Tag Archives | CIA

Mission Unstoppable: The CIA Is Pulling The Strings Of US Foreign Policy

“From drone strikes to prison torture, the CIA has been pulling the strings of US foreign policy since 9/11. And if history is a guide, the agency will be calling the shots in the middle east for years to come,” write Yochi Dreazen and Sean D. Naylor at Foreign Policy:

Dennis Blair was itching for a fight. In May 2009, the retired U.S. Navy admiral was serving as the director of national intelligence (DNI). Theoretically, Blair’s title gave him oversight of the CIA and Washington’s constellation of 16 other spy agencies. Yet, in reality, the director was powerless even to designate the senior American spy in a given country—a rank that, for decades, had traditionally been given to the CIA station chief in capitals from London to Beirut. Blair felt entitled to have charge over this. So sidestepping the White House, he sent a written order codifying that the DNI would now be the one to select the most senior spies.

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Official Leaks: “These Senior People Do Whatever They Want”

When asked whether he would have supported working with the producers of Zero Dark Thirty, Department of Defense’s Director of Entertainment Media said he would not have recommended working with screenwriter Mark Boal and director Katherine Bigelow, because he was not happy with the way their movie Hurt Locker had presented the military. But he was not given a choice. “These senior people do whatever they want,” the Director told DOD’s Inspector General, according to a draft of the IG’s report on the leaks of classified information to Boal and Bigelow.


The Project on Government Oversight released the draft this week.

The Director’s comments are all the more telling given how much more centrally this draft of the report — as compared to another POGO obtained and released — point to the role of then CIA Director Leon Panetta and his Chief of Staff, Jeremy Bash, in leading the government to cooperate on the movie.

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Project Monarch: 404

angelsI was at the high school dance. Waste of an evening. I mean, I wouldn’t have even considered going to something like this. It was embarrassing. But I knew she’d be there. I spent the whole night wishing I could get closer to her. Excuses to brush by, to look just a moment more. I didn’t want to be creepy. I wanted to be her friend.

And then the song started. You know the one. “You spin me right round baby, right round.”

Cheesy shit but we can all dance ironically. That makes it safer somehow.

Yeah I, I got to know your name. Well and I, could trace your private number baby. Amber. That was her name. Different hair color every week it seemed. Different piercings and tattoos. Same eyes. Nothing could change them. I wanted to.

So I stood in the corner. Gibberish numbers were bouncing around in my head, blocking everything else out.… Read the rest

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CIA Global Video Program: Soviet Perceptions of the USA

Overview of Soviet perceptions of the United States, created by CIA’s Global Video Program. Reagan was interested in the subject and wrote how important it is to see “how others see us.” To learn more, read Ronald Reagan: Intelligence and the Cold War on CIA.gov’s Historical Collections Division page at http://go.usa.gov/XWQ.

h/t Mother Jones.

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C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda

The front page main headline of today’s New York Times reads “C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda” as if it was a surprise. Does the Times not recall that it was the CIA that created Al Qaeda in the first place? Here’s the “shocking” story:

In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

Secretary Kerry with Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.jpg

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani


They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.

Within weeks, that money and $4 million more provided from other countries was handed over to Al Qaeda, replenishing its coffers after a relentless C.I.A.

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CIA Evidence from Whistleblower Trial Could Tilt Iran Nuclear Talks

A month after former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was convicted on nine felony counts with circumstantial metadata, the zealous prosecution is now having potentially major consequences — casting doubt on the credibility of claims by the U.S. government that Iran has developed a nuclear weapons program.

With negotiations between Iran and the United States at a pivotal stage, fallout from the trial’s revelations about the CIA’s Operation Merlin is likely to cause the International Atomic Energy Agency to re-examine U.S. assertions that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.


IAEA headquarters since 1979, Vienna, Austria.


In its zeal to prosecute Sterling for allegedly leaking classified information about Operation Merlin — which provided flawed nuclear weapon design information to Iran in 2000 — the U.S. government has damaged its own standing with the IAEA. The trial made public a treasure trove of information about the Merlin operation.

Last week Bloomberg News reported from Vienna, where the IAEA is headquartered, that the agency “will probably review intelligence they received about Iran as a result of the revelations, said the two diplomats who are familiar with the IAEA’s Iran file and asked not to be named because the details are confidential.”

The Bloomberg dispatch, which matter-of-factly referred to Merlin as a “sting” operation, quoted a former British envoy to the IAEA, Peter Jenkins, saying: “This story suggests a possibility that hostile intelligence agencies could decide to plant a ‘smoking gun’ in Iran for the IAEA to find.… Read the rest

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Decalcifying Your Pineal Gland W/ Dr. Dennis McKenna



On this edition of the Gabriel D. Roberts podcast, Gabriel interviews Dr. Dennis McKenna and asks the questions you’ve been wanting answers to! Was Terence McKenna a CIA/FBI operative? Can you de-gunk your pineal gland? Was Terence afraid of taking Mushrooms after an existential crisis? What is the state of psychedelic research now? These questions and more will be answered in this motherland of a podcast.

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CIA Mission: Destroy the Whistleblower and Perfume the Stench of ‘Operation Merlin’

CIAThe leak trial of CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling never got near a smoking gun, but the entire circumstantial case was a smokescreen. Prosecutors were hell-bent on torching the defendant to vindicate Operation Merlin, nine years after a book by James Risen reported that it “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”

That bestselling book, State of War, seemed to leave an indelible stain on Operation Merlin while soiling the CIA’s image as a reasonably competent outfit. The prosecution of Sterling was a cleansing service for the Central Intelligence Agency, which joined with the Justice Department to depict the author and the whistleblower as scurrilous mud-throwers.

In the courtroom, where journalist Risen was beyond the reach of the law, the CIA’s long-smoldering rage vented at the defendant. Sterling had gone through channels in 2003 to warn Senate Intelligence Committee staffers about Operation Merlin, and he was later indicted for allegedly giving Risen classified information about it.… Read the rest

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Why the CIA Is So Eager to Demolish Whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling

Jeffrey Sterling

Jeffrey Sterling

Midway through the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, one comment stands out. “A criminal case,” defense attorney Edward MacMahon told the jury at the outset, “is not a place where the CIA goes to get its reputation back.” But that’s where the CIA went with this trial in its first week — sending to the witness stand a procession of officials who attested to the agency’s virtues and fervently decried anyone who might provide a journalist with classified information.

The CIA’s reputation certainly needs a lift. It has rolled downhill at an accelerating pace in the dozen years since telling President George W. Bush what he wanted the nation to hear about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. That huge bloody blot on the agency’s record has not healed since then, inflamed by such matters as drone strikes, rendition of prisoners to torture-happy regimes and resolute protection of its own torturers.… Read the rest

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Race, Leaks and Prosecution at the CIA

Condoleezza Rice made headlines when she testified Thursday at the leak trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling — underscoring that powerful people in the Bush administration went to great lengths a dozen years ago to prevent disclosure of a classified operation. But as The Associated Press noted, “While Rice’s testimony helped establish the importance of the classified program in question, her testimony did not implicate Sterling in any way as the leaker.”

Rice Transformational Diplomacy Speech.jpg

Few pixels and little ink went to the witness just before Rice — former CIA spokesman William Harlow — whose testimony stumbled into indicating why he thought of Sterling early on in connection with the leak, which ultimately resulted in a ten-count indictment.

Harlow, who ran the CIA press office, testified that Sterling came to mind soon after New York Times reporter James Risen first called him, on April 3, 2003, about the highly secret Operation Merlin, a CIA program that provided faulty nuclear weapon design information to Iran.… Read the rest

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