News you may have missed #0183

  • Did US Rep. Hoekstra compromise a secret NSA spy program? Rep. Peter Hoekstra (MI), the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence panel, may have inadvertently compromised a sensitive National Security Agency email collection program while commenting on allegedly intercepted emails sent and received by Fort Hood shooter Malik Nadal Hasan.
  • Blog requests readers’ help to examine released documents. Wired magazine’s Threat Level blog has issued a request for readers to help pore over thousands of US government documents relating to the proposed immunity for telephone companies involved in the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. The documents were released following a FOIA lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • An opportunity in Cuba for CIA field agents? They’d have to pose as McDonald’s restaurant workers.

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Comment: Not So Fast, Cyberwarriors! [updated]

Hoekstra

Hoekstra

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Rep. Peter Hoekstra wants to launch a cyberwar against North Korea. The Republican from Michigan, who heads his party’s delegation on the US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, urged the US government last Thursday to “launch a cyber attack” or at least increase international sanctions on Pyongyang. Hoekstra urged this in response to a series of mysterious cyber-attacks that paralyzed major South Korean and US government websites for three days earlier this month. And he’s not alone. Last Friday, ABC News technology pundit Michael Malone effectively echoed Hoekstra and warned that “enemies of freedom everywhere” could use cyberterrorism to kill untold numbers of Americans by remotely controlling “fetal monitoring systems, surgical equipment, robotic bomb demolition equipment and ICBMs”. But South Korean cybersecurity specialists, who intensely monitor North Korean information systems, and were the ones who actually informed their US counterparts of the unfolding cyber-attacks on July 4, are not so sure that Pyongyang was behind the attacks. Read more of this post

Secret CIA program involved assassinations of suspects

CIA HQ

CIA HQ

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Quoting “three former intelligence officials” The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that the secret CIA program, which recently alarmed Congress, involved summary killings and assassinations of al-Qaeda operatives. Although the plan’s details remain highly classified, it appears that the CIA sought to set up specialized assassination squads, staffed with US Special Forces personnel, in an attempt to copy the Israeli Mossad Operation Wrath of God (also known as Operation Bayonet) of the 1970s. Wrath of God, which involved targeted assassinations of individuals allegedly behind the 1972 Munich massacre, was described by Canadian journalist George Jonas in his 1984 book Vengeance: The True Story of an Israeli Counter-Terrorist Team, which also formed the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2005 film Munich. The Wall Street Journal quotes an anonymous former US intelligence official who describes the CIA plan as coming “straight out of the movies […]. It was like: Let’s kill them all”. Read more of this post