Central Intelligence Agency

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Legendary CIA counterspy James Jesus Angleton. Photo: Harvey Georges/AP

“Wilderness of Mirrors”

It is inconceivable that a secret arm of the government has to comply with all the overt orders of the government  

-James Jesus Angleton

Long before Game of Thrones dubbed its spymaster The Spider, James Jesus Angleton earned that name. His internal witch hunts still leave people wondering—madman, genius, or both?

Angleton had been forced to resign from the Central Intelligence Agency after two decades running its counterintelligence operations. In news reports and in outright fiction, Angleton was portrayed as amazingly eccentric and wildly paranoid, the mastermind who kept American intelligence operations safe from Soviet “moles,” and the madman whose “sick-think” destroyed careers and paralysed the agency with his obsessive hunt for traitors. Indeed, there were some who said he’d done so much damage that Angleton must be the mole.

His name became part of every enigmatic event of the 1960s, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the subsequent murder of one of his mistresses (the ex-wife of another CIA man).

As chief of counterintelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency from the early 1950s to the early 1970s, James Jesus Angleton built a formidable reputation. Although perhaps best known for leading the agency’s notorious “Molehunt”—the search for a Soviet spy believed to have infiltrated the upper levels of the American government—Angleton also played a key role in the U.S. intervention in the Italian election of 1948, in Israel’s development of nuclear weapons, and in the management of the CIA’s investigation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

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Rick Ames. The Takedown of a CIA Officer Turned Soviet Spy – Photo: ABC News

Brilliant or Bumbling Idiot?

Rick Ames, a lifelong employee of the Central Intelligence Agency, betrayed at least 12 of the best secret agents working for the United States from within the Soviet Union and the Soviet bloc during the 1980’s. All were jailed and most were executed. “They died because this warped, murdering traitor wanted a bigger house and a Jaguar,” says the Director of Central Intelligence, R. James Woolsey.

From 1975 to 1985, the C.I.A. promoted Aldrich Hazen Ames, an alcoholic underachiever going through a financially ruinous divorce from a fellow spy, to increasingly sensitive posts, unaware that he was thinking all the decade about selling the agency’s deepest secrets to Moscow. For the next decade, it remained unaware that he was hand-delivering reams of top secret papers to the Soviets and talking his vodka-soaked heart out with his Communist case officers in annual all-nighters.

Spies. Nuclear warheads. Submarine technology. Stolen documents that could threaten national security. Countries have been spying on each other as long as there have been countries. When countries get their hands caught in the proverbial cookie jar, denial and feigned shock are the official reactions.

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George H. White’s passport on file at Stanford Special Collections. White used it to travel the world busting dope dealers. But back in San Francisco, he was dosing civilians with acid without their knowledge.

A War On Drugs

How the CIA Dosed Citizens with LSD 

At first, the CIA thought LSD would make them virtual masters of the universe. Later, after sober second thought, they realized they might have to set their sights little lower, but they continued their enthusiasm for the drug (which Richard Helms called “dynamite”)

The hippies and other counterculture movements weren’t the only groups to experiment with mind-altering substances. Starting in 1953, the Central Intelligence Agency conducted research on psychedelic drugs as part of a top-secret behaviour modification program codenamed MKULTRA. This bizarre project saw the CIA undertake an extensive—and ethically dubious—series of psychological experiments involving hypnosis, shock therapy, interrogation, and hallucinogens like LSD.

The CIA wanted to acquaint its own operatives with the effects of the drug. Under MKUltra’s umbrella, LSD — invented in 1938 by chemist Albert Hofmann — was tested on CIA agents and unwitting civilians. In 2006, a man named Wayne Ritchie brought a case claiming that in 1957, he had attempted to rob a bar due to LSD testing at an office Christmas party. Unfortunately for Ritchie, and others, the link between dosings and terrible consequences have been hard to prove.

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To all appearances, Candy Jones was a successful woman. The tall blonde beauty, born Jessica Wilcox in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1925, had parlayed her initial success as one of the first cover-girl models in the 1940s into Broadway appearances and a USO tour of the South Pacific.

