EXPERT: FBI ‘NEUTERED’ BY MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

muslim-brotherhood-white-houseWND, by F. MICHAEL MALOOF, Feb. 9, 2015:

WASHINGTON – A veteran national-security specialist disputes FBI Director James Comey’s contention that restrictions on information-gathering are the main hindrance to uncovering ISIS conspiracies in the U.S.

Clare Lopez, who served in the CIA for 20 years and is senior vice president for research and analysis at the Center for Security Policy, said the problem isn’t with working-level FBI agents, who know the jihadi threat is “nurtured” in mosques. The hindrance is from “higher-level” FBI management and the national security leadership, she insisted.

She said the FBI for too long has allowed itself “to be influenced by operatives of the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates whose objective is to neuter U.S. national security defenses.”

Lopez was responding to Comey’s recent comment that restrictions on information-gathering stemming from intelligence leaks by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden have created barriers for law enforcement and the intelligence community.

Comey made the comment as he revealed the FBI has opened cases in 49 U.S. states of people suspected of having ties to ISIS.

Lopez said that when someone such as Michael Steinbach, an assistant director for the FBI Counterterrorism Division, publicly complains that he cannot fathom the recruitment appeal of ISIS or understand why parents in the U.S. encourage their children to join ISIS, “then, America, we have a problem.”

“That means the FBI’s top [counter-terrorism] official has no idea how to identify and stop that ISIS recruitment process before more young Muslims answer the call to jihad,” Lopez said.

She noted, however, that Steinbach was one of the FBI’s key figures in the “Great Purge” of 2011-2012 when, “at the urging of its Muslim Brotherhood advisers, the FBI literally purged hundreds of pages of training curriculum that used to educate agents about how Islamic doctrine, law and scripture inspire Islamic terrorism.”

The FBI, she said, “banished the instructors whose knowledge of these things was deemed so threatening by the Brotherhood.”

Lopez said the move was an illustration of the Muslim Brotherhood strategy – outlined in a document entered into evidence in a terrorism trial – to destroy the Western civilization from within, by their hands.”

That means, Lopez said, “We’re going to be induced to destroy ourselves.”

Lopez also referred to a document published by a combined team of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the FBI on how to make mosques off-limits to law enforcement.

She pointed out that Islam’s founder, Muhammad, had established mosques with “command and control centers” for the Muslim community’s earliest jihad wars.

Despite that history, she said U.S. troops nonetheless “were shocked” when they were first fired upon from within mosques and when they entered mosques in Iraq and Afghanistan and discovered weapons caches.

Similar concern over the potential of violence emanating from mosques in the U.S. was outlined in a Middle East Quarterly article. It raised concerns regarding the extent American Muslims, native-born a well as naturalized, are being radicalized by Islamists.

The article showed how modern jihadists legitimize their violent actions by relying on the same textual works as their nonviolent Salafist counterparts.

Lopez said the 2011 study of mosques in the U.S. found that some 80 percent promote jihad violence and that the more Shariah-compliant the mosque is, the more likely it will be to promote jihad.

“And you’re still wondering if the FBI is going to be aggressive in infiltrating mosques and Islamic centers?” Lopez asked.

“Unless our law enforcement professionals are permitted to understand the indicators and warnings that signal development of an Islamic jihad threat, in advance,” she said, “the FBI will be desperately scrambling to keep up with an ever-expanding pool of potential jihad recruits.”

She identified the threats as passport-carrying American citizens, immigrants with residence status, or documented refugees, some of whom have returned from ISIS battlefields in Iraq and Syria.

She pointed out that al-Qaida and ISIS have issued calls for individual jihad, meaning Islamic terror at home and unconnected in any formal way to a group on the Department of State’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations list.

She said law enforcement officials need to understand how Muslims can become radicalized without ever joining al-Qaida, ISIS or any other group on the FTO list.

“How can the FBI or any national security agency even begin to understand this process when they are forbidden even to use the words ‘Islamic terror’ or ‘jihad?’” she asked.

She referred to many examples of individual jihadists who were not associated with any organizations or groups on the FTO list but undertook serious violent actions in the name of jihad.

The examples of individual jihadists include Maj. Nidal Hasan, who killed 13 service personnel at Fort Hood, Texas, in November 2009; Carlos Bledsoe, who in June 2009 murdered Amy Long at the Little Rock, Arkansas, Army recruitment center; and the Tsarnaev brothers, who learned how to make pressure cooker bombs by reading al-Qaida’s Inspire magazine and then exploded two at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.

“The common identifier for these individual jihadists was their deep Islamic faith and decision to answer the call to jihad,” she said. “The other common marker was that law enforcement had no clue these Muslims were on a pathway to violent jihad, despite all the associations, all the indicators and all the warnings.

“So yes, there will certainly be more individual jihad attacks, and it is likely they will choose soft targets, as they did in Paris and Brussels and Sydney,” Lopez said.

“And without the official knowledge or training or authority to identify and stop such jihadis in advance, our front line of homeland defense increasingly becomes ourselves.”

After Charlie Hebdo massacre, we must ratchet up policing and intelligence-gathering to catch every possible terrorist

NYPD1

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The horrific terrorist attack in Paris underscores the importance of retaining our focus on preventing attacks here in the United States. This requires a layered, proactive, aggressive and relentless strategy that identifies the attacker before he launches an attack.

A purely defensive strategy of protecting our critical infrastructure, which is what some people would have us settle for, will not be sufficient in our open society.

The search for terrorists at home begins overseas, as they travel to and from the United States, and continues within the homeland.

Overseas, American partnership with local intelligence services have been effective since 9/11. Our CIA station chiefs around the world have been charged with getting intelligence from our partners.

The key to our success here is best understood by the maxim of my partner at NYPD and 35-year career intelligence officer, David Cohen. Cohen says there is no such thing as “intelligence sharing” — there is only “intelligence trading.” Real secrets are traded among serious collectors of intelligence. And our ability to get good actionable intelligence from our partners depends on our ability to provide them with the same.

In my experience, one of the most effective tools we have in this regard is our enormous NSA signals-intelligence collection program. NSA, that recently maligned agency, is one of our nation’s true jewels. Its enormous collection platforms enable us to share vital intelligence with our partners — who are happy to return the favor, often intelligence collected by their human sources.

NSA also passes critical intelligence data collected abroad through the CIA to the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Forces around the country. This enables the FBI to focus its investigations on people identified with connections to terrorist organizations abroad.

This intelligence, in conjunction with human intelligence collected by CIA unilaterally or through its partnership with local intelligence services, informs the no-travel lists that are so crucial to protecting our shores from traveling terrorists. Indeed, it is no coincidence that the Charlie Hebdo terrorists had been on the U.S. no-fly list for years.

But these lists are not enough. Aggressive intelligence is required at our border — and within our neighborhoods. At the border, we must increase the use of secondary inspections in our airports and other border crossings. These secondary inspections pull people from security lines and enable trained personnel to conduct brief interviews in separate rooms.

It is hard understate the value of these inspections. “Secondaries” serve multiple purposes. They are a deterrent to terrorists contemplating travel to the U.S., who will never know when they get yanked out a line and questioned.

In addition, secondary inspections are a rich source of future informants — the key to unraveling cells within the United States.

Aggressive, non-politically correct secondary inspections will, in fact, target young men between 18 and 30 years old traveling from certain countries. Indeed this is a form of profiling.

But without profiling travelers it is virtually impossible to get real results. There are simply too many travelers, and not enough inspectors to pick randomly and hope for the best.

Inside the United States, counterterrorism investigations conducted by the FBI terrorism task forces and NYPD intelligence are the most effective way to catch a terrorist before he attacks. Random cars stops or other generic police tactics will not get it done. We need targeted investigations that are managed by the laws of the land and limited by the Patriot Act of 2001.

Unfortunately, it is only the NYPD that conducts counterterrorism investigations outside of the FBI task forces — and it gets plenty of grief from the federal government for doing so.

