Tag Archive: Central Intelligence Agency

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Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government


Barack Obama (photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

FAIR has noted before how America’s well-documented clandestine activities in Syria have been routinely ignored when the corporate media discuss the Obama administration’s “hands-off” approach to the four-and-a-half-year-long conflict. This past week, two pieces—one in the New York Times detailing the “finger pointing” over Obama’s “failed” Syria policy, and a Vox“explainer” of the Syrian civil war—did one better: They didn’t just omit the fact that the CIA has been arming, training and funding rebels since 2012, they heavily implied they had never done so.

First, let’s establish what we do know. Based on multiple reports over the past three-and-a-half years, we know that the Central Intelligence Agency set up a secret program of arming, funding and training anti-Assad forces. This has been reported by major outlets, including the New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel and, most recently, the Washington Post, which—partly thanks to the Snowden revelations—detailed a program that trained approximately 10,000 rebel fighters at a cost of $1 billion a year, or roughly 1/15th of the CIA’s official annual budget.

In addition to the CIA’s efforts, there is a much more scrutinized and far more publicized program by the Department of Defense to train “moderate rebels,” of which only a few dozen actually saw battle. The Pentagon program, which began earlier this year and is charged with fighting ISIS (rather than Syrian government forces), is separate from the covert CIA operation. It has, by all accounts, been an abysmal failure.


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Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report

  • Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
  • Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
  • The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
  • The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
  • US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.


The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke


On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country


‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’


‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.

‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.

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Veterans Today


Conspiracy theorists OK – Government Dupes Clueless, Humorless

Psychology Professor Demonstrates: “Conspiracy theorists” OK; government dupes clueless, humorless

Coast to Coast Radio just canceled its plans to broadcast a show tonight on my widely-read Press TV article on research suggesting that “conspiracy theorists” are saner than government dupes.

Here is the listing they just took down:

Note that they did not even link my article!!!

Apparently they had planned to give Michael Wood, the author of one of the studies I cited, a platform to attack my article – while refusing to even link the article, much less invite me on the air to defend it. When I protested, and asked that they allow me to defend my article, Coast to Coast decided to pull the show. They replaced it with a show on cetaceans:

You don’t have to be a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” to wonder why Coast to Coast is so averse to giving me a fair hearing.

Below is my new article rebutting Wood’s attack on my Press TV piece.


 Psychology professor demonstrates: “Conspiracy theorists” OK; government dupes clueless, humorless

Are the people labeled “conspiracy theorists” saner than those who use such insulting terms to avoid real debate?

Psychologist Michael Wood offers evidence that the answer is “yes” – both in his research, and by way of personal example. Wood’s clueless, humorless response to my recent Press TV article about his research raises questions about his own psychology. Wood’s just-canceled stint on Coast to Coast radio tonight* – a show that reaches millions of listeners – suggests that my article touched a raw nerve, forcing the Operation Mockingbird operatives who control big media to “push back” against Press TV…then pull back their pushback plan when they realized I could make mincemeat of Wood.

Wood co-authored a recent study showing that people who reject “conspiracy theories” are more hostile, and more ardently convinced that they know the truth about disputed events, than the more open-minded people who question official wisdom.

These findings overturn received mainstream opinion. The mainstream media and academy have promoted a CIA-engineered negative stereotype of “conspiracy theorists” (a term coined by CIA psychological warfare experts).** According to the CIA-fabricated pejorative stereotype, the “conspiracy theorist” is a hostile crank adamantly wedded to his own interpretation of a disputed event, such as the JFK assassination or 9/11. In reality, it turns out that the opposite is the case: Opponents of “conspiracy theories” are the hostile fanatics who think that they are in full possession of the truth; while those who dispute official opinion, and question events like 9/11, are less hostile and more open-minded.

Wood and Douglas’s findings will come as no surprise to anyone who has participated in comment-section debates. But they are significant because nobody in the mainstream media or academy has ever officially admitted such a thing before.

