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WikiLeaks releases CIA paper on U.S. as 'Exporter of Terrorism'

A little-known fact, according to a once-secret CIA analysis, is that America has long been an exporter of terrorism. And if that phenomenon were to become a widely-held perception, it could damage relations with foreign allies, the agency analysis said, and dampen their willingness to cooperate in "extrajudicial" activities, such as the rendition and interrogation of terrorist suspects.

That is the conclusion of a three-page classified analysis produced in February by the CIA's Red Cell, a think tank set up after the 9/11 attacks by then CIA Director George Tenet to provide "out-of-the-box" analyses on "a full range of relevant analytic issues."

Titled "What if Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism'?" the leaked paper, released Wednesday by the Web site WikiLeaks, cites the example of Pakistani-American David Headley, among others, to make its case that America is a terrorism exporter. This year Headley pleaded guilty to conducting surveillance in support of the 2008 Lashkar-i-Taiba attack in Mumbai, India, that killed more than 160 people. The militant group facilitated his movement between the U.S., Pakistan and India, the agency paper said.

Such exports are not new, the paper said. In 1994, an American Jewish doctor named Baruch Goldstein emigrated from New York to Israel, joined the extremist group Kach and killed 29 Palestinians praying at a mosque at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, it said. That helped trigger a wave of bus bombings by the extremist Palestinian group, Hamas group in 1995, it noted.

As Wikileaks disclosures go, this paper is more whiffle ball than bombshell. Last month the organization published 76,000 classified U.S. military records and field reports on the war in Afghanistan. That disclosure prompted criticism that the information put U.S. soldiers and Afghan informants at risk and demands from the Pentagon that the documents be returned. WikiLeaks says it is still planning to release 15,000 more Afghan war records that it has been reviewing to redact names and other information that could cause harm.

CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf downplayed the significance of the analysis: "These sorts of analytic products -- clearly identified as coming from the Agency's 'Red Cell' -- are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view."

A U.S. official who declined to speak for attribution was more dismissive. "This is not exactly a blockbuster paper," the official said.

While counterterrorism experts focus on the threat to the homeland, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups "may be increasingly looking for Americans to operate overseas," the Red Cell report said.

And if the made-in-the-US brand becomes well-known, foreign partners may become balky, perhaps even requesting "the rendition of U.S. citizens" they deem to be terrorists. U.S. refusal to hand over its citizens could strain alliances, and "in extreme cases... might lead some governments to consider secretly extracting U.S. citizens suspected of foreign terrorism from U.S. soil."

This is not the first Red Cell report that WikiLeaks has released. It earlier published a March Red Cell "special memorandum" suggesting strategies to boost sagging public support for the Afghan war in France and Germany.

By Ellen Nakashima  | August 25, 2010; 5:40 PM ET
 
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Comments

Is this really news? We have exported terrorism for the last 50 years. We (in conjunction with our cosponsor Israel) are the premier institutional organized terrorist exporting entity of the world. Every thinking person in the world knows this. Americans still think that we're the good guys. Beam me aboard Scottie, there is no sign of intelligent life forms on this planet.....

Posted by: steveola251c | August 25, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The terror and or terrorist concept is only relative depending upon who is on the receiving end. We in the US, UK and some other nations have embarked on much too much propaganda of terror hype fomentation of hate, fear and republican patriotic feeding frenzy to control the hearts and minds of a misled and gullible nation.

Our and British history is marred with actions of terror starting with the what this nation did in the treatment of the Native Indians.Followed by the treatment of Black folks free or slaves. The real terror of discrimination, segregation, no equal justice for all etc lasting as far as the 1960s in this nation.
To that end even the total fiscal incompetency of Bush / Cheney secret govt of executive privilege, the conservative republican malignant narcissism, chronic scapegoating, uncorrectable grab bagging, perversity of inequality, rights only of their kind, starting the fraud war on Iraq, where some over 500,000 Iraqis were killed and some 5 million displaced, can also be considered nothing less then terrorism. We may not view it as such but the Iraqi people no doubt consider it as such.