Other local police forces should expand their counterterrorism activities, coordinated with the FBI to ensure all potential leads and suspects are properly investigated and surveilled if necessary.

It is unconscionable that the two Chechen Boston marathon bombers were not under surveillance based on the threat warnings received by the Russian government. Cops know how to do this; it is not that different from running counter-narcotics investigations.

The two biggest obstacles to finding terrorists within our midst are complacency and political correctness. We must overcome both of these and conduct legal, thorough and aggressive investigations at our border and within our cities.

Fortunately, our terrorist adversaries make many mistakes. If we are alert and on the job, we will identify these mistakes and intercept the vast majority of attacks before they happen. There is no guarantee of course that we will catch every would-be murderer. But we know how to increase the odds in our favor. We need to direct our law enforcement and intelligence services to get to it.

And support them when they conduct their jobs to protect us.

Sheehan, a career Special Forces Army officer, was the former deputy commissioner for counterterrorism at NYPD, the ambassador at large for counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State and most recently the assistant secretary of defense for special operations at the Pentagon. He is currently the distinguished chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, N.Y., his alma mater.

Obama Admin Has Made Questioning Terrorists Harder Than Ever

124dd076c9184f638bec51cffbe07073-e1369777220155Daily Caller, by Kerry Picket, Jan. 12, 2015:

It’s never been harder to question a terrorist.

In the midst of tracking where the next terror attack could strike in the West, counterterrorism experts and lawmakers say the Obama administration has made it harder to get fresh intelligence from terrorist sources.

The decision to no longer keep detainees at Guantanamo Bay; the administration’s preference for killing terrorists with drone strikes; and the practice of reading terrorists the American Miranda warning has made obtaining new intelligence very difficult, experts say.

“It’s really unbelievable that these guys say that their position is driven by humanitarian concerns,” former Assistant United States Attorney Andrew McCarthy told The Daily Caller. “The reason [the administration] drone[s] people, and I’m not saying they shouldn’t drone anybody — rather than capture — is because they’ve so screwed up detention and interrogation. And it’s cleaner for them to kill people — because when you kill them, that’s the end of the story.”

McCarthy, known for leading the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Omar “the Blind Sheik” Abdel Rahman and eleven others, said the Obama administration is confused about where to send detainees.

Additionally, McCarthy said, “There is political baggage as to why we are bringing terrorists into the United States and giving them grade A due process trials. A large way they handled that was to kill a lot of people who we should have been capturing and getting intelligence from, because in this global war,  you’re not fighting a traditional military.”

“I’m not saying intelligence wasn’t important in every war,” McCarthy noted. “But it’s particularly important in a war against a secretive network that attacks in stealth, where intelligence is the only way you can protect yourself. They’ve sold short the intelligence product.”

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, is frustrated with the current system of Mirandizing detainees who are captured overseas, pointing out that some detainees are being presented with Miranda rights while aboard ships coming back to the U.S., or as they are about to touch U.S. soil.

“Under criminal law, you provide somebody a right to counsel and the right to remain silent so they don’t jeopardize their criminal case,” Graham said. ”The purpose of military law is to win the war. The purpose of criminal law is to prosecute a case. I don’t look as these guys as common criminals. I look at them as warriors—enemy combatants subject to being detained under the law of war.”

Counterterrorism and Middle Eastern expert Patrick Poole says the intelligence community is “absolutely” getting less information from terrorist networks.

“The first thing the Justice Department does is Mirandize them,” Poole said. “If we drone somebody or we throw them into the legal system, we’re losing valuable opportunities to gather intel.  We just don’t know how much we’re losing because of the drone program, and they never have a chance to find out.”

Poole points to the Somali pirate involved in taking the captain of an American ship — the Maersk Alabama — hostage in 2009.

“The Somali pirate who was captured ended up being transported back to New York where he was charged and had his Miranda rights read to him,” Poole lamented. “His intelligence about the pirate network was lost.”

One year later, five Somali pirates attacked the American warship U.S.S. Nicholas in the Indian Ocean. Part of the controversy of the case was whether or not these foreign nationals were properly Mirandized at sea.

National Security Law Brief states the problem of military personnel reciting Miranda rights to detainees:

“Almost universally, the suspects are detained by military personnel, a fact which leads to questions concerning their training in the use of Miranda procedures. American service members are not typically trained to inform prisoners of their Miranda rights like law enforcement officers are. This lack of training, further complicated by language barriers immediately following arrest, led to Miranda rights being a key issue of the case at hand.”

Republican Rep. Peter King, a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, told TheDC that terrorists are given “too many rights” by the United States.

“I know, for instance, they can’t claim Miranda right away, but they can claim it earlier than they should be able to claim it,” King said. “That was the whole issue of the Boston Bomber and with the Times Square Bomber and also the guy they captured—bin Laden’s son in law. He was kept on a ship for a while, but then they ended up Mirandizing him.”

President Obama promised to close the U.S. compound in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba at the beginning of his administration in 2009. A number of detainees have already been released and many have returned to the battlefield. Right now, 127 detainees remain at Gitmo and are awaiting release or transfer.

House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul said that recent intelligence has been “sort of stale.”

“We got a lot of fresh information after 9/11,” McCaul told TheDC. “What’s left down there is the worst of the worst in terms of terrorists — and releasing them like we did the Taliban five is a very dangerous exercise.”

During the Bush administration, the U.S. took prisoners to top secret “black sites,” in Romania or other countries, Poole said. “So they were never officially in the U.S. system–guys like Abdel Hakim Belhadj who the CIA renditioned back in Libya in 2004. They caught him in Thailand and the CIA renditioned him. And he ended up being the guy we backed who overthrew Gaddafi.”

In fact, the Washington Times reports the Pentagon has ordered judges who oversee military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay to stop handling cases in other countries and deal exclusively on closing the cases of detainees charged with terrorism.

“Because of the legal maneuvers to try and free these guys in Gitmo, there are other various problems,” Poole said. “The Obama administration has openly embraced droning these guys. And now there are some reports that nearly 2000 people have been killed in these drone strikes. The number of people they were actually targeting is in the dozens.”

“So that’s the flip side into all this law-fare that’s been waged to get these guys released,” Poole went on. ”It’s now been the position of the Obama administration, ‘We’re just gonna kill ‘em.’”

“From a public safety stand point, where are we going to put them?” Rep. McCaul wondered. “We know they return to the battlefield to kill Americans. They’re going to return to conduct terrorist plots in America and Western Europe. Frankly, I don’t think we should be shutting [Gitmo] down.”

Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told TheDC that the government does what it can to pull information from detainees.

“As a general rule,” Price said. “The government will always seek to elicit all the actionable intelligence and information we can from terrorist suspects taken into our custody.”

34-year-old Paris suspect directly linked to Al Qaeda training camp in Yemen

Brothers Cherif Kouachi, (l.), and Said Kouachi, (r.), are suspects in the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. (AP) (Judicial Police of Paris)

Brothers Cherif Kouachi, (l.), and Said Kouachi, (r.), are suspects in the deadly attack on a French satirical magazine in Paris. (AP) (Judicial Police of Paris)

Fox News, by Catherine Herridge, Jan.8, 2015:

One of the two brothers suspected of gunning down 12 people in an attack on a Paris-based satirical magazine traveled to Yemen in 2011 and had direct contact with an Al Qaeda training camp, according to U.S. government sources.

Fox News is told the investigators have made it a priority to determine whether he had contact with Al Qaeda in Yemen’s leadership, including a bomb maker and a former Guantanamo Bay detainee.

Both Said Kouachi, 34, who is known to have gone to Yemen, and his brother, Cherif Kouachi, who served time in France on a terrorism conviction, were on a U.S. no-fly list, sources confirmed. The new information shows both suspects, who were still being hunted Thursday night, had ties to Al Qaeda affiliates, one in Yemen and the other in Iraq.

