Tag Archives | CIA

Why Jeffrey Sterling Deserves Support as a CIA Whistleblower

Jeffrey Sterling

Jeffrey Sterling

The trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling, set to begin in mid-January, is shaping up as a major battle in the U.S. government’s siege against whistleblowing. With its use of the Espionage Act to intimidate and prosecute people for leaks in “national security” realms, the Obama administration is determined to keep hiding important facts that the public has a vital right to know.

After fleeting coverage of Sterling’s indictment four years ago, news media have done little to illuminate his case — while occasionally reporting on the refusal of New York Times reporter James Risen to testify about whether Sterling was a source for his 2006 book “State of War.”

Risen’s unwavering stand for the confidentiality of sources is admirable. At the same time, Sterling — who faces 10 felony counts that include seven under the Espionage Act — is no less deserving of support.

Revelations from brave whistleblowers are essential for the informed consent of the governed.… Read the rest

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Take it and Like it: Corporate America and the Manipulation of Public Opinion

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Brad Clinesmith (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Absurd Illusions of a Shining City on a Hill by Mark Weiser at Dissident Voice:

The average natural born citizen in any country is continuously indoctrinated into the national culture starting about the time they begin understanding the meaning of words. There’s one country in particular where reality is staring the public in the face, but the truth has been grossly distorted for decades by government, and mass media, bias and propaganda. If the citizens would suddenly see the truth, instead of what they’ve been conditioned to believe, they would find themselves in a strange and bizarre foreign land that’s contrary in many ways to their personal beliefs regarding home. For those who experience this sudden revelation, as soon as the truth is realized, it’s likely to provoke a profound and immediate sense of disbelief. Like emergency room personnel making insensitive jokes, laughter at some point becomes a self-defense mechanism for offsetting continuous parades of the absurd realities and outright horrors.

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WikiLeaks Publishes CIA Tips for Traveling Spies

CIAJust in time for spies traveling home for the holidays Yahoo News/AFP reports on a new disclosure from WikiLeaks showing how CIA does it:

WikiLeaks on Sunday released two CIA documents that offered tips to help spies maintain their cover while using false documents as they crossed international borders.

The two documents, dating from 2011 and 2012, are marked classified and “NOFORN,” which means they were not meant to be shared with allied intelligence agencies, WikiLeaks said.

The documents outline a number of strategies for agents to avoid secondary screening at airports and borders.

Some are obvious: don’t buy a one-way ticket with cash the day before flying. Others perhaps less so: don’t look scruffy while traveling on a diplomatic passport.

“In one incident during transit of a European airport in the early morning, security officials selected a CIA officer for secondary screening,” one of the documents reads.

“Although the officials gave no reason, overly casual dress inconsistent with being a diplomatic-passport holder may have prompted the referral.”…

[continues at Yahoo News/AFP]

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The CIA Experimented on Human Beings

Camp x-ray detainees.jpg

“Reframing the CIA’s interrogation techniques as a violation of scientific and medical ethics may be the best way to achieve accountability,” writes Lisa Hajjar at The Nation:

Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program. The experimental nature of the interrogation and detention techniques is clearly evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s executive summary of its investigative report, despite redactions (insisted upon by the CIA) to obfuscate the locations of these laboratories of cruel science and the identities of perpetrators.

At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. They designed interrogation and detention protocols that they and others applied to people imprisoned in the agency’s secret “black sites.”

In its response to the Senate report, the CIA justified its decision to hire the duo: “We believe their expertise was so unique that we would have been derelict had we not sought them out when it became clear that CIA would be heading into the uncharted territory of the program.” Mitchell and Jessen’s qualifications did not include interrogation experience, specialized knowledge about Al Qaeda or relevant cultural or linguistic knowledge.

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The Military and CIA Interrogation Program Has Not Stopped

The Senate report on torture created a tsunami of media coverage this week. The American public hasn’t been so shocked by evidence of the U.S. torture program since the Abu Ghraib photos of 2004. The program is far worse than previously disclosed. Greater numbers of victims have been tortured for longer periods and in ways that rival the most infamous tortures in history (“rectal feeding”). But one falsehood gets repeated as fact by even in the most serious reporters, namely, that the torture program stopped years ago. It has not. The Appendix M of the 2006 Army Field Manual on interrogation methods allows military and CIA interrogators to continue torturing detainees, and the current force feeding of Guantanamo hunger strikers is so brutal it rises to the level of torture.