My Press TV article publicizing Wood’s research was read by millions of people, in part due to my sly use of humor and irony. One would think Wood would be grateful, and that he would at least have a good laugh at the way his findings torpedo officially-sanctioned stereotypes. Instead, he launched a flimsy, deceptive, utterly humorless counter-attack against my article.***

Whence such ingratitude? Presumably Wood is afraid that my interpretation of his research will get him labeled “pro-conspiracy-theory” – the kiss of death in the Western academy.

I understand Wood’s concern. I lost two University of Wisconsin teaching jobs, including one as a tenure-track Arabic-Humanities professor, due to my research, publication, and activism questioning the official story of 9/11.**** My net financial losses totaled more than two million dollars in projected lifetime earnings. And I have been subjected to an orchestrated campaign of media vilification, covert harassment, and innumerable death threats.

No wonder Wood is scrambling to backtrack on his own findings.

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The Washington Post

Graphic: Interactive Grid: Keeping track of the conflict in Syria through videos, images and tweets.

The CIA is preparing to deliver arms to rebel groups in Syria through clandestine bases in Turkey and Jordan that were expanded over the past year in an effort to establish reliable supply routes into the country for nonlethal material, U.S. officials said.

The bases are expected to begin conveying limited shipments of weapons and ammunition within weeks, officials said, serving as critical nodes for an escalation of U.S. involvement in a civil war that has lately seen a shift in momentum toward the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.


Areas in Syria with a rebel presence

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

Areas in Syria with a rebel presence


A look at the Syrian uprising nearly two years later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international community for him to step down.

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story

A look at the Syrian uprising nearly two years later. Thousands of Syrians have died and President Bashar al-Assad remains in power, despite numerous calls by the international community for him to step down.

Syria experts cautioned that the opposition to Assad remains a chaotic mix of secular and Islamist elements, highlighting the risk that some American-provided munitions may be diverted from their intended recipients.

But U.S. officials involved in the planning of the new policy of increased military support announced by the Obama administration Thursday said that the CIA has developed a clearer understanding of the composition of rebel forces, which have begun to coalesce in recent months. Within the past year, the CIA also created a new office at its headquarters in Langley to oversee its expanding operational role in Syria.

“We have relationships today in Syria that we didn’t have six months ago,” Benjamin J. Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said during a White House briefing Friday. The United States is capable of delivering material “not only into the country,” Rhodes said, but “into the right hands.”

The confidence conveyed by Rhodes’s statement is in contrast to the concerns expressed by U.S. intelligence officials last year that the CIA and other U.S. spy agencies were still struggling to gain a firm understanding of opposition elements — a factor cited at the time as a reason the Obama administration was unwilling to consider providing arms.

“The Syrian puzzle has come into sharper focus in the past year, especially the makeup of various anti-regime groups,” said a U.S. official familiar with CIA assessments of the conflict. “And while the opposition remains far from monolithic, its military structures and coordination processes have improved.”

The official, like most others interviewed for this article, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence assessments and planning.

The increased certainty is one of several factors that led to the reversal of a U.S. policy against providing lethal aid that had been in place since the uprising began in Syria more than two years ago.

Rhodes said the change was driven by a new determination by U.S. intelligence agencies that Assad’s regime had used chemical weapons, including sarin gas, on at least four separate occasions. Obama also faced mounting pressure to intervene more aggressively as members of Congress and overseas allies became increasingly alarmed that Assad’s forces were gaining strength with expanded assistance from Russia and Iran.

For the CIA, the shift on Syria marks a return to a covert-action role that was familiar to the agency during Cold War-era conflicts but that gave way to increasingly direct lethal operations as the agency’s drone campaign surged in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


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Obama US Syria.JPEG

The Obama administration hopes its decision to give lethal aid to Syrian rebels will prompt other nations to beef up assistance, now that the U.S. has cited evidence that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people. But the international reaction Friday ranged from flat-out disbelief of the U.S. intelligence assessments to calls for negotiation before more weapons pour into the vicious civil war.

The administration now says it has “high confidence” that President Bashar Assad’s forces have killed up to 150 people with sarin gas. Although that’s a tiny percentage of the approximately 93,000 killed in the civil war so far, the use of a chemical weapon crosses President Barack Obama’s “red line” for escalating U.S. involvement in the conflict and prompted the decision to send arms and ammunition, not just humanitarian aid and defensive non-lethal help like armored vests and night goggles.

