30 March 2013:
Ken Dilanian @KenDilanianLAT
Intelligence and national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times in Washington
Washington, DC · http://www.latimes.com
Ken Dilanian @KenDilanianLAT 28 Mar
@newacademic What I'm saying is that the acting chief of the clandestine service is not the
woman you reference. [Bikowsky]
Cryptome @Cryptomeorg 26m [March 30, 2013]
@newacademic @KenDilanianLAT Why do so many brag knowing but will not tell, why black
book courtesan? Ah, honor bound.
29 March 2013
Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Head of CIA Darkside?
Several recent news reports (1, 2, 3) claim the new head of CIA clandestine service is a woman,
first female to head the darkside division. None publicly name her, although her identity is said
to be known to journalists. She is said to be a formerly top member of the CIA bin Laden hunt
team, former COS in New York City and London, an advocate of destroying CIA torture tapes as
assistant to Deuce Martinez and an esteemed briefer of Presidents of the United States.
Alfreda Frances Bikowsky would fit that profile.
Bikowsky was first publicly identified by Rory O'Connor and Ray Nowosielski in October 2011:
O'Connor and Nowosielski rightly complain that too much attention was given to bin Laden-
running spooks and too little to their cover-up of withholding vital information about the
impending 9/11 attack -- according to the co-head of the 9/11 Commission.
Before that Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo identified Bikowsky by her middle name in a
lengthy report on lack of punishment and promotion for CIA "grave mistakes:"
At the Counterterrorism Center, some had doubts that el-Masri was a terrorist, current and
former U.S. officials said. But Frances, a counterterrorism analyst with no field experience,
pushed ahead. She supported el-Masri's rendition — in which the CIA snatches someone and
takes him to another country. The AP agreed to the CIA's request to refer to Frances by her
middle name because her first is unusual.
Lately, Bikowsky is allegedly part of a composite character for the movie Zero Dark Thirty.
FRIDAY, OCT 14, 2011 05:00 AM MST
Insiders voice doubts about
CIA’s 9/11 story
Former FBI agents say the agency's bin Laden unit misled them about two hijackers
BY RORY O'CONNOR AND RAY NOWOSIELSKI
Topics: 9/11, CIA, Politics News
Tom Kean, George Tenet,
Richard Clarke. Inset: The Pentagon on fire after an aircraft crashes into it, Sept. 11, 2001.
A growing number of former government insiders — all responsible officials who served in a number of
federal posts — are now on record as doubting ex-CIA director George Tenet’s account of events leading
up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Among them are several special agents of the FBI,
the former counterterrorism head in the Clinton and Bush administrations, and the chairman of the 9/11
Commission, who told us the CIA chief had been “obviously not forthcoming” in his testimony and had
misled the commissioners.
These doubts about the CIA first emerged among a group of 9/11 victims’ families whose struggle to
force the government to investigate the causes of the attacks, we chronicled in our 2006 documentary
film “Press for Truth.” At that time, we thought we were done with the subject. But tantalizing
information unearthed by the 9/11 Commission’s final report and spotted by the families (Chapter 6,
footnote 44) raised a question too important to be put aside:
Did Tenet fail to share intelligence with the White House and the FBI in 2000 and 2001 that could have
prevented the attacks? Specifically, did a group in the CIA’s al-Qaida office engage in a domestic covert
action operation involving two of the 9/11 hijackers, that — however legitimate the agency’s goals may
have been — hindered the type of intelligence-sharing that could have prevented the attacks? And if
not, then what would explain seemingly inexplicable actions by CIA employees?
As we sought to clarify how the CIA had handled information about the hijackers before 9/11, we found
a half dozen former government insiders who came away from the Sept. 11 tragedy feeling burned by
the CIA, particularly by a small group of employees within the agency’s bin Laden unit in 2000 and 2001,
then known as Alec Station.
Among them was Gov. Thomas Kean, co-chairman of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks
Upon the United States, which was responsible for investigating 9/11. He agreed to an on-camera
interview for our documentary in 2008. He surprised us by voicing many doubts and questions about the
CIA’s actions preceding Sept. 11 — and especially about former CIA director George Tenet.
Four years after Tenet testified to the commission, Kean said the CIA director had been “obviously not
forthcoming” in some of his testimony. Tenet said under oath that he had not met with President Bush
in the month of August 2001, Kean recalled. It was later learned he had done so twice.
Did Tenet misspeak? we asked the New Jersey Republican.
“No, I don’t think he misspoke,” Kean responded. “I think he misled.”
A tale of two hijackers
The story buried in footnote 44 of Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Commission report was this:
The commission became aware in early 2004 of a warning written by Doug Miller, an FBI agent working
inside the CIA’s Alec Station. In January 2000, Miller tried to inform his bosses about a man named
Khalid Al Mihdhar, who had previously been identified as a member of an al-Qaida operational cadre. By
the spring of 2000, the CIA had learned that Mihdhar and another suspected al-Qaida operative, Nawaf
Al Hazmi, had likely arrived in Southern California. But the CIA did not pass along the information to the
The draft cable — blocked by Miller’s CIA superiors — was not turned over to the commissioners or to
the earlier congressional investigation. It was discovered in CIA records by an investigator working for a
concurrent inquiry conducted by the Justice Department’s inspector general. Apparently it had been
missed by Tenet’s DCI Review Group, convened immediately after the attacks to examine CIA records in
order to prepare the director for the coming government investigations.
Kean was disturbed by the revelation.
“The idea that that information was left out of something that was so essential for the FBI, whose job it
is to work within the United States and track these people … you know, it’s one of the most troubling
aspects of our entire report, that particular thing,” Kean said.
We pushed Kean. Could it be this was a simple mistake, a failure to recognize the significance of
Mihdhar and Hazmi, as the CIA had initially characterized it?
“Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight,” Kean replied. “It was purposeful. No question about that in my mind
… In the DNA of these organizations was secrecy.”
Mihdhar and Hazmi boarded American Flight 77 at Washington Dulles airport on the morning of Sept.
11. After the plane took off, they joined three other men in commandeering the aircraft and flying it into
the Pentagon, killing a total of 184 people.
So how then had George Tenet and those responsible at the CIA managed to get away with
misrepresenting the incident as a mistake for so long?
“Tenet was a likable guy,” Kean concluded. “He got away with some stuff because people liked him.”
“Malfeasance and misfeasance”
In 2009, former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke took the scenario further. In an on-
camera interview he suggested that Tenet, once a close friend and colleague, had ordered the
withholding of the information about the two al-Qaida operatives from the FBI and from the White
Clarke explained why he had come to that remarkable conclusion. Tenet, he said, followed all
information about al-Qaida “in microscopic detail” and would call Clarke at the White House several
times a day to share “the most trivial of information.” In addition, there were terrorism threat meetings
held in person every other day.
We must have had dozens, scores of threat committee meetings over the time when they knew these
guys had entered the country … They told us everything except this … So now the question is, why?
