Archive for the ‘Michael Scheuer’ Category

Police Beat, Tase and Pepper Spray Children and Grandmother.. SiC 74.7 – Video



Police Beat, Tase and Pepper Spray Children and Grandmother.. SiC 74.7
Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,…

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Former CIA, Anything Is Possible When It Comes to 9/11.. Silence is Compliance Ep. 74.6 – Video



Former CIA, Anything Is Possible When It Comes to 9/11.. Silence is Compliance Ep. 74.6
Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,…

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Former CIA, Anything Is Possible When It Comes to 9/11.. Silence is Compliance Ep. 74.6 – Video

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Radio Host ADMITS That News Is Censored !! Silence Is Compliance Ep. 74.8 – Video



Radio Host ADMITS That News Is Censored !! Silence Is Compliance Ep. 74.8
Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,…

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What Keeps CIA Director John Brennan Awake At Night – Video



What Keeps CIA Director John Brennan Awake At Night
Rep. Michele Bachmann Completely Baffles John Brennan With Bizarre Questions During CIA Hearing Rep. Michele Bachmann Completely Baffles John Brennan With Bi. Michael Scheuer, who headed. …

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War and Empire Lucheon Keynote – Michael Scheuer – Video



War and Empire Lucheon Keynote – Michael Scheuer
September 14, 2005 Is the U.S. imperial or internationalist? A recent raft of books asserts that we are imperial. But if that is true, are we an empire of go…

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Id Dump the Israelis Tomorrow Ex CIA Michael Scheuer Tells Congress – Video



Id Dump the Israelis Tomorrow Ex CIA Michael Scheuer Tells Congress
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Profile: Michael Scheuer – History Commons

!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News

From 1980 to 1989, about $600 million is passed through Osama bin Ladens charity fronts, according to Michael Scheuer, head of the CIAs first bin Laden unit. Most of it goes through the charity front Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), also known as Al-Kifah. The money generally comes from donors in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, and is used to arm and supply the mujaheddin fighting in Afghanistan. Mohammad Yousaf, a high ranking ISI official, will later say, It was largely Arab money that saved the system, since so much of the aid given by the CIA and Saudi Arabia was siphoned away before it got to Afghanistan. By this I mean cash from rich individuals or private organizations in the Arab world, not Saudi government funds. Without those extra millions the flow of arms actually getting to the mujaheddin would have been cut to a trickle. [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 279-280] Future CIA Director Robert Gates will later claim that in 1985 and 1986, the CIA became aware of Arabs assisting and fighting with the Afghan mujaheddin, and the CIA examined ways to increase their participation, perhaps in the form of some sort of international brigade, but nothing came of it. [Coll, 2004, pp. 146] However, a CIA official involved in the Afghan war will claim that the CIA directly funded MAK (see 1984 and After).

In the mid-1990s, the CIA suffers brain drain, as budget restrictions cause the agency to get rid of many of its most experienced officials. CIA official Michael Scheuer will later explain: They called it a buyout program through the whole federal government, and they thought they were going to get rid of the deadwood. What happened was they lost the age-40-to-48 group of very strong potential senior officers, those people who couldnt stand the bureaucracy anymore. They couldnt stand the crap, so they retired, and we lost a whole generation. In 1997, George Tenet becomes the new CIA director (see July 11, 1997) and he attempts to stop the loss of talent. He even initiates a massive recruitment drive for the CIAs Directorate of Operations clandestine service. But according to a Vanity Fair article, unfortunately, the training of these new spies remained very much old-school: they were taught how to operate undercover in European embassies, but not how to infiltrate Islamic terrorist cells. Tenets choice for the latest deputy director of operations typifies the problem. His pick is Jack Downing, a 57-year-old veteran CIA officer who served as station chief in Moscow and Beijing during the Cold War. Scheuer will comment, Downing was a Marine, and then he was a very, very successful officer during the Cold War, but he didnt have a clue about transnational targets, and he didnt like analysts. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004]

