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Intelligence Agency Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Intelligence Agency Media Articles in Major Media


Below are key excerpts of highly revealing intelligence agencies articles reported in the major media. Links are provided to the full articles on major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These intelligence agencies articles are listed by article date. You can also explore the articles listed by order of importance or by date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to key excerpts of revealing 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 ‘guinea pig’ for U.S. torture is languishing at Guantanamo
2016-10-07, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-guinea-pig-for-us-torture-is-lang...

The poster child of the American torture program sits in a Guantanamo Bay prison cell, where many U.S. officials hope he will simply be forgotten. Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, known to the world as Abu Zubaydah ... was the “guinea pig” of the CIA torture program. He was the first prisoner sent to a secret CIA “black site,” the first to have his interrogation “enhanced ” and the only prisoner subjected to all of the CIA’s approved techniques, as well as many that were not authorized. He is the man for whom the George W. Bush administration wrote the infamous torture memo in the summer of 2002. Senior officials thought he had been personally involved in every major al-Qaeda operation, including 9/11. Today, the United States acknowledges that assessment was, to put it graciously, overblown. His extended torture provided no actionable intelligence about al-Qaeda’s plans. He has never been charged with a violation of U.S. law, military or civilian, and apparently never will be formally charged. Instead, he languishes at Guantanamo. After years in secret prisons around the world, he remains incommunicado, with no prospect of trial. Who is Zubaydah, really? Public understanding about Zubaydah remains remarkably controlled and superficial. In connection with Zubaydah’s stalled case seeking federal court review of his detention, the government has recently agreed to clear for public release a few of the letters he has written to us. These brief letters [are] published here for the first time.

Note: The use of humans as guinea pigs in government, military, and medical experiments has a long history. For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


US government spent over $500m on fake Al-Qaeda propaganda videos that tracked location of viewers
2016-10-06, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/us-government-pentagon-fake-al-qaeda-...

A former contractor for a UK-based public relations firm says that the Pentagon paid more than half a billion dollars for the production and dissemination of fake Al-Qaeda videos that portrayed the insurgent group in a negative light. The PR firm, Bell Pottinger, worked alongside top US military officials at Camp Victory in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq War. The agency was tasked with crafting TV segments in the style of unbiased Arabic news reports, videos of Al-Qaeda bombings that appeared to be filmed by insurgents, and anti-insurgent commercials. Those who watched the videos could be tracked by US forces. Bell Pottinger ... could have earned as much as $120m from the US in 2006. Former video editor Martin Wells, who worked on the IOTF contract with Bell Pottinger, said they were given very specific instructions on how to produce the fake Al-Qaeda propaganda films. US Marines would then take CDs containing the videos while on patrol, then plant them at sites during raids. “If they’re raiding a house and they’re going to make a mess of it looking for stuff anyway, they’d just drop an odd CD there,” he said. The CDs were encoded to open the videos on RealPlayer software that connects to the Internet when it runs. It would issue an IP address that could then be tracked by US intelligence. The programmes produced by Bell Pottinger would move up the chain of command ... and could sometimes go as high up as the White House for approval.

Note: Read more about the fake "Al Qaeda" videos produced and distributed for the Pentagon. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


Yahoo 'secretly scanned customer emails' at request of US intelligence
2016-10-04, The Independent (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/yahoo-secretly-scann...

Yahoo has been accused of secretly building a customised software programme to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials. The company complied with a classified US government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI. Reuters said that a number of surveillance experts said this represented the first case to surface of a US Internet company agreeing to a spy agency’s demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. The agency also said it was unable to determine what data the company had handed over, and if the intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo. US phone and Internet companies are known to have handed over bulk customer data to intelligence agencies. But some former government officials and private surveillance experts said they had not previously seen either such a broad directive for real-time Web collection or one that required the creation of a new computer program. “I’ve never seen that, a wiretap in real time on a ‘selector’,” said Albert Gidari, a lawyer who represented phone and Internet companies on surveillance. A selector refers to a type of search term used to zero in on specific information. He added: “It would be really difficult for a provider to do that.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corporate corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


Pentagon Paid for Fake ‘Al Qaeda’ Videos
2016-10-01, The Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/10/01/pentagon-paid-for-fake-al-qa...

