More Bush-Cheney Misdeeds Rise To The Surface

Posted: Thursday, August 20, 2009 | Posted by Chico Brisbane | Labels: , , , , ,

In direct contridiction to statements made by former Vice President Dick Cheney and his daughter Liz during a media camapign earlier this year, Former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Director General Michael Hayden said that an internal CIA report expected to be released Monday will show that CIA interrogators did not uncover any imminent attacks.

Hayden made his remarks at a panel discussion on the privatization of US intelligence this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Cheney had said on more then one ocassion that intelligence gained via waterboarding and enhanced interrogation techniques had in fact thwarted subsequent terrorist attacks and in his opinion, saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

Another revolation was revealed today about the Bush Administration following the release of an advance copy of a book authored by former Department of Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge. Going well beyond ambiguous speculation, Ridge states catagorically that the Bush Administrations insisted that his agency raise the national security threat level on the eve of the 2004 presidential election.
It had an immediate impact on the former Presidents approval rating and garnered his victory the following evening. Although not exactly a secret among that segement of America that keeps themselves abreast of such things, this long suspected scenario is nontheless chilling now that we know that the former President engaged in an act of terrorism by using the power of a federal agency for political gain.

Like all of the other Bush Administrations high crimes and misdomeanors, this is likely to be simply one more among many that will also go unprosecuted.
In addition to Hayden, former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff and veteran CIA operations officer Jack Devine where also among the panel at this morning discussion at The National Press Club in Washington D.C.

The moderator, bestselling spy novelist Joseph Finder, kicked off the discussion with a brief statement acknowledging
New York Times and Washington Post stories that ran today. The two newspaper stories, detailing CIA’s employment of security contractor Blackwater (since renamed Xe) for a multimillion dollar terrorist ‘assassination’ program disclosed to Congress last month by CIA Director Leon Panetta, essentially refuted a story Finder published on The Daily Beast earlier this week.

Finder claimed that the program "wasn’t much more than a PowerPoint presentation," characterized the Panetta’s disclosure to Congress as a "gaffe," and so much as suggested that Panetta should resign.

Hayden and Chertoff used the panel discussion to defend CIA and DHS’ reliance on contractors, explaining that various factors, such as the need to ramp up new staffs quickly, and statutory constraints on hiring, caused an overreliance on contractors in the period immediately following 9/11.

Hayden described steps he and his deputy, Steve Kappes, took to stanch the flow of mid-career officers out of the CIA ranks into more lucrative contractor jobs, and how the percentage of contractor personnel disproportionately swelled in the ranks of ‘core support’ personnel that form the second echelon of intelligence workers behind ‘core’ personnel who serve as case officers or analysts.

Devine noted that the information technology revolution in intelligence business processes has driven much of the growth in intellgence contracting.
Questions on controversial intelligence issues cropped up when Finder opened the floor to discussion.

Hayden repeated his "look to the future, not back at the past"
mantra when asked about the possibility of a special prosecutor to investigate torture and detention, and also mentioned that Federal prosecutors had already deemed all but one of the referrals for criminal conduct related to detainee abuse as not worthy of prosecution.

Hayden also gave a general description of the effectiveness of the interrogation program included in the soon-to-be released CIA IG report. Hayden stated that six key paragraphs describe how the program achieved ‘modest success’ in learning about Al Qaeda organization and leadership, but did not uncover any imminent attacks.

Neither Hayden nor Chertoff acknowledged that in their roles as Bush administration policymakers, they could have taken action to forestall policies that have resulted or could result in litigation or prosecution.


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