The administration’s plan heading into the G8 meeting of industrialized nations beginning Monday is to use the chemical weapons announcement and Obama’s decision on arms to persuade Russia to increase pressure on Assad to send a credible negotiating team to Geneva for talks with the opposition.

In addition, Obama is expected to use the G8 meeting and discussions on the sidelines to further coordinate with the British, French and potentially others an increase of assistance — lethal, non-lethal and humanitarian — to the rebels, the political opposition and refugees.

In a letter to U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice said the United States has determined that sarin was used in a March 19 attack on the Aleppo suburb of Khan al-Assal and in an April 13 attack on the neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud. She said unspecified chemicals, possibly including chemical warfare agents, were used May 14 in an attack on Qasr Abu Samrah and in a May 23 attack on Adra.

U.S. officials have not disclosed any details about the weapons they intend to send to Syria or when and how they will be delivered. According to officials, the U.S. is most likely to provide the rebel fighters with small arms, ammunition, assault rifles and a variety of anti-tank weaponry such as shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades and other missiles.

As of Friday, however, no final decisions had been made on the details or when it would reach the rebels, according to the officials, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss internal administration discussions with reporters.

Obama has consistently said he will not put American troops in Syria, making it less likely the U.S. will provide sophisticated arms or anti-aircraft weapons that would require large-scale training. Administration officials are also worried about high-powered weapons ending up in the hands of terrorist groups. Hezbollah fighters are among those backing Assad’s armed forces, and al-Qaida-linked extremists back the rebellion.

The lethal aid will largely be coordinated by the CIA, but that effort will also be buttressed by an increased U.S. military presence in Jordan.

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Exclusive: Obama Asks Pentagon for Syria No-Fly Zone Plan

May 28, 2013 3:06 PM EDT Updated

Pentagon spokesman Dave Lapan sent the following statement to The Daily Beast after this story posted: “There is no new planning effort underway. The Joint Staff, along with the relevant combatant commanders, continue to conduct prudent planning for a range of possible military options.”

Along with no-fly zone plans, the White House is considering arming parts of the Syrian opposition and formally recognizing the Syrian opposition council, reports Josh Rogin.

The White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans for a no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced by the U.S. and other countries such as France and Great Britain, two administration officials told The Daily Beast.

A Syrian army soldier holds a machine gun during a battle against opposition fighters in the city of Qusayr, in Syria’s central Homs province on May 23, 2013. (AFP/Getty)

The request was made shortly before Secretary of State John Kerry toured the Middle East last week to try and finalize plans for an early June conference between the Syrian regime and rebel leaders in Geneva. The opposition, however, has yet to confirm its attendance and is demanding that the end of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule be a precondition for negotiations, a condition Assad is unlikely to accept.

President Obama’s dual-track strategy of continuing to pursue a political solution to the two-year-old uprising in Syria while also preparing for more direct U.S. military involvement includes authorizing the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first time to plan for multilateral military actions inside Syria, the two officials said. They added that no decisions on actually using force have yet been made.

“The White House is still in contemplation mode but the planning is moving forward and it’s more advanced than it’s ever been,” one administration official told The Daily Beast. “All this effort to pressure the regime is part of the overall effort to find a political solution, but what happens if Geneva fails? It’s only prudent to plan for other options.”

In a May 8 meeting of the National Security Council Principals Committee, the White House tasked several agencies with reporting on the pros and cons of two additional potential courses of action: arming vetted and moderate elements of the Syrian opposition, such as the Free Syrian Army, and formally recognizing the Syrian opposition council as the government of Syria, which would mean removing formal U.S. recognition of the Assad regime.

Sen. John McCain—who’s advocated for more aggressive U.S. support of the Syrian rebels and who traveled secretly into the country Monday to meet with the leaders of the Free Syrian Army—told The Daily Beast last week that despite the request for plans he doubts the White House will decide to implement a no-fly zone in Syria. The Pentagon and the Joint Chiefs are opposed to the idea, he said.

