Intelligence Agency Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency Media Articles in Major Media
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.
As chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee, Daniel Jones spent five years poring over internal CIA accounts of the agency’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” programme adopted in the “war on terror”, which Congress demanded to see after it emerged that agency officials had destroyed videotapes of the brutal questioning of terrorist suspects. The Amazon movie, The Report, tells the story of what Jones ... and his colleagues found out about the torture programme: the systematic use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation and “stress positions”, and the extraordinary fact that the CIA itself had conducted a review that showed none of it was working. The programme did not provide useful intelligence – and yet the CIA hid that conclusion. None of the officials responsible for the torture or the cover-up had been held accountable. Gina Haspel, who ran one of the CIA’s black sites and who wrote a cable calling for the destruction of the torture videotapes, is now director of the CIA. When Obama was elected, he called an end to the torture, but stopped short of confronting the intelligence community. In a famously oddly worded admission in 2014, Obama said: “We tortured some folks.” The 44th president went on to say: “It’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. A lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots.” The line still infuriates Jones, who says the real patriots were the CIA whistleblowers.
Note: A former CIA counterterrorism officer who was imprisoned for blowing the whistle on the CIA torture referred to CIA director Gina Haspel's actions as "war crimes, crimes against humanity". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
A voluminous Senate report documenting the C.I.A.’s use of torture in secret prisons — set for release days later — could lead to riots, attacks on American embassies and the killing of American hostages overseas, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during a conference call in December 2014, citing a classified assessment. This episode is omitted from a new film treatment of the labyrinthine saga involving the Senate report — making a rare case of real life sometimes being more dramatic than the Hollywood portrayal. But the film, “The Report” ... is the first effort at a popular recounting of the tumultuous events surrounding the congressional investigation into the C.I.A. program and the inquiry’s conclusions, which found that the agency’s brutal interrogation methods — sometimes including torture — produced little or no intelligence of value. The senators believed that the intelligence assessment Clapper was quoting flagrantly distorted what the Senate report had said, predicting dire consequences from the release of information that wasn’t even in the report. In their anger, they decided to push ahead and release the report. Only the 528-page executive summary of the 6,000-page volume has been made public. Yet it is the closest thing to date to a public accounting for the C.I.A. interrogation program, the first time in history the government authorized the use of methods the United States had long considered to be illegal torture.
Note: Read an article titled, "10 Craziest Things in the Senate Report on Torture". For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Ali Alzabarah was an engineer who rose through the ranks at Twitter to a job that gave him access to personal information and account data of the social media service’s millions of users. Ahmad Abouammo was a media partnerships manager at the company who could see the email addresses and phone numbers of Twitter accounts. On Wednesday, the Justice Department accused the two men of using their positions and their access to Twitter’s internal systems to aid Saudi Arabia by obtaining information on American citizens and Saudi dissidents who opposed the policies of the kingdom and its leaders. Mr. Alzabarah and Mr. Abouammo were charged with acting as agents of a foreign power inside the United States, in the first complaint of its kind involving Saudis in the country. The case raised questions about the security of American technology companies already under scrutiny for spreading disinformation and influencing public opinion, showing that these firms can be penetrated from the inside as well. It also underscored the broad effort that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and his close advisers have conducted to silence critics both inside the kingdom and abroad. Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was critical of the way Saudi Arabia is run, was murdered last year by Saudi agents in Istanbul.
Note: Read more on Saudi Arabia's extreme efforts to silence its critics. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and media manipulation from reliable major media sources.
