Saturday, February 7, 2015

What the CIA didn’t want Americans to know

Agency brass tried to spike a story implicating the CIA in the killing of a top Hezbollah terrorist. Newsweek complied. The Post didn’t.

For a year, Newsweek held a story on the assassination of top Hezbollah operative Imad Mughniyeh at the CIA’s request, the magazine confirmed Friday — only to be scooped by The Washington Post last week.

The CIA made a forceful case for holding the story in conversations and a meeting at the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va., and Newsweek honored that request, according to Editor-in-Chief Jim Impoco.

“In the geopolitical context at that moment, the CIA made a very persuasive case,” Impoco said in an interview – but declined to say what arguments the CIA made at the time. The CIA also declined to comment.

Mughniyeh was one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, responsible for orchestrating the deaths of Americans, Jews and Israelis in the Middle East and Argentina. In 2008, he was killed by a car bomb in Damascus, Syria, in what both Newsweek and The Washington Post reported was a joint U.S.-Israeli operation.

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