Intelligence Agency Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the NSA under President Obama targeted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his top aides for surveillance. In the process, the agency ended up eavesdropping on ... U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups. People who spent many years cheering for and defending ... programs of mass surveillance are suddenly indignant now that they know the eavesdropping included them. Long-time GOP chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and unyielding NSA defender Pete Hoekstra last night was truly indignant: "WSJ report that NSA spied on Congress and Israel communications very disturbing. Actually outrageous. Maybe unprecedented abuse of power ... NSA and Obama officials need to be investigated and prosecuted. NSA loses all credibility. Scary." This pattern - whereby political officials who are vehement supporters of the Surveillance State transform overnight into crusading privacy advocates once they learn that they themselves have been spied on - is one that has repeated itself over and over. So now, with yesterday’s WSJ report, we witness the tawdry spectacle of large numbers of people who for years were fine with, responsible for, and even giddy about NSA mass surveillance suddenly objecting. Overnight, privacy is of the highest value because now it’s their privacy, rather than just yours, that is invaded.
Note: Read the full Wall Street Journal article on how the US government is secretly spying on Israeli leaders and more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
U.S. intelligence agencies recently fought off a move by Congress to require the CIA and other spy services to disclose more details about high-ranking employees who have been promoted or fired. Under a provision drafted by the Senate Intelligence Committee this year, intelligence agencies would have been required to regularly provide names of those being promoted to top positions and disclose any “significant and credible information to suggest that the individual is unfit or unqualified.” But that language faced intense opposition from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.. As a result, the wording was watered down by Congress this month and now requires Clapper only to furnish “information the Director determines appropriate.” U.S. spy chiefs chafed at the idea of subjecting their top officials to such congressional scrutiny and went so far as to warn that candidates for certain jobs would probably withdraw. Former CIA director Michael Hayden said he [opposed the provision] “for simply being too invasive.”
Note: As a vocal advocate of intrusive spying, former CIA director Michael Hayden's claim that congressional oversight of spy agency personnel could be "too invasive" is ironic. The unaccountable US intelligence agencies were recently called a "secret government" in the Boston Globe. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
On a snowy afternoon in February 2004, an FBI agent came to Nick Merrill’s door, bearing a letter that would change his life. At the time, Merrill was running a small internet service provider. The envelope that the agent carried contained what is known as a “national security letter”, or NSL. It demanded details on one of his company’s clients; including cellphone tower location data, email details and screen-names. It also imposed a non-disclosure agreement which was only lifted this week, when – after an 11-year legal battle by Merrill and the American Civil Liberties Union, he was finally allowed to reveal the contents of the letter to the world. The NSL which Merrill was given was a new use for what was a relatively old tool. The FBI had long – if sparingly – used them, [but] the Patriot Act vastly expanded the scope of what an NSL could be applied to. The FBI greatly increased the number issued; according to a 2007 inspector general’s report, the NSL that Merrill was handed by the agent was one of nearly 57,000 issued that year. All of those thousands of NSLs were accompanied by a non-disclosure agreement, or “gag order” – which barred recipients were ever disclosing that they had received an NSL – even to the person whose records were being sought. With the ACLU, Merrill went to court to challenge the constitutionality of the letter, especially of the gag order. In 2014, Merrill sued again, helped by ... the Yale Law Clinic. Finally, [a] judge ... ruled that the gag order be completely lifted. It had taken Merrill almost 12 years.
Note: A 2007 Washington Post article summary sheds more light on Merrill's long struggle.
Months after the Obama administration declared combat operations over in Afghanistan, the CIA continues to run a shadow war in the eastern part of the country, overseeing an Afghan proxy called the Khost Protection Force [KPF], according to local officials, former commanders of that militia and Western advisers. The highly secretive paramilitary unit has been implicated in civilian killings, torture, questionable detentions, arbitrary arrests and use of excessive force in controversial night raids. In several attacks, witnesses described hearing English being spoken by armed men who had interpreters with them, suggesting American operatives were present during assaults where extreme force was used. Afghan government officials acknowledge that the KPF has killed civilians and committed other abuses. In Khost, the KPF is more influential than the Afghan army and police, and is unaccountable to the provincial government. The CIA [directs] the KPF’s operations, paying fighters’ salaries, and training and equipping them. The CIA is not bound by the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and Washington that, among other rules, limits the ability of U.S. military forces to enter Afghan homes. The KPF was one of several large paramilitary forces created by the CIA in the months after the Taliban was ousted following the 9/11 attacks.