Heavily armed men burst into the home in the middle of night, hustling four brothers into separate rooms. Afghan special forces then shot them in the head and heart. The operation, the CIA-trained Afghan unit said, targeted the Islamic State group's militants in a remote region of eastern Nangarhar Province. In reality, the raid took place in the province's capital of Jalalabad. The truth of their deaths was eventually revealed by local and international media and the country's intelligence chief, Masoom Stanikzai, was forced to resign. But that's not enough, says Human Rights Watch in a new report released Thursday documenting what it says are mounting atrocities by U.S.-backed Afghan special forces and rising civilian deaths by both American and Afghan forces. It calls for an investigation into whether the U.S. has committed war crimes in Afghanistan. The report says U.S.-led peace talks to end the 18-year-old war have omitted addressing the future of the Afghan special forces that work "as part of the covert operations of the Central Intelligence Agency." The report suggests either disbanding them or bringing them under the control of the Defense Ministry. "These troops include Afghan strike forces who have been responsible for extrajudicial executions and enforced disappearances, indiscriminate airstrikes, attacks on medical facilities, and other violations of international humanitarian law, or the laws of war," it says.
The FBI has come under intense criticism after a 2017 leak exposed that its counterterrorism division had invented a new, unfounded domestic terrorism category it called “black identity extremism.” A number of civil rights groups have filed public records requests to try to better understand who exactly the FBI is investigating under that designation. The latest batch of FBI documents ... reveals that between 2015 and 2018, the FBI dedicated considerable time and resources to opening a series of “assessments” into the activities of individuals and groups it mostly labeled “black separatist extremists.” This designation was eventually folded into the category of “black identity extremism.” Assessments differ from full-blown investigations - or “predicated investigations,” in the bureau’s lingo - because they do not need to be predicated on a factual basis. As a new report by the civil liberties group Defending Rights & Dissent notes, when choosing targets for an assessment, agents are allowed to use ethnicity, religion, or speech protected by the First Amendment as a factor, “as long as it is not the only one.” As the report notes, “Even though the standards for opening an assessment are extraordinarily low, the FBI is allowed to use extremely intrusive investigative techniques in performing them, including physical surveillance, use of informants, and pretextual interviews.” The bureau has in recent years shifted its target from those espousing “separatist” views to the much larger group of those protesting police violence.
Note: Read more about the FBI's use of "Black Identity Extremism" as a label in its terrorism investigations. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
The acting director of national intelligence is withholding a secret whistleblower complaint from the House intelligence committee because it involves conduct by someone outside the spy agencies and doesn’t meet the legal requirement for disclosure to Congress, according to letters obtained by NBC News. But in doing so, acting DNI Joseph Maguire acknowledges he is overruling the intelligence community’s independent watchdog, which thinks the complaint should be turned over. The letters, written by Jason Klitenic, the DNI’s general counsel, provide Maguire’s side of the story in what has quickly become an acrimonious dispute with Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee. On Friday night, Schiff went public about the matter in dramatic fashion, announcing that he had issued a subpoena for a classified whistleblower complaint that he charged was being illegally withheld to shield President Donald Trump. On Tuesday, Schiff said Maguire has refused to comply with the subpoena. Current and former intelligence officials told NBC News they were taken aback by Schiff’s public escalation and his suggestion that they acting in bad faith at Trump’s behest. Schiff has declined to say whether he is aware of the nature of the complaint. A committee staffer who declined to be named said that Schiff went public because he wanted to send a message that “under no circumstances can there be any reprisals against this whistleblower.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
A new biography by Stephen Kinzer ... "Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control" ... traces the life and career of Gottlieb. [He was] the brains behind ... MK-ULTRA, the notorious research endeavor that employed mind-altering drugs, including LSD. In 1952, Gottlieb led a team of scientists to a safehouse in Munich ... where prisoners of war were pumped full of drugs, interrogated and then allowed to die. [Back in the U.S.,] Gottlieb worked with a sadistic narcotics officer in opening a "national security whorehouse" to dose unwitting victims being serviced by prostitutes on the C.I.A. payroll. Drugging johns was easy, but when Gottlieb started dosing unwitting government colleagues the research hit turbulence. Frank Olson, an Army scientist working with MK-ULTRA who had been given LSD without his knowledge, jumped, or was possibly pushed, out of a hotel room window in New York in 1953. [Olson's story is] covered most recently in [the] docudrama "Wormwood." His death has overshadowed the "expendables." We just don't know most of their names since Gottlieb destroyed the records. Some of the details in the book, like the coercion of African-American prisoners to participate in C.I.A. experiments, are astounding. [MK-ULTRA] should be remembered for what it was: a vehicle for abominable experiments that often targeted the most vulnerable – drug users, prisoners and psychiatric patients, who were deprived of meaningful informed consent. Kinzer's book is also a good reminder that there is rarely legal accountability for the C.I.A.'s misdeeds.