The Pentagon gave a controversial U.K. PR firm over half a billion dollars to run a top secret propaganda program in Iraq, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism can reveal. Bell Pottinger’s output included short TV segments made in the style of Arabic news networks and fake insurgent videos which could be used to track the people who watched them, according to a former employee. The agency’s staff worked alongside high-ranking U.S. military officers in their Baghdad Camp Victory headquarters. Bell Pottinger reported to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the National Security Council on its work in Iraq. In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.” The firm’s output was signed off by former General David Petraeus - then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq - and on occasion by the White House, he said. Bell Pottinger’s work in Iraq was a huge media operation which cost over a hundred million dollars a year on average. The ... most sensitive program described by Wells was the production of fake al Qaeda propaganda films. U.S. marines would take the CDs on patrol and drop them in the chaos when they raided targets. Wells explained how the team embedded a code into the CDs which linked to a Google Analytics account, giving a list of IP addresses where the CDs had been played.

Note: So the Pentagon made propaganda films to recruit for Al Qaeda, bombed a place upsetting the people there, then seeded these films to try to capture anyone who was interested in the propaganda they spread. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about war corruption and the manipulation of public perception.


New Guantánamo intelligence upends old ‘worst of the worst’ assumptions
2016-09-30, Miami Herald
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/articl...

An ongoing review shows the U.S. intelligence community has been debunking long-held myths about some of the “worst of the worst” at Guantánamo, some of them still held today. The retreat emerges in a series of unclassified prisoner profiles released by the Pentagon in recent years, snapshots of much larger dossiers the public cannot see, prepared for the Periodic Review Board examining the Pentagon’s “forever prisoner” population. “It was clear early on that the intelligence was grossly wrong,” said Mark Fallon, a retired 30-year federal officer who between 2002 and 2004 was Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Defense’s Criminal Investigation Task Force. Most “weren’t battlefield captives,” he said, calling many “bounty babies” - men captured by Afghan warlords or Pakistani security forces and sent to Guantánamo “on the sketchiest bit of intelligence with nothing to corroborate.” They ended up with “a lot of false information based on some pretty poor interrogations being done partly by military interrogators in that time frame.” Fallon ... is in the final stages of publishing a book of his criticisms and said in a recent interview that it’s no surprise that early prisoner profiles are imploding under Periodic Review Board scrutiny. In the early years, according to one analyst who worked there, Guantánamo’s Joint Intelligence Group was “looking for anything you can pin on these guys.” The intelligence unit was “picking up on one or two things and holding on to it tightly like it was gospel.”

Note: US officials have been aware for years that many Guantánamo detainees were innocent or only low-level operatives. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


How ‘Snowden’ the movie could help win a pardon for Snowden the man
2016-09-20, Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-intelligence-nsa-snowden-commenta-idUSK...

The days leading up to last Friday’s release of director Oliver Stone’s Snowden looked like one long movie trailer. The American Civil Liberties Union ... announced a campaign to win a presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contract employee who leaked hundreds of thousands of its highly classified documents. The next day, the House Intelligence Committee released a bipartisan letter to the president that advised him against any pardon. The week before, Stone had invited me to a private screening of his movie, [along with] a small group of former government employees who were whistleblowers before Snowden – and paid a high price for it. The reason they had been persecuted is that U.S. law makes no distinction between revealing illegal government activity to the press about eavesdropping on Americans or engaging in torture, and betraying the country by passing secrets for money or ideology to foreign governments. The Espionage Act was enacted nearly a century ago following World War One, and has already been amended several times. One key issue confronting the next president ... is whether the law needs to be amended again – this time to separate the whistleblowers from the spies. Today ... the battle lines have been drawn between those in government – both the executive branch and Congress – who view the theft of government secrets as espionage, regardless of the motive, and those in civil-liberties groups and the media who see motive as a critical distinction.

