‘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.
These days, Webb is being cast in a more sympathetic light. He’s portrayed heroically in a major motion picture set to premiere nationwide next month. And documents newly released by the CIA provide fresh context to the “Dark Alliance” saga — information that paints an ugly portrait of the mainstream media at the time.
On September 18, the agency released a trove of documents spanning three decades of secret government operations. Culled from the agency’s in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence, the materials include a previously unreleased six-page article titled “Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story.” Looking back on the weeks immediately following the publication of “Dark Alliance,” the document offers a unique window into the CIA’s internal reaction to what it called “a genuine public relations crisis” while revealing just how little the agency ultimately had to do to swiftly extinguish the public outcry. Thanks in part to what author Nicholas Dujmovic, a CIA Directorate of Intelligence staffer at the time of publication, describes as “a ground base of already productive relations with journalists,” the CIA’s Public Affairs officers watched with relief as the largest newspapers in the country rescued the agency from disaster, and, in the process, destroyed the reputation of an aggressive, award-winning reporter.’
- Managing a Nightmare: CIA Public Affairs and the Drug Conspiracy Story
- Dark Alliance: CIA, the Contras and the Crack Cocaine Explosion (Book)
- John Kerry report for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (1988)
- Ex-L.A. Times Writer Apologizes for “Tawdry” Attacks
- Gary Webb And The Limits Of Vindication
- The Storm Over “Dark Alliance”
- Gary Webb: Vindicated
- Kill the Messenger (Book)
‘The Associated Press reports the CIA has decided to restrict “spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States.” The revelations on top secret NSA surveillance from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have also played a role in the CIA’s decision.
“Current and former US officials,” who were granted anonymity to discuss this development “because it’s illegal to discuss classified material or activities,” informed AP that this “pause” had been “ordered by senior CIA officials through secret cables.”
This stand-down period is apparently occurring so that CIA officers may examine whether they are “being careful enough and to evaluate whether spying on allies is worth running the risk of discovery.”’
‘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… The documents include a 2004 interview with current CIA director John Brennan and a 2000 interview with Michael Hayden, then head of the NSA. “Everything’s secret,” Hayden tells Studies. “I mean, I got an email saying, ‘Merry Christmas.’ It carried a Top Secret NSA classification marking.” He also describes how the NSA had begun on a media offensive, to “put a human face on the agency.”’
‘”This white paper sets forth the legal basis upon which the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could use lethal force in Yemen against a United States citizen who senior officials reasonably determined was a senior leader of al-Qaida or an associated force of al-Qaida.”
So begins a 22-page, heavily redacted, previously top-secret document titled “Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency Against a US Citizen,” which provides the first detailed look at the legal rationale behind lethal operations conducted by the agency. The white paper [pdf below] was turned over to VICE News in response to a long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department.
It’s one of two white papers the Justice Department prepared in 2011 after lawmakers demanded to know what the administration’s legal rationale was for targeting for death the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen.’
- Al Qaeda in Yemen executes three ‘spies’ for guiding drone strikes
- Did the U.S. drone strike and secretly compensate Yemeni civilians?
- Yemeni al-Qaeda Urges Strikes on US in Retaliation for Iraq War
- The CIA’s Bro Culture Is Doing Yemen No Favors
- US Bombards Yemen With Drone Strikes, But the Policy Is Backfiring
- Inside the U.S. Dirty War in Yemen with Jeremy Scahill
- Jeremy Scahill: Killing Anwar al-Awlaki
‘Silicon Valley has been in the media spotlight for its role in gentrifying and raising rents in San Francisco, helping the NSA spy on American citizens, and lack of racial and gender diversity. Despite that, Silicon Valley still has a reputation for benevolence, innocence and progressivism. Hence Google’s phrase, “Don’t be evil.” A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that, even after the Snowden leaks, 53% of those surveyed had high confidence in the tech industry. The tech industry is not seen as evil as, say, Wall Street or Big Oil.
