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Tag: CIA

Columnist Argues Congress Should Get Rid of Beleaguered DEA

Bill Piper
The Seattle Times

Note: Piper is the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance

This year is the 40th anniversary of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Already plagued by scandals, the agency has recently been revealed to be collaborating with the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on unsuspecting Americans. More than 120 groups from across the political spectrum and around the globe have called on Congress to hold hearings on the DEA.

There is no doubt the agency should be reformed. It is also worth asking if it should continue to exist.

According to a Reuters investigation, the DEA has been gathering information from other agencies, as well as foreign governments, for years. The DEA has also been collecting its own arsenal of data; constructing a massive database with about 1 billion records.

This information is shared in secret. By hiding the origins of its data from defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges, the agency and its partners effectively are undermining the right of the people it targets to a fair trial.

To read more click here.

Writer William Vollmann Says FBI Suspected Him of Being Unabomber, Terrorist

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Few authors write with as much insight into violence and war as William Vollmann.

The winner of a National Book Award, Vollmann revealed in a Harper’s essay, “Life as a Terrorist,” that he was suspected of being a terrorist and even the Unabomber because of the content of his fiction, the Washington Post writes.

In the September issue of Harper’s magazine, Vollmann reveals the outrageous contents of his 785-page secret government file – 300 pages of which were obtained by suing the FBI and CIA.

“I begin to see how government haters are made,” he writes.

Vollmann discovered that he was investigated for ties to terrorism and was even suspected of being the Unabomber.

“Once you’re a suspect and you’re in the system, that ain’t goin’ away.  … Anytime there’s a terrorist investigation, your name’s gonna come up,” Vollmann wrote.

FBI: Michigan Man Found with Gun, Armor, Fake CIA Identification at Movie Theater

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arrested a Michigan man Tuesday after he was found with a gun, armor, 34 rounds of ammunition and a fake CIA identification, the Associated Press reports.

Cassidy Delavergne was charged with possessing the phony ID.

The man told an agent that he was showing the fake ID to calm concerns about his 9 mm Beretta.

Inside the man’s car were 111 rounds of ammunition.

The man told agents that he had a concealed weapon permit and was afraid to leave the gun in the car.

Ex-CIA Chief Compares NSA Leaker Snowden to Boston Marathon Bombers

Michael Hayden/gov photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Of all the ways to describe Edward Snowden, former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden may have come up with the most incendiary.

In an interview with Financial Review, an Austrian publication, Hayden compared Snowden to the Boston Marathon bombers.

“I don’t think Snowden spied for the money, and he probably did not spy for the power. He seems to have revealed this information because of his ideological embrace of transparency as a virtue,” Hayden said.

“It is a little like the Boston bombers. The issue is at what point does Islamic fundamentalism flip-over and become a genuine national security threat? Likewise, at what point does a cultural tendency towards transparency flip-over to become a deep threat inside your system?”

Just in case you’re keeping score, the Boston bombers terrorized the country, tried to kill a massive amount of people with a bomb and led police on a deadly, dangerous pursuit.

Snowden, on the other hand, leaked records because he believed in transparency.

 

Appeals Court Rules NY Times Reporter James Risen Must Testify: He Says He’d Rather Go to Jail

Reporter James Risen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — James Risen, a hard-hitting New York Times reporter, continues to have his feet held to the fire.

A U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond, Va. on Friday ruled that the reporter and author must testify in a criminal trial of a former CIA officer accused of providing classified information to Risen about a botched plot against the Iranian government, USA Today reports.

The court ruled that  the First Amendment did not protect reporters in cases of unauthorized leaks from testifying against the suspected leakers.

Risen has vowed to appeal the ruling to Supreme Court and go to jail if necessary.

The ruling comes in wake of a controversial move by the Justice Department to secretly obtain Associated Press reporters’ phone records, and a vow by the Justice Department to be more sensitive to the work reporters do.

“The subpoena for Risen’s testimony was not issued in bad faith or for the purpose of harassment,” the court’s majority concluded. “Risen is not being called upon to give information bearing only a remote and tenuous relationship to the subject of the investigation, and there is no reason to believe that his testimony implicates confidential source relationship without a legitimate need of law enforcement.”

The latest ruling has triggered much talk among journalists here in the nation’s capital.

The New York Times writes:

Mr. Risen is a national security reporter for The Times, but the case revolves around material he published in his 2006 book, “State of War,” not in the newspaper. A chapter in the book recounted efforts by the C.I.A. in the Clinton administration to trick Iranian scientists by having a Russian defector give them blueprints for a nuclear triggering device that had been altered with an error. The chapter portrays the operation as reckless and botched in a way that could have helped the Iranians gain accurate information.

Boston Bombing Suspect Was on Two U.S. Terror-Watch Lists

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
Suspected Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was on two U.S. terror-watch database because of alleged ties to Islamic extremism, ABC News reports.

The suspect, who was killed in a shootout, was added to two terrorism watch lists last year after Russia requested the FBI investigate Tsarnaev.

Turns out, Russia provided the wrong name and date of birth to the CIA, ABC News reported.

FBI Visits Home of Ex-CIA Director Petraeus As Part of Investigation into Potential Classified Leak

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Trying to determine whether his former lover mishandled classified information, FBI agents questioned former CIA Director David Petraeus at his home in the northern Virginia late last week, Reuters reports.

The FBI launched an investigation last year after it was discovered Petraeus had an extra-marital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, whose handling of classified information is under question.

Agents have already seized materials from Broadwell’s home in North Carolina, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, Petraeus and Broadwell deny mishandling classified information.

Boston Globe Editorial: FBI Found Right Balance in Probe of CIA Director Petraeus

By Boston Globe
Editorial
 

What, exactly, would critics want the FBI to have done differently? The agency is coming in for a lot of second-guessing in Congress for its handling of the inquiry into the extramarital affair between former CIA director David H. Petraeus and biographer Paula Broadwell. The bizarre case, involving anonymous e-mails, catty rivalries on the Tampa social scene, and a cast of deeply immature people, has no immediate precedent. Although the facts are still coming out, it seems the Department of Justice handled the investigation about as well as it could have.

To some, the agency never should have gotten involved at all. Sex between consenting adults is legal, romantic rivalries are none of law enforcement’s business, and FBI snooping into private affairs creates an uncomfortable echo of the abuses of the J. Edgar Hoover era. The questionable role played by an FBI agent who had sent a shirtless photo to a woman involved in the case only makes the agency’s involvement more awkward. Still, when the FBI became aware of a prominent national security figure involved in secretive escapades, it had an obligation to ensure that no sensitive information was compromised.

To read more click here.