mission includes
ensuring that the Department of Defense and military commanders
have the information they need to carry out military operations
and force protection. Yet it also covers the full range of
national security, foreign policy and homeland security
I want to make sure that General Clapper, if confirmed,
will wear the mantle of the Director of National Intelligence,
not just the hat he wears today as Director of Defense
intelligence, and that he will have the necessary broad,
strategic focus and support that this position requires.
So I will be interested in continuing to discuss with our
nominee the proper role of the DNI, what the mission should be
and how strong the authority should be to carry out that
Not in question is General Clapper’s vast experience or
dedication to public service. He has served his country for
more than 40 years in a variety of capacities, 32 of those 40
years in active duty in the United States Air Force, retiring
in 1995 as a lieutenant general. He has led two of the larger
intelligence agencies, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the
National Imagery and Mapping Agency, since renamed the National
Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, or NGA. And he is currently the
Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, a position he has
held since 2007, meaning that he is one of the few national
security officials to serve under both the Bush and Obama
In short, this nominee has as much experience in
intelligence as any serving or retired official. So, General
Clapper, I want to be clear that we do not question your
service, your knowledge or your capability. We only ask that
you clearly indicate your vision and commitment to head the
intelligence community this afternoon and work to give it
direction and prevent sprawl, overlap and duplication.
Before I turn to our distinguished Vice Chairman, I
understand, General, that you have family and friends with you
today. If you’d like to introduce them at this time–well, I
think I’ll change this and ask the ranking member to go ahead,
if that’s agreeable, then ask you to introduce your family, and
then I know Senator Mikulski would like to say a few words, I
suspect, on your behalf. I call on the Vice Chairman.
Mr. Vice Chairman.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, VICE CHAIRMAN, A
U.S. SENATOR FROM MISSOURI
Vice Chairman Bond. Thank you, Madam Chair, and as usual, I
agree with your opening statements, and I join you in welcoming
General Clapper to the committee for consideration of his
nomination to serve as the Director of National Intelligence.
The outgoing Director of National Intelligence, Admiral
Dennis Blair, deserves our thanks for his many years of service
to the nation, including his work as the previous DNI. Admiral
Blair faced a number of unfortunate challenges during his
tenure, as other administration officials increasingly assumed
greater control over intelligence community activities. The
next DNI must have the political clout, the willpower to ensure
that our intelligence agencies are able to get their vital work
done without being micromanaged by the Department of Justice or
the National Security Council.
It is my hope that the next DNI will assert this needed
leadership over the intelligence community. Something the
George W. Bush administration got right in this area was
placing key people in the jobs who were responsible to the
Congress. For example, there was no question that John
Negroponte, and then, most notably, Admiral Mike McConnell,
were the President’s principal intelligence advisors, as they
should be under United States law. At that time, the public did
not even know the names of intelligence staffers on the
National Security Council. Today, the paradigm has been
reversed. We have a staffer on the National Security Council,
who most people in the intelligence community believe acts as
He calls the shots and even goes on national television to
pitch the administration’s viewpoint. A June 6 Washington Post
article was spot on in describing his role in today’s
intelligence. This is not good for the country and is contrary
to Congress’ intent for the IC. If the President would like him
to act as his principal intelligence advisor and head of the
intelligence community, then I’ll be happy to co-host his
confirmation hearing with the Chair. But if not, then this
template needs to change.
Turning to you, General Clapper, as the Chair has already
mentioned, you’ve served our nation well. You have a long
background in very demanding leadership roles in the military
and the intelligence community, and I think we all thank you
for an impressive 46 years of service to our nation in the
field of, primarily, intelligence. But you know that I have
concerns about whether you will be able to do what Director
Blair could not.
You’ve talked about leaving federal service for some time,
yet you are now seeking one of the hardest jobs in Washington,
one fraught with maximum tensions. Frankly, today I ask you to
tell us why? Our nation is at a critical point. We’re six years
into this experience of intelligence reform, and I’m afraid we
have a long way to go. The recent Washington Post top secret
series highlights what I and others on the committee have been
saying for a long time. The intelligence community is lacking
effective oversight. And today, I hope we can focus on whether
you, General Clapper, will have the horsepower needed in the
White House to use the DNI as the position for reform and
management it needs to be.
The DNI, in the next round, will need to be a fire in the
gut guy who is willing to break paradigms and trends against
business as usual. He needs to be someone who is not
reluctantly accepting the job, but is willing to take on the
old guard and change broken ways of going about intelligence.
We don’t need our top spy chief to be a figurehead who cedes
authority to the Justice Department. Instead, we need a DNI who
can oversee our nation’s terror-fighting policy.
We need a DNI who will push the envelope on his authorities
and advance the institution’s ability to lead our intelligence
agencies. Just as important, we need someone who can throw some
elbows and take back control of our intelligence agency from
DOJ, White House bureaucrats and even the DOD. Also, he must
establish a clear chain of command between the CIA and the DNI.
While the 2004 intelligence reform bill was certainly a
step forward in our efforts to reform the intelligence
community, it fell well short of what I hoped Congress would
achieve–namely, as I’ve said many times and said to you, the
DNI was given a load of responsibility without the authority or
all the tools needed truly to lead our intelligence agencies.
The arm wrestling that took place between DNI Blair and the
CIA director over who would appoint the DNI’s representatives
overseas was a clear sign to me that we do not yet have the
right balance, but we have to get it right if we hope to meet
the national security challenges ahead.
Now, previously you’ve been inconsistent in whether the DNI
should be granted additional authorities to lead our
intelligence agencies. While some have rationalized this
wavering as an example of the old adage, “Where you sit is
where you stand”–in other words, you protect the turf of
whatever institution you lead–I don’t take much comfort in
that explanation. That’s not the hallmark of the sort of leader
that we need at the head of the intelligence community.
You reference in your prepared opening statement that a
number of Members have raised concerns about your affiliation
with the Department of Defense. Well, I think that is a valid
concern. When the President called the Chair and me to inform
us of your nomination, his first selling point was that you
were strongly supported by the Defense Secretary and the Senate
Armed Services Committee.
I have to tell you, General, that’s not the best way to put
you forward to this committee as the next leader of the
intelligence community. We’re happy that the Defense Department
and Armed Services Committee love you, but frankly, that’s not
what we’re looking for.
Now, I am a big supporter of the Defense Department. And as
I said, my son was in Iraq and three of my staff on the
committee voluntarily took leaves of absence over the past two
years to serve in harm’s way in uniform in Iraq and
Afghanistan, and we appreciate their service like all of the
members of the armed services.
But at the strategic level, an overemphasis on DOD within
the intelligence community can be counterproductive. We’ve seen
this problem with the State Department, and it’s struggled to
regain the lead from the Pentagon in smart power activities.
This is one reason the memo from your office to the Senate
Armed Services Committee a few weeks ago, which criticized 13
specific provisions in this committee’s authorization bill, was
not well received here. You said you felt obligated to afford
the Armed Services Committee the opportunity to hear your
criticisms of the bill. We would have appreciated that same
courtesy being extended to this committee, first and foremost,
since you are dual-hatted as under our structure.
It is our bill; you are the DNI, Director of National
Intelligence. The memo is something that I believe you should
have addressed to us upfront, and on the record at the end of
your opening statement today I would hope you might reference
We have to get the relationship between the IC and its
overseers right. Congressional oversight is instrumental in
advancing the DNI’s leadership of the intelligence community.
Through such oversight Congress can ensure that not only the
DNI understands the expectations of his position but that other
agencies recognize the DNI’s leadership.
General, too much of your previous contact with this
committee has been too reluctant and reactive. We have to have
a DNI who works proactively to meet his obligations under the
law, to keep the Senate Intelligence Committee fully and
currently informed. And that requires a good and open working
Today is your opportunity to instill in this committee the
confidence that you’re up to the task of leading the
intelligence community while complying with your statutory
obligations to work with this committee. And I wish you the
very best, sir.
Madam Chair, we’ve had far too many DNI confirmation
hearings in our time together on the SSCI. I believe this high
turnover rate is a symptom of the inadequate authorities that
the IRTPA invested in the DNI. If we are unable to address
those legislative shortcomings in the remaining time in this
Congress, then I hope this is something you and the next
ranking Republican will begin to address next year in the new
And I thank you, Madam Chair and General.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice Chairman.
Senator Mikulski, it’s my understanding you have a few
comments you’d like to offer.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BARBARA A. MIKULSKI, A U.S. SENATOR
Senator Mikulski. Thank you, Madam Chair. I’m going to be
very brief, because I know we want to get quickly to the
I’m one of the people that’s worked hands-on with Mr.
Clapper. And I would like to just say to the committee, first
of all, like you, I know we’ve been through four DNI
confirmations, four DNIs. And if there is a failure in or
questions about the authority and the functionality of the DNI,
then it’s incumbent on Congress to look at the legislation, but
not necessarily fault the DNI nominee for the failures of the
But let me just say this about Mr. Clapper: One of the
things–look, you all know me as straight-talking, plain-
talking, kind of no-nonsense. And one of the things in working
with Mr. Clapper as head of the NGA was, again, his candor, his
straightforwardness, his willingness to tell it like it is–not
the way the top brass wanted to hear it–I thought was
refreshing and enabled us to work very well.
I think that in his job he will be able to speak truth to
power–which God knows we need it–and he will speak truth
about power, which we also need. And I would hope that as we
say, oh, gee, we don’t know if we want a military guy chairing
or heading the DNI, Mr. Clapper left the military service in
1995. He’s been a civilian. He doesn’t come with the whole
extensive, often military staff that people bring with them
when they take a civilian job. And I think in my mind he’s
probably the best qualified to do this job, because he’s not
only been a night hawk standing sentry over the United States
of America, but he’s actually run an intelligence agency and
he’s actually had to run a big bureaucracy. And he’s had to run
with sometimes very inadequate leadership at the top.
So we ought to give him a chance and I think we ought to
hear what he has to say today. I acknowledge the validity of
the questions the Chair and the ranking member have raised, but
I think we would do well to approve General Clapper.
Vice Chairman Bond. Madam Chair, if I may thank my friend
from Maryland for helping me get my voice back and wish her a
very happy birthday.
Chairman Feinstein. Happy birthday, Senator. We did this in
caucus and gave her a rousing verse.
Senator Mikulski. I thank you for your gallantry, but
sometimes state secrets ought to be kept state secrets.
Vice Chairman Bond. I didn’t mention any years or anything.
Just the date.
Senator Mikulski. Well done.
Chairman Feinstein. Clapper, if you would like to introduce
your family, please, we’d like to welcome them and then proceed
with your comments.
STATEMENT OF LIEUTENANT GENERAL JAMES CLAPPER, JR., USAF, RET.,
DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE-
General Clapper. I’d like to introduce my family and
friends who are with me today. First, my wife of 45 years, Sue,
who herself is a former NSA employee, my daughter Jennifer and
her husband Jay. She is a principal of an elementary school in
Fairfax County and Jay is a high school teacher; my brother
Mike from Illinois, and my sister, Chris, who just moved to
North Carolina; and a close friend of ours who is with us
Chairman Feinstein. We welcome you all.
General Clapper. Chairman Feinstein, Vice Chairman Bond and
distinguished members of the committee, it is indeed a
privilege and an honor for me to appear before you today as
President Obama’s nominee to serve as the fourth Director of
National Intelligence. Additionally, I want to thank Senator
Mikulski for your introduction. It was very thoughtful and
touching to me personally.
Being nominated for this position for me was an unexpected
turn of events. I’m in my third tour back in the government. My
plan was to walk out of the Pentagon about a millisecond after
Secretary Gates. I had no plan or inkling to take on another
position. But as in the past, I’ve always been a duty guy at
heart, and so when approached by Secretary Gates, followed by
the President of the United States of America, both of whom I
have the highest respect for, I could not say no. I’m honored
that President Obama has expressed confidence in my abilities
and experience by this nomination.
I’ve submitted a longer statement for the record, subject
to your concurrence. If I can deliver one message to you here
today, it is this: I’ve served over 46 years in the
intelligence profession in many capacities–in peace, in
crisis, in combat, in uniform, as a civilian, in and out of
government and in academe. I’ve tried hard to serve in each
such capacity with the best interests of our great nation first
and foremost. Should I be confirmed as Director of National
Intelligence, I can assure you that will continue to be my
We have the largest, most capable intelligence enterprise
on the planet. It is a solemn sacred trust to the DNI to make
that enterprise work for the sake of this nation and its
people. Intelligence is a team endeavor and the DNI is in the
unique and distinctive position to harness and synchronize the
diverse capabilities of the entire community and make it run as
a coherent enterprise.
I want to repeat something here today publicly that I’ve
said to many of you privately. I do believe strongly in the
need for congressional oversight, and if confirmed, I would
continue to forge an even closer partnership with the oversight
It’s the highest distinction in my professional career to
have been nominated for this extremely critical position,
particularly in this difficult time throughout the world.
This concludes my formal statement. I’d be prepared to
respond to your questions, or Madam Chairman, if you’d like, I
can respond now to your commentary as well as that of the
[The prepared statement of General Clapper follows:]
Prepared Statement of Lieutenant General James R. Clapper, Jr.,
Director of National Intelligence-Designate
Madam Chairman, Vice Chairman Bond, and distinguished Members of
the Committee, it is a privilege to appear before you today as the
President’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence: I am truly
honored that the President has confidence in my ability to lead our
Intelligence Community. My deepest appreciation goes out to him for the
nomination, and. my sincere thanks to all of you, the overseers of our
nation’s intelligence services, for the opportunity to address you and
answer your questions here today.
When President Obama asked me to lead this organization he said he
wanted someone who could build the Intelligence Community into an
integrated team that produces quality, timely, and accurate
intelligence; be his principal intelligence advisor; be the leader of
our Intelligence Community; and be someone who would tell policymakers
what they needed to know, even if it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.
Lastly, he needed someone who knew how to get things done in a
bipartisan, professional manner.
While humbled by the nomination, I reflect upon my 46 years of
experience in the intelligence business and find confidence in my
ability to serve diligently and competently in the position of Director
of National Intelligence, should I be confirmed.
I have heard expressions of concern about my independence; as a
long-time denizen of the Department of Defense, and whether I might be
too beholden to it, and, thus, skew things in favor of the military. I
have been out of uniform for almost 15 years, over six of which were
completely out of the government. The former Secretary of Defense ended
my tenure as Director of NGA three months earlier than originally
planned, because I was regarded as too “independent.” I am a “truth
to power” guy, and try always to be straight up about anything I’m
Having said that, I feel my experience in the military–starting
with my two tours of duty during the Southeast Asia conflict–provided
a wealth of experience in intelligence which has been expanded and
honed by the things I’ve done since retiring from military service in
1995. Thus, I have been a practitioner in virtually every aspect of
Over the course of my career, I served as a Commander in combat, as
well as a Wing Commander and Commander of a Scientific and Technical
Intelligence Center. I have also served as a Director of Intelligence
(J-2) for three war-fighting commands and led two intelligence
agencies. I learned every aspect of intelligence collection, analysis,
operations, planning and programming, and application and in all other
disciplines–HUMINT, GEOINT, MASINT, Foreign Material, Counter-
intelligence, and other more arcane forms of technical intelligence. I
have been widely exposed to the workings of the entire U.S.
Intelligence Community around the globe.
I have also worked as a contractor for four companies, with
intelligence as my primary focus. This gave me great insight into the
roles as well as the strengths and limits of contractors, how the
government looks from the outside, and what drives a commercial entity
as it competes for, wins, and fulfills contracts.
I served on many government boards, commissions and panels over my
career. Specifically, I served as Vice Chairman of a Congressionally
mandated Commission chaired by former Governor of Virginia, Jim
Gilmore, for almost three years. Based on this experience I learned a
great deal on how issues are perceived at the State and local levels,
and helped formulate recommendations, which, in part, presaged the
subsequent formation of the Department of Homeland Security.
As the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, I helped
exercise civilian control over the military, served as Program
Executive for the Military Intelligence Program, and developed and
promulgated standards and policy across the entire range of the
intelligence, counter-intelligence, and security dimensions of the
Department of Defense.
Apart from all this functional experience, I have lived the history
of the Intelligence Community for that same time span. I think the
amalgam of this experience–the breadth, depth, and scope–equips me to
deal with the demands of the DNI–a position which demands extensive
knowledge of the entirety of the US intelligence enterprise.
I think, too often, people assume that the Intelligence Community
is equally adept at divining both secrets (which are theoretically
knowable) and mysteries (which are generally unknowable) . . . but we
are not. Normally, the best that Intelligence can do is to reduce
uncertainty for decision-makers–whether in the White House, the
Congress, the Embassy, or the fox hole–but rarely can intelligence
eliminate such uncertainty.
But in order to provide the best intelligence support to our
nation, our leaders and decision-makers, the DNI can and must foster
the collaboration and cooperation of the Intelligence Community.
Intelligence is a team effort. Given the complexity and diversity of
the Intelligence Community–we must view it as an enterprise of
complementary capabilities that must be synchronized. To be specific,
the DNI will need to serve the President and work with all members of
the community and the Congress as well as with many others, to be
successful in fulfilling the President’s vision.
Madam Chairman, Mr. Vice Chairman, if confirmed, I pledge not only
to follow the law, but to go a step further and endeavor, as best as I
am able, to build upon and increase the trust between Congress and DNI.
That’s not to say we’ll always see things the same way. And that’s not
to say you won’t question us and hold us accountable where
appropriate–I expect nothing less. But our objective ought to be the
same: to give the Intelligence Community all that it needs to succeed,
consistent with our laws and values. If confirmed, I believe I can do
that. I have had very positive discussions with CIA, FBI, and other
leaders across the Intelligence Community, and I am quite encouraged by
their commitment to making this team work should I be confirmed.
Additionally, keeping this Committee “fully and currently”
informed is not an option. It is the law, and it is our solemn
obligation. I was a young Air Force officer at NSA in the seventies,
and watched the Church-Pike hearings, which led to, among other things,
the establishment of the intelligence oversight committees in both
Houses of Congress. I am a strong believer in the need for an informed
Congress. I say this not only as an intelligence-career professional,
but as a citizen. I have interacted with the intelligence oversight
committees since the mid-eighties in several capacities. If confirmed,
I would seek to forge a close partnership with the oversight
Moreover, I would observe that the Congress will be hugely
influential in ensuring the DNI succeeds. The Congressional DNI
partnership is crucial in all respects, and this is one of the most
important–keeping Congress fully and currently informed of
intelligence activities and receiving your feedback, support, and
oversight. Indeed, it is my conviction that, partly through the
Congress, the DNI has a great deal of authority already; the challenge
is how that authority is asserted. I believe my experience in the
community would serve me, and the position, well.
Finally, the men and women of the Intelligence Community are
courageous, smart and patriotic; if confirmed, it would be my honor to
lead them in support of our nation’s security. Thank you and I look
forward to your questions.
Chairman Feinstein. Well, that is up to you, General. If
you would like to, proceed; otherwise we can take that up in
questions. It’s up to you.
General Clapper. Well, we have Members here waiting to ask
questions, so I would suggest we go ahead with that, and then
perhaps I’ll get to these points, or if not later, I will get
to them subsequently.
Chairman Feinstein. All right. We will begin with 10-minute
rounds, and we will proceed in order of seniority and we will
alternate sides. I hope that’s acceptable.
General Clapper, as I mentioned in my opening statement, I
believe that the DNI must be able to be a strong leader as well
as a coordinator. In the Oxford Handbook of National Security
Intelligence from February 2010, you wrote, “I no longer
believe as strongly as I once did in greater centralization of
intelligence activity or authority, and I realize that the
individual needs of each department for tailored intelligence
outweighs the benefits of more centralized management and
Secondly, in answer to the committee’s initial
questionnaire, you wrote that the responsibilities of the DNI
entail “supervision and oversight,” which to me seems weaker
than “direction and control.”
Here’s the question: If you were confirmed as DNI, in what
way specifically will you be the leader of the IC as opposed to
simply a coordinator of the 16 agencies that make up its parts?
And can you give specific examples of where you see more
forceful leadership is necessary?
General Clapper. Well, Madam Chairman, I think first that
with all of the discussion about the lack of authority or the
perceived weaknesses of the Office of the Director of National
Intelligence, I believe it already does have considerable
authority, either explicit in the law, the IRTPA, or implicit,
that can be exerted. It’s my belief that the issue, perhaps, in
the past has been the art form by which that authority has been
And it would be my intent to push the envelope, to use your
phrase, on where those authorities can be broadened. And I
refer specifically to programming and financial management,
since that’s the common denominator in this town, as one area
where, having been a program manager twice in the national
intelligence program as well as the program executive for the
military intelligence program, I think I know how those systems
work and how that can be leveraged.
When I speak of centralization, I don’t think that
everything has to be managed and run from the immediate
confines of the office of the Director of National
Intelligence. I think Director of National Intelligence
authorities can be extended by deputizing or delegating, if you
will, to various parts of the community things that can be done
on the DNI’s behalf but which do not have to be done within the
confines of the DNI staff. So I would want to clarify that.
I would not have agreed to take this position on if I were
going to be a titular figurehead or a hood ornament. I believe
that the position of Director of National Intelligence is
necessary, and, whether it’s the construct we have now or the
Director of Central Intelligence in the old construct, there
needs to be a clear, defined, identifiable leader of the
intelligence community to exert direction and control over the
entirety of that community, given its diversity and its
heterogeneity, if you will, the 16 components that you
Chairman Feinstein. Given our present budget problems, this
growth of the entire community, which has doubled in budget
size since 9/11, is unlikely to continue. We’ve all had
occasion to discuss this with recent heads of individual
departments. It’s my belief that everybody is well aware of
that. In fact, the budget may actually end up being decreased
in coming years.
So here’s the question: Has this growth, in your view, as
you’ve participated at least at DIA and other areas, been
managed correctly? Are there areas where you believe work
remains to be done to consolidate and better manage prior
General Clapper. Madam Chairman, I think, with particularly
the publication of the two articles in the Dana Priest series,
that it would seem to me that some history might be a useful
perspective. And I go back to when I served as Director of DIA
in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War where we were under
a congressional mandate to–the entire intelligence community
was–under a mandate to reduce the community by on the order of
20 percent. And put another way, that meant that one out of
every five employees that we then had on the rolls had to be
removed from those rolls.
The process started before I left active duty in 1995 and
continued through the 1990s. I left the government, was away
for six years, came back to then NIMA, later NGA, took over
there two days after 9/11. And that downward profile was then
in progress. And we were constricting facilities, fewer people,
then 9/11 occurred. We put the brakes on, screech, and then we
had to rejuvenate and re-expand the intelligence community.
And of course, the obvious way to do that, to do it
quickly, was through contractors. That certainly happened in my
case when I was director of NGA for five years in the immediate
aftermath of 9/11.
And so I think the questions that are raised in the article
that you point out about the profligate growth of contractors
and attendant facilities and all this sort of thing is, in my
view, part of a historical pattern here, a pendulum that is
going to swing back and we are going to be faced, I think, with
a somewhat analogous situation as we faced after the fall of
the Wall when the charge was to reap the peace dividend and
reduce the size of the intelligence community.
With the gusher, to use Secretary Gates’s very apt term, of
funding that has accrued particularly from supplemental or
overseas contingency operations funding, which, of course, is
one year at a time, it is very difficult to hire government
employees one year at a time. So the obvious outlet for that
has been the growth of contractors.
Now, if you go back even further in history, at least in my
mind, you think back to World War II where we had the arsenal
of democracy, which turned out ships and planes and trucks and
jeeps in unending numbers and that’s actually how we won the
war. In a sense, we’re doing somewhat the same thing
analogously today; it’s just a different war. It’s much more of
an information-driven war, where intelligence, instead of being
as it was in my day, my first tour in Vietnam in 1965, where
intelligence was a historical irritant, it now drives
So it’s not surprising, in my view, that intelligence is so
prominent and that we have so many contractors doing so many
things. I think the article today is in some ways testimony to
the ingenuity, innovation and capability of our contractor
base. That’s not to say that it’s all efficient; it isn’t.
There’s more work that needs to be done there. I think this is
a great area to work with the oversight committees.
What is lacking here are some standards. Should there be
limits on the amount of revenue that would accrue to
contractors? Should there be limits on the number of full-time
equivalent contractors who are embedded in the intelligence
community? And I think those are issues that I would propose we
work together on if I’m confirmed as the DNI. And I would
start, frankly, with the Office of the DNI, which in my
sensing, at least, I think has got a lot of contractors and we
ought to look hard at whether that’s appropriate or not.
With respect to the buildings that have accrued, most of
the buildings that–and NGA is a case in point, a $2.1 billion
facility that will go in at Springfield, Virginia, at the
former engineering proving ground at Fort Belvoir. I was very
instrumental in that and that, of course, came about because of
the BRAC, the base relocation and consolidation round that
occurred in 2005.
So the NGA facility, the consolidation of the central
adjudication facilities at Fort Meade, the consolidation and
then the co-location of the counterintelligence facilities at
Quantico, at DISA, going to the Defense Information Support
Agency at Fort Meade, all came about because of the BRAC
In the case of NGA, what the business case was, we got out
of leased facilities which over time cost more than a
government-owned facility, not to mention the quality of life
working conditions that will demonstrably improve for NGA.
Chairman Feinstein. One last quick question. It’s my
understanding that a contractor costs virtually double what a
government employee does and has cost that. We have set as a
mark 10 percent reduction a year. I don’t know that that’s
quite achievable. I know the CIA has tried to do 5 percent.
What is your view on this as to what would be a practical
and achievable number to aim for the reduction of contractors,
assuming they’re 28 percent to 30 percent of the entire
General Clapper. Well, ma’am, I think that we need to try
to come up with some organizing principles about where the
contractors are appropriate and where they are not, since there
are wide variances in terms of the percentages and prevalence
of contractors in various parts of the community. In the case
of the military services, with the exception of perhaps right
now of the Army, which I think is understandable, it’s a fairly
low percentage of contractors that are working in intelligence.
In the case of the intelligence agencies, the percentage is
higher and, of course, one agency in particular, the NRO, which
has classically, traditionally been heavily reliant on
contractors, not only for acquisition, but for operations.
So I think I’d want to try to come up with some organizing
principles, some standards that would determine–some formulas,
if you will, that would determine where contractors are
appropriate and where they are not rather than just keying on a
fixed percentage, which could, in some cases, be damaging or
So I certainly agree with, again, it’s time for that
pendulum to swing back as it has historically. I’m just
reluctant to commit to a fixed percentage because I’d want to
see what the impact was in individual cases.
Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will ask you for that
assessment as soon as you’re confirmed.
Mr. Vice Chairman.
Vice Chairman Bond. Thank you, Madam Chair.
General, let me pose a hypothetical that has some base in
reality. Let’s pretend you are the DNI and you worked for years
with the oversight committees to produce an intelligence
authorization text. It’s safe to say the administration’s OMB
director writes to the committees saying the President will
sign the text, and let’s pretend that an Under Secretary of
Defense, Intelligence–in a sense, it would be your successor–
sends a discussion draft to the majority staff of the Armed
Services Committee alerting them to provisions in the text that
need modification because they conflict with longstanding
authorities of the Secretary of Defense.
Let’s also pretend that you did not clear this, the Under
Secretary did not clear it with you, the DNI, or the
intelligence oversight committees.
How would you view this action of your dual-hatted Under
Secretary of Defense, Intelligence? And how would you view his
meddling in this operation? And how do you think you as the DNI
would react to the USD/I doing this?
General Clapper. Well, I probably would have chastised him
for not having provided a copy of the staff paper that was
exchanged in response to requests from the House Armed Services
Committee staff. And in retrospect, it would have been better
had I seen to it that a copy of that went to the two respective
intelligence committees. That happened anyway at the speed of
light without my taking any action, but that would probably
have been the more appropriate course.
I have been for the last three years the Under Secretary of
Defense for Intelligence and I considered it my responsibility
and my obligation to defend and protect the Secretary’s
authorities and prerogatives to the maximum extent I could. If
I were confirmed as the DNI, I will be equally assiduous in
ensuring that the DNI’s prerogatives and authorities are
protected and advanced.
Vice Chairman Bond. Well, we would hope so. Now, in our
discussion–we had a good discussion last week–I believe you
said that the Senate Intelligence Committee should have
jurisdiction over the Military Intelligence Program budget,
which is currently under the jurisdiction of the Armed Services
Would could you clarify that for me? Do I understand that
General Clapper. Well, I’m probably risking getting in
trouble with the Senate Armed Services Committee, who
apparently likes me now, so—-
Vice Chairman Bond. You used up a chit or two there.
Senator Levin. I’d continue to worry if I were you, General
General Clapper. It would be better, frankly, and I guess I
don’t want to get into jurisdictional gun battles here between
and among committees, but from my viewpoint, having done this
in several incumbencies, it would be better if the oversight
were symmetrical. In the House, the House Intelligence
Committee does have jurisdiction over the Military Intelligence
Program, and it’s a different situation here in the Senate. And
I will leave that—-
Vice Chairman Bond. That’s very clear and I appreciate
that, and you have, as anyone around here knows, entered into
the most deadly minefield in Washington, D.C.
General Clapper [continuing]. Yes, sir.
Vice Chairman Bond. So step carefully, but we appreciate
you taking that step.
A very important question about habeas. A number of habeas
decisions have resulted in release of Guantanamo Bay detainees,
government-conceded in some cases; in others, the government
argued against the release and recently the government won a
case on appeal.
We know the recidivism rate for Gitmo detainees is now
above 20 percent. Do you agree with the public statement of the
national security staffer who said that a 20 percent recidivism
rate with terrorists isn’t that bad?
General Clapper. He was comparing it, I believe, to what
the recidivism rate is here in the United States. I think in
this case a recidivism rate of zero would be a lot better. That
would be a great concern. I think it is incumbent on the
intelligence community institutionally to make the soundest,
most persuasive, authoritative and accurate case possible when
these cases are addressed, when decisions are being made to
send people back to host countries.
A particular case in point in Yemen, as we discussed in
February at a closed hearing when Steve Kappes and I appeared
before you, that’s something you have to watch very carefully
in Yemen because their ability to monitor and then rehabilitate
anyone is problematic at best. And these decisions were made,
as we also discussed, sir, this is an interagency thing, a
process in which intelligence is an important but not the only
input to that decision.
Vice Chairman Bond. Would you agree that the committee
should be given the intelligence assessments on Guantanamo Bay
detainees which we have not fully received yet?
General Clapper. As far as I’m concerned, yes, sir, you
should have that information.
Vice Chairman Bond. I have some concerns, and I would like
your views on having the DNI sit in a policymaking role for the
purposes of voting on the disposition of Guantanamo detainees.
Is that over the line of intelligence gathering and getting
into a policy area?
General Clapper. I don’t know the exact mechanics of how
those meetings work, but I would say as a general rule I don’t
believe intelligence should be in a “policymaking” role. I
think intelligence should support policy. It should provide the
range of options for policymakers, but I do not believe
intelligence–other than for intelligence policy, but not
broader policy–should be involved.
Vice Chairman Bond. But I assume you would not hesitate if
the intelligence agencies’ conclusions point to a different
direction than the ultimate policy decision, that you would
share your honest assessments with the oversight committee in
our confidential deliberations.
General Clapper. Yes, sir, I would.
Vice Chairman Bond. All right. One of the questions we have
is whether there should be a statutory framework for handling
terrorists’ habeas corpus challenges, a redefinition under the
new circumstances of the law of the war, because we are in a
different kind of battle than we have been. Do you think we
need a new law on habeas with terrorists who don’t belong to
any nation’s army?
General Clapper. Sir, that’s one I think I would need to
take under advisement. It’s kind of a legal issue, a little out
of my domain. Off the top of my head, I’m not sure I can answer
Vice Chairman Bond. If you’re confirmed, we would ask that
you work with your legal counsel and with us to see if
something is appropriate, if you would have any
In your meeting with me last week you said that the
Department of Justice, in my words, meddling in our
intelligence agencies was not an acute problem. I respectfully
The DOJ prevented IC agencies from complying with their
statutory responsibility to share intelligence with the
committee on the Times Square attack, and the DOJ did not defer
to the IC in decisions about whether to Mirandize terrorists. I
think those are acute.
If you are confirmed, what input do you expect to have over
the decision whether or not to Mirandize a terror suspect?
General Clapper. Well, we hope to be consulted and in the
decisionmaking process if such a situation arose.
Vice Chairman Bond. Have you ever had an opportunity to
discuss these issues with the Attorney General?
General Clapper. I have not.