Note: Explore concise excerpts from the astounding declassified CIA documents on MK-ULTRA. They reveal a very successful program to create Manchurian Candidates or spies who don't know they are spies. The Times' title of this article implies that the CIA is no longer into mind control. If you think that is true, think again. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.
During the early period of the Cold War, the CIA became convinced that communists had discovered a drug or technique that would allow them to control human minds. In response, the CIA began its own secret program, called MK-ULTRA, to search for a mind control drug that could be weaponized against enemies. MK-ULTRA, which operated from the 1950s until the early '60s, was created and run by a chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers ... while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD. In the early 1950s, he arranged for the CIA to pay $240,000 to buy the world's entire supply of LSD. He brought this to the United States, and he began spreading it around to hospitals, clinics, prisons and other institutions, asking them, through bogus foundations, to carry out research projects and find out what LSD was, how people reacted to it and how it might be able to be used as a tool for mind control. MK-ULTRA, was essentially a continuation of work that began in Japanese and Nazi concentration camps. Not only was it roughly based on those experiments, but the CIA actually hired the vivisectionists and the torturers who had worked in Japan and in Nazi concentration camps to come and explain what they had found out so that we could build on their research.
On 12 June 1975, the Washington Post ran a story about an army scientist who had been drugged with LSD by the CIA, reacted badly and jumped out of the window of a New York hotel. This story, with its lurid mix of drugs, death and the CIA, proved irresistible. For the next several days, reporters barraged the CIA with demands to know more. The Olson family called a press conference in the family’s back yard. Alice read a statement saying that the family had decided to “file a lawsuit against the CIA, perhaps within two weeks, asking several million dollars in damages”. “Since 1953, we have struggled to understand Frank Olson’s death as an inexplicable ‘suicide,’” she said. “The true nature of his death was concealed for 22 years.” White House lawyers offered the Olson family $750,000 in exchange for dropping its legal claims. After some hesitation, the family accepted. On 8 August 2002, [Eric Olson] announced that he had reached a new conclusion about what had happened to his father. “The death of Frank Olson on 28 November 1953 was a murder, not a suicide,” he declared. “This is not an LSD drug-experiment story, as it was represented in 1975. This is a biological warfare story. Frank Olson did not die because he was an experimental guinea pig who experienced a ‘bad trip’. He died because of concern that he would divulge information concerning a highly classified CIA interrogation program in the early 1950s, and concerning the use of biological weapons by the United States in the Korean War.”
Note: Read more about the CIA's MK-ULTRA program which Frank Olson was a part of. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.
Katharine Gun and Martin Bright could be forgiven for fielding Hollywood’s overtures with a degree of skepticism. Ever since their story was documented in Marcia and Thomas Mitchell’s 2008 book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War,” Gun, the British whistleblower who attempted to prevent the Iraq War, and Bright, an investigative journalist who broke the leak, had sat down with many a filmmaker interested in translating their tale. So when veteran South African director Gavin Hood expressed interest, Gun and Bright took the development with a grain of salt. When Gun met with Hood, however, she was struck by his engagement. The end result, “Official Secrets,” opens locally Friday with Keira Knightley playing Gun and Matt Smith as Bright. The movie depicts the decision Gun made in 2003, while working for British intelligence agency GCHQ, to leak a secret memo exposing plans by the American government to potentially blackmail members of the U.N. Security Council into supporting the Iraq War. “Official Secrets” probes myriad issues that remain resonant a decade and a half later, including government overreach and accountability, the toxicity of anti-Muslim sentiment, and the merits of an intrepid free press. By positioning Gun as an everywoman, “Official Secrets” asks its audience to ponder the moral dilemma at its core. “I didn’t set out to be a whistleblower,” Gun says. “Hopefully people will see it and come away with the thought, ‘What would I do if I was in a similar situation?’”
