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What’s Going On Between Obama and the CIA?

President Obama speaking at CIA Headquarters

A kind of war of leaks appears to be going on between Obama administration and the CIA. I realize that it is nothing new for Presidents of the U.S. to have conflicts with the CIA–Presidents since Truman have struggled to control the intelligence apparatus he set in motion after World War II.

I’m certainly no expert on this kind of thing, and I’m hoping someone like Joseph Cannon will be able to explain it eventually. But for now, I thought I’d just post some of the things I’ve been reading in the hopes that together we can make some sense out of the situation. So here’s the deal.

First we had crotch bomber Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab, who managed to get through multiple airline security systems and come close to detonating a bomb in his underwear on Delta Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas day. For a full examination of what is know about the crotch bombing incident, you can’t beat the two excellent posts that Joseph Cannon has written so far. Scroll down for the earlier post on the many strange questions about case.

President Obama’s first response to the aborted bombing attempt came on December 31. Here is a portion of the statement from the White House web site:

I wanted to speak to the American people again today because some of this preliminary information that has surfaced in the last 24 hours raises some serious concerns. It’s been widely reported that the father of the suspect in the Christmas incident warned U.S. officials in Africa about his son’s extremist views. It now appears that weeks ago this information was passed to a component of our intelligence community, but was not effectively distributed so as to get the suspect’s name on a no-fly list.

There appears [sic] to be other deficiencies as well. Even without this one report there were bits of information available within the intelligence community that could have and should have been pieced together. We’ve achieved much since 9/11 in terms of collecting information that relates to terrorists and potential terrorist attacks. But it’s becoming clear that the system that has been in place for years now is not sufficiently up to date to take full advantage of the information we collect and the knowledge we have.

Had this critical information been shared it could have been compiled with other intelligence and a fuller, clearer picture of the suspect would have emerged. The warning signs would have triggered red flags and the suspect would have never been allowed to board that plane for America.

Obama then went on to praise the intelligence community and to say that he understood that even the best people weren’t infallible. This was apparently interpreted by members of the CIA as an attack by Obama on their competence.

Last week, on the heels of the crotch bombing attempt, there was a shocking suicide bombing at a remote outpost in Khost, Afghanistan, in which first eight, then seven “CIA officers” were reported killed by a trusted informant who had been brought to the base from Pakistan by the CIA. Based on many news stories that I have read about this attack, a number of “former CIA officials” are talking to the press about what happened. For example, in the BBC story linked above:

Quoting a former senior CIA official, AP said the base chief would have led intelligence-gathering operations in Khost, a hotbed of Taliban activity because of its proximity to Pakistan’s lawless border region.

The unnamed official added that the bomber was being courted as an informant and was not frisked as he entered the base.

The base chief is described in this story and several others I have read as “a mother of three who was the head of the CIA’s base in Khost Province, near Pakistan.” Is it normal for that kind of information about a CIA operative to be released to the press?

Here is a second BBC story on the Khost attack, which also includes information provided by anonymous “US official, an former CIA employee.” So it sounds like the information may be coming from the Obama administration.

According to a story in the conservative London Daily Mail, unnamed “spy chiefs” have “turned on” Obama. This information seems to be coming from CIA sources hostile to the administration.

Barack Obama was accused of double standards yesterday in his treatment of the CIA.

The President paid tribute to secret agents after seven of them were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

In a statement, he said the CIA had been ‘tested as never before’ and that agents had ‘served on the front lines in directly confronting the dangers of the 21st century’.

He lauded the victims as ‘part of a long line of patriots who have made great sacrifices for their fellow citizens and for our way of life’.

Yet the previous day he had blasted ‘systemic failures’ in the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies for failing to prevent the Christmas Day syringe bomb attack.

‘One day the President is pointing the finger and blaming the intelligence services, saying there is a systemic failure,’ said one agency official. ‘Now we are heroes. The fact is that we are doing everything humanly possible to stay on top of the security situation. The deaths of our operatives shows just how involved we are on the ground.’

According to these CIA sources,

the data was sent to the US National Counterterrorism Centre in Washington, which was set up after the 9/11 attacks as a clearing house where raw data should be analysed.

Here is former CIA analyst Larry Johnson’s take on Obama’s response to the Khost suicide attack, “Did Obama F**k the CIA? Johnson says yes he did. But his objection is to the President making any kind of public statement about the lost of CIA lives, as the President did in a letter he sent to the CIA.

