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Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National
Interest and a recognized authority on international security and
counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist
and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in
Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. Mr.
Giraldi was awarded an MA and PhD from the University of London in
European History and holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from the
University of Chicago. He speaks Spanish, Italian, German, and Turkish. His columns on terrorism, intelligence, and security issues regularly appear in The American Conservative magazine, Huffington Post, and antiwar.com.
He has written op-ed pieces for the Hearst Newspaper chain, has
appeared on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC, National Public Radio, and
local affiliates of ABC television. He has been a keynote speaker at the
Petroleum Industry Security Council annual meeting, has spoken twice at
the American Conservative Union’s annual CPAC convention in Washington,
and has addressed several World Affairs Council affiliates. He has been
interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the British
Broadcasting Corporation, Britain’s Independent Television Network, FOX
News, Polish National Television, Croatian National Television,
al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, 60 Minutes, and other international and domestic
Wednesday, May 25, 2016(2 comments)
How the World Ends
Russians are not exactly failing to notice what is going on. No one but Victoria Nuland and the Kagans actually want a war but Moscow is being backed into a corner with more and more influential Russian voices raised against detente with a Washington that seems to be intent on humiliating Russians at every turn as part of a new project for regime change.
Sunday, May 8, 2016(6 comments)
Washington's Terrorism as Usual
Governments have learned that if they shout "terrorism" often enough they will get a free pass on budgets and on approving legislation that restricts the freedom of the average citizen. Freedom is, unfortunately a zero-sum game, power taken from the people is gone forever; given over to what we Americans have begun to call the "unitary executive."
Wednesday, April 20, 2016(1 comments)
Why Secrecy Rules Apply to Everyone
So much for equal justice under law. The politically best connected abuser of classified information walks, the next one down the ladder in terms of political importance is fined but not otherwise punished, and the least institutionally protected individual goes to jail.
Sunday, April 10, 2016(6 comments)
Rating the Candidates
The problem with Americans in general is that they have never experienced close up the full horror of modern warfare. That American presidential candidates can promote carpet bombing, annihilation of families and going to war to remove an undesirable government tells one that they are willfully ignorant of the consequences of their words.
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 AIPAC Is Coming to Town
U.S. national security would be best enhanced by telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a hike and never come back. AIPAC is a political pressure group, not an educational foundation, which is purely a pretext exploited to secure it tax exemption.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016(5 comments)
Israel's International Conspiracy
Israel has lost the war of public opinion based on its own actions, which are becoming more and more repressive and even inhumane and so are difficult to explain. That means that the narrative has to be shifted by Israel's friends through subterfuge and the corruption of the information process in each country.
Thursday, February 4, 2016(4 comments)
An Improbable Solution
Stating that Russia is only interested in propping up a client and enabling mass murder is both sloppy and does not allow for other considerations that might actually be both sensible and legitimate while a willingness to confront major power Russia militarily over unimportant Syria is something closely akin to madness. Syria is not taking place in a vacuum.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016(1 comments)
Seeking Bibi's Favor
Netanyahu knows he can in reality behave with impunity because he de facto owns the U.S. Congress and the mainstream media and has said as much, noting that for him "I know what America is. America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right direction. They won't get in the way."
Wednesday, January 13, 2016(3 comments)
A Terrorist Under Every Bed
In reality, the likelihood of being killed by a terrorist almost anywhere but an active war zone is miniscule. In the U.S. it is so small as to be statistically insignificant, but the public has been led to believe that heavily armed Islamic militants are lurking around every corner.
Friday, January 1, 2016(1 comments)
Reining In Government Surveillance
Most Americans would accept that a principal government role is to protect the people from harm initiated by foreign states and non-government players but most would also insist that the Bill of Rights affords fundamental liberties that must be maintained. Setting limits that are clearly understood on the government is one way to accomplish both.