Note: Read a fascinating article titled "Does the Pentagon Want Nuclear War Against Russia?" Key leaders in both the CIA and Pentagon seem to want war at all costs, particularly as war fills their coffers and those of their big business buddies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and throughout intelligence agencies.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has used a secretive authority to compel Internet and telecommunications firms to hand over customer data including an individual’s complete web browsing history and records of all online purchases, a court filing released Monday shows. The documents are believed to be the first time the government has provided details of its so-called national security letters, which are used by the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance without the need for court approval. National security letters have been available as a law enforcement tool since the 1970s, but their frequency and breadth expanded dramatically under the USA Patriot Act, which was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. They are almost always accompanied by an open-ended gag order barring companies from disclosing the contents of the demand for customer data. The secretive orders have long drawn the ire of tech companies and privacy advocates, who argue NSLs allow the government to snoop on user content without appropriate judicial oversight. Last year, the Obama administration announced it would permit Internet companies to disclose more about the number of NSLs they receive. But they can still only provide a range such as between 0 and 999 requests. Twitter has sued in federal court seeking the ability to publish more details in its semi-annual transparency reports. Several thousand NSLs are now issued by the FBI every year. At one point that number eclipsed 50,000 letters annually.
Note: Read more about the FBI's use of these controversial secret letters. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
In 2009, not long after his historic election and seven years after the first U.S. drone strike, President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, however, deadly U.S. drone strikes have increased sharply, as have doubts about the program’s reliability and effectiveness. The latest criticism comes from Drone, a new documentary about the CIA’s covert drone war. To help promote the film and inveigh against the agency’s drone program ... four former operators - Stephen Lewis, Michael Haas, Cian Westmoreland and Brandon Bryant - appeared at a press conference. Speaking out can lead to veiled threats and prosecution. Which is why for years Bryant was the only drone veteran who openly rebuked the drone war. But his persistence and his appearance in the film, the other three say, inspired them to come forward. On multiple occasions, the men say they complained to their superiors about their concerns to no avail. Drone strikes kill far more civilians than the government admits. These deaths, they argue, wind up helping militant groups recruit new members and hurt the U.S.’s long-term security. By distancing soldiers from the battlefield, the operators suggest the people carrying out strikes may become even more desensitized to killing than their counterparts on the front lines. On some occasions, Haas says operators referred to children as “fun-sized terrorists” or “TITS,” terrorists in training.
Note: A human rights attorney has stated the four former Air Force drone operators-turned-whistleblowers mentioned above have had their credit cards and bank accounts frozen. How many more have not spoken out against these abuses for fear of retaliation like this? Read more about the major failings of US drone attacks. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low ... after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129. Mr. Brennan complained about ... the sustained national outrage following the 2013 revelations by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, that the agency was using provisions of the Patriot Act to secretly collect information on millions of Americans’ phone records. It is hard to believe anything Mr. Brennan says. Last year, he bluntly denied that the C.I.A. had illegally hacked into the computers of Senate staff members conducting an investigation into the agency’s detention and torture programs when, in fact, it did. In 2011 ... he claimed that American drone strikes had not killed any civilians, despite clear evidence that they had. And his boss, James Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, has admitted lying to the Senate on the N.S.A.’s bulk collection of data. Even putting this lack of credibility aside, it’s not clear what extra powers Mr. Brennan is seeking. Most of the men who carried out the Paris attacks were already on the radar of intelligence officials in France and Belgium, where several of the attackers lived. The problem in this case was not a lack of data. In fact, indiscriminate bulk data sweeps have not been useful.
