Tuesday, November 8, 2011


CIA is sniffin' twitter and getting high. Oh what a high. Of course, they only do this in "other countries," we are told, confining their slavish and devoted selves to Facebook farts and twitter fits.

Not exactly news, of course, but apparently it is time for a limited hang out with some Facebook friends. Who knows why and now. Maybe it will glean them some new SIGINT vectors. Yes, I'm sure that's it.

 In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day. 
At the agency's Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the "vengeful librarians" also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.
From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.  
Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn't know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center's director, Doug Naquin. 
The center already had "predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime," he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.
The CIA facility was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, with its first priority to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. But its several hundred analysts — the actual number is classified — track a broad range, from Chinese Internet access to the mood on the street in Pakistan.
While most are based in Virginia, the analysts also are scattered throughout U.S. embassies worldwide to get a step closer to the pulse of their subjects.
The most successful analysts, Naquin said, are something like the heroine of the crime novel "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," a quirky, irreverent computer hacker who "knows how to find stuff other people don't know exists."
Those with a masters' degree in library science and multiple languages, especially those who grew up speaking another language, "make a powerful open source officer," Naquin said.
The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. "Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web," Naquin said.
The center's analysis ends up in President Barack Obama's daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day.
After bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May, the CIA followed Twitter to give the White House a snapshot of world public opinion.
Since tweets can't necessarily be pegged to a geographic location, the analysts broke down reaction by languages. The result: The majority of Urdu tweets, the language of Pakistan, and Chinese tweets, were negative. China is a close ally of Pakistan's. Pakistani officials protested the raid as an affront to their nation's sovereignty, a sore point that continues to complicate U.S.-Pakistani relations. ...

Isn't it amazing that the White House has to use the CIA to figure out "world public opinion"? Really. Here's a hint that would save plowing through "5 million tweets": hey dipshits. world opinion? about you? not good.

That ought to save 'em some time.

Monday, October 24, 2011

CIA Kidnapped, Tortured "the Wrong Guy"

You know this has to be crap.  The CIA would never make a mistake.  Ever. Because a "mistake" is not what occurred here. There is no "wrong guy" when any "guy" will do.
Rob Richer, the No. 2 ranking official in the CIA's clandestine service, paid a visit to Glenn Carle's office in December 2002 and presented the veteran CIA operative with an urgent proposal. 
"I want you to go on a temporary assignment," Carle recalls Richer telling him. "It's important for the agency, it's important for the country and it's important for you. Will you do it?" 
Richer, who resigned from the CIA in 2005 and went to work for the mercenary outfit Blackwater, told Carle that agency operatives had just rendered a "high-value target," an Afghan in his mid-forties named Haji Pacha Wazir, who was purported to be Osama bin Laden's personal banker as well as financier for a number of suspected terrorists. Wazir was being held at a CIA black site prison in Morocco, and the agency needed a clandestine officer who spoke French to take over the interrogation of the detainee. 
Carle, formerly the deputy national intelligence officer for transitional threats, who had no prior interrogation experience, agreed, and within 72 hours, he boarded a CIA-chartered jet bound for Morocco.= 
The Interrogator 
Carle recounts what unfolded next in his riveting book, "The Interrogator: An Education," which stands as a damning indictment of the CIA's torture and rendition program and the Bush administration's approach to the so-called Global War on Terror. 
Carle refers to Wazir in his book as CAPTUS. The CIA, which did not respond to requests for comment for this report, would not allow Carle to print Wazir 's name in his book, nor was he permitted to disclose the locations of the two black site prisons where Wazir was imprisoned and tortured. 
A report published in Harper's in July first disclosed that CAPTUS is Wazir and the location of the CIA black site prisons where he was held. 
During an on-camera interview with Truthout in Washington, DC, Carle said he originally believed the agency had captured a "significant Al-Qaeda leader" who had been a concern to US intelligence agencies "for a long time." 
"The assessment that was made of [Wazir] was quite compelling and I accepted it," Carle said. "I knew my colleagues to be hard-working and careful and that they reviewed their assessments regularly and the assessment was that [Wazir] was one of the top players in Al-Qaeda." 
Although Carle was told by a top agency official that he should do "whatever it takes to get this man to talk," which he said he understood meant using torture to "break this fellow's will" and obtain intelligence, Carle said he "would not do it [because] it was wrong."
Instead, Carle said he interrogated Wazir using standard rapport-building techniques and "psychological manipulation" that led the detainee to believe Carle was his "friend." 
Carle concluded not long after he began interrogating Wazir that the agency had "kidnapped" the "wrong guy" and Wazir, who ran an informal money-transfer business known as a Hawala, was not a "committed jihadist" or Bin Laden's personal banker.
Wazir was "more like a train conductor who sells a criminal a ticket," Carle writes in "The Interrogator." "Slowly, progressively, first in dismay, then in anger, I had realized that on the CAPTUS case the Agency, the government, all of us, had been victims of delusion."
Wazir's life had been "destroyed" based on what Carle characterized as an "error." 
But the CIA's position did not change. The agency believed Wazir was withholding intelligence due to the fact that he could not answer specific questions. So in an attempt to convince him to reveal information about Al-Qaeda, agency operatives kidnapped his older brother, Haji Ghaljai, in December 2002 and held him captive for six months at the same black site prison. 
Carle documented his conclusions about Wazir, and called for his immediate release, in top-secret cables he prepared that were supposed to be sent to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. However, Carle said when he later inquired about his cables he discovered they "were never transmitted so they never formerly existed." 
The US government eventually moved Wazir from Morocco to the infamous Salt Pit prison in Afghanistan, which Carle refers to as "Hotel California," and then transferred him to the Bagram prison facility. 
Psychological Torture 
Carle described in great detail the conditions in which Wazir and other detainees were held at the black site prisons. 
“It was instantaneously, completely black,” Carle said about the black site prisons. “Not dark, black. A darkness where literally I could not see my hand…Totally black. And there was loud incessant noise or a series of other sounds. Babies wailing, sounds that would appear to be someone being hit or car crashes or wheels screeching. The goal is to play upon the senses so as to disorient the prisoner.” 
Carle said he believed the psychological methods used to disorient detainees rose to the level of torture. He said that if "things got out of hand" during an interrogation a CIA psychologist would step in. Carle said, however, he “never saw any of the physical techniques being administered [to Wazir]” while he was present. 
“Whenever anything came up to make that possible I wouldn’t allow it,” Carle said. “I stopped it. So I wasn’t aware of that happening. But I don’t know what happened to him after I left” the black site prison.
[more ...]

