When I heard the news that U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden, my thoughts immediately turned to Dan Shanower.
Dan was a classmate at the Naval War College back in 2000 — a young intelligence officer working for the director of naval operations in the Pentagon, taking night classes in strategic studies on Capitol Hill. Dan was the star of our class. He always had a smile on his face and the most interesting take on whatever it was that we were discussing. It was clear he was going places — you could almost picture the stars on his shoulders already.… Seguir leyendo »
The CIA has been unsatisfied with the cooperation of Mullah Baradar, the Taliban military commander being interrogated in Pakistani custody, and has pushed for his transfer to an American-run prison in Afghanistan, the Los Angeles Times reported this past weekend. But even should that transfer occur, the United States may not have any greater success eliciting information from him — because President Obama eliminated the CIA’s enhanced interrogation program.
This raises an urgent question: Is there a reasonable middle ground that would allow the Obama administration to effectively interrogate resistant terrorist leaders without compromising its opposition to torture? There most certainly is.… Seguir leyendo »
The Post asked intelligence and defense experts about the politics and policies of the CIA’s assassination program. Below are contributions from Marc Thiessen, Silvestre Reyes, Jeffrey Smith, Mark Lowenthal, Kate Martin, Vicki Divoll and Lanny Davis.
Marc A. Thiessen, visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution; served in senior positions in the Pentagon and White House from 2001 to 2009, most recently as chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush.
For eight years, the CIA had a secret program to kill or capture al-Qaeda operatives. A few weeks ago, Congress was briefed on it — and now we are debating the details in op-eds and other media reports.… Seguir leyendo »
In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists «did not make us safer.» This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public — in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.
Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that «the CIA believes ‘the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.’ . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques.»… Seguir leyendo »
The White House announced this weekend that President Obama would soon lift restrictions on family travel and remittances to Cuba. A bipartisan group of 20 senators has gone further, introducing legislation to repeal the nearly half-century-old ban on travel to Cuba — a first step toward lifting the U.S. embargo on the communist island. Before proceeding, lawmakers ought to consider the words of Ricardo Alarcón — a top official in the Castro regime and longtime leader of Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power.
In 1998, I had a revealing meeting with Alarcón in Havana. I was working for Sen. Jesse Helms — then chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a household name in Cuba thanks to regime propaganda — and had gone to the island with my colleague Roger Noriega for the visit of Pope John Paul II.… Seguir leyendo »