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 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.
A former Central Intelligence Agency employee told a Senate subcommittee today that he and another C.I.A. employee were sent to San Francisco in 1959 to lure unsuspecting people to a party at which the two agents were to spray the air with LSD 25 as part of the agency's secret drug testing program. The test [was] part of a much larger drug testing program known by the cryptonym MK ULTRA,” David Rhodes told the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research. Mr. Rhodes, two former C.I.A. employees, two former Bureau of Narcotics agents and Dr. Charles Geschickter, head of a foundation that channeled C.I.A. medical research funds to universities for nine or 10 years, were questioned this morning in the first of two days of hearings into C.I.A. testing of drugs on human beings. Today's testimony by Mr. Rhodes provided the first look the public has had at an LSD test inside a C.I.A. safehouse. The agency carried out other drug tests in both California and New York City from 1953 to 1966 in such safehouses, mainly apartments and motel rooms. These were secretly rented for the agency by George H. White, an official of the old Federal Bureau of Narcotics, which has since been supplanted by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Mr. Rhodes, a psychologist employed by the C.I.A. from 1957 to 1961, said he went to California in 1959 with Walter P. Pasternak. Mr. Pasternak, a former employee of the agency, was also an official with the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology.
Note: Read more about the CIA's MK ULTRA program. Shortly before his death, George White summed up his CIA career by saying, 'It was fun, fun, fun. Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill and cheat, steal, deceive, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all highest," as reported in this ABC documentary on MK ULTRA. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind control from reliable major media sources.
Four years ago ago, officers of the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency participated in a series of unusual experiments run by Stanford Research Institute (SRI) to verify claims that certain people have psychic abilities. The results ... were astonishing. The SRI investigators, physicists Harold E. Puthoff (a former NSA research engineer) and Russell Targ, set out to demonstrate to their CIA sponsor that their subjects, a noted psychic named Ingo Swann and ... Pat Price, could describe distant locations merely by knowing which geographic coordinates to "look at." Puthoff and Targ [call this] "remote viewing." In one case, Swann described and sketched with reasonable accuracy a target island in the South Indian Ocean. In another instance, Pat Price gave an incredibly detailed description of a supposedly secret, underground military installation in Virginia. "Hell, there's no security left," a government security officer exclaimed upon hearing of Price's alleged success at psychic spying. One of Ingo Swann's remote viewing demonstrations at SRI was to pinpoint the location of Soviet submarines around the world. The CIA scientist monitoring the tests ... believed he had a potential class A espionage agent who could roam psychically anywhere in the world — in effect, the perfect spy. For the past 25 years, various branches of the millitary and intelligence communities have actively investigated this highly controversial field of parapsychology. There is particular concern ... that the Russians are able telepathically to influence the behavior of others, alter their emotions or health, knock them out or even kill. CIA psychologists are swamped with proposals for psychic studies.
Note: This article strangely is not to be found anywhere in the online archives of the Washington Post. It is still available for a fee in the archives of smaller newspapers which published the article. The amazing entire article can be found free at the link above. For lots more along these lines, see a wealth of reliable videos and information on remote viewing. And a great new documentary "Third Eye Spies" on remote viewing can be watched for a small fee. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Mind Control Information Center.
The Justice Department is investigating allegations that officers of a special Venezuelan anti-drug unit funded by the CIA smuggled more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States with the knowledge of CIA officials - despite protests by the Drug Enforcement Administration. That is a huge amount of cocaine. But it was hardly a first. The agency has never been above using individuals or organizations with known links to drug trafficking. Until recently, no DEA country attaché overseas was allowed to initiate an investigation into a suspected drug trafficker ... without clearance from the local CIA station chief. CIA ties to international drug trafficking date to the Korean War. Nowhere, however, was the CIA more closely tied to drug traffic than it was in Pakistan during the Afghan War. As its principal conduit for arms and money to the Afghan guerrillas, the agency chose the Pakistan military's Inter-Services Intelligence Bureau. The ISI in turn steered the CIA's support toward [an Islamic fundamentalist who] received almost half of the agency's financial support during the war. But many of his commanders were also major heroin traffickers. Soon the trucks that delivered arms to the guerrillas in Afghanistan were coming back ... full of heroin. The heroin traffic blossomed in the shadows of a CIA-sustained guerrilla war. The conflict and its aftermath have given the world another Golden Triangle: the Golden Crescent, sweeping through Afghanistan, Pakistan and parts of the former Soviet Union. Many of those involved in the drug traffic are men who were once armed, trained and financed by the CIA.
