Intelligence Agency News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency News Articles in Media
The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. The agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world, the documents show. Many users assume — or have been assured by Internet companies — that their data is safe from prying eyes, including those of the government, and the N.S.A. wants to keep it that way. The agency treats its recent successes in deciphering protected information as among its most closely guarded secrets, restricted to those cleared for a highly classified program code-named Bullrun, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. Beginning in 2000, as encryption tools were gradually blanketing the Web, the N.S.A. invested billions of dollars in a clandestine campaign to preserve its ability to eavesdrop. Having lost a public battle in the 1990s to insert its own “back door” in all encryption, it set out to accomplish the same goal by stealth. The agency ... deployed custom-built, superfast computers to break codes, and began collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products [called "backdoors"].
The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents that show just how often the nation's top law enforcement agency enlists criminals to help it battle crime. The U.S. Justice Department ordered the FBI to begin tracking crimes by its informants more than a decade ago, after the agency admitted that its agents had allowed Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger to operate a brutal crime ring in exchange for information about the Mafia. The FBI submits that tally to top Justice Department officials each year, but has never before made it public. Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies. FBI officials have said in the past that permitting their informants — who are often criminals themselves — to break the law is an indispensable, if sometimes distasteful, part of investigating criminal organizations. USA TODAY obtained a copy of the FBI's 2011 report under the Freedom of Information Act. The report does not spell out what types of crimes its agents authorized, or how serious they were. It also did not include any information about crimes the bureau's sources were known to have committed without the government's permission. Crimes authorized by the FBI almost certainly make up a tiny fraction of the total number of offenses committed by informants for local, state and federal agencies each year.
Note: As reported in this USA Today article, the DEA and ATF don't even track crimes committed by their informants. For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The 9/11 Consensus Panel now offers four evidence-based points about the alleged phone calls from the 9/11 flights. The famous "let's roll" drama of the passenger revolt on UA 93 was relayed by passenger Todd Beamer's 13-minute unrecorded seat-back call to GTE telephone supervisor Lisa Jefferson, who reported Beamer as strangely tranquil, declining to speak to his wife. Eerily, Beamer's line remained open for 15 minutes after the crash. Oddly, the Verizon wireless record shows that 19 calls were made from Beamer's cell phone long after the crash of UA 93. Initial media reports and FBI interviews detailed more than a dozen cell phone calls from the planes at high elevation. Yet in 2001, a telephone spokesperson stated that sustained mobile calls were not possible above 10,000 feet. During the 2006 Moussaoui Trial, the FBI (under oath) reduced the number of cell phone calls to two calls made from 5,000 feet, and presented evidence of only one (not two) "unconnected" call from Barbara Olson, lasting "0 seconds." In another twist, two other women reported that Caller-ID showed their husband's cell numbers on their answering machines, which while lasting several minutes, had been made from elevations of 25,000 and 35,000 feet. Although the FBI conducted a massive investigation into the calls, none of the telephone billing, nor any of the cell phone location data stored in standard phone company records has been publicly released.
Note: The 9/11 Consensus Panel, consisting of scientists, pilots, professors, attorneys, and journalists, has developed 32 Points of evidence contradicting specific claims made by the official account of 9/11. For many unanswered questions about 9/11 raised by highly credible former government officials and professors, click here and here. For our 9/11 Information Center filled with reliable, verifiable 9/11 resources, click here.
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency. All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader. “We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.” The C.I.A. ... has long been known to support some relatives and close aides of Mr. Karzai. But the new accounts of off-the-books cash delivered directly to his office show payments on a vaster scale, and with a far greater impact on everyday governing. Moreover, there is little evidence that the payments bought the influence the C.I.A. sought. Instead, some American officials said, the cash has fueled corruption and empowered warlords, undermining Washington’s exit strategy from Afghanistan. “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan,” one American official said, “was the United States.” Now, Mr. Karzai is seeking control over the Afghan militias raised by the C.I.A. to target ... insurgent commanders, potentially upending a critical part of the Obama administration’s plans for fighting militants as conventional military forces pull back this year. But the C.I.A. has continued to pay.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on government corruption, click here.
