April 3, 2014
The Senate Intelligence Committee voted today to declassify portions of its report on the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" to extract information from terrorist detainees, but portions of the work that have been leaked appear to confirm Americans' worst fears about the secret program. Committee investigators found that the brutal treatment of prisoners was far more widespread than the agency has admitted and that CIA officials deliberately misled Congress about the effectiveness of methods that brought shame on the nation and amounted to little more than torture by another name.
March 19, 2014
Thanks for publishing the report that CIA officer Jonathan Bank was suspended because of his "management style" in the Iran operations division ( "CIA official punished after probe finds he created hostile workplace," March 17). More interesting, Mr. Bank was previously the station chief in Islamabad, Pakistan and "was pulled out" as his name was leaked to the media. Most interesting, "U.S. officials think Pakistan's intelligence service leaked the name in a dispute over CIA drone attacks in the country's tribal belt.
March 12, 2014
California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, has long been known as one of the U.S. intelligence community's staunchest defenders. So when an outraged Ms. Feinstein appeared on the Senate floor Tuesday to denounce the CIA and its director, John Brennan, for stealing documents from her committee's computers, spying on its activities and attempting to intimidate committee staffers investigating the agency's treatment of terrorist detainees after the Sept.
January 17, 2014
When the CIA's chief lawyer, John Rizzo, first came across the term "enhanced interrogation technique" shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he was struck by the phrase's deceptive blandness. The words sounded mild, possibly even salutary. But Rizzo knew they referred to the harshest methods used to elicit information from suspected terrorists in custody, including waterboarding, which mimics the experience of drowning. For Rizzo and others, the "EITs", as they were called, were repugnant but necessary for ensuring the nation's safety.
January 7, 2014
Fifty years ago, Harry Truman wrote an article in the Washington Post expressing his disappointment over what the Central Intelligence Agency had become. He had established the CIA in 1947 to provide his office with objective information. But it had since "been diverted from its original assignment," Truman wrote, and "become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government ... injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations. " He wanted the CIA to be restored to its original intelligence function and asked "that its operational duties be terminated or properly used elsewhere.
November 18, 2013
I have several friends who have given up on "Homeland. " It's true that Season 2 was clunky, overwrought, and loose with many details. We made fun of its many moments of melodramatic dialogue, terrible acting and difficult-to-believe plot twists. Brody's romantic send-off into the woods, in particular, strained my own willingness to suspend disbelief. But I want to tell these friends to come back! Join me! Season 3 has gradually turned up the heat and is now at a rolling boil.