Note: The entire article at the link above is highy revealing. Read more about the CIA's ongoing involvement with Afghan heroin trafficking. The Taliban banned opium production in 2000 reducing the yield by 90%. Yet shortly after the U.S. defeated the Taliban, Afghanistan quickly returned to supplying 75% of the world's heroin. Do you think the U.S. is serious about stopping the drug trade? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles 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.
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.
Lots of questions have been raised about 9/11: Why does it look like there is no plane at the crash site in Pennsylvania where flight United 93 came down? Why did a building called World Trade Centre Building 7 collapse even though it was never hit by an aircraft? And why was America so unprepared when terror attack warnings had been received? Through the internet and the media generally, allegations of complicity by the US government in the 9/11 attacks are intensifying. We found that simple requests, such as asking to see the plane wreckage of flight United 93 at Shanksville, or flight American Airlines 77 at the Pentagon, were refused after months of delay by the authorities. Yet if we had been able to film the wreckage from flight AA77 we would have had extremely strong evidence that a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon. Trying to prove or disprove these alternative theories is not easy. Officials are loathe to engage, thinking that any response will only fan the flames of popular conspiracy theories, and yet no response seems to be worse still. Senator Bob Graham ... co-chaired the Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 which detailed the failure of the CIA and FBI to use intelligence it had received about Al Qaeda before the attacks. Senator Graham told us there was a “collaboration of efforts among agencies and the administration to keep information out of the public’s hands.”
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our 9/11 Information Center.
Hours after police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on a quiet suburban street in Ferguson, Missouri, Olajuwon Ali Davis stood with a few dozen people on that same street. Davis, who was 22 at the time, kept showing up as the protests grew larger. Three months later, Davis and another young man named Brandon Orlando Baldwin were arrested in an FBI sting and accused of planning to ... blow up St. Louis’s iconic Gateway Arch. Three years later, the FBI listed Davis’s case in a secret memo warning of the rise of a “black identity extremist” movement whose members’ “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans” spurred what the FBI claimed was “an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement.” The “black identity extremism” report was prepared by the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Analysis Unit ... and was distributed to scores of local and federal law enforcement partners. Davis and Baldwin ... appear to be the first individuals retroactively labeled by the FBI as “black identity extremists.” According to The Intercept’s analysis, Davis and Olajuwon’s case was the only federal prosecution of individuals the FBI considers to be “black identity extremists” that resulted in a conviction. By comparison, the analysis found that 268 right-wing extremists were prosecuted in federal courts since 9/11 for crimes that appear to meet the legal definition of domestic terrorism.
Joined by relatives of Robert F. Kennedy, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, a group of more than 60 authors and investigators have called for a new congressional investigation into the assassinations of the three men and President John F. Kennedy, saying that the four slayings were not resolved. In a public statement, they demanded a public tribunal modeled on South Africa’s “Truth and Reconciliation” process to persuade either Congress or the Justice Department to revisit all four assassinations. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and former Maryland lieutenant governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), two of Robert Kennedy’s children, signed the statement, as did Isaac N. Farris, a nephew of King and former president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and the Rev. James M. Lawson Jr., a Memphis pastor and mentor to King. The statement was written in part by Adam Walinsky, a former top aide to Robert Kennedy, with input from other assassination scholars. He cited the “wreckage” from the slayings as the reasons to revisit them. “What a profound effect these assassinations had on this country,” Walinsky said. “These people, and the forces who were responsible for these murders, are still among us. The institutions are still there. And they’re still doing all the same things. So that’s the problem.” A news release and the full statement with a list of signers is here.