One aspect of Silicon Valley that would damage this reputation has not been scrutinized enough—its involvement in American militarism. Silicon Valley’s ties to the National Security State extend beyond the NSA’s PRISM program. Through numerous partnerships and contracts with the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Silicon Valley is part of the American military-industrial complex. Google sells its technologies to the U.S. military, FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, NGA, and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, has managers with backgrounds in military and intelligence work, and partners with defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Amazon designed a cloud computing system that will be used by the CIA and every other intelligence agency. The CIA-funded tech company Palantir sells its data-mining and analysis software to the U.S. military, CIA, LAPD, NYPD, and other security agencies. These technologies have several war-zone and intelligence-gathering applications.’
‘A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.’
Editor’s Note: You can also listen to a recent interview with the author of this piece here.
‘Of all the aspects of the current crisis over the NATO/Russia standoff in Ukraine, the determined intervention into Ukrainian political affairs by the United States has been the least reported, at least until recently. While new reports have appeared concerning CIA Director John Brennan’s mid-April trip to Kiev, and CIA/FBI sending “dozens” of advisers to the Ukrainian security services, very few reports mention that U.S. intervention in Ukraine affairs goes back to the end of World War II. It has hardly let up since then.
The fact of such intervention is not hard to find. Indeed, it’s hard to know where to start in documenting all this, there is so much out there if one is willing to look for it. But the mainstream U.S. press, and their blogger shadows, are ignoring this for the most part. Some exceptions at the larger alternative websites include Jeffrey St. Clair’s Counterpunch and Robert Parry’s Consortium News. Even these latter outlets have almost nothing to say about the approximately 70 year history of U.S. intervention in Ukraine.’
- Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration: America’s Dirty Little Ukraine Secret
- The Return of the UkrainianFar Right: The Case of VO Svoboda
- To Catch A Nazi: 1986 Village Voice article on OUN leader Mykola Lebed
- Hitler’s Shadow: Nazi War Criminals, U.S. Intelligence, and the Cold War (Book)
- U.S. Intelligence and the Nazis (Book)
- What Cold War CIA Interrogators Learned from the Nazis
- Just Stopping By: CIA Director John Brennan made a surprise visit to Kiev
- Dozens Of CIA, FBI Agents “Advising Ukraine Government”, German Press Reports
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine to fend off Putin-backed rebels
- NATO chief in Kiev discusses support for Ukraine’s defensive power
- Joe Biden tells Kiev US will support them
‘When the White House went public with its catching-bin-Laden story, they told every media outlet just about every detail of the raid possible. They even allowed a Hollywood blockbuster to be made about the event. There was so much leakage of information that Dianne Feinstein called for a criminal investigation. Among the leaks was the information that the CIA had recruited doctors to collect DNA samples to help find bin Laden by going door to door to vaccinate people. The Taliban learned of this and started banning vaccines. Now, there is a huge resurgence of polio in Pakistan. The Resident discusses.’ (The Resident)
‘The government stands accused of seeking to conceal Britain’s role in extraordinary rendition, ahead of the release of a declassified intelligence report that exposes the use of torture at US secret prisons around the world.
The Senate report on the CIA‘s interrogation programme, due to be released in days, will confirm that the US tortured terrorist suspects after 9/11. In advance of the release, Barack Obama admitted on Friday: “We tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values.”
Now, in a letter to the human rights group Reprieve, former foreign secretary William Hague has confirmed that the UK government has held discussions with the US about what it intends to reveal in the report which, according to al-Jazeera, acknowledges that the British territory of Diego Garcia was used for extraordinary rendition.’
