Tag Archives | CIA

Supreme Court Declines To Intercede On Behalf Of Reporter James Risen: What’s Next?

state of warNew 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:

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.

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An Assault from Obama’s Escalating War on Journalism

state of warIn 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

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Putin: The Internet Is a CIA project

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Photo: www.kremlin.ru (CC)

Well duh, Pooty Poot…

Via the Associated Press:

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.”

Keep reading at the AP, comrade.

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Behind the CIA’s Mission to Secretly Retrieve a Soviet Sub From the Bottom of the Ocean

PIC: The Hughes Glomar (PD)

PIC: The Hughes Glomar Explorer (PD)

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:

Via IO9:

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.

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How The CIA Used ‘Dr. Zhivago’ As A Cold War Propaganda Tool

PIC: CIA (PD)

PIC: CIA (PD)

Note to self: Convince CIA to serve as book distributor for next Disinformation Company title.

Via Christian Science Monitor:

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.
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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.

Keep reading at the Christian Science Monitor.Read the rest

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CIA Declassifies New Portions of KUBARK Interrogation Manual

PIC: CIA (PD)

PIC: CIA (PD)

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.

Via Muckrock:

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.

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Did the CIA Rape Iraqi Children in Front of Their Parents?

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Pic: Institute for Policy Studies (CC)

Seeing as how questions about the CIA’s torture program(s) and what crimes they’re attempting to cover up are in the news again, it seems like a good time to pull an old Seymour Hersh quote out of the Memory Hole:

“Some of the worst things that happened that you don’t know about. OK? Videos. There are women there. Some of you may have read that they were passing letters out, communications out to their men. This is at [Abu Ghraib], which is about 30 miles from Baghdad — 30 kilometers, maybe, just 20 miles, I’m not sure whether it’s — anyway. The women were passing messages out saying please come and kill me because of what’s happened. And basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking.

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The Feinstein Syndrome: ‘The Fourth Amendment for Me, But Not for Thee’

Diane Feinstein

Diane Feinstein

Who knows, soon we might see headlines and cable TV shows asking: “Is Dianne Feinstein a whistleblower or a traitor?”

A truthful answer to that question could not possibly be “whistleblower.” It may already be a historic fact that Senator Feinstein’s speech on March 11, 2014 blew a whistle on CIA surveillance of the Senate intelligence committee, which she chairs. But if that makes her a whistleblower, then Colonel Sanders is a vegetarian evangelist.

In her blockbuster Tuesday speech on the Senate floor, Feinstein charged that the CIA’s intrusions on her committee’s computers quite possibly “violated the Fourth Amendment.” You know, that’s the precious amendment that Feinstein — more than any other senator — has powerfully treated like dirt, worthy only of sweeping under the congressional rug.

A tidy defender of the NSA’s Orwellian programs, Feinstein went on the attack against Edward Snowden from the outset of his revelations last June.… Read the rest

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Imprisoned CIA Whistleblower John Kiriakou Threatened with ‘Diesel Therapy’

Pic: The Reluctant Spy (C)

At Firedoglake’s Dissenter, Kevin Gosztola describes an escalating pattern of retaliation by prison officials against CIA whistleblower John Kirakou. If you’re interested in helping Kevin out, you can visit DefendJohnK.com for more information on how you can do that.

The federal correctional institution of Loretto, Pennsylvania, where former CIA officer John Kiriakou is serving a thirty-month jail sentence, appears to be scrambling to find any way they can to stop him from sending letters from prison. He has written another letter that details what seem to be clear acts of retaliation.

Since August of last year, Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto,” by Kiriakou, an imprisoned whistleblower who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he provided the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter.

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Why Amazon’s Collaboration with the CIA Is So Ominous — and Vulnerable

andyouredoneB200As the world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon wants a benevolent image to encourage trust from customers. Obtaining vast quantities of their personal information has been central to the firm’s business model. But Amazon is diversifying — and a few months ago the company signed a $600 million contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to provide “cloud computing” services.

Amazon now has the means, motive and opportunity to provide huge amounts of customer information to its new business partner. An official statement from Amazon headquarters last fall declared: “We look forward to a successful relationship with the CIA.”

The Central Intelligence Agency has plenty of money to throw around. Thanks to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, we know that the CIA’s annual budget is $14.7 billion; the NSA’s is $10.8 billion.

The founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is bullish on the company’s prospects for building on its initial contract with the CIA.… Read the rest

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