Classified ‘Red Cell’ memo looks at foreign perception of U.S.
A whistle-blowing website that drew the ire of U.S. officials for the release of classified Afghan war documents on Wednesday released what it says is a CIA memo that looks at the perception of the U.S. is an exporter of terrorism.
Wikileaks.org said on its website that the “Red Cell” report from Feb. 2 looks at what will happen if foreigners view the United States as “an exporter of terrorism.”
“Much attention has been paid recently to the increasing occurrence of American-grown Islamic terrorists conducting attacks against US targets, primarily in the homeland. Less attention has been paid to homegrown terrorism, not exclusively Muslim terrorists, exported overseas to target non-US persons.” the memo says. “This report examines the implications of what it would mean for the US to be seen increasingly as an incubator and ‘exporter of terrorism.’”
The report looks at a number purported cases of U.S.-exported terrorism, including attacks by U.S.-based or U.S.-financed Jewish, Muslim and Irish-nationalism terrorists. It concludes that foreign perceptions of the U.S. as a terrorism exporter, together with U.S. double standards in international law, may lead to noncooperation in renditions (including the arrest of CIA officers) and the decision to not share terrorism related intelligence with the United States, according to Wikileaks.
U.S. officials acknowledged that the “Red Cell” document released Wednesday is a legitimate, classified CIA document.
The Red Cell is a group of CIA officials who engage in brainstorming, “out of the box” discussions and speculation to create analysis, which is then distributed to CIA leadership, according to NBC News.
“These sorts of analytic products — clearly identified as coming from the Agency’s ‘Red Cell’ — are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view,” CIA spokesman George Little said in a statement.
WikiLeaks has said it is poring over another batch of 15,000 classified military documents from the Afghanistan war and may release some of them. The CIA memo was not among that batch.
In a related release in July, it made public tens of thousands of files covering the Afghanistan war from 2004 to 2010. The move was harshly criticized by U.S. government officials and others.
The Pentagon says the information could risk the lives of U.S. troops and their Afghan helpers and has urged WikiLeaks to return all leaked documents and remove them from the Internet.
Meanwhile, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a 39-year-old Australian who travels frequently, no longer faces sex abuse charges in Sweden. A prosecutor decided Wednesday to investigate only one of two complaints against him, and not as a sexual offense.
Assange — who has denied both accusations — is still under investigation of molesting a woman on Aug. 13, but molestation is not a sex crime under Swedish law, said Karin Rosander, a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority.
It covers a wide range of offenses, including reckless conduct or inappropriate physical contact with another adult, and can result in fines or up to one year in prison.
Chief Prosecutor Eva Finne formally closed another case involving a woman who claimed Assange had raped her. Finne had dismissed the rape charge over the weekend and recalled a short-lived arrest warrant. She decided Wednesday that the case couldn’t be prosecuted as any other type of sex crime either.
“The investigation is therefore closed in regard to this complaint since there is no suspicion of a crime,” Finne said in a statement.
Assange was in Sweden partly to seek legal protection for WikiLeaks, an online whistle-blower that has angered the Obama administration by publishing thousands of leaked documents about U.S. military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The group says it has computer servers in Sweden and other countries.
Assange’s lawyer, Leif Silbersky, lashed out at Swedish prosecutors for the way they handled the case, especially that they identified his client by name to the media.
“He has been cast as a rapist, labeled as a rapist and the international press have described him as a suspected rapist and now he has ended up in a situation where they have dispelled the sexual parts and what remains is molestation,” Silbersky said.