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The Permanent War

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 25, 2012 - 68 comments

Argo and the Canadian Caper

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 - 68 comments

CIA Burglar

"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 - 25 comments

Declassified Photos Reveal CIA’s Deep Sea Rescue of a Spy Satellite

"Only July 10, 1971, America's newest photo reconnaissance satellite, the KH-9 Hexagon, dropped a capsule loaded with film towards the Earth. The reentry vehicle was supposed to open its parachute; an American aircraft would snatch it out of the sky in mid-descent. But the chute was never unfurled. The reentry vehicle hit the Pacific Ocean with a force of approximately 2600 Gs. And then it sunk down into the deep, before settling at 16,000 feet."
posted by brundlefly on Aug 9, 2012 - 40 comments

Kirby's CIA Connection

How Jack Kirby helped the CIA rescue diplomats in 1979 [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein on Jul 16, 2012 - 13 comments

John Kiriakou

An ex-CIA officer John Kiriakou has been indicted under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified information to journalists. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 6, 2012 - 122 comments

A Serious Comic about Syria's History.

Syria's civil conflict is the fruition of decades of American meddling
posted by Renoroc on Apr 5, 2012 - 54 comments

In the name of Defense.

In December 1974, New York Times reporter Seymour Hersh's front-page account (paywall) of the CIA's MK-ULTRA program documented their illegal domestic intelligence operations against the antiwar movement and other dissident groups in the United States. The article eventually prompted investigations by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church and Pike committees. "There have been other reports on the CIA's doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of [George H. White,] an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation." SF Weekly: "Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA doped San Francisco citizens with LSD." MK-ULTRA: Previously on Metafilter. (Via)
posted by zarq on Mar 26, 2012 - 29 comments

The Secret Government: The Constitution in Crisis

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 - 19 comments

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou Indicted.

In 2007 former CIA Agent John Kiriakou went public with his involvement with waterbording Al-Quaeda Detainees. At the time he felt that it worked. And, he only belived it had happened once with Abu Zubaydah. By 2010 he'd learned that Zubaydah had been waterboared 83 times, and that information was not good. Now, he's being prosecuted under the espionage act, for allegedly helping to identify CIA operatives that Guantánamo defense lawyers who might be able to testify about abusive treatment. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Feb 1, 2012 - 58 comments

Israeli intelligence agents are alleged to have posed as CIA agents to recruit members of a terrorist group.

Foreign Policy 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 - 36 comments

White House sticks to secrecy as the death toll in drone strikes surges

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 - 82 comments

Let a thousand flowers bloomberg

Americans Elect is an organization creating a ready-made slot on the 2012 presidential ballot for an unnamed independent ticket, thus removing the biggest barrier to a 3rd party challenge. (Donald Trump suggests himself.) The NYT thinks they'll qualify in all 50 states. They say they want a non-partisan, mixed-party ticket. Some on the left see a cabal of shadowy millionaires with ties to the FBI, CIA and military behind it. Team Obama is concerned.
posted by msalt on Dec 16, 2011 - 93 comments

Bright Light, Big Scoop

AP reporters Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo tracked down a former CIA secret prison in the basement of a a Romanian government building on a busy street in residential Bucharest. The black site, code named Bright Light, was used as a makeshift prison for the CIA's most valuable detainees from 2003-2006, including Khalid Sheik Mohammad, the mastermind of 9-11, Abu Faraj al-Libi, who unwilling provided information that would later identify Osama bin Laden's trusted courier and led to the discovery of bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as well as other senior al-Qaida operatives. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Dec 8, 2011 - 55 comments

Never mess with a ninja librarian -- they'll correct you within an inch of your life

After an AP exclusive report on how the CIA is using "ninja librarians" to comb through internet postings and social media, NPR's Robert Siegel interviewed reporter Kimberly Dozier about her research for the article. This prompted enough listener response that All Things Considered had to revisit the phrase in their Letters segment today, with clarification about what kind of degree a ninja librarian may have earned.
posted by hippybear on Nov 11, 2011 - 38 comments

“We shall have a man in the White House who will feel as responsible for American civilization as he does for American power and prosperity.”

