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LETTER TO A SPOOK

SEE ALSO: POST CONSTITUTIONAL AMERICA

NSA WATCH

A GREAT COLLECTION OF FBI SNOOPING on American citizens including a letter from John Steinbeck to the Attorney General asking him to get the FBI off his back.

CIA ends public access to its translations of foreign new reports

Secrecy News - The decision by the Central Intelligence Agency to terminate public access to its translations of foreign news reports at the end of 2013 continues to reverberate among frustrated former consumers.

The translations had been performed by the Open Source Center at CIA, and marketed to subscribers through the NTIS World News Connection. Their absence has left a felt void, particularly since the daily products had been continuously available to the public (by paid subscription) since 1974.

"The first three months of 2014 have seen so many crucial international stories that current WNC Daily Report public access could have helped to illuminate," said one disappointed subscriber. "OSC short-sightedness is mind-boggling."

An effort to reverse the CIA move and to restore public access is beginning to take shape, but the prospects for success are uncertain.

CIA used musicians to experiment with drugs

If Nixon was impeachable, why not Obama?

Eric London, Global Research - It is instructive to compare the actions of the CIA and the White House today to the Articles of Impeachment against President Richard M. Nixon approved by the House Judiciary Committee on July 27, 1974. Nixon was accused of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to steal Democratic Party documents relating to the 1972 elections from an office in the Watergate Hotel. He used the CIA and other intelligence agencies to cover up the break-in and intimidate political opponents in order to obstruct the investigation into the incident.

The Articles of Impeachment included the charge that Nixon “engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation” of the Watergate break-in so as to “cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.”

In pursuit of this cover-up, the House committee charged, Nixon was involved, among other things, in “withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;” “interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations” by government bodies; “endeavoring to misuse the Central Intelligence Agency;” and “making or causing to be made false or misleading public statements for the purpose of deceiving the people of the United States into believing that a thorough and complete investigation had been conducted with respect to the allegations of misconduct on the part of personnel of the executive branch…”

Changing what needs to be changed, the same accusations can be leveled at Obama and the White House today. Evidence of criminality, including videotapes of CIA torture of terrorist suspects, was destroyed by Bush administration officials, and the Obama administration has assisted in the cover-up by “withholding relevant and material evidence,” including thousands of pages of documents. The administration is “interfering or endeavoring to interfere with the conduct of investigations” by the Senate Intelligence Committee, and is working with the CIA to “conceal the existence and scope” of illegal activities.

As for Obama’s insistence that documents must be withheld from the Intelligence Committee to protect “long-recognized executive prerogatives and confidentiality interests” (according to Obama spokesman Jay Carney), and that the 9,400 documents the White House is withholding are only a “tiny percentage” of the documents that have been turned over—these statements also mirror the events of 40 years ago. Nixon cited “executive privilege” to withhold White House tapes documenting his crimes, a claim ruled invalid by the Supreme Court. And the eighteen-and-a-half minutes that Nixon deleted from the tapes were only a “tiny percentage” of the 3,700 hours that were eventually turned over.

Whereas Nixon’s cover-up involved “dirty tricks” operations—including burglary, theft, illegal wiretapping, victimization of political opponents and election fraud—the Obama administration is covering up even more serious crimes—an international program of state torture and assassination, carried out in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of “cruel and unusual punishment.”

And by spying on a congressional body charged with oversight of the executive branch, the Obama administration is violating the governing principles of “separation of powers” and “checks and balances” between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government that are fundamental to the constitutional framework established by the American Revolution. This is a milestone on the road to dictatorship.

Pelosi hints CIA might be blackmailing Congress

Mike Masnick, Tech Dirt - In response to Senator Dianne Feinstein's speech calling out the CIA for spying on her staffers, Rep. Nancy Pelosi was asked to comment and gave what might be the most revealing comments to date as to why Congress is so scared of the CIA:

“I salute Sen. Feinstein,” Pelosi said at her weekly news conference of the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I’ll tell you, you take on the intelligence community, you’re a person of courage, and she does not do that lightly. Not without evidence, and when I say evidence, documentation of what it is that she is putting forth.”

Pelosi added that she has always fought for checks and balances on CIA activity and its interactions with Congress: “You don’t fight it without a price because they come after you and they don’t always tell the truth.

A few months back, the ACLU had posted something questioning whether or not the intelligence community might be blackmailing Congress...

Pelosi's comments certainly seem to hint at even more nefarious activity by the intelligence community against politicians who dare to actually do the job of oversight. The point of that ACLU post is that, even if it's not happening, the fact that we can't definitively rule it out is a serious problem for democracy. And just the fact that some of the most powerful members of Congress, who are theoretically in charge of oversight, are now publicly admitting that they're scared of how the CIA fights back when they take them on, suggests that the intelligence community really is rotten to the core. And Congressional oversight, as it stands today, is clearly not able to deal with the issue by itself.

Did CIA spy on Senate committee?

McClatchy - The CIA Inspector General’s Office has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations of malfeasance at the spy agency in connection with a yet-to-be released Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s secret detention and interrogation program, McClatchy has learned.

The criminal referral may be related to what several knowledgeable people said was CIA monitoring of computers used by Senate aides to prepare the study. The monitoring may have violated an agreement between the committee and the agency.

The development marks an unprecedented breakdown in relations between the CIA and its congressional overseers amid an extraordinary closed-door battle over the 6,300-page report on the agency’s use of waterboarding and harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists held in secret overseas prisons. The report is said to be a searing indictment of the program. The CIA has disputed some of the reports findings.

White House officials have closely tracked the bitter struggle, a McClatchy investigation has found. But they haven’t directly intervened, perhaps because they are embroiled in their own feud with the committee, resisting surrendering top-secret documents that the CIA asserted were covered by executive privilege and sent to the White House.

McClatchy’s findings are based on information found in official documents and provided by people with knowledge of the dispute being fought in the seventh-floor executive offices of the CIA’s headquarters in Langley, Va., and the committee’s high-security work spaces on Capitol Hill.

The people who spoke to McClatchy asked not to be identified because the feud involves highly classified matters and carries enormous consequences for congressional oversight over the executive branch.

Intelligence agencies don't even know what their contractors are up to

Look who's been hired to catch Edward Snowden

NY Times and ABC News lied abut CIA operative

The part of the kidnapping story the White House and media don't talk about

Black budget is $52 billion

Word: The Manning -Snowden generation

Not content to screw up abroad, it looks like the DIA may be robbing American banks on the side

Obamadmin blows prosecution of Blackwater as well as banks

Brennan could be arrested while traveling abroad

Obama has charged more people under Espionage Act than all former presidents combined

2012

Innocent Man Kidnapped, Stripped, Beaten and Drugged in Secret CIA Jail -- Court Rules in His Favor, Against CIA

Zero Dark Thirty glorifies American war crimes

If Jeb Bush wins next time, it will be our fifth president in a row with ties to the CIA

Department of Hmm. . .

Inside CIA's Poland torture camp

Three ex-NSA employees back charges of illegal government spying on citizens

The spying story the media ignored

US courts approve 30,000 secret spying orders a year

Wikileaks: Swedish foreign minister said to be U.S. spy

 CIA
BACK TO TOP

ATT selling Americans' phone records to CIA

106 startups that got investments from CIA

Washington Post to retain CIA ties with new owner

2013

CIA admits Area 51 exists

CIA refusing to declassify report that shows it misleading Congress

The CIA's Oscars

CIA got Zero Dark Thirty rewritten

At least 20 CIA prisoners still missing

Italian ex-spy chief gets 10 years in CIA case

Intelligence journalist and author James Bamford: "Brennan was [Obama's] chief adviser when it came to intelligence issues and national security, and it shows. He's become a sort of Rasputin or whatever, the guy who's opened the door to the dark side for Obama."

Obama's CIA nominee knew torture was going on

Recovered history: Carl Bernstein's expose of the CIA in the mass media

Obama to name murder and torture expert as head of CIA

2012

#HarpersIndex: Minimum number of edits to Wikipedia, from Summer '04 to Fall '07, that can be traced to the CIA: 310

More evidence of secret CIA prison in Poland

The CIA: spooking American politics for three decades

CIA's Petreus wants to spy on you through your dishwasher

Why you don't want to marry a CIA agent

CIA is concealing what it’s learned about climate change

CIA turns from spying to just killing people

CIA worked closely with Libya on tortures and renditions

CIA spying on New Yorkers

More on CIA torture prison in Somalia

CIA spied on professor who criticized Iraq war

2010

CIA HEAD JOKED ABOUT DESTROYING TORTURE TAPES

CIA INFILTRATES COLLEGE CAMPUSES AGAIN

THE CIA'S GUIDE TO COMMITTING WAR CRIMES

CIA AGENTS HELPED HEDGE FUNDS PLAY THE MARKETS

2009

CIA TO SPY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

CIA WANTS TO TURN COLLEGES INTO SPY FACTORIES

SEVEN FORMER CIA HEADS TELL OBAMA NOT TO INVESTIGATE THEIR AGENCY'S CRIMES

CIA OUTSOURCED ASSASSINATIONS

MORE ON THE CIA KILLER SQUAD

A SHORT HISTORY OF CIA LIES TO CONGRESS

FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS CIA REPEATEDLY MISLED HIM

NO GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS ON CIA ASSASSINATION PLAN

JESSE VENTURA ON THE CIA'S INTEREST IN MINNESOTA

2011

Why Mueller shouldn’t be reappointed as FBI director

Petraeus will be great for covering up, not finding out, facts

PHYSICIANS GROUP SAYS BUSH REGIME CONDUCTED ILLEGAL EXPERIMENTS ON PRISONERS

US STILL USING PRIVATE SPY RINGS

2010

PAPA BUSH CHILLS WITH NOREIGA

NOREIGA: THE HUSSEIN AND KARZAI OF ANOTHER ERA

2009

SWEETHEART DEALS IN THE SPY WORLD

TIM SHORROCK, SALON Over the past decade, contracting for America's spy agencies has grown into a $50 billion industry that eats up seven of every 10 dollars spent by the U.S. government on its intelligence services. Today, unbeknownst to most Americans, agencies once renowned for their prowess in analysis, covert operations, electronic surveillance and overhead reconnaissance outsource many of their core tasks to the private sector. The bulk of this market is serviced by about 100 companies, ranging in size from multibillion dollar defense behemoths to small technology shops funded by venture capitalists.

Nearly every one of them has sought out former high-ranking intelligence and national security officials as both managers and directors. Like [Richard] Armitage, these are people who have served for decades in the upper echelons of national power. Their lives have been defined by secret briefings, classified documents, covert wars and sensitive intelligence missions. Many of them have kept their security clearances and maintain a hand in government by serving as advisers to high-level advisory bodies at the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and the White House. Now, with their government careers behind them, they make their living by rendering strategic advice to the dozens of information technology vendors and intelligence contractors headquartered along the banks of the Potomac River and the byways of Washington's Beltway. . .

