July 8, 2014
U.S.-German Double Agent Scandal 'Worst in Decades'

As the U.S. government continues to alienate its allies:

Citing two unnamed “U.S. officials familiar with the matter,” Reuters reports that the CIA “was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of [the] German intelligence official.” It goes on:

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.

It was unclear if and when Brennan’s briefing to U.S. lawmakers would take place. The CIA declined any comment on the matter.

Also:

A BBC analyst explains that frustration with America is multipartisan in German politics:

"Outrage" runs across the political spectrum - it’s not just a "chattering class" issue. Wolfgang Bosbach, for example, who is the Christian Democrat [centre-right] head of the Bundestag committee which oversees interior affairs, questioned whether the US and Germany could be considered as "partners" any more.

It’s hilarious to me that the U.S. Government has prosecuted people for doing precisely what the CIA may very well have encouraged the above German intelligence official to do: sell intelligence secrets to a foreign government.  American exceptionalism indeed.

July 6, 2014

eltigrechico:

"Bullshit, sir."

Former head of CIA’s Bin Laden Unit, Michael Scheuer vs. Peter King and fellow congressman on US Foreign Policy, Israel and what inspires the terrorists to fight.

LTMC: A spirited exchange.

(via priceofliberty)

March 13, 2014
"Heads should roll, people should go to jail if it’s true. If it is, the legislative branch should declare war on the CIA….This is Richard Nixon stuff. This is dangerous to the democracy."

Senator Lindsey Graham, civil liberties abuses advocate and NSA defender extraordinaire, upon learning that — gasp! — the government is actually spying on him personally, along with his Senate colleagues.  (via priceofliberty)

LTMC: It’s nice to see that Lindsey Graham is such a fervent defender of democracy when his own rights are at stake.  This is, after all, the same man who said "Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war" when discussing First Amendment rights in the wake of the infamous Terry Jones Koran-burning incident.  It’s always easy to sacrifice other peoples’ liberty for your own security.  When you wind up having to sacrifice your own as well, it’s magical how fast opinions can change.  

It’s sad how predictable this phenomenon can be.  When police in New York City employ “Stop n’ Frisk” to make the city safer, the majority of White New Yorkers approved of the program, while the majority of Black residents did not.  Similar attitudes towards “tough on crime” policies prevail in other large cities, where the collateral damage from aggressive policing is borne almost entirely by poor communities of color.  For the most part, it is not White residents who are being subject to humiliation, harassment, abuse, and violence in Constitution-free police zones.  It is not usually White residents who find themselves inconvenienced and impoverished by aggressive enforcement of petty traffic violations in poor neighborhoods.

This makes it easier for White residents to approve of these tactics, because they are not normally victims of the fallout.  It is not their rights that are being sacrificed to make the community safer.  It is not their cars that are being pulled over multiple times on the same road.  If White residents were being systematically harassed by police, you can bet that their attitude toward “tough on crime” policies would change.  

So it’s not surprising to see Lindsey Graham suddenly up in arms about the CIA spying on him and his legislative peers.  Because it is happening to him, and that scares him.  It scares him to know that federal law enforcement officials could be spying on him.  Just like it scares the residents of poor communities of color to walk down the street knowing they are more likely to be stopped or harassed by police than their White friends.  Just like it scares Arab Americans and Muslims to know that they are more likely to be profiled as terrorists by the TSA, the NSA, the FBI, and the NYPD than their White friends.

I wonder if Senator Lindsey Graham will make the connection.  Probably not, given his magnificent track record.

(Source: hipsterlibertarian, via priceofliberty)

December 9, 2013
[On Creepy Things The Government Does]

thinksquad:

As admitted by the U.S. government, recently declassified documents show that in the 1960′s, the American Joint Chiefs of Staff signed off on a plan to blow up AMERICAN airplanes (using an elaborate plan involving the switching of airplanes), and also to commit terrorist acts on American soil, and then to blame it on the Cubans in order to justify an invasion of Cuba. See the following ABC news report; the official documents; and watch this interview with the former Washington Investigative Producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.

LTMC: And people wonder why false flag conspiracy theories are on the rise.  

