CIA

Assange’s Indictment Is Trump’s Next Step In His War On Our Free Press

  By Trevor Timm The Guardian (4/13/19) The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is so disliked in journalism and political circles that many reporters and liberal politicians were publicly cheering on Thursday when the Trump administration released an indictment of Assange, which was related to his interactions with the whistleblower Chelsea Manning in the months leading up to the publication of Pentagon and state department cables in 2010. Please do not fall for this trap. It is exactly what the Trump administration is hoping for, as the Department of Justice (DoJ) moves forward with its next dangerous step in its war on journalism…

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CIA Provided Details Of 9/11 Suspect’s Secret Torture To Film-Makers But Not To His Lawyers

By Julian Borger The Guardian (2/23/19) The makers of the film Zero Dark Thirty were given detailed information about the torture of an inmate at a CIA “black site” that had been denied to the prisoner’s own defence counsel at his trial in Guantánamo Bay, his lawyers claim. Members of defence team for Ammar al-Baluchi, undergoing pre-trial proceedings for his alleged role in the 9/11 attacks before a military tribunal at the US base, said they were stunned to see the portrayal of his torture, including beatings, suspension from manacles and waterboarding, in the Oscar-winning 2012 film. Ammar al-Baluchi’s defense team said they…


Inside America’s Meddling Machine: The US Funded Group Interfering In Elections Around the Globe

  By Max Blumenthal Grayzone Project (8/20/18) On June 13, 2018 the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy presented its 2018 Democracy Award to a collection of Korean activists who aim to topple the communist government of North Korea. The event was timed to coincide with President Donald Trump’s peace summit in Singapore with Kim Jong-Un. The ceremony appeared to be the opening shot of a massive public relations effort aimed at stifling normalized relations with North Korea. I covered the ceremony because these organizations are doing precisely what Congress accuses Russia-funded media outlets and troll farms of doing in the United…


Surveilance Capitalism: How Tracking & Selling Your Personal Data Became A Business Model

On Point / WBUR (1/15/19) There are new calls for tech companies to stop selling your location to third parties. We’ll look at the economics and perils of “surveillance capitalism.” Guest — Shoshana Zuboff, professor emerita at Harvard Business School and former faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. Author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power,” among other titles. Excerpt from “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff The Unprecedented One explanation for surveillance capitalism’s many triumphs floats above them all: it…


Newly Declassified Documents Shed Light On Gina Haspel’s Involvement At Guantanamo

  [Editor’s Note: keep in mind six democratic senators betrayed the constitution, international law and human decency  by voting to confirm torturer Gina Haspel in her confirmation hearing to be director of the CIA. This is a bipartisan disgrace.  — Mark L. Taylor] By John Kiriakou Reader Supported News Service (1/8/19) Last week, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified what at first glance appears to be an innocuous transcript of a request for discovery and witnesses made by Guantánamo defense attorneys during a hearing in the “trial” of 9/11 suspect Khalid Shaikh Muhammad. In the transcript, the attorney complains to the judge that the…


Ex-Spies Are Harvesting Facebook Photos For A Massive Facial Recognition Database

If Terrogence isn’t solely focused on terrorism, but has a political side to its business too, its facial recognition work could sweep up a vast number of people.  [Editor’s Note: Do you really want to continue putting up photos of your family on Facebook? be careful, folks. — Mark L. Taylor] By Thomas Brewster Forbes (4/16/18) When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tried to describe the difference between “surveillance and what we do.” “The difference is extremely clear,” a nervous-looking Zuckerberg said. “On Facebook, you have control over…


Glenn Greenwald: Think You Got Nothin’ To Hide? Here’s Why Privacy Does Matter To You, Your Family & Community

“Those who do not move, do not notice their chains.” — Rosa Luxemburg TED Talk (10/10/14) Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”


Seymour Hersh On CIA Spies, State Secrets, And The Stories He Doesn’t Tell

“The capacity to do stupid fucking things in America is just fucking scary.”  By Elon Green Columian Journalism Review (6/4/18) When a reporter has covered 50 years of American foreign policy disasters, the last great untold story may be his own. That, more or less, is the premise behind a new memoir by Seymour Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been revealing secrets and atrocities—and often secret atrocities—to great acclaim since he exposed the My Lai Massacre in 1969. Hersh’s book, economically titled Reporter, is focused on the work. “I don’t want anybody reporting about my private life,” he once said, and Hersh abides…


‘Frontline’ — CIA Director Nominee Supported Destruction Of Torture Tapes

  By Patrice Taddonio Frontline (5/9/18) Testifying today before the Senate, CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel, an agency veteran with deep links to the agency’s controversial George W. Bush-era “enhanced interrogation” [torture] program, said she had supported the CIA’s 2005 decision to destroy 92 videotapes of [torture] interrogations said to include the use of techniques widely described as torture. Haspel drafted the cable ordering the tapes’ destruction at the request of her boss at the time, the CIA’s former top operations officer, Jose Rodriguez. In her testimony on Wednesday, she said that she had “absolutely” been an advocate for the destruction of the…


Given Her Crimes, Gina Haspel Should Be In The Dock At The Hague, Not Head Of CIA

  By John Kiriakou Reader Supported News (3/19/18) Gina Haspel’s appointment as CIA director sends a message that is clear to the CIA workforce, to our allies around the world, and to our enemies. That message is that any CIA officer can break the law with impunity and still get promoted; indeed, one can even be promoted to director. The message is that, when push comes to shove, the United States doesn’t care about human rights. We pretend to. We insist that other countries do. But that’s all for show. If you are a strategic ally of the United States (Saudi Arabia,…


All American Torture: Bipartisan Republican & Democrat Assault On Human Rights

  Democrats’ Abject Surrender On Torture Is Nearly Complete By Marcy Wheeler The HuffPost (3/15/18) In the same tweet he used to unceremoniously fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump announced the twin nominations of CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson’s replacement and CIA veteran Gina Haspel as the new head of the nation’s premier intelligence agency. Haspel, the CIA’s current deputy director, now stands to become the agency’s first female director, despite the fact that she previously supervised a CIA black site where detainees were tortured and was later implicated in the destruction of video…


Trump’s New CIA Nominee, Gina Haspel, Faces Possible Arrest Warrant In Germany On Brutal Torture Charges

  Democracy Now! (3/14/18) On Tuesday morning, President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson via Twitter. In the same tweet, the president announced CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who is a close ally of the Koch brothers, would be nominated to become the new secretary of state. Trump also tapped CIA Deputy Director Gina Haspel to head the CIA. Haspel was directly involved in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. She was responsible for running a secret CIA black site in Thailand in 2002 where one prisoner was waterboarded 83 times and tortured in other ways. Both Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel must now face…


‘Directorate S’ — Steve Coll On The CIA & America’s Failed Secret Wars In Afghanistan & Pakistan

    Democracy Now! (2/8/18) The U.S. is intensifying its air war in Afghanistan as U.S. Central Command has announced it is shifting military resources from Iraq and Syria back to Afghanistan, where the United States has been fighting for over 16 years in the longest war in U.S. history. U.S. Air Force Major General James Hecker recently said Afghanistan has “become CENTCOM’s main effort.” The news comes after a particularly bloody period in Afghanistan. Despite the spiraling violence, President Trump recently ruled out negotiations with the Taliban during a meeting of members of the United Nations Security Council. We…


“The Devil’s Chessboard” — Interview With Author David Talbot On The Evil History Of The CIA

  “Writing is fighting.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (2/1/18) Author David Talbot’s “The Devil’s Chessboard” (2015) provides an intriguing and necessary “counternarrative” to understanding American history since World War II. Talbot’s in-depth reporting exposes the bloodied cutting edge of the darkest wing of the Wall Street oligarchy. It is the nepotism and incestuous American secret corporate state that has led the nation into a parade of bloody and completely failed wars, coups and international murder and torture. From Central America to Vietnam, to Africa and the Middle East and Afghanistan the trail of bloody American failure and…


Ex-CIA Officer John Kiriakou: “The Government Turned Me Into A Dissident”

VICE News (4/2/15) In 2007, John Kiriakou became the first Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official to publicly confirm that agency interrogators waterboarded a high-value detainee, terrorism suspect Abu Zubaydah — a revelation that had previously been a closely guarded secret. Five years after this unauthorized disclosure to ABC News, the veteran CIA officer pleaded guilty to leaking to journalists the identity of certain individuals who were involved with the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program. He was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison. VICE News caught up with Kiriakou for a wide-ranging interview just a few…


“Worm Wood”: Errol Morris’s Latest Documentary Probes Deadly CIA Duplicity

Frank Olson may have been not just murdered but executed. (Editor’s Note: “Wormwood” is a fascinating Netflix documentary series on the 1953 suicide/murder/execution of government scientist Frank Olson, who grew up in Hurley, Wisconsin. The official story was that Olson’s death was an unfortunate outcome of a what was a whacky CIA LSD experimental program gone awry. Olson’s eldest son, Erik, never felt comfortable with the story; always felt there was more to it. He was right. This short series is a powerful, personal account of the abuse of unchecked government power and secrecy and perfectly timed as a warning…


Pandora’s Box: An Ex-CIA Officer Speaks Out About The Explosive & Illegal Italian Rendition Case

“It’s really important that this entire story be told because this case is emblematic of a broader, larger political and policy issues.” – CIA whistleblower Sabrina De Sousa VICE News (11/3/15) Sabrina De Sousa is one of nearly two-dozen CIA officers who was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced by Italian courts in absentia in 2009 for the role she allegedly played in the rendition of a radical cleric named Abu Omar. It was the first and only criminal prosecution that has ever taken place related to the CIA’s rendition program, which involved more than 100 suspected terrorists and the assistance of…


‘Straight Out Of The Handmaid’s Tale’: Insiders Claim CIA Director Pompeo Is Converting Intel Agency Into Christian Hotbed

  By Tom Boggioni The Raw Story (9/10/17) ccording to an investigation by Foreign Policy into changes in the intelligence community under President Donald Trump, the CIA has set aside plans to diversify and has become more white and more Christian under new director Mike Pompeo. Noting the Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas,  is a self-professed evangelical, the report states that the new director once claimed, Islamist terrorists will “continue to press against us until we make sure that we pray and stand and fight and make sure that we know that Jesus Christ is our savior is truly the…


The ‘Devil’s Chessboard’ – Allen Dulles, The CIA & The Rise Of The Secret Corporate State

  (Editor’s Note: David Talbot’s book on the role of the CIA in transforming our government into a branch office of Wall Street interests is an important book. This article will lead you to excerpts. I recommend the book highly to Commoner Call readers. – Mark L. Taylor) By Russ Baker WhoWhatWhy (7/26/17) Exactly 70 years ago today [7/26/17], President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act, creating the Department of Defense, the National Security Council, the Joint Chiefs of Staff — and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Sixteen years later — just one month after the Kennedy assassination…