30 Dec 2005

What is GST?

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Today’s latest Washington Post leak, brought to you again by Dana Priest, confidante of choice to Pouting Spooks everywhere, amusingly fails to provide a definition for GST, the super-secret program which is the topic of the leak du jour.

The effort President Bush authorized shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, to fight al Qaeda has grown into the largest CIA covert action program since the height of the Cold War, expanding in size and ambition despite a growing outcry at home and abroad over its clandestine tactics, according to former and current intelligence officials and congressional and administration sources.

The broad-based effort, known within the agency by the initials GST, is compartmentalized into dozens of highly classified individual programs, details of which are known mainly to those directly involved.

GST includes programs allowing the CIA to capture al Qaeda suspects with help from foreign intelligence services, to maintain secret prisons abroad, to use interrogation techniques that some lawyers say violate international treaties, and to maintain a fleet of aircraft to move detainees around the globe. Other compartments within GST give the CIA enhanced ability to mine international financial records and eavesdrop on suspects anywhere in the world.

The bed-wetting segment of the Blogosphere is, as usual, shocked and outraged at further revelations of US inhumane treatment of terrorist latrunculi, the contemporary equivalent of the pirates, brigands, and outlaws, traditionally viewed in Western law, and conventionally treated by any lawful authority as hostes humani generis, “the common enemies of mankind.”

And they are fascinated by the riddle of the meaning of the mysterious initials.

Typical examples:

American conventional leftie profmarcus posts: bonus question: what does gst stand for…?

Sopping-wet Brit blogger WIIIAI complains the WaPo refers to this program as GST, but its crack reporters failed to crack the riddle of just what that might stand for.

Since the WaPo let them all down, I will suggest: “General Staff — Terrorism” or “General Services — Terrorism,” as opposed to “Get Serious (about) Terrorism,” as the language behind the initials, and note the interesting facet of the story, that for the first time in a very long while, one of our anonymous sources is behaving as if he thinks he might possibly have something to worry about if his disclosures proceeded too far beyond some particular point.

One Feedback on "What is GST?"

Larry Stevens

GST is short for GSTapo.


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