‘President Obama said Friday that some CIA officials who interrogated suspects after the 9/11 attacks “crossed a line” into torture. “We did a whole lot of things that were right, but we tortured some folks,” Obama said while discussing a forthcoming Senate report on enhanced interrogation techniques. “We did some things that were contrary to our values.”‘
- Citing redactions, Feinstein delays release of CIA torture report
- CIA Torture Was Unnecessary, Senate Report To Conclude
- CIA Employees Think They May Be Thrown Under The Bus After The ‘Torture Report’ Comes Out
- CIA spied on Senate staff: Interview with Coleen Rowley
- John Brennan Faces Calls to Resign After CIA Admits to Spying on Senate Torture Probe
- Rand Paul calls for CIA chief Brennan to be fired
- Nancy Pelosi Hesitates To Criticize CIA: ‘They Really Come After You’
- CIA Admits It Spied on Senate Intel Panel
- Senators: CIA ‘Misleading’ Public Over Secret Torture Report
- Time to scrap the CIA
- 2012: Obama’s justice department grants final immunity to Bush’s CIA torturers
- 2011: Torture crimes officially, permanently shielded
‘[...] The fear of Communist expansion into the Western Hemisphere after Fidel Castro’s 1959 victory in the Cuban Revolution was the geo-political background for the 1963 KUBARK manual. Castro’s victory not only encouraged the 1964 U.S.-supported overthrow of democratically elected Brazilian President Joao Goulart; it also encouraged the CIA to spread KUBARK across the continent to help prop up pro-U.S. governments. After the Brazilian coup, right-wing military leaders across Latin America began seizing control from democratically elected governments with US encouragement, School of the Americas degrees, and a copy of the KUBARK manual.
The Secret, 127-page KUBARK manual, first declassified (with redactions) in 1997 thanks to a Baltimore Sun FOIA request, is a comprehensive guide for training interrogators in obtaining intelligence from “resistant sources.” According to the National Security Archive’s 2004 posting, Prisoner Abuse: Patterns from the Past, KUBARK –a CIA cryptonym for itself– “describes the qualifications of a successful interrogator, and reviews the theory of non-coercive and coercive techniques for breaking a prisoner.”’
- CIA: KUBARK’s very long shadow
- After 16 years, CIA declassifies new portions of “KUBARK” interrogation manual
- Newly Revealed Portions of CIA Torture Manual: Doctoring Tapes, Foreign Detentions & Interrogating ‘Defectors”
- National Archives Quietly Pulls School of the Americas Human Rights Evidence Citing Possible “Terrorist Activity”
- Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted
- A Debate on Torture: Legal Architect of CIA Secret Prisons, Rendition vs. Human Rights Attorney
- CIA Admits It Spied on Senate Intel Panel
- Internal CIA Investigation Confirms CIA Hacked into Senate Computers Being Used for Torture Report
- Scahill: White House Censoring What US Public Can Know About Torture Program
- Pelosi Hesitates To Criticize CIA: ‘They Really Come After You’
- White House accidentally emails torture report document to AP
- CIA initially ‘kept Colin Powell in the dark’ about torture practices
- Senate’s CIA report could come out in August
- Senators consider obscure rule in CIA torture report declassification debate
- Dispute over ex-CIA officials’ access to Senate ‘torture report’ highlights feud
- New Torture Report Blames Obama and the Media for Not Confronting the Truth
- The CIA spying scandal and the disintegration of American democracy
- Security fears loom over CIA report
- Torture, the Senate, and the CIA
- What Happened to CIA Torture Report? Senate in the Dark Too
- Generals Want CIA Torture Report Declassified
- CIA torture architect breaks silence to defend ‘enhanced interrogation’
- CIA’s Declassified Torture Handbook: How to Create a “World of Fear, Terror, Anxiety, Dread”
- Don’t Let the Torturer Play Censor
‘The National Security Agency last year significantly expanded its cooperative relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Interior, one of the world’s most repressive and abusive government agencies. An April 2013 top secret memo provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden details the agency’s plans “to provide direct analytic and technical support” to the Saudis on “internal security” matters.
The Saudi Ministry of Interior—referred to in the document as MOI— has been condemned for years as one of the most brutal human rights violators in the world. In 2013, the U.S. State Department reported that “Ministry of Interior officials sometimes subjected prisoners and detainees to torture and other physical abuse,” specifically mentioning a 2011 episode in which MOI agents allegedly “poured an antiseptic cleaning liquid down [the] throat” of one human rights activist. The report also notes the MOI’s use of invasive surveillance targeted at political and religious dissidents.
But as the State Department publicly catalogued those very abuses, the NSA worked to provide increased surveillance assistance to the ministry that perpetrated them. The move is part of the Obama Administration’s increasingly close ties with the Saudi regime; beyond the new cooperation with the MOI, the memo describes “a period of rejuvenation” for the NSA’s relationship with the Saudi Ministry of Defense.’