Note: In 1999, a civil trial implicated the US government in King's killing. In 2006, BBC described new evidence that placed "three senior CIA operatives at the scene of Robert Kennedy's assassination" and reported that Sirhan may have been a Manchurian Candidate programmed to act as a decoy for the real assassin. In 2011 the Boston Globe reported that RFK harbored suspicions that the CIA was behind his brother's murder. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing assassinations news articles from reliable major media sources.
Attorney-General nominee William P. Barr figured prominently in arguments to limit CIA responsibility to provide notification to Congress about covert actions during the 1980s, according to a review of declassified materials published today by the National Security Archive. As the Iran-Contra scandal played out, Barr, who held senior posts at the Justice Department, provisionally supported the idea of the president’s “virtually unfettered discretion” in foreign policy and downplayed Congress’s power. The issue of notification of Congress about imminent clandestine activities was at the heart of the Iran-Contra scandal when President Ronald Reagan and CIA Director William Casey specifically ordered that lawmakers be kept in the dark about the infamous, covert arms-for-hostages deals with Iran. Barr was by no means alone in pushing these views, the documents show. Other notable proponents during the Iran-Contra aftermath included then-Congressman Dick Cheney and John R. Bolton, who was also at the Justice Department. After Cheney became defense secretary he continued to press for extraordinarily broad Executive Branch authority, advising then-President George H. W. Bush to veto the Senate’s intelligence appropriations bill on the grounds it “attacked” presidential prerogatives – resulting in the only known such veto since the CIA’s creation.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The FBI opened a “domestic terrorism” investigation into a civil rights group in California, labeling the activists “extremists” after they protested against neo-Nazis in 2016. Federal authorities ran a surveillance operation on By Any Means Necessary (Bamn), spying on [the] group’s movements in an inquiry that came after one of Bamn’s members was stabbed at the white supremacist rally. The FBI’s Bamn files reveal: The FBI investigated Bamn for potential “conspiracy” against the “rights” of the “Ku Klux Klan” and white supremacists. The FBI considered the KKK as victims and the leftist protesters as potential terror threats, and downplayed the threats of the Klan. The FBI ... cited Bamn’s advocacy against “rape and sexual assault” and “police brutality” as evidence in the terrorism inquiry. The FBI’s 46-page report ... presented an “astonishing” description of the KKK, said Mike German, a former FBI agent. The FBI launched its terrorism investigation and surveillance of Bamn after white supremacists armed with knives faced off with hundreds of counter-protesters, including Bamn activists, at a June 2016 neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento. Although numerous neo-Nazis were suspected of stabbing at least seven anti-fascists in the melee... the FBI chose to launch a inquiry into the activities of the leftwing protesters. California law enforcement subsequently worked with the neo-Nazis to identify counter-protesters, pursued charges against stabbing victims and other anti-fascists, and decided not to prosecute any men on the far-right for the stabbings. In a redacted October 2016 document, the FBI labeled its Bamn investigation a “DT [domestic terrorism] – ANARCHIST EXTREMISM” case.
Note: Why was Newsweek the only major media outlet in the U.S. to write an article on this mind-boggling story? The article states, "Yvette Felarca, a Berkeley teacher and member of BAMN, was stabbed at the rally. Felcara has now been charged with assault and rioting. Police also wanted to bring six charges against Cedric O’Bannon, an independent journalist at the rally who was stabbed by a pole while filming." For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption from reliable major media sources.
