Intelligence Agency News StoriesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of intelligence agency news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The Central Intelligence Agency’s health professionals repeatedly criticized the agency’s post-Sept. 11 interrogation program, but their protests were rebuffed by prominent outside psychologists who lent credibility to the program, according to a new report. The 542-page report ... raises repeated questions about the collaboration between psychologists and officials at both the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, [and] concludes that some of the [American Psychological] Association’s top officials ... sought to curry favor with Pentagon officials by seeking to keep the association’s ethics policies in line with the Defense Department’s interrogation policies. The association’s ethics office “prioritized the protection of psychologists — even those who might have engaged in unethical behavior — above the protection of the public,” the report said. Two former presidents of the psychological association were on a C.I.A. advisory committee, the report found. One of them gave the agency an opinion that sleep deprivation did not constitute torture, and later held a small ownership stake in a consulting company founded by two men who oversaw the agency’s interrogation program. The association’s ethics director, Stephen Behnke, coordinated the group’s public policy statements on interrogations with a top military psychologist, the report said, and then received a Pentagon contract to help train interrogators while he was working at the association, without the knowledge of the association’s board.
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.
The torture scandal consuming the US’s premiere professional association of psychologists has cost three senior officials their jobs. As the American Psychological Association copes with the damage reaped by an independent investigation that found it complicit in US torture, the group announced on Tuesday that its chief executive officer, its deputy CEO and its communications chief are no longer with the APA. All three were implicated in the 542-page report issued this month by former federal prosecutor David Hoffman, who concluded that APA leaders “colluded” with the US department of defense and aided the CIA in loosening professional ethics and other guidelines to permit psychologist participation in torture.. Despite rumors ... the APA framed the departures of longtime executive officials Norman Anderson and Michael Honaker as “retirements”. Rhea Farberman, who served as APA’s communications director for 22 years, “resigned”, the APA said in a statement. Anderson, Honaker and Farberman join Stephen Behnke, the APA’s former ethics chief also implicated in torture, in the first wave of APA departures as the organization seeks to rebuild its credibility. A call to end all psychologist participation in US interrogation and detention operations is slated for APA consideration at a major conference next month.
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.
The Oscar-winning documentary film-maker Laura Poitras is suing the US government. Poitras, 51, said she had been held at borders more than 50 times between 2006 and 2012, often for hours at a time. At various times she alleges being told by officials that she was on a “no fly” list, having her electronic equipment confiscated ... and being threatened with handcuffs for taking notes. The latter incident took place when she was working on a film about the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Poitras [is] launching the legal action "because the government uses the US border to bypass the rule of law,” said the film-maker. She was repeatedly stopped until 2012, when the journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote an article about her experiences. Poitras’s reporting on the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, along with work by Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and Barton Gellman contributed to the Pulitzer prize for public service won jointly by the Washington Post and the Guardian in 2014. Her film on Snowden, Citizenfour, won the 2015 Oscar for best documentary. The director is being represented by lawyers from digital-rights advocacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The well-documented difficulties Ms Poitras experienced while traveling strongly suggest that she was improperly targeted by federal agencies as a result of her journalistic activities,” senior counsel David Sobel told the Intercept. “Those agencies are now attempting to conceal information that would shed light on tactics that appear to have been illegal.”
