2011: A wild ride for the CIA
Compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Osama bin Laden was killed
December 30th, 2011
02:31 PM ET

2011: A wild ride for the CIA

By CNN's Pam Benson

The year has been a rollercoaster ride for the CIA–incredible highs coupled with significant lows. But those dramatic ups and downs also underscored how intelligence is evolving and the agency is changing to keep pace. Keeping secrets is becoming more difficult and what the agency now does is sometimes more visible. And– the enemy is getting better.

On the critical counterterrorism front, 2011 was a momentous year. The crowning moment–maybe of even the last decade–was the CIA finally pinning down the location of enemy number one, Osama bin Laden, and then overseeing the raid by Navy special forces on a safehouse in Pakistan which led to his death, bringing an end to the nearly ten year pursuit of America's most wanted terrorist.

The raid is a prime example of the new warfare the CIA is engaged in. The counterterrorism battle is frequently being waged by CIA officers and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) forces working side by side. Former CIA Director Mike Hayden said "it's clear the Agency and JSOC are now in a privileged position in terms of how we want to fight this war." The retired Air Force general referred to the CIA today as looking more like the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the World War two-era intelligence service that had a more operational, paramilitary role.

That type of warfare is heavily dependent on the use of unmanned, armed aircraft.

Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born propagandist and operator for al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, was blown apart by a CIA operated drone attack while driving in a remote area of Yemen. Al Awlaki had been tied to the attempt by Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, the so called underwear bomber, who unsuccessfully tried to blow up a passenger airliner on its way to Detroit on Christmas day two years ago. And alleged Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan had been in communication with al Awlaki before his shooting spree that left 13 dead at the Texas U.S. Army post.

U.S. intelligence officials have said hundreds of other extremists have been taken off the battlefield through CIA operations in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

Shortly after leaving his job as CIA director, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in July that the U.S. is now "within reach of strategically defeating al Qaeda."

His deputy for intelligence issues, Michael Vickers, even put a timeframe on al Qaeda's ability to carry out terrorist operations saying that "within 18 to 24 months, core al Qaeda's cohesion and operational capabilities could be degraded to the point that group could fragment and exist mostly as a propaganda arm."

A senior U.S. official said documents seized from the bin Laden compound "showed both he and his lieutenants were complaining that they were losing the intelligence war."

The use of the drones to eliminate suspected terrorists has been problematic for the CIA. The recent crash of an agency-operated unmanned spy plane in Iran was a stark reminder of the aircraft's vulnerability. Although the Iranians bragged that they had brought the plane down, possibly by means of a cyber attack, the U.S. insisted the crash had nothing to do with outside intervention. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers emphatically said "there was a technical problem that was our problem, nobody else's problem."

Rogers added these types of planes have gone down in a number of different places. "These things are not infallible. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong in these environments," he said.

There are also claims by Pakistan’s government that hundreds of civilians have been killed in Pakistan by missiles launched from CIA drones. U.S. officials have insisted the drone strikes have become far more precise, with few civilian casualties this year, but it is one of the risks of the program.

No one wants to talk publicly about the secret drone program even though its one of the few more visible operations run by the usually opaque CIA. Panetta would not specifically discuss the drone programs run by both the military and the CIA, but did recently say "there are technologies that are extremely important in developing the kind of intelligence and information we need in order to be able to defend the security of our country...we are going to continue to use them in the defense of US security."

Another low point this year for the CIA was the exposure by the terrorist organization Hezbollah of CIA informants in Lebanon followed by the outing of several CIA officers working in the country. Hezbollah was apparently able to track the cell phones conversations of the parties.

The careers of those covert officers are likely hampered now that they have been identified. Former CIA officer Robert Baer said "they've been burned." Hezbollah is often seen as a group of "bearded primitive bomb throwing terrorists," said Baer, but in reality, it is a formidable adversary. "They're into police files. They're into military intelligence files. They can get on any skype message. They tap telephones, get into phone databases. You name it, they can do it and they're very good at it." Baer maintained it is the US that needs to catch up to Hezballah. "We're so used to fighting the Taliban and these tribal groups in Afghanistan that we're really falling behind on what's called spycraft or tradecraft," he said.