“One thing about the Pentagon, if they don’t want to do something, they will tell you all sorts of reasons why they can’t do it. It’s going to take significant pressure for them to come up with realistic plans,” McCain said. “They will invent ways for us not to do it until the president of the United States says we’ve got to do it.”

McCain said a realistic plan for a no-fly zone would include hundreds of planes, and would be most effective if it included destroying Syrian airplanes on runways, bombing those runways, and moving U.S. Patriot missile batteries in Turkey close to the border so they could protect airspace inside northern Syria.

In April, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense that the military was planning for a range of options in Syria but that he did not necessarily support using those options.


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The Economic Collapse


Is Obama Starting A War With Syria Just To Distract Us From All The Scandals?

Is Obama Getting Us Into A War With SyriaWell, isn’t that convenient?  At the moment when the Obama administration is feeling more heat then ever before, it starts another war.  Suddenly everyone in the mainstream media is talking all about Syria and not about the IRS scandal, Benghazi, NSA snooping or any of the other political scandals that have popped up in recent weeks.  As if on cue, Obama made headlines all over the globe on Thursday by claiming that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the rebels “multiple times”, and that the U.S. was now ready to do more to assist the rebels.  That assistance is reportedly going to include “military support” for the rebels and a no-fly zone over at least part of Syria is being discussed.  Without a doubt, these are acts of war, and this conflict is not going to end until Assad has been ousted.  But Assad will not go quietly.  And all it would take is for Assad to fire a couple of missiles at Tel Aviv for a huge regional war to erupt in the Middle East.  And what happens if Russia or China decides to get involved in the conflict in Syria?  Obama is playing with fire, but he has shown again and again that he is willing to do virtually anything if it will benefit him politically.

As far as the Obama administration is concerned, there is no such thing as a coincidence.  The timing of this announcement regarding Syria was not an accident.  If Obama wanted to use chemical weapons as an excuse to go after Syria he could have done it weeks ago, or he could have waited several more months before taking action.  He chose to do it right now for a reason, and hopefully the American people will be able to see right through this.

So exactly what are we going to be doing for the Syrian rebels?  Well, we will definitely be arming them and training them.  And it is probably reasonable to assume that there will be American “advisers” on the ground inside Syria helping to organize the Syrian resistance.  In fact, according to Debka, a large U.S. Marine force has already been deployed to the Jordanian border with Syria.

In addition, according to the Wall Street Journal, U.S. aircraft may be involved in enforcing a no-fly zone inside Syria…

A U.S. military proposal for arming Syrian rebels also calls for a limited no-fly zone inside Syria that would be enforced from Jordanian territory to protect Syrian refugees and rebels who would train there, according to U.S. officials.

Asked by the White House to develop options for Syria, military planners have said that creating an area to train and equip rebel forces would require keeping Syrian aircraft well away from the Jordanian border.

To do that, the military envisages creating a no-fly zone stretching up to 25 miles into Syria which would be enforced using aircraft flown from Jordanian bases and flying inside the kingdom, according to U.S. officials.

No matter how you slice it, the United States is now in a state of war with Syria.  The only question is how “involved” we are going to get.

And several prominent Republicans are already rushing forward to applaud Barack Obama on this latest move.  The following comes from a CBS News report…

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who met with the rebels last month and has been a vocal critic of the president’s Syria policy said in a joint statement with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: “We appreciate the President’s finding that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on several occasions. We also agree with the President that this fact must affect U.S. policy toward Syria. The President’s red line has been crossed. U.S. credibility is on the line. Now is not the time to merely take the next incremental step. Now is the time for more decisive actions.”

But you know what?  Many of these Syrian rebels have actually pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.

Yes, you read that correctly.

The whole point of the “war on terror” was to supposedly fight al-Qaeda, but now the U.S. military is allied with them.

Why in the world would we want to help the people who are supposed to be our greatest global enemy?


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Chris Carrington
The Daily Sheeple
June 11th, 2013


According to reports from the BBC, Edward Snowden has vanished from his Hong Kong hotel room. Ex-CIA employee Snowden, 29, was not expected to check out and the move has taken many by surprise. His whereabouts are unknown and thus far he has not made contact with anyone as to his plans.

