DoD photo

A word that could once not be mentioned in court — torture — was front and center on Friday as a military tribunal prepares to take on the long-delayed trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed chief plotter of the 9/11 attacks, and four other defendants.

"I know torture's a dirty word," defense attorney Walter Ruiz told the tribunal. "I'll tell you what, judge, I'm not going to sanitize this for their concerns."

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This February 2017 photo provided by his lawyers shows Khalid Shaikh Mohammad in Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. (Derek Poteet via Associated Press_

The psychologist who led the CIA's harsh interrogation program after 9/11 was unapologetic about his role in testimony Tuesday before a military commission that is preparing to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the attacks.

"Let me tell you just so you know," said James Mitchell, who personally waterboarded Mohammed at a "black site," or secret prison, in Poland. "If it were today, I would do it again."

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A member of Battery C, 1-174 Air Defense Artillery Regiment with a Stinger missile during Combined Resolve XI at Hohenfels Training Area, Germany, December 7, 2018. (U.S. Army/Charles Rosemond)

LEIPZIG, Germany (Reuters) - The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency has devised technology to restrict the use of anti-aircraft missiles after they leave American hands, a researcher said, a move that experts say could persuade the United States that it would be safe to disseminate powerful weapons more frequently.

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KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan security units backed by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have carried out extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, indiscriminate air strikes and other rights abuses and should be disbanded, a rights group said on Thursday.

Human Rights Watch said it investigated 14 cases in which CIA-backed Afghan counterinsurgency forces committed serious abuses in Afghanistan between late 2017 and mid-2019.

"They are illustrative of a larger pattern of serious laws-of-war violations — some amounting to war crimes — that extends to all provinces in Afghanistan where these paramilitary forces operate with impunity," the group said in a report.

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A New York Times report published on Thursday outed the anonymous intelligence community whistleblower at the center of a presidential impeachment inquiry as a CIA officer and provided clues to his identity that will likely make it easier for The White House and other observers to identify him.

Three people familiar with the officer's identity told the Times he is a CIA officer who was detailed to work at The White House and has since returned to the CIA. The report added that, based on the newly-released whistleblower complaint, he "was an analyst by training" who was "steeped in details of American foreign policy toward Europe, demonstrating a sophisticated understanding of Ukrainian politics and at least some knowledge of the law."

As the Times notes, CIA officers routinely work in The White House, often working on the National Security Council or managing secure communications with foreign leaders. But this officer didn't work on the communications team, the Times reported.

That level of detail spurred widespread criticism of the Times from lawyers, intelligence professionals, former government officials, journalists, and others.

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(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

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