Take the case of George Tenet, who retired in 2004 from his service as President Bush's CIA director. As he was writing his memoirs and preparing for a new career as a professor at Georgetown University, Tenet quietly began cutting deals with companies that earn much of their revenues from contracts with the intelligence community. And, as I was the first to report a year ago in Salon, Tenet began to make big money off of the Iraq war. By the end of 2007, he had made nearly $3 million in directors' fees and other compensation from his service as a director and adviser to four companies that provide the U.S. government with technology, equipment and personnel used for the war in Iraq, as well as in the broader war on terror.

2006

FORGET CIVIL LIBERTIES, JUST CHECK NSA'S MATH

BRUCE SCHNEIER - What is the probability that people are terrorists given that NSA's mass surveillance identifies them as terrorists? If the probability is zero (p=0.00), then they certainly are not terrorists, and NSA was wasting resources and damaging the lives of innocent citizens. If the probability is one (p=1.00), then they definitely are terrorists, and NSA has saved the day. If the probability is fifty-fifty (p=0.50), that is the same as guessing the flip of a coin. The conditional probability that people are terrorists given that the NSA surveillance system says they are, that had better be very near to one (p=1.00) and very far from zero (p=0.00). The mathematics of conditional probability were figured out by the Scottish logician Thomas Bayes. If you Google "Bayes' Theorem", you will get more than a million hits. Bayes' Theorem is taught in all elementary statistics classes. Everyone at NSA certainly knows Bayes' Theorem. . .

No matter how sophisticated and super-duper are NSA's methods for identifying terrorists, no matter how big and fast are NSA's computers, NSA's accuracy rate will never be 100% and their misidentification rate will never be 0%. That fact, plus the extremely low base-rate for terrorists, means it is logically impossible for mass surveillance to be an effective way to find terrorists. . .

The US Census shows that there are about 300 million people living in the USA.

Suppose that there are 1,000 terrorists there as well, which is probably a high estimate. The base-rate would be 1 terrorist per 300,000 people. In percentages, that is .00033%, which is way less than 1%. Suppose that NSA surveillance has an accuracy rate of .40, which means that 40% of real terrorists in the USA will be identified by NSA's monitoring of everyone's email and phone calls. This is probably a high estimate, considering that terrorists are doing their best to avoid detection. There is no evidence thus far that NSA has been so successful at finding terrorists. And suppose NSA's misidentification rate is .0001, which means that .01% of innocent people will be misidentified as terrorists, at least until they are investigated, detained and interrogated. Note that .01% of the US population is 30,000 people. With these suppositions, then the probability that people are terrorists given that NSA's system of surveillance identifies them as terrorists is only p=0.0132, which is near zero, very far from one. Ergo, NSA's surveillance system is useless for finding terrorists.

Suppose that NSA's system is more accurate than .40, let's say, .70, which means that 70% of terrorists in the USA will be found by mass monitoring of phone calls and email messages. Then, by Bayes' Theorem, the probability that a person is a terrorist if targeted by NSA is still only p=0.0228, which is near zero, far from one, and useless.

Suppose that NSA's system is really, really, really good, really, really good, with an accuracy rate of .90, and a misidentification rate of .00001, which means that only 3,000 innocent people are misidentified as terrorists. With these suppositions, then the probability that people are terrorists given that NSA's system of surveillance identifies them as terrorists is only p=0.2308, which is far from one and well below flipping a coin. NSA's domestic monitoring of everyone's email and phone calls is useless for finding terrorists.

As an exercise to the reader, you can use the same analysis to show that data mining is an excellent tool for finding stolen credit cards, or stolen cell phones. Data mining is by no means useless; it's just useless for this particular application

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/07/terrorists_data.html

FRONT COMPANY COVERS FOR TELECOMS' DEALINGS WITH SPY AGENCIES

PAUL KIEL AND JUSTIN ROOD, TPM MUCKRAKER - - A new Business Week article may help explain how AT&T and BellSouth can say they didn't help the NSA, despite the spy agency having millions of their records showing the call details of Americans using their networks. The magazine reveals a hidden corner of the telecommunications world: a small group of companies who specialize in granting the government access to telecommunications records, conversations and real-time data on behalf of the telecom giants.

That's right: the government now makes so many requests for wiretaps, phone records and call information that an industry has sprung up to handle the load. Rather than respond themselves to requests from the FBI and others, a telco can sign up with one of these companies, give them access to their call records and equipment, and let that third party do all the hard work. What are the benefits? One company, Neu Star, doesn't beat around the bush. In a pitch to service providers, it bills itself as a "scapegoat" for hire, presumably allowing phone companies to deny responsibility for or involvement in turning over their records to the government.

Neu Star actually has an advantage over its competitors: it's not just an FBI-friendly third party, it's a major routing company. According to their web site, "Nearly every telephone call placed is routed using Neu Star's system, and every telecommunications service provider is one of Neu Star's customers."

http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000698.php

WHY THE CIA GETS IT WRONG

GEORGE FRIEDMAN, STRATFOR INTELLIGENCE - The issue is not who heads the CIA or what its bureaucratic structure might be. The issue is, as it has been for decades, what it is that the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community are supposed to do and how they are supposed to do it. On the surface, the answer to that is clear: The job of the intelligence community, taken as a whole, is to warn the president of major threats or changes in the international system. At least that appears to be the mission, but the problem with that definition is that the intelligence community (or IC) has never been good at dealing with major surprises, threats and issues. Presidents have always accepted major failures on the part of the IC.

Consider. The IC failed to predict the North Korean invasion of South Korea. It failed to predict Chinese intervention there. It failed to predict the Israeli-British-French invasion of Suez in 1956. It failed to recognize that Castro was a communist until well after he took power. It failed to predict the Berlin Wall. It failed to predict or know that the Soviets had placed missiles in Cuba (a discovery that came with U-2 overflights by the Air Force). It failed to recognize the Sino-Soviet split until quite late. It failed to predict the tenacity of the North Vietnamese in the face of bombing, and their resilience in South Vietnam. The IC was very late in recognizing the fall of the shah of Iran. It was taken by surprise by the disintegration of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. It failed to predict the intentions of al Qaeda. And it failed in Iraq.

Historically, the American intelligence community has been superb when faced with clearly defined missions. It had the ability to penetrate foreign governments, to eavesdrop on highly secure conversations, to know the intentions of a particular foreign minister at a particular meeting. Given a clear mission, the IC performed admirably. Where it consistently failed was in the amorphous mission of telling the president what he did not know about something that was about to change everything. When the IC was told to do something specific, it did it well. When it was asked to tell the president what he needed to know -- a broad and vague brief -- it consistently fell down.

This is why the argument going on between the CIA and the White House/Defense Department misses the point. Bush well might have ignored or twisted intelligence on Iraq's WMD. But the failure over Iraq is not the exception, it is the rule. The CIA tends to get the big things wrong, while nailing the lesser things time and again. This is a persistent and not easily broken pattern, for which there are some fundamental causes.

The first is that the IC sees its task as keeping its customers -- the president and senior members of his administration -- happy. They have day-to-day requirements, such as being briefed for a meeting with a foreign leader. The bread-and-butter work of the IC is the briefing book, which tells a secretary of state what buttons to push at a ministerial meeting. Ninety-nine percent of the taskings that come to the IC concern these things. And the IC could get 99 percent of the task right; they know that this minister is on the take, or that that minister is in a terrible fight with a rival, or that some leader is dying. They do that over and over again -- that is their focus. They are rarely rewarded for the risky business of forecasting, and if they fail to forecast the invasion of South Korea, they can still point to the myriad useful things at which they did succeed. . .

A second problem is size. The American intelligence community is much too big. It has way too many resources. It is awash in information that is not converted into intelligence that is delivered to its customers. Huge organizations will lose information in the shuffle. The bigger they are, the more they lose. Little Stratfor struggles to make sure that intelligence flowing from the field is matched to the right analyst and that analysts working on the same problem talk to each other, and it is tough. Doing it with tens of thousands of sources and intelligence officers, thousands of analysts and hundreds of briefers is a failure waiting to happen. All of the databases dreamt of by all of the information technology people in the IC cannot make up for total overload. . .

A third issue is the cult of sourcing. There is a belief that a man on the ground is the most valuable asset there is. But that depends on where he is on the ground and who he is. A man on the ground can see hundreds of feet in any direction, assuming that there are no buildings in the way. It always amuses us to hear that so-and-so spent three years in some country -- implying expertise. We always wonder whether an Iranian spending three years in Washington, D.C., would be regarded as an expert around whom analysis could be built. Moreover, these three-year wonders frequently start doing freelance analysis, overriding analysts who have been studying a country for decades -- after all, they are "on the ground." But a blond American on the ground in the Philippines is fairly obvious, especially when he starts buying drinks for everyone, and the value of his "intelligence" is therefore suspect. Sourcing is vital; so are the questions of who, where and for how long.

The most significant weakness of the cult of sourcing is that the most important events -- like the Chinese intervention in Korea -- might be unreported, or -- like the fall of the shah -- might not be known to anyone. These things happened, but there was an intelligence collection failure in the first case; the second failure stemmed not from a collection problem, but from a purely analytic one. In any case, the lack of a source does not mean an event is not happening; it just means there is no source. . .

http://www.stratfor.com

ADD APPLIED MINDS TO THE WATCH LIST

THOSE FOLLOWING THE increasing cohabitation of new technology and Orwellian government better add Applied Minds to their watch list. The firm has gotten positive publicity from media such as Newsweek and Wired for their inventiveness and imagination but little attention has been paid to their close connections to the military and rapidly growing spy systems.

STEVEN LEVY NEWSWEEK - Are inventors born, or are they made? Danny Hillis, who can't remember a time when he wasn't trying to make mind-blowing stuff, comes at the question, as usual, from an unexpected angle: potential inventors are un-made. "In some sense, every kid is inventive," he says. Without encouragement, a child's gleeful penchant for experimentation becomes endangered. "Kids invent things all the time until they get to school and adults tell them they shouldn't be wasting their time doing silly stuff," says Bran Ferren, Hillis's partner at Applied Minds, a company that invents amazing things for corporations like General Motors and institutions like the United States government.