Vice Chairman Bond. What do you think ought to take
precedence–making sure defendants’ statements can be used in
court, or obtaining needed intelligence to thwart future
General Clapper. Well, obviously my interest, or the
interests of intelligence institutionally, is in gaining
information. How the detainee is treated legally, that’s
another decision that I don’t make, but my interest is in
procuring the information.
There is some commonality here between a straight
intelligence interrogation, say done by the military or agency,
versus interrogations done by the FBI, in that in both cases
the interrogator is trying to achieve or develop rapport with
the detainee or the person being interrogated. That is a major
factor for the FBI, for example, when they are interrogating,
even in preparation for Mirandizing somebody. So again, I think
the interest of intelligence is in gaining the information.
Vice Chairman Bond. Do you believe there are legitimate
reasons for Department of Justice instructing entities within
the DOJ or elsewhere in the intelligence community not to share
intelligence information otherwise under the jurisdiction of
this oversight committee?
General Clapper. Sir, I’m not sure I understand the
question. I’m sorry.
Vice Chairman Bond. Are there situations, do you see any
situations in which the Department of Justice can or should say
to an intelligence entity, or even to the FBI, don’t share that
intelligence with the intelligence committee?
General Clapper. I can’t think of a situation like that, or
something I wouldn’t be very supportive if that were the case.
Vice Chairman Bond. I can’t either. Thank you very much.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Mr. Vice Chairman.
Senator Wyden. Thank you very much, Madam Chair.
Mr. Clapper, it is well known that the world of
counterterrorism and homeland security is a sprawling
enterprise. Yet yesterday the Washington Post made what I
believe is a jaw-dropping assertion, and I would like to get
your comment on it. It is a really extraordinary assertion of
fact, and they said here, “No one knows how much money it
costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist
within it, or exactly how many agencies do the same work.”
Now they made this as an assertion of fact. Do you agree
General Clapper. Well, no, sir, I really don’t. The
statement implies that this is completely out of control, and I
believe that it is under control because in the end the common
denominator for all this is the money that is appropriated,
whether it’s intelligence or for other purposes. The money is
appropriated with fairly specific strings attached. There are
allocations on a program-by-program basis. I know I’ve been the
recipient of that.
And in the end the intelligence community can do many
things, but printing more money is not one of those things we
can do. So that does serve, I think, as a means of control over
the allegedly profligate intelligence activities.
Senator Wyden. Let’s take the various judgments made in
that assertion. Is it clear how many people are employed?
General Clapper. We can certainly count up the number of
government employees that we have, absolutely. Counting
contractors is a little bit more difficult.
I was a contractor for six years, after I left, in the
interval after I left active duty.
And when you have–I would sign off, depending on which
company I was working for, I might charge to four or five
different contracts. So you have different parts of people, if
you will, so it gets to be a little more difficult to actually
count up, on a head count, on a day-by-day basis, exactly how
many contractors may be doing work, all or in part, for a
contract in intelligence.
Senator Wyden. I have to cover a lot of ground here. So the
answer to that is, it’s not clear how many people are employed.
Is it clear how many agencies do the same work?
General Clapper. Well, again, this is a determination that
Dana Priest made, that agencies—-
Senator Wyden. I’m asking for your—-
General Clapper [continuing]. I don’t believe that, sir. I
don’t believe, as a general commentary. There are cases, as
there have been in the history of intelligence, where there has
been a conscious decision to have some duplication. One man’s
duplication is another man’s competitive analysis. So there is
a certain amount of that that does go on, which I do think is a
healthy check and balance.
That’s not to say, sir, and I would not assert that this is
completely efficient and that there isn’t waste. There is. And,
you know, the community does work to try to eliminate that.
Senator Wyden [continuing]. Let me ask you about another
important area to me, and that’s the relationship between the
director and the Central Intelligence Agency.
And let me use a hypothetical–a short one–to get your
assessment of how you’d deal with it. Supposing a particular
foreign government has solid intelligence on al Qaeda but has
refused to share it with the United States. You’ve dealt with
the government before, and in your professional judgment, the
best way to get the cooperation is to fly there, confront them
directly, insist that they share the information.
And let’s suppose, just for purposes of this hypothetical,
the CIA disagrees with your judgment: They would say, “No,
Clapper, that’s not the way to do it. The best way to get the
foreign government’s cooperation is to be patient and wait six
months before asking for the information.” What would you do,
so that we can get some sense of how you would see your job
interacting with the CIA?
General Clapper. If I felt, for whatever reason, that the
only way to secure that information would be for me personally
to engage with that foreign government, I would do so. I would
certainly, though, consult and discuss that with the director
of the CIA.
Senator Wyden. But ultimately do you believe that you would
have the authority to overrule the CIA director?
General Clapper. I do.
Senator Wyden. The third area I want to ask you about, Mr.
Clapper, involves the contractor issue. We’ve talked about it
in a variety of ways.
One of the areas that I have been most concerned about is
that I think that this is a real magnet for conflicts of
interest. Often you’ve got a situation where one of the biggest
potential sources of conflicts is when you have expertise on a
particular topic residing mostly in the contractor base rather
than the government workforce, and you get into a situation
where the contractors are being asked to evaluate the merits of
programs that they’re getting paid to run.
I’d like your judgment as to whether you think this is a
serious problem, and if so, what would you do about it?
General Clapper. It is a problem, sir, that you have to be
on guard for.
When I served as director of NGA for almost five years,
half the labor force at the time, of NGA, was contractors. And
you do have to safeguard against–you have to have a mechanism
for watch-dogging that to prevent this conflict of interest,
where you have contractors who can gain an unfair advantage, in
terms of competing for more work and this sort of thing. So you
must be on the look-out for it. I don’t think it is a
widespread thing, but it does happen and you must have the
management mechanisms in place to ensure that doesn’t happen.
And to me, that’s the crux here on contractors and their
management, is the maintenance of a cadre of government
employees who do have the expertise to assess and evaluate the
performance of the contractor. And when you’re in a situation
where the contractor has a monopoly of knowledge and you don’t
have a check and balance in your own government workforce,
you’ve got a problem.
Senator Wyden. I think you’re going to find that it is a
more widespread problem than you see today. But I appreciate
the fact that you’ve indicated that you understand that there
are conflicts there, and you want to be watchful for it.
The last area I want to get into is the question of
declassification abuse. And it just seems to me that so often
the classification process, which is supposed to protect
national security, really ends up being designed to protect
political security, and you and I have talked about this on the
And I would just like to get your assessment about how you
would weigh the protection of sources and methods with the
public’s right to know. Because as far as I can tell, there
really isn’t a well-understood process for dealing with this.
And in the absence of well-understood process the political
security chromosome kicks in–and everything is just classified
as out of reach of the public and the public’s right to know is
So how would you go about trying to strike that balance?
General Clapper. Well, first, I agree with you, sir, that
we do overclassify. My observations are that this is more due
to just the default–it’s the easy thing to do–rather than
some nefarious motivation to, you know, hide or protect things
for political reasons. That does happen too, but I think it’s
more of an administrative default or automaticity to it.
And in the end it is the protection of sources and methods
that always underlie the ostensible debate about whether to
declassify or not. Having been involved in this, I will tell
you my general philosophy is that we can be a lot more liberal,
I think, about declassifying, and we should be.
There is an executive order that we are in the process–we,
the community–are in the process of gearing up on how to
respond to this, because this is going to be a more
systematized process, and a lot more discipline to it, which is
going to also require some resources to pay attention to to
attend to the responsibilities we have for declassification.
Senator Wyden. Would you be the person–and this is what
I’m driving at–who we can hold accountable? Because I think in
the past there has been this sense, on classification issues,
it’s the President’s responsibility. Then you try to run down
who at the White House is in charge.
I want to know that there is somebody who’s going to
actually be responsible. I appreciate your assessment that—-
General Clapper. If it is for intelligence. Now,
Senator Wyden [continuing]. On intelligence issues.
General Clapper [continuing]. Yeah, exactly, because it’s
broader than just intelligence. But certainly if it’s
intelligence, yes, I believe ultimately the DNI, if I’m
confirmed, is the guy in charge.
Senator Wyden. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Wyden.
Senator Hatch. Well, thank you, Madam Chairman.
General Clapper, I want to thank you for your long years of
service to this country. You have really an impressive
experience in the intelligence world, experience that I think
you can draw on to help you in this job, and I think there’s no
question that we’re grateful that you’re willing to serve
Now, I appreciated your courtesy call last week. When I
asked my first question, why you could possibly want this job,
you responded, two points: First, you said I was not the first
to ask that; and second, you said you were taking the job out
of a sense of duty. So I personally appreciate it.
Another thing I believe you told me in our meeting was that
you had no intention of shaking up the DNI structure, that you
intended to make it work as it is. Recognizing the weak
authorities and large responsibility of your office, you told
me that the DNI can enhance its authority if it has the support
of the oversight committee, and you’re certainly right about
And to have our support, you’re going to have to spend a
lot of time here sharing with us your problems and propose
solutions. Chairman Feinstein initiated a series of meetings
with your predecessor, and I was always grateful for that
participation. I know Vice Chairman Bond would agree with me
that one of the reasons we managed to pass the FISA Amendments
Act–a politically prickly piece of legislation–was because of
the long hours that then-DNI McConnell had dedicated to the
passage of it. Now, you’re only the fourth DNI, but there are
lessons that I know that you have learned from your
predecessors, and I appreciate it.
Now, reform and transformation has as much to do with new
ways of thinking as it does with new boxes in an organization
chart. Congress is good at legislating new boxes, but it’s much
harder to legislate cultural change within organizations.
We’ve seen that new ways of thinking about threats,
capabilities, doctrine and training are hard to adapt in well-
established bureaucratic cultures. You need leadership at the
IC to do this, and that of course means you. Do you believe
that organizational culture is important in the IC? And how do
you define intelligence culture? And along with that, do you
believe that cultural change is important? And how would you
General Clapper. Great question, sir. If I may sir, clarify
something that I may not have made myself clear on before—-
Chairman Feinstein. There we go.
General Clapper [continuing]. First of all, Senator Hatch,
I probably should clarify, if I didn’t make clear when I said
that no intent to shake up the DNI, that actually I do have
What I meant to say or to clarify that remark is that I
don’t–I am in the mode of making the model we have work rather
than going through the trauma of yet another reorganization,
whether it’s to some other structure. And I believe that the
model that we have, with all its flaws and the legal
ambiguities in the IRTPA can be made to work. And that’s
certainly my intent, and I wouldn’t have taken this on at my
age and station in life if I didn’t think that were the case.
Senator Hatch. Well, that’s the way I took it, anyway.
General Clapper. A very important point–and Senator Bond
alluded to this in his opening remarks; I’d like to get back to
that–is that–and I have said this to the President, and we
spoke again about it this morning–is the fact that the manner
in which the DNI relates to the oversight committees, the
manner in which the DNI relates to the President are very
important. And both the optic and the substance of those
relationships can do a great deal to compensate for the
ambiguities of the law and the perceived weaknesses of the
That’s why I’m so intent on forging a partnership
relationship with the oversight committees, because you play a
huge role. You play a huge role in compensating for those
ambiguities. And so it would be incumbent upon me as the DNI,
if I’m confirmed, or anyone else who serves in that capacity to
ensure there is that constructive partnership relationship with
the oversight committees. So I do want to make that point
The President again assured me–and I asked him
specifically–about his support for the position as the leader
of the intelligence community. And he affirmed that when we
spoke this morning on the phone.
Cultural change, I have some experience with that,
particularly at NGA. I was brought on specifically to implement
the mandates that the NIMA commission, a commission which did
great work, mandated by the Congress, on reorienting and
refocusing and bringing the vision to life of what the original
founding fathers and mothers of NIMA had in mind.
And so I learned a great deal the hard way about how to
forge cultural change in a large bureaucratic institution in
intelligence, which is the case with NGA. And I’m very proud of
the way NGA has evolved and how it has turned out as an agency.
And I think it’s moving to the new campus here in another year
or so will further bring that cultural change about.
There is, indeed, a unique culture in the intelligence
community, and there are in fact subcultures very much built
around the tradecraft that each of the so-called “stovepipes”
And that term is often used pejoratively, whether it’s the
SIGINT stovepipe or the GEOINT stovepipe or the HUMIN
stovepipe. Well, that’s also the source of the tradecraft which
allows us to conduct those very important endeavors. The trick,
of course, is to bring them together and to synchronize them,
mesh them, and to bring together the complementary attributes
that each one of those skill sets bring to bear.
So there is an important dimension. And you’re quite right.
It’s one thing to enact laws, draw wiring diagrams, but the
cultural aspects, I think, are quite important. And that’s
where I think leadership is huge, and that’s something that you
Senator Hatch. Well, that’s great. Have you read the July
2004 report by this committee cataloging and analyzing the Iraq
WMD intelligence prior to 2002? Did you have a chance to read
General Clapper. Yes, sir. I’m very familiar with that, and
I’m also very familiar with the WMD National Intelligence
Estimate. My fingerprints were on it. I was then a member of
the National Intelligence Board, so I’m very familiar with what
were the flaws in that NIE. I believe there have been
substantial process improvements to preclude, hopefully, such
an event from occurring again.
But I will tell you that was an indelible experience for me
in how we did the country a great disservice with that National
Senator Hatch. What do you believe explains the failure of
the intelligence community in assessing the presence of WMD in
Iraq in 2002? And do you believe the lessons from these
failures have been learned inside the intelligence community?
And if you do, why do you believe that?
General Clapper. Well, sir, I think that had a profound
impact on the intelligence community at large. I think we have
learned from that. The whole process used with the NIEs today
is quite different. These were actually improvements that
started under George Tenet’s time when he was still the DCI,
and they’ve continued to this day.
And so I think one of the first things we do, which we
didn’t do with that NIE, was that the standard practice when
you meet to approve an NIE is to first assess the sources that
were used in the NIE, which was not done in the case of the
infamous 2002 WMD report.
The use of red-teaming; the use of outside readers, with
their input included in the NIE; the use of other options; what
if we’re wrong; confidence levels; the degree of collection
capability gaps or not–all of those features are now a
standard part of national intelligence estimates drawn
primarily from the egregious experience that we had with that
And I thought the report you did laid out exactly what went
wrong. I can attest, since I was there, it was not because of
politicization or any political pressure. It was because of
Senator Hatch. Well, thank you.
And now, General Clapper, the administration and the
previous one made great efforts to explicitly state that our
response to global terrorism was not against Islam. In my
opinion, the fact that the vast majority of adherents to Islam
are nonviolent would certainly underscore that point.
Now, do you believe that ideas and ideology have a role in
motivating violent extremist terrorism? And, if so, do you
believe that we have adequately analyzed the ideological
component? And one last thought, do you believe that closing
down Guantanamo would undermine terrorist ideology in any way.
And if so, why?
General Clapper. Well—-
Senator Hatch. That’s a lot of questions, I know.
General Clapper [continuing]. On the first issue of the
ideological dimension here, I think that’s a very important
one. My experience there most recently was my involvement in
the aftermath of the Fort Hood shootings. And the question that
has certainly been a challenge, a huge challenge, for the
Department of Defense is the discernment of self-
radicalization, when people take on an ideology, internalize it
and use that for radical purposes.
And I will tell you, sir, in my view, we have a challenge
there in how to discern that, how to explain that to others,
particularly a 19- or 20-year-old soldier, sailor, airman or
Marine. How do you discern if before your very eyes someone is
self-radicalizing, and then what do you do about it.
I think with respect to the second question on a closure of
Gitmo, I think that will–when we get to that point, I think
that probably would help the image of the United States, if in
fact we’re able to close it.
Senator Hatch. Okay. I think my time is up.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Hatch.
Senator Mikulski. Madam Chairwoman, first of all, I want
you to know, I’ve really enjoyed listening to the questions
raised by you and the Ranking and the other members. Once
again, we’re learning from each other.
Senator Feinstein, I would just like to suggest to you,
with the presence of Senator Levin–presuming you’re in charge
in November, but whoever is–that the first area of reform has
to be with Congress. My concern is that DNI, whoever he is–and
I hope it’s General Clapper–appears before so many committees
and so many subcommittees–I think by my count, it’s over 88
different committees and subcommittees between the House and
the Senate–that the oversight–that’s one thing.
And the other, that we really press for the reform of the
9/11 Commission that we establish the Intelligence
Appropriations Subcommittee. I think Mr. Clapper makes a great
point, that it does come in appropriations. I have it in the
FBI; Inouye has DOD. It’s not the subject of this conversation
here, but I think we need to just get together among ourselves
and discuss how reform starts with us, meaning the Senate and
Chairman Feinstein. If I might respond, with respect to the
Appropriations Committee, the three of us that serve on it–
yourself, Senator, Senator Bond and myself–we have all
supported that. The problem is, we’re only three out of a
couple dozen members, and it’s those couple dozen members that
need to be convinced.
Senator Mikulski. Well, I think they will be.
But, picking up, General Clapper, Dana Priest has done her
series, and I believe that once again she’s done a great
service to the nation. It was Ms. Priest who brought to the
public’s attention the terrible stuff going on at Walter Reed.
Secretary Gates and the President responded, and we dealt with
it. I’m not saying there is a scandal within the intelligence
community, but it has grown.
And my question to you, if confirmed, will you look at the
series in the Post and others that have raised similar ones,
for a review of the allegations, flashing yellow lights, about
the growth and duplication, et cetera, and make recommendations
to the executive and legislative branch for reform?
General Clapper. Yes, ma’am.
Senator Mikulski. Well, and thank you, because I think it
would give us an important guidepost.
The second is, I’d like to go to the issue of
cybersecurity. As you know, you and I have worked on signals
intelligence, but cybersecurity is a–we’re part of a task
force chaired by Senator Whitehouse, Senator Snowe, and myself.
And we’ve looked at four issues–governance, technology,
technology development, maintaining our qualitative edge in
that area, workforce, and the beginning of civil liberties and
Governance has befuddled us. Governance has befuddled us.
We know how to maintain our technological qualitative edge.
We’re making progress on how to have an adequate workforce. But
what we see is overlapped turf warfare, turf confusion. And I
wonder, as DNI, what role do you have, and what role will you
assume in really straightening out this governance issue?
Congress has the propensity to create czars. We’ve got
czars and we’ve got czars by proxy. You know, a czar–we have a
White House now on cyber, a very talented and dedicated man. We
have you as the DNI; you’re a czar by proxy. But we don’t give
those czars or czars by proxy any power or authority. Now, we
get into cybersecurity, and I think the governance structure is
mush. There’s no way for clarity, there’s no answer to who’s in
charge, and there’s no method for deconflicting disagreements
or turf warfare. Do you have a comment on what I just said.
General Clapper. Well, first, I think I’ll start with, the
commentary about NSA–I know an organization near and dear to
your heart. NSA must serve, I believe, as the nation’s center
of excellence from a technical standpoint on cyber matters. I
think the challenge has been how to parlay that capability, the
tremendous technical competence that exists at NSA, in serving
the broader issue here of support, particularly to supporting
the civilian infrastructure.
The Department of Defense’s response has been to establish
Cyber Command by dual-hatting the Director of NSA, General
Keith Alexander, as the commander. So in a warfighting context
in the Department of Defense, that’s how we organize to do
I think we need something to fill that void on the
civilian–if you will–the civil side. Now, there’s some 35
pieces of–there are legislative proposals, as I understand it,
throughout the Congress right now. I think the administration
is trying to figure out what would be the best order of march
I think, though, the bill that Senator Bond and Senator
Hatch have sponsored, without speaking specifically, but it
certainly gets to what I would consider some sound organizing
principles and having somebody in charge, having a budget
Senator Mikulski. But what will your role be in this, as
General Clapper [continuing]. Well, I think the role of the
DNI is to ensure that the intelligence support for cyber
protection is provided and that it is visible to the governance
structure, whatever that turns out to be. I do not believe it
is the DNI’s province to decide what that governance structure
should be, but rather to ensure that it gets sufficient and
adequate and timely intelligence support.
Senator Mikulski. But what advisory role do you play to the
President? There’s Howard Schmidt, a great guy. We’ve met with
him and so on, but he has no power. So we have what has been
stood up with the United States military–excellent. I think we
all recognize that. But when it gets to the Department of
Homeland Security, when it gets to the FBI, when it gets to the
civilian agencies, and also it gets–what gateways do the
private sector have to go to who to solve their problems or to
protect them, it really gets foggy.
General Clapper. Well, one solution, I believe, is in the
legislation that has been proposed by Senators Bond and Hatch
on this committee.
Senator Mikulski. I’m not asking for your comment on
legislative recommendations. I’m asking what is the role of the
DNI to help formulate, finally, within the next couple of
months, the answer to the question, who is in charge? What is
your role? Who do you think makes that decision? I presume
you’re going to say the President.
General Clapper. Well, I guess—-
Senator Mikulski. How is the President going to get to
that? Is he going to be having, you know, coffee with Brennan?
Is it going to be you? Is it Howard Schmidt? Is it what?
General Clapper [continuing]. I do not believe it is the
DNI who would make the ultimate decision on the defense for
cyber–and particularly in the civil sector. I don’t believe
that is a determination or decision that should be made by the
DNI. I think I should play a role there.
Senator Mikulski. Again, what role do you think you should
play, with whom?
General Clapper. For the provision of adequate intelligence
support, what is the threat posed in the cyber domain, to this
nation. And I think that is the oversight responsibility of the
DNI, to ensure that that is adequate.
Senator Mikulski. I think maybe we’ve got a little–well,
then let’s go to the role of the DNI with the civilian
agencies, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. What
authority do you have in those domains?
General Clapper. Well—-
Senator Mikulski. And bringing them in more, now,
particularly the FBI, which has, I think, done a great job. In
fact, I think it’s all been great, because here it is 2010,
July 20th, and there’s not been an attack on the homeland.
General Clapper [continuing]. I think the FBI has done
great work, and I spent some time with them in the last week or
two. And I think the transformation that they are effecting to
become an effective part of the intelligence community has been
actually very–is very impressive. I think they have a rigorous
management process to ensure that this takes place at the
They too have a cultural challenge that we spoke of earlier
in the preeminence of the law enforcement culture in the FBI,
which is still important, and how they bring along their
intelligence arm and their intelligence capabilities to match
that in terms of its prestige and stature within the FBI; that
is a work in progress, and they acknowledge that. But I think
they’ve made great headway.
And I think the conversations that I’ve had with Director
Mueller, who’s been marvelous and very supportive of making the
DNI function work. The FBI is one of the elephants in the
intelligence living room, if I can use that metaphor. It has a
huge responsibility and a huge contribution to make, and I
intend to work with the FBI closely if I’m confirmed.
Senator Mikulski. Very good.
Madam Chair, I think my time is up.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Mikulski.
Senator Snowe. Thank you, Madam Chair, and welcome, General
You certainly bring an illustrious career and
qualifications to bear on this particular position, and it
certainly comes at a critical juncture, once again, for this
position and for this office that we continue to struggle with
in terms of its definition and the type of leadership that
should be brought to oversee the intelligence community.
And that’s what I’d like to explore with you this afternoon
first and foremost on an issue that I have been advocating,
actually, even since before we passed the legislation that
created the position for which you have been nominated and even
before the 9/11 commission report, and that was to have a
community-wide Inspector General. Because I think that one of
the issues that has evolved from all of this in creating this
vast department is being able to look across the spectrum
And one of the things that’s developed in all this and the
number of reports that have been issued by this committee, and
of course most recently, which was the scathing review of what
happened on the Christmas Day attempted attack and the systemic
breakdown both in terms of policy, follow-through, information-
sharing, technology, to name a few, across the agencies. And
clearly, it is something that I think underscores the serious
and fundamental problems that we continue to have, and
obviously we’ve got an unwieldy bureaucracy before us with this
In addition, of course, with The Washington Post series
that was written by Dana Priest this week, I think it’s also a
manifestation of many of the problems that continue to exist.
And certainly we’ve had many definitions of the type of
leadership that has been brought to bear in this position,
whether it’s an integrator, a coordinator, a facilitator, and
whether or not we should have a strong acknowledged leader that
oversees all of these agencies who’s going to exert that
And so I would like to explore with you today in terms of
whether or not you would support a community-wide Inspector
General. That is pending in the current legislation between the
House and Senate. It’s in conference at this point. I have
fought tooth and nail for it in the past because I happen to
think that it could initiate, conduct investigations and,
frankly, could produce the types of reports that were put
forward by The Washington Post this week in illustrating the
redundancies, the inefficiencies, and also producing, I think,
the type of information that is sorely lacking because you
cannot reach across the spectrum across all agencies in terms
of ascertaining what types of problems have emerged and how you
solve them. And that’s where this Inspector General could come
in and play a critical role.
That’s what I argued from the outset because I do believe
it will break down the barriers and stovepipes and the
parochial concerns and the turf wars that have evolved and
emerged. I mean, I think that that’s indisputable. And so I
believe that you would find this as a tremendous asset in
having someone that can conduct an overview and examine those
issues independently and to give you I think the vantage point
of seeing the forest through the trees, and many of the issues
that arose in this Washington Post series and other problems
that have emerged and certainly in the problems that have been
identified in the Christmas Day terror bomb plot that was
identified by this committee in its very extensive analysis
certainly could have been averted if we had somebody at hand
who was looking across the spectrum.
So I would like to have you respond to that, because I
noticed in your pre-hearing questions you said that you support
a strong and independent Inspector General and will ensure the
Inspector General has access to appropriate information and
cooperation from the Office of DNI personnel. But you limit it
by virtue of the wording of your statement to imply that the
access only would be accorded to the 1,500 or so personnel that
reside within that office, as opposed to all the other agencies
and most notably the Department of Defense that obviously has
the preponderance of the personnel and certainly the
overwhelming majority of the budget.
General Clapper. Well, Senator Snowe, first of all, I guess
at some risk, but I would refer to my military background in
having served as a commander and used IGs. I think they are a
crucial management tool for a commander or a director. The two
times I’ve served, almost nine years as director of two of the
agencies, DIA and NGA, I considered an IG crucial. So I feel
similarly about a community-wide IG.
My only caveat would be to ensure that I use the IG who–
they have limited resources as well–would do systemic issues
that apply across more than one agency, and using the agency
IGs or the department IGs, in the case of those that don’t have
large agencies, to focus on agency- or component-specific
issues. But I think there’s great merit in having a
communitywide Inspector General.
Senator Snowe. So, in the responses that you submitted to
the House Armed Services Committee in which you said that a
community-wide IG would overlay the authority for the IG for
the entire community over all matters within the DNI’s
responsibility and with similar authority of the DOD and the IG
of the Armed Services and certain DOD combat support agencies,
that, obviously, you were suggesting that it would duplicate
General Clapper. No. What I’m saying now is that I do think
there is merit in having an ODNI IG, a community-wide IG, who
can look across intelligence as an institution for systemic
weaknesses and problems and identify those.
All I would try to foster, though, is a complementary
relationship rather than a competitive one with either agency
IGs, particularly in the case of DOD, or the DOD IG, which also
has an intelligence component.
So I would just try to use–marshal–manage those resources
judiciously so they’re not stepping on one another, but I think
there is great value in having a community-wide Inspector
General to address community-wide issues.
Senator Snowe. Well, I appreciate that because I think that
that would be critical and a useful tool to ferret out a lot of
the inefficiencies, anticipate the problems before they
actually occur, and, obviously, redundancies and the waste.
Was there anything that surprised you in The Washington
Post series this week?
General Clapper. No, ma’am.
Senator Snowe. No? I mean, they saw the redundancy in
functions and so on. Do you think—-
General Clapper. I didn’t agree with some of that. I think
there was some breathlessness and shrillness to it that I don’t
subscribe to. I think she’s extrapolated from her anecdotal
experience in interviews with people.
I must say I’m very concerned about the security
implications of having–you know, it’s great research, but just
making it easy for adversaries to point out specifically the
locations of contractors who are working for the government,
and I wouldn’t be surprised, frankly, if that engenders more
security on the part of the contractors which, of course, the
cost will be passed on to the government.
Senator Snowe [continuing]. Well, are you going to evaluate
this, though, on that basis? I just think it is disturbing to
think in terms of the number of agencies and organizations of
more than 1,200, for example. I mean, nothing disturbs you in
that article from that standpoint?
General Clapper. Well, it depends on what does she mean by
an agency. It’s like in the Army. You know, an organization can
be a squad or a division. So, you know, I think she’s striven
for some bit of sensationalism here. That’s not to say that
there aren’t inefficiencies and there aren’t things we can
Threat finance is a case in point. She cites, I think, some
51 different organizations that are involved in threat finance.
That is a very important tool these days in counternarcotics,
counterterrorism, weapons of mass destruction because it is, in
the end, the common denominator of how money works and how
money supports these endeavors. If I’m confirmed, that’s one I
would want to take on with Leslie Ireland, the new Director of
Intelligence for the Department of Treasury, because it’s my
view that Treasury should be the lead element for threat
finance. So that’s one area I will take to heart.
But I think the earlier discussion is germane to the number
of contractors and what contractors are used for, and this
article certainly brings that to bear.
Senator Snowe. Well, I just hope that you won’t dismiss it
out of hand.
General Clapper. No.
Senator Snowe. Because I always think that it’s worthy
when, having other people who are doing this kind of work at
least to examine it very carefully, very thoroughly, obviously.
I mean, I think just given the mega bureaucracy that has been
developed, we certainly ought to be looking at it, and
certainly, this committee as well. So I hope that you are going
to give it that kind of consideration it deserves.
One other question. On the April paper, the response that
you gave to House Armed Services Committee and the information
paper, you mentioned these grants of unilateral authority,
referring to the Intelligence Authorization Bill, that it was
expanding the authority to the DNI are inappropriate,
especially for personnel and acquisition functions. You said
that some intelligence community efforts could be decentralized
and delegated to the component.
I’m just concerned, on one hand, that you would subscribe
to sort of embracing some of the cultural and territorial
battles that we’re trying to overcome. When you’re using words
such as “infringe” or “decentralize” to all of the other
agencies, to have them execute many of those functions, it
concerns me at a time in which I think that your position
should be doing more of the centralizing with respect to the
So I’m just concerned about what type of culture that you
will inculcate as a leader, if you’re suggesting
decentralizing, infringing upon other agencies’ authority at a
time when, clearly, you should be moving in a different
direction to break down those territorial barriers.
General Clapper. I agree with that, but I do not think that
everything in the entire intelligence community has to be run
within the confines of the office of the Director of National
Intelligence. I do think there are many thing that can be
delegated to components in the intelligence community that can
be done on behalf of the DNI and with the visibility of the
DNI, but does not have to be directly executed by the DNI at
its headquarters staff, which I believe is too large.
Senator Snowe. Thank you.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Snowe.
Senator Whitehouse, you’re next.
Senator Whitehouse. I yield to Chairman Levin.
Chairman Feinstein. Please go ahead.
Senator Levin. Madam Chairman, first, we thank Senator
Whitehouse for that courtesy, as always.
General, let me ask you first about information sharing. In
your answers to the committee’s prehearing questionnaire, you
state that you believe obstacles remain to adequate information
sharing. You said that the obstacle was cultural. Our
congressional investigations by a number of committees of
recent terrorist attacks reveal, for instance, the CIA will not
share its database of operational cables with the DOD’s Joint
Intelligence Task Force for Counterterrorism or with the NSA’s
counterterrorism analysts and watch center.
NSA itself feels it cannot allow non-NSA personnel to
access the main NSA signals intelligence databases on the
grounds that these personnel cannot be trusted to properly
handle U.S. persons’ information. Can you comment on that
question, on information sharing among agencies?
General Clapper. Well, sir, it continues to be a problem. I
think we’ve got a challenge, I guess. It’s better than it was.
It’s better than it was before 9/11, but it needs improvement.
I think NSA is, understandably, very conscientious about the
protection of potential data on U.S. persons. They’re very,
very sensitive to compliance with the FISA, as they should be.
So that does, that is one inhibitor to full and open and
collaborative sharing that we might like. That’s an area that I
intend to work, if I’m confirmed.
Senator Levin. You also said that you’ll achieve progress
in information sharing by the “disciplined application of
incentives, both rewards and consequences.” Why do we need
incentives? Why don’t we just need a directive from the
President by executive order, for instance, or otherwise? Why
do we need incentives, rewards and consequences?
General Clapper. Well, that’s one way of inducing change in
culture, is to provide rewards for those who collaborate and, I
suppose, penalties for those that don’t.
Senator Levin. Should they be needed?
