Intelligence Agency News StoriesExcerpts of Key Intelligence Agency News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of intelligence agencies news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The FBI raised eyebrows on Tuesday when the agency announced that it would not be accepting electronic Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. As the spread of the virus continues to disrupt normal functions of society like schools, restaurants and sporting events, not many could have predicted that the electronic requests for FBI documents would be affected. "Due to the emerging COVID-19 situation, the FBI is not accepting electronic Freedom of Information/Privacy Act requests or sending out electronic responses through the eFOIPA portal at this time. You may still submit a FOIPA request via standard mail. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding," a red-bolded disclaimer stated on the FBI website. The sudden halt of electronic FOIA requests sparked puzzled reactions on social media. "This is crazy but, then again, FBI and FOIA is a disastrous combo," BuzzFeed senior investigative Jason Leopold tweeted. "The FBI is responding to coronavirus by using it as an opportunity to kill off journalists who really want transparency." They would prefer to receive only those requests laden with all of our germs and whatnot?" Reuters reporter Brad Heath asked.
Note: You can verify this information on the FBI website at this link. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and the coronavirus pandemic from reliable major media sources.
Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military's National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents. The report ... raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia - forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier. "Analysts concluded it could be a cataclysmic event," one of the sources said of the NCMI’s report. "It was then briefed multiple times to" the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and the White House. From that warning in November, the sources described repeated briefings through December for policy-makers and decision-makers across the federal government as well as the National Security Council at the White House. All of that culminated with a detailed explanation of the problem that appeared in the President’s Daily Brief of intelligence matters in early January. The NCMI report was made available widely to people authorized to access intelligence community alerts. Other intelligence community bulletins began circulating through confidential channels across the government around Thanksgiving. Those analyses said China’s leadership knew the epidemic was out of control even as it kept such crucial information from foreign governments and public health agencies.
Erik Prince, the security contractor with close ties to the Trump administration, has in recent years helped recruit former American and British spies for secretive intelligence-gathering operations that included infiltrating Democratic congressional campaigns, labor organizations and other groups considered hostile to the Trump agenda. One of the former spies, an ex-MI6 officer named Richard Seddon, helped run a 2017 operation to copy files and record conversations in a Michigan office of ... one of the largest teachers’ unions in the nation. The next year, the same undercover operative infiltrated the congressional campaign of Abigail Spanberger, then a former C.I.A. officer who went on to win an important House seat in Virginia as a Democrat. Both operations were run by Project Veritas, a conservative group that has gained attention using hidden cameras and microphones for sting operations. Mr. Prince, the former head of Blackwater Worldwide ... appears to have become interested in using former spies to train Project Veritas operatives in espionage tactics sometime during the 2016 presidential campaign. In 2017, he met with White House and Pentagon officials to pitch a plan to privatize the Afghan war. Mr. Prince invited Project Veritas operatives ... to his family’s Wyoming ranch for training in 2017. [They] shared social media photos of taking target practice with guns at the ranch, including one post ... saying that with the training, Project Veritas will be “the next great intelligence agency.”