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CIA fakin the vaccine bacon

Poor Abbottabad residents thought they were getting their children vaccinated for Hepatitis B, for free!  Surely this sounded too good to be true, but, alas, besieged Pakistanis are desperate for almost everything, especially healthcare.  And, hey, there are all sorts of do-gooding NGOs just aching to hand out the love, right?  So, the poorest of the poor  lined up, looking to take advantage of that western do-goodery.  Big top Pak doc, Shakil Afriki, started up the "program."
The doctor went to Abbottabad in March, saying he had procured funds to give free vaccinations for hepatitis B.
Indeed, he had. One might imagine, however, that the funds procured had come from those do-gooding agents of humanity, those angels from America.  Really, what else could it be? Who or what else would deign to so help and heal the ravaged populations of Pakistan?

Actually, it was the CIA.

But they were not there to help and heal.  Such a surprise.
The CIA organised a fake vaccination programme in the town where it believed Osama bin Laden was hiding in an elaborate attempt to obtain DNA from the fugitive al-Qaida leader's family, a Guardian investigation has found.
As part of extensive preparations for the raid that killed Bin Laden in May, CIA agents recruited a senior Pakistani doctor to organise the vaccine drive in Abbottabad, even starting the "project" in a poorer part of town to make it look more authentic, according to Pakistani and US officials and local residents.
The doctor, Shakil Afridi, has since been arrested by the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) for co-operating with American intelligence agents. 
What? No bio weapon deploy? No crazy-ass population experiment? A fake vaccine program to confirm Binny? Looks like we're deep in the limited hang out weeds, folks. Wonder what the hang out was hangin' on?

Now, MSF is all pissy about the false front gig.
Médecins Sans Frontières has lashed out at the CIA for using a fake vaccination programme as a cover to spy on Osama bin Ladenon Thursday, saying it threatened life-saving immunisation work around the world.

The international medical aid charity said the ploy used by US intelligence, revealed this week in the Guardian, was a "grave manipulation of the medical act".

The CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor and health visitors before the operation in May that killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad in northern Pakistan, to try to ascertain whether the al-Qaida leader was living in the compound. The doctor, Shakil Afridi, set up a vaccination drive for Hepatitis B in the town in order to try to gain entry to the Bin Laden compound and obtain DNA samples from those living there.
And now for the requisite dose of CIA hilarity, something we all crave. Because when unnamed "government officials" start defending CIA front operations, well, you just gotta know that hilarity will ensue.
a senior US government official defended the practice, saying it had been intended as "an actual vaccination campaign conducted by real medical professionals". He said the team was supposed to deliver the full course of three vaccinations to those treated in Abbottabad.
Good and great intentions, gone horribly awry. Ain't that a bitch.

But it gets even better:
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added: "And it's not as if this kind of campaign is something the CIA runs every day."
And he's right! This is most certainly not the kind of campaign "the CIA runs every day." Usually, they're bombing people, torturing captured saps, running terrorists, guns and dope, all sorts of whatnot.  We also well know the CIA loves jacking up folk, preferably secretly, with all manner of toxic poisons, experimental dope, and weaponized bugs, just to see what happens.  The fact that this "fake" vaccine was administered without actually fucking up people (so far as we know), this "program" is indeed what one might call ... an outlier.

Friday, March 18, 2011

CIA Ray shoots and scoots the Pak

CIA Ray (actually, a likely bw/xe or some such) scoots the Pak for a couple of million in bloody money. All is forgiven.
Raymond Davis, the CIA spy charged with murder in Pakistan, has flown out of the country after the relatives of two men he killed dropped charges in exchange for "blood money" of at least $2.3m (£1.4m) and help in resettling abroad.
Davis slipped out of Lahore on a special flight from the old city airport after being released from the sprawling jail where he had been held for almost 10 weeks amid a diplomatic storm that rocked relations between the two allies and sucked in President Barack Obama.
Does make one wonder about the fate of Ray.

Monday, February 21, 2011

CIA Ray, our "diplomat"

Way to stay on the down low, Ray.
U.S. officials Monday acknowledged for the first time that former Special Forces soldier Raymond Davis, held in detention in Pakistan for killing two armed men, works for the Central Intelligence Agency, but said he was not directly involved in spying operations.
Now, that's a marvelous statement, isn't it?  Yes, we first denied that Ray was with the CIA and insisted that he was a "diplomat," but now have to admit that Ray in indeed CIA Ray.  And despite the fact that the now admitted CIA Ray dumped a couple of "thugs" and a dozen slugs in the streets of Lahore in broad daylight, we will further insist he CIA "Shooter" Ray "was not directly involved in spying operations."  So, this was a side gig?