News you may have missed #0017

  • Spain’s chief spy resigns in financial scandal. Alberto Saiz, who headed Spain’s National Intelligence Center, was accused by the daily newspaper El Mundo of using public money for diving and hunting trips in Mexico, Senegal, Mali and Morocco. He denied the accusations, but on July 2, he resigned “to prevent further damage to the reputation of the intelligence agency and the government”. 
  • FBI declassifies reports on agents’ interviews with Saddam. Just-declassified FBI reports reveal that FBI special agents carried out 20 formal interviews and at least 5 “casual conversations” with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his capture by US troops in December 2003. Interestingly, the declassified reports include nothing about “Iraq’s complicated relationship with the US”, especially the alleged role of the CIA in facilitating the Ba’ath party’s rise to power in the 1960s. 
  • Release of CIA report on detention, interrogation, delayed (again). Like many others, we at intelNews were eagerly expecting this previously classified CIA report on detention and interrogation under the Bush administration to be released last Wednesday. It was initially going to be released in mid-June, but was then delayed until July 1. Now the CIA says it won’t be able to release the report until the end of August. The ACLU says it will wait for as long as it has to.

News you may have missed #0009

  • Head of Spain’s secret service accused of misuse of public funds. The Spanish Ministry of Defense says it has requested “complete” information on allegations concerning secret service chief Alberto Saiz, who has been accused by the daily newspaper El Mundo of using public money for diving and hunting trips in Mexico, Senegal, Mali and Morocco. Saiz, who heads Spain’s National Intelligence Center, denies the accusations. 
  • No Obama apology for CIA in Latin America. US President Barack Obama declined to apologize on Tuesday for past CIA interventions and coup attempts in Latin America, after talks with Chilean leader Michele Bachelet. Obama was asked by a Chilean journalist whether he would apologize for past CIA operations in the region, like the US-backed coup attempt in Chile in 1973. “I’m interested in going forward, not looking backward”, replied the US President. 
  • Consumers boycott Nokia, Siemens for selling to Iran. As intelNews has been reporting since April, The Wall Street Journal has disclosed that the Iranian government has acquired some of the world’s most sophisticated communications surveillance mechanisms with the help of some of Europe’s leading telecommunications hardware and software manufacturers. The latter appear to have been all too happy to supply Tehran with advanced means to spy on its own people. Now Western consumers are calling for a boycott of Nokia and Siemens, whose Nokia Siemens Networks collaboration is a key supplier of Iran’s extensive surveillance system. 
  • Ex-CIA columnist claims CIA “harrassment”. Former CIA operations manager, Stephen Lee, who now blogs for The Washington Examiner, says he is “being subjected to a campaign of low-level harrassment” by the Agency.