Note: The above was written by James Bamford, whistleblower and author of "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Family of Italian Killed in Drone Strike Gets More Than $1 Million Payment From U.S.
2016-09-16, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/09/16/family-of-italian-killed-in-drone-strike-...

The United States paid over a million euros to the family of Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian aid worker killed in a U.S. drone strike in January of last year, according to newly released documents. The 37-year-old Lo Porto died when CIA drones struck an al Qaeda compound where he was being held hostage along with Warren Weinstein, an American humanitarian worker. In a rare admission of responsibility, President Barack Obama acknowledged the strike and promised compensation for the families. The Intercept first reported that the family had reached a settlement with the U.S. government in July. The document also states that the agreement does not imply “a waiver of sovereign or personal immunity.” Lawyers for the Lo Porto family had pressed the Italian state prosecutor to consider a criminal case against the United States, while acknowledging that the chances of such a case going forward were slim. They also asked for more information from U.S. agencies about the strike and its aftermath. The U.S. has, in a few instances, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the families of civilians killed in attacks in Yemen, but has not publicly acknowledged doing so. Many human rights advocacy groups see a double standard in the silence of the U.S. government on the cases of non-Westerners who have died.

Note: The families of thousands of innocent citizens killed by US drones in the Middle East have received zero compensation. Drone strikes almost always miss their intended targets and reportedly create more terrorists than they kill. 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 government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


I was a CIA Whistleblower. Now I'm a Black Inmate. Here's How I See American Racism
2016-09-13, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/09/13/i-was-a-cia-whistleblower-now-im-a-black-...

I do my best to resist the thought that prison is a reflection of our society, but the comparisons are unavoidable. From the moment I crossed the threshold from freedom to incarceration because I was charged with, and a jury convicted me of, leaking classified information to a New York Times reporter, I needed no reminder that I was no longer an individual. Prison, with its “one size fits all” structure, is not set up to recognize a person’s worth; the emphasis is removal and categorization. Inmates are not people; we are our offenses. Considering the charges and conviction that brought me here, I’m not exactly sure to which category I belong. No matter. There is an overriding category to which I do belong, and it is this prison reality that I sadly “compare unto the world”: I’m not just an inmate, I’m a black inmate. Here, I am my skin color. Whenever, in my stubborn idealism, I refuse to acknowledge being racially categorized and question the submission to it, the other prisoners invariably respond, “Man, this is prison.” What I see in prison is sad, but what I’m seeing from prison is worse. During my time in the CIA it became clear, in the organization’s words and actions toward me, that they saw me not as an American who wanted to serve his country but as “a big black guy.” There is a black America, there is a white America, there are many Americas. The greatness and promise of this country lies in equality reinforced by our differences. When I am free, I don’t want to feel that I’m merely going from one prison to another.

Note: The above was written by Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA agent targeted for prosecution as part of the Obama Administration's "crack down on the press and whistle-blowers." Author James Risen tried to help Sterling expose CIA racism, and later wrote an unrelated book exposing some questionable government practices. Sterling was then sent to prison for what Risen wrote. Risen's latest book exposes major government corruption related to the war on terror.


Snowden, A Love Story: Inside Oliver Stone's New Film
2016-09-12, Newsweek
http://www.newsweek.com/edward-snowden-oliver-stone-nsa-privacy-bill-binney-e...

Years before anyone had ever heard of [Edward] Snowden, [Bill] Binney, a gifted cryptologist and mathematician, was pushing back against the NSA’s spying overreach. In October 2001 ... he resigned rather than participate in a clandestine, massively overpriced and questionably legal electronic spying system code-named Trailblazer. Eventually, the government came after him. [Binney] was thrilled by [Oliver] Stone’s powerful biopic of Snowden, who astounded the world with his massive exposure of the NSA’s global spying programs. "I think it will help people understand what is really going on behind the scenes. They are invading the privacy of everyone," he says. "They can turn on your cellphone and listen to you. They can turn on your camera and watch you." In 2013 ... James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, [lied] under oath during a congressional hearing about the NSA’s spying programs. Snowden was watching. He had also seen what had happened to Binney and fellow NSA executives Thomas Drake, Ed Loomis and Kirk Wiebe, whose homes were raided by FBI agents after The New York Times exposed the NSA’s secret spying programs in 2005. Drake, prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act, was eventually acquitted ... but his career was ruined. [Snowden's] critics insist he should have pursued his complaints internally, despite the persuasive examples of Binney and his comrades that such resistance is futile, even risky.