‘The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Poland had violated the United Nations Convention Against Torture when it allowed the CIA to torture and abuse prisoners on its territory. It also ruled that the country had violated the Convention by allowing the CIA to transfer prisoners, even though they would likely be subject to undisclosed detention. And the court ruled that Poland had violated the Convention by transferring prisoners to a country where they had a real risk of facing a “flagrant denial of justice.”
The complaints of violations of the torture convention came from Abu Zubaydah [PDF] and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [PDF]. Poland was ordered to pay 130,000 euros to Zubaydah and $100,000 to Nashiri for “enabling US authorities” to subject the two men to torture and ill-treatment. ECHR also sought to hold the country accountable for its “failure to carry out an effective investigation,” a violation of the torture convention as well. The Polish government has not decided whether it would like to appeal. Throughout the ECHR proceedings, the government consistently refused to constructively participate and provide information that would help the court make a fair ruling.’
‘His CIA career included assignments in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the most perilous posting for Jeffrey Scudder turned out to be a two-year stint in a sleepy office that looks after the agency’s historical files. It was there that Scudder discovered a stack of articles, hundreds of histories of long-dormant conflicts and operations that he concluded were still being stored in secret years after they should have been shared with the public.
To get them released, Scudder submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act — a step that any citizen can take, but one that is highly unusual for a CIA employee. Four years later, the CIA has released some of those articles and withheld others. It also has forced Scudder out. His request set in motion a harrowing sequence. He was confronted by supervisors and accused of mishandling classified information while assembling his FOIA request. His house was raided by the FBI and his family’s computers seized. Stripped of his job and his security clearance, Scudder said he agreed to retire last year after being told that if he refused, he risked losing much of his pension.’
‘As the exploding crisis in Iraq spotlights once again the tragic record of American policy in the Middle East, Bill speaks with investigative journalist Charles Lewis, whose new book, “935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity“ details the many government falsehoods that have led us into the current nightmare. Lewis details the deceptions and illusions that have caused “most Americans and their elected representatives to completely ignore facts, logic and reason in the rush to war.” A complicit partner, he says, is a media intent on preserving the status quo and never offending the ruling elite.
Lewis tells Bill, “An outrageous thing happened. We lost $2 trillion. More than 100,000 people died. Folks are going to be maimed for life in the tens of thousands… And no one has ever acknowledged that this was a war on a lark. It was a complete war of choice, because a certain little faction wanted to do it and they orchestrated it… Did they make statements that weren’t true? The answer is yes.” This week’s show begins with an essay by Bill on the foresight of the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, who, after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, predicted the trap in which the West would fall attempting to interfere in the Middle East.’ (Bill Moyers)
‘Officials familiar with the situation are faulting the CIA’s lack of intelligence on Iraq in the lead-up to the ISIS offensive, saying the agency let most of its huge spy network rot on the vine after the occupation ended. With no ground troops to back them up, the large CIA presence in Iraq mostly wound up hanging out in the Baghdad embassy, reluctant to go anywhere without protection.
The CIA defended its spy network, insisting anyone who was really familiar with the intelligence the CIA had produced on Iraq wouldn’t have been surprised by what ISIS had done. Other officials, keen to shift the blame overseas, are faulting Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, saying he had compromised a number of CIA spies over the years. They implied Iran had something to do with this.’
‘Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is a man on a mission. But it’s a mission that frightens the US intelligence establishment to its core. With 18 years experience working across the US intelligence community, followed by 20 more years in commercial intelligence and training, Steele’s exemplary career has spanned almost all areas of both the clandestine world. Steele started off as a Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer. After four years on active duty, he joined the CIA for about a decade before co-founding the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, where he was deputy director. Widely recognised as the leader of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) paradigm, Steele went on to write the handbooks on OSINT for NATO, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Forces. In passing, he personally trained 7,500 officers from over 66 countries.