"It was no accident that arts funding was once again brought to national attention with the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Since the 80s, the enemies of the NEA have not been those with differences of opinion about what art should be supported or how. Instead they oppose any support at all for art of any kind." Hide/Seek, Culture Wars and the History of the NEA (NSFW, art)
posted by The Whelk on Nov 1, 2011 - 115 comments

Who Watches The Robots?

Wired Magazine: Mystery virus hits U.S drone fleet
posted by The Whelk on Oct 8, 2011 - 68 comments

Too Many Pencils

What's the matter? CIA got you pushing too many pencils? SLYT.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot on Sep 19, 2011 - 12 comments

Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke Speculates on a CIA 9/11 Cover-Up

Double or Nothing: 9/11 Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke Speculates That the CIA Tried and Failed to Recruit the Hijackers, and Then Engaged in a Cover-Up. Admitting that he has no proof, he nonetheless alleges that CIA Director George Tenet and others concealed their knowledge that the suspected Al-Qaeda members were inside the country, which in turn prevented the FBI and other agencies from thwarting the 9/11 attack. Tenet et al. have responded to this charge via a prepared statement.
posted by darth_tedious on Aug 14, 2011 - 91 comments

The extent of CIA drone strikes revealed

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism have been carrying out research into the extent of drone missile strikes carried out by the CIA. Today they published findings. See also: facts and figures, a timeline, and their Twitter feed where updates are ongoing.
posted by nthdegx on Aug 11, 2011 - 56 comments

The Hole

The CIA's Secret Sites in Somalia. Jeremy Scahill at The Nation reports on a CIA facility at Mogadishu's international airport used for a "counterterrorism training program for Somali intelligence agents and operatives," as well as a secret prison "buried in the basement of Somalia's National Security Agency" where "some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu." [more inside]
posted by lullaby on Jul 14, 2011 - 39 comments

Call him John

"After Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, the White House released a photo of President Barack Obama and his Cabinet inside the Situation Room, watching the daring raid unfold. Hidden from view, standing just outside the frame of that now-famous photograph was a career CIA analyst" - The man who hunted Osama bin Laden
posted by vidur on Jul 5, 2011 - 58 comments

Fifty Years of Space Nuclear Power

Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists presents Fifty Years of Space Nuclear Power "A plutonium fueled RTG that was deployed in 1965 by the CIA not in space but on a mountaintop in the Himalayas (to help monitor Chinese nuclear tests) continues to generate anxiety, not electricity, more than four decades after it was lost in place. See, most recently, "River Deep Mountain High" by Vinod K. Jose, The Caravan magazine, December 1, 2010." (MeFi previously)
posted by HLD on Jun 28, 2011 - 8 comments

The shooting was expert

"Davis didn’t have time to ponder their motives. The intersection of Jail and Ferozepur roads was packed with cars, bicycles, rickshaws, and pedestrians; the motorcycle pulled around his car and stopped just ahead of it. Shamshad, on the back of the bike, turned. He raised his pistol. He cocked it." [Black Ops and Blood Money] (previously and previouslier)
posted by vidur on Jun 15, 2011 - 30 comments

"An institution full of intelligence but devoid of wisdom"

Whose side is Pakistan's ISI really on?
posted by Artw on May 12, 2011 - 44 comments

Question? RTFAQ (Read the F*cking Al Qaeda)!

Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike.  There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available) and public sector as well as open-sourceBest practices include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything.   There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf, Resource Shelf].   But what to do next*? [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on May 4, 2011 - 40 comments

Giving "The Devil" His Due

Emmanuel "Toto" Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community. Justice eventually caught up to Toto, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Apr 27, 2011 - 6 comments

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Apr 10, 2011 - 8 comments

They forgave him

"At a hearing of the Lahore Sessions Court convened for security reasons at the Kot Lakhpat Jail today, CIA contractor Raymond A. Davis was arraigned on double homicide charges and then quickly acquitted and released. Attorneys for Davis and the victims' families announced that they had entered into an agreement in which Davis offered compensation to the families -- $1.4 million total -- and they forgave him." [more inside]
posted by vidur on Mar 16, 2011 - 60 comments

The CIA web presence, enhanced for the year 2011!

