U.S. Hearings Again Sought for 3 Detainees

The lawyers also submitted declarations from a retired Army colonel, Lawrence Wilkerson, who served as a top aide to Colin Powell, then the secretary of state, and also from Glenn L. Carle, a former C.I.A. official. Both Colonel Wilkerson and Mr. Carle have criticized aspects of the second Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies. Each wrote that a “likely” motive in bringing detainees to Afghanistan was a desire to evade judicial review of their detention.

 

Click here to read the entire article.

The Evil Genius of Fidel Castro

The Evil Genius of Fidel Castro

A legendary spymaster, the Cuban dictator knew of Lee Harvey Oswald’s intention to kill President Kennedy, but didn’t direct his assassination, according to a recent book.

(Article by Glenn Carle featured on the Daily Beast website)

Source: www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/06/10/the-evil-genius-of-fidel-castro.html

During the 1960s, Maurice Bishop was the alias used by an infamous CIA officer in Mexico City, whom conspiracy theorists believe met Lee Harvey Oswald shortly before President John F. Kennedy was murdered in 1963. The alleged meeting is cited as clear evidence that CIA officers were somehow involved in Kennedy’s assassination.

I knew Maurice Bishop, whose real name was David Atlee Phillips. A long time ago, he got me into the agency. I know for certain that the CIA did not kill President Kennedy. Yet Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine, a recent book by former CIA analyst Brian Lattell, has taught me many things I did not know about our shadow war against the tiny, communist nation. And it has provided context and overwhelming evidence for many of our intelligence failures vis-à-vis our Cuban counterparts. Namely, that the claims against Phillips and the CIA are the products of a decades-old Cuban disinformation campaign, and that over the past 50 years, Castro has shown himself to be among the greatest spymasters in modern history.

Castro’s Secrets begins like a slow murder mystery then builds damning fact after damning fact into a conclusive, ground-breaking portrait, based on firsthand sources, of how the Cuban strongman—in all his evil brilliance—frequently ran circles around the CIA. Readers who start Lattell’s book with the now widespread image of Castro as a slightly avuncular, foolish caudillo will likely finish it wishing that President Kennedy had followed through during the Bay of Pigs and rid us of this sociopath and his murderous, corrupt regime.

Lattell has the background to write about Castro with authority: he began tracking the Castro brothers for the agency back in the 1960s, finished his career as the U.S. intelligence community’s most senior analyst for Cuban affairs, and now is a senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Relations.

The most interesting parts of his narrative revolve around how much Castro knew about the plot to kill Kennedy, and a parallel attempt, on the part of the CIA, to assassinate the Cuban dictator. Lattell delves into this cloak-and-dagger tale through the story of Comandante Rolando Cubela, a senior Cuban military officer who defected to the United States. Yet Lattell alleges that Cubela, a hero of the revolution against Batista, was actually one of Castro’s supreme triumphs, a double agent run so well run that any intelligence officer would admire it.

Fidel Castro

‘Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine’ by Brian Latell. Palgrave Macmillan. 288 p. $16.58 (L.C. Rapoport / Getty Images)

During the 1960s, the agency knew Cubela by the pseudonym AMLASH, and made him the centerpiece of its supreme assassination plot against Castro. According to Lattell, the CIA trained Cubela to use a special pistol with which to kill Castro from close range. He was then to assume control of the country. The plan had the full backing of the president and was likely set to begin in December 1963, just a month after Kennedy was shot. But Cubela always avoided taking the pistol.

Lattell offers new evidence alleging that Castro personally ran Cubela against the CIA from the start, dangling him in front of the agency in 1961 in Mexico City where Phillips, my eventual mentor, was stationed. Castro even tipped the agency off that he knew all the details, in an effort to convince Americans to back away from their plans. In October 1963, just days after Cubela and his CIA handlers finalized the assassination plot against Castro, the Cuban leader reportedly told a U.S. congressman in Havana: “We don’t trust President Kennedy. We know of the plans the CIA is carrying out.”

