The various accounts of the Sept. 11 Benghazi incident in which four Americans died demonstrate that there is a profound misunderstanding of what the Central Intelligence Agency does and how it interacts with the State Department overseas. The U.S. ambassador in any country is the personal representative of the president of the United States, and... Read More
Though I am in no way a fan of President Obama’s foreign and security policies, the flailing that the Republican Party is engaging in at the moment to demonstrate some kind of cover-up in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack reveals a complete lack of understanding of how intelligence collection and analysis works. David Ignatius... Read More
I well recall a CIA instructor at the agency's Williamsburg, Virginia training center (“The Farm”) who would stand in front of the class with his arms outstretched demonstrating that when the right arm “security” went up, the left arm “efficiency” went down. The instructor had unusually long arms and had apparently been hand-picked (or arm-picked)... Read More
Yesterday’s bombing of a compound in Tripoli that reportedly killed the youngest son of Moammar Ghadafi as well as three grandchildren calls to mind my own experience when running a CIA Libyan operation in Istanbul back in the late 1980s. In 1986, President Reagan had ordered the bombing of Tripoli in retaliation for a Libyan... Read More
The so-called Powell Doctrine was the military's response to the catastrophe of the Vietnam war. It mandated using maximum military force to deal with a threat to a vital national interests only after all other options have been exhausted, smashing up whatever necessary to achieve a decisive result, departing as quickly as possible after the... Read More
One of the key arguments for rehabilitating Muammar Gaddafi during the Bush presidency was advanced by the Central Intelligence Agency, which claimed that the Libyan government had good access to information on al-Qaeda which it would share if Washington were to restore relations. Even those making Gaddafi's case conceded, however, that the Libyan leader was... Read More
Phil Giraldi is a former CIA Case Officer and Army Intelligence Officer who spent twenty years overseas in Europe and the Middle East working terrorism cases. He holds a BA with honors from the University of Chicago and an MA and PhD in Modern History from the University of London. In addition to TAC, where he has been a contributing editor for nine years, he writes regularly for Antiwar.com. He is currently Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest and resides with his wife of 32 years in Virginia horse country close to his daughters and grandchildren.