Salem bin Laden, left, and Bakr bin Laden, right. Salem is killed in a plane crash in 1988. [Source: Public domain via Steve Coll]Shortly after the Saudi government publicly disowns bin Laden (while privately continuing to support him) (see April 9, 1994), the bin Laden family follows suits and publicly disowns him as well. Bakr bin Laden, the chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group, the main bin Laden family company, signs a two-sentence statement. Osama bin Laden has 25 brothers, 29 sisters, and more in-laws, aunts, uncles, and so forth. Der Spiegel will later report that in the years bin Laden lives in Sudan, Saudi intelligence minister Prince Turki [al-Faisal] sent Osamas mother, Hamida, and his brother Bakr to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, several times to convince Osama to abandon his terrorist activities. The visits were so frequent that Israels intelligence agency, the Mossad, believed at the time that Osama was a Saudi spy. Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIAs Counter Terrorism Center, will say, I tracked the bin Ladens for years. Many family members claimed that Osama was no longer one of them. Its an easy thing to say, but blood is usually thicker than water. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit specializing in hunting bin Laden, doubts that the entire bin Laden family has severed ties with Osama. In a 2005 interview he will say, I havent seen anything in the last 10 years thats convinced me that would be the case. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 6/6/2005; Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 6/6/2005]

The CIA begins a program to track Islamist militants in Europe. The program is operated by local stations in Europe and CIA manager Michael Scheuer, who will go on to found the agencys bin Laden unit in early 1996 (see February 1996). The program is primarily focused on militants who oppose the Egyptian government. It traces the support network that supplies money and recruits to them and that organizes their propaganda. US Ambassador to Egypt Edward Walker will later say that the operation involves intercepting telephone calls and opening mail. Suspects are identified in Egypt and in European cities such as Milan (see 1993 and After), Oslo, and London (see (Late 1995)). [Grey, 2007, pp. 125] The intelligence gathered as a part of this operation will be used for the CIAs nascent rendition program (see Summer 1995).

The CIA proposes a policy of abducting Islamic Jihad militants and sending them to Egypt which will soon be approved by President Bill Clinton (see June 21, 1995). The Clinton administration began a policy of allowing abductions, known as renditions, in 1993 (see 1993). At first, renditions were rarely used because few countries wanted the suspects. Michael Scheuer, head of the CIAs bin Laden unit, is one of the architects of a 1995 agreement with Egypt to send rendered militants there. He will later recall: It was begun in desperation. We were turning into voyeurs. We knew where these people were, but we couldnt capture them because we had nowhere to take them, due to legal and diplomatic complications. The CIA realized that we had to come up with a third party. Egypt was the obvious choice because the Islamic Jihad is the prime political enemy of the Egyptian government, and many Islamic Jihad militants also work for al-Qaeda, an enemy of the US. Turning a Blind Eye – However, the Egyptian secret police force, the Mukhabarat, is notorious for its torture of prisoners. As part of the program, the US helps track, capture, and transport suspects to Egypt (see Before Summer 1995) and then turns a blind eye while the Egyptians torture them. Scheuer claims the US could give the Egyptian interrogators questions they wanted put to the detainees in the morning and get answers by the evening. Because torture is illegal in the US, US officials are never present when the torture is done. Further, the CIA only abducts suspects who have already been convicted in absentia. Talaat Fouad Qassem is the first known person the CIA renders to Egypt (see September 13, 1995). But the number of renditions greatly increases in 1998, when the CIA gets a list of Islamic Jihad operatives around the world (see Late August 1998). These renditions result in a big trial in Egypt in 1999 that effectively destroys Islamic Jihad as a major force in that country (see 1999). [New Yorker, 2/8/2005] CIA, NSC, Justice Department Lawyers Consulted – Scheuer will say that lawyers inside and outside the CIA are intensively consulted about the program: There is a large legal department within the Central Intelligence Agency, and there is a section of the Department of Justice that is involved in legal interpretations for intelligence work, and there is a team of lawyers at the National Security Council, and on all of these things those lawyers are involved in one way or another and have signed off on the procedure. The idea that somehow this is a rogue operation that someone has dreamed up is just absurd. [Grey, 2007, pp. 140-141] Leadership of Program – The rendition program does not focus solely on al-Qaeda-linked extremists, and other suspected terrorists are also abducted. Scheuer will later tell Congress, I authored it and then ran and managed it against al-Qaeda leaders and other Sunni Islamists from August 1995, until June 1999. [US Congress, 4/17/2007] A dedicated Renditions Branch will be established at CIA headquarters in 1997 (see 1997), but the relationship between Scheuer and its manager is not knownit is unclear whether this manager is a subordinate, superior, or equal of Scheuer, or whether Scheuer takes on this responsibility as well. After Scheuer is fired as unit chief in May 1999 (see June 1999), his role in the rendition program will presumably be passed on to his successor, Richard Blee, who will go on to be involved in rendition after 9/11 (see Shortly After December 19, 2001). In a piece apparently about Blee, journalist Ken Silverstein will say that he oversaw the [Counterterrorist Center] branch that directed renditions. [Harper’s, 1/28/2007]

