CIA No Longer Can Defend The Indefensible—Its Torture Program

Demonstrators at the International Day to Shut Down Guantanamo in 2007. The rally was held in Washington, D.C. (takomabibelot / Flickr)

By John Kiriakou for Truth Dig – James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, the two contract psychologists who were the masterminds of the CIA’s torture program, are in for a heap of trouble. They are defendants in two major lawsuits accusing them of designing, implementing, overseeing and personally participating in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program. That they did exactly that is not in doubt. Indeed, Mitchell has written proudly of his work in a new book. But what makes these cases newsworthy is that the CIA has apparently turned its back on the two, offering no support and even cooperating with the plaintiffs by voluntarily turning over documents and refusing to supply CIA officers to serve as defense witnesses. (This is not out of the goodness of the CIA’s heart. But we’ll get to that later.) The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed the first suit in January in the federal district court for the Eastern District of Washington state, where Mitchell and Jessen based their company, on behalf of three former CIA detainees—Suleiman Abdullah Salim, Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud and the estate of Gul Rahman, a suspected Afghan militant who was tortured and who died in CIA custody in 2002. The second suit was filed on behalf of Abu Zubaydah in the federal district court for the District of Columbia. The suit holds that Abu Zubaydah was tortured relentlessly by the CIA, which held him in a series of secret prisons around the world.

Wikileaks Unveils ‘Cherry Blossom’ — Wireless Hacking System Used By CIA

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By Swati Khandelwal for The Hacker News – WikiLeaks has published a new batch of the ongoing Vault 7 leak, this time detailing a framework – which is being used by the CIA for monitoring the Internet activity of the targeted systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in Wi-Fi devices. Dubbed “Cherry Blossom,” the framework was allegedly designed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with the help of Stanford Research Institute (SRI International), an American nonprofit research institute, as part of its ‘Cherry Bomb’ project. Cherry Blossom is basically a remotely controllable firmware-based implant for wireless networking devices, including routers and wireless access points (APs), which exploits router vulnerabilities to gain unauthorized access and then replace firmware with custom Cherry Blossom firmware. “An implanted device [called Flytrap] can then be used to monitor the internet activity of and deliver software exploits to targets of interest.” a leaked CIA manual reads.

Rights Group Asks Germany To Arrest CIA Deputy Director

This file photo provided by U.S. Central Command, shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, a non-profit group, is handing a legal submission to German federal prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant for CIA deputy director Gina Haspel over claims she oversaw the torture of detainees like Abu Zubaydah. (U.S. Central Command via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Frank Jordans for Associated Press – BERLIN (AP) — A civil rights group is asking German authorities to issue an arrest warrant for the recently appointed deputy director of the CIA over claims she oversaw the torture of terrorism suspects 15 years ago. The nonprofit European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights submitted a legal brief to German federal prosecutors Tuesday, alleging that Gina Haspel allowed the waterboarding of prisoners at a secret U.S. detention center in Thailand. The prosecutor’s office confirmed Wednesday the complaint had been received and was being reviewed. Similar complaints against senior U.S. officials in the past haven’t resulted in arrest warrants. Advocates describe waterboarding as a form of “enhanced interrogation.” Critics say it amounts to torture, because prisoners are made to feel they are drowning. Haspel was the first female career CIA officer selected to be deputy director in February . The submission by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights — seen by The Associated Press — centers mainly on the case of Abu Zubaydah…

Trump Administration Suppresses CIA Torture Report

From nationofchange.org

By Andrew Emett for Nation of Change – In yet another reversal of former President Barack Obama’s decisions, the Trump administration has begun returning copies of the 6,700-page CIA torture report in accordance with Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr’s demands. Instead of upholding transparency, Trump has taken steps to erase the human rights violations committed by the Central Intelligence Agency from the annals of history. In December 2014, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released the executive summary on the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program. According to the summary, the CIA repeatedly lied to the Committee regarding prisoners’ deaths, the backgrounds of CIA interrogators, threats to detainees’ family members, and the effectiveness of torture. Under pseudonyms within the heavily redacted report, two retired Air Force psychologists, Dr. Bruce Jessen and Dr. James Mitchell, received contracts to develop the CIA’s enhanced interrogation techniques. They decided to reverse-engineer the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) counter-interrogation training by inflicting both physical and psychological torture upon detainees.