Note: Watch a free trailer or rent the whole documentary on this webpage. Read a revealing, detailed New York Times article on Oliver Stone and his profound work to expose corruption and manipulation through film. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


No looking back: the CIA torture report's aftermath
2016-09-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/11/cia-torture-report-aftermath-...

“The United States does not torture,” said George W Bush on 6 September 2006. Bush was, for the first time, acknowledging the existence of the program that Senate intelligence committee staff investigator Daniel Jones would later expose as taking power drills to the heads of captured men; making them stand with their arms stretched above their heads for days at a time; leaving at least one of them naked until he froze to death; waterboarding them to the point of catatonia as bubbles rose from their open mouths; and inserting pureed food into their rectums while claiming it was necessary for delivering nutrients. Details of those procedures were outlined in the 525 pages which CIA director John Brennan, Barack Obama and White House chief of staff Denis McDonough allowed to become public. The CIA’s response to Jones’s report was split into two corps, one official and one not. The agency itself would no longer defend torture outright. The second corps consisted of retired CIA directors, a group known colloquially as the “Formers”. They laid into the Senate committee, [and] savaged it as a Democratic witchhunt. Jones has regrets about the way the declassified report turned out. Most prominently, Jones wishes he had gotten declassified the nearly 100-page table of contents for the full 6,700-page torture report, so readers could understand from the headings and subheadings just what the full contours of the torture was. In May 2016, the CIA inspector general’s office destroyed its only copy of the classified torture report.

Note: For more along these lines, see the "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about corruption in government and in the intelligence community.


Oliver Stone on Snowden relevance: 'The US government lies all the time'
2016-09-10, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/sep/10/oliver-stone-snowden-us-governme...

Oliver Stone has taken aim at the US government for deceiving people about the levels of surveillance that exist in the country. His new film Snowden, about the controversial NSA informant Edward Snowden, received its world premiere. The drama ... tells of the former CIA employee’s discovery that the agency had constructed a system to spy on the public. “Americans don’t know anything about it because the government lies about it all the time,” Stone said at a press conference. “What’s going on now is pretty shocking. This story not only deals with eavesdropping but mass eavesdropping, drones and cyberwarfare. As Snowden said himself the other day, ‘It’s out of control, the world is out of control.’” The film also features a cameo from Snowden himself, who still resides at an undisclosed location in Russia while he searches for asylum elsewhere. Stone hopes that he may return to US ground but is doubtful. “Obama could pardon him and we hope so,” he said. “But he has vigorously prosecuted eight whistleblowers under the espionage act, which is an all-time record for an American president, and he’s been one of the most efficient managers of this surveillance world. It is the most extensive and invasive surveillance state that has ever existed and he’s built it up.” The film-maker ... likens [the current situation] to a George Orwell novel. “I never thought this could happen,” he said. “But from 2001 on, it’s very clear that something radical has changed. There’s more to it that meets the eye and whatever they tell you, you’ve got to look beyond.”

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on questionable intelligence agency practices and the disappearance of privacy.


Inside the fight to reveal the CIA's torture secrets
2016-09-09, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/09/cia-insider-daniel-jones-sena...