Bin Ladens brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa is pronounced not guilty of all charges and set free in a retrial in Jordan. Khalifa had been convicted and sentenced to death in a December 1994 Jordanian trial, but then a key witness recanted and the verdict was overturned in April 1995 (see Early April 1995). The US then deported him to Jordan to face retrial anyway (see April 26-May 3, 1995). [Agence France-Presse, 7/19/1995] He quickly returns to Saudi Arabia, where he has citizenship. Michael Scheuer, the first head of the CIAs bin Laden unit, will later claim that that day he flew back to Saudi Arabia, he was greeted by a limo and a high-ranking official of the government embraced him. [Lance, 2006, pp. 164] One later article similarly claims, Returning to Saudi Arabia, Khalifa was allegedly welcomed like a hero by Prince Sultan, Saudis second deputy premier. [Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/11/2000] Khalifa will go on to help found a militant group in Yemen that will take credit for the USS Cole bombing in 2000 (see 1996-1997 and After), while his Philippine front companies will continue to fund militant groups with few obstacles long after 9/11 (see 1995 and After).

CIA leadership allegedly suppresses a report about Osama bin Ladens hunt for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and only disseminates the report after pressure. After the CIAs bin Laden unit, Alec Station, is created in early 1996 (see February 1996), one of its first tasks is to see if bin Laden is attempting to acquire WMDs. Bin Laden a Bigger Threat than Previously Realized – Michael Scheuer, head of the unit in its early years, will later say that the unit soon discovers bin Laden is much more of a threat than I had thought. It became very clear very early that he was after [WMDs], and we showed conclusively at that point that he didnt have them. But we had never seen as professional an organization in charge of procurement. Scheuer will later tell Congress that when the unit finds detailed intelligence in 1996 on bin Ladens attempts to get a nuclear weapon, superiors in the CIA suppress the report. Only after three officers in the CIA knowledgeable about bin Laden complain and force an internal review does the CIA disseminate the report more widely within the US intelligence community. Incident Leads to Bunker Mentality – The incident contributes to a bunker mentality between the bin Laden unit and the rest of the CIA (see February 1996-June 1999). According to Vanity Fair, the CIAs top brass started to view Scheuer as a hysteric, spinning doomsday scenarios. Some start referring to him and the bin Laden unit as the Manson family, in reference to mass murderer Charles Manson and his followers. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004]

David Cohen. [Source: Ting-Li Wang / New York Times]David Cohen, head of the CIAs Directorate of Operations, wants to test the idea of having a virtual station, which is a station based at CIA headquarters and focusing on one target. He chooses Michael Scheuer to run it. Scheuer is running the Islamic Extremist Branch of the CIAs Counterterrorist Center at the time and had suggested creating a station to focus just on bin Laden. The new unit, commonly called Alec Station, begins operations in February 1996 (see February 1996). The 9/11 Commission will later comment that Scheuer had already noticed a recent stream of reports about bin Laden and something called al-Qaeda. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 109] It has been widely reported that US intelligence was unaware of the term al-Qaeda until after defector Jamal al-Fadl revealed it later in 1996 (see June 1996-April 1997). But Billy Waugh, an independent contractor hired by the CIA to spy on bin Laden and others in Sudan in 1991 to 1992, will later claim that the CIA was aware of the term al-Qaeda back then (see February 1991- July 1992). And double agent Ali Mohamed revealed the term to the FBI in 1993 (see May 1993). The term will first be used by the media in August 1996 (see August 14, 1996).