In October, the Washington Post's Greg Miller reported that the administration was instituting a "disposition matrix" to determine how terrorism suspects will be disposed of, all based on this fact: "among senior Obama administration officials, there is broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade." As Miller puts it: "That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism." The polices adopted by the Obama administration ... leave no doubt that they are accelerating, not winding down, the war apparatus that has been relentlessly strengthened over the last decade. In the name of the War on Terror, the current president has diluted decades-old Miranda warnings; codified a new scheme of indefinite detention on US soil; plotted to relocate Guantanamo to Illinois; increased secrecy, repression and release-restrictions at the camp; minted a new theory of presidential assassination powers even for US citizens; renewed the Bush/Cheney warrantless eavesdropping framework for another five years, as well as the Patriot Act, without a single reform; and just signed into law all new restrictions on the release of indefinitely held detainees. Does that sound to you like a government anticipating the end of the War on Terror any time soon? Or does it sound like one working feverishly to make their terrorism-justified powers of detention, surveillance, killing and secrecy permanent? There's a good reason US officials are assuming the "War on Terror" will persist indefinitely: namely, their actions ensure that this occurs.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the War on Terror, click here.
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent. It was more sophisticated than we had imagined: new documents show that the violent crackdown on Occupy last fall – so mystifying at the time – was not just coordinated at the level of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and local police. The crackdown, which involved, as you may recall, violent arrests, group disruption, canister missiles to the skulls of protesters, people held in handcuffs so tight they were injured, people held in bondage till they were forced to wet or soil themselves – was coordinated with the big banks themselves. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, in a groundbreaking scoop that should once more shame major US media outlets (why are nonprofits now some of the only entities in America left breaking major civil liberties news?), filed this request. The document – reproduced here in an easily searchable format – shows a terrifying network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity so completely merged into one another that the monstrous whole is, in fact, one entity: in some cases, bearing a single name, the Domestic Security Alliance Council. And it reveals this merged entity to have one centrally planned, locally executed mission. The documents, in short, show the cops and DHS working for and with banks to target, arrest, and politically disable peaceful American citizens.
Note: For analysis of these amazing documents revealing the use of joint government and corporate counterterrorism structures against peaceful protestors of financial corruption, click here and here. For a Democracy Now! video segment on this, click here.
On 20 November, district court Judge David D Dowd Jr sentenced three anarchists with the Occupy Cleveland movement to prison terms ranging from 8 to 11.5 years for attempting to bomb a highway bridge last spring. Shaquille Azir, a paid FBI informant with a 20-year criminal record, facilitated every step in the plot. Azir molded the five's childish bravado and drunken fantasies into terrorism. He played father figure to the lost men, providing them with jobs, housing, beer and drugs. Every time the scheme threatened to collapse into gutterpunk chaos, he kept it on track. FBI tapes reveal Azir led the brainstorming of targets, showed them bridges to case out, pushed them to buy C-4 military-grade explosives, provided the contact for weapons, gave them money for the explosives and demanded they develop a plan because "we on the hook" for the weapons. This case could have put on trial the post-September 11 strategy of "preventative prosecution", in which the FBI dispatches provocateurs to infiltrate targeted religious and political groups to see what they can stir up. Anarchists are inherently suspect. A recent FBI document calls anarchists "criminals seeking an ideology to justify their activities." Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior attorney specializing in national security at the Center for Constitutional Rights, claims standard operating procedure in terror cases "starts with surveillance and profiling on the basis of religion, politics and national origin". She notes parallels between the Cleveland anarchists and the "Newburgh Four", named for the upstate New York town in which the plot was hatched.
Note: For information on how to contact Brandon Baxter, Joshua Stafford, Connor Stevens and Douglas Wright, see cleveland4solidarity.org. For the Newburgh Four, see projectsalam.org For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on entrapment operations and other manipulations by the FBI and intelligence agencies, click here.
A paid informant for the New York Police Department's intelligence unit was under orders to "bait" Muslims into saying inflammatory things as he lived a double life, snapping pictures inside mosques and collecting the names of innocent people attending study groups on Islam. Shamiur Rahman, a 19-year-old American of Bangladeshi descent who has now denounced his work as an informant, said police told him to embrace a strategy called "create and capture." He said it involved creating a conversation about jihad or terrorism, then capturing the response to send to the NYPD. For his work, he earned as much as $1,000 a month and goodwill from the police after a string of minor marijuana arrests. Rahman's account shows how the NYPD unleashed informants on Muslim neighborhoods, often without specific targets or criminal leads. Much of what Rahman said represents a tactic the NYPD has denied using. The AP corroborated Rahman's account through arrest records and weeks of text messages between Rahman and his police handler. Informants like Rahman are a central component of the NYPD's wide-ranging programs to monitor life in Muslim neighborhoods since the 2001 terrorist attacks. Police officers have eavesdropped inside Muslim businesses, trained video cameras on mosques and collected license plates of worshippers. Informants who trawl the mosques — known informally as "mosque crawlers" — tell police what the imam says at sermons and provide police lists of attendees, even when there's no evidence they committed a crime. The programs were built with unprecedented help from the CIA.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the games intelligence agencies and units play, click here.