In 1992, despite opposition from the CIA, he obtained Marine Corps permission to organise a landmark international conference on open source intelligence – the paradigm of deriving information to support policy decisions not through secret activities, but from open public sources available to all. The conference was such a success it brought in over 620 attendees from the intelligence world. But the CIA wasn’t happy, and ensured that Steele was prohibited from running a second conference. The clash prompted him to resign from his position as second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps intelligence, and pursue the open source paradigm elsewhere. He went on to found and head up the Open Source Solutions Network Inc. and later the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network which runs the Public Intelligence Blog.’
- Robert Steele at LIBTECHNYC: The Open Source Everything Manifesto
- The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth and Trust by Robert David Steele
- A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, Report of the UN High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change
- The Crisis of Civilizatiion (Documentary)
- Robert David Steele’s Book Reviews
‘The US must not be allowed again to use Diego Garcia, Britain’s territory in the Indian Ocean, to transfer terror suspects, for combat operations, “or any other politically sensitive activity”, without the explicit authority of the British government, a cross-party group of MPs insists. Information about the extent to which the CIA used the island as a “black site” to transfer detainees is still being withheld, it suggests.
Inhabitants of Diego Garcia were forcibly removed by the Labour government in the 1960s to make way for a large US military base. The island has been used as a bomber base for air strikes against Iraq and Afghanistan. More controversially, it was secretly used as a refuelling transit stop for CIA aircraft rendering detainees to Guantánamo Bay. In 2008, the Labour government was forced to retract assurances it had previously given to MPs about the CIA’s use of the base. In its report on Thursday,, the Commons foreign affairs committee refers to a classified US Congress investigation that suggests the British government is still withholding information about the full extent of the CIA’s use of Diego Garcia.’
‘Abby Martin reports on the 10th anniversary of the CIA’s first drone strikes in Pakistan, looking over Breaking the Set’s coverage of drone strikes since the beginning of show first aired.’ (Breaking the Set)
- Former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke: U.S. Drone Program Under Obama “Got Out of Hand”
- Jeremy Scahill: Australia ‘Fully In Bed’ With U.S. Drone Strikes Against It’s Own Citizens
- Obama’s Drone War Shows No Signs of Ending
- Most US drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses
- Hack-proof drone unveiled by Pentagon
- David Swanson: Why I Don’t Want to See the Drone Memo
- Senate Confirms Drone Memo Author as Appeals Court Judge
- Report: Justice Dept to Release Redacted Drone Memo
- Congress Is Making Plans To Limit Use Of Military Drones
- The True Costs of Remote Control War
- Our Drone Wars Are Just Beginning
- UK telecoms infrastructure used to support controversial US drone operations
- The Rise of the Drone Master: Pop Culture Recasts Obama
- US drone strike reports wildly inaccurate: Interview with Sara Flounders
- Pentagon Now Fears Drones Being Used Against US
- New Jet-Powered Drone Can Kill 1,800 Miles From Home Base
‘As the whistleblowing NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden made his dramatic escape to Russia a year ago, a secret US government jet – previously employed in CIA “rendition” flights on which terror suspects disappeared into invisible “black” imprisonment – flew into Europe in a bid to spirit him back to America, the Register can reveal.
On the evening of 24 June 2013, as Snowden arrived in Moscow from Hong Kong intending to fly on to Cuba, an unmarked Gulfstream V business jet – tail number N977GA – took off from a quiet commercial airport 30 miles from Washington DC. Manassas Regional Airport discreetly offers its clients “the personal accommodations and amenities you can’t find at commercial airports”.
Early next morning, N977GA was detected heading east over Scotland at the unusually high altitude of 45,000 feet. It had not filed a flight plan, and was flying above the level at which air traffic control reporting is mandatory. “The plane showed up on our system at 5:20 on 25 June,” according to our source, a member of an internet aircraft-tracking network run by enthusiasts in the UK. “We knew the reputation of this aircraft and what it had done in the past.”‘
‘[...] Of course, the CIA is far from alone in trying to lighten up its image: PR offensives are all the rage among tyrants, too. Are you a bloodstained despot who wants to polish your sullied reputation? Your first port of call is surely Bell Pottinger, run by Thatcher’s publicity guru, Lord Bell. The dictatorships of Bahrain and Belarus, the Syrian dictator’s wife, Pinochet himself – all have had their reputations spruced up by the firm. Its services include cleaning up those embarrassing Wikipedia articles and Google search results. Kazakhstan’s pro-western dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev – who locks up dissidents and massacres striking oil workers – is a pro at PR campaigns, hiring Tony Blair at vast expense. The Burmese junta hasn’t hired Blair, but its “new Burma” rebrand is very New Labour. Equatorial Guinea’s dictator ropes in Hollywood stars, pop stars and other celebs to distract from torture, arbitrary detention and execution.