The CIAs Counter Terrorism Center creates a special unit focusing specifically on bin Laden. It is informally called Alec Station. About 10 to 15 individuals are assigned to the unit initially. This grows to about 35 to 40 by 9/11. [US Congress, 9/18/2002] The unit is set up largely because of evidence linking [bin Laden] to the 1993 bombing of the WTC. [Washington Post, 10/3/2001] Newsweek will comment after 9/11, With the Cold War over, the Mafia in retreat, and the drug war unwinnable, the CIA and FBI were eager to have a new foe to fight. Historical rivals, the spies and G-men were finally learning to work together. But they didnt necessarily share secrets with the alphabet soup of other enforcement and intelligence agencies, like Customs and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and they remained aloof from the Pentagon. And no amount of good will or money could bridge a fundamental divide between intelligence and law enforcement. Spies prefer to watch and wait; cops want to get their man. [Newsweek, 10/1/2001] Michael Scheuer will lead the unit until 1999. He will later become a vocal critic of the US governments efforts to combat terrorism. He later recalls that while bin Laden is mostly thought of merely as a terrorist financier at this time, we had run across bin Laden in a lot of different places, not personally but in terms of his influence, either through rhetoric, through audiotapes, through passports, through money-he seemed to turn up everywhere. So when we [created the unit], the first responsibility was to find out if he was a threat. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] By the start of 1997, the unit will conclude bin Laden is a serious threat (see Early 1997).

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Profile: Michael Scheuer – History Commons

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Interviews – Michael Scheuer | The Dark Side | FRONTLINE | PBS

Scheuer was chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Desk from 1995 to 1999 and headed an internal CIA investigation into the allegations of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda — an allegation his team found to be false. He is the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror. In this interview, Scheuer discusses the agency’s challenges in adjusting to a post-Cold War climate, the flaws in the Afghanistan war plan, the CIA’s performance and problems during George Tenet’s tenure and the future of the agency. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Jan. 11, 2006.

At the moment of 9/11, give me a report card on the status of the CIA, vis–vis the new White House: their attitude, orientation, hopes, fears.

There was a sort of euphoria that the Bush administration was going to be a strong backer of the CIA. They had kept on Mr. [George] Tenet [as director of the CIA], which was surprising given the fact that he was a Democratic operative for most of his career. Certainly Mr. Tenet had reshaped the CIA during his tenure from being an organization that certainly served the president, but also served the rest of the U.S. government, whether it was the Department of Agriculture or the State Department or DoD [Department of Defense]. He had reshaped the CIA. The president was our main reason for existence in the sense that he was what Mr. Tenet called the “first customer.”

There was a general feeling that we would get along fine with the Bush administration, although it was clear that some members of that administration, particularly [then-Deputy Secretary of Defense] Mr. [Paul] Wolfowitz and [Secretary of Defense] Mr. [Donald] Rumsfeld, really had very little use for the intelligence community as a whole.

Why, do you think?

I think we weren’t giving them the answers over the years that they wanted to hear. Syria is a perfect example. Syria, in my adult life, has always been tagged as an enemy of the United States and as a threat, but once you get inside the intelligence community, you find out that the Syrians are bankrupt, a police state that’s riven with factions and couldn’t threaten the United States in 100 years.

But because Rumsfeld and [then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas] Feith and Wolfowitz are so pro-Israeli, the answer needs to come back, “Yes, Syria is a threat.” Over the course of a decade and longer, even back into the first Bush administration and into Mr. Reagan’s administration, the enemies of Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Feith, Mr. Wolfowitz were not necessarily the enemies that you could derive from the intelligence material.

Place for me what you think was the attitude of the vice president [Dick Cheney] toward the CIA.

It was hard to tell up to when we started to go into the Iraq War. The vice president, I think, was as invisible to at least the counterterrorism section of the CIA as he was to the American public, and so until we were preparing to go into Iraq, there really wasn’t much of a perception within the counterterrorism community of what the vice president wanted to do or what he thought or what he thought of us.

Certainly, I think he was by senior agency managers fondly remembered from his previous government posts, [because] he had a reputation for being open-minded and very willing to listen to new ideas or divergent analysis. That memory, plus his invisibility before the Iraq war, really created a situation where his attitude towards intelligence surprised a lot of people — what appeared to be very much an unchangeable mind-set about Iraq and everything associated with it.