Project Blue Book was the code name for an Air Force program set up in 1952 ... to explain away or debunk as many [UFO] reports as possible in order to mitigate possible panic and shield the public from a genuine national security problem. The prominent astronomer J. Allen Hynek ... was recruited as Blue Book’s scientific consultant and was indeed initially committed to explaining away flying saucers as natural phenomena or mistaken identifications. Hynek, the former U.F.O. skeptic, eventually concluded that they were a real phenomenon in dire need of scientific attention, with hundreds of cases in the Blue Book files still unexplained. Even many of the “closed” cases were resolved with ridiculous, often infuriating explanations, sometimes by Hynek himself. Blue Book compiled reports of 12,618 sightings of unidentified flying objects, of which 701 remain unexplained to this day. The mystery of the elusive flying objects is still far from solved. In 1947. Lt. General Nathan Twining ... sent a secret memo on “Flying Discs” to the commanding general of the Army Air Forces at the Pentagon. Twining stated that “the phenomenon reported is something real and not visionary or fictitious.” Documents show the C.I.A. then devised a plan for a “national policy,” as to “what should be told the public regarding the phenomenon, in order to minimize risk of panic.” The C.I.A. issued a secret report recommending a broad educational program for all intelligence agencies, with the aim of “training and debunking.” When Blue Book closed in late 1969, the Air Force flatly lied to the American people.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on a UFO cover-up from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our UFO Information Center.
A 36-year NSA veteran, William Binney resigned from the agency and became a whistleblower after discovering that elements of a data-monitoring program he had helped develop - nicknamed ThinThread - were being used to spy on Americans. So 2005, December, The New York Times article comes out. ... How important was it? "It touched on that real issues," [said Binney]. "The warrantless wiretapping was not really a major component of it, but it touched on the data mining, which is really, really the big issue, data mining of the metadata and content. That was really the big issue, because that's how you can monitor the entire population simultaneously, whereas the warrantless wiretaps were isolated cases. You could pick an isolated number of them and do them, whereas in the mining process, you would do the entire population." The administration [used] this article to start an aggressive whistleblowing hunt. "[On July 22, 2005] the FBI was in my house ... pointing a gun at me when I was coming out of the shower. The raid took about seven hours. At the time we didn't know that Tom Drake had gone to The Baltimore Sun," [said Binney]. "Material [Tom Drake was indicted for] was clearly marked unclassified, and all they did was draw a line through it and classified that material, and then they charged him with having classified material. It's like framing him. The judge in the court ... knew they were framing him," [said Biney].
Newly released files from “behavior modification,” or mind control, projects conducted as part of the infamous Project MKUltra reveal the CIA experimented in more than controlling humans with psychotropic drugs, electrical shocks and radio waves—they also created field operational, remote-controlled dogs. The documents were provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by John Greenewald, founder of The Black Vault, a site specializing in declassified government records. In one declassified letter (released as file C00021825) a redacted individual writes to a doctor (whose name has also been redacted) with advice about launching a laboratory for experiments in animal mind control. The writer of the letter is already an expert in the field, whose earlier work had culminated with the creation of six remote control dogs, which could be made to run, turn and stop. The letter writer characterizes the work with remote-controlling dogs as a success, describing “a demonstrated procedure for controlling the free-field behaviors of an unrestrained dog.” Attached to the letter is the writer’s final report from his earlier research, published in 1965, titled “Remote Control Behavior with Rewarding Electrical Stimulation of the Brain,” with the principle investigator’s name redacted. The prospect of a potential new laboratory seems to fire the letter writer’s imagination, who describes potential experimentation on “a range of species,” should they want to move past “basic research.”
Note: If the CIA had this level of sophistication in 1967, what do you think they are capable of now? Read more on the development of microchip implants. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on CIA mind control programs.
A memo written by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, released among 2,800 declassified records relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, has shown how in the days after Lee Harvey Oswald was shot, the FBI planned to convince the public that he was the real assassin as soon as possible. In the document, dictated shortly after Oswald was shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby, Hoover explains. “The thing I am concerned about, and so is [Attorney General Nicholas] Katzenbach, is having something issued so we can convince the public that Oswald is the real assassin,” Hoover said in the 1963 memo. The former FBI director went on to explain that establishing which facts could and could not be made public was important because of the possible foreign policy implications. “There are several aspects which would complicate our foreign relations,” Hoover says in the memo. These were namely that the FBI was aware Oswald had contacted both the Cuban embassy in Mexico City and the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Hoover explained that having the interception of these messages - one of them to the “man in the Soviet Embassy in charge of assassinations and similar activities on the part of the Soviet government” - made public would have “muddied the waters internationally.” Roughly 300 documents of the tranche of what would have been 3,100 documents pertaining to the assassination of President Kennedy have been withheld [by] President Donald Trump.