The CIA might try and LOL away its record, but given the world is still dealing with the consequences of its many disastrous postwar interventions, it shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it. “Terrorism” is normally used when referring to acts of violence committed by non-white people hostile to the west. But if we’re understanding the term to mean acts of terror committed for political ends, then the CIA is surely the greatest terrorist organisation on earth.’
‘Amid a deadly backlash again vaccinations and a resurgence of polio in Pakistan, the White House has promised that the CIA will never again use an immunization campaign as a tool of spycraft. “I wanted to inform you that the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) directed in August 2013 that the agency make no operational use of vaccination programs, which includes vaccination workers,” President Obama’s top counterterrorism and homeland security advisor, Lisa Monaco, wrote to the deans of 12 public health schools.
“Similarly, the Agency will not seek to obtain or exploit DNA or other genetic material acquired through such programs,” Monaco wrote. “This CIA policy applies worldwide and to U.S. and non-U.S. persons alike.” The Central Intelligence Agency had enlisted a Pakistani doctor, Shakil Afridi, to collect intelligence under the guise of an immunization effort in the city of Abbottabad as part of planning for the high-risk May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound there.’
‘A federal appeals court has ruled against the release of the final volume of CIA history of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. It decided the agency could keep it secret under an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that is supposed to protect inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters from being subject to release. Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed by President George W. Bush and played a lead role in drafting the “Starr Report” urging impeachment of President Bill Clinton, wrote the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit’s opinion [PDF].
“The CIA here invokes the deliberative process privilege,” Kavanaugh writes. “A form of executive privilege, the deliberative process privilege covers deliberative, pre-decisional communications within the Executive Branch. One of the rationales for the privilege is to encourage the candid and frank exchange of ideas in the agency’s decision-making process.” Kavanaugh adds, “We have held that a draft of an agency’s official history is pre-decisional and deliberative, and thus protected under the deliberative process privilege.”
But there are a few critical questions to ask in response to this decision: What exactly is the CIA keeping concealed? Why have the other volumes of draft history been released by the agency with a few redactions? Is this even a reasonable interpretation of the law?’
‘The senior former Iranian intelligence officer who quarterbacked the 1983 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut and killed scores of Americans was recently living under CIA protection in the United States, a book being published Tuesday says. Ali Reza Asgari was given asylum by the George W. Bush administration in 2007 after he defected in Turkey, according to The Good Spy, a biography of Robert Ames, a legendary CIA officer who was among those killed in the embassy bombing. In all, 63 people died, 17 of them Americans, including seven other CIA officers. Ames, who had been the agency’s Beirut station chief, was visiting the embassy as the CIA’s top Middle East analyst.
Asgari, a top commander of Iran’s shadowy Revolutionary Guards force in Lebanon, “remains in the United States, probably living under a CIA agent-protection program,” according to the book’s author, Kai Bird, who a shared Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2006 for his book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The CIA did not respond to Newsweek’s request for comment over the weekend, but on Monday evening flatly denied it had aided and abetted Asgari’s defection and resettlement.’
‘On May 14, the US Marines announced the deployment of 200 marines to Sicily, in southern Italy, as a “crisis response” force for Libya. They did so at the behest of the US State Department, who at the time insisted there was no specific threat, nor any imminent plan to evacuate the embassy in Tripoli.
Just four days later, General Khalifa Hifter and his self-proclaimed Libyan National Army attacked Tripoli, took over parliament, and announced his intention to “purge” the nation of Islamists, starting with the parliamentarians themselves.