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Michael Scheuer "Obama Managed To Keep His Big Mouth Shut While Israelis Killed 1500 P – Video



Michael Scheuer “Obama Managed To Keep His Big Mouth Shut While Israelis Killed 1500 P
Follow us @ Does the US imperial machine manufacture weapons in order to confront new threat. Michael Sheuer, retired CIA officer, and former Chief of the Os…

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Police Beat, Tase and Pepper Spray Children and Grandmother.. SiC 74.7 – Video




Police Beat, Tase and Pepper Spray Children and Grandmother.. SiC 74.7 Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,… By: Anthony Antonello

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Former CIA, Anything Is Possible When It Comes to 9/11.. Silence is Compliance Ep. 74.6 – Video




Former CIA, Anything Is Possible When It Comes to 9/11.. Silence is Compliance Ep. 74.6 Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,… By: Anthony Antonello

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Radio Host ADMITS That News Is Censored !! Silence Is Compliance Ep. 74.8 – Video




Radio Host ADMITS That News Is Censored !! Silence Is Compliance Ep. 74.8 Anthony Antonello covered current events including the recent “scare” surrounding the “mers” outbreak. Michael Scheuer, former CIA intelligence officer, American blogger, author, historian,… By: Anthony Antonello

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What Keeps CIA Director John Brennan Awake At Night – Video




What Keeps CIA Director John Brennan Awake At Night Rep. Michele Bachmann Completely Baffles John Brennan With Bizarre Questions During CIA Hearing Rep. Michele Bachmann Completely Baffles John Brennan With Bi. Michael Scheuer, who headed. … By: News14

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War and Empire Lucheon Keynote – Michael Scheuer – Video




War and Empire Lucheon Keynote – Michael Scheuer September 14, 2005 Is the U.S. imperial or internationalist? A recent raft of books asserts that we are imperial. But if that is true, are we an empire of go… By: Hauenstein Center

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Id Dump the Israelis Tomorrow Ex CIA Michael Scheuer Tells Congress – Video




Id Dump the Israelis Tomorrow Ex CIA Michael Scheuer Tells Congress Id Dump the Israelis Tomorrow Ex CIA Michael Scheuer Tells Congress videos.. Please click here to subscribe to my channel.. PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO Id Dump t… By: Economics Collapse 2014

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Profile: Michael Scheuer – History Commons