As Justice Brandeis said in his dissent to Olmstead v. United States, “Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.”  When the government admits to trying to fool the public into war, it’s no surprise that some people will be suspicious the next time a public act of violence occurs that seems to justify military intervention or a crackdown on civil liberties.  It plays upon an old American tradition that Justice Brennan discussed in 1987:

[A]s adamant as my country has been about civil liberties during peacetime, it has a long history of failing to preserve civil liberties when it perceived its national security threatened. This series of failures is particularly frustrating in that it appears to result not from informed and rational decisions that protecting civil liberties would expose the United States to unacceptable security risks, but rather from the episodic nature of our security crises. After each perceived security crises ended, the United States has remorsefully realized that the abrogation of civil liberties was unnecessary. but it has proven unable to prevent itself from repeating the error when the next crisis came along.

(via priceofliberty)

July 11, 2013
"That the CIA may be in possession of the world’s most highly classified vacuum cleaner blueprints is but one peculiar, lasting byproduct of the controversial U.S. detention and interrogation program."

Confined to the basement of a CIA secret prison in Romania about a decade ago, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, asked his jailers whether he could embark on an unusual project: Would the spy agency allow Mohammed, who had earned his bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, to design a vacuum cleaner?

Read: AP Exclusive: The CIA and a secret vacuum cleaner

(via brooklynmutt)

LTMC: Sounds like a great plot lead for a new season of “24.”  Where is Kiefer Sutherland when you need him?

"Yes, this is Jack Bauer.  Get me the President.  We need to talk about a vacuum cleaner."

(via brooklynmutt)

May 14, 2013
"Evoking the spy games of the Cold War, Russia said Tuesday that it had detained an American diplomat who was carrying cash, two wigs and technical equipment and was trying to recruit a Russian intelligence official to work for the CIA."

'Spirit of the Cold War': Russia says US diplomat was trying to recruit for CIA

Oh boy.  Let’s not start that old thing up again.

8:50pm  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZMMjnxk-g2W5
  
Filed under: politics russia cia cold war 
March 1, 2013
Food for thought.

Food for thought.

May 29, 2012
"The Afghan jihad was the largest covert operation in the history of the CIA. In fiscal year 1987 alone, according to one estimate, clandestine U.S. military aid to the mujahideen amounted to 660 million dollars—”more than the total of American aid to the contras in Nicaragua” (Ahmad and Barnet 1988,44). Apart from direct U.S. funding, the CIA financed the war through the drug trade, just as in Nicaragua. The impact on Afghanistan and Pakistan was devastating. Prior to the Afghan jihad, there was no local production of heroin in Pakistan and Afghanistan; the production of opium (a very different drug than heroin) was directed to small regional markets. Michel Chossudovsky, Professor of Economics at University of Ottawa, estimates that within only two years of the CIA’s entry into the Afghan jihad, “the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands became the world’s top heroin producer, supplying 60 percent of U.S. demand,” (2001:4). The lever for expanding the drug trade was simple: As the jihad spread inside Afghanistan, the mujahideen required peasants to pay an opium tax, Instead of waging a war on drugs, the CIA turned the drug trade into a way of financing the Cold War. By the end of the anti-Soviet jihad, the Central Asian region produced 75 percent of the world’s opium, worth billions of dollars in revenue (McCoy 1997)."

Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: A Political Perspective on Culture and Terrorism (via maozedongisnotcool)

h/t logicallypositive

(via yung-lysenko-deactivated2014040)

January 26, 2012
CIA Pulls Agent From NYPD After Internal Probe

The CIA officer cited by the inspector general for operating without sufficient supervision, Lawrence Sanchez, was the architect of spying programs that helped make the NYPD one of the nation’s most aggressive domestic intelligence agencies. The programs have drawn criticism from Muslims as well as New York and Washington lawmakers. Muslim activists organized a news conference Thursday to urge Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to resign.

Hmmm.  Maybe they pulled the agent because they accidentally discovered that they were breaking laws banning the CIA from gathering intelligence on U.S. soil.  Probably won’t find that in the press release, I imagine.

January 11, 2012
"Had Bush read the intelligence community’s report, he would have seen his administration’s case for invasion stood on its head. The intelligence officials concluded that Saddam was unlikely to use any weapons of mass destruction against the United States or give them to terrorists — unless the United States invaded Iraq and tried to overthrow his regime. The intelligence community did not believe, as the president claimed, that the Iraqi regime was an ally of al Qaeda, and it correctly foresaw any attempt to establish democracy in a post-Saddam Iraq as a hard, messy slog…If the intelligence community’s assessments pointed to any course of action, it was avoiding a war, not launching one."

Paul Pillar, 28-year CIA veteran.

h/t Sullivan

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