General Clapper. And obviously, directives are effective,
Senator Levin. Should they be needed? In this kind of
setting, where this has been going on so long, should—-
General Clapper. Yes, sir. That’s an area, if I’m
confirmed, I’ll certainly look at to see if there is a need for
further direction, or what other remedy there might be.
Senator Levin [continuing]. Now, you also indicated,
relative to a related subject which has been very much on our
minds here in the Congress, the need for a single repository of
terrorism data. Your statement in the prehearing questions is
the following. “An integrated repository of terrorism data
capable of ingesting terrorism-related information from outside
sources remains necessary to establish a foundation from which
a variety of sophisticated technology tools can be applied.” I
gather that does not exist now?
General Clapper. I think, sir, and I, at least, this is my
own observation watching from somewhat afar, the Christmas
bomber evolution. And I believe what is needed, and this is
from a technology standpoint, is a very robust search engine
that can range across a variety of data and data constructs in
order to help connect the dots. I think we still are spending
too much manpower to do manual things that can be done easily
by machines. And if confirmed, that’s an area I would intend to
Senator Levin. Do you know if it’s true that NCTC analysts
have to search dozens of different intelligence databases
separately, that they cannot now submit one question that goes
out to all of them simultaneously? Is that true, do you know?
General Clapper. I don’t know the specifics, but that’s
certainly my impression, and that’s why I made the statement in
response to your previous question. I think what’s needed here
is a very robust, wide-ranging search engine or search engines
that can do that on behalf of analysts so they don’t have to do
Senator Levin. I want to go to some structural issues now.
The Intelligence Report and Terrorism Prevention Act says that
the director of the CIA reports to the DNI. Is that your
General Clapper. Yes, sir.
Senator Levin. Is that clear enough? Is that the reason for
some complications in this area?
General Clapper. Well, I think it’s–yes. That language is
clear, but there’s also language in there about, for example,
the governance of foreign relationships, which are the province
of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and they
are to be “overseen” by the DNI, and so that is an area of
ambiguity, I think.
Senator Levin. Is section 1018 of the Act, which says that
the President shall issue guidelines to ensure the effective
implementation and execution within the executive branch of the
authorities granted to the Director of National Intelligence,
and these are the key words, in a manner that respects and does
not abrogate the statutory responsibilities of the heads of
departments, have those guidelines now been–were they issued
by President Bush?
General Clapper. Well, yes, sir, they were essentially
promulgated in the revision to Executive Order 12333. And in
that, Secretary Gates and I and Admiral McConnell, at the time,
worked to attenuate some of the ambiguities created by the
famous section 1018. The specific case in point is the
involvement of the DNI in the hire and fire processes involved
with intelligence leaders who are embedded in the Department of
Senator Levin. And are you satisfied with those guidelines?
General Clapper. I am at this point. Yes, sir. My view may
change, if I’m confirmed.
Senator Levin. Do you know in advance that your view is
going to change?
General Clapper. No, I don’t.
Senator Levin. But as of this time, you’re satisfied with
General Clapper. Yes, sir, I am.
Senator Levin. Now, in answer to our committee’s prehearing
questionnaire regarding the DNI’s role with respect to the DIA,
NGA, NSA and NRO, you said that the DNI supervises their
performance, sets standards and formulates policies governing
these agencies and ensures that they fulfill their missions.
You noted multiple times that three of those agencies are
combat support agencies, which means that they provide critical
wartime support to the combatant commands.
And my question is the following: Do you believe that that
authority which you mention is a shared authority with those
agencies or is this exclusive in the DNI?
General Clapper. You mean the combat support agency?
Senator Levin. Those agencies, yes. Do you believe, for
instance, that they must ensure that they fulfill their
missions, that they supervise their performance? Is this a
shared responsibility or are you, if you’re confirmed,
exclusively responsible for those functions of supervision and
ensuring that they—-
General Clapper. I believe that is a shared responsibility.
I think obviously the Secretary of Defense has obligations and
responsibilities both in law and executive order to ensure that
the warfighting forces are provided adequate support,
particularly by the three agencies who are designated as combat
support agencies. Obviously the DNI has at least a paternal
responsibility to ensure that works as well.
Senator Levin. Was that word “fraternal”?
General Clapper. “Paternal.”
Senator Levin. Paternal, not fraternal.
General Clapper. Institutional obligation. I’ll amend what
Senator Levin. All right. Now, in your current position
have you taken a look at the Haqqani network? Have you
determined whether or not they have engaged in terrorist
activities that threaten U.S. security interests and, if so, do
you support them being added to the State Department’s list of
foreign terrorist organizations?
General Clapper. Sir, I’d rather not answer that off the
top of my head. I’ll take that under advisement and provide an
answer for the record.
Senator Levin. All right. Now, during the previous
administration, we got conflicting prewar intelligence
assessments from the intelligence community and the
administration said in public and what the intelligence
community was willing to assert in private. Do you believe that
the importance of Congress as a consumer of intelligence
products and advice is no less than that of senior officials of
the administration? Do you owe us? Do you owe us, if you’re
confirmed, all of the unvarnished facts surrounding an issue,
not just the facts that tend to support a particular policy
decision, and do you believe that Congress, as a consumer of
intelligence products, is entitled, again, to no less than that
of senior officials of an administration?
General Clapper. I believe that and not only that, but it’s
required in the law. The IRTPA stipulates that the DNI is to
attend to the proper intelligence support to the Congress.
Senator Levin. On an equal basis.
General Clapper. Yes, sir.
Senator Levin. Thank you. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Levin.
Senator Levin. Thank you.
Senator Chambliss. Thanks, Madam Chairman. And welcome,
General. As I told you in our telephone conversation after the
President nominated you, I’m not sure why you want to come back
before this committee again for this job because, as you stated
in your article you wrote recently, this is probably the
toughest job in the intelligence community, and your
willingness to serve, particularly with your background in the
intel community, says an awful lot about you, and we’re
fortunate to have you.
Obviously, though, General, there’s some problems out there
within the office of the DNI, within the community itself that
are going to have to be addressed. And these issues are very
serious. They’re not just matters of the size of the
bureaucracy and I’m not sure what all they are. But again, as
you and I talked, there are going to have to be some major
changes. We just can’t afford for another Christmas Day
situation or a New York Times bomber situation to occur because
we were fortunate there and it was not necessarily the great
work of the intelligence community that prevented a very
serious situation occurring within the United States.
You do bring a wealth of intelligence background to this
job, but so did the three predecessors to this job. You
probably have more experience than all of them. But still, you
have been involved. And these are friends of yours. They’re
individuals you have worked with, you’ve associated with and
somewhere along the line there have been some apparently
systemic failures that are going to have to be addressed to
individuals that you have worked with. So it’s not going to be
any easier for you than for any of your predecessors.
My question is, knowing that we can’t afford for another
situation like Christmas Day or the New York Times Square
situation or the Fort Hood situation to occur where we had an
awful lot of signs and where nobody connected the dots in spite
of the statute being very clear as to who is to connect those
dots, and that’s going to be under your jurisdiction, what
specific changes do you know now that you think need to be made
as we go forward to make the community better, to make the
office of the DNI stronger and to make the colleagues that
you’re going to be working with on a day-to-day basis more
responsive to you as the chief intelligence officer of the
General Clapper. Sir, first of all, thanks for your
introductory comment. I appreciate that. I think that I–or at
least I would hope I can bring to bear this experience I’ve had
over the last 46 years of having run a couple of the agencies,
having been a service intelligence chief, having spent two
years in combat getting shot at, what the value of intelligence
is, that understanding of the intelligence community
institutionally and culturally, that I can bring about a better
I think, in my book at least, to be very candid, I think
our most successful DNI to this point was Admiral Mike
McConnell precisely for the same reason, because he had some
experience in the business. He had run an agency, NSA, and had
done other things in intelligence. And I think that does give
one an advantage, an understanding where the problems are,
where the skeletons are, if you will, and where the seams are
and how to work those issues.
I think that is in fact the value added, potentially, of
the DNI, is to get at those seams and to work those issues
where I perhaps don’t require a lot of time learning the ABCs
of intelligence. So I can’t at this point list you chapter and
verse. I certainly will want to get back–if I’m confirmed–get
back to the committee on specific things. I do have some things
in mind but some of the people affected don’t know what those
are and I certainly didn’t want to presume confirmation by
announcing those ahead of time. But certainly, if confirmed,
I’d want to consult with the committee on what I would have in
Senator Chambliss. And have you, as a part of your
communication and conversation with the President, prior to
your nomination and maybe subsequent there to, engaged him in
the fact that there are some changes that are going to need to
be made and you’re going to have to have the administration’s
General Clapper. Yes, sir, and I had done that in writing
before I was nominated. Whether it was me or someone else as
DNI, at Secretary Gates’ suggestion, I wrote a letter to the
President and made that point clear.
Senator Chambliss. And you mentioned that letter to me and
that you had hoped that the White House would at least share
that with the Chairman and Vice Chairman. Do you know whether
that’s been done?
General Clapper. I don’t know, sir. I don’t know that
actually the request has been made to the White House.
Senator Chambliss. Okay. Well, General, I’ve known you for
a long time, seen you operate, and you are certainly well-
qualified for this job. It is going to be a tough job, but I
hope you know and understand that this committee’s here to help
you and we want to make sure from an oversight standpoint that
you’ve got the right kind of policy support and political
support from this side of Pennsylvania Avenue. And we know soon
that it will be there from the other side. So we look forward
to working closely with you.
General Clapper. Sir, I appreciate that. And that is
absolutely crucial. I don’t believe oversight necessarily has
to be or implies an adversarial relationship. And I would
need–if I’m confirmed, I would need the support of this
committee to bring about those changes that you just talked
Senator Chambliss. Well, thanks for your willingness to
continue to serve. Madam Chairman, I don’t know whether we’ve
formally requested that, but I think certainly we should.
Vice Chairman Bond. I would join with Senator Chambliss if
we can make that request.
Chairman Feinstein. Fine. Certainly can. Thank you. Thank
you, Senator Chambliss.
Senator Feingold. Thank you, Madam Chair. Congratulations
again, General Clapper, on your nomination to this critically
important position. I agree you are clearly well qualified for
Madam Chair, I’d like to put a statement in the record.
[The prepared statement of Senator Feingold follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Russell Feingold
General Clapper’s nomination comes at a critical moment for the
Intelligence Community and for our national security. Reform–of the IC
and of congressional oversight–is long overdue. To save taxpayer
dollars, I have supported in this committee, and incorporated into my
own Control Spending Now bill, provisions requiring reporting on long-
range budget projections for the IC, the costs of acquisition systems,
cost overruns, and the risks and vulnerabilities of intelligence
systems. We must also ensure that the GAO has access to the IC and that
there is accountability for impediments to auditing.
At the same time, we cannot afford so much overlap and redundancy
when there are still parts of the world, as well as emerging threats,
about which we know very little. This is why the Senate has approved,
as part of the intelligence authorization bill, legislation I proposed
to establish an independent commission that will address these gaps by
recommending how to integrate and make best use of the clandestine
activities of the IC and the open collection and reporting of the State
Intelligence reform also requires reform of the oversight process.
That is why I have introduced a bipartisan resolution to implement the
recommendation of the 9/11 Commission to grant appropriations authority
to the Intelligence Committee, as well as a bipartisan effort to
declassify the top-line intelligence budget request, a requirement if
there is to be a separate intelligence appropriations bill as called
for by the 9/11 Commission. Finally, we must eliminate once and for all
the “Gang of Eight” briefings that leave the full committee in the
Since our meeting last week I hope you had a chance to
review the congressional notification requirements in the
National Security Act. Have you had a chance to do that?
General Clapper. I have, sir.
Senator Feingold. And do you agree that the so-called Gang
of Eight notification provision applies only to covert action
and not to other intelligence activities?
General Clapper. Sir, you’re quite right. Section 502 and
503 of the National Security Act of 1947 do only call out
covert action as requiring more limited notification. In the
opening statement, however, of Section 502, it does allude to
the protection of sources and methods, which I think in the
past has been used to expand the subject matter beyond covert
action, which would require a limited notification.
That all said, I will be a zealous advocate for full
notification and timely notification to the Congress.
Senator Feingold. I appreciate the statement and the spirit
of it. I just want to point out that when you refer to that
preliminary language, that language is in both sections, but
the additional language about the Gang of Eight notifications
in the section on covert action means, in my view, that limited
notifications were not intended for other intelligence
General Clapper. Yes, sir, but as I say that, that opening
verbiage has been interpreted to expand that and I’ll tell you
what my personal attitude is, but at the same time I don’t feel
it’s appropriate to preempt what the President might want to
decide. So I’ll tell you my attitude again is I will be a
zealous advocate for timely and complete notification.
Senator Feingold. And I appreciate that. I just want to say
for the record, I think that is an incorrect interpretation,
but obviously you’re not alone in your view that that can be
done. But I really feel strongly that’s incorrect.
Senator Feingold. While many of the operational details of
intelligence activities are justifiably classified, I believe
the American people are entitled to know how the intelligence
community, the Department of Justice and the FISA Court are
interpreting the law. Do you agree with that general principle?
General Clapper. Yes, sir, in general, I do.
Senator Feingold. And I have identified a number of areas
in which I think the American people would be surprised to
learn how the law has been interpreted in secret. As you
consider these types of requests for declassification, will you
keep this principle that you and I just agreed upon in mind?
General Clapper. Yes, sir, I will.
Senator Feingold. One of the issues that has arisen in the
context of your nomination is the Department of Defense’s
perception that provisions of the intelligence authorization
bill may be in tension with the secretary’s authorities, but I
want to focus for the moment on the reason these are in there
in the first place and why I’ve incorporated them into my own
bill, which I call my control spending now legislation. They
would improve accountability and help save taxpayer dollars.
General, at our meeting last week, you told me that not all
problems require statutory solutions. So how as DNI would you
go about fixing the cost overruns and other problems that this
legislation is designed to address?
General Clapper. Well, I would continue to support the
management mechanisms that have been established, specifically
an agreement on acquisition oversight signed by, I think, then-
Director McConnell and Secretary Gates. That said, of course,
acquisition is, in general, a huge challenge, whether it’s in
intelligence or elsewhere. And so I don’t have any magic silver
bullets here to offer up because if I did, I wouldn’t be here
to solve these significant acquisition problems.
It does require systematic program reviews. It requires, I
think, integrity on the part of program managers to ensure that
they are honestly reporting out their problems and identifying
issues early enough so that remedies can be afforded.
Senator Feingold. The intelligence authorization bill would
also establish an independent commission that would recommend
ways to integrate the intelligence community with the U.S.
government personnel, particularly State Department personnel
who openly collect information around the world. This reform
was first proposed by Senator Hagel and myself and I think it’s
critical if we’re going to anticipate threats and crises as
they emerge around the world.
Would you be open to a fresh look and a set of
recommendations on this issue from this commission?
General Clapper. I would.
Senator Feingold. In responding to yesterday’s Washington
Post story, Acting Director Gompert defended overlap and
redundancies in the intelligence community. But given finite
resources and budget constraints, to what extent should we be
prioritizing efforts to understand parts of the world and
emerging threats that no one is covering?
General Clapper. Well, you raise a good point, sir, and we
did discuss earlier that in some cases one man’s duplication is
another man’s competitive analysis. So in certain cases, I
think, as it was during the Cold War, when you have an enemy
that can really damage or mortally wound you, that’s merited.
I think in many cases what was labeled as duplication, a
deeper look may not turn out to be duplication; it just has the
appearance of that, but when you really look into what is being
done particularly on a command-by-command basis or intelligence
analytic element on a case-by-case basis, it’s not really
I think the important point you raise, though, sir, has to
do with what about the areas that are not covered, and that has
been a classic plague for us. I know what the state of our
geospatial databases were on 9/11 in Afghanistan, and they were
awful, and it’s because at the time the priority that
Afghanistan enjoyed in terms of intelligence requirements.
So we can’t take our eyes off the incipient threats that
exist in places, an area that I know you’re very interested in,
for example, Africa, which is growing in concern to me,
Senator Feingold. Thank you, General. What is your view of
GAO access to the intelligence community?
General Clapper. Well, sir, the GAO–in several
incumbencies over my time the GAO has produced very useful
studies. I would cite as a specific recent case in point the
ISR road map that we’re required to maintain and the GAO has
critiqued us on that. I’ve been very deeply involved in
personnel security clearance reform. The GAO has held our feet
to the fire on ensuring compliance with IRTPA guidelines on
timeliness of clearances and of late has also insisted on the
quality metrics for ensuring appropriate clearances.
So I think the GAO serves a useful purpose for us.
Senator Feingold. I appreciate your attitude on that as
well. Meaningful intelligence reform is also going to require
some reform of the oversight process. Is it time for the Senate
to grant appropriations authority to this committee, as the 9/
11 commission recommended? For that to work, however, there has
to be an unclassified topline intelligence budget request that
would allow for a separate appropriations bill.
Would you support the declassification of the President’s
topline intelligence budget request?
General Clapper. I do support that. It has been done. In
fact, I also pushed through, and got Secretary Gates to
approve, revelation of the Military Intelligence Program
budget. I thought, frankly, we were being a bit disingenuous by
only releasing or revealing the National Intelligence Program,
which is only part of the story. And so Secretary Gates has
agreed that we could also publicize that, and I think the
American people are entitled to know the totality of the
investment we make each year in intelligence.
And sir, I was cautioned earlier by members about delving
into congressional jurisdiction issues. I prefer not to touch
that with a 10-foot pole other than to observe that it would be
nice if the oversight responsibilities were symmetrical in both
I’ve also been working and have had dialogue with actually
taking the National Intelligence Program out of the DOD budget
since the reason, the original reason for having it embedded in
the department’s budget was for classification purposes. Well,
if it’s going to be publicly revealed, that purpose goes away.
And it also serves the added advantage of reducing the topline
of the DOD budget, which is quite large, as you know, and
that’s a large amount of money that the department really has
no real jurisdiction over.
So we have been working and studying and socializing the
notion of pulling the MIP out of the department’s budget, which
I would think also would serve to strengthen the DNI’s hand in
managing the money in the intelligence community.
Senator Feingold. Thank you for all your answers, and good
Thank you, Madam Chair.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Senator Feingold.
Senator Burr. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
General, welcome. We’re delighted to have you here, and I
think you’ll be the next DNI, hopefully sooner versus later–
and I say that for the Chair and the ranking member. I hope
we’ll move this as expeditiously as we can. And, as I’ve
publicly said, I think that you bring to this position a rich
experience that many have covered, as well as yourself, that
benefits one’s ability to be successful, and our intelligence
community needs that desperately right now.
I’ve got to say, as it relates to the members’ references
to The Washington Post article–or articles, plural–it pains
me, because I don’t believe that what happens within the
intelligence community is something that needs to be as public
as it sometimes is. It disturbs me as we promote Unmanned
Aerial Vehicles on TV, and we do it with the full knowledge of
knowing that we give away something every time we do it. I
think the American people understand that if you have
sufficient oversight in place, you trust the individuals that
you’ve chosen to put in those roles.
So I see this explosion of publicity about what happens
within our intelligence community really as a blow to us, the
oversight committee, and the inability for us to work
effectively with those within the community. So I hope you
understand, at least from myself, that I believe the committee
has to be robust in our oversight.
It’s not a reflection of the leadership of our committee, I
might say to the Chair and ranking member. I think it’s an
overall level of cooperation between the intelligence community
and the committee, and I hope that we will work as partners to
make sure that the trust of the public, but also the trust of
our colleagues, is entrusted in this committee, that we’re
doing our job and that we’ve got our eye on the right thing.
Now, you said earlier that the DNI needs to be a leader of
the intelligence community and provide direction and control.
Can you define direction and control for me in this context?
General Clapper. I think what’s intended in the term
“direction and control” is that the DNI, I think, is
ultimately responsible for the performance of the intelligence
community writ large, both the producers of intelligence and
the users of intelligence which are represented in those 16
And I believe that under the, obviously, the auspices of
the President, who I believe intends to hold the DNI–whether
it’s me or somebody else–responsible for that performance, and
that that therefore empowers the DNI to direct the intelligence
chiefs as to what to do; what the focus should be; what the
emphasis should be, or, if that should change; if there needs
to be–if we need to establish ad hoc organizations to perform
a specific task; if we need to have studies done, whatever it
I believe that inherent in the DNI–at least the spirit and
intent of the IRTPA legislation–was that he would, he or she
would direct that and be responsible for it.
Senator Burr. Do you believe there will be times where the
DNI has to be a referee?
General Clapper. I think there could be times when–yes, I
Senator Burr. This has already been covered, General, but
I’ve got to cover it just one more time. I believe that this
committee is to be notified quickly on any significant attempt
to attack, once an attack’s carried out, or there is a
significant threat that we have credible evidence of.
Do I have your commitment today that you will, in a timely
fashion, or a designee by you, brief this committee on that
General Clapper. Absolutely, sir. Of course, it carries
with it the potential of it not being exactly accurate, because
my experience has been most critics are wrong. But I believe
that what you ask is entirely appropriate and reasonable.
Senator Burr. And General, do you have any problem if this
committee asks for a level of raw data to look at on pertinent
threats or attempts–at sharing that raw data with us?
General Clapper. I don’t have a problem with it
philosophically, sir. Just that I would want, as the DNI, if
I’m confirmed for that position, would want to ensure that at a
given time, to give you the most complete picture I can, which
is as accurate as possible. And oftentimes with raw–so-called
raw material, it’s erroneous or incomplete or misleading. So,
with that caveat, I don’t have a problem with it, but I just
want you to understand what you’re getting when you get that.
Senator Burr. I accept that caveat, and I think most
members would. I think that the raw data is absolutely
essential for us to do the oversight role that we’re charged
with. It’s certainly not needed on every occasion, but on those
that it might play a role, I hope you will, in fact, provide
Now, you covered the history of the intelligence community,
especially as it related to the 1990s, and how that affected
our capabilities post-9/11. Would we have been able to meet the
intelligence community needs had we not had contractors we
could turn to, post-9/11?
General Clapper. No, sir.
Senator Burr. Do you believe that we’ll always use some
number of contractors within the intelligence community?
General Clapper. Yes, sir, I do.
Senator Burr. And I know this has been a focus of a lot of
members about downsizing the contractor footprint, and I’m fine
with that. But there’s a big difference between downsizing and
eliminating. And there’s a tremendous talent out there that,
thankfully, we were able to tap into.
I would hate to see us become so adverse to the use of
contractors that we would sacrifice potential. And I applaud
the effort to try to downsize the footprint of them, but hope
that we leave the flexibility to use them where it’s
General Clapper. Absolutely sir. I couldn’t agree with you
And I worked as a contractor for six years myself, so I
think I have a good understanding of the contribution that they
have made and will continue to make. I think the issue is,
what’s the magnitude? And most importantly, regardless of the
numbers of companies, the number of contractor employees, is
how the government, and specifically the intelligence
community, how do we manage them; how do we ensure that we’re
getting our money’s worth?
Senator Burr. Lastly–and it’s covering ground already
discussed–you indicated that not all of the intelligence
community efforts need to be exclusively managed out of the
ODNI, that they can be decentralized and delegated where
Do you have any concerns that that might undercut the
authority of the DNI?
General Clapper. No, sir, I don’t. And I’ll give you a
specific case in point:
When I came into this job, early on–in fact, in May of
2007–and I prevailed upon both Secretary Gates and then-DNI
McConnell to dual-hat me as the Director of Defense
Intelligence, a position on the DNI staff, as a way of
facilitating communication and bridging dialogue between the
two staffs. And I think the record will show that we’ve worked
very well together.
I would propose to–Director Blair, to his great credit, I
thought, breathed life, great life into that concept–and I
would propose, if I’m confirmed, to do the same, and have the
same relationship with my successor, if I’m confirmed for
this–as USD/I, if I’m confirmed for DNI. And I think that same
approach can be used in other relationships, perhaps with the
Department of Homeland Security, just to cite an example off
the top of my head.
All I’m saying is, I don’t think that everything has to be
executed from within the confines of the Office of the Director
of National Intelligence, that there are things that can be
delegated and done on behalf of the DNI, as long as they are
visible to, and with the approval of, the DNI.
Senator Burr. General, I thank you for your candid answers.
In our telephone conversation, I said to you that your
tenure as DNI would determine whether the structure we set up
actually can work, will work, or whether we need to rethink
this. I believe that we’ve got the best chance of success with
your nomination, and I look forward to working with you.
Thank you, Madam Chair.
General Clapper. Thank you, sir.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Senator Burr.
And finally, Senator Whitehouse. Thank you for your
courtesy to your colleague, too.
Senator Whitehouse. Thank you, Madam Chair.
Welcome, General Clapper. Near the bitter end.
I’d like to go back to cybersecurity and ask you about five
topic areas within it.
The first is the information that the public has about
cybersecurity. Are you comfortable that the public is
adequately aware of the scope and severity of the cybersecurity
threat that the country faces?
General Clapper. Candidly, no, sir. I don’t think there is
a general appreciation for the potential threat there.
I think there is widespread knowledge in the cyber
community, meaning the cyber industry, if you will. I think
there’s a less acute awareness, perhaps, out there in what I’ll
call the civil infrastructure. But I think the general public
is not aware of the potential threat, no.
Senator Whitehouse. The reason that I ask that is that it’s
difficult in a democracy to legislate in an area where the
public is not adequately aware of the threat.
So I hope that, as we go forward through the 35, 40, 45
pieces of legislation that are out there, that you will help us
bring to the attention, in a–you said we do over-classify, I
think we particularly over-classify here–that in areas where
it really doesn’t adversely affect national security, there’s a
real advantage to getting this information out to the public.
And I hope you’ll cooperate with us in trying to do so, so that
we’re dealing with a knowledgeable public as we face these
General Clapper. I will, sir. And I believe that it is, in
fact, incumbent on the intelligence community to help provide
that education to the maximum extent possible without the undue
revelation of sources and methods.
Senator Whitehouse. The basic sort of protective hardware
that is out there right now could protect the vast majority of
cyber intrusions that take place. Do you agree that trying to
establish and monitor basically what I would call rules of the
road for participation in our information superhighway is an
area that could stand improvement?
General Clapper. If you mean, if I understand your
question, sir, sort of conventions or rules that, in order to
participate, this is what was required, and at sort of minimum
levels of security. Is that—-
Senator Whitehouse. Yes. For ordinary folks who are getting
on, to be aware that their laptop, for instance, is
compromised, and willing to do something about it, and that we
put a structure in place so that you can’t do the cyber
equivalent of driving down the road with your headlights out,
your tail lights out, your muffler hanging, at 90 miles an
General Clapper [continuing]. Well, I personally agree with
that. I think there’ll be a sales job, a marketing job required
to get people to buy into that.
Senator Whitehouse. And in terms of if you sort of step it
up to America’s business community, do you feel that the
private sector or the business community is adequately situated
with respect to their own independent self-defense against
cyber attack? Or does the networking of private business, say
by industrial sector, and the relationship with government need
to be improved so that our major businesses can protect their
critical infrastructure better?
General Clapper. Sir, I’m not technically fluent here, but
my general sensing is that, given the sophistication of some of
our major adversaries, nation-state adversaries, I’m not sure
that, given the rapidity with which new ways of accessing
computers, I’m not sure that they’re as current on that–those
sectors to which you refer are as current as they could or
Senator Whitehouse. And if we’re to the point where a
private business which provides critical American
infrastructure–a major bank, a major communications entity, an
electric utility, some other form of infrastructure upon which
American lives and property depend–were to be the subject of a
sustained and damaging cyber attack, are you confident that, at
the moment, we have adequate authorities for the government to
be able to step in and do what it needs to do in a clear way to
protect American lives and property?
General Clapper. Again, I’m not expert on this, but my
general sensing is, no, we’re not. I think the whole law on
this subject is a work in progress. It’s still an issue,
frankly, even in a warfighting context.
Should we have a declaratory policy or not on what we would
do? I would be concerned about the rapidity of response and–
which I think is the key, and I think if you speak with General
Alexander about that, who I do consider an authority, that he
would raise that same concern.
Senator Whitehouse. And lastly on this subject, are you
confident that the rules of engagement for our covert agencies
in addressing attacks and intrusions that take place on our
cyber infrastructure are adequate and fully robust for the
challenge that we face, or is that another area of work in
General Clapper. Yes, sir. It’s a work in progress, and I
think perhaps best left for detailed discussion in a closed
Senator Whitehouse. I won’t go any further than that in
this session, but I did want to get your general perspective on
I’ve only been in the Senate for three years. You are my
fourth Director of National Intelligence already. You gonna
General Clapper. Yes, sir. I will. I wouldn’t take this on
without thinking about that.
And I do think my experience has been that it does take
time to bring these changes about. When I was asked to take
NIMA in the summer of 2001, I was specifically asked would I be
willing to stay for five years, and I agreed to do that. Didn’t
quite last that long; ran afoul of the previous Secretary of
Defense. But I believe that kind of commitment is required.
I also would be less than forthright if I said that I’m
going to sit here and guarantee that the intelligence community
is going to bat a thousand every time, because we’re not. And I
think I am reasonably confident I can make this better. I don’t
think I’m going to be able to cure world hunger for
intelligence, just to be realistic.
Senator Whitehouse. And I’m not going to hold you to this.
It’s not intended to be a question of that variety, to pin you
down; it’s intended to be a question to sort of illuminate the
areas that you’re most focused on.
Going into this job now, and knowing what you know now,
when it comes time for you to go–and let’s hope it’s five
years from now–what now would you think would be the most
important things that, at that later date, you would like to
look back on as having accomplished?
General Clapper. I think, for starters, that I kept the
nation safe. I think, obviously, this is somewhat a high-wire
act with no safety net. And I think that’s probably the thing
that will keep me up at night, is worrying about that. So, for
whatever my tenure is, if the intelligence community has at
least contributed to preserving the safety of the nation and
its people, then I think that would be the main thing I’d worry
Senator Whitehouse. Well, I wish you well. You’ve got a
hell of a tough job in front of you, if you’re confirmed. And
any support that we can give you, obviously we’d like to do.
There are significant questions about what the role of the
DNI should be, what its authorities should be to complement
that role. Some of that is a chicken and egg question, that you
have to settle on one to resolve the other. And we really look
forward to working together with you to try to get this settled
for once and for all.
General Clapper. Thanks, Senator.
Senator Whitehouse. Thanks, Madam Chairman.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you, Senator Whitehouse.
Senator Nelson. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Good afternoon, and thank you, General, for your public
The Congress created this position in order to try to exert
some control over the multiple intelligence units that were at
times going off in their own directions. And in the compromises
that we had to make in enacting this legislation that creates
the post that you seek, a great deal of control was still left
within the Department of Defense at the insistence of then-
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.
How can you bring the Department of Defense intelligence
operations in under your orbit so that you can function
General Clapper. Well, sir, I don’t anticipate a problem
I think I know the Department of Defense pretty well, and
that is where roughly two-thirds of the manpower and the money
for the National Intelligence Program is embedded. And I would
argue or suggest, respectfully, that having run two of the
agencies in the Department of Defense and having served as a
service intel chief actually will help empower me to, you know,
sustain having I’ll call it a positive relationship with the
Department of Defense components. I’ve been there, and done
that, got the t-shirt, so I think I know how to take advantage
Senator Nelson. Well, the old adage, he who pays the piper
calls the tune, and a lot of that Defense intel activity does
not have to report directly to you on the appropriations. How
do you get into that when somebody wants to go off on their
General Clapper. Well, I would intend to further
crystallize the relationship that Secretary Gates, and then-DNI
McConnell established in May of 2007 designating the Under
Secretary of Defense for Intelligence as the Director of
I have fostered, with the two DNIs I’ve served with in this
job, a close working relationship on synchronizing the two
programs–the National Intelligence Program and the MIP. In
fact, Director Blair and I, you know, twice, two rounds,
testified together on those two programs.
We’ve had an aggressive program effort, which has been
going on for a couple of cycles now, to further synchronize and
deconflict the two programs, and to coordinate between the NIP
and the MIP. And I would certainly want to continue that with
my successor in the USD/I job, if I am confirmed to be the
Director of National Intelligence.
I don’t think, frankly, although there’s much made of it
sometimes, I think it’s somewhat hyperbole about the strained
relationship between the DNI and the Department of Defense. I
just don’t think that that’s–I haven’t seen that. And I have
certainly endeavored, working with Secretary Gates, to actually
enhance and strengthen the role of the DNI. The DDI is one such
approach. And certainly Secretary Gates and I worked during the
revisions to the Executive Order 12333 to actually strengthen
the position of the DNI.