President Barack Obama’s public statement statement of condolence last Thursday regarding the suicide bombing of a CIA base in eastern Afghanistan may have been heartfelt but it was a bonehead move. In fact, it probably puts more CIA personnel at risk and compromises a CIA operation.


Acknowledging the location of a CIA base in a theater of war compromises [the] mission and puts people at further risk. Here is the implication going forward–the CIA will close this base and have to find another. Anyone else who comes to this base will be assumed to be a CIA operative. While I can appreciate the political imperative to appear sympathetic to the loss of lives at the CIA, Obama had a larger responsibility–protect the CIA and their mission and ultimately the nation.

The fault does not entirely lie with Obama. The CIA was sloppy in providing operational cover for these people. Let’s face it. If the deceased had operated under military cover we would only be moaning the loss of six more military personnel. No one outside of the Agency or the families of those who died would have realized the CIA took a hit.

In a second post on the state of the CIA, Larry Johnson discusses what he says are problems with the cover being provided for operatives in the field.

At some point in the last 20 years the CIA has gotten very sloppy on matters of cover. Take Valerie Plame’s case, for example. She was a NOC. When Val and I started at the CIA in 1985 it was highly unusual for a NOC to be brought into Headquarters. Why? It increased the risk of exposing the “clandestine” operation. At some point during George Tenet’s tenure the rules were changed and NOCs were brought into the main building. That’s why Val was working at Headquarters in July of 2003 when Robert Novak blew her cover. If you had asked her she would have preferred to be working outside the building where she could have more easily preserved her cover, but she did not have a choice. That was not her call.

This was not the only instance of sloppiness on the “Cover” issue. Remember the botched operation in Italy to snatch a Muslim cleric? That operation exposed several CIA contractors and left several CIA officers indicted and being tried in absentia. When you have clandestine operators using easily traced Government owned credit cards and cell phones it is an indictment of unprofessional conduct.

And now we have the latest debacle in Afghanistan. The people on that base should have been under “military” cover. They were not. The Department of Defense should have helped maintain their cover. DOD did not. When they CIA officers died they could have been protected and reported as just another group of soldiers who died. American’s are no longer surprised when our soldiers are killed in Afghanistan. Tragic, heartbreaking, but their deaths would not have focused world attention on a covert CIA operation along the Pakistan border. But that was not the case. First the Department of Defense weighed in to deny these were U.S. military personnel. Then the White House jumps out front to publicly mourn the loss of brave men and women at the CIA.

In addition, the names of some of the “CIA officers” killed in the Khost bombing have been released to the media–see here and here.

Two of the deceased individuals who have been named , Scott Roberson and Jeremy Wise, are identified as "former Navy Seals" and "security officers" for the CIA, which I'm guessing means Blackwater/Xe employees. That guess seems to be supported by this story which says that two of the people killed were form Blackwater/XE.

The third person named in the Brietbart story is Harold E. Brown, Jr.–no further information is provided. According to this story, Brown’s parents say he was in the army and was working for the State Department.

This ABC News “exclusive” reveals that one of the people killed in the bombing was the security director of the base, who drove the regular informant turned double-agent suicide bomber in to the base from Pakistan.

The base security director, an Afghan named Arghawan, would pick up the informant at the Ghulam Khan border crossing and drive him about two hours into Forward Operating Base Chapman, from where the CIA operates.

Because he was with Arghawan, the informant was not searched, the source says. Arghawan also died in the attack.

Finally, according to the Washington Post, one of the people who died in the Khost bombing was from the Jordanian intelligence service, Captain Al Shareef Ali bin Zeid.

The eighth victim resurfaced over the weekend when his flag-draped coffin arrived in his native country, Jordan. The man, a captain in the Jordanian intelligence service, was given full military honors at a ceremony that referred only to his “humanitarian work” in war-torn Afghanistan.

In fact, the man’s death offered a rare window into a partnership that U.S. officials describe as crucial to their counterterrorism strategy. Although its participation is rarely acknowledged publicly, Jordan is playing an increasingly vital role in the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, sometimes in countries far beyond the Middle East, according to current and former government officials from both countries.

So there are three more people who died in the attack but have not been named. One is the chief of the Khost base, who was described as the mother of four children in her 30s who had been investigating al Quaeda even before 9/11. That seems to me a description that would allow at least some people to identify her. Does that me she was not a field operative?

This ABC News story says that a second woman was also killed in the attack:

A former U.S. official says a second woman was also killed in the attack, and that both women had “considerable counterintelligence experience.”