Snowden who is on record as saying he had:

“an obligation to help free people from oppression”

He is being investigated regarding the leaks and the case has been referred to the Department of Justice as a criminal matter.

An online petition on the White House website has so far gotten 30,000 signatures calling for an immediate pardon for Snowden, though sadly, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post reveals that the majority of American Citizens think that this kind of intrusive phone monitoring is acceptable if it is aimed at fighting terrorism.

The implications of Snowdens’ leaks have reverberated around the globe with similar allegations being leveled at GCHQ (Government Communication Headquarters) in the UK.

Before fleeing to Hong Kong Snowden said:

“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. I don’t want to live in a society that does these sorts of things. I do not want to live in a world where everything I say and do is recorded…. We have seen enough criminality on behalf of the government, it is hypocritical to make this allegation against me.”

Hong Kong does have an extradition treaty with the US though a standard US visa lasts for 90 days, he is believed to have arrived in Hong Kong on May 20th.

He has recently said that he fears his actions could put him in jail and he is worried about his family and friends being sucked into the affair. His vanishing without warning from the Mira Hotel has concerned those close to him.

On Thursday, the Washington Post and Guardian said the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a program known as Prism.

All the internet companies deny giving the US government access to their servers.

Prism is said to give the NSA and FBI access to emails, web chats and other communications directly from the servers of major US internet companies.

Other major US Security Leaks

  • Pentagon papers, 1971: Daniel Ellsberg leaks study showing the government had knowledge it was unlikely to win Vietnam war
  • Watergate, 1972: Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein reveal extent of cover-up over burglary at Democrat National Committee HQ
  • Iran-Contra affair, 1986: Iranian cleric reveals illegal US arms sales to Iran, the proceeds of which are later used to fund Nicaraguan Contras
  • Valerie Plame, 2003: Ms Plame is revealed to be an undercover CIA agent, ending her covert career
  • Abu Ghraib, 2004: Publication of pictures showing abuse of detainees at Iraq prison by US officials turns initial media reports of abuse into full-blown scandal
  • Bradley Manning, 2010: The soldier downloads thousands of classified documents from military servers and hands them over to Wikileaks

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple


Chris Carrington is a writer, researcher and lecturer with a background in science, technology and environmental studies. Chris is an editor for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up!





US spy leaker Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong hotel


Beijing correspondent Damian Grammaticus says China would not want to deal with any extradition of Snowden to the US



An ex-CIA employee who leaked details of US top-secret phone and internet surveillance has disappeared from his hotel in Hong Kong.


Edward Snowden, 29, checked out from his hotel on Monday and his whereabouts are unknown, but he is believed to be still in Hong Kong.


Earlier, he said he had an “obligation to help free people from oppression”.


His leaks led to revelations that the US is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.


The programme, known as Prism, is run by the US National Security Agency (NSA).


The Office of the Director of National Intelligence gave details of the programme last week after Mr Snowden’s leaks led to a series of articles in the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers.


According to the office’s statement, Prism is simply an internal computer system, and not a data-mining programme.

I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded”

Edward Snowden


However, such data seizures could break the laws of other countries, and could also break US law if they accidentally capture communications of US citizens.

Transatlantic fallout

Hong Kong’s broadcaster RTHK said Mr Snowden checked out of the Mira hotel in Kowloon on Monday, and Reuters news agency quoted hotel staff as saying that he had left at noon.


Ewen MacAskill, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the story, told the BBC he believed Mr Snowden was still in Hong Kong.


Rory Cellan-Jones reports on what is known about Prism


It is believed the US is pursuing a criminal investigation, but no extradition request has yet been filed.


The Chinese territory has an extradition treaty with the US, although analysts say any attempts to bring Mr Snowden to America may take months and could be blocked by Beijing.


A petition posted on the White House website calling for Mr Snowden’s immediate pardon has gathered more than 30,000 signatures.