[Daniel] Jones, a counter-terrorism staffer, had become the chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee, the CIA’s congressional overseer, on its biggest inquiry. For five years, he had been methodically sifting through internal CIA accounts of its infamous torture program. Having read millions of internal emails, cables and accounts of agency torture, Jones had come to believe everything the CIA had told Congress, the Bush and Obama White Houses and the public was a lie. Inside the small room in Virginia the CIA had set up for the Senate investigators, Jones ... slipped crucial printed-out passages of what he called the Panetta Review into [his] bag and secured its lock. Sometime after 1am, Jones walked out, carrying his bag as he always did. The Panetta Review saga would spur a furious CIA to take an extraordinary step: it would spy on its own legislative overseers – especially Jones. The episode would spill out publicly the following March, when top committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein ... accused the CIA on the Senate floor of triggering what she called a constitutional crisis. Both sides requested the justice department pursue a criminal investigation on the other. The bitterness would nearly overshadow a landmark report, a fraction of which was released to the public in December 2014, that documented in chilling detail the depravations CIA inflicted on terrorism suspects after 9/11. The CIA has gone beyond successfully suppressing the report. The agency’s inspector general ... destroyed its copy – allegedly an accident.

Note: For more, see this revealing report. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Over eight years, President Barack Obama has created the most intrusive surveillance apparatus in the world. To what end?
2016-09-07, Foreign Policy
http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/09/07/every-move-you-make-obama-nsa-security-su...

Over his two terms, Obama has created the most powerful surveillance state the world has ever seen. From 22,300 miles in space, where seven Advanced Orion [spy satellites] now orbit; to a 1-million-square-foot building in the Utah desert that stores data intercepted from personal phones, emails, and social media accounts; to taps along the millions of miles of undersea cables that encircle the Earth like yarn, U.S. surveillance has expanded exponentially since Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. The effort to wire the world ... has cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion. Yet has the president’s blueprint for spying succeeded on its own terms? An examination of the unprecedented architecture reveals that the Obama administration may only have drowned itself in data. Privacy hasn’t been traded for security, but for the government hoarding more data than it knows how to handle. A panel set up by Obama [in 2013] to review the NSA’s operations concluded that the agency had stopped no terrorist attacks. Beyond failures to create security, there is the matter of misuse or abuse of U.S. spying, the effects of which extend well beyond violations of Americans’ constitutional liberties. Obama, meanwhile, has taken virtually no steps to fix what ails his spying apparatus, [but] has gone after people blowing the whistle on intelligence abuses. The Justice Department has charged eight leakers — more than double the number under all previous presidents combined.

Note: The above was written by James Bamford, whistleblower and author of "The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA From 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America." Former US Senator Frank Church warned of the dangers of creating a surveillance state in 1975. By 2013, it had become evident that the US did not heed his warning. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


What 80 million unexploded US bombs did to Laos
2016-09-06, CNN News
http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/05/asia/united-states-laos-secret-war/

For two years after the accident, Yei Yang refused to leave his home. "I couldn't farm, I couldn't go to see friends, as they might be afraid of me," Yang tells CNN. "I didn't want to live." Yang was just 22 and burning rubbish near his village in the province of Xieng Khoung in north-eastern Laos, when a bomb blast tore off one of his eyelids, his top lip and an ear, mutilated one of his arms, and left him with severe scarring from the waist up. His wounds were not caused by a modern day conflict, but by the remnants of a war that was waged more than 40 years ago, and is still destroying lives in this small Southeast Asian nation. Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country - the deadly legacy of what became known as America's "secret war" in Laos - a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War. In total, between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped more than two million tons of bombs - one of the heaviest aerial bombardments in history. Most of the munitions dropped were cluster bombs, which splinter before impact, spreading hundreds of smaller bomblets. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been removed, according to US-based NGO Legacies of War, which is spearheading the campaign to clear them. More than 20,000 people have been killed or maimed by the unexploded ordnance (UXOs) since the war ended, and currently, 50 people are maimed or killed every year. Around 40% of those are children.

Note: Big banks profited immensely from the cluster bomb trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.


Bolivia opens 'anti-imperialist' military school to counter US foreign policies
2016-08-17, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/17/bolivia-anti-imperialist-milita...