Note: The above is an excellent article by the New York Times editorial board. Yet the role of the largely subservient media, which strongly supported Bush's campaign to go to war in Iraq is ignored. Read this analysis to go even deeper. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
The U.S. closely monitored Israel’s military bases and eavesdropped on secret communications in 2012, fearing its longtime ally might try to carry out a strike on Fordow, Iran’s most heavily fortified nuclear facility. Nerves frayed at the White House after senior officials learned Israeli aircraft had flown in and out of Iran in what some believed was a dry run for a commando raid on the site. Worried that Israel might ignite a regional war, the White House sent a second aircraft carrier to the region and readied attack aircraft, a senior U.S. official said, “in case all hell broke loose.” The two countries, nursing a mutual distrust, each had something to hide. Instead of talking to each other, the allies kept their intentions secret. To figure out what they weren’t being told, they turned to their spy agencies to fill gaps. They employed deception, not only against Iran, but against each other. After working in concert for nearly a decade to keep Iran from an atomic bomb, the U.S. and Israel split over the best means: diplomacy, covert action or military strikes. In 2010, the risk of covert action became clear. A computer virus dubbed Stuxnet, deployed jointly by the U.S. and Israel to destroy Iranian centrifuges ... had inadvertently spread across the Internet. The Israelis wanted to launch cyberattacks against a range of Iranian institutions, according to U.S. officials. But the breach made Mr. Obama more cautious, officials said, for fear of triggering Iranian retaliation, or damaging the global economy if a virus spread uncontrollably.
Note: This article is also available at this link. When the Stuxnet computer virus got loose, it began attacking European companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances. A computer and hard drive containing testimonies from survivors were stolen from the office of the director of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) last week. The director’s office was the only one raided, there were no signs of forced entry, and items of monetary value were left behind. The stolen files contained details of investigations related to the 1980-1992 civil war, which left at least 75,000 people dead, 8,000 missing and a million displaced. The vast majority of crimes were committed by US-backed military dictatorships against civilians ... suspected of supporting the leftist guerrillas, according to the UN. Perpetrators were granted immunity from prosecution by a 1993 amnesty law, which remains intact despite being ruled illegal by the Inter American Court of Human Rights. The UWCHR has uncovered previously unseen information held by federal agencies such as the CIA and DEA, which it has shared with relatives of victims. The group filed a freedom of information suit against the CIA on 2 October. The sensitive files were stolen two weeks later. Several rights groups in El Salvador investigating war crimes have suffered similarly suspicious robberies.
David Talbot despises Allen Dulles. As director of the CIA, Talbot declares, Dulles exemplified the “frightening amorality that prevailed at the pinnacle of American power” at the height of the Cold War. As a lawyer for Sullivan and Cromwell in the 1930s, Dulles protected and promoted Nazi-controlled cartels. He used his influence in the Office of Strategic Services and the CIA to shield former Nazis from prosecution for war crimes in the ’40s and ’50s. Dulles organized the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, [and was] willing to manipulate and undercut American presidents. In “The Devil’s Chessboard,” David Talbot, the founder and former editor in chief of Salon and former senior editor at Mother Jones, examines Dulles’ career and adds several more “achievements” to his dark resume. Talbot’s indictment is long. He suggests that had President Franklin D. Roosevelt lived, Dulles might well have faced criminal charges for hiding the U.S. assets of German corporations and destroying incriminating evidence. By 1963, Talbot insists, a clear consensus had emerged among corporate leaders “and within America’s deep state” that Kennedy was a threat to national security and had to be removed. Dulles, they concluded, “was the only man with the stature, connections, and decisive will to make something of this enormity happen." [Dulles] then lobbied Lyndon Johnson to appoint him to the Warren Commission, where he saw to it that Lee Harvey Oswald would take the fall as the “lone gunman.”
Note: Read another good article on Talbot's book revealing evidence in the JFK killing. And isn't it interesting that no other major media seemed to find this book worth a review, even though Talbot is well known as the founder of the website Salon.
