Operation Greystone

Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks, President Bush called an emergency meeting in his cabinet Room, calling together the major defense and CIA officials.

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Not much earlier, CIA Director J. Cofer Black and top officials had prepared a plan to take down Al-Qaeda. Black approached President Bush with this plan immediately afterwards. Bush had just given the CIA a very broad approval to enter Afghanistan and carry out operations against the terror group Al-Qaeda in any way it pleased.

CIA Operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan, and began training locals and government security forces to track down insurgents and terrorists.

Elite CIA Operatives trained northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operation Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

Realizing a greater potential threat facing America post 9/11, intelligence agencies became more secretive and cautious. They took on a greater role by phone tapping and tracking emails and created Operation Greystone enacted by President Bush which it sent CIA in front of the military for the first time, in order to go after Al Qaeda in Afghanistan which was the first start of a new covert was style.

Realizing we were facing a far greater potential terrorist threat and whereas most wars are a show of power, Operation Greystone began as an infiltration for information.

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CIA operatives entered at least a dozen different countries, including Afghanistan who joined up with the Northern alliance, a resistance force made up of rebels and from the shadows effectively began tracking down insurgents and terrorists who were paid to hunt down, fight and kill.  These operations operated in the shadows effectively dismantling the Taliban which led to numerous victories and dubbed as the “War on Terror”.

Elite CIA operatives trained Northern Alliance soldiers in Afghanistan; the Taliban fell from power within a matter of months.

We now know that Operative Greystone involved, in large part, inaccurate drone strikes and secret prison-based interrogations of high-risk terrorists who simply disappeared during the course of the operation.

One event that raised concerns of the scope of government power was a drone missile that blew up a vehicle occupied by an Al Qaeda leader. Although the government called it a success and celebrated, many were unaware of the power of the government weapons and the ability of the government to kill easily.

The major problem is that because everything is now done in secret, no one truly knows the extent to which the government is performing.

A second occurrence was the enhanced interrogation techniques that ensured, such as water boarding which is considered torture but was labeled as an enhanced technique and approved by the Justice Department.

In addition, the CIA had created a series of “black sites” throughout the world, which are prison camps for people to be tortured in. Again, in complete secrecy.

Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld began a program called Joint Special Operations Command, which singles out terrorist leaders and kills them one by one. They don’t call themselves a covert operation but instead military operation to avoid needing approval of president and effectively doing as they please. JSOC operates with CIA special activities division.

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Rumsfeld also created the Office of Special Plans, which created links that the CIA would not release. It was used to create the link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. It has “all source clearance,” the ability to access all information.

The OSP uses unapproved troops, acting independently and with mainly political intent in Iraq such as in summer of 2004 when the CIA led troops to Pakistan with attacks to defeat Al Qaeda and terrorists.

They then attacked Iraq to prevent damage from weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein, and eventually led to the destruction of the NSA at home. It intercepts phone calls and emails without warrant, in all effort of preventing another 9/11.

This was allowed by the Terrorist Surveillance Program, enacted by Bush.

At this time, these new anti-terrorist groups have far more power than they should, being not regulated and also closed off to public knowledge.

In fact, after 8 months, it turned out there was not any “weapons of mass destruction” at all in Iraq, and the CIA took blame for all intelligence failure. It begs the question of just how much they know, and the lack of reason behind their activity.

A few years later, Obama was sworn in and swore to end invading privacy. Yet it turns out he reauthorized many programs including Greystone to find Osama bin Laden. JSOC raids, drone strikes, and essentially every program was kept or increased in order to continue fighting a “War on Terror”.

About 1.5 trillion dollars has been spent so far, and yet the only notable achievement is the death of Osama bin Laden. Perhaps instead of all this need to keep all actions secret, the government updates the public so it can realize if a search such as for WMD’s is hopeless and stop activity on it, and then try to refocus on other good leads on terrorist groups.

Drones are “Unmanned Aerial Vehicles” capable of delivering guided missiles to targets up to 1800 miles away. They are relatively small, equipped with a camera and controlled remotely from an operator on the ground. Since they are unmanned, drones greatly reduce the risk and cost of requiring a pilot and can effectively target key enemy positions.

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The CIA uses drones to conduct targeted killings of Taliban members and other militant groups.  In effect, it targets and eliminates insurgents on the ground without the implementation of need of excessive boots on the ground and unnecessary loss of ground troops. In turn, it also saves the lives of thousands of victims at the hands of the very growing numbers of extremists looking to dominate the world.