The rightwing transparency group, Judicial Watch, released [on August 28] a new batch of documents showing how eagerly the Obama administration shoveled information to Hollywood film-makers about the Bin Laden raid. Obama officials did so to enable the production of a politically beneficial pre-election film about that "heroic" killing, even as administration lawyers insisted to federal courts and media outlets that no disclosure was permissible because the raid was classified. The newly released emails [were] between Mark Mazzetti, the New York Times's national security and intelligence reporter, and CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf. The CIA had evidently heard that [NY Times columnist] Maureen Dowd was planning to write a column on the CIA's role in pumping the film-makers with information about the Bin Laden raid in order to boost Obama's re-election chances, and was apparently worried about how Dowd's column would reflect on them. This exchange ... is remarkably revealing of the standard role played by establishment journalists and the corruption that pervades it. Here we have a New York Times reporter who covers the CIA colluding with its spokesperson to plan for the fallout from the reporting by his own newspaper ("nothing to worry about"). Beyond this, that a New York Times journalist – ostensibly devoted to bringing transparency to government institutions – is pleading with the CIA spokesperson, of all people, to conceal his actions and to delete the evidence of collusion is so richly symbolic.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable sources on corruption in the major media, click here.
A USA TODAY reporter and editor investigating Pentagon propaganda contractors have themselves been subjected to a propaganda campaign of sorts, waged on the Internet through a series of bogus websites. Fake Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. The timeline of the activity tracks USA TODAY's reporting on the military's "information operations" program, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan — campaigns that have been criticized even within the Pentagon as ineffective and poorly monitored. For example, Internet domain registries show the website TomVandenBrook.com was created Jan. 7 — just days after Pentagon reporter Tom Vanden Brook first contacted Pentagon contractors involved in the program. Two weeks after his editor Ray Locker's byline appeared on a story, someone created a similar site, RayLocker.com, through the same company. If the websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption. Some postings ... accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. "They disputed nothing factual in the story about information operations," Vanden Brook said.
Note: For more on a proposed amendment to a U.S. bill which would make it legal to use propaganda and lie to the American public, click here.
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.
On April 19, 1995, a huge truck bomb destroyed a large part of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City ... killing 168 people, including 19 children. In a matter of days the FBI established that the bombing was the work of a conspiracy. The first conspirator arrested was Timothy McVeigh, a 27-year-old Army veteran. The second conspirator arrested was Terry Nichols. "Oklahoma City," an extraordinarily well-researched book, asserts that the FBI investigation of the bombing was badly flawed and missed, or disregarded, evidence of a larger conspiracy. The authors, Andrew Gumbel and Roger Charles, are both highly regarded investigative reporters who have been immersed in this case for more than a decade. They were given access to vast amounts of material assembled by the defense teams, including 18,000 FBI witness interviews. The book ... outlines how federal prosecutors, eager to wrap up the McVeigh and Nichols cases, avoided raising questions about possible co-conspirators that the defense could use to confound a jury. Among the glaring gaps in the investigation was the failure of the FBI to attempt to match the more than 1,000 unidentified latent fingerprints found in the investigation. [And] almost all the eyewitnesses to the crime claimed that McVeigh was not alone. No fewer than 24 witnesses said that they saw McVeigh, just before and after the crime, with a man who could not have been ... Mr. Nichols. The FBI concluded that these witnesses had all been confused. Certainly eyewitness testimony can be unreliable, but 24 mistaken witnesses—and no accurate ones?
Note: Many aspects of the Oklahoma City bombing were covered up. For a compilation of media videos showing without doubt there were other bombs in the building which later were completely ignored, click here. For other major media articles showing major manipulation, click here click here, here, and here.