But Congressman Mike Rogers said human intelligence, often referred to as HUMINT, is one of the toughest aspects of spying. "Anytime you have HUMINT activity around the world, somebody is going to get caught. That's the unfortunate part of this business. So I don't want people to be led to believe there has been a collapse in tradecraft at the CIA. I don't believe that to be true." But Rogers acknowledges the CIA will have to make adjustments in Lebanon, a likely reference to having to pull out the compromised officers and bring in new ones.

Ronald Kessler, the author of "CIA at War" said considering the risky work undertaken by officers trying to gather intelligence in restricted locations or enemy territory, "it's no wonder there aren't more roll-ups of CIA officers and CIA assets."

A senior U.S. official would not discuss the specifics of some of the claims made concerning CIA operations, but the official did say "It seems to me that if Iran, Hezbollah, Pakistan, and al Qaeda are feeling compelled to wage propaganda operations against the Agency, then the CIA must be doing something right. And let's remember that any intelligence organization that takes risks will win some and lose some–the Agency is winning way more than its losing."

Some members of Congress criticized the CIA for not predicting the extent of the Arab uprising.

When Tunisia's democracy movement ignited a year ago and soon spread to Egypt and other nations, questions were raised about whether the intelligence community failed to predict things were about to boil over.

Some Senators wanted to know whether the intelligence community failed to realize tens of thousands of Egyptians would take to the street after years of massive unemployment and dissatisfaction with the authoritarian regime. Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein said, "I've looked at some intelligence in this area which indicates some lacking."

Adm. Mike Mullen, America's top military officer at the time, told the Daily Show in February, "To a great degree I think the timing of it certainly caught us as it moved from Tunisia and sort of across to the really difficult challenge that sits there right now in Egypt."

Intelligence expert Kessler said people often have unrealistic expectations of the intelligence community and expect the CIA to have a crystal ball. He said the Arab spring is a perfect example. "When people said the CIA should have known this individual in Tunisia was going to set himself on fire and that was going to ignite the Arab spring, that's just foolish," said Kessler.

An incident with a CIA contractor operating in Pakistan continued the downward spiral of US relations with a critical counterterrorism partner. Security contractor Raymond Davis was jailed after he killed two armed Pakistani men who threatened him. Davis was eventually released by the Pakistanis after the victims families were paid off, but it once again raised the question of the U.S. government's dependence on contractors.

The United States was unaware of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il's death until its announcement on North Korean TV two days after the fact. Could that be considered an intelligence failure? The experts we spoke to agreed that you can't expect the CIA to know exactly when the leader of a police state has died if that country wanted to keep it secret which was the case here.

A U.S. official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, "The key point in a situation like this is not marking the exact second the dictator dies-while clearly that would be great to know-but having a solid framework to assess what might come next. Experts have spent a lot of time developing and updating assessments of things to watch for, to help policymakers understand which direction the transition is going."

But Kim's death led to the inevitable discussion about the command and control of North Korea's nuclear program. And some experts maintain the U.S. just doesn't know enough. Paul Stares, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations said, "It's a black hole. I don't think we even know whether they have a deployed capacity. The devices they tested, it's unclear whether they were truly weaponized devices. There's some speculation about having some bomb designs for that purpose."

Former CIA Director Hayden said North Korea, Hezballah and Iran are the most challenging adversaries. "They have been the three toughest target areas we had.. the Iranians were very good, North Korea was a closed society and we all considered Hezballah to be the A team, a very sophisticated adversary," said Hayden. He called Hezbollah a disciplined, high-tech terrorist organization whose intelligence capacities rival that of governments.

Intelligence Committee Chairman Rogers agreed that the enemy is getting better. "Our counterintelligence threat is more significant than it has been in the past. These intelligence services are getting much, much better. I can't say they are on par with the United States but some are darn close," Rogers said.