The CIA Has A Long History Of Helping To Kill Leaders Around The World

North Korea’s ministry of state security accused the CIA of an alleged recent assassination attempt on Kim Jong-un. Photograph: Wong Maye-E/AP

By Ewen MacAskill for The Guardian – Some of the most notorious of the CIA’s operations to kill world leaders were those targeting the late Cuban president, Fidel Castro. Attempts ranged from snipers to imaginative plots worthy of spy movie fantasies, such as the famous exploding cigars and a poison-lined scuba-diving suit. But although the CIA attempts proved fruitless in the case of Castro, the US intelligence agency has since 1945 succeeded in deposing or killing a string of leaders elsewhere around the world – either directly or, more often, using sympathetic local military, locally hired criminals or pliant dissidents. According to North Korea’s ministry of state security, the CIA has not abandoned its old ways. In a statement on Friday, it accused that the CIA and South Korea’s intelligence service of being behind an alleged recent an assassination attempt on its leader Kim Jong-un. The attempt, according to the ministry, involved “the use of biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance” and the advantage of this was it “does not require access to the target (as) their lethal results will appear after six or 12 months”. The person directly responsible was allegedly a North Korean working for the foreign intelligence agencies.

US ‘Deep State’ Sold Out Counter-Terrorism To Keep Itself In Business

Yemenis gather around a burnt car after it was targeted by a drone strike, killing three suspected al-Qaeda militants on 26 January 2015 between the Marib and Chabwa provinces, a desert area east of Sanaa. The drone strike saw an unmanned aircraft, which only the United States operates in the region, fire four missiles at a vehicle killing the three suspected militants, a day after Washington vowed to continue its campaign against the jihadist group, despite the Arabian Peninsula country's ongoing political crisis (AFP)

By Gareth Porter for Middle East Eye – After it quickly became clear that the US war in Iraq was already motivating young men across the Middle East to wage jihad against the US in Iraq, the chief architect of the occupation of Iraq, Paul Wolfowitz, came up with the patently false rationalisation that Iraq would be a “flytrap” for jihadists. But in January 2005, after a year of research, the CIA issued a major intelligence assessment warning that the war was breeding more al-Qaeda extremist militants from all over the Middle East and even giving them combat experience that they would eventually be able to use back home. In a 2006 National Intelligence Estimate, the intelligence community warned that the number of people identifying themselves as jihadists was growing and was becoming more widespread geographically and even predicted growing terrorist threats from “self-radicalized cells” both in the US and abroad. The war managers continued to claim that their wars were making Americans safer. CIA director Michael Hayden not only sought to sell the flypaper argument on Iraq, but also bragged to the Washington Post in 2008 that the CIA was making great progress against al-Qaeda, based mainly on its burgeoning drone war in Pakistan.

Julian Assange Strikes Back At CIA Director And Talks Trump, Russia, And Hillary Clinton

Elise Swain for The Intercept

By Jeremy Scahill for The Intercept – WIKILEAKS FOUNDER JULIAN ASSANGE is hitting back at Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo following a speech last week in which Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a “hostile nonstate intelligence agency” operating outside of the protections of the First Amendment. “We can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us. To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for,” Pompeo declared, adding an ominous assertion: “It ends now.” Speaking from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living since June 2012, Assange said Pompeo appeared to be issuing a threat. “So how does he propose to conduct this ending? He didn’t say. But the CIA is only in the business of collecting information, kidnapping people, and assassinating people. So, it’s quite a menacing statement that he does need to clarify,” said Assange.

Trump’s CIA Targets Wikileaks

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

By Glenn Greenwald for The Intercept – IN FEBRUARY, after Donald Trump tweeted that the U.S. media were the “enemy of the people,” the targets of his insult exploded with indignation, devoting wall-to-wall media coverage to what they depicted as a grave assault on press freedoms more befitting of a tyranny. By stark and disturbing contrast, the media reaction yesterday was far more muted, even welcoming, when Trump’s CIA Director, Michael Pompeo, actually and explicitly vowed to target freedoms of speech and press in a blistering, threatening speech hedelivered to the D.C. think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies. What made Pompeo’s overt threats of repression so palatable to many was that they were not directed at CNN, the New York Times or other beloved-in-D.C. outlets, but rather at WikiLeaks, more marginalized publishers of information, and various leakers and whistleblowers, including Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden. Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms…

WikiLeaks: Afghan Tunnels The US Just Bombed — “They Were Built By CIA”