Moxie Marlinspike has ... created an encryption program that scrambles messages until they reach the intended reader. The software is effective enough to alarm governments. British Prime Minister David Cameron called protected-messaging apps a “safe space” for terrorists. The following week, President Barack Obama called them “a problem.” In a research paper released Tuesday, 15 prominent technologists cited three programs relying on Mr. Marlinspike’s code as options for shielding communications. His encrypted texting and calling app, Signal, has come up in White House meetings. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked troves of U.S. spying secrets, urged listeners to use “anything” that Mr. Marlinspike releases. That endorsement was “a little bit terrifying,” Mr. Marlinspike says. But he says he sees an opening, following Mr. Snowden’s revelations, to demystify, and simplify, encryption, so more people use it. Consumer encryption tools ... have been around since the early 1990s, but most are so cumbersome that few people use them, [limiting] the use of encryption to a level law enforcement has mostly learned to live with. Adding easy-to-use encryption that companies can’t unscramble to products used by millions changes that calculus. Technology companies, once cozy with Washington, sound increasingly like Mr. Marlinspike. Apple, Facebook, Google and others are resisting efforts to give the government access to encrypted communications.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt intelligence agencies that are attempting to erode privacy rights in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Expert comparisons of hair, handwriting, marks made by firearms on bullets, and patterns such as bite marks and shoe and tire prints are in some ways unscientific and subject to human bias, a National Academy of Sciences panel chartered by Congress found. Even fingerprint identification is partly a subjective exercise that lacks research into the role of unconscious bias or even its error rate, the panel’s 328-page report said. Since 2002, failures have been reported at about 30 federal, state and local crime labs serving the FBI, the Army and eight of the nation’s 20 largest cities. A 2009 study of post-conviction DNA exonerations — now up to 289 nationwide — found invalid testimony in more than half the cases. FBI examiners claimed until recently that they can match fingerprints to the exclusion of any other person in the world with 100 percent certainty. The academy report found that assertion was “not scientifically plausible” and had chilled research into error rates. In 1999, a Justice Department official, Richard Rau, told a federal court that the department delayed such a study because of the legal ramifications. Meanwhile, errors occur. In 2004, DNA for the first time exonerated a person convicted with a fingerprint match and, separately, the FBI made its first publicly acknowledged fingerprint misidentification. Brandon Mayfield, a Portland, Ore., lawyer, mistakenly was arrested in connection with the terrorist train bombings in Madrid that killed 191 people.
Note: A Washington Post investigation recently found that over a 20 year period, "nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt prison industry built upon by systematic violations of civil rights.
An elite group of security technologists has concluded that the American and British governments cannot demand special access to encrypted communications without putting the world’s most confidential data and critical infrastructure in danger. With security breaches and awareness of nation-state surveillance at a record high and data moving online at breakneck speeds, encryption has emerged as a major issue in the debate over privacy rights. Technology companies ... have been moving to encrypt more of their corporate and customer data after learning that the National Security Agency and its counterparts were siphoning off digital communications and hacking into corporate data centers. In Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron threatened to ban encrypted messages altogether. In the United States, Michael S. Rogers, the director of the N.S.A., proposed that technology companies be required to create a digital key to unlock encrypted data. The [technology group's] new paper is the first in-depth technical analysis of government proposals by leading cryptographers and security thinkers. In the report, the group said any effort to give the government “exceptional access” to encrypted communications ... would leave confidential data and critical infrastructure like banks and the power grid at risk. With government agency breaches now the norm, the security specialists said authorities could not be trusted to keep such keys safe from hackers and criminals.
On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting. The prosecution abandoned the case, apparently to avoid embarrassing the intelligence services. Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Terrorism is now squarely in the eye of the beholder. A revealing light on how we got here has now been shone by a recently declassified secret US intelligence report, written in August 2012, which uncannily predicts – and effectively welcomes – the prospect of a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria and an al-Qaida-controlled Islamic state in Syria and Iraq. In stark contrast to western claims at the time, the Defense Intelligence Agency document identifies al-Qaida in Iraq (which became Isis) and fellow Salafists as the “major forces driving the insurgency in Syria” – and states that “western countries, the Gulf states and Turkey” were supporting the opposition’s efforts to take control of eastern Syria. A year into the Syrian rebellion, the US and its allies weren’t only supporting and arming ... extreme sectarian groups; they were prepared to countenance the creation of some sort of “Islamic state” – despite the “grave danger” to Iraq’s unity – as a Sunni buffer to weaken Syria.