Friday, December 25, 2015(1 comments)
No Matter Who Becomes President Israel Wins
the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee might consider developing some backbone and combine in issuing a joint statement refusing to take any donations from either Adelson or Saban in the current election cycle. It could remove both considerable influence peddling and Israel itself from the electoral process, which would be a blessing all around.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015(2 comments)
What Obama Should Have Told Bibi
If you think Obama is spineless when confronted by Ron Lauder and the usual suspects, just think of how bad it will be when we have President Clinton or President Rubio, proxies for their Israel firster donors Haim Saban and Paul Singer respectively.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015(1 comments)
Faking the Terrorist Threat
The alarming story of ISIS's seeking a nuclear weapons to attack America turns out to be something considerably less, a bit of propaganda to justify continuation and even expansion of the U.S. war on terror. And there is a bit of evil Russia thrown in to explain how it is all happening.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015(6 comments)
The "A" Word That Terrifies Washington
The "A" word that must never be spoken inside the United States government is "accountability," which is by design as the government must never be made to look bad. Without demanding accountability, even meticulous investigations into possible war crimes have no meaning and are literally not worth the paper they are written on.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015(3 comments)
Foreign Policy by Intimidation
What is being largely ignored is the actual content of the so-called debate, which was supposed to be focused on foreign policy. Presuming that all the potential candidates had been assiduously primed on the major issues by their advisers, what might have been informed opinion was instead pathetically ignorant and, more than that, dangerous.
Thursday, September 10, 2015(8 comments)
A Refugee Crisis Made in America
The United States has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem, possibly realizing that allowing in a lot of displaced foreigners at a time when there is an increasingly heated debate over immigration policy in general just might not be a good move, politically speaking.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015(1 comments)
Did Iranian Weapons Kill Americans?
In 2005 the Bush Administration began to claim that Iran had been "interfering" in Iraq. The claim, rarely backed up by any substance, was based on suppositions about Tehran's likely interests regarding its predominantly Shi'ite neighbor and it was little more than an excuse to explain the persistence and intensity of Iraqi resistance to the American invasion.
Thursday, August 6, 2015(1 comments)
War Inside the Beltway
The U.S. media and inside the beltway punditry boast about their professionalism and integrity but it all goes out the window when Israel is the topic. Many of those involved are themselves Jewish and identify as "strong Israel supporters" and for those who are not of the Tribe the understanding that criticism of Israel is a quick ticket out of town frequently prevails.
Thursday, July 16, 2015(2 comments)
MH17: The Blaming Putin Game Goes On
Americans have been lied into intervention and war more than once over the past 15 years and it should be clear to all that any contrived crisis based on an erroneous conclusion regarding a shot-down airliner that develops into an armed conflict with Russia will have unimaginable consequences.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015(2 comments)
Unending War on Terror
The unrelenting expansion of Washington's military role is consequently little more than a simplistic response to many diverse overseas developments that are poorly understood, most of which are not actually genuine threats to the United States. This is demonstrated by the White House decision to extend the U.S. terrorism fight to the entire continent of Africa.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015(1 comments)
Who Did the Eavesdropping?
As the White House clearly now has the details regarding "how" the Israelis stole the information and "why" in terms of its use with Congress to undermine the talks, it might be suggested that the whole story be revealed to the American public. Just who were the Congressmen and was there anyone on the U.S. negotiating team playing both sides?
Wednesday, March 18, 2015(2 comments)
AIPAC Discovers 47 Useful Idiots
More than 165,000 Americans have signed a petition calling Cotton's letter treasonous. Behind that outrage we have a speech, a letter and the usual banal tale of corruption, opportunism and money. And it all starts with Israel, a foreign country that has somehow inserted itself into the American political DNA. So much for the billions of dollars given to Israel and the irreparable damage to American interests.
Saturday, February 28, 2015 U.S. legislation abused by foreign entities
The latest twist took place this week, when a New York City jury sided with the plaintiffs in a Shurat HaDin-supported lawsuit filed by victims of Palestinian bombings carried out in 2004 in Israel, and which alleged that the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization sanctioned the attacks.
Thursday, January 8, 2015(5 comments)
There Are None So Blind ... As Those Who Will Not See
President Obama fancies himself the leader of the "free world" yet he heads a nation that until recently organized black site prisons for torturing suspects and which continues to use armed drones to kill innocent and guilty alike.