Castro also gave multiple public warnings that there would be grave consequences if the Americans continued with their plans: “U.S. leaders should think that if they are aiding terrorist plans to eliminate Cuban leaders, they themselves will not be safe,” he said in early September 1963.

While conspiracy theorists harp on an alleged meeting between Oswald and Phillips, Lattell shows that Castro actually had advance knowledge of Oswald’s desire to kill Kennedy; in fact, he was told of it less than 24 hours after Oswald declared his intentions to Cuban intelligence officers in Mexico City.

Lattell concludes that Castro did not direct Oswald to pull the trigger—only that he did nothing to stop him. But elsewhere in Latin America, he says that Fidel was intimately involved in assassination plots—from sustained efforts to kill Venezuelan President Rómulo Betancourt—Castro’s other bête noire after Kennedy—to the retribution assassinations of almost everyone involved in the killing of Castro’s own darling, Che Guevara.

Readers who start Lattell’s book with the now widespread image of Castro as a slightly avuncular, foolish caudillo will likely finish it wishing that President Kennedy had followed through during the Bay of Pigs.

Castro's Secrets by Brian Latell‘Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine’ by Brian Latell. Palgrave Macmillan. 288 p. $16.58

No one in the CIA who noted Castro’s warnings appeared to take them seriously, or knew of the plot to kill him; apparently, the White House never became aware of the warnings, according to Lattell. Had the importance of Castro’s comments been recognized, a decent counter-intelligence officer should at least have thought twice about the AMLASH operation.

Despite its efforts to kill Castro, the agency never established a way to communicate with Cubela, on the ground in Havana. He frequently talked tough, but did nothing; he had no real links to any military units in Cuba; he continually raised his demands, in the end asking to meet with Attorney General Robert Kennedy before agreeing to take any action. And yet, Lattell says, the CIA pressed on. On Nov. 18, 1963, the agency briefed Kennedy on the AMLASH plans, and received the go-ahead. Three days later, Kennedy was dead. And the Cubela plot withered in the chaotic aftermath of the president’s death.

Years later, the CIA did learn what Castro knew about Oswald, but essentially did nothing with the information; it was apparently too incendiary. As Lattell writes: “Even tentative evidence of a Cuban hand in Kennedy’s death could have sparked a clamoring for punitive action…[so the] story was squirreled away.”

It is possible that the information was considered so extraordinary that lower-level officers didn’t believe it—an institutional blunder that prevented anyone with authority or the proper perspective to pass it on to policymakers; this, too, is typical, as my colleagues and I learned to our chagrin after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

One of the successes of Castro’s Secrets is that it offers readers a view of both sides of the shadow war. As Jackie Gleason beamed his escapism from Miami Beach to a public focused on the good life, the CIA ran desperate, suicidal raids against Castro, conducted more often than not to show President Kennedy that the agency was doing something than out of any real expectation their plans would work.

There are familiar tales of half-baked assassination attempts and exploding cigars. But as Lattell recounts them, he takes readers past what was previously known and shows that the Kennedy brothers were as single-minded in their efforts to eliminate Castro as he was ruthless and devious.

The Kennedy’s had good reason. During the Cuban missile crisis, Castro was eager for a fight with the U.S., according to Lattell. Though Castro has spent roughly 50 years obfuscating his role—yet another of his disinformation triumphs—Lattell offers convincing evidence that, at the supreme moment of tension during the crisis, it was Castro who ordered the downing of an American U-2 spy plane, not an overly excited local commander.

Likewise, Lattell says, it was Castro who urged Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to launch a nuclear war against the U.S. in response to the deteriorating situation that the Cuban dictator had engineered. “Castro suggested that in order to prevent our nuclear missiles from being destroyed, we should launch a preemptive strike against the United States,” Lattell writes, quoting Khrushchev’s memoirs, which are backed up by quotes from Cuban defectors and other Russian officials.