An investigation by the German parliament is raising questions on whether the Obama administration not only spied on journalists in that country, but also interfered in the exercise of the free press. On Thursday, Germany's intelligence coordinator, Günter Heiss, testified before a parliamentary investigative committee of the German parliament, the Bundestag, focused on the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency's spying on Germany and whether the German intelligence agency BND had any knowledge of it. In 2013, the German magazine Der Spiegel ... first reported that the NSA was intercepting German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone communications. On Thursday, WikiLeaks released more information, presumably from that surveillance, from a conversation between Merkel and her personal assistant in October 2011. The WikiLeaks release also suggested that the NSA was spying on German ministers in addition to Merkel. Less observed this week was news that the NSA was eavesdropping not only on Merkel, but also in some capacity on Germany's free press, specifically Der Spiegel. "It feels bitter to learn that American intelligence agencies spied on reporters in another country and denounced alleged sources to the government," said one reporter involved, who asked not to be identified for fear of repercussions from his government or the U.S. government. "This is something I expected to happen in authoritarian states like Russia or China, but not in a democracy."
[One spy unit is] responsible for some of the United Kingdom's most controversial tactics of surveillance, online propaganda and deceit. Documents ... demonstrate how the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), a unit of the signals intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), is involved in efforts against political groups it considers "extremist". Though its existence was secret until last year, JTRIG quickly developed a distinctive profile [after] Edward Snowden revealed that the unit had engaged in "dirty tricks" like deploying sexual "honey traps" designed to discredit targets, launching denial-of-service attacks to shut down Internet chat rooms, pushing veiled propaganda onto social networks and generally warping discourse online. Particularly revealing is a fascinating 42-page document from 2011 detailing JTRIG's activities. The document lays out the tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced. Many GCHQ documents describing the "missions" of the "customers" for which it works make clear that the agency has a wide mandate far beyond national security, including providing help on intelligence to the Bank of England, ... to various departments on agriculture and whaling activities, to government financial divisions to enable good investment decisions. Beyond JTRIG's targeting of Anonymous, other parts of GCHQ targeted political activists deemed to be "radical," even monitoring the visits of people to the WikiLeaks website. [The document] includes detailed discussions of how to foster "obedience" and "conformity".
Note: Read amazing excerpts of this report at the link above showing how JTRIG plays an active role on the Internet in directly manipulating many political discussions and websites. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in intelligence agencies from reliable major media sources.
Three days after the New York Times revealed that the U.S. government was secretly monitoring the calls and emails of people inside the United States without court-approved warrants, the National Security Agency issued a top-secret assessment of the damage done to intelligence efforts by the story. The conclusion: the information could lead terrorists to try to evade detection. Yet the agency gave no specific examples of investigations that had been jeopardized. The December 2005 bombshell story, by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, set off a debate about the George W. Bush administration's expansion of spying powers after the 9/11 attacks, and also about the Times editors' decision to delay its publication for a year. White House officials had warned the Times that revealing the program would have grave consequences for national security. "To this day we've never seen any evidence – despite all the claims they made to keep us from publishing – that it did any tangible damage to national security, " Lichtblau told The Intercept. "The reality was that the story ... didn't tell terrorists anything that they didn't know," he said. The NSA's damage assessment on the article ... is among the files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The memo recounts meetings in 2004 and 2005 in which administration officials disclosed "certain details of the special program to select individuals from the New York Times to dissuade them from publishing a story on the program at that time."
Note: You can read the revealing memo mentioned at the link above. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Media Information Center.