Fortunately for Hillis, his approach to the world is as fresh and playful as it was in the fourth grade, when he decided to build a robot out of paint cans, motors and light bulbs. The only difference is that his inventions are now aimed at starting new businesses, sustaining our soldiers and finding effective chemotherapy drugs. Metaweb Danny Hillis is clearly one of the giants on the current computational landscape. . . After a stint at Disney as an Imagineer, Hillis teamed up with Bran Ferren to found Applied Minds, a design studio of exceptionally smart designers, engineers, and tinkerers whose most famous product may be the Maximog, a Mercedes Unimog on steroids. Much of their work is out of public view but is said to similarly blend hardware, software, and engineering: robotics is one area of focus.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9558120/site/newsweek

WIRED - From outside, the five nondescript buildings that house research and development firm Applied Minds look like any other on this jacaranda-lined street in this city's industrial zone. But inside, everything's different.

CO-founder Danny Hillis escorts me down a hallway that dead-ends into an old-fashioned red phone booth. The phone rings. He places receiver to ear. "The blue moon jumps over the purple sky," he says, and hangs up.

Suddenly, the booth becomes a door, swinging out to reveal a vast, open room filled with engineers, gadgets and big ideas. It's as if Willy Wonka's chocolate factory just yawned wide to welcome us. Only here, all the candy plugs in.

"This is where the secret laboratories are," Hillis says.
To our left, two employees chat behind a desk. Their conversation is a burbling, unintelligible stream. It's as if someone poured their words into a blender, then hit "puree."

That's because their speech has been scrambled by Babble, a gadget designed by Applied Minds, with office furniture company Herman Miller, for creating sonic privacy in workspaces without walls.

Herman Miller will begin selling the device in July. It works by electronically listening, then repeating back random bits of what it hears. The resulting sound is blurred -- as if familiar voices were speaking in a foreign language I can't quite make out. . .

The cross-disciplinary wizardry behind Babble is typical of the array of projects Applied Minds takes on with clients including General Motors, Northrop Grumman and other large organizations that prefer to remain anonymous.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,67951,00.html

THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S Science and Technology division today announced the appointment of the following individuals to serve on the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee. HSSTAC has been established to serve as a source of independent, scientific and technical planning advice to the Under Secretary for Science and Technology as mandated by the Homeland Security Act of 2002. . . Mr. Bran Ferren - Mr. Ferren is the Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Applied Minds, Inc. Prior to joining Applied Minds, Mr. Ferren was President of Research, Development and Creative Technology for Walt Disney Imagineering.

DIRECTONS MAG - Seeing the mountains "rise up" on the Northrop Grumman/Applied Minds terrain table on stage, I had to see it up close. I was really intrigued when the presenter from Applied Minds said we could touch it! GIS geeks were like kids (as were the kids who checked it out on family night).The table uses ball-tipped pistons to stretch a rubberized surface into the right shape. The ball tips were about the size of super balls and I wondered if that meant a less accurate (potentially) product. In fact, the image that's projected on the table provides the rest of the data and human brain interpolates it at quite high resolution. . .

http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=928&trv=1

The Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command's National Automotive Center unveiled Smartruck II, a versatile prototype, multi-purpose vehicle capable of both counterterrorism support and homeland security for a variety of community service and humanitarian aid missions. The technology-laden vehicle introduces several new electronic and communications technologies, including a POINTER remotely controlled electric Unmanned Air Vehicle), advanced SPIKE pinpoint laser-guided missile, 360- degree video cameras, four integrated state-of-the-art global communications systems and a unique hyperbolic interactive website for data acquisition. . . Smartruck II packs a bevy of electronically intelligent devices, state-of-the-art global communication systems and weapon options that will give its crew some crucial mission advantages. "SmarTruck II is a multi-purpose vehicle for what are, in reality, 'multi- purpose' missions. This unique vehicle is now ready and able to meet those challenges facing local, state and federal agencies," said Dennis J. Wend, executive director of the NAC. . . The SmarTruck II project is collaborative effort between the NAC, Integrated Concepts & Research Corporation of Alexandria, VA and Applied Minds, Inc. of Glendale, CA.

THE REALLY HIDDEN CIA: LEARNING FROM FACTS, NOT SPIES

[There has been talk about how the CIA needs more case workers and less analysis. The argument is one that the media easily parrots, but is it true? This article appeared in an open source publication of a CIA think tank]

STEPHEN C MERCADO, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE, CIA - We need to rethink the distinction between open sources and secrets. Too many policymakers and intelligence officers mistake secrecy for intelligence and assume that information covertly acquired is superior to that obtained openly. Yet, the distinction between overt and covert sources is less clear than such thinking suggests. Open sources often equal or surpass classified information in monitoring and analyzing such pressing problems as terrorism, proliferation, and counterintelligence. Slighting open source intelligence for secrets, obtained at far greater expense when available at all, is no way to run an intelligence community. Also, we must put to rest the notion that the private sector is the preferred OSINT agent. In the end, I would contend, the Intelligence Community needs to assign greater resources to open sources.

George Tenet, a recent director of central intelligence, was fond of defining the CIA to audiences both within and outside the Intelligence Community with a curt phrase: "We steal secrets." Neither from reading the CIA's recruiting brochure nor listening to its chief would one learn that the Agency includes an [open source intelligence] service that produces the lion's share of its intelligence. . .

Those who swear that secrets are the only true intelligence, in contrast to mere "information" found through open means, would do well to consider the indistinct character of the categories of overt and covert in intelligence. Information hidden behind walls of classification and special access programs may prove no more than equal in value to material available to the public.

Overt and covert streams of intelligence are by no means completely parallel and distinct; they often mingle and meander over one another's territory. Covert reports at times are amalgams of press clippings. And newspaper editors, for their part, frequently publish stories based on accurate leaks of classified material. . .

Not only are open sources at times indistinguishable from secrets, but OSINT often surpasses classified information in value for following and analyzing intelligence issues. By value, I am thinking in terms of speed, quantity, quality, clarity, ease of use, and cost. . .

Speed: When a crisis erupts in some distant part of the globe, in an area where established intelligence assets are thin, intelligence analysts and policymakers alike will often turn first to the television set and Internet. . .

Quantity: There are far more bloggers, journalists, pundits, television reporters, and think-tankers in the world than there are case officers. While two or three of the latter may, with good agents, beat the legions of open reporters by their access to secrets, the odds are good that the composite bits of information assembled from the many can often approach, match, or even surpass the classified reporting of the few.

Quality: Duped intelligence officers at times produce reports based on newspaper clippings and agent fabrications. Such reports are inferior to open sources untainted by agent lies.

Clarity: When an officer of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence reads a report on a foreign leader based on "a source of unproven reliability," or words to that effect, the dilemma is clear. Yet, the problem remains with a report from a "reliable source." Who is that? The leader's defense minister? The defense minister's brother? The mistress of the defense minister's brother's cousin? The DI analyst will likely never know, for officers of the Directorate of Operations closely guard their sources and methods. This lack of clarity reportedly contributed, for example, to the Iraqi WMD debacle in 2002-03. . .

Ease of use: Secrets, hidden behind classifications, compartments, and special access programs, are difficult to share with policymakers and even fellow intelligence officers. . .

Cost: A reconnaissance satellite, developed, launched, and maintained at a cost of billions of dollars, can provide images of a weapons factory's roof or a submarine's hull. A foreign magazine, with an annual subscription cost of $100, may include photographs of that factory's floor or that submarine's interior.

Beyond this general argument for open sources, I would maintain that OSINT often equals or surpasses secrets in addressing such intelligence challenges of our day as proliferation, terrorism, and counterintelligence. When a nation develops a weapon of mass destruction, for example, hundreds or even thousands of engineers, scientists, and manufacturers may join the program. Bureaucrats and traders may sell the weapons abroad. The OSINT target is immense.

Engineers attend conferences; scientists publish scholarly articles; manufacturers build production lines; bureaucrats issue guidelines; and traders print brochures for prospective clients. Many paper trails wind around the world beyond whatever may surface in the media.

Before terrorists act, they issue warnings, religious leaders of their community deliver sermons, and political leaders plead their cause. Open sources, while they may not tell us where the next bomb will explode, do allow us to understand the terrorist agenda and act thereby to address grievances or launch competing campaigns for hearts and minds. . .

FBI THINKS WHAT IT DOESN'T KNOW WON'T HURT IT

DEFENSE TECH - A few weeks back, I wrote about the seemingly unshakeable culture of technophobia at the FBI -- and how nearly a third of Bureau employees still don't have e-mail accounts, as a result.

But that's not the only bad habit that the G-Men are having trouble breaking. As Jeff Stein reports in his must-read CQ Weekly cover story, there's still a willful ignorance about terrorists and their methods -- even at the FBI's highest levels:

||| Now listen to the testimony of Gary M. Bald, the FBI's top counterterrorism and counterintelligence official, in a legal deposition last year. Questioned under oath in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by an Arab-American FBI agent, Bald was asked whether he knew the difference between Sunni and Shia, the two strains of Islam at war with each other as much as with the United States.

Bald waved off the question. "You don't need subject matter expertise," he said. "The subject matter expertise is helpful, but it isn't a prerequisite. It is certainly not what I look for in selecting an official for a position in the counterterrorism [program]." In other words, he didn't know the answer: that a 1,400-year-long schism over who should lead Islam, originating in fierce succession battles after the death of Mohammed in 632 A.D., is still being played out between nuclear aspirant and Shi'ite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, not to mention the armed factions battling for control of U.S.-occupied Iraq. The religious passions that drive the different branches of the Islamic world - and the fervor that leads some to violence against the West - was not on his radar screen.

Nor could Bald, or other top FBI counterterrorism officials questioned last summer, explain the web of relationships of Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist organization with other key fundamentalist figures and groups. . .

According to testimony by John E. Lewis, another top counterterrorism official at the bureau. . . "It doesn't make any difference whether somebody's from the Middle East or a white supremacist or from Australia," Lewis said, meaning that Middle Eastern terrorists rat out their brethren for the same reason Klansmen do: for money, revenge and disenchantment with the cause. |||

That the FBI's American recruits spoke the Klan's language in Mississippi and understood its culture and politics was not seen as any kind of special advantage that's being lost in the battle against foreign terrorists. Under further questioning, Lewis also admitted that he had no previous counterterrorism experience himself.

http://www.defensetech.org/archives/002377.html
http://www.cq.com/corp/images/cqweekly_fbi.pdf

APRIL 2006

KATHERINE SHRADER, CAPITOL HILL BLUE - Nearly 100,000 Americans are working in intelligence in the U.S. and around the world, the nation's spy chief says, revealing the number for the first time. In a speech at the National Press Club marking his first year on the job, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte indicated his willingness to make some normally classified information public. . . The figure means the total U.S. intelligence force is slightly smaller than the population of Green Bay, Wis.

http://www.capitolhillblue.com/artman/publish/article_8508.shtml

DARPA WANTS TO KNOW MORE ABOUT YOU THAN NSA

MARCH 2006

WHY THE CIA GOT SO MANY THINGS WRONG

PETER CARLSON, WASHINGTON POST - [Retiring Harper's editorLewis] Lapham, after matriculating at Hotchkiss and Yale and Cambridge, hoped for a career as a Cold Warrior.

