Category Archives: Intelligence

Biden Tells Supreme Court That Publicly Documented Torture Is a State Secret, by Marjorie Cohn

Bad as politicians are in public, what they try to hide is always much worse, usually criminal. From Marjorie Cohn at truthout.org:

President Joe Biden takes the stage before delivering remarks on the September jobs numbers in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on October 8, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden takes the stage before delivering remarks on the September jobs numbers in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on October 8, 2021, in Washington, D.C.Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

When Abu Zubaydah was apprehended in Pakistan in 2002, the George W. Bush administration falsely characterized him as chief of operations for al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s number three man. For the next four years, the CIA sent Zubaydah to its “black sites” in Thailand and Poland where he was viciously tortured. In 2006, Zubaydah was taken to Guantánamo, where he remains to this day. He has never been charged with a crime.

The torture of Abu Zubaydah is thoroughly documented in the 2014 report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. In fact, several of the justices at the October 6 Supreme Court oral argument in United States v. Zubaydah referred to his treatment as “torture.”

Zubaydah’s lawyers detailed the torture he suffered in their brief (which referenced the Senate torture report) as follows:

On 83 different occasions in a single month of 2002, he was strapped to an inclined board with his head lower than his feet while CIA contractors poured water up his nose and down his throat, bringing him within sight of death. He was handcuffed and repeatedly slammed into walls, and suspended naked from hooks in the ceiling for hours at a time. He was forced to remain awake for eleven consecutive days, and doused again and again with cold water when he collapsed into sleep. He was forced into a tall, narrow box the size of a coffin, and crammed into another box that would nearly fit under a chair, where he was left for hours. He was subjected to a particularly grotesque humiliation described by the CIA as “rectal rehydration.”

Nevertheless, the Biden administration told the high court that Zubaydah’s well-known torture is a “state secret” because former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said publicizing it would harm national security. Thus, Solicitor General Brian Fletcher argued, the two contractors who orchestrated Zubaydah’s torture in Poland should not be permitted to testify in a Polish court’s criminal investigation into the treatment of Zubaydah.

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The CIA Has Stultified American Consciences, by Jacob G. Hornberger

There’s not a crime the CIA hasn’t committed in the name of the US people. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

One of the worst consequences of converting the federal government to a national-security state has been the stultification or warping of the consciences of the American people. With unwavering allegiance to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, all too many Americans have sacrificed their sense of right and wrong at the altar of “national security,” the two-word term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people.

The best example of this phenomenon is the CIA’s power of assassination. Most Americans have come to passively accept this power, with nary a thought as to the victims against whom it is carried out and under what what circumstances it is carried out.

Consider recent revelations that the CIA was planning to assassinate Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for disclosing dark-side secrets of the U.S. deep state to to the world.

That’s why U.S. officials have pursued him with a vengeance — not because he lied about the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s dark-side activities but rather because he disclosed the truth about them.

That’s why they were seeking to murder him — to silence him, to punish him, and to send a message to other potential disclosers of dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment.

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Silencing Julian Assange: Why Bother with a Trial When You Can Just Kill Him? by Philip Giraldi

Julian Assange’s Wikileaks published truthful information about the American government and that’s been enough to prompt American officials to contemplate his extrajudicial kidnapping or murder. That’s chilling. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

An English friend recently learned about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to either kidnap or kill journalist Julian Assange and quipped “I’ll bet he’s happy to be safe and sound in Belmarsh Prison if he has a chance to read about that!” I replied that his time in Belmarsh has been made as demeaning as possible by an English judge and the British are just as capable of executing a Jeffrey Epstein suicide or “accident” if called upon to do so by their American “cousins.” He agreed, reluctantly. Indeed, the roles of American allies Britain and Australia in what is turning out to be one of the world’s longest-playing judicial dramas has been reprehensible.

For those readers who have missed some of the fun of the Assange saga, a recap is in order. Julian Assange, an Australian citizen who was living in London, was the Editor in Chief and driving force behind Wikileaks, which debuted in 2006 and was one of the alternative news sites that have sprung up over the past twenty years. WikiLeaks was somewhat unique in that it often did not write up its own stories but rather was passed documentary material by sources in government and elsewhere that it then reprinted without any editing.

