339 posts tagged with CIA.
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Carter/Khomeini

BBC: "Two Weeks in January: America's secret engagement with Khomeini: On 27 January, 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - founder of Iran's Islamic Republic, the man who called the United States "the Great Satan" - sent a secret message to Washington. From his home in exile outside Paris, the defiant leader of the Iranian revolution effectively offered the Carter administration a deal: Iranian military leaders listen to you, he said, but the Iranian people follow my orders. If President Jimmy Carter could use his influence on the military to clear the way for his takeover, Khomeini suggested, he would calm the nation. Stability could be restored, America's interests and citizens in Iran would be protected."
posted by marienbad on Jun 3, 2016 - 7 comments

Craig Baldwin: surf the wave of obsolescence, redeeming trash(ed) videos

Craig Baldwin creates "collage essay" films, redeeming or taking revenge on the trash(ed) videos of the past, and making movies on the cheap (YT interview). The work of this culture jammer, media appropriator, director and documentarian (Sonic Outlaws, Archive.org) stretches back to his short student films in the 1970s, and often includes political commentary, usually concerning the exploitation of countries and people under imperialism, capitalist or otherwise. But you might have to look beyond the chaos on the surface, as found in the ultimate conspiracy theory film, Tribulation 99: Alien Anomalies Under America (1991 - 48 minutes, Vimeo). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 24, 2016 - 14 comments

Open-plan offices are mandatory for all.

In 1944, the CIA’s predecessor created the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (previously), detailing subtle and hard-to-trace ways for a sympathetic insider to subvert an enemy’s total war effort, from industry to transportation to communication. Charlie Stross and contributors in his comments section have brought Simple Sabotage into the 21st century.
posted by reluctant early bird on May 15, 2016 - 63 comments

Ex-Agent Says CIA Tip-off Led To Nelson Mandela's 1962 Arrest

BBC: "The revelations, made in the [UK] Sunday Times newspaper, are based on an interview with ex-CIA agent Donald Rickard shortly before he died. Mr Mandela served 27 years in jail for resisting white minority rule before being released in 1990. He was subsequently elected as South Africa's first black president."
posted by marienbad on May 15, 2016 - 16 comments

The Plot to Take Down a Fox News Analyst

How a former CIA spook became suspicious of a Fox News analyst's claims to be a former CIA operative, and how he may or may not have brought him down.
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 2, 2016 - 42 comments

At Sea with America's Largest Floating Gathering of Conspiracy Theorists

It’s an experience that may not appeal to everyone—a seven-day cruise at sea, with the aim of “taking back power from corrupt and greedy institutions, attain true self-authority, and realize our genuine Self behind the masks … discovering the truth, taking command of our lives, and attaining genuine inner realization” —with every odd belief you can think of listed as entertainment: GMOs, Monsanto, bee colony collapse, ecology, global warming, climate change, fracking, HIV, autism, Big Pharma, medical suppression, vaccinations, fluoridation,… electoral fraud, identity chips, 2nd amendment, and so much more. Anna Merlan writes charitably yet unflinchingly for Jezebel about her experience joining them [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 29, 2016 - 121 comments

So THIS is what you do with a liberal arts degree

In some ways, it is hard to imagine two paths more different than being a writer and being a spy. It is certainly hard to imagine two careers with more wildly disparate stakes. And yet there are parallels in the underlying qualities of their practitioners: an interest in psychology, a facility with narrative, a tendency to position oneself as an observer, and a willingness to lie and call it something else.--writer Jennifer DuBois explains what it was like to be hired by the CIA.
posted by MoonOrb on Feb 27, 2016 - 18 comments

"We're gonna arm this thing and go hunting"

How Rogue Techies Armed The Predator, Almost Stopped 9/11, And Invented Remote Warfare [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2016 - 15 comments

Ark and flood in one package

The US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) was established in 1961 and has grown into one of the US government’s largest intelligence organizations. It employs 17,000 people, including thousands stationed overseas, and its 2013 fiscal year budget request was for $3.15 billion. Yet, the DIA is also one of the more secretive agencies in the U.S. intelligence community, regularly denying access to basic information about its structure, functions and activities. On November 20, the National Security Archive posted a new sourcebook of over 50 declassified documents that help to illuminate the DIA’s five-decades-long history. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 4, 2015 - 20 comments

Toxic Workspace or CIA Sabotage?