Senator Nelson. Why don’t you share, for the record, what
you shared with me privately about your forthcoming
relationship with the Director of the CIA?
General Clapper. I’ll provide that for the record. Yes,
Senator Nelson. Well, I mean, share it now.
General Clapper. Well—-
Senator Nelson. Basically, you saw the relationship was
strained. There was a little dust-up between the two in the
immediate past DNI. How do you intend to smooth that out?
General Clapper [continuing]. Well, just to continue, sir,
with my comments earlier, as you know, the intelligence
community is, as you know, composed of 16 components, 15 of
which are in someone else’s Cabinet department. And actually
the most strained relationship has been with the one component
that isn’t in someone’s Cabinet department, and that is the
Central Intelligence Agency.
That has been true regardless of who the incumbents were.
It has nothing to do, really, with the people involved. All of
them are good people. I have had some excellent discussions
with Director Panetta about this, and I think I’m very, very
encouraged and pleased by his support. He’s been extremely
gracious and supportive, and I think he wants to make this
arrangement work as much as you do.
Senator Nelson. Will you participate in the President’s
daily morning brief?
General Clapper. I will participate–I plan to participate,
yes, sir. I don’t plan to give it, necessarily, but I plan to
participate in it.
Senator Nelson. Will the Director of the CIA participate as
General Clapper. He could, depending on the subject matter,
I suppose. But I wouldn’t–I certainly wouldn’t object to that.
Senator Nelson. Do you get the sense that that was a little
bit of contention since suddenly what had been historically the
role of the CIA Director was suddenly not the role once the DNI
General Clapper. That obviously has been a challenging
transition. It’s my belief and my observation from somewhat an
outside perspective that that is an arrangement that has
evolved for the better, since increasingly more input finds its
way into the PDB from other than the CIA.
The CIA will continue to provide the lion’s share of the
finished intelligence analysis that goes into the PDB. But
under the new structure and the new set-up, under the auspices
of the DNI, it is much more–it’s much broader and involves
more of the community. I recently reviewed some statistics that
bear that out.
Senator Nelson. Recently we’ve had some cases of homegrown
terrorists–the Colorado folks, the Times Square folks, the
Fort Hood person. Do you want to comment for the committee
about what you think ought to be done?
General Clapper. Well, I think, sir, this is a very–we did
speak about this earlier–a very serious problem. And I was
pretty deeply involved and intensely involved in the Fort Hood
aftermath, particularly with respect to the e-mails exchanged
between the radical cleric Aulaqi and Major Hasan.
And what it points out, in my view, is a serious challenge
that I don’t have the answer for, and that is the
identification of self-radicalization, which may or may not
lend itself to intelligence detection, if you will. And this
requires, you know, in the case of the Department of Defense,
some education on how to tell people, or instruct people, or
suggest to people how they discern or identify self-
radicalization that’s going on right in front of them with an
And to me it’s almost like detecting a tendency for suicide
ahead of time. It’s a very daunting challenge and we cannot
necessarily depend on intelligence mechanisms to detect that
Senator Nelson. On page 23 of your testimony, you consider
counterintelligence to be under-resourced. You want to share
with us why and also where you would increase the resources?
General Clapper. I think, given the profound threats posed
to this country both by nation-states and others who are trying
to collect information against us, and we have some very
aggressive foreign countries that are doing this, I’m not
convinced that–and this is more intuitive or judgmental or
impressionistic–that we have devoted sufficient resources to
counterintelligence in the Department of Defense, certainly,
which is a major player in counterintelligence, or with the FBI
or CIA which are the three poles, if you will, involved in
And this is something I intend to explore to see what we
can do to expand resource investment in counterintelligence.
This is particularly crucial in the case of cyber. We have the
same challenge in cyber for counterintelligence as we do more
Senator Nelson. Madam Chairman, are we going to do a
classified session at any point?
Chairman Feinstein. We can if there is a request. We will
not do it today, however.
Senator Nelson. Thank you, Madam Chairman.
Chairman Feinstein. You’re very welcome. Thank you,
General Clapper, let me just say I think you’ve done very
well. I think what comes through very clearly is your expertise
in the specifics of intelligence. I think that’s appreciated
and I think it’ll make your job a lot easier. I do have a
couple of questions, and I know the Vice Chairman has a couple
of questions. So I’d like to just continue this a little bit
longer, if I might.
Have you had a chance to take a look at the 13
recommendations we made on the Abdulmutallab situation?
General Clapper. Yes ma’am, I have, and I had an excellent
session with Mike Leiter last week on this very topic, so he
kind of went over that with me.
Chairman Feinstein. Okay, then the problem clearly is for
me, still, connecting the dots. Huge expenditures in computer
programs, often bought separately by various departments,
organizations, et cetera, can’t connect in certain critical but
very simple areas. I would like to suggest that that be high in
your portfolio and that you take a very careful look at it,
because I would think we are spending billions of dollars on
high technology which, candidly, doesn’t work nearly as well as
it should, particularly in this area, where an identification
can be really critical and one letter or one number should not
make a difference. Do you have a comment?
General Clapper. No, I agree with you. As I alluded to
earlier, I think, despite all the huge investments in IT that
we’ve made, that we still depend too much on the minds of
analysts to do things that we ought to be able to harness with
our IT to connect those dots.
Chairman Feinstein. Okay, the second is PREDATOR-REAPER
oversight. I think this is an area that we have been very
concerned about, and this committee is taking that oversight
very seriously and has been very active in seeing that this is
carefully done, that the intelligence is excellent. And I’m one
that believes that the CIA in particular has had a remarkable
record, with very good intelligence, and in some ways really
the best of what can be. I just hope that you will have this at
a high level for your own oversight.
General Clapper. Absolutely.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you.
The third is Afghanistan. I read a quote by Major General
Michael Flynn earlier in the year that said–and I’m
paraphrasing–that eight years into the war, the intelligence
community is only marginally relevant to the overall strategy.
U.S. intelligence officers and analysts can do little but shrug
in response to high-level decisionmakers seeking knowledge.
Would you take a look at that and perhaps talk with him and see
where we are, if we are in fact lacking?
General Clapper. Well, I already have had extensive
dialogue with Mike Flynn when the article first came out. And a
careful read of it I think is–I think it’s a Pogo article. We
weighed the enemy, and it’s ourselves, because what the article
really talks to is the situation in Afghanistan, much of which
is, I think, under his control.
I think what occasioned the article was the change in our
strategy from a classic CT or counterterrorist mission to a
much, much broader counterinsurgency mission. And it’s true. We
did not have the intelligence mechanism there to make that
shift that quickly. I think what he’s really getting to is the
cultural, the human terrain–if I can use that phrase–
perspective and insight that’s required to understand the
village dynamics down to the very nitty-gritty level. And so
that’s what his complaint was about.
As I told him, if he felt that they had too many
intelligence analysts at the brigade combat, at the BCT level
and he needed more down at the battalion or company level, it’s
up to him to move them. We’re certainly not going to sit back
here in the confines of the beltway and orchestrate
intelligence in Afghanistan. He’s the senior intelligence
officer; that’s his responsibility, and we back here will
certainly support him.
Chairman Feinstein. Okay, and finally, contractor analysis.
Could you put that high on your agenda? I very much appreciate
what you said. And that was that it all depends on what, where,
the necessity, the type of thing. And I think we need to get
that under control, and we do not currently have it under
control. We need to know where, from an intelligence
perspective, contractors should serve a vital use, and where
they do not.
As you know, the cost is about 70 percent more than a
government employee, so it is a very expensive enterprise as
General Clapper. Yes, it is. And of course, per our earlier
discussion, you know, the reason why we got to where we are and
the sudden re-expansion of the intelligence committee after 9/
11 and intelligence being an inherently manpower-intensive
activity, so the natural outlet for that was contractors, whom
we can hire one year at a time, which you can’t do with
government employees. And you can also get rid of them more
quickly, so the expansion or contraction.
So, for example, the Army right now has about 6,000
contractor Pashtu linguists. Well, I’m not sure we want to keep
them on as government employees when the need for Pashtu
linguists hopefully goes down in the future. So I think rather
than rote numbers or percentages, I think what we need to–and
I do intend to get into this, if I’m confirmed–what are the
ground rules, the organizing principles that govern where it’s
proper to use contractors and where it’s not.
Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will schedule a meeting in
your ascendancy to come in and brief us on that, so be
prepared. But I’d like just quickly to tell you what my
I’m going to request that all members submit questions by
noon tomorrow and ask you to answer them as quickly as you can.
And as soon as we receive the answers, Members have a brief
opportunity to digest them, we will schedule a markup. If we
can do it in a week or ten days, that’s fine; hopefully we can.
Is that agreeable with you?
General Clapper. Yes, ma’am. I would hope that whatever
action is taken would be taken before the Senate adjourns in
Chairman Feinstein. Well, we will certainly strive to do
that, and the questions become a vital part, first of all, of
us getting them, and secondly, your responding. But you’ve been
very prompt in your responses, and I’ve no reason to believe it
would be otherwise, so we will try to do our best to
Let me just end by saying I think you’ve performed really
very well. And once again, your expertise in this area is very
much appreciated and I think will be very well used.
General Clapper. Thank you.
Chairman Feinstein. Mr. Vice Chairman.
Vice Chairman Bond. Madam Chair, thank you for making it
clear that we will have more questions for the record. I
frankly have some questions for the record. I’d like to have
your fuller explanation because they seem to be inconsistent
with previous positions and some are not clear. I do want to
Madam Chair, if it’s possible, Senator Nelson said that he
would like to have a closed hearing.
I think there are some things that you are interested in
that might be best covered in a classified hearing, and I have
a couple of areas of overlap between military and civilian that
I prefer not to discuss in an open session. So we will do that,
and I would join you saying that the nominee has certainly
stayed with it for a long time. We appreciate that.
Chairman Feinstein. He says he does not need one. But if
Vice Chairman Bond. Well, we might be able to have some
classified questions at least then that we can submit for
response, because there’s just a couple of things that probably
I’d prefer not to discuss in an open session.
But let me go back. A general question you’ll be asked in
writing–and I think it’s good to have on record–will you
cooperate with both the Chair and the Vice Chair, as well as
with our staffs, by promptly responding to written and phone
inquiries, sharing information, being proactive in sharing it
General Clapper. Yes. Yes, sir.
Vice Chairman Bond. That’s something we talked about, and I
wanted to–we mentioned that. I wanted to make sure that the
staff knows that on both sides. And we will look forward to
your full answers, but I want to go back–I was going down a
road talking when I ran out of time on the first round.
Talking about Guantanamo detainees and their release, when
I communicated to the national security advisor that members of
this committee had been told that the CIA and the DIA did not
concur in sending a particular detainee back to Yemen, the
national security advisor told me that those agencies would be
reminded of the administration’s decision.
Now, as I think we discussed once before, the
administration’s decision is their decision, but if there is an
implication that the intelligence committee should not be told
honestly and frankly of advice that you give to the
policymakers–whether it’s accepted or not–that troubles me.
So will you commit to providing the committee the honest and
forthright recommendations and assessments that you make,
regardless of whether they are accepted ultimately by
General Clapper. Yes, sir, I would. Again, as we discussed
before, this is an interagency process. Intelligence is a very
important, but not the exclusive, determinant. And it would be
my view that intelligence should be as thorough and accurate as
possible on making such assessments. And I don’t see any
problem with, once we’ve spoken our piece and if that was
ignored, that’s the process. And I certainly have no trouble–I
wouldn’t have any trouble conveying that to the committee.
Vice Chairman Bond. Good, because in case you’re advised of
the position, we want the intelligence regardless of what the
position may come up with.
Let me go into another interesting area. You gave a
conference speech in 2008 to GEOINT, which my staff managed to
track down. And you said that at that point, “I hope the next
administration will give some thought, I mean the Congress as
well, to maybe another look at the National Security Act of
1947, maybe a Goldwater-Nichols for the interagency.”
But in the answers to the committee’s questionnaire you
said you had no plan to recommend to the President any dramatic
change, but rather look to improve it. There are some of us
that think the Goldwater-Nichols recommendation was similar to
what came out of the Project on National Security Reform that
General Jones, Susan Rice, Jim Steinberg participated in before
they joined the administration. The administration apparently
has not gone along with that. As your recommendation–did your
recommendation change as a result of the administration’s
position, or do you think we need to take another look at the
National Security Act of 1947?
General Clapper. I think–what has been discussed about it,
and I don’t exactly remember the GEOINT discussion. I think it
had to do with the discussion that was at the time. I remember
specifically former chairman of the JCS, Pete Pace, who was a
proponent for a Goldwater-Nichols for the interagency, which
could–you know, that might have merit.
I do think it’s a different proposition, as Secretary
Gates, I think correctly, points out, that Goldwater-Nichols in
its original form, of course, only applied to one department.
So perhaps the principles of Goldwater-Nichols could be applied
perhaps in an interagency context.
Vice Chairman Bond. Well basically, that’s what the DNI is;
it’s an interagency agency. And that’s maybe–well, we will
discuss that further. But are there any particular aspects of
Goldwater-Nichols you believe should apply to the interagency?
General Clapper. Well, one of the benefits of Goldwater-
Nichols–and I was around and was probably part of the legion
of people that wrote papers in the Pentagon against it at the
time in the early 1980s, but now of course it is the accepted
norm. And what it meant in the department was placing a very
high premium on jointness and on joint duty. And so that is one
of the principles that was taken on, particularly by Director
McConnell, which I certainly agree with.
And we are experiencing a lot of mobility in the
intelligence community so that people get out of their home
stovepipe and move to other parts of the community. So that’s a
principle of Goldwater-Nichols that I think applies in the
intelligence community and, for that matter, could apply in the
Vice Chairman Bond. You suggest in answers to the committee
questionnaire that the area of greatest ambiguity in IRTPA is
the relationship with and authority of the DNI over the CIA.
What do you think is ambiguous in the law?
General Clapper. As I cited earlier, the IRTPA does
stipulate that the Director of CIA–Director of the Central
Intelligence Agency–is in charge of foreign intelligence
relationships. And of course, that’s what gave rise to the
dispute between DNI Blair and the Director of CIA. And I think
the law says that the DNI oversees those foreign relationships,
whatever that means. So I think that is an area of ambiguity.
Vice Chairman Bond. All right. Three changes that I think
might go a long way–I think you’ve addressed at least one of
them–would be giving the DNI milestone decision authority for
all intelligence programs funded 50 percent or more by NIP; two
would be changing the non-abrogation language in section 1018;
and the third is appropriating NIP funds directly to the DNI,
rather than through DOD and other departments.
What are your feelings on those three measures–1018,
milestone authority over—-
General Clapper. Well, I think there is an agreement now,
which took the form of a memorandum agreement that was signed
by Secretary Gates and Director McConnell that governs
milestone decision authority. And of course it is a shared
arrangement, depending on the predominance of the funding,
whether it’s in the department or in the NIP.
Non-abrogation, section 1018, was addressed in the revision
to Executive Order 12333. And there was some language appended
to that that basically amplified the process for potential
resolution of disputes, if in fact they had to go to the White
So at this point, I’m not prepared–as a nominee,
certainly–to make any recommendations about amending section
On DOD funding, I have been a proponent for taking the NIP
out of the DOD. Now, that carries with it some baggage, if you
will, in terms of the staffing mechanisms and processing, but I
think the long-term impact of that would be to actually
strengthen the DNI’s authorities over the National Intelligence
Given the revelation of the top line appropriated number of
the National Intelligence Program, the original reason for
burying that number in the Department of Defense budget kind of
goes away. And I have similarly argued–and the Secretary has
approved–publicizing the Military Intelligence Program for the
sake of completeness, both for the Congress and the public to
know the totality of the investment in intelligence in this
Vice Chairman Bond. Finally, you mentioned that you had
looked over the bill that Senator Hatch and I had on setting up
a national cyber center and a cyber defense alliance. Are there
any further thoughts that you have to share about that bill or
where we should be going on cyber?
General Clapper. Well, sir, there are, as you know, many–I
think there’s 34, 35 legislative proposals now in play which
address a whole range of cyber, cyber-related issues. So I
don’t want to preempt the administration on picking and
choosing which bill they like.
I do think, though, there are some appealing features in
the bill that you and Senator Hatch are sponsoring, which is
putting someone clearly in charge, having an identifiable
budget aggregation, co-location either physically or virtually,
I think. So those features–I have not read the bill itself but
I’ve read about it–I think are appealing.
Vice Chairman Bond. And the other thing, the importance
that–I think the thing that was different, the cyber defense
alliance would be a means for the private sector to come
together with government agencies and each other, protected
from FOIA and antitrust or other challenges, to discuss and
share information on the threats that were coming in. And if
you have any further information on that, I would appreciate
hearing it, either now or later.
General Clapper. Sir, I would recommend–if you haven’t
already–some dialogue with the Deputy Secretary Bill Lynne,
who has been very much in the lead for engaging with the
civilian sector, particularly the defense intelligence base, on
doing exactly this. And he’s done a lot of work, given this a
lot of thought. So I would commend a dialogue with him.
Vice Chairman Bond. All right. Well, thank you. And we’ve
talked with many, many different private sector elements who
are concerned that they don’t feel comfortable, don’t know
where to go, or how to get information and share it. And I
think they can be very, very perhaps helpful to each other and
to the government in identifying the threats that are coming
Well, thank you very much, General. As I said, we’ll have
some questions for the record. And I think there may be some
classified questions for that, and we’ll wait to hear a
response. And thank you for the time that you’ve given us.
Chairman Feinstein. Thank you very much, Mr. Vice Chairman
and General Clapper. I think we’ve come to the end of the
Again, for all staff, if you can let your Members know,
please get the questions in by noon tomorrow. General Clapper
will address them as quickly as possible. We will then make a
decision whether we need a closed hearing. Perhaps these
questions can be asked in a classified fashion in writing. If
not, we will have a closed hearing, and we will try and move
this just as quickly as possible.
So, well done, General, and thank you everybody, and the
hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 5:43 p.m., the Committee adjourned.]
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Find this story at 20 July 2010
Die Operationen der US-Dienste in Deutschland
3 december 2013
Drohnen kommen heute immer häufiger zum Einsatz – auch, um damit Menschen zu töten.
Alles begann mit einem Anruf aus Somalia: Ein Mann aus Mogadischu berichtete dem Panorama Team von einem amerikanischen Drohnenangriff. Das Ziel war ein Terrorist der Terrorgruppe al-Shabaab. Aber wie so häufig in diesem Krieg starb nicht nur der Terrorist, sondern auch Zivilisten. An einem Tag im Oktober vor zwei Jahren wurde der Vater des Anrufers durch US-Kampfdrohnen getötet. Er war ein unschuldiger Kamelbauer, der zur falschen Zeit am falschen Ort war.
Der Film “Geheimer Krieg”, für den Panorama Reporter zwei Jahre recherchiert haben, erzählt die Geschichte des Mannes, der sterben musste, weil die USA ihren Krieg gegen den Terror fast weltweit führen. Im Jemen, in Pakistan und in Afrika bringen sie Verdächtige aus der Luft um – ohne Anklage, ohne Anwalt, ohne Gerichtsurteil.
Panorama: Geheimer Krieg
Sehen Sie hier das gesamte Video der Panorama Sendung von 28. November 2013.
Systematische Einbindung Deutschlands
John Goetz vor der amerikanischen Botschaft in Berlin: Wird von hier das Regierungsviertel abgehört?
John Goetz und sein Team zeigen, wie vor allem Deutschland in diesen leisen und versteckten Krieg eingebunden ist: Der Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) befragt systematisch Flüchtlinge aus Krisenregionen, um deren Informationen – auch über mögliche Ziele – an die Amerikaner weiterzugeben.
Das Afrika-Kommando der US-Streitkräfte sitzt in Stuttgart. Von hier kommen die Befehle für Drohnenangriffe auf Menschen in Afrika. Über die Airbase in Ramstein läuft die Kommunikation der Drohnenpiloten mit den fliegenden Kampfrobotern über Somalia. Und eine Firma, die Terrorverdächtige für die CIA entführt hat, bekommt seit Jahren Millionenaufträge von der Bundesregierung in sensiblen Bereichen.
Bundesregierung und US-Botschaft wiegeln ab
Auf Anfrage wiegelt die Bundesregierung ab: Es würden nur Informationen an US-Dienste weitergegeben, mit denen keine Drohnenangriffe geplant werden könnten. Außerdem lägen “der Bundesregierung keine eigenen gesicherten Erkenntnisse zu von US-Streitkräften in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland angeblich geplanten oder geführten Einsätzen vor”. Auch die amerikanische Botschaft in Berlin widerspricht den Rechercheergebnissen. Es seien “Halbwahrheiten, Spekulationen und Unterstellungen”, sowie “ungeheuerliche Behauptungen”.
Am Beispiel des ermordeten Kamelbauern aus Somalia und anderen konkreten Fällen zeigt die Dokumentation erstmals, wie deutsche Dienste und US-Einrichtungen in Deutschland an der Ermordung von unschuldigen Zivilisten durch Drohnen in Afrika beteiligt sind. Dafür haben die Reporter in Afrika, den USA, in der Türkei, Deutschland und in Moskau bei Edward Snowden recherchiert.
Die Ausstrahlung des Films ist der Höhepunkt der Serie “Geheimer Krieg”, in der der Norddeutsche Rundfunk und die “Süddeutsche Zeitung” seit gut zwei Wochen darüber berichten, wie das US-Militär und die amerikanischen und britischen Geheimdienste den Kampf gegen den Terrorismus aus Deutschland steuern und kontrollieren.
28.11.13 | 21:45 Uhr
von John Goetz & Niklas Schenck
Find this story at 28 November 2013
© Norddeutscher Rundfunk
Outsourcing intelligence sinks Germany further into U.S.’s pocket
20 november 2013
When a private company is granted a government contract, it’s a stamp of approval. What about the flipside? What does it say when the government—say, the German government—does business with companies involved in abduction and torture? What does it say when German ministries share IT servicers with the CIA and the NSA? And what does it mean for Germany that those same agencies are involved in projects concerning top-secret material including ID cards, firearms registries and emails in the capitol?
NDR (the German public radio and television broadcaster) and Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ, Germany’s leading broadsheet newspaper) are proving that these aren’t just hypothetical questions. Especially when it comes to spying, security and an American contractor called Computer Sciences Corporation, the CSC.
Khaled el-Masri sits blindfolded in a container in Kabul. His hands are tied and he can hear a plane engine. It’s a white gulfstream jet. It’s May 28, 2004 and el-Masri has lived through hell. For five months he was tortured while in U.S. custody. He was beaten and humiliated. He received enemas and had to wear diapers. He was drugged and interrogated repeatedly. All this is public knowledge. It eventually became clear—even to the CIA—that they had the wrong man; el-Masri was innocent.
That’s where the CSC comes in.
The CIA had had good experiences with the company for years, as one of its largest private contractors. The mission: the unrightfully detained prisoners should be unobtrusively removed from Afghanistan. So, the CSC subcontracted a company with a jet. Records from July 2, 2004 show that the CSC paid $11,048.94 to have el-Masri picked up in Kabul, flown in handcuffs to Albania and once there driven to some hinterland and dropped-off. Mission accomplished.
Everyone knows about the el-Masri case, but it doesn’t stop the contracts from coming in. The German government continues to give work to the CSC. In the past five years German ministries have given over 100 contracts to the CSC and its subsidiaries. Since 2009 alone, the CSC has earned €25.5 million, some $34.5 million. And since 1990, it’s earned almost €300 million, some $405 million, from its German contracts.
We paid a visit to the German headquarters at 1 Abraham Lincoln Park in Wiesbaden, Germany. It’s a modern building made of grey concrete, a little metal and a lot of glass. The receptionists are friendly, but will they talk? No one here wants to talk.
The German branch of the CSC was incorporated in 1970. On the CSC’s homepage it states vaguely that the company is a world leader in providing “technology enabled business solutions and services”.
In fact, the CSC is a massive company with at least 11 subsidiaries in 16 locations in Germany alone. It’s no coincidence that these locations are often close to U.S. military bases. The CSC and its subsidiaries are part of a secret industry, the military intelligence industry. And they do the work traditionally reserved for the military and intelligence agencies, but for cheaper and under much less scrutiny.
Related branches in this industry include security servicers, such as Blackwater (now going by the name Academi). Blackwater is now being legally charged for a massacre in Iraq. And then there’s Caci, whose specialists were allegedly involved in Abu Ghraib and the ‘enhanced interrogation’ methods used there.
German CSC operations refuse to be tarnished by their bad reputation in the Middle East. Every year German companies including Allianz, BASF, Commerzbank and Dailmer pay for their services. Mostly they pay for IT consulting. But some German ministries who are among their regular costumers request more than IT help.
The CSC’s annual report says nothing abduction. (They don’t advertise that on their homepage either.) For that kind of information you have to read investigative reports or human rights organization statements.
And the Ministry of the Interior is quick to say: “Neither the federal government nor the Office of Procurement know of any allegations against the U.S. parent company of CSC Germany.”
The first report of the CSC’s involvement in extraordinary rendition flights came out in 2005 in the Boston Globe and then again in 2011 in the Guardian. Since then at least 22 subsequent contracts have been signed, among them a contract to begin a national arms registry.
After the abduction and torture of el-Masri, in 2006, the CSC sold its subsidiary Dyncorp. But the CSC remains more involved than ever in American intelligence operations. Thus, the company was part of a consortium that was awarded the so-called Trailblazer project by the NSA. The contract was to build a giant data vacuum, which would have dwarfed the later-developed PRISM program whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed to the world. The program ran over budget, failed and was cancelled altogether. But the CSC continued to be granted contracts.
Basically, the CSC is like the IT department for the entire U.S. intelligence apparatus. And this is the company that has been handling German information at the highest of levels security for years.
A few examples? The CSC tested the controversial Trojan horse spyware for the Federal Criminal Police Office. It helped the Justice Department implement electronic federal court recordkeeping. It has received several contracts to encrypt government communications.
Should Germany be putting so much trust in the CSC, when the company’s more important partner is the U.S. intelligence apparatus?
The Federal Ministry of the Interior who awards the framework agreements assures us, “usually there is a clause in the contracts prohibiting confidential information be passed onto third parties.”
Somehow, that’s not very assuring.
By Christian Fuchs, John Goetz, Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer
November 16, 2013 12:55 pm CET
Find this story at 16 November 2013
Copyright © Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien GmbH / Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH
Vermorzelt door geheimdiensten
20 november 2013
Eigenrichting in de oorlog tegen de ‘terreur
In de zogenaamde oorlog tegen het terrorisme zijn de missers allang geen uitzondering meer. Precisie bombardementen die burgers doden, willekeurige arrestaties, ‘verdwijningen’ en andere praktijken die doen denken aan de donkere dagen in Latijns Amerika maken stelselmatig deel uit van deze ‘oorlog’. Alles in dienst van het grotere goed, de bescherming van de Westerse heilstaat. Wie is er echter nog veilig. Het verhaal van Khaled el-Masri toont aan dat medewerkers van inlichtingendiensten en leger kunnen opereren met medeweten van hun superieuren. Vervolging en straf zullen ze niet snel oplopen. Het slachtoffer Khaled el-Masri, een Duits Staatsburger, wordt dubbel gestraft.
Op 31 december 2003 wordt Khaled el-Masri bij de grensplaats Tabanovce (Kumanovo) tussen Servië en Macedonië aangehouden en overgebracht naar een kamer in hotel Skopski Merak in Skopje. De aanhouding wordt uitgevoerd door de State Security and Counterintelligence Directorate (UBK) van Macedonië. Verschillende leden van de UDBK staan op de loonlijst van de CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). Na de arrestatie door de UBK wordt hij eerst door de agenten van de UBK ondervraagd over al Qaida, al Haramain, de Moslimbroeders en enkele andere terroristische organisaties. De aandacht van de ondervragers gaat vooral uit naar het dorp Kondovo waar een islamitische school gevestigd is die volgens de UBK als dekmatel van al Qaida fungeert. Masri ontkent alles en zegt dat hij een reis heeft geboekt naar Skopje met het reisbureau Touring/Ulm. Hij is vanuit Ulm/Neu Ulm zijn woonplaats met de bus onderweg naar Macedonië.
De agenten van de UBK dragen Masri over aan de CIA die hem 23 dagen in de hotelkamer vasthouden. In de hotelkamer wordt hij ondervraagd in het Engels, een taal die hij niet helemaal begrijpt. De vragen gaan in tegenstelling tot de verhoren door de UBK over Neu Ulm. Over zijn kennissen, wie zijn moskee, the Ulm Multicultural Center and Mosque (Multi-Kultur-Haus), bezoeken, over contacten in Noorwegen en over een bijeenkomst in Jalalabad, Afghanistan waar Masri aanwezig zou zijn geweest. Masri ontkent elke betrokkenheid en wil een advocaat of een medewerker van de Duitse ambassade in Macedonië spreken. Uiteindelijk zeggen zijn ondervragers dat hij naar Duitsland wordt teruggebracht.
Dhr. el-Masri wordt echter op 23 januari 2004 met een Boeing 737-7ET met serienummer N313P (nu N4476S) overgebracht van Skopje naar Kabul. Het vliegtuig staat op naam van Premier Executive Transport Services, een bedrijf uit Massachusetts in de Verenigde Staten. De ‘schuilnamen’ van de piloten zijn door het Duitse programma Panorama onthult en later door de Los Angeles Times aangevuld met de echte namen van de piloten. Het gaat om Harry Kirk Elarbee (alias Kirk James Bird), Eric Robert Hume (alias Eric Matthew Fain) en James Kovalesky (alias James Richard Fairing). Zij werken voor Aero Contractors, een bedrijf dat waarschijnlijk de voortzetting is van Air America. Het laatste bedrijf was actief tot in de jaren zeventig als geheime vliegtuigmaatschappij van de CIA.
De N313P zou volgens de Spaanse autoriteiten op 22 januari 2004 vanuit Algiers naar de luchthaven Son Sant Joan op het eiland Mallorca zijn gevlogen. De volgende dag heeft het koers gezet naar Skopje, Macedonië. Dhr. Masri heeft in zijn Duitse paspoort een stempel van vertrek uit Macedonië van Skopje airport (LWSK vliegveldcode). De Minister van Binnenlandse Zaken van Macedonië beweert later het tegendeel. Volgens hem is Masri niet vertrokken van het vliegveld, maar is hij bij de grensplaats Blace met Kosovo het land verlaten. De N313P vliegt via Bagdad (ORBI) naar Kabul (OAKB). In Bagdad wordt er bijgetankt.
In Kabul wordt Masri opgesloten in de “Salt Pit” een verlaten steenfabriek in de buurt van Kabul die door de CIA wordt gebruikt om ‘high-level teror suspects’ vast te houden. Tijdens zijn verblijf wordt hij ondervraagd door mannen met bivakmutsen. In maart 2004 begint Masri samen met enkele andere gevangenen een hongerstaking. Na 27 dagen krijgt hij bezoek van twee niet gemaskerde Amerikanen, de Amerikaanse gevangenisdirecteur en de ‘Boss’, een Amerikaanse hoge officier. Zij geven toe dat hij niet opgesloten hoort te zijn, maar kunnen hem niet vrijlaten zonder toestemming van Washington. Dhr. el-Masri krijgt ook nog bezoek van een man die zich voorstelt als ‘Sam’. ‘Sam’ is de eerste Duitssprekende persoon die Masri tijdens zijn gevangenschap ontmoet. De man stelt echter dezelfde vragen over extremisten in Neu Ulm. ‘Sam’ bezoekt Masri nog drie maal in de ‘Salt Pit’ en begeleid hem in het vliegtuig terug naar Europa.
Op 28 mei 2004 keert een Gulfstream (GLF3) met registratienummer N982RK terug van Kabul naar een militair vliegveld in Kosovo. Dhr. Khaled el-Masri bevindt zich in het vliegtuig. Na de landing wordt Masri, nog steeds geblinddoekt, in een auto gezet en op een verlaten landweg afgezet.
Tijdens zijn verblijf in Skopje en in Kabul wordt dhr. el-Masri mishandeld, gemarteld en ondervraagd. Er wordt geen aanklacht tegen hem ingediend en er volgt geen rechtzaak. Na vijf maanden wordt de man op straat gezet. Terug in Ulm/Neu Ulm ontdekt hij dat zijn vrouw en kinderen verhuist zijn. Zij hebben Duitsland verlaten toen el-Masri niet van vakantie was teruggekeerd en wonen in Libanon. Drie jaar later zonder steun van de Duitse en Amerikaanse overheid draait Masri door. Hij bespuugt een verkoopster in een winkel, slaat een leraar van een bijscholingsinstituut in elkaar en zet een filiaal van de winkelketen Metro in brand. Masri belandt in een psychiatrisch ziekenhuis.
