Tags: CIA, George W Bush
I read in the Washington Post that US president George W Bush has signed an executive order saying that the CIA shall respect international law when interrogating so called terrorist suspects:
In an executive order lacking any details about actual interrogation techniques, Bush said the CIA program will now comply with a Geneva Conventions prohibition against “outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”
That was something unforeseen. In fact, I happen to think that all governments and parliaments in the World should follow suit. Why not pass a legislation making it illegal to break the law?
Tags: CIA, George W Bush, Michael Hayden
It is not much of a surprise that Iraq is in a chaos and the Iraqi government is incapable of governing the country. Neither is it a surprise that this is not likely to change. But I am somewhat surprised to learn that CIA Director Michael V. Hayden says so, albeit behind closed doors, addressing members of a by-partisan Iraq study group in the White House. Incidentally, he said so just after his boss, President George W. Bush had said the contrary, praising the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki and saying that “a constitutional order is emerging”.
The Washington Post quotes Hayden as saying:
“the inability of the government to govern seems irreversible,” adding that he could not “point to any milestone or checkpoint where we can turn this thing around,”
“The government is unable to govern,” Hayden concluded. “We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function.”
Much of the World knows this, of course. Saddam was one of the worse tyrants in the human history but there was one thing you could take for granted during his regime: it was stable. His cruel and evil rule was the only thing keeping the country in one piece, though. It could not have been governed without that tyranny, to be honest, as little as it can be governed now.
It is positive per se that Michael V. Hayden acknowledged this irreversible instability, be it in a closed briefing. However, he did not deliver an answer to the obvious question: what should be done with a country which can not be governed as one country?
Tags: CIA, I. Lewis Libby
Can’t help but to repeat what I was asking back then. Who will be the next person on trial? And where are they going to be tried? In a Federal Court? Or as high up as in the U.S. Senate?
That is where the last president stood trial, too, by the way.
Tags: CIA, fbi
CBC reports that FBI agents in the bureau’s Buffalo field office routinely and regulary cross the Canadian border and conduct investigations inside Canada. In 30 % of the incidents they have “forgotten” to ask the Canadian officials for an approval.
That is not a nice thing to do! FBI is not supposed to operate in Canada without asking the Canadians first. Only CIA is allowed to do that.
Tags: CIA, Michael Hayden
The Washington Post writes that US senate confirmed General Michael Hayden as the new CIA director by a the convincing majority of 78-15. As The Post points out, Hayden managed to convince a large enough part of the skeptical democratic senators to make his confirmation a bipartisan issue.
The spepticism was obviously prompted by General Hayden’s active part in launching the much disputed secret eavesdropping and call-tracking programme. I have not studied Hayden’s earlier career in detail but I have the impression about him as an intelligence proffessional. I must ask myself what I would have done in his position within the NSA if I had detected that the administration was going to launch the questionable programme no matter what.
Would I have resigned or would I have stayed on the job to make sure that the damage to civil liberties is limited to a minimum? I do not know but fortunately I do not need to know. I am not an intelligence person, nor a soldier of any rank. Which gives me the luxuory of observing and critisizing actions and decisions taken by people like Michael Hayden.
Wonkette comments the confirmation with very colorful language which I am not going to quote. You will have to click to the link for yourself if you want to find out. Judging from the comments added to the post I think the problem is less that Michael Hayden was confirmed than the fact that the vote was bipartisan.
If you seek a partisan point of view at any cost, it would make sense to be a bit sour. But I think Wonkette is being a bit unfair against Michael Hayden by putting all the blame of the spy programme to his shoulders. Let us face it, the administration was going ahead with the programme anyway. Mr. Hayden chose to stay but the spying would have taken place even if he had run out banging the doors. It would make more sense to shoot at president Bush than his messengers.
I must congratulate Sen. Arlen Specter for his integrity. The head of Senate Judiciary Committee was the only republican to vote against Hayden’s confirmation. The vote was a protest against the administration for dragging their feet in accounting for the disputable monitoring.
The CIA is supposed to operate only outside US territory. The opposite would obviously be illegal. So I am more likely to be spied by General Hayden’s new office than those within USA who raise concerns about his confirmation. And I am not very concerned.