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Unmasking Deep Throat

Unmasking Deep Throat

By John W. Dean
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Tag: Security

U.S. Terror Targets: Petting Zoo and Flea Market?

The official anti-terrorism database is so flawed that it lists 8,591 potential terrorism targets in Indiana—50% more than in New York and twice as many as in California. Examples: “Old MacDonaldÂ’s Petting Zoo, the Amish Country Popcorn factory and the Mule Day Parade.”

Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


Iraq to America: We Need Security—Against Your Soldiers

Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, reports Reuters. Iraq’s human rights minister says the lack of enforcement of U.S. military law has led to crimes like the rape-murder allegedly committed by five U.S. soldiers.

Posted on Jul 11, 2006 READ MORE


The face of the occupation

The Occupation of Iraqi Hearts and Minds

Truthdig contributor Nir Rosen, an American reporter who has lived for the last three years in Iraq and who can pass as Middle Eastern, describes what it’s like to live under the boot of a culturally callous—and sometimes criminal—occupying force in Iraq.

Posted on Jun 27, 2006 READ MORE


NSA mining social networking sites
Faces: from smartmobs.com / NSA seal: from isoc.org

NSA Wants to Mine Data From Social Networking Sites

The National Security Agency is funding research into ways to collect personal information from social networking websites like MySpace and Friendster, according to New Scientist magazine. The agency reportedly aims to combine the information with details from banking, retail and property records, allowing the NSA to build extensive, all-embracing personal profiles of individuals.

Posted on Jun 9, 2006 READ MORE


Joe Conason: Fire Chertoff, for Starters

Department of Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff may have again revealed his incompetence by slashing New York’s anti-terror funding, but the problems plaguing that agency reach far deeper than one man. 

Posted on Jun 8, 2006 READ MORE


Feds Cut Anti-Terror Funding in NYC, D.C.

The Department of Homeland Security slashed anti-terrorism money for Washington and New York in favor of cities like Jacksonville and Sacramento. Stunner: “A DHS risk scorecard for the city asserted that the home of the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge has ‘zero’ national monuments or icons.”

Posted on Jun 1, 2006 READ MORE


Bush Increases Use of ‘State Secrets’ Privilege to Quash Lawsuits

The administration is using this tactic at a rate of three lawsuits per year—purportedly to keep national security information safe. But one expert says that in cases like these, “the principal concern of the classifiers is not with national security, but with governmental embarrassment of one sort or another.”

Posted on May 25, 2006 READ MORE


N.Y. Times: Hold the Applause in Iraq

The national unity cabinet that Iraq presented this weekend will remain impotent unless Iraq can reform its “corrupt, brutal and highly partisan security forces”—the death squads that now range the country with impunity—argues the Times’ editorial board.

Posted on May 22, 2006 READ MORE


Gonzales: We May Prosecute Journalists

Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales says that the Bush White House may go after journalists who report on national security-related matters. “There are some statutes on the book which, if you read the language carefully, would seem to indicate that that is a possibility.”
Funny: There are lots of FISA statutes that you don’t have to read particularly carefully to learn that spying on Americans without warrants is illegal.

Posted on May 22, 2006 READ MORE


Hayden Denounces Media Coverage of CIA Activities

Gen. Michael Hayden bemoaned the “endless picking apart” of CIA operations in the news media during today’s confirmation hearing on his nomination to head the intelligence agency.
If the architect of the NSA domestic wiretapping program gets this promotion, it will be like a Jon Stewart joke gone horribly wrong.

Posted on May 18, 2006 READ MORE


BellSouth: We Didn’t Give Data to NSA

The phone company says that, despite the claims made in the USA Today story, it never provided phone records to the NSA.

Posted on May 15, 2006 READ MORE


Leslie Cauley
Images: From "The Charlie Rose Show"

Truthdigger of the Week: Leslie Cauley

Truthdig salutes Leslie Cauley, the USA Today reporter who broke the blockbuster story about the NSA’s program to amass the records of every phone call made in America. Her scoop laid waste to President Bush’s assertion that his domestic spying targets only a handful of suspected terrorists living in the U.S. In the wake of her story, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter is calling for congressional hearings.