The story goes on to say that

The infiltration into the heart of the CIA’s operation in eastern Afghanistan deals a strong blow to the agency’s ability to fight Taliban and al Qaeda, former intelligence officials say, and will make the agency reconsider how it recruits Pakistani and Afghan informants.

The officers who were killed in the attack were at the heart of the United States’ effort against senior members of al Qaeda and the Taliban, former intelligence officials say. They collected intelligence on the militant commanders living on both sides of the border and helped run paramilitary campaigns that tired to kill those commanders, including the drone program that has killed a dozen senior al Qaeda with missiles fired from unpiloted aircraft.

I have seen no information published about the other two deceased “CIA officers” so far. Perhaps they were NOCs? Maybe not. The London Times quotes a CIA source who says that any operatives who were that close to the battle lines were “almost certainly from the CIA’s paramilitary rather than analysts.” OK. So that that mean these were all Blackwater employees? The London Times says that the bombing:

wiped away decades of experience. Eight years into the war, the agency is still desperately short of personnel who speak the language or are knowledgeable about the region.

“It’s a devastating blow,” said Michael Scheuer, a former agent and head of Alec Station. “We lost an agent with 14 years’ experience in Afghanistan.”

To me that makes it sound like the people who died were more important than just Xe contractors. But I admit, I don’t know. I’d like to get reactions from anyone who does know more about this than I do. Perhaps we’ll hear from Joseph Cannon, or Larry Johnson may have more to say about this in the days to come.

Now that I’ve completely overloaded you with information, what is my point? Well, I’m not sure, but it seems to me that something peculiar is going on. I’ve never seen this much information revealed in the media about a CIA operation before. This is the worst instance of loss of life for the CIA since the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983. I don’t know if this much information about CIA deaths was made public at that time.

But it does seem that there is conflict between the Obama administration and the CIA at the moment. A number of right wing news outlets and websites have called attention to the administration’s revelations that CIA officers died in the bombing in Khost, e.g. this one. I’m guessing they may be getting leaks from sources at the CIA who are angry with the administration either for revealing too much information or perhaps for DOJ releases of information about torture activities under the Bush administration.

What will this mean to the President’s Afghanistan policies? Will the activities of the CIA in Pakistan be irreparably damaged? And–maybe or maybe not a side issue–exactly what is going on in Yemen?

Reactions? I expect to follow up on this post when I learn more.

150 Responses

  1. I remember the disclosures in the 1970’s regarding some of the misadventures of the CIA.

    Sounds like we need another Church Committee.

    • This should be required viewing for every American. At least it should be required viewing for anyone who has the nerve to call anyone else a conspiracy theorist in a disparaging manner. (Darn, 1 hr 37 mins until Tuesday.)

  2. Who is in the CIA leadership now?

  3. You’re right. It’s very sloppy and an awful lot of information was released. My guess would be there is a reason to utilize a star to symbolize intelligence people rather than names and personal details when one dies.

    • Why would there be all those personal details revealed? The Chief of the base can certainly be identified by lots of people–and she was extremely important. Both women had been focusing on al-Quaeda since before 9/11.

      I also really don’t like the idea that Blackwater operatives are being called “CIA officers.” But that has already been reported by Jeremy Scahill.


      • Personnel details are always very closely guarded. They should not have been released.

        If the CIA had a large enough paramilitary contingent of their own, Blackwater wouldn’t be anywhere near them. But those are management decisions at the top.

        • Then how did all the personnel information get into the press? It’s all sourced to CIA people. Why are they revealign so much?

          I’m trying to figure out what is really going on under the surface. There seems to be a war of leaks betw the administration and the CIA sources, current and former.

        • Unauthorized disclosure of the identities of CIA operatives is a crime (see Plame, Valerie)

          • The people whose names were revealed weren’t operatives. They were “security contracters,” i.e., Blackwater.

        • I have to wonder what protocol is if someone dies at Blackwater.

          Do they have limitations on what can and can’t be released?

          I agree with you on private contracters in general in regards to intelligence operations.

          • I don’t know, but the names in the paper were all released by family members. One family said their loved one was in the army and the other two were former Navy Seals listed as “security.” That means Blackwater to me.

          • I’m surprised that this was even released as the result of AQ operatives if this truly was an intelligence mission. Generally the intelligence community isn’t this sloppy and you would think there would be a required debriefing period and a discussion on what would and would not be allowed to be released to news mediums with the family of those involved or a “your loved one died in an unfortunate accident” without providing details to family. The whole entire thing smells.

