The CIA is offering…privacy advice? For trick-or-treaters? WTF?

I don't think I ever related to the White Guy Blinking Meme as much as I did after this tweet crossed my timeline.

I did in fact click through to their "CIA Kids Guide: 5 Ways To Stay Covert This Halloween" and I…I don't even know where to begin.

I kind of love this as a piece of propaganda because the first tip and the last three are at least useful (if completely fucking obvious for anyone who's ever watched a spy movie). But then there's #2, "Think Simple," which … I know this is meant for the CIA's kids' outreach section, but come on. You're not even pretending that you're not indoctrinating kids to make it easier to surveil them!

I guess it'd be too much to hope for that the CIA might offer helpful advice on VPNs and anti-surveillance attire—but even then, I probably wouldn't trust it.

Image via Katerha/Flickr Read the rest

US sues Edward Snowden, 'Permanent Record' violates NDAs 'signed with CIA & NSA' says Justice Department

Well, pretty much everyone saw this lawsuit coming. Read the rest

The creepy chemist behind CIA's search for a mind control drug

In the 1950s and 1960s, creepy chemist Sidney Gottlieb headed the CIA's efforts to find a mind control drug. Gottlieb and his delightful associates in the MK-Ultra project thought LSD, still legally manufactured, held the most promise. So they bought every drop of acid in the world and ran numerous horrible experiments on unwitting civilians to test its efficacy. Journalist Stephen Kinzer tells the tale in a new book out this week titled Poisoner In Chief. From an NPR interview with Kinzer:

Some of Gottlieb's experiments were covertly funded at universities and research centers, Kinzer says, while others were conducted in American prisons and in detention centers in Japan, Germany and the Philippines. Many of his unwitting subjects endured psychological torture ranging from electroshock to high doses of LSD, according to Kinzer's research.

"Gottlieb wanted to create a way to seize control of people's minds, and he realized it was a two-part process," Kinzer says. "First, you had to blast away the existing mind. Second, you had to find a way to insert a new mind into that resulting void. We didn't get too far on number two, but he did a lot of work on number one..."

Whitey Bulger was one of the prisoners who volunteered for what he was told was an experiment aimed at finding a cure for schizophrenia. As part of this experiment, he was given LSD every day for more than a year. He later realized that this had nothing to do with schizophrenia and he was a guinea pig in a government experiment aimed at seeing what people's long-term reactions to LSD was.

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Phone scammer tried to con William Webster, the only person ever to serve as director of both the CIA and FBI: it did not go well

Keniel A Thomas is part of the wave of violent phone scam gangs that have led to chaos in cities across the island; he made the mistake of trying to con the 90-year-old William Webster out of $50,000 with a hamfisted advance-fee fraud scam, not realizing that Webster is a top US spook, the only person ever to have served as chief of both the CIA and FBI. Read the rest

This CIA toolkit is built for concealing in a spy's butt

Everyday carry? From Atlas Obscura:

This CIA-issued tool kit was issued to CIA officers during the height of the Cold War. It was a way for spies to get themselves out of sticky situations: to pick a lock, carve a tunnel, etc. Watch the video above to learn more about the tool kit from historian and curator of the International Spy Museum, Dr. Vince Houghton.

(Thanks for the laff, tuhu!) Read the rest

RIP, George HW Bush: a mass-murderer and war-criminal

They're burying George HW Bush today and even before they planted him, the whitewashing began: we've heard an awful lot about how kind he was to his service dog and his love of colorful socks and a lot less about his role in running an onshore terrorist training camp for Latin America's death squads, his role in toppling democratic governments on two continents, his role in arming and supporting Saddam Hussein, then turning on him and kicking off a genocidal war in Iraq whose goal was to bomb an advanced, heavily populated nation "to the pre-industrial era." Read the rest

Former CIA Chief of Disguise shares how spies use disguises

Jonna Mendez is a real master of disguise. In this fascinating Wired video, the now-retired CIA Chief of Disguise talks about how and why spies are masked so their cover isn't blown.

"You want to be the person who gets on the elevator... and nobody even remembers that you were really there. That is a design goal at disguise labs at CIA."

Fascinating stuff! Read the rest

CIA Director Gina Haspel heads to Turkey for Jamal Khashoggi investigation

Gina Haspel, the director of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, is reported to be traveling to Turkey late Monday to assist in “an investigation” over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Read the rest

What Putin whispered in Trump's ear: 'The Apprentice,' by Greg Miller [Books]

The next Trump book you need to read, which I will as soon as it drops, is The Apprentice, by Washington Post Pulitzer winning natsec reporter Greg Miller. Read the rest

At ex-CIA panelist's insistence, Oxford Union reneges on promise to upload video of whistleblowing debate

Douglas Lucas writes, "The prestigious Oxford Union, where Malcolm X and Mother Theresa spoke, has censored their own video of their own public February whistleblowing panel, which featured among others the lead programmer of the global data commons project GetGee.xyz, Heather Marsh. The ever so famous debating society isn't uploading the footage to YouTube because another panelist, ...former... CIA operative David Shedd, doesn't want them to. Oxford Union's bursar said it was copyright grounds which is laughable since it's their own video, they have the copyright/wrong/official pieces of paper for it..." Read the rest

Senate confirms Trump's pick Gina Haspel to lead CIA. Here are the 6 Democrats who voted 'yes' for torture.

What's a little harsh interrogation between friends? President Donald Trump's pick Gina Haspel was today voted in by the Senate as the new head of the CIA, despite playing a key part in post-9/11 torture programs under President George W. Bush.

Her role in destroying the CIA's damning torture tapes in earlier years makes her the perfect spy boss for Trump, the President for whom force, secrecy, and lies are solutions to every problem. Read the rest

Haspel now likely to get CIA boss confirmation. Thanks, Democratic senators. You had one job.

The psyopsing worked.

Gina Haspel now appears to have secured enough votes to be confirmed as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, after two additional Senate Democrats today announced they will vote for her. Read the rest

The CIA is psyopsing America to help torturer Gina Haspel get the job of CIA boss

Gina Haspel is the evidence-destroying torturer whose Senate confirmation hearings for CIA chief were so frightening to her that she tried to bow out of them (she went, and bullshitted her way through). Read the rest

CIA & Army veteran has the best response to Gina Haspel confirmation obfuscation

David Chasteen is a veteran of the CIA, who has also served in combat with the United States Army in Iraq, and elsewhere. Read the rest

Torturer and coverup artist Gina Haspel tried to bow out of CIA Directorship to avoid Senate questioning

Gina Haspel is a 33-year veteran of the CIA, notorious for overseeing a torture camp in Thailand where rendered suspects were subjected to simulated executions; Haspel is also notorious for participating in a mass coverup of CIA torture, helping to destroy over 100 videotapes of abuses that took place under her direction. Read the rest

Kickstarting a playable version of the CIA's previously secret training card-game

When Freedom of Information Act enthusiast Douglas Palmer used public records requests to explore the games that the CIA uses to train its analysts, he laid the groundwork for republishing these games for general use. Read the rest

"Kingpin: The Hunt for El Chapo": Game designers review the CIA's declassified tabletop training game

Douglas Palmer got wind of a classified CIA program to create board games to train spies, so he used a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to get copies of two of these games: the first is called "Kingpin: The Hunt for El Chapo" and the second (which the CIA revealed to a SXSW audience in 2017) is called "Collection Deck." Read the rest

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