In chapter 10, book 3 of the Lord of The Rings, Treebeard describes to Gandalf how Saruman will be guarded in Orthanc following the destruction of Isengard by the Ents: ‘Leave it to the Ents!’ said Treebeard. ‘We shall search the valley from head to foot and peer under every pebble. Trees are coming back […]


Pieter Basedow


in Security

If you are interacting with Toronto’s Pieter Basedow (age 60) it would be a good idea to question what he says about himself. For organizations he lists as past employers and volunteer positions it would be prudent to ask them what experience they actually had with him and what they think of him now. Related: […]


Over the years I have written a variety of academic papers on various aspects of nuclear weapons and nuclear power: 1) Written for an undergrad international relations course at UBC and subsequently published in a journal and given an award: “The Space Race as ‘Primitive’ Warfare.” UBC Journal of International Affairs. 2005. p. 19-28. 2) […]


This week’s Economist is reporting about the growing danger of armed conflict between the United States and Iran: The brewing conflict between America and Iran As America and Iran act tough, the risk of conflict is growing President Donald Trump’s fixation with undoing “Barack Obama’s signature diplomatic achievement” in the form of the Joint Comprehensive […]


After [redacted by the CIA] left, Boris had to keep introducing harsher and harsher methods, because Abu Zubaydah and other terrorists were trained to resist them. In a democracy such as ours, there is a glass ceiling on harsh techniques that the interrogator cannot breach, so a detainee can eventually call the interrogator’s bluff. And […]


The [redacted by the CIA] picture [of Khallad, alias of Walid bin Attash] had been in the CIA’s possession when Steve Bongardt and the Cole team had been shown the [redacted] three pictures on June 11, 2011. If it has been shown to the Cole team, Steve and the other agents would have identified the […]


While I was in the United States, I received an urgent call from [assistant U.S. attorney David] Kelley. “Ali, you need to get to Yemen right away,” he said. “We’ve finally signed the agreement with the Yemenis allowing us to interrogate [Jamal al-] Badawi, but there’s no one who can interrogate him.” “What about Bob […]

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An interrogation is a mind game in which you have to use your wits and knowledge of the detainee to convince or steer him to cooperate, and essential to this is to show that you are in control. If a suspect thinks that you lack knowledge of what he’s talking about or sees that you […]


As Labib al-Nahhas, a senior and moderate voice within the Syrian Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham, put it: ‘Ths Islamic State’s extremist ideology can be defeated only through a home-grown Sunni alternative — with the term “moderate” defined not by CIA handlers but by Syrians themselves. Moderate imams — whether in the community or visiting prisons […]


Sadly, many Muslims would subscribe to this perspective [of Islam in conflict with the rest of the world] rather than acknowledge the crisis within Islam. They think the conflicts ravaging their lands stem from a Western conspiracy to steal their natural resources. So perfidious is that conspiracy that many Muslims even blame terror attacks in […]