          • If the CIA wanted it kept secret the families would have been contacted by government agents and asked to keep their employment secret in the name of patriotism/national security as well as warned that disclosure of the identity of a CIA agent is a crime.

  4. I would really appreciate informed (or even uninformed) speculation on what is happening between the administration and the CIA.

    Remember Bush even created his own intelligence office in the DOD and a working group in the WH to circumvent the CIA. Reportedly the CIA has been devastated by the Bush policies.

    There is also the issue of torture, and the fact that many CIA and Blackwater/CIA employees took part in it. They fear being prosecuted for war crimes.

    There is also this piece by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, which I haven’t yet digested

    Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA?

  5. CIA paramilirary does not necessarily mean Blackwater. The company has always had black ops personnel of their own.

    What has the CIA upset is that information came out about their base and their activities. It’s a clusterfuck for current operations and makes any future ops that much harder.

    • Two of the people who died have already been identified as Blackwater guys. It’s in the post with links.

      I understand why the CIA is upset. That is in my post also. (I know it’s really long, sorry). But why would Obama do this? In the Telegraph story, CIA people are quoted griping that he criticised them about the crotch bomber and then praised them after the Khost bombing. There’s nothing in that story about the CIA being angry that their base is in all the papers–although of course they would be angry about it.

      • True, but you left the impression that CIA paramilitary always meant Blackwater. That is not true. I can verify that with 100% confidence, unless their world has turned upside down in the last 30 years.

        • How did I leave that impression? The news stories I’ve been reading leave that impression. I argued that it can’t be thru. Here is what I said:

          To me that makes it sound like the people who died were more important than just Xe contractors.

          • Oops, reading comprehension may need a bit of work. 😉

          • No problem. I know this is too long. But I actually left out a lot.

          • The use of the term “officer” implies that they were actual CIA employees, not contractors. Of course, it may be that anyone clueless enough to discuss this publicly is also unaware of the distinction.

      • There are lots of CIA operatives around the world who appear on the payrolls of private companies.

        Valerie Plame worked for Brewster-Jennings, which was a CIA front company.

        • Right. She was an analyst. These were paramilitary CIA people.

          There were also 6 people injured in the bombing, and nothing has come out about them. Some of them could be CIA agents. But according to Jeremy Scahill, who is THE expert on Blackwater, many of the people in Blackwater are ex-CIA and vice versa.

          I’ll keep watching to see if more information comes out.

        • I know quite a few academics who were / are CIA.
          It was especially common during the Cold War.

          • William F. Buckley revealed at the end of his life that he was also CIA. He said most of the upper-crust media (left and right) had long been CIA.

      • As a guess, the Obama administration released the information they did out of ignorance. I doubt they understood the potential ramifications or would listen if someone tried to explain it.

        • Obama might be ignorant but Biden and Rahm know better.

          Besides, that information is not only classified but is also tightly restricted based on “need to know.”

          • You would think so. But the names and descriptions aren’t coming from Obama. They are coming from either family members or CIA sources that are quoted anonymously. They are trying to show how important these people were.

            Maybe the reason for the CIA wanting to get this out is because, as Larry Johnson said, these people didn’t have adequate cover. They were under State Department cover rather than military.

          • It’s not about inadequate cover.

          • At base, it’s about the wrong cover.

          • No, it’s not.

        • Unfortunately those who know are not always the ones who are handling the information. There’s no respect for human life – the Plame boondogle put hundreds of people in life threatening situations but those in the information flow either didn’t know or didn’t care.

          I’m sure many of those work for/with O haven’t a clue.

          That’s why we need people who are experienced and understand the ramifications of their actions.

    • It blows the cover (such as it is) of anyone who has ever been stationed at that base. It also blows anyone they may have recruited (just as the Plame case did). It puts them and their families at risk. It reveals “sources and methods”.

      It also gives Al Qaeda a lot of unneeded free publicity.

      It really is a total clusterfuck.

      • How would it be different if the victims were operating under military cover?

        Anyone working from a military base or embassy in Afghanistan will assumed to be military or CIA by the Afghans. If they were known to have worked there and later are assigned to a diplomatic post in Russia or the former USSR the KGB will have them tagged as probable CIA automatically.

        If the CIA wants somebody to work undercover as a spy they recruit, train and put them in position without any obvious government connections.