From 2011 to 2013, the most elite forces in the U.S. military, supported by the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community, set out to destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda forces that remained hidden ... along Afghanistan’s northeastern border with Pakistan. Dubbed Operation Haymaker, the campaign has been described as a potential model for the future of American warfare. The military’s own analysis demonstrates that the Haymaker campaign was in many respects a failure. The vast majority of those killed in airstrikes were not the direct targets. Nor did the campaign succeed in significantly degrading al Qaeda’s operations in the region. The frequency with which “targeted killing” operations hit unnamed bystanders is among the more striking takeaways from the Haymaker slides. [Documents obtained by The Intercept] show that during a five-month stretch of the campaign, nearly nine out of 10 people who died in airstrikes were not the Americans’ direct targets. Larry Lewis, formerly a principal research scientist at the Center for Naval Analyses, ... found that drone strikes in Afghanistan were 10 times more likely to kill civilians than conventional aircraft. This month, an American airstrike on a hospital run by the international organization Médecins Sans Frontičres ... killed at least a dozen members of the humanitarian group’s medical staff and 10 patients, including three children. A nurse on the scene recalled seeing six victims in the intensive care unit ablaze in their beds.
Survivors of CIA torture have sued the contractor psychologists who designed one of the most infamous programs of the post-9/11 era. In an extraordinary step, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen now face a federal lawsuit for their role in convincing the CIA to subject terror suspects to mock drowning, painful bodily contortions, sleep and dietary deprivation and other methods long rejected by much of the world as torture. In practice, CIA torture meant disappearances, mock executions, anal penetration ... and at least one man who froze to death, according to a landmark Senate report last year. On behalf of torture survivors ... as well as a representative of the estate of Gul Rahman – who froze to death in a CIA black site in Afghanistan – the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the suit against Mitchell and Jessen on Tuesday in a federal court in Washington state. The suit calls the torture program a “joint criminal enterprise” and a “war crime” in which the CIA, Mitchell and Jessen colluded and from which Mitchell and Jessen financially profited. Although numerous US government investigations have pierced the veneer of secrecy around the torture program, the program’s government architects have faced no legal reprisal. A Justice Department inquiry ended in 2012 without prosecutions. The new lawsuit, aimed not at government officials but the contractors Mitchell and Jessen, aims to break the trend.
Note: For more along these lines, read about how the torture program fits in with a long history of human experimentation by corrupt intelligence agencies working alongside unethical scientists. For more, see this list of programs that treated humans as guinea pigs.
General Augusto Pinochet directly ordered the 1976 assassination of a Chilean diplomat who was killed in a car bomb in Washington DC, according top secret US intelligence documents declassified by the Obama administration. The documents ... also show that the former dictator was so concerned with covering up his role in the murder that he planned to assassinate his own head of intelligence, General Manuel Contreras. Orlando Letelier, a former defence and foreign minister under President Salvador Allende, was tortured and incarcerated after Pinochet’s 1973 coup. He later fled to the US and worked at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington DC. Letelier, who had once been Chile’s ambassador to the US, was murdered on 21 September 1976 by a car bomb planted under the driver’s seat of his vehicle just a mile from the White House. Ronni Moffitt, an American colleague, was also killed in the blast. Letelier’s son, Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, confirmed to the Guardian that he had received copies of the newly released documents, which ... include papers from the CIA. Speculation that the CIA was aware of the plot to kill Letelier is based on previously declassified records showing that Manuel Contreras was paid by the CIA before the bombing and was in regular contact with top officials at the spy agency. Contreras, who died in August, always denied responsibility and blamed the CIA for the bombing.
Note: Members of Pinochet's brutal regime were strongly supported by Washington until very recently. George H.W. Bush was head of the CIA when the assassination described above was carried out. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption.
Five years ago this week, FBI agents raided the homes of six political activists of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO) in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin, as well as the office of the nonprofit Anti-War Committee. A series of FBI documents left behind at Mick Kelly’s Minneapolis home shed more light on the FBI’s activities. What is especially illuminating is the mindset the documents reveal, particularly some of the questions FBI agents were instructed to ask those being served with the search warrants, such as “What did you do with the proceeds from the Revolutionary Lemonade Stand?” In February 2014, as a result of further legal action ... the search warrants for the raids [were] unsealed. The FBI began surveilling the FRSO shortly after the protests at the 2008 GOP convention, using a confidential informant. Despite the FBI’s collection of over a hundred hours of recordings and its multiyear [investigation], to date none of the activists have been charged with any crime. Just four days prior to the FBI raids against the Anti-War Committee and the FRSO, the Department of Justice Inspector General [IG] released the results of an investigation into post-9/11 surveillance of peace groups and other domestic dissidents up through 2006, [which] found that the bureau “engaged in tactics and strategies toward those groups and their members that were inappropriate, misleading and in some cases counterproductive, [and] accused FBI witnesses of ... offering ‘incomplete and inconsistent accounts of events.’”