There are other factors impacting the intelligence community, namely the digital revolution. "Remember the internet has changed a lot," said Rogers. "It has changed our counterintelligence strategy like you wouldn't believe–sometimes hard to believe– but it has changed the spy business in a way I've never really seen before."

Gen. Hayden said the intelligence business is much more difficult because of electronics and social media. "Everything is so inter-connected. Everyone's electronic signature is so much more powerful and ubiquitous that it really is more difficult to do things and remain secret for an extended period of time," Hayden said. But the enemy has the same problems. Hayden pointed to Iran's failed effort to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. this year. "We each have our successes and failures," said Hayden.

As successful as the CIA's counter terrorism efforts have been this year, Hayden, who was CIA chief from 2006-2009, understands the pressure the Agency is under to balance its missions. "When I was director, I had to keep reminding myself that this counterterrorism role wasn't the only thing we're doing, that we had to also remind ourselves to keep focused on our traditional espionage mission and the tradecraft required for it. It's not saying our tradecraft suffered. This is a constant risk and a constant challenge because of the roles the Agency is playing today."

Clark Ervin, a former Inspector General at the Department of Homeland Security may have summed it up best when he said, "intelligence is an art and not a science and it's tough to be right always."

The CIA would not respond to the specific issues raised in this story, but spokeswoman Jennifer Youngblood offered the following written comment: "At the end of the day, I think it's clear that this has been a year of extraordinary achievement by the hardworking men and women of the Central Intelligence Agency who truly believe that what we do matters, and helps to keep America safe. At the end of the day, the President, Congress, and the American people ask us to take on the hard jobs-as our mission statement says 'we accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go'-and the hard jobs get done only when you take some risks."

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Filed under: 9/11 • Al Qaeda • Analysis • Anwar al-Awlaki • Arab Spring • Central Intelligence Agency • CIA • drones • Intelligence • Kim Jong Il • Middle East • Military • Navy SEALs • North Korea • Osama bin Laden • Pakistan • Panetta • Panetta • Pentagon • Spying • Terrorism • Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. asklisad

    Long live John O'Neill !

    January 7, 2012 at 12:43 am | Reply
  2. Daniel

    Well it is like they always said. The wins go unnoticed, but losses are front page news.
    A real problem for the CIA, MOSSAD or anyone else is the intelligence game is harder and harder to play. Partly from electronics counter measures, and also HUMINT. We can't pay bad guys for info. Sex drugs or money always works but we have rules, and unfortunately we can't always get the direct intelligence we need. We can do a lot with Drones, and Satellites, but being able to bribe the bad guys can provide invaluable info. Also alternative interrogation techniques, also work but unfortunately are frowned upon. It happens but needs to be done quietly. My hope is that the CIA can work with others who can provide the intelligence it needs in a timely manner. The analysts can do a lot but there is also a lot of speculation unfortunately. Then again it is what makes it so interesting. Connecting the dots and hoping you are right when they send in a seal team!

    January 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm | Reply
    • Stay Stupid The Zionists Like You Stupid

      I know what I'm going to do:

      I'm going to give all my money to the zionists.

      Then, when the dirty evil zionists start WW3, I am going to demand my children join the U.S. Army and go fight the Arabs and Iranians for the devil worshiping zionists. I will want them to die for the zionists, since our traitor zionist controlled Congress will send thousands of our armed forces into the Middle East to die, and I will want my children to be among the glorious American dead. And when my children come back in a coffin, I will tell anyone who will listen, my children died for a good cause – defending the murdering lying zionists so they can continue killing innocent women and children while stealing more Arab land.

      Plus, I will stay in debt and be a good goym – I'll live to support the zionists in apartheid racist israel.

      I will stay stupid since that is how the zionists like their goym.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • Iranacockdownmythroat

        Save your money, climb a camel.