The only explanation Clarke could offer was admittedly speculative: that the CIA may have been running
an operation to recruit the two al-Qaida operatives while they were living under their own names in
Southern California. This might appear to have been a reasonable thing for the CIA to do. After all, Bill
Clinton’s White House had long complained to the agency about the lack of penetration agents in al-
But if the CIA was following or recruiting or monitoring Mihdhar and Hazmi in the United States, that
might well have qualified as operating on U.S. soil, a violation of the agency’s charter. Once the two men
were identified as hijackers on Flight 77, CIA officials may have begun a coverup of their earlier
“malfeasance and misfeasance,” as Clarke charges.
His language is blunt, especially for a national security policymaker.
“I am outraged and have been ever since I first learned that the CIA knew these guys were in the
country,” explained Clarke. “But I believed for the longest time that this was probably one or two low-
level CIA people who made the decision not to disseminate the information. Now that I know that 50
CIA officers knew this, and they included all kinds of people who were regularly talking to me, saying I’m
pissed doesn’t begin to describe it.”
Clarke said he assumed that “there was a high-level decision in the CIA ordering people not to share that
information.” When asked who might have issued such an order, he replied, “I would think it would
have been made by the director,” referring to Tenet — although he added that Tenet and others would
never admit to the truth today “even if you waterboarded them.”
The view from the FBI
We found the same suspicion was also prevalent among FBI counterterrorism agents from the time,
particularly those who had worked under a legendary FBI agent named John O’Neill in New York. O’Neill,
movingly portrayed in Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Looming Tower,” was one of the
special agents in charge of counterterrorism in the FBI’s New York office. He retired to serve as chief of
security at the World Trade Center and was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, only three weeks after leaving
O’Neill’s deputy for counterterrorism was Pasquale D’Amuro, who was appointed inspector in charge of
the FBI’s investigation into the attacks.
“I am cautious about saying it, because you have to deal with the facts,” D’Amuro told us. He said that
he was told that Richard Blee, the chief of Alec Station, and his deputy, Tom Wilshere, had blocked the
sharing of intelligence on Mihdhar and Hazmi with the FBI.
“I had heard that Blee stopped it from coming over, that Blee and Wilshere had had the conversation
and stopped it,” D’Amuro said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that that went up further in the agency
than just those two guys. And why they didn’t send it over — to this day, I don’t know why.”
Jack Cloonan, former manager at the FBI’s al-Qaida-busting I-49 Squad, is another insider pained by the
“If you start to look into everything that’s Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi, you can’t help but
conclude to most people’s minds that this is it,” Cloonan, said during an emotional interview in his New
Jersey living room. “9/11 occurred not because the systems failed. The systems actually worked.
Somebody made a critical decision not to share this information … If you look at this, it’s really just a
handful of people. I don’t know how they sleep at night, I really don’t.”
The CIA’s failure to inform the FBI meant that a last chance to stop the hijackers was missed, says Clarke.
“And if they had….” Clarke told us, his voice trailing off. “Even as late as Sept. 4,” he went on, “we would
have conducted a massive sweep. We would have conducted it publicly. We would have found those
assholes. There’s no doubt in my mind — even with only a week left — we would have found them…”
Clarke is not an infallible or even a disinterested witness. As a top counterterrorism adviser at the time
of the attack, he cannot help but take the tragedy personally. That said, the fact that at least three FBI
agents share his views certainly enhances his credibility.
A spokesman for the CIA rejects the notion, telling Salon, “any suggestion that the CIA purposely refused
to share critical lead information on the 9/11 plots with the FBI is simply wrong.” The spokesman cited
the 9/11 Commission report and a report of the CIA’s independent inspector general. (The latter study,
completed in 2004, has never been made public.)
The story of the alleged CIA intelligence failure attracted little other media interest until this August.
That’s when Tenet, Richard Blee and another CIA official criticized by Clarke, Counterterrorism Center
director J. Cofer Black, replied to our request for an interview. We had asked them to respond to
Although they declined to be interviewed, Tenet, Black and Blee sent us a joint written statement that
charged Clarke was “reckless and profoundly wrong” and that he had “suddenly invented baseless
allegations which are belied by the record and unworthy of serious consideration.”
The statement, which we shared with the Daily Beast, was newsworthy because the three men had
never before felt the need to explain their actions directly to the American public.
“We testified under oath about what we did, and what we didn’t know,” they stated. “We stand by that
The relevance of their testimony to Clarke’s theory is hard to assess. Tenet and Black were never asked
about the surveillance of Mihdhar and Hazmi, at least in their public testimony. Blee’s testimony has
never been made public.
“You’re not going to say anything”
The CIA’s explanation is not convincing to Mark Rossini, an FBI agent who was assigned to Alec Station in
2000 and 2001. The assignment of tracking Khalid Al Mihdhar, he told us, had been given to a young
staff operations officer who shared responsibility for watching events in Yemen along with Alec Station
deputy chief Tom Wilshere.
Rossini, who resigned from the FBI in the wake of legal troubles, recalled in a phone interview that the
staff officer’s direct supervisor was a redheaded analyst working directly for Wilshere. He says that this
supervisor, not referred to by even so much as an alias in any of the government reports on 9/11, is the
same woman who told congressional investigators that she had hand-delivered Mihdhar’s visa
information to FBI headquarters. This was later proven false when the investigators checked the log
books at the FBI headquarters, discovering that she had never set foot in the building. Eleanor Hill, staff
director of the congressional inquiry, also told us that her investigators found no evidence that the FBI
had ever received the information.
Rossini remembered that the staff operations officer working under that redhead had ordered him and
his fellow FBI agent Doug Miller not to tell their colleagues at the bureau, including John O’Neill’s New
York office, that Mihdhar was likely on his way to the United States in early 2000.
“She got a little heated,” Rossini recalled. “She just put her hand on her hip and just said to me, ‘Listen,
it’s not an FBI case. It’s not an FBI matter. When we want the FBI to know, we’ll let them know. And
you’re not going to say anything.’”
Only two days before, this same officer had sent a message internally throughout the CIA misleading her
fellow agents into believing that the information had been passed on to the FBI. Her later conversation
with Rossini makes it appear that this was a deliberate misstatement. According to the Justice
Department inspector general, she sent the misleading message only hours after posting an electronic
note on Doug Miller’s draft warning to the FBI: “pls hold off … for now per [the CIA deputy chief of bin
Laden unit],” a reference to Tom Wilshere.
We now know the staff officer is a woman named Michael Anne Casey. Her red-haired supervisor was a
woman named Alfreda Frances Bikowsky.
Google penetrates the CIA
How we learned the names of those two CIA personnel can be summarized in one word: Google. In the
case of the redhead, an Associated Press article from February 2011 seemed to refer to her. She had
also been referenced in Jane Mayer’s book “The Dark Side,” by her middle name, Frances. The AP article
stated that she had an unusual first name. After searching State Department nominations from the past
decade — often cover positions for CIA personnel but still entered into the Congressional Record -– a
contemporary historian named Kevin Fenton with whom we work closely found a name that seemed to
For the staff officer, we knew three important facts. She had a “man’s name” — most likely Michael, the
name used in the Commission Report. She was in her late 20s at the time of the incident, and was a “CIA
brat,” meaning she had at least one parent or another family member inside the agency. We wondered
if she might be related to a prominent CIA figure, as her boss Richard Blee had turned out to be. One of
the first names that came to mind, given her probable birth year, was William J. Casey, Ronald Reagan’s
Pairing the first name “Michael” with the last name “Casey,” we found a number of people with that
name working in State Department or military positions. Again looking in the Congressional Record, we
found the name Michael Anne Casey — a woman with a man’s name — and another website listing
Casey as 27 years old in 1999 and living in the D.C. area, which seemed to make her very likely the
person in question. (Incidentally, we were later informed that she is no relation to William J. Casey.)
