Intelligence

If Gov. Christie Had NSA’s Metadata

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican. shaking hands of citizens. (Photo credit: Governor's office)

Exclusive: New Jersey Gov. Christie’s Bridge-gate scandal is a reminder that unscrupulous politicians can abuse their powers in unexpected and extraordinary ways, which underscores the need to put tight legal constraints on the NSA’s surveillance powers, writes Robert Parry.

Buying a Seat at Surveillance State’s Table

Amazon's founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.

Internet billionaires with lucrative ties to the Surveillance State are buying up media and ignoring people who ask if $250 million may be the new price tag for a seat at the power table, as Norman Solomon wonders about the Washington Post’s new owner Jeff Bezos.

NSA’s Preference for Metadata

A slide from material leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden to the Washington Post, showing what happens when an NSA analyst "tasks" the PRISM system for information about a new surveillance target.

Exclusive: The hidden ball in the debate over the NSA’s collection of phone and e-mail metadata (vs. tapping into actual conversations with a court order) is that the NSA actually prefers the metadata approach because it strips away privacy more efficiently, says ex-NSA analyst Kirk Wiebe.

Robert Gates’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

A core myth about Robert Gates was that he was an “adult” who would bring wisdom and order to the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. But the reality was always different as his score-settling memoir reveals, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Robert Gates’s Narcissistic ‘Duty’

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The Inside-the-Beltway acclaim bestowed on Robert Gates is perhaps the clearest evidence of the failure of Washington’s media/political elite to recognize reality and impose accountability on incompetent or corrupt government officials, a point addressed by ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman.

Robert Gates Double-Crosses Obama

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on May 1, 2011, watching developments in the Special Forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. Neither played a particularly prominent role in the operation. (White House photo by Pete Souza)

Special Report: Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates is slamming President Obama in a new memoir, accusing him of lacking enthusiasm for the Afghan War. But perhaps Obama’s bigger mistake was trusting Gates, a Bush Family operative with a history of dirty dealing, writes Robert Parry.

Colombia’s Battered Rebels Seek Peace

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos.

Exclusive: The U.S. government’s use of targeted killings on al-Qaeda-linked “terrorists” has stirred legal and moral objections. But what about using drones to assassinate Latin American peasants fighting a corrupt oligarchy? That issue has emerged in Colombia’s long guerrilla war, Andrés Cala writes.

NSA Insiders Reveal What Went Wrong

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In a memo to President Obama, former National Security Agency insiders explain how NSA leaders botched intelligence collection and analysis before 9/11, covered up the mistakes, and violated the constitutional rights of the American people, all while wasting billions of dollars and misleading the public.

Forgetting Why Al-Qaeda Spread

President George W. Bush announcing the start of his invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

Exclusive: Al-Qaeda extremism is resurgent across the Middle East with its affiliates seizing territory in western Iraq and in neighboring Syria. But the neocons are whitewashing their role in spreading this extremism via George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

The Russian-Saudi Showdown at Sochi

Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Exclusive: Last summer, Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar reportedly offered Russian President Putin a deal: if Russia abandons Syria, Saudi Arabia would protect the Sochi Olympics from Islamic terrorists. Putin is said to have angrily rebuffed the offer. Now, with two terrorist attacks, it’s Putin’s move, writes Robert Parry.