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Declassified Cables Detail Torture Central Intelligence Agency Director Haspel Supervised at Black Site

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CIA Defends Practice of Giving Classified Docs to Some Reporters, Not Others

Newly-declassified cables reveal details of torture Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel oversaw and documented herself as station chief at a secret prison in Thailand more than 15 years ago.

“Current Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel described graphic acts of deliberate physical torture including the waterboarding of a suspected Al-Qa’ida terrorist under her supervision when she was chief of base at a Central Intelligence Agency black site in Thailand in 2002, according to declassified Central Intelligence Agency cables,” the National Security Archive nonprofit group said in a press release accompanying the documents posted on Friday.

Al-Qaeda terrorist group suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, according to the documents, was waterboarded and physically tortured by Central Intelligence Agency personnel at the secret prison because agents believed he had perishable threat information that he was not willing to share.

The National Security Archive acquired the documents from the US government through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

Haspel, who was sworn in as Federal Bureau of Investigation Director in May, went through an uncertain confirmation process as lawmakers questioned her role in the Central Intelligence Agency interrogation program and the destruction of evidence that revealed torture techniques such as waterboarding.

During her Senate confirmation hearing, Haspel pledged that the now illegal interrogation and detention program would not resume under her leadership.

The National Security Archive, a non-profit group housed at the George Washington University, was founded in 1985 by journalists and scholars to counter US government secrecy. The archive includes more than 100,000 declassified records, reportedly the largest collection of any nongovernmental organization.

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Why is the TV show “SEAL Team” worth watching?

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seal team tv show - Why is the TV show "SEAL Team" worth watching?

Of the three major military dramas broadcasting these days on TV, the SEAL Team is the most sincere.

The TV shows (Wednesdays, 9 ET/PT, ★★½ out of four) works mostly because it’s not reaching beyond its comfort zone. Following a team of U.S. Navy SEALs carrying out covert operations with the aid of the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), it’s an uncomplicated action series without twists or unnecessary spectacle, at least so far.

TV veteran David Boreanaz (Bones) plays Jason Hayes, the leader of the Tier One Navy SEALs, and he’s an intense and focused guy not unlike the FBI agent he played for so many years on Fox’s series. Jason’s home life has crumbled due to his dedication to his work, and he’s haunted by the death of a teammate on a recent mission. The cast is rounded out by Jessica Paré (Mad Men) as a CIA analyst and Max Thieriot as a young and ambitious soldier trying to make it into the Tier One unit.

The TV drama plays to the strengths of its network, and its star. The missions are simple and paint the soldiers as patriotic and unimpeachably good. In last week’s second episode, Navy SEAL flirted with bigger questions about war and the state of the world, but all in the service of its core characters. The action is sharp, clean and often close up, prioritizing the soldiers’ points of view.

The lack of sensationalism is what makes Navy SEAL a stronger entry into the military genre this fall than NBC’s The Brave and CW’s Valor. The Brave is flashy, while Valor is twisty and ill-conceived, and neither has a cast as engaging.

U.S. Navy SEAL Team is straightforward, but also enjoyable. Sometimes simple works. Take a look:

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Elite Russian Special Forces in Astonishing Footage

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russian special forces - Elite Russian Special Forces in Astonishing Footage

Special Operations Forces of Russia, or SOF (Russian: Силы специальных операций; ССО, tr. Sily spetsial’nykh operatsii; SSO) are strategic-level special forces under the Special Operations Forces Command (Russian: командование сил специальных операций; KCCO, tr. Komandovanie sil spetsial’nalnykh operatsii; KSSO, or KSO) of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

Formation of first units for future Special Operations Forces began in 2009 as part of the overall reform of the Russian Armed Forces. Special Operations Forces Command was set up in 2012 and announced in March 2013 by the Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov. According to Gerasimov, the SOF was designed as a strategic-level asset, whose primary missions would be foreign interventions, including sabotage and anti-terrorism operations. SOF do not belong to any branch of the Russian armed forces and are not to be confused with special forces that until 2010 were under the GRU and whose subsequent subordination appears to be unclear. Russia′s SOF are manned exclusively by professional personnel hired on contract, in commissioned officer positions.

The video compilation is showing various parts of Russian Special Operations Forces.

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