Intelligence

Interview

Threading the Needle on Interrogation Reform

Daniel B. Prieto interviewed by Greg Bruno

President  Obama's decision to release information on CIA interrogation techniques has sparked furious debate over U.S. handling of terror suspects. CFR's Daniel Prieto says the new details indicate the "contorted" logic used by the Bush administration to justify harsh questioning.

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Interview

Betts: Hayden Likely to Be Pressed in Confirmation Hearing on Wiretapping Issue

Richard K. Betts interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman

Richard K. Betts, a CFR expert on the intelligence community, says that he sees no reason that the nomination of General Michael V. Hayden to head the Central Intelligence Agency should be blocked by Congress because of his military background. But he says that "there's a powerful reason to consider opposing the nomination," citing Hayden's role in domestic wiretapping without proper warrants by his National Security Agency.

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Must Read

Harper's Magazine: The Pious Spy: A Taliban Intelligence Chief's Death and Resurrection

Author: Mujib Mashal

"Perhaps Ahmadullah no longer feels that his life is at risk. Unlike al-Qaeda, the Taliban have emerged from the past decade remarkably unscathed. Many of the group's leaders have vanished into tribal areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and others live in urban areas—such as Quetta and Karachi—where U.S. drones could not reasonably operate. Still, if Ahmadullah who is no older than forty-seven, has any hope of playing a role in Afghanistan's future, he will have to emerge at some point from 'under the grave.'"

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Must Read

New Yorker: State of Deception

Author: Ryan Lizza

"[Keeping the phone metadata collection program] was the first in a series of decisions by Obama to institutionalize some of the most controversial national-security policies of the Bush Administration. Faced with a long list of policies to roll back…reining in the N.S.A.'s surveillance programs might have seemed like a low priority. As core members of Al Qaeda were killed, the danger shifted to terrorists who were less organized and more difficult to detect, making the use of the N.S.A.'s powerful surveillance tools even more seductive."

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Must Read

CRS: NSA Surveillance Leaks: Background and Issues for Congress

Recent media stories about National Security Agency surveillance address unauthorized disclosures of two different intelligence collection programs. These programs arise from provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. However, they rely on separate authorities, collect different types of information, and raise different policy questions. As such, where possible, the information contained in this report distinguishes between the two."

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