Investigation of CIA tapes push for truth

By Freedom New Mexico Last week the Justice Department upgraded its inquiry into the destruction of CIA tapes of the interrogations of two al-Qaida suspects to a criminal investigation. It also decided to appoint a veteråçthe case. This is welcome news. Rumors and allegations have flown as to whether the tapes showed interrogators using torture […]

Bush finally rights wrong in CIA leak case

By Freedom Newspapers President George W. Bush did the appropriate thing in commuting the sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby — Vice President Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, who was sentenced to 30 months in jail and a fine of $250,000 for his role in what has become known as Plamegate. Libby will serve […]

Charging Libby, who didn’t leak identity, off target

By Freedom Newspapers Nobody but daily attendees knows everything the jury does in the I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby case, so we are reluctant to criticize the seven women and four men who found him guilty on four of five counts related to obstruction of justice and lying to investigators and a grand jury. The more […]

CIA operatives perpetuate U.S.’ bad reputation

By Freedom Newspapers How would we feel if clandestine operatives of the government of Germany — or Great Britain, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Israel, China or Japan, for that matter — kidnapped a U.S. citizen, took him to a secret prison, questioned him unremittingly, perhaps including physical abuse, and then dropped him off on a […]

Attempted remake of CIA indicates confusion, stasis

Freedom Newspapers They don’t call it cloak and dagger for nothing. Someday, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, a behind-the-scenes history of the Bush administration’s attempts to remake America’s intelligence community will be written. But an early draft of that history, based largely on suppositions, since secrecy shrouds not just the community’s clandestine activities but its […]

CIA nominee’s hearing will bring needed discussion

By Freedom Newspapers Whether Air Force Gen. Michael Hayden can bring the Central Intelligence Agency out of its doldrums is a question whose answer we may not have until long after he has left his post as CIA director — assuming he is confirmed. His appointment has raised questions that are worth discussion as the […]

Lewis Libby indictment not top prize

By Mona Charen: Syndicated Columnist Democrats were saved from utter devastation by the indictment of Lewis Libby. At least they could console themselves that one high-ranking White House official was in danger of being jailed for a very long time (and their glee when contemplating the maximum possible sentence was undisguised). Yet the let-down was […]

Winning war on terror could mean fighting dirty

Freedom Newspapers We need more aggressive, less risk-averse spy agencies. This was the mantra we heard in the wake of our being blindsided by Osama bin Laden on Sept. 11, 2001. The CIA’s emphasis on high-tech, spy-in-the-sky gadgetry has led to a withering of the nation’s human intelligence capabilities, critics (ourselves included) said. We must […]

Press misses point about intelligence

By Mona Charen The President’s Commission on (deep breath) Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction has issued its report. True to predictions, it indicts the CIA and other intelligence agencies for giving the president and Congress information that was “dead wrong” and accompanying this intelligence with a promise that the […]

Bigger-is-better approach not always intelligent

The bigger-is-better mentality is alive and well in Washington, in spite of ample evidence that quantity and quality don’t necessarily correspond, and sometimes even have an inverse relationship. President Bush in an executive order last month required the Central Intelligence Agency to double the number of agents in its clandestine service, that small but critical […]

Turmoil within CIA not helped by partisanship

Freedom Editorial You almost need a secret decoder ring to try to figure out what is really going on in the Central Intelligence Agency, which is both highly secretive and resistant to understanding by outsiders and yet fond of publicity and adept (at many levels) in the dark art of the leak. A number of […]

Congress should be patient when reforming security

Freedom Editorial So we now have another proposal for reforming the sprawling 15-agency “intelligence community” that missed the signs that 9/11 was in the works and didn’t exactly get it right about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It’s a welcome addition to the ongoing debate, but the very extensiveness of the proposal, coming on […]

Can Goss bring ‘out of the box’ thinking to CIA?

Florida Republican Rep. Porter Goss is “the wrong sort, with the wrong resume” to head the CIA, Michael Ledeen said. The resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (with whom we have been known to disagree on policy matters) explained that the CIA needs drastic change just now, and as a former CIA operative and […]

Time to reform, improve U.S. intelligence

Freedom Editorial The resignation of CIA director George Tenet, combined with the recent critical report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on pre-Iraq war intelligence and the still-evolving work of the 9/11 commission, may have created what some observers view as a “perfect storm.” It could lead to a serious overhaul of this country’s intelligence agencies. […]

CIA should be careful when selecting leader

The real surprise about CIA Director George Tenet is not that he resigned after “a personal decision,” he said, for “the well-being of my wonderful family, nothing more and nothing less.” The real surprise is that he was not fired long ago for presiding over two of the biggest intelligence failures in American history. His […]

Citizens, officials have hard time deciding what is credible

By Michael J. Sniffen: The Associated Press WASHINGTON — In recent years, the government has told Americans it has credible evidence of impending terror attacks, of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and of collaboration between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. But “credible” doesn’t mean the same thing to every government official and even credible information […]

Letters: CIA has reasons for insisting on secrecy

In reference to the Clovis News Journal’s decision to name the Central Intelligence Agency officer who had planned to speak at Eastern New Mexico University last week: Having grown up and worked in Washington, D.C., I’ve known a number of people who worked for the CIA. Their wives know who they work for; the guy […]

CIA anonymity at presentation a faulty premise

Our newspaper was in an unusual position last week when national media spotlighted our run-in with the Central Intelligence Agency. In reporting the news, we became the news by refusing a CIA request to withhold an officer’s name. He had planned to speak Wednesday and Thursday at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales on “the […]

CIA cancels lectures on terror

By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor Three lectures by a Central Intelligence Agency officer were canceled on Wednesday after a local newspaper editor refused to withhold the agent’s name in a planned story. A CIA public affairs officer said printing the CIA officer’s name in the newspaper could put his life in danger. Freedom Newspapers […]

CIA leak issue much ado about nothing

Mona Charen Maybe I’m just getting jaded, but this latest Washington “scandal” regarding the leak strikes me as cynicism squared. It reminds me of Nora Ephron’s bon mot: “No matter how cynical I get, I just can’t keep up.” Here’s the version that has been broadcast and printed far and wide in the last week: […]