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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 31, 2009 / 11 Elul 5769

Gutting the CIA: The Obama administration further debilitates a damaged agency

By Jack Kelly

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A bloated corpse remains, but life and spirit have left the CIA. A troubled agency which can ill afford it has had a very bad week.


  • Attorney General Eric Holder — who before his confirmation hearings told senators he wouldn't — has appointed a special prosecutor to pursue CIA interrogators who made threats to al Qaida bigwigs to get them to talk.

    The biggest example of actual torture revealed by Mr. Holder was that in 2002, a CIA interrogator blew cigar smoke in the face of abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole.

  • The Senate Intelligence Committee has sided with the Director of National Intelligence in a dispute over who should appoint the top U.S. intelligence officer in each foreign country. Currently, that's the CIA station chief in the U.S. embassy.

  • The Obama administration announced the president has approved creation of a new unit, which would report directly to the National Security Council, to interrogate high level terror suspects.


The CIA's terrible week illustrates that CIA Director Leon Panetta has as little clout with the president as he has respect from his subordinates. According to ABC News, Mr. Panetta was in a "profanity-laced screaming match" last month over the decision to make public the 2004 CIA Inspector General report on interrogations.


Mr. Panetta lost the respect of most of his troops when he told the House Intelligence Committee in June the CIA had concealed from it a secret program to assassinate al Qaida terrorists. This wasn't true, as Mr. Panetta learned when he belatedly talked to his predecessors.


Congress was never briefed on the plan because it was never implemented. There's speculation Mr. Panetta will resign in protest, or be fired. It may not matter very much. The CIA has not been central to intelligence for quite some while.


Most of the intelligence we collect is gathered by the National Security Agency (electronic intercepts) or by the National Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency (spy satellites). The CIA's role has pretty much been restricted to human intelligence, and analyzing intel gathered by others.


It's done a poor job of both. The most frighteningly funny book I've read in a long time is "The Human Factor," the memoir of "Ishmael Jones" of his career as a non-official cover (NOC) officer of the CIA.


The CIA Mr. Jones describes is a massive, risk averse bureaucracy so dysfunctional it can't even pay its NOCs on time. His evidence is mostly anecdotal, but the most telling statistic he offers is that more than 90 percent of CIA employees work within the United States, which is odd for an agency whose alleged purpose is the collection of foreign intelligence.


The CIA long ago gave up as too dangerous trying to recruit agents in hard targets such as North Korea or prewar Iraq, "Ishmael Jones" said. The CIA hasn't done much better at analyzing intel gathered by others. The CIA missed the 9/11 plot. Agency analysts were caught flat-footed by Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait, and by the collapse of the Soviet Union.


Only harm can come from Mr. Holder's persecution of CIA interrogators. But the other elements of the CIA's very bad week may not be so bad for the rest of us.


"Ishmael Jones" thinks dividing foreign intelligence collection into country fiefdoms has been the chief bureaucratic barrier to effective HUMINT collection, and anything that shakes that system up has got to be for the better.


One thing the CIA has done well is prisoner interrogation. According to the CIA, 57 percent of its HUMINT reports since 9/11 have come from detainees. But Mr. Holder has taken care of that.


The new "High Value Interrogation Group" President Obama is setting up will be forbidden to use even mild coercive tactics such as playing loud music or sleep deprivation.


I have doubts about how effective an interrogation unit that treats terrorists with hugs will be. And civil libertarians should have qualms about having such a group report directly to the National Security Council, that is, to the White House. I guess politicization of intelligence is only an issue when a Republican is president.


But something is better than nothing, and nothing is what we can now expect from a CIA that has become, in Jonah Goldberg's phrase, the CYA.

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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.

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© 2009, Jack Kelly

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