“AQAP (Al Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula affiliate) has been the real force within Al Qaeda that’s always been focused on external operations against the West and the United States – the most committed to doing this,” Rep. Mike McCaul of Texas, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News. McCaul has been getting regular briefings about the Paris attack.

“This would be one of the more real successes that they’ve have had if it turns out to be true.”

While there has been no credible claim of responsibility for the attack, Fox News was told that the evidence increasingly points to the likely involvement of a foreign terrorist organization — either inspiring or directing the attack. Less than an hour after the attack, a series of tweets accompanied by images of three Al Qaeda members – Ayman al Zawahiri, the leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan, and two American members of AQAP who were both killed in U.S. drone strikes, Samir Khan and Anwar al-Awlaki – went out, raising more suspicions the attack was a possible Al Qaeda plot.

The Twitter account is well known in counter-terrorism circles and linked to AQAP.

Even as French authorities focused an intense manhunt on a vast forest north of Paris, other details about the Kouachis were trickling out, painting a picture of alienated brothers, sons of Algerian immigrants who later died. Experts who viewed cellphone video of their escape from Wednesday’s rampage told FoxNews.com it was apparent they’d had training, citing such examples as the way the laid down cover fire for each other and their commando-style flight in a getaway car.

Here’s what is known about Cherif and Said Kouachi:

— They were born in Paris’ 10th Arrondissement (district) to parents of Algerian origin, but reportedly grew up in a secular home.

— They are believed to have lost their parents, and grew up as orphans, with Cherif bouncing around foster homes in the city of Rennes, in the Brittany region of western France.

— Cherif trained to be a fitness instructor, and eventually both brothers returned to Paris as adults.

Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.

Also see:

Senate ‘Torture’ Report Used Documents Covered by Attorney-Client Privilege

2961604612CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Jan. 5, 2015:

I wrote last week in a Breitbart.com article that the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA enhanced interrogation program – a program its critics claim amounted to torture – is a flop with the American people. Three major polls issued after the release last month of the report’s 499-page declassified summary indicate most Americans reject the report since they believe this program was effective in keeping our country safe from further terrorist attacks after 9/11.

A major point of contention over the report concerns the use in the investigation by the committee’s Democratic staff of restricted CIA documents they were not supposed to have and their removal from a CIA facility by the staff, a violation of an agreement between the committee and the Agency. The committee staffers brought the restricted documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee’s secure offices without telling CIA officials.

The documents are known as “the Panetta Review, a draft account of the enhanced interrogation program that reportedly differs from the Agency’s official account. It is unclear how the Democratic staff acquired these documents. After CIA officials realized the Democratic staff had them, it audited Agency computers in an Agency facility made available to the staff for the investigation and made a referral to the Justice Department. Feinstein and other members of Congress reacted angrily to the Agency’s actions and accused it of spying on Congress.

The Justice Department declined to act on resulting misconduct claims made by both sides. The New York Times reported on December 19 that a five-member CIA review panel headed by former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh reportedly will recommend against punishing any CIA personnel for wrongdoing, although it will criticize missteps by the Agency that contributed to the fight with Congress.

Further complicating this affair, we now know the restricted Agency documents are covered by attorney-client privilege.

In late December, CIA revealed in response to an FOIA request that each of the restricted documents are stamped “DELIBERATIVE PROCESS PRIVILEGED DOCUMENT” at the top and has this language on the first page:

“This classified document was prepared by the CIA Director’s Review Group for Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (DRG-RDI) for DRG-RDI’s internal discussion purposes and should not be used for any other purpose, nor may it be distributed without express permission from DRG-RDI or CIA’s Office of General Counsel. This document contains [certain classified information]. This document also contains material protected by the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges. Furthermore, this document constitutes deliberative work product, protected by the deliberative-process privilege, and is not a final, conclusive, complete, or comprehensive analysis of DRG-RDI or CIA. Rather, it was created to suit the needs of DRG-RDI, in support of informing senior Agency officials about broad policy issues. While every effort was made to ensure this document’s accuracy, it may contain inadvertent errors. For this reason, and because this document selectively summarizes, draws inferences from, or omits information from the sources it cites, it should not be relied upon by persons outside DRG-RDI.”

I spoke with an experienced Washington attorney about this. He told me that when a lawyer comes across a document during a lawsuit or investigation that belongs to the other side marked “deliberative process privileged document” or “protected by the attorney-client and attorney work-product privileges”, he or she cannot use the document and is ethically bound to immediately return it to the other side.

In this case, Daniel Jones and Alissa Starzak, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Democratic staff members who headed the enhanced interrogation program investigation – both of whom are attorneys – did not inform the CIA they had acquired these documents, retained them for several years (they acquired them in 2010), and used these documents as part of their investigation. The Democratic staff attorneys also did not share the restricted CIA documents with the committee’s Republican staff, a violation of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s rules.

Jake Gibson and James Rosen reported in a December 24, 2014 FoxNews.com article that controversy over the restricted CIA documents has endangered the nomination of Starzak to be the next U.S. Army general counsel. Rosen and Gibson reported that Senate Republicans claim Starzak was one of the Democratic staffers who “stole” these documents from the CIA.

Starzak was nominated for the Army post over the summer. Although the Senate Armed Services Committee approved her nomination on December 9 without a recorded vote, it expired at the end of the last Congress since the full Senate did not vote on the nomination. The Obama administration has not said whether Starzak will be renominated.

Some Congressional Republicans and conservative groups want to punish Starzak over the CIA restricted documents by denying her the Army general counsel post. In my view, this appears to be a serious ethical violation that should kill the Starzak nomination. However, I also believe this is a scandal that goes beyond Starzak since the Senate Intelligence Committee’s former Democratic majority are experienced legislators who obviously understand what “attorney-client privilege” and “deliberative work process” means. Moreover, three of these senators are attorneys, including Ron Wyden (D-OR), the committee member who was the most aggressive in pushing the enhanced interrogation investigation.

What did these Democratic senators know about CIA documents used in the enhanced interrogation investigation covered by attorney-client privilege and when did they know it? These are questions that other members of the Senate and the news media need to be asking.

Also see:

The Senate’s betrayal

KSM2BY DEBRA BURLINGAME
Sunday, January 4, 2015

In November of 2002, my two brothers and I traveled to FBI offices in Alexandria, Virginia and met with one of the lead federal prosecutors who was working on the criminal investigation of the 9/11 attacks. We were there to watch a video animation of American Airlines Flight 77, the plane that was hijacked by five Al Qaeda terrorists and flown into the Pentagon.

We were desperate to find out anything we could about the flight because our brother, Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame, III, was its captain, the pilot in command that fateful morning.

The video we were about to see — put together from the plane’s flight data recorder, or “black box,” and FAA radar tracking — would show us the plane’s every movement, from the time it pushed back from the gate at Dulles Airport to the moment just before it crashed into the Pentagon at 530 mph, one hour and 27 minutes later.

We sat in silence for the entire duration of the video. The animation noted when radio contact ceased and when the plane’s unique radar signature, its transponder, was turned off. We watched, barely breathing, as the Boeing 757 changed course. Almost immediately after it completed its 180 degree turn, the plane began to pitch and roll violently.

We knew this was when Chic was fighting for his life. It lasted more than six agonizing minutes. And then it stopped.

Every 9/11 family member has visions of their loved one’s last moments. I don’t know who is more fortunate, those who know the precise details of their relative’s death or those who don’t — those who can only imagine it from the countless horrific images captured in real time and published over and over in the media for the last 13 years.

Every family member can speak to this, but here are the words of one FDNY firefighter about the 20,000 body parts they found, sometimes digging on their hands and knees: “Imagine that the twin towers were two giant blenders that were suddenly turned on. The people who didn’t make it out were literally torn to pieces and flung from river to river, on the streets and rooftops of Lower Manhattan.”

This is the context for the families of the victims as we watched Sen. Dianne Feinstein declare from the well of the U.S. Senate last month that the harsh interrogation of the men who plotted and carried out our loved ones’ savage murders, and who planned a second wave of terror, was “a stain on our values and our history.”