Na zijn terugkeer naar Duitsland probeerde dhr. Masri zijn onschuld aan te tonen en de zaak te onderzoeken. Al snel wordt duidelijk dat de Amerikaanse overheid in het geheel niet meewerkt. Het duurt tot december 2005 voordat van officiële zijde enige erkenning komt van de ontvoering van Masri. Daarvoor, begin 2005, berichtten eerst de New York Times, de Süddeutsche Zeitung en het ZDF programma frontal 21 over de verdwijning van Masri. Bij de berichtgeving over het zogenaamde Rendition programma speelt Masri een belangrijke rol. Zijn verhaal is goed gedocumenteerd.
Als eind november 2005 voor het bezoek van de Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Rice, de Washington Post een gedetailleerde reconstructie van het verhaal Masri publiceert lijkt de zaak rond. De Amerikanen zeggen dat de verdwijning van dhr. el-Masri een vergissing was. Er zou sprake zijn van een persoonsverwisseling. De persoon die de CIA wilde ontvoeren zou Khaled al-Masri heten en niet el-Masri. Waarom Masri dan zo lang moest worden vastgehouden, gemarteld en ondervraagd wordt geweten aan het feit dat de CIA geloofde dat het paspoort van Masri vals was. Eén letter verschil en de verdenking van een vals paspoort waren de aanleiding voor een vijf maanden brute behandeling door ’s werelds meest geavanceerde geheime dienst, de CIA? De media accepteerden de knieval. De cowboy mentaliteit van Bush en de strijd tegen de terreur deden de rest. Een vergissing is menselijk. Vergissingen die geen uitzondering zijn zoals wij al eerder schreven in relatie tot rendition en de terreurlijsten van de Verenigde Staten, Verenigde Naties en de Europese Unie.
In het artikel van de Washington Post zegt Rice echter ook dat zij de toenmalige Duitse minister van Binnenlandse Zaken Otto Schily over Khaled el-Masri in 2004 al had ingelicht en dat de Amerikanen de zaak stil wilden houden. Masri was zwijggeld geboden door de CIA. Het politieke gedraai kan beginnen. Schily ontkent in eerste instantie dat hij in 2004 iets van de zaak Masri wist. Later geeft hij toe dat in een gesprek met de Amerikaanse ambassadeur in Duitsland, Daniel Coats, in 2004 de zaak is besproken, maar dat hem op het hart is gedrukt het niet verder te vertellen, zo verklaart Schily. De huidige minister van Buitenlandse Zaken en voormalig chef van de kanselarij in de regering Schroder, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, komt door het gesprek tussen Schily en Coats in het nauw. Als chef van de kanselarij moet hij van de inhoud van het gesprek op de hoogte zijn geweest. Hetzelfde geldt voor de voormalig minister van Buitenlandse Zaken Joschka Fischer. Er ontstaat een schijngevecht tussen Duitsland en de Verenigde Staten. De Duitse justitie vaardigt een arrestatiebevel uit tegen dertien personen die betrokken zijn geweest bij de ontvoering van Masri. In september 2007 wordt duidelijk dat Duitsland het verzoek tot uitlevering van de dertien verdachten in de zaak Masri intrekt. Ondertussen waren er al diverse rechtzaken in de Verenigde Staten door Masri en zijn advocaat gestart. De rechtbanken oordelen keer op keer dat zij de zaak niet in behandeling nemen met het oog op nationale veiligheid en de bescherming van staatsgeheimen. Khaled el-Masri vangt bot en belandt in het gekkenhuis.
De zaak Khaled el-Masri is exemplarisch voor de oorlog tegen het terrorisme. De Amerikanen marcheren als een olifant over de wereld in de hoop zogenaamde terroristen te doden, te arresteren, te martelen en te verhoren. Mensenrechten zijn allang bijzaak in deze oorlog die sterk lijkt op de wijze waarop de Verenigde Staten in de jaren zeventig en tachtig in Latijns Amerika hebben geopereerd. Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, Fallujah, standrechtelijke executies, precisie bombardementen die trouwerijen raken en verdwijningen zijn geen uitzondering, maar regel. De Europese Unie lijkt steeds de gematigde kracht. Het opgeheven vingertje, uitgebreide discussies over wel of niet blijven in Irak of Afghanistan. Opbouwen of vechten. Het genuanceerde standpunt komt uit de Europese Unie lijkt de boodschap. De zaak Khaled el-Masri maakt echter iets anders duidelijk.
De Amerikaanse minister van Buitenlandse Zaken, Rice, gaf aan dat er overleg was geweest tussen haar toenmalige ambtsgenoot Otto Schily en de Amerikaanse ambassadeur. Dit gebeurde vlak na de vrijlating van Masri in Albanië in mei 2004. De Amerikaanse overheid toonde zich niet erg bereidwillig stukken over te dragen, maar hetzelfde geldt voor de Duitse overheid. Dat Duitsland dieper in het verhaal Masri zat werd in juni 2006 duidelijk. Een agent van de Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), de Duitse CIA, weet zich tijdens de ondervraging voor de parlementaire onderzoekscommissie naar de rol BND bij de oorlog in Irak te herinneren dat in januari 2004 een onbekende hem over de arrestatie van een Duitse staatburger vertelde. De ontmoeting met de onbekende vond plaats in de kantine van de Duitse Ambassade in Skopje, Macedonië. De New York Times weet te melden dat de autoriteiten in Macedonië de Duitse ambassade in januari 2004 hebben ingelicht over de arrestatie en overdracht aan de Amerikanen van dhr. El-Masri. Het blijft onduidelijk waarom de Duitse autoriteiten zich niet om el-Masri hebben bekommerd. Onmacht, vergeetachtigheid, onwil?
Het tijdstip van de Duitse medeweten schuift steeds verder op. In september 2003 begint de politie in Baden-Württemberg met het filmen van de ingang van het Ulm Multicultural Center and Mosque (multi-kultur-haus), de enige moskee voor moslims in de wijde omgeving. Dit is bekend geworden via de regionale media doordat de politie gebruik maakte van een privé CB frequentie (het ouderwetse bakkie). El-Masri moet zijn opgevallen, hoewel hij niet een speciale bezoeker was, kwam hij toch regelmatig voor het vrijdag gebed in de moskee.
De observatie en het overleg met de autoriteiten in Macedonië op de Duitse ambassade moet betekenen dat de Bundesnachrichtendienst meer wist over Khaled el-Masri dan tot nu toe door de verschillende ministers en ex-ministers wordt toegegeven. Is de verdwijning van Masri dan misschien met medeweten van de Duitsers gebeurd? Hebben die een oogje dichtgeknepen en geen vragen gesteld nadat het bekend was geworden? Of was het een samenwerking tussen de Duitsers en de Amerikanen? Het lijkt erop dat Khaled el-Masri op een lijst stond van mogelijke verdachten van terrorisme. In zo’n geval ben je, je leven niet meer zeker en wordt de rechtstaat opzij gezet. De Duitsers wilden echter schone handen pretenderen, de Amerikanen met hun lange historie van low intensity warfare in Indo China, Latijns Amerika, Afrika en Centraal Azië maakt het allemaal niet uit. De grote vraag is dan natuurlijk of Masri op een lijst stond?
Ulm/Neu Ulm lijkt niet het toonbeeld van het centrum van het islamitisch radicalisme. Volgens geheime diensten is het dat echter wel en speelde het een centrale rol in de zogenaamde islamitische Jihad. Het Multi-Kultur-Haus in Ulm werd om die reden op 28 december 2005 op last van het Beierse ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken gesloten. Wat was er aan de hand?
Volgens zowel de Amerikaanse CIA en de Duitse BND hebben verschillende terroristen Ulm bezocht. Mohammed Atta, veronderstelde leider van de aanslagen van 11 september 2001, en Said Bahaji, de logistieke leider van de aanslagen van 11 september, zouden op bezoek zijn geweest in het Kultur-Haus en bij de in Ulm woonachtige chirurg el-A. Dit is door een taxi chauffeur uit Ulm in oktober 2006 aan het Duitse tijdschrift Der Stern en het Ard-magazine Report Mainz vertelt. Volgens beide media bevestigen bronnen binnen het Landeskriminalamt (LKA) de verklaring van de chauffeur. El-A., die nu in Sudan zou verblijven, zou contact onderhouden met Mamdouh Mahmud Salim de ‘boekhouder’ van al Qaida. Mohammed Atta lijkt vele levens te hebben gehad en overal op te duiken, zijn plotselinge aanwezigheid in Ulm, waarschijnlijk voor 11 september 2001 blijft onduidelijk. Wel verklaart het de vragen van de CIA agenten in Kabul aan Khaled el-Masri. Naast Ulm ondervroegen ze hem ook over de Hamburgse cel.
Ook aanwezig in het Multi-Kultur-Haus zou Reda Seyam zijn. Hij wordt in verband gebracht met de aanslagen in Bali van oktober 2002, maar is daarvoor nooit aangeklaagd. Zijn ex-vrouw heeft een boek over hem geschreven, onder de titel ‘Mundtot, Ich war die Frau eine Gotteskriegers’, waarin ze hem afschilderd als jihad strijder. In dit gezelschap zou el-Masri zich hebben begeven en met hem vele andere bezoekers van het Kultur-Haus. Waarom is Masri uitgekozen? Dacht de CIA dat hij op weg was naar Irak, Afghanistan, Tsjetsjenië of een andere conflicthaard? Of dachten ze dat hij meer wist en meer betrokken was? Of hoopten ze hem te kunnen werven als informant?
De interesse van de CIA in de islamitische scène in Ulm gaat terug naar 11 september 2001. Naar alle waarschijnlijkheid zijn de Duitsers bij die interesse betrokken. Een vreemd incident in Ulm in april 2003 maakt die voorkennis van de Duitsers duidelijk. Een echtpaar krijgt begin april bezoek van een man die volgens het echtpaar een Amerikaans accent heeft. De man zegt van de politie te zijn maar identificeert zich niet als zodanig. Hij wil het huis aan de overkant observeren. Overrompelt door het gedrag van de man laten ze de zwaar gewapende man binnen, maar bellen later wel de politie om uit te zoeken wat er aan de hand is. De Duitse politie komt enkele dagen later ook observeren, maar reppen met geen woord over de Duitser met het Amerikaanse accent. Voor het echtpaar is tot dan toe niet duidelijk waarom het huis aan de overkant moet worden geobserveerd. Uiteindelijk horen ze dat aan de overkant de weduwe woont van een man die in Tsjetsjenië aan de zijde van het verzet bij gevechten is omgekomen. Herhaaldelijk verzoeken van het echtpaar om foto’s te worden getoond van de zwaar bewapende Duitser met een Amerikaans accent hebben tot nu toe niets opgeleverd. Naar alle waarschijnlijkheid was de observatie een Duits Amerikaanse samenwerking.
Khaled el-Masri woonde niet bij de weduwe in huis. Dat kan niet de aanleiding voor zijn verdwijning zijn geweest. Hij is in de ‘Salt Pit’ in Kabul wel naar Tsjetsjeense contacten gevraagd. Ook door de Duits sprekende agent die Masri naar Albanië terug escorteerde. ‘Sam’ zoals hij zichzelf noemde is of als CIA agent werkzaam geweest op de Amerikaanse ambassade in Duitsland en nu woonachtig in de Verenigde Staten zoals dhet Duitse tijdschrift der Stern beweert of een medewerker van het Bundeskriminalamt zoals andere bronnen beweren. In het eerste geval zou het om Tomas V. gaan die door journalisten van der Stern in Mclean, Virginia (Verenigde Staten) is bezocht. In het tweede geval zou het om Gerhard Lehman gaan een BKA beambte.
Welke ‘Sam’ het ook is, de aanwijzingen dat Duitsland betrokken is geweest bij de ‘verdwijning’ van Khaled el-Masri zijn sterk. De Duits Amerikaanse samenwerking is ook formeel geregeld via de aanwezigheid van Duitse verbindingsofficieren op het Amerikaanse hoofdkwartier van EUCOM in Stuttgart-Vaihingen. De zaak el-Masri staat in het verlengde van de steun van Duitsland aan Amerika in de oorlog in Irak. Voor de buitenwacht leek Duitsland fel tegenstander, maar in werkelijkheid ondersteunden de Duitsers de invasie met inlichtingen en manschappen.
Het ARD magazine Report Mainz schrijft op basis van een geheim BKA dossier dat Masri contacten had binnen de radicaal islamitische wereld. Zoals aangegeven bezocht hij de moskee die blijkbaar gezien werd als het centrum van islamitische Jihad in Zuid Duitsland. Is dat dan de reden om iemand te doen verdwijnen, te mishandelen, te martelen en bruut te ondervragen? Is dat de Westerse heilstaat die wij moeten verdedigen? Ook al zou Masri verdachte contacten hebben gehad, dan nog geldt ook voor hem dat iemand onschuldig is tenzij het tegendeel is bewezen. Ambtenaren in de dienst van de Duitse staat die willens en wetens hun mond hebben gehouden lijken zich even weinig te bekommeren om de rechtstaat als de CIA agenten die Masri uiteindelijk hebben doen verdwijnen en die daarvoor niet berecht kunnen worden. Hoeveel meer mensen zijn er verdwenen? Of is iedereen bang om gek te worden net als Masri? Khaled el-Masri heeft geluk gehad. Wat als hij voor het instappen in het vliegveld in Skopje ja had gezegd op de vraag ben je lid van al Qaida? Na 23 dagen had hij nog de helderheid van geest om nee te zeggen en ja tegen terugkeer naar Duitsland. Want dat was de deal die hem was geboden. Lidmaatschap bekennen en vrijlating, alsof geheime diensten op hun woord moeten worden geloofd. Net als in de jaren zeventig en tachtig toen de Amerikanen zich misdroegen in Latijns Amerika houdt Europa zich nu ook stil. Onderzoekscommissies ten spijt, wordt ook hier de rechtstaat terzijde geschoven als er een verdenking van terrorisme is.
Find this story at 29 November 2007
Lloyds owns stake in US firm accused over CIA torture flights
20 november 2013
Banking group, which has £8.5m slice of CSC, is under pressure along with other City investors from human rights charity
Computer Sciences Corporation, according to Reprieve, organised a flight that took Khaled al-Masri, a German mistakenly imprisoned by the CIA, from a secret detention centre in Afghanistan to Albania in 2004. Photograph: Thomas Kienzle/AP
Lloyds Banking Group has become embroiled in a row over its investment in a company accused of involvement in the rendition of terror suspects on behalf of the CIA.
Lloyds, which is just under 40% owned by the taxpayer, is one of a number of leading City institutions under fire for investing in US giant Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), which is accused of helping to organise covert US government flights of terror suspects to Guantánamo Bay and other clandestine “black sites” around the world.
Reprieve, the legal human rights charity run by the British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, alleges that during the flights, suspects – some of whom were later proved innocent – were “stripped, dressed in a diaper and tracksuit, goggles and earphones, and had their hands and feet shackled”. Once delivered to the clandestine locations, they were subjected to beatings and sleep deprivation and forced into stress positions, a report from the International Committee of the Red Cross says.
CSC, which is facing a backlash for allegedly botching its handling of a £3bn contract to upgrade the NHS IT system, has refused to comment on claims it was involved in rendition. It has also refused to sign a Reprieve pledge to “never knowingly facilitate torture” in the future. The claims about its involvement in rendition flights have not been confirmed.
Reprieve has written to CSC investors to ask them to put pressure on the company to take a public stand against torture.
Some of the City’s biggest institutions, including Lloyds and insurer Aviva, have demanded that CSC immediately address allegations that it played a part in arranging extraordinary rendition flights.
Aviva, which holds a small stake in CSC via US tracker funds, said it had written to CSC’s executives to demand an investigation. The insurer said it would take further action if it was confirmed that CSC was linked to torture. “Aviva is of course concerned by the allegations made against CSC,” said a spokesman. “We are a signatory to the United Nations global compact, and support human rights principles, as outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is not yet clear that CSC is directly complicit in the activities outlined and we have written to the company seeking clarification. We will investigate these allegations further and take action as appropriate.”
Lloyds said it was taking the allegations seriously and had launched its own investigation. A spokesman said: “Our policy is clear, we will not support companies whose ongoing business activities are illegal in the UK and breach the requirements of international conventions as ratified by the UK government. We are not aware of evidence that CSC is currently committed to activities inconsistent with our policy.”
Lloyds holds an £8.5m stake in CSC via its Scottish Widows funds that track the S&P 500 index of America’s biggest companies.
HSBC, another investor, said that it was not aware of evidence that CSC was breaching its ethical investment code.
CSC’s alleged involvement with rendition came about after it purchased DynCorp, which was involved in hundreds of prisoner transfer flights, in 2003. While CSC went on to sell DynCorp in 2005, Reprieve alleges that CSC continued to be involved in the supervision of rendition flights until the end of 2006.
None of CSC’s top 10 shareholders, including fund managers Dodge & Cox, Fidelity, Blackrock and Guggenheim Capital, a fund manager founded by a grandson of philanthropist Solomon Guggenheim, responded to the allegations made in a letter from Reprieve. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is also an investor.
One of the biggest investors, which declined to be identified due to its policy of refusing to comment on investment decisions, said its executives were “extremely concerned” about CSC’s alleged links to torture, and managers raised their concerns with CSC as soon as it was made aware of the allegations by the Guardian.
Reprieve’s legal director, Cori Crider, said: “CSC evidently thinks it’s fine to profit from kidnap and torture as long as their shareholders are happy. It is now up to those shareholders, including British banks, pension funds and UK government [via Lloyds], to show this isn’t the case. These institutions must insist that CSC take their ethical concerns seriously. Alternatively, they can vote with their feet.”
Crider told investors that Reprieve had obtained an invoice indicating CSC organised a flight that took Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen mistakenly imprisoned by the CIA, from a secret detention centre in Afghanistan to Albania in May 2004. The charity said in its letter: “Having belatedly concluded after months of torture and interrogation that they had imprisoned the wrong man, the CIA, acting through CSC, arranged for Richmor Aviation jet N982RK to transfer Mr al-Masri from an Afghan ‘black site’ to a remote roadside in Albania.”
In a letter to Reprieve, Helaine Elderkin, CSC’s vice-president and senior deputy general counsel, said: “CSC’s board of directors … have a corporate responsibility programme that fosters CSC’s growth by promoting and increasing the value of the company to its shareholders, clients, communities and employees.”
Lisa Nandy, the Labour MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on international corporate responsibility, also called on CSC’s biggest investors to hold the company to account. “Investors have a unique responsibility to hold businesses accountable for their ethical conduct, particularly in relation to human rights. Corporates should conduct due diligence down their supply chains to protect human rights, working under the assumption that business should do no harm. Those that refuse to do so should have investment withdrawn,” she said.
“The UK must take the lead in this area and ensure its institutional investors, many of which are using pension funds to allow grievous abuse, are asking tough questions at board level, demanding changes in behaviour and a corporate policy to uphold human rights.”
CSC is being sued by some of its investors in relation to its £3bn contract to upgrade NHS computer systems.
The Guardian, Sunday 6 May 2012 19.18 BST
Find this story at 6 May 2013
© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Dubioser Partner der Regierung
20 november 2013
Entführen für die CIA, spionieren für die NSA? Die Firma CSC kennt wenig Skrupel. Auf ihrer Kundenliste steht auch die Bundesregierung. Die weiß angeblich von nichts.
Keine Frage, ein Auftrag der Bundesregierung schmückt jede Firma. Aber wie ist es andersherum? Kann, darf, soll die Berliner Regierung mit jeder beliebigen Firma ins Geschäft kommen? Sicher nicht – so viel ist einfach zu beantworten; dafür gibt es unzählige Regeln, fast alle beschäftigen sich mit formalen Dingen.
Und was ist mit den moralischen? Sollte eine deutsche Bundesregierung beispielsweise Geschäfte mit einer Firma eingehen, die in Entführungen, in Folterungen verwickelt ist? Sollten sich deutsche Ministerien etwa einen IT-Dienstleister teilen mit CIA, NSA und anderen amerikanischen Geheimdiensten, zumal wenn es um sensible Aufgaben geht, um Personalausweise, Waffenregister und die E-Mail-Sicherheit im Berliner Regierungsviertel?
Recherchen von NDR und Süddeutscher Zeitung belegen, dass beides der Fall gewesen ist beziehungsweise noch immer ist. Es geht um Geschäftsbeziehungen zu einer Firma namens Computer Sciences Corporation, kurz CSC.
Khaled el-Masri sitzt mit verbundenen Augen und gefesselten Händen in einem Container in Kabul, als er die Motorengeräusche eines landenden Flugzeugs hört, eines weißen Gulfstream-Jets. Es ist der 28. Mai 2004, und el-Masri hat die Hölle hinter sich. Fünf Monate lang war er in US-Gefangenschaft gefoltert worden, im berüchtigten “Salt Pit”-Gefängnis in Afghanistan. Er war geschlagen worden und erniedrigt, vielfach, er hat Einläufe bekommen und Windeln tragen müssen, er ist unter Drogen gesetzt und immer wieder verhört worden. Alles bekannt, alles oft berichtet. Auch, dass den CIA-Leuten irgendwann klar wurde: Sie hatten den Falschen. El-Masri war unschuldig. An dieser Stelle kam CSC ins Spiel.
Die CIA-Leute hatten mit der Firma über Jahre gute Erfahrungen gemacht, sie ist einer der größten Auftragnehmer von Amerikas Geheimdiensten. Die Aufgabe: Der falsche Gefangene sollte unauffällig aus Afghanistan herausgeschafft werden. Das Unternehmen beauftragte dafür seinerseits ein Subunternehmen mit dem Flug – laut Rechnung vom 2. Juni 2004 gegen 11048,94 Dollar – und so wurde al-Masri mit jenem weißen Jet in Kabul abgeholt, gefesselt nach Albanien geflogen, dort in ein Auto umgeladen und im Hinterland ausgesetzt. Mission erfüllt.
Schon zu dieser Zeit machte auch die Bundesregierung mit CSC Geschäfte, und sie tut es bis heute – obwohl die Rolle von CSC im Fall el-Masri ihr bekannt sein müsste. Über 100 Aufträge haben deutsche Ministerien in den vergangenen fünf Jahren an die CSC und seine Tochterfirmen vergeben. Allein seit 2009 erhielt CSC für die Aufträge 25,5 Millionen Euro, von 1990 bis heute sind es fast 300 Millionen Euro.
Besuch in der deutschen Firmenzentrale im Abraham-Lincoln-Park 1 in Wiesbaden. Ein moderner Bau, grauer Sichtbeton, wenig Metall, viel Glas. Steril, kühl, sachlich. Die Angestellten am Empfang sind höflich, aber reden? Reden will hier niemand. Den deutschen Ableger der 1959 in den USA gegründeten Firma gibt es seit 1970. Auf der Homepage heißt es nur vage, das Unternehmen sei weltweit führend in “IT-gestützten Businesslösungen und Dienstleistungen”.
Tatsächlich ist die CSC ein großes Unternehmen, allein in Deutschland gibt es mindestens elf Tochtergesellschaften an insgesamt 16 Standorten. Auffallend oft residieren sie in der Nähe von US-Militärstützpunkten. Kein Zufall. Die CSC und ihre Tochterfirmen sind Teil jenes verschwiegenen Wirtschaftszweigs, der für Militär und Geheimdienste günstig und unsichtbar Arbeiten erledigt. Andere in der Branche sind die Sicherheitsdienstleister von Blackwater (die sich heute Academi nennen), denen im Irak Massaker angelastet werden. Oder Caci, deren Spezialisten angeblich in Abu Ghraib beteiligt waren, wenn es um verschärfte Verhöre ging.
Die deutschen Geschäfte der CSC werden durch den schlechten Ruf im Nahen Osten nicht getrübt: Jedes Jahr überweisen deutsche Firmen wie Allianz, BASF, Commerzbank, Daimler und Deutsche Bahn Millionen. Meist geht es um technische Fragen, um Beratung. Aber zum Kundenstamm zählen auch Ministerien: Mit der Firma CSC Deutschland Solutions GmbH, in deren Aufsichtsrat auch ein ehemaliger CDU-Bundestagsabgeordneter sitzt, wurden innerhalb der vergangenen fünf Jahre durch das Beschaffungsamt des Bundesinnenministeriums insgesamt drei Rahmenverträge geschlossen, die wiederum Grundlage für Einzelaufträge verschiedener Bundesministerien waren.
Im Geschäftsbericht der CSC ist von Entführungsflügen nichts zu finden, auch nicht auf deren Homepage. Dafür muss man schon Untersuchungsberichte lesen oder Reports von Menschenrechtsorganisationen. Was das Bundesinnenministerium indessen nicht zu tun scheint: “Weder dem Bundesverwaltungsamt noch dem Beschaffungsamt waren bei Abschluss der Verträge mit der CSC Deutschland Solutions GmbH Vorwürfe gegen den US-amerikanischen Mutterkonzern bekannt,” sagt ein Sprecher. Den ersten Bericht über die Beteiligung der CSC an CIA-Entführungsflügen gab es 2005 im Boston Globe, 2011 folgte der Guardian. Danach wurden von deutschen Ministerien noch mindestens 22 Verträge abgeschlossen, etwa über Beratungsleistungen bei der Einführung eines Nationalen Waffenregisters.
Zwar hat die CSC ihre Tochterfirma Dyncorp, die einst Khaled el-Masris Verschleppung organisierte, schon 2005* verkauft – dennoch war die CSC auch danach noch immer oder noch viel mehr in amerikanische Geheimdienstaktivitäten involviert. So war die Firma Teil jenes Konsortiums, das den Zuschlag für das sogenannte Trailblazer-Programm der NSA erhielt: Dabei sollte ein gigantischer Datenstaubsauger entwickelt werden, gegen den das durch Edward Snowden öffentlich gewordene Spionageprogramm Prism beinahe niedlich wirken würde. Das Projekt wurde schließlich eingestellt, doch Aufträge bekam die CSC weiterhin. Im Grunde ist das Unternehmen so etwas wie die EDV-Abteilung der US-Geheimdienste. Und ausgerechnet diese Firma wird von deutschen Behörden seit Jahren mit Aufträgen bedacht, die enorm sensibel sind.
Ein paar Beispiele? Die CSC testete den umstrittenen Staatstrojaner des Bundeskriminalamts. Das Unternehmen half dem Justizministerium bei der Einführung der elektronischen Akte für Bundesgerichte. Die CSC erhielt mehrere Aufträge, die mit der verschlüsselten Kommunikation der Regierung zu tun haben. Die CSC beriet das Innenministerium bei der Einführung des elektronischen Passes. Sie ist involviert in das Projekt De-Mail, dessen Ziel der sichere Mailverkehr ist – oder sein sollte. Sollte man solche Aufträge einer Firma überantworten, die im US-Geheimdienst im Zweifel möglicherweise den wichtigeren Partner sieht?
Das zuständige Bundesinnenministerium lässt ausrichten, die Rahmenverträge enthielten “in der Regel Klauseln, nach denen es untersagt ist, bei der Vertragserfüllung zur Kenntnis erlangte vertrauliche Daten an Dritte weiterzuleiten”.
*Anmerkung der Redaktion: In einer früheren Version hieß es, CSC habe Dyncorp 2006 verkauft. Es war 2005.
16. November 2013 08:00 Deutsche Aufträge für CSC
Von Christian Fuchs, John Goetz, Frederik Obermaier und Bastian Obermayer
Find this story at 16 November 2013
Copyright: Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien GmbH / Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH
Deutschland vergibt Aufträge an US-Spionagefirma
20 november 2013
Der Konzern steht dem Geheimdienst NSA nahe. Trotzdem beschäftigt die Bundesregierung seit Jahren das umstrittene Computerunternehmen CSC. Es arbeitet für Ministerien und Behörden und hat Zugriff auf hochsensible Daten.
Die Bundesregierung macht umstrittene Geschäfte mit einem US-amerikanischen Spionage-Dienstleister. Dieser erhält dadurch Zugriff auf eine ganze Reihe hochsensibler Daten. Mehr als 100 Aufträge haben deutsche Ministerien nach Recherchen der Süddeutschen Zeitung und des Norddeutschen Rundfunks in den vergangenen fünf Jahren an deutsche Tochterfirmen der Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) vergeben. Das US-Unternehmen gilt als einer der wichtigsten Partner der amerikanischen Geheimdienste und war in der Vergangenheit unter anderem an der Entwicklung von Spähprogrammen für die NSA beteiligt. Außerdem war eine Tochter der CSC 2004 in die Verschleppung des Deutschen Khaled el-Masri durch die CIA verwickelt.
Seit 2009 erhielten die deutschen CSC-Ableger Staatsaufträge in Höhe von 25,5 Millionen Euro. Die Firma testete dafür unter anderem den Staatstrojaner des Bundeskriminalamts und unterstützte das Justizministerium bei der Einführung der elektronischen Akte für Bundesgerichte. Des Weiteren erhielt die CSC Aufträge, die mit dem sogenannten Regierungsnetz zu tun haben, über das die verschlüsselte Kommunikation von Ministerien und Behörden läuft. Die CSC beriet außerdem das Innenministerium bei der Einführung des elektronischen Passes und ist involviert in das Projekt De-Mail, dessen Ziel der sichere Mailverkehr ist. Alles heikle Aufträge.
“Wir wissen jetzt ja leider, dass viele US-Firmen sehr eng mit der NSA kooperieren, da scheint blindes Vertrauen äußerst unangebracht”, sagt der Ex-Hacker und IT-Sicherheitsexperte Sandro Gaycken, der auch die Bundesregierung berät. Die CSC selbst teilte mit, “aus Gründen des Vertrauensschutzes” keine Auskunft über öffentliche Auftraggeber zu geben.
Das Unternehmen ist Teil der amerikanischen Schattenarmee von Privatfirmen, die für Militär und Geheimdienste günstig und unsichtbar Arbeit erledigen. So gehörte das Unternehmen zu einem Konsortium, das den Zuschlag für das sogenannte Trailblazer-Projekt der NSA bekommen hatte: Dabei sollte ein Spähprogramm ähnlich dem jüngst bekannt gewordenen Programm Prism entwickelt werden.
Die problematischen Verwicklungen sind teils seit Jahren bekannt – jedoch angeblich nicht dem Bundesinnenministerium, das die Rahmenverträge mit der CSC geschlossen hat. Das Ministerium habe dazu keine “eigenen Erkenntnisse”, teilte ein Sprecher mit. Mitarbeiter externer Unternehmen müssten sich einer Sicherheitsprüfung unterziehen, bevor sie mit einer “sicherheitsempfindlichen Tätigkeit” betraut würden. Im Übrigen enthielten die Rahmenverträge “in der Regel” Klauseln, nach denen es untersagt ist, “vertrauliche Daten an Dritte weiterzuleiten”.
Thomas Drake, ein ehemaliger hochrangiger Mitarbeiter des US-Geheimdienstes NSA, hält derartige Klauseln für “naiv”. Er sagt: “Wenn es um eine Firma geht, die in der US-Geheimdienstbranche und speziell bei der NSA eine solch große Rolle spielt und dort so viel Unterstützung bekommt, dann würde ich den Worten eines Vertrags nicht trauen.”
15. November 2013 19:00 CSC-Konzern
Von Christian Fuchs, John Goetz, Frederik Obermaier und Bastian Obermayer
Find this story at 15 November 2013
Copyright: Süddeutsche Zeitung Digitale Medien GmbH / Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH
New Information About CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Highlights Need For Transparency, Accountability
30 augustus 2013
We may be finally learning more about the CIA’s involvement in the 2003 abduction and rendition to torture of a Muslim cleric, Hassan Mustafa Nasr (aka Abu Omar). This week, Sabrina De Sousa confirmed that she was a former CIA undercover officer, and provided new details about events that led to the first (and, to date, only) prosecutions and convictions for abuses committed by U.S. officials as part of its “extraordinary rendition” program. Her account highlights the desperate need for the United States to thoroughly investigate the role of government officials in acts of torture and extraordinary rendition committed in the years following 9/11.
In 2003, CIA agents seized Abu Omar from the streets of Milan, Italy and rendered him to Egypt for interrogation and torture by Egyptian officials. He was later released without charge or trial.