A CIA threat
When we informed the agency’s Public Affairs office that we planned to release an investigative podcast
on iTunes on Sunday, Sept. 11, that named Bikowsky and Casey, the agency replied immediately.
“We strongly believe it is irresponsible and a potential violation of criminal law [emphasis added] to
print the names of two reported undercover CIA officers who you claim have been involved in the hunt
against al-Qaida,” said spokesman Preston Golson.
Erring on the side of caution, we took the names out of our podcast. On the day we released the revised
podcast on our website, we heard from Sibel Edmonds. A former FBI analyst and prominent
whistleblower, Edmonds posted a story on her blog Sept. 21 stating that she had three credible sources
and a document confirming that the redhead in our revised story was Bikowsky. She also stated that the
staff officer involved was Michael Anne Casey and cited our website, Secrecy Kills. It was only then that
we discovered our webmaster had briefly and inadvertently placed our entire email to the CIA on our
site. Edmonds saw the information and published it.
Within minutes the information had spread widely through social media on the Internet. Before long
Gawker breathlessly announced the latest of the CIA’s problems: that Bikowsky, who had risen to
become the head of the CIA’s global jihad unit, had been outed. The rather more significant story — that
a CIA intelligence failure had contributed to the 9/11 attacks — got short shrift from the popular gossip
In an effort to clarify the story, we asked the CIA two factual questions. We asked if Bikowsky’s
statement to the congressional 9/11 inquiry — that she had delivered Mihdhar’s visa information to the
FBI prior to the attacks — was accurate.
We also asked if former FBI agent Mark Rossini’s recollection that Michael Anne Casey had told him not
to report information about Mihdhar and Hazmi was accurate.
The agency did not address the specifics of either question.
“We do not, as a rule, publicly confirm or deny the identities of currently serving agency officers,” a
spokesman replied. “That includes those dedicated to the disruption of terrorist plots. The officers
involved in those critical efforts have, thanks to their skill and focus, saved countless American lives.”
The story of Mihdhar and Hazmi could easily be clarified, says Robert Baer, a retired CIA officer in the
Middle East who worked directly with some of the people involved.
“A lot of these people who withheld this information were not covert operatives,” he explained. “There
was no reason to hide their names. They are out there in the public. You can find them in data and
credit checks and the rest of it … They certainly could have been brought before the House or the Senate
in closed session and an explanation and a report put out there.”
Langley on the defensive
The CIA prefers not to disclose but to protect the handful of people at the heart of this story.
Tenet remained George W. Bush’s CIA director for another two and a half years, where he was famously
involved in passing along faulty intelligence about weapons of mass destruction that justified the
disastrous invasion of Iraq. On Dec. 14, 2004, George Tenet was awarded the Presidential Medal of
Freedom by President Bush.
Richard Blee, chief of Alec Station in 2001, reportedly took over the CIA operation during the invasion of
Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama bin Laden when bin Laden was surrounded in the mountains of
Tora Bora three months after 9/11. According to 23-year career CIA officer Gary Berntsen, as reported in
his book, “Jawbreaker,” Blee was in charge at the time bin Laden managed to slip away to Pakistan to
live comfortably for nearly a decade. Harper’s Ken Silverstein reported that Blee was active in the
controversial renditions and detainee-abuse programs. He is now retired and living in Los Angeles.
We do not know exactly what became of Tom Wilshere, a mysterious figure who has managed to
maintain an even lower profile than the rest. Dale Watson, former head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism
Division, told us that us that Wilshere became a White House briefer during the Bush era.
Casey and Bikowsky have risen in the CIA’s ranks, despite the fact that Bikowsky has been associated
with at least one major blunder. The AP reported that Bikowsky was at the center of “the el-Masri
incident,” in which an innocent German citizen was renditioned (a euphemism for kidnapped) by the CIA
in 2003 and held under terrible conditions (a euphemism for tortured) in a secret Afghan prison. The AP
characterized it as “one of the biggest diplomatic embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism.” It was
no doubt something more to Khaled el-Masri. Despite that episode Bikowsky was promoted.
As chief of the counterterrorism center, Cofer Black was the boss of Casey, Bikowsky and Blee. He too
was associated with the abuses of the extraordinary rendition program. He resigned shortly after
George Bush was elected to a second term. Black then served as vice chairman of Blackwater USA, the
controversial U.S.-based private security firm, from 2005 to 2008. Earlier this month Republican
presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced that Black would join his campaign as a foreign policy
Rory O’Connor is an award-winning journalist, author and filmmaker, and co-founder and president of
the international media firm Globalvision. Producer-writer Ray Nowosielski made his documentary
debut directing "Press for Truth" in 2006. Co-founder of the media production company Banded Artists,
he also was a senior producer for Globalvision. MORE RORY O'CONNOR AND RAY NOWOSIELSKI.
CIA officers make grave
mistakes, get promoted
AP: Since 9/11, many whose errors left people wrongly imprisoned or dead have received
only minor admonishments or no punishment at all
Sebastian Widmann / AFP - Getty Images file
German national of Lebanese origin Khaled el-Masri sitting at the start of his trial at court in Memmingen, southern Germany, where he was
accused of beating the mayor of Neu-Ulm, southern Germany in September 2009.
By ADAM GOLDMAN, MATT APUZZO
updated 2/9/2011 5:33:38 AM ET
WASHINGTON — In December 2003, security forces boarded a bus in Macedonia and
snatched a German citizen named Khaled el-Masri. For the next five months, el-Masri
was a ghost. Only a select group of CIA officers knew he had been whisked to a secret
prison for interrogation in Afghanistan.
But he was the wrong guy.
A hard-charging CIA analyst had pushed the agency into one of the biggest diplomatic
embarrassments of the U.S. war on terrorism. Yet despite recommendations by an
internal review, the analyst was never punished. In fact, she has risen to one of the
premier jobs in the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, helping lead President Barack
Obama's efforts to disrupt al-Qaida.
In the years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, officers who committed serious
mistakes that left people wrongly imprisoned or even dead have received only minor
admonishments or no punishment at all, an Associated Press investigation has
revealed. The botched el-Masri case is but one example of a CIA accountability process
that even some within the agency say is unpredictable and inconsistent.
Story: Extension of Patriot Act provisions fails in House
Though Obama has sought to put the CIA's interrogation program behind him, the result
of a decade of haphazard accountability is that many officers who made significant
missteps are now the senior managers fighting the president's spy wars.
The AP investigation of the CIA's actions revealed a disciplinary system that takes years
to make decisions, hands down reprimands inconsistently and is viewed inside the
agency as prone to favoritism and manipulation. When people are disciplined, the
punishment seems to roll downhill, sparing senior managers even when they were
directly involved in operations that go awry.