"The CIA was in temporary buildings, Quonset huts down by the Lincoln Memorial," he says. "The interview was at a wooden table with four guys, all from Yale. They were of a type that I had come to ridicule at Yale -- the George W. Bush type."

What type is that?

"Eastern, rich, privileged, arrogant, perennial cheerleader," he says, the adjectives rolling out in his patrician voice. . .

"The first question was: If you were standing at the 13th tee at the National Golf Links in Southampton, which club would you use?"

He exhales a stream of smoke. "Now, it so happened that I'd played that golf course and knew the hole. It's a short hole, so if you said 'driver,' you'd be wrong. . . . I said 7-iron, and I got it right.". . .

"The second question was: You're coming in on the final tack at the Hay Harbor on Fishers Island in the late afternoon -- what tack do you take? I don't remember what the answer was, but I got it right because I had sailed at Fishers Island.". . .

"The third question was: They mentioned the name of a girl who was known on the Ivy League circuit for being a ravenous nymphomaniac. And the question was: Does she wear a slip?". . .

"I didn't know, because I'd never had carnal knowledge of the young lady. I explained that I'd heard rumors of French silk and Belgian lace but I couldn't vouch for my sources."

At that point he walked out of the interview, he says, disgusted with the know-it-all smugness of his CIA interrogators. "I said, 'Gentlemen, I'm sorry I've wasted your time. Goodbye and good luck.' "

JANUARY 2006

NSA TAPPED THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS

JASON LEOPOLD, TRUTH OUT -This past spring, an explosive nugget of information slipped out during the confirmation hearings of John Bolton - nominated by President Bush to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations - that in hindsight should have blown the lid off Bush's four-year-old clandestine spy p ogram involving the National Security Agency.

At the hearing in late April, Bolton, a former Under Secretary of State for Arms Control, told Congress that since 2001 he had asked the NSA on 10 different occasions to reveal to him the identities of American citizens who were caught in the NSA's raw intelligence reports in what appears to be a routine circumventing of the rules governing eavesdropping on the American public. It turned out that Bolton was just one of many government officials who learned the identities of Americans caught in the NSA intercepts. The State Department asked the NSA to unmask the identities of American citizens 500 times since May 2001.

Newsweek revealed earlier this year that the NSA disclosed to senior White House officials and other policymakers at federal agencies the names of as many as 10,000 American citizens the agency obtained while eavesdropping on foreigners. The Americans weren't involved in any sort of terrorist activity, nor did they pose any sort of threat to national security, but had simply been named while the NSA was conducting wiretaps. . .

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/010206Z.shtml

DECEMBER 2005

REPORT: NSA SPIED ON OWN EMPLOYEES AND WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENTS

WAYNE MADSEN REPORT - NSA spied on its own employees, other U.S. intelligence personnel, and their journalist and congressional contacts. WMR has learned that the National Security Agency, on the orders of the Bush administration, eavesdropped on the private conversations and e-mail of its own employees, employees of other U.S. intelligence agencies -- including the CIA and DIA -- and their contacts in the media, Congress, and oversight agencies and offices.

The journalist surveillance program, code named "Firstfruits," was part of a Director of Central Intelligence program that was maintained at least until October 2004 and was authorized by then-DCI Porter Goss. . .

Firstfruits was a database that contained both the articles and the transcripts of telephone and other communications of particular Washington journalists known to report on sensitive U.S. intelligence activities, particularly those involving NSA. According to NSA sources, the targeted journalists included author James Bamford, the New York Times' James Risen, the Washington Post's Vernon Loeb, the New Yorker's Seymour Hersh, the Washington Times' Bill Gertz, UPI's John C. K. Daly, and this editor [Wayne Madsen], who has written about NSA for The Village Voice, CAQ, Intelligence Online, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

In addition, beginning in 2001 but before the 9-11 attacks, NSA began to target anyone in the U.S. intelligence community who was deemed a "disgruntled employee." According to NSA sources, this surveillance was a violation of United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The surveillance of U.S. intelligence personnel by other intelligence personnel in the United States and abroad was conducted without any warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The targeted U.S. intelligence agency personnel included those who made contact with members of the media, including the journalists targeted by Firstfruits, as well as members of Congress, Inspectors General, and other oversight agencies. Those discovered to have spoken to journalists and oversight personnel were subjected to sudden clearance revocation and termination as "security risks."

http://tinyurl.com/dnbqq

CHICAGO TRIBUNE BLOWS CIA'S COVER EASILY

[This goes to a point we've made about the Valerie Plame affair; it is likely that her cover was not nearly as good as has been implied]

JOHN CREWDSON, CHICAGO TRIBUNE - From Italian and Spanish police reports and court documents, the Tribune was able to identify the names, and in some cases the post office box addresses, used by 67 suspected CIA rendition specialists who registered at hotels in Milan and on the island of Mallorca. Those post office boxes, in turn, led to scores of other names that share the same addresses, most of which are in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Some of the bogus identities appear to be inside jokes, with surnames such as "Grayman" and "Bland," or those of former CIA directors. One of the bogus identities is an apparent homage to Douglas Neidermeyer, the authoritarian ROTC commander in the movie "Animal House" who later is killed by his own troops in Vietnam. A search of commercially available databases reveals no evidence that any of the named individuals ever has had a spouse, a residence, a telephone, a previous address, a mortgage, a credit history or a family. Even though their listed birth dates place them in their 30s, 40s and 50s, none appears to have had a Social Security number before 1998. . . A senior U.S. official acknowledged that while the cover system had served the agency well for many years, it had not been designed to withstand the scrutiny made possible by the Internet. After learning of the extent to which the Tribune had cracked the CIA's cover network, CIA Director Porter Goss ordered sweeping changes in the way the agency's covers are created, according to government sources who asked not to be named.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi- 0512250423dec25,1,6775430.story?coll=chi-news-hed

CIA'S POLISH CONCENTRATION CAMP LOCATED

MARC GOERGEN, STERN, GERMANY - The CIA is apparently using a training center run by Polish intelligence in order to question al-Qaeda prisoners. As Stern has learned, there are now more indications that that this intelligence camp near Kiejkuty is used as a base by the Americans. According to statements by a high-ranking Polish intelligence officer from Kiejkuty, Americans have lived on the premises for months on end during the past five or six years. At the time, a 50x100 yard interior area, where the perimeter was protected by barbed wire and a 10-foot-high wall, was also erected within the one-by-two mile facility.

Regular Polish intelligence employees had no access to this inner area, but the Americans apparently did. Furthermore, there were small cars with tinted windows parked at the camp site. The same kind of cars that employees at Szymany Airport told Stern were always driven to CIA airplanes, which were waiting with engines running at the end of the runway.

http://www.watchingamerica.com/stern000003.shtml

SPOOK INFLATION

JEFF STEIN, CONGRESSIONAL QUARTERLY - You have to wonder how we won the Second World War with such a paltry spy budget. After the massive intelligence failure that opened the doors for Japan's surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 64 years ago this week, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress launched the Office of Strategic Services, America's wartime spying and sabotage outfit, with a $10 million budget and 600 staffers. It took them only about a month. By the end of the war three and a half years later, with both Japan and Germany in ruins, the OSS had spent a total of about $135 million (just under $1.1 billion in today's dollars), and dispatched some 7,500 agents all over the world.

Skip forward six decades, to Dec. 7, 2004. Following the massive intelligence failure that opened the doors to al Qaeda's surprise attacks on New York and Washington, Congress enacted legislation creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the new pinnacle of the so-called U.S. intelligence community, an array of more than a dozen major agencies with a long history of paralyzing squabbles, which together spend $44 billion a year. It took them three and a half years. The new DNI office itself has between 900 and 1,000 employees and "is still hiring," according to a senior official who wished to remain anonymous because such data are secret. Likewise, while the total number of people employed by U.S. intelligence is classified, the CIA alone is thought to have upwards of 22,000 employees, according to published figures, even though it gets only about 15 per cent of the pie, or $6.6 billion. The rest goes mostly to the Pentagon and its expensive hardware, such as spy satellites and Predator drones. My napkin math makes those figures out to mean that the old OSS - a rough doppelganger of the CIA - cost American taxpayers in four years only a sixth of what the CIA spends every year, some good portion of which is allocated to a losing battle with Osama bin Laden.

NOVEMBER 2005

VALERIE PLAME'S OUTFIT

JOSHUA FRANK, COUNTERPUNCH, JUL 2005 - The numerous actions the CIA has taken since 1945 have been guilty, either directly or indirectly, of helping remove dozens of governments from power - many of which were democratically elected. According to William Blum, author of "Rogue State": "From 1945 to the end of the [20th] century, the USA attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements strugglinYg against intolerable regimes. In the process, the USA caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair."

The CIA of course, played an integral role in all of these bloody coups. In 1949 the CIA successfully helped to change the government in Syria, as well as in Greece that same year. They did the same in Cuba in 1952 and Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, South Vietnam in 1955, Haiti in 1957, Laos in 1958, South Korea and Ecuador in 1960, the Dominican Republic and Honduras in 1963, Brazil and Bolivia in 1964, Zaire in 1965, Ghana in 1966, Cambodia in 1970, El Salvador in 1972, Chile in 1973, South Korea in 1979, Liberia in 1980, Chad in 1982, Grenada in 1983, Fiji in 1987,

Venezuela in 2002 and Haiti in 2004. And this only represents a list of "successful" US interventions. Many others have failed. Let us not overlook what the CIA has done here in the United States under the guise of "national security." As the late journalist Gary Webb exposed in the mid-1990s, right-wing drug dealers in Latin America helped finance a CIA-backed covert war in Nicaragua by selling loads of cocaine to street gangs in Los Angeles, who then turned the pale powder into crack and distributed it throughout poor black neighborhoods nationwide.

But the CIA's narcotics dealings didn't begin in the 1990s - the CIA's drug propagation dates back at least to 1947 in Afghanistan, as Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair explain in their seminal book, "Whiteout: the CIA, Drugs and the Press."

Back in the 1960s the CIA, along with the FBI, routinely used "mail covers" (the recording of names and addresses) and electronic surveillance in order to spy on activists in the anti-war and civil rights movements. The CIA alone admitted to photographing the outside of 2.7 million pieces of mail during those years, as well as opening more than 214,000.

Right now, as Professor David Price recently exposed in Counter Punch, the CIA places covert agents in American university classrooms to spy on students and faculty. And this is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the CIA's invasive and violent history in the US.

So you'll have to excuse me if I think Karl Rove did us all a favor by outing Valerie Plame. We can only hope more Beltway insiders follow his lead.

http://www.counterpunch.org/frank07142005.html

PROGRESSIVE REVIEW - The notorious CIA official James Angleton said shortly before his death, "You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed. . . We played with lives as if we owned them. We gave false hope. We - I - so misjudged what happened. . .

