zachvaughn

zachvaughn:

Last night, I watch the documentary The Man Nobody Knew about former CIA Director William Colby. The film was directed by his son, Carl, and covers his life as a member of the clandestine services - first, OSS, and later, the CIA. It’s a very interesting look at his service and the toll it took on himself and his family, as he wrestled with the issues involved in secrecy, particularly during his years as CIA Director when the Agency was being investigated by Congress. A good film looking at intelligence issues from a personal angle with interviews from many influential policy makers. It’s currently available on Netflix, and you can learn more about the film here.

shortformblog

shortformblog:

Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.

This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents - a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.

The order stops just short of having the U.S. give rebels weapons.

How a letter on Hitler’s stationery, written to a boy in Jersey, reached the CIA 
At CIA headquarters in Langley, one of the newest artifacts in the agency’s private museum is a message from a father to his 3-year-old son. The gold-embossed letterhead features a swastika and the name Adolf Hitler.
“Dear Dennis,” the seven-sentence letter begins. “The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe — three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins.”
More —> The Washington Post

How a letter on Hitler’s stationery, written to a boy in Jersey, reached the CIA 

At CIA headquarters in Langley, one of the newest artifacts in the agency’s private museum is a message from a father to his 3-year-old son. The gold-embossed letterhead features a swastika and the name Adolf Hitler.

“Dear Dennis,” the seven-sentence letter begins. “The man who might have written on this card once controlled Europe — three short years ago when you were born. Today he is dead, his memory despised, his country in ruins.”

More —> The Washington Post

kateoplis

kateoplis:

Nestled in a back corner of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport is a sprawling walled compound run by the Central Intelligence Agency. Set on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the facility looks like a small gated community, with more than a dozen buildings behind large protective walls and secured by guard towers at each of its four corners. Adjacent to the compound are eight large metal hangars, and the CIA has its own aircraft at the airport. The site, which airport officials and Somali intelligence sources say was completed four months ago, is guarded by Somali soldiers, but the Americans control access.

Jeremy Scahill’s latest must-read.

shortformblog

David Petraeus unanimously confirmed as new CIA chief

shortformblog:

  • 94-0 Senate vote confirming Petraeus as CIA director source

» The big shuffle continues: With Robert Gates’ retirement, and Leon Panetta imminently poised to become the new Secretary of Defense, the Senate has voted to confirm General David Petaeus to take Panetta’s old job. Petraeus had been serving as the Commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, but will be departing to become the number one man of the government agency we all think of when we think about high-level secrecy. Of note in this confirmation — ninety-four to nothing! Even in a thoroughly divided Washington, it’s clear Petraeus is still one of the most politically popular people to stand in support of, no matter the political party.

Read ShortFormBlogFollow

In 2005, the Bush CIA actually closed its unit whose mission had been to hunt Osama bin Laden and his top lieutenants. We don‘t know where Osama bin Laden was until 2005. But we do know that the home, that he was found in, was built for him in 2005. That same year that the CIA closed the unit that was hunting bin Laden.

Somehow that year, bin Laden got the feeling that he could settle down comfortably in a walled fortress in a Pakistan suburb.

Lawrence O’Donnell

Watch


It is perhaps one of the C.I.A.’s most mischievous secrets.
“Kryptos,” the sculpture nestled in a courtyard of the agency’s Virginia headquarters since 1990, is a work of art with a secret code embedded in the letters that are punched into its four panels of curving copper.
“Our work is about discovery — discovering secrets,” said Toni Hiley, director of the C.I.A. Museum. “And this sculpture is full of them, and it still hasn’t given up the last of its secrets.”
Not for lack of trying. For many thousands of would-be code crackers worldwide, “Kryptos” has become an object of obsession. Dan Brown has even referred to it in his novels.
Continue reading… MSNBC

It is perhaps one of the C.I.A.’s most mischievous secrets.

“Kryptos,” the sculpture nestled in a courtyard of the agency’s Virginia headquarters since 1990, is a work of art with a secret code embedded in the letters that are punched into its four panels of curving copper.

