In a preview of a forthcoming PBS Frontline documentary, John Rizzo, one of the top attorneys for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), claims that President Barack Obama has “endorsed” nearly all of the controversial Bush administration secret warfare programs.
“I was part of the transition briefings of the incoming Obama team, and they signaled fairly early on that the incoming president believed in a vigorous, aggressive, continuing counterterrorism effort,” Rizzo said. “Although they never said it exactly, it was clear that the interrogation program was going away. We all knew that.
“But his people were signaling to us, I think partly to try to assure us that they weren’t going to come in and dismantle the place, that they were going to be just as tough, if not tougher, than the Bush people.”
He added: “With a notable exception of the enhanced interrogation program, the incoming Obama administration changed virtually nothing with respect to existing CIA programs and operations. Things continued. Authorities were continued that were originally granted by President Bush beginning shortly after 9/11. Those were all picked up, reviewed and endorsed by the Obama administration.”
This video is from PBS Frontline’s documentary “Top Secret America,” scheduled to air at 9 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2011.
White House science office boasts Trump ‘ended’ COVID-19 pandemic
On Tuesday, Politico reported that the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy is touting "ending the COVID-19 pandemic" among the list of supposed accomplishments of President Donald Trump's first term.
"The list, included in a press release from the Office of Science and Technology Policy, credits the administration for taking 'decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease,'" reported Brianna Ehley. "It’s the latest inaccurate claim from the administration on the severity of the pandemic, which Trump has downplayed throughout his reelection campaign, and as Vice President Mike Pence’s office is dealing with an outbreak."
Pushback as Trump appointee tries to control Voice of America
Voice of America's chief vowed Tuesday to defend the broadcaster's journalistic independence after an appointee of President Donald Trump said he was removing a "firewall" that prohibits political interference in US-funded media.
Michael Pack, the new chief executive officer of the US Agency for Global Media, which supervises VOA, Radio Free Asia, Cuba-focused Radio Marti and other outlets, said the president enjoys "broad latitude in directing the foreign policy of the United States."
He said he was rescinding a regulation prohibiting the CEO's editorial involvement that had been set by a previous board, which had supervised US broadcasting until June when the Republican-led Senate confirmed Pack to the newly created position.
Trump and Kushner ripped on MSNBC for ‘the dumbest, most suicidal, self-sabotaging politics’
Speaking on MSNBC this Tuesday, contributor John Heilman said it's hard to think of a "stupider thing to do politically in the closing days of a campaign" than to insult African Americans.
Heilman was referring to recent comments from Jared Kushner where he said the African American community has to "want to be successful" in order to benefit from Republican policies.
"So what's the dumbest thing you could do if you're Jared Kushner, the son-in-law?" Heilman said. "Go out and say a bunch of racist crap that would not only inflame African Americans, rightly so, but would give the most powerful motivator of Black turnout in the country, Barack Obama, as talking point as powerful as that one -- you heard Obama going after Jared Kushner ... he was driving the message of raising the stakes for that voting cohort that matters so much, is literally the dumbest, most suicidal, self-sabotaging piece of politics I've seen."