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About R J Hillhouse

  • Dr. Hillhouse has run Cuban rum between East and West Berlin, smuggled jewels from the Soviet Union and slipped through some of the world’s tightest borders. From Uzbekistan to Romania, she's been followed, held at gunpoint and interrogated. Foreign governments and others have pitched her for recruitment as a spy. (They failed.)

    A former professor and Fulbright fellow, Dr. Hillhouse earned her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Michigan. Her latest novel, OUTSOURCED (Forge Books) is about the turf wars between the Pentagon and the CIA and the privatization of national security.

    Dr. Hillhouse is an expert on national security outsourcing. Her controversial work has twice elicited a formal response by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence--the only times that office has ever publicly responded to the writings of a private citizen.

    She is a regular media guest and available for interviews.

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« New Rules for Blackwater | Main | CIA Contractors: Double or Nothin' »

December 11, 2007



Kiriakou, while legitimate, just didn't appear out of nowhere at this moment by the grace of God. Stand by for interrogation videotapes to be leaked, to a yawn by the press and public now that they've been "pre-contexted" by Kiriakou and Ross. We're standing in lines for four hours at the airport because of these Abu Zhubayda and KSM. How many Americans are going to care that the twerps that brought that to us are gagging for 30 seconds?


Nat Schlesinger killed his brother Jack, he stole all his money and then burned the place down

Dr Coles

U.S. interrogation techniques are NOT torture, period. Those who are saying differently are incompetent or asserting propaganda for political benefit at the cost of American citizens. No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See Know whom you are voting for.

Dr Coles

U.S. interrogation techniques are NOT torture, period. Those who are saying differently are incompetent or asserting propaganda for political benefit at the cost of American citizens. No, matter your political party affiliation, and setting aside your thoughts on issues. We all need to remember what it is to be an American Citizen. We need to make sure our elected representatives obey their Oath of Office and keep their Oath of Allegiance. See Know whom you are voting for.


If Abu Zhubayda is to be believed, waterboarding may actually be a way for a detainee to reach God. He claims to have received a message from God after his 30 second surfin' safari to tell all, thus saving his brethern. In fact, it appears that he has actually evolved from terrorist into a new line of work, that of ongoing consulting terrorist-in-residence. I wonder which of the beltway bandits are going to pick him up after the Agency is done with him?


Retired I don't doubt you, but do you have a link? I would love to read it.

Admiral Fallon

The Military is against torture:

Helping inform candidates’ views on torture
By Joseph P. Hoar, and David M. Maddox, Special to Stars and Stripes

December 6, 2007

We have watched with growing concern over the last several months the manner in which the issue of torture has been raised in the presidential campaign — in debates and on the campaign trail. We recognize that campaigns are often more about scoring points against opponents than responsibly staking out affirmative positions. In too many instances, the debate about interrogation methods and prisoner treatment has lacked an understanding about the impact that torture (or as some have termed it, “enhanced interrogation techniques”) has on the safety of American military personnel and the values they fight to defend.

Admiral Mullen

I think you are right, this guy is the new ollie, but with the internets, i don't think he will get to becaome a talk show host.

gen. hayden reported this to cover the more important story of the NIE and the Intelligence community and the Military Brass pushback against israel's demands to illegally attack Iran.

Even if Kiriakou is retired from the CIA doesn't he have an obligation to protect "sources and methods"?

His story must be one of those "leaks" approved by the CIA in order to bolster the argument that torture works.

I question his statement that the victim broke within 35 seconds. Was the waterboarding at the end of a long torture session? Also if he broke within 35 seconds, why did he wait until the next morning to begin to cooperate?

They are trying to desensitize us to all this bullshit. What was once obscene becomes commonplace and accepted. Or at least they hope.

We have a big mountain to climb.

I wonder if it was the phone numbers of the 4 Saudi princes (3 of whom are now dead under suspicious circumstances) and 1 Pakistani military man (now dead) that Abu Zubaydah gave up after 35 seconds (from Gerald Posner)? . Maybe he told them where the money on his bank cards came from (Boston, and the BCCI corp) and how it was used to finance not only 9/11.

Maybe he told them he was not bin Laden's driver but the key Al Qaeda networker for Europe, Turkey, and the mideast? Maybe he told them that he was one of the Algerian Six who planned to bomb a U.S. embassy in Sarajevo, or the embassy in Paris, or the USS Cole, or the Radisson in Jordan.