Assange attracted the ire of the ruling class when he obtained in 2010 a classified video from an unidentified source that showed an unprovoked 2007 shooting incident involving U.S. Army helicopters in Baghdad in which a dozen completely innocent people were killed. The government’s anger at WikiLeaks intensified when, in 2013, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, fled to Hong Kong with classified material that demonstrated that the U.S. government was illegally spying on Americans. WikiLeaks also reportedly helped to arrange Snowden’s subsequent escape to Russia from Hong Kong.

The bipartisan animus directed against WikiLeaks intensified still further in the summer of 2016 when the group’s website began to release emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The immediate conclusion propagated by Team Hillary but unsupported by facts was that Russian intelligence had hacked the emails and given them to WikiLeaks.

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Never Having to Say You’re Sorry, by Karen J. Greenberg

If you have a psychopathic streak and literally want to get away with murder, enter government service. From Karen J. Greenberg at consortiumnews.com:

Karen J. Greenberg says the past two decades have seen no accountability for the lawless  U.S. policies of the war on terror.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin delivers remarks during the Pentagon’s 20th memorial service for 9/11. (DoD, Jack Sanders)

The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was marked by days of remembrances — for the courageous rescue workers of that moment, for the thousands murdered as the Twin Towers collapsed, for those who died in the Pentagon, or in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, fighting off the hijackers of the commercial jet they were in, as well as for those who fought in the forever wars that were America’s response to those al-Qaeda attacks.

For some, the memory of that horrific day included headshaking over the mistakes this country made in responding to it, mistakes we live with to this moment.

Among the more prominent heads being shaken over the wrongdoing that followed 9/11, and the failure to correct any of it, was that of Jane Harman, a Democrat from California, who was then in the House of Representatives. She would join all but one member of Congress — fellow California representative Barbara Lee — in voting for the remarkably vague Authorization for the Use of Force, or AUMF, which paved the way for the invasion of Afghanistan and so much else.

It would, in fact, put Congress in cold storage from then on, allowing the president to bypass it in deciding for years to come whom to attack and where, as long as he justified whatever he did by alluding to a distinctly imprecise term: terrorism.  So, too, Harman would vote for the Patriot Act, which would later be used to put in place massive warrantless surveillance policies, and then, a year later, for the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq (based on the lie that Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction).

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To Save America, Durham Must Reveal The Whole Russiagate Story And Punish The Guilty, by Roger Simon

The betting here is that John Durham’s investigation will end up being an exercise in damage control for the Democrats, but we’re willing to be wrong on that. From Roger Simon at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

A bit more information has emerged from the John Durham investigation into Russiagate (or “Spygate,”as it is known hereabouts).

This is due to what is likely a leak from one or more of the targets to their loyal propagandists at CNN. (In the article, the reporters do their best to downgrade the scandal they fanned for years as no more than a trivial “dirty trick” that all campaigns do. There’s a well-known word for that adapted into the English language.)

The import of these leaks is usually to soften the impact on the target(s), but it also gives us another indication Durham is still active.

In this instance, more subpoenas have been issued, including some to Perkins Coie. That’s the Democratic National Committee’s and Hillary Clinton’s law firm that only a few weeks ago defenestrated—for reasons unspecified, but we can guess— one of Hillary’s principal lawyers, Mark Elias.

The other Clinton campaign lawyer, Michael Sussman, has already been charged with lying to the FBI on the matter of alleged Trump links to the Russian Alpha Bank, ties that turned out to be non-existent.

This time, however, we learned that “Tech Executive-1” in the Sussman indictment is Rodney Joffe, a rather distinguished cybersecurity expert, but not in this case because he was apparently involved with the same attempted deception.

Mr. Joffe was evidently no fan of Donald Trump. How far he took his enmity we shall see as this plays out.

