News you may have missed #484

  • Analysis: CIA may face reduced role in Pakistan after murder row. People familiar with the views of the Pakistani government say that, as part of the deal for the freeing of CIA operative Raymond Davis, the CIA agreed to give Pakistan more credit for its role in counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan, to cut back on US spying in Pakistan and to keep Pakistani authorities better informed of CIA activities.
  • Lebanese Army dismantles Israeli spying device. The Lebanese Army has dismantled an Israeli electronic spy device after receiving a tip-off from members of Hezbollah, according to reports from south Lebanon. This is not the first such reported incident. More pictures of the device are posted here.
  • Exhibition commemorates Soviet spy legend. An exhibition, dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of legendary Soviet intelligence agent Nikolai Kuznetsov has opened in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg. Kuznetsov uncovered German plans to launch a massive tank attack in Ukraine’s Kursk region, as well as an operation to assassinate Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill in Tehran in 1943.
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Attorney behind NSA domestic wiretapping defends his views

John Yoo

John Yoo

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The former US Justice Department lawyer who authored legal memos sanctioning the legality of the Bush administration’s secret wiretapping program has defended his views. John Yoo, who on 9/11 was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, has penned an article in The Wall Street Journal, in which he voices disagreement over a recently published US government report that criticizes the wiretap program’s secrecy and dubious legal basis. The report was authored by the Offices of Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, CIA, NSA, and Office of the Director of National Intelligence. It says that the Bush administration’s decision to keep NSA’s domestic wiretap program secret even from senior Department of Justice and intelligence officials hampered the broader intelligence community’s ability to use the program’s output, and subverted the government’s ethical standing in the so-called “war on terrorism”. Read more of this post

Analysis: The timeliness of the Alger Hiss case

Susan Jacoby

Susan Jacoby

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Susan Jacoby, author of Alger Hiss and the Battle for History, has written a noteworthy opinion piece on the symbolism of the Alger Hiss spy case. The veteran reporter and author’s piece was published by The Los Angeles Times on March 22, 58 years to the day after Hiss began serving a 44-month prison sentence. Alger Hiss was a US State Department official and alleged former member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA). He served as US President F.D. Roosevelt’s chief aide during the 1945 Yalta Conference, and at the 1945 San Francisco Conference that established the United Nations Charter. In 1948, former CPUSA member Whittaker Chambers alleged that Hiss had been a covert communist sympathizer who had used his State Department privileges to supply classified government documents to the Soviets. Hiss was convicted of perjury, not spying, and never admitted collaborating with the Soviets. Susan Jacoby, who says she is “95% certain that [Hiss] did pass on government documents”, considers the Hiss case to be symbolic of the politics McCarthyism, which continue to split America today. Read more of this post