The Senate torture report has stunning news about the two psychologists who first devised and demonstrated the torture protocols. Until now we knew only that the CIA had provided Drs.… Read the rest

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Psychologist Linked to CIA Interrogations Says He’s ‘Caught in Some Kafka Novel’

James Mitchell was one of the American psychologists identified as an architect of the “enhanced interrogation” programs in Martha Davis’s groundbreaking documentary Doctors of the Dark Side (well worth watching again in light of the release of the notorious Senate report on CIA torture programs). His company was paid $81,000,000 for its work running the CIA interrogation program. He’s now trying to imply that he’s retired, can’t confirm or deny the allegations and just wants to go kayaking, at Bloomberg News:

James Mitchell, a psychologist who allegedly co-founded a company the CIA paid to run its terror interrogation program, is retired in Florida and spends his free time kayaking, rafting and climbing. And finding his life a little surreal.

The 63-year-old, whose name was first linked by media reports in 2009 to the CIA program, said he can’t confirm or deny whether he had anything to do with the controversial program because of a non-disclosure agreement he signed with the government.

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Obama: America “Exceptional” So We Don’t Prosecute Torturers

Steve Rhodes (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Steve Rhodes (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

In his first official remarks following Tuesday’s release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the torture program conducted by the CIA during the presidency of George W. Bush, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night indicated that the abuses detailed in the report conducted in the name of the American people—described as “horrific,” “ruthless” and “much more brutal than previously thought”—should not be followed by further inquiries or prosecutions as many have long urged.

In his remarks, Obama acknowledged that “no nation is perfect,” but argued that “one of the strengths that makes America exceptional is our willingness to openly confront our past, face our imperfections, make changes and do better.”

Backed by his interpretation of “American Exceptionalism,” Obama suggested that the release of the report—which his administration fought tirelessly to restrict—was all that was necessary in order for the nation to move forward.

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Ex-CIA Directors Defend ‘Enhanced’ Interrogations

PorterJGoss.JPG

Porter J. Goss

At disinformation we’ve always tried to expose our readers to as many views as possible on a particular topic. As the distributor of the anti-torture documentary Doctors of the Dark Side we’re clearly in the anti-torture camp, but it’s always important to listen to the the other side, not least to be able to counter their thinking.

In the wake of the release of the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s so-called torture report, former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden (a retired Air Force general), and former CIA Deputy Directors John E. McLaughlin, Albert M. Calland (a retired Navy vice admiral) and Stephen R. Kappes placed this op-ed defending ‘Enhanced’ interrogations in the Wall Street Journal:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on Central Intelligence Agency detention and interrogation of terrorists, prepared only by the Democratic majority staff, is a missed opportunity to deliver a serious and balanced study of an important public policy question.

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U.S. Senate Releases ‘Torture’ Report

The much anticipated United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence’s so-called torture report has finally been released after six years (or more accurately, they released a 500-page declassified summary of a 6,200-page report). It’s available as a PDF here. Dissections by critics are all across the media and largely follow political party lines. Disinfonauts should review it for themselves.

torture report

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CIA Won’t Defend Its Torturers

The CIA’s torture program has been well documented in the media and in films like Doctors of the Dark Side, so the only likely surprise when the Senate Intelligence Committee releases it’s expected “torture report” is that the CIA won’t defend itself too vigorously. Story from Daily Beast:

There may have been bourbon punch and festive lights at the CIA’s holiday party Friday night, but a frosty gloom hung in the air.

As everyone in the agency’s Langley, Va., headquarters knew, the long-awaited “torture report” from the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Democrats was set to drop early the next week, perhaps as soon as Monday morning. It seemed a rather awkward time for a party.

United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.jpg

The CIA’s response to the report will be muted. The agency will neither defend the so-called rendition, detention, and interrogation programs. Nor will the CIA disavow those controversial efforts entirely. According to current and former officials familiar with the higher-ups’ thinking, CIA Director John Brennan is likely to keep his powder dry and essentially agree to disagree with the agency’s critics.

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