"Fundamentally, the founding fathers of US intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things, that in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it. . . Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell. . . I guess I'll see them there soon."

OCTOBER 2005

THE REALLY HIDDEN CIA: LEARNING FROM FACTS, NOT SPIES

[This article appeared in an open source publication of a CIA think tank]

STEPHEN C MERCADO, CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE, CIA - We need to rethink the distinction between open sources and secrets. Too many policymakers and intelligence officers mistake secrecy for intelligence and assume that information covertly acquired is superior to that obtained openly. Yet, the distinction between overt and covert sources is less clear than such thinking suggests. Open sources often equal or surpass classified information in monitoring and analyzing such pressing problems as terrorism, proliferation, and counterintelligence. Slighting open source intelligence for secrets, obtained at far greater expense when available at all, is no way to run an intelligence community. Also, we must put to rest the notion that the private sector is the preferred OSINT agent. In the end, I would contend, the Intelligence Community needs to assign greater resources to open sources.

George Tenet, a recent director of central intelligence, was fond of defining the CIA to audiences both within and outside the Intelligence Community with a curt phrase: "We steal secrets." Neither from reading the CIA's recruiting brochure nor listening to its chief would one learn that the Agency includes an [open source intelligence] service that produces the lion's share of its intelligence. . .

Those who swear that secrets are the only true intelligence, in contrast to mere "information" found through open means, would do well to consider the indistinct character of the categories of overt and covert in intelligence. Information hidden behind walls of classification and special access programs may prove no more than equal in value to material available to the public.

Overt and covert streams of intelligence are by no means completely parallel and distinct; they often mingle and meander over one another's territory. Covert reports at times are amalgams of press clippings. And newspaper editors, for their part, frequently publish stories based on accurate leaks of classified material. . .

Not only are open sources at times indistinguishable from secrets, but OSINT often surpasses classified information in value for following and analyzing intelligence issues. By value, I am thinking in terms of speed, quantity, quality, clarity, ease of use, and cost. . .

Speed: When a crisis erupts in some distant part of the globe, in an area where established intelligence assets are thin, intelligence analysts and policymakers alike will often turn first to the television set and Internet. . .

Quantity: There are far more bloggers, journalists, pundits, television reporters, and think-tankers in the world than there are case officers. While two or three of the latter may, with good agents, beat the legions of open reporters by their access to secrets, the odds are good that the composite bits of information assembled from the many can often approach, match, or even surpass the classified reporting of the few.

Quality: Duped intelligence officers at times produce reports based on newspaper clippings and agent fabrications. Such reports are inferior to open sources untainted by agent lies.

Clarity: When an officer of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence (DI), reads a report on a foreign leader based on "a source of unproven reliability," or words to that effect, the dilemma is clear. Yet, the problem remains with a report from a "reliable source." Who is that? The leader's defense minister? The defense minister's brother? The mistress of the defense minister's brother's cousin? The DI analyst will likely never know, for officers of the Directorate of Operations closely guard their sources and methods. This lack of clarity reportedly contributed, for example, to the Iraqi WMD debacle in 2002-03. . .

Ease of use: Secrets, hidden behind classifications, compartments, and special access programs, are difficult to share with policymakers and even fellow intelligence officers. . .

Cost: A reconnaissance satellite, developed, launched, and maintained at a cost of billions of dollars, can provide images of a weapons factory's roof or a submarine's hull. A foreign magazine, with an annual subscription cost of $100, may include photographs of that factory's floor or that submarine's interior.

Beyond this general argument for open sources, I would maintain that OSINT often equals or surpasses secrets in addressing such intelligence challenges of our day as proliferation, terrorism, and counterintelligence. When a nation develops a weapon of mass destruction, for example, hundreds or even thousands of engineers, scientists, and manufacturers may join the program. Bureaucrats and traders may sell the weapons abroad. The OSINT target is immense. Engineers attend conferences; scientists publish scholarly articles; manufacturers build production lines; bureaucrats issue guidelines; and traders print brochures for prospective clients. Many paper trails wind around the world beyond whatever may surface in the media.

Before terrorists act, they issue warnings, religious leaders of their community deliver sermons, and political leaders plead their cause. Open sources, while they may not tell us where the next bomb will explode, do allow us to understand the terrorist agenda and act thereby to address grievances or launch competing campaigns for hearts and minds. . .

SEPTEMBER 2005

BETTER THAN A HIDDEN MIKE

THE WASHINGTON POST's curious and troubling symbiosis with what people in the capital call the intelligence community has been reported from time to time and ignored more often. Here's a tidbit to add to the file, followed by the back story. You have to admit that having the wife of a longtime CIA agent being Ben Bradlee's administrative assistant is a lot more cost effective than a hidden mike.

COAST GUARD ACADEMY ALUMNI BULLETIN CLASS NOTES - I visited with Bob in the new Leggett home in Herndon, a beautiful spacious place in the woodlands NE of Dulles. . . Bob told me the story of how a four year-old grandson lives with them for half the week. That keeps him - now at work with SAIC (training CIA analysts) after a 29-year career with the Agency, - and Carol - still administrative assistant to Ben Bradlee - more than busy. The day of my visit was the day after Deep Throat's identity had been revealed, so Carol was late in coming home, as might be imagined. . . When I got home , I pulled Bradlee's book, A Good Life: Newspapering and Other Adventures, down from the shelf, and found the following in its preface: "In writing this book, I had special, quality help . . . TW, my longtime friend and colleague, recreated with me the sense of excitement in the 1960's and 70's, and I am especially grateful. The same goes for Carrol Leggett, secretary and friend, who has been irreplaceable from day one."

SPARTACUS EDUCATIONAL, UK - James Truitt was born in Maryland. He became a journalist and worked for many years under Philip Graham and Ben Bradlee at the Washington Post. He was also a close friend of Cord Meyer, Mary Pinchot Meyer and James Angleton.

In October 1961, Mary Pinchot Meyer began visiting John F. Kennedy in the White House. It was about this time she began an affair with the president. Mary told James and his wife Ann, that she was keeping a diary about the relationship. Mary asked the Truitts to take possession of a private diary "if anything ever happened to me".

In 1963 Truitt was sent to Tokyo in order to become the Japan bureau chief for Newsweek. On the evening that Mary Pinchot Meyer was murdered, Ann Truitt phoned Ben Bradlee at his home and asked him if he had found the diary. Bradlee, who claimed he was unaware of his sister-in-law's affair with Kennedy, knew nothing about the diary. He later recalled what he did after Truitt's phone-call: "We didn't start looking until the next morning, when Tony and I walked around the corner a few blocks to Mary's house. It was locked, as we had expected, but when we got inside, we found Jim Angleton, and to our complete surprise he told us he, too, was looking for Mary's diary."

James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief, admitted that he knew of Mary's relationship with John F. Kennedy and was searching her home looking for her diary and any letters that would reveal details of the affair. According to Ben Bradlee, it was Mary's sister, Antoinette Bradlee, who found the diary and letters a few days later. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Angleton later admitted that Mary recorded in her diary that she had taken LSD with Kennedy before "they made love".

Ben Bradlee sacked Truitt in 1969. As part of his settlement he took $35,000 on the written condition that he did not write anything for publication about his experiences at the Washington Post that was "in any way derogatory" of the company.

March, 1976, Truitt gave an interview to the National Enquirer. He told the newspaper that Mary Pinchot Meyer was having an affair with John F. Kennedy. He also claimed that Mary had told them that she was keeping an account of this relationship in her diary. Truitt claimed that the diary had been removed by Ben Bradlee and James Angleton.

At first Bradlee and Angleton denied the story. Some of Mary's friends knew that the two men were lying about the diary and some spoke anonymously to other newspapers and magazines. Later that month Time Magazine published an article confirming Truitt's story. Antoinette Bradlee, who was now living apart from Ben Bradlee, admitted that her sister had been having an affair with John F. Kennedy. Antoinette claimed she found the diary and letters a few days after her sister's death. It was claimed that the diary was in a metal box in Mary's studio. The contents of the box were given to James Angleton who claimed he burnt the diary. Bradlee and Angleton were now forced to admit that Truitt's story was accurate.

In 1981 James Truitt committed suicide. According to Nina Burleigh (A Very Private Woman) Truitt's wife, Evelyn Patterson Truitt, claimed that her husband's papers, including copies of Mary's diary, had been stolen from the home by an CIA agent called Herbert Burrows.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKtruitt.htm

WIKIPEDIA - In 1952 Bradlee joined the staff of the Office of U.S. Information and Educational Exchange, the embassy's propaganda unit. USIE produced films, magazines, research, speeches, and news items for use by the CIA throughout Europe. USIE (later known as USIA) also controlled the Voice of America, a means of disseminating pro-American "cultural information" worldwide. While at the USIE Bradlee worked with E. Howard Hunt and Fred Friendly. According to a Justice Department memo from a assistant U.S. attorney in the Rosenberg Trial, Bradlee was helping the CIA to manage European propaganda regarding the spying conviction and the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on 19 June 1953.

http://en.wikipedia.org

KATHARINE THE GREAT: KATHARINE GRAHAM AND THE WASHINGTON POST. By Deborah Davis. National Press, 1987,

DANIEL BRANDT, NATIONAL REPORTER, 1987 - How's this for a mini-series? Philip Graham, a military intelligence veteran from World War II, marries Katharine and thereby inherits the Post from her multi-millionaire father Eugene Meyer. Phil admires the work of philosopher and MI6 agent Sir Isaiah Berlin and frequently seeks the company of CIA propaganda heavies Allen Dulles, Frank Wisner, Desmond FitzGerald, and Richard Helms. He brings CIA mouthpiece Joseph Alsop to the Post in 1958, and soon reaches the pinnacle of Washington insider success -- sharing girlfriends with President Kennedy. After his suicide in 1963, his wife Katharine takes over ownership of the Post and hires Ben Bradlee to run it. James Truitt, a former Post vice- president and close aide to Phil, is fired in 1969. Both Truitt and Bradlee are friends of CIA counterintelligence chief James Angleton, with Bradlee also close to President Kennedy. In the fifties, Bradlee's wife Tony Pinchot and her sister Mary, who is married to CIA heavy Cord Meyer, Jr., are both close to Vassar classmate Cicely d'Autremont, who is married to Angleton. After her divorce from Cord, Mary Meyer becomes President Kennedy's lover. She is murdered in 1964 (the case is never solved), whereupon Angleton, as trustee of her children, makes off with her diary. . .

There's much more. According to his Who's Who entry, Alfred Friendly was a Post reporter while also serving in Air Force intelligence during World War II and as director of overseas information for the Economic Cooperation Administration from 1948-49. Joseph B. Smith (Portrait of a Cold Warrior) reports that the ECA routinely provided cover for the CIA. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty were set up by the CIA and John S. Hayes was their chairman by 1974. Years earlier when Hayes was vice-president for radio and television at the Post, he was appointed by Kennedy to a secret CIA propaganda task force. . .

But poor Bradlee claims he didn't know that Cord Meyer was a globetrotting CIA destabilizer in the fifties, just as he knew nothing about CIA links when he took time off from the Post to work as a propagandist for the U.S. embassy in Paris from 1951-53. Deborah Davis includes in her book a memo released under the FOIA that shows Bradlee responding to a request from the CIA station chief in Paris, Robert Thayer. His assignment was to place stories in the European press to discredit the Rosenbergs, who had been sentenced to death, and Bradlee followed orders.

Benjamin Bradlee: from Post reporter to embassy propagandist, then on to Newsweek and back to the Post as executive editor, without breaking stride. The point of Davis' book is that this pattern is repeated again and again in Post history; she calls it "mediapolitics" -- the use of information media for political purposes. Robert Thayer's status as CIA station chief in Paris is confirmed in Richard Harris Smith's book OSS. While in Paris, Bradlee already knew Thayer, having attended the preparatory school Thayer ran while Robert Jr. was his classmate. Bradlee categorically denies any CIA connection, but it's a toss-up as to which is more disturbing: Bradlee in bed with the CIA and lying about it, or Bradlee led around by the CIA and not knowing it. . .

Davis could have remarked on the current New Right editorial line in the Post, or added the fact that former editorial page editor (1968-79) Philip Geyelin joined the CIA for a year in 1950, while on leave from the Wall Street Journal, but found the work boring and went back to the Journal. And she also doesn't mention that Walter Pincus, a Post reporter who still covers intelligence issues, took two CIA-financed trips overseas to international student conferences in 1960, and waited to write about them until 1967 when reporters everywhere were exposing CIA conduits. . .

The CIA connections that Davis does mention are dynamite. The issue is relevant today because frequently the D.C. reader has to pick up the Washington Times to get information on the CIA the Post refuses to print. . .

Much has been written already about the probability that Nixon was set up. McCord as a double agent has been covered neatly in Carl Oglesby's Yankee and Cowboy War, Bob Woodward's previous employment with a Pentagon intelligence unit was mentioned in Jim Hougan's Secret Agenda, and the motive -- that Nixon was losing perspective and becoming a threat to those who were still able to see their long-range interests clearly -- is evident after reading Seymour Hersh's The Politics of Power. . .

Part of the Post success story has to do with sheer wealth. As one of the world's richest women, Graham has the empire backed up with many millions, which guarantees continued access to privilege and power. Another part is an ability to play dirty. Katharine Graham, who became one of Washington's most notorious union-busters in the name of a free press, used her "soft cop" with Bradlee's "hard cop" to insure that William Jovanovich, who published the first edition of this book in 1979, was bullied into recalling 20,000 copies because of minor inaccuracies alleged by Bradlee. Jovanovich made no effort to check Bradlee's allegations. Deborah Davis filed a breach-of- contract and damage-to-reputation suit against Jovanovich, who settled out of court with her in 1983.

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/morley1.htm

FEBRUARY 2005

CIA HIRED FIVE AIDES TO EICHMANN AFTER WAR
http://www.arutzsheva.org/news.php3?id=76492

ARUTZ SHEVA, ISRAEL - At least five former associates of Adolph Eichman were employed by the CIA after World War II. So disclosed the National Security Archive, a private organization working out of Washington, D.C. Adolph Eichmann was responsible for implementing Hitler's "final solution" for European Jewry and devised and supervised the plan for systematically executing millions of Jews during the war. He later escaped to Argentina, from where he was secretly abducted by Israeli security forces and brought to Israel, and was executed in 1962. . .

DECEMBER 2004

CIA INSPECTOR GENERAL FREDERICK P. HITZ - Let me be frank. There are instances where CIA did not, in an expeditious or consistent fashion, cut off relationships with individuals supporting the contra program who were alleged to have engaged in drug-trafficking activity, or take action to resolve the allegations.

REP. NORMAN DICKS, WA - Did any of these allegations involve trafficking in the United States?

HITZ - Yes

[Testimony before House Intelligence Committee, March 16, 1998]

THE GARY WEBB STORY

It was, I believe, during Edwin Meese's nomination hearings that I first noticed that Washington news coverage had dramatically changed from a skeptical attitude towards politicians to a courtroom standard: politicians were innocent until proved guilty. This shift was one of the greatest gifts the media ever gave to the cruel, corrupt and contemptible.

Imagine if one chose a spouse, an employee, or a friend by such standards, wiping away all judgment save for guilt provable in a court of law. Yet that is precisely what the media has taught us. It even almost got Bernie Kerik in as homeland security czar despite the best efforts of the far more traditional New York City press to tell us who this guy really was. Washington - its media and its other elite - simply didn't believe it until the nanny problem - a clear and provable matter, albeit inconsequential one compared, say, to wondering what Kerik's ties to the mob were.

This recent obsession with courtroom standards for story-telling - unprecedented in journalistic or even human history - makes some curious assumptions. Firstly, one need not follow any such standard in positive stories about politicians or their actions. The mere fact that they are in power is all the proof you need that they are doing right. The only people who need to prove anything are their critics.

Secondly, it assumes, that events are connected to each other in clear organizational lines with identifiable individuals at each stop. It is, to borrow a phrase, a sort of conspiracy theory: nothing happens without someone telling it to.

If those in the Washington media had majored in environmental sciences or anthropology, rather than in political science or great-man-history, they would understand that life isn't' really like that at all. They would know that we are all part of cultures and environments and much of what we do reflects these without anyone ordering us to do anything. We just do things the way we know they're done. Including in Washington. In the media. In the CIA.

As Gary Webb himself said in 1999, "I do not believe -- and I have never believed -- that the crack cocaine explosion was a conscious CIA conspiracy, or anybody's conspiracy, to decimate black America. I've never believed that South Central Los Angeles was targeted by the U.S. government to become the crack capitol of the world. But that isn't to say that the CIA's hands or the U.S. government's hands are clean in this matter. Actually, far from it. After spending three years of my life looking into this, I am more convinced than ever that the U.S. government's responsibility for the drug problems in South Central Los Angeles and other inner cities is greater than I ever wrote in the newspaper. But it's important to differentiate between malign intent and gross negligence. And that's an important distinction, because it's what makes premeditated murder different from manslaughter. That said, it doesn't change the fact that you've got a body on the floor."

The story was not a new one. Going back to the end of World War II, the CIA started making deals with the devil, unconcerned by the consequences. It worked with the Mafia - including studied indifference to its drug trade - because the mob was anti-communist. Long before Gary Webb's series it encouraged the importation of heroin into the U.S. by supporting drug-growing allies in Cambodia and later in Afghanistan. The history of the CIA is in no small part the history of behavior that, in normal life, would be considered at best criminal negligence. And it is a story in which the major media has shown little interest.

We wrote at the time of the Webb series: "The Washington Post and New York Times have engaged in unusually intense spin work on the CIA-Contra story. The Times even printed an op-ed piece by ex-CIA chief John Deutch in which he made the fatuous claim that 'I know of no evidence that the CIA has ever directed or knowingly condoned drug smuggling into the United States.' The papers have used complaints about details of the San Jose Mercury News series to obscure the central point made by MN editor Jerry Ceppos months before his recent mea culpa that has the Langley lackeys licking their chops. Ceppos noted that the claim that "people associated with the CIA also sold many tons of cocaine has not been challenged." The CIA has a long history of outsourcing its dirty work to drug runners and other criminals. There is strong corroborating evidence such as that from Oliver North's diaries and Senate hearings that CIA-friendly dailies like to pretend doesn't exit. While the MN pieces may have been somewhat jingoistic in giving California all the credit for the crack epidemic, the Mercury News was far closer to the truth than the Post and the Times."

Even if Webb overstated his case, he told the story far better than either the Post or the Times have to this day. It is bad enough for them to have misled their readers so badly, to disparage another journalist for trying to get the story right is despicable. - Sam Smith

AMERICA'S DEBT TO GARY WEBB
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/121304.html

ROBERT PARRY, CONSORTIUM NEWS - Whatever the details of Webb's death, American history owes him a huge debt. Though denigrated by much of the national news media, Webb's contra-cocaine series prompted internal investigations by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department, probes that confirmed that scores of contra units and contra-connected individuals were implicated in the drug trade. The probes also showed that the Reagan-Bush administration frustrated investigations into those crimes for geopolitical reasons.

Unintentionally, Webb also exposed the cowardice and unprofessional behavior that had become the new trademarks of the major U.S. news media by the mid-1990s. The big news outlets were always hot on the trail of some titillating scandal - the O.J. Simpson case or the Monica Lewinsky scandal - but the major media could no longer grapple with serious crimes of state.

Even after the CIA's inspector general issued his findings in 1998, the major newspapers could not muster the talent or the courage to explain those extraordinary government admissions to the American people. Nor did the big newspapers apologize for their unfair treatment of Gary Webb. Foreshadowing the media incompetence that would fail to challenge George W. Bush's case for war with Iraq five years later, the major news organizations effectively hid the CIA's confession from the American people.

The New York Times and the Washington Post never got much past the CIA's "executive summary," which tried to put the best spin on Inspector General Frederick Hitz's findings. The Los Angeles Times never even wrote a story after the final volume of the CIA's report was published, though Webb's initial story had focused on contra-connected cocaine shipments to South-Central Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times' cover-up has now continued after Webb's death. In a harsh obituary about Webb, the Times reporter, who called to interview me, ignored my comments about the debt the nation owed Webb and the importance of the CIA's inspector general findings. Instead of using Webb's death as an opportunity to finally get the story straight, the Times acted as if there never had been an official investigation confirming many of Webb's allegations. [Los Angeles Times, Dec. 12, 2004.]

THE REST OF THE STORY
http://www.consortiumnews.com/2004/121304.html

JEFF COHEN, COMMON DREAMS -The Post and others criticized Webb for referring to the Contras of the so-called Nicaraguan Democratic Force as "the CIA's army" -- an absurd objection since by all accounts, including those of Contra leaders, the CIA set up the group, selected its leaders and paid their salaries, and directed its day-to-day battlefield strategies.

The Post devoted much ink to exposing what Webb readily acknowledged -- that while he could document Contra links to cocaine importing, he was not able to identify specific CIA officials who knew of the drug flow. The ferocity of the attack on Webb led the Post's ombudsman to note that the three national newspapers "showed more passion for sniffing out the flaws" in the Webb series than for probing the important issue Webb had raised: U.S. government relations with drug smuggling.