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By Jack Burns for Activist Post – Linked to the tweet was a New York Times article from 2005, which described a similar cave complex in detail, and added a few additional details worth noting. “Tora Bora” as it’s known, contains “fortified caves” which are reported to contain, “miles of tunnels, bunkers and base camps, dug deeply into the steep rock walls.” The tunnels were built by the “C.I.A.”, with the help of the Bin Laden family, who constructed the complex. Also jumping in on the mockery of the Trump administration is Edward Snowden, who tweeted, “The bomb dropped today in the middle of nowhere, Afghanistan, cost $314,000,000.” And in a follow up tweet, also said, “Those mujahedeen tunnel networks we’re bombing in Afghanistan? We paid for them.” He, too, linked his tweet to The NY Times article mentioned above. Apparently, the ant farm network of tunnels built by the CIA can now be destroyed by the American military in yet another pseudo-show-of-force meant to make the Trump administration seem tough on Syria, ISIS, and Al Qaeda. It was said Bin Laden even helped to run the bulldozers at Tora Bora and knew the labyrinth of tunnels like the proverbial back of his hand.

Multibillion-Dollar U.S. Spy Agency You Haven’t Heard Of

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration

By James Bamford for Foreign Policy – On a heavily protected military base some 15 miles south of Washington, D.C., sits the massive headquarters of a spy agency few know exists. Even Barack Obama, five months into his presidency, seemed not to have recognized its name. While shaking hands at a Five Guys hamburger restaurant in Washington in May 2009, he asked a customer seated at a table about his job. “What do you [do]?” the president inquired. “I work at NGA, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency,” the man answered. Obama appeared dumbfounded. “So, explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial…” he said, unable to finish the name.

American Corporate MSM Is Merged With CIA And Has Been Since 1950s

Counterpunch.org

By Brandon Turbeville for Activist Post – With the recent back and forth seemingly taking place between two different factions of the American Deep State and playing out before the entire country, a few alternative media outlets have begun to question whether or not certain mainstream media outlets are actually connected to the Deep State, most notably the CIA. With an unimaginable scale of disinformation being released and promoted throughout mainstream channels on a daily basis, all propagandizing the public to go along with the desired direction of the American establishment, few could assume otherwise. However, such connections between American mainstream outlets and the CIA are more than mere conjecture…

Did CIA Kill Reporter Investigating John Brennan?

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By Ralph Lopez for Hub Pages – Emails leaked in 2012 by Wikileaks paint a portrait of CIA Director John Brennan as a fierce partisan for the Obama administration who was behind “witch hunts of investigative journalists” while he was a White House national security advisor during Obama’s first term. The CIA is the primary agency now suggesting that Russia hacked the US election, without ever addressing evidence that the 2016 Democratic primary nomination was hacked by supporters of Hillary Clinton. Brennan was to be the subject of an article by Rolling Stone reporter…

Vault 7: CIA Hacking Tools Revealed

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

By Staff of Wikileaks – Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named “Vault 7″ by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency. The first full part of the series, “Year Zero”, comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election. Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized “zero day” exploits…

German Intel Clears Russia On Interference

Russia Putin Didn't Do It

By Ray McGovern for Consortium News. After a multi-month, politically charged investigation, German intelligence agencies could find no good evidence of Moscow-directed cyber-attacks or a disinformation campaign aimed at subverting the democratic process in Germany. Undaunted, Chancellor Angela Merkel has commissioned a new investigation. President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Like the vast majority of Americans malnourished on “mainstream media,” most Germans have been led to believe that, by hacking and “propaganda,” the Kremlin interfered in the recent U.S. election and helped Donald Trump become president.Last year, Berlin’s two main intelligence agencies, the BND and BfV (counterparts of the CIA and FBI) launched a joint investigation to substantiate allegations that Russia was meddling in German political affairs and attempting to shape the outcome of Germany’s elections next September.

CIA Vs. Trump, The Enemy Of Our Enemy Isn’t Our Friend

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency’s headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

By Michael Goldstein for Huffington Post. Trump’s base should be our base, this CIA stuff entrenches them in his camp. Further, unlike typical fascists, he has not built mass organizations or gangs of thugs to intimidate his opposition, but what is happening now could change that. We may be willing to look the other way while the Deep State tries to do what the Democratic Party could not, but do you think those who favored Trump aren’t noticing? Check out The Breitbart News piece headlined “The Deep State Bumps Off General Flynn. Who’s the Next Target?” Attempts to subvert an election Trump voters feel they won under the longstanding rules of the game can only solidify their sense of being beleaguered by a liberal establishment. Moreover, such attempts give them reason to self-organize and set up their own brutal gangs or militias, since their victory is being threatened by demonstrably undemocratic means. … we don’t get better democracy by letting the agencies so practiced at subverting governments overseas pull us out of a bad situation at home by doing it here.