        These operatives would have been meeting local warlords and Afghan military. It’s likely they needed interpreters when they met with locals because we have a shortage of Pashto and Dari speakers. They also would have been working in the field with Special Forces (Green Berets) and Ranger units, either to target drones or to capture suspected Taliban operatives.

  6. wow, that’s a load to think about … I’m having to reread this a few times because there’s so much!

    • yep. cannon’s latest post makes my head spin. and i’m fighting a flu bug so my head was already doing doughnuts. ouch.

      • Sorry…this just caught my attention. Something weird is going on here. I’m sure of it.

      • Try some osillocoxinum – it stops the flu in it’s tracks – it’s an homiopathic – available at CVS or other chains

        • Thanks Joanelle! I’ll try it. I’ve been using Umcka but I’m sporadic with my dosing because I’m so out of it that I keep forgetting to take it.

    • Now you know how I feel when I read some of your economic posts. LOL!

      • I actually was thinking that. I”m so used to analysis with numbers that one I get one like this I have to clear out some other portion of my brain for awhile to grok it.

  7. Another wrinkle to the story. https://riverdaughter.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/monday-whats-going-on-between-obama-and-the-cia/#comment-432772

    The suicide bombing on a CIA base in Afghanistan last week was carried out by a Jordanian doctor who was an al-Qaida double agent, Western intelligence officials told NBC News.

  8. I’m gonna have to call bullshit on Agent Flowbee (aka Larry Johnson)

    I’ve known a lot of Vietnam vets and pretty much all of them knew stuff about CIA spooks over there. It was an open secret, like the Secret War in Laos.

    Any American in Afghanistan is easy for the locals to spot. The people who were killed were not undercover spies, they were operating openly from a military base. They weren’t doing construction or standing guard at embassies, they were involved in interrogations, interviews, debriefings, field operations, etc.

    It really didn’t matter whether they wore army uniforms, Blackwater uniforms, or no uniforms at all. Anyone who saw them would quickly spot the truth, they were spooks. That includes our troops, the Afghan troops, Taliban and civilians.

    The killer was being recruited as a spy. He knew who he was killing, regardless of whatever cover identities they were using.

    • If that NBC report is correct, he not only knew who he was killing some people were lured into it by the promise of information on Zawahiri I would guess.

      • I used to be a pest control tech – the best bait catches the most rats.

      • From what I’ve read, the Americans on the base would not have been able to go out and about in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Myiq is right. That’s why they had to recruit locals and trust their information.

        Now they have lost at least two, maybe three agents who had a long history in the area and really knew a lot, had lots of contacts, etc.

    • Johnson is correct though when he says the CIA personnel should have been given military cover. Then the Pentagon wouldn’t have blown the lid off this thing by immediately disavowing them. That was fuck up number one and the rest flowed from it.

      • Yep. Of course I’m no cheerleader for what the CIA is doing in Pakistan.

        • Better they do it than the 3rd Marines. Someone is going to, if Command Authority says to do it.

          • Yes, but don’t forget that Don Rumsfeld didn’t trust the CIA, and during his miserable years at Defense, he beefed up what he called “Special Forces” in the DOD. He wanted his own guys to do what the CIA usually does.

            Re no military cover—total f*ck up.

            You do realize that many State employees in our embassies around the world actually ARE undercover CIA, right?

      • The Pentagon knew who the victims were and who they worked for. They wouldn’t fart without CIA authorization.

  9. My God. My head is spinning. I have just read on BigGovernment.com that the Obama adm. is going to offer the
    “alleged” bomber from Christmas Day a PLEA DEAL. The White House is dedending this. Am I the only one with my teeth on the floor. What the **** is happening to us??

    • Plea deal for what? Life in prison?

      • I oppose the death penalty.

        • Nobody was killed, so the death penalty isn’t an issue.

          • Are you sure? I assumed they were prosecuting him for something related to terrorism.

            People have been disappeared, tortured, and killed for a lot less than this guy did.

          • Kinda hard to “disappear” him now and the torture thing is a non starter. With the national media attention surrounding this guy he’ll have to get kid glove treatment. Particularly since this admin has made a big deal about how they don’t condone torture tactics and such.

          • That’s fine with me. I’m against torture.

            But I don’t know what the penalties are for terrorist acts or what the plea bargain would be. I can’t believe they would let the guy out on the street again.

          • They gave him a lawyer first thing before they even started talking to him. Then they said they’d offer him a deal -what kind of negotiating is that???

          • The same kind of negotiation they did for health care?

    • Probably hoping to turn him.

