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Wikileaks CIA Release - Say What?

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Michael Collins

Wikileaks offered its first release since the controversial distribution of documents related to the United States effort in Afghanistan.

The current leak was posted to their web site on August 25. It is titled CIA Red Cell Memorandum on United States "exporting terrorism", 2 Feb 2010.

The leak describes Red Cell as a CIA unit created by the Director to develop "out-of-the-box" analysis offering "alternative viewpoints" on key intelligence issues.

This document doesn't disappoint in being out-of-the-box.

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CIA Perception Management - How the World Sees the United States

CIA Red Cell starts out by stating, "This report examines the implications of what it would mean for the US to be seen increasingly as an incubator and exporter of terrorism." Don't hold your breath. There's nothing there about the School of the Americas, the shock and awe invasion of Iraq and the carnage that entailed, or 300 dead Panamanians and United States soldiers as a result of the 1981 manhunt for General Manuel Noriega, a former US asset.

This document lists four examples of terrorism exported by citizens of the United States. Five Muslim Americans traveled to Pakistan, tried to join the Taliban, and were arrested. Red Cell notes that, "In 1994, Baruch Goldstein, an American Jewish doctor from New York, emigrated to Israel, joined the extremist group Kach, and killed 29 Palestinians during their prayers." Also singled out are those Irish Americans who provided cash to the Irish Republican Army used to fund terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom.

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Of most interest, convicted terrorist David Headley is cited as an example. A Pakistani American from Chicago, Headley recently plead guilty to providing "advanced surveillance" for the 2008 mega-terror attack on the Indian financial capitol, Mumbai.

The London Sunday Times pointed out that Headley had been "working for" the US Drug Enforcement Administration as part of a plea deal in 1997. The Times of India quoted unnamed Indian officials investigating the attacks as speculating that Headley "could have been a double agent for American agencies and Pakistan-based outfits." US government officials deny any connection with Headley after a brief association with DEA.

The analysis concludes "that Americans can be great assets in terrorist operations overseas."

The perception that the US is an "incubator and exporter of terrorism" may create push back by other governments in the War on Terror. The report cautions that this may lead to formal inquiries concerning US citizens by foreign intelligence agencies who may "even request the rendition of US citizens." Renditions involve the transfer of suspected terrorists from one state to another where torture is used to extract information.

The report warns that US failure to cooperate with these requests, "might lead some governments to consider secretly extracting US citizens suspected of foreign terrorism from US soil."

All this might limit cooperation by US allies in anti-terror efforts.

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The Red Cell Memorandum Makes No Sense

We are told that the perception of the US exporting terror would limit the cooperation of other nations in anti terror efforts. If that's true, then we would expect that the US would be less than cooperative with other nations that export terrorism, defined as citizens leaving their country and committing terrorist acts elsewhere.

Didn't President George W. Bush kiss the Saudi King and hold his hand in a garden walk in 2005? Was that indiscreetly affectionate behavior deterred by the perception that the Saudis are an "exporter of terrorism" in the form of bin Laden and the Saudi citizens named as pulling off 9/11? Didn't the current Justice Department support Saudi Arabia's attempt to block a suit by 9/11 victims? Didn't the US have up to 10,000 troops in Saudi Arabia from 1991 through 2003 at the very time that Saudi nationals were sponsoring schools throughout the Middle East that taught hatred of what is now called the homeland?

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