The Central Intelligence Agency launched several enhancements to CIA.gov, attempting to make a more public-friendly internet presence. Their outreach efforts also include Flickr and YouTube accounts, where you can watch CIA Director Panetta deliver his keynote address at a foreign language summit, if you have an hour to kill. Or marvel at a silver dollar that is actually a hollow container! They even have a few pictures of a dragonfly and a fake fish. Wait, what? That dragonfly is a tiny gas-powered machine that actually flew in the 1970s, and that fake fish is a functional Unmanned Underwater Vehicle. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 9, 2011 - 37 comments

The Montagnard Moses

Death of General Vang Pao who led the Hmong into exile. His exile was not uncontroversial as he was involved in Heroin trafficking and possible embezzlement.
Photos of Hmong guerilla fighters.
in 2010 the secret Hmong army was still fighting. Forty years on, Laos reaps still reaps the bitter harvest of the secret war where the US dropped more ordinance than the entirety of World war II. (previously)
posted by adamvasco on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Open Sourcing Intelligence Analysis

In an age of information wealth, how do we decide what's true & what's not? Allow me to introduce the world of discussion mapping. First up we have zest (demo here), a simple tool for threading mailing lists for easier navigation. It lacks the advanced features of the others but it's an easy starting point for structuring your discussions. [more inside]
posted by scalefree on Jan 10, 2011 - 6 comments

Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?

A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
posted by artof.mulata on Nov 9, 2010 - 30 comments

Art IS a weapon

The CIA spent 20 years promoting modern art as a propaganda tool: "We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."
posted by BZArcher on Nov 1, 2010 - 50 comments

Just unplug it

"U.S. should be able to shut Internet, former CIA chief says" From the LA Times.
posted by flotson on Sep 28, 2010 - 98 comments

The 1951 Pont-Saint-Esprit poisonings

On August 16th 1951 a number of people in the quiet southern French town of Pont St.Esprit began to fall ill. Stomach pains were soon followed by violent and often terrifying hallucinations. Local hospitals were soon overwhelmed and more than thirty people were taken to asylums in nearby towns. It was soon decided that the cause was bread poisoning and the evidence pointed to just one Bakery. The reason, it was believed was 'ergot', a fungal infection found in Rye bread which had often caused mass poisonings in Medieval times. Journalist Hank Albarelli, however, claims that a recently released CIA memo shows that the CIA were in fact testing LSD on the inhabitants of the town. [more inside]
posted by dng on Aug 24, 2010 - 56 comments

Plugging the Leaks

Shane Harris of the Washingtonian looks at the increasingly aggressive pursuit by the Obama administration of people (especially journalists) who leak sensitive information to the public.
posted by reenum on Aug 12, 2010 - 23 comments

Is it tinfoil hat time again already?

The recent bombing of a a Shi’ite mosque in SE Iran by the Sunni Muslim rebel group Jundullah raises again the question of whether the US is in bed with the enemy. The Groups leader Abdolmalek Rigi was recently executed by the Iranians.
In 2007 ABC News reported on The Secret War Against Iran.
"Some former CIA officers say the arrangement is reminiscent of how the U.S. government used proxy armies, funded by other countries including Saudi Arabia, to destabilize the government of Nicaragua in the 1980s”.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 16, 2010 - 15 comments

The Spy Who Ran Back to the Cold

On June 6th, Shahram Amiri - an Iranian nuclear scientist -- appeared on a YouTube video claiming he was abducted by US and Saudi authorities in Medina, drugged and flown to the US. On June 7th, a second video on Youtube appeared where he, or someone claiming to be him, said he was fine, studying in the US. (The U.S. government has no official comment but cited him as a source on Iran's nuclear program.) A 3rd video backed the first. Now Pakistan says Amiri is in hiding in its Washington embassy's Iranian interests section under asylum and making arrangements to get back to Iran. How he got there, and why, is a mystery. [more inside]
posted by msalt on Jul 13, 2010 - 25 comments

