Intelligence

Clarifying Snowden’s ‘Freedom’

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

A common angle from the mainstream U.S. media is that NSA leaker Edward Snowden will regret his asylum in Russia (rather than life in prison in the U.S.). A quote from ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was used in support of that theme, but he has asked the New York Times to clarify it.

The Two Types of Spy ‘Scandals’

A common complaint from spy agencies is that they get blamed for “intelligence failures” when they miss something and they get attacked for “intelligence abuses” when they go too far with their espionage. The public veers from one type of “scandal” to the next, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar describes.

Geopolitics of the Drone

The U.S. drone program has decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups, but it also has alienated people and governments in countries on the front lines by killing civilians and disrupting political alliances, a complexity often missed by the U.S. media, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.

Why Snowden’s Passport Matters

President Obama declares his love of “transparency,” but has an odd way of showing it, meting out harsh punishments to people who give the public a glimpse into the vast darkness of U.S. secrets, including revoking Edward Snowden’s passport to stop him from seeking asylum, an action addressed by Norman Solomon.

Dangerous History of Regime Change

Exclusive: Official Washington justifies military and political interventions in other countries under the theory of “U.S. exceptionalism.” But these “regime changes” often have unexpected results, as with the bloody coup d’etat that removed South Vietnamese President Diem a half-century ago, recalls Beverly Deepe Keever.

Treating Anti-Syria Charges as Flat-Fact

Exclusive: More than two months after the chemical weapons attack near Damascus, President Obama has still not released any proof to support his allegations blaming the Syrian government. But the New York Times has embraced the accusations as flat fact, a replay of the run-up to invading Iraq, reports Robert Parry.

How US Pressure Bends UN Agencies

Exclusive: Lost in the celebration over the Nobel Peace Prize to the UN agency eliminating the Syrian government’s chemical weapons is the question of who was really behind the Aug. 21 poison-gas attack near Damascus. Relevant to that mystery is the recent U.S. pressure to control key UN agencies including the prize recipient, reports Robert Parry.

Edward Snowden’s Brave Integrity

Exclusive: President Obama says he welcomes the debate on post-9/11 surveillance of Americans and the world, but that debate was only made meaningful by the disclosures of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was then indicted and sought asylum in Russia, where he just met with some ex-U.S. intelligence officials, including Ray McGovern.

Israeli-Saudi Alliance Slips into View

Exclusive: The Israeli-Saudi détente is slowly emerging from the shadows, with a media report on a secret Jerusalem meeting and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s oblique reference in his UN speech. But this powerhouse collaboration could mean trouble for U.S. diplomacy in the Mideast, reports Robert Parry.

Hyping the Iran ICBM ‘Threat’

Amid promising signs of a negotiated end to the long-running dispute over Iran’s nuclear program, the counter-effort to derail a resolution is heating up, as Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his neocon backers hype a “threat” from non-existent Iranian ICBMs, as Gareth Porter reported for Inter Press Service.