CONTRA EL PINGALISMO CASTRISTA/ "Se que no existe el consuelo que no existe la anhelada tierrra de mis suenos ni la desgarrada vision de nuestros heroes. Pero te seguimos buscando, patria,..." - Reinaldo Arenas

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domingo, diciembre 16, 2012

Bergen: The real women of the CIA

By Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst
Editor's note: Peter Bergen is CNN's National Security Analyst and author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden, from 9/11 to Abbottabad," which this story, in part, draws upon.
Peter Bergen (CNN) -- The star of the new film "Zero Dark Thirty" is a flame-haired female CIA analyst Maya (played by Jessica Chastain) who is obsessed with finding Osama bin Laden.
Maya sits in on brutal interrogations of al Qaeda detainees without a qualm and is constantly berating her male bosses to do more to find the leader of al Qaeda. And Maya is there at the end of the movie, identifying bin Laden's body shortly after a Navy SEAL team has killed him in Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.
Maya doesn't have a significant other or even much of a social life to speak of. The only friend she has is another female CIA analyst, Jessica, a CIA official of a slightly older generation who is almost as obsessed as Maya is about hunting down the leaders of al Qaeda.
Peter Bergen
When men come into Maya's life their only significance is to act as enablers to get what she wants: the head of Osama bin Laden. Or men are obstructions to that goal to be rolled over.
The CIA station chief in Pakistan won't give Maya the agents on the ground to follow the man she believes is bin Laden's courier, so she screams obscenities at him and threatens him with a congressional investigation. She gets what she wants.
During a meeting with CIA director Leon Panetta, Panetta's top deputy tells his boss the chance of bin Laden being in Abbottabad is 60%. From the back of the room, Maya chimes in to say that the odds are actually 100%.
When Panetta, played with a sly charm by James Gandolfini, asks Maya whom exactly she is to make this assessment, she explains that she is the person who has found bin Laden, although she puts this in far more colorful language than can be reproduced here.
According to a Washington Post profile by Greg Miller, the CIA analyst who most resembles the real-life Maya is in her 30s and was in Pakistan as the hunt for bin Laden heated up in 2010. Just as Maya is portrayed in the film, she has sharp elbows and was singlemindedly focused on bringing the leader of al Qaeda to justice.
"Zero Dark Thirty's" director, Kathryn Bigelow is, of course, the first woman to win an Oscar for best director, for the 2008 film "Hurt Locker." Previously, the stars of Bigelow's movies have been men playing roles that are quintessentially macho; U.S. Army bomb techs in Iraq in "Hurt Locker" or Soviet submariners during the Cold War in "K-19: The Widowmaker."
Now that she has placed a woman at the center of "Zero Dark Thirty," how faithfully does Bigelow's reworking of the war on terror as a feminist epic reflect the historical record?
In many ways, it fits it pretty well. The prominent role that women played in the hunt for bin Laden is reflective of the largest cultural shift at the CIA of the past two decades. The veteran CIA operative Glenn Carle, who is retired, recalls, "When I started, there were to my knowledge four senior operation officers who were females, and they had to be the toughest SOBs in the universe to survive. And the rest of the women were treated as sexual toys."
Now popular culture is catching up with reality. Not only does "Zero Dark Thirty" star a female CIA officer as the person who finally found bin Laden, but the award-winning fictional television series "Homeland" is built around the character of Carrie Mathison, played by Claire Danes as a determined CIA officer with a gift for finding clues to the activities of a terrorist leader.
Women and the bin Laden unit
From the founding of the bin Laden unit at CIA in December 1995 onward, female analysts played a key role in the hunt for al Qaeda's leaders.
The founder of that unit, Michael Scheuer, explains, "(Female analysts) seem to have an exceptional knack for detail, for seeing patterns and understanding relationships, and they also, quite frankly, spend a great deal less time telling war stories, chatting and going outside for cigarettes than the boys. If I could have put up a sign saying, 'No boys need apply,' I would've done it."
