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Secrecy News - from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy

Secrecy News - from the FAS Project on Government Secrecy
The Director of National Intelligence has forbidden most intelligence community employees from discussing “intelligence-related information” with a reporter unless they have specific authorization to do so, according to an Intelligence Community Directive that was issued last month. “IC employees… must obtain authorization for contacts with the media” on intelligence-related matters, and “must also report… unplanned or unintentional contact with the media on covered matters,” the Directive stated. The new Directive reflects — and escalates — tensions between the government and the press over leaks of classified information. It is intended “to mitigate risks of unauthorized disclosures of intelligence-related matters that may result from such contacts.” See Intelligence Community Directive 119, Media Contacts, March 20, 2014. Significantly, however, the new prohibition does not distinguish between classified and unclassified intelligence information.

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Half-Finished War Memorial For Iraq And Afghanistan Announced WASHINGTON, D.C. — A memorial dedicated in honor of halfway-finished wars has been approved for placement in the nation’s capitol. The site titled “The Long War Memorial” — featuring troops molded from granite fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan — will be unique in that it will be ambiguous and incomplete, leaving room for additions in future years. While workers broke ground only recently, the memorial was sanctioned in 2001 as part of the Authorization for Use of Military Force against Al Qaeda “and associated forces.” Top 10 Logical Fallacies in Politics The human brain is wired all wrong. Those not versed in logic are blissfully unaware of how much our brain messes up the most basic of arguments, leading to the mess of random thoughts, non-sequiturs, cognitive dissonance, white lies, misinformation, and syntax errors that we call consciousness. Luckily, there is one place where all of these logical misteps can be exemplified: politics. What follows is a crash course in some of the most prevelant fallacies we all make, as they appear in modern American politics. And though I consider these the "top 10" logical fallacies in politics, they are not in order, for reasons that should become clear rather quickly.

Ted Rall's Prescient Take On Verizon And The NSA Several months ago employees of Verizon, the company that enjoys a monopoly on local telephone service where I live, confirmed that my telephone has been tapped by the government.“I don’t mind that Bush is listening to my calls,” I told the security department. “It’s not like I’m calling al Qaeda. And if they called me, I wouldn’t be able to hear them because of the noise on the line.”Most Americans feel the same as me. We’re not doing anything wrong, so why should we care if the government knows when we’re stuck on hold? If losing our privacy can prevent another 9/11, isn’t it worth it?

Science, Technology and the CIA Washington, D.C., September 10, 2001 – Mention of the Central Intelligence Agency generally elicits visions of espionage and covert action operations. It may also produce images of the multitude of finished intelligence products the agency turns out – from the tightly controlled President's Daily Brief, available only to the president and a select circle of advisers, to a number of less restricted intelligence assessments. The CIA's role in the application of science and technology to the art of intelligence is far less appreciated. Even an 800-page history of the agency, published in 1986, John Ranelagh's The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA, included only a few references to the CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology. However, the exploitation of science and technology has been a significant element of the CIA's activities, almost since its creation.

Like a Swarm of Lethal Bugs: The Most Terrifying Drone Video Yet - Conor Friedersdorf An Air Force simulation says researchers are at work on killer robots so tiny that a group of them could blend into a cityscape. Science writer John Horgan's feature on the many ways drones will be used in coming years is interesting throughout, and terrifying in the passage where he describes an effort to build micro-drones that are, as the U.S. Air Force describes them, "Unobtrusive, pervasive, and lethal." Air Force officials declined a request to observe flight tests at a "micro-aviary" they've built, he reported, but they did let him see a video dramatization "starring micro-UAVs that resemble winged, multi-legged bugs. The drones swarm through alleys, crawl across windowsills, and perch on power lines.

Why is there such an explosion of violence across the Middle East? Here's an alternative view... By Robert Fisk November 03, 2014 "ICH" - "The Independent" - What on earth has descended upon the Middle East? Why such an epic explosion of violence? It feels strange to ask these questions of Dr Bouthaina Shaaban, one of President Bashar al-Assad’s close advisers and former translator to his father, Hafez. The Ugly History Behind ‘Religious Freedom’ Laws - Washington Spectator From Ava Duvernay’s award-winning film to President Barack Obama’s speech at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the thousands we crossed the bridge with and the millions that joined by television, America has remembered Selma, Alabama, this year. We have honored grassroots leaders who organized for years, acknowledged the sacrifices of civil-rights workers, and celebrated the great achievement of the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, we have recalled the hatred and fear of white supremacy in 1960s Alabama. But we may not have looked closely enough at this ugly history. Even as we celebrate one of America’s great strides toward freedom, the ugliest ghosts of our past haunt us in today’s “religious freedom” laws.

ECHELON ECHELON[needs IPA], originally a code-name, is now used in global media and in popular culture to describe a signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory nations to the UKUSA Security Agreement[1] — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Referred to by a number of other abbreviations, including AUSCANNZUKUS[1] and Five Eyes,[2][3][4] it has also been described as the only software system which controls the download and dissemination of the intercept of commercial satellite trunk communications.[5] It was created in the early 1960s to monitor the military and diplomatic communications of the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc allies during the Cold War, and was formally established in the year of 1971.[6][7] §Name[edit] Britain's The Guardian newspaper summarized the capabilities of the ECHELON system as follows: §History[edit]

‘Underwear bomber’ was working for the CIA A would-be “underwear bomber” involved in a plot to attack a US-based jet was in fact working as an undercover informer with Saudi intelligence and the CIA, it has emerged. The revelation is the latest twist in an increasingly bizarre story about the disruption of an apparent attempt by al-Qaida to strike at a high-profile American target using a sophisticated device hidden in the clothing of an attacker. The plot, which the White House said on Monday had involved the seizing of an underwear bomb by authorities in the Middle East sometime in the last 10 days, had caused alarm throughout the US. It has also been linked to a suspected US drone strike in Yemen where two Yemeni members of al-Qaida were killed by a missile attack on their car on Sunday, one of them a senior militant, Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso.

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