Two officers involved in the death of a prisoner in Afghanistan, for instance, received no
discipline and have advanced into Middle East leadership positions. Other officers were
punished after participating in a mock execution in Poland and playing a role in the
death of a prisoner in Iraq. Those officers retired, then rejoined the intelligence
community as contractors.
Some lawmakers were so concerned about the lack of accountability that last year they
created a new inspector general position with broad authority to investigate missteps in
the CIA or anywhere else in the intelligence community.
"There are occasions when people ought to be fired," former Sen. Kit Bond said in
November as he completed his tenure as the top Republican on the Senate Intelligence
Committee. "Someone who made a huge error ought not to be working at the agency.
We've seen instance after instance where there hasn't been accountability."
In a makeshift prison fashioned out of an abandoned Afghan brick factory, CIA officers
left terrorism suspect Gul Rahman overnight in an unheated cell as the early morning
temperature hovered around freezing.
Known as Salt Pit, the jail was the precursor to the CIA's secret network of overseas
prisons. Guards wore masks. There, stripped half naked, Rahman froze to death in
The CIA's inspector general launched an inquiry. The results have never been made
public but were summarized for AP by former officials who, like most of the dozens of
people who discussed the CIA's disciplinary system, insisted on anonymity because
they were not authorized to discuss it.
The investigation determined that the CIA's top officer at the prison, Matt, displayed
poor judgment by leaving Rahman in the cold. The report also expressed concerns
about the role of Paul, the CIA station chief in Afghanistan, and later placed some
blame on agency management at headquarters.
1. Most popular
The AP is identifying Matt, Paul and other current and former undercover CIA officers —
though only by partial names — because they are central to the question of who is
being held accountable and because it enhances the credibility of AP's reporting in this
case. AP's policy is to use names whenever possible. The AP determined that even the
most sophisticated commercial information services could not be used to derive the
officers' full names or, for example, find their home addresses knowing only their first
names and the fact of their CIA employment. The AP has withheld further details that
could help identify them.
The CIA asked that the officers not be identified at all, saying doing so would benefit
terrorists and hostile nations. Spokesman George Little called the AP's decision
"nothing short of reckless" but did not provide any specific information about threats.
The CIA has previously provided detailed arguments in efforts to persuade senior
executives at the AP and other U.S. news organizations to withhold or delay publishing
information it said would endanger lives or national security, but that did not happen in
The CIA regularly reviews books by retired officers and allows them to identify their
undercover colleagues by first name and last initial, even when they're still on the job.
The CIA said only the agency is equipped to make those decisions through a formal
After the inspector general reviewed the Rahman case, he referred the matter to the
Department of Justice for the first of several legal reviews. Though current and former
officials say it was a close call, prosecutors decided not to bring charges.
Next, a review board comprised of senior officers examined the case and found a
number of troubling problems. The board was conflicted.
Matt was a young spy operating a prison in a war zone with little guidance about what
was and wasn't allowed. The CIA had never been in the interrogation and detention
business, so agency lawyers, President George W. Bush's White House and the Justice
Department were writing the rules as they went.
'One hand tied behind his back'
A former Naval intelligence officer, Matt had repeatedly asked the CIA for heaters and
additional help, but his requests were ignored by headquarters and by Paul, who was in
charge of all CIA operations in Afghanistan but who had no experience in a war zone.
"How far do you go to sanction a person who made a mistake with one hand tied behind
his back?" one former intelligence officer asked, recalling the board's discussions only
on condition of anonymity because they are private.
Finally, more than three years after the inquiry began, the board recommended Matt be
disciplined. Though the board believed he had not intended to kill Rahman, it
determined that as the head of the prison, he was responsible. The board did not
recommend punishing Paul. And nobody at headquarters was to be disciplined.
The recommendations were viewed as unfair by some in the CIA. A young officer was
about to be disciplined while his supervisors all got a pass.
In the end, it turned out, everyone was treated the same. The CIA's No. 3 employee,
Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, reviewed the recommendations and decided nobody would be
punished. Foggo was later imprisoned in an unrelated corruption case.
In another case involving detainee mistreatment, a CIA interrogator named Albert put an
unloaded gun and a bitless drill to the head of an al-Qaida operative at a secret prison
in Poland. The inspector general labeled this a "mock execution" — something the U.S.
is forbidden to do. Albert was reprimanded. His boss, Mike, who ran the secret prison,
retired while the case was under investigation.
Albert returned to the agency as a CIA contractor and helped train future officers. Ron,
the Poland station chief who witnessed the mock execution but did not stop it, now runs
the Central European Division and oversees all operations in Russia.
Since Rahman's death, Paul's career has advanced quickly. He is chief of the Near East
Division, the section that overseas spy operations in Iraq, Iran and other Middle East
countries. It's one of the most important jobs in the agency. Matt has completed
assignments in Bahrain, Afghanistan and Pakistan, where he was deputy chief of tribal
Little, the CIA spokesman, said the agency's internal review process was vigorous and
thorough. In other cases, CIA Director Leon Panetta has fired employees for
misconduct, he said.
"Any suggestion that the agency does not take seriously its obligation to review
employee misconduct — including those of senior officers — is flat wrong," Little said.
The CIA wants its officers to take chances. Spying is a risky business and, as former
CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress, the agency wants its officers operating so
close to the legal boundaries that they get "chalk on their cleats."
When officers cross those lines, discipline is usually handled internally, which usually
means secretly. In complicated cases, the director can convene a group of senior
officers to review the matter, a panel known as an accountability board. But the board
can only make recommendations. It's up to the director whether to accept them.
These layers of review, along with parallel Justice Department and congressional
investigations, can drag on for years, leaving careers in limbo. And the results can leave
veteran officers confused about why some people were disciplined and others were not.
"It's unpredictable and scattershot," said John Maguire, a former senior operations
officer who spent 23 years at the CIA.
There are four branches of the CIA, but one commands more attention and wields more
clout than the others. The National Clandestine Service conducts espionage and runs
secret operations. It's the stuff of spy novels and Hollywood movies. It's also the place
most likely to get into high-profile trouble.
So when disciplinary issues arise, a politically appointed CIA director faces a dilemma.
Cracking down on missteps might earn the director some praise on Capitol Hill, but it's
also likely to cause grousing within the clubby, tight-knit spy community.
Directors who broadened the reach of the clandestine service, like William Casey under
President Ronald Reagan, are part of CIA lore. Those who tried to rein in the spies, like
John Deutch under President Bill Clinton, are still disparaged internally, years later.
The 9/11 Commission Report faulted the CIA for being "institutionally averse to risk"
before the terrorist attacks. In the post-9/11 CIA, officials say, nobody wants to be
accused of discouraging risk taking.
Do Egypt protests make al-Qaida 'irrelevant'?
There's a built-in tension between supporting officers who make difficult decisions and
holding them responsible when those decisions are incorrect, former CIA Director
James Woolsey said in an interview.
"If you don't want to deal with that tension, you should find another government job, one
where you're not faced with judging people who have made life and death decisions,"
The fallout from the bungled el-Masri kidnapping is an example of that tension.
At the Counterterrorism Center, some had doubts that el-Masri was a terrorist, current
and former U.S. officials said. But Frances, a counterterrorism analyst with no field
experience, pushed ahead. She supported el-Masri's rendition — in which the CIA
snatches someone and takes him to another country. The AP agreed to the CIA's
request to refer to Frances by her middle name because her first is unusual.