These are the images we thought of as we were told that the government had committed war crimes when it sanctioned the CIA enhanced interrogation program to acquire intelligence from the people who meant to terrorize and incapacitate the nation further.

We recalled receiving the multiple next-of-kin notifications for human remains over a period of months or years when we were told that the detainees were tortured.

Sen. FeinsteinYURI GRIPAS/REUTERSSen. Feinstein

Tortured? What does that actually mean?

In the Washington bubble, the debate on the so-called torture report has come and gone with disturbingly familiar speed. It was the big story for one week, and then seems forgotten.

Not for those who live daily, hourly, moment-by-moment with the emotional scars of having lost loved ones on 9/11.

The Senate Intelligence Committee members who prepared this report — which essentially labels as criminals those who scrambled to defend us in the immediate wake of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil in our history — have done the unimaginable. They have turned our loved ones’ murderers into victims.

And they have done so on the international stage at the worst possible time, when ISIS is killing, raping and beheading innocent people at a rapacious rate while at the same time recruiting here in the West for more members.

In 2009, I was among those 9/11 family members who opposed President Obama’s plan to release the details of the Rendition, Detention and Interrogation program (RDI) the CIA created and carried out with presidential approval. The lengthy legal memos Obama published were written at the behest of John Rizzo, then acting chief counsel for the CIA.

He was looking for legal guidance so that the program would stay inside the legal limits of the federal statute prohibiting torture. He was also looking to protect his people from Monday-morning quarterbacking, from after-the-fact charges — from the very people who had been briefed about the RDI program and encouraged it to go forward — that they had violated the maddeningly vague anti-torture statute.

Sept. 11 family members didn’t want these methods revealed because we didn’t want our enemies to have our playbook and thus the means to train against it. We remembered former CIA Director George Tenet’s testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

He said that infiltrating terrorist groups was exceedingly difficult and that cultivating covert assets who could provide fresh intelligence about them could take five years or longer. We didn’t have five years. The country was at war, and, indeed, will always be at war as long as Islamic jihadists continue to target and kill Americans in coordinated attacks.

Getty Images provides access to this publicly distributed image for editorial purposes and is not the copyright owner. Additional permissions may be required and are the sole responsibility of the end user.U.S. NAVY/GETTY IMAGESWhere the Pentagon was hit

Once the legal memos were published, we learned that enhanced interrogation methods were drawn from the SERE program; Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape. Our brother called it “POW school.” As a Navy fighter pilot, he was one of the tens of thousands of U.S. military personnel put through SERE since the end of the Vietnam War.

The purpose was to teach pilots, special-force operators and intelligence personnel — those most likely to be captured behind enemy lines — how to mentally prepare for the ordeal. As Chic explained it, the military believed that the command to provide only “name, rank and serial number” was insufficient.

The aim was to expose SERE participants to terrifying conditions to increase their ability to cope in captivity, to give them the means to survive.

Chic was among the tens of thousands of pilots who had attended SERE and had been waterboarded. He didn’t call it that. He called it “the water treatment,” and would only say that it was “very effective.” SERE was a brutal experience, approved by Congress, which members of our own military submitted to in preparation to serve their country. But applied to Al Qaeda terrorists, Sen. Feinstein now says it amounts to “torture.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey observed that more journalists have been waterboarded in order to sample and write about the procedure than the three terrorists who were waterboarded in the RDI program. In fact, five of the eight pilots who were murdered in their cockpits on 9/11 were ex-military pilots. All of them went through the SERE program. That means that more 9/11 victims were waterboarded than the Al Qaeda terrorists who killed them.

Feinstein knows that after 9/11, the public was willing to tolerate these methods to prevent another devastating mass-casualty attack. Rather than take the more difficult position that these methods are morally reprehensible regardless of their effectiveness, the Committee elected to turn Americans against the agency trying to protect us.

For five years, Sen. Feinstein has led this effort to rewrite history and has produced a fraudulent document that says enhanced interrogation techniques “didn’t work.”

This claim is the linchpin the Committee relied on and, I believe, the chief reason the report was created without interviewing a single individual actually involved in the program, or any of the former CIA directors who oversaw its administration and know otherwise.

But the public doesn’t have to take the word of three former CIA directors regarding the program’s effectiveness. They need only consult the Obama Administration’s own Justice Department under Attorney General Eric Holder.

Charles Burlingame’s tombstoneCLIFFCharles Burlingame’s tombstone

In 2009, Mr. Holder brought senior Al Qaeda member Ahmed Ghailani to New York City for trial in federal court. Ghailani, a Bin Laden body guard and bomb expert, was part of the 1998 conspiracy to bomb the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people, maiming and injuring over 4,000.

Ghailani fled to Pakistan after the attack and continued to act as a senior member of Al Qaeda until he was captured in 2004. After he was brought to New York for trial in the embassy bombings case, presiding federal judge Lewis A. Kaplan asked the attorneys on both sides to brief the issue of Ghailani’s Fifth Amendment right to a speedy trial. Ghailani had spent more than four years at a CIA “black site” undergoing interrogation.

The Holder Justice Department argued that Ghailani’s rights had not been violated and that his placement in the RDI program was reasonable and justified. The brief described the RDI program as an “essential” program that “saved lives.” And lest the Court think these claims were hypothetical, the brief listed page after page of classified intelligence supporting that claim.

Indeed, we now know that Ghailani’s interrogations provided information in the matrix of intelligence leading to the location of Osama Bin Laden.

Feinstein and her fellow Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have delivered to the world a corrupt, partisan report aimed at obscuring the fact that they condoned an aggressive response to 9/11 — and then condemned that same response once the “dirty work” was done.

In so condemning, they are endangering Americans by playing to a narrative written by anti-American ideologues in thrall of international human rights activists with no allegiance to nations.

By failing to distinguish between the human rights of truly aggrieved and oppressed people and terrorists who have pledged — repeatedly and remorselessly — to perpetrate heinous war crimes against innocent men, women and children, these politicians have turned the concept of “shared humanity” upside down.

We will get past this, because good men and women will continue to stand up when their country needs them. They always do. Even at the risk of betrayal.

Burlingame is cofounder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America and a member of the board of directors of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Five Reasons Why the Senate ‘Torture’ Report Became a Flop

914916800CSP, by Fred Fleitz, Dec. 29, 2014:

Congressional Democrats, leftwing groups, and the mainstream media were certain this month’s Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA enhanced interrogation program (which they call torture) would spark a groundswell of anger against Bush administration officials and the CIA that would change the subject from the president’s growing unpopularity and the Democratic Party’s poor showing in the mid-term elections.

The left had every reason to be hopeful about the so-called “torture” report.  It was written entirely by Senate Democratic staffers who cherry picked CIA documents and emails with the most salacious and gruesome accounts of the enhanced interrogation program.  No interviews were conducted to prevent CIA officers familiar with the program from introducing exculpatory information into the investigation.

To promote media interest in the report, classified details of the investigation’s findings were leaked to the press by Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee (and possibly Democratic Senate staff) over the last few months.  Embargoed copies of the 499-page declassified summary were provided to major news outlets in advance of its official release to ensure extensive press coverage.

Despite these efforts to foist the enhanced interrogation report on the American people, three polls indicate most Americans reject the report’s findings.  An ABC/Washington Post poll found 59% of Americans believe the enhanced interrogation program was justified while only 31% said it was unjustified.  A Pew Research poll had similar numbers: 51% justified, 29% not justified.  So did a CBS News poll by a margin of 49%-36%.

Why did the enhanced interrogation report turn out to be a flop?  I believe there are five reasons.