One shares the horrified reactions of successive Soviet officials to the man they called their “excitable,” communist ally, who was apparently willing to see us all killed to serve his ego. Only a megalomaniac would vehemently argue for Armageddon so that he could survive in a bunker, the revolutionary hero presiding over an irradiated hemisphere. But then, in Lattell’s account, this is Castro through and through: a sociopath from early manhood, who in the barrios of Havana after World War II, gunned down rivals, shooting them in the back from a distance.

For all his determination, Kennedy failed to kill Castro, not just because the determined loser Oswald shot him, inflecting history, but because before his death, Kennedy’s plans against Castro were based on the overly optimistic assessments of our intelligence community. Yet, the cynicism, delusions, and wishful thinking—all presented as sensible—that plagued the CIA efforts to eliminate Castro were characteristic of several agency operations during my own career decades later (one only has to remember the contra war in Nicaragua in the 1980s and so many of the Bush administration’s actions during the war on terror).

Yet I sympathize with my predecessors: for I experienced the intense pressures from policymakers to solve the problem, when my colleagues and I knew full well that we could offer little but puffed up hopes and demonstrations of aggressive action, while having to downplay our pessimism.

During the mid-1980s, I was spared the misfortune of working Cuban operations. But by the late 1980s, it seems the CIA fared much better in its battles with Castro. The tables had turned. And in the end, it seems that Phillips, my old mentor, maligned as he has been by Cuban disinformation, will have the last laugh. For after reading Castro’s Secrets, no one will be able to think of Fidel as anything but what Lattell shows him to be: a murderer, sociopath, and deluded egomaniac.

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Glenn L. Carle spent 23 years in the Clandestine Services of the CIA, and is the author of The Interrogator: An Education.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

The lonely truth

The lonely truth

In a darkened room sits a man whom the American government says is a senior al Qaeda official. His interrogator, a long-serving CIA agent named Glenn Carle, thinks the man is far from a terrorist mastermind, but a bewildered halfwit. Carle’s handlers tell him the man’s silence proves he knows something, and insist “enhanced interrogation techniques” – many would say torture – will produce answers. Carle demurs, but is ignored, and his prisoner, while never entering a courtroom, will spend the next seven years in a secret jail far from American shores before his quiet release.

These are the bare facts of Carle’s book, The Interrogator, which in the year since its publication has destroyed his life. It has caused outrage everywhere except America, where it has been smothered by what he claims is an insidious whispering campaign by friends of former American vice- president Dick Cheney. “Every word,” he says, intensely. “Every f—–g word is true.”

They called his publisher, he says, asking them to pulp his book; they rang every major network to prevent him going on air. They are, he says several times, “vicious” and have perpetrated a stain on America’s national character.

And so Carle has begun to travel. He has been well received in Germany, Australia, Canada; he has come to New Zealand because the Star-Times wanted to interview him and he wanted to go hiking. Over lunch, he says: “They realised they could not keep me from every interview everywhere, so their strategy is to keep me from the major networks, then it doesn’t matter if I talk to some guy in Auckland, or some guy in Butte, Montana, for a radio station that reaches 500 shepherds, for ‘if we keep him off the major networks, then he does not exist’.”

For those who listen, he has an amazing tale of how the War on Terror warped America’s foreign policy and tested their laws and morals. Carle is bitter about the neocons, the new American right, who redefined what was acceptable, legally and morally, in these uncertain times. In particular, he despises George Bush’s deputy attorney-general, John Yoo, who wrote the “torture memo”, which permitted and claimed as legal such practices as sleep deprivation, binding in stress positions and waterboarding. Carle’s prisoner, in his book codenamed CAPTUS, was surely subject to some of these, despite no evidence ever being tabled to suggest he was not a low-level money-changer, rather than, as the CIA speculated, Osama bin Laden’s banker.