Candy Jones

[How she became a model for Harry Conover]:

One day I saw Harry Conover in a newsreel talking about the well-scrubbed American girl. That’s me. So I tried him. That day I was looking well-scrubbed in a big sloppy sweater and pearls down to my navel. I had slacks on, too. Harry didn’t say anything right away but I remember I took those pearls off. I guess he must have thought for about ten minutes and then he told me, ‘All right, now let’s change your name. From now on you’re Candy Jones.’ It was as simple as all that.

It’s a far-fetched tale, one you may have a hard time believing. But the story of Candy Jones has become part of the history of the CIA MK-Ultra program, one in which unwilling US and Canadian citizens were experimented on with drugs and allegedly abused in order to create the perfect spy.

A small box sat on the table. Wires ran from it to her wrist and to her shoulder. They shocked her. It hurt terribly. They shocked her, over and over, and asked question after question about the story of her life and her CIA link. She did not know about any CIA link. The torturers would not believe her. They shocked her again. They asked, her again, What about Dr. Jensen. Do you know a Dr. Jensen?

You have asked me enough…

You should know, she groaned. Why don’t you just kill me? Why do you keep me here like this?

To somebody in Washington, D.C., what those interrogators were doing to Candy Jones was just an experiment to see if the programming of a hypnocourier held up under torture.

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Hide on Key, Labour and spying

The report is in and, contrary to the screaming skull’s assertions, there is not and has not been any mass surveillance of Kiwis.

Rodney Hide examines security, intelligence and Labour’s game-playing in his Herald on Sunday column:

There’s a reason John Key remains Prime Minister, having outpolled five successive Labour Party leaders: he is smart. And not just smart: very smart.

We can see that in his choosing Sir Michael Cullen along with lawyer Dame Patsy Reddy to review our spy agencies.

Cullen is Labour through and through and his conducting of the review should help depoliticise what has become a vexed issue.

He is also smart and will make it hard for Labour to oppose the review’s findings and recommendations.

Spying is highly politically charged and is a loser for any Government – the usual transparency that ensures accountability would undermine the very purpose of the agencies.

Until recent times there has been multi-party agreement and oversight of the spy agencies, including the Greens being represented on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

The political parties have placed the cause of national security above the seeking of political advantage and the agencies have also worked hard to be transparent with the Parliamentary parties.

The system has worked.

But, politics being politics, the Government-Opposition bipartisanship broke down when the political opportunity presented itself.

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Key’s smart politics forcing Little into a corner over spy agency report

Tracy Watkins discusses the forth-coming spy agency report that is due out.

When John Key and Andrew Little eyeball each other across the table during a closed door session of Parliament’s intelligence and security committee this week, the prime minister will be ready to turn the tables on his opponents.

Key is asking Labour to back him on legislation overhauling the country’s spy agencies, the Government Communications Security Bureau and Security Intelligence Service.

It might have sounded like Key was making the plea for bipartisanship from a position of weakness. Spies and the surveillance agencies have been Key’s Achilles heel after all. But the Labour leader will probably see Key’s plea for unity for what it is, a game of political brinkmanship. Because refusing to back any law changes lets Key paint Labour into a corner as weak on national security. Given Little’s previous call to back the Government on extending the powers of the SIS to detect Isis supporters, he seems unlikely to fall into that trap.

A lot has changed since the 2014 election campaign, when Key was wrong footed by allegations swirling around a bungling GCSB. Back then, Labour under David Cunliffe abandoned the usual bipartisanship on national security issues to rub the Government’s nose in those failures by opposing law changes governing the agency. Key was besieged on every front – even NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden joined the party.    Read more »

Former CIA boss blames Paris on the traitor Edward Snowden

Politico Magazine reports:

Michael Morell, the former acting head of the CIA, says the Paris attacks have exposed how freely the Islamic State was able to operate in a chastened environment in which intelligence gathering was partly shut down after Edward Snowden’s exposure of National Security Agency surveillance in 2013. Now, Morell says, the need for greater security is on everyone’s mind—especially since the terrorist group has threatened an attack on the U.S. In his recently published book, The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism From Al Qa’ida to ISIS, Morell accuses Snowden of aiding in the rise of the Islamic State. In an interview on Tuesday with Politico Magazine National Editor Michael Hirsh, Morell elaborates on the damage he believes the leaker has done.