Senior managers knew what was happening, and a lawyer in the Counterterrorism
Center, Elizabeth, signed off on the decision, former officials said.
Once el-Masri arrived in Afghanistan, however, questions persisted. A second detainee
in U.S. custody looked at a picture of el-Masri and told CIA officers that they'd grabbed
the wrong man. Perhaps most glaring, el-Masri had a German passport. The man the
CIA was looking for was not a German citizen.
El-Masri says he was beaten, sodomized and drugged.
Even after the CIA confirmed that the German passport was authentic, Frances was not
convinced, former officials said. She argued against freeing el-Masri, saying his phone
had been linked to terrorists. For weeks, the U.S. knowingly held the wrong man, as top
CIA officers tried to figure out what to do.
Five months after the abduction, the U.S. privately acknowledged to the Germans what
had happened. El-Masri was quietly released.
"I was blindfolded, put back on a plane, flown to Europe and left on a hilltop in Albania
— without any explanation or apology for the nightmare that I had endured," el-Masri
wrote in The Los Angeles Times in 2007.
Story: German sues over alleged CIA kidnapping, torture
The CIA's inspector general opened an investigation and determined there had been no
legal justification for el-Masri's rendition. It was a startling finding. Though the inspector
general does not make legal conclusions, the CIA's watchdog had essentially said the
agency acted illegally.
The document has never been released but its findings were summarized by people
who have seen it. The report came down hard on Frances. She had been warned about
the uncertainties surrounding el-Masri's identity. There hadn't been enough evidence for
a rendition, the report said, but Frances pushed ahead.
"You can't render people because they have called a bad guy or know a bad guy," a
former U.S. intelligence official said, describing the investigation's findings on condition
of anonymity because the report still has not been released. "She was convinced he
was a bad guy."
Nobody in management was singled out for discipline.
The inspector general's report posed a dilemma for senior managers. Even before the
el-Masri case, station chiefs had complained to top CIA officials raising concerns about
Frances' operational judgment. But she was one of the few analysts who had a deep
knowledge of al-Qaida before 9/11, working in a former unit known as Alec Station
created to track down Osama bin Laden.
In the nascent war on terrorism, Frances and her team were essential and had racked
up successes. She was a tireless worker who made the wrong call under intense
pressure. Would disciplining her send a message that the best way to handle a tough
decision was not to make one?
The report also faulted Elizabeth, the lawyer. The inspector general said her legal
analysis was flawed. Elizabeth has a reputation in the agency as a diligent and cautious
lawyer. Before she agreed to conduct any legal analysis on interrogation tactics, for
instance, she insisted on being waterboarded, current and former officials said.
Hayden reviewed the report and decided Elizabeth should be reprimanded. Frances,
however, would be spared, current and former officials said.
Hayden didn't believe that two people who made similar mistakes had to be treated the
same way. Job titles and morale mattered. He told colleagues that he gave Frances a
pass because he didn't want to deter initiative within the counterterrorism ranks, a
former senior intelligence official recalled.
Hayden would not discuss any specific cases, but he said in an AP interview, "Beyond
the requirements of fairness and justice, you always made these decisions with an eye
toward the future health and operational success of the institution."
The disciplinary action made Elizabeth ineligible for bonuses and pay increases worth
thousands of dollars. But it didn't stall her career. She was promoted to the senior ranks
in 2005 and is now legal adviser to the CIA's Near East division.
While the inspector general was investigating the mishandled el-Masri case,
congressional investigators discovered several other CIA renditions that seemed to rest
on bad legal footing, a U.S. intelligence official said. The CIA looked into them and
conceded that, yes, the renditions had been based on faulty analysis.
But the agency said the renditions would have been approved even if the correct
analysis had been used, so nobody was disciplined.
Frances now runs the CIA's Global Jihad unit, the counterterrorism squad dedicated to
hunting down al-Qaida worldwide. She regularly briefs Panetta, making her an
influential voice in Obama's intelligence circle.
As evidence mounted of U.S. abuse of prisoners in the prison in Iraq, the CIA cleaned
house at its station in Baghdad. Many former officers point to that upheaval as an
example of accountability at work.
That's only partially true, AP's investigation found.
The Baghdad case is also a prime example of how peculiar the CIA's disciplinary
system can be.
U.S. authorities at Abu Ghraib forced prisoners to pose naked, wear leashes and
perform sexual acts. And in 2003, an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died in a
shower room under CIA interrogation.
Al-Jamadi was one of the CIA's "ghost" prisoners, those men who were captured and
interrogated but whose names were never entered in the Army's books. His head was
covered by a hood. His arms were shackled behind his back, then were bound to a
barred window. That way, he could stand without pain but if he tried to lower himself, his
arms would be painfully stretched above and behind him.
About a half hour later, a CIA interrogator called for military guards to reposition al-
Jamadi. He was slouching over, his arms stretched behind him. The CIA believed al-
Jamadi was playing possum, investigative documents show.
He was dead.
An Army autopsy report labeled al-Jamadi's death a homicide. He had been badly
injured during a struggle with the Navy SEALs who captured him, doctors said. But
those injuries alone wouldn't have killed him, the medical examiner said. The strained
position and the bag over his head contributed to his death, the doctor said.
The scandal at Abu Ghraib became a rallying point for anti-U.S. sentiment abroad.
Eleven soldiers were convicted of wrongdoing at the prison. All were publicly tried and
were kicked out of the Army.
Letter of reprimand
The CIA would face no such public scrutiny. Like its ghost prisoners, the CIA might as
well have never been at Abu Ghraib.
Steve, a CIA officer who ran the detainee unit there, received a letter of reprimand,
former officials said. Steve processed al-Jamadi into prison after the Navy SEALs
captured him. Investigators found that Steve violated procedure by not having a doctor
examine al-Jamadi. That decision delayed important medical care for a man who would
be dead within an hour.
Some on the Abu Ghraib review board believed Steve should have gotten a harsher
punishment, according to former senior intelligence officers privy to the board's
decisions. Steve retired and is now back at CIA as a contractor.
A CIA review board also faulted Baghdad's station chief, Gerry Meyer, and his deputy,
Gordon. But they were not blamed just for the problems at Abu Ghraib. The review
panel said they were too inexperienced to run the busy Baghdad station. As the
situation in Iraq worsened, the station ballooned from dozens of officers into a staff of
hundreds. Senior CIA managers left Meyer and Gordon in place until they were over
their heads, the review panel said.
Meyer resigned rather than take a demotion. His name and job title have been identified
in many books and articles since his resignation.
Gordon was temporarily barred from going overseas and sent to a training facility. But
he salvaged his career at the agency, rising within the Counterterrorism Center to run
the Pakistan-Afghanistan Department. In that role, Gordon, whom former colleagues
describe as a very capable officer, has briefed Obama.
Since 9/11, retired CIA officers have published a variety of books opining on what ails
the CIA. Their conclusions differ, but they are in nearly unanimous agreement that the
system of accountability is broken.
