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Tag: Intelligence


George Washington’s Farewell Address: A ‘Warning Against the Impostures of Pretended Patriotism’

On Independence Day, against official claims that mass domestic surveillance is needed to ensure U.S. security, Truthdig reprints the farewell address of the first president of the United States.

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 READ MORE



Government Wants to Improve Its Cybersecurity and Weaken Ours

The FBI wants tech companies to build “back doors” into encryption that protects user information but allows government to access the data. But even if that was OK with you, it wouldn’t work, says one expert.

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 READ MORE



Has America Changed Since Edward Snowden’s Disclosures?

On the second anniversary of Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, it is worth reviewing what has changed—and what has not.

Posted on Jun 14, 2015 READ MORE


NSA Whistleblower William Binney: Seeking Blackmail Power, U.S. Officials Enabled 9/11

The 31-year National Security Agency veteran blew the whistle when he realized technology that he had developed to protect Americans was being used to spy on them. In a wide-ranging, 45-minute discussion, he and Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer discuss who’s responsible for the surveillance program, how authorities’ desire for blackmail power through mass spying was a factor in their failure to stop the 9/11 attacks, and more.

Posted on May 15, 2015 READ MORE



Terrorism, Violence, and the Culture of Madness

So-called free market policies, values, and practices with their emphasis on the privatization of public wealth, the elimination of social protections, and the deregulation of economic activity now shape practically every commanding political and economic institution in the United States.

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Threatened Germany Over Snowden, Vice Chancellor Says

German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said the U.S. government threatened to stop sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin gave asylum to the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel there.

Posted on Mar 20, 2015 READ MORE



Robert Scheer: On Civil Liberties, Obama’s ‘Probably the Worst President We’ve Had’

Barack Obama “makes George W. Bush and Richard Nixon look good by comparison,” Truthdig’s editor-in-chief told Salon in an interview about his new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2015 READ MORE



The Real American Exceptionalism

While Presidents Eisenhower and Bush decided on exceptions that violated national boundaries and international treaties, President Obama is exercising his exceptional prerogatives in the unbounded domains of aerospace and cyberspace.

Posted on Feb 26, 2015 READ MORE


Why Are Intelligence Agencies So Unintelligent?

Robert Scheer, Leslie Cockburn and Juan Cole discuss how intelligence agencies have failed when it comes to the Middle East, terrorism and other areas.

Posted on Feb 20, 2015 READ MORE



It’s Official: Joseph Clancy to Head the Secret Service

President Obama permanently appointed Clancy to the position Wednesday. He had been serving as interim chief of the beleaguered agency since former Director Julia Pierson was ousted in October.

Posted on Feb 18, 2015 READ MORE



Uncle Sam’s Databases of Suspicion

The Chico Police Department was secretly keeping tabs on Gill as a suspected terrorist. Yet nowhere in a suspicious activity report was there a scintilla of evidence that he was engaged in any kind of criminal activity whatsoever. Nevertheless, that report was uploaded to the federal government’s domestic intelligence-sharing network.

Posted on Nov 7, 2014 READ MORE



Entering the Intelligence Labyrinth

In a capital riven by fierce political disagreements, just about everyone agrees on the absolute, total and ultimate importance of the “U.S. Intelligence Community” and whatever its top officials might decide in order to keep this country safe and secure.

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Government Doesn’t Need Evidence to Call You a Terrorist

A key government document obtained by The Intercept confirms that the Obama administration does not require “concrete facts” or “irrefutable evidence” to brand Americans or foreigners as suspected terrorists.

Posted on Jul 24, 2014 READ MORE



The Smartest People On the Move?

What role might basic intelligence play in determining where people choose to live? Psychologist Markus Jokela of the University of Helsinki gives his answer in an upcoming issue of the journal Intelligence.

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 READ MORE



NSA Row Sparks Rush for Encrypted Email

A new push to encrypt email, keeping messages free from government snooping, is gaining momentum.

Posted on May 18, 2014 READ MORE



Knowledge Is Crime

There is but one crime for which anyone in America’s national security state can be held accountable in a court of law, and that’s leaking information that might put those in it in a bad light or simply let the American public know something more about what its government is really doing.

Posted on Apr 21, 2014 READ MORE



Intelligence Director to Edward Snowden: Hand Over Your Documents

If former NSA analyst-turned-whistle-blower Edward Snowden is sitting on any more classified documents with intent to leak their contents, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper believes Snowden ought to give them back to the U.S. government.

Posted on Jan 29, 2014 READ MORE



Screenshot via The Guardian

Edward Snowden’s Detractors in Congress Call Him a ‘Thief,’ Wonder Who Helped Him

It’s safe to say that Rep. Mike Rogers doesn’t think Edward Snowden’s leaks of U.S. government information were motivated by a sense of patriotism.

