US Senate to review allegations CIA tried to smear professor

Juan Cole

Juan Cole

The Intelligence Committee of the United States Senate will review allegations, made on Friday by a former CIA officer, that the spy agency tried to gather derogatory information about an American university professor who is critical of the ‘war on terrorism’. According to its chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Committee may “take further action”, depending on its preliminary findings. The allegations surfaced last Friday in an article by New York Times reporter James Risen. Acting on a tip by an unnamed source, Risen spoke to former CIA officer Glenn L. Carle, who confirmed that the Agency “at least twice” displayed an interest in gathering discrediting information about University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole. Dr Cole, who specializes in Middle Eastern history and speaks fluent Arabic, Persian, and Urdu, has been consistently critical of US foreign policy in the Middle East through his writings on his influential blog, Informed Comment. Carle, who made the allegations to The New York Times, retired from the CIA in 2007, after a career that spanned two decades in the Agency’s National Clandestine Service. In the last few years of his public service, Carle was a senior counterterrorism official at the US National Intelligence Council, which operates under the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0286 (Internet edition)

  • Email trojan targeted at US .gov, .mil accounts. A Trojan-containing email, which is spoofed so that it appears to have been sent by the US National Intelligence Council, appears to have been directed solely at US government and military email accounts.
  • Analysis: Smuggling secret information through VOIP. Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) systems use a series of protocols to essentially create an open, unmediated link between two computers. VOIP applications also provide a way to make sure the packets are ordered quickly and correctly. And that’s a goldmine for anyone trying to send hidden messages.
  • ACLU concerned about Google-NSA partnership. Google corporation has turned to the US National Security Agency for assistance in warding off cyberattacks. But the American Civil Liberties Union is among several organizations that view the partnership as “troubling”.

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