      He “supposedly” was in cahoots with AQ so I’m betting they are hoping some of the information he has could prove useful.

      • From what I’ve heard, he started talking right away.

        • Which is why they are likely going lenient, that and the fact this guy has the attention of the national media.

      • yeah but the message it sends to AQ is if you get caught just give them outdated info and HEY No Problem, you r set.

        • Nah- this guy got very very lucky……He got national attention and his dad’s an ex diplomat and no one actually got hurt. I daresay if there weren’t all these contributing factors involved that he might be looking at something different.

          Additionally the intel isn’t “that’ old. The fact that he started talking right after they caught him is good for our side.

  10. White House counterterrorism chief John Brennan would be my guess deflecting the Bus.

  11. This isn’t about inadequate cover identities or operational security. The release of this information was intentional and knowing.

    The Taliban and al Queda knew who their targets were. They didn’t need official confirmation, so keeping it secret on that basis is pointless. It wouldn’t have mattered what their cover stories were, their activities would make it obvious who the victims really worked for.

    The victims weren’t undercover spies, so revealing their identities wouldn’t endanger any other agents or sources.

    I keep thinking of the Secret War in Laos. The Laotians knew we were operating in their country. So did the North Vietnamese, Thailand, Cambodia, the USSR and China. The only people not in on the secret were the American people.

    Pakistan is a sovereign nation and a member of the nuke club. We are not at war with them, nor do we have their public approval to operate inside their borders. The original authorization to use military force in Afghanistan was to go after the 9/11 terrorists. That was al Queda, not the Taliban.

    There is an old saying that “sunlight is the best disinfectant.” The CIA has been operating secretly in Pakistan for a while. Secretly from the American people, not from the people in the areas the CIA is operating. Congress has never explicitly authorized these operations.

    I can think of two main possibilities:

    1. Someone wants our activities in Pakistan to stop, and used the tragedy to expose the operations to public view.

    2. Someone wants us to go all-in and start operating openly in Pakistan, and wants to use the tragedy as a casus belli.

  12. A third person crashed the Obamas’ state dinner for the Indian Prime Minister.


    Awful lot of security lapses going on….

    • It’s strange, but Asia Times has a completely different story about a different perpetrator.

  13. OT but to move to something we know a little about …

    This makes amazing reading at Corrente, Over.

    How does a president move a distinguished professor of political science from this place of hope …

    So I’m hopeful. All the conditions are there. A country demanding change, if not rescue. A thoroughly repudiated opposition. A public and in fact an entire world strongly committed to the success of the Obama presidency. And a skilled and wise occupant of the Oval Office about to be handed the keys to government.

    Of course, I remain wary and gimlet-eyed for the moment. Everyone should. This is, after all, government we’re talking about, and these are, after all, politicians. Moreover, Obama has already given us some minor reasons to be concerned.

    At the same time, this is the most hopeful political moment of my life.

    To this place of rage in one year …

    Like any good progressive, I’ve gone from admiration to hope to disappointment to anger when it comes to this president. Now I’m fast getting to rage.

    How much rage? I find myself thinking that the thing I want most from the 2010 elections is for his party to get absolutely clobbered, even if that means a repeat of 1994. And that what I most want from 2012 is for him to be utterly humiliated, even if that means President Palin at the helm. That much rage.

    You could argue that Obama is “over” and done. Way to go, Barack!

    • *rolls eyes* Because President Palin would be so much scarier, and of course, it goes without saying, more humiliating to Obama than President Romney, President Huckabee, President Jindahl. Of all the scaryass Republucans in the US, she’s it. We’d need a whole new White House, ya know–once she’s let loose in the West Wing, *we will never be able to get those germs out.*

      • She sort of is their Bill Clinton, isn’t she?

        • And their Hillary Clinton, “I’ll vote for anyone with a D after his name, Nelson, Casey, Kerry. But there is one Democrat I can never vote for. The worst, the most evil, the one line I can never cross!” 🙂 We’ll be able to tell our grandkids we lived through the times when the Worst Democrat to Ever Live and the Scariest, Most Evil Republican both endanger our survival in a very short period. Lol

        • Yes, she seems to be and the most naturally talented politician I’ve seen since Bill on top of it. She has so much charisma that if you got Sarah Palin and Bill Clinton in a room together there would be a charisma singularity formed.

      • The background articles are just flat amazing.

