Vincent Cannistraro


Vincent Cannistraro

Vincent Cannistraro was Director of Intelligence Programs for the United States National Security Council (NSC) from 1984 to 1987; Special assistant for Intelligence in the office of the Secretary of Defense until 1988; and Chief of Operations and Analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) Counterterrorist Center until 1991. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/interviews/cannistraro.html "Interview with Vincent Cannistraro"] , "PBS Frontline", undated, retrieved April 18, 2006.] [http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/hearings/hearing5/packet.pdf "Witness biographies"] (pdf), Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, October 24, 2003]

Before 1984, he was an officer with the CIA's Directorate of Operations, or National Clandestine Service, in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Central America. [Diamond, John. "CIA cuts off more than 1,000 informants, many for criminality", "Associated Press", March 2, 1997] Priest, Dana. "The Slowly Changing Face of the CIA Spy; Recruits Eager to Fight Terror Are Flooding In, but Few Look the Part," "The Washington Post", August 09, 2002.]

Since leaving the CIA in 1991, after 27 years with the agency, Cannistraro has worked as a consultant on terrorism and security issues for a number of corporate and government clients, including ABC News and the Vatican. __TOC__

Education and awards

Cannistaro has a B.A. and M.A. from Boston College. In 1989, he received the Secretary of Defense's Award for Meritorious Civilian Service. He has also received the CIA Medal for Distinguished Service.

Professional life

While at the CIA, Cannistraro ran the agency's task force aiding the Nicaraguan Contra guerrillas, then moved to the NSC with the assistance of Col. Oliver North. Ignatius, David. "Tale of Two White House Aides: Confidence and Motivation; North Viewed as a Can-Do Marine Who Went Too Far in Zealousness." "The Washington Post." November 30, (1986): Sec. A1.] The Contra program was transferred in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan to the NSC, Kornbluh, P., and M. Byrne. "The Iran-Contra Scandal: The declassified history." New York: The New Press. (1993): xviii.] and Cannistraro was made Director of Intelligence there later that year. [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/interviews/cannistraro.html "Interview with Vincent Cannistraro"] , "PBS Frontline", undated, retrieved April 18, 2006.] As director, he was responsible for monitoring the US intelligence community budget, coordinating inter-agency meetings on aid for the Contras, Santos, Lori. "Walsh draws testimony from NSC officials." "United Press International", June 15, (1987) ] and coordinating the approval process for covert action. He also chaired the Afghanistan Working Group at the White House. [http://intelligencebrief.net/aboutvince.htm "About Vincent Cannistraro"] , "Intelligence Brief", Cannistraro's website.]

Later, as Chief of Operations and Analysis at the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, Cannistraro led the agency's investigation into the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, which resulted in the conviction in 2001 of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, a Libyan intelligence officer. Although originally listed as a prosecution witness, Cannistraro was not called to testify at the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing trial. [ [http://www.lockerbietruth.com/VincentCannistraro.html Cannistraro not called to testify at the Lockerbie trial] ]

Cannistraro also linked Iraq with Osama bin Laden when he alleged that Iraqi intelligence agent Farouk Hijazi had invited bin Laden to live in Iraq during a December 1998 meeting in Afghanistan."Analysis: Though Afghanistan has provided Osama bin Laden with sanctuary, it is unclear where he is now," National Public Radio, February 18, 1999]

He has commented on the forged Niger "yellowcake" uranium documents, [Masters, Ian. [http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/21704/ "Who Forged the Niger Documents?"] , "AlterNet", April 7, 2005] (which attempted to link Iraq with nuclear weapons development in order to increase public support for the Iraq war), and on the related disclosure of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame. [http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/hearings/hearing5/cannistraro.pdf "Witness testimony, Vincent Cannistraro"] (pdf), Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, October 24, 2003.]

The front company, Brewster Jennings & Associates, apparently also was used by other CIA officers whose work now could be at risk, according to Cannistraro.

Cannistaro runs [http://intelligencebrief.net/index.htm "IntelligenceBrief"] , a security and information service for private clients.

Notes

References


* [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/target/interviews/cannistraro.html "Interview with Vincent Cannistraro"] , "PBS Frontline".
* [http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/hearings/hearing5/packet.pdf "Witness biographies"] (pdf), Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing, October 24, 2003.
* [http://intelligencebrief.net/aboutvince.htm "About Vincent Cannistraro"] , "Intelligence Brief", Cannistraro's security and information service.
*Diamond, John. "CIA cuts off more than 1,000 informants, many for criminality", "Associated Press", March 2, 1997.
*Ignatius, David. "Tale of Two White House Aides: Confidence and Motivation; North Viewed as a Can-Do Marine Who Went Too Far in Zealousness." The Washington Post. November 30, (1986): Sec. A1.
*Kornbluh, P., and M. Byrne. "The Iran-Contra Scandal: The declassified history." New York: The New Press. (1993): xviii.
*Masters, Ian. [http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/21704/ "Who Forged the Niger Documents?"] , "AlterNet", April 7, 2005
*Priest, Dana. "The Slowly Changing Face of the CIA Spy; Recruits Eager to Fight Terror Are Flooding In, but Few Look the Part," "The Washington Post", August 09, 2002.
*Santos, Lori. "Walsh draws testimony from NSC officials." United Press International, June 15, (1987)

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