Journey to the Bottom of the (Cold War) Sea and Back

Submarine causalities are tragedies of war that are not always directly associated with combat. Systems failures at sea are often mysterious, with evidence and remains disappearing to all but the deepest diving vehicles. This was no different in the Cold War, with non-combat losses from the US and the Soviet Fleets. In that era of nuclear secrets, both those of nuclear-powered submarines and nuclear weapons, learning about the enemy's technology was paramount. Such an opportunity came to the US with the sinking of K-129, a Golf Class II Soviet submarine that went down with 98 men on board. The recovery took over six year, involved the possible payback of Howard Hughes, a videotaped formal sea burial that was eventually copied and given to then-President Boris Yeltsin, and decades of CIA secrecy. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 27, 2010 - 41 comments

Inside Mind Control

More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments. The entire document, as linked to in the article, is available as a pdf.
posted by gman on May 11, 2010 - 18 comments

“We have snakes in the newsroom.”

Cocaine, The CIA, And The Unification Church: A History of Rev. Sun Myung Moon and The Washington's Times influence on Washington and South America by Robert Parry
posted by The Whelk on May 11, 2010 - 14 comments

I Wanted to Believe

Declassified secrets about the top-secret U.S. military base Area 51 revealed: Great food, cash-stuffed briefcases, no UFOs.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 31, 2010 - 44 comments

Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters. . .

Leaked CIA Report: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters" (pdf / Scribed link here) outlines possible public relations / propaganda strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 29, 2010 - 18 comments

Tora Bora: America's First Major Battle Of The Twenty-First Century

That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender.
posted by jason's_planet on Jan 29, 2010 - 26 comments

CWAA

John Kiriakou, the former CIA operative who affirmed claims that waterboarding quickly unloosed the tongues of hard-core terrorists, says he didn't know what he was talking about.
posted by jtron on Jan 28, 2010 - 49 comments

Deep politics

Lobster: The Journal of Parapolitics was started in 1983 by Robin Ramsay and Stephen Dorril, two conspiracy enthusiasts who weren't actually nuts and believed in proper research. The magazine primarily covered the activities of the British security and intelligence services and what they term 'parapolitics'. They've had a brochure website for a while with some sample articles, but starting from the current issue the full journal will be free online (PDF download). The pair had a falling-out some time ago and have gone their separate ways. On his personal site Dorril, now also the author of a well-received study of Mosley and the Blackshirts, offers early back issues of the magazine for free download too.
posted by Abiezer on Dec 12, 2009 - 17 comments

The MagiCIAn

When the CIA tried its hand at magic A top-secret 1950s training manual for CIA field agents, based on the knowledge of famous magician John Mulholland, has been made available to the public. Via
posted by Abiezer on Dec 10, 2009 - 31 comments

Former Blackwater CEO Claims He was a CIA Operative

Blackwater (now known as Xe) has had a rough few years. The company, and its former CEO Erik Prince, have been the subject of allegations including murder, arms smuggling, child prostitution and wholesale massacre. Erik Prince has told Vanity Fair that he was a CIA operative and that someone has turned against him and "thrown him under a bus" by leaking his CIA associations to the public. He even compared his public outing to that of Valerie Plame. Mr. Prince has also been an outspoken and generous contributor to mostly-Republican political candidates. Previously on MeFi: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and many more.
posted by workerant on Dec 3, 2009 - 56 comments

Maziar Bahari

118 Days, 12 Hours, 54 Minutes — On June 21, reporter Maziar Bahari was rousted out of bed and taken to Tehran's notorious Evin prison—accused of being a spy for the CIA, MI6, Mossad…and Newsweek magazine. This is the story of his captivity. CBS 60 Minutes feature. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 23, 2009 - 22 comments

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