  14. Way OT -I just got an email from a colleague out in Washington State saying that she heard that the administration has really riled Fox News and this Sunday they are going to “rain down on O”

    I’m not sure what that means – she said they have a lot of information – hey, it’s Fox – so I’m not sure what the heck that means. But there it is.

    • Chances are there’s enough information out there to sink a battleship, but will this be all of it at once. That would be ugly on any politician but on this one it could be a real mess since so little is known now.

    • Word gets out on that, and Fox will probably have their highest ever ratings.

    • perhaps that is why word is getting around. remember when this same rumor went out and O’Reilly didn’t deliver much of anything.

      we can only hope the truth will get out about this con artist…but mostly I want the truth out about the rotten to the core DNC and the theft of the nomination. now that I would watch Fox for.

    • Like it or not FOX was the only network to do background on BO, and has continued to call him to task since he took office. But so many say “hey, it’s FOX.”

      If you check the ratings, FOX is waaay ahead of the other cable networks. That’s not just right-wing viewers.

      I don’t watch tv news anymore. The coverage of the primaries did it for me. But I’ve always found Major Garrett quite professional.

    • I always felt Obama got elected only because the republicans (and Fox)
      wanted him in the Whitehouse rather than Mcain and I also feel that they
      have enough dirt on Obama to end his presidency if he crosses them.
      which is why Obama is so careful not to cross the republicans

    • Maybe they found his birth certificate 😉

  15. I can give you the Italian take on Khost, one from a RW Libertarian point of view, one from the center, and one from the far left. (If you don’t mind the rough translation.)

    According to (libertarian)Libero, Obama had been trying for some time to cut down the powers of the CIA, transferring its coordinating powers to FBI agencies, in particular under direct supervision of the NSC, which reports directly to the Prez. Leo Panetta, a Clintonist had been about to resign when this happened but was persuaded to remain by Obama himself. His job is now at risk .
    About Khost it says that the suicide bomber was dressed in an Afghan uniform, and had been invited to the fort by another informer. There was minimum security, and he had been taken into the gym at Forward Operating Base Chapman, a CIA base, to meet an official in order to verify his reliability, and collect info about local Taliban chiefs. 7 CIA agents were killed.

    Moderate-center Il Tempo.Sole24 refers to 7 agents dead, among whom a woman at the head of the mission. The Chapman base, it affirms, is the coordinating center of the clandestine program for Predator raids along the Afghan-Pakistan border. It is also a center for the recruitment and payment of Afghan informants.
    Among the victims 2 contractors from Xe (successors to the infamous Blackwater) who had been enrolled in the CIA. (they give 7 dead and 6 wounded). They consider it to be the worse attack since Beirut 1983.

    Far Left-Il Manifesto. repeats the bare facts about Khost, but concentrates more on the numbers of troops in Afghanistan. While there are less than 100.000 US troops over there, there are now already 104, 000 contractors employed in all kinds of dark mechanisms. The surge of 30,000 troops announced by Nobel peace prize winner Barack Obama who claims just wars, (their snark) will bring the US contingent up to 100,000….
    They then cite Robert Young’s book on contractors in the war on terrorism, and Allison Stanger.

  16. OT – well, I see arrogance –


    • I kinda love the “James Bond” angle. I wish I lived in the days when liberals analyzed the Bond films and concluded that colonialism, racism, sexism? Bad. Instead of shallow, stupid image obsession–nice suit, cool toys! Awesome! Lol

    • I saw arrogance too.

  17. New Thread!

  18. This post reminds me of the article I recently read at counterpunchhttp://www.counterpunch.org/mcgovern12302009.html

    “Are Presidents Afraid of the CIA 12/30/09
    Ray McGovern
    please, check it out

    Oh, and re Obama’s “speech” to the American people (rolling eyes) …. how often have we heard the exact same thing in the last 8 years …. from W.

  19. I love this post, BB. Thank you. I’ve been asking myself some of the same questions you have posed. There has to be more to this story. Thanks everyone for the links.

  20. […] What’s Going On Between Obama and the CIA? A kind of war of leaks appears to be going on between Obama administration and the CIA. I realize that it is nothing […] […]

  21. The killing was a “3 am phone call” kind of thing.

    Within minutes of the explosion the duty officer in Khost would know about the blast and that the victims were CIA spooks. This wasn’t a helicopter crash or an ambush where some grunts got killed. This was the assassination of 6 CIA operatives by al-Qaeda. All the OIC in Khost needed to know was that it was a suicide bombing and the victims were spooks and he would be making phone calls. None of those calls would be to the media.

