• Five unsettling FBI surveillance tips from the ‘40s

    We’ve written before about the FBI’s 1947 guide to investigatory techniques and their heavy reliance on period-authentic casual racism. Today, we’ll be looking at the section on surveillance under false pretenses, which manages the perfect blend between adorably dated and downright creepy.

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  • CIA’s classified KKK joke

    In the mid-’80s, stories started circulating around Washington about an investigation into an alleged Ku Klux Klan meeting at Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Langley. While the Agency insisted that the whole thing was a “tasteless joke” that had gotten out of hand, the public was left with no choice but to take their word for it - the report containing the investigation’s findings was classified.

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  • Read the Pentagon’s report on Che Guevara’s death

    On October 9, 1967, 50 years ago today, Ernesto “Che” Guevara died in Bolivian captivity. However, a report located in the Central Intelligence Agency’s declassified archives by Emma Best shows that it wasn’t until four years later that the Pentagon finally got what was allegedly a first-hand account of what happened, and even then the details were sketchy.

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  • From national security threat to J. Edgar Hoover’s pal - the FBI file of California congressman Jack Shelley

    Labor organizer, Californian congressman, and mayor of San Francisco John Francis “Jack” Shelley is typically cited among the most prominent figures on J. Edgar Hoover’s “Emergency Detention” list of “subversives” that were to be arrested if war with the Soviet Union became “inevitable.” However, as Shelley’s FBI file shows, being marked as a potential threat to the country didn’t stop Hoover and Shelly from enjoying a cordial, if not down downright friendly, relationship during the latter’s time on the Hill.

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  • Can federal employees read WikiLeaks in private?

    Back in 2010, in response to the publication of the Iraq War Logs leaked by Chelsea Manning, the U.S. Intelligence Community released their official response to WikiLeaks. That report led to official guidance from the Obama administration on how to clamp down on “insider threats,” which in turn sparked a massive discussion on federal employee’s access to classified information, as documents released to Alexa O’Brien reveal.

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  • Five times CIA read Playboy for the articles

    Playboy magazine was founded just a few years after Central Intelligence Agency, and together, those two institutions left their mark on the 20th century, for better and for much, much worse. To mark Hugh Hefner’s passing, we dug up those times those two overlapped in the Agency’s declassified archives.

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  • FBI reported that Juggalos were “holding their own” in gang war with MS-13

    Earlier this month, Insane Clown Posse fans marched on Washington D.C. to protest the FBI’s 2011 designation of Juggalos as a “loosely-organized hybrid gang.” However, Bureau files show that ICP first came on the FBI’s radar three years earlier, when the Bureau threat assessment of the annual Gathering of the Juggalos included allegations that the Family was engaged in a full-on turf war with MS-13.

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  • Five times CIA hid awful programs in boring names

    Take it from the Central Intelligence Agency - if you want to get away with murder, just say you’re committing a “potentially involuntary redistribution of consciousness.” Here are five times the Agency used jargon to get away with the jarring.

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  • The alphabet of CIA gadgets

    The Central Intelligence Agency’s bag of tricks is a veritable a-to-z of dubious doodads. Here’s 26 of the strangest.

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  • Five good things the CIA is responsible for

    In the interest of fairness - and because it’s the Central Intelligence Agency’s birthday - we thought we’d try and dig up a few examples of net positives the Agency has intentionally (or unintentionally) visited upon the world. What we found was that from science to cinema, the Agency’s unexpected reach knows no bounds.

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