Note: Explore more on this courageous whistleblower in this revealing article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
In 2016 and 2017, 25 Americans, including CIA agents, who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered serious brain injuries causing impaired vision and memory loss among other persistent problems. At least 15 American officials in China suffered unexplained brain trauma soon after. As we first reported in March, the FBI is now investigating whether these Americans were attacked by a mysterious weapon that leaves no trace. Mark Lenzi is a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China. He says that he and his wife began to suffer after hearing strange sounds in their apartment. Mark Lenzi believes he was targeted because of his work. He uses top secret equipment to analyze electronic threats to diplomatic missions. "It was a weapon," [said Lenzi]. "I believe it's RF, radio frequency energy, in the microwave range." A clue that supports that theory was revealed by the National Security Agency in 2014. This NSA statement describes such a weapon as a "high-powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy over time without leaving evidence." The statement goes on to say "... this weapon is designed to bathe a target's living quarters in microwaves." The NSA disclosed this in a worker's compensation case filed by former NSA employee Mike Beck. In the 1990's Beck and an NSA co-worker were on assignment overseas. Years later, he says they developed Parkinson's Disease at the same time.
Commerce Department trade officer Catherine Werner used to promote American business from the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China. Today she says she suffers from bouts of nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Robyn Garfield, also a trade officer with the Commerce Department, was posted in Shanghai. Along with nausea, dizziness, and headaches, he says he has trouble remembering words. State Department security officer Mark Lenzi used to work in the consulate in Guangzhou. When he did, he said the splitting pain in his head was debilitating. The three are among at least 15 American officials in China who say they suffered unexplained brain trauma after being attacked by a mysterious weapon. Previously, 25 Americans who worked in the U.S. embassy in Cuba said they also experienced an attack and have similar symptoms. The government employees weren't the only ones targeted. Their spouses, children, and family pets also exhibited neurological symptoms after hearing strange sounds in their homes. In July, a University of Pennsylvania medical team published a study on the brains of U.S. government personnel who developed neurological symptoms in Cuba. The study used advanced brain imaging and found "significant differences in brain tissue and connectivity" in the diplomats' brains. It is the first scientific evidence showing the diplomats had physical damage to the structure of their brains.
While we all live under extensive surveillance, for government employees and contractors - especially those with a security clearance - privacy is virtually nonexistent. Everything they do on their work computers is monitored. Even when they try to outsmart their work computer by taking photos directly of their screen, video cameras in their workplace might be recording their every move. Government workers with security clearance promise “never [to] divulge classified information to anyone” who is not authorized to receive it. But for many whistleblowers, the decision to go public results from troubling insights into government activity, coupled with the belief that as long as that activity remains secret, the system will not change. The growing use of the Espionage Act, a 1917 law that criminalizes the release of “national defense” information by anyone “with intent or reason to believe that it is to be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation,” shows how the system is rigged against whistleblowers. Government insiders charged under the law are not allowed to defend themselves by arguing that their decision to share what they know was prompted by an impulse to help Americans confront and end government abuses. “The act is blind to the possibility that the public’s interest ... might outweigh the government’s interest,” Jameel Jaffer, head of the Knight First Amendment Institute, wrote recently. “It is blind to the difference between whistle-blowers and spies.”
Note: The above article includes the stories of four whistleblowers charged under the Espionage act. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and the disappearance of privacy from reliable major media sources.