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales has opened a new “anti-imperialist” military academy to counter US policies and military influence in Latin America. “If the empire teaches domination of the world from its military schools, we will learn from this school to free ourselves from imperial oppression,” the country’s first indigenous president said. “We want to build anti-colonial and anti-capitalist thinking with this school that binds the armed forces to social movements and counteracts the influence of the School of the Americas that always saw the indigenous as internal enemies,” he told a crowd that included the defense ministers of Venezuela and Nicaragua. Some Latin American officers trained at the US-based School of the Americas went on to commit atrocities under 20th century military dictatorships. In 2000, the academy at Fort Benning, Georgia, was renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Morales, who expelled the US ambassador and counter-narcotics agents in 2008, accused Washington of encouraging “congressional coups” such as the impending impeachment trial of suspended President Dilma Rousseff in Brazil. He also said the US promotes global terrorism through military interventions, citing the rise of the Islamic State group as an example. The re-inaugurated school carries the name of General Juan Jose Torres, a leftist who was Bolivia’s de facto president in 1970 and who expelled the Peace Corps for allegedly sterilizing indigenous women.

Note: The Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, formerly known as the School of the Americas, graduated more than 500 human rights abusers. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.


Powerful NSA hacking tools have been revealed online
2016-08-16, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/powerful-nsa-hacking-t...

Some of the most powerful espionage tools created by the National Security Agency’s elite group of hackers have been revealed in recent days. A cache of hacking tools with code names such as Epicbanana, Buzzdirection and Egregiousblunder appeared mysteriously online over the weekend, setting the security world abuzz with speculation over whether the material was legitimate. The file appeared to be real, according to former NSA personnel who worked in the agency’s hacking division, known as Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The exploits are not run-of-the-mill tools to target everyday individuals. They are expensive software used to take over firewalls, such as Cisco and Fortinet, that are used “in the largest and most critical commercial, educational and government agencies around the world,” said [former TAO operator] Blake Darche. Some former agency employees suspect that the leak was the result of a mistake by an NSA operator, rather than a successful hack by a foreign government of the agency’s infrastructure. It is not unprecedented for a TAO operator to accidentally upload a large file of tools ... one of the former employees said. “What’s unprecedented is to not realize you made a mistake,” he said. “You would recognize, ‘Oops, I uploaded that set’ and delete it.” Critics of the NSA have suspected that the agency, when it discovers a software vulnerability, frequently does not disclose it, thereby putting at risk the cybersecurity of anyone using that product.

Note: Former US Senator Frank Church warned of the dangers of creating a surveillance state in 1975. By 2013, it had become evident that the US did not heed his warning. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy.


DEA regularly mines Americans' travel records to seize millions in cash
2016-08-11, USA Today
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/08/10/dea-travel-record-airport-seizu...

Federal drug agents regularly mine Americans’ travel information to profile people who might be ferrying money for narcotics traffickers - though they almost never use what they learn to make arrests or build criminal cases. Instead, that targeting has helped the Drug Enforcement Administration seize a small fortune in cash. The DEA surveillance is separate from the vast and widely-known anti-terrorism apparatus. DEA units assigned to patrol 15 of the nation’s busiest airports seized more than $209 million in cash from at least 5,200 people over the past decade “They count on this as part of the budget,” said Louis Weiss, a former [DEA group] supervisor. “Basically, you’ve got to feed the monster.” Federal law gives the government broad powers to seize cash and other assets if agents have evidence that they are linked to crime. That process, commonly known as asset forfeiture, has come under fire ... after complaints that police were using the law as a way to raise money rather than to protect the public or prevent crime. Court records show agents and informants flagged travelers for questioning based on whether they were traveling with one-way tickets, had paid in cash, had listed a non-working phone number on the reservation or had checked luggage. Agents said Zane Young fit that profile when they ... seized $36,000 from his bags. Young’s lawyer, Thomas Baker, said in a court filing that the drug agency’s profile was “vague, ambiguous, overbroad, and can be manipulated to include just about anyone.”

Note: Read about how the DEA stole a young man's life savings without ever charging him with a crime. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.


How the US Spies on Medical Nonprofits and Health Defenses Worldwide
2016-08-10, The Intercept
https://theintercept.com/2016/08/10/how-the-u-s-spies-on-medical-nonprofits-a...