Or we won’t. Therein lies the problem. Many are worried that Durham will only take the investigation so far and then peter out.

A real Russiagate investigation has myriad possible targets with very famous names, some of the most famous, in fact. Yet negativism about the results is everywhere in conservative circles with some justification.

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CIA Plan To Poison Assange Wasn’t Needed. The US Found a ‘Lawful’ Way To Disappear Him, by Jonathan Cook

Not all CIA and US government perpetrated horrors are deep, dark, and secret. Some of their biggest are right out in the open. From Jonathan Cook at antiwar.com:

A Yahoo News’ investigation reveals that, through much of 2017, the CIA weighed up whether to use wholly extrajudicial means to deal with the supposed threat posed by Julian Assange and his whistleblowers’ platform WikiLeaks. The agency plotted either to kidnap or assassinate him.

Shocking as the revelations are – exposing the entirely lawless approach of the main US intelligence agency – the Yahoo investigation nonetheless tends to obscure rather than shine a light on the bigger picture.

Assange has not been deprived of his freedom for more than a decade because of an unimplemented rogue operation by the CIA. Rather, he has been held in various forms of captivity – disappeared – through the collaborations of various national governments and their intelligence agencies, aided by legal systems and the media, that have systematically violated his rights and legal due process.

The reality of Assange’s years of persecution is far worse even than the picture of a thuggish, vengeful, power-mad CIA painted by Yahoo’s reporting.

More than 30 former senior officials, who either served in the US foreign intelligence agency or the Trump administration, helped to piece together for Yahoo the various components of the CIA’s plan. They show that the agency considered two main options for dealing with Assange in addition to then secret moves laying the groundwork for prosecuting the WikiLeaks founder in the US courts.

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Pompeo Effectively Admits To Assange Allegations, by Caitlin Johnstone

Mike Pompeo is whatever comes below the scum of the earth. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

In the process of issuing another not-really-a-denial about a Yahoo News report that the CIA plotted to kidnap, extradite and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in 2017, former CIA director Mike Pompeo said that the 30 former government officials the report was based on “should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Here are some quotes from the exchange on Pompeo’s recent Megyn Kelly Show appearance courtesy of Mediaite:

Kelly asked Pompeo about the claims.

“Makes for pretty good fiction, Megyn,” said Pompeo. “They should write such a novel.”

He added, “Whoever those 30 people who allegedly spoke with one of these reporters, they should all be prosecuted for speaking about classified activity inside the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Pompeo called Wikileaks a “non-state hostile intelligence service” that is “actively seeking to steal American classified information.”

“You deny the report?” asked Kelly.

“There’s pieces of it that are true,” said Pompeo. “We tried to protect American information from Julian Assange and Wikileaks, absolutely, yes. Did our justice department believe they had a valid claim which would’ve resulted in the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to stand trial? Yes. I supported that effort for sure. Did we ever engage in activity that was inconsistent with U.S. law?… We’re not permitted by U.S. law to conduct assassinations. We never acted in a way that was inconsistent with that.”

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Report On CIA Plans To Kidnap Assange Shows Clearest Evidence Yet Of Improper Pressure On Prosecutors, by Kevin Gosztola

Julian Assange should have been released long ago. The latest revelations should get him freed, but they probably won’t. Don’t fool yourself that you’re not living in a police state. From Kevin Gosztola at thedissenter.org:

The district judge who denied the extradition request previously dismissed evidence of improper pressure from the CIA to charge the WikiLeaks founder.

Screen shot from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) event, where CIA Director Mike Pompeo singled out WikiLeaks. | Fair use for news commentary.

Though District Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled against the United States’ extradition request, she rejected the argument from the legal team for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange that hostility within U.S. intelligence agencies “translated into improper pressure on federal prosecutors to bring charges.”

However, a Yahoo! News report on the CIA’s plans to kidnap or kill Assange contains some of the strongest evidence yet that Assange was only charged with crimes because of their thirst for vengeance.

Assange was charged by the U.S. Justice Department with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of conspiracy to commit a computer intrusion that, as alleged in the indictment, is written like an Espionage Act offense.