Posted on Jan 19, 2014 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

Report Says Administration Wasn’t Lying About Benghazi

The bipartisan report on Benghazi released Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee should finally convince conspiracy theorists of the obvious: There is no there there.

Posted on Jan 17, 2014 READ MORE



anddoesitexplode (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Can Sex Make You Smarter?

Having trouble remembering key things due to the stress of the everyday grind? Forget your ginkgo biloba tablets, have some sex instead.

Posted on Jan 13, 2014 READ MORE



Reigh LeBlanc (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Too Much Intelligence Can Be Bad for You

It is possible that, like all things good and bad, an overabundance of cleverness can produce negative outcomes in a person’s day to day life, philosopher and writer Julian Baggini argues.

Posted on Dec 31, 2013 READ MORE



AK Rockefeller (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Hollywood Without the Happy Ending

Plea bargaining or persuading criminals to snitch on their associates—a tactic frowned upon by international legal experts—is widely used in the U.S. police and legal system. Over the last year or so, however, a trickle of information about the other secret program has come to light, and it opens an astonishing new window into the privatization of U.S. intelligence.

Posted on Dec 6, 2013 READ MORE



Back in the Day, Minimum Wage Could Feed a Family

Current minimum wage earners can’t make it above the poverty line, but this wasn’t the case before the ’80s; a radioactive bomb can be used to clear out the AIDS virus in the body; meanwhile, a new study finds a correlation between intelligence and drinking. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Dec 5, 2013 READ MORE


What the President Knew and When He Knew It

The president knew. Presidents always know, but are supposed to be protected from what they saw, heard and did when the best-laid plans hit the fan.

Posted on Nov 1, 2013 READ MORE



White House/Pete Souza

How Much Did Obama Know About NSA Spying? Depends on Whom You Ask

Intelligence officials speaking anonymously (do they know any other method?) are reportedly pissed that the White House seems to be distancing the president from the NSA’s metastasizing eavesdropping scandal.

Posted on Oct 28, 2013 READ MORE



LoopZilla (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Beating Swords Into Solar Panels

War, the military-industrial complex, and the national security state that go with it cost in every sense an arm and a leg. And that, in the twenty-first century, is where so many American tax dollars have gone.

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 READ MORE



*n3wjack's world in pixels (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Truthdigger of the Week: Lavabit’s Ladar Levison

Americans love an underdog. So they should be cheering Ladar Levison, a 32-year-old digital security specialist who closed the email service he operated for 10 years rather than help the U.S. government spy on his customers.

Posted on Aug 10, 2013 READ MORE



Tony Fischer Photography (CC BY 2.0)

I Only Regret That I Have But One Life to Give for My Country: Yours

Washington is now spy central. It surveils not just potential future enemies, but also its closest allies as if they were enemies. Increasingly, the structure built to do a significant part of that spying is aimed at Americans, too, and on a scale that is no less breathtaking.

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 READ MORE


George W. Bush
AP/Ron Edmonds

Bush Caved on NSA Surveillance After Top Officials Threatened to Resign

According to The Washington Post, some of the top officials who served during the George W. Bush administration, including the man whom President Obama may tap to become the next head of the FBI, threatened to resign nine years ago upon learning that then-President Bush had ordered the NSA to begin collecting metadata on emails and Skype calls placed within the U.S.

Posted on Jun 17, 2013 READ MORE



Gore Criticizes NSA Surveillance, Maher Slams Entrenched Congress, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including Iran elects a new president and the latest Gallup poll reveals which societal institution Americans have the least amount of confidence in.

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 READ MORE



SeanPavonePhoto / Shutterstock.com

The Two Centers of Unaccountable Power in America and Their Consequences

There are two great centers of unaccountable power in the American political-economic system today—places where decisions that significantly affect large numbers of Americans are made in secret, and are unchecked either by effective democratic oversight or by market competition.

Posted on Jun 16, 2013 READ MORE



AP/Jacquelyn Martin

Former NSA Whistle-Blower: Don’t Go to the Cops

Thomas Drake, one of the few government whistle-blowers of the Bush and Obama years to stave off prosecution, explains why people like him should avoid official channels when disclosing classified information.

Posted on Jun 13, 2013 READ MORE



AP/J. Scott Applewhite

Intelligence Director Confirms Online Spying

The Obama administration has acknowledged using a secret program to spy on millions of customers of the biggest technology companies.

Posted on Jun 7, 2013 READ MORE



JD Hancock (CC BY 2.0)

The U.S. Intelligence Community’s New Year’s Wish

Every few years, the intelligence community’s “center for long-term strategic analysis” has been intent on producing a document it calls serially Global Trends [fill in the future year]. The latest edition, out just in time for Barack Obama’s second term, is Global Trends 2030.

Posted on Jan 3, 2013 READ MORE



Electronic Frontier Foundation (CC BY 2.0)

Truthdigger of the Week: Electronic Frontier Foundation

As the larger part of American culture seems ready to surrender its claim to privacy without question, organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation are riding like Paul Revere through the digital Massachusetts night.

