For those of us who do NOT speak Romanian:
de Adrian Novac HotNews.ro
Luni, 7 septembrie 2009, 8:38 Actualitate | Internaţional
Foto: Arhiva personala
Background: Dr. Bruce Tefft served 21 years in the CIA, including 17 years abroad, many as a CIA Chief of Station; and was a founding member of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center in 1985.
Dr. Tefft has traveled more than 350,000 miles, training more than 17,000 thousand law enforcement officers and first responders in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Mexico. After 9/11 he served as the New York Police Department’s Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence advisor.
Dr. Tefft is vice-president of the Western Defense Studies Institute in Rome and is Director of CRA’s Terrorism Assessment Center in the USA, providing world-wide terrorism prevention and emergency response training to first responders, law enforcement and security agencies and civil servants.
He has a Master’s degree in History and Doctorate in International Law from the University of Denver.
How does someone get a job at the CIA? Should you have special skills, it’s about luck or it’s a job for the Average Joe?
There is a lot of information on the internet about applying for employment with the CIA…many questions are answered, for example, at this site:
Within the CIA there are thousands of people with many different skill sets and capabilities. I met “Average Joe’s” and geniuses.
Some skills are more useful than others: language abilities are highly prized as well as adaptability, flexibility, intelligence, common-sense (not so common) etc.
Chances of being accepted depend more on whether your skills match the needs of a particular job vacancy than on what skills you actually have. One year the CIA may have no need for someone with your skills or educational background and experiences and the next year an opening may appear. I applied 3 separate times in 5 years before being accepted for the intial interview.
Did you consider your career to be adventurous? What aspects made it adventurous?
Of course. ANY career involving travel and living overseas in dangerous parts of the world is adventurous. I was fortunate to spend 17 of my 21 years abroad; mostly 3rd or 4th world countries and war zones.
The challenge is in dealing with or adapting to unknown and potentially dangerous circumstances of a culture or country not your own. Travellers and tourists do this all of the time…most are not also engaged in other risky activities at the same time.
You worked for 21 years in the CIA, you were founding member of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center in 1985 etc. What was the most rewarding part of your career as an CIA agent?
Apart from the intellectual satisfaction of learning an enormous amount about different societies, cultures and even languages…the job satisfaction derives from making a difference in the world…either through your own actions or through the resources you can provide to others to make positive changes.
What does an CIA agent do on a daily basis? Is his life similar with the one we see in the Hollywood movies?
On a daily basis, the routines of a CIA officer (one does not refer to CIA spies as “agents” but rather “officers”…the FBI has “agents”) are much like any other human being…looking after a household, and possibly family, grocery shopping, going into the office, out later for dinner and whatever entertainment might be available. What is unique about a CIA officer’s work (in and out of the office) is that he is spying…collecting intelligence that the USA needs to know to make informed decisions about the world.
A CIA officer’s life is probably best described as routine (even boring) punctuated with moments of high, adrenalin-pumping excitement. Much depends on the location of the CIA officer and what else is going around him. Occasionally Hollywood movies do reflect reality. Two of the best are Robert Redford’s “Spy Game” and Al Pacino’s “The Recruit”…The first half of both movies is pretty accurate. The rest is Hollywood’s imagination.
What is the most dangerous thing that you have ever done? Give us one or two examples.
Most of what I have done is classified and I can’t discuss it…but during the course of my career I lived and worked in 3 “hot” war zones, was declared “persona non grata” from one country and departed another country hastily with a death warrant on me. Other CIA officers have had more or less exciting careers.
We’ll soon commemorate the 9/11 attacks. What do we know now about the attackers and their motivation?
The attackers were all fundamentalist Muslims who took their guidance literally from the Koran and precepts of Islam. Unlike, perhaps, the majority of Muslims, jihadists are true-believers willing to put their Islamic beliefs into action.
Even if one does not wish to believe the US government, and the governments of Canada, France, Germany, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain, the UK AND the UN…one only has to watch the video and listen to bin Laden (and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) claim credit for and admit their role in the 9/11 attacks.
There are a lot of conspiracy theories about the role of US Govt in these attacks. Do they have any logical explanation for their allegations or these theories are just urban legends? Is it possible that the US government might have had a role in 9/11 attacks?
Denial, detachment from reality, gullibility, envy, mental defects, and stupidity are all possible explanations for the plethora of conspiracy theories about 9/11 all of which have been debunked in detail wherever they pop up…some people just can not accept or deal with facts as they are. There is certainly no evidence…or even logic to thinking that 9/11 was the work of the CIA, Mossad or anyone but those who claimed credit for it…i.e. bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
In your opinion, which is the strangest conspiracy theory you heard about the 9/11?
I deal in cold-hard facts and reality, and was trained to do so in law school and as an historian even before joining the CIA. ALL of the conspiracy theories are equally bizarre and baseless.
How come CIA, FBI and other security agencies failed to predict 9/11? Are they better prepared now to thwart such attacks?
Two very good and fair questions. The basic answer is that neither the CIA nor the FBI had enough information…or intelligence…available to be certain that such an outrageous attack would actually take place – many mad-men throughout the world make unbelievable or unachievable threats. What information was available to the CIA and FBI was not shared and the analysts were unable to connect the fragments of information sufficiently to have a good overall picture. And al-Qaeda itself is a highly trained and very proficient and deadly adversary, as has been demonstrated all over the world, notably in London, Madrid, Mumbai, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Iraq.