  1. The American people are not stupid. Most Americans realize the enhanced interrogation program was initiated in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and was only used against terrorist suspects.  They believe this program was justified and have little sympathy for liberal partisans trying to score political points by claiming al Qaeda members with possible knowledge of imminent terrorist attacks may have been treated roughly.  Most Americans also know there is no comparison between the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA against terrorist suspects and actual torture.
  1. Americans believe the war on terror continues. With this year’s beheadings and other atrocities by the Islamic State and the recent execution of 122 Pakistani children by the Taliban, Americans do not want to deny the U.S. government counterterrorism tools that could stop future terrorist attacks and atrocities.  Many Americans also believe releasing the declassified summary of the report was a mistake since it may play into the hands of radical Islamists.
  1. Former CIA officers fought back hard against the Senate report. Former CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael Hayden and other CIA officials conducted a media blitz defending the enhanced interrogation program and Agency personnel with lengthy op-eds in major newspapers and dozens of TV interviews.  Unnamed CIA officers who worked on the enhanced interrogation program created a well-designed website, ciasavedlives.com, which tells their side of the story and is a resource of information about the program’s actual record.  The former CIA officials were joined by several Bush administration officials in countering the Senate report, including Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Vice President Dick Cheney.  Even former President George W. Bush, who usually avoids commenting on political questions, spoke out in defense of the program and the CIA officers who ran it.
  1. The left overreached. Most Americans strongly reject claims made by the report’s supporters that the enhanced interrogation program hurt America’s moral standing in the world.  Americans have also been turned off by demands by some on the left that President Bush, Vice President Cheney, CIA officers and other officials be put on trial for war crimes over this program and regard those making such demands as moonbats.  Not surprisingly, the New York Times is leading the moonbat chorus on this issue and recently doubled down on its call for prosecutions of Bush officials and CIA officers in a December 21 editorial titled “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses.”
  1. The Obama administration provided lukewarm support for the Senate report. Although President Obama endorsed the findings of the Senate report, he seemed to be going through the motions when he discussed its release and has shown little interest in doing anything about the program since 2009.  The president’s remarks also were undermined by the efforts his administration made to prevent the report from being issued because of concerns it would damage U.S. interests in the Middle East and threaten U.S. personnel and facilities abroad.

The bottom line: the Senate report on the CIA enhanced interrogation program flopped with the American people because they believe this program was a justifiable and effective effort to protect the United States against terrorist attacks in the aftermath of 9/11.  Americans also refused to go along with attempts by congressional Democrats, leftwing groups and the mainstream media to use this issue to score political points.

I believe the American people’s rejection of the Senate report means the debate over this issue is over.  But the effect of the report may linger due to the damage it did to congressional oversight of intelligence and with U.S. military and intelligence partners.  While I believe the Islamic State and other radical Islamist groups could use the report in the short term as an excuse to stage new terrorist attacks or atrocities, I am hopeful that any increased threat level will dissipate in 2015 as interest in the report fades and is eventually forgotten.

In Battle to Defang ISIS, U.S. Targets Its Psychology

Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata wants fresh ideas to defeat ISIS. Credit Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata wants fresh ideas to defeat ISIS. Credit Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

DEC. 28, 2014

WASHINGTON — Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, sought help this summer in solving an urgent problem for the American military: What makes the Islamic State so dangerous?

Trying to decipher this complex enemy — a hybrid terrorist organization and a conventional army — is such a conundrum that General Nagata assembled an unofficial brain trust outside the traditional realms of expertise within the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence agencies, in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. Business professors, for example, are examining the Islamic State’s marketing and branding strategies.

“We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it,” he said, according to the confidential minutes of a conference call he held with the experts. “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

General Nagata’s frustration is shared by other American officials. Even as President Obama and his top civilian and military aides express growing confidence that Iraqi troops backed by allied airstrikes have blunted the Islamic State’s momentum on the ground in Iraq and undermined its base of support in Syria, other officials acknowledge they have barely made a dent in the larger, longer-term campaign to kill the ideology that animates the terrorist movement.

Four months after his initial session with the outside advisers, General Nagata, one of the military’s rising stars and the man Mr. Obama has tapped to train a Pentagon-backed army of Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State, is still searching for answers.

“Those questions and observations are my way of probing and questioning,” General Nagata said in a brief email this month, declining on orders from his superiors to say any more.

The minutes of internal conference calls between General Nagata and more than three dozen experts he convened through Pentagon channels in August and October offer an unusual insight into the struggle to understand the Islamic State as a movement, and where the American military’s top leaders are most focused.

One of the panel’s initial observations that has intrigued General Nagata is the Islamic State’s “capacity to control” a population, according to the minutes.

It is not so much the number of troops or types of weapons the militants use, the experts said. Rather, it is the intangible means by which the Islamic State, also called ISIS or ISIL, wrests and maintains control over territory and its people.

This ability, they discussed, centers on “psychological tactics such as terrorizing populations, religious and sectarian narratives, economic controls.”

The minutes, which are confidential but not classified, reveal disagreements among the experts over whether ISIS’ main objective is ideological or territorial — General Nagata encourages competing views, urging the group to have “one hell of a debate” over his questions.

But the panel raised doubts whether ISIS “has the bureaucratic sophistication necessary to govern.”

“The fact that someone as experienced in counterterrorism as Mike Nagata is asking these kind of questions shows what a really tough problem this is,” said Michael T. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who has publicly raised similar concerns.

A final report by the group, which draws from industry, academia and policy research organizations, is due next month.

How to defang the Islamic State’s enticing narrative weighs heavily on many other senior administration officials, as well as top leaders in the Middle East and Europe.

This month, Lisa Monaco, Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, said the increasing effort by the Islamic State to branch out to countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya “is a huge area of concern.” About 1,000 foreign fighters flock to Iraq and Syria every month, American intelligence officials say, most to join arms with ISIS.

“We have to, I think, as an international community, come to terms with how we’re going to deal with these ideologies and movements that are exploiting the weaknesses of various countries,” John O. Brennan, the C.I.A. director, said this fall. “We have to find a way to address some of these factors and conditions that are abetting and allowing these movements to grow.”

Enter General Nagata. He has fought in the shadows most of his 32-year Army career, serving in Special Operations forces and classified military units in hot zones such as Somalia, the Balkans and Iraq. Colleagues say he has displayed bureaucratic acumen in counterterrorism jobs at the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, and diplomatic savvy as a senior American military liaison officer in Pakistan during the turbulent period there from 2009 to 2011.

“He’s the rare warrior who is most comfortable in complexity,” said Stanley A. McChrystal, a retired four-star general and former commander of allied forces in Afghanistan.

Complexity is precisely what General Nagata, by then head of American commandos in the Middle East, wanted in July when he asked a tiny think tank within the military’s Joint Staff, known as Strategic Multilayer Assessment, for help in defeating the Islamic State.

In the past year, the group has produced studies on the security implications of megacities around the world and how to apply neuroscience to the concept of deterrence.

When General Nagata first convened the specialists on a conference call on Aug. 20, he described his priorities and the challenges that ISIS posed.

“What makes I.S. so magnetic, inspirational?” he said. He expressed specific concern that the militant organization is “deeply resonant with a specific but large portion of the Islamic population, particularly young men looking for a banner to flock to.”

“There is a magnetic attraction to I.S. that is bringing in resources, talent, weapons, etc., to thicken, harden, embolden I.S. in ways that are very alarming,” General Nagata said.

During the call, General Nagata alluded to the Islamic State’s sophisticated use of social media to project and amplify its propaganda, and insisted the United States needed “people born and raised in the region” to help combat the problem.

“I want to engage in a long-term conversation to understand a commonly held view of the psychological, emotional and cultural power of I.S. in terms of a diversity of audiences,” the general said. “They are drawing people to them in droves. There are I.S. T-shirts and mugs.”

“When I watch Americans use words like cowardly, barbaric, murder, outrageous, shocking, etc., to describe a violent extremist organization’s actions, we are playing right into the enemy’s hands,” General Nagata added. “They want us to become emotional. They revel in being called murderers when the words are coming from an apostate.”

He continued: “We have to remember that most of their messaging is not for us. We are not the target. They are happy to see us outraged, but they are really communicating to people we are being drawn to their banner.”