Thursday, December 25, 2014(2 comments)
The Road to Torture
One political party, the Republicans, has by-and-large disputed the substantial body of evidence that the United States government has engaged in torture, presumably because it occurred under a GOP administration. But it is clearly a practice that is a violation of both federal statutes and the United Nations Convention against Torture.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 Neocons Triumphant in Washington and Geneva
At the end of the day, the greatest neocon triumph is its continued grip over policy with Russia, which is the sole power in the world that can attack and destroy much of the United States. The confrontation with Moscow makes no sense as the only United States vital interest at stake is to maintain a good working relationship, but the tension continues to mount.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014(3 comments)
Exceptionalism Rules in Tel Aviv and Washington
In the absence of any serious consequences coming from Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will do whatever he wants in the firm belief that there is no one who can force him to do otherwise. Israel owns Congress and the mainstream media while its proliferating think tanks and promoters in a score of major Jewish organizations continue to spew out self-serving nonsense. So who is going to say nay?
Friday, October 24, 2014(3 comments)
John McCain's Terrorists
John McCain may have been guilty of a ridiculous publicity stunt, but he certainly did not knowingly meet with a terrorist-affiliated group. Yet the fact that he did appear with these rebels -- presumably after receiving the imprimatur of whomever from the intelligence or spec-ops community was managing ground operations in Syria from the U.S. perspective--demonstrates just how murky the whole Syrian enterprise has become.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014(2 comments)
Senate Torture Report Vanishes
The latest account of the head-butting between the Agency and Congress reveals a bad working relationship between the Senate and CIA, while also suggesting that Langley is again closing ranks against its critics. But if the ISIS thing continues to pick up steam everyone in the media and among the public will in any event forget that there was ever a Senate torture report. In intelligence slang, it will "be disappeared."
Saturday, September 6, 2014(13 comments)
Does the CIA Believe Obama?
Within the intelligence community memories of Iraq and the prefabricated judgments made regarding Syria's alleged use of sarin gas last year are still fresh among both analysts and information collectors, requiring the political leadership to make its case unambiguously. Intelligence work makes one naturally cynical, but the rank and file are now becoming generally suspicious of and even hostile to what is going on.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014(2 comments)
The information wars
Few would argue that there are legitimate secrets, the flood of information revealed by WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden suggests that in some cases at least classification is used to conceal either illegal activity or actions that might widely be condemned as inappropriate if they had been revealed to the public.
Saturday, May 17, 2014 Israel Is Serious About Spying -- But Not About Peace
Kerry's reluctance to speak the truth unambiguously is not surprising as is the use of anonymous quotes to register displeasure with Israeli behavior. The White House operates under the shadow of powerful international Jewish organizations that appear to regard Israel as something that has to be protected at all costs and by any means no matter how it misbehaves.
Sunday, March 2, 2014 Is AIPAC Doomed?
There will be speeches by Sen John McCain and by Sec of State John Kerry. Attendees will descend en masse on the Capitol Hill offices of Senators and Congressmen, delivering the message that AIPAC is alive and well in spite of some recent very public setbacks. They will demand that the US pressure Iran with new sanctions even as the White House is searching for a way to avoid another catastrophic war in the Middle East.
Thursday, February 13, 2014(2 comments)
Such A Deal
Kerry's objective from the start has been to get the maximum possible for Israel while enticing the Palestinians to accept the barest minimum that will get them to agree to sign on to something. Even if Kerry wanted to be an honest broker he knows he can't go that route because the Israel Lobby is so powerful and pro-Palestinian sentiment means nothing in terms of American elections.
Thursday, December 19, 2013(5 comments)
Some Might Call It Treason
The principal Israeli lobby AIPAC has basically declared war on the White House over the issue and the Senators who are leading the charge are firmly in Israel's pocket. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois is even being briefed by Israeli intelligence, and Israeli cabinet ministers have been observed pleading their case on Capitol Hill to a very receptive audience.
Sunday, December 15, 2013(1 comments)
Why Remain in Afghanistan?