Michael Hirsh: How did the Snowden revelations help the Islamic State, and did they somehow lead to the Paris attacks?

Michael Morell: First, ISIS went to school on how we were collecting intelligence on terrorist organizations by using telecommunications technologies. And when they learned that from the Snowden disclosures, they were able to adapt to it and essentially go silent … And so, part of their rise was understanding what our capabilities were, adjusting to them so we couldn’t see them. No doubt in my mind. And the people who say otherwise are just trying to defend Edward Snowden.

Two—and much more damaging: The Snowden disclosures created this perception that people’s privacy was being put at significant risk. It wasn’t only the Snowden disclosures about [Section] 215 [of the PATRIOT Act, allowing for the mass collection of telephone metadata] that created that, it was the media’s handling of it. The media went to the darkest corner of the room, the CNNs and the FOXes etc. of the world, those people who have a 24/7 news cycle. In those early days, if you were watching CNN, they were saying the NSA is listening to your phone calls. It’s reading your emails. When you call your grandma in Arkansas, the NSA knows. All total bulls–t. They made the public more concerned about the privacy issue than the legitimate facts should have done. And so, the result of that was everything you’ve seen. The constraining of 215. The IT companies building encryption without keys. That is all, at the end of the day, back in Snowden’s lap, in my view.

As far as Paris goes, we don’t know for sure yet how these guys communicate among themselves and how they communicated back to the ISIS leadership in Iraq and Syria, but I’m fairly confident we’re going to learn they used these encrypted communication applications that have commercial encryption and are extremely difficult for companies to break—and which the companies have made the decision not to produce a key for. Even if the government goes to them with a warrant, they can’t give them anything because they don’t have a key. These companies made these decisions about encryption when they were finding it very difficult to sell their products overseas because the Snowden disclosures created the impression that the U.S. government was inside this hardware and software produced by them. They needed to do something to deal with the perception.

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Hillary lied, and people died

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democrat party, but despite the polls she faces a few problems. Not the least of which is the discovery that she lied about her emails and whether or not they stored top secret information.

Government investigators said Friday that they had discovered classified information on the private email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used while secretary of state, stating unequivocally that those secrets never should have been stored outside of secure government computer systems.

Mrs. Clinton has said for months that she kept no classified information on the private server that she set up in her house so she would not have to carry both a personal phone and a work phone. Her campaign said Friday that any government secrets found on the server had been classified after the fact.

But the inspectors general of the State Department and the nation’s intelligence agencies said the information they found was classified when it was sent and remains so now. Information is considered classified if its disclosure would likely harm national security, and such information can be sent or stored only on computer networks with special safeguards.    Read more »

Another Bad wog has a bad day

web-Nasser-al-Wuhayshi-Get

Looks like the US has got their intelligence systems operating again.

Another bad wog has copped a drone strike sending him on his fool’s journey to meet his 72 virgins.

One of al-Qaeda’s leading figures, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, has been killed in a US air strike in Yemen.

Wuhayshi was the group’s overall number two and head of its affiliate in Yemen, known as Al-Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula (Aqap). His death was confirmed in an Aqap video in which another senior operative, Khaled Batarfi, said that Wuhayshi, a Yemeni citizen, “passed away in an American strike which targeted him along with two of his mujahideen brothers, may God rest their souls”. Confirming the death, the White House said his killing was a “major blow” to Aqap.   Read more »

He’s not a whistle-blower, he’s a traitor

You can tell where someone’s thinking is at by the words they use.

The NZ media insist on calling Edward Snowden a “whistle-blower”. He is not, he is a traitor.

The traitor Edward Snowden has released some more documents that amazingly show that our spy agency actually does its job…spying.

New Zealand has been involved in spying operations in Bangladesh, sharing intelligence with the United States as part of its global counter-terrorism campaign, secret documents show.

United States fugitive Edward Snowden worked at the US National Security Agency (NSA) before turning whistleblower in June 2013, releasing documents to the mainstream media showing spy agencies were conducting mass surveillance.

New documents obtained by Snowden and released to nzherald.co.nz reveal the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has been involved in surveillance of Bangladesh for more than a decade.

A “top secret” NSA information paper from April 2013 says the GCSB “has been the lead for the intelligence community on the Bangladesh counterterrorism (CT) target since 2004.”

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