As part of an ongoing effort to “exploit medical intelligence,” the National Security Agency teamed up with the military-focused Defense Intelligence Agency to extract “medical SIGINT” from the intercepted communications of nonprofit groups starting in the early 2000s, a top-secret document shows. Medical intelligence can include information about disease outbreaks; the ability of a foreign regime to respond to chemical, biological, and nuclear attacks; the capabilities of overseas drugs companies; advances in medical technology; medical research, and the medical response capabilities of various governments, according to the document and others like it, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. One of the more prominent examples of focused medical spying came in 2010, when the agency crafted a plan to stow tracking devices with medical supplies bound for an ill Osama bin Laden in order to locate the terrorist leader. One article from August 2003 identifies an NSA project to keep an eye on the evolution of biotechnology in various countries. “Can we ... determine the specific features that would distinguish a Bio Warfare Program from a benign civilian pharmaceutical production effort?” the author wrote, identifying a “suspect Iranian [biological warfare] facility” as a target for inspection. Medical intelligence gathering has continued since then, according to the so-called “black budget” proposed for the 2013 fiscal year, published in February 2012.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and terrorism.


MI5’s mind readers help foil seven terrorist attacks
2016-08-07, The Times (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/mi5s-mind-readers-help-foil-seven-terrorist...

A specialist unit created by the British domestic counterintelligence and security agency MI5 to “get inside the heads” of terrorists has helped foil seven attacks in the past year. The Behavioural Science Unit at Thames House, the headquarters of MI5 [establishes] whether people flagged as potential threats are "talkers" or "walkers" - those who simply boast or those who are preparing to act. Research by MI5 shows that more than 60 per cent of so-called lone wolves unwittingly provide clues that they are preparing to strike. The BSU’s work involves picking up signs of such changing behaviour. Neil, an Arabic and Norwegian speaker who has worked for the unit for six years, said ... his team is passed intelligence by officers that is gleaned from a network of informants and the public. The BSU then looks for signs of unusual activity. The BSU team pays close attention to “lone-actor” terrorists. The number of experts working in the BSU, which was created in 2004, has more than doubled since ... 2013. “We deal with probabilities and that is the nature of our work,” said Neil, [adding that] some of those they profiled lied to themselves about their intention and the ultimate aim was to persuade them to abandon their radical ideology. He said the assumption that many extremists had mental health problems was wrong. “Only 2 per cent of members of terrorist organisations suffer from mental health problems, compared with an average of up to 30 per cent of members of the public,” Neil said.

Note: See the full text of this article on this webpage. If this article is accurate, MI5 is using very different tactics than those used by the FBI to fight the war on terror.


FBI Agent Apparently Egged on ‘Draw Muhammad’ Shooter
2016-08-04, Daily Beast
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/04/fbi-agent-apparently-egged-o...

Days before an ISIS sympathizer attacked a cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, he received a text from an undercover FBI agent. “Tear up Texas,” the agent messaged Elton Simpson days before he opened fire at the Draw Muhammad event, according to an affidavit filed in federal court Thursday. “U know what happened in Paris,” Simpson responded. “So that goes without saying ... No need to be direct.” That revelation comes amidst a national debate about the use of undercover officers and human sources in terrorism cases. The texts were included in the indictment, released Thursday, of Erick Jamal Hendricks. He was charged with conspiring to provide material support to ISIS. [Hendricks] tried to recruit other Americans to form an ISIS cell on secret compounds and introduced an undercover agent to one of the Draw Muhammad attackers, according to the FBI. But Hendricks did more than make a connection. According to the court papers, he asked the undercover officer about the Draw Muhammad event’s security, size, and police presence, during the event, according to an affidavit filed in court. FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty hung up on The Daily Beast after being asked about the “tear up Texas” text. But shortly after that exchange, Simpson and his accomplice, Nadir Soofi, drove up to the contest and opened fire. Both men were killed in the altercation, but Hendricks would remain free for another year. Every major U.S. attack was linked to FBI investigation before it happened.

Note: The FBI has been stepping up its use of stings in ISIS cases. Read how an FBI mole posing as a potential lover recently convinced a man to become a terrorist. If terrorism is such a grave threat in the US, why does the FBI have to manufacture "terrorist" plots and then exaggerate its anti-terrorism success?


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