The United States is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid in a warning to President Vladimir V. Putin and a demonstration of how the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively, current and former government officials said. In interviews over the past three months, the officials described the previously unreported deployment of American computer code inside Russia’s grid and other targets as a classified companion to more publicly discussed action directed at Moscow’s disinformation and hacking units around the 2018 midterm elections. In August of 2018, President Trump signed [an] executive order ... called National Security Presidential Memorandum 13. Its contents are still classified, but essentially it allows the Cyber Command to go ahead and conduct all kinds of operations inside foreign networks without going back to the president for prior approval. The first thing it did was go after those units in Russia that were responsible for a lot of the election-hacking. They went after the G.R.U., the Russian military intelligence unit that had been responsible for breaking into the D.N.C.. A lot of that ... was made public. What wasn’t made public was a parallel effort to go inside the Russian power grid, to put some code in places where the Russians ... wouldn’t see it, in case the U.S. ever needed to act against Russia’s utilities as the Russians were putting malware in our systems.
Note: A 2007 New York Times article describes the formation of the Air Force Cyberspace Command to arm the US military in anticipation of widespread computer-based warfare. A more recent Guardian article says, "we might already be living through the first world cyberwar." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Newly released documents show that another government agency, as well as the Australian Federal Police, was involved in the investigation that led to the raid on the ABC in June. The documents, obtained under Freedom of Information, reveal that the AFP refused to release certain documents relating to the June 6 raid because it said they related to an agency of the Federal Government which is exempt from FOI. Under the section cited by the AFP to justify not releasing the material - subsection 7(1) of the FOI Act - agencies which have complete exemption include the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). The raid on the ABC's Ultimo headquarters was related to the Afghan Files, a series of stories, published in 2017, which detailed incidents where Australian soldiers in Afghanistan killed unarmed men and children. [South Australian senator Rex] Patrick said ... he believed that the other agency was either ASIO or the Australian Signals Directorate. The primary role of the Australian Signals Directorate is to eavesdrop on conversations and monitor the communications of people of interest outside Australia. The story which prompted one of the raids - on News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst - was about the push by some within the Federal Government to give ASD power to monitor the communications of Australians in Australia, which is currently prohibited by law.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested on Thursday at Ecuador's London embassy, where he had been granted asylum since 2012. The United States alleges that he conspired with Chelsea Manning to access classified information on Department of Defense computers. Since it launched in 2006, Wikileaks has become renowned for publishing thousands of classified documents covering everything from the film industry to national security and wars. In 2010, Wikileaks published a video from a US military helicopter showing the killing of civilians in Baghdad, Iraq. A voice on the transmission urged the pilots to "light 'em all up" and the individuals on the street were fired at from the helicopter. When a van arrived on the scene to pick up the wounded, it too was fired at. Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen and his assistant Saeed Chmagh were both killed in the attack. Wikileaks has published hundreds of thousands of documents leaked by former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. Documents relating to the war in Afghanistan revealed how the US military had killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents. Further documents from the Iraq war revealed that 66,000 civilians had been killed - more than previously reported. The documents also showed that prisoners had been tortured by Iraqi forces. Among the leaks were more than 250,000 messages sent by US diplomats. They revealed that the US wanted to collect "biographic and biometric" information ... of key officials at the UN.
Note: Read more about Wikileaks' effort to promote openness over secrecy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on military corruption from reliable major media sources.
Redactions ... symbolize the ongoing tug-of-war between discretion and truth, between a government that knows what we don’t need to know and a citizenry that desires the whole story. That desire is inflamed after two years of theorizing about the Mueller report. “I think it’s going to be more disappointing than not, and frustrating to many,” says D.C. attorney Mark S. Zaid, who handles cases involving national security and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Zaid once sued the government for records related to the death of Princess Diana and the FBI surrendered reams of material. Zaid was thrilled, until he opened the boxes. Two thousand pages of redactions. Every page, blacked out. In 2003 the Department of Justice released a 186-page report on its hiring practices, and half of it was blacked out. American leaders brag about transparency but their agencies historically have cultivated a “culture of caution.” By the turn of last century at least 1.5 billion documents over 25 years old were kept from the public because of national security concerns. Classification cost the federal government $18.49 billion in fiscal year 2017 alone. Redactions can be cosmetic, or historic [like] the 14 blank pages of a 2002 Pentagon assessment of Iraq’s nuclear-weapons program. [Yet] when 19,045 documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination were released last year, Nate Jones of the National Security Archive was struck by the banality of the information the government had insisted on keeping secret for years.