The Obama administration is again allowing the CIA to use drone strikes to secretly kill people that the spy agency does not know the identities of in multiple countries - despite repeated statements to the contrary. Apparently the drone operators didn't even know at the time who they were aiming at - only that they thought the target was possibly a terrorist hideout. It's what's known as a "signature" strike. Signature strikes has led to scores of civilians being killed over the past decade, including two completely innocent hostages ... one of whom was a US citizen ... less than two months ago. It's a way of killing that's been roundly condemned by human rights organizations and that some members of Congress have tried to outlaw. Here's how the New York Times described it: "The joke was that when the CIA sees "three guys doing jumping jacks," the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official. Men loading a truck with fertilizer could be bombmakers – but they might also be farmers." It has become increasingly clear that the "rules" are virtually meaningless. As is typical with the US government's extrajudicial killing policy, there was no public debate about any of the changes to the supposed rules, or even announcement that they ever changed - only an unofficial leak to a journalist after the latest killing. Beyond the enormous human rights consequences related to such a dangerous policy, these types of strikes backfire on the United States, sowing hatred in the populations of bombed countries and breeding sympathy for al-Qaida where there was none before.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on terrorism from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
British spies have developed "dirty tricks" ... that include releasing computer viruses, spying on journalists and diplomats, jamming phones and computers, and using sex to lure targets into "honey traps." Documents taken from the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden ... describe techniques developed by a secret British spy unit called the Joint Threat Research and Intelligence Group (JTRIG). According to the documents ... the agency's goal was to "destroy, deny, degrade [and] disrupt" enemies by "discrediting" them, planting misinformation and shutting down their communications. The propaganda campaigns use deception, mass messaging and "pushing stories" via Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and YouTube. JTRIG also uses "false flag" operations, in which British agents carry out online actions that are designed to look like they were performed by one of Britain's adversaries. Other documents ... show that JTRIG ... used a DDOS attack to shut down Internet chat rooms used by members of the hacktivist group known as Anonymous. A computer virus called Ambassadors Reception was "used in a variety of different areas" and was "very effective." When sent to adversaries ... the virus will "encrypt itself, delete all emails ... and block the computer user from logging on. Spies have long used sexual "honey traps" to snare, blackmail and influence targets. Most often, a male target is led to believe he has an opportunity for a romantic relationship or a sexual liaison with a woman, only to find that the woman is actually an intelligence operative.
Note: You can read the documents released by Snowden at this link and this one. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Mark Rossini, a former FBI special agent at the center of an enduring mystery related to [9/11] says he is "appalled" by the newly declassified statements by former CIA Director George Tenet defending the spy agency's efforts to detect and stop the plot. Rossini, who was assigned to the CIA's Counterterrorism Center (CTC) at the time of the attacks, has long maintained that the U.S. government has covered up secret relations between the spy agency and Saudi individuals who may have abetted the plot. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers who flew commercial airliners (on 9/11) were Saudis. A heavily redacted 2005 CIA inspector general's report, parts of which had previously been released, was further declassified earlier this month. The Obama administration has [still] refused to declassify 28 pages dealing with Saudi connections. Rossini and another FBI agent assigned to the CTC, Doug Miller, learned in January 2000 that one of the future hijackers ... had a multi-entry visa to enter the U.S. But when Miller and Rossini attempted to warn FBI headquarters that al-Mihdhar could be loose in the U.S., a CIA supervisor ordered them to remain silent. Rossini says he is "deeply concerned" by how the agency continues to suppress information related to contacts between the CIA and Saudi Arabia, particularly when the spy agency is declassifying other portions of documents to show that it did everything possible to thwart the September 11, 2001 plot. "There would have not been a 9/11 if Doug's CIR [Central Intelligence Report] on al-Mihdhar was sent," he told Newsweek in an email. "Period. End of story."
Note: Read a Times of London article showing that some of the hijackers listed in the final 9/11 report are still alive. Several major media articles also reported that some of the 9/11 hijackers may have trained at US military bases. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore other excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Mark Rossini [was] a high-flying FBI official in Washington a decade ago, when he was a special assistant to the bureau's chief spokesman. A boneheaded move ... cost him his career in 2008. He's making a determined effort ... to close some of the gaping holes in the official 9/11 narrative. Rossini [has] been at the center of one of the enduring mysteries of 9/11: Why the CIA refused to share information with the FBI ... about the arrival of at least two well-known Al-Qaeda operatives in the United States in 2000, even though the spy agency had been tracking them closely for years. The CIA did block him and Doug Miller, a fellow FBI agent assigned to the ... CIA's Osama bin Laden unit, from notifying bureau headquarters about the terrorists. Rossini and Miller [had] learned earlier from the CIA that one of the terrorists (and future hijacker), Khalid al-Mihdhar, had multi-entry visas on a Saudi passport to enter the United States. When Miller drafted a report for FBI headquarters, a CIA manager in the top-secret unit told him to hold off. Incredulous, Miller and Rossini had to back down. Years later, Rossini still regrets complying with that command. If he had disobeyed the gag order, the nearly 3,000 Americans slaughtered on 9/11 would probably still be alive. The CIA has long insisted it shared intelligence about [this] with the FBI, but records gathered by the 9/11 Commission contradict this assertion. No one has come up with a plausible explanation. When the first 9/11 report came out ... all the people who were responsible for not sharing information [had] their names ... taken out. They were commended and moved up.