For the second part of your correction…yes, the US military, CIA and FBI have removed many of the structural barriers to cooperation and are much more aggressive in pursuing al-Qaeda and preventing attacks. At the 9/11 memorial services 1 year ago, the Director of the CIA then noted that the US and its allies had killed more than 5,000 al-Qaeda world-wide. While it is too early to declare victory in this war, those are not inconsequential successes.
Some said that US policy in Middle East was the main reason for the attacks. Do you agree?
No, that is nonsense. Islam has been at war with non-Muslims (as required by the Koran and mandates of Mohammed) since its founding nearly 1400 years ago. Muslims were attacking the US (remember the Barbary Pirates?) at the very moment of its founding more than 230 years ago. Islam is the “main reason” for Muslim/jihadi attacks on non-Muslims, including the US.
What do you think about the reaction of the Muslim world after the attacks?
It was not unexpected…as I said, Muslims have been at war with non-Muslims for centuries…a perceived victory such as 9/11 would, of course, be celebrated in the Muslim world.
Are the US and the West at war with the Muslims?
Unfortunately, no. The Muslims are at war with the US, the West and the rest of the non-Muslim world. You know that in Islam the world is divided into 2 parts: the House of Islam (the Muslim world) and the House of War (that is the rest of us). Islam is at war with the West and the world. Unfortunately, much of the West and the rest of the world, with a few notable exceptions, don’t realize this or wish to accept the true nature of Islam, and treat the Islamic war attacks as criminal actions to be dealt with by the police.
Are US still suffering from the effects of 9/11? What about the rest of the world?
No…the physical and financial impact of 9/11 on the US and its economy were a small bump. As someone once said, in a city of thousands of buildings, the terrorists knocked down 7; out of 8 million people, they killed under 3,000. Countries which supported the terrorists such as Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered far more than the US and its allies.
Who’s financing the terrorists: individuals, banks, corporations or states? Where is all this money coming from?
Muslims finance the terrorists. Charity is one of the 5 pillars of Islam and one eighth of all charitable donations must go to jihad. Wealthy Muslim oil billionaires and businessmen, states such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan and many more, all support the terrorists to a greater or lesser degree. And of course, bin Laden himself is a multi-millionaire. The other great terrorist supporting state, Iran, of course, has billions from oil sales.
Was declaring a war on terror a good idea?
Declaring war on the enemy, would have been a good idea…equally, declaring war on terrorist supporting states such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria and Saudi Arabia would have been appropriate. Declaring war on terror was simply stupid. Terror is a tactic, like blitzkrieg or kamikazes during World War II…one does not declare war on tactics but on those utilizing the tactics and supporting the attacks. As in World War II we declared war on Germany and Japan, not on blitzkrieg and kamikazes.
What do you think about the military operations that begun after the 9/11 attacks in Afghanistan? Were these operations justified?
Of course, fully justified and successful. Afghanistan provided a haven to al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies…these were routed out and destroyed in Afghanistan, very quickly and with relatively little effort. Likewise with the removal of the terrorist regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. The quagmires of Iraq and Afghanistan commenced with the misbegotten idea of nation-building…the idea that somehow an infidel Western alliance could change the nature of an Islamic people and create democratic structures in societies diametrically and almost universally opposed to democracy. But that is separate from the issue of fighting terrorists.
Do you think that USA is better protected now? Is the world safer?
Yes, definitely…for one thing, there are thousands fewer terrorists in the world now than prior to 9/11. And secondly, most of the world is much more aware of the threat from terrorism and has taken security measures against those threats, even if they have not yet recognized the nature of the war against them.
What do you think it’s the greatest threat to the USA?
With 1.5 billion adherents, Islam is the largest ideological threat to the USA and the non-Muslim world…however it lacks, for the most part, the strength to do anything more than mosquito-type attacks against hotels or transportation systems. Should the terrorist regime of Iran obtain nuclear weapons, or even if the secular leaders of Pakistan would lose control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, then the gravity of the threat would be increased geometrically.
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Last Saturday (2/2), America’s Truth Forum presented a symposium in
Southlake, Tex., entitled “Exposing the Threat of Islamic Terrorism.”
Speakers included Dr. Bruce Tefft, Dr. Wafa Sultan, Frank Gaffney,
Caroline Glick, and others.
These people were also interviewed by Roger Hedgecock for his radio
show; they can be heard via his “audio gallery” page,
PLEASE GO LISTEN. Each segment is just under 40 min. in length. The
First segment: David Schippers; Dr. Bruce Tefft at
Second segment: Dr. Wafa Sultan; Lee Boyland; Frank Gaffney at
Third segment: Mr. Gaffney continues; Caroline Glick; Harvey Kushner at
The URL for America’s Truth Forum:
Understanding the Threat of Radical Islamist Terrorism
A Symposium in association with America’s Truth Forum
November 10th & 11th, 2006 – Las Vegas, Nevada
AMERICA”S TRUTH FORUM
“ISLAM IS A POLITICAL MOVEMENT”
Photo right: Bruce Tefft, Robert Spencer, Harvey Kushner
UPDATE November 13: Here is ROBERT SPENCER’S unedited remarks
WAFA SULTAN Audio here: Download wafa_sultan1111.wav
WALID SHOEBAT Audio here: Download walid_shoebat1111.wav