 

Click to read more: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/6996281/The-lonely-truth

Torture causes long-term harm to more than just initial victims

by gcarle 0 Comments
Torture causes long-term harm to more than just initial victims

The following opinion article was featured in the Sydney Morning Herald on May 18, 2012 and was written by Glenn Carle and Danielle Celermajar.

Physical interrogation brutalises all involved and produces little of value.

The battle for public acceptance of “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation as part of the “new normal” for statecraft after September 11 hangs in the balance.

On the one hand a soon-to-be-released US Senate intelligence committee report on its three-year investigation into enhanced interrogation is expected to show little evidence it produced any of the much-touted counterterrorism breakthroughs.

On the other hand the former chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism centre Jose Rodriguez is releasing his conveniently timed book, Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions after 9/11 Saved American Lives. Rodriguez alleges enhanced interrogation techniques not only work but were the source of many, if not most, of the signal counterterrorism successes in the ”global war on terror”.
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So whom to believe? The Senate committee report or Rodriguez, whose book was ghost-written by a former speechwriter for Vice-President Dick Cheney, the neo-con architect of the enhanced interrogation measures?

Politics aside, answering certain questions can help decide the real merits of these techniques.

Firstly, is torture effective in getting valuable intelligence? And, secondly, what are its broader effects?

The answer to the first question is resolutely no. Four US officials have written about their firsthand interrogation experiences: two air force officers, Steve Kleinman and Matthew Alexander; an FBI officer, Ali Soufan; and a CIA officer and co-author of this article, Glenn Carle. None of us knew the others when writing our assessments of torture’s efficacy. But we all used almost identical words to state that torture does not produce reliable information, or greater quantities of information or “better” information than that obtained from non-coercive measures.

In fact, coercive measures make “information” obtained harder to evaluate and therefore suspect and problematic. The CIA rank and file know this, as almost all reports obtained from enhanced interrogation techniques were formally “recalled” for being obtained under duress, and therefore unreliable.

The second question – the broad effects of torture – is often overlooked while people focus on its ability to extract information. Examined closely, however, these effects are so disturbing that they undermine any supposed merit of enhanced interrogation.

Let’s start with victims of torture. From Algeria, Vietnam, Chile or the ”war on terror”, we know practices of torture are never confined to a few “high value targets” but spread through organisations. Torture becomes pervasive and routine, which means that large numbers of people will be tortured, with devastating, lifelong and often irreversible effects on their physical and psychological health.

The effects on torturers are harder to define and more ambiguous largely because, in the rare instances where they seek therapeutic help, they are unlikely to identify themselves.

Frantz Fanon, the great theorist of post-colonial liberation, reports on one torturer from the Algerian war who found himself savagely striking his baby and waking to torture his wife. In his recent book None of Us Were Like This Before, Josh Phillips documents among US veterans from Iraq the same type of atrocity-related trauma we have seen in the aftermath of other cases – toxic levels of guilt and related self-harm, including suicide.

At the very least, torture normalises violence, with deleterious consequences for the individuals involved and for society as a whole.

Much more is known about the effect of torture on organisations. Torture leads to de-skilling, narrow professionalism, fragmentation, devolution of authority to the most local level and the destruction of codes of respect and authority. The CIA’s own human resources and exploitation training manual warns “the routine use of torture lowers the moral calibre of the organisation that uses it and corrupts those that rely on it as the quick and easy way out”. It deadens or removes individual judgment, the very quality that intelligence agencies prize.

Internationally, it will be many years before the United States can convince foreign observers its acts correspond to its values when the facts are stark: the US states it opposes torture by any party, yet carries out torture itself. Empirical evidence shows the US has lost enormous support from individuals, groups and nations that now see it as perverted by the very evils it claims to oppose.

Finally, in a world where norms and practices, like finance and fashion, are transmitted across the globe, the sanctioned violation of the prohibition on torture by a state that holds itself as the ”light unto the nations” has a universally negative impact.