Note: Mr. Prince's Blackwater operation got caught systematically defrauding the government. Then Blackwater changed its name to Academi and made over $300 million off the Afghan drug trade. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. The company, Crypto AG ... made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages. The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project. The company always made at least two versions of its products — secure models that would be sold to friendly governments, and rigged systems for the rest of the world. Throughout the 1980s, the list of Crypto’s leading clients read like a catalogue of global trouble spots. In 1981, Saudi Arabia was Crypto’s biggest customer, followed by Iran, Italy, Indonesia, Iraq, Libya, Jordan and South Korea. To protect its market position, Crypto and its secret owners engaged in subtle smear campaigns against rival companies ... and plied government officials with bribes.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Donald Trump’s administration is targeting Julian Assange as “an enemy of the America who must be brought down” and his very life could be at risk if he is sent to face trial in the US, the first day of the WikiLeaks founder’s extradition hearing has been told. Lawyers for Assange intend to call as a witness a former employee of a Spanish security company who says surveillance was carried out for the US on Assange while he was at Ecuador’s London embassy and that conversations had turned to potentially kidnapping or poisoning him. Assange, 48, is wanted in the US to face 18 charges of attempted hacking and breaches of the Espionage Act. They relate to the publication a decade ago of hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and files covering areas including US activities in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Australian, who could face a 175-year prison sentence if found guilty, is accused of working with the former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak classified documents. Key parts of the evidence related to the claim, which emerged last week, that a then US Republican congressman offered Assange a pardon if he denied Russian involvement in the leaking of US Democratic party emails during the 2016 US presidential contest. The court was told that Dana Rohrabacher, who claims to have made the proposal on his own initiative, had presented it as a “win-win” scenario that would allow Assange to leave the embassy and get on with his life.
Note: Read more about the strange prosecution of Assange. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
James “Whitey” Bulger terrorized Boston from the 1970s into the 1990s with a campaign of murder, extortion and drug trafficking. In 2013, Janet Uhlar was one of 12 jurors who found Bulger guilty in a massive racketeering case, including involvement in 11 murders. But now Uhlar says she regrets voting to convict Bulger on any of the murder charges. Her regret stems from a cache of more than 70 letters Bulger wrote to her from prison, some of which describe his unwitting participation in a secret CIA experiment with LSD. The agency dosed Bulger with the powerful hallucinogen more than 50 times when he was serving his first stretch in prison, in Atlanta. Uhlar has spoken publicly about her regret before but says her belief that the gangster was wrongly convicted on the murder charges was reinforced after reading a new book by Brown University professor Stephen Kinzer: “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control.” Gottlieb’s secret program, known at MK-ULTRA, enlisted doctors and other subcontractors to administer LSD in large doses to prisoners, addicts and others unlikely to complain. Uhlar reviewed the 1977 hearings by the U.S. Senate Committee on Intelligence, which was looking into MK-ULTRA, and found testimony where CIA director Stansfield Turner acknowledged evidence showing that the agency had been searching for a drug that could prepare someone for “debilitating an individual or even killing another person.”
In 1955, R. Gordon Wasson set off for southern Mexico to experience a sacred Indian ceremony rumored to provide a “pathway to the divine.” Wasson later extolled the mystical effects of what he called the “magic mushroom,” the Mexican plant used in the ceremony, in a 1957 photo-essay for Life magazine. A new biography by Stephen Kinzer ... adds a key detail to this fascinating history. “Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control” describes how, unbeknown to Wasson, the spy agency was funding his travel. In fact, Wasson’s trip “would electrify mind control experimenters in Washington whose ambitions were vastly different from his own.” Kinzer’s book traces the life and career of Gottlieb, the man standing in the shadows of this trip. Gottlieb was also the brains behind the eventual C.I.A. program it helped spawn, MK-ULTRA, the notorious research endeavor that employed mind-altering drugs, including LSD. 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. In what would give the program its lasting black eye, 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.
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.
As white supremacists have carried out a growing number of deadly attacks in recent years, the FBI has come under mounting criticism for its failure to address the threat posed by far-right extremist ideologies, whose adherents account for most of the politically motivated violence in the U.S. At the same time, the bureau has also been heavily criticized for devoting large resources to surveilling political dissent by groups and individuals, often of color, who pose no threat but are critical of the government because they oppose official immigration policies or demand police accountability. The FBI’s preoccupation with policing nonviolent critical ideologies while neglecting to investigate ideologies tied to real, and increasing, violence was perhaps best captured in an infamous 2017 threat assessment report warning law enforcement agencies of the supposed rise of a “black identity extremist” movement targeting police. The black identity extremism category was a product of the FBI’s imagination. Last year ... bureau officials told legislators that they were doing away with a set of earlier domestic terrorism categories in favor of four larger ones. The FBI’s fictional black identity extremists would now be lumped together with white supremacists under a new “racially motivated violent extremism” category. That false equivalence made it virtually impossible for the public to know whether the FBI was devoting resources to investigating real threats of racist violence or social and racial justice groups critical of government.