In September 2012, Italy’s highest court affirmed the in absentia convictions of 23 Americans, including De Sousa, and two Italians involved in Abu Omar’s kidnapping and torture. The ACLU opposes trials in absentia, which raise serious due process concerns; the Italian proceedings serve as a reminder, however, of the lack of accountability in the United States for CIA abuses. De Sousa, who was sentenced by the Italian court to seven years in prison, had previously denied any involvement with the CIA, claiming instead that she was a State Department employee and that she should have been granted diplomatic immunity from prosecution.
De Sousa now admits that at the time of the extraordinary rendition, she was a CIA agent and involved in the rendition as a translator between the CIA snatch team and their Italian counterparts. Incensed for “being held accountable for decisions that someone else took,” De Sousa has provided shocking – but by no means surprising – details about the extraordinary rendition operation in a series of recent interviews with McClatchy Press.
De Sousa revealed that the former CIA station chief in Rome, Jeffrey Castelli, had exaggerated the threat Abu Omar posed in order to win approval for the extraordinary rendition, and misled his superiors into believing that Italian military intelligence had agreed to the operation. She also claims that the extraordinary rendition was approved at the highest levels of government despite doubts about the threat Nasr posed; those involved in the decision-making process, she says, included former CIA director George Tenet; Condoleezza Rice, who was national security advisor at the time; and then-President Bush. (Among those convicted, Robert Lady, the CIA’s former Milan station chief, was sentenced in absentia to nine years for his involvement in the rendition; read De Sousa’s account for more on his case.)
De Sousa’s revelations highlight the need for greater transparency and accountability by the United States government for the torture and abuse that occurred during the Bush administration. Criminal investigations initially opened into specific allegations of abuse have all been closed and the government has consistently shut down attempts to challenge its actions in court through claims of state secrets and immunity. Other nations, such as Italy, however, have taken a different approach.
Click here to learn how different countries have pursued accountability for their roles in the U.S. torture and rendition program.
In addition, the European Court of Human Rights recently agreed to consider a second case against Poland over allegations from another former CIA prisoner, Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn (known as Abu Zubaydah), who was tortured while held in a secret CIA-run prison in Poland. While these measures are an important step in ensuring accountability for U.S. actions on the global stage, they do not absolve the U.S. from its own responsibility under international law to hold those who were responsible for CIA abuses accountable, and release information about the unlawful activities carried out as part of the extraordinary rendition program. An important starting point should be the declassification and publication of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee report, the only official account of the CIA’s torture and abuse. De Sousa may have provided important information on one specific extraordinary rendition, but we need far more to ensure that abuses committed by the United States are fully brought to light.
By Allison Frankel, ACLU Human Rights Program at 2:39pm
Find this story at 31 July 2013
Accountability for Torture: Infographic
Senate and C.I.A. Spar Over Secret Report on Interrogation Program
30 augustus 2013
WASHINGTON — The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says she is planning a push to declassify hundreds of pages of a secret committee report that accuses the Central Intelligence Agency of misleading Congress and the White House about the agency’s detention and interrogation program, which is now defunct.
The 6,000-page report, which took years to complete and cost more than $40 million, is the only detailed account to date of a program that set off a national debate about torture. The report has been the subject of a fierce partisan fight and a vigorous effort by the C.I.A. to challenge its conclusions, and last month, the agency’s director, John O. Brennan, delivered a lengthy rebuttal to the report to committee leaders.
But the committee’s chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said in a statement this week that the report was on “firm ground” and that she planned to ask the White House and C.I.A. to declassify its 300-page executive summary after “making any factual changes to our report that are warranted after the C.I.A.’s response.”
The committee’s top Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, said he believed the report was deeply flawed and agreed with the intelligence agency’s critique. But he said he believed that a summary of the report could be made public, as long as it was accompanied by a summary of the agency’s response and a dissenting statement from committee Republicans.
The clash over the report is, at its core, a fight over who writes the history of what is perhaps the most bitterly disputed part of the American government’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. More than four years have passed since the C.I.A. closed its secret prisons, and nearly a decade since agency interrogators subjected Qaeda detainees to the most brutal interrogation methods, including the near-drowning technique known as waterboarding.
For defenders of the interrogation program, the Senate criticism represents second-guessing of actions taken at a desperate time to stop terrorist attacks. For critics, the report is a first step toward coming to terms with a shameful departure from American values that included the official embrace of torture.
According to several people who have read it, the Senate report is particularly damning in its portrait of a C.I.A. so intent on justifying extreme interrogation techniques that it blatantly misled President George W. Bush, the White House, the Justice Department and the Congressional intelligence committees about the efficacy of its methods.
Several senators have also said the report concludes that the use of waterboarding, wall-slamming, shackling in painful positions, forced nudity and sleep deprivation produced little information of value. It concludes that the use of those techniques did not disrupt any terrorist plots and made no significant contribution to finding Osama bin Laden, the Qaeda founder, who was killed in a SEAL team raid in 2011.
The C.I.A. response challenges a number of these conclusions, in part by questioning the accuracy of facts cited in the report.
A C.I.A. spokesman, Dean Boyd, said the agency’s response “detailed significant errors in the study,” though he added that the agency “agrees with a number of the study’s findings.”
In a separate statement, Mr. Brennan made clear his continuing opposition to coercive interrogation methods, which were used by the agency when he held high-level positions. “I remain firm in my belief that enhanced interrogation techniques are not an appropriate method to obtain intelligence and that their use impairs our ability to play a leadership role in the world,” he said.
Mr. Chambliss said the report’s shortcomings stemmed from its being based exclusively on documents. “The folks doing the report got 100 percent of their information from documents and didn’t interview a single person,” he said, adding that while there were “some abuses,” the program was more effective than the report concludes.
The committee completed its report late last year and submitted it to the C.I.A., where it sat for months. The agency’s response to the report was due in February, but it was not delivered to the committee until the end of June.
Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, suggested that the committee would not automatically accept the agency’s corrections to the report. “My colleagues and I will apply the same level of scrutiny to the C.I.A.’s response that we used during our own exhaustive review of the program,” he said.
Some Democratic lawmakers and human rights advocates are frustrated that the White House has remained largely absent from the debate, though a May 10 photograph on the White House Flickr feed shows Mr. Brennan speaking with President Obama while holding a copy of the C.I.A. response to the Senate report.
In a statement on Friday, Caitlin Hayden, a White House spokeswoman, urged the committee and the C.I.A. “to continue working together to address issues associated with the report — including factual questions.”
She said that at some point, “some version of the findings of the report should be made public.”
Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, said that squarely facing the mistakes of the interrogation program was “essential for the C.I.A.’s long-term institutional integrity, for the legitimacy of ongoing sensitive programs, and for this White House, which so far has rejected requests to discuss the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report with members or committee staff.”
Though the committee’s investigation began as a bipartisan effort, Republicans dropped out in August 2009 after Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. announced that the Justice Department was reviewing the interrogation program. In part because they expected many C.I.A. officers to refuse to discuss the program during the Justice Department review, committee Democrats decided to base their investigation solely on documents, ultimately reviewing some six million pages.
The costs of the investigation ballooned over four years. The C.I.A. insisted that committee staff members be allowed to pore over thousands of classified agency cables only at a secure facility in Northern Virginia — and only after a team of outside contractors had examined the cables first. Government officials said that between paying for the facility and for the contractors, the C.I.A. had spent more than $40 million on the study.
Mrs. Feinstein angrily complained about what she called a pattern of unnamed officials speaking to reporters to discredit the Senate report.
“I am appalled by the persistent media leaks by anonymous officials regarding the C.I.A.’s response to the committee’s study,” she said, adding that the leaks began three months before the agency delivered its formal response.
“Leaks defending the C.I.A. interrogation program regardless of underlying facts or costs have been a persistent problem for many years,” she said. “This behavior was, and remains, unacceptable.”
July 19, 2013
By MARK MAZZETTI and SCOTT SHANE
Find this story at 19 July 2013
© 2013 The New York Times Company
U.S. allowed Italian kidnap prosecution to shield higher-ups, ex-CIA officer says
30 augustus 2013
A former CIA officer has broken the U.S. silence around the 2003 abduction of a radical Islamist cleric in Italy, charging that the agency inflated the threat the preacher posed and that the United States then allowed Italy to prosecute her and other Americans to shield President George W. Bush and other U.S. officials from responsibility for approving the operation.
Confirming for the first time that she worked undercover for the CIA in Milan when the operation took place, Sabrina De Sousa provided new details about the “extraordinary rendition” that led to the only criminal prosecution stemming from the secret Bush administration rendition and detention program launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The cleric, Osama Mustapha Hassan Nasr, was snatched from a Milan street by a team of CIA operatives and flown to Egypt, where he was held for the better part of four years without charges and allegedly tortured. An Egyptian court in 2007 ruled that his imprisonment was “unfounded” and ordered him released.
Among the allegations made by De Sousa in a series of interviews with McClatchy:
– The former CIA station chief in Rome, Jeffrey Castelli, whom she called the mastermind of the operation, exaggerated Nasr’s terrorist threat to win approval for the rendition and misled his superiors that Italian military intelligence had agreed to the operation.
– Senior CIA officials, including then-CIA Director George Tenet, approved the operation even though Nasr wasn’t wanted in Egypt and wasn’t on the U.S. list of top al Qaida terrorists.
– Condoleezza Rice, then the White House national security adviser, also had concerns about the case, especially what Italy would do if the CIA were caught, but she eventually agreed to it and recommended that Bush approve the abduction.
De Sousa said her assertions are based on classified CIA cables that she read before resigning from the agency in February 2009, as well as on Italian legal documents and Italian news reports. She denies that she was involved in the operation, though she acknowledges that she served as the interpreter for a CIA “snatch” team that visited Milan in 2002 to plan the abduction.
“I was being held accountable for decisions that someone else took and I wanted to see on what basis the decisions were made,” she said, explaining why she had delved into the CIA archives. “And especially because I was willing to talk to the Hill (Congress) about this because I knew that the CIA would not be upfront with them.”
“I don’t have any of the cables with me. Please put that down,” De Sousa added with a nervous laugh, her unease reflecting the Obama administration’s unprecedented crackdown on leaks of classified information to journalists.
De Sousa is one of only a handful of former CIA officers who’ve spoken openly about the secret renditions in which suspected terrorists overseas were abducted without legal proceedings and then interrogated by other nations’ security services.
More than 130 people were “rendered” in this way, according to a February 2013 study by the Open Society Justice Initiative, a U.S.-based group that promotes the rule of law. Many were tortured and abused, and many, including Nasr, were freed for lack of proof that they were hatching terrorist plots, said Amrit Singh, the study’s author.
Human rights groups and many legal experts denounce rendition as violating not only U.S. and international law, but also the laws of the nations where abductions occurred and of the countries to which suspected terrorists were sent. In December 2005, Rice defended renditions as legal, however, calling them a “vital tool” that predated the 9/11 attacks. She denied that the United State “transported anyone . . . to a country where we believe he or she will be tortured.”
The Bush and Obama administrations have never acknowledged U.S. involvement in the Nasr rendition, which makes De Sousa’s decision to speak publicly about it significant, Singh said.
“Any public account of what happened and who was ultimately responsible is of considerable interest,” she said. “Despite the scale of the human rights violations associated with the rendition program, the United States hasn’t held a single individual accountable.”
The CIA declined to comment, but a former senior U.S. intelligence official called De Sousa’s narrative “fairly consistent” with the recollections of other former CIA officials with knowledge of the operation. He asked not to be further identified because the matter remains classified.
“There was concern on the seventh floor about this operation,” he said, referring to the executive offices at the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Va. “But they were reassured” by the Rome station and the agency’s European directorate that “everything was OK and everyone was on board in the country in question.”
De Sousa accused Italian leaders of colluding with the United States to shield Bush, Rice, Tenet and senior CIA aides by declining to prosecute them or even demanding that Washington publicly admit to staging the abduction.
Calling the operation unjustified and illegal, De Sousa said Italy and the United States cooperated in “scape-goating a bunch of people . . . while the ones who approved this stupid rendition are all free.”
The Senate and House intelligence committees enabled the coverup, De Sousa added, by failing to treat her as a whistleblower after she told them of the lack of prosecutable evidence against Nasr and what she called her own mistreatment by the CIA that compelled her to resign in 2009.
“Despite that, no one’s been held accountable,” she said.
De Sousa, 57, a naturalized U.S. citizen from India’s state of Goa, was one of 23 Americans convicted in absentia in 2009 by a Milan court for Nasr’s abduction. She received a five-year sentence. An appeals court in 2011 added two more years, and Italy’s Supreme Court upheld the sentence. Nineteen of the Americans, De Sousa said, “don’t exist,” because they were aliases used by the CIA snatch team.
The case drew fresh attention this month when Panama detained Robert Seldon Lady, the CIA’s former Milan station chief, whom the Italian court had sentenced to nine years in prison. But Panama released him within 24 hours and allowed him to fly to the United States, rather than wait for Italy to request his extradition.
Another convicted American, Air Force Col. Joseph Romano, who oversaw security at Aviano, the U.S. base from which Nasr was flown out of Italy, received a seven-year term. But Italian President Giorgio Napolitano pardoned him in April under U.S. pressure.
The Bush and the Obama administrations, however, have refused to ask Italy to do the same for De Sousa, who insists that she qualified for diplomatic immunity as a second secretary accredited to the U.S. Embassy in Rome.
“It’s always the minions of the federal government who are thrown under the bus by officials who consistently violate international law and sometimes domestic law and who are all immune from prosecution,” De Sousa said. “Their lives are fine. They’re making millions of dollars sitting on (corporate) boards.”
De Sousa’s interviews with McClatchy are the first in which she’s publicly disclosed her decade-long career in the CIA’s undercover arm, the National Clandestine Service. She’s discussed the case with news media before, but insisted in those interviews and in Italian legal proceedings that she was a diplomat.
Her only connection to the rendition, she said, was translating between the CIA snatch team and officers from the Italian military intelligence service formerly known by the acronym SISMi.
The translating stint “was legal at the time because SISMi was involved” in planning Nasr’s rendition, although SISMi later refused to participate, she said. She said that she was away with her son on a skiing trip when Nasr was abducted.
According to De Sousa, the Bush administration had two thresholds for an extraordinary rendition: A target had to be on a U.S. list of top al Qaida terrorists who posed “a clear and imminent danger” to American and allied lives, and the nation where an operation was planned had to make the arrest.
Neither occurred with Nasr, De Sousa said.
A cleric who preached holy war against the West, Nasr, who is also known as Abu Omar, was living in Italy under a grant of political asylum when he was accosted Feb. 17, 2003, by black-suited men on a Milan street as he walked to his mosque. He was bundled into a white van and driven to Aviano, from which he was flown to Germany and then to Egypt.
A member of a banned Egyptian Islamist group, Nasr was being investigated at the time by an Italian anti-terrorist police unit known as DIGOS, which had a warrant to eavesdrop on him. He allegedly had close ties to al Qaida and other Islamist groups and arranged for militants to travel to fight in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.
But DIGOS made no move to arrest Nasr, De Sousa said, because it had no evidence that he was plotting any attacks. He knew that he was being monitored, she said.
Castelli, however, was eager to pull off a rendition, she said, explaining that after 9/11, “everyone around the world” was being pressed by CIA headquarters to “do something” against al Qaida. Castelli, she said, was ambitious and saw a rendition as a ticket to promotion.
“Castelli went to SISMi to ask them to work on the rendition program, and SISMi says no,” De Sousa recounted. That, however, “didn’t stop Jeff,” she said.
Castelli did not respond to a request for comment.
Neither did Lady’s reservations, she said. Close to the DIGOS officer investigating Nasr, Lady often complained to De Sousa that the rendition “made no sense,” because DIGOS had Nasr under surveillance. But the CIA station in “Rome kept constantly pressuring him to proceed with their plans,” she said. Her assertion was corroborated by Lady in an interview with GQ magazine in 2007.
Castelli “was hell-bent on doing a rendition,” she said, and he pressed the director of SISMi at the time, Nicollo Pollari, throughout 2002 to agree, according to cables De Sousa found between Castelli and CIA headquarters.
“This is very important, because there is a written trail of what was going on,” she said.
Pollari refused to budge, telling Castelli that the rendition would be “an illegal operation . . . unless the magistrates approved it,” De Sousa said. Pollari, she said, wanted to wait until the Italian Parliament passed intelligence reform legislation that would have allowed SISMi broader counterterrorism powers.
Castelli’s superiors at Langley insisted that SISMi and Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi had to agree to the operation, or “they couldn’t go to Condoleezza Rice and the president of the United States” for authorization, De Sousa said.
“So what does Castelli say? Castelli says, ‘Well, I talked to Pollari and he’s not going to put anything in writing. But wink, wink, nod, nod. You know, wink, wink, he’s provided a tacit sort of approval. They are not going to put anything in writing,’” she said.
In an “assessment cable” to CIA headquarters laying out his case for Nasr’s rendition, De Sousa said, Castelli cited the cleric’s suspected al Qaida links and referred to a conversation recorded by DIGOS in which Nasr and another man mused about possibly attacking a bus belonging to the American School of Milan.
Yet DIGOS wasn’t “overly concerned because there really wasn’t anything . . . to show that he was actually going to do this,” De Sousa said. “If they thought he (Nasr) was going to go bomb something right away, they would have stopped him, right? It’s not in the . . . Italians’ interest . . . for anything to happen on Italian soil of that nature, because the majority of the students were Italian or nationalities other than American.”
“That happened in 2002, and Nasr wasn’t rendered until 2003. So what imminent danger was that?” she asked.
The rendition had another problem: There was no outstanding arrest warrant for Nasr from Egypt, she said. To resolve the issue, Castelli asked the CIA’s Cairo station to request one from Omar Suleiman, the powerful intelligence czar for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The warrant was issued. Later, after Nasr had been turned over to the Egyptians, the CIA station in Cairo asked Castelli for the evidence the Egyptians needed to prosecute.
“Castelli wrote back and said, ‘I thought you had the information. That’s why you issued the arrest warrant,’” De Sousa said. Cairo replied that Egypt had issued the warrant only “because you needed an arrest warrant.”
Despite concerns with the strength of Castelli’s case, CIA headquarters still agreed to move forward and seek Rice’s approval, De Sousa said. She recalled reading a cable from late 2002 that reported that Rice was worried about whether CIA personnel “would go to jail” if they were caught.
In response, she said, Castelli wrote that any CIA personnel who were caught would just be expelled from Italy “and SISMi will bail everyone out.”
Of her CIA superiors, De Sousa said, “They knew this (the rendition) was bullshit, but they were just allowing it. These guys approved it based on what Castelli was saying even though they knew it never met the threshold for rendition.”
Asked which agency officials would have been responsible for reviewing the operation and agreeing to ask Rice for Bush’s authorization, De Sousa said they would have included Tenet; Tyler Drumheller, who ran the CIA’s European operations; former CIA Director of Operations James Pavitt and his then-deputy, Stephen Kappes; Jose Rodriguez, then the head of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center, and former acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo.
An Italian prosecutor began investigating the CIA’s role in Nasr’s disappearance in 2004, carefully building a case based on the CIA rendition team’s sloppy use of cellular telephones and credit cards. By then De Sousa had returned to the United States and had assumed a new CIA position at headquarters.
She was charged by Italian authorities in 2006 in the last of three sets of indictments.
The Bush administration remained silent on the Italian charges and ignored De Sousa’s pleas to invoke diplomatic immunity on her behalf. The CIA barred her from contacting her Italian state-appointed public defender, she said, and refused to pay for a private lawyer. The CIA also ordered her not to leave the country, an order she says she disobeyed to fly to India to see her father for the last time as he lay dying from cancer.
De Sousa later learned that Rice, after becoming secretary of state, wanted to give her immunity, but that the CIA “told Rice not to” because doing so would have “been admitting that the rendition took place,” De Sousa said.
Meanwhile, Castelli, who has retired from the CIA, escaped conviction after an Italian judge conferred diplomatic immunity on him even though Washington hadn’t asked for it, De Sousa said. Earlier this year, an appeals court revoked his immunity and sentenced him in absentia to seven years in jail.
De Sousa said that she has tried for years to report what she said was the baseless case for Nasr’s abduction and her shoddy treatment by the CIA and two administrations.
Her pleas and letters, however, were ignored by successive U.S. intelligence leaders, the CIA inspector general’s office, members and staff of the House and Senate intelligence committees, Rice, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Eric Holder, said De Sousa.
She briefly made headlines when she sued the CIA, the State Department and Clinton in 2009 in a bid to secure her diplomatic immunity, but lost. U.S. District Court Judge Beryl A. Howell, however, declared herself troubled by the government’s treatment of De Sousa, which she said sent a “potentially demoralizing” message to U.S. employees serving overseas.
De Sousa wanted to resign from the CIA earlier than she did, but, she said, her attorney persuaded her to wait for Barack Obama to take office because he might be more sympathetic to her case.
“We thought, ‘Hope and change.’ But no hope and change happened,” she said.
“My life has been hell,” De Sousa said, explaining that her Italian conviction left her career in ruins, crippled her ability to find a good paying private-sector job and left her liable to arrest abroad. Her resignation, which she submitted after the CIA barred her from visiting her ailing, elderly mother in Goa for Christmas, and then refused to fly her mother to the United States, left her without a pension.
“In addition to losing your pension, you’re blacklisted in Washington,” De Sousa said. “Anyone who has anything to do with the agency will never hire you. I lost my clearances.”
Asked why she’d agreed to be interviewed, De Sousa replied, “I find this coverup so egregious. That’s why I find it really important to talk about this. Look at the lives ruined, including that of Abu Omar. And I was caught in the crossfire of anger directed at U.S. policy.”
Now, she noted, she also could face prosecution in the United States for revealing what she has. “You’ve seen what’s happened lately to anyone who has tried to disclose anything,” she said.
But her treatment, she said, provides a warning to U.S. employees serving around the world. If they get prosecuted while doing their jobs, she said, “You have no protection whatsoever. Zero.”
McClatchy Washington Bureau
Posted on Sat, Jul. 27, 2013
By Jonathan S. Landay | McClatchy Washington Bureau
last updated: July 29, 2013 06:21:18 AM
Find this story at 29 July 2013
© McClatchy Washington Bureau
This CIA Operative Indicted for Extraordinary Renditions Vanished from the Map—Twice
30 augustus 2013
He came and he went: that was the joke that circulated in 1979 when 70-year-old former Vice President Nelson Rockefeller had a heart attack and died  in his Manhattan townhouse in the presence of his evening-gown-clad  25-year-old assistant. In a sense, the same might be said of retired CIA operative Robert Seldon Lady.
Recently, Lady proved a one-day wonder. After years in absentia — poof! He reappeared out of nowhere on the border between Panama and Costa Rica, and made the news when Panamanian officials took him into custody on an Interpol warrant. The CIA’s station chief in Milan back in 2003, he had achieved brief notoriety for overseeing a la dolce vita version  of extraordinary rendition as part of Washington’s Global War on Terror. His colleagues kidnapped Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, a radical Muslim cleric and terror suspect, off the streets of Milan , and rendered him via U.S. airbases in Italy and Germany to the torture chambers  of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt. Lady evidently rode shotgun on that transfer.
His Agency associates proved to be the crew that couldn’t spook straight. They left behind such a traceable trail of five-star-hotel and restaurant bills, charges on false credit cards, and unencrypted cell phone calls that the Italian government tracked them down , identified them, and charged  23 of them, Lady included, with kidnapping.
Lady fled Italy, leaving behind a multimillion-dollar villa near Turin meant for his retirement. (It was later confiscated and sold to make restitution payments  to Nasr.) Convicted in absentia in 2009, Lady received a nine-year sentence (later reduced to six). He had by then essentially vanished after admitting to an Italian newspaper, “Of course it was an illegal operation. But that’s our job. We’re at war against terrorism.”
Last week, the Panamanians picked him up. It was the real world equivalent of a magician’s trick. He was nowhere, then suddenly in custody and in the news, and then — poof again! He wasn’t. Just 24 hours after the retired CIA official found himself under lock and key, he was flown out of Panama, evidently under the protection of Washington, and in mid-air, heading back to the United States, vanished a second time.
State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters  on July 19th, “It’s my understanding that he is in fact either en route or back in the United States.” So there he was, possibly in mid-air heading for the homeland and, as far as we know, as far as reporting goes, nothing more. Consider it the CIA version of a miracle. Instead of landing, he just evaporated.
And that was that. Not another news story here in the U.S.; no further information from government spokespeople on what happened to him, or why the administration decided to extricate him from Panama and protect him from Italian justice. Nor, as far as I can tell, were there any further questions from the media. When TomDispatch inquired of the State Department, all it got was this bit of stonewallese: “We understand that a U.S citizen was detained by Panamanian authorities, and that Panamanian immigration officials expelled him from Panama on July 19. Panama’s actions are consistent with its rights to determine whether to admit or expel non-citizens from its territory.”
In other words, he came and he went.
Edward Snowden: The Opposite of a Magician’s Trick
When Lady was first detained, there was a little flurry of news stories and a little frisson of tension. Would a retired CIA agent convicted of a serious crime involving kidnapping and torture be extradited to Italy to serve his sentence? But that tension had no chance to build because (as anyone might have predicted) luck was a Lady that week.
After all, the country that took him into custody on that Interpol warrant was a genuine rarity in a changing Latin America. It was still an ally of the United States , which had once built a canal across its territory, controlled its politics for years, and in 1989 sent in  the U.S. military to forcefully sort out those politics once again. Italy wanted Lady back and evidently requested that Panama hand him over (though the countries had no extradition treaty). But could anyone be surprised by what happened or by the role Washington clearly played in settling Lady’s fate? If you had paid any attention to the global pressure  Washington was exerting in an “international manhunt ” to get Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower it had already charged under the draconian Espionage Act, back to its shores, you knew which direction Robert Seldon Lady would be heading when he hit the nearest plane out of Panama — and I don’t mean Italy.
But here was the curious thing: when Panama sent him north, not east, there wasn’t the slightest ripple of U.S. media curiosity about the act or what lay behind it. Lady simply disappeared. While the Italian minister of justice “deeply regretted ” Panama’s decision, there was not, as far as I can tell, a single editorial, outraged or otherwise, anywhere in this country questioning the Obama administration’s decision not to allow a convicted criminal to be brought to justice in the courts of a democratic ally or even praising Washington’s role in protecting him. And we’re not talking about a media with no interest in trials in Italy. Who doesn’t remember the wall-to-wall coverage of the murder trial (and retrial) of American student Amanda Knox  there? For the American media, however, Lady clearly lacked Knox’s sex appeal (nor would he make millions  off a future account of his Italian sojourn).
In this same period, there was, of course, another man who almost magically disappeared. In a transit area of Moscow’s international airport, Edward Snowden discovered  that the U.S. government had deprived him of his passport and was determined to bring him back to Washington by just about any means to stand trial. That included forcing the plane  of Bolivian President Evo Morales, returning from Moscow, to make an unscheduled landing in Austria and be searched for Snowden.
The NSA whistleblower was trapped in a kind of no-man’s-land by an Obama administration demanding that the Russians turn him over or face the consequences. After which, for days, he disappeared from sight. In his case, unlike Lady’s, however, Washington never stopped talking about him and the media never stopped speculating on his fate. It hasn’t yet.
He’s only appeared in public once since his “disappearance” —at a press conference  at that airport with human rights activists from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The U.S. government promptly deplored and denounced the event as something Moscow “facilitated” or “orchestrated,” a “propaganda platform,” and a State Department spokesperson even suggested  that Snowden, not yet convicted of anything, shouldn’t have the right to express himself in Moscow or anywhere else.
The truth is: when it comes to Snowden, official Washington can’t shut up. Congressional figures have denounced him as a “traitor ” or a “defector .” The world has repeatedly been lectured from the bully pulpit in our national capital on how necessary his return and trial is to freedom, justice, and global peace. Snowden, it seems, represents the opposite of a magician’s trick. He can’t disappear even when he wants to. Washington won’t let him, not now, not — as officials have made clear —ever. It’s a matter of morality that he faces the law and pays the (already preordained) price for his “crime.” This, in today’s Washington, is what passes for a self-evident truth.
The Lady Vanishes
It’s no less a self-evident truth in Washington that Robert Seldon Lady must be protected from the long (Italian) arm of the law, that he is a patriot who did his duty, that it is the job of the U.S. government to keep him safe and never allow him to be prosecuted, just as it is the job of that government to protect, not prosecute , CIA torturers who took part in George W. Bush’s Global War on Terror.
So there are two men, both of whom, Washington is convinced, must be brought in: one to face “justice,” one to escape it. And all of this is a given, nothing that needs to be explained or justified to anyone anywhere, not even by a Constitutional law professor president. (Of course, if someone had been accused of kidnapping and rendering an American Christian fundamentalist preacher and terror suspect off the streets of Milan to Moscow or Tehran or Beijing, it would no less self-evidently be a different matter.)
Don’t make the mistake, however, of comparing Washington’s positions on Snowden and Lady and labeling the Obama administration’s words and actions “hypocrisy.” There’s no hypocrisy involved. This is simply the living definition of what it means to exist in a one-superpower world for the first time in history. For Washington, the essential rule of thumb goes something like this: we do what we want; we get to say what we want about what we do; and U.N. ambassadorial nominee Samantha Powers then gets to lecture  the world on human rights and oppression.
This version of how it all works is so much the norm in Washington that few there are likely to see any contradiction at all between the Obama administration’s approaches to Snowden and Lady, nor evidently does the Washington media. Its particular blind spots, when it comes to Washington’s actions, remain striking — as when the U.S. effectively downed the Bolivian president and his plane. Although it was an act of seemingly self-evident illegality, there was no serious reporting , no digging when it came to the behind-the-scenes acts of the U.S. government, which clearly pressured four or five European governments (one of which may have been Italy) to collude in the act. Nor, weeks later, has there been any follow-up by the Washington media. In other words, an act unique in recent history, which left European powers disgruntled  and left much of Latin America up in arms , has disappeared without explanation, analysis, punditry, or editorial comment here. Undoubtedly, given the lack of substantial coverage, few Americans even know it happened.
The lucky Mr. Lady’s story has followed a similar trajectory. Having vanished in mid-air, he has managed so far not to reappear anywhere in the U.S. press. What followed was no further news, editorial silence, and utter indifference to an act of protection that might otherwise have seemed to define illegality on an international level. There was no talk in the media, in Congress, or anywhere else about the U.S. handing over a convicted criminal to Italy, just about how the Russians must return a man Washington considers a criminal to justice.
This, then, is our world: a single megapower has, since September 2001, been in a financing and construction frenzy  to create the first global surveillance state; its torturers run free; its kidnappers serve time at liberty in this country and are rescued if they venture abroad; and its whistleblowers — those who would let the rest of us know what “our” government is doing in our name — are pilloried. And so it goes.
All of it adds up to a way of life and the everyday tradecraft of a one-superpower world. Too bad Alfred Hitchcock isn’t around to remake some of his old classics. Imagine what a thriller The Lady Vanishes would be today.
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Source URL: http://www.alternet.org/world/cia-operative-indicted-extraordinary-renditions-vanished-map-twice
Published on Alternet (http://www.alternet.org)
Tom Dispatch  / By Tom Engelhardt 
July 28, 2013
Find this story at 28 July 2013
Telefonüberwachung Handy-Daten verraten illegale CIA-Operation
30 augustus 2013
Ein CIA-Team reist nach Italien, entführt einen Verdächtigen nach Ägypten. Dort wird er mehr als ein Jahr lang verhört und gefoltert. Auf der IT-Konferenz Black Hat berichtete ein Reporter jetzt, wie Telefon-Metadaten die CIA-Operation verrieten – und Dutzende Agenten enttarnten.
“Ich habe keinen technischen Hintergrund”, entschuldigt sich Matthew Cole, Journalist bei NBC News, bei den Besuchern der IT-Sicherheitskonferenz Black Hat in Las Vegas, “aber ich habe eine Geschichte für euch.” Einen Spionagethriller, bei dem Metadaten eine geheime Entführung der CIA verraten.
Der Zugriff erfolgt am 17. Februar 2003 in Mailand. Nach wochenlanger Beobachtung entführt ein CIA-Team den Imam Abu Omar aus Italien und bringt ihn mit einem kleinen Flugzeug über Ramstein in Deutschland nach Ägypten. Dort wird er 14 Monate lang gefangen gehalten und verhört. “Es war die Zeit nach den Anschlägen vom 11. September, die CIA suchte wie besessen weltweit nach Qaida-Anhängern”, sagt Cole. Der SPIEGEL berichtete im Jahr 2006 ausführlich über den Fall.