A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow [click here for interview]. "Curveball", the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi's lies used to justify the Iraq war. The chemical engineer claimed to have overseen the building of a mobile biological laboratory when he sought political asylum in Germany in 1999. His lies were presented as "facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003. But Mr Janabi ... says none of it was true. US officials "sexed up" Mr Janabi's drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell's former chief of staff. "I brought the White House team in to do the graphics," he says, adding how "intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy". Another revelation ... is the real reason why the FBI swooped on Russian spy Anna Chapman in 2010. Top officials feared the glamorous Russian agent wanted to seduce one of US President Barack Obama's inner circle. The fear that Chapman would compromise a senior US official in a "honey trap" was a key reason for the arrest and deportation of the Russian spy ring of 10 people.
Note: For a Washington Post blog on this important development, click here. For a revealing essay by a top U.S. general on major war manipulations, click here. For many major media articles on this topic, click here.
Imam Salahuddin Muhammad could hardly miss Shahed Hussain when he first appeared three years ago at his mosque in the dilapidated town of Newburgh, just 60 miles up the Hudson River from New York. Hussain was flash, drove expensive cars and treated people to gifts of cash and food. Hussain would make Newburgh's Muslim community famous when earlier this year four other black Newburgh Muslims were jailed for 25 years for a 2009 plot to fire a Stinger missile at US military planes. All four followed the instructions of Hussain, who meticulously organised the scheme: from getting the missile and bombs, to reconnaissance missions, to teaching the tenets of radical Islam. Hussain was a fake. In fact, Hussain worked for the FBI as an informant trawling mosques in hope of picking up radicals. Yet far from being active militants, the four men he attracted were impoverished individuals struggling with Newburgh's grim epidemic of crack, drug crime and poverty. Hussain offered the men huge financial inducements to carry out the plot – including $250,000 to one man – and free holidays and expensive cars. The Newburgh Four ... represent the most extreme form of a controversial FBI policy to use invented terrorist plots to lure targets. "There has been no case as egregious as this. It is unique in the incentive the government provided. A quarter million dollars?" said Professor Karen Greenberg, a terrorism expert at Fordham University.
Note: For a powerful BBC documentary showing clearly that much of the war on terror is a fabrication to forward a political agenda, watch Power of Nightmares at this link. For many reports from major media sources on the fake terror behind the "global war on terror", click here.
The CIA’s armed drones and paramilitary forces have killed dozens of al-Qaeda leaders and thousands of its foot soldiers. But there is another mysterious organization that has killed even more of America’s enemies in the decade since the 9/11 attacks. Troops from this other secret organization have imprisoned and interrogated 10 times as many [suspects as has the CIA], holding them in jails that it alone controls in Iraq and Afghanistan. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, this secretive group of men (and a few women) has grown tenfold while sustaining a level of obscurity that not even the CIA managed. “We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a strapping Navy SEAL, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said in describing his unit. The SEALs are just part of the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command, known by the acronym JSOC, which has grown from a rarely used hostage rescue team into America’s secret army, routinely [used] to mount intelligence-gathering missions and lethal raids, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in countries with which the United States was not at war, including Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, the Philippines, Nigeria and Syria. The president has also given JSOC the rare authority to select individuals for its kill list — and then to kill, rather than capture, them. JSOC has grown from 1,800 troops prior to 9/11 to as many as 25,000. It has its own intelligence division, its own drones and reconnaissance planes, even its own dedicated satellites.
Note: This article describing JSOC’s spectacular rise, much of which has not been publicly disclosed before, is adapted from a chapter of the newly released Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State, by Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. For lots more on the secret realities of the "Endless War" launched by the 9/11 false-flag operation, click here.
Some 36 hours after the world first learnt of the US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the White House changed parts of its story. A woman was killed, its spokesman said, but she was not Bin Laden's wife – who survived after being shot in the leg. Bin Laden did not, as had earlier been claimed, use his wife as a human shield; she was injured when she tried to challenge one of the US commandos. And Bin Laden was not, after all, armed, although he did, the spokesman said, put up some resistance. The new version – no wife as human shield, no weapon – makes [bin Laden] more ordinary and more vulnerable. It also raises further questions. If the first version was incorrect, perhaps even to an extent "spun" for a certain effect, might there not be room for doubt about other aspects of the official narrative? About, say, whether the crucial intelligence about Bin Laden was extracted from al-Qa'ida operatives under torture, which might appear to justify such methods and lift some of the opprobrium from the previous US administration and the CIA. A no less pertinent question that the new version raises is whether Bin Laden was ever actually given a chance to surrender and whether he might have been taken alive rather than dead. When President Obama said that justice had been done, was this – strictly speaking – justice, or was it cold-blooded retribution?