Karzai, who will be leaving office next Spring and is undoubtedly looking forward to a comfortable retirement in Dubai in close proximity to the bank accounts holding all the money he stole, is quite likely relying on a continued US presence no matter what agreement is reached.
Friday, December 6, 2013(1 comments)
Palestinians Lose Again
What does the White House do? It comes down on both sides of every issue whenever it possibly can, criticizing the growth of Israeli settlements while at the same time doing nothing to stop them and doing even less to expedite the development of a viable Palestinian state. This to avoid confronting directly the Israel Lobby, which is unrelenting to have its viewpoint be the only acceptable narrative inside the Beltway.
Thursday, November 14, 2013(36 comments)
The Two Snowdens
Snowden would have gotten absolutely nowhere if he had attempted to "go through channels" in any attempt to resolve the violations of law that he observed and was right to go public, but that is where the acceptance of his actions by me and my former colleagues pretty much ends.
Thursday, October 31, 2013 Riyadh Says Let America Do It
If the Israelis and Saudis were really threatened by Iran, one suspects that their response would be more robust. Meanwhile they will see if they can shame and coerce President Obama into doing what they think is best for them. Hopefully, he will be able to resist the pressure.
Saturday, October 26, 2013(1 comments)
Crying Wolf Over Iran
Targeting Iran for special treatment as a rogue nation seems a bit hard to explain beyond the bromides as it has not attacked a neighbor since the 17th century and is itself threatened nearly daily by Washington and Tel Aviv. And even the CIA and Mossad agree that it is not developing a nuclear weapon. Beyond that, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which grants it the right to enrich uranium.
Saturday, October 19, 2013(4 comments)
Fixing Congress Means Fixing the Government
It is an ultimate irony that institutions like the Post Office that actually provide a necessary service for most Americans are starved for funds while the National Security Agency seems to have plenty of cash to build and operate its vast new spy center in Utah. A spy center that will collect information on the American people. The priorities of government are skewed and it is not just in congress.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013(25 comments)
A Syrian Solution?
Nearly everyone would be able to find a comfort zone if the Syrian civil war were to end, so there is strong motivation to take whatever steps are necessary to accomplish just that. And it would be a political victory for nearly everyone involved, with the US and its allies claiming that they had stopped the bloodshed while blocking the extremists from forming a government.
Friday, October 4, 2013(1 comments)
Coming to Terms With Iran
Washington should be racing to talk to Iran to find an exit from the longest running unnecessarily sustained neither-war-nor-peace conflict since the cold war. An unnecessary armed conflict with Iran, which might easily be avoided, could well be the final blow that will sink the American ship of state.
Saturday, August 10, 2013(1 comments)
Throw the Bums Out
So the game goes on, with no one winning but the thuglike and expansionistic Israeli settlers. And if you wonder why Washington persists in engaging in self-destructive behavior, just go ask Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. They will wave a paper in your face and on it will be the latest directives from AIPAC.
Thursday, August 1, 2013(1 comments)
Spinning Yarns in the Mainstream Media
If you want your neocon news straight from the source, the Washington Post is the way to go. It will explain to you why we should be prepared to intervene militarily worldwide and why some bureaucrat reading your mail or reviewing your phone calls is not a bad thing as all that stuff will make you a lot safer.
Thursday, July 25, 2013(1 comments)
The Lobby Never Sleeps
When it comes to actual war and peace, those of us who have been preoccupied by the crises in Egypt and Syria would be well served by taking another look at what Israel has been up to. Settlements are expanding and still more Arabs are being dispossessed, making peace all but impossible.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013(1 comments)
Edward Snowden Is No Traitor
The White House's colossal data-mining operation has now been exposed by Edward Snowden, and the American people have discovered that they have been scrutinized by Washington far beyond any level that they would have imagined possible. Many foreign nations have also now realized that the scope of U.S. spying exceeds any reasonable standard of behavior.
Friday, July 12, 2013(13 comments)
The Meaninglessness of Elections
Here in the United States, we have congressional elections every two years but the dominant parties that alternate in power have rigged and gerrymandered the process in such a way that only candidates acceptable to the corporate/military/political status quo can rise to the surface.