Posted on Dec 29, 2012 READ MORE


The Petraeus Affair

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Posted on Nov 13, 2012 READ MORE



CIA

A Bizarro Spy Tale With Missing Pieces

The one familiar aspect of the David Petraeus scandal is that he had an affair. Everything else about this story is weird.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 READ MORE



Flickr/Splic3

The Problem With Americans: Too Much Sleep

The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be understated. Research suggests that getting eight hours every night can make you happier, richer, smarter and hornier. But for many Americans, the problem with their sleep pattern is not that they’re getting too little, but that they are getting too much.

Posted on Sep 24, 2012 READ MORE



Poster Boy NYC (CC BY 2.0)

Impunity at Home, Rendition Abroad

Through rendition—the sending of terrorist suspects to the prisons of countries that torture—and related policies, President Obama has outsourced human rights abuse to Afghanistan, Somalia and elsewhere, thus avoiding the political stigma of torture, while tacitly tolerating such abuses and harvesting whatever intelligence can be gained from them.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 READ MORE



Lance Page/Truthout.org

Would-Be Underwear Bomber Was CIA Double Agent

The recently uncovered al-Qaida plot to take down a U.S.-bound airliner took a dramatic turn Tuesday: It turns out that the would-be bomber who was chosen to carry out the mission was actually an informant for the CIA.

Posted on May 8, 2012 READ MORE



Jennuine Captures (CC-BY)

Data Mining for a New American World

I was out of the country only nine days, hardly a blink in time, but time enough, as it happened, for another small, airless room to be added to the American national security labyrinth.

Posted on Apr 4, 2012 READ MORE



mobyhill (CC-BY)

Dead Americans, Dead Goats, and Half a Million Gunmen on the Loose

Since May 2007, 76 NATO soldiers have been killed and an undisclosed number wounded in 46 recorded “deliberate attacks” by members of the Afghan National Security Force. These figures suggest more than a recent “trend of Afghan treachery.”

Posted on Mar 8, 2012 READ MORE



AP / Paul Sakuma

Steve Jobs, According to the FBI

Since his death last year, we’ve heard plenty of lionizing and denigrating takes on Steve Jobs and his challenging leadership style, but we can now add the FBI’s character sketch of the late Apple founder, circa the George H.W. Bush era, to that mix.

Posted on Feb 9, 2012 READ MORE



CIA

What’s a Seasoned CIA Agent Doing at the NYPD?

Here’s a spooky story: The Central Intelligence Agency has once again called unwanted attention to its clandestine collaboration with the New York Police Department, a relationship that was fortified after 9/11 and led to special NYPD surveillance of the city’s Muslim communities, as it has come to the notice of select lawmakers and media outlets that an experienced CIA operative ... (more)

Posted on Oct 17, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Ben Piven (CC-BY)

The NYPD’s ‘Moroccan Initiative’

An Associated Press investigative team revealed in an article Thursday ways that, sometime around 2003 or 2004, part of the New York Police Department transformed from being a public security service that solved murders and muggings to a mini domestic intelligence agency that targeted the Moroccan Muslim community.

Posted on Sep 22, 2011 READ MORE


Former FBI Interrogator Tells ‘60 Minutes’ About Emergence of Torture Tactics

Little is publicly known about the security investigations that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but a recent “60 Minutes” interview with a former FBI agent shed some light on what had been going on behind the scenes.

Posted on Sep 17, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Jin Lee

New York, D.C. Respond to Specific, Credible Terrorist Threat

New York and Washington, D.C., police officers are ramping up security measures Friday in response to what intelligence officials are calling a specific, credible terrorist threat planned for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Posted on Sep 9, 2011 READ MORE



CIA

Documents Show Close CIA Relationship to Gadhafi Regime

The CIA had a close relationship with Libyan intelligence under the regime of Moammar Gadhafi, according to documents seized from Libyan intelligence headquarters.

Posted on Sep 3, 2011 READ MORE



Flickr / Steve Rhodes

Magazine Publishes Full Manning-Lamo Chat Logs

More than a year after Pfc. Bradley Manning was arrested on suspicion of passing tens of thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, Wired magazine has released the full record of the conversations between Manning and former hacker Adrian Lamo that led to Manning’s imprisonment. Previously, the logs had appeared only in redacted form, a situation that generated criticism in some quarters. (more)

Posted on Jul 14, 2011 READ MORE



AP / Aqeel Ahmed

Pakistan Busts Alleged Aides in Bin Laden Blitz

This bit of news probably will not help the already dicey relationship between Pakistan and the U.S.: Pakistani officials have arrested five people believed to have assisted the CIA in the operation that felled Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad last month. 

Posted on Jun 15, 2011 READ MORE


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