Monday, March 12, 2007

Johnny "Mike" Spann


Johnny "Mike" Spann was fulfilling his duties as a CIA officer on Nov. 25, 2001, when he became the first American known to die in combat in Afghanistan.
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Johnny Micheal "Mike" Spann, was a former marine who was a paramilitary trooper in the CIA's commando arm, which is equipped to arm and train local forces and to conduct covert assaults. Mike was where he wanted to be: on the front lines serving his country.
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Statement by George Tenent, Director of Central Intelligence, on the death of Mike Spann in Afghanistan:
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Given the nature of the CIA's mission, I can publicly discuss his activities and the circumstances surrounding his death only in broad terms.
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Mike was in the fortress of Mazar-e Sharif, where Taliban prisoners were being held and questioned. Although these captives had given themselves up, their pledge of surrender-like so many other pledges from the vicious group they represent-proved worthless.
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Their prison uprising--which had murder as its goal--claimed many lives, among them that of a very brave American, whose body was recovered just hours ago. Mike joined CIA in June 1999. A young man-only 32 years old-he was no stranger to challenge or daring. He came to us from the United States Marine Corps, whose traditions he loved and whose values of courage and commitment he carried with him to the end. The full statement.
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+ Morroco Suicide Bomber: Moroccan detonated explosives he was carrying under his clothes at an Internet café in Casablanca, killing himself and wounding three people, security sources and witnesses said early today.
+ Travel firm offers trips to CIA prison that Polish authorities deny exists: Visitors will be able to cycle and canoe near the Polish intelligence service's training center at Stare Kiejkuty in the northern Mazuria region, and the nearby Szymany airport, Joanna Sobieska of Szarpie Travel was quoted as saying
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+ Rolling Back Pentagon Spies: Defense Secretary Robert Gates is considering a plan to curtail the Pentagon's clandestine spying activities, which were expanded by his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, after the 9/11 attacks. The undercover work allowed military personnel to collect intelligence about terrorists and to recruit spies in foreign countries independently of the CIA and without much congressional oversight.
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+ Muslim converts face ostracism in France: It is estimated that every year in the world some six million Muslims convert to Christianity...Around 15,000 Muslims each year are converting to Christianity - around 10,000 to Catholicism and 5,000 to Protestantism.

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