Abu Omar, der in der Mailänder Islamistenszene gegen die USA gehetzt und selbst in Afghanistan gekämpft hatte, stand im Verdacht, Kämpfer für al-Qaida zu rekrutieren. Die CIA handelt, ohne die italienischen Behörden zu informieren, und lässt Abu Omar verschwinden. Die italienische Staatsanwaltschaft nimmt Ermittlungen auf. Sie weiß durch eine Zeugin, wann das Entführungsopfer wo zuletzt gesehen wurde. “Die Polizei hatte den Ort und den Tag des Verschwindens”, sagt Cole. Von den Mobilfunkprovidern fordern die Ermittler die Funkzellendaten an. Sie wollen wissen, welche Mobiltelefone sich am Tag der Entführung in der Gegend befunden haben. “Aber es gab ein paar Probleme, das zog sich hin”, sagt Cole.
Muster und Zusammenhänge in großen Datenmengen
Dann klingelt bei Abu Omars Ehefrau in Mailand das Telefon: Die Ägypter haben ihn freigelassen, nach 14 Monaten. Abu Omar erzählt von seiner Entführung und von Folter. Die italienischen Ermittler hören mit, der Anschluss wird überwacht. Der Verdacht bestätigt sich nun: Es gab eine verdeckte Operation, die USA könnten dahinterstecken. “Gleichzeitig konnten die Daten ausgewertet werden”, sagt Cole. Die Italiener nutzen dazu eine Software namens Analyst’s Notebook. Das Programm findet in großen Datenmengen Muster und Zusammenhänge.
Tatsächlich liefert Analyst’s Notebook einen Hinweis: eine Reihe von Handys, deren Besitzer nur untereinander kommunizieren. Die italienischen Ermittler sehen sich diese Telefonnummern genauer an, untersuchen die Verbindungsdaten und stoßen auf ein Netzwerk: “Sie fanden 18 Personen und 35 Telefone”, sagt Cole. Mit den Daten, welches Telefon wann in welcher Funkzelle eingebucht war, können sie Bewegungsprofile erstellen. Zwei Monate vor der Entführung werden die Telefone aktiviert, zwei Tage danach abgeschaltet.
Die CIA-Agenten nehmen nicht die Akkus aus den Handys
Mehr als ein Jahr nach der Entführung können die italienischen Behörden nachvollziehen, wie die Operation abgelaufen war. “Sie konnten sehen, wie die CIA-Agenten Abu Omar observierten. Nach einem Acht-Stunden-Tag nahmen die Agenten nicht etwa den Akku aus den Telefonen, sondern sie gingen schlafen.”
Die Telefone lagen eingeschaltet über Nacht mehrere Stunden an einem Ort. “Also gingen die Ermittler los, fanden Hotels und fragten nach amerikanischen Gästen.” Einer der Agenten, der für den Kontakt zwischen dem Entführungsteam und dem örtlichen CIA-Quartier zuständig war, hatte dabei seinen richtigen Namen genutzt. Cole macht ihn später in den USA ausfindig. “Ich kann nicht empfehlen, bei ihm zu Hause an die Tür zu klopfen. Er reagiert etwas empfindlich auf seine Enttarnung”, sagt Cole. Einen Schlag ins Gesicht habe er abbekommen.
Die italienischen Ermittler haben Glück: Sie können eine Verbindung zur CIA nachweisen. Nachlässigkeiten seitens des Geheimdiensts tragen dazu bei: “Die Agenten hatten Kreditkarten mit ähnlichen Nummern.” Außerdem finden sie durch die Verbindungsdaten heraus, das ein Telefon, das bei der Entführung genutzt wurde, später mit neuer Sim-Karte für Kontakte zur CIA-Station genutzt wurde.
“Metadaten verraten viel mehr”
“In der aktuellen Debatte um Metadaten heißt es doch: Inhalte von Gesprächen würden nicht erfasst, es gebe kein Problem mit der Privatsphäre”, sagt Cole. Die aufgedeckte CIA-Operation zeige das Gegenteil: “Metadaten verraten viel mehr.” Mit Hilfe von Netzwerkanalyse und Datenvisualisierung kommt die Staatsanwaltschaft der CIA auf die Spur. 2009 verurteilt ein Gericht in Mailand 22 US-Staatsbürger zu fünf Jahren Gefängnis, ein Angeklagter bekommt acht Jahre Gefängnis, drei Amerikaner werden mit dem Verweis auf diplomatische Immunität freigesprochen.
“Der Fall hat immer noch reale Konsequenzen”, sagt Cole. “Soweit ich weiß, gibt es keinen Auslieferungsantrag.” Italien wolle es sich wohl mit den USA nicht verscherzen. “Aber die enttarnten Agenten können nicht mehr ohne weiteres reisen”, sagt Cole. Beim Geheimdienst sei der Fall als “Italian Job” bekannt, benannt nach einem Filmklassiker. Bei der Untersuchung, wie das alles passiere konnte, soll einer der Agenten gesagt haben: Ihnen sei erzählt worden, dass ein Handy versteckt in einer Packung Chips keine Signale mehr aussenden könne. “Er meine wohl einen Faradayschen Käfig. Dafür ist eine Chipstüte nicht stark genug”, sagt Cole.
Ein weiterer Fall, in dem Metadaten zur Enttarnung von CIA-Mitarbeitern genutzt wurde, ging für den Geheimdienst weniger glimpflich aus. Cole erzählt, dass die Hisbollah 2011 in Beirut zwei Doppelagenten einschleusen konnte. “Die Hisbollah hat dann 90 Prozent des Informanten-Netzwerks im Libanon aufgedeckt. Sie haben sich die Metadaten angesehen, die Telefone ausgewertet.” Viele der Informanten und Agenten seien festgenommen und vermutlich getötet worden, sagt Cole.
Korrektur: In einer früheren Version dieses Artikels wurde ein US-Staat namens North Virginia erwähnt. Natürlich gibt es einen Staat dieses Namens nicht, nur Virginia und West Virginia. Wir haben den Fehler entfernt und bitten, ihn zu entschuldigen.
02. August 2013, 12:38 Uhr
Aus Las Vegas berichtet Ole Reißmann
Find thhis story at 2 August 2013
© SPIEGEL ONLINE 2013
CIA chief wanted in Italy for ‘rendition’ on his way back to US
30 augustus 2013
An American former CIA station chief arrested this week in Panama was thought to be on his way back to the United States last night, putting on hold his possible extradition to Italy to serve a prison sentence for abducting an Egyptian cleric.
Robert Seldon Lady, 59, was convicted in absentia and sentenced to nine years in jail for his involvement in the “extraordinary rendition” of terrorism suspect Abu Omar in Milan in 2003. The cleric was taken to Egypt, where he claims he was tortured.
Lady was convicted in 2009 along with 22 other Americans, none of whom ever appeared in an Italian court. Yet Italian media reports suggest that, of the 23, Italy has only sought the international arrest of Lady, the CIA station chief in Milan at the time of the abduction.
His arrest was announced on Thursday by Italian officials, who said he was detained by Panamanian authorities on the border with Costa Rica. Panama has no extradition treaty with Italy, and last night the state department said he was “either en route or back in the United States.”
The US reportedly suspected Abu Omar, also known as Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, of recruiting radical Muslims in Italy. Two men snatched him from a street in Milan in February 2003, by spraying chemicals in his face and bundling him into a van. Lady allegedly supervised the kidnapping from a café nearby. The cleric, now 50, was moved between US military bases in Europe before being sent to Egypt. His lawyers say he tried to commit suicide three times in prison, but was finally released after four years.
His case marks the first attempt by foreign authorities to prosecute US officials for participation in the practice of extraordinary rendition.
Friday, 19 July 2013
Find this story at 19 July 2013
Rendition unlimited; Onderzoeksrechters in Italië zetten hun tanden in onwettige praktijken van geheime dienst
30 augustus 2013
In het artikel ‘Telecom Italia, afluisteren, voetbal en CIA vluchten’ verschenen in Observant 43 op 7 november 2006 wordt het verhaal van de ontvoering van Nasar Osama Mustafa Hassan of Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr beter bekent als Abu Omar opgetekend. In het artikel wordt aangegeven dat de Italiaanse justitie 35 mensen verdenkt van betrokkenheid bij de ontvoering waarvan er 26 de Amerikaanse nationaliteit hebben. In juni 2005 was nog een arrestatiebevel uitgevaardigd door de onderzoeksrechter Chiara Nobili uit Milaan ten aanzien van 13 agenten van de CIA.
Zij zouden Abu Omar op 17 februari 2003 in een bestelbus hebben getrokken, vervolgens naar de Amerikaanse luchtmacht basis in het Italiaanse Aviano hebben gebracht waar hij is verhoord. Volgens een reconstructie is Omar de volgende dag met een Learjet (Spar 92) naar de Amerikaanse basis in Ramstein, Duitsland gevlogen en vandaar met een privé vliegtuig naar Egypte. Dit laatste vliegtuig zou zijn gehuurd voor 3.300 dollar per uur van het Boston’s Sarasota Red Sox honkbal team. De ontvoering van Abu Omar zou 120.000 euro hebben gekost alleen al voor de accommodatie en het eten van de Amerikaanse agenten die na de succesvolle ontvoering feest hebben gevierd. Abu Omar is in Egypte gemarteld. Op 9 februari 2007 heeft de onderzoeksrechter 26 Amerikanen en 5 Italianen in staat van beschuldiging gesteld en de rechtzaak zal op 8 juni dit jaar plaatsvinden. Op 11 februari 2007 werd Abu Omar vrijgesproken door een Egyptische rechtbank. Zijn opsluiting was onrechtmatig. De dappere stap van het gerechtshof in Milaan steekt schril af tegen de vraag die de Italiaanse regering van centrum-linkse signatuur aan het Grondwettelijk Hof heeft voorgelegd met betrekking tot het afluisteren van leden van de Italiaanse geheime dienst door de onderzoekers in Milaan. Deze zet van de Italiaanse regering draagt er toe bij dat zij nog geen gevolg hoeft te geven aan het verzoek van de rechtbank in Milaan om de Amerikaanse regering te vragen om de uitlevering van de 26 agenten. Ondertussen heeft een Italiaanse agent die Abu Omar aanhield enkele ogenblikken voor zijn ontvoering in ruil voor strafvermindering schuld bekend.
Het onderzoek van het Europese Parlement (EP) naar het zogenoemde Rendition programma bracht aan het licht dat de Italiaanse geheime dienst de SISMi alles in het werk stelde om het onderzoek naar de ontvoering te frustreren. Op 15 mei 2003 bezorgde de SISMi de onderzoeksrechter een document waaruit zou blijken dat Abu Omar wist waar hij vast werd gehouden. Hetzelfde document leek te suggereren dat de CIA had onderzocht waar Omar zich bevond namelijk in Egyptische gevangenschap op een geheime locatie. De tactiek van de SISMi is niet geslaagd aangezien de onderzoeksrechters nu voldoende vertrouwen hebben om de verdachten voor de rechter te dagen. Door de aandacht voor de zaak van Abu Omar is er ook verhoogde interesse in andere verdwijningen. De onderzoekcommissie van het EP heeft de zaken van Morgan Mohammed en Abou Elkassim Britel opgenomen in haar concluderende rapport.
Morgan Mohammed zou op dezelfde manier zijn ontvoerd door geheime diensten. Drie getuigen zouden hem in Vigevano, zijn woonplaats in Italië, ontvoerd hebben zien worden. In een notitie van de Italiaanse geheime dienst de SISMi van 30 oktober 2003 staat dat Morgan Mohammed is gearresteerd bij zijn aankomst op het vliegveld van Cairo, Egypte, in september 2003. De reden van aanhouding wordt in de notitie niet vermeld.
Naast Abu Omar en Morgan Mohammed is de arrestatie, ondervraging, marteling en rendition van Abou Elkassim Britel een duidelijker voorbeeld van intensieve betrokkenheid van Amerikaanse en Europese inlichtingendiensten bij het onder druk zetten potentiële terrorismeverdachten. Abou Elkassim Britel, een Italiaans staatsburger, werd op 10 maart 2002 gearresteerd in Lahore, Pakistan. Hij was op 17 juni 2001 vertrokken naar Iran en ondervond moeilijkheden om na 11 september 2001 terug te keren naar Europa. In Pakistaanse gevangenschap werd hij veelvuldig gemarteld en ondervraagd zowel in Lahore als in ……… [na “zowel” komt “als”, zonder “als” kan “zowel” niet, JV]. Hij werd beschuldigd van het bezit van een vals paspoort, maar Britel heeft sinds 1999 de Italiaanse nationaliteit. Op 5 mei werd hij overgebracht naar Islamabad waar hij is ondervraagd door FBI-agenten en vervolgens op 24 mei 2002 naar een geheime Marokkaanse gevangenis in Tèmara. Hier verbleef hij tot februari 2003 toen hij zonder aanklacht werd vrijgelaten. Over de gevangenis in Tèmara zijn verschillende rapporten van mensenrechten-organisaties verschenen waarin melding wordt gemaakt van martelingen en slechte behandeling. Toegang voor advocaten, familieleden en anderen is schaars in deze gevangenissen. Enkele maanden na zijn vrijlating werd Britel in mei 2003 opnieuw gearresteerd. Op 12 mei 2003 overhandigde de Italiaanse ambassade hem zijn reisdocumenten en stond hij op het punt de grens met Spanje over te steken om via Spanje terug te keren naar Italië. De Marokkaanse autoriteiten hadden geweigerd zijn reisdocumenten aan hem te retourneren. Tevens weigerden de Marokkaanse autoriteiten hem te laten gaan per vliegtuig en weigerden de Italiaanse afgevaardigden hem te begeleiden. Op 16 mei 2003 vonden enkele aanslagen in Casablanca, Marokko plaats. De volgende dag meldde de Spaanse televisie dat een Marokkaanse Italiaan was gearresteerd aan de Spaanse grens met Marokko. De Marokkaanse autoriteiten beweerden op 29 mei dat Britel niet gearresteerd was. Op 3 oktober 2003 werd Britel veroordeeld tot 15 jaar gevangenisstraf en op 7 januari 2004 werd de straf tijdens zijn beroep teruggebracht tot negen jaar gevangenisstraf voor terroristische activiteiten. Het bewijsmateriaal bestond uit een verklaring van Britel, verkregen na marteling, en informatie van de Italiaanse justitie over mogelijke betrokkenheid bij terroristische activiteiten. Hij verblijft op dit moment in de Äin Bourja gevangenis in Casablanca.
De wijze waarop Britel behandeld is maakt duidelijk dat Westerse overheden door rendition, uitzetting of ongewenst verklaringen verdachten van terrorisme alsnog wensen te veroordelen. Tegen Abou Elkassim Britel liep evenals tegen Abu Omar een onderzoek van de Italiaanse justitie. In september 2006 sloot de Italiaanse onderzoeksrechter het opsporingsonderzoek tegen Britel omdat er geen enkele bewijsgrond was voor betrokkenheid van Britel bij terroristische activiteiten. Zijn huis was doorzocht, de communicatie van Britel was twee jaar voor zijn arrestatie in Pakistan uitgebreid getapt en zijn financiële transacties waren nagegaan. In januari 2007 schrijft hij een brief aan de President van Italië, de voorzitter van het Italiaanse parlement, en de Ministers van Buitenlandse Zaken en Justitie waarin hij de vraag stelt waarom Italië zich niet inspant voor zijn vrijlating. Dat zijn behandeling bedroevend is wordt geïllustreerd door de wijze waarop de advocaat van Britel, Francesca Longhi, is behandeld door zowel de Italiaanse ambassade in Marokko als de Marokkaanse autoriteiten. Op 11 april 2007 wilde zij Britel in de Äin Bourja gevangenis bezoeken. Een maand voor haar bezoek, begin maart 2007, informeert zij bij de Italiaanse vertegenwoordiging in Marokko over de procedure voor het bezoeken van haar cliënt. Ze krijgt te horen dat dit zonder veel poespas georganiseerd kan worden. Als zij echter in Marokko aankomt wordt duidelijk dat zij haar cliënt niet kan bezoeken aangezien de directeur van de gevangenis het verzoek heeft afgewezen. Op 14 september 2006 geeft de advocaat van Britel een verklaring voor de commissie van het Europese Parlement die het Rendition programmaonderzoekt. Na inzage in het Italiaanse dossier van Britel vertelt zij de commissie dat de Italiaanse autoriteiten, zowel de onderzoeksrechter als het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken, op de hoogte waren van het handelen van de buitenlandse geheime diensten, Pakistaanse, Marokkaanse en Amerikaanse, ten aanzien van haar cliënt.
Rendition lijkt een Amerikaanse aangelegenheid, maar het dossier van Britel maakt duidelijk dat de Italianen alle stappen van andere diensten op de voet volgden. De vraag blijft open wie de leiding in het dossier van Britel had. In Nederland wordt gebruik gemaakt van het ongewenst verklaren en uitzetten van verdachten van terrorisme die vrijgesproken zijn. Dezelfde informatie die door de rechter in een strafproces onvoldoende werd bevonden wordt door de Immigratie en Naturalisatie Dienst (IND) gebruikt om een verdachte uit te zetten. In de jaren zeventig en tachtig sprak men bij dictaturen in Latijns Amerika over verdwijningen. Deze mensen die misschien de schijn tegen hebben, verdwijnen ook. Westerse overheden wassen hun handen in onschuld door ‘nette’ procedures in acht te nemen en mensen uit te zetten naar Marokko, Algerije, Syrië, Egypte of een ander land dat bereid is in geheime gevangenissen het vuile werk op te knappen.
Find this story at 1 June 2007
The Rendition Project Researching the globalisation of rendition and secret detention
24 mei 2013
The Rendition Project website is the product of a collaborative research project between Dr Ruth Blakeley at the University of Kent and Dr Sam Raphael at Kingston University.
Following the declaration of the ‘war on terror’ in September 2001, the US Government led the way in constructing a global system of detention outside the law, illegal prisoner transfers (rendition), and torture. Overall, this system has involved the detention and torture, in secret, of hundreds of detainees, in scores of detention sites around the world. Renditions between detention sites in a range of countries have been carried out using a variety of aircraft supplied by private contractors, and states allied to the US (including several European states) have been actively involved, or passively complicit, in the crimes committed.
This website aims to bring together and analyse the huge amount of data that exists about the rendition and secret detention programme, and to provide users with a comprehensive picture of how the system operated, how it evolved over time, and what happened to those subjected to years of illegal detention and torture.
Working closely with Reprieve, a legal action charity which has led the way in investigating secret prisons and representing victims of rendition and torture, it also aims to provide investigators with new tools in the continuing efforts to uncover where people were held, how they were treated, and who was responsible for the human rights abuses they suffered.
Using the menu structure at top of each page, it is possible to:
Explore the issues at stake: learn what rendition and secret detention are, and how they violate international human rights law;
Read first-hand accounts of being subjected to CIA rendition;
View key moments in the creation and evolution of the global system of rendition and secret detention;
Search the Rendition Flights Database and interactive map (the world’s largest compilation of public flight data relating to the rendition programme, providing new insights into the movement of CIA-linked aircraft after 9/11);
Navigate through the global rendition system, using our extensive and integrated profiles on detainees, aicraft and rendition flights, supported by a huge repository of primary documents which evidence each case;
Access our large collection of documents, including government memos, court papers, flight data and past investigative reports.
Our work has been funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and is accredited under the Global Uncertainties programme. We are also indebted to the team of research assistants who worked on the project throughout 2011-2012, as well as to those other organisations and individuals that have led the way in investigating rendition, representing detainees, and informing the public.
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UK provided more support for CIA rendition flights than thought – study
24 mei 2013
The Rendition Project suggests aircraft associated with secret detention operations landed at British airports 1,622 times
US warplanes at their base in the British territory of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Photograph: Usaf/AFP
The UK’s support for the CIA’s global rendition programme after the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US was far more substantial than has previously been recognised, according to a new research project that draws on a vast number of publicly available data and documentation.
Evidence gathered by The Rendition Project – an interactive website that maps thousands of rendition flights – highlight 1,622 flights in and out of the UK by aircraft now known to have been involved in the agency’s secret kidnap and detention programme.
While many of those flights may not have been involved in rendition operations, the researchers behind the project have drawn on testimony from detainees, Red Cross reports, courtroom evidence, flight records and invoices to show that at least 144 were entering the UK while suspected of being engaged in rendition operations.
While the CIA used UK airports for refuelling and overnight stopovers, there is no evidence that any landed in the UK with prisoners on board. This may suggest that the UK government denied permission for this. In some cases, it is unclear whether the airline companies would have been aware of the purpose of the flights.
Some 51 different UK airports were used by 84 different aircraft that have been linked by researchers to the rendition programme. Only the US and Canada were visited more frequently. The most used UK airport was Luton, followed by Glasgow Prestwick and Stansted. There were also flights in and out of RAF Northolt and RAF Brize Norton.
The CIA’s use of UK airports was first reported by the Guardian in September 2005. Jack Straw, the then foreign secretary, dismissed the evidence, telling MPs in December that year that “unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States … there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition.”
Straw told the same MPs that media reports of UK involvement in the mistreatment of detainees were “in the realms of the fantastic”. Documentation subsequently disclosed in the high court in London showed that Straw had consigned British citizens to Guantánamo Bay in Cuba after they were detained in Afghanistan in 2001.
New light shed on US government’s extraordinary rendition programme
22 May 2013
Online project uncovers details of way in which CIA carried out kidnaps and secret detentions following September 11 attacks
• The Rendition Project interactive
• CIA rendition flights explained
22 May 2013
US rendition map: what it means, and how to use it
22 May 2013
US rendition: every suspected flight mapped
21 May 2013
Abdel Hakim Belhaj torture case may be heard in secret court
UK funds poll in Pakistan on US drone attacks
18 May 2013
Foreign Office sponsored surveys investigating impact of CIA drone campaign in Pakistan, minister Alistair Burt tells MPs
Ian Cobain and James Ball
The Guardian, Wednesday 22 May 2013 12.02 BST
Find this story at 22 May 2013
© 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Exclusive: Court Docs Reveal Blackwater’s Secret CIA Past
22 maart 2013
It was the U.S. military’s most notorious security contractor—but it may also have been a virtual extension of the CIA. Eli Lake reports.
Last month a three-year-long federal prosecution of Blackwater collapsed. The government’s 15-felony indictment—on such charges as conspiring to hide purchases of automatic rifles and other weapons from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives—could have led to years of jail time for Blackwater personnel. In the end, however, the government got only misdemeanor guilty pleas by two former executives, each of whom were sentenced to four months of house arrest, three years’ probation, and a fine of $5,000. Prosecutors dropped charges against three other executives named in the suit and abandoned the felony charges altogether.
via office of the King of Jordan
But the most noteworthy thing about the largely failed prosecution wasn’t the outcome. It was the tens of thousands of pages of documents—some declassified—that the litigation left in its wake. These documents illuminate Blackwater’s defense strategy—and it’s a fascinating one: to defeat the charges it was facing, Blackwater built a case not only that it worked with the CIA—which was already widely known—but that it was in many ways an extension of the agency itself.
Founded in 1997 by Erik Prince, heir to an auto-parts family fortune, Blackwater had proved especially useful to the CIA in the early 2000s. “You have to remember where the CIA was after 9/11,” says retired Congressman Pete Hoekstra, who served as the Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004 to 2006 and later as the ranking member of the committee. “They were gutted in the 1990s. They were sending raw recruits into Afghanistan and other dangerous places. They were looking for skills and capabilities, and they had to go to outside contractors like Blackwater to make sure they could accomplish their mission.”
But according to the documents Blackwater submitted in its defense—as well as an email exchange I had recently with Prince—the contractor’s relationship with the CIA was far deeper than most observers thought. “Blackwater’s work with the CIA began when we provided specialized instructors and facilities that the Agency lacked,” Prince told me recently, in response to written questions. “In the years that followed, the company became a virtual extension of the CIA because we were asked time and again to carry out dangerous missions, which the Agency either could not or would not do in-house.”
A prime example of the close relationship appears to have unfolded on March 19, 2005. On that day, Prince and senior CIA officers joined King Abdullah of Jordan and his brothers on a trip to Blackwater headquarters in Moyock, North Carolina, according to lawyers for the company and former Blackwater officials. After traveling by private jet from Washington to the compound, Abdullah (a former Jordanian special-forces officer) and Prince (a former Navy SEAL) participated in a simulated ambush, drove vehicles on a high-speed racetrack, and raided one of the compound’s “shoot houses,” a specially built facility used to train warriors in close-quarters combat with live ammo, Prince recalls.
At the end of the day, company executives presented the king with two gifts: a modified Bushmaster AR-15 rifle and a Remington shotgun, both engraved with the Blackwater logo. They also presented three Blackwater-engraved Glock pistols to Abdullah’s brothers. According to Prince, the CIA asked Blackwater to give the guns to Abdullah “when people at the agency had forgotten to get gifts for him.”
Three years later, the ATF raided the Moyock compound. In itself, this wasn’t unusual; the ATF had been conducting routine inspections of the place since 2005, when Blackwater informed the government that two of its employees had stolen guns and sold them on the black market. Typically, agents would show up in street clothes, recalled Prince. “They knew our people and our processes.”
But the 2008 visit, according to Prince, was different. “ATF agents had guns drawn and wore tactical jackets festooned with the initials ATF. It was a cartoonish show of force,” he said. (Earl Woodham, a spokesman for the Charlotte field division of the ATF, disputes this characterization. “This was the execution of a federal search warrant that requires they be identified with the federal agency,” he says. “They had their firearms covered to execute a federal search warrant. To characterize this as anything other than a low-key execution of a federal search warrant is inaccurate.”)
During the raid, the ATF seized 17 Romanian AK-47s and 17 Bushmaster AR-13 rifles the bureau claimed were purchased illegally through the sheriff’s office in Camden County, North Carolina. It also alleged that Blackwater illegally shortened the barrels of rifles and then exported them to other countries in violation of federal gun laws. Meanwhile, in the process of trying to account for Blackwater’s guns, the ATF discovered that the rifles and pistols presented in 2005 to King Abdullah and his brothers were registered to Blackwater employees. Prosecutors would subsequently allege that Gary Jackson—the former president of Blackwater and one of the two people who would eventually plead guilty to a misdemeanor—had instructed employees to falsely claim on ATF forms that the guns were their own personal property and not in the possession of Jordanian royalty.
In all of these instances—the purchase of the rifles through the Camden County sheriff, the shipment of the guns to other countries, and the gifts to Abdullah—Blackwater argued that it was acting on behalf of the U.S. government and the CIA. All of these arguments, obviously, were very much in Blackwater’s legal interest. That said, it provided the court with classified emails, memoranda, contracts, and photos. It also obtained sealed depositions from top CIA executives from the Directorate of Operations, testifying that Blackwater provided training and weapons for agency operations. (A CIA spokesman declined to comment for this story.)
One document submitted by the defense names Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA chief of the Directorate of Operations, and Buzzy Krongard, the agency’s former executive director, as among those CIA officers who had direct knowledge of Blackwater’s activities, in a section that is still partially redacted. This document is the closest Blackwater has come to acknowledging that Prince himself was a CIA asset, something first reported in 2010 by Vanity Fair. One of the names on the list of CIA officers with knowledge of Blackwater’s work in the document is “Erik P”—with the remaining letters whited out.
This document made Blackwater’s defense clear: “the CIA routinely used Blackwater in missions throughout the world,” it said. “These efforts were made under written and unwritten contracts and through informal requests. On many occasions the CIA paid Blackwater nothing for its assistance. Blackwater also employed CIA officers and agents, and provided cover to CIA agents and officers operating in covert and clandestine assignments. In many respects, Blackwater, or at least portions of Blackwater, was an extension of the CIA.”
When I asked Prince why Blackwater would often work for free, he responded, “I agreed to provide some services gratis because, in the wake of 9/11, I felt it my patriotic duty. I knew that I had the tools and resources to help my country.”
Moreover, according to still-sealed testimony described to The Daily Beast, the agency had its own secure telephone line and a facility for handling classified information within Blackwater’s North Carolina headquarters. CIA officers trained there and used an area—fully shielded from view inside the rest of the Blackwater compound by 20-foot berms—to coordinate operations.
Sara D. Davis/AP
In the wake of the major charges being dropped, the U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case against Blackwater, Thomas Walker, told me that it would be wrong to dismiss the prosecution as a waste of time. “The company looks completely different now than before the investigation,” he said. “For example, in 2009, Erik Prince was the sole owner. This company now has a governing board that is accountable.”
In 2010 Prince sold Blackwater, which is now known as Academi, for an estimated $200 million. Prince retains control of numerous companies that were part of Blackwater before he sold it, but he told me that he had “ceased providing any services” to the U.S. government.
Walker would not discuss Blackwater’s relationship with the CIA. But he did say the defense that the company was acting for the government did not excuse any violations of federal law. “Our evidence showed there was a mentality at the company that they considered themselves above the law,” Walker said. “That is a slippery slope. There came a time when there had to be accountability at Blackwater.”
by Eli Lake Mar 14, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
Find this story at 14 March 2013
© 2013 The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
Justice minister to seek more control over intelligence agency
16 december 2012
In light of the sensational revelations from double-agent Morten Storm, the justice minister wants PET to report to parliament about the use of civilian agents
Following the uproar created by the numerous revelations from former PET secret-agent Morten Storm, the justice minister, Morten Bødskov (Socialdemokraterne), is now calling for parliament to have more control over the domestic intelligence agency.
In an interview with Berlingske newspaper, Bødskov said that he is seeking increased powers for parliament’s Kontroludvalg, a committee established in 1964 to oversee PET.
The move comes in response to the many questions that have arisen about PET’s actions following Storm’s decision to contribute to a series of articles in Jyllands-Posten newspaper that chronicled his time as a PET double-agent . Storm says he assisted PET in tracking al-Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki for the American intelligence agency, the CIA, which clearly had the intention of assassinating him. Storm also claims to have arranged a Western wife for al-Awlaki , who was sent to Yemen with tracking equipment placed in her luggage by PET without her knowledge. He also alleges that PET attempted to buy his silence  by offering him 25,000 tax-free kroner a month for the next five years if he promised to keep quiet about his role in the hunt for al-Awlaki.
After Storm’s claims made an international splash, numerous politicians and human rights organisations demanded investigations into PET .
Among those wanting answers was Enhedslisten’s Pernille Skipper, whose party had called Bødskov in for an “open meeting” scheduled for today.
“This case is so complex that anyone can see that we need some answers,” Skipper told Politiken newspaper last month. “There are two central elements we need to have answers to. One is whether PET has helped the CIA with a plan to kill somebody rather than have him put in front of a court. The other is now whether PET has also used an innocent person as live bait. That’s not just a violation of rules, it is completely morally reprehensible.”
Bødskov’s move would give Kontroludvalget insight into PET’s use of civilians as agents – something that elected officials have not historically had.
“It is important for the government to have some peace of mind around these questions in parliament,” Bødskov told Berlingske. “Therefore, as something completely new, we will see to it that parliament’s Kontroludvalg receives notifications on PET’s use of civilians as agents.”
November 22, 2012 – 05:55
Justin Cremer 
Find this story at 22 November 2012
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Report finds harsh CIA interrogations ineffective
16 december 2012
After a contentious closed-door vote, the Senate intelligence committee approved a long-awaited report Thursday concluding that harsh interrogation measures used by the CIA did not produce significant intelligence breakthroughs, officials said.
The 6,000-page document, which was not released to the public, was adopted by Democrats over the objections of most of the committee’s Republicans. The outcome reflects the level of partisan friction that continues to surround the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other severe interrogation techniques four years after they were banned.
The report is the most detailed independent examination to date of the agency’s efforts to “break” dozens of detainees through physical and psychological duress, a period of CIA history that has become a source of renewed controversy because of torture scenes in a forthcoming Hollywood film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”
Officials familiar with the report said it makes a detailed case that subjecting prisoners to “enhanced” interrogation techniques did not help the CIA find Osama bin Laden and often were counterproductive in the broader campaign against al-Qaeda.
The committee chairman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), declined to discuss specific findings but released a written statement describing decisions to allow the CIA to build a network of secret prisons and employ harsh interrogation measures as “terrible mistakes.”
“I also believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques,” Feinstein said.
That conclusion has been disputed by high-ranking officials from the George W. Bush administration, including former vice president Richard B. Cheney and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden. Both of them argued that the use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and other measures provided critical clues that helped track down bin Laden, the al-Qaeda leader who was killed in a U.S. raid in Pakistan in May 2011.
