"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 -
"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
posted by The Whelk
on Nov 1, 2011 -
"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 -
"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
posted by vidur
on Jun 15, 2011 -
"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 -
At last, someone is going to take the legal route.
Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA Agents suspected of involvement in the US kidnap/torture policy. "The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said."
That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.
posted by cassbrown1
on Dec 24, 2005 -
The US has admitted
for the first time that it has not given the Red Cross access to all detainees in its custody. Meanwhile, the German citizen picked up by the CIA and tortured in one of the secret prisons, based solely on having the same name as a suspected terrorist, would really, really like an apology
If you think things are getting out of hand, why not join the Amnesty International Write-a-thon
? You can get the message across to the people in charge and let them know that you don't support prisoner abuse or rendition to secret prisons.
posted by Dag Maggot
on Dec 9, 2005 -
The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail
In the spring of 1919, when the father of American cryptography, Herbert
, drew up a plan for a permanent State Department codebreaking organization — a "black chamber
— he estimated that a modest $100,000 a year would buy a chief (Yardley) and fifty clerks and cryptanalysts. Yardley rented a three-story building in New York City: on East 38th Street just off Fifth Avenue, he put two dozen people to work under civilian cover—as the Code Compiling Company
. His summary dismissal happened in 1929 at the hand of incoming Secretary of State Henry Stimson
, who closed down the Cipher Bureau
with the casual observation
that "gentlemen do not read each other's mail
". The son of a railroad telegrapher, a man with a lively Jazz Age interest in money, good-looking women, and drinks at five, Yardley not only taught his country how to read other people's mail but wrote two of the enduring American books—the memoir The American Black Chamber (1931)
, and The Education of a Poker Player (1957)
posted by matteo
on Apr 22, 2005 -
Team B (from Outer Space)
Gordon Mitchell, author of Strategic Deception
, has recently penned a paper that investigates the process by which decisions about the quality of American intelligence are made. He highlights the role of Team B, a group of far-right conservatives who routinely debated against Team A, usually consisting of mid-level intelligence analysts. These debates were a commonplace during the cold war, and through a series of enthymemetic narratives that altered the conditions of proof, Team B was able to successfully beat Team A (time and time again) and move foreign policy further and further to the right. The cold war ended, and Team B ended with it. But now Team B is back in the form of the OSP, and the same movements are happening, this time challenging and compromising moderate foreign policy, including the more moderate portions of the Bush Doctrine. Is this structural device possibly to blame for the Iraq intel snafu, rather than some overt desire to lie and deceive? Your thoughts?
posted by hank_14
on Aug 5, 2003 -
$70mil in US aid to Afghanistan in 1997
Per the CIA's very informative world factbook web site, in 1997 the USA provided "about $70 million in humanitarian assistance in 1997". I have a feeling that $70mil is a drop in the ocean to what may be spent on Afghanistan in the near future, though perhaps not in a manner to their liking.
posted by daragh
on Sep 14, 2001 -
Global Trends 2015
A paper published “under authority of the Director of Central Intelligence.” In which, we find the CIA believes “US global influence [will] wane” and that countries which “fail to benefit from globalization, are prone to internal conflicts, and risk state failure.”
I can see Uncle Sam pointing and saying “Shapen up, or else
posted by capt.crackpipe
on Jan 21, 2001 -