CIA

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CIA Psychologist: 'I Will Cut Your Son's Throat'

James Mitchell testifies in pre-trial hearing at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

(Newser) - First came 183 waterboardings. Then, a threat: Another attack on US soil, and I'll kill your son. That's what CIA psychologist James Mitchell admitted Monday at a pretrial hearing in the case of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the LA Times reports. "If there was a... More »

CIA Psychologists to Face Waterboarded Defendants

James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen must testify in a pretrial hearing in 9/11 case

(Newser) - The trial of five men accused of plotting the 9/11 attacks doesn't begin until next year, notes NPR . But a crucial pretrial hearing gets underway this week featuring the two psychologists who designed the harsh interrogation techniques, roundly described as torture, used by the CIA to elicit statements. James... More »

Trump and Barr Threaten FBI, as Well as the Rule of Law

William Webster, former CIA and FBI director, defends agencies' independence

(Newser) - Having served as director of the FBI and CIA, the only person to hold both jobs, William Webster says he has a unique perspective. And from his perspective, the rule of law in this country "faces a dire threat." Webster made his case in an op-ed piece Monday... More »

Ex-CIA Spy Flees Italy Over Fear for Her Safety

Sabrina de Sousa is embroiled in a fraught rendition case

(Newser) - An ex-CIA spy says she has fled Italy for America—apparently to avoid getting tossed in prison, Reuters reports. Sabrina de Sousa was one of 26 people found guilty in Italy in the 2003 "extraordinary rendition" of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr in Milan. But De Sousa, who... More »

Valerie Plame's Campaign Ad Is One 'People Will Pay Attention To'

Ex-CIA operative is running for a congressional seat in New Mexico

(Newser) - Business Insider says it looks like a "Fast & Furious outtake"; the AV Club notes it's more reminiscent of the Bourne Identity franchise. Whatever movie you might compare Valerie Plame's new campaign ad to, there's no denying the spot is memorable. Plame , the ex-CIA operative... More »

Report: CIA's Kremlin Asset Was Recruited Decades Ago

Sources say he rejected first extraction offer

(Newser) - A high-level CIA informant "exfiltrated" from Russia to the US in 2017 had been an American intelligence asset for decades, sources tell the New York Times —and he rejected an earlier attempt to get him out of the country. The sources say the informant—who was recruited long... More »

Iran: We Arrested 17 Spies Trained by CIA

Some Iranians will be executed

(Newser) - Another day, another fresh source of friction between the West and Iran. On Monday, Iran said it arrested 17 of its own citizens who were spying for the US, reports Reuters . Iran said some would be executed, but it did not say how many. According to the state-run Fars news... More »

Report: Kim Jong Un's Half-Brother Was CIA Asset

He met his handler before he was killed, sources say

(Newser) - The exiled half-brother of Kim Jong Un was a CIA informant who was killed after meeting his agency contact in Malaysia, sources tell the Wall Street Journal . One source says there was a "nexus" between the CIA and Kim Jong Nam, who died after a banned chemical weapon was... More »

Former CIA Officer Admits Spying for China

Jerry Chun Shing Lee was paid to provide info on covert agents

(Newser) - A former CIA agent suspected of being the mole who helped bring down the network's operations in China early this decade has pleaded guilty to spying for Beijing. Prosecutors say that after Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 54, left the US to live in Hong Kong in 2007, China paid... More »

The CIA Posts an Image That's Loaded With Clues

Looks like intelligence agents can have fun, too

(Newser) - The CIA kicked off its Instagram account Thursday with an image of a desk and a simple clue: "I spy with my little eye..." The challenge, it seems, is to interpret the meaning of objects in the photo—like a wig, a clock set for 8:46, and... More »

New RFK-Murder Theory Involves Shadowy CIA Man

'A Lie Too Big to Fail' points the finger at Robert Maheu

(Newser) - The cloak-and-dagger figure who likely inspired the TV show Mission: Impossible also planned Robert F. Kennedy's assassination—at least according to a lengthy new book on the subject, the Washington Post reports. In A Lie Too Big to Fail, author Lisa Pease contends that Robert Maheu, an ex-FBI agent... More »

'A Pretty Good Spy' Who Inspired Argo Is Dead at 78

Tony Mendez was awarded the Intelligence Star for his imaginative exfiltration scheme

(Newser) - The CIA mastermind behind the so-called "Canadian caper"—which got six US diplomats out of Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis—died Saturday the age of 78, the Washington Post reports; he had Parkinson's disease. A 25-year CIA veteran, Tony Mendez was also an impressionistic painter admired... More »

11 Messages Sent by Prince Have Suspicious Timing

CIA says bin Salman was communicating with operatives' leader before, after Khashoggi killing

(Newser) - The CIA is pretty sure that Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Now the Wall Street Journal has details on why the CIA thinks that way, and a big one involves 11 messages sent by the prince himself in the hours before and... More »

Report: CIA Concludes Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi's Death

Sources say the agency has 'high confidence' that Mohammed bin Salman was involved

(Newser) - It's not exactly a surprising conclusion, but it lends credence to the whispers—the CIA believes with "high confidence" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the one who put the hit out on Jamal Khashoggi , sources tell the Washington Post and New York Times . The Times... More »

Brennan Says He'll Fight Trump on Security Clearance

'I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future'

(Newser) - Former CIA director John Brennan says he plans to fight back against President Trump's revoking of his security clearance , which he considers an attempt to intimidate him and other current and former government officials, the Guardian reports. Brennan told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that he has... More »

Ex-CIA Worker Charged: He 'Utterly Betrayed This Nation'

Joshua Adam Schulte hit with 13-count indictment, with charges including stealing classified info

(Newser) - A former CIA employee was charged Monday with stealing classified national defense information from the agency that emerged publicly in March 2017, when WikiLeaks began releasing some of the CIA's hacking tools. Joshua Adam Schulte of Manhattan was charged in a 13-count superseding indictment returned by a grand jury,... More »

Ex-CIA Officer Is Facing Up to Life in Prison

Kevin Mallory, 61, convicted of sharing secrets with China

(Newser) - A former CIA officer was convicted Friday on charges he spied for China by providing top secret information in exchange for $25,000, the AP reports. Kevin Mallory, 61, of Leesburg, Virginia, faces up to life in prison, although federal sentences are often less than the maximum. A sentencing hearing... More »

Haspel Confirmed in Closest Vote for CIA Pick in 7 Decades

Both parties were split in Senate vote

(Newser) - The Senate confirmed Gina Haspel on Thursday as the first female director of the CIA following a difficult nomination process that reopened an emotional debate about brutal interrogation techniques in one of the darkest chapters in the spy agency's history. The 54-45 vote split both parties, with six Democrats... More »

Senate Panel Votes to Endorse Haspel as CIA Director

Full Senate will now vote on Haspel's confirmation

(Newser) - Gina Haspel won the endorsement of the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday, with the panel voting 10-5 to advance her nomination as CIA director to the full Senate. Haspel, who would be the first woman to lead the Central Intelligence Agency and the second person to lead the agency after being... More »

Dick Cheney: What We Did Wasn't Torture

'If it were my call, I'd do it again'

(Newser) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said the US should restart the harsh detention and interrogation practices used on terror suspects after 9/11, and called on the Senate to confirm CIA nominee Gina Haspel. Brutal interrogation practices are currently banned under US law, but debate on the issue has re-surfaced during... More »

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