Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Tapes, Lies, Spies - The CIA's Shredded Creds

Choosing when to lie is terribly hard work. Lies are arriving like hen house clockwork from so many chickens coming to the CIA to roost. More than fifty years old, the spy agency started by Wild Bill Donovan , still cloaks itself in high teenage drama when caught red-handed lying. America's Central Intelligence Agency behaves as if mortally wounded when found bald-face lying. Professional apologists for the Langley agency are then publicly thrown into the swirling cesspool of the seven press circles of hell. Swimming in muck is what they are paid to do, but CIA propagandists just cannot help lauding themselves like The Incredibles for saving America from all manner of evil. That is the executive premise from which many of the CIA abuses flow - like destroying taped evidence and taking oaths they did not have it - until now. Another part of the equation is the Bush administration's incredible expansion of presidential powers to include the intelligence community.
The order to destroy the recordings came from Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then-head of the CIA's clandestine service, which deploys spies overseas and carries out covert operations.

The clandestine service "is almost tribal in nature," said a former senior CIA official familiar with the discussions on the tapes. "They believe that no one else will look out for them so they have to look out for themselves."

Even with the possibility of criminal charges looming, some CIA veterans who worked with Rodriguez said destroying the tapes was the honorable course at an agency that reveres leaders who protect spies and guard agency secrets.

The CIA has maintained that all of its interrogation methods were lawful and approved in advance by the Justice Department. The agency has also defended its handling of the tapes.
Australia just returned the passport of a legal immigrant Indian doctor accused by the CIA of being a terrorist. Australia is mum on the tapes of Habib's interrogations as he was taken by the CIA to Egypt where excruciating torture of prisoners is a known tactic.

It is maddening that the same spy people given license by an unrighteous US president(s) to secretly rendition people to other countries using ghost CIA spy planes, run arms and Stinger missiles to Afghanistan rebels now using them against the USA, and ferry drugs are the same people that told the 9/11 Commission, we have no tapes of our methods and means of extracting information from suspected terrorists strapped to a board with his or her nose clamped and mouth shut as water is forcibly poured down their throats as their feet are higher than their heads. No. Now three entities are investigating the destroyed tape lies, Bush's decimated and political Justice Department, a weak capitulating Congress and the CIA's own Inspector General who is under investigation. Just inspires confidence, doesn't it?

Right now in theaters, is the Tom Hanks & Julia Roberts film collaboration in Charlie Wilson's War premised on the bestselling book by George Crile, Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest man in Congress and A Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times. Now that was a mighty fine read on how a boozing and womanizing player congressman found out how to help bring down the Soviet Union in Afghanistan with the CIA. The CIA chronicles are in a five-star 2007 book by multiple Pulitzer winner, reporter Timothy Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.


Dan ~ said...

I disagree with your rebuke of the CIA. While I shudder to think of all the things they may be covering up, I would argue that it the blame should first be sent to the present administration, (not only in part as you stated).

Should you scorn the dog that was trained to kill and then told to do so? The CIA is trained and loyally doing what it's told. Certainly they are not free from fault, but they are the tools for a greater crime.

Maureen said...

Thanks for reading Dan. America's CIA is an agency like no other - its charged with providing lifesaving intelligence while being at the Mercy of petty bureaucratic infighting like other organizations. The leadership of the organization has to regain, yet again, its credibility, to become non-political. Bush cronies, Peter Goss and other were put in roles that allowed the current mess and they should have been smarter if lessons learned from the Church Comission among other issues were learned.

Michael C. Hayden, a four star general, did bring more credibility to the NSA. But now the military has him as a person atop a civilian organization at the behest of the DNI, Negroponte who moved over to State. The CIA was politicized and due to that accepted mandates that are being debated in Congress, such as renditions and waterboarding. They have to accept responsibility for their current well chronicled public actions.