Saturday, July 6, 2013 Independence Day Blues
Overall, it has become somewhat shameful to be an American. But possibly far worse than the way the rest of the world perceives us is the damage that we have done to ourselves. Consider for a moment what the past 12 years have meant in terms of what the United States government can now do to any American citizen.
Sunday, June 16, 2013(6 comments)
Don't Forget Syria
Syria in danger of ceasing to exist as a nation-state. Its collapse could inspire a new global jihad and provoke violence throughout the Middle East, while its chemical weapons could easily fall into dangerous hands. Israel is already threatening to intervene, which could produce a major regional conflict.
Friday, May 31, 2013(7 comments)
John McCain: War Hero or Something Less?
It is perhaps not too late to take another look at McCain and the post-Vietnam POW issue while many veterans of that conflict are still alive. It might also help to discredit the Senate's leading warmonger. Either way, it would be a reckoning that is long since overdue.
Saturday, April 27, 2013(1 comments)
What Has Bibi Been Doing?
The new Israeli government will not be interested in compromise on any front, though it is somewhat divided on when and how to attack Iran (or how to get the United States to do the job for it). It will exhibit much of the racist extremism that has characterized Israeli politics of late.
Thursday, April 4, 2013(3 comments)
Failed by the Fourth Estate
Today's corporate media continue to work towards their apparent goal to provide less and less information and more and more opinion. Recent coverage of the President's visit to the Middle East invariably referred to the militarily occupied West Bank as "disputed," a usage that has also become common over at the State Department and which obscures the injustice being committed against the Palestinians.
Saturday, March 23, 2013 Sitzkrieg on the Potomac
Both Democrats and Republicans, presenting different faces of the war party, seem unconcerned about the gradual destruction of our nation's liberties, wrapped up as they are in obtaining temporary advantage in a struggle that has everything to do with obtaining more power and little to do with the wellbeing of the United States.
Thursday, January 10, 2013(8 comments)
Are Israel and the U.S. Becoming Fascist States?
To what extent are both Israel and the United States trending towards a fascist model? In some areas the affinity is clear. Both Israel and the United States claim victimhood from terrorism and have used that as an excuse to maintain aggressive foreign policies that emphasize the use of force as a first option. So, the answer to whether Israel and the U.S. are developing into fascist-style states is a qualified yes.
Thursday, January 3, 2013(5 comments)
How Government Grows
Americans have witnessed in the short space of 11 years a government that has metastasized built around a fiction that the American people are somehow under serious threat from foreign enemies. Government never admits failure and its response to shortcomings is to throw more resources at the problem in an attempt to either make it go away or delay the day of reckoning.
Sunday, December 23, 2012(2 comments)
The Torture Chronicle
The bipartisan willingness to avoid confrontation over possible war crimes makes the recently completed 6,000 page long Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture an extraordinary document. Though it is still classified and might well never see the light of day even in any sanitized or bowdlerized form, its principal conclusions have been leaking out in the media over the past two weeks.
Saturday, December 15, 2012(11 comments)
Why Remember Iraq?
If the United States cannot learn from the experience of Iraq it is doomed to repeatedly fail in similar endeavors until the last soldier comes home in a body bag and the last dollar is spent, leaving behind an empty treasury and an impoverished American people.
Thursday, October 25, 2012(3 comments)
Blaming the Muslims
We are the ones who have created the enemy and we are the ones who should have the sense to realize that it is our policies and actions that have poisoned relationships all around the world, and not just in Islamic countries. Will Mitt Romney or Barack Obama someday express that reality? Somehow I don't think so.
Thursday, October 18, 2012(3 comments)
Obama's Report Card
The terrifying prospect of a Mitt Romney foreign policy has somehow obscured just how badly President Barack Obama has performed. Obama's grades are somewhat disappointing: a B, a C, a D, and four F's. He will likely have trouble getting into a good college, and I recommend that he instead learn a useful skill such as basket weaving or pottery design.