        January 16, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Sanchanim

        And don't forget the camel is a practicing Jew so no work on Fridays or Saturdays lol

        January 16, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  3. James

    Any ride with the CIA is Wild–

    January 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  4. Read CNN twice a day

    There are fifty-four events in progress that will not turn out well for the people of the United States. The fact that the US Military and the US State Department seam to be aiding these events is an unpleasant revelation about the United State’s current national leadership.
    ...
    (1) In 2010 the Islamic Fundamentalists took control of Turkey.
    ..
    (2) January 2011 Hezbollah collapsed the government of Lebanon, and then took control of the government, two weeks after the USA gave Lebanon hundred million dollars.
    ..
    (3) January 2011 the Islamic Brotherhood rioted in the streets of Tunisia, causing the president of 24 years, friendly to the West, to leave. Since then 300,000 people have fled Tunisia for France and Italy.
    ..
    (4) Egyptian Government fully collapsed due to fighting in the streets; army took control. 1000 member of the Moslem Brotherhood freed from jail. Cabinet quits 3/04/2011, Mubarak and his sons arrested 4/15/2011.
    ..
    (5) Yemen government is threatened by rioting in the streets has indicated that the president will not run for reelection in 2013. The cabinet dismissed.
    ..
    (6) Jordan government, threatened by rioting in the streets week of 3/04/2011, changed the entire cabinet.
    ..
    (7) Saudi government, threatened by rioting in the streets week of 3/04/2011, changed the entire cabinet.
    ..
    (8) February 2011 rioting in the streets of Algeria, rioters shot.
    ..
    (9) February 2011 rioting in the streets of Libya has escalated into civil war, now coming to an end. The US Government makes comments and actions favoring the Moslem Brotherhood. France sends the rebels 1000 bullet resistant vests, and 100 radio-telephones, and night vision equipment. NATO flys thousands of bombing and photo missions over Libya.
    ..
    (10) January and February there is Islamic rioting in the streets in Ivory Cost.
    ..
    (11) 2/14/2011 the entire Cabinet of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank quit.
    ..
    (12) 2/14/2011 the Pakistani Government is hunting for former president Mucharif (friendly to the USA) to arrest him. He is in London England.
    ..
    (13) Even fighting in Southern Thailand by Moslem Separatists has killed 4000 people in two years.
    ..
    (14) In 8 years Moslems killed a million civilians in Defar.
    ..
    (15) In 8 years Moslem killed thousands of Christens in Nigeria. They killed 1000 week of 4/14/2011.
    ..
    (16) 2/11/2011 Egyptian troops are fighting with Bedouin in the Sinai Peninsular.
    ..
    (17) Anti-government rioting in Iraq.
    ..
    (18) There is a world wide realization that no country, or group of countries, has what it takes to stop Iran's development of atomic weapons on a massive scale.
    ..
    (19) Libya in total civil war since 03/04/2011. US and NATO backing the Moslem Brotherhood with equipment and air support. Two oil refineries attacked in Libya on 2/26/2011 and 3/04/2011. The Rebels have won as of 10/19/2011. Qudaffi and one of his son’s is dead and the other son captured.
    ..
    (20) Two attacks on oil refineries in Iraq week of 3/04/2011.
    ..
    (21) More than 50 African Union peacekeepers have died in fighting in Somalia since a major offensive against Islamist militants began mid march 2011.
    The death toll is far higher than any publicly acknowledged casualty figures for the AU, which appears to be trying to keep the extent of its losses under wraps due to political considerations in Burundi, one of two nations providing the bulk of the forces that are fighting alongside Somali troops.
    The offensive aims to break Islamists' lock on large swaths of the country's south and central regions. Al-Shabab, a Somali militant group with links to al-Qaida, has boxed in the government to just a few city blocks of the seaside capital. The group has instituted a Taliban-style system of rule, with strict edicts enforced by their own courts and public executions.
    Originally plans were for around 8,000 AU forces in Mogadishu, with another 4,000 due to begin arriving over the summer months. Almost all UN troops are Ugandan or Burundian. They support the country's weak UN-backed government against al-Shabab. Week of 7/7/2011 it was decided to instead reduce the force to 7000.
    A clan-based militia nominally allied with the Somali government, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama, is fighting the Islamists in Somalia's southeast.
    Last July, the Somali insurgency launched its first foreign attack, multiple suicide bombings in Uganda that killed 76.