“Our work is about discovery — discovering secrets,” said Toni Hiley, director of the C.I.A. Museum. “And this sculpture is full of them, and it still hasn’t given up the last of its secrets.”

Not for lack of trying. For many thousands of would-be code crackers worldwide, “Kryptos” has become an object of obsession. Dan Brown has even referred to it in his novels.

Continue reading… MSNBC

imkeithhernandez


A hidden world, growing beyond control
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
The investigation’s other findings include:
continue reading… Dana Priest and William M. Arkin WaPo  

"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Join Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin live at 1 p.m. for a Q&A about Top Secret America. live.washingtonpost.com/topsecr… #tsa - PostTSA

A hidden world, growing beyond control

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

continue reading… Dana Priest and William M. Arkin WaPo  

"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Join Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin live at 1 p.m. for a Q&A about Top Secret America. live.washingtonpost.com/topsecr… #tsa - PostTSA


A hidden world, growing beyond control
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.
These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.
The investigation’s other findings include:
continue reading… Dana Priest and William M. Arkin WaPo  

"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Join Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin live at 1 p.m. for a Q&A about Top Secret America. live.washingtonpost.com/topsecr… #tsa - PostTSA

A hidden world, growing beyond control

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

The investigation’s other findings include:

continue reading… Dana Priest and William M. Arkin WaPo  

"Top Secret America" is a project nearly two years in the making that describes the huge national security buildup in the United States after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Join Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin live at 1 p.m. for a Q&A about Top Secret America. live.washingtonpost.com/topsecr… #tsa - PostTSA

The documents also lay out, in chilling detail, exactly what should occur in each two-hour waterboarding “session.” Interrogators were instructed to start pouring water right after a detainee exhaled, to ensure he inhaled water, not air, in his next breath. They could use their hands to “dam the runoff” and prevent water from spilling out of a detainee’s mouth. They were allowed six separate 40-second “applications” of liquid in each two-hour session - and could dump water over a detainee’s nose and mouth for a total of 12 minutes a day. Finally, to keep detainees alive even if they inhaled their own vomit during a session - a not-uncommon side effect of waterboarding - the prisoners were kept on a liquid diet. The agency recommended Ensure Plus.

Stomach-churning details of CIA waterboarding crimes boingboing via salon

…This fine-tuned torture process repeatedly took its victims to the brink of death (one victim was waterboarded 180+ times) until many of them simply gave up on breathing and tried to allow themselves to drown, only to be revived by unethical medical personnel who collaborated with the war criminals conducting the torture.

Surprise! You Still Don’t Know Dick!

A crucial CIA memo that has been cited by former Vice President Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials as justifying the effectiveness of waterboarding contained “plainly inaccurate information” that undermined its conclusions,  according to Justice Department investigators.

Cheney has publicly called for the release of the CIA’s still classified memo and another document… will bolster his claim that the rough interrogation tactics he vigorously pushed for…

…One key claim in the agency memo was that the use of the CIA’s enhanced interrogations of Zubaydah led to the capture of suspected “dirty bomb’ plotter Jose Padilla.   “Abu Zubaydah provided significant information on two operatives, Jose Padilla and Binyam Mohammed, who planned to build and detonate a ‘dirty bomb’ in the Washington DC area,” the CIA memo stated, according to the OPR report. “Zubaydah’s reporting led to the arrest of Padilla on his arrival in Chicago in May 2003 [sic].”

But as the Justice report points out, this was wrong.   “In fact, Padilla was arrested in May 2002, not 2003 … The information ‘[leading] to the arrest of Padilla’ could not have been obtained through the authorized use of EITs.” (The use of enhanced interrogations was not authorized until Aug. 1, 2002 and Zubaydah was not waterboarded until later that month.) “ Yet Bradbury relied upon this plainly inaccurate information” in two OLC memos that contained direct citations from the CIA Effectiveness Memo about the interrogations of Zubaydah, the Justice report states.

much more from Newsweek’s Michael Isikoff here.