Alfreda Bikowsky Is In The News (But Sometimes Not Named) | CIA Torture


Alfreda Bikowsky has been called “the queen of torture”. From Wikipedia:

Alfreda Frances Bikowsky (born 1965) is a career Central Intelligence Agency officer who has headed the Bin Laden Issue Station (also known as its code name, Alec Station) and the Global Jihad unit. Bikowsky’s identity is not publicly acknowledged by the Agency, but was deduced by independent investigative journalists using open source materials in 2011. In January 2014, the Washington Post named her and tied her to a pre-9/11 intelligence failure and the extraordinary rendition of Khalid El-Masri.

Now “The New Yorker” has published a story about her, but without mentioning her name.

The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.

This is our Central “Intelligence” Agency, folks.

And they tell us torture worked?

Misprints and Corrections


The folks at Poynter have published some memorable media corrections for 2014. Here are a few:


This post originally quoted photographer Tom Sanders as saying it takes him five years to get on the dance floor. It takes him five beers.