"legitimate state power combined with contempt for humanity"

America's Secret War: On the Trail of the CIA
10 December 2005
Spiegel Online

the intro:

Since Sept. 11, the CIA has played a vital role in the war on terror. But what role is it? Operating in the shadows, American secret services have been given wide-ranging powers by the Bush Administration. And they include murder, abduction and torture.

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Four years later, America's intelligence services -- and especially the CIA (the "flagship of the business ... where you come if you want the gold standard," according to the agency's new director Porter Goss) -- have become one of the most controversial weapons in the fight against terrorism. The most powerful army in the world has become an occupying power in Iraq and, by its mere presence, attracted a whole new generation of mujahedeen; but Bush's intelligence community has fought its part of the battle under the apparent motto, "The end justifies all means."

Washington's secret agents, whose disdain for international legal norms right up through the 1970s gained them a reputation for being ugly Americans, are back on the international political stage. Not everybody is happy to see them.

And Bush is using all tools at his disposal. Measured by sheer numbers and capability, America's gigantic secret service apparatus appears just as omnipotent as its military: Fifteen agencies with 200,000 employees and a yearly budget of some $40 billion. The sum represents more than most countries even spend on their militaries.

Read it all HERE

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