Posted on May 12, 2006 READ MORE


Presidential Ears

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Posted on May 12, 2006 READ MORE


Cryptokids
From NSA.gov

The NSA: Fostering a New Generation of Code Breakers

The presumed next head of the CIA, Gen. Michael Hayden, once ran the National Security Agency. Fine. It’s got a cartoon picture that leads to a kid-friendly site called Cryptokids: America’s Future Codemakers and Codebreakers. It’s filled with decryption games and NSA employment resources.
Huh? Cartoons appeal to 7-year-olds. How many of them are going to be surfing the NSA’s website? And if the agency is trying to recruit high school students, why use a cartoon turtle as a roper?

Posted on May 6, 2006 READ MORE


U.S. Soccer
From Brooks Parkenridge / ussoccer.com

U.S. Soccer Team Bus Will Show No Flag

If you want an idea of America’s image in the world, consider this: Of the 32 official buses transporting teams competing in soccer World Cup, only America’s will not bear its national flag—for security reasons.

Posted on May 5, 2006 READ MORE


Claim: Ridge Forced a Whitewash of Security Criticisms

The former inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security says he was confronted by then-Secretary Tom Ridge ?to intimidate me, to stare me down, to force me to back off” from criticizing security failures in advance of the 2004 presidential election.

Posted on May 1, 2006 READ MORE


Joe Conason: Washington Leaking: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Determining which leaks are bad and which are good can be a murky process.

Posted on Apr 28, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Scheer: Top Spys Story on Prewar Intel Is Finally Told

A jaded media ignores CBS’ well-documented revelation that the CIA clearly informed Bush that Saddam Hussein had no WMD program.

Posted on Apr 25, 2006 READ MORE


Robert Scheer: Now Powell Tells Us

Colin Powell told me that he and his department’s top experts never believed that Iraq posed an imminent nuclear threat, but that the president followed the misleading advice of Vice President Dick Cheney and the CIA in making the claim.

Posted on Apr 11, 2006 READ MORE


Province by Province: A Picture of Worsening Conditions in Iraq

The U.S. Embassy and military in Baghdad issued a revealing province by province report of Iraq’s political, economic and security situation. The “Provincial Stability Assessment” paints a gloomy picture of intensifying sectarian and ethnic frictions and growing instability in many of the provinces profiled.  Funny, our leaders always say how well things are going…

Posted on Apr 8, 2006 READ MORE


Drone Aircraft May Prowl U.S. Skies

The Congress hears from police agencies that envision using unmanned military drones for surveillance—in one troubling example, high above American cities.

Posted on Apr 4, 2006 READ MORE


Ibrahim al-Jaafari
From Christoph Bangert/Polaris/NY Times

Iraqi Leader to U.S.: Stop Meddling

Jafaari rebuffs Bush’s alleged call for him to step down, telling Washington to stop interfering in Iraq’s politics.

Posted on Mar 29, 2006 READ MORE


Dept of Defense seal
From Federal Computer Week

Defense Dept. Removes Critical Report from Website

The report, by the DoD’s inspector general, found security flaws in the “Star Wars” missile defense system. After a magazine did a story on the report, the DoD scrubbed the document from its website, and won’t say why it did so. Luckily for us curious types, the magazine saved a digital copy. (h/t: ThinkProgress)

Posted on Mar 22, 2006 READ MORE


Healing_Iraq_bio_cartoon
From healingiraq.blogspot.com

Iraqi Blogger Writes of Harrowing Existence

The Washington Post ran a week’s worth of postings by a young, UK-raised Iraqi dentist who describes the unnerving experience of living “between the hammer of terrorists and the anvil of American, British and Iraqi security forces.”
(Also, check out his blog, Healing Iraq, with his bio.)

Posted on Mar 20, 2006 READ MORE


Gunmen Seize 50 at Iraq Security Firm

This incident—coming on the heels of the discovery of 20 bodies dumped in Baghdad—is the face of urban civil war on the model of the Battle of Algiers.

