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Tag: CIA

Michael DeLeon to Head Up FBI’s Phoenix Office

fbi logo large

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Michael DeLeon, who served in the National Clandestine Service, Counterintelligence Center as the chief of the Counterespionage Group at the Central Intelligence Agency,  has been named special agent in charge of the  FBI’s Phoenix Division.

He’ll begin the new job in late April, the FBI said.

DeLeon joined the FBI in 1999 and started in the Tampa Division’s Fort Myers Resident Agency, where he worked criminal, counterterrorism, and counterintelligence matters, according to a press release.

After September 11, 2001, he served as the Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator for the Fort Myers Resident Agency.

His duties in the bureau have included unit chief in the Espionage Section of the Counterintelligence Division, senior supervisory resident special agent of the Greensboro Resident Agency-Charlotte Division and assistant special agent in charge in the Counterintelligence Branch of Washington Field Office.

Before joining the FBI, he worked for Delaware State Police.

 

President Obama Apologies to Argentina for CIA Actions During Country’s ‘Dirty War’

ArgentinaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama apologized to Argentina for CIA actions during the country’s “dirty war.”

Townhall.com reports that the CIA created operation Condor to combat the spread of communism by helping right-wing groups.

“I believe we have a responsibility to confront the past with honesty and transparency,” Obama said in Argentina. “A memorial like this speaks to the responsibilities that all of us have. We cannot forget the past, but when we find the courage to confront it, and we find the courage to change that past, that’s when we build a better future.”

“This park is a tribute to their memory but it’s also a tribute to the bravery and tenacity of the parents and spouses, siblings and the children who love and remember them,” Obama said during remarks at the memorial. “Today, we also commemorate those who fought side-by-side with Argentinians for human rights.”

Other Stories of Interest

Judges Consider Releasing Full CIA Torture Report by Senate Intelligence Committee

torture1By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Judges are deciding whether to release full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA interrogation practices that include torture.

The ACLU is asking two D.C. Circuit appeals court judges to release the 6,963-page report under the Freedom of Information Act, U.S. News & World Report writes. 

An executive summary of the report was released with redactions in 2014, showing how terrorism suspects were subjected to sleep deprivation, waterboarding and a procedure known as rectal feeding.

The ACLU argues that the full report has tremendous public value because it would help ensure the harsh tactics are never again used.

A lower court refused to order the release of the documents.

Other Stories of Interest

Former German Spy Convicted of Providing Classified Info to CIA, Russia

spy graphicBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former German spy who provided classified information to the CIA and the Russians was sentenced to eight years in prison for violating the country’s official secrets law.

Markus R., whose last name has not been made public, was convicted by a Munich state court, the Associated Press reports.

He was accused of selling roughly 20 highly classified documents to the CIA for $91,000. Among the information he shared was a list of German agents working abroad.

The 32-year-old confessed at trial, saying he was bored and frustrated.

He also provided “highly important” documents to Russians before ending the contact.

Ex-CIA and NSA Director: Trump’s Rhetoric Has Made U.S. ‘Less Safe Already’

Michael Hayden

Michael Hayden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former director of the NSA and CIA criticized Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, saying his rhetoric is compromising Americans’ safety.

Michael Hayden said Trump’s statements on barring Muslims from entering the country were particularly “detrimental.”

“It’s made us less safe already,” Hayden said.

Hayden said the rhetoric “reinforces their narrative” that America and Islam are incompatible.

Other troubling statements involved Trump’s call to bring back torture to get information from suspected terrorists.

Other Stories of Interest

Not Forgotten: 9th Anniversary of the Disappearance of Ex-FBI Agent Robert Levinson in Iran

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This past Wednesday marked the ninth anniversary of the disappearance of  ex-FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished after going to Iran. In hopes of keeping the issue at the forefront, the White House, State Department, FBI and family issued statements this week.

“Bob’s wife, children, and grandchildren have waited nine long years for the release of their loved one. Nine years is an incomprehensible amount of time for him to be missing without any word of his whereabouts,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a statement. “The FBI family feels personally connected to ensuring Bob’s safe return and we are doing everything in our power to investigate all leads.”