    Medical authorities say the most recent round of fighting has killed more than 100 Somali civilians.
    ..
    (22) October 2011 the USA sends 100 Special Forces to Uganda to help train its military; in response to beating Uganda forces took in Somali.
    ..
    (23) At least 17 people were killed in the Somali capital Mogadishu during clashes, as Islamist leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys publicly declared his support for the merger of Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam insurgent factions, Radio Garowe reports.
    ..
    (24) Al Shabaab-Hizbul Islam merger. Mogadishu has been wracked by insurgent violence since early 2007, when Islamist fighters went underground and spearheaded a bloody insurgency to overthrow the country's internationally recognized but weak Transitional Federal Government (TFG).
    In Feb. 2009, a new Islamist faction was established under the leadership of Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who formed the Hizbul Islam insurgent group with the goal of toppling the TFG and installing an Islamist regime in Mogadishu.
    Months later
    The ICU splintered into three factions: Al Shabaab; Hizbul Islam, led by Sheikh Aweys; and the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS), led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, who became TFG President in Jan. 2009.
    ..
    (25) Somalia insiders say Sheikh Aweys, who was the leader of all ICU splinter groups in 2006, has now surrendered his seniority and leadership over to junior officers within the former ICU group, but who are now top leaders in Al Shabaab group.
    Those who know Sheikh Aweys describe him as a man obsessed with becoming the President of Somalia one day, but his aspiration faces many obstacles not the least of which is that he is on the U.S. terrorism watch-list.
    Somali insurgents have remained unable to over-power the 8,000-strong AMISOM peacekeeping force, which guards the port, airport and presidential compound.
    Upwards of 21,000 people have been killed in the Somali insurgency, since early 2007, with more than 1million people displaced.
    ..
    (26)Tue Mar 1, 1:02 pm ET
    The small Red Sea nation of Djibouti is taking a proactive approach to dealing with anti-government demonstrations that have rocked countries from the Mauritania to Iran. An attempt to organize a follow-up to a previous student protest by pro-democracy organizers was halted by the mass arrestof 300 opposition and civil society leaders.
    Demonstrators are calling for President Ismael Omar Guelleh to step down.
    ..
    (27) June 1, 2011 Syrian demonstrators have demanded that 800 Moslem Brotherhood members in Syrian prisons be released.
    ..
    (28) Mobs penetrate Israel’s border with Lebanon and Syria resulting in 28 deaths.
    ..
    (29) Nation wide rebellion is threatening the take over of Syria.
    ..
    (30) June 6, 2011 The President and leading members of the government flee Yemen after being wounded. October 1 he returned. October 10 he has indicated that he wants to resign.
    ..
    (31) August 2011 the US gives Lebanon Government now controlled by Hezbola an additional one hundred million dollars for military. US gave first 100 million in March 2011.
    ..
    (32) TUNIS, Tunisia — As the land that launched the Arab Spring heads into historic elections next week, all eyes are on the long-repressed Islamists — and whether a big victory for them will irrevocably change this North African nation and inspire similar conservative movements around the region.
    Many fear that despite vows to uphold democracy, Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda Party is bent on imposing a theocracy that would roll back hard-won secularism and women's rights. Unlike many Islamist groups in the region, Ennahda has explicitly pledged to champion democratic values and women's rights, but its secular critics warn the party has a secret agenda to impose hardline Islam.
    These fears have been inflamed by the appearance of new ultraconservative groups known as Salafists that have attacked movie theaters and TV stations for showing material they say denigrates Islam.
    Polling — a new phenomenon here — has shown that while half of the electorate is undecided, roughly a quarter of Tunisians would vote for Ennahda, suggesting it could take between a quarter and a third of the constituent assembly.
    It's a pretty impressive tally for a party that was hounded out of existence in the early 1990s, with thousands of its members imprisoned on terrorism and other charges, or driven into exile.
    ..
    (33) Report: Assad Threatens to Attack Tel Aviv if NATO Strikes
    Tuesday, 04 Oct 2011 11:22 PM
    Syrian President Bashar Assad threatened to torch the Middle East, especially Israel, if NATO attacks his country,
    ynetnews.com reports.
    Assad reportedly made the threat during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, when he said: "If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv."
