spies, national security, espionage, counterterrorism, u.s. foreign policy, intelligence operations, CIA, special forces, counterterrorism, terrorism
Showing posts with label legal affairs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label legal affairs. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2013


"John Doe," an active-duty paramilitary operative, says that the spy agency is pursuing a baseless war crimes investigation against him to ruin his career, because it did not approve of "activities he was engaged in overseas that some believed later should not have taken place," according to his attorney. READ MORE HERE.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Former CIA operator Frank Snepp's revelations of how the spy agency deserted files and friends in its hasty 1975 exit from Vietnam created a media firestorm three decades ago, not unlike the one enveloping NSA leaker Edward Snowden and reporters today.

Enraged by Snepp's temerity, President Jimmy Carter's CIA and Justice Department went after him with hammer and tong.  

"The only thing separating Snowden himself from legal immolation, I believe, is the possible difficulty of extraditing him from [Hong Kong]," Snepp told me.  READ MORE HERE.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hactivists Who Attacked CIA Plead Guilty

Three more members of the “hacktivist” group LulzSec have pleaded guilty today to various computer hacking and “hacktivism-related counts,” reports The Independent’s Kevin Rawlinson.

The group admitted to cyber attacks against the CIA, the Arizona State Police and the UK’s Serious Organized Crime Agency and National Health Service, among other entities in 2011 according to Rawlinson. 

The hackers also targeted the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, known for its “God Hates Fags” protests.

Chiquita Fighting Exposure of Links to Terror Groups

Banana colossus Chiquita Brands International is in hot water again for its past contracts with Colombian rebel organizations and right-wing paramilitary groups.

The company is now fighting against the disclosure of a portion of company papers it turned over to the SEC during an investigation from 1998 to 2004, reports the private National Security Archive at George Washington University.

Chiquita has filed a “reverse” FOIA to prevent the Archive from gaining access to their internal records.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hot Shots: Double Agents Edition

Israeli Spy's Lonely Death: New questions arose from a report published yesterday revealing the possible cause behind the Israeli imprisonment of Mossad agent Ben Zygier.

The Australia-born Zygier, who allegedly committed suicide in 2010, after two years in solitary confinement, “may have inadvertently revealed details of one of Israel’s most important intelligence-gathering networks,” according to Sheera Frenkel of McClatchy Newspapers, reporting on a joint investigation by Australia’s Fairfax Media and Germany’s Der Spiegel.

“According to Fairfax Media, Australia’s largest newspaper publisher, and Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, which conducted a joint investigation into the case, Zygier unwittingly handed over Israeli intelligence files to a man he thought he was turning into a double agent for Israel,” Frenkel reported.

“Zygier, the news organizations claimed, thought that by turning the man into a a double agent he’d win the approval of his bosses at the Mossad and be promoted within the spy agency. Instead, Zygier gave away information that included the identities of two of the Mossad’s best informants in Lebanon.

"Zygier wanted to achieve something that he didn’t end up getting," the report said, quoting an unidentified highly placed Israeli official. "He crossed paths with someone who was much more professional than he was."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Who Is Lisa Monaco?

Lisa Monaco is a smart cookie, no doubt about that. And a true-blue Democrat.

The Harvard and the University of Chicago Law School grad, who turns 44 in February, has climbed so steadily through the government’s national security ranks that her new job as homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to President Obama seems almost preordained. Rumors are flying that she may even replace Bob Mueller at the FBI before too long.

Yet it’s almost certain that few people outside of Washington’s insular national security world will ever have heard of her.

That’s because, unlike her predecessor John Brennan, she’s been an oiler in the machinery room of counterterrorism, not a boss man from one of the alphabet agencies -- CIA, FBI, NSA and the like.

But she has had friends in high places, starting with Joe Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee when Monaco worked there as research coordinator from 1992 to 1994, according to the questionnaire she filled out during her confirmation process 20 years later to be assistant attorney general for national security.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Kiriakou Plea Provokes Bitter Name-Calling Among Lawyers

Is John Kiriakou a leaker or a patriotic whistleblower?  Some rare, public name-calling among lawyers close to the case has broken out over the question.

Some of the ex-CIA man’s most fervent supporters claim the government is persecuting a patriot who helped expose CIA water boarding and the other “enhanced interrogation techniques” many people equate with torture.

The Justice Department begs to differ, of course. It argues the case is simple: Kiriakou “repeatedly” disclosed classified information and the names of covert CIA employees to journalists.

So far, it has been winning. Kiriakou’s lawyers last week lost a key pre-trial ruling when the judge in the case said the feds would not have to prove that Kiriakou meant harm to the United States by exposing the interrogation program to public scrutiny.  

That set-back, apparently, led his lawyers to seek a plea deal with the feds, which one source said might amount to two-and-a-half years in prison. A hearing is scheduled for 11 tomorrow morning in federal court in Alexandria, Va.

[Update: Kiriakou and the Justice Department finalized the deal in court on Tuesday, the former CIA man pleading guilty to one count of illegally disclosing the identity of a covert agent. He's expected to spend 30 months in prison.] 

Even as a plea deal was only rumored, Kiriakou’s most staunch defenders were denouncing his lawyers, which include famed Washington defense attorney Plato Cacheris, for taking it.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Not Asylum for Pakistani Doctor Who Helped CIA Find Bin Laden?

By the standards of most governments in his neck of the woods, Pakistani doctor Shakeel Afridi could be dead by now, from a bullet in the head delivered in the basement of a dank prison.

The fact that he’s still alive surely comes as cold comfort, however, since Pakistan may still decide to try him “for high treason for assisting the United States in gathering intelligence” ahead of last May’s raid to kill Osama Bin Laden, according a CNN report Thursday.

Afridi ran a vaccination program that helped the CIA gather information from residents of Abbottabad about the mystery men behind the high walls of a mansion where Bin Laden was hiding, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta confirmed in a “60 Minutes” interview last January.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

We’ll Get Iran’s Dough, Beirut Bombing Case Lawyer Vows

The headline over the story of a federal court's award Wednesday of $44 million to victims of the 1983 Beirut terror bombing said it will be “hard to collect” anything from Iran.

But don’t tell that to their lawyer.

Joseph Peter Drennan, the Alexandria, Va.  attorney representing two servicemen wounded in the 1983 truck bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon said he “strongly” believes he’ll end up collecting the cash from Iran, sponsor of the Hezbollah terrorist group that carried out the attack.

The main reasons: Iran has cash here, starting with $2 billion in Citibank accounts in New York.

And the time is ripe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How the CIA Drone War Spawned a Plot Line for Showtime's 'Homeland'

There’s a striking similarity between the central plotline of “Homeland” and the deep secrecy blanketing details of the CIA’s drone strikes, isn’t there?

As The Washington Post’s stellar national security correspondent Karen DeYoung reported today:

Since September, at least 60 people have died in 14 reported CIA drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal regions. The Obama administration has named only one of the dead, hailing the elimination of Janbaz Zadran, a top official in the Haqqani insurgent network, as a counterterrorism victory.

Sure it was. The thing is, there’s no way for the public to judge how effective the drone strikes are--or how much “collateral damage”--innocent men, women, children, livestock--they’re causing. 

Or terrorists they're creating.

That’s the back story of the Showtime channel's thriller hit “Homeland.”  A Marine captured and held by al Qaeda for years becomes radicalized when a CIA drone strike kills scores of civilians, including a child he’d grown close to.