However, an opinion poll commissioned by the Washington Post suggests a majority of Americans think government monitoring of phone records is acceptable if the aim is to fight terrorism.


Mr Snowden’s revelations have led to allegations that the UK’s electronic surveillance agency, GCHQ, used the US system to spy on British citizens.


Read Full Article and Watch Videos  Here


World media reaction

  • The Liberation Daily in China has harsh words for President Obama: “Five years ago, Obama came to power waving an anti-George W Bush banner. Five years later, he is still exactly the same as George W Bush on invasion of privacy issues.”
  • Russia’s Izvestiya compares the revelations to a dystopian novel: “The frightening reality of the 21st Century is that the world has become a house with glass walls, notions of ‘personal secrets’ and ‘confidential information’ are turning into fiction before our very eyes.”
  • India’s Tribune is more forgiving: “The 9/11 terrorist attacks have changed the environment where cyber snooping is now defendable, even acceptable.”



Contributed by Chris Carrington of The Daily Sheeple.


White House releases additional documents related to Benghazi response

 photo WhiteHousereleasesadditionaldocumentsrelatedtoBenghaziresponse_zpsf87a1d23.jpg

One hundred pages of emails were passed out by the White House Wednesday as the Obama administration tried to put an end to the long simmering dispute over what took place when the American compound in Benghazi was attacked. NBC’s Peter Alexander reports.

Under increasing scrutiny from congressional Republicans, the White House on Wednesday released copies of emails and other additional supporting documents related to its response to last fall’s attack on a U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

The White House released the materials in the wake of Republicans’ clamor for more information about how the Obama administration crafted its explanation for the incident, which came at the height of last year’s campaign season, and resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The emails convey different parts of the administration — the White House, the State Department, and the CIA — trading drafts of talking points for use not just by representatives of the administration, but also by members of Congress.

Read part one of the White House emails (.pdf)

From the very first draft, the talking points included references to “Islamic extremists” who might have participated in the attack.

The most significant changes involved removing references to Ansar al-Sharia to not hinder the investigation into the attack, and changing reference to the Benghazi location to a “mission” or “diplomatic post,” rather than a consulate.

Those talking points, though, were subjected to scrutiny and a series of tweaks from different agencies to ensure the talking points did not get out in front of investigators, who did not yet appear to have a full grasp of the underpinnings of the attack at that point.

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Did the White House selectively leak e-mail to distort Benghazi timeline story? Update: Axelrod: Release all the Libya e-mails

posted at 9:21 am on May 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

In order to understand just how badly the White House may have fumbled this ball, let’s go back to last week.  Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard reported from Congressional sources on a White House-State Department e-mail string that made clear that the administration wanted the talking points on Benghazi massaged to protect sources and its own political goals.  ABCs Jon Karl later reported from the e-mails themselves, showing that the White House and State Department went through 12 versions of talking points before settling on the final version, which CIA Director Davod Petraeus called “useless” and advised against using.

Yesterday, however — not too long before Jay Carney’s press briefing at the White House — Jake Tapper got a leaked version of an e-mail sent by Ben Rhodes that seemed to contradict the reporting from Hayes and Karl:

CNN has obtained an e-mail sent by a top aide to President Barack Obama about White House reaction to the deadly attack last September 11 on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that apparently differs from how sources characterized it to two different media organizations.

The actual e-mail from then-Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes appears to show that whomever leaked it did so in a way that made it appear that the White House was primarily concerned with the State Department’s desire to remove references and warnings about specific terrorist groups so as to not bring criticism to the department.

During the press conference, Carney seized on this report to claim that the Benghazi story was a trumped-up non-story:

Read Full Article Here


MSNBC Panelists Agree That Benghazi Scandal Makes White House Look Terrible


Published on May 14, 2013

Guests n MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner were in general agreement that the Benghazi scandal makes the White House look terrible, with one even bringing up the possibility of impeaching Obama.