When Scheuer set up the bin Laden unit, Carle remembers the reaction among his fellow operations officers was, "What's his staff? It's all female. It was just widely discussed at the time that it's a bunch of chicks. So, the perspective was frankly condescending and dismissive. And Scheuer (and his staff) essentially were saying 'You guys need to listen to us; this is really serious. This is a big deal, and people are going to die.' And of course they were right."
Jennifer Matthews, the CIA officer who provides something of a model for "Jessica" in "Zero Dark Thirty," was one of Scheuer's top deputies, focused on the all-important Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
In the new film \
In the new film "Zero Dark Thirty", Jessica Chastain plays a CIA analyst who is part of the team hunting Osama bin Laden.
Matthews' work was critical to the spring 2002 arrest of Abu Zubaydah, a key al Qaeda logistician, who provided the first information that it was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who had masterminded the 9/11 attacks. This came as a complete surprise to the CIA, where Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been largely seen as a peripheral figure in al Qaeda.
Like the Maya character in "Zero Dark Thirty," Matthews sat in on coercive interrogation sessions in secret CIA prisons overseas. According to "The Triple Agent", a deeply reported book by Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick, Matthews flew to Thailand for Abu Zubaydah's interrogation and witnessed him being waterboarded.
Matthews graduated from Cedarville University, a small Christian college in Ohio, in 1986 with a degree in broadcast journalism and joined the CIA just as the Cold War was ending. In the mid-1990s she was one of the first CIA officers who started worrying about the plans of a man named "Osama bin Laden."
A devout Christian and the mother of three children, Matthews knew Islamic history cold, and how al Qaeda believed it fit into that history, which made her a formidable interrogator of al Qaeda detainees, some of whom found the fact that she was a well-informed female particularly disconcerting.
First strategic warning
Another female intelligence analyst who spotted the threat from al Qaeda long before anyone else is Gina Bennett, who in August 1993, while working at the Bureau of Intelligence and Research inside the State Department, wrote a paper that was the first strategic warning about Bin Laden.
When bin Laden was expelled to Afghanistan in May 1996 from the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, Bennett also wrote a prescient analysis, warning, "His prolonged stay in Afghanistan — where hundreds of 'Arab Mujahidin' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate — could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum."
In the years after the attacks on New York and Washington, Bennett helped draft key National Intelligence Estimates on the state of al Qaeda. Bennett is still at the CIA and has been publicly identified on a number of occasions, which is why her real name is used here.
After 9/11, women continued to play a key role in the hunt for bin Laden. In 2005, a CIA analyst named Rebecca (a pseudonym), who had worked the bin Laden "account" for years, wrote an important paper titled "Inroads" that would help guide the hunt in the years to come.
Given the absence of any real leads on bin Laden, how could you plausibly find him? she asked. Rebecca then came up with four "pillars" upon which the search had to be built. The first pillar was locating al Qaeda's leader through his courier network. The second was locating him through his family members, either those who might be with him or anyone in his family who might try to get in touch with him. The third was communications that he might have with what the CIA termed AQSL (al Qaeda senior leadership). The final pillar was tracking bin Laden's occasional outreach to the media.
These four pillars became the "grid" through which CIA analysts would from now on sift all the intelligence that had been gathered on al Qaeda that might be relevant to the hunt for bin Laden, and also helped to inform the collection of new intelligence.
A promising lead
An especially promising lead in the search for al Qaeda's leadership came four years after Rebecca wrote her memo and it came in the form of Humam al-Balawi, a Jordanian pediatrician in his early 30s who had become radicalized by the Iraq war and had subsequently become an important voice on militant jihadist websites.
Balawi was arrested in early 2009 by Jordan's General Intelligence Department, with which the CIA enjoyed exceptionally close relations. After offering the doctor the possibility of earning substantial sums of money, General Intelligence Department officials believed they had "turned" Balawi, who said he was willing to go to the tribal regions of Pakistan to spy on the Taliban and al Qaeda.