The charges criminalize the act of merely receiving classified information, as well as the publication of state secrets from the U.S. government. It targets common practices in journalism, which is why the case is widely opposed by press freedom organizations throughout the world.

Assange is detained at Belmarsh, a high-security prison in London where he has been held since he was expelled from the Ecuador embassy in April 2019 and denied bail.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo obsessed over Assange and WikiLeaks, and sought revenge after the publication of “Vault 7” materials, redefining the media organization as a “hostile entity.” (His successor, Gina Haspel, shared his zeal for retaliation.)

Pompeo proposed kidnapping Assange in the summer of 2017. His obsession led several CIA officials to draw up plans for assassinating the publisher.

“Some National Security Council officials” in President Donald Trump’s administration “worried that the CIA’s proposals to kidnap Assange would not only be illegal but also might jeopardize the prosecution of the WikiLeaks founder,” according to the report. “Concerned the CIA’s plans would derail a potential criminal case, the Justice Department expedited the drafting of charges against Assange to ensure that they were in place if he were brought to the United States.”

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How Is The CIA Still A Thing? by Caitlin Johnstone

The CIA wanted to kill Julian Assange and plotted to do so. No surprise there. Like every other revelation about the CIA, it will come and go. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:

Citing “conversations with more than 30 former U.S. officials,” a new report by Yahoo News has confirmed earlier allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency not only spied on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his associates, but also drew up plans for kidnapping, renditioning, and assassinating him.

These plans were reportedly made in coordination with the Trump White House as then-CIA Director Mike Pompeo and then-Deputy CIA Director Gina Haspel raged over WikiLeaks’ 2017 Vault 7 release which revealed that the CIA had lost control of an enormous digital arsenal of hacking tools. These included tools which enabled the surveillance of smartphones, smart TVs and web browsers, the hacking of computerized vehicle control systems, and the ability to frame foreign governments for cyber attacks by inserting the digital “fingerprints” of the hacking methods they employ for investigators to find. It was the single largest data leak in CIA history.

Normally we have to wait decades for confirmation that the CIA did something nefarious, and then people absurdly assume that such things no longer occur because it was so long ago, and because changing your worldview is uncomfortable. But here we are with an extensively sourced report that the agency plotted to kidnap, rendition and assassinate a journalist for publishing authentic documents in the public interest, just four years after the fact.

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Biden Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Tied To Alleged 2016 Clinton Scheme To Co-Opt CIA/FBI To Tar Trump, by Paul Sperry

This looks like a conspiracy that reaches all the way up to Clinton and Obama. From Paul Sperry at realclearinvestigations.com:

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan figures prominently in a grand jury investigation run by Special Counsel John Durham into an alleged 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign scheme to use both the FBI and CIA to tar Donald Trump as a colluder with Russia, according to people familiar with the criminal probe, which they say has broadened into a conspiracy case.

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File
Biden National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as Clinton campaign adviser for the 2016 election.

Sullivan is facing scrutiny, sources say, over potentially false statements he made about his involvement in the effort, which continued after the election and into 2017. As a senior foreign policy adviser to Clinton, Sullivan spearheaded what was known inside her campaign as a “confidential project” to link Trump to the Kremlin through dubious email-server records provided to the agencies, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Last week, Michael A. Sussmann, a partner in Perkins Coie, a law firm representing the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements to the FBI about his clients and their motives behind planting the rumor, at the highest levels of the FBI, of a secret Trump-Russia server. After a months-long investigation, the FBI found no merit to the rumor.

The grand jury indicated in its lengthy indictment that several people were involved in the alleged conspiracy to mislead the FBI and trigger an investigation of the Republican presidential candidate — including Sullivan, who was described by his campaign position but not identified by name.

The Clinton campaign project, these sources say, also involved compiling a “digital dossier” on several Trump campaign officials – including Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Carter Page. This effort exploited highly sensitive, nonpublic Internet data related to their personal email communications and web-browsing, known as Internet Protocol, or IP, addresses.

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