It’s Gen. Hifter’s second attempted coup this year, and seems to be going quite a bit better than the February fiasco, which began with statements announcing his takeover, and never really expanded much beyond that. The timing of the marine deployment suggests this latest move did not come as a major surprise to the administration, but Hifter’s US connections may run much deeper.’
- Libyan General Seizes Parliament, Much of Tripoli
- Forces of renegade Libyan general demand parliament hand over power
- Families evacuate Benghazi as renegade Libyan general vows more attacks
- Rogue Libyan general leads attack on Islamist militias in Benghazi
- Islamist-backed businessman appointed Libya premier
- The Libyan coup that never was
- Is General Khalifa Hifter The CIA’s Man In Libya?
- Khalifa Haftar: The man who left Virginia to lead Libya’s rebels
- Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia
- Colorful past behind Libyan ‘coup maker’
‘There is no such thing as a free lunch as states that are recipients of western aid understand only too well. The naive may believe that foreign aid is a tool to help developing countries; sceptics are convinced it’s a quid pro quo enabling wealthy powers to exercise geopolitical policy objectives. In a documentary, filmmaker John Pilger made the case that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are “The New Rulers of the World” on behalf of their largest donor countries — the US, the UK, Germany, France and Japan. But some less powerful nations are alleging that one agency — the US Agency for International Development (USAID) — is acting as a front for the CIA.
When the Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled and shutdown USAID in his country last year for alleged attempts to undermine his leftist government, he wasn’t being paranoid after all. As a recent expose by the Associated Press shows USAID’s so-called “democracy promotion programmes” are designed to foment dissent against governments unfriendly to Washington. “In a number of countries, including Venezuela and Bolivia, USAID is acting more as an agency involved in covert action, like the CIA, than as an aid or development agency,” asserted Mark Weisbrot, an economist with a Washington-based think tank, the Centre for Economic and Policy Research.’
- Costa Rica Waits for US to Explain ‘Cuban Twitter’
- USAID’s Days Counted in Ecuador
- CIA Front, USAID, “Spreading Democracy”, Gearing Up in Ukraine – Suharto II?
- The murderous history of USAID, the US Government agency behind Cuba’s fake Twitter clone
- Is USAID the New CIA? Agency Secretly Built Cuban Twitter Program To Fuel Anti-Castro Protests
‘The World Health Organization has designated the spread of polio in Asia, Africa and the Middle East a global public health emergency requiring a coordinated “international response.” Three countries pose the greatest risk of further spreading the paralyzing virus: Pakistan, Cameroon and Syria. In an unusual step, the W.H.O. recommended all residents of those countries, of all ages, to be vaccinated before traveling abroad. The organization also said another seven countries — Afghanistan, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Nigeria and Somalia — should “encourage” all their would-be travelers to get vaccinated. Until recently, polio had been nearly eradicated thanks to a 25-year campaign that vaccinated billions of children. In Pakistan, the increase in polio is being linked to a secret CIA ploy used in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With the help of a Pakistani doctor, the CIA set up a fake vaccination campaign in the city of Abbottabad in an effort to get DNA from the bin Laden family. The Taliban subsequently announced a ban on immunization efforts and launched a string of deadly attacks on medical workers. We are joined by two guests: Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for DAWN, Pakistan’s largest English newspaper, who has been covering the rise of polio in Pakistan since the bin Laden raid; and one of Pakistan’s leading polio experts, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta.’ (Democracy Now!)
‘For nearly six decades, the 321-page file lay unnoticed in the archives of the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency — but now its contents have revealed a new chapter of German postwar history that is as spectacular as it is mysterious.
The previously secret documents reveal the existence of a coalition of approximately 2,000 former officers — veterans of the Nazi-era Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS — who decided to put together an army in postwar Germany in 1949. They made their preparations without a mandate from the German government, without the knowledge of the parliament and, the documents show, by circumventing Allied occupation forces.
The goal of the retired officers: to defend nascent West Germany against Eastern aggression in the early stages of the Cold War and, on the domestic front, deploy against the Communists in the event of a civil war.’