!! History Commons Alert, Exciting News From 1980 to 1989, about $600 million is passed through Osama bin Ladens charity fronts, according to Michael Scheuer, head of the CIAs first bin Laden unit. Most of it goes through the charity front Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK), also known as Al-Kifah. The money generally comes from donors in Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf, and is used to arm and supply the mujaheddin fighting in Afghanistan. Mohammad Yousaf, a high ranking ISI official, will later say, It was largely Arab money that saved the system, since so much of the aid given by the CIA and Saudi Arabia was siphoned away before it got to Afghanistan. By this I mean cash from rich individuals or private organizations in the Arab world, not Saudi government funds. Without those extra millions the flow of arms actually getting to the mujaheddin would have been cut to a trickle. [Dreyfuss, 2005, pp. 279-280] Future CIA Director Robert Gates will later claim that in 1985 and 1986, the CIA became aware of Arabs assisting and fighting with the Afghan mujaheddin, and the CIA examined ways to increase their participation, perhaps in the form of some sort of international brigade, but nothing came of it. [Coll, 2004, pp. 146] However, a CIA official involved in the Afghan war will claim that the CIA directly funded MAK (see 1984 and After). In the mid-1990s, the CIA suffers brain drain, as budget restrictions cause the agency to get rid of many of its most experienced officials. CIA official Michael Scheuer will later explain: They called it a buyout program through the whole federal government, and they thought they were going to get rid of the deadwood. What happened was they lost the age-40-to-48 group of very strong potential senior officers, those people who couldnt stand the bureaucracy anymore. They couldnt stand the crap, so they retired, and we lost a whole generation. In 1997, George Tenet becomes the new CIA director (see July 11, 1997) and he attempts to stop the loss of talent. He even initiates a massive recruitment drive for the CIAs Directorate of Operations clandestine service. But according to a Vanity Fair article, unfortunately, the training of these new spies remained very much old-school: they were taught how to operate undercover in European embassies, but not how to infiltrate Islamic terrorist cells. Tenets choice for the latest deputy director of operations typifies the problem. His pick is Jack Downing, a 57-year-old veteran CIA officer who served as station chief in Moscow and Beijing during the Cold War. Scheuer will comment, Downing was a Marine, and then he was a very, very successful officer during the Cold War, but he didnt have a clue about transnational targets, and he didnt like analysts. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] Salem bin Laden, left, and Bakr bin Laden, right. Salem is killed in a plane crash in 1988. [Source: Public domain via Steve Coll]Shortly after the Saudi government publicly disowns bin Laden (while privately continuing to support him) (see April 9, 1994), the bin Laden family follows suits and publicly disowns him as well. Bakr bin Laden, the chairman of the Saudi Binladin Group, the main bin Laden family company, signs a two-sentence statement. Osama bin Laden has 25 brothers, 29 sisters, and more in-laws, aunts, uncles, and so forth. Der Spiegel will later report that in the years bin Laden lives in Sudan, Saudi intelligence minister Prince Turki [al-Faisal] sent Osamas mother, Hamida, and his brother Bakr to the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, several times to convince Osama to abandon his terrorist activities. The visits were so frequent that Israels intelligence agency, the Mossad, believed at the time that Osama was a Saudi spy. Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIAs Counter Terrorism Center, will say, I tracked the bin Ladens for years. Many family members claimed that Osama was no longer one of them. Its an easy thing to say, but blood is usually thicker than water. Michael Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit specializing in hunting bin Laden, doubts that the entire bin Laden family has severed ties with Osama. In a 2005 interview he will say, I havent seen anything in the last 10 years thats convinced me that would be the case. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 6/6/2005; Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 6/6/2005] The CIA begins a program to track Islamist militants in Europe. The program is operated by local stations in Europe and CIA manager Michael Scheuer, who will go on to found the agencys bin Laden unit in early 1996 (see February 1996). The program is primarily focused on militants who oppose the Egyptian government. It traces the support network that supplies money and recruits to them and that organizes their propaganda. US Ambassador to Egypt Edward Walker will later say that the operation involves intercepting telephone calls and opening mail. Suspects are identified in Egypt and in European cities such as Milan (see 1993 and After), Oslo, and London (see (Late 1995)). [Grey, 2007, pp. 125] The intelligence gathered as a part of this operation will be used for the CIAs nascent rendition program (see Summer 1995). The CIA proposes a policy of abducting Islamic Jihad militants and sending them to Egypt which will soon be approved by President Bill Clinton (see June 21, 1995). The Clinton administration began a policy of allowing abductions, known as renditions, in 1993 (see 1993). At first, renditions were rarely used because few countries wanted the suspects. Michael Scheuer, head of the CIAs bin Laden unit, is one of the architects of a 1995 agreement with Egypt to send rendered militants there. He will later recall: It was begun in desperation. We were turning into voyeurs. We knew where these people were, but we couldnt capture them because we had nowhere to take them, due to legal and diplomatic complications. The CIA realized that we had to come up with a third party. Egypt was the obvious choice because the Islamic Jihad is the prime political enemy of the Egyptian government, and many Islamic Jihad militants also work for al-Qaeda, an enemy of the US. Turning a Blind Eye – However, the Egyptian secret police force, the Mukhabarat, is notorious for its torture of prisoners. As part of the program, the US helps track, capture, and transport suspects to Egypt (see Before Summer 1995) and then turns a blind eye while the Egyptians torture them. Scheuer claims the US could give the Egyptian interrogators questions they wanted put to the detainees in the morning and get answers by the evening. Because torture is illegal in the US, US officials are never present when the torture is done. Further, the CIA only abducts suspects who have already been convicted in absentia. Talaat Fouad Qassem is the first known person the CIA renders to Egypt (see September 13, 1995). But the number of renditions greatly increases in 1998, when the CIA gets a list of Islamic Jihad operatives around the world (see Late August 1998). These renditions result in a big trial in Egypt in 1999 that effectively destroys Islamic Jihad as a major force in that country (see 1999). [New Yorker, 2/8/2005] CIA, NSC, Justice Department Lawyers Consulted – Scheuer will say that lawyers inside and outside