• The CIA assets that worked for Castro - and assassinated a Panamanian president

    The CIA assets that worked for Castro - and assassinated a Panamanian president

    Panama has a long history of coups and interventions involving the United States that go back to the establishment of the Panama Canal, some of which resulted in pro-U.S. governments, while other seemed to benefit Communist groups. Documents show that the confessed assassin of Panamanian President José Antonio Remón Cantera was a Central Intelligence Agency asset, and that at least one other CIA asset was on the scene and arrested at the time of the assassination in 1955. Both also share ties to the Cuban community, as well as vague connections to the JFK assassination - and one of them may have also been involved in a plot to kidnap and/or assassinate Vice President Spiro Agnew and CIA Director Richard Helms.

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  • Homeland Security used a modified version of the Anonymous logo in a presentation on surveillance

    Homeland Security used a modified version of the Anonymous logo in a presentation on surveillance

    A presentation from Homeland Security on Intelligence Oversight Training appears to include a version of Anonymous’ “man without a head” logo that was modified to depict a surveillance state. Perhaps even more interestingly, the image has a preexisting copyright and appears to have been originally used in an article describing Pakistan’s mass surveillance system - a system that appears to liaise with the National Security Agency.

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  • National Treasure: the CIA hid historical artifacts in the walls of their headquarters - twice

    National Treasure: the CIA hid historical artifacts in the walls of their headquarters - twice

    One of the more fascinating revelations in the Central Intelligence Agency’s archives is the fact that, on two separate occasions, the Agency has had the White House bury time capsules of CIA materials in the walls of their buildings. The first box was jokingly referred to by Director Allen Dulles as containing “secrets,” and that came amazingly close to being true. The second, placed by one of Dulles’ successors, was nearly a plot device in a spy thriller, thanks to a suggestion that they place the true names of every Agency employee within the box.

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  • Guerrilla FOIAfare: How to use exemption codes to find the most interesting documents hidden in the CIA archives

    Guerrilla FOIAfare: How to use exemption codes to find the most interesting documents hidden in the CIA archives

    As many researchers have learned over the years, government agencies in general and the Central Intelligence Agency in particular often apply exemptions very broadly, and at times, bordering on the ridiculous. Exemption codes, on the other hand, can still be useful to researchers, journalists, and curious citizens; by searching for these codes, clever researchers can find documents that discuss war plans, cryptography, WMDs, and diplomatically damaging information.

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  • While investigating a DOJ leak to the mafia, the FBI appear to have overlooked a known mafia mole at the telephone company

    While investigating a DOJ leak to the mafia, the FBI appear to have overlooked a known mafia mole at the telephone company

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s file on telephone security measures appears to show the Bureau overlooking an obvious line of inquiry while investigating a leak to the mafia and possible tapped phone lines. While the file indicates that the Bureau checked both the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service’s phones for taps, it indicates they may have overlooked the most obvious possibility: that the culprit was the phone company employee who’d been giving the mafia access to the phone lines.

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  • The Atomic Space Bug: FBI files show a wiretapped phone was found at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's predecessor

    The Atomic Space Bug: FBI files show a wiretapped phone was found at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s predecessor

    According to Federal Bureau of Investigation files, a few months before it was abolished, a bug was discovered in the Honolulu offices of the Atomic Energy Commission. The device would not only let someone listen in on phone calls, but any conversations held around the phone - even when it wasn’t in use.

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  • LBJ’s “hullabaloo” made the FBI decide to avoid doing security checks for Congress

    LBJ’s “hullabaloo” made the FBI decide to avoid doing security checks for Congress

    In June 1956, Lyndon B. Johnson caused a “hullabaloo” over the search search of a Senator’s office conducted by Department of Defense security officers who were looking for a potential listening device. Johnson caused such a stink that the Federal Bureau of Investigation decided to avoid helping the Senate with security issues lest they be subject to unnecessary scandal the way the DOD security officers were.

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  • CIA’s Director of Personnel refused to have a woman “policing” him on gender equality

    CIA’s Director of Personnel refused to have a woman “policing” him on gender equality

    While recently portrayed as a bastion of progressive attitudes, the Central Intelligence Agency has a history of racial and gender disparity. As late as 1991, women were second class employees who were kept in the lower ranks, with men overwhelmingly occupying senior positions and leadership roles. A series of declassified memos help explain this disparity, showing CIA’s decades old resistance to putting women in charge of anything - even ensuring equal employment practices.

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  • When it came to the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover was both a source and ‘fact checker’ for the media

    When it came to the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover was both a source and ‘fact checker’ for the media

    In a recent response to a FOIA request on Rudolf Abel and the Hollow Nickel case, the Federal Bureau of Investigation included a 13 page section describing the FBI’s assistance to an author writing a series of articles about the Bureau. At least some of the articles appear to have been based on the film “The FBI Story,” which FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly had a strong hand in the production of, including prompting reshoots.

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  • The journalist and the stolen CIA documents

    The journalist and the stolen CIA documents

    A series of declassified Central Intelligence Agency memos describe part of the Agency’s investigation into Jack Anderson (of whom the CIA was never a fan), and his sources and methods (which included unethical practices such as homophobic surveillance, blackmail and lying about his sources) - specifically his apparent use of hundreds of stolen Agency documents. The memos even call for a Congressional investigation into Anderson and whether or not he was part of “a deliberate disinformation campaign.”

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