When it comes to drone strikes, the UN Human Rights Council fears that the United States has not taken proper accountability and precautionary and precautionary measures in conducting these targeted killings. According to Philip Alston, “the UN special Rappaorteurs on extrajudicial summary on arbitrary executions stated, “the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is running a programme that is killing a significant number of people, and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international law.” My query to Mr. Alston is has he been to Iraq, Syria Kobane to see firsthand the thousands of beheading at the hands of ISIS the crimes against humanity of ISIS/ISIL killing hundreds of children and infants and the raping of women as young as 6 years old? Boys given automatic weapons and grenades and sent to suicide school instead of elementary school to kill all “non-believers”.

Since 2004, the Special Activities Division of the CIA had conducted hundreds of drone strikes in northern Pakistan. By the end of Obama’s first term in office, the CIA had conducted 44 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing approximately 400 people. In the years following, the number of strikes increased dramatically, and by 2011, the CIA had conducted over 240 drone strikes in Pakistan. The Obama administration maintains that the drone program is classified, and thus they are unable to reveal specific information about the targeted killings. Consequently, when such a program is classified, serious accountability and human rights dilemmas emerge.

A 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment Soldier provides overwatch on an Afghan valley during Operation Verendrye near the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Going into the 21st century, posturing and humane reasoning would dictate that the CIA must recognize the potential dangers of wielding such a powerful network of drones. With such a network, the CIA could hypothetically kill anyone on its “target list” from a remote location halfway across the world, effectively dehumanizing the entire process of assassination. The CIA must be sure to follow UN guidelines, while simultaneously maintaining a level of secrecy that gives it an advantage over terrorist organizations. The CIA must also be cautious of overusing drones also one would posture. The purpose of employing drones in Pakistan is to defeat terrorist organizations operating in the area but excessive use of drones may increase the already growing anti-American sentiment in the region. Will drones make America too powerful for its own good?

If drones are extremely effective is waging the war on terror, we cannot ignore it. We must not only continue the effective campaign but escalate it without mercy and conduct a “search and destroy” ground attack with “boots on the ground” giving us maximum exposure to eliminate any threat.

Why is the United States the Police Department for the World?

Why is it incumbent for us to intervene in almost every conflict and put our troops in harm’s way? With the ever escalating fiscal crisis in our country and our own domestic conflicts to fight here with our oversight committees in Washington, there appears to be hundreds of oversights to be accountable right here.

The United States is simply not the emergency police service of the world when another country pushes the buttons for 911 as no other country dialed in on 9-11 in New York. Our interests are served just fine enough with diplomacy, not military might. We have the Department of Defense, not the Department of War nor the Department of 9-11 Crisis.

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Our past Presidents has thrown us into Wars that is not our fight but into a conflict that is simply a civil war and unrest between rival nations and not a war with the United States. Obama was a President voted into office because of his views in part to his approach to the use of armed forces so Americans chose a candidate who has opposed Bush’s was in Iraq and bring U.S. commitments back in line where the Norwegian Nobel Committee thought so to all too soon. However, as we saw all, Hussein was the only Muslim and President in history who bowed to an Arab Sheik which is a sign of weakness. This set an epitome.

If we are stockpiling weapons, why are we handing billions of dollars of weaponry to countries that are inevitably used against our troops? War does have its place when it is justified as in War War II. We must be serving the American people, not the Arab world or the Islamic state.

We are the problem. We have allowed our government to make decisions that is not in the best interests of the American people. I always believe till today, that the government are elected officials who are public servants to serve and preserve liberty and freedom and the American taxpayer. Here and not abroad.

History have proven that approximately 6,000 U.S. troops were Killed in action and immeasurable were wounded. Almost the same committed suicide upon their return. In the Iraq conflict, almost 7,000 U.S. troops were killed and the much higher number in military contractors and more wounded. The cost to the United States was about 2 TRILLION dollars.

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We need to reign in establish a multi-disciplinary approach to tax and fiscal analysis and the utility of government in America that is fully transparent. We must demand and wipe away the obscurity of the government’s ability to enhance the quality of life to compliment the prosperity of our society at large and not the political machine. I believe that our government has set an example of a greedy corrupt mechanism of a new world order.

