News you may have missed #0018

  • Retired Romanian football star now admits being a spy. Earlier this week, Gheorghe Popescu, whose international career included playing for British teams, denied reports that he was an informer for Romania’s Securitate, the secret service of communist Romania. But on Thursday morning, the former Tottenham Hotspurs defender admitted that he did inform on teammates and other colleagues while playing for Universitatea Craiova. 
  • Grand jury hears from top CIA officers on destruction of tapes. A federal courtroom in Virginia has become the latest frontline in the Justice Department’s effort to uncover who at the CIA ordered in November of 2005 the incineration of 92 videotapes containing footage of torture applied on several “war on terrorism” detainees. Apparently, the tapes were kept for a long time in a safe at the CIA station in Thailand, where the interrogations took place. 
  • NSA to help defend civilian agency networks. The Obama administration is said to have decided to proceed with a Bush-era plan to use National Security Agency assistance in screening government computer traffic on private-sector networks. The decision, which had been rumored since last spring, was one of the reasons behind the March 2009 resignation of Rod Beckstrom, who headed the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cyber Security Center.
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News you may have missed #0013

  • CIA report on detention, interrogation to be released later today. We were expecting this internal CIA report, on the Agency’s secret detention and interrogation practices under the Bush administration, to come out a fortnight ago, but it was delayed “over debates about how much of it should be censored”. An earlier version of the report was “published” late last year, but was over 90% redacted.  Watch this space for more information.
  • Retired Romanian football star denies being a spy. Gheorghe Popescu, whose international career included playing for British teams, has denied reports (here and here) in Romanian daily Adevarul that he was an informer for Romania’s Securitate, the secret service of communist Romania. () 
  • Ex-CIA chief in Algiers formally charged with sexual abuse. Back in February, intelNews reported on the Agency’s station chief in Algiers, who was unceremoniously recalled to Washington after being accused of drugging and raping two Algerian women at his official residence. He has now been “indicted in Washington on a charge of sexual abuse involving an alleged sexual assault of an unidentified Algerian woman”. He could face a life sentence, if convicted.