“I’m not happy they denied a briefing to me,” the Wisconsin Republican told a public radio interviewer in his home state on Friday morning. “I need information from the administration, and right now they're withholding it.”
Hearing the news of Osama bin Laden’s death brought forward many emotions and memories. One of those memories for me was the story of Johnny “Mike” Spann, from Winfield, Alabama, the first American killed in the Afghanistan war, on November 25, 2001.[*] Spann was a CIA operative, one of a small number of Americans who landed in Afghanistan, helped coordinate local forces hostile to the Taliban, and directed bombing and other military action. The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough. Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked. Spann was killed during that uprising (see video). One of the prisoners was the so-called American Taliban, John Walker Lyndh, who Spann interrogated shortly before Spann’s death.
On Feb. 12, 2008, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s international operations chief, walked on a quiet nighttime street in Damascus after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Not far away, a team of CIA spotters in the Syrian capital was tracking his movements. As Mughniyah approached a parked SUV, a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of the vehicle exploded, sending a burst of shrapnel across a tight radius. He was killed instantly.
Former CIA Torture Head: Nancy Pelosi, Top Dems ‘Knew Exactly What We Were Doing’ “These people were fully aware of all of the techniques that were given to us and approved by the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice,” Rodriguez continued, saying that neither Nancy Pelosi nor other Democrats — with the exception of then–California congresswoman Jane Harman — “ever objected to the techniques at all.” Rodriguez alleged that some lawmakers, such as Democratic West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller, actually pushed the CIA to be even harsher. “All of these people knew exactly what we were doing,” he said.Watch the exchange here: Democrats are acting like this is all news to them.
“It’s bad enough to not prosecute these officials but to reward and promote them is incomprehensible,” Udall said on the Senate floor Wednesday. “The president needs to purge his administration.” Udall reiterated his call for the resignation of CIA director John Brennan, saying he should no longer lead the agency because officials hacked into the Intelligence Committee’s computers during their investigation and deleted a file. He also spilled some findings from the so-called Panetta review, which was not included in the Senate panel’s report but is expected to paint a damning picture of the CIA’s public statements about the interrogation program. “Director Brennan and the CIA today are continuing to willfully provide inaccurate information and misrepresent the efficacy of torture,” Udall said. “The CIA is lying. This is not an issue of the past, this is going on today.” “To date there has been no accountability for the CIA’s actions or the actions of Director Brennan.” Udall criticized Obama, saying he has failed to live up to his campaign promises about transparency and accountability for the CIA’s techniques. “The White House has not led on transparency, as then-Sen. Obama promised in 2007,” he alleged.
In a statement issued by the agency, a CIA spokesman said Director John Brennan had apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other committee leaders for the computer search. The spokesman said the agency’s inspector general had found evidence that CIA officers’ actions were “inconsistent with the common understanding” between the agency and committee. “The director is committed to correcting any shortcomings related to this matter,” CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said Thursday. The CIA has set up an accountability board, led by former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, to review the inspector general’s findings and recommend disciplinary actions, if necessary, Boyd said.Feinstein raised eyebrows in March when she made the original snooping allegations against the CIA during a speech on the Senate floor. It turns out she was right and Brennan had to eat crow today. The big question now is will Brennan remain as the head of the CIA. He has always been a controversial player in Washington, DC, and today's revelations may be the beginning of his end.
The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough. Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked. Spann was killed during that uprising (see video). One of the prisoners was the so-called American Taliban, John Walker Lyndh, who Spann interrogated shortly before Spann’s death. Spann’s wife Shannon also worked for the CIA. In addition to his wife, Spann left behind two daughters and an infant son Spann’s family established a website to honor his life, and there is a wealth of information and photos at his Arlington National Cemetery page. There is an interesting honor paid to Spann at the website of Afghan General and Warlord Abdul Radhis Dostum, including a link to a photo of the memorial to Spann at the site of the uprising in which he died.We also had follow up posts:
The first American killed in the Afghan war, on November 25, 2001. I've told his story before, but it is worth remembering every year. This interesting video by The Daily Caller recalls the group of special forces similar to Spann, who worked with Afhan warlord Abdul Rahdis...
Hearing the news of Osama bin Laden's death brought forward many emotions and memories.One of those memories for me was the story of Johnny "Mike" Spann, from Winfield, Alabama, the first American killed in the Afghanistan war, on November 25, 2001.Spann was a CIA operative,...
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