Intelligence

Primary Sources

CIA Fact Sheets and Statements on the Senate Intelligence Committee's Study on the Former Detention and Interrogation Program

The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. Their study was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. The CIA released its redacted June 2013 response to the study and the Director of the CIA John Brennan gave a new statement on December 9, 2014. The CIA also prepared a fact sheet on the history of the program and its responses to the Senate Intelligence Committee's main findings.

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Primary Sources

Senate Intelligence Committee: Study on the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program

The Senate Intelligence Committee began investigating the use of torture by the CIA to obtain information from detainees about terrorist plots. The report covers the history of the interrogation program, the value of information obtained from torture techniques, and the CIA's and other government officials public statements about the "enhanced interrogation" program. The Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the torture program was ineffective and that some techniques were harsher than admitted previously. The report was completed in December 2012 and was released December 9, 2014, after the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee debated how much information should be released. The CIA released its own fact sheet and response.

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Op-Ed

The Problem With the Torture Report

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

Though the release of the executive summary of the Senate’s report on the CIA’s post-9/11 detention and interrogation program is a worthwhile effort, this report will cover little new ground, Micah Zenko argues. Rather, a more public account, including interviews with torture victims and interrogation technique used by the Department of Defense, is needed. Zenko provides guidelines for and questions to think about while reading the report.

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Press Briefing by Rear Admiral Kirby on Secretary Hagel's Middle East Trip and U.S. Response to Kidnappings in Nigeria

On May 09, 2014, Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby previewed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel's travel to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel. Rear Admiral Kirby also provided details on U.S. participation in a coordination cell in Nigeria, to help Nigerian authorities analyze intelligence regarding Boko Haram's kidnapping of school girls.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Reforming the NSA

Authors: Daniel Byman and Benjamin Wittes

The long-running debate over the tradeoffs the United States should make between national security and civil liberties flared up spectacularly last summer, when Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, handed journalists a huge trove of heavily classified documents that exposed, in excruciating detail, electronic surveillance programs and other operations carried out by the NSA. Americans suddenly learned that in recent years, the NSA had been acquiring the phone and Internet communications of hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, as well as collecting massive volumes of bulk telephone records known as "metadata" -- phone numbers and the time and length of calls.

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Foreign Affairs Article

Hypocrisy Hype

Authors: Martha Finnemore and Michael Cohen

In their essay "The End of Hypocrisy" (November/December 2013), Henry Farrell and Martha Finnemore argue that the biggest threat from leakers of classified information such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden is that "they undermine Washington's ability to act hypocritically and get away with it."

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Op-Ed

Evolution, Not Revolution, at the FBI

Author: Charles E. Berger
National Interest Online

Charles Berger writes that the FBI has always been a national security agency that uses both its law enforcement and intelligence authorities as means to counter the most significant threats to the United States, despite claims to the contrary.

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Op-Ed

They Who Must Not Be Named

Author: Micah Zenko
ForeignPolicy.com

The annual worldwide threat briefings of the intelligence community began with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's briefing to the U.S. Senate, during which he discussed the top threats facing the United States in 2014. In his article, Micah Zenko discusses the one thing that will remain shrouded from the American public—exactly who the United States is at war with.

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Primary Sources

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community

Annually, the Director of National Intelligence testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence to discuss the current and potential threats to United States' security and priorities for the Department of Defense budget. The assessment usually covers terrorism threats, cyber attacks, counterintelligence, proliferation, mass atrocities, regional and country-by-country threats, and other state and non state intelligence threats such as health threats, water security and transnational crime.

See more in United States; Cybersecurity; Intelligence