In the days before Thursday’s start to the trial for alleged Portland Christmas Tree bomber Mohamed Osman Mohamud, pre-trial hearings revealed two new details. First, the government failed to reveal to the defense an effort to “pitch” Mohamud on October 27, 2009, 13 months before they arrested him in an FBI-created plot. This comes on top of earlier revelations about a key meeting the FBI failed to tape, another failure to reveal FBI contacts, and Abu Zubaydah’s brother’s claim that, as an FBI informant, he was asked to track the then-16 year old Mohamud as early as 2008.
|By: emptywheel Saturday January 12, 2013 1:59 pm|
|By: emptywheel Saturday January 28, 2012 1:59 pm|
At one level, Prouty’s life story—before the FBI targeted a woman who had done so much for the Agency—reads like a classic, exceptional, immigrant success story. But so much of what the government used against her has been used on Muslims and other Arab-Americans without the means to fight back:
National Security Letters
Threats of deportation (which in her case would have been lethal) and to family members
Border exception searches
Badly managed informants (in this case, Prouty’s own brother)
Trial in the public sphere
|By: emptywheel Saturday October 22, 2011 1:59 pm|
You can summarize the story of Peter Van Buren’s We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People with his assessment of the scams Iraqis pulled off with reconstruction dollars: “It wasn’t so much we were conned, it was as if we demanded to be cheated and would not take no for an answer.” The book describes what he saw of the various reconstruction efforts in Iraq, particularly his experience serving on a State Department Provisional Reconstruction Team in 2009.
|By: emptywheel Thursday July 14, 2011 1:30 pm|
Republicans are big fans of projection. When they’re neck-deep in conflicts of interest, they like to hide it by accusing Democrats of such conflicts. When they leak stuff, they accuse Democrats. When they mismanage stuff, they accuse Democrats.
And yesterday, Darrell Issa got caught doing just that.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday July 13, 2011 6:08 pm|
In any case, given the way the government responds to FOIAs, we’ll probably learn more about this in 5 years or so.
|By: emptywheel Wednesday July 13, 2011 7:30 am|
Some new developments in the Manadel al-Jamad and Binyam Mohamed torture investigations.
|By: emptywheel Tuesday July 12, 2011 3:00 pm|
A detainee in what Jeremy Scahill describes as “a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab members or of having links to the group are held”–one with key US involvement–describes his internment this way.
“I have been here for one year, seven months. I have been interrogated so many times. Interrogated by Somali men and white men. Every day. New faces show up. They have nothing on me. I have never seen a lawyer, never seen an outsider. Only other prisoners, interrogators, guards. Here there is no court or tribunal.”
|By: emptywheel Saturday July 9, 2011 5:00 pm|
It may not take long, then, for a country like Iran or an entity like a Mexican drug cartel to develop and disseminate a way to hack drones. And given the way other arms proliferate, it won’t be long before drones are available on the private market. (Incidentally, remember how some of the crap intelligence used to trump up a war against Saddam involved a balsam-wood drone? Great times those were!)
|By: emptywheel Saturday July 9, 2011 1:59 pm|
In The Interrogator: An Education, retired CIA clandestine officer Glenn Carle tells how, in fall 2002, he was sent to the Middle East to interrogate a purportedly high level al Qaeda figure he calls CAPTUS. While Carle does not identify either the detainee or the countries in which he interrogated him, Scott Horton reports the detainee is an Afghan named Pacha Wazir who, before he was captured, ran a hawala al Qaeda used; the two locations are Morocco and Afghanistan’s Salt Pit. After some weeks of rapport-based interrogation, Carle became convinced CAPTUS wasn’t as involved in al Qaeda as CIA believed him to be.
|By: emptywheel Saturday July 9, 2011 7:53 am|