Tag Archives | CIA

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.

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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.

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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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Is Obama Covering Up the Scope of CIA Torture?

Central_Intelligence_Agency_logoJon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

“The public has to know about it. They don’t want the public to know about it.”

That’s what Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) told the Huffington Post on Thursday night regarding continued White House stalling over release of a report that catalogs the internal investigation of CIA torture during the Bush years. The comments followed a close-door meeting between Senate Democrats and Obama administration officials that took place just hours before the president gave a much-anticipated speech on another subject, immigration reform.

Rockefeller said the torture report is “being slow-walked to death” by the administration and told the HuffPost, “They’re doing everything they can not to release it.”

“[The report] makes a lot of people who did really bad things look really bad,” Rockefeller continued, “which is the only way not to repeat those mistakes in the future.”

Though the report has been completed for many months, the members of the Senate Intelligence committee have been fighting with the White House, which allowed CIA officials to review its findings, over the scope of redactions to the report’s summary before it’s made public.

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Kryptos Sculptor Offers Another Clue

Jim Sanborn just can’t believe that it’s taking so long for cryptographers and “Brownies” (as they term fans of Dan Brown’s fiction) to decode his sculpture “Kryptos” outside the CIA’s Langley HQ. The New York Times reports that he’s giving them yet another clue:

The artist who created the enigmatic Kryptos, a puzzle-in-a-sculpture that has driven code breakers to distraction since it was installed 24 years ago in a courtyard at C.I.A. headquarters in Langley, Va., has decided that it is time for a new clue.

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Kryptos by Jim Sanborn. Photo: Minh Nguyễn (CC)

By 1999, nine years after it went up, Kryptos fans had deciphered three of the sculpture’s four messages — 865 letters punched through elegantly curved copper sheets that make up the most striking part of the work. (In fact, cryptographers at the National Security Agency cracked those messages in 1993, but kept the triumph to themselves.) The fourth and final passage, a mere 97 characters long, has thwarted thousands of followers ever since.

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The Biggest CIA-Drug Money Scandal You Never Read

Nicholas Deak

Nicholas Deak

Mark Ames digs in the crates of CIA scandal and comes up with Nicholas Deak, writing for Pando:

With the release of the new Gary Webb film “Kill The Messenger” and the sudden renewed interest in what goes on in that dark underbelly of the US Empire — drug running, money laundering, death squads, assassinations of lives and of reputations — I’m reminded of the incredible life and death of Nicholas Deak, the CIA’s Cold War banker hailed in Time magazine as “the James Bond of the world of money” until the mid-1980s, when his global finance empire was destroyed by Reagan Administration accusations of large-scale Latin American drug money laundering.

The Reagan Commission on Organized Crime spent much of 1984 attacking Deak’s global foreign exchange firm, Deak-Perera. By the end of the year, Deak was forced to appear before the commission in a testy public interrogation; his financial empire collapsed within days.

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In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis

Most disinfonauts will be aware of Operation Paperclip and the United States Government’s recruitment of prominent Nazi German scientists, but now it appears that the CIA was recruiting way more Nazis than previously suspected, revealed in the New York Times:

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America, newly disclosed records and interviews show.

At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the F.B.I. and Allen Dulles at the C.I.A. aggressively recruited onetime Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich.

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Is Obama Stalling Until Republicans Can Bury the CIA Torture Report?

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Dan Froomkin writes at the Intercept:

Continued White House foot-dragging on the declassification of a much-anticipated Senate torture report is raising concerns that the administration is holding out until Republicans take over the chamber and kill the report themselves.

Senator Dianne Feinstein’s intelligence committee sent a 480-page executive summary of its extensive report on the CIA’s abuse of detainees to the White House for declassification more than six months ago.

In August, the White House, working closely with the CIA, sent back redactions that Feinstein and other Senate Democrats said rendered the summary unintelligible and unsupported.

Since then, the wrangling has continued behind closed doors, with projected release dates repeatedly falling by the wayside.  The Huffington Post reported this week that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, a close ally of CIA Director John Brennan, is personally leading the negotiations, suggesting keen interest in their progress — or lack thereof — on the part of  Brennan and President Obama.

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Dear Mr. President, It’s Time to Obey the Law: Release the JFK Secret Service Records and End Other Needless Secrecy

US Secret Service - Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

US Secret Service – Motorcade Support Unit by Cliff via Flickr (CC By 2.0).

via Alternet:

Dear Mr. President,

We know you have many pressing issues on your plate, but last week’s problems with the Secret Service and White House security also warrant your attention. What if the man who sprinted across the White House lawn–and into your home–hadn’t been a troubled ex-serviceman, but instead had been an terrorist from ISIS or Al Qaeda or a violent American white supremacist?

As you know, last week’s incidents were only the latest in a long line of Secret Service problems involving lax protection of you and your family, heavy drinking and irresponsible behavior by some agents, and racial discrimination. What you probably don’t know is that those problems have been issues for the Service since the early 1960s. One reason you–and most of the American public–aren’t aware of those issues is the culture of secrecy that sometimes pervades the agency when it comes to its own shortcomings.

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CIA Admits It Watched Over Destruction Of Journalist Gary Webb

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Gary Webb is posthumously achieving recognition for his “Dark Alliance” investigative report of the CIA’s involvement in the importation of cocaine to finance its illegal involvement in backing the Contras in Nicaragua. There’s a movie coming out portraying Webb and now The Intercept reveals the CIA’s admission that it was closely watching Webb’s activities and eventual death:

Eighteen years after it was published, “Dark Alliance,” the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.

The 20,000-word series enraged black communities, prompted Congressional hearings, and became one of the first major national security stories in history to blow up online. It also sparked an aggressive backlash from the nation’s most powerful media outlets, which devoted considerable resources to discredit author Gary Webb’s reporting. Their efforts succeeded, costing Webb his career. On December 10, 2004, the journalist was found dead in his apartment, having ended his eight-year downfall with two .38-caliber bullets to the head.

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CIA brags about media manipulation and more

In the latest Freedom of Information Act CIA disclosure, the agency reveals media manipulation, foreign covert operations details, and a moment by moment account of being by Bush’s side the morning of 9/11 and more.

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via The Intercept:

The CIA has declassified a trove of articles from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. Ostensibly a semi-academic review of spycraft, Studies emerges in the pieces, which date from the 1970s to the 2000s, as so much more, at turns mocking excessive secrecy and bad writing, dishing on problematic affairs, and bragging about press manipulation.

Of course, there is plenty of self-serious material in the journal too, including scholarly reviews, first-person memoirs, interviews and intellectual ruminations on everything from maps to “How We Are Perceived” and “Ethics and Clandestine Collection.”

The CIA posted the hundreds of declassified articles to its FOIA site. Here are a few that caught our eye.

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