Intelligence

Petraeus: Poster Child for Double Standards

David Petraeus, a two-star general during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, with Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace.

Official Washington’s influential neocons love former CIA Director (and retired Gen.) David Petraeus so much that his hand-slap punishment for exposing secrets, including agent identities, was applauded by many despite the double standard of harsh penalties for others, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman notes.

Neocons Guided Petraeus on Afghan War

Gen. David Petraeus posing before the U.S. Capitol with Kimberly Kagan, founder and president of the Institute for the Study of War. (Photo credit: ISW’s 2011 Annual Report)

From the Archive: Before Gen. David Petraeus was caught giving secrets to his biographer-mistress, he was giving special favors and access to influential neocons, one reason why Official Washington was so happy that he received only a hand-slap for his crime, ties that Robert Parry examined in 2012.

US Intel Vets Oppose Brennan’s CIA Plan

CIA seal in lobby of the spy agency's headquarters. (U.S. government photo)

The original idea of the CIA was to have independent-minded experts assessing both short- and longer-term threats to U.S. national security. Mixing with operations and politics was always a danger, which is now highlighted by CIA Director Brennan’s reorganization, opposed by a group of U.S. intelligence veterans.

A Dangerous CIA ‘Reform’

CIA Director John Brennan addresses officials at the Agency's headquarters in Langley, Virginia. (Photo credit: CIA)

From the Archive: Ignoring the CIA’s original purpose – to coordinate intelligence and provide unbiased analyses to U.S. presidents to avert another Pearl Harbor – CIA Director Brennan is pressing ahead with a plan to merge operations with analysis, a scheme that ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman panned last year.

Equal Justice for Petraeus and Snowden?

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

The Justice Department’s decision to let ex-CIA Director Petraeus off with a hand slap for giving his mistress highly sensitive secrets raises questions about the harsh punishments meted out to lower-level leakers/truth-tellers — and the threat of a long prison term for NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, writes Trevor Timm.

Gen. Petraeus: Too Big to Jail

Gen. David Petraeus in a photo with his biographer/mistress Paula Broadwell. (U.S. government photo)

Exclusive: While lesser Americans face years in jail for leaking secrets – even to inform fellow citizens of government abuses – retired Gen. David Petraeus gets a misdemeanor wrist-slap for exposing covert officers and lying about it, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who was jailed just for trying to ask Petraeus a question.

Seeing the Stasi Through NSA Eyes

Former National Security Agency official William Binney (foreground) and other veteran intelligence professionals watching a video feed from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. (Photo credit: Silkie Carlo)

In January when former Western intelligence officials, including from the U.S. National Security Agency, toured the old offices of East Germany’s Stasi, it was a look back into a dystopian past but also a chilling reminder of how far modern surveillance has come in the past quarter century, writes Silkie Carlo.

Curbs on Surveillance State Urged

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the 2008 transition.

In the post 9/11 era, the U.S. government vastly expanded its surveillance of nearly everyone on earth, even U.S. citizens, brushing aside constitutional protections in the name of security. A group of intelligence veterans urges reform of those practices to protect privacy and to stop the waste of resources. 

Congress Cheers Netanyahu’s Hatred of Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on March 3, 2015. (Screen shot from CNN broadcast)

Exclusive: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu showed off his extraordinary control of the U.S. Congress as he bathed in waves of applause while denouncing President Obama’s proposed deal with Iran and urging America to sign up for the Israeli-Saudi regional war on Iran and its Shiite allies, reports Robert Parry.

Playing Chicken with Nuclear War

A nuclear test detonation carried out in Nevada on April 18, 1953.

Exclusive: U.S.-Russian tensions keep escalating – now surrounding the murder of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov – yet almost no one on the American side seems to worry about the possibility that the tough-guy rhetoric and proxy war in Ukraine might risk a nuclear conflagration, writes Robert Parry.