Largely because of those political battle lines, Republicans on the Senate intelligence committee refused to participate in the panel’s three-year investigation of the CIA interrogation program, and most opposed Thursday’s decision.
Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the committee’s ranking Republican, said in a statement that the report “contains a number of significant errors and omissions about the history and utility of CIA’s detention program.” He also noted that the review was done “without interviewing any of the people involved.”
The 9 to 6 vote indicates that at least one Republican backed the report, although committee officials declined to provide a breakdown.
Other GOP lawmakers voiced support for the report’s conclusions. Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, issued a statement saying that the committee’s work shows that “cruel” treatment of prisoners “is not only wrong in principle and a stain on our country’s conscience, but also an ineffective and unreliable means of gathering intelligence.”
It could be months, if not years, before the public gets even a partial glimpse of the report or its 20 findings and conclusions. Feinstein said the committee will turn the voluminous document over to the Obama administration and the CIA to provide a chance for them to comment.
When that is completed, the committee will need to vote again on whether to release even a portion of the report, a move likely to face opposition from the CIA, which has fought to keep details of the interrogation program classified.
By Greg Miller, Published: December 14
Find this story at 14 December 2012
© The Washington Post Company
CIA ’tortured and sodomised’ terror suspect, human rights court rules
16 december 2012
Landmark European court of human rights judgment says CIA tortured wrongly detained German citizen
The European court of human rights has ruled German citizen Khaled el-Masri was tortured by CIA agents, the first time the court has described treatment meted out by the CIA as torture. Photograph: Christian Hartmann/AP
CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomising, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European court of human rights said in a historic judgment released on Thursday.
In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.
Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA “rendition team” at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.
It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.
“The grand chamber of the European court of human rights unanimously found that Mr el-Masri was subjected to forced disappearance, unlawful detention, extraordinary rendition outside any judicial process, and inhuman and degrading treatment,” said James Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative.
He described the judgment as “an authoritative condemnation of some of the most objectionable tactics employed in the post-9/11 war on terror”. It should be a wake-up call for the Obama administration and US courts, he told the Guardian. For them to continue to avoid serious scrutiny of CIA activities was “simply unacceptable”, he said.
Jamil Dakwar, of the American Civil Liberties Union, described the ruling as “a huge victory for justice and the rule of law”.
The use of CIA interrogation methods widely denounced as torture during the Bush administration’s “war on terror” also came under scrutiny in Congress on Thursday. The US Senate’s select committee on intelligence was expected to vote on whether to approve a mammoth review it has undertaken into the controversial practices that included waterboarding, stress positions, forced nudity, beatings and sleep and sensory deprivation.
The report, that runs to almost 6,000 pages based on a three-year review of more than 6m pieces of information, is believed to conclude that the “enhanced interrogation techniques” adopted by the CIA during the Bush years did not produce any major breakthroughs in intelligence, contrary to previous claims. The committee, which is dominated by the Democrats, is likely to vote to approve the report, though opposition from the Republican members may prevent the report ever seeing the light of day.
The Strasbourg court said it found Masri’s account of what happened to him “to be established beyond reasonable doubt” and that Macedonia had been “responsible for his torture and ill-treatment both in the country itself and after his transfer to the US authorities in the context of an extra-judicial ‘rendition'”.
In January 2004, Macedonian police took him to a hotel in Skopje, where he was kept locked in a room for 23 days and questioned in English, despite his limited proficiency in that language, about his alleged ties with terrorist organisations, the court said in its judgment. His requests to contact the German embassy were refused. At one point, when he said he intended to leave, he was threatened with being shot.
“Masri’s treatment at Skopje airport at the hands of the CIA rendition team – being severely beaten, sodomised, shackled and hooded, and subjected to total sensory deprivation – had been carried out in the presence of state officials of [Macedonia] and within its jurisdiction,” the court ruled.
It added: “Its government was consequently responsible for those acts performed by foreign officials. It had failed to submit any arguments explaining or justifying the degree of force used or the necessity of the invasive and potentially debasing measures. Those measures had been used with premeditation, the aim being to cause Mr Masri severe pain or suffering in order to obtain information. In the court’s view, such treatment had amounted to torture, in violation of Article 3 [of the European human rights convention].”
In Afghanistan, Masri was incarcerated for more than four months in a small, dirty, dark concrete cell in a brick factory near the capital, Kabul, where he was repeatedly interrogated and was beaten, kicked and threatened. His repeated requests to meet with a representative of the German government were ignored, said the court.
The Guardian, Thursday 13 December 2012 18.54 GMT
Find this story at 13 December 2012
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
The Rendition Project
2 november 2012
The Rendition Project is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and accredited under the Global Uncertainties programme. It examines the ways in which the Bush administration developed a global system of detention sites, linked by the covert transfer of detainees across state borders. The system has, at its core, three interrelated practices which violate international law and human rights norms.
First, the secret detention of terror suspects, where the US and its allies have held people in undisclosed locations around the world. Not all detainees held in the ‘War on Terror’ have been held in secret, but those that have were denied access by third parties (such as lawyers, family members, or the International Committee of the Red Cross), with their fate and whereabouts, and even the very fact of their detention, remaining unacknowledged by the detaining authorities.
Second, the rendition of terror suspects between detention facilities in different parts of the world, where rendition refers to the extra-legal transfer of suspects across state borders. Although rendition has been used by the US in the past to bring suspects before the rule of law (so-called ‘rendition to justice’), in the ‘War on Terror’ these detainee transfers were designed specifically to keep suspects outside of the rule of law.
Third, the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of suspects during detention and transfer, including the use by US and allied forces of practices that amount to torture.
During the Bush administration, the secret detention of terror suspects took place within a network of US-run facilities, overseen by the Pentagon and CIA. Supplementing these were a series of pre-existing detention sites, centred in North Africa and the Middle East, which are run by foreign security forces known to regularly use torture, but to which the CIA had direct access. This form of ‘proxy detention’ can facilitate more extreme treatment of detainees, as the plausible deniability of US involvement in torture is easier to maintain.
Aims of the Project
The Rendition Project aims to analyse the emergence, development and operation of the global system of rendition and secret detention in the years since 9/11. In doing so, it aims to bring together as much of the publicly-available information as possible on the detainees who have been held in secret, the detention sites in which they have been held, and the methods and timings of their transfers.
With this data in place, we will seek to identify specific ‘key moments’ that have shaped the operation of rendition and secret detention, both regionally and in a global context. We are particularly interested in the contest between the executive, the judiciary, and the human rights community (comprising human rights lawyers, human rights NGOs, and some academics), over whether and how domestic and international law applies to those detainees held within the system. A key aim of the project is therefore to identify how rendition and secret detention have evolved within the context of this struggle to defend basic human rights.
The Rendition Project also examines the ways in which this system has evolved over time, including during the Obama administration. While President Obama has ordered the closure of CIA-run secret prisons (the so-called ‘black sites’), and revoked authorisation for use by US agents of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’, many thousands of detainees in the ‘War on Terror’ continue to be held beyond the bounds of US and international law. Moreover, continued rendition and proxy detention have not been ruled out by the US Government, and may still form a central plank of counterterrorism policy.
Find this story at 2012
Delivered Into Enemy Hands
2 november 2012
US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya
This report is based on interviews conducted in Libya with 14 former detainees, most of whom belonged to an armed Islamist group that had worked to overthrow Gaddafi for 20 years. Many members of the group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), joined the NATO-backed anti-Gaddafi rebels in the 2011 conflict. Some of those who were rendered and allegedly tortured in US custody now hold key leadership and political positions in the country.
Download the full report (PDF, 8.62 MB)
Appendix I: Tripoli Documents (PDF, 4.98 MB)
Appendix II: Shoroeiya Drawings (PDF, 411.61 KB)
© Copyright 2012, Human Rights Watch
US: Torture and Rendition to Gaddafi’s Libya
2 november 2012
New Accounts of Waterboarding, Other Water Torture, Abuses in Secret Prisons
A file folder found after the fall of Tripoli in a building belonging to the Libyan external security services containing faxes and memos between the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Libyan Intelligence Service.
Not only did the US deliver Gaddafi to his enemies on a silver platter but it seems the CIA tortured many of them first. The scope of Bush administration abuse appears far broader than previously acknowledged and underscores the importance of opening up a full-scale inquiry into what happened.
Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor
(Washington) – The United States government during the Bush administration tortured opponents of Muammar Gaddafi, then transferred them to mistreatment in Libya, according to accounts by former detainees and recently uncovered CIA and UK Secret Service documents, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. One former detainee alleged he was waterboarded and another described a similar form of water torture, contradicting claims by Bush administration officials that only three men in US custody had been waterboarded.
The 154-page report, “Delivered into Enemy Hands: US-Led Abuse and Rendition of Opponents to Gaddafi’s Libya,” is based on interviews conducted in Libya with 14 former detainees, most of whom belonged to an armed Islamist group that had worked to overthrow Gaddafi for 20 years. Many members of the group, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), joined the NATO-backed anti-Gaddafi rebels in the 2011 conflict. Some of those who were rendered and allegedly tortured in US custody now hold key leadership and political positions in the country.
“Not only did the US deliver Gaddafi his enemies on a silver platter but it seems the CIA tortured many of them first,” said Laura Pitter, counterterrorism advisor at Human Rights Watch and author of the report. “The scope of Bush administration abuse appears far broader than previously acknowledged and underscores the importance of opening up a full-scale inquiry into what happened.”
The report is also based on documents – some of which are being made public for the first time – that Human Rights Watch found abandoned, on September 3, 2011, in the offices of former Libyan intelligence chief Musa Kusa after Tripoli fell to rebel forces.
The interviews and documents establish that, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the US, with aid from the United Kingdom (UK) and countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, arrested and held without charge a number of LIFG members living outside Libya, and eventually rendered them to the Libyan government.
The report also describes serious abuses that five of the former LIFG members said they experienced at two US-run detention facilities in Afghanistan, most likely operated by the CIA. They include new allegations of waterboarding and other water torture. The details are consistent with the few other first-hand accounts about the same US-run facilities.
Other abuses reported by these former detainees include being chained to walls naked –sometimes while diapered – in pitch black, windowless cells, for weeks or months; restrained in painful stress positions for long periods, forced into cramped spaces; beaten and slammed into walls; kept indoors for nearly five months without the ability to bathe; and denied sleep by continuous, very loud Western music.
“I spent three months getting interrogated heavily during the first period and they gave me a different type of torture every day. Sometimes they used water, sometimes not.… Sometimes they stripped me naked and sometimes they left me clothed,” said Khalid al-Sharif, who asserted he was held for two years in two different US-run detention centers believed to be operated by the CIA in Afghanistan. Al-Sharif is now head of the Libyan National Guard. One of his responsibilities is providing security for facilities holding Libya’s high-value detainees.
The Libyan detainee accounts in the Human Rights Watch report had previously gone largely undocumented because most of those returned to Libya were locked up in Libyan prisons until last year, when Libya’s civil unrest led to their release. And the US government has been unwilling to make public the details about its secret CIA detention facilities. The accounts of former detainees, the CIA documents found in Libya, and some declassified US government memos have shed new light on US detention practices under the Bush administration but also highlighted the vast amount of information that still remains secret.
Despite overwhelming evidence of numerous and systematic abuses of detainees in US custody since the September 11 attacks, the US has yet to hold a single senior official accountable. Only a few low-ranking enlisted military personnel have been punished.
On August 30, 2012, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the only criminal investigation the Department of Justice had undertaken into alleged abuses in CIA custody, headed by special prosecutor John Durham, would be closed without anyone being criminally charged. Holder had already narrowed the scope of Durham’s investigation on June 30, 2011, limiting it from the original investigation into the 101 people believed to have been in CIA custody to the cases of only two individuals.
In both cases, the detainees had died, one in Afghanistan and another in Iraq. The inquiry was also limited in that it looked only into abuses that went beyond what the Bush administration had authorized. It could not cover acts of torture, such as waterboarding, and other ill-treatment that Bush administration lawyers had approved, even if the acts violated domestic and international law.
“The stories of the Libyans held by the US and then sent to Libya make clear that detainee abuse, including mistreatment not necessarily specifically authorized by Bush administration officials, was far-reaching,” Pitter said. “The closure of the Durham investigation, without any charges, sends a message that abuse like that suffered by the Libyan detainees will continue to be tolerated.”
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) has spent three years researching the CIA’s detention and interrogation program and is nearing completion of a report. Human Rights Watch called on the SSCI to promptly release its report upon completion with as few redactions as possible, and to recommend that an independent, non-partisan commission investigate all aspects of US policy relating to detainee treatment.
“The US government continues to demand, and rightly so, that countries from Libya to Syria to Bahrain hold accountable officials responsible for serious human rights abuses, including torture,” Pitter said. “Those calls would carry a lot more weight if it wasn’t simultaneously shielding former US officials who authorized torture from any form of accountability.”
Since the fall of the Gaddafi government, US diplomats and members of Congress have met with some of the former CIA prisoners now in Libya, and the US has supported efforts by the Libyan government and civil society to overcome the legacy of their country’s authoritarian past. Human Rights Watch urged the US government to acknowledge its own past role in abuses and in helping Gaddafi round up his exiled opponents, to provide redress to the victims, and to prosecute those responsible for their alleged torture in US custody.
One previously reported case for which Human Rights Watch uncovered some new information is that of Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi. The Bush administration had helped to justify the 2003 Iraq invasion by relying on statements that al-Libi made during his abuse and mistreatment in CIA custody. The CIA has acknowledged that these statements were unreliable. Years later, the US rendered al-Libi to Libya, where he died in prison in May 2009. Accounts from al-Libi’s fellow detainees in Afghanistan and Libya, information from his family, and photos seen by Human Rights Watch apparently taken of him the day he died, provide insight into his treatment and death, which Libyan authorities claim was a suicide.
Scores of the documents that Human Rights Watch uncovered in Libya also show a high level of cooperation between the Gaddafi government in Libya and US and the UK in the renditions discussed in the report.
The US played the most extensive role in the renditions back to Libya. But other countries, notably the UK, were also involved, even though these governments knew and recognized that torture was common during Gaddafi’s rule. Countries linked to the accounts about renditions include: Afghanistan, Chad, China and Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Sudan, Thailand, and the UK. Interviewees alleged that personnel in some of these countries also abused them prior to transferring them back to Libya.
International law binding on the US and other countries prohibits torture and other ill-treatment in all circumstances, and forbids transferring people to countries in which they face a serious risk of torture or persecution.
“The involvement of many countries in the abuse of Gaddafi’s enemies suggests that the tentacles of the US detention and interrogation program reached far beyond what was previously known,” Pitter said. “The US and other governments that assisted in detainee abuse should offer a full accounting of their role.”
*A previous version of this press release incorrectly stated that the SSCI had completed its report. The report is nearing completion.
© 2011 Tim Grucza
Find this story at 6 September 2012
© Copyright 2012, Human Rights Watch
UK supreme court says rendition of Pakistani man was unlawful
2 november 2012
Yunus Rahmatullah has been imprisoned since he was handed by the SAS to US forces in 2004, but has never been charged
Undated Reprieve handout photo of Yunus Rahmatullah. Photograph: Reprieve/PA
Human rights campaigners have called for a full criminal investigation into the rendition of a Pakistani man by UK and US forces to Afghanistan, following a supreme court judgment describing his subsequent detention at the notorious US prison at Bagram as unlawful. Yunus Rahmatullah has been imprisoned ever since he was handed over by the SAS to American forces in Iraq in 2004, and has never been charged.
Lawyers for the man argued before the UK’s highest court that the government should apply pressure on the US to release him. The court of appeal had previously issued a writ of habeas corpus – an ancient law that demands a prisoner is released from unlawful detention – requiring the UK to seek Rahmatullah’s return or at least demonstrate why it could not. However, the US authorities refused to cooperate, arguing that they would discuss Rahmatullah’s situation with the Pakistani government.
Lawyers for William Hague and Philip Hammond, the foreign and defence secretaries, had argued that they had no power “to direct the US” to release him and that it would be inappropriate for the courts to instruct them to ask the US authorities to return Rahmatullah.
Rejecting this argument, a panel of seven supreme court judges ruled that the UK did not need to have actual custody to exercise control over his release. The UK’s most senior judges also declared that there was clear evidence that Rahmatullah’s rendition and detention was a breach of international human rights law, despite “memorandums of understanding” Britain had agreed with the US over treatment of detainees.
Lord Kerr said: “The, presumably forcible, transfer of Mr Rahmatullah from Iraq to Afghanistan is, at least prima facie, a breach of article 49 [of the fourth Geneva Convention]. On that account alone, his continued detention post-transfer is unlawful.”
Kerr also said that he would have “little hesitation in dismissing” arguments from former US assistant attorney general Jack Goldsmith asserting that al-Qaida operatives found in occupied Iraq were excluded from protection under the Geneva Conventions during armed conflict.
However, the court was split 5-2 in a decision to reject arguments by Rahmatullah’s lawyers that there was more that the UK government could do following the American’s refusal to respond to the habeas corpus writ. Rahmatullah was represented by legal charity Reprieve and solicitors Leigh Day, who argued that the UK should have made more effort to demand his release.
In a dissenting judgment, Lady Hale and Lord Carnwath said: “Where liberty is at stake, it is not the court’s job to speculate as to the political sensitivities which may be in play.”
Reprieve’s director, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “This powerful supreme court decision has huge ramifications. Clearly there will now have to be a full criminal investigation. But if the US has ‘dishonoured’ its commitment to the UK in this case for the first time in 150 years, and continues to violate law as basic as the Geneva conventions, this also throws other extradition agreements with the UK into doubt.”
Reprieve’s legal director, Kat Craig, added: “The UK government has nowhere left to turn. The highest court in the country has expressed serious concerns that grave war crimes may have been committed as a result of which a police investigation must be initiated without delay.”
Yunus Rahmatullah and Amanatullah Ali, both Pakistani men, are suspected of having travelled to Iraq to fight for al-Qaida. MI6 is understood to have tracked them as they travelled across Iran and into Iraq early in 2004. After they settled into a house in southern Baghdad a decision was taken to raid the building.
Maya Wolfe-Robinson and Ian Cobain
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 31 October 2012 14.59 GMT
Find this story at 31 October 2012
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
UK intelligence officers knew of CIA’s rendition plans within days of 9/11
26 oktober 2012
Meeting at British embassy in US raises questions about repeated denials by MI5 and MI6 of connivance in torture
Within days of the 9/11 attacks on the US, the CIA told British intelligence officers of its plans to abduct al-Qaida suspects and fly them to secret prisons where they would be systematically abused.
The meeting, at the British embassy in Washington, is disclosed in a forthcoming book by the Guardian journalist Ian Cobain. It raises serious questions about repeated claims by senior MI5 and MI6 officers that they were slow to appreciate the US response to the attacks, and never connived in torture.
The meeting signalled to British officials that the US was preparing to embark on a global kidnapping programme which became known as extraordinary rendition. Cobain reveals that at the end of a three-hour presentation by Cofer Black, President George Bush’s top counter-terrorist adviser, Mark Allen – his opposite number in MI6 – commented that it all sounded “rather bloodcurdling”.
A few weeks later, in early October 2001, at a secret meeting at Nato headquarters in Brussels, US officials drew up a list of “necessary measures to increase security”, Cobain discloses. They included flights to and from secret prisons in Asia, Africa, and throughout Europe. “Quietly, Britain pledged logistics support for the rendition programme, which resulted in the CIA’s Gulfstream V and other jets becoming frequent visitors to British airports en route to the agency’s secret prisons,” writes Cobain.
Over the next four years CIA rendition flights used British airports at least 210 times. The book reveals that Washington asked the UK for permission to build a large prison on Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean where the US has a large bomber base. The project was dropped, for logistical rather than legal reasons.
However, Diego Garcia was used as a stopover for CIA flights taking detainees to secret prisons around the world. And in secret memos, Labour ministers said in early 2002 that their “preferred option” was to render British nationals to Guantánamo Bay, Cobain records. MI5 and MI6 officers carried out around 100 interrogations at the US prison on Cuba between 2002 and 2004.
Yet for years ministers emphatically denied any British involvement in America’s rendition programme. As late as December 2005, Jack Straw, then foreign secretary, was telling MPs there was “simply no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition”. Just a year earlier, we now know, MI6 – under Straw’s watch and with the blessing of ministers, officials say – helped to render two leading Libyan dissidents to Muammar Gaddafi’s secret police.
Despite the post-9/11 Washington embassy and Nato meetings, and other evidence of their early involvement in rendition, MI5 and MI6 witnesses told the parliamentary intelligence and security committee (ISC) that it was some time before they knew what the US was up to. As late as July 2007, the misinformed ISC stated in a report on rendition that MI5 and MI6 “were … slow to detect the emerging pattern of renditions to detention”.
guardian.co.uk, Monday 22 October 2012 13.06 BST
Find this story at 22 October 2012
© 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Ex-MI6 man to face ‘rendition’ questions: Police will try again to interview Sir Mark Allen over torture allegations by Libyan dissidents
26 oktober 2012
Police will seek to interview Sir Mark Allen, the former head of MI6’s counterterrorism unit, in connection with allegations of British complicity in the rendition to Libya and torture of two Libyan dissidents, Abdel Hakim Belhadj and Sami al-Saadi, during the Gaddafi era. Sir Mark suffered a stroke in July, and it is understood Metropolitan Police detectives were told that he was not fit enough at that stage to be interviewed over the allegations.
The two men, members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were subjected to years of imprisonment and torture after they were returned to Libya in 2004.
Sir Mark’s health had improved sufficiently for him to address an audience of energy experts at Chatham House, London, last week. A spokeswoman for the British Institute of Energy Economics (BIEE), which organised the event, confirmed that it had taken place but, when asked for further details, stated: “Sir Mark gave a talk, not a presentation, and did not want this [the contents] published.”
A source at BP, where Sir Mark has an office, confirmed: “He had the stroke at the beginning of July and he’s making really good progress.”
Sir Mark’s talk was billed as “his personal reflections on the current situation in the Middle East, the advent of the Arab Spring and considerations about its fallout”.
Coincidentally, BIEE’s president is Lord Howell – a former Foreign Office minister who, in that capacity, fielded questions regarding the rendition scandal and who is now William Hague’s personal adviser on energy and resource security. When The Independent on Sunday broke the news of Sir Mark’s BIEE talk to Scotland Yard last week, a spokesman noted the details but declined to comment.
British police launched an inquiry in January after documents discovered during the Libyan uprising suggested that Sir Mark had conspired in the rendition. The allegations were so serious that the police and Director of Public Prosecutions issued a statement saying: “It is in the public interest for them to be investigated now.”
In one of the documents, a letter sent to Gaddafi’s head of intelligence, Moussa Koussa, in March 2004, Sir Mark states that helping get Mr Belhadj to Libya “was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over recent years”. Sir Mark added: “I was grateful to you for helping the officer we sent out last week.”
Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, said: “A man with many secrets has a lot of favours he can call in. I hope he recovers soon enough to reveal some light on a very sordid page of British history. It is time to end the secrecy around Britain’s relationship with Gaddafi, and both the British and the Libyan public deserve some answers.”
Sir Mark is also facing a court battle as a result of a civil legal action that has been brought against him and the former foreign secretary Jack Straw, relating to the rendition and torture allegations. They are cited as key defendants in recently filed court documents that outline the abuse suffered by the two Libyan dissidents after they had been abducted and handed to Gaddafi’s regime with the help of British intelligence.
Sunday, 21 October 2012
Find this story at 21 October 2012
Former CIA spy boss made an unhesitating call to destroy interrogation tapes
25 juni 2012
The first and only time I met Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., he was still undercover and in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency’s all-powerful operations directorate. The agency had summoned me to its Langley headquarters and his mission was to talk me out of running an article I had just finished reporting about CIA secret prisons — the “black sites” abroad where the agency put al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be interrogated in isolation, beyond the reach and protections of U.S. law.
The scene I walked into in November 2005 struck me as incongruous. The man sitting in the middle of the navy blue colonial-style sofa looked like a big-city police detective stuffed uncomfortably into a tailored suit. His face was pockmarked, his dark mustache too big to be stylish. He was not one of the polished career bureaucrats who populate the halls of power in Washington.
In fact, he fit perfectly the description given by my sources: hardworking but not smooth, loyal to the institution and now, probably, beyond his depth. He was as surprised as anyone that he had risen so quickly to the senior ranks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to the account of his decades-long spy career in “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives.” The book is due out Monday, after an exclusive interview Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” The Washington Post obtained a copy this week.
Shortly after the 2001 attacks, the CIA set up the secret prisons in Afghanistan, Thailand and several Eastern European countries for the explicit purpose of keeping detainees picked up on the battlefield or in other countries away from the U.S. justice system, which would grant them some protections against, among other things, torture or otherwise harsh treatment. In an effort to force these detainees to give their handlers information about terrorist plots, CIA interrogators subjected some of them to sleep and food deprivation, incessant loud noise and waterboarding.
By the time we met, those techniques were no longer in use. Rodriguez had not dealt with American reporters, he writes, but then-CIA Director Porter J. Goss had asked him to meet with me “to see if I could convince her that such a story would harm U.S. national security, put some of our allies around the world in a very difficult position, and potentially disrupt a program that was providing intelligence that was producing real results and helping to keep the country safe.”
What Rodriguez remembers from our conversation, according to his book, is that I brought him a copy of a book I had written about the U.S. military in an effort to butter him up. “That failed to soften my stance on the lack of wisdom of her proceeding with her article as planned,” he wrote, and “I could see I was not winning her over.” I remember bringing the book because I figured he didn’t know one reporter from the next, and I wanted him to know that I did in-depth work and didn’t want to just hear the talking points.
A blunt explanation
It became clear immediately that Rodriguez never even got the talking points, which was refreshing and surprising. Right away he began divulging awkward truths that other senior officers had tried to obfuscate in our conversations about the secret prisons: “In many cases they are violating their own laws by helping us,” he offered, according to notes I took at the time.
Why not bring the detainees to trial?
“Because they would get lawyered up, and our job, first and foremost, is to obtain information.”
(Shortly after our conversation, The Post’s senior editors were called to the White House to discuss the article with President George W. Bush and his national security team. Days later, the newspaper published the story, without naming the countries where the prisons were located.)
Rodriguez may have never felt the need to even reveal himself publicly or to write a book, complete with family photos, giving his version of many of the unconventional — and eventually repudiated — practices that the CIA engaged in after Sept. 11 had it not been for what happened shortly after our conversation.
Concerned that the location of one of the prisons was about to be revealed, Rodriguez writes that he ordered the facility closed immediately and the detainees moved to a new site. While dismantling the site, the base chief asked Rodriguez if she could throw a pile of old videotapes, made during the early days of terrorist Abu Zubaida’s interrogation and waterboarding, and now a couple of years old, onto a nearby bonfire that was set to destroy papers and other evidence of the agency’s presence.
Just at that moment, according to his account, a cable from headquarters came in saying: “Hold up on the tapes. We think they should be retained for a little while longer.”
“Had that message been delayed by even a few minutes,” Rodriguez writes, “my life in the years following would have been considerably easier.”
Those actions led to a lengthy and still ongoing investigation of the agency that produced no charges. Rodriguez retired in January 2008 and now works in the private sector.
A tough CIA veteran
Rodriguez was born in Puerto Rico, the son of two teachers. He was educated at the University of Florida, where he also received a law degree before being recruited by the CIA. He once gained the confidence of a dictator in a Latin American country because of his gutsy horseback riding skills. He worked as the chief of station in several countries he does not name, and was sent to El Salvador during its bloody civil war (which he glosses over completely) and to Panama, where he pitched the idea of recruiting Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega’s witch doctor and putting him on the CIA payroll to persuade the dictator to retire to Spain. The CIA director at the time wasn’t impressed and instead, in 1989, “the United States followed a more traditional path: a military invasion.”
On Sept. 11, 2001, he did what legions of CIA officers not at work that day did: He rushed into headquarters, even as people were being evacuated, and pitched in. Rodriguez ended up in the Counterterrorism Center, which quickly went from a backwater posting to the center of the universe at the agency.
As CIA operations officers and analysts scrambled to figure out more about al-Qaeda and to plan a counterattack, Rodriguez was in the eye of the storm. “Hard Measures” takes readers through a highly sanitized — censored by the CIA, actually — version of events.
Although many details are left out and most of the outlines of what Rodriguez writes will not come as news to close readers of newspapers, he does not shy away from addressing the most controversial parts of what became the largest covert action program in U.S. history: the secret decisions to capture suspected terrorists on the battlefield or on the streets and make them disappear from the face of the Earth. Using a fleet of airplanes, the CIA bundled its captives into a netherworld no one else had access to, flew them around the world, deposited them in secret underground prisons where it could control their every move and use especially harsh interrogation methods on some of the most senior prisoners.
Many CIA officers had misgivings about these practices and what they might mean for America’s reputation around the world. Not Rodriguez. He is unabashedly confident that he and the agency did the right thing and saved lives in the process.
“I am certain, beyond any doubt, that these techniques, approved at the highest levels of the U.S. government, certified by the Department of Justice, and briefed to and supported by bipartisan leadership of congressional intelligence oversight committees, shielded the people of the United States from harm and led to the capture of killing of Usama bin Ladin.”
Of course, it is impossible to know this for certain, and many people inside and outside government — some of them involved in interrogations — have argued that with better-trained interrogators and more patience, the same information could have been obtained without such harsh methods.
The most newsworthy part of the book is a chapter in which Rodriguez explains how he came to order the destruction of 92 videotapes of the interrogation of Abu Zubaida.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has nearly completed a four-year-long review of the CIA’s post-Sept. 11 detention and interrogation practices.
Shredding the tapes
Rodriguez writes that he ordered the tapes’ destruction because he got tired of waiting for his superiors to make a decision. They had at least twice given him the go-ahead, then backed off. In the meantime, a senior agency attorney cited “grave national security reasons” for destroying the material and said the tapes presented ‘“grave risk” to the personal safety of our officers” whose identities could be seen on the recordings.
In late April 2004, another event forced his hand, he writes. Photos of the abuse of prisoners by Army soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq ignited the Arab world and risked being confused with the CIA’s program, which was run very differently.
“We knew that if the photos of CIA officers conducting authorized EIT [enhanced interrogation techniques] ever got out, the difference between a legal, authorized, necessary, and safe program and the mindless actions of some MPs [military police] would be buried by the impact of the images.
“The propaganda damage to the image of America would be immense. But the main concern then, and always, was for the safety of my officers.”
Readers may disagree with much of what Rodriguez writes and with the importance of some of the facts he omits from his book, but the above sentence speaks volumes about why this book is important. In this case, a loyal civil servant — and the decision-makers above him who blessed these programs — were not thinking about the larger, longer-lasting damage to the core values of the United States that disclosure of these secrets might cause. They were thinking about the near term. About efficiency. About the safety of friends and colleagues. In their minds, they were thinking, too, about the safety of the country.
Find this story at 25 April 2012
By Dana Priest, Published: April 25
© The Washington Post Company
CIA agreement touted as evidence in ‘black sites’ investigation nieuwere artikelen >>
25 juni 2012
A partially signed agreement between Poland’s intelligence service and CIA provides central evidence in the ongoing investigation into alleged ‘black sites’ in Poland.
According to a source at the Krakow Prosecutor’s Office that is handling the investigation, the document was prepared in late 2001, early 2002, in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the US.
The Americans “did not want to leave traces [of evidence]” the source told Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, commenting on the fact that the document was only signed by former head of Poland’s Intelligence Agency (ABW), Zbigniew Siemiatkowski.
When queried about the document, Siemiatkowski stated that if his signature is present, it means that the document is classified, and that he is unable to talk about it. He did not confirm the existence of such an agreement.
Meanwhile, Adam Bodnar of the Helsinki Foundation – a human rights body that is monitoring the case – told that the paper that lack of an American signature does not invalidate the document as key evidence.
“The simple fact that the document was prepared attests to the fact that it there was a will [to create the CIA prisons], and that people who were aware of it, also knew about its contents.”
Accusations and denials
In 2011, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg, made an unequivocal statement on the matter.
“It is clear that Poland hosted secret CIA prisons between December 2002 and September 2003. We know who was held there and what interrogation methods were used. They can be described as torture.”
Leszek Miller was prime minister of Poland at that time, at the head of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) government.
He has repeatedly denied knowledge of such a site, which is alleged to have been located in a villa near the Stare Kiejkuty military base in north east Poland.
Find this story at 19 June 2012
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