The CIA’s WWII Guide to Creating Organizational Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace (and the link to the full 1944 document at cia.gov)
posted by ShooBoo on Nov 21, 2015 - 29 comments

"We were to become paymasters for the CIA around the world."

The mysterious collapse of Australia's Nugan Hand bank (SLYT) has long been a favorite subject of the espionage mythos, with its chairman's suicide, the disappearance of its former CIA co-founder Michael Hand, the bank's ties to the CIA, apparent drug money laundering... basically, talk of ties to every CIA conspiracy theory of the last 30 years... the stuff of legends. Except, of course, that Michael Hand has been found by Australia's 60 Minutes, living in Idaho Falls, where he runs a business manufacturing combat knives for the special OPs crowd. Here is the full 60 Minutes report.
posted by markkraft on Nov 8, 2015 - 20 comments

When Canada Learned It Had Spies

"Unknown even to the majority of parliament, by 1972 the CBNRC had grown to employ some 600 people—slightly smaller than the Department of Justice, and about half the size of the Canadian Forces unit for military signals intelligence. Every successive federal government vehemently denied that Canada engaged in any international espionage, while the CBNRC secretly helped to fight and even escalate the Cold War."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 30, 2015 - 4 comments

The Drone Papers, from the Intercept

The Drone Papers-The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars. [more inside]
posted by nevercalm on Oct 15, 2015 - 52 comments

Fifty years and two documentaries since the Indonesian coup

It has been fifty years since the attempted coup in Indonesia which kicked off a series of events that led to the death of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. The reprisals, urged on by the West, mainly targeted the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), the largest non-ruling Communist Party at the time. Documentarian Joshua Oppenheimer has made two powerful and haunting films about this episode, The Act of Killing (2012) and The Look of Silence (2014). [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Oct 1, 2015 - 16 comments

Covertly-Sponsored Instruments of State Power, at Least in Part

Literary Magazines for Socialists Funded by the CIA, Ranked [from The Awl] [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Aug 25, 2015 - 14 comments

Brennan: "I apologize for the actions of CIA officers"

While the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence was preparing its torture report, the CIA spied on their computers and launched a spurious criminal inquiry against their staff (previously). The CIA and its director, John Brennan, with the support of the White House, have taken a brazen public stance, denying any wrongdoing in directly spying on their nominal overseer. But documents obtained by Jason Leopold and VICE News show that the CIA had prepared a written apology for the spying, which they ultimately decided not to issue (was the White House involved in this decision?). [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 13, 2015 - 10 comments

The answer to the threat of man-eating sharks...

Julia Child and the OSS Recipe for Shark Repellent [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave on Jul 18, 2015 - 10 comments

What A.P.A. stands for

An American Psychological Association report highlights how it allowed torture clinicians to operate in its ranks. The 542-page report raises questions about collaboration between A.P.A. psychologists and both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon. According to the report, leaders of the American Psychological Association weakened the association’s ethical guidelines to allow psychologists to take part in coercive interrogation programs after September 11, 2001.
posted by Sir Rinse on Jul 11, 2015 - 60 comments

"Brennan wanted to destroy the report."

The New Yorker has a profile of Sen. Diane Feinstein and her role in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence "torture report" -- including her conflict with CIA Director John Brennan over his spying on the committee's staff.
I asked [Feinstein] whether she was disappointed in Obama’s lack of support for the torture report. She paused, and replied, “Well, let me say that there are people who don’t want to look at the whole truth. And I don’t know whether the President read our report or not. I certainly haven’t heard from him since.”
posted by grobstein on Jun 24, 2015 - 8 comments

The Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight

How a pro-domme, a Russian diplomat, U.S. intelligence and Mary Tyler Moore’s landscaper conspired to create a dance classic.
posted by DirtyOldTown on Apr 16, 2015 - 12 comments

I Might Have Some Sensitive Files

The government says Matt DeHart is an online child predator. He says that’s a ruse created because he discovered shocking CIA secrets and claims he was tortured by federal agents. The only thing that’s clear is that he’s in deep trouble.
posted by ellieBOA on Mar 24, 2015 - 64 comments

"It was produced in a hurry."