Six weeks later, in a second conference call on Oct. 3, General Nagata praised the group’s initial efforts, but again noted, “I do not understand the intangible power of ISIL.”

General Nagata scoffed at those who he said had questioned his decision to focus so much on understanding the intangibles of ISIS.

“What we have been asked to do will take every ounce of creativity that we have,” he said. “This may sound like a bizarre excursion into the surreal, but for me it is about avoiding failure.”

Also see:

Call To Jihad: Terror Recruiting in Laguna and The Southern Philippines

A cartoon from the Editorial of the Philippine Star on ISIS threat in Philippines. http://directory.ucanews.com/news/isis-ideology-has-reached-southern-philippines-pime-missionary/1641

A cartoon from the Editorial of the Philippine Star on ISIS threat in Philippines.
http://directory.ucanews.com/news/isis-ideology-has-reached-southern-philippines-pime-missionary/1641

December 17, 2014 /

The Aquino administration and his most senior members in the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) are trumpeting the UN report that came out a few days ago by saying, “we told you so.” We responded with an article titled “UN Claims No ISIS Presence in the Philippines – They’re Wrong,” where we laid out the ties between some of the most prominent Islamic State (IS) facilitators and the jihadist groups operating in the Philippines. In this follow up piece we’re going to kick things up a notch with an even deeper look into one of the support nodes we’ve mentioned: The Call and Guidance of Cabuyao Laguna (CGCL) and the individuals connected to it. Now, we can forgive AFP spokesman COL Restituto Padilla for not having all the facts since none of the organizations in the Philippine Security Forces (PSF) like to play nice with one another (sometimes to the point where people are killed due to holding onto information just because an organization can). However, the contents of this article are widely known to all of the senior officials of the Aquino administration. Keep this in the back of your mind as you read this piece. The following is from months of collaboration and research from our Asia Analytical Cell and network of sources in the Philippines – some of which are members of the PSF themselves.

UN Claims No ISIS Presence in The Philippines – They’re Wrong

President Aquino: The Barack Obama of Southeast Asia

ISIS Study Group claims terrorists’ presence in the Philippines
http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/12/16/1403309/isis-study-group-claims-terrorists-presence-philippines

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr.: UN reports proves our point. InterAksyon.com File

AFP spokesman Col. Restituto Padilla Jr.: UN reports proves our point. InterAksyon.com File

WE TOLD YOU SO | AFP says UN report of ‘No ISIS in PH’ boosts its claim ever since
http://www.interaksyon.com/article/101156/we-told-you-so–afp-says-un-report-of-no-isis-in-ph-boosts-its-claim-ever-since

Khalil Pareja Source: Rappler

Khalil Pareja
Source: Rappler

The CGCL was established in 2010 by Andrew “Mansur” Gutierrez and Brandon “Khalid” Gorospe. At the time Rajah Suleiman Movement (RSM) Ahmed Santos was 5 yrs removed from his arrest and subsequent move to SICA and Sheik Omar Lavilla had been detained in Bahrain while trying to wire money to his jihadist brethren and extradited to the Philippines 2 yrs prior. This was a period where

Pareja singing the praises of IS when it was still known as “al-Qaida in Iraq” – and before it was “cool” Source: Rappler

Pareja singing the praises of IS when it was still known as “al-Qaida in Iraq” – and before it was “cool”
Source: Rappler

many members of the RSM were laying low and contemplating their next move. The man who took over as the operational leader was Dino Amor Rosalejos Pareja aka “Khalil Pareja.” He reflagged RSM into “Jaysh at-Tauhid” (JTD) but in actuality this was still RSM with all the same personalities involved. Before he also found himself detained (again) in 2012, he had launched an initiative to establish alternative venues for bringing in financial and material support were established in anticipation of Lavilla and Santos’ eventual release from prison.

Mansur Gutierrez Source: The ISIS Study Group

Mansur Gutierrez
Source: The ISIS Study Group

The point man for this endeavor was Gutierrez, who served as the manager of Santos’ legal defense fund and would travel back and forth from Saudi Arabia under the status of an Overseas Foreign Worker (OFW) employed as an Operations Analyst for Advanced Electronics Company Limited. While in Saudi Arabia he collects money and will send it back to the Philippines via Western Union or through trusted associates rotating home. The individuals usually receiving the western union money are two of Santos’ wives, Fatima and Nurain. Our sources in the Philippine National Police – Intelligence Group (PNP-IG) reported to us their suspicions that Nurain is passing

Musa Cerantonio: Always had a soft spot for the Southern Philippines Source: One of his Twitter accounts

Musa Cerantonio: Always had a soft spot for the Southern Philippines
Source: One of his Twitter accounts

messages to Santos when she visits him in SICA. They also stated women typically aren’t searched and if they are its without the same level of scrutiny as a man would receive. This is likely how last summer’s prison video showing the inmates in Santos’ cellblock pledging allegiance to IS that was later promoted by Robert “Musa” Cerantonio (variant-Ceratonio). Nurain will also pass the money Gutierrez sent to other members of the network, even traveling to the Southern Philippines as she’s done on occasion. Gutierrez’s wife is also a key facilitator in the sense that she would often serve as a caretaker for Santos’ Fi Sabilillah Da’wah Media Foundation (FSDMF) when Fatima and Nurain were running errands or out of town on other business. She would also operate as a handler of money passing funds off from one individual to the next.

Gutierrez and Khalid Gorospe established the CGCL to better facilitate the flow of cash coming into the country from their Middle Eastern benefactors and began using the school for recruiting new members to replenish their ranks. Both Gutierrez and Gorospe would return to the Middle East to serve as OFWs tasked with collecting funds and targeting the OFW population for recruitment. How this works is they would identify the most vulnerable: young men who are alone. In this particular culture family is very important, and as an OFW you’re living thousands of miles away from your loved ones in an alien environment that is increasingly hostile to anyone who isn’t an Arab or Sunni Muslim for that matter. Individuals such as Gutierrez and Gorospe prey on these individuals by offering them the following:

1. RESPECT. This is very important due to how poorly Saudis are known to treat Filipinos – especially Christians.

2. A new, extend “family” of their Muslim brothers. This goes a long way towards feeling a new level of acceptance.

3. Promise of enhanced job prospects in the Middle East and when they return home to the Philippines. Gutierrez and Gorospe have used their links to major financiers and facilitators to get select Balik Reverts jobs.

4. A wife. Yes, there have been several cases where a Balik Revert will be matched up with a woman for marriage (this is how Khalil Pareja got married in case you were wondering).

The most promising recruits (after they’ve been indoctrinated into the militant ideology of the Black Flag movement that is) are identified while studying at one of the affiliated institutions – such as the CGCL – and sent to training camps in the Southern Philippines run by a joint-instructor cadre consisting of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Khalifah Islamiyah Mindanao (KIM), Bangsamoro Justice Movement (BJM)/BIFF-SOG and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI).

Breakdown of the radicalization process
Source: The ISIS Study Group

Phillipines chart

One of his other tasks is to serve as the mouthpiece for the Santos Network to major terror financiers such as former Islamic Studies Call and Guidance (ISCAG) Director Sheik Hamoud Muhammad abd-al Aziz al-Lahim and Saleh Muhammad al-Sanaa. These connections play a big role in Gutierrez’s ability to secure jobs for new recruits. When he’s back in the Philippines, Gutierrez will often make his rounds by visiting ISCAG and the al-Marrif Educational Center (AMEC) to coordinate the distribution of funds to the CGCL and other affiliated schools in the country – all under the guise of “Islamic Dawah Activities.” This money is for proselytizing efforts, facilitating the travel of personnel to Syria and Iraq, even purchasing weapons and IED-making material for their jihadist colleagues in the Southern Philippines. These contacts will even send trusted associates representing their interests in the country to these institutions to pass along funds and guidance – Gutierrez reportedly plays an important role in making the arrangements for these meetings.

