History Commons Groups

January 8, 2010

Can’t Help Wondering Who She Was

Filed under: Complete 911 Timeline,Torture and Abuse — kevinfenton @ 3:55 pm
Tags: , ,

There is some interesting information coming out of the attack on the CIA drone intelligence base in Afghanistan at the end of last year. The most important figure there seems to have been the base chief.

The Times has this to say about her:

The head of this intelligence-gathering operation was a mother of three. Although the Chapman base chief has not been named, she was described as a loving mother and an inspiration by a fellow CIA mum.

“She was a dear friend and a touchstone to all of the mums in CTC [counter-terrorism],” she said.

Another CIA official said the base chief had worked on Afghanistan and counter-terrorism for years, dating back to the agency’s so-called Alec Station. That unit was created to monitor Osama Bin Laden five years before the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Wednesday’s bomb wiped away decades of experience. Eight years into the war, the agency is still desperately short of personnel who speak the language or are knowledgeable about the region.

“It’s a devastating blow,” said Michael Scheuer, a former agent and head of Alec Station. “We lost an agent with 14 years’ experience in Afghanistan.”

The New York Times adds:

The other woman killed, the chief of the Khost base, was, before the Sept. 11 attacks, part of a small cadre of counterterrorism officers focused on the growth of Al Qaeda and charged with finding Osama bin Laden.

Working from a small office near C.I.A. headquarters, the group, known inside the agency as Alec Station, became increasingly alarmed in the summer of 2001 that a major strike was coming. One former officer recalls that the woman had a seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of Al Qaeda’s top leadership and was so familiar with the different permutations of the leaders’ names that she could take fragments of intelligence and build them into a mosaic of Al Qaeda’s operations.

“She was one of the first people in the agency to tackle Al Qaeda in a serious way,” said the former officer, who, like some others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity because the victims’ identities remain classified.

And this from Scheuer on CNN:

Well, I think it hurts morale to a certain extent, naturally, because of the deaths, but it hurts morale even more because one of the officers who got killed had arranged an operation in 1998 that would have killed or captured Osama bin Laden. And Mr. Brennan was instrumental in preventing that operation from occurring. Instead he said the Americans should trust the Saudis to take care of bin Laden.

So it’s a painful– it’s a painful death, but more importantly it’s a death that didn’t need to occur had Mr. Clinton — Mr. Brennan, George Tenet, and Mr. Berger had the courage to try to defend Americans.

Presumably the operation Scheuer is referring to is the proposed raid on Tarnak farms, which was reportedly cancelled in favour of a Saudi attempt to get the Taliban to deal with bin Laden by bribing them. Brennan’s career is a little murky, but it seems he was station chief in Riyadh for part of the late 1990s, so him supporting a policy of working through the Saudis would make sense.

I wonder if the late base chief is Michelle, or maybe even the redhead? Or maybe Michelle is the redhead?

I think (but am not sure) that the redhead was Deputy Director for Operations at Alec Station before 9/11, so her arranging the Tarnak Farms operation would make sense.


  1. This is a letter to the Editor i sent to a Baton Rouge paper….i posted this previously, but someone erased the post

    No Win War???

    The New American for November 9, 2009, has an interesting article on General Barry McCaffrey’s statement that the US “faces 10 more years of war in Afghanistan” and that the US should “focus upon a long and expensive nation-building process for Afghanistan’s tribal culture.” There seems to be a mindset in the establishment for the US to maintain a long term presence in the MidEast.

    For a long time, the US has operated in the region through hidden agendas. In his book, The New World Order, Mr. Pat Robertson, states that George Bush 1 suggested that the fate of Kuwait was not the main issue, “launching the New World Order was the main thing.” Mr. Robertson further writes, “By words and by silence, the United States flashed Saddam Hussein a green light” … to move into Kuwait and suggests this was used as a pretext for the 1st Gulf War…the implication is that Saddam was entraped with Green Light Diplomacy but there was a much larger agenda(hidden) for moving against Hussein………..

    For the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the evidence suggests that the US and its allies are not doing all that can be done to win this war and there is some agenda for prolonging this conflict.

    The Advocate quotes Hillary Clinton(Dec. 7, 2009, p. 5A), stating it is “hard to believe” that no one in Islamabad knows where the al-Qaida leaders are hiding and couldn’t get them “if they really wanted to.”

    In the aftermath of 9.11, the bombing of the wrong escape route out of Afghanistan into Pakistan and the nighttime airlift by the US of the Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives that were allowed to escape(The New Yorker, Jan 28, 2002, p. 36); Gary Berntsen, the head of the CIAs team at Tora Bora said they tracked bin Laden and (he) “…could have been caught.”(Newsweek, Aug 15, 2005, p. 5); There is evidence that the Pakistani ISI is funding the Taliban and knows where they live but dont arrest them.(Time, Nov. 29, 2004, p. 44)

    There is a strategy by the Pakistani government “…which pays tribes and insurgent networks to attack each other with a goal of preventing any one group from getting too strong”.(US News, Oct 13/Oct 20, 2008, p. 24)(a strategy used by the Brits) Pakistani Ambassador, Haqqani presents evidence in his book that the Pakistani military and ISI make “…the pretense of arresting militants in order to get funds from Washinton. But it never shut down the networks.”(Newsweek, May 11/May 18, 2009, p. 29)

    The CIA never takes a junior partner role with any of these groups and we have to assume wants this to continue. The New York Times(Oct. 27, 2009) reports that Karzai’s brother is on the CIAs payroll and is a suspected player in the opium trade which finances the Taliban.

    All of this only contributes to a more chaotic situation which feeds a hidden agenda for a “no win war” and prolonged conflict at the expense of American boys and girls lives!!

    woody voinche
    1132 N. Main
    Marksville, Louisiana 71351

    Comment by woody voinche — January 9, 2010 @ 10:53 am | Reply

  2. […] it was disclosed at the start of the month following a ceremony at CIA headquarters. There was some speculation from myself and others at the time of the bombing that she may have been the CIA officers called […]

    Pingback by Identity of CIA Khost Base Chief Revealed « History Commons Groups — June 15, 2010 @ 11:28 am | Reply

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