The man who knew too much.
"He was the CIA's expert on Pakistan's nuclear secrets, but Rich Barlow was thrown out and disgraced when he blew the whistle on a US cover-up. Now he's to have his day in court."
posted by homunculus
on Oct 13, 2007 -
The numbers are classified, the dollars are classified, but there's no doubt that the number of "Green Badgers
" are catching up to, and sometimes surpassing, that of "Blue Badgers
" in some of the US's most sensitive national security positions. Bob Baer
is talking about it. Others
have been, too. R.J. Hillhouse has been writing a blog for roughly six months now on the phenomenon: The Spy Who Billed Me
posted by Emperor SnooKloze
on Jul 8, 2007 -
is a groundbreaking, web-based current awareness service designed for executives, desktop researchers, and other light information professionals who are seeking contextual insights and actionable answers."
Sounds interesting enough. How about taking the system for a test drive
(Open-Source Intelligence resource courtesy of InteLink
posted by mystyk
on Jun 23, 2007 -
, a new humanoid robot from Hanson Robotics
, the folks who built the Einstein
and Phillip K. Dick
robots, (the latter's head went missing a while back.) Jules loves you, as much as his newfangled software will allow. He also seems a little awkward and angst ridden for a robot, but it's not his fault; it must be the designers who made his software.
posted by Blingo
on May 4, 2007 -
Releaed British navy commander
: We were gathering intelligence on Iran (Watch the interview
: The sailors were on a legitimate UN mandate
: The MoD confirmed last night that the Iranians had made the claim that they had become interested in Cornwall's activities after learning about it on British television, but denied the decision to allow the ship's crew to be interviewed while on active duty had jeopardised the mission.
posted by hoder
on Apr 8, 2007 -
co-founder of Palm
and Handspring, has started a new company, called Numenta
, to test his controversial theory
of intelligence. Whether you find his theory plausible or not, his book
, "On Intelligence
" is fascinating. Numenta is attempting to build A.I.s using Hawkins' theory as a backbone. They've developed a software engine and a Python
-based API, which they've made public (as free downloads
), so that hackers can start playing. They've also released manuals
, a whitepaper
(pdf) and videos [1
]. (At about 30:18 into the first video, Hawkins demonstrates, with screenshots, the first app which uses his system.)
posted by grumblebee
on Apr 4, 2007 -
The NSA Bibliographies The NSA
internally publishes thousands of papers every year, on every topic from spycraft to cryptography to physics & aliens (no, really!). Each year the titles of these papers gets indexed & those indexes are also published internally. The Memory Hole has made a successful FOIA request for a large number of these, spanning almost 50 years. We don't get to see the actual papers, but just the titles are fascinating - including such page turners as "Computer Virus Infections: Is NSA Vulnerable?", "KAL 007 Shootdown: A View from [redacted]", "NSA in the Cyberpunk Future", "Telephone Codes and Safe Combinations: A Deadly Duo", "Coupon Collecting and Cryptology", "Cranks, Nuts, and Screwballs" & my personal favorite, "Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages". When you're done browsing the titles, there's a sample form you can use to request some of the documents yourself!
posted by scalefree
on Oct 2, 2006 -
What Valerie Plame Really Did at the CIA:
She was the chief of operations of the CIA's Joint Task Force on Iraq, in charge of gathering information on Iraq's supposed WMD programs, according to a new article in The Nation
based on David Corn and Michael Isikoff's new book, Hubris
. On his weblog
, David Corn says, "She was an undercover officer in charge of running critical covert operations." Also, in the summer of 2001, "word came down from the brass: We're ramping up on Iraq."
posted by kirkaracha
on Sep 5, 2006 -
Keep Bush away from the press
. Joe Scarborough (in the news
lately for asking rude questions about the President's intelligence) opines that "If George Bush has lost his ability to give a commanding presser, then stage manage him differently. Play to his strengths... Show him only in settings where he is in control." Curiously, while Bush's press conferences have become unsetllingly less coherent in recent days -- even for him -- the so-called liberal media and even the blogosphere have barely mentioned it (perhaps in the spirit of preserving the dignity of the office, like FDR's wheelchair
?) Example: watch this video
happens at 1:34 or so, right before the President abruptly terminates the questioning? Will Bush in his twilight years, as Foxborough advises, become like Ronald Reagan, protected from public humiliation by his faithful staff?
posted by digaman
on Aug 22, 2006 -
Secret agent Huub Lauwers was parachuted into occupied Holland
in 1941 to relay intelligence back to London. His capture by the Germans marked the beginning of the Englandspiel
, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse intelligence that cost the lives of over fifty agents. Lauwers frantically tried to inform the SOE
that he had been caught, but the Baker Street Irregulars
just didn't get it. Or did they? [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Aug 6, 2006 -
“You are not to use electronic communication or even land lines when communicating.”