The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Mar 19, 2015 - 85 comments

Tinfoil hats at the ready please

The Cast
New Yorker: - What happened to Alberto Nisman?
El Pais : - Argentinean prosecutor drafted arrest warrant for Fernández de Kirchner.
WSJ : - First his death was declared a suicide; now Argentina’s president says it was the work of her enemies. What about Tehran?
NYT : -Reining In Argentina’s Spymasters.
Grauniad : - Argentina investigates mystery DNA found at dead prosecutor's home.
Arutz Sheva : - Aide Who Gave Gun to Nisman is Fired.
Bloomberg : - Who and where is Antonio Stiuso?
Grauniad : - The shady history of Argentina’s Intelligence.
posted by adamvasco on Feb 10, 2015 - 19 comments

US v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling

"The CIA would have [given] Iran the actual [nuclear bomb] already constructed for them, but didn't because it wouldn't have been credible for their Russian to have it." [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 20, 2015 - 46 comments

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

“Mr. Obama has said multiple times that 'we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,' as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.” The New York Times Editorial Board calls for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's architects of torture. (SLNYT)
posted by Anyamatopoeia on Dec 22, 2014 - 78 comments

The Queen of Torture

"She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked." "But instead of being sanctioned, she was promoted."
posted by 445supermag on Dec 20, 2014 - 63 comments

CIA Torture Report Released

The Senate intelligence committee's report on CIA torture has been released. [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles on Dec 9, 2014 - 854 comments

Land of the Frei

In the decades after World War II, the C.I.A. and other United States agencies employed at least a thousand Nazis as Cold War spies and informants and, as recently as the 1990s, concealed the government’s ties to some still living in America.
US spy agencies employed Nazis of all stripes, including SS officials with the blood of 10s of thousands on their hands, and a man described as Eichmann's mentor. They helped many Nazi war criminals immigrate to America, and protected them from prosecution. Of course they lied to Congress about it. The New York Times's Eric Lichtblau reports. (Lichtblau's reporting partner, James Risen, with whom he shared the Pulitzer Prize, continues to face jail time for refusing to turn over confidential sources to the Obama administration.)
posted by grobstein on Oct 26, 2014 - 98 comments

Pay Any Price

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 22, 2014 - 12 comments

Crack, the CIA, and the Contras

In 1996, Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News exposed a shocking series of facts: that the CIA and the Reagan administration were covertly funding the Contras in Nicaragua by aiding and abetting the flow of crack cocaine to America, particularly inflicting terrible damage on inner-city black communities. In response, the Washington Post, New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times all began vicious campaigns to attack and discredit Webb. Although Webb was later vindicated by a CIA Inspector General report among other things, the damage was done, and the story still has an air of obfuscation and confusion around it. Along with the release of a new documentary, Freeway: Crack in the System, as well as a feature film starring Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb, Kill the Messenger, key figures in the CIA-crack cocaine scandal are beginning to come forward. Could this be the start of a renewed exploration of the government's complicity in the rise of crack in America?
posted by naju on Oct 13, 2014 - 94 comments

Annoying beasts and where to find them

The CIAs' Bestiary of Intelligence Writing (PDF) is an illustrated guide of buzzwords written by CIA employee ███████ and published in 1982 in the Agency's newsletter "Studies in Intelligence": Older employees may recall that when the Headquarters Building was being constructed, guard dogs stalked the corridors by night to sniff out trespassers. Practically no one is aware, however, of the collection of strange fauna in a corner of a sub-basement, the location of which must remain secret. This collection known as the Bestiary of Intelligence Writing, consists of specimen samples of cliches and misused or overused word combinations that CIA editors have encountered frequently over the years. More information about the bestiary at War is Boring. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Oct 3, 2014 - 13 comments

There is a Starbucks inside the CIA

Welcome to the “Stealthy Starbucks,” as a few officers affectionately call it. Or "Store Number 1," as the receipts cryptically say.
posted by gauche on Sep 28, 2014 - 73 comments

Spooks Commuting by Canoe

The CIA Used to Have a Commute-by-Canoe Club.
posted by ShooBoo on Sep 19, 2014 - 26 comments

The most wanted man in the world

Edward Snowden - The Untold Story, from Wired's Threat Level.
posted by nevercalm on Aug 13, 2014 - 103 comments

"It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious." -- Obama

The CIA Must Tell the Truth About My Rendition At 12 Years Old. [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 6, 2014 - 35 comments

'that's so stupid that one can only cry at the foolishness of it.'

