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Tag: CIA

CIA Director: ISIS Has Become Bigger Threat Than Al-Qaeda

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan told NPR that ISIS is a bigger threat than al-Qaeda.

In the interview, Brennan also said may stay with the agency if a new presidential administration supports him at the helm.

Listen to the interview above.

Bernie Sanders Defends 40-Year-Old Statements That CIA Is ‘Dangerous Institution’

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is not backing away from his comments in 1974 that the CIA is a “dangerous institution” that has supported “fascist dictatorships,” the Boston Globe reports. 

But Sanders said at a CNN town hall in South Carolina that his arguments were “40 years ago” and that the CIA plays “an important role.”

Still, he said the agency has “done things which they should not have done on behalf of the United States government.’’

Sanders said that the CIA backed the overthrow of a democratically elected prime minister in 1953, leading to “the Iranian Revolution, and we are where we are today.”

The presidential candidate also pointed to the overthrow of another democratically elected leader, Salvadore Allende in Chile.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump’s Desire to Torture Terrorists Again Won’t Gain Traction, Ex-CIA Chief Said

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Current and former CIA officials took issue with Donald Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. should start torturing terrorists again for information.

In an interview with NBC News, former CIA Director Michael Hayden said the spy agency won’t employ torture after the fallout from the post-9/11 interrogation program.

Hayden, who served as CIA director at the end of George W. Bush’s administration, said the agency would not return torturing terrorists.

“Multiple investigations, grand juries, presidential condemnations, and congressional star chambers have a way of doing that to you,” Hayden told NBC News.

Trump said last week that “torture works,” and he would bring back waterboarding and “much stronger methods.”

CIA officials would be unlikely to use harsh techniques in the near future because of the fallout following the interrogation program.

‘I can’t imagine anyone volunteering to do it,” said Bill Harlow, a former CIA spokesman.

Bernie Sanders Once Advocated Abolishing CIA, Calling It a “Dangerous Institution’

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders once called the CIA a “dangerous institution that has got to go,” Politico reports. 

At the time, Sanders was a 29-year-old socialist angry over the spy agency’s interventions in other country, including what he called America’s history of “overthrowing governments.”

Sanders was running for the U.S. Senate on the ticket of the anti-war Liberty Union Party.

Hillary Clinton allies have seized on the opportunity to attack Sanders, whose views have softened over time.

“Abolishing the CIA in the 1970s would have unilaterally disarmed America during the height of the Cold War and at a time when terrorist networks across the Middle East were gaining strength,” said Jeremy Bash, who served as chief of staff to CIA director Leon Panetta and now advises Clinton’s campaign. “If this is a window into Sanders’ thinking, it reinforces the conclusion that he’s not qualified to be commander in chief.”

Sanders supporters said it’s disingenuous to attack Sanders for something he said four decades ago.

“I think people should look at his 25-year congressional career,” said one person who worked for Sanders in the House of Representatives, and whose employment circumstances prohibit him from speaking on the record. “You don’t have to look at some speech from the early ’70s to know where he is on issues. There’s a very clear congressional record. I think he should be measured and judged on that.”

Other Stories of Interest

Wife of Jailed CIA Whistleblower Asks President Obama to Pardon Her Husband

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling.

CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The wife of CIA whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling is asking President Obama to pardon her husband, presenting the White House with a petition with 100,000 signatures, the Intercept reports. 

Sterling is serving 3.5 years in prison after passing along classified information to a New York Times reporter.

“Justice at some point is going to be served,” wife Holly Sterling said Wednesday at a news conference in the National Press Club. “The truth must come out. He is innocent, and he has always been innocent.”

Fellow CIA whistleblower John Kiriako said Sterling “did exactly what he was supposed to do when he encountered a program of waste, fraud, abuse, or illegality.”

In June, Sterling was imprisoned in Colorado following a trial in which prosecutors relied on phone and e-mails of the reporter, James Risen, to show that CIA whistleblower provided classified information.

Other Stories of Interest

Teen accused of Hacking into CIA Director’s Email And Dumping Records of FBI Was Arrested

hacker-artBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A 16-year-old boy accused of hacking into the CIA director’s e-mail account and publicly dumping data about FBI and Homeland Security agents has been arrested.

The UK’s South East Regional Organized Crime Unit arrested the boy on Feb. 9, saying he has been arrested on “conspiracy to commit unauthorized access with intent to commit further offenses contrary to Section 2 Computer Misuse Act 1990 and conspiracy to commit unauthorized acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing operation of a computer contrary to Section 3 Computer Misuse Act 1990.”

The teenager, known as “Cracka,” is accused of breaching the private e-mail account of CIA Director John Brennan by using social engineering techniques.

At the time of the hacking, “Cracka” said he broke into the systems in retaliation for U.S.’s support of Israel.

CIA Director Says U.S. Knew ISIS Was Planning Attack on France Days Before Attack

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said U.S. intelligence knew ISIS was planning an attack “just in the days before” terrorists killed 130 people in a series of mass shootings.

In an interview on 60 Minutes, which was aired Sunday, Brennan said his agents were thwarted by the “sophisticated” use of encrypted Internet communication.

“We knew the system was blinking red,” Brennan said “We knew just in the days before that ISIL was trying to carry out something. But the individuals involved have been able to take advantage of the newly available means of communication that are walled off from law enforcement officials.”

Brennan said his agents have to “work harder” to prevent similar attacks.

“We need to have the capabilities, the technical capabilities, the human sources,” Brennan said.

“Believe me, intelligence security services have stopped numerous attacks, operatives that have been moved from maybe the Iraq to Syria theater into Europe,” he added. “They have been stopped and interdicted and arrested and detained and debriefed because of very, very good intelligence.”

Other Stories of Interest

CIA Director: ISIS Has Capability to Make And Use Chemical Weapons

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ISIS has used chemical weapons and has the ability to continue making chlorine and mustard gas, according to CIA Director John Brennan.

“We have a number of instances where ISIL has used chemical munitions on the battlefield,” he said in an interview that is scheduled for CBS News’ 60 Minutes program on Sunday.

Although ISIS has been hammered by military forces across the world, the terrorist group still has the capability to develop deadly munitions, Brennan said, Newsweek reports. 

“There are reports that ISIS has access to chemical precursors and munitions that they can use,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest