Carlyle Group May Buy Major CIA Contractor: Booz Allen Hamilton

The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity funds, may soon acquire the $2 billion government contracting business of consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest suppliers of technology and personnel to the U.S. government’s spy agencies. Carlyle manages more than $75 billion in assets and has bought and sold a long string of military contractors since the early 1990s. But in recent years it has significantly reduced its investments in that industry. If it goes ahead with the widely reported plan to buy Booz Allen, it will re-emerge as the owner of one of America’s largest private intelligence armies.

Reports of a potential Carlyle acquisition of Booz Allen’s government unit began circulating among U.S. military contractors in December 2007, after Booz Allen’s senior partners and board members – a group of 300 vice presidents who own the privately-held firm – gathered at company headquarters in McLean, Virginia, for an extraordinary two-day meeting.

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What is being covered up? Ray McGovern 27 year CIA Veteran asks the question.

War pimp alert: US funding militia to destabilize Iran

The United States is clandestinely funding militant groups within Iran’s borders to destabilize the country, The Daily Telegraph says.

According to the daily, CIA officials are secretly funding militias among the numerous ethnic minorities clustered in Iran’s border regions in order to mount pressure on the country to give up its nuclear program.

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CIA Attacks Inside Pakistan Without Approval

19/02/08 “Washington Post” — — In the predawn hours of Jan. 29, a CIA Predator aircraft flew in a slow arc above the Pakistani town of Mir Ali. The drone’s operator, relying on information secretly passed to the CIA by local informants, clicked a computer mouse and sent the first of two Hellfire missiles hurtling toward a cluster of mud-brick buildings a few miles from the town center.

The missiles killed Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander and a man who had repeatedly eluded the CIA’s dragnet. It was the first successful strike against al-Qaeda’s core leadership in two years, and it involved, U.S. officials say, an unusual degree of autonomy by the CIA inside Pakistan.

Having requested the Pakistani government’s official permission for such strikes on previous occasions, only to be put off or turned down, this time the U.S. spy agency did not seek approval. The government of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf was notified only as the operation was underway, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because of diplomatic sensitivities.

Officials say the incident was a model of how Washington often scores its rare victories these days in the fight against al-Qaeda inside Pakistan’s national borders: It acts with assistance from well-paid sympathizers inside the country, but without getting the government’s formal permission beforehand.

It is an approach that some U.S. officials say could be used more frequently this year, particularly if a power vacuum results from yesterday’s election and associated political tumult. The administration also feels an increased sense of urgency about undermining al-Qaeda before President Bush leaves office, making it less hesitant, said one official familiar with the incident.

Independent actions by U.S. military forces on another country’s sovereign territory are always controversial, and both U.S. and Pakistani officials have repeatedly sought to obscure operational details that would reveal that key decisions are sometimes made in the United States, not in Islamabad. Some Pentagon operations have been undertaken only after intense disputes with the State Department, which has worried that they might inflame Pakistani public resentment; the CIA itself has sometimes sought to put the brakes on because of anxieties about the consequences for its relationship with Pakistani intelligence officials.

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CIA Torture Jet crashed with 4 Tons of COCAINE

Hayden Admits: Contractors Lead ‘Enhanced Interrogations’ at CIA Black Sites

Ciaprison In testimony before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, Director of Central Intelligence Mike Hayden admitted to using contractors for “enhanced interrogation” at the CIA’s secret prisons, the so-called black sites.  It was an issue first raised last summer on The Spy Who Billed Me.  From Tuesday’s exchange:

FEINSTEIN:  I’d like to ask this question: Who carries out these [enhanced interrogation] techniques? Are they government employees or contractors?

HAYDEN: At our facilities during this, we have a mix of both government employees and contractors. Everything is done under, as we’ve talked before, ma’am, under my authority and the authority of the agency. But the people at the locations are frequently a mix of both — we call them blue badgers and green badgers.

FEINSTEIN: And where do you use only contractors?

HAYDEN: I’m not aware of any facility in which there were only contractors. And this came up…

FEINSTEIN: Any facility anywhere in the world?

HAYDEN: Oh, I mean, I’m talking about our detention facilities. I want to make something very clear, because I don’t think it was quite crystal clear in the discussion you had with Attorney General Mukasey.

Earlier, Senator Feinstein has asked Attorney General Mukasey whether the use of contractors in coercive interrogation techniques (i.e. enhanced interrogation techniques) is legal.  Specifically, Senator Feinstein asked:

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US spy chief retreats from Iran intel

LONDON, February 7 (IranMania) – The top US intelligence official is backing away from his agency’s recent assessment that Iran halted its ‘nuclear weapons program’, PressTV reported.

Sixteen US spy agencies concluded in their December 3 National Intelligence Estimate that Iran is not conducting a nuclear weapons program.

At a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell said he wishes he had written the unclassified version of the document differently.

“I would change the way we describe the Iranian nuclear program. I would have included that there are the component parts, that the portion of it, maybe the least significant, had halted,” he said.

The intelligence director was referring to a specific aspect of the NIE report which dismissed White House allegations that Iran is planning to design nuclear warheads.

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C.I.A. Destroyed Tapes as Judge Sought Interrogation Data

WASHINGTON – At the time that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed videotapes of the interrogations of operatives of Al Qaeda, a federal judge was still seeking information from Bush administration lawyers about the interrogation of one of those operatives, Abu Zubaydah, according to court documents made public on Wednesday.Skip to next paragraph
Times Topics: C.I.A. Interrogation Tapes The court documents, filed in the case of Zacarias Moussaoui, appear to contradict a statement last December by Gen. Michael V. Hayden, the C.I.A. director, that when the tapes were destroyed in November 2005 they had no relevance to any court proceeding, including Mr. Moussaoui’s criminal trial.

It was already known that the judge in the case, Leonie M. Brinkema, had not been told about the existence or destruction of the videos. But the newly disclosed court documents, which had been classified as secret, showed the judge had still been actively seeking information about Mr. Zubaydah’s interrogation as late as Nov. 29, 2005.

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CIA shrugged off no-war reports

A key Iraqi nuclear scientist says he believed by telling the truth about Iraq’s weapons, he was helping to stave off the invasion.Saad Tawfiq, a key figure in Saddam Hussein’s clandestine nuclear weapons program, said when he watched Colin Powell waving a vial of white powder and telling the UNSC on February 5, 2003, a story about Iraqi germ labs, he realized he had risked his life and those of his loved ones for nothing.

“When I saw Colin Powell I started crying. Immediately. I knew I had tried and lost,” Tawfiq told AFP this week in the Jordanian capital Amman.
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Secret CIA flights to Greenland reported

COPENHAGEN, Denmark – Denmark will investigate claims that the CIA secretly used an airport on the Nordic country’s remote Arctic territory of Greenland to transport prisoners in the U.S. war on terror, the prime minister said Thursday.

Denmark, like many other European countries, began investigating reports in 2005 that the U.S. intelligence agency quietly touched down on their territory as part of the CIA’s so-called “extraordinary rendition” program.Human rights groups have criticized the practice, in which suspects are transported for interrogation to countries outside the U.S. for interrogation.

A Danish TV documentary broadcast Wednesday by the DR1 TV network claimed that prisoner flights not only used mainland Denmark’s airports and airspace but also touched down on Greenland, a semiautonomous Danish territory between Europe and North America.

“In the light of the new information, we will be looking into what happened and if need be, we will ask the Americans for explanations,” Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said. He said Denmark has previously informed the United States that any unauthorized use of its airspace was “unacceptable.”

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Chavez Warns ‘U.S. Pawn’ Uribe of Impending War

January 26, 2008 

Argentina – La Capital – Original Article (Spanish)

In a further escalation of tension between the two countries, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, accused Colombia’s President, Alvaro Uribe, of “devising a belligerent provocation,” on orders from the United States, “that could ignite a war.” “I accuse the Government of Columbia of plotting a conspiracy, an act of war against Venezuela, on orders from the United States,  to which we will be obliged to respond in a way that could ignite a war,” said Chavez during a press conference alongside his colleague Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua.Read more The press conference, held on the eve of the Sixth Summit Meeting of ALBA [Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America - Chavez' answer to Free Trade Agreements with the U.S.], the Venezuelan leader stressed that it was no coincidence that three senior officials of the United States, including Condoleezza Rice, had been in Colombia during the past few days.

Like FBI, CIA Has Used Secret ‘Letters’

For three years, the Bush administration has drawn fire from civil liberties groups over its use of national security letters, a kind of administrative subpoena that compels private businesses such as telecommunications companies to turn over information to the government. After the 2001 USA Patriot Act loosened the guidelines, the FBI issued tens of thousands of such requests, something critics say amounts to warrantless spying on Americans who have not been charged with crimes.Now, newly released documents shed light on the use of the letters by the CIA. The spy agency has employed them to obtain financial information about U.S. residents and does so under extraordinary secrecy, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained copies of CIA letters under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Email missing from Cheney’s office on day White House told to preserve documents in CIA leak

New report shows archives gone on several key days in Plame investigation

Among the sixteen days for which email are missing from Vice President Cheney’s office is Sept. 30, 2003, the same day the day the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced they were investigating who outed former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson.

That morning, then-White House counsel Alberto Gonzales ordered the president and the vice president’s staff to “preserve all materials that might be relevant” to an inchoate Justice Department probe.

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Bush Family Nazi Connection

Opium fields spread across Iraq as farmers try to make ends meet

God = Gold, Oil, Drugs.  
Opium fields spread across Iraq as farmers try to make ends meet Click here for full-size version

The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops.

Afghan with experience in planting poppies have been helping farmers switch to producing opium in fertile parts of Diyala province, once famous for its oranges and pomegranates, north- east of Baghdad.

At a heavily guarded farm near the town of Buhriz, south of the provincial capital Baquba, poppies are grown between the orange trees in order to hide them, according to a local source.

The shift by Iraqi farmers to producing opium was first revealed by The Independent last May and is a very recent development. The first poppy fields, funded by drug smugglers who previously supplied Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with heroin from Afghanistan, were close to the city of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. The growing of poppies has now spread to Diyala, which is one of the places in Iraq where al-Qa’ida is still resisting US and Iraqi government forces. It is also deeply divided between Sunni, Shia and Kurd and the extreme violence means that local security men have little time to deal with the drugs trade. The speed with which farmers are turning to poppies is confirmed by the Iraqi news agency al-Malaf Press, which says that opium is now being produced around the towns of Khalis, Sa’adiya, Dain’ya and south of Baladruz, pointing out that these are all areas where al-Qa’ida is strong.

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Station Chief Made Appeal To Destroy CIA Tapes

 

By Joby Warrick and Walter Pincus

Washington Post Staff Writers and Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, January 16, 2008; Page A01

In late 2005, the retiring CIA station chief in Bangkok sent a classified cable to his superiors in Langley asking if he could destroy videotapes recorded at a secret CIA prison in Thailand that in part portrayed intelligence officers using simulated drowning to extract information from suspected al-Qaeda members.

The tapes had been sitting in the station chief’s safe, in the U.S. Embassy compound, for nearly three years. Although those involved in the interrogations had pushed for the tapes’ destruction in those years and a secret debate about it had twice reached the White House, CIA officials had not acted on those requests. This time was different.

The CIA had a new director and an acting general counsel, neither of whom sought to block the destruction of the tapes, according to agency officials. The station chief was insistent because he was retiring and wanted to resolve the matter before he left, the officials said. And in November 2005, a published report that detailed a secret CIA prison system provoked an international outcry.

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A Scramble at the CIA to Lawyer Up

Original in Newsweek 

Attorney general Michael Mukasey’s decision to launch a full-scale FBI probe into the destruction of CIA interrogation tapes has sent several alarmed agency employees scrambling to find lawyers. To lead the probe, the A.G. named John Durham, a hard-nosed veteran prosecutor who is assembling a team of deputies and FBI agents. Some CIA veterans fear the move is tantamount to unleashing an independent counsel on Langley. “A lot of people are worried,” says one former CIA official, who asked not to be identified talking about sensitive matters. “Whenever you have the bureau running around the building, it’s going to turn up some heads. This could turn into a witch hunt.” Justice officials say Durham was assigned to investigate the 2005 decision to destroy the tapes—not the activities recorded on them, including the use of waterboarding on Al Qaeda suspects. But at this point, Durham has no formal mandate on the probe’s scope, giving him the freedom to expand it if he chooses. “We’re going to follow this wherever it leads,” says one Justice official, who asked not to be identified discussing an ongoing probe.

One key figure, Jose Rodriguez, the former CIA chief of clandestine services who gave the order to destroy the videotapes, has retained Robert Bennett, a renowned defense lawyer who represented Bill Clinton in the Paula Jones lawsuit. Another potential witness, George Tenet, who was CIA director when the tapes were made, will be represented by former FBI general counsel Howard Shapiro. Roy Krieger, a Washington lawyer who has represented about 100 CIA employees, says that two agency officers have approached him about representation, though neither has retained him yet.

For the CIA spooks involved, cost is a serious issue. Krieger says legal expenses for each employee could reach “hundreds of thousands” of dollars; the CIA will not foot the bill. In anticipation of just such a scenario, however, the agency some years ago began encouraging its employees to purchase special liability-insurance policies from Wright & Co., a Virginia firm that specializes in coverage for government investigators. A Wright spokesman had no response to questions about whether claims have been filed for legal fees in connection with the tapes inquiry. CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano confirmed the agency does not pay its officers’ legal bills, but added “only a very, very small subset of agency activities ever become the subject of litigation or investigation.”

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Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff

CIA chief to drag White House into torture cover-up storm

THE CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of two top Al-Qaeda suspects has indicated he may seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for testifying before the House intelligence committee.

Jose Rodriguez, former head of the CIA’s clandestine service, is determined not to become the fall guy in the controversy over the CIA’s use of torture, according to intelligence sources.

It has emerged that at least four White House staff were approached for advice about the tapes, including David Addington, a senior aide to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, but none has admitted to recommending their destruction.

Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorism at the CIA, said it was impossible for Rodriguez to have acted on his own: “If everybody was against the decision, why in the world would Jose Rodriguez – one of the most cautious men I have ever met – have gone ahead and destroyed them?”

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Destruction of C.I.A. Tapes Cleared by Lawyers

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 – Lawyers within the clandestine branch of the Central Intelligence Agency gave written approval in advance to the destruction in 2005 of hundreds of hours of videotapes documenting interrogations of two lieutenants from Al Qaeda, according to a former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the episode.The involvement of agency lawyers in the decision making would widen the scope of the inquiries into the matter that have now begun in Congress and within the Justice Department. Any written documents are certain to be a focus of government investigators as they try to reconstruct the events leading up to the tapes’ destruction.

The former intelligence official acknowledged that there had been nearly two years of debate among government agencies about what to do with the tapes, and that lawyers within the White House and the Justice Department had in 2003 advised against a plan to destroy them. But the official said that C.I.A. officials had continued to press the White House for a firm decision, and that the C.I.A. was never given a direct order not to destroy the tapes.

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9/11 Panel Suspected Deception by Pentagon

If the 9/11 commision doen’t believe the crap they’ve been fed than why should you?

By Dan Eggen

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 2, 2006; Page A03

Some staff members and commissioners of the Sept. 11 panel concluded that the Pentagon’s initial story of how it reacted to the 2001 terrorist attacks may have been part of a deliberate effort to mislead the commission and the public rather than a reflection of the fog of events on that day, according to sources involved in the debate.

Suspicion of wrongdoing ran so deep that the 10-member commission, in a secret meeting at the end of its tenure in summer 2004, debated referring the matter to the Justice Department for criminal investigation, according to several commission sources. Staff members and some commissioners thought that e-mails and other evidence provided enough probable cause to believe that military and aviation officials violated the law by making false statements to Congress and to the commission, hoping to hide the bungled response to the hijackings, these sources said.

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