In the past week, Germany has found and fired an American mole in their intelligence agency, investigated another suspect in their defense ministry, and asked the CIA station chief to leave the country. Media reports offer an interesting view of a post Cold War world grappling with the unexpected* - spy vs spy among friends and allies, while traditional intelligence targets Russia and China play the part of bemused bystanders. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 11, 2014 - 56 comments

The CIA is a prescriptivist scold

Writing tips from the CIA’s ruthless style manual:

Strunk & White, it turns out, were CIA sources. The authors of The Elements of Style, a classic American writing guide, are cited alongside Henry Fowler, Wilson Follett, and Jacques Barzun in the Directorate of Intelligence’s Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications, whose eighth edition (from 2011) was quietly posted online (pdf) by the legal nonprofit National Security Counselors a little over a year ago, following a Freedom of Information Act request. [more inside]
posted by moody cow on Jul 10, 2014 - 30 comments

Open Source Everything

The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1%, says an ex CIA spy: The man who trained more than 66 countries in open source methods calls for re-invention of intelligence to re-engineer Earth [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jun 25, 2014 - 35 comments

Bin Laden: Now with Sith tattoos and face-melting action!

Washington Post: CIA hatched plan to make demon toy to counter Osama bin Laden's influence
posted by prize bull octorok on Jun 23, 2014 - 40 comments

Make the Economy SCREAM!

What Really Happened in Chile '“A coup attempt will be initiated on 11 September,” the cable read. “All three branches of the armed forces and the carabineros [Chile’s national police] are involved in this action. A declaration will be read on Radio Agricultura at 7 a.m. on 11 September. . . . The carabineros have the responsibility for seizing President Salvador Allende.”' "That is how the U.S. government learned of the coup in Chile. This might be hard for many Americans, Chileans, and people elsewhere to believe, since it has become conventional wisdom, especially on the left, that Washington played a crucial role in the military-led overthrow of the democratically elected Allende, which resulted in the nearly 17-year authoritarian rule of General Augusto Pinochet." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Jun 3, 2014 - 41 comments

Work the Line

Conservative bon vivant Michael Anton writes about the thrill of cooking in an haute cuisine restaurant, as well as the rise of celebrity chef culture and personalities like Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.
posted by Cash4Lead on May 2, 2014 - 21 comments

Two fatal Air India crashes on Mont Blanc: jewels and conspiracies

On November 3, 1950, an Air India flight crashed into Rochers de la Tournette (Google maps), a face of Mont Blanc, killing all 48 people on board. A second Air India flight crashed at nearly the same location on January 24, 1966, killing the 106 passengers and 11 people in the flight crew. It is generally assume that the second crash was due to the pilot mis-judging their location based on faulty equipment and limited visual cues (embedded PDF), leading to a premature descent and the death of the 117 people on board. Also on board were 100 precious emeralds, sapphires and rubies that were recently discovered, but have been kept out of sight of the public and journalists, possibly to allow the Mayor of Chamonix and climber who found the jewels to split their loot. Then there is the conspiracy theory that the second crash was caused by a collision with an Italian aircraft that had gone missing the same day, with the goal of killing Dr. Homi Bhabha, the father on India's nuclear program. This theory is supported by Daniel Roche, a property consultant by trade who has spent years collecting a ton and a half of objects from the crash sites (French article; Google auto-translation). And of course, there's the theory that the CIA was trying to silence Dr. Bhabha as he was on his way to "stir up more trouble" in Vienna.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 25, 2014 - 9 comments

The Red Line and the Rat Line

"The post-attack intelligence on Turkey did not make its way to the White House. ‘Nobody wants to talk about all this,’ the former intelligence official told me. ‘There is great reluctance to contradict the president, although no all-source intelligence community analysis supported his leap to convict. There has not been one single piece of additional evidence of Syrian involvement in the sarin attack produced by the White House since the bombing raid was called off. My government can’t say anything because we have acted so irresponsibly. And since we blamed Assad, we can’t go back and blame Erdoğan.’"
A report by Seymour Hersh alleges that Turkish PM Erdoğan's National Intelligence Organization is responsible for last August's sarin attack in Syria, in an attempt to force Obama's hand on air strikes. [more inside] posted by p3on on Apr 17, 2014 - 46 comments

"We're gonna need a bigger boat."