Note: Why are documents related to the JFK assassination still classified over 50 years after that fact? Why did Trump backtrack on his campaign promise to release all of these files? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.
America’s finest Republicans and Democrats [are] condemning the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for murdering Jamal Khashoggi. CIA director Gina Haspel, who was happy to sign off on the torture of her Muslim captives ... knew what she was talking about when she testified about Mohammed bin Salman and the agony of Jamal Khashoggi. A generation ago, the CIA’s “Operation Phoenix” torture and assassination programme in Vietnam went way beyond the imaginations of the Saudi intelligence service. In spook language, Khashoggi was merely “terminated with maximum prejudice”. If the CIA could sign off on mass murder in Vietnam, why shouldn’t an Arab dictator do the same on a far smaller scale? But there is something more than this ... 15 of those 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, that Osama bin Laden was a Saudi, that George W Bush secretly flew bin Laden family members out of the US after 9/11, that the Saudis themselves are heir to a blighted, rural, cruel version of Sunni Islam ... which has inspired the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Isis and all the other killer cults whom we have proclaimed to be the West’s Enemy No 1. Nailing Mohammed Bin Salman to a crucifix – a method of execution favoured by the Wahhabis – is an easy kill for US senators, of course. You hit the president and smash those unhappy historical details all in one fell swoop.
Note: Jamal Khashoggi's uncle was the notorious billionaire arms dealer and decadent playboy Adnan Khashoggi. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on intelligence agency corruption and assassinations.
One of the very first things I was taught when I joined the C.I.A. was that we do not conduct assassinations. It was drilled into new recruits over and over again. Today, it seems that all that is left of this policy is a euphemism. We don’t call them assassinations anymore. Now, they are “targeted killings,” most often performed by drone strike, and they have become America’s go-to weapon in the war on terror. There have been many who have objected, claiming that the killings inspire more attacks on the United States, complicate our diplomacy and undermine our moral authority in the world. Yet the targeted killings drone on with no end in sight. Just counting the campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, the Bush administration conducted at least 47 targeted killings by drones, while under the Obama administration that number rose to 542. America’s difficult relationship with targeted killing and the dilemmas we may face in the future are beautifully illuminated by the longer story of Israel’s experiences with assassination in its own endless war against terrorism. Israel has always been just a bit farther down this slippery slope than the United States. Americans now have a terrific new introduction to that story with the publication of Ronen Bergman’s “Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations.”
In January 2010 Israeli agents converged on a luxury hotel in Dubai: their target was Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, an arms supplier for Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which controls the Gaza Strip. The mission involved 27 operatives of the Mossad secret service who were posing as tourists or tennis players. The hit team and their watchers flew in from different European airports using false passports. Communications were routed via Austria to avoid surveillance. Mabhouh was killed in his room using a paralysing drug and his body left to be discovered by hotel staff the next day. The snag was that the killing exposed the Mossad to global scrutiny – and angered an Arab country with a record of quiet cooperation with Israel. CCTV caught the agents changing disguises and stalking their prey – seen as a legitimate candidate for extrajudicial execution as he had killed an Israeli soldier and, more importantly, was a logistical link with Iran, sworn enemy of the Jewish state. Ronen Bergman’s account of his country’s targeted assassinations contains a wealth of detail about this and other killings. In recent years Israel has assassinated more people than any other country in the western world. Bergman’s long view sharpens understanding of the asymmetrical nature of the conflict – and of the limits of force. Bergman’s style tends to the sensational but that does not mask a critical strand that questions the morality and effectiveness of Israel’s approach to dealing with the enemy in its own backyard.
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.