We no longer require rhetoric, we should thirst for a directive action that is in the best interests of the American public and no one else. The public needs to take back our country and know if our leadership is working in the best interests of our nation and not ‘special interests’ hell bent on greed. They can be terminated just like any hard-working American. We need to reign in politicians who spend our money lavishly because they believe in entitlement. The only entitlement they deserve is what we are entitled to; a reasonable pay check, accountable to pay their child support, taxes, be arrested for their crimes and removed from office like any other citizen. No one is above the law.

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We need to clean house. Lower unemployment and crime. Give jobs to the citizens of this country and not outsource to third world toilets. Our military can fill positions to watch our borders, fill law enforcement positions and create other agencies to deport all illegal aliens, tighten, enhance and provide proper law enforcement training who are in positions to also ‘serve and protect’ and not beat and menace.

I remember when my parents, grandparents came to this country, it was not a right and a privilege. You had to earn your right to enter this country thru Ellis Island. Today, most people if not all believe in the opposite with their hands out and our government obliges handing them food stamps, housing, and education on our dime. What has happened?

There is so many important changes that needs to be addressed and all of us have a voice. Why are so many mute and afraid to speak? God, gave you a voice. Cowards hide in the shadows, Bystanders stand with the ignorant and are the catalyst for failure. What is important to you?

CIA Interrogation Techniques

I always thought CIA interrogations methods even till today were clandestine. Through research, CIA interrogators waterboarded their first prisoner, Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, in 2002 justifying the simulated drowning as a vital tool to extract secrets about future attacks against the United States.

At a secret prison In Thailand for about 20 days, the CIA implemented round the clock interrogations, waterboarding, physical assaults and confinement. Their conclusions was the Saudi Operative knew nothing about new plots.

Such techniques are used to break a person will or ability to resist. The goal is obtain the confidential intelligence information and access undisclosed threat information.

These types of treatments got into the hands of the Senate Intelligence Committee recently which was placed into scrutiny. After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks, under intense demands to produce usable intelligence, the agency resorted to deception, manipulation and intellectual contortions to rationalize and continue using interrogation techniques that even some of its own officials worried amounted to illegal torture, the report documents.

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At CIA headquarters, officials repeatedly pushed interrogators at secret detention facilities in Poland, Thailand, Afghanistan, Romania and elsewhere to intensify the harsh treatment, even after officers at the sites had concluded there was little more information to be gained from a prisoner.

CIA Director John Brennan said in a statement “we acknowledge that the detention and interrogation program had shortcomings and that the agency made mistakes.” He added that “the most serious problems occurred early on and stemmed from the fact that the agency was unprepared and lacked the core competencies required to carry out an unprecedented, worldwide program” of detention and interrogation.

The interrogations chief became so disillusioned as the treatment of detainees that he called the ‘program’ a train wreck waiting to happen and wanted off the train and no longer wanted to be associated with the program “in any way.”

There was conflicting reports about the methods used against Nashiri who the CIA claimed to be involved in the bombing of the US Cole where interrogators was allegedly hanging him upside down, holding a drill next to his body and a pistol next to his head. Those techniques reportedly were not authorized by either the CIA or the Justice Department but ruled that the interrogation practices did not violate U.S. laws against torture.

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There were two former military psychologists who were the chief architects of the interrogation program and personally conducted some of the waterboarding, even though they had no direct experience with the practice

The CIA relied on the two men to assess the psychological effects of waterboarding and other techniques on individual prisoners. That put them in position to judge the effectiveness of interrogations. A company the two formed to help run the program received $81 million from the CIA from 2002 to 2009, a Senate investigation found.

In January 2003, one of the psychologists arrived at the detention site where Nashiri was being held to assess whether he should be subjected to additional harsh interrogation measures. He recommended going ahead with “the full range of enhanced exploitation and interrogation measures” to establish a “desired level of helplessness.

Nearly two years after the CIA’s last interrogation of Nashiri, an assessment by one of the psychologists who had recommended his harsh treatment concluded the prisoner had “provided essentially no actionable information.” In 2006, Nashiri was transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo.

CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds

In the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when detaining prisoners was first discussed within the Bush administration, CIA officials promised their facilities would be comparable to federal prisons or would meet Pentagon standards for prisoners of war.

The facilities fell far short of those standards. In 2002, when officials from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons visited a CIA prison in Afghanistan known as the Salt Pit, they were stunned to find detainees shackled in their cells in complete darkness and isolation, with only buckets for human waste.