There are accounts of womanizing CIA managers who repeatedly violated the agency's
rules, only to receive a slap on the wrist, if anything, followed by promotion. Officers
who were favored by senior managers at headquarters were spared discipline. Those
without such political ties were more likely to face punishment.
In his book "Beyond Repair," longtime CIA officer Charles Faddis contrasted the CIA
with the military, where he said officers are held responsible for their mistakes and the
mistakes of their subordinates.
"There is no such system in place within the CIA, and the long-term effect is
catastrophically corrosive," Faddis wrote.
On Panetta's watch, about 100 employees, including about 20 senior officers, have
been subjected to disciplinary review, a U.S. intelligence official said. Of those, most
were disciplined and more than a third were fired or resigned, said the official.
Last year, Panetta finally punished 16 current and former officers involved in a mishap
in Peru nearly a decade ago. A civilian airplane that was misidentified as a drug flight
was shot down, killing an American missionary and her young daughter.
The current officers received "administrative penalties." And though there's no formal
way to discipline a retired officer, Panetta canceled a consulting contract for one of the
former officials involved.
Still, the case lasted for years as the CIA and Justice Department investigated, leaving
careers in question as officers wondered what would happen to them. Officers who
were ultimately exonerated had to wait for the process to play out.
Panetta was forceful in his handling of the Peru case. He was far less harsh in his
response to a deadly attack at a CIA base more recently in Khost, Afghanistan.
Story: Bomber names ex-CIA operative in Cuba attacks
Humam al-Balawi, a supposed al-Qaida turncoat whom the CIA codenamed "Wolf," had
promised to lead the U.S. to Osama bin Laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri. But al-
Balawi was really a double agent, and as the CIA ushered him onto its base in
December 2009, he detonated a suicide bomb. The explosion killed five CIA officers,
including the base chief, and two contractors. Six other people were injured in an attack
that led to criticism in and out of the CIA that the officers had violated basic rules.
In the face of that criticism, Panetta quickly defended his fallen officers. In a Washington
Post op-ed written days after the attack, he said the CIA would learn from the lessons of
Khost. But he said little was to be gained by accusations of bad spycraft.
"No one ignored the hazards" of bringing the Jordanian man to the CIA base, Panetta
Nine months later, a CIA review determined the opposite. Warnings had, in fact, been
ignored. Jordanian intelligence had raised concerns about al-Balawi. But the promise of
killing or capturing al-Zawahiri clouded the agency's decision-making, the review found.
Security protocols weren't followed. Officers displayed bad judgment.
Many former officers were angry at that outcome. Some took the unusual step of
speaking publicly about it. They said CIA managers should be held responsible. Officers
in the field don't make decisions in a vacuum, they said, and you can't blame the dead
for everything that went wrong that day. The planning for the operation, for instance,
was directly overseen by Stephen Kappes, the agency's now-retired second in
command, and by Mike, the longtime chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center who
helped Frances and the Khost base chief rise through the ranks despite their
"It's not about retribution," Maguire, the retired veteran CIA officer said. "It's about
maintaining discipline and order and responsibility up and down the command chain.
Otherwise trust is eroded."
Panetta agreed there were widespread problems. But, in a move that's been compared
to former CIA Director Porter Goss' decision not to hold an accountability review for the
failures before 9/11, Panetta opted not to punish anyone.
The director explained his reasoning to journalists in October.
"The conclusion was that the blame just didn't rest with one individual or group of
individuals," Panetta said. "That there were some systemic failures that took place
It was a collective failure, Panetta said. So nobody was held accountable.
CIA director faces a quandary over
clandestine service appointment
By Greg Miller and Julie Tate,
Mar 27, 2013 01:34 AM EDT
The Washington PostPublished: March 26
As John Brennan moved into the CIA director’s office this month, another high-level transition
was taking place down the hall.
A week earlier, a woman had been placed in charge of the CIA’s clandestine service for the first
time in the agency’s history. She is a veteran officer with broad support inside the agency. But
she also helped run the CIA’s detention and interrogation program after the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks and signed off on the 2005 decision to destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to
treatment critics have called torture.
Long-term costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars could reach $6 trillion, according to a new Harvard
The woman, who remains undercover and cannot be named, was put in the top position on an
acting basis when the previous chief retired last month. The question of whether to give her the
job permanently poses an early quandary for Brennan, who is already struggling to distance the
agency from the decade-old controversies.
Brennan endured a bruising confirmation battle in part over his own role as a senior CIA official
when the agency began using water-boarding and other harsh interrogation methods. As director,
he is faced with assembling the CIA’s response to a report by the Senate Intelligence Committee
that documents abuses in the interrogation program and accuses the agency of misleading the
White House and Congress over its effectiveness.
To help navigate the sensitive decision on the clandestine service chief, Brennan has taken the
unusual step of assembling a group of three former CIA officials to evaluate the candidates.
Brennan announced the move in a previously undisclosed notice sent to CIA employees last
week, officials said.
―The director of the clandestine service has never been picked that way,‖ said a former senior
U.S. intelligence official.
The move has led to speculation that Brennan is seeking political cover for a decision made more
difficult by the re-emergence of the interrogation controversy and the acting chief’s ties to that
She ―is highly experienced, smart and capable,‖ and giving her the job permanently ―would be a
home run from a diversity standpoint,‖ the former senior U.S. intelligence official said. ―But she
was also heavily involved in the interrogation program at the beginning and for the first couple
The former official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in discussing internal agency
matters, said that Brennan ―is obviously hesitating‖ at making the chief permanent.
CIA officials disputed that characterization. ―Given the importance of the position of the director
of the National Clandestine Service, Director Brennan has asked a few highly respected former
senior agency officers to review the candidates he’s considering for the job,‖ said Preston
Golson, a CIA spokesman.
The group’s members were identified as former senior officials John McLaughlin, Stephen
Kappes and Mary Margaret Graham.
Golson said Brennan will make the decision but added that ―asking former senior agency officers
to review the candidates will undoubtedly aid the selection process by making sure the director
has the benefit of the additional perspectives from these highly experienced and respected
Other candidates to run the clandestine service include a former station chief in Pakistan and the
director of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center. Neither person can be named because they are
The service is the most storied part of the CIA. It sends spies overseas and carries out covert
operations including running the agency’s ongoing drone campaign.
Long-term costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars could reach $6 trillion, according to a new Harvard
The service has also long been perceived as a male bastion that has blocked the career paths of
women even while female officers have ascended to the top posts in other divisions, including
the directors of analysis and science.
No woman has held the job of CIA director or led the clandestine service until now.
The acting chief, who according to public records is in her 50s, is part of a generation that over
the past two decades has pushed through many obstacles confronting women. The CIA refused
to comment on her background, but former colleagues said she mastered several languages and
served multiple tours in Moscow and other cities overseas. She also held senior posts at CIA
After the Sept. 11 attacks, she took on a senior assignment at the Counterterrorism Center, which
put her in the chain of command on the interrogation and detention program, former officials
In a fateful decision, the CIA set up a video camera at its secret prison in Thailand shortly after it
opened in the months after the attacks. The agency recorded more than 90 tapes of often-brutal
interrogations, footage that became increasingly worrisome to officials as the legal basis for the
program began to crumble.