Cloak, dagger and a blond wig? FSB says CIA agent nabbed in Moscow


Published time: May 14, 2013 10:41
Edited time: May 14, 2013 17:04


Promises of millions, a new face and detailed instructions on a double-agent conspiracy in Moscow. Bearing the hallmarks of a Cold War spy thriller, Russia’s counterintelligence agency says it caught a CIA officer trying to flip a Russian operative.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) Public Relations Center announced that detained individual was Ryan Christopher Fogle, a career diplomat working as the third secretary of the Political Section of the American embassy in Moscow.

The agency stressed that Christopher had “special technical equipment” in his possession, including an additional wig, a microphone, multiple pairs of dark sunglasses and a lot of cash in euro – along with a Moscow atlas, a compass, two knives, and an American Bic lighter.

The detainee, who was sporting a blond wig at the time of his interception, was delivered to the FSB receiving office for questioning. Following all of the necessary procedures, he was handed over to representatives of the US embassy in Moscow.

Ryan C Fogle, 3d secretary of US embassy, was detained in Moscow by the Russian counterintelligence agency (FSB)

Ryan C Fogle, 3d secretary of US embassy, was detained in Moscow by the Russian counterintelligence agency (FSB)
Disguise allegedly used by Ryan Fogle (FSB)

Ryan Fogle inside FSB office (FSB)

Ryan Fogle inside FSB office (FSB)

The one-page letter to “a dear friend” found in Christopher’s possession was to be clandestinely delivered to the would-be recruit.

The correspondence proposed a US$100,000 payment for an interview with the prospective double agent, as well as $1 million per annum if the candidate chose to accept the mission and supply the American side with information.

Proving its technological prowess in the digital era, the alleged spy further offered step-by-step instructions on how to create a new Gmail account to be used for future contacts.

Ever-so-savvy, the document stressed the importance of not divulging any real contact information like phone numbers, email or home addresses when creating an email account for the purposes of spying on one’s own country.

It further discouraged the use of personal handheld mobile devices and laptops when registering the account, proposing a more anonymous setting like an internet café would be more judicious. If that didn’t pan out, the prospective recruit was told to buy a new mobile device or computer with the express purpose to be used for the express purpose of establishing contact. The new device was to be paid for in cash, and all expenses would be reimbursed.

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May 14, 2013 09:02

Money, knife, and passport. iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

Money, knife, and passport. iStockphoto/Thinkstock.

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – Russian counterintelligence officials briefly detained a US diplomat suspected of being an undercover CIA officer and trying to recruit a Russian agent, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said Tuesday.

A US Embassy press officer in Moscow said by telephone that she could not comment on the report.

According to an FSB statement, the diplomat, identified as Ryan Christopher Fogle, a third secretary in the political department, was detained the night of May 13 as he attempted to recruit an officer from one of Russia’s special services.

The diplomat was found to be in possession of “special technical devices, written instructions for the Russian citizen being recruited, a large sum of cash and means of changing his appearance,” the statement said.

He was taken to the FSB and, after “necessary procedures” were completed, handed over to US Embassy officials, the FSB said.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has summoned US Ambassador Michael McFaul to come in Wednesday to discuss the incident.

News of the detention broke just as McFaul started a live Q&A session on Twitter. He declined to comment on the incident, but the timing of the FSB statement led some bloggers to speculate that its release had deliberately been timed to coincide with the session.

Relations between Moscow and Washington have been strained during McFaul’s tenure as ambassador, with bones of contention including US criticism of Russia’s human rights record and disagreement over the international response to the bloodshed in Syria.

The FSB concluded its statement on the latest incident by saying it had recently registered multiple attempts by US intelligence to recruit agents from among Russian law enforcement and special services.

The FSB released photographs of the detention, including pictures of the man identified as Fogle, his IDs, two floppy wigs, three pairs of glasses, a map of Moscow and a folding knife.




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Published on May 8, 2013

TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7341

As investigative reporter Daniel Hopsicker has demonstrated, the address for the Congress of Chechen International Organizations just happened to be the home address of Graham E. Fuller, formerly Vice Chairman of the Reagan-era CIA’s National Intelligence Council. The relationship between Ruslan and this former top CIA official was not a loose one. Tsarni married Fuller’s daughter in the mid-1990s and lived in Fuller’s home for some time, basing his terror-supporting operation under Fuller’s own roof.