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The Transformation Of The CIA

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

From spymasters to killing machines, New York Times Reporter Mark Mazzetti on the CIA’s transformation, and its chilling impact on how we fight wars.

Protesters from CODEPINK, a group opposed to U.S. militarism, including co-founder Medea Benjamin, center, disrupt the start of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for John Brennan, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

Protesters from CODEPINK, a group opposed to U.S. militarism, including co-founder Medea Benjamin, center, disrupt the start of the Senate Intelligence Committee confirmation hearing for John Brennan, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

We have come a long way from Bunker Hill and ‘don’t shoot till you see the whites of their eyes.’ In the last decade, we’ve done a lot of shooting in a lot of places –in a lot of new ways.  Private contractor spies, drones, CIA paramilitaries.  Sometimes, they’ve worked with steely efficiency.

But we’ve also let a lot of genies out of the bottle, says our guest today.  In a groundbreaking new book, New York Times National Security correspondent  Mark Mazzetti tracks an astonishing cast of characters on the ground in the shadow wars.

This hour On Point: how we fight and kill now.

-Karen Shiffman 

Guest

Mark Mazzetti, national security correspondent for the New York Times. Author of “The Way of the Knife: The CIA, A Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth.” (@markmazzettinyt)

From The Reading List

The New York Times (Mark Mazzetti) “More than two years later, the Raymond Davis episode has been largely forgotten in the United States. It was immediately overshadowed by the dramatic raid months later that killed Osama bin Laden — consigned to a footnote in the doleful narrative of America’s relationship with Pakistan. But dozens of interviews conducted over several months, with government officials and intelligence officers in Pakistan and in the United States, tell a different story: that the real unraveling of the relationship was set off by the flurry of bullets Davis unleashed on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2011, and exacerbated by a series of misguided decisions in the days and weeks that followed.”

The Miami Herald “Even as its civilian leaders publicly decried U.S. drone attacks as breaches of sovereignty and international law, Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency secretly worked for years with the CIA on strikes that killed Pakistani insurgent leaders and scores of suspected lower-level fighters, according to classified U.S. intelligence reports.”

Frontline “The 1975-76 Church Committee congressional hearings probed widespread intelligence abuses by the FBI, CIA, IRS and NSA. Headed by Senator Frank Church (D-Idaho) in the wake of the Watergate scandal, the committee exposed how under the guise of national security agencies spied on American citizens for political purposes during the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations.”

Excerpt: ‘The Way of the Knife’ by Mark Mazzetti

Video: Raymond Davis 2011 Interrogation
Raymond Davis Interrogation By Punjab Police
In 2011, a Pakistani TV news crew aired  footage of US contractor Raymond Davis’ interrogation by Pakistani authorities. He was released from a prison in Pakistan in March, 2011.
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ONPOINT
TODAY
Dec 19, 2014
Alan Gross, waves as he and his wife Judy leave following his statement at his lawyer's office in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP)

Cuba reset. Russia’s rubble troubles. School massacre in Pakistan. Jeb explores 2016. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Dec 19, 2014
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From crossover hits to hip-hop to soul, we look at a big year in the wide world of Latin music.

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A big Sony hack gets weirder and wider. And Hollywood and Homeland Security are on edge.

 
Dec 18, 2014
This handout photo from the Twitter account of Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. shows Alan Gross arriving at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. The US and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking a historic shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island after a half-century of enmity dating back to the Cold War, American officials said Wednesday. (AP)

Following months of secret talks the US will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than fifty years.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
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Friday, Dec 12, 2014

On listener engagement, the meeting of trans-Atlantic royalty and the elusive origins of the chicken. (We promise this feed hasn’t been taken over the BBC…yet)

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Wednesday, Dec 10, 2014

Fifteen-year old Quinn Sullivan is a humble, “ordinary” high school sophomore. But he’s also a blues guitar phenom. He brought his talents to the On Point studio today.

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