Secrecy

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. 

Netanyahu’s False Narrative

An Israeli soldier prepares for a night attack inside Gaza as part of Operation Protective Edge, which killed more than 2,000 Gazans in 2014. (Israel Defense Forces photo)

As members of the U.S. Congress bobbed up and down with applause, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spun a tale of brave little Israel fretting about its survival, but he left out the fact that Israel has a large arsenal of nuclear weapons and has often been the one to invade its neighbors, as Marjorie Cohn…

FCC Delivers a Free Speech Victory

Free Press President Craig Aaron (Photo: Michael Winship)

The Democratic majority on the Federal Communications Commission sided with millions of Internet users, voting to prevent the Web from being turned into a high-speed super-highway for some and a slower-speed roadway for many, a victory for free speech and democracy, says Michael Winship.

The Mystery of the Civil War’s Camp Casey

A U.S. Colored Troop soldier in the Civil War.

Special Report: During the Civil War’s final years, a Union base in Northern Virginia trained hundreds of African-American soldiers to fight to end slavery, one of only a few such bases inside a Confederate state. But Camp Casey has nearly disappeared from history, a mystery examined by Chelsea Gilmour.

Planting False Evidence on Iran

Iranian women attending a speech by Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. (Iranian government photo)

Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence, writes Norman Solomon.

The State Department’s ‘Twilight Zone’

Rod Serling, host of the iconic television series, "The Twilight Zone."

The gap between reality and what the U.S. government says is reality has widened into a chasm with the mainstream U.S. news media usually nodding at whatever absurdity is presented, but the AP’s Matthew Lee is one of the few reporters who challenges the State Department’s “Twilight Zone,” as William Blum notes.