Note: Read a revealing essay on COINTELPRO, the FBI program that targeted civil rights and anti-war activists from 1965-1975. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on civil liberties from reliable major media sources.
President Trump ordered the release of more than 2,800 records related to the John F. Kennedy assassination on Thursday, but bowed to pressure from the CIA, FBI and other agencies to delay disclosing some of the most sensitive documents. Even so, the thousands of pages that were published online by the National Archives ... describe decades of spies and surveillance, informants and assassination plots. In an internal FBI report from May 1964, an informant told the FBI that the Ku Klux Klan said it “had documented proof that President Johnson was formerly a member of the Klan in Texas during the early days of his political career.” The records also reveal a deposition given before the presidential Commission on CIA Activities in 1975 by Richard Helms, who had served as the agency’s director. After a discussion of Vietnam, David Belin, an attorney for the commission, turned to whether the CIA was involved in Kennedy’s killing. “Well, now, the final area of my investigation relates to charges that the CIA was in some way conspiratorially involved with the assassination of President Kennedy. During the time of the Warren Commission, you were Deputy Director of Plans, is that correct?” Belin asked. After Helms replied that he was, Belin then asked: “Is there any information involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any way shows that Lee Harvey Oswald was in some way a CIA agent or agent…” Then, suddenly, the document cuts off.
Note: Watch the banned final segment of a History Channel series titled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations from reliable major media sources.
The Justice Department inspector general's office has determined that the FBI crime laboratory working on the Oklahoma City bombing case made "scientifically unsound" conclusions that were "biased in favor of the prosecution," The Los Angeles Times reported. The still-secret draft report ... also concludes that supervisors approved lab reports that they "cannot support" and that FBI lab officials may have erred about the size of the blast, the amount of explosives involved and the type of explosives used in the bombing. The draft report shows that FBI examiners could not identify the triggering device for the truck bomb or how it was detonated. It also indicates that a poorly maintained lab environment could have led to contamination of critical pieces of evidence. The investigation into the crime lab practices began in 1996 following complaints from FBI chemist and whistle-blower Frederic Whitehurst. The draft report's harshest criticism was of David Williams, a supervisory agent in the explosives unit. "We are deeply troubled by Williams' report, which contains several serious flaws," the report said. "These errors are all tilted in favor of the prosecution's theory of the case. We conclude that Williams failed to present an objective, unbiased, competent report." Those flaws reportedly include the basis of his determination that the main charge of the explosion was ammonium nitrate. The inspector general called such a determination "inappropriate," the Times said.
Note: For lots more undeniable evidence the official story of the Oklahoma City bombing is seriously flawed, see this webpage. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and terrorism from reliable major media sources.
An explosive leak of tens of thousands of documents from the defunct data firm Cambridge Analytica is set to expose the inner workings of the company that collapsed after the Observer revealed it had misappropriated 87 million Facebook profiles. More than 100,000 documents relating to work in 68 countries that will lay bare the global infrastructure of an operation used to manipulate voters on “an industrial scale” are set to be released over the next months. The documents were revealed to have come from Brittany Kaiser, an ex-Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, and to be the same ones subpoenaed by Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Kaiser ... decided to go public after last month’s election in Britain. “It’s so abundantly clear our electoral systems are wide open to abuse,” she said. “I’m very fearful about what is going to happen in the US election later this year.” Kaiser said the Facebook data scandal was part of a much bigger global operation that worked with governments, intelligence agencies, commercial companies and political campaigns to manipulate and influence people. The unpublished documents contain material that suggests the firm was working for a political party in Ukraine in 2017 even while under investigation as part of Mueller’s inquiry and emails that Kaiser says describe how the firm helped develop a “sophisticated infrastructure of shell companies that were designed to funnel dark money into politics”.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on elections corruption from reliable major media sources.
