"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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
"By figuratively sticking her foot in America’s front door and keeping it wedged there long enough for an anonymous band of war-tossed Mongols to navigate around daunting racial barriers, Countess Tolstoy not only became the architect of the Mongol “invasion” of New Jersey and the country’s first ethnic Mongolian community, she also served as the midwife for the birth of Tibetan Buddhism in America." -- tells the amazing story of how a small band of Kalmyk Mongols (all WWII Wehrmacht veterans) established Tibetan Buddhism in America
, as told by David Urubshurow, who was one of them. Featuring Leo Tolstoy's youngest daughter, Cold War CIA and Ivy League intrigues, how the Dalai Lama came to America and why this was only possible under president Carter and more.
posted by MartinWisse
on Nov 8, 2013 -
DJ Hennessy Youngman follows up CVS BANGERS [prev.]
with his new Soundcloud mix, NSA BANGERS.
NSA BANGERS is an audio landscape full of paranoia, espionage, epic snooping, unhealthy obsession, and the stress of being a contemporary type human being. Basically, NSA BANGERS is the soundtrack of Freedom! And Freedom is expensive y'all! Apparently, it like, costs your Freedom!
posted by porn in the woods
on Sep 2, 2013 -
"We’ve suspected for some time that the French and German governments’ refusal to take part in the Iraq war had something to do with their access to independent overhead imagery satellites. Briefly, France and Germany did (with the HELIOS and SAR Lupe programs respectively), and didn’t take part at all. Spain and Italy had some access to French imagery and had advanced plans to get their own. They made a limited commitment. The UK, Australia, Denmark, and the ROK relied on the United States and were, in a phrase that should be better known outside Australia, all the way with LBJ." -- Alex Harrowell explains how the absence of independent satellite intelligence may have helped the UK into the War on Iraq [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse
on Aug 19, 2013 -
The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi
For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus
posted by jaduncan
on May 1, 2013 -
On April 7, an airstrike
on a Taliban commander killed him and a total of 16 civilians, 12 of them children. Hamid Karzai condemns the attack and says
that the CIA is carelessly planning these airstrikes that go awry far too often. Kunar district was the site of another airstrike that killed civilians in February. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper
on Apr 22, 2013 -
More than two years later, the Raymond Davis episode has been largely forgotten in the United States. It was immediately overshadowed by the dramatic raid months later that killed Osama bin Laden — consigned to a footnote in the doleful narrative of America’s relationship with Pakistan. But dozens of interviews conducted over several months, with government officials and intelligence officers in Pakistan and in the United States, tell a different story: that the real unraveling of the relationship was set off by the flurry of bullets Davis unleashed on the afternoon of Jan. 27, 2011, and exacerbated by a series of misguided decisions in the days and weeks that followed. In Pakistan, it is the Davis affair, more than the Bin Laden raid, that is still discussed in the country’s crowded bazaars and corridors of power.
- The Spy Who Lost Pakistan
(SL NYTIMES Magazine)
posted by beisny
on Apr 9, 2013 -
Thor Holm Hansen, (the Outlaw biker chief, Haitian insurgency catalyst, country singer
, CIA patsy, inventor and porn star promoter who married a coffee heiress,) is disheveled and cantankerous inside his orange prison tunic, and really wants you to know there hadn't been much cocaine. Grenades and women, yes. A briefcase stuffed with $54,000: definitely that. But under no circumstances had there been more than two ounces of cocaine
. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Feb 13, 2013 -
The D-Wave OneTM
is the world's first
commercially available quantum computer
. "Our superconducting 128-qubit processor chip is housed inside a cryogenics system within a 10 square meter shielded room." (images
) In other words
, it's a programmable superconducting integrated circuit with up to 128 pair-wise coupled superconducting flux qubits (video
). The first D-Wave was sold in 2011
for a rumored $10 million. At first there was a lot of skepticism about it, but an August Nature study
proved it worked
by successfully solving "13 times out of 10,000 for four-amino-acid and six-amino-acid sequences under the Miyazawa-Jernigan model of lattice protein folding." Investors Jeff Bezos and The CIA
are happy. A 2048 qubit system is in the works about 1 million times faster.
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 28, 2012 -
"The military’s secret Cold War experiment to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals. Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets." [Via]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 10, 2012 -
But back in 1996, users of the proto-Web community Usenet got spammed with messages that reached an almost transcendent level of bizarre—a weirdness so precise it implied the influence of a very human intelligence. “Markovian Parallax Denigrate,” read the title of each post, followed by a mountain of seemingly meaningless word spew:
Unraveling the Internet’s oldest and weirdest mystery
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Nov 20, 2012 -
Today marks the release of the film Argo,
about the effort to smuggle out six Americans from Iran after the fall of the shah. The film is based on the actual events of the Canadian Caper
, during which the Canadian embassy and staff in Iran sheltered the six Americans and, in cooperation with the CIA
, provided Canadian identities and passports for the six. They were then smuggled out under the ruse of being part of the film crew for a science fiction film based on Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes
on Oct 12, 2012 -
"The six CIA officers were sweating. It was almost noon on a June day in the Middle Eastern capital, already in the 90s outside and even hotter inside the black sedan where the five men and one woman sat jammed in together. Sat and waited. They had flown in two days earlier for this mission: to break into the embassy of a South Asian country, steal that country’s secret codes and get out without leaving a trace. During months of planning, they had been assured by the local CIA station that the building would be empty at this hour except for one person—a member of the embassy’s diplomatic staff working secretly for the agency." [The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue
posted by vidur
on Oct 9, 2012 -
Bill Moyers' scathing 1987 special report on our secret government.(SLYT)(via)
(trigger warning: pictures and video of dead bodies) It includes an in-depth look at the Iran-Contra Affair and much, much more. Note: sound cuts out for a couple of minutes during the intro because of copyrighted song. Sound returns around 3:20.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar
on Mar 23, 2012 -
is reporting that Israeli intelligence agents posed as CIA officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a designated terrorist group, in its covert fight against the Iranian effort to acquire nuclear capability.
posted by RedShrek
on Jan 13, 2012 -
Secrecy defines Obama’s drone war.
"Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory. The identities of the rest remain classified, as does the existence of the drone program itself. Because the names of the dead and the threat they were believed to pose are secret, it is impossible for anyone without access to U.S. intelligence to assess whether the deaths were justified." [more inside]
posted by homunculus
on Dec 21, 2011 -