the CIA are intensively consulted about the program: There is a large legal department within the Central Intelligence Agency, and there is a section of the Department of Justice that is involved in legal interpretations for intelligence work, and there is a team of lawyers at the National Security Council, and on all of these things those lawyers are involved in one way or another and have signed off on the procedure. The idea that somehow this is a rogue operation that someone has dreamed up is just absurd. [Grey, 2007, pp. 140-141] Leadership of Program – The rendition program does not focus solely on al-Qaeda-linked extremists, and other suspected terrorists are also abducted. Scheuer will later tell Congress, I authored it and then ran and managed it against al-Qaeda leaders and other Sunni Islamists from August 1995, until June 1999. [US Congress, 4/17/2007] A dedicated Renditions Branch will be established at CIA headquarters in 1997 (see 1997), but the relationship between Scheuer and its manager is not knownit is unclear whether this manager is a subordinate, superior, or equal of Scheuer, or whether Scheuer takes on this responsibility as well. After Scheuer is fired as unit chief in May 1999 (see June 1999), his role in the rendition program will presumably be passed on to his successor, Richard Blee, who will go on to be involved in rendition after 9/11 (see Shortly After December 19, 2001). In a piece apparently about Blee, journalist Ken Silverstein will say that he oversaw the [Counterterrorist Center] branch that directed renditions. [Harper’s, 1/28/2007] Bin Ladens brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa is pronounced not guilty of all charges and set free in a retrial in Jordan. Khalifa had been convicted and sentenced to death in a December 1994 Jordanian trial, but then a key witness recanted and the verdict was overturned in April 1995 (see Early April 1995). The US then deported him to Jordan to face retrial anyway (see April 26-May 3, 1995). [Agence France-Presse, 7/19/1995] He quickly returns to Saudi Arabia, where he has citizenship. Michael Scheuer, the first head of the CIAs bin Laden unit, will later claim that that day he flew back to Saudi Arabia, he was greeted by a limo and a high-ranking official of the government embraced him. [Lance, 2006, pp. 164] One later article similarly claims, Returning to Saudi Arabia, Khalifa was allegedly welcomed like a hero by Prince Sultan, Saudis second deputy premier. [Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/11/2000] Khalifa will go on to help found a militant group in Yemen that will take credit for the USS Cole bombing in 2000 (see 1996-1997 and After), while his Philippine front companies will continue to fund militant groups with few obstacles long after 9/11 (see 1995 and After). CIA leadership allegedly suppresses a report about Osama bin Ladens hunt for weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), and only disseminates the report after pressure. After the CIAs bin Laden unit, Alec Station, is created in early 1996 (see February 1996), one of its first tasks is to see if bin Laden is attempting to acquire WMDs. Bin Laden a Bigger Threat than Previously Realized – Michael Scheuer, head of the unit in its early years, will later say that the unit soon discovers bin Laden is much more of a threat than I had thought. It became very clear very early that he was after [WMDs], and we showed conclusively at that point that he didnt have them. But we had never seen as professional an organization in charge of procurement. Scheuer will later tell Congress that when the unit finds detailed intelligence in 1996 on bin Ladens attempts to get a nuclear weapon, superiors in the CIA suppress the report. Only after three officers in the CIA knowledgeable about bin Laden complain and force an internal review does the CIA disseminate the report more widely within the US intelligence community. Incident Leads to Bunker Mentality – The incident contributes to a bunker mentality between the bin Laden unit and the rest of the CIA (see February 1996-June 1999). According to Vanity Fair, the CIAs top brass started to view Scheuer as a hysteric, spinning doomsday scenarios. Some start referring to him and the bin Laden unit as the Manson family, in reference to mass murderer Charles Manson and his followers. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] David Cohen. [Source: Ting-Li Wang / New York Times]David Cohen, head of the CIAs Directorate of Operations, wants to test the idea of having a virtual station, which is a station based at CIA headquarters and focusing on one target. He chooses Michael Scheuer to run it. Scheuer is running the Islamic Extremist Branch of the CIAs Counterterrorist Center at the time and had suggested creating a station to focus just on bin Laden. The new unit, commonly called Alec Station, begins operations in February 1996 (see February 1996). The 9/11 Commission will later comment that Scheuer had already noticed a recent stream of reports about bin Laden and something called al-Qaeda. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 109] It has been widely reported that US intelligence was unaware of the term al-Qaeda until after defector Jamal al-Fadl revealed it later in 1996 (see June 1996-April 1997). But Billy Waugh, an independent contractor hired by the CIA to spy on bin Laden and others in Sudan in 1991 to 1992, will later claim that the CIA was aware of the term al-Qaeda back then (see February 1991- July 1992). And double agent Ali Mohamed revealed the term to the FBI in 1993 (see May 1993). The term will first be used by the media in August 1996 (see August 14, 1996). The CIAs Counter Terrorism Center creates a special unit focusing specifically on bin Laden. It is informally called Alec Station. About 10 to 15 individuals are assigned to the unit initially. This grows to about 35 to 40 by 9/11. [US Congress, 9/18/2002] The unit is set up largely because of evidence linking [bin Laden] to the 1993 bombing of the WTC. [Washington Post, 10/3/2001] Newsweek will comment after 9/11, With the Cold War over, the Mafia in retreat, and the drug war unwinnable, the CIA and FBI were eager to have a new foe to fight. Historical rivals, the spies and G-men were finally learning to work together. But they didnt necessarily share secrets with the alphabet soup of other enforcement and intelligence agencies, like Customs and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and they remained aloof from the Pentagon. And no amount of good will or money could bridge a fundamental divide between intelligence and law enforcement. Spies prefer to watch and wait; cops want to get their man. [Newsweek, 10/1/2001] Michael Scheuer will lead the unit until 1999. He will later become a vocal critic of the US governments efforts to combat terrorism. He later recalls that while bin Laden is mostly thought of merely as a terrorist financier at this time, we had run across bin Laden in a lot of different places, not personally but in terms of his influence, either through rhetoric, through audiotapes, through passports, through money-he seemed to turn up everywhere. So when we [created the unit], the first responsibility was to find out if he was a threat. [Vanity Fair, 11/2004] By the start of 1997, the unit will conclude bin Laden is a serious threat (see Early 1997).