***

We decided to begin putting out more detailed pieces to drive home to the US government and good people of the Philippines that the IS presence in the country is very real, both the US and Aquino administration are both aware of it, but isn’t taking the threat seriously. The Filipino members of our network have expressed a genuine fear of the coming storm, and rightfully so. The Black Flag affiliates in the country aren’t just a threat to Filipino Christians and westerners, they’re also a threat to the average Filipino Muslim who oppose the ideology of death that Baghdadi and his followers practice. PNoy, his cabinet and the senior members of his security forces have been very much aware of everything we covered in this article for quite some time. The million dollar question is why haven’t the PNP conducted a security sweep to detain the key members of the Santos Network who are present in the country after the arrests of Ricardo Ayeras and Andy Valdez? We know this much, the PNP has been watching this network but don’t have the appetite to detain them despite the danger they pose to the civilian population. Unfortunately, they’re only going to be motivated to do something if the leadership is motivated to take action. It all starts at the top – starting with PNoy.

Much more at The ISIS Study Group

Man Who Interrogated Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Speaks Out

mitchellimg

Watch Megyn Kelly’s 12/15 interview James Mitchell. The interview will be continued on tonight’s Kelly File.

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 1)

 

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 2)

 

The CIA interrogation ‘architect’ reacts to interrogation report (part 3)

 

Day 2 Of Megyn Kelly Interviews James Mitchell Who Interrogated KSM

 

Also see:

No Tears For Terrorists

CIA (1)By Justin O. Smith:

The recently released Senate Intelligence report on the CIA detention and interrogation program, created after 9/11, is a poorly done partisan attack on the Agency, and it is marred by errors of fact and questionable motives, as Americans note that this story moved Dr. Gruber, ACA architect, and his “Americans are too stupid to understand Obamacare” remark from the front page of the New York Times to page twenty; however, since the Democrats have mischaracterized the effectiveness of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program and alleged that Islamic terrorists/ “enemy combatants” captured on foreign battlefields were “tortured” through waterboarding and Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT), let’s put this topic to rest, as we also note that waterboarding was prohibited seven years ago.

Many progressive Democrats have conflated the issue by stating that Japanese soldiers were hung in 1947 for “waterboarding” U.S. soldiers, when what they actually did is more accurately described as “water-torture”, forcing water into the stomachs of prisoners, our U.S. soldiers, until osmosis ruptured their blood-cells, ending in death. This is not in any manner similar to the minor dunkings that Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists received at the hands of CIA interrogators, which merely gave the subject the illusion of drowning.

At the cost of $40 million, the Senate intelligence report, a 524 page declassified executive summary of the 6300 page classified report, accuses the CIA of torture, however, the CIA repeatedly consulted the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel about methods it intended to use. Legal opinions __ later discredited and withdrawn due to political pressure from the Obama administration __ assured the Agency that ALL of its Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EIT) were lawful and did not constitute torture.

It is worth noting here that tens of thousands of U.S. Armed Forces members, Rangers, Special Forces, SEALs, Pathfinders and Recon have voluntarily subjected themselves to waterboarding in the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) classes. All intelligence and military personnel exposed to a high risk of capture take SERE training.

Now, the very same Democrats, who once fully supported the EIT program, clearly didn’t include any information that did not fit their predetermined conclusions, and these same Democrats charged the CIA with immoral ineffectiveness, after they cherry-picked their way through six million pages of documents in the program that they in fact enabled; in their questionable endeavor, they ignored credible evidence that information gathered in this program led to Osama bin Laden.

In a joint response, former CIA Directors George Tenet, Porter Goss and Michael Hayden and former CIA Deputy Directors John McLaughlin, Albert Calland and Stephen Kappes rebut the Senate Intelligence report in a December 10th Wall Street Journal editorial that states: “The (EIT) program in its totality formed an essential part of the foundation from which the CIA and the U.S. military mounted the bin Laden operation. For instance, the CIA never would have focused on the individual who turned out to be bin Laden’s personal courier without the detention and interrogation program.”

Senator Saxby Chambliss, the ranking Republican on the Intelligence Committee, and five other Republicans wrote a 100 page dissent of the report, which was written solely by Democratic committee staff members. Chambliss, in a later statement, contradicted the principal findings of the Democrats, calling them “erroneous and inflammatory.”

Senator Chambliss also presented 766 known cases that represented “sole sourced” intelligence extracted through EIT, which gave advanced warning of terrorist attacks on Heathrow airport and London’s Canary Wharf. Chambliss stated, “There is no telling how many lives this program saved.”

Jose Rodriguez Jr., a former CIA official, rejects the Senate Intelligence report’s conclusions that EITs weren’t useful in saving American lives, and he stated: “… that the interrogation program brought no intelligence is an egregious falsehood; it’s a dishonest attempt to rewrite history … I’m bemused that the Senate could devote so many resources to studying the interrogation program and yet never once speak to any of the key people involved in it, including the guy who ran it, that would be me.”

One report from the twelve month period in 2004 showed a 92% success rate when EITs were used at GITMO, and even the Senate Intelligence report had to admit that some intelligence was gathered from 82% of detainees subjected to EITs, while in CIA custody. The effectiveness was shown to be only 57.5% with detainees when soft-sell techniques (polygraphs) were used.

Since the creation of the detention and interrogation program, the CIA has reported any allegation of abuse to the Justice Dept. Twenty cases have been forwarded to Justice in all these years, with only one meriting prosecution.

On December 11th, CIA Director John Brennan put this topic in its proper context as he stated: “The events of 9/11 will be forever seared into the memory of Americans … those 77 minutes in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Our Nation ached … It prayed. In Our pain, We pledged to come together … We vowed, NEVER AGAIN.”

Americans are now being forced by this report to reflect and ask themselves, “Was America wrong to use these Enhanced Interrogation Techniques?”

The Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Islamofascist groups that now comprise the Islamic State have routinely tortured, maimed and murdered their prisoners over the last several decades, just as America witnessed nineteen U.S. soldiers dismembered in Somalia and hung from utility poles in 1993 and, more recently, four young Christian children beheaded in Iraq for refusing to convert to Islam. And during this time, they have consistently and routinely worked towards successfully striking America in the most destructive and lethal fashion; the bomb plots, the biological and chemical attack plans and their search for nuclear weapons have all increased, and all of this was in the making long before the EIT program, as illustrated by the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Americans reflect on what has brought us to this discussion, and we remember ___ We remember Islamic terrorists followed the Koran’s mandate to murder non-believers, the infidels, in order to purify the world ___ taking the lives of 3000 innocent Americans. This is their life’s calling, and America reacted by making it our mission to capture or kill every Islamofascist meaning to bring Her harm, a mission we took seriously; if an Islamic terror suspect or known terrorist gets slapped a few times or has a little water poured over his face, I’ll not be shedding any tears.

CIA saved lives

 Click on the logo to get the facts

The Feinstein Report Is Going to Cost Us

pic_giant_121314_SM_Dianne_FeinsteinNational Review, By Andrew C. McCarthy, DECEMBER 13, 2014:

Jihadists are still waging their war against the civilized world. Check that: Jihadists are currently winning their war against the civilized world. Thank Barack Obama, who fails to grasp the difference between being “the president who ends wars” and the president who retreats from wars, and thus surrenders while the enemy is on the rise.

What is the response of Senate sages to this predicament? Dianne Feinstein and her fellow Democrats saw it as the perfect time to savage the CIA, further burn America’s bridges with anti-terrorism allies, and hand jihadists a huge propaganda victory.

The Islamic State had a response, too: They beheaded four Christian children for refusing to renounce Jesus Christ.

You see where this is going, no?

The Democrats’ “torture” report is a gratuitous hit job — brought to you by the same party that, out of political calculation, aggressively undermined the American war effort in Iraq — only after voting to send our men and women into grave danger there, also out of political calculation.

To be sure, the report is a highly disturbing document. It graphically illustrates the severity of enhanced interrogation tactics used against a small group of top-tier terrorists — terrorists who were responsible for brutally murdering thousands of Americans and who, at the time of their capture, were actively plotting to kill thousands more.