    He made the comment after Davutoglu reportedly conveyed a warning message from the United States to Assad, ynetnews.com reported, attributing the information to an unverified story from the Iranian Fars news agency.
    According to Fars, Assad vowed that Damascus would call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch a rocket and missile attack on Israel.
    "All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack US warships in the Persian Gulf as American and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.
    ..
    (34) 10/27/2011Twenty Coptic Christens killed by mob in Alexandra Egypt while protesting the burning of Catholic Churches. European news sources are saying 100,000 Christens have fled Egypt since the beginning of the revolt.
    ..
    (35) The USA has given Egypt tooling and training to manufacture M1 Abrams
    main battle tanks in Egypt, depriving US workers of jobs. Initial run will be more than 400 have already been produced.
    ..
    (36) October 2011 ManPad ground-to-air missiles that had belonged to Libya Military are showing up in Gaza.
    ..
    (37) October 29, 2011 Egypt lifted a 4-year-old blockade of the Gaza Strip on Saturday, greatly easing travel restrictions on the 1.5 million residents of the Palestinian territory in a move that bolstered the Hamas government while dealing a setback to Israel's attempts to isolate the militant group.
    ..
    (38) November 8, 2011 Tunisia holds elections which the Moslem Brotherhood wins. Religious Radical who had been held in jail for 6 years becomes prime minister.
    ..
    (39) In Egypt Nov 18, 2011 at massive public rally the Brotherhood, which had until recently avoided confrontation with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, has threatened to escalate its protest campaign if plans to give permanent political powers to the military are not scrapped.
    ..
    (40) CIA officials have secretly been scrambling to protect their remaining spies — foreign assets or agents working for the agency — before Hezbollah can find them.
    Some deaths are to be expected in shadowy spy wars. But the damage to the agency's spy network in Lebanon has been greater than usual.
    Nasrallah let the world know he had bested the CIA, thereby sending a message to those who would betray Hezbollah.
    Therefore the counterintelligence disaster will affect the CIA's ability to recruit assets in Lebanon.
    In 2007when Ali-Reza Asgari, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran, disappeared in Turkey. In response, the Iranian government began a painstaking review of foreign travel by its citizens, particularly to places like Turkey where Iranians don't need a visa and could meet with foreign intelligence services.
    It didn't take long before the U.S., Britain and Israel began losing contact with some of their Iranian spies.
    The State Department last year described Hezbollah as "the most technically capable terrorist group in the world," and the Defense Department estimates it receives between $100 million and $200 million per year in funding from Iran.
    ..
    (41) 11/23/2011 SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh plans to sign a deal Wednesday in the Saudi capital that could mean the end of his 33-year rule, the U.N. envoy to Yemen said.
    Saleh's signature on the Gulf-brokered accord — if he goes through with it — would start a new chapter in the nine-month popular uprising that has shaken the Arab world's poorest country. Since January, tens of thousands of Yemenis have protested in cities and towns across the nation, calling for democracy and the fall of Saleh's regime.
    The uprising has led to a countrywide security collapse, with armed tribesmen battling security forces in different regions and al-Qaida-linked militants stepping up operations in the country's restive south.
    For months, the U.S. and other world powers have tried to get Saleh to agree to a proposal sponsored by Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab allies to end the crisis.
    ..
    (42) 11/24/2011 Moslem Brotherhood win the majority of parliament in the Moroccan election.
    ..
    (43) Al-Shabab fighters have closed down several aid agencies working in famine-hit Somalia, including some from the UN, accusing them of political bias.
    Militants stormed aid offices in the towns of Baidoa and Beledweyne, which like many southern areas are controlled by al-Shabab, witnesses say.
    Al-Shabab has long restricted the work of international aid groups but on Monday banned 16 groups outright, and seized their food-warehouses and vehicles.
    ..
    (44) 11/24/2011Pakistan has ordered the United States to move out of an airbase on its territory, after shutting down NATO's two main overland supply routes into Afghanistan. Popular anger is mounting in Pakistan after NATO's killing of 24 Pakistani military personnel in a cross-border air strike Saturday.