Note: A 2009 Nova documentary on PBS, “The Spy Factory,” explored and confirmed Rossini's allegations in depth. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. See also the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
The US National Security Agency (NSA) spied on French Presidents Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy and Francois Hollande in 2006-12, Wikileaks says [citing] "top secret intelligence reports and technical documents" from the NSA. A file dated 2010 suggests that French officials were aware that the US was spying upon them and intended to complain about it. According to the summary of an intercepted exchange, the French envoy to Washington ... discussed Mr Sarkozy's plan to express his "frustration" over US unwillingness to sign a "bilateral intelligence co-operation agreement". "The main sticking point is the US desire to continue spying on France," the intercept says. [One analyst commented] "Of course they know that spying goes on – even between friends. But the cardinal rule is not to get found out. When you do, you must expect the full force of diplomatic outrage." In response to the alleged leaks, National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said: "As a general matter, we do not conduct any foreign intelligence surveillance activities unless there is a specific and validated national security purpose. This applies to ordinary citizens and world leaders alike." In 2013 Brazilian media reported that NSA documents showed the agency had also spied on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico. [Also] in 2013 the NSA was accused of spying on German Chancellor Angela Merkel. German media later reported that Germany's national intelligence agency had spied on ... the EU's headquarters on behalf of the US.
Note: The claim of a "threat to national security" is widely used both to perpetrate and to cover up huge amounts of illegal behavior. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy excesses from reliable major media sources.
For the fearmongers in the West and their allies, it’s always the scariest time ever. In February, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell, arguing for renewal of the Patriot Act, warned that “the ‘lone wolf’ terrorist threat to the United States has never been greater.” In January, an anonymous senior aide to U.K. Prime Minister ... argued for a new “snooper” bill by saying that “the terrorist threat has never been greater.” In mid-2014, U.K. Prime Minister Cameron himself raised the threat level to “severe” and announced: “Britain faces the ‘greatest and deepest’ terror threat in the country’s history.” Throughout the Bush years ... officials raised their color-coded terror alerts and issued similar warnings so many times that it became a running joke. Years later, the face of that joke, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, admitted he was pressured to issue warnings for political gain. Here we are 14 years after 9/11, and it’s still always the worst threat ever in all of history. If we always face the greatest threat ever, then one of two things is true: 1) fearmongers serially exaggerate the threat for self-interested reasons, or 2) the threat is always getting more severe, year after year — which might mean we should evaluate the wisdom of “terrorism” policies that constantly make the problem worse. Whatever else is true, the people who should have the least credibility on the planet are [those] who have spent the last 15 years exploiting the terror threat in order to terrorize the American population into doing what they want.
Note: Read an excellent essay by a top US general exposing how war is a racket. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in the intelligence community and the manipulation of public perception.
Last week in the Boston area, a 26-year-old black Muslim man was shot and killed by agents of the FBI and Boston Police Department. A surveillance video ... was finally released on Monday. It’s virtually impossible to know what happened from this highly touted video, other than the fact that [Usaamah] Rahim appears to have been walking peacefully when he was approached by multiple individuals, wearing no police uniforms, in a threatening, military-style formation. Rahim’s family issued a statement detailing the numerous questions raised by the video. Early reports claimed that there was a third conspirator beyond Rahim and [his nephew and accused co-conspirator David] Wright. The FBI affidavit filed against Wright repeatedly references a “third person” who plotted with Rahim and Wright and met with them. Yet there has been no further mention of this “third person,” and apparently no arrest of him. Why not? Is that third person an FBI informant? Is this yet another case where the director and prime mover of a scary “terror plot” is in fact the FBI itself. What basis exists for the highly inflammatory claim that Rahim was “linked to” or “inspired by” ISIS? He was not only wary of being set up by the FBI, but specifically said he was “preaching AGAINST violence and terrorism.” As AP noted, on social media Rahim “spoke out against the kind of violence Islamic State extremists are fomenting across the Middle East,” and “made none of the violent calls to arms many supporters of armed extremist groups espouse on social media.”