Maybe this was when he IDd KSM as the mastermind of 9/ll, and gave the CIA the name 'Mukhtar' as KSMs alias. <


Dr. Hillhouse,

Your tone in this post is unusual. Are you for or against torture? Do you believe waterboarding is torture? I believe honestly that the gentlemen who destroyed the tapes did the right thing by his subordinates. I believe that any criminality should go to the top under these circumstances. However, Kiriakous is clearly laying a groundwork that torture is ok, that it generates reliable information and is justifiable. A position which obviously resonates with the '24' crowd. Mr. Nance and numerous others have vociferously disagreed. We are now in a position where active military commanders (Guantanamo) refuse to state it is torture even if it has been done to our personnel.
The obstruction issues are enormous as well. The 9/11 commission and at least 4 trials I can think of. This doesn't even begin to address L. Johnson's treaty violations. Do you think war crimes have been committed?

Pseudo deleted due to spoofing

For a president who believes in death penalty, I think any discussion on torture will be just a round of lemonade drink. It is quite disturbing how a nation would stoop so low and exchange its sense of civility and freedom for some false sense of security.

By the way, Blackwater is the wave of the future. It is the embodiment of American enterprising spirit. So please leave it alone. It is less hypocritical to go to war for naked profit than to wage a war for abstract notions of patriotism. So just you know, we pay taxes.

Jack Parsons

1) Zubaydah was insane to begin with. His journals from before his "arrest"/detainment/kidnapping-in-a-foreign-country were written in the three different voices of different personalities. The man's intel was even less reliable than Curveball.

2) Is this another immaculate declassification? How did this guy get a massive media splash? It does produce a fine high-powered distraction after the NIE disaster; major sooper-exciting reports on the War On Terror generally follow embarrasing news.

3) If one is to designate something torture or not torture, it is worth having an objective criterion. For example, did the US ever prosecute foreign citizens for doing it? The US prosecuted a bunch of Japanese and German military after WW2 for waterboarding.

4) The personnel in the tapes is more interesting. Were there contractors involved? Were there senior White House people there, with creepily excited faces? Over and over the reports are the top-level people pushed for torture; do these people get lignin from it? If the wrong people are in the tapes, that would explain their destruction.

On Zubaydah:


Jack Parsons - Great insights and commentary!

Much closer to "reality" than what any talking head in the mainstream media could offer.

RJ Hillhouse - Great commentary from you as always!

I'm a long-time fan of your site and enjoyed our meeting at the Marine Corps PX last summer when you were in DC on your book tour.

Happy Holidays!

The OSINT Group

Vaxen Var

I believe waterboarding was used long ago like, say, the middle ages when good Christians were torturing everybody else under the sun for their beliefs. Maybe it was Torquemada who first used them or Vallery Plame?

In any case elections are coming up and the global warming crowd is heating up, too, with the fat man championing the crew.

The AO gets hotter daily and we are winning the war on terrorism (guffaw) and cracking down on those nasty terrorists while we push through the NAU, the SPP and pink, lacey,underwear for all copmbat troups outside the LZ.

The outsourced CIA are masters of deception and don't make a move, such as this one, without the express consultations of, well, you know who.

Torture is used by all front line soldiers and has been, and will be used throughout all wars for all time asymmetrically, of course.

Psy-Ops 101 and let the fun begin as the voting fraud heats up and the new fraudulent 'Commander in Chief' gets his/her bones on (*wink*) I shan't hold my breath. Oops...did I give away a closely held secret there?

Next step? Snowboarding, since the general population of these Estados Unidos has already been fleeced to the max.

Another great article, RJ, and some interesting commentary, kids...

BTW has anyone signed up for Embassy duty in the green zone yet? I hear it's pretty hot there now. But that too will probably be attributed to 'global warming' as the Milky Way continues to gobble up every galaxy in sight.

'scuse me, please, gotta go get my 'battle rattle' on.

Merry X-mas all.

Division 7
Department 21

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  • A tip of the hat to investigative journalist Tim Shorrock who inspired the name of this blog with his path-breaking 2005 article, "The Spy Who Billed Me."

    Shorrock has a dedicated web page on outsourcing in intel. It links to many of his articles which are must-reads for anyone interested in the privatization of intelligence.