The L.A. Times' anti-Webb package was curious for its handling of Freeway Ricky Ross, the dealer Webb had authoritatively linked to Contra-funder Blandon. Two years before Webb's revelations, the Times had reported: "If there was a criminal mastermind behind crack's decade-long reign, if there was one outlaw capitalist most responsible for flooding Los Angeles' streets with mass-marketed cocaine, his name was Freeway Rick." In a profile of Ross headlined "Deposed King of Crack," the Times went on and on about "South-Central's first millionaire crack lord" and how Ross' "coast to coast conglomerate was selling more than $550,000 rocks a day, a staggering turnover that put the drug within reach of anyone with a few dollars."

But two months after Webb's series linked Ricky Ross to Contra cocaine, the L.A. Times told a totally different story, now seeking to minimize Ross's role in the crack epidemic: Ross was just one of many "interchangeable characters" -- "dwarfed" by other dealers.

The reporter who'd written the 1994 Ross profile was the one called on to write the front-page 1996 critique of Webb; media critic Norman Solomon noted that it "reads like a show-trial recantation."

The hyperbolic reaction against Webb's series can only be understood in the context of years of bias and animosity toward the Contra-cocaine story on the part of many national media. Bob Parry and Brian Barger first reported on Contra-cocaine smuggling for AP in 1985, at a time when President Reagan was hailing the Contras as "the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers." The story got little pickup.

In 1987 the House Narcotics Committee chaired by Charles Rangel probed Contra-drug allegations and found a need for further investigation. After the Washington Post distorted the facts with a headline "Hill Panel Finds No Evidence Linking Contras to Drug Smuggling," the paper refused to run Rangel's letter correcting the record.

That same year, Time magazine correspondent Laurence Zuckerman and a colleague found serious evidence of Contra links to cocaine trafficking, but their story was blocked from publication by top editors. A senior editor admitted privately to Zuckerman: "Time is institutionally behind the Contras. If this story were about the Sandinistas and drugs, you'd have no trouble getting it in the magazine." (The N.Y Times and Washington Post both endorsed aid to the Contra army, despite massive documentation from human rights monitors that they targeted civilians for violence and terror.)

In 1989, when Sen. John Kerry released a report condemning U.S. government complicity with Contra-connected drug traffickers, the Washington Post ran a brief report loaded with GOP criticisms of Kerry, while Newsweek dubbed Kerry a "randy conspiracy buff."

In this weekend's mainstream media reports on Gary Webb's death, it's no surprise that a key point has been overlooked -- that the CIA's internal investigation sparked by the Webb series and resulting furor contained startling admissions. CIA Inspector General Frederick Hitz reported in October 1998 that the CIA indeed had knowledge of the allegations linking many Contras and Contra associates to cocaine trafficking, that Contra leaders were arranging drug connections from the beginning and that a CIA informant told the agency about the activity.

THE PARIAH: ESQUIRE 1998 STORY ON WEBB
http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/whosarat/vpost?id=12

ONE OF GARY WEBB'S LAST STORIES
http://www.newsreview.com/issues/sacto/2004-10-14/cover.asp

CONTRAS AND COCAINE: WHAT THE BIG MEDIA WON'T TELL YOU
http://prorev.com/blum.htm

EFFORTS BY THE MEDIA - led by the NY Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times - to vilify the reporting of the late Gary Webb on the connection between the CIA and the domestic cocaine problem ignores a long history of the CIA getting in bed with the drug dogs and waking up with fleas - from the Mafia in post-World War II Europe to Cambodia to Noriega to Afghanistan. It also ignores (as such media did at the time) congressional inquiries into this issue such as those conducted for a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee by attorney Jack Blum. Blum differentiates his view from that he saw as being presented by Webb (although what Webb said and what antagonistic media said he said was quickly hopelessly merged), yet in the end he makes a similar case of tremendous - if more indirect - complicity by the CIA

OCTOBER 2003

CALM DOWN EVERYONE

The current hysteria over the outing of a CIA official by Robert Novak is of little benefit to anyone except those wishing to perpetuate the myth of the agency among the general populace. The incident is a classic case of the capital's concern for an issue being in inverse proportion to its importance.

The media attention is being driven by a number of puerile factors:

- Some Bush capos' desire to embarrass Joseph Wilson.
- The CIA's desire to embarrass George Bush
- The Democrats desire for an issue, any issue, that might work
- And the media's desire for an issue it can understand.

To get an idea of how silly this frenzy is, consider what is being alleged - that Novak endangered the life of a CIA operative by revealing her name.

If she had really wanted to keep her cover, the first thing she should have done is divorce Wilson. Surprising as it may seem, the evil forces of the world are quite aware that CIA agents are omnipresent on diplomatic staff, hanging around ambassadors, and so forth. A would-be assassin merely has to narrow the field down from about a dozen people to pick his target. They don't need the help of the Prince of Darkness. In fact, the proper of Novak when told about Wilson's wife should have been, "So?"

I asked an old Washington hand how he would pick out the chief agency person at an embassy. His answer: "the one who was too much of a smart ass and [being on another's payroll] didn't have respect for the ambassador."

Over the years, much of the best work of the CIA has been done by those who in a different environment would be known as scholars or senior fellows. They get their status by knowing more about their subject than most other people and not by handing explosive cigars to their subjects. The good ones, as in other places such as the campus or the newsroom, are, however, the exception. More fall into that category well encapsulated by Lyndon Johnson when he told an aide to bear in mind that the agency was filled with Princeton and Yale graduates whose daddies wouldn't let them into the stock brokerage firm.

The evil forces don't usually assassinate analysts. Instead, they go after their opposite numbers in the spy game. In this game, the agency's record has been pretty pitiful ranging from painstakingly building a secret tunnel in Berlin only to find out later that the East Germans knew about it all along, to totally misrepresenting the Soviet economy, to not being able to find bin Laden.

The agency has been able to avoid responsibility for its history of failure largely because of a sycophantic media, some of which - hundreds during at least one period - were either directly in its employ or at its service. Given the contemporary lack of honor in the media, one might reasonably surmise that the day of the agency-embedded journalist has returned.

The CIA has all the virtues and failings of a government bureaucracy but without even the minimal open oversight that other departments get. During its history, only a tiny number of agents have been killed or endangered by the media. Its own failings, exercises in institutional machismo, career stuffing, and foolhardy fantasies have cost far more lives.

Howe many? Well, the notorious CIA official James Angleton said shortly before his death, "You know, the CIA got tens of thousands of brave people killed. . . We played with lives as if we owned them. We gave false hope. We - I - so misjudged what happened. . .

"Fundamentally, the founding fathers of US intelligence were liars. The better you lied and the more you betrayed, the more likely you would be promoted. These people attracted and promoted each other. Outside their duplicity, the only thing they had in common was a desire for absolute power. I did things, that in looking back on my life, I regret. But I was part of it and loved being in it. . . Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, Carmel Offie, and Frank Wisner were the grand masters. If you were in a room with them you were in a room full of people that you had to believe would deservedly end up in hell. . . I guess I'll see them there soon."

So calm down and think about something else more important, say like the law known as the Constitution that George Bush broke - by failing to uphold it in his lies to the people and the Congress about Iraq. - SAM SMITH

RECOVERED HISTORY

SECRECY & GOVERNMENT BULLETIN, NOVEMBER 1998 - CIA Station Chief in Israel Unmasked Describing the CIA's participation in the Middle East peace process, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet noted in the New York Times on October 27 that "[T]he agency's role has become widely publicized." In fact, the rather unconventional role of the CIA in mediating between Israeli and Palestinian security forces has entailed a significant erosion of the traditional secrecy surrounding CIA activities abroad. This erosion is reflected most starkly in the publication of the name of the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv, who has practically become a public figure. The naming of intelligence officers under cover is something of a taboo, and potentially a criminal act. Richard Welch, the CIA station chief in Athens, was murdered in 1975 by a Greek revolutionary organization after a local newspaper published his name and address. This incident eventually led to passage of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 which generally makes it unlawful for authorized personnel to publicly identify a covert agent, and for others to expose such agents "as part of a pattern of activities" intended to impede U.S. intelligence.

So the recurring publication of the name of the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv has been viewed with alarm and dismay by U.S. intelligence officials. . . CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield would not formally acknowledge that the name had been published. "As a matter of policy, we don't discuss individuals serving abroad. . .

Disclosure of the station chief's name seems to have begun last year in Israel which, despite its official system of military censorship, has an aggressive and resourceful press corps. Yediot Aharonot disclosed the U.S. program to train Palestinian security personnel at CIA headquarters in Langley, for example, several weeks before it became front page news in the New York Times earlier this year. The name of the CIA station chief appeared in an article by Akiva Eldar in Ha'aretz last January 22, among other places. As one Israeli reporter told S&GB, "The dam has burst. Previously, Israeli journalists were reluctant to get in trouble with U.S. law [by publishing such information]. We all intend to visit the States again sometime. This fear is no longer operative."

The official's name (which need not be repeated here) subsequently appeared in the Arabic press. Al Watan Al 'Arabi, published in Paris, reported last June 26 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had asked DCI George Tenet to remove the Tel Aviv station chief, who was identified by name and described as an American Jew, because Netanyahu felt he was biased in favor of the Palestinians.

The station chief's name was first published in the U.S. in an article written by Robert Satloff of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a mainstream policy research outfit, that appeared in the February 2 issue of The New Republic.

The identity of the station chief is well known to many U.S. reporters who cover national security issues. He is not a wholly clandestine figure, having formerly served as CIA's liaison to Congress. And he has gradually assumed a quasi-diplomatic role rather than an undercover intelligence gathering function. Yet both the Washington Post and the New York Times have refrained from publishing his name, even after The New Republic ran Satloff's story.

APRIL 2001

BBC: The US spy plane that made an emergency landing in China on Sunday after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet belongs to an elite highly classified reconnaissance unit. The EP-3E Aries II is the US Navy's principal long-range electronic surveillance aircraft, described by one expert as "a really big flying tape recorder." It is packed with sensitive receivers and antennas capable of intercepting and analyzing military and civilian radio and other electronic communications, including e-mails, faxes, and telephone conversations. All the information is fed for analysis into a huge on-board computer which sends information back to defense officials at the Pentagon, in Washington . . . "It's a disaster if that equipment is analyzed by the Chinese Government," said US aviation expert Jim Eckes. "It's one of the most sensitive aircraft in the US fleet. It's totally designed to intercept communications anywhere in the world." . . . [NOTE: This story brings to mind how easy it is for the military to spy on Americans as well as the Chinese]

VERNON LOEB, WASHINGTON POST: Never bashful, former CIA case officer and open-source guru Robert D. Steele has taken his crusade for intelligence reform directly to the White House, telling President Bush in a recent letter that he is being ill-served by an intelligence community obsessed with secrets. "Our secret intelligence community is spending $30 billion a year focusing on the 5 percent of the information they can steal, while ignoring the 95 percent of the relevant information that is not online, not in English, and yet vital and very relevant to your strategic decisions," Steele wrote . . . "The problem with spies," Steele said, "is they only know secrets. In the information age, the center of gravity for national security is knowledge power, but the U.S. has an industrial-era spy system."

