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 BlogviewPhilip Giraldi Archive

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What’s a little torture between friends?
So Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “thug and a murderous dictator.” That is the judgement of President of the United States Joe Biden, delivered directly to Putin during a phone conversation, and it is backed up by a unanimous vote in the US Senate endorsing Biden’s more recently expressed view that Putin is also... Read More
With all the media excitement focused on the impeachment of President Donald Trump, it comes as no surprise that some recent additional insights into how the United States became a torture regime have been largely ignored. It has been known for years that the George W. Bush Administration carried out what most of the world... Read More
Hired psychologists devised "enhanced interrogation techniques” to break prisoners
Given the intense media coverage over Charlottesville, a recent small headlinelargely escaped notice, but it could have a major impact on how Americans come to terms with the excesses that developed from the “global war on terror.” For the first time, several individuals closely associated with the CIA torture program were about to become answerable... Read More
An all-star cast teams up to spin their enhanced interrogation regime
Back in the days when I was a spy there were certain things that one just did not dwell upon. Everyone who worked in the field knew that there were episodes that it would be best not to recall, either because they were embarrassing, possibly unsavory, or even, more rarely, wildly successful though at a... Read More
The trillion dollar a year war on terror is a witness protection program for government felons
The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status... Read More
It's All-American
Christmas week is possibly a good time to reflect on what kind of nation we have become. Americans are much given to think of themselves as exceptional, so much so that “exceptionalism” as a national attribute has entered the political vocabulary. Americans also like to think of themselves as generous, fair minded to a fault,... Read More
The Senate's investigation may only be the tip of the iceberg
The meticulously documented 528-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA’s secret rendition, detention, and interrogation program is remarkable for its candor. In blunt language it describes the horrors of the black site secret prisons and the efforts that were made to get terrorist suspects to talk. It effectively makes two overriding points, first that... Read More
David Copperfield is a CIA Contractor?
The crisis involving the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a Godsend to politicians, which is probably why the threat actually posed by the group is being hyped as it is while the White House and Pentagon continue to change the meaning of commonly used English expressions to enable the attacking of just... Read More
There is some horse-trading going on between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Senate Intelligence Committee over the packaging of the committee’s now notorious 6,300-page report on the CIA interrogation program. It is generally agreed that only the 500-page summary of the report will actually see the light of day—and even that will be heavily... Read More
Despite grossly violating their oaths, CIA and military physicians escape professional censure
For me one of the most horrifying revelations about the torture carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at its black sites, and the military at its prisons, was that medical doctors not only stood by to monitor the process but were also involved in providing advice to make the torture both mentally and... Read More
The Constitution Project's report on detainee treatment is but a first step toward the truth—and reclaiming our...
Much of the world continues to regard the post-9/11 United States as a rogue nation because the so-called global war on terror, coupled with the Bush Doctrine, sent a clear message that Washington would intervene in other countries as necessary if it felt in any way threatened. The fully justified attack on Afghanistan and al-Qaeda... Read More
Sometimes some folks who are supporting the unspeakable do protest too much. I have previously reviewed for TAC the book by former CIA senior officer Jose Rodriguez that sought to justify the use of “hard measures” against terrorist suspects. More recently, I again revisited the subject when the United States Senate Intelligence Committee completed a... Read More
A classified Senate Intelligence Committee report shows the futility of "enhanced interrogation techniques."
If there is one word missing from the United States government’s post-9/11 lexicon it is “accountability.” While perfectly legal though illicit sexual encounters apparently continue to rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors, leading to resignations, no one has been punished for malfeasance, torture, secret prisons, or extraordinary renditions. Indeed, the Obama administration... Read More
"Enhanced interrogation" has critics even within the Agency -- but you wouldn't know that from Jose Rodriguez's new book.
Former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez has written a book with the assistance of former Agency press officer Bill Harlow. Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives is largely a defense of Rodriguez’s role in the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11. Rodriguez... Read More
I confess that I have not seen the CIA memos referred to by Dick Cheney that he believes demonstrate that torture works, but have spoken to someone who claims to be familiar with the documents that the former VP is referring to. The memos were drafted for the White House to demonstrate the success of... Read More
I don't want a CIA that routinely waterboards, but I do think that there might arise a situation where torture might actually save some American lives and would have to be considered as an option. That is why you have an intelligence service and why the intelligence service gives the government “plausible denial” over actions... Read More
In his confirmation hearing yesterday, CIA Director presumptive Leon Panetta said that the Obama Administration will not prosecute CIA officers who participated in harsh interrogations that most agree crossed the line into torture. He did reserve judgment on whether or not those at the top of the food chain who ordered the torture might in... Read More
Gregg Miller of the Los Angeles Times is reporting that the Obama administration has quietly approved the CIA's rendition program, which permits the Agency clandestinely to abduct suspected terrorists anywhere in the world and return them to their countries of origin for interrogation and prosecution. The procedure has been rightly referred to as torture by... Read More
Talk about BS. The Wash Post today featured an article on its front page "Obama Under Pressure on Interrogation Policy," which claimed that many in the government support the CIA's continuing to do whatever it takes to get information out of terrorist suspects. It cited the one case of Abu Zubaida where it has been... Read More
I was sickened today in reading the Washington Post front page article "CIA Played Larger Role in Advising Pentagon." The article states that a CIA "counterterrorism lawyer" named Jonathan Fredman had counseled the military authorities running Guantanamo that torture is basically "subject to perception" noting that CIA had "well trained individuals" to "perform this technique,"... Read More
There is an astonishing essay on today's New York Times editorial page by Errol Morris entitled "The Most Curious Thing." It is the story surrounding an Abu Ghraib photo showing a grinning American woman soldier giving a thumbs up over the body of an Iraqi who died under torture by the CIA. What is most... Read More
Philip Giraldi
About Philip Giraldi

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 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.

Personal Classics
Shouldn't they recuse themselves when dealing with the Middle East?
A Modern Guernica Enabled by Washington
Pressuring Candidates Even Before They Are Nominated
But is it even a friend?
The gagged whistleblower goes on the record.
Today’s CIA serves contractors and bureaucrats—not the nation.