News you may have missed #0256

  • Descendant of Richard Sorge’s accomplice receives Soviet-era award. The 81-year-old niece of Yotoku Miyagi, a Japanese accomplice of famous German-born Comintern spy Richard Sorge, has been awarded the Soviet Order of the Patriotic War medal in a ceremony at the Russian embassy in Tokyo, Japan. The medal was originally granted in 1965, but Miyagi was unable to collect it, as he had been executed, along with Sorge, by the Japanese in 1944.
  • Analysis: Alleged US spy’s arrest in Cuba affects bilateral relations. Cuban officials say that a US citizen working for Maryland-based aid group Development Alternatives Inc., who was arrested in Havana last month, was actually recruiting local Cubans to spy on the government. This development means that initial hopes for better US-Cuban relations after Barack Obama’s election success may be fading.
  • CIA, DoD drone attacks in Afghanistan intensify under McChrystal. Under the command of US and NATO forces by US Army general Stanley McChrystal, unmanned drone strikes in Afghanistan have been steadily increasing. A good question to ask is who is in charge of similar strikes in Pakistan, which are also on the increase.

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News you may have missed #0248

  • Cuba insists jailed US contractor is secret service agent. Cuban officials say that a US citizen working for Maryland-based international aid group Development Alternatives Inc., who was arrested in Havana last month, was actually recruiting local Cubans to spy on the government.
  • Analysis: Spying in Eastern Europe heats up again. The Cold War may be 20 years dead and buried, but it seems that the old East-West spying game is not only alive and kicking, but gaining vigor in places like Warsaw, Prague and Tallinn.
  • Obama designates new list of secrecy gatekeepers. The US president has designated over two dozen officials as “original classification authorities” (OCAs), who have the power to classify government information as Top Secret or Secret, and (in most cases) to delegate such authority to their subordinates. Importantly, the directive says that OCAs will lose their job if they fail to “receive training in proper classification […] at least once a calendar year”.

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US government agent detained in Cuba for ‘aiding opposition groups’

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By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
American authorities have revealed the arrest in Cuba of a US government worker, who was allegedly supplying telecommunications equipment to opposition groups. The unidentified man, who was reportedly detained in Havana on December 5, is said to work for a Maryland-based international aid group called Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI). This little-known organization works closely with the government-owned United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and last year was awarded a major government contract in “support [of] the rule of law and human rights, political competition and consensus building” in Cuba. There are reports, however, that the contract involved the clandestine supply of laptop computers and cell phones to Cuban groups antagonistic to the government in Havana. Read more of this post