Posted by: winemaster2 | August 25, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

According to the government, nothing that has been released by Wikileaks has been "new." Well it's new to me. And it's new to many of my countrymen. Will it shock us out of our pop-media induced stupor? Doubtful. But if Wikileaks isn't offering anything new, why is our government so eager to "talk" to Julian Assange? Viva Wikileaks!

Posted by: HilaryLo | August 25, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Problem is nobody knows what freedom is anymore. Patriot Act type freedom? Faux News type freedom? Cheney-Rumsfeld-Bolin type freedom?

My generation grew up fearing Castro, fearing Viet Cong, and Mao Tse Tong. But none of them even tried to eviscerate our Constitution, turn the country against our President with constant propaganda lies, or start bogus wars with our tax dollar stealing precious military industrial complex - who knows exactly why they're here, just not the reasons they give you in their insipid stupid commercials.

Posted by: GarrisonLiberty | August 25, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse


That is Barack Hussein Obama has been selling the United States as a terrorist country.

No president of these United States has ever damned this country like this president.

Who is Barack Hussein Obama, where is he coming from and what is his purpose?

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Posted by: shoestrade23 | August 25, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

The CIA exports terrorism.

No news but this 'news' will have the same effect on the American public as the other news of the last 50 years denouncing CIA's acts of terrorism around the third world: 'what?'.

Posted by: cintronlourdes | August 25, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Wikileaks- good for laughs.

Posted by: moebius22 | August 25, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

In America we call it terrorism. Outside of America we call it collateral damage.

One source claims that the term "collateral damage" originated as a euphemism during the Vietnam War and can refer to friendly fire, or the killing of non-combatants and the destruction of their property.

Air Force General Curtis Le May used the term in describing the bombing of Japanese cities in World War II.

The B-29 Superfortress bomber made its first appearance over Tokyo on November 1, 1944 - a single plane flying at 35,000 feet; beyond the reach of the defender's anti-aircraft guns and fighter planes. The intruder dropped no bombs. This was strictly a reconnaissance mission.

The Superforts returned in force at the end of the month, flying at altitudes that insured immunity from attacks by Japanese defenders. Although their high altitude provided a shield for the bombers, it also decreased the accuracy and impact of their bomb runs. To correct this deficiency, Major-General Curtis Lemay (newly appointed commander of the American Bomber Command) ordered a dramatic change in tactics. The bomber runs would be made at night, at low altitude and deliver a mixture of high explosive and incendiary bombs. The objective was to turn the closely-packed, wooden homes and buildings prevalent in the Japanese cities into raging infernos and ultimately into the most destructive of all weapons - the firestorm.


B-29 SuperfortressThe Allies had first encountered the phenomenon of the firestorm when the British bombed the German city of Hamburg in August of 1943. The night raid ignited numerous fires that soon united into one uncontrollable mass of flame, so hot it generated its own self-sustaining, gale-force winds and literally sucked the oxygen out of the air, suffocating its victims. Lemay hoped to use this force to level the cities of Japan. Tokyo would be the first test.

A successful incendiary raid required ideal weather that included dry air and significant wind. Weather reports predicted these conditions over Tokyo on the night of March 9-10, 1945. A force of 334 B-29s was unleashed - each plane stripped of ammunition for its machine guns to allow it to carry more fire-bombs. The lead attackers arrived over the city just after dark and were followed by a procession of death that lasted until dawn. The fires started by the initial raiders could be seen from 150 miles away.

The Bombing of Dresden, Germany was a military bombing by the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) as part of the allied forces between 13 February and 15 February 1945 in the Second World War. In four raids, 1,300 heavy bombers dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. In the first few decades after the war, some death toll estimates were as high as 250,000.

Posted by: alance | August 25, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

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