When the US not only tortures but announces that it in doing so it is doing right, it violates individuals and harms the fragile edifice of universal human rights that we have been building in the 64 years since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the US, torture is now calmly debated and defended by leading individuals and advocated by one of the two major political parties. Significant portions of the public now consider torture acceptable under certain conditions, while for others there are even fewer moral constraints on its use.

Americans were not so confused prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks. But many now have compromised their principles, not even recognising the extent to which they have incorporated values that the United States has opposed since the time of George Washington.

It is wishful thinking to believe that we can torture judiciously without coarsening and corrupting ourselves.

Associate Professor Danielle Celermajer is director of the University of Sydney’s Torture Prevention and Human Rights programs. Glenn Carle is a former CIA interrogator and author of The Interrogator: A CIA agent’s true story. The pair will appear in conversation at the Sydney Writers Festival today.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/torture-causes-longterm-harm-to-more-than-just-the-initial-victims-20120517-1ytjz.html#ixzz1vBFlgvj3

Source: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/torture-causes-longterm-harm-to-more-than-just-the-initial-victims-20120517-1ytjz.html

There is no defense for torture (letter to the editor of Washington Post)

by gcarle 0 Comments

Date: May 7, 2012

Sources: Washington Post

We fundamentally disagree with Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.’s defense of what he called “enhanced interrogation techniques” [“How we really got bin Laden,” op-ed, May 1].

Mr. Rodriguez argued that these techniques were legal, but he based this assertion on a single memorandum: the “torture memo,” subsequently denounced by legal scholars and withdrawn. Mr. Rodriguez claimed that the ends justify the means and that these techniques were necessary and effective. But the techniques were designed to obtain compliance, not facts. The reliability of “facts” obtained from torture is harder to substantiate than information obtained from acceptable interrogation methods.

Torture is immoral and contrary to the teachings of all religions. It is degrading to the victim, perpetrator and policymakers. As a nation founded on religious and moral values, the United States cannot begin to move past the shameful use of torture until Americans ensure that government-sponsored torture never occurs again. Mr. Rodriguez’s justifications for the use of torture impede us from this important task.

Glenn L. Carle and the Rev. Richard L. Killmer, Washington

Glenn L. Carle was the CIA’s deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats from 2003 to 2007. Richard L. Killmer is executive director of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.

Johns Hopkins Magazine: The Wrong Man

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The interrogation room was bare except for a few metal chairs, and its tan walls looked as if they hadn’t been painted in decades. A single transom window stood cracked open slightly, but it couldn’t relieve the room’s stuffy air. Outside, beyond view, lay the hot, dusty streets of North Africa.

The prisoner—identified by the CIA as a top al-Qaida official—sat motionless, his salmon jumpsuit stretched across a middle-aged paunch. Glenn Carle, SAIS ’85, a career CIA spy, knelt before him. “We do not have much time,” Carle told the prisoner, whom he refers to by the code name CAPTUS. “The situation is changing.”

It was autumn of 2002, and Carle had been interrogating the man for weeks. During that time he’d gained the prisoner’s trust, using the same skills he’d honed as a case officer when he manipulated foreign nationals into revealing their countries’ secrets. Carle schmoozed, he chastised, he cajoled . . . whatever it took to ingratiate himself.

click here to view entire article…

Boston.com Review

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Boston.com Review

Glenn Carle came home the other day, to Brookline, to the house where he grew up, to the house where four generations of his family made their home.

His parents are dead, Carle and his siblings are scattered, and so the house will be sold.

It is, for Carle, a week to remember so much.

Like everybody else in this country who has a pulse, today means something to Glenn Carle. When you and I and everybody else were looking at the smoldering ruins in Lower Manhattan, horrified and saddened and angry and wondering what life would be like after all this, Carle was working, because he was a spy, a CIA agent, and it was his job to find out who made 9/11 happen…

Read entire article here …

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