However, no one at the CIA had met Balawi, and pressure was mounting to get some agency eyes on him. That task fell to Jennifer Matthews, who had worked for the bin Laden unit almost from its inception. Matthews arranged for the Jordanian doctor to slip over the border from Pakistan's tribal areas to meet with her and a considerable team from the CIA in Khost in eastern Afghanistan.
Determined that this first meeting with this golden source be warm and friendly, Matthews did not have Balawi searched when he entered the CIA section of Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost on December 30, 2009. She had even arranged for a cake to be made for Balawi, whose birthday had been only five days earlier.
But there was to be no opportunity to celebrate. As he met with the CIA team, the Jordanian doctor began muttering to himself in Arabic, reached inside his coat, and then detonated a bomb that killed Matthews, 45, and six other CIA officers and contractors who had gathered to meet him.
Balawi also died in the attack. The doctor from Jordan had not been spying on al Qaeda's leaders; he had, in fact, been recruited by them.
"Zero Dark Thirty" does a brilliant job of reconstructing this tragic episode.
In the movie, the death at the hands of al Qaeda of her friend Jessica, the character who is modeled to some degree on the real-life Jennifer Matthews, makes Maya all the more determined to track bin Laden down. She explains, "I believe I was spared so I could finish the job."
'Creative choices'
"Zero Dark Thirty" is a movie and that meant screenplay writer Mark Boal and Bigelow had to make what Boal told CNN were "creative choices." The key creative choice was to place a female CIA analyst at the center of the film. As we have seen from the historical record, it's a very defensible choice.
That said, there were scores of other analysts and operators at the CIA of both sexes who played important roles in the hunt for bin Laden. The founder of the bin Laden unit at the CIA was Michael Scheuer, and before 9/11 he pushed obsessively for operations that would eliminate bin Laden. So great was his zeal that Scheuer would regularly arrive at work at 3 a.m.
After 9/11, John (a pseudonym), a CIA analyst with the tall, lanky physique of the avid basketball player he had been in both high school and college, played a critical role in the hunt for bin Laden.
John joined the CIA's Counterterrorism Center in 2003 and stayed there, even though he could have taken promotions to go elsewhere, because he was fixated on finding bin Laden. He had pushed for more CIA drone strikes in the tribal regions of Pakistan in 2007, when he noticed that more Westerners were showing up there for terrorist training.
Like the Maya character in "Zero Dark Thirty," John was consistently certain that bin Laden was living in Abbottabad, but he put the odds at around 90% rather than the 100% that Maya puts it in the movie. John and other male CIA analysts barely feature in the film.
In the book "No Easy Day" by "Mark Owen," the Navy SEAL who went on the raid that killed bin Laden, he describes a CIA analyst he names "Jen" who corresponds to Maya. Like Maya, Jen is 100% sure bin Laden is living in Abbottabad.
In "Zero Dark Thirty," when the SEALs return to base with bin Laden's body, Maya calmly opens the body bag containing his remains and simply nods that it is, indeed, al Qaeda's leader.
But in real life, when the SEALs returned to base after bin Laden's death, they found "Jen" in the fetal position sobbing uncontrollably.
Sometimes the facts are even stranger and more interesting than the fictionalized version.
________
(Full disclosure: Along with other national security experts, as an unpaid adviser I screened an early cut of "Zero Dark Thirty." We advised that the torture scenes were overwrought. Al Qaeda detainees held at secret CIA prison sites overseas were certainly abused, but they were not beaten to a pulp, as was presented in this early cut. Screenwriter Mark Boal told CNN that as a result of this critique, some of the bloodier scenes were "toned down" in the final cut of the film. I also saw this final version of the film. Finally, HBO is making a theatrical release documentary that will be out in 2013 based on my book about the hunt for bin Laden entitled "Manhunt." This film features a number of the real-life female analysts and "targeters" at the CIA who hunted al Qaeda's leaders.)

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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

Los Aldeanos: "El Socialismo en Tiempos del Colera: Toda Una Nación"

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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