CIA declassifies controversial submarine recovery project

Glomar Explorer

Glomar Explorer

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
I have written before about the CIA’s controversial 1974 project to recover a Soviet submarine that had sunk in 1968, in 17,000 feet of water, about 750 miles northwest of Hawaii. The project involved the infamous ship Hughes Glomar Explorer and was led by CIA agent Christopher Fitzgerald, who died last year. But the CIA recovery team nearly caused a nuclear explosion when the submarine split while being raised, and its body hit the ocean floor. Now the CIA has for the first time declassified a substantial document relating to the project, codenamed AZORIAN. The document is a lengthy article first published in 1985 in the mostly classified CIA research journal Studies in Intelligence, written by an unnamed CIA team member who participated in the recovery effort. Read more of this post

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US court upholds NSA’s refusal to admit or deny wiretap data

Glomar Challenger

The Glomar

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A US federal appeals court has concluded that the National Security Agency can refuse to admit or deny it possesses information about the US government spying on lawyers representing Guantánamo prison detainees. The decision by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York relates to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request under a civil liberties lawsuit challenging post-9/11 warrantless surveillance operations by US agencies. The latter typically respond to most FOIA requests by confirming or denying possession of information relating to particular requests, and then by proceeding to either deny release, or release selected segments of the requested data. It is rare for an agency to refuse even to acknowledge the existence of information sought through FOIA. Read more of this post