Posted on Mar 8, 2006 READ MORE


Burning Bridges in Asia

The N.Y. Times says that Bush, on his Asia trip, not only squandered a fine opportunity to shore up alliances and generate goodwill, but probably made things much worse by embarrassing Pakistan’s leader.

Posted on Mar 7, 2006 READ MORE


Ports Deal to Close by Monday?

A Bush official claims that the Dubai ports deal will close Friday or Monday, despite a 45-day review by the U.S. government.
Uhhh, can anyone help us figure this one out? It seems ludicrous, but then again, so was Bush’s immediate response to Sept. 11.

Posted on Mar 3, 2006 READ MORE


oreilly_olbermann
Thismodernvoice.com

O’Reilly Threatens Caller re Olbermann

Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann have been feuding for a while now (background story here, a video example, and another clip), and on Thursday, when a caller to O’Reilly’s show merely mentioned Olbermann’s name, Bill cut the line and said, “We have your phone number and we’re going to turn it over to Fox security, and you’re going to get a visit”—as though the caller was threatening O’Reilly—when in fact O’Reilly was threatening the caller!
UPDATE: FOX security calls back

Posted on Mar 3, 2006 READ MORE


Al Qaeda in 2002: We Infiltrated UAE

The terrorist organization wrote that it had infiltrated the United Arab Emirates government four years ago, and that the emirates were “well aware” of the infiltration. This is the country that is angling to take over control of major U.S. ports. (Hat tip: Think Progress and Scripps Howard, which broke the news.)

Posted on Mar 1, 2006 READ MORE


Armed Cheney to Guard Ports

Attempting to defuse the controversy over the decision to place the operation of several key American ports in the hands of a company based in Dubai, Vice President Dick Cheney said today that he would personally patrol those ports with a 28-gauge shotgun.

Posted on Feb 24, 2006 READ MORE


Iraq, Three Years Later

One month shy of the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, United Press International asks the following: Is Iraq better off? Is the United States any safer? Are its allies in Europe and elsewhere more secure? Its answer: Hardly.

Posted on Feb 21, 2006 READ MORE


Committee Head Wary of Arab Control Over U.S. Ports

With a company owned by the United Arab Emirates set to take control over six U.S. ports, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is urging the White House to reconsider approval of a sale.
It was news to us at Truthdig that a foreign power could even do such a thing in the first place.

Posted on Feb 16, 2006 READ MORE


Yuval Diskin
AP

Israel Security Chief in Secretly Made Tape: We May ‘Miss Saddam’

Remember when the neocons boasted that invading Iraq would be good for Israel? The chief of Israel’s domestic security agency, Yuval Diskin, begs to differ. Diskin said in a secretly taped speech that a “strong dictatorship would be preferable to the present ‘chaos’ in Iraq.” So much for making the Middle East more stable.

Posted on Feb 9, 2006 READ MORE


Top Counter-Terrorism Official Removed Amid Turmoil at the CIA

The departure “comes at a time when the agency is bleeding top talent, robbing the CIA of institutional memory and damaging morale among case officers and analysts.” | story

Posted on Feb 7, 2006 READ MORE


The Banality of Intelligence

Walter Pincus, one of the best-informed national security reporters in the country, offers a video critique of the Senate appearance of the nation’s new spy chief.  | video

Posted on Feb 3, 2006 READ MORE


Gov’t Agency Paints Dire Picture of ‘Out-of-Control’ Iraq

This official U.S. assessment is much darker than what the Pentagon is peddling to the public. It was drawn up for contractors bidding on rehab projects.  | story
Call us cynical, but why exactly are they getting different intel than the rest of us?

Posted on Jan 18, 2006 READ MORE


All Your Phone Call Records are for Sale, Cheap

Anyone can buy a list of your incoming and outgoing calls, cellphone or hard-line, for $110. Congress knows, shrugs | more

Posted on Jan 9, 2006 READ MORE


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