January 24th, 2011
U.S. Army torture orders, FBI surveillance files on Edith Helm, and Clinton administration immigration crisis plans.
- The Washington Post (h/t Free Thought Manifesto) has broken the story that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has a close relationship with Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which it is now training. NISS has been alleged to be involved in the Darfur genocide, and the Post quotes one former analyst saying NISS head Salah Gosh is “up to his butt in the genocide.” Somewhat less colourful but much more disturbing is the description of the training being imparted: “pretty much the same as regular (human intelligence) training…, i.e. setting up meetings in secure places with surveillance and countersurveillance, knowing what info to look for, keeping all pocket litter,… [and] ‘take downs’ of terrorists and their organizations.”
- The FBI surveillance file on Edith Helm, social secretary to Eleanor Roosevelt and two other Democratic Presidents’ wives, is available from Government Attic. Helm was subjected to a “loyalty check” without their knowledge; when agents began following her and interviewing friends, her employer, Eleanor, complained about “Gestapo tactics” by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.
- Between 2007 and 2009, a U.S. Army security man name John Towery illegally infiltrated peace activist and anarchist groups in the Seattle area, after signing up as a police informant to provide legal cover. Cryptome has released some of the police department files on the subject (Part 1, Part 2, complaints)
- In 1993 the new Clinton Administration drew up an “immigration emergency plan,” codenamed Operation DISTANT SHORE. It was intended to be activated in the event that war, disaster or any other crisis caused a mass influx of refugees from the Caribbean or Central America. Much like the Arizona-Mexico problems of today, Florida lobbied hard to have the plan activated so they could get extra federal funding to deal with immigrants from Haiti and Cuba. (Government Attic)
- Libertarians often suspect government of carrying out too much surveillance, of creating a pervasive and stifling intelligence machine. The flip side of that is that the intelligence bureaucracy itself is often cumbersome, inflexible, and immensely irritating for those in government. This is the theme of a recently published interview by Carl Ford, former head of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR). American intelligence is “almost unworkable,” says Ford, but “the people in charge are those who devised what we have today 10-15 years ago. They got promoted for having built this structure so they cannot now suggest that it needs changing, that “the emporer [sic] has no clothes.” (via Cryptome)