Note: By 2011, the legal definition of "supporter of terrorism" had come to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and journalists. For more along these lines, read about Cointelpro, the program used by corrupt intelligence agencies to spy on and attack U.S. activists beginning in the 1960's.
It was the spring of 2002. Pakistani authorities burst into the house [Emad Hassan] shared with 14 other foreign students and brought them to a nearby prison. After two months of beatings and interrogation, the Pakistanis handed him over to the U.S. military. They stripped him of his clothes and put him in a diaper. Then they blindfolded him, placed earmuffs over his head and marched him onto a plane. When the aircraft landed, he soon learned he was in the U.S. prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. For years, the White House has been trying to close Gitmo. As of early September, 52 of the 116 prisoners who remain at the U.S. facility have been cleared to be set free, a tacit admission, critics say, that they should never have been imprisoned. The Pakistani forces who took Hassan from his student housing, his lawyers say, received $5,000 from the U.S. military. This was typical. According to a 2006 analysis ... the vast majority of detainees at Guantánamo Bay were arrested by local groups eager to profit from the counterterrorism gold rush. His lawyers claim much of the U.S. government’s incriminating information comes from a small group of informants at Guantánamo who told interrogators what they wanted to hear. Many sold out their fellow detainees for small rewards. [In 2009] Obama’s task force cleared Hassan for release - a process that requires six federal agencies to agree that a prisoner doesn’t pose a national security threat.
Note: In 2015, Hassan was freed from Gitmo and granted asylum by Oman. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing civil liberties news articles from reliable major media sources.
Hamid Karzai, the former president of Afghanistan, has questioned the existence of al-Qaida, and denied that the 9/11 terror attacks ... were planned in Afghanistan. On the eve of the anniversary of the 2001 attacks, Karzai, who left office last year after 12 years, used an interview with al Jazeera to express his doubt that the terrorist group led by the late Osama bin Laden was responsible for the operation which prompted the invasion of Afghanistan. Karzai ... also claimed in the interview that Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan are “definitely” members of “Pakistani militias”. When asked if he agreed that al-Qaida in Afghanistan had been behind the 9/11 attacks ... Karzai replied: “I can tell you for a fact that the operation was neither conducted from Afghanistan, nor were the Afghan people responsible for that.” A daring and bloody operation involving US special forces and the CIA put Karzai back in Afghanistan in the last weeks of the 2001 war and then into power as a supposed consensus candidate. But Karzai quickly proved himself independent and contrarian. Officials from the US, the UK, Nato and the UN all repeatedly criticised Karzai for failing to crack down on rampant corruption and the booming narcotics trade in Afghanistan. By 2009, according to Robert Gates, the former US defence secretary, Washington was so keen to oust the Afghan president that officials connived in delaying an Afghan presidential election and then tried to manipulate the outcome in a “clumsy and failed putsch”.
Note: By 2000, the Taliban had mostly stopped heroin production in Afghanistan. But once former Unocal employee Hamid Karzai was installed into power by the US, bags of CIA cash helped transform Afghanistan into a narco state.
More than 50 intelligence analysts at Centcom have formally complained that reports on the Islamic State and the Nusra Front — Al Qaeda's Syria branch — have been repeatedly altered by senior intelligence officials to fit with the Obama administration's insistence that the US is winning the war against the two militant groups. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell explained on "CBS This Morning" how serious these allegations are. "One of the key aspects of the policymaking process in the United States is that analysts get to say what they think ... if there is truth that somebody has been meddling with their analysis, I think somebody needs to lose their job over it." A written complaint was sent in July by two Centcom senior analysts to the Department of Defense Inspector General. Eleven individuals knowledgeable about the details of the complaint [say] crucial parts of intelligence reports were taken out, analysts were subject to an environment in which they did not feel able to give a candid assessment of the situation in Iraq and Syria, and sometimes reports seen as being too negative were sent back to analysts. One source alleges that when [analysts] brought concerns to Centcom leadership, they were urged to retire, and some agreed to leave. In late July, the Associated Press reported that assessments by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and others found that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is no weaker than it was when US bombing began in 2014.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore an in-depth essay documenting the covert origins of Isis and other international terrorist organizations.