When the head of the Counterterrorism Center, Jose Rodriguez, was promoted to head of the
clandestine service in 2004, he took the female officer along as his chief of staff. According to
former officials, the two repeatedly sought permission to have the tapes destroyed but were
In 2005, instructions to get rid of the recordings went out anyway. Former officials said the order
carried just two names: Rodriguez and his chief of staff.
The officer went on to hold top positions in London and New York before returning to Langley
as deputy chief of the clandestine service. She became acting director on Feb. 28, when the
previous head of the service, John Bennett, retired.
The Justice Department has twice investigated the tapes’ destruction and brought no charges
against anyone at the CIA.
Former senior CIA officials said that outcome should clear any obstacles to the acting director
getting the job permanently. But the seemingly dormant controversy over the interrogation
program was revived by Brennan’s nomination and completion of a 6,000-page report from the
Senate Intelligence Committee that accuses the agency of exaggerating the program’s results.
The acting director is mentioned in several passages of the report, according to officials familiar
with its contents, although they declined to provide more details.
Amid calls for the public release of the report, Brennan faces having to devise a response that
doesn’t alienate his workforce or the lawmakers who confirmed him for his job.
Former officials said the agency is planning an aggressive response. One said that an early draft
response is ―highly critical‖ of the findings and methodology of the study, pointing to ―loads of
holes‖ in the committee’s work.
Former senior CIA officials said creating a panel may help insulate Brennan from criticism
regardless of his decision on the clandestine service job, enabling him to point to the guidance of
―But at the end of the day John is going to have to choose, even if his choice isn’t [the panel’s]
number one choice,‖ a former senior CIA official said. ―Some people’s demands for archaeology
should not influence the director’s decision going forward on what’s best for the agency.‖
ichael CalderoneBecome a fan
Washington Post Agreed To Withhold Acting
Clandestine Service Chief's Name At CIA's
Posted: 03/27/2013 2:09 pm EDT | Updated: 03/27/2013 6:37 pm EDT
Wash Post, Cia Clandestine Service, Cia Washington Post, Clandestine Service, Media News, National
Clandestine Service, Calderone: The Backstory, Washington Post Cia, Washington Post Cia Agent,
Washington Post Withholds Name, Washington Post Zero Dark Thirty, Zero Dark Thirty, Media News
The front page of the Washington Post on March 27, 2013, featured an article about the woman leading
the CIA's clandestine service.
NEW YORK –- The Washington Post revealed Wednesday in a front-page story that a woman
currently running the clandestine service had signed off on a controversial 2005 decision ―to
destroy videotapes of prisoners being subjected to treatment critics have called torture.‖
The woman, the first to hold the position in the agency's history, replaced John Bennett last
month on an acting basis. Bennett's name wasn't kept secret when he was promoted to chief in
July 2010. But the Washington Post didn't identify the woman, noting that the high-ranking
official ―remains undercover and cannot be named.‖
―The CIA asked that we not name her because she is still undercover," Washington Post national
security editor Doug Frantz told The Huffington Post. He added that while it is customary for a
person in her position to be identified, ―that’s not a choice we make.‖
―We didn’t see any need to ignore what seemed like a legitimate request,‖ Frantz said.
The Washington Post isn’t the only news organization that knows the woman’s name and has
withheld reporting it so far.
―I think most people who cover the beat probably know her name,‖ an intelligence reporter for
another news outlet told The Huffington Post, requesting anonymity to freely discuss coverage of
A CIA spokesperson responded to questions about the request in a statement to The Huffington
―Generally speaking and without confirming any specific identity, we ask that media
organizations respect the legally protected status of our undercover officers and the sensitive and
often dangerous nature of their work,‖ the spokesperson said.
While the acting clandestine service chief has not been named, her chances of being appointed
on a permanent basis under new CIA director John Brennan could be in jeopardy, given the
Washington Post report of her role in the tapes’ destruction. She served as chief of staff to then-
clandestine service chief Jose Rodriguez when the tapes were destroyed in 2005. The article
noted that Brennan "is already struggling to distance the agency from the decade-old
The Washington Post reported that there are two other candidates to run the clandestine service
on permanent basis, but ―neither person can be named because they are undercover.‖
The article, written by Greg Miller and Julie Tate, echoes a December front page piece by Miller
on the CIA agent who served as the model for the protagonist in the film ―Zero Dark Thirty,‖
about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Miller reported then that the unidentified woman -- who
was reportedly authorized to speak with the film’s screenwriter -– was not allowed to talk to
journalists given her undercover status. Similarly, the paper did not reveal her name.
This article was updated at 6:35 p.m. with a comment from the CIA.
Officer Tied to Tapes’ Destruction Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder
By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: March 27, 2013
WASHINGTON — A C.I.A. officer directly involved in the 2005 decision to destroy
interrogation videotapes and who once ran one of the agency’s secret prisons has ascended
to the top position within the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, according to current and former
Enlarge This Image
Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency
The decision about whether to keep the officer in the job presents a dilemma for John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director.
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The officer, who has been serving in the position in an acting role for several weeks since the
retirement of her direct boss, is one of a small group of candidates being considered to take
over the job permanently.
The decision about whether to keep the officer in the job presents a dilemma for John O.
Brennan, the new C.I.A. director, who said during his confirmation hearing last month that
he was opposed to the brutal interrogation methods used by the spy agency in the years
after the Sept. 11 attacks.
More broadly, Mr. Brennan — who himself was a senior C.I.A. official when the methods
were being used — has indicated that he hopes to gradually refocus the spy agency away
from manhunting and paramilitary operations like drone strikes and toward more
traditional espionage activities.
But this might not be an easy task. The years since the Sept. 11 attacks have transformed the
C.I.A., and a whole generation of clandestine officers are rising through the agency’s ranks
who have more training in hunting, capturing and killing terror suspects than in typical
spying work like recruiting foreign agents to spy against their governments for the United
The promotion of the officer, who spent years working inside the agency’s Counterterrorist
Center and once was in charge of a so-called black site, played a role in developing the
C.I.A.’s detention and interrogation program, was first reported by The Washington Post.
Because the officer remains undercover, The New York Times is not disclosing her identity.
The officer served as the C.I.A. station chief in London and New York, and the branch of the
agency she now leads — called the National Clandestine Service — is responsible for all
C.I.A. espionage operations and covert action programs. The head of the clandestine service
is one of the most coveted jobs in the C.I.A., and has never before been run by a woman.
The destruction of dozens of C.I.A. interrogation tapes, documenting the interrogations of
Qaeda operatives Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in a secret C.I.A. detention
facility in Thailand, was one of the most controversial episodes of the past decade. The
Justice Department undertook an investigation into the matter after the destruction of the
tapes was disclosed in late 2007, but no C.I.A. officers were criminally charged.
The destruction was ordered by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., who at the time was the head of the
agency’s clandestine service. The officer was serving as Mr. Rodriguez’s chief of staff, and
several former C.I.A. officers said she was a strong advocate for getting rid of the tapes,
which had been sitting for years inside a safe in the agency’s station in Bangkok. “She and
Jose were the two main drivers for years for getting the tapes destroyed,” said one former
senior C.I.A. officer.