Remember the Millennium Challenge '02
wargames (previously discussed here
)? To refresh your memory, Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper (ret.), playing the part of the enemy, sank half the American fleet using a host of unconventional tactics including using motorcycle messengers to avoid radio interception. The embarrassed Pentagon game masters restarted the game & forced Van Riper to use more conventional tactics that guaranteed a win by the Good Guys.
Well it looks like the Iraqi insurgents have picked up a play from Van Riper's book. Flyers are being distributed throughout Iraq urging fighters to stop using cellphones, landline phones & the Internet for communications because the US Army is intercepting them & tracking down the rebel cells. Score one for open source warfare
posted by scalefree
on May 26, 2006 -
Douglas Hofstadter says
, "What troubles me is the notion that things that touch me at my deepest core -- pieces of music most of all, which I have always taken as direct soul-to-soul messages -- might be effectively produced by mechanisms thousands if not millions of times simpler than the intricate biological machinery that gives rise to a human soul.
". That was prompted by his reception to the output
of David Cope's project Experiments in Musical Intelligence
posted by Gyan
on Apr 11, 2006 -
"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on
in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between [Bush] policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," writes former CIA official Paul Pillar, coordinator of U.S. intelligence on the Middle East until 2005, in an article soon to appear in Foreign Affairs
, hardly a radical rag. More confirmation that Seymour Hersh was right about the administration "cherry-picking" intelligence
to justify a foregone conclusion to go to war in Iraq.
posted by digaman
on Feb 10, 2006 -
Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel
posted by y2karl
on Nov 22, 2005 -
Newsfilter: The NYTimes is reporting that
the Democrats forced Congress into a closed session last week
(previous MeFi discussion here
) because of a recently declassified memo citing concerns by intelligence agencies over the source of information used to justify the Iraq war. Turns out the White House had been informed
their source couldn't be trusted to tell the truth and were probably fabricating evidence. Knowing this, the Bush administration still presented the stories as absolute truth. The memo was apparently ignored. Of course, the administration has ignored important memos before.
This new evidence probably invalidates the conclusions
(pdf) drawn by the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the Intelligence Community's pre-war work on Iraq.
posted by zarq
on Nov 5, 2005 -
FBI Papers Indicate Intelligence Violations
...Records turned over as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit also indicate that the FBI has investigated hundreds of potential violations related to its use of secret surveillance operations, which have been stepped up dramatically since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but are largely hidden from public view...
posted by Postroad
on Oct 24, 2005 -
Why outing Plame mattered.
If you wonder what's really at stake behind all the media buzz around the Fitzgerald indictments, read this lengthy and cogent analysis by Stratfor's
no-nonsense George Friedman. "Rove and Libby had top security clearances and were senior White House officials. It was their sworn duty, undertaken when they accepted their security clearance, to build a 'bodyguard of lies' -- in Churchill's phrase -- around the truth concerning U.S. intelligence capabilities... The minimal story -- that they talked about Plame with a reporter -- is the end of the matter."
posted by digaman
on Oct 18, 2005 -
Google's Crystal Ball::NYTimes.
Quite interesting...Via TechDirt
Google has created a predictive market system, basically a way for its employees to bet on the likelihood of possible events. Such markets have long been used to predict world events, like election results. Intrade, part of the Trade Exchange Network, allows people to bet on elections, stock market indexes and even the weather, for example.
I wonder how accurate
the aggregated content
of blogs would be to measure the likelihood
of prospective real world events
? The economist they consulted, Hal R. Varian
, has some interesting links
on his web page as well. I think that the internet better get their anti-spam technology up to par before we have people "gaming" the future through blogspam. For an explanation of Futures Markets (charts
), see this page
at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
posted by rzklkng
on Sep 26, 2005 -
Genes Reveal Recent Human Brain Evolution.