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April 12, 2014   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Interviews – Michael Scheuer | The Dark Side | FRONTLINE | PBS

Scheuer was chief of the CIA’s Bin Laden Desk from 1995 to 1999 and headed an internal CIA investigation into the allegations of a link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda — an allegation his team found to be false. He is the author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror. In this interview, Scheuer discusses the agency’s challenges in adjusting to a post-Cold War climate, the flaws in the Afghanistan war plan, the CIA’s performance and problems during George Tenet’s tenure and the future of the agency. This is the edited transcript of an interview conducted on Jan. 11, 2006. At the moment of 9/11, give me a report card on the status of the CIA, vis–vis the new White House: their attitude, orientation, hopes, fears. There was a sort of euphoria that the Bush administration was going to be a strong backer of the CIA. They had kept on Mr. [George] Tenet [as director of the CIA], which was surprising given the fact that he was a Democratic operative for most of his career. Certainly Mr. Tenet had reshaped the CIA during his tenure from being an organization that certainly served the president, but also served the rest of the U.S. government, whether it was the Department of Agriculture or the State Department or DoD [Department of Defense]. He had reshaped the CIA. The president was our main reason for existence in the sense that he was what Mr. Tenet called the “first customer.” There was a general feeling that we would get along fine with the Bush administration, although it was clear that some members of that administration, particularly [then-Deputy Secretary of Defense] Mr. [Paul] Wolfowitz and [Secretary of Defense] Mr. [Donald] Rumsfeld, really had very little use for the intelligence community as a whole. Why, do you think? I think we weren’t giving them the answers over the years that they wanted to hear. Syria is a perfect example. Syria, in my adult life, has always been tagged as an enemy of the United States and as a threat, but once you get inside the intelligence community, you find out that the Syrians are bankrupt, a police state that’s riven with factions and couldn’t threaten the United States in 100 years. But because Rumsfeld and [then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas] Feith and Wolfowitz are so pro-Israeli, the answer needs to come back, “Yes, Syria is a threat.” Over the course of a decade and longer, even back into the first Bush administration and into Mr. Reagan’s administration, the enemies of Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Feith, Mr. Wolfowitz were not necessarily the enemies that you could derive from the intelligence material. Place for me what you think was the attitude of the vice president [Dick Cheney] toward the CIA. It was hard to tell up to when we started to go into the Iraq War. The vice president, I think, was as invisible to at least the counterterrorism section of the CIA as he was to the American public, and so until we were preparing to go into Iraq, there really wasn’t much of a perception within the counterterrorism community of what the vice president wanted to do or what he thought or what he thought of us. Certainly, I think he was by senior agency managers fondly remembered from his previous government posts, [because] he had a reputation for being open-minded and very willing to listen to new ideas or divergent analysis. That memory, plus his invisibility before the Iraq war, really created a situation where his attitude towards intelligence surprised a lot of people — what appeared to be very much an unchangeable mind-set about Iraq and everything associated with it.

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April 11, 2014   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed

Michael Scheuer "Obama Managed To Keep His Big Mouth Shut While Israelis Killed 1500 P – Video




Michael Scheuer “Obama Managed To Keep His Big Mouth Shut While Israelis Killed 1500 P Follow us @ Does the US imperial machine manufacture weapons in order to confront new threat. Michael Sheuer, retired CIA officer, and former Chief of the Os… By: Social Sciences Economics

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April 8, 2014   Posted in: Michael Scheuer  Comments Closed


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