    You can bet the rent that within an hour or two of the incident General McCrystal, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Admiral Mullen General Alexander and Barack Obama were advised of the explosion and that the victims were CIA. Possibly Biden and a few others, including members of the NSC and congressional leaders. If any of those people were asleep their aides would have woke them to tell them that 6 CIA agents were murdered, even if that was all they knew.

    There would have been an immediate clamp-down in information. Any information on the victims would be stamped “Top Secret – Need To Know Only” on the top and bottom of every page. Nobody would say or do anything until they got instructions from the highest levels.

    This would have been a serious incident even if the bomber had killed some random troops because it took place on base. It would have been an issue over the victims cover if al-Qaeda had identified the operatives and recruited some local to infiltrate the base, find them and kill them.

    The bomber was a double agent and knew he was meeting with CIA operatives. He didn’t need to know their names let alone what covers they were using. He didn’t even need to know the exact location of the meeting. He was outfitted with a bomb and went to fulfill his mission. There was a security breach but it was allowing the killer to enter the base without being searched.

    Reports say he was coming directly from Pakistan. They also say he told the operatives he had some red hot information on Ayman al-Zawahiri and the agents agreed to meet. He must have planned to detonate the bomb and kill whoever was at the meeting. If someone would have tried to search him when he entered the base he would have detonated the bomb immediately. That is SOP for suicide bombers.

    Secrecy and cover-ups are automatic for this kind of thing. When information leaks out through unofficial sources it takes time before the media hears about it. Even then the US media has to worry about violating the law on the unauthorized disclosure of the identity of CIA operatives, so if they got anonymous information they still couldn’t publish it. When Novak did it with Plame he got the information directly from Dick Cheney.

    The exact date and time of the incident don’t appear in the news reports, but it apparently happened a few days after Christmas. By 12/31 Leon Panetta was publicly confirming that the victims were CIA operatives. There were numerous other sources talking to the media too, and they were all singing the same tune.

    There is no indication someone at the Pentagon or elsewhere inadvertently let the cat out of the bag and then the administration ‘fessed up when the media started asking questions. There is no indication of a inter-agency turf war either. The only reasonable conclusion is the release of information was authorized by Obama.

    Why he decided to do it is another question.

    “The Ship of State leaks from the top.”

    • Every military base has someone designated as the Officer in Charge 24/7/365 Every unit has a duty officer and every barracks has a CQ (Charge of Quarters) on duty on nights and weekends.

      When I was in the MP’s I spent some time as the desk clerk/radio operator. We had specific orders for what to do in the event of a serious incident. One of those orders was to promptly notify the base duty officer. If he/she thought it was warranted he/she would contact the base commander.

      If a base or unit commander goes on leave or goes TDY for a few days, his/her 2nd in command takes acting command. There is ALWAYS someone in charge.

      BTW – Remember in Star Trek how Kirk always went down on the planet and left Spock or Scotty in charge? If Star Fleet was anything like the Navy then Kirk would have been relieved of command and court-martialed for doing that unless specifically ordered/authorized to by his commander.

      Captains don’t get to leave their posts, they have to send their one of their officers to lead landing/boarding parties.

    • That is exactly why I wrote this, myiq. That is exactly what I think. I wonder what Hillary thinks about this info being leaked? She probably would like to get the CIA under better control too. She already lived in the WH for 8 years, so she knows how powerful they are.

  22. BBC World just came out with the Jordan/AQ story this morning.

  23. Obama’s lies on Afghanistan- “Welcome to Orwell’s world” New Statesman:

    In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that “passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’.”

    Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that “extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan” to “disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies”. He called this “global security” and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the US has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: “We have no interest in occupying your country.”

    Beneath the surface, however, there is serious purpose. Under the disturbing General Stanley McChrystal, who gained distinction for his assassination squads in Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan is a model for those “disorderly regions” of the world still beyond Oceania’s reach. This is known as Coin (counter- insurgency), and draws together the military, aid organisations, psychologists, anthropologists, the media and public relations hirelings. Covered in jargon about winning hearts and minds, it aims to incite civil war: Tajiks and Uzbeks against Pashtuns.


    • Thanks laurie. There’s definitely an eerie cast over our activities. No clearly defined goals. And there is pressure to continue operating by any means.

    • Going to read now. Thanks, Laurie.

  24. […] Posts Oh, Brother …What's Going On Between Obama and the CIA?How about we do a little Shock and Awe on Wall Street?The Confluence Demographics SurveyHypocrite […]

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