Tag Archives | CIA
Fancy that – the Wall Street Journal has a whole article about our trademarked brand name:
… Read the rest
Connoisseurs of delicious irony must have been pleased when the latest edition of the CIA’s “Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications” circulated online last week.
The 185-page style guide, made public thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by a group of attorneys known as the National Security Counselors, stresses that “good intelligence depends in large measure on clear, concise writing.”
But within its pages is a reminder that intelligence officers are not always so forthright in their communication. In a section on “possibly troublesome words,” the meanings of “misinformation” and “disinformation” are carefully distinguished. ” ‘Disinformation’ refers to the deliberate planting of false reports,” the style guide advises. ” ‘Misinformation’ equates in meaning but does not carry the same devious connotation.
The “devious connotation” of “disinformation” originated in the Cold War wrangling of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
Does anyone know why the United States’ CIA decided to send out this tweet about Tupac Shakur?
Okay, at first, I had to check to make sure this wasn’t some sort of satirical article or metaparody of sorts, because, well, just look at the first tweet from the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States, which is so strangely humorous it’s kind of disturbing.
New York Times reporter James Risen, author of “State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration”, won’t give up one of his sources, and now that the Supreme Court won’t hear his case, he could be facing some serious prison time. The Washington Post has a run-down on what’s likely to happen now:
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So what does this mean for Risen’s case? Will the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter be sent to prison? What does he have to say about the decision? And how does this fit into the Obama administration’s war on leaks? Here’s a primer on what is going on, where things stand and what could happen next.
Who is James Risen?
Risen is a reporter for the New York Times who writes about national security issues. In 2006, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his stories about the Bush administration’s domestic wiretapping program. He continues to write about national security, and published a front-page story Sunday about how the National Security Agency is intercepting massive numbers of images shared to social media platforms to use in facial recognition programs.
In a memoir published this year, the CIA’s former top legal officer John Rizzo says that on the last day of 2005 a panicky White House tried to figure out how to prevent the distribution of a book by New York Times reporter James Risen. Officials were upset because Risen’s book, State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration, exposed what — in his words — “may have been one of the most reckless operations in the modern history of the CIA.”
The book told of a bungled CIA attempt to set back Iran’s nuclear program in 2000 by supplying the Iranian government with flawed blueprints for nuclear-bomb design. The CIA’s tactic might have actually aided Iranian nuclear development.
When a bootlegged copy of State of War reached the National Security Council, a frantic meeting convened in the Situation Room, according to Rizzo. “As best anyone could tell, the books were printed in bulk and stacked somewhere in warehouses.” The aspiring censors hit a wall.… Read the rest
Well duh, Pooty Poot…
President Vladimir Putin on Thursday called the Internet a CIA project and made comments about Russia’s biggest search engine Yandex, sending the company’s shares plummeting.
The Kremlin has been anxious to exert greater control over the Internet, which opposition activists – barred from national television – have used to promote their ideas and organize protests.
Russia’s parliament this week passed a law requiring social media websites to keep their servers in Russia and save all information about their users for at least half a year. Also, businessmen close to Putin now control Russia’s leading social media network, VKontakte.
Speaking Thursday at a media forum in St. Petersburg, Putin said that the Internet originally was a “CIA project” and “is still developing as such.”
IO9’s Charles Strauss has written a great overview of Project AZORIAN: The CIA’s covert plan to retrieve a sunken Soviet nuclear submarine. If you’ve never heard about it before, then I think you’ll find this all pretty interesting. Incidentally, I first became aware of it through Charles Stross’s wonderful Cold War spies vs. Cthulhu mythos series The Laundry Files. AZORIAN becomes a major plot point in the second novel The Jennifer Morgue after negotiations between the Deep Ones and the UK government start to fray over the sub’s retrieval.
Anyway, I particularly like the use of the term “Glomarization” in Strauss’s piece:
… Read the rest
The submarine, if recovered, would be a treasure trove for the intelligence community. Not only could U.S. officials examine the design of Soviet nuclear warheads, they could obtain cryptographic equipment that would allow them to decipher Soviet naval codes. And so began Project AZORIAN.
Note to self: Convince CIA to serve as book distributor for next Disinformation Company title.
CIA officials had rave reviews for Boris Pasternak’s classic Russian novel “Doctor Zhivago” — not for its literary merit but as a propaganda weapon in the Cold War, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.
The US intelligence agency saw the book as a challenge to Communism and a way to make Soviet citizens question why their government was suppressing one of their greatest writers, according to newly declassified CIA documents that detail the agency’s involvement in the book’s printing, the Post said.
The Soviet government had banned the novel and British intelligence first recognized its propaganda value in 1958, sending the CIA two rolls of film of its pages and suggesting it be spread through the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
The last declassified release from the KUBARK interrogation manual occurred in 1997. If you’re wondering KUBARK is what the CIA calls itself, as well as being the name of a reasonably obscure comic book character.
… Read the rest
In the midst of controversy over the potential release of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program, last month the CIA quietly released a newly declassified version of the infamous 1963 “KUBARK” interrogation manual. (Note: “KUBARK” was the CIA’s code name for itself.)
The new material adds greatly to our understanding of the CIA’s interrogation and torture history. This manual was first released to the Baltimore Sun in 1997 with heavy redactions, and received considerable coverage at the time. In subsequent years, the manual was cited as a harbinger if not model of U.S. torture during the Bush years. The National Security Archive posted the 1997 FOIA version of the manual online.