    American forces have been given 15 days to vacate the Shamsi airbase in southwestern Pakistan, where the U.S. sometimes lands unmanned drone aircraft used to attack militants on Pakistani territory.
    ..
    (45) 11/29/2011 TEHRAN, Iran — Hard-line Iranian students stormed the British diplomatic compounds in Tehran on Tuesday, bringing down the Union Jack flag and throwing documents from windows in scenes reminiscent of the anger against Western powers after the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
    The mob surged past riot police into British Embassy compound two days after Iran's parliament approved a bill that reduces diplomatic relations with Britain following London's support of recently upgraded Western sanctions on Tehran over its disputed nuclear program.
    Less than two hours later, police appeared to regain control of the site.
    ..
    (46) 12/1/2011 CAIRO Islamists appear to have taken a strong majority of seats in the first round of Egypt's first parliamentary vote since Hosni Mubarak's ouster, a trend that if confirmed would give religious parties a popular mandate in the struggle to win control from the ruling military and ultimately reshape a key U.S. ally.
    Final results, expected Friday, will be the clearest indication in decades of Egyptians' true political views and give the long-banned Muslim Brotherhood a major role in the country's first freely elected parliament.
    ..
    (47) 12/5/2011 ISLAMABAD The United States is vacating an air base in Pakistan used by American drones that target Taliban and al-Qaida militants, complying with a key demand made by Islamabad in retaliation for the NATO air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
    The move is not expected to significantly curtail drone attacks in Pakistan since Shamsi air base in southwestern Baluchistan province was only used to service drones that had mechanical or weather difficulties.
    But Washington's decision to leave the base shows how the NATO attacks on Nov. 26 have plunged the already strained U.S.-Pakistan relationship to an all-time low.
    ..
    (48) 12/8/2011 QUETTA, Up to 20 trucks were destroyed in a rocket attack Thursday on a NATO trucking terminal in Quetta supplying troops in neighboring Afghanistan, police said.
    A number of oil tankers and goods trucks were parked in the temporary terminal after Pakistan shut down supply lines for NATO forces in anger at a deadly cross-border air strike which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
    Senior police official Malik Arshad told AFP that unknown gunmen fired bullets and a rocket at the NATO oil tankers and the ensuing blaze engulfed 15 to 20 vehicles in Quetta, capital of the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
    ..
    (49) ISLAMABAD, The government has decided to deploy air defense weapons on the country’s border with Afghanistan to pre-empt fresh attacks as it re-evaluates the strategy for safeguarding its western borders from air raids, the Director General of Military Operations told the federal cabinet and the Senate’s defense committee on Thursday 12/8/2011.
    ..
    (50) 12/25/2011 LAGOS, Nigeria Terror attacks across Nigeria by a radical Muslim sect killed at least 39 people Sunday, with the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion.
    ..
    (51) 12/30/2011 Sunies and Shiites are killing each other in Iraq.