In 2013,  the Levinson family acknowledged he was actually working as a freelance “spy” for a rogue CIA operation. The Iranian press initially reported after his disappearance that he was being held by Iranian authorities, but since then, the Iranian government has denied even knowing his whereabouts.  Some are skeptical of that, and some have wondered whether he’s still alive.

Still, the FBI has been operating under the assumption that he is still alive.

Levinson’s wife, Christine, issued a statement:

A few days ago, hundreds of people from around the country came together with our family in Florida to demand “Where is Bob Levinson?”  and ask how it is possible that, 9 years after being taken hostage in Iran, this wonderful man is still not home.  My children and I ask those same questions every day.

These past 9 years – 3, 288 days – have been harder for our family than anyone could ever imagine.  But, as difficult as it has been for us, we know that Bob is living a nightmare that is 100 times worse.  We need the United States government and the country of Iran to work together to resolve what happened to Bob and return him safely to his family.

The White House said:

“Today marks the ninth year since retired FBI agent Robert Levinson disappeared during a trip to Kish Island, Iran. We continue to call upon the Islamic Republic of Iran to provide assistance in his case, as agreed to as part of the prisoner exchange finalized earlier this year, so that we can bring Mr. Levinson home.

“Finding Mr. Levinson remains a top priority for the United States, and we continue to spare no effort to bring him home. Today the United States renews its unrelenting commitment to securing Mr. Levinson’s return. Our hearts remain with the Levinson family. They have endured the pain and suffering of his disappearance for far too long.”

And Secretary of State John Kerry said:

On the anniversary today of Robert Levinson’s disappearance from Kish Island, Iran, nine years ago, I want to underscore our commitment to locate Bob and bring him home.

For almost a decade, a beloved husband, brother, father, and grandfather has been kept from celebrating family milestones most take for granted. No one should have to endure what Mr. Levinson and his family have endured for so long.

As the President has said, and as I have told the Levinson family when I have met with them, we will never forget Bob, and we will not rest until the Levinson family is whole again.

The U.S. government in its entirety will continue all efforts to locate Bob and bring him home. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has committed to cooperating with the United States to determine the whereabouts of Mr. Levinson, and we are holding Iran to its promise.

In March 2015, the FBI also announced a $5 million reward for any information that could lead to his safe return. We call on anyone with information about this case to contact the FBI at http://tips.fbi.gov or email the FBI at levinsonfbireward@ic.fbi.gov.

Information will be kept confidential and can be provided anonymously.

 

Watchdog Group Sues CIA for Access to Osama bin Laden’s Porn Stash

Osama bin LadenBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A conservative watchdog group is suing the CIA for access to Osama bin Laden’s porn stash that was found in his Pakistan compound in 2011.

Judicial Watch argued in a lawsuit that the CIA should be forced to turn over the pornography collection as part of a Freedom of Information request filed last year, The Washington Times reports. 

The porn stash was found by the Navy SEALS when they raided the hideout and killed bin Laden.

The June 15 requested asked the CIA for copies of “All pornographic material collected during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Abbotabad, Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011 that killed Osama bin Laden,” along with an index cataloging the items recovered.

Judicial Watch said the CIA has failed to turn over copies of the collection.

“Plaintiff is being irreparably harmed by reason of Defendant’s unlawful withholding of records responsive to Plaintiff’s FOIA request, and Plaintiff will continue to be irreparably harmed unless Defendant is compelled to conform their conduct to the requirements of the law,” Judicial Watch wrote in this week’s filing.

Former CIA Director: Military May Reject Trump’s Orders If He Becomes President

Michael Hayden

Michael Hayden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If Donald Trump becomes president, there’s a real possibility that the U.S. military would refuse to follow his orders, said former CIA director Michael Hayden.

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the language that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign,” Hayden said during an interview on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Hayden said the concern is that Trump’s increasingly heated rhetoric would represent his foreign policy decisions.

Earlier this month, Trump said “torture works” and expressed support for waterboarding and other cruel interrogation techniques to get terrorists to divulge information.

Trump went a step further to say that other methods should be employed that are “so much worse” and “much stronger.”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work — torture works,” Trump told the Sun City retirement community. “Okay, folks? Torture — you know, half these guys [say]: ‘Torture doesn’t work.’ Believe me, it works. Okay?”

President Obama ended waterboarding during his first term in office.

“Let me give you a punchline: If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act,” Hayden suggested.