Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From AEI: Watching ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ with the CIA: Separating fact from fiction

From the description:

Kathryn Bigelow’s recent film “Zero Dark Thirty” has sparked controversy for its portrayal of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) enhanced interrogation program and the role intelligence from CIA detainees played in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Just how accurate is Bigelow’s depiction of enhanced interrogation techniques? Did intelligence from detainees really play a critical role in leading investigators to bin Laden’s doorstep in Abbotabad? Has President Obama's decision to curtail the interrogation program placed America’s national security at risk? To separate fact from fiction, AEI’s Marc Thiessen (author of “Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack”) will host a panel discussion with three CIA veterans who were involved in the hunt for bin Laden.
Participants bios from the description:

General Michael Hayden (ret) served as the 20th director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006–09. Previously, he served as the nation’s first principal deputy director of national intelligence from 2005–06. Before his tenure at the Office of National Intelligence, Hayden was director of the National Security Agency from 1999–2005. Hayden is also a retired four-star US Air Force general, having retired from the Air Force in 2008 after a distinguished 39 years of military service. Currently, Hayden is a principal at the Chertoff Group—a strategic consultancy focusing on the defense and security industries. Hayden is also a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy, and serves on the board of directors at a number of major corporations, including Motorola Solutions Inc. and Alion Science and Technology.  
John A. Rizzo served in the Office of General Counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for 34 years. From 2001–02 and from 2004–09, he served as chief legal officer at the CIA, responsible for all the agency’s legal matters in the post–9/11 era. Previously, Rizzo served as the deputy director for the Office of Congressional Affairs and as the liaison between the CIA and the congressional committees investigating the Iran-Contra Affair. In recognition of his service, Rizzo received the Thomas C. Clark Award from the Federal Bar Association as well as the Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal—the highest recognition awarded to a career CIA officer. Currently, Rizzo is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, and serves as senior counsel at the law firm Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he provides legal advice and policy counsel to clients on matters related to national security.  
Jose Rodriguez served at the CIA for 31 years. In 2004, Rodriquez was appointed deputy director for operations at the agency, and shortly thereafter became the director of the National Clandestine Service, a position he held until 2008. As director, Rodriguez was responsible for all human clandestine operations for the agency. Rodriguez served as the director of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center from 2002–04, and earlier, as chief of the Latin American Division. Rodriquez is the recipient of numerous awards, including the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Award, the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in Counterterrorism, the Defense Intelligence Director’s Award, and three Director of Central Intelligence Awards. Rodriquez is also the co-author of “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives” (Threshold Editions, 2012).  
Marc A. Thiessen is a current AEI scholar and former member of the White House senior staff under President George W. Bush. As an official in the Bush administration, Thiessen served as chief speechwriter to the president and to former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld. Before joining the Bush administration, Thiessen spent more than six years as spokesman and senior policy adviser to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jesse Helms (R-NC). He is a weekly columnist for the Washington Post, and his articles can be found in many major publications. His book on the CIA’s interrogation program, titled “Courting Disaster” (Regnery Press, 2010), is a New York Times bestseller. At AEI, Thiessen writes about US foreign and defense policy issues for and the AEI Ideas blog.

George Will should stick to waxing lyrical about baseball and America's pastoral heritage

At least when it comes to opining on the physical capabilities of women vis-a-vis being able to carry out the "fireman's carry".

Via Wings Over Iraq's FB page, we have this amusing story from the Atlantic.

Key bit:

American troops are trained use the fireman's carry, which is a way of sort of slinging a dude over your shoulder, as seen in the GIF at right. It's shockingly easy. It's so easy that in instructional YouTubes, the carried sometimes laugh with surprise. Earlier this month, on vacation, I ran in circles while fireman-carrying my (admittedly indie-rock thin) 6'2" male friend on a Miami beach, because it was funny. There are tons of YouTubes of women carrying men this way.
The article is accompanied by GIF clips of many YouTube videos which offer proof of women's lifting capabilities. What set all this off? An exchange between pundits/journos Martha Raditz and George Will. Will claimed the average 5 foot 10 woman does not have adequate upper body strength to evacuate the average 6 foot 4 240 pound man.

Will is not aware of the fireman's carry.

The GIFs show small women picking up big men, maybe not 6'4", but definitely 240, using the technique.  Granted these guys are standing while hoisted by the ladies, and one could protest that picking up a prone injured 240 pounder would be more difficult, but I would not be surprised in the least to see that there are plenty of YouTube videos of bikini clad women doing just that. Don't know that to be a fact, but I suspect as much.

If there are physical requirement in place for combat duty, and a person clearly meets those requirements, then, all other things being equal, that person should be given the opportunity just as surely as the next guy or gal.