Two years ago, the first story based on the Snowden archive was published in The Guardian, revealing a program of domestic mass surveillance, which, at least in its original form, ended this week. To commemorate that anniversary, Edward Snowden himself reflected in a New York Times op-ed on the “power of an informed public”. The debate provoked by these disclosures [examined] the role journalism ought to play in a democracy and the proper relationship of journalists to those who wield the greatest political and economic power. Of all the revelations over the last two years, one of the most illuminating and stunning has been the reaction of many in the American media to Edward Snowden as a source. There was plenty of journalistic support for the disclosures. But huge numbers of journalists went on the warpath against transparency. The Los Angeles Times ... believes leaking is criminal and those who do it belong in prison. The LA Times itself constantly publishes illegal leaks, though the ones it publishes usually come from top government officials. Have the LA Times editors called for the criminal prosecution of Leon Panetta, and John Brennan, and the endless number of senior officials who leak not (as Snowden did) to inform the public but in order to propagandize them? Of course not, and therein lies the key media lesson from all of this. These journalists are literally agents of political power.
The Navy’s SEAL Team 6 ... best known for killing Osama bin Laden, has been transformed by more than a decade of combat into a global manhunting machine. That role reflects America’s new way of war, in which conflict is distinguished ... by the relentless killing of suspected militants. While fighting grinding wars of attrition in Afghanistan and Iraq, Team 6 ... joined Central Intelligence Agency operatives in an initiative called the Omega Program, which offered greater latitude in hunting adversaries. Team 6 has successfully carried out thousands of dangerous raids that military leaders credit with weakening militant networks, but its activities have also spurred recurring concerns. Afghan villagers and a British commander accused SEALs of indiscriminately killing men in one hamlet; in 2009, team members joined C.I.A. and Afghan paramilitary forces in a raid that left a group of youths dead and inflamed tensions between Afghan and NATO officials. When suspicions have been raised about misconduct, outside oversight has been limited. “This is an area where Congress notoriously doesn’t want to know too much,” said Harold Koh, the State Department’s former top legal adviser. Like the C.I.A.’s campaign of drone strikes, Special Operations missions offer policy makers an alternative to costly wars of occupation. But the bulwark of secrecy around Team 6 makes it impossible to fully assess its record and the consequences of its actions, including civilian casualties or the deep resentment inside the countries where its members operate.
Note: Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets. Casualties of war whose identities are unknown are frequently mis-reported to be "militants". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about military corruption and high level manipulation of mass media.
FBI Behind Mysterious Surveillance Aircraft Over US Cities
June 2, 2015, ABC News/Associated Press
Scores of low-flying planes circling American cities are part of a civilian air force operated by the FBI and obscured behind fictitious companies. The aircraft are equipped with high-tech cameras, and ... technology capable of tracking thousands of cellphones. The surveillance equipment is used for ongoing investigations, the FBI says, generally without a judge's approval. The Drug Enforcement Administration has its own planes, also registered to fake companies, according to a 2011 Justice Department ... report. At the time, the DEA had 92 aircraft in its fleet. And since 2007, the U.S. Marshals Service has operated an aerial surveillance program with its own fleet equipped with technology that can capture data from thousands of cellphones. "These are not your grandparents' surveillance aircraft," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union. Evolving technology can record higher-quality video from long distances, even at night, and can capture certain identifying information from cellphones using a device known as a "cell-site simulator" [to] trick pinpointed cellphones into revealing identification numbers of subscribers, including those not suspected of a crime. The Obama administration [has] been directing local authorities through secret agreements not to reveal their own use of the devices. During the past few weeks, the AP tracked planes from the FBI's fleet on more than 100 flights over at least 11 states plus the District of Columbia.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about the corrupt intelligence agencies that facilitate the erosion of privacy rights in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.