A persistent and damaging national-security myth is that in the years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks a dispute developed between the FBI and the CIA over the use of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques. The intelligence agency was uniformly in favor, or so the story went, and the FBI was strongly opposed.
As commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, David Petraeus made his opposition to torture crystal clear. Which is why it came as a surprise when Petraeus, nominated to lead the CIA, asked Congress on Thursday to clarify how far interrogators can go in inflicting pain on detainees in "special cases..."
What interrogation actually is (and why Jack Bauer-style fictional portrayals muddy the waters); How coercive practices actually undermine interrogators' long-term goals; and Why experienced interrogators know that rapport-building is the most effective means to mine valuable information from detainees...
If instead of Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, or any of the other likely 2012 presidential contenders, Americans could pick any historical figure (in their prime) to be president, the minimum age requirements for the office (you have to be 35 or older) would bar some of the favorite choices...
After the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, analysts quickly began assessing the impact on al Qaeda. Assessments of the al Qaeda leadership succession must include not only operational factors, such as al Qaeda's ability to conduct attacks, but strategic factors such as their ability to recruit new members. Bin Laden is not the first senior al Qaeda leader killed by the United States and previous successes may offer insights...