That Time The CIA And Howard Hughes Tried To Steal A Soviet Submarine | You may recall this (previously) epic post about this subject, but it is time to update the story with recently declassified documents (PDF: Search it for the term "Azorian" and you'll find some 200 pages of info.) Or just read the first link for the Cliff's Notes.
posted by spock on Apr 16, 2014 - 43 comments

Peter Matthiessen

Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing. "He is the only writer ever to win the National Book Award for nonfiction and fiction, but it’s not just the writing: Born into the East Coast establishment, Matthiessen ran from it, and in the running became a novelist, a C.I.A. agent, a founder of The Paris Review, author of more than 30 books, a naturalist, an activist and a master in one of the most respected lineages in Zen. As early as 1978, he was already being referred to, in a review in The New York Times, as a 'throwback,' because he has always seemed to be of a different, earlier era, with universal, spiritual and essentially timeless concerns." Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86.
posted by homunculus on Apr 5, 2014 - 40 comments

"This will be final message from Saigon station"

"At that point when you say who were the people who stayed to the last, at that point I still had with me in Saigon, a couple of pretty determined and brawny types with whom I was able to get on the Embassy fence and we physically were lifting these people across. And we had a couple of military officers in the crowd with whom we had a deal that if they pick out of the crowd the people that we want, then in the end we will lift them in and they can go too. Well we did that. We made deals like that with the police all through the day. We were able to move people through the city of Saigon by making deals with police officers and saying, "Put your families in among these people and when we safely put them on the plane or safely put them on the bus then we are going to take you too. That worked very well." -- On Monday, The Washington Post published the obituary of Tom Polgar, the last CIA head of station in Vietnam and linked to his memories of the years he spend in Vietnam and the final evacuation of Saigon, written in 2013 for the Pushing on blog, which is largely dedicated to the War on Vietnam and the fall of Saigon.
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 3, 2014 - 22 comments

"Usually I just do a Google search"

Studying the "wisdom of the crowd" the Good Judgement Project has been asking average citizens to predict global events over the last 3 years. A weighted average shows these participants, who do not have access to classified materials, are more accurate than the Intelligence community. And the projects "elite" forecasters are 30% more accurate.
posted by fontophilic on Apr 2, 2014 - 30 comments

"A Defining Moment"

United States Senator Dianne Feinstein Publicly Accuses C.I.A. of Spying on Congress. 'The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of improperly removing documents from computers that committee staff members had been using to complete a report on the agency’s detention program, saying the move was part of an effort to intimidate the committee.' 'Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the committee, suggested on the Senate floor that the agency had violated federal law and said the C.I.A. had undermined Congress’s constitutional right to oversee the actions of the executive branch.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Mar 11, 2014 - 164 comments

OSINT

Inside The One-Man Intelligence Unit That Exposed The Secrets And Atrocities Of Syria's War
He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East, unless you count the time he changed planes in Dubai en route to Manila, or his trip to visit his in-laws in Turkey. Yet in the 18 months since Higgins had begun blogging about Syria, his barebones site, Brown Moses [previously], had become the foremost source of information on the weapons used in Syria's deadly war. Using nothing more sophisticated than an Asus laptop, he had uncovered evidence of weapons imported into Syria from Iran. He had been the first person to identify widely-banned cluster bombs deployed by Syrian forces. By The New York Times' own admission, his findings had offered a key tip that helped the newspaper prove that Saudi Arabia had funneled arms to opposition fighters in Syria.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 9, 2014 - 12 comments

Geo Cell: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people." - Scahill and Greenwald @ The Intercept [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 10, 2014 - 77 comments

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