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Jeff Stein

Entries by Jeff Stein

Top Spies Terror Warning: Shades of Bush

(35) Comments | Posted February 3, 2010 | 7:12 AM

Which is it now -- imminent terrorist threat, or no threat? Certain or uncertain?

Only last month U.S. intelligence officials were saying the Nigerian underwear bomber slipped through their nets because they didn't think al Qaeda could or would mount another attack here.

Yesterday, they warned...

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CIA Killings Remind That Spy Agencies Go to War, Too

(11) Comments | Posted January 2, 2010 | 8:47 PM

The CIA was formed in 1947 to subvert the Soviet Union using secret means, and the twilight struggle took place as much in black tie at embassy cocktail parties as much as in trench coats in back alleys. But the Dec. 30 killing of seven CIA employees in Afghanistan is...

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CIA Operative Demands Spy Agency Protect Her Cover

(2) Comments | Posted December 23, 2009 | 2:29 PM

What good is a cover story if the U.S. government won't back it up?

That's essentially the question former CIA officer Sabrina DeSousa is asking a federal court to decide, in a lawsuit against the Departments of State and Justice and the CIA, accusing three of its operatives of incompetence...

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Iran Rattled by Spy Wars

(25) Comments | Posted December 10, 2009 | 10:36 AM

U.S. intelligence is poised to reap big rewards from Iran's continuing political turmoil.

Already the CIA has harvested at least two important defectors from the regime.

In an episode worthy of cold war spy thrillers, Ali-Reza Asgari, a former deputy defense who ran Iran's Revolutionary Guard in Lebanon in the...

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Anthropology Association Condemns Work with U.S. Counterinsurgency

(4) Comments | Posted December 3, 2009 | 10:32 AM

Anthropologists should not be helping U.S. military forces gather information about Afghan villagers and their way of life, a study commission sponsored by their academic organization said today.

The American Anthropological Association, in a study commissioned a year ago, called such work with the Army's Human Terrain System (HTS)...

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Obama's First Wartime Thanksgiving

(32) Comments | Posted November 25, 2009 | 2:35 PM

"Here it is, another Thanksgiving Day that I won't be home," wrote U.S. Army Private Thomas D. Curry. "I hope it is the last one this way."

It was Nov. 23, 1944. The ground was snowy and frozen in and around the murderous Hurtgen Forest, at the gates of Nazi...

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U.S. Ports Still Wide Open to Nukes, Report Says

(65) Comments | Posted November 17, 2009 | 7:45 PM

Over $3 billion and seven years since U.S. intelligence discovered al Qaeda kingpin Osama Bin Laden was seeking a nuclear bomb, terrorists can still drive a radioactive truck through the holes in America's border defenses, a government watchdog agency suggested Tuesday.

"The polyvinyl toluene (PVT) portal monitors CBP currently...

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Drug-Linked Karzai Brother Helps U.S. Intelligence

(3) Comments | Posted October 15, 2009 | 4:49 PM

A key member of the House Intelligence Committee says the controversial brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai regularly helps U.S. intelligence -- but should not be considered an American spy.

Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, ranking Republican on the subcommittee overseeing Terrorism/Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence, regularly visits Afghanistan, where...

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Afghan Troop Request Hides Real Numbers

(0) Comments | Posted October 15, 2009 | 11:14 AM

Despite grim new portraits of U.S. fortunes in Afghanistan, Washington's debate over troop levels continues unhinged from reality.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal argues that the fate of the war hinges on sending 60,000 more U.S. troops into the battle, which would push the total of soldiers and marines in Afghanistan beyond...

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Gen. McChrystal Is No MacArthur

(222) Comments | Posted October 7, 2009 | 11:13 AM

A half century ago President Harry Truman tamed a rebellious -- and hugely popular -- Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who wanted to dramatically expand the war in Korea by attacking China.

President Obama faces a similar challenge today from his commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who wants to send...

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How They Cracked Zazi

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2009 | 11:59 PM

The feds cracked Najibullah Zazi without laying a hand on him, according to most news accounts.

But some people still wonder if the rough stuff would have worked better -- if only to make sure he gave it all up.

They've got to turn off their TVs.


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Mystery of Ex-FBI Agent Missing in Iran Gets Close House Attention

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2009 | 2:36 AM

Considering the low hum about back door contacts with Iran, the changed wording of an otherwise routine resolution in the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week seemed worth noting.

The subject of the measure was Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who went missing two years ago on Kish Island,...

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General Eikenberry's First Mistake

(2) Comments | Posted March 31, 2009 | 2:24 AM

I had to laugh when I heard our next ambassador to Afghanistan say, "every poll will show that 90 percent of the people firmly reject the Taliban."

You can't make this stuff up.

Lt. Gen. Karl W. Eikenberry may be a great warrior, a very smart guy,...

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CIA-Approved Psychiatrist Treats Cloak and Dagger Set's Woes

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2009 | 5:09 PM

What makes a good spook tick?

For almost 20 years, Dr. David L. Charney, 66, has seen a parade of CIA personnel come to his Alexandria, Va., office, looking for help with their emotional problems.

Many of them come from the Directorate of Operations, recently renamed the National...

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Osama Bin Elvis

(1) Comments | Posted March 17, 2009 | 11:50 PM

A story over the weekend pinpointing the location of Osama Bin Laden in Chitral, a remote, snow blanketed valley high up in Pakistan's side of the Hindu Kush, has triggered another round of speculation on the whereabouts of the fugitive terrorist chief.

James Gordon Meek, the estimable Washington correspondent for...

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CIA Man Accused of Rape Claimed to Be FBI Agent in Parking Row

(0) Comments | Posted March 17, 2009 | 11:40 PM

Warren's claim to be an FBI agent prompted a hotel manager to send a security video of the incident to the FBI, said two of the sources.

FBI officials said they could not recall such an incident.

One version of the incident had Warren "flashing FBI credentials." According to a...

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Saudis Impotent in Battle Over Freeman for Intelligence Post

(1) Comments | Posted March 11, 2009 | 2:22 PM

In nothing else, Chas W. Freeman's surprise surrender Tuesday shows that when it comes to U.S. national security policy, the Arabs will never trump Israel in Washington, no matter how many think tanks they fund, law firms they hire and former American diplomats they buy.

Once Freeman's name surfaced as...

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CIA Tapes Mystery Will Have a Very Long Run

(3) Comments | Posted March 6, 2009 | 12:53 PM

Don't expect the CIA to turn over the family jewels on its interrogation videotapes to the American Civil Liberties Union, just because it lost a legal round this week.

On Monday the Justice Department revealed that the CIA had now admitted destroying 92 videotapes of...

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CIA Has a Bash, Jeremy Bash

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2009 | 10:12 AM

It's not everyday that a new CIA chief of staff arrives at work having already been portrayed in a movie.

That comes later, if things go badly enough.

But Jeremy Bash is making his entrance as CIA boss Leon E. Panetta's new chief of staff with just that...

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DHS Dead Fish Lady Suspended

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2009 | 11:14 PM

It looks like Maureen McCarthy's career is dead in the water, at least for the moment.

McCarthy, the DHS bioweapons official who caused a minor sensation earlier this month when she brought a mystery fish and white powder to her downtown office, is "on leave for awhile," a...

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