CIA Field Officer Says US Sacrificed Moral Authority For Nothing
The latest contribution to Time magazine, provided by former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) field officer Bob Baer, is entitled Dumb Intelligence and appears in the May 4, 2009 edition.
The article states:
The use of torture has come at huge costs to American credibility and the morale and psychology of our intelligence agencies. If we're going to pay those costs, we ought to know what we're getting. A thorough clearing of the air will help discredit the idea that we either torture terrorists or become victims. This false choice is played out on shows like 24, leaving people with the notion that had the FBI somehow caught one of the hijackers in the hours leading up to Sept.11, torture would have led to the arrests of the 18 others before those planes took off. The truth is less sensational and more unsettling - but ultimately one that Americans should learn to accept. There are ticking time bombs out there. But torture won't get us any closer to discovering when they're going to go off.
From the same CIA field officer, in an article from February 2005 entitled, Top Former CIA Agent Condemns New Terror War, Bob Baer is quoted as saying:
"It is totally reactionary," he insists. "It's like they woke up on 9/11 and just started shooting at anybody and anything."
To give just one example, he says that what is referred to as "extraordinary renditions" - the controversial practice of secretly spiriting suspects to other countries without due process - is not only wrong, but often counterproductive for gathering intelligence.
"They are picking up people really with nothing against them, hoping to catch someone because they have no information about these [terrorist] networks."
According to Baer, what happened after 9/11 was a kind of knee-jerk reaction by the CIA, taking in thousands of contractors and dispatching everybody they could, at the expense of real expertise and experienced operatives.
This desperation, he says, led to a "do anything approach" and "that's why we ended up with Guantanamo and arresting a lot of people that were innocent."
It was on September 15, just a few days after the attacks on New York and Washington, that George Tenet - then director of the CIA - produced at top secret document known as the Worldwide Attack Matrix for ratification by President Bush.
It was, in effect, a licence to kill. Among the actions already under way or being recommended in the document were those ranging from "routine propaganda to lethal covert action in preparation for military attacks." Implemented as outlined, the Matrix, "would give the CIA the broadest and most lethal authority in its history."
Click here to read Dumb Intelligence.
Click here to read Top Former CIA Agent Condemns New Terror War.
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