    ..
    (52) 12/27/2011 Iran is trying to purchase 250 modern fighter aircraft and one AWAC from Russia.
    ..
    (53) 12/28/2011 Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if the USA imposes additional sanctions on Iran.
    ..
    (54) 12/30/2011 Egyptian authorities carried out 17 raids on the offices of 10 NGOs last week in Cairo but offered no clear explanation for the raids as they happened. A spokesman with the Egyptian general prosecutor's office said the raids were part of an investigation into allegations the groups had received illegal foreign financing, and were operating without a proper license. Three U.S.-based organizations operating in Egypt were part of the raid.
    Egyptian police confiscated everything from desks, cell phones, documents and computers, to office safes, Leslie Campbell with the National Democratic Institute told CNN in an interview the morning after the raids. U.S.-based Freedom House and the International Republican Institute had their offices raided as well.
    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson both spoke with high-ranking Egyptian officials last week to voice their concern over the raids.
    ..
    This is a world wide power grab by the Islamic Brotherhood.
    It is more dangerous to the USA than Germany's 1941 sweep across Europe, coupled with Japan's 1942 sweep across the Asia.

    January 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Reply
    • stay stupid zionists like you stupid

      We control America – Now, who said that?

      dirty evil zionists are the world's greatest evil – Let's bomb israel and end the problem!

      Kill everyone of those nasty evil zionists in israel. Yep, come on WW3 Baby! israel will glow in the dark

      Yippppppppppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

      January 15, 2012 at 6:53 am | Reply
  5. Sayan Majumdar

    Do note while the success of “Secret Warriors” (including CIA) are rarely known, the failures are blown out of proportion.

    Sayan.

    January 2, 2012 at 1:49 am | Reply
  6. uhadit

    Americans are staying in fools paradise their being the only socalled super has gone down the drain, Americans loosing war every where it goes starting from Vietnam, lebanon, somalia, iraq, afghanistan the Americans had to withhdraw as a defeated nations now its trying to flee from afghanistan after being unable to fight the handful of terrorist talbans who ahve been trained, armed by the CIA during the soviet occupation of Afghanist so its loose loose situation for America & its terrorist organisation CIA

    January 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • Mark Mason

      hmm, then tell me again when was the last successful terrorist attack on U.S soil? If the goal is to keep our people safe then I'd say we've won again and again and again. Also considering the people of America have resisted and fought back every invasion in our countries history I'd say the people living in a fools paradise are the people who underestimate the U.S

      January 2, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Reply
      • asklisad

        I agree with everything you say but deep down I fear that maybe we've just gotten lucky and that our luck may run out. In closing please allow me to indulge myself: Long Live John O'Neill !

        January 7, 2012 at 12:46 am |
      • stay stupid zionists like you stupid

        zioinist controlled CIA blew up the Twin Towers on 9-11, the missile attack on the Pentagon. All zionist plans to shake up America. Wake up and smell the coffee – the zionists are our enemy.

        Vote Ron Paul – he's dangerous to the zionists.

        If you want our America back, vote Ron Paul.

        January 15, 2012 at 6:56 am |
      • Sanchanim

        Oh please get a life!!

        January 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  7. Hilary

    I'm sorry I can't understand you due to the brain chip I had implanted while I was forcefully unemployed.

    January 1, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  8. ***Dude***

    Copy n paste wacko!

    January 1, 2012 at 12:58 am | Reply
  9. Cassandra Chu

    ... I know that the CIA has continued with the MK Ultra program. It's the sickest thing ever done by "our" government. Disgusting.

    December 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Reply
    • Cassandra Chu

      I saw it in real life, in action at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado at a technical meeting.

      December 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  10. mkultra brainchipman

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(or to simply rethard individual), YOU ARE SCHEDULED AT 100% RATE AS GOOD TO GO NEXT !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!!

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=390]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! These are hard facts about lunatic Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against whites per ZIONIST Washington DC and in complete agreement with communist Moscow !!!

    EXILING WHITES WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS COMPLETELY FREE.

    December 30, 2011 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • Bill

      It appears the electroshock has damaged your implanted chip causing severe steady state ID-10T errors. Please wrap your head with a conductive material and ground yourself to prevent random input errors until you can get professional help.

      December 31, 2011 at 9:16 am | Reply
    • Sayan Majumdar

      Also (some) CNN moderators have a nasty habit of drowsing in their desk.

      Sayan.

      January 2, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
    • Mark Mason

      Your not going to mention how the 9/11 attacks were an inside job or how the U.S army created Gulf War syndrome in a failed effort to create the ultimate soldier? What kinda conspiracy theorist are you?

      January 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
    • DB5

      Where you abused as a child? Stop spreading your propaganda you dummy.

      January 4, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply

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