Note: WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's book establishing the likelihood that Osama bin Laden died in December 2001, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?, is available here. For many other major media news articles showing clear deception and more by government officials, click here.
Undercover police officers routinely adopted a tactic of "promiscuity" with the blessing of senior commanders, according to a former agent who worked in a secretive unit of the Metropolitan police for four years. The former undercover policeman claims that sexual relationships with activists were sanctioned for both men and women officers infiltrating anarchist, leftwing and environmental groups. Sex was a tool to help officers blend in, the officer claimed, and was widely used as a technique to glean intelligence. He said undercover officers, particularly those infiltrating environmental and leftwing groups, viewed having sex with a large number of partners "as part of the job". His comments contradict claims last week from the Association of Chief Police Officers that operatives were absolutely forbidden to sleep with activists. The claims follow the unmasking of undercover PC Mark Kennedy, who had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating a ring of environmental activists. Another two covert officers have been named in the past fortnight who also had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on, fuelling allegations that senior officers had authorised sleeping around as a legitimate means of gathering intelligence.
Note: For a comprehensive overview of the still-ongoing revelations about police provocateur Mark Kennedy and his cohorts in the UK police infiltration of environmental and related activist groups, click here.
A secret history of the United States government's Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a "safe haven" in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II. The 600-page report, which the Justice Department has tried to keep secret for four years, provides new evidence about more than two dozen of the most notorious Nazi cases of the last three decades. It describes the government's ... pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz. The report catalogs both the successes and failures of the band of lawyers, historians and investigators at the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis. The report's most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency's involvement with Nazi emigres. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.'s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations. The Justice Department has resisted making the report public since 2006. Under the threat of a lawsuit, it turned over a heavily redacted version last month to a private research group, the National Security Archive, but even then many ... portions were omitted. A complete version was obtained by The New York Times.
Note: To read the complete Justice Department report obtained by The New York Times, click here. For a brief comparison with the heavily redacted version previously available, click here. For a more detailed analysis by the the National Security Archive, click here.
In the Department of Defense, where more than two-thirds of the intelligence programs reside, only a handful of senior officials - called Super Users - have the ability to even know about all the department's activities. Most [sources for this story] requested anonymity either because they are prohibited from speaking publicly or because, they said, they feared retaliation at work for describing their concerns. Beyond redundancy, secrecy within the intelligence world hampers effectiveness in other ways. For the Defense Department, [the] problem goes back to an ultra-secret group of programs for which access is extremely limited and monitored by specially trained security officers. These are called Special Access Programs - or SAPs - and the Pentagon's list of code names for them runs 300 pages. The intelligence community has hundreds more of its own, and those hundreds have thousands of sub-programs with their own limits on the number of people authorized to know anything about them. All this means that very few people have a complete sense of what's going on. Such secrecy can undermine the normal chain of command when senior officials use it to cut out rivals or when subordinates are ordered to keep secrets from their commanders. One military officer involved in one such program said he was ordered to sign a document prohibiting him from disclosing it to his four-star commander, with whom he worked closely every day, because the commander was not authorized to know about it
Note: To read the full text of this important article, please make sure to press the "Continue Reading" button at the end of the first webpage to access all of the fascinating information provided. For lots more on government secrecy, click here.
Law enforcement is tracking Americans' cell phones in real time—without the benefit of a warrant. Amid all the furor over the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program a few years ago, a mini-revolt was brewing over another type of federal snooping that was getting no public attention at all. Federal prosecutors were seeking what seemed to be unusually sensitive records: internal data from telecommunications companies that showed the locations of their customers' cell phones—sometimes in real time, sometimes after the fact. Prosecutors "were using the cell phone as a surreptitious tracking device," said Stephen W. Smith, a federal magistrate in Houston. "And I started asking the U.S. Attorney's Office, 'What is the legal authority for this? What is the legal standard for getting this information?'" Those questions are now at the core of a constitutional clash between President Obama's Justice Department and civil libertarians alarmed by what they see as the government's relentless intrusion into the private lives of citizens. There are numerous other fronts in the privacy wars—about the content of e-mails, for instance, and access to bank records and credit-card transactions. The Feds now can quietly get all that information. But cell-phone tracking is among the more unsettling forms of government surveillance, conjuring up Orwellian images of Big Brother secretly following your movements through the small device in your pocket.
Note: For many key reports from major media sources on the disturbing trend toward increasing government and corporate surveillance, click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.