An internal Justice Department investigation into the F.B.I. crime laboratory has uncovered numerous complaints by laboratory employees about the handling of forensic evidence in one of the Government's most important criminal cases, against two men charged with the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in April 1995. The criticism of the F.B.I.'s conduct emerged in a series of interviews conducted by investigators from the inspector general's office. Laboratory examiners in Oklahoma shipped critical items to the laboratory, like the faded black jeans worn by Timothy J. McVeigh ... in a brown paper sack instead of a sealed plastic evidence bags, one employee said. At one point, visitors to the laboratory placed travel cases that were potentially contaminated with residue of the explosion in an area where bomb debris had been stored awaiting testing, another employee said. As a result, none of the material could be tested. Mr. Williams, the chief laboratory examiner in Oklahoma City, was transferred from his job and was withdrawn as a prosecution witness in Oklahoma City. Mr. Williams had been responsible for conclusions about several major issues in the case, like the size of the bomb that tore the front off the Federal Building. His opinion that the bomb contained 4,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate was an estimate based not on scientific studies but in part on searches of the defendants' houses. Two laboratory workers said Mr. Williams had changed their dictated reports, in violation of F.B.I. policy.
One shows the prisoner nude and strapped to a crude gurney, his entire body clenched as he is waterboarded by an unseen interrogator. Another shows him with his wrists cuffed to bars so high above his head he is forced on to his tiptoes. They are sketches drawn in captivity by the Guantánamo Bay prisoner known as Abu Zubaydah, self-portraits of the torture he was subjected to during the four years he was held in secret prisons by the C.I.A.. In each illustration, Mr. Zubaydah ... portrays the particular techniques as he says they were used on him at a C.I.A. black site in Thailand in August 2002. They demonstrate how, more than a decade after the Obama administration outlawed the program — and then went on to partly declassify a Senate study that found the C.I.A. lied about both its effectiveness and its brutality — the final chapter of the black sites has yet to be written. Mr. Zubaydah, 48, drew them this year at Guantánamo for inclusion in a 61-page report, “How America Tortures,” by his lawyer, Mark P. Denbeaux, a professor at the Seton Hall University School of Law in Newark, and some of Mr. Denbeaux’s students. The report uses firsthand accounts, internal Bush administration memos, prisoners’ memories and the 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report to analyze the interrogation program. The program was initially set up for Mr. Zubaydah, who was mistakenly believed to be a top Qaeda lieutenant. He has never been charged with a crime.
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 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.
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.
Prosecutors in Sweden have dropped an investigation into a rape allegation made against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange in 2010. Assange, who denies the accusation, has avoided extradition to Sweden for seven years after seeking refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy in London in 2012. The 48-year-old Australian was evicted in April and sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for breaching his bail conditions. He is currently being held at Belmarsh prison in London. The Swedish investigation had been shelved in 2017 but was re-opened earlier this year. With the end of Julian Assange's legal troubles in Sweden, one long chapter in the saga is over. But another one, in the United States, has barely begun. The Wikileaks founder always argued that his fear of being extradited from Sweden to the US was why he had taken refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London. That political refuge ended unceremoniously in April, when he was dragged out by British police. Now Assange faces 18 criminal charges in the US, including conspiring to hack government computers and violating espionage laws. If convicted, he could face decades in jail. From behind bars in Belmarsh jail, Assange is trying to prepare for the case. The decision by Swedish prosecutors today means there'll now be no competing extradition request to the one from the US. In June, the then UK Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, formally approved an extradition request from the US.
Note: Read a 2012 article from the UK's Guardian titled "Don't lose sight of why the US is out to get Julian Assange." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government 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.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.