Still, notwithstanding the revelation of a few new gory details, this is old news and its disclosure serves no useful purpose — it is just a settling of scores.

“Old news” is not used here in the familiar Clinton/Obama sense of acknowledging a few embarrassing scandal details on Friday night to pave the way for dismissing scandal coverage as stale by Monday morning. The CIA’s interrogation program happened over a decade ago. It was investigated by Justice Department prosecutors for years — and not once but twice. The second time, even Eric Holder, the hyper-politicized, hard-Left attorney general who had promised Obama’s base a “reckoning,” could not help but concede that the case against our intelligence agents should be dropped because the evidence was insufficient to warrant torture prosecutions.

As I have frequently argued here over the years, there is a world of difference between what is couched in political rhetoric as “torture,” a conversation stopper that the Left cavalierly applies to every instance of prisoner abuse, and the federal crime of torture, which has a strict legal definition and is a difficult offense to prove, precisely to ensure that torture is not trivialized. Not surprisingly, then, the fact that the interrogations investigation was terminated has never been regarded as a clean bill of health.

To the contrary, disclosure was made to the public, through congressional investigations as well as through the criminal probe, that the tactics used were troubling. The treatment of a bare fraction of the tens of thousands of detainees held for a time raised concerns about abuse — far less than the norm in previous wars. The abuses that did occur, however, became notorious. And they were not trivial. Indeed, two detainees died: one under suspicious circumstances in Iraq, another of hypothermia in Afghanistan.

But we’ve known this for years. In conjunction with the Left’s shameful “Bush lied, people died” Iraq war meme — along with the Bush administration’s peculiar decision not to defend itself from scurrilous allegations — the “torture” narrative helped propel Democrats to decisive victories in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Feinstein’s report similarly serves no useful purpose when it comes to the ostensible rationale for its release, namely: the quest to corroborate the strictly ideological — and demonstrably false — claim that coercive interrogation does not yield vital intelligence.

On this score, it is almost not worth pointing to the averments of current and former CIA directors and operatives that the techniques employed produced essential wartime intelligence. It is even tempting to omit mention of the fact that the 9/11 Commission Report — lauded by members of both parties as the definitive account of the 9/11 attacks and the foundation of American counterterrorism policy — is largely the product of intelligence culled from top terrorists subjected to waterboarding and other indignities.

These are time-wasting exercises because the Feinstein report, as a piece of government investigative work, is laughably incompetent — at least as much as a taxpayer can laugh at a $50 million political stunt. An investigation that, as Rich Lowry notes, neglects to interview a single participant in the relevant events is a fraud. There is no other word for it.

This one will cost us dearly — and I’m not just talking about the $50 mil. The allies we need to prosecute a global anti-terror campaign — the ones from whom Obama’s election was supposed to win us renewed respect and affection — despise us for what Senate Democrats have done. As someone who has been around the block as many times as Feinstein must be aware, the report embarrasses governments that cooperate with the United States and raises their vulnerability as terror targets.

And just as our allies are reminded that America is an unfaithful friend, so, too, have American national-security officials, intelligence agents, and warriors been given a cautionary lesson: If you take actions to protect the American people — in wartime, in the heat of the moment amid a palpably justified fear of mass-murder attacks after nearly 3,000 of your fellow citizens have been slaughtered — better prepare to be hounded as a war criminal for the succeeding decade or more.

Jihadists, meanwhile, will go on beheading teenagers and planning massive attacks.

It has been one thing to tell our ascendant enemies — in actions and omissions that speak louder than words — that we have no stomach to fight them where they must be fought: on the ground where, we know, given time and space, they plot to kill Americans. It is quite another thing to buoy them with the assurance that a major party in this country has a bottomless appetite to fight Americans whose major allegiance is to America.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a policy fellow at the National Review Institute. His latest book is Faithless Execution: Building the Political Case for Obama’s Impeachment.

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CIA saved lives

Former CIA Officer Gary Berntsen talks reactions to the Agency’s report

Published on Dec 11, 2014 by CCTV America

CCTV America interviewed Gary Berntsen for an inside perspective on the report. Berntsen is a former CIA Senior Operations Officer.

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Brennan Disappoints Again

2866529523CSP, by Fred Fleitz:

CIA Director John Brennan did some good in his unprecedented CIA press conference on the report released this week by Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee on the enhanced interrogation program. He defended the Agency and its employees from unfair attacks on its efforts to stop further terrorist attacks after 9/11. He disputed claims in the report that the CIA lied to Congress about the enhanced interrogation program. He noted that the Agency stayed in regular contact with Congress and the Justice Department about this program and self-reported when things went wrong. He stressed how unfair it was that the investigation failed to interview any CIA officials. Brennan also decried the investigation’s failure to consider that the enhanced interrogation program was initiated in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks when U.S. officials were fearful of further al-Qaeda terrorist attacks.

I was glad to hear Brennan say these things. However, he undermined his message by also straddling the fence on the value of the enhanced interrogation program in an attempt to win political support from congressional Democrats when he said that that although detainees subjected to enhanced interrogation produced “useful information,” he claimed the cause and effect relationship between the interrogations and obtaining useful information “is unknowable.” Senator Feinstein quickly praised these statements but added that she disagreed “that it is ‘unknowable’ whether information needed to stop terrorist attacks could be obtained from other sources.”

Last August I called for John Brennan to resign after he mishandled an incident when Democratic Senate staff improperly removed classified documents from a CIA facility during the enhanced interrogation investigation. Senator Feinstein misrepresented the CIA’s actions as spying on Congress. I suspect Brennan is trying to win back the support of Feinstein and other Senate Democrats after this incident by his comments that hedged on the value of the enhanced interrogation program.

Brennan could have served the interests of the CIA and U.S. national security better by firmly standing behind this program like former CIA Directors Goss, Tenet, and Hayden did and not engaging in a strange epistemological argument on what is “knowable.”   Goss, Tenet, and Hayden, who worked more closely on this program than Brennan, believe it is “knowable” that the enhanced interrogation program produced unique, time-sensitive intelligence on terrorism threats that could not have been obtained through other means.

This also used to be Brennan’s position. According to the Wall Street Journal, a March 2009 memo to the Senate Intelligence Committee signed by Brennan said: “CIA assesses that most, if not all, of the timely intelligence acquired from detainees in this program would not have been discovered or reported by any other means.” Brennan also didn’t make this “unknowable” argument when he presented the CIA’s rebuttal to the Senate report last year.

Brennan’s hedging on the enhanced interrogation program’s reflects an unfortunate trend toward watered-down analysis and risk aversion by CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies due to the firestorm of criticism it faced in the 2000s after intelligence failures related to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Saddam Hussein’s WMD programs. To avoid being wrong or alienating anyone in Congress, intelligence analysis since the mid -2000s on controversial issues such as Iran’s nuclear program became increasingly bland and consensus-based.   Pressure has been put on intelligence analysts and agencies to support a consensus corporate line in their analysis to avoid being wrong and attracting congressional criticism.

Intelligence officials have tried to discredit any agencies or analysts who break from the corporate line on analysis. This happened in April 2013 when Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) inadvertently revealed a classified finding from a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report that he said “assesses with moderate confidence the North currently has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles, however the reliability will be low.” Senior U.S. intelligence officials immediately dismissed the DIA report cited by Lamborn as an outlier as did the Obama administration. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper read a statement that said the DIA report “is not [his emphasis] an Intelligence Community assessment.”

U.S. intelligence analysis should be written the way Director William Casey insisted it be written: analysts must provide their best assessment and dare to be wrong. Intelligence analysts shouldn’t be pulling their punches because of how their work might be received by the White House or Congress. Brennan’s hedging on the value of the enhanced interrogation program is the latest indication that American intelligence analysis is being driven by political considerations and has a long way to go to return to the high standard demanded by Director Casey so it produces the incisive and bold assessments needed to protect our country in a dangerous world.