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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.
Critics blast New York Times for outing whistleblower as CIA officer and giving clues to his identity
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.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
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.
The CIA designed a secret Hellfire missile that's basically a meteor filled with swords to minimize civilian casualties
In a joint effort to reduce the potential for civilian casualties resulting from U.S. air strikes, the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency have reportedly developed a specialized variant of the ubiquitous Hellfire missile that can best be described a 100-pound flying switchblade.
On March 11, 1968, on a remote mountain top in Laos called Lima Site 85, Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Richard Etchberger singlehandedly repelled a North Vietnamese assault and ultimately gave his life to save his teammates.