The program grew so quickly that the agency had difficulty keeping track of all of its detainees and in 2003 discovered they were holding a number of detainees the knew little about and had not been questioned for months.

CIA officers involved in the program worried from the start that they might face criminal charges and began to seek assurances from Atty General Ashcroft immunity from prosecution which was denied.

Are interrogation methods in other countries any different towards Americans and foreign Journalists?  Are interrogation methods instrumental to the national security of our country? Does the intensity of the interrogation own up to the horrors and severity we see in the terroristic annihilation of humanity?

Our leadership rhetoric has always been that we do not negotiate with terrorists. Is this is valid, why is terrorism so rampant in the world?

KHORASAN – Deadlier Threat than ISIS

While we are concentrating ALL our efforts and views on ISIS, intelligence emerged that will leave the United States and its allies blind sided by terrorist attacks with even more upcoming confrontation than being witnessed with the Islamic State. It is far more sinister and a direct threat from a much lesser known terrorist group that has arisen from the ashes of the Syrian war.
This splinter group calling itself Khorasan may be laying in wake with concrete plans for striking targets in the United States and Europe as a chosen modus operandi – more so than ISIS. The inside information in Washington who have had the information for years will not deny that Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.

According to the New York Times, some US officials have gone as far as saying that, while the Islamic State is undoubtedly more prominent in its show of force in the Middle East, it is Khorasan who’s intent on oversees campaigns in a way Al Qaeda usually is.

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In this sense, the US air strike campaign and the coming actions by the anti-IS coalition might just be what coaxes IS into larger-scale attacks on American and European soil – what Khorasan is essentially all about which brings up another issue that blinds Washington’s stance on terrorism. It is so focused on the terror spread by IS that it’s beginning to forget that the destruction and mayhem of civil war across the Middle East is spawning a number of hard-to-track terrorist factions and sleep cells with distinct missions.

Khorasan – a splinter group from Al-Qaeda (a growing body of extremists from around the world) are coming in and taking advantage of the ungoverned areas and creating informal ad hoc groups that are not directly aligned with ISIS or Nusra of which our government and intelligence are ignoring.

This Al-Qaeda offshoot group is led by a former senior operative Muhsin al-Fadhli. He had reportedly fled to Iran during the US-led invasion of Afghanistan with other Operatives moving to and from Pakistan, Syria, Iran and other countries after the campaign, forming splinter groups.

Al-Fadhli was identified as leading the Iranian branch of Al-Qaeda, controlling the movement of funds and operatives in the region and working closely with wealthy “jihadist donors” in his native Kuwait to raise money for the Syrian terrorist resistance.

Although American intelligence is said to have been tracking it for over a decade, Khorasan itself is shrouded in mystery. Little is known publicly and it is said to favor concealed explosives as a terror method and like other groups taking power in war-torn provinces like Syria, Khorasan has on occasion shifted its alliances.

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Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri at one point ordered the former ISIS to fight only in Iraq, but cut all ties with it when it disobeyed and branched out. The result was that the Nusra Front became Al-Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. It’s said that Khorasan is to Al Nusra Front what the latter was to Al-Qaeda.

They see their mission in recruiting European and American Muslim militants who have traveled to Syria to fight alongside Islamist extremist groups that form part of the rebel coalition fighting Syria’s Assad regime. In return, the Khorasan group hopes to train and deploy these recruits, who hold American and European passports, for attacks against Western targets. The belief here is that Khorasan will be Al-Qaeda’s new arm in carrying our terrorist attacks against the United States.

The group reportedly has the services of Al-Qaeda bomb maker, Ibrahim al-Asiri, whose devices previously ended up on three US-bound planes. He is known to be a true pioneer of hard-to-detect bombs. The next step most likely in their agenda will be taking those bombs and pairing them with US-born and other foreign jihadist returning home.

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In this respect, Khorasan threats to the US to be much more directly compared to the Islamic State’s more regional ambitions and since POTUS anti ISIS strategy does not include Al Nusra, which then frees up Khorasan’s hands.

Al Nusra is set apart from many other groups is that it’s now the only faction with active branches throughout Syria.

The volatile conflict zone that is Syria, with its lax borders and an increasing number of distinct, armed Islamist groups, the US may be surprised by how difficult it soon may be to pinpoint the origin of the next threat.