PHILIP WILLEN, GUARDIAN: US intelligence services instigated and abetted right-wing terrorism in Italy during the 1970s, a former Italian secret service general has claimed. The allegation was made by General Gianadelio Maletti, a former head of military counter-intelligence, at the trial of right-wing extremists accused of killing 16 people in the bombing of a Milan bank in 1969 - the first time such a charge has been made in a court of law by a senior Italian intelligence figure . . . "The CIA, following the directives of its government, wanted to create an Italian nationalism capable of halting what it saw as a slide to the left and, for this purpose, it may have made use of right-wing terrorism," Gen Maletti told the Milan court. "I believe this is what happened in other countries as well."

WELL, THEY COULD ALWAYS STOP
LISTENING TO OUR CONVERSATIONS

VERNON LOEB, WASHINGTON POST: Every day, a digital monsoon engulfs the Central Intelligence Agency. Video and audio signals pour in from around the world as a million new pages pop up on the Internet. What's an intelligence agency to do about this "volume challenge of staggering proportion," as one CIA official called it? It is a question CIA scientists have spent millions of dollars addressing in recent years in a search for "data mining" technologies that produce knowledge from raw information . . . All of this "data mining" technology is designed to allow individual analysts to master gigabytes of digital information. But it is of critical institutional importance to the CIA, which must show that it can master the digital domain to survive in a world where it no longer controls most information.

MARCH 2001

JOHN LETTICE, THE REGISTER, LONDON: The German foreign office and Bundeswehr are pulling the plugs on Microsoft software, citing security concerns, according to the German news magazine Der Spiegel. Spiegel claims that German security authorities suspect that the US National Security Agency has 'back door' access to Microsoft source code, and can therefore easily read the Federal Republic's deepest secrets. The Bundeswehr will no longer use American on computers used in sensitive areas. The German foreign office has meanwhile put plans for video conferencing with its overseas embassies on hold, for similar reasons. Under secretary of state Gunter Pleuger is said by Spiegel to have discovered that "for technical reasons" the satellite service that was to be used was routed via Denver, Colorado. According to a colleague of Pleuger's this meant that the German foreign services "might as well hold our conferences directly in Langley."

FEBRUARY 2001

ERIC LICHTBLAU, LOS ANGELES TIMES: Congressional leaders demanded to know how the FBI failed to catch a suspected Russian spy in its ranks for 15 years and what steps authorities will take to prevent a recurrence of the worst spy scandal in the agency's history. At a three-hour, closed-door briefing with the heads of the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee pondered possible spy-catching remedies that included more aggressive use of polygraph tests, financial audits and computer surveillance of FBI agents to detect suspicious activity, officials said . . . [Chair Richard]Shelby and other members of the intelligence committee said they have continued confidence in Freeh's ability to lead the FBI. Some critics wonder, however, whether the FBI director has gotten a free ride from Congress in the wake of this latest scandal. In eight years as director, Freeh has emerged largely unscathed, despite a series of controversies that included the FBI's handling of the Waco standoff, the Richard Jewell-Olympic bombing investigation, the Wen Ho Lee espionage probe and now the Hanssen case.

THE NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY has opened the doors of its headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., for its first job fair. The agency is looking to hire 600 workers with experience or education in computer science, mathematics, engineering, signal analysis, data collection, cryptanalysis and intelligence analysis. "The recruitment event is part of a larger strategy to recruit the diverse, highly skilled work force needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century,'' officials said in a prepared statement. They said old hiring methods must be changed to meet today's needs.

JANUARY 2001

HOW TO SPY

A common saying has it that there are no walls which completely block the wind, nor is absolute secrecy achievable . . . And invariably there will be numerous open situations in which things are revealed, either in tangible or intangible form. By picking here and there among the vast amount of public materials and accumulating information a drop at a time, often it is possible to basically reveal the outlines of some secret intelligence, and this is particularly true in the case of Western countries. Through probability analysis, in foreign countries it is believed that 80 percent or more of intelligence can be gotten through public materials. - From a Chinese manual on spying cited by Bill Gertz in the Washington Times

OCTOBER 2000

DEPARTMENT OF DUBIOUS DOWNLOADERS

AL KAMEN, WASHINGTON POST: Just the other day, ambassador to Israel Martin S. Indyk was deep into the State Department doghouse for "suspected violations" of security regulations. His security clearance was suspended, so he couldn't handle classified materials. He needed an escort while in the State Department building. The department's diplomatic security folks wanted him to stay in this country until their investigation was completed. At a White House briefing Monday, a reporter asked if Indyk could "function as ambassador? Do we have a functioning ambassador?" "Not at the moment," press secretary Jake Siewert said. Well, moments change. Indyk returned to Israel several days ago, purportedly to celebrate the Jewish holidays with his family, but it's pretty clear he's back on the job. There's even a meeting on tap with Israeli Prime Minister and Indyk pal Ehud Barak . . . Here is what a senior State Department official had to say on the subject: "In light of continuing violence in the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, for compelling US national interests, the secretary has asked Ambassador Indyk to engage with government officials and others in Israel to help calm the current crisis."

WALTER PINCUS AND VERNON LOEB, WASHINGTON POST: The Department of Energy intelligence chief who spearheaded a 1995 probe into suspected Chinese espionage at Los Alamos National Laboratory yesterday blamed the FBI for targeting physicist Wen Ho Lee as the government's prime suspect and denied that racial profiling played a role in the case. "It was the FBI that focused solely on Dr. Lee," Notra Trulock III told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee . . . "Our final report listed 12 investigative leads for the FBI . . . DOE believed that the FBI would pursue all 12 leads with equal vigor and diligence."

WALTER PINCUS, WASHINGTON POST: A leading nuclear scientist said today he "erred" at the bail hearing for former Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Wen Ho Lee when he gave the impression that 99 percent of the material Lee downloaded was unclassified. John L. Richter told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee this morning that he considered only one of the three different computer categories that Lee downloaded to portable tapes to be 99 percent unclassified. The other two categories he said were classified and "should not be" made available to other nations.

SMARTER TIMES: You might expect that, after running a highly unusual and lengthy editor's note that publicly regretted aspects of its handling of the Wen Ho Lee story, the New York Times would take extra-special care to make sure that its next news story about the Lee case was letter-perfect. Well, the Times waddles back into the story today with a front-page dispatch that is riddled with sloppiness. Most outrageous is a headline that runs with the continuation of the article inside the paper. The headline reads, "Reno and Freeh Still Insisting That Los Alamos Scientist Committed Crime." Beyond the redundancy of "still insist" (someone call William Safire's Squad Squad), the headline suggests that that there is still some doubt about whether Lee committed a crime. In fact, that point is settled. Mr. Lee pleaded guilty to a felony. What is the Times getting at here? It sounds like the Times editors wanted the full headline to read, "Reno and Freeh Still Insisting That Los Alamos Scientist Committed Crime, Even After Yesterday's Editor's Note In The Times Acknowledging Regrets About Newspaper's Coverage."

SEPTEMBER 2000

UPI: The Central Intelligence Agency has for the first time confirmed that a high-ranking Nazi general placed his anti-Soviet spy ring at the disposal of the United States during the early days of the Cold War. The National Archives said in a release that the CIA had filed an affidavit in US District Court "acknowledging an intelligence relationship with German General Reinhard Gehlen that it has kept secret for 50 years."


AMBROSE EVANS-PRITCHARD, TELEGRAPH LONDON: Declassified American government documents show that the US intelligence community ran a campaign in the Fifties and Sixties to build momentum for a united Europe. It funded and directed the European federalist movement. The documents confirm suspicions voiced at the time that America was working aggressively behind the scenes to push Britain into a European state. One memorandum, dated July 26, 1950, gives instructions for a campaign to promote a fully fledged European parliament. It is signed by Gen. William J Donovan, head of the American wartime Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA. The documents were found by Joshua Paul, a researcher at Georgetown University in Washington . . . The European Youth Campaign, an arm of the European Movement, was wholly funded and controlled by Washington. The Belgian director, Baron Boel, received monthly payments into a special account. When the head of the European Movement, Polish-born Joseph Retinger, bridled at this degree of American control and tried to raise money in Europe, he was quickly reprimanded. The leaders of the European Movement - Retinger, the visionary Robert Schuman and the former Belgian prime minister Paul-Henri Spaak - were all treated as hired hands by their American sponsors. The US role was handled as a covert operation. ACUE's funding came from the Ford and Rockefeller foundations as well as business groups with close ties to the US government. The head of the Ford Foundation, ex-OSS officer Paul Hoffman, doubled as head of ACUE in the late Fifties. The State Department also played a role.

VERNON LOEB, WASHINGTON POST: The CIA maintained relations with and made a one-time cash payment in the mid-1970s to a top Chilean intelligence official, Manuel Contreras, even though he was considered one of the country's major human rights violators, according to a new CIA report on covert agency operations in Chile . . . Contreras, the head of Pinochet's Directorate of National Intelligence, or DINA, was indicted by a US grand jury in 1978 for masterminding the 1976 car bombing that killed a Chilean diplomat who served in Allende's cabinet, Orlando Letelier, and his American colleague Ronni Moffitt, on Washington's Embassy Row. He was ultimately convicted of the crime in Chile and remains in custody on a Chilean military base . . . Peter Kornbluh, a Chile expert at the nonprofit National Security Archive who has lobbied for full declassification of Chile documents, credited the CIA for candor in its new report . . . But Kornbluh said the report is "thin" in its description of CIA relations with Contreras and DINA. Kornbluh said he found the report remarkable in its conclusion that CIA officers in Chile proposed a paid relationship with Contreras in 1975 when they knew DINA was involved in plotting overseas assassinations of political opponents, such as Letelier.

AUGUST 2000

NBC NEWS: The US intelligence community uses electronic eavesdropping to maintain and update a top secret database of international bribery cases, according to new reports by the State and Commerce departments and senior US officials. The information is being used extensively as leverage to help American companies compete abroad and is being matched by similar efforts on the part of US economic competitors. The database built by US intelligence agencies contains the names of foreign companies that offer bribes to win international contracts and is reported to list hundreds of contracts worth hundreds of billions of dollars that over the past 14 years went to the biggest briber rather than the highest bidder. The database is developed mainly through electronic eavesdropping, say US intelligence officials.