A French secret service diver who took part in the operation to sink Greenpeace ship the Rainbow Warrior 30 years ago has spoken publicly for the first time to apologise for his actions. Jean-Luc Kister ... was one of two divers serving with the French intelligence service, the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (DGSE), who attached limpet mines to the hull of the vessel moored in Auckland in 1985. The Rainbow Warrior was heading for the Mururoa Atoll in the South Pacific in French Polynesia where France was planning a series of nuclear tests. French agents posing as Swiss tourists had earlier visited the ship ... to gather information for the operation. The first mine ... blew a large hole in the ship. Paris initially denied any involvement in the sinking, [which killed photographer Fernando Pereira], and described it as a “terrorist attack”. Documents released in 2005 and published in the Guardian, showed that France [also] tried to blame British intelligence for the sinking. The French government’s responsibility, however, was quickly established. In 1987, under international pressure, France paid $8.2m damages to Greenpeace. It also paid an undisclosed sum to the Pereira family. Kister claims politicians in Paris turned down other suggestions for dealing with the Greenpeace protest. He said it was “an unfair clandestine operation conducted in an allied, friendly and peaceful country” ... and accused French politicians of “high treason” for having leaked his name and role in the operation after the sinking.
Note: By posing as Swiss tourists to spy on the Greenpeace ship, attacking this ship, and then blaming the attack on "terrorists", the French carried out a "false flag" attack. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.
A new book, The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to U.S. Empire ... explains how the leaked U.S. documents have lifted the veil on the imperialist nature of American foreign policy. At the time of writing, WikiLeaks has published 2,325,961 diplomatic cables and other US State Department records. To randomly pick up isolated diplomatic records that intersect with known entities and disputes, as some daily newspapers have done, is to miss “the empire” for its cables. Diplomatic cables are not produced in order to manipulate the public, but are aimed at elements of the rest of the US state apparatus and are therefore relatively free from the distorting influence of public relations. When WikiLeaks publishes US government documents with classification markings ... two parallel campaigns begin: first, the public campaign of downplaying, diverting attention from and reframing any revelations that are a threat to the prestige of the national security class; and, second, an internal campaign within the national security state itself to digest what has happened. Publicly, the US government has claimed, falsely, that anyone without a security clearance distributing “classified” documents is violating the Espionage Act of 1917. The response of the United States to the release of the WikiLeaks materials betrays a belief that its power resides in a disparity of information: ever more knowledge for the empire, ever less for its subjects.
Note: Wikileaks has published everything from suspicious messages about 9/11 to cables showing US diplomats working directly for companies such as Monsanto to drafts of secret trade deals that big banks use to grow their power. PFC Manning is currently serving a 35 year prison sentence for leaking the data analysed in the book mentioned above.
The Associated Press sued the U.S. Department of Justice Thursday over the FBI's failure to provide public records related to the creation of a fake news story used to plant surveillance software on a suspect's computer. At issue is a 2014 Freedom of Information request seeking documents related to the FBI's decision to send a web link to the fake article to a 15-year-old boy suspected of making bomb threats to a high school. The FBI has used spyware before to pursue suspected criminals. AP strongly objected to the ruse, which was uncovered last year. AP General Counsel Karen Kaiser [wrote] in a 2014 letter to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, "It is improper and inconsistent with a free press for government personnel to masquerade as The Associated Press or any other news organization. The FBI may have intended this false story as a trap for only one person. However, the individual could easily have reposted this story to social networks, distributing to thousands of people, under our name, what was essentially a piece of government disinformation." In a November opinion piece in the New York Times, FBI Director James Comey revealed that an undercover FBI agent had also impersonated an AP reporter. AP's records request also seeks an accounting of how many times since 2000 the FBI has impersonated media organizations to deliver malicious software. In a response to AP, the FBI indicated it might take nearly two years to find and copy the requested records.
Note: According to The Guardian, the FBI forced an informant to hack into and compromise the computer systems of a major UK newspaper in 2011. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of mass media.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.