Two important new papers
in the journal Science
) from the evolutionary geneticist and rising star, Bruce T. Lahn (see this
recent profile from The Scientist
), are potentially the tips of some very large icebergs. The papers document how two genes related to brain properties that underwent strong selection during the course of hominid evolution, have continued
undergoing strong selection since the emergence of anatomically modern man. The papers wonderfully illustrate how biological evolution is an ongoing process
as well as the artificial distinction
between “micro” and “macro” evolution, and promise to be controversial for two reasons: First, the brain genes underwent the strongest selection during two periods
of cultural and technological efflorescence (roughly 37,000 and 5,800 years ago). Second, the genes are distributed very differently in modern human population groups, existing at very high frequencies in some groups and being very rare in others, ensuring that the modern function of these genes will be a source of more research and much impassioned debate. More observations
from anthropologist John Hawks.
posted by Jason Malloy
on Sep 8, 2005 -
Testimony of former CIA case officer James Marcinkowski
on the Plame Affair, via David Corn. Now that the US government has exposed a CIA case officer and endangered her contacts, it will be much more difficult for CIA officers to recruit informants in the future. Any undercover officer, whether in the police department or the CIA, will tell you that the major concern of their informant or agent is their personal safety and that of their family. Cover is safety. If you cannot guarantee that safety in some form or other, the person will not work for you and the source of important information will be lost. ... What has suffered perhaps irreversible damage is the credibility of our case officers when they try to convince our overseas contact that their safety is of primary importance to us.
posted by russilwvong
on Jul 22, 2005 -
Meet the new watchers
California's National Guard has formed a new unit: Known as the Information Synchronization, Knowledge Management and Intelligence Fusion program, the project is part of an expanding nationwide effort to better integrate military intelligence into global anti-terrorism initiatives.
Although Guard officials said the new unit would not collect information on American citizens, top National Guard officials have already been involved in tracking at least one recent Mother's Day anti-war rally organized by families of slain American soldiers, according to e-mails obtained by the Mercury News.
posted by amberglow
on Jun 27, 2005 -
The New Hows and Whys of Global Eavesdropping
[book review: for access: "legion" "legion"
] Remember chatter? After 9/11, it was all over the news. For months, snatches of cellphone conversations in Karachi or Tora Bora routinely made the front page. Television newscasters could chill the blood instantly by reporting on "increased levels of chatter" somewhere in the ether. But what exactly was it? Who was picking it up, and how were they making sense of it?
Patrick Radden Keefe does his best to answer these questions and demystify a very mysterious subject in "Chatter," a beginner's guide to the world of electronic espionage and the work of the National Security Agency, responsible for communications security and signals intelligence, or "sigint." In a series of semiautonomous chapters, he describes Echelon, the vast electronic intelligence-gathering system operated by the United States and its English-speaking allies; surveys the current technology of global eavesdropping; and tries to sort out the vexed issue of privacy rights versus security demands in a world at war with terrorism.
posted by Postroad
on Mar 2, 2005 -
She may not have the grey matter,
but what's that matter anymore, anyway?
A recent study shows that men have more gray matter
, women have more white matter
and in the end these differences seem to be no matter. Apparently men have more raw computing power, while women have a more efficient infrastructure -- resulting in similar general intelligence.
posted by ThePrawn
on Jan 21, 2005 -
A high IQ is a hindrance for women wanting to get married while it is an asset for men
, according to a study by four British universities.
The study found the likelihood of marriage increased by 35 per cent for boys for each 16 point increase in IQ. But for girls, there is a 40 per cent drop for each 16-point rise, according to the survey by the universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The study is based on the IQs of 900 men and women between their 10th and 40th birthdays. (via
posted by airguitar
on Jan 3, 2005 -
Condi Rice and pre-war intel hype
The tubes were "only really suited for nuclear weapons programs," Condoleezza Rice, the president's national security adviser, explained on CNN on Sept. 8, 2002. "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
But almost a year before, Ms. Rice's staff had been told that the government's foremost nuclear experts seriously doubted that the tubes were for nuclear weapons, according to four officials at the Central Intelligence Agency and two senior administration officials, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity. The experts, at the Energy Department, believed the tubes were likely intended for small artillery rockets.
Are these women
right to be angry with the Bush administration?
posted by specialk420
on Oct 3, 2004 -