Note: Why was so much material around the death of Princess Diana redacted? Explore some of the strangeness around the killing of Princess Diana in this news article. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on secrecy from reliable major media sources.
The United States has revoked the visa of the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor because of her attempts to investigate allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan, including any that may have been committed by American forces. Ms. Bensouda, a Gambian lawyer for the court, which is based in The Hague, formally requested an investigation more than a year ago into war crimes in Afghanistan. The inquiry would mostly focus on large-scale crimes against civilians attributed to the Taliban and Afghan government forces. But it would also examine alleged C.I.A. and American military abuse in detention centers in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, and at sites in Poland, Lithuania and Romania, putting the court directly at odds with the United States. The United States is not a member state of the I.C.C. and does not recognize the court’s authority to prosecute Americans. In the past, though, the United States has cooperated with the court on other investigations, and Washington played a central role in establishing international criminal law at the Nuremberg trials. [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, in a March news briefing in Washington, said investigators “should not assume that you will still have or will get a visa, or that you will be permitted to enter the United States” if they are part of a I.C.C. investigation. “These visa restrictions will not be the end of our efforts,” Mr. Pompeo said at the time. “We are prepared to take additional steps, including economic sanctions if the I.C.C. does not change its course.”
Despite the essential role whistleblowers play in illuminating the truth and protecting the public interest, several myths persist about them. The overwhelming majority of employees who see problems want to blow the whistle internally first. Understanding this can - and should - encourage employers to respond appropriately when workers report problems. Similarly, employees who understand that they are in fact whistleblowers when they raise concerns inside the workplace will be better prepared to navigate their rights, risks and options. While many employees who witness wrongdoing in the workplace stay silent, fearing reprisal or futility, those who do raise concerns ... demonstrate faith that their employers are committed to compliance and that they can make a difference. Whistleblowers who report externally typically do so because the problem is significant and their employers have failed to address it or engaged in reprisal (or both). Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s unconstitutional mass collection of telephone metadata, and Reality Winner’s disclosures about Russian efforts to hack state elections as the Trump campaign was denying Russian involvement, clearly meet this standard of significance. While reporters may use the term “leak” to describe information received from anonymous insiders, the failure to distinguish between leaking and anonymous whistleblowing risks undermining the legitimacy and importance of disclosures that clearly advance the public’s interest.
A group of American hackers who once worked for U.S. intelligence agencies helped the United Arab Emirates spy on a BBC host, the chairman of Al Jazeera and other prominent Arab media figures during a tense 2017 confrontation pitting the UAE and its allies against the Gulf state of Qatar. The American operatives worked for Project Raven, a secret Emirati intelligence program that spied on dissidents, militants and political opponents of the UAE monarchy. A Reuters investigation in January revealed Project Raven’s existence and inner workings, including the fact that it surveilled a British activist and several unnamed U.S. journalists. At first, the goal was to crack down on terrorism by helping the UAE monitor militants around the region. But Raven’s mission quickly expanded to include monitoring and suppressing a range of UAE political opponents. Among its targets was Qatar, which the UAE and Saudi Arabia had long accused of fueling political opposition across the region, in part through the Qatari government’s funding of Al Jazeera. The Emiratis also tapped Raven in the effort to contain dissent at home. After the Arab Spring, the operatives were increasingly tasked with targeting human rights activists and journalists who questioned the government. The Raven effort went beyond the Middle East. Operatives [targeted] the mobile phones of other media figures the UAE believed were being supported by Qatar, including journalists for London-based Arabic media outlets.
Important 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.