Analysis: How the CIA bedded down in Burma

Burma

Burma

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
It is a story that was largely ignored when it surfaced last year: since 1994, US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer Richard A. Horn had been claiming that CIA agents illegally wiretapped his conversations while he was stationed in Burma. It appears that, at the time, the US diplomatic representation in Burma and the CIA station in Rangoon were at loggerheads with the DEA. The latter, represented by special agent Horn, had a policy of publicly commending the Burmese government for its significant efforts to end the vastly lucrative illegal drug trade in the country. But the diplomatic leadership at the US embassy in Rangoon, supported by the CIA, felt that their inroads with the Burmese military junta, which has controlled the country since 1990, were being obstructed by the DEA. Read more of this post

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Lawsuit halted in 15-year-old CIA wiretap case

Judge Lamberth

Judge Lamberth

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A lawsuit against an alleged illegal wiretap operation by the CIA, which was initially filed 15 years ago, was put on hold late last week by a US federal appeals court. The court imposed the temporary hold in an apparent disagreement with US District Judge Royce Lamberth, who last July said CIA attorneys committed fraud in alleging that US national security would be threatened if details of the lawsuit were openly discussed. Judge Lamberth ruled that the CIA had kept the case secret for years in order to avoid embarrassment. But the appeals court appears to have accepted the CIA’s claim that discussing the case openly will reveal operational secrets and harm US national security. A simultaneous decision by the appeals court to order the government to grant security clearances to lawyers on both sides of the argument probably means that the case, which briefly surfaced last July after Judge Lamberth’s decision to reveal it to the public, will disappear once again under the “state secrets” clause. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0061

  • Finland police identify body of WWII Soviet spy. Police believe a body found near Kouvola, Finland, to be the World War II remnants of a Soviet spy. The man apparently parachuted to his death. The body will be offered to the Russian Embassy for repatriation –an offer that is expected to be refused.
  • Hacker conferences attract spies, thieves. Interesting account of Defcon conference anecdotes by CNET correspondent Elinor Mills, who has been attending Defcon since 1995.
  • Interesting interview with lawyer behind CIA lawsuit. McClatchy news agency has published a rare interview with Brian Leighton, the lawyer representing retired Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer Richard A. Horn, who in 1994 claimed that CIA agents illegally wiretapped his conversations while he was stationed in Burma.

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News you may have missed #0044

  • Attorney behind CIA lawsuit gives interview. Brian C. Leighton, the attorney representing former Drug Enforcement Agency officer Richard A. Horn, who claims that CIA agents illegally wiretapped his conversations, has given an interview to The Merced Sun-Star.
  • Germany accuses China of industrial espionage. A senior German counterintelligence official has said Germany is under attack from an increasing number of state-backed Chinese spying operations that are costing the German economy tens of billions of euros a year. Similar claims were made in May.

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Judge accuses CIA of fraud in 15-year court case

Judge Lamberth

Judge Lamberth

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A 15-year old lawsuit against the CIA unexpectedly resurfaced yesterday, after a US federal judge accused the CIA attorneys of fraud and warned the former and current CIA leadership of serious legal sanctions. US District Judge Royce Lamberth said the CIA misled him on several occasions by falsely claiming that the “state secrets” clause applied to the case, which three consecutive US administrations have tried to bury. The case was filed in 1994 by retired Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officer Richard A. Horn, who claimed that CIA agents illegally wiretapped his conversations while he was stationed in Burma. It appears that, at the time, the US diplomatic representation in Burma and the CIA station in Rangoon were at loggerheads with the DEA. Read more of this post