In his book, “Hard Measures: How Aggressive C.I.A. Actions After 9/11 Saved American
Lives,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote that he had grown frustrated that the tapes might become
public and expose the officers shown in them to jeopardy. The female officer held a meeting
with agency lawyers, Mr. Rodriguez wrote, during which the officer was told that Mr.
Rodriguez had authority to destroy the tapes. “My chief of staff drafted a cable approving
the action that we had been trying to accomplish for so long,” Mr. Rodriguez wrote. “The
cable left nothing to chance. It even told them how to get rid of the tapes.”
In addition to the female officer who is acting director, Mr. Brennan is considering several
other candidates to run the clandestine service and has taken the unusual step of appointing
three retired C.I.A. officers to advise him. Several former intelligence officials said they
could not recall a similar situation when an agency director had formally enlisted an outside
panel to advise him on a senior personnel decision, and suggested that Mr. Brennan may be
looking for political cover in making the choice.
Preston Golson, a C.I.A. spokesman, said that was not the case. Mr. Brennan would make
the final decision, he said, but “asking former senior agency officers to review the candidates
will undoubtedly aid the selection process.” He said that the acting head of the clandestine
service was a “strong candidate for the job,” but declined to provide any details of the
As much as Mr. Brennan may want to put distance between the C.I.A. and its controversial
past, he is also managing the spy agency’s formal response to a 6,000-page investigative
report by the Senate Intelligence Committee. The report, which remains classified, is said to
document a pattern of exaggerations and false statements by C.I.A. officers to the White
House and Congress about the efficacy of the interrogation program.
A version of this article appeared in print on March 28, 2013, on page A17 of the New York edition with the headline: Officer
in Tape Decision Moves Up C.I.A. Ladder.
More Cyber Nuclear Hokum
The American and South Korean attacks underscore a growing fear that the two countries most
worrisome to banks, oil producers and governments may be Iran and North Korea, not because
of their skill but because of their brazenness. Neither country is considered a superstar in this
area. The appeal of digital weapons is similar to that of nuclear capability: it is a way for an
outgunned, outfinanced nation to even the playing field. ―These countries are pursuing
cyberweapons the same way they are pursuing nuclear weapons,‖ said James A. Lewis, a
computer security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
―It’s primitive; it’s not top of the line, but it’s good enough and they are committed to getting it.‖
New Top Spy of MI5 Andrew Parker
Claims that Internet attacks are as destructive as atomic bombs suggests the cybersecurity
industry is planning a Nagasaki demonstration.
Andrew Auernheimer Prison
Birdseye of NYC federal detention centers: http://cryptome.org/eyeball/mcc/mcc-birdseye.htm
From: Tom Ritter
Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2013 11:57:16 -0400
Subject: [liberationtech] A tool for encrypted laptops
My company has released an Open Source tool called "You'll Never Take Me Alive". If your
encrypted laptop has its screen locked, and is plugged into power or ethernet, the tool will
hibernate your laptop if either of those plugs are removed. So if you run out for lunch, or leave it
unattended (but plugged in) at starbucks, and someone grabs your laptop and runs, it'll hibernate
to try to thwart memory attacks to retrieve the disk encryption key. Not foolproof, but something
simple and easy.
It the moment it only supports Bitlocker, but support for Truecrypt is coming. If you have
suggestions - add them to the github issues page.
February 28, 2013. For quick Cryptome submissions whose source may be monitored send to
<admin[at]cryptome.info> (note "info" not "org"). Test with a benign message beforehand,
expect no response or a bounce. Use infrequently to minimize pattern analysis. Not great comsec
but better than covertly targeted, tapped, tricked, tracked and trapped drop boxes, pastes,
anonymizers, proxies, spoofs, onions, clouds and sekret one-time spasms. Key security is to
protect yourself, not rely on system, authority or disclosure paragons.
Note: For regular email to Cryptome send to cryptome[at]earthlink.net with CC to
The mail list below accepts only from subscribers.
Cryptome Mail List
Subscribe to Cryptome Mail List by sending email to
with 'subscribe' in the Subject field OR by visiting the list page at
After subscribing post to Cryptome Mail List by sending email to
New Director General appointed
The current Deputy Director of the Security Service (MI5), Andrew Parker, has been appointed
as successor to Sir Jonathan Evans, Home Secretary Theresa May announced today, with the
agreement of the Prime Minister.
Mr. Parker has worked for the Security Service for more than 30 years and has been in his
current role since 2007. He will take over from Sir Jonathan when he retires in April.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, said:
"I am very pleased to announce the appointment of Andrew Parker as the new DG of the
Security Service, a role to which he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. Under his
leadership the Service will continue to stay ahead of global and domestic threats to our national
security and further develop its reputation as one of the world's most effective security agencies.
"I also pay tribute to the work of Sir Jonathan Evans, who has led the Service through
challenging times of change and unrest, including in the aftermath of the 7/7 London bombings.
His tireless work also helped ensure the delivery of a safe and successful Olympic and
Paralympic Games last year."
The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, said:
"I am delighted Andrew has been appointed as Director General of the Security Service, having
been Deputy Director General since 2007. He brings his deep knowledge and experience of all
aspects of the Service and its operations to this role and will be a great leader of the Service,
working collaboratively with its partners. I look forward to working with him in his new role. I
would also like to pay tribute to the outstanding way in which Jonathan Evans has led the
Service since 2007 and I wish him all the very best for the future."
Commenting on his appointment, Mr. Parker said:
"It is a great honour to be appointed Director General of MI5. I am extremely proud of the
extraordinary work that the men and women of MI5 do to keep the country safe in challenging
circumstances. I look forward to leading the Service through its next chapter."
He will take up his post on Monday 22 April 2013.
Andrew Parker is a career MI5 officer with some 30 years of professional experience in a wide
range of national security and intelligence work, including in the fields of Middle East terrorism,
counter espionage, Northern Ireland terrorism, serious and organised crime, protective security,
policy and strategic planning. He also completed a liaison posting in the United States in 1991.
He spent three years on secondment to HM Customs & Excise as Director Intelligence before
returning to the Service in 2002 to join the Board as Director for Northern Ireland terrorism,
Protective Security & Serious Crime. He was appointed Director International Terrorism in
February 2005. Andrew led the Service’s response to the 2005 terrorist attacks in London
overseeing the significant expansion in counter terrorism capability and the development of the
Service’s regional network. In 2006, his teams played the lead role in the disruption of Al
Qaida’s attempt to attack multiple airliners with bombs hidden in drinks bottles.
Andrew was appointed Deputy Director General of the Security Service in April 2007. As such,
Andrew has been responsible for leading all the Service’s investigative and operational work.
Andrew, who is 50 years old, holds a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University,
and is married with two children. He enjoys the outdoors and is a keen ornithologist and wildlife
See below for photographs of Andrew Parker. We have provided them in two resolutions, 72 dpi
(for web use) and 240 dpi (for print use). Please be aware that the print-quality images have very
large file sizes. These photographs may be used subject to the copyright terms set out in our
Terms and Conditions and should be credited to the Security Service.
72 dpi (973 Kb)
240 dpi (13.7 Mb)
72 dpi (1.11 Mb)
240 dpi (14 Mb)
28 March 2013