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The CIA's 'Hollywood Myth' Debunking Doesn't Stand Up To Even The Slightest Scrutiny

from the implausible-deniability dept

The CIA must still be smarting from its portrayal as torture-happy thugs in the critically acclaimed/declaimed "Zero Dark Thirty." Not only did acting CIA director Michael Morell take the time to claim that *shock* a Hollywood film took "significant artistic license," but the agency's website has published a supposedly myth-busting piece that aims to portray the CIA as a bunch of good guys (and girls) who always play by the rules. I suppose being a secretive agency that's frequently linked with torture, assassinations, indefinite detention and round-the-clock surveillance isn't as much fun as it used to be.

It's a very sparse selection of myths, attached to even sparser "debunkings." Sadly, the CIA's debunkings can be easily debunked simply by taking a few quick peeks into the past, along with even briefer peeks into its present actions.

Myth: Everyone at the CIA is a spy.

The CIA points out that the agency is more likely to recruit foreign agents to do local spying work (sometimes with catastrophic outcomes), leaving the homeland force free to establish mini-fiefdoms in the manner best befitting bureaucrats operating with little to no oversight. Hardly as glamorous as jetting all over the globe while reading a Mandarin-to-English dictionary, but on the other hand, it keeps the agents close to their homes and loved ones they're endangering simply by acting like any other bloated government agency.
With more than 90 percent of all CIA employees now living and working entirely within the United States, most CIA employees are far from the sources of intelligence needed to protect Americans...

The intelligence bureaucracy likes this [needing a few billion more in the budget to "hire better people"] because it lets them create ever more layers of managers, who swan about Washington area conference rooms "communicating." What is needed is more intelligence operators on the ground, and the intelligence they gather must be sent to where it's needed quickly.

The intelligence on Northwest Flight 253 was delivered to an American Embassy in Nigeria by the suspect's father. But this information could not be processed through the masses of chiefs and deputy chiefs in the time needed, roughly five weeks. The enormous and redundant staffing of U.S.-based offices with administrators and managers, arranged in complex hierarchies, stifles the flow of intelligence coming in from the field.
Myth: The CIA spies on US citizens.

The CIA post reminds us that domestic spying duties belong to the FBI, even though it admits to working closely with the Bureau, along with other law enforcement agencies, to aid them with their domestic spying operations. But! It "does not collect information concerning the domestic activities of US citizens." Except when it does, as it quite possibly is doing currently in its partnership with the NYPD, or as it has in the past on multiple occasions.
Project MERRIMAC was a domestic espionage operation coordinated under the Office of Security of the CIA. It involved information gathering procedures via infiltration and surveillance on Washington-based anti-war groups that might pose potential threats to the CIA. However, the type of data gathered also included general information on the infrastructure of targeted communities. Project MERRIMAC and its twin program, Project RESISTANCE were both coordinated by the CIA Office of Security. In addition, the twin projects were branch operations that relayed civilian information to their parent program, Operation CHAOS. The Assassination Archives and Research Center believes that Project MERRIMAC began in February 1967.
Project RESISTANCE was a domestic espionage operation coordinated under the Domestic Operations Division (DOD) of the CIA. Its purpose was to collect background information on groups around the U.S. that might pose threats to CIA facilities and personnel. From 1967 to 1973, many local police departments, college campus staff members, and other independent informants collaborated with the CIA to keep track of student radical groups that opposed the U.S. government's foreign policies on Vietnam. Project RESISTANCE and its twin program, Project MERRIMAC were both coordinated by the CIA Office of Security. In addition, the twin projects were branch operations that relayed civilian information to their parent program, Operation CHAOS.
Then there's this bit of unpleasantness, uncovered by the very unflattering Church Committee report:
The major facts regarding CIA domestic mail opening may be summarized as follows:

a. The CIA conducted four mail opening programs in four cities within the United States for varying lengths of time between 1953 and 1973: New York (1953-1973) ; San Francisco (four separate occasions, each of one to three weeks duration, between 1969 and 1971) ; New Orleans (three weeks in 1957) ; and Hawaii (late 1954 -- late 1955). The mail of twelve individuals in the United States, some of whom were American citizens unconnected with the Agency, was also opened by the CIA in regard to particular cases.

b. The stated purpose of all of the mail opening programs was to obtain useful foreign intelligence and counterintelligence information. At least one of the programs produced no such information, however, and the continuing value of the major program in New York was discounted by many Agency officials.

c. Despite the stated purpose of the programs, numerous domestic dissidents, including peace and civil rights activists, were specifically targeted for mail opening.

d. The random selection of mail for opening, by CIA employees untrained in foreign intelligence objectives and without substantial guidance from their superiors, also resulted in the interception of communications to or from high-ranking United States government officials, as well as journalists, authors, educators, and businessmen.

e. All of the mail opening programs were initiated without the prior approval of any government official outside of the Agency.
Myth: The CIA is above the law.

If you possess the cognitive dissonance needed to disregard the CIA's illegal domestic spying and solely concentrate on this "myth," you run headlong into this -- the first rule about being "above the law" is: never declare you are above the law. It just makes people upset. The CIA's post points to the National Security Act of 1947 and the fact that it reports to two Congressional oversight committees as evidence that it couldn't, even if it wanted to, operate in an "above the law" fashion.

Of course, it's easy to stay within the confines of the law if you get applicable laws waived. Now everything's "legal" because the CIA has a nice stack of administration-stamped get-out-of-jail-free cards!
The administration recently approached members of the U.S. Congress to seek a waiver that would allow the CIA to use cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment on detainees in U.S. custody outside the United States.

Moreover, administration officials have previously told Congress that they do not consider CIA personnel operating outside the United States to be bound by legal prohibitions against “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment” under treaties to which the United States is party.
These get-out-of-jail-free cards are needed because terrorism, dammit.
Although the CIA will not acknowledge details of its system, intelligence officials defend the agency's approach, arguing that the successful defense of the country requires that the agency be empowered to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists for as long as necessary and without restrictions imposed by the U.S. legal system or even by the military tribunals established for prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay.
These exemptions are of utmost importance, otherwise everyone from senior State Department officers to the Red Cross, is going to accuse the agency of participating in a number of illegal activities.
[T]he New York Times reported that Richard Nuccio, a senior State Department officer, has been threatened with criminal charges and faces the ruin of his government career because last year he made it known to a member of the House Intelligence Committee that the CIA had repeatedly lied to it, in defiance of the law, about its responsibility in the murders of an American citizen and the husband of another American in Guatemala.

The CIA argues that it is a crime (the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation of Mr. Nuccio) for an official of the government to privately inform an appropriate member of Congress -- properly cleared to receive classified information -- that the CIA had lied to Congress about illegal actions that included complicity in murder.

The State Department, after investigation, imposed a year's security probation on Mr. Nuccio. That decision was overruled by the CIA -- an unprecedented action -- and John Deutch, CIA director, now has appointed a special outside panel to advise him as to whether Mr. Nuccio should be forced out of government, and effectively out of a career in international relations.
It's tough to look like the "good guys" when you've got the Red Cross pointing out your illegal activities.
Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001.

The book says that the International Committee of the Red Cross declared in the report, given to the C.I.A. last year, that the methods used on Abu Zubaydah, the first major Qaeda figure the United States captured, were “categorically” tortured, which is illegal under both American and international law.
And, of course, using US and Canadian citizens as test subjects for a variety of psychological and physiological experiments, including sensory deprivation, torture and sexual abuse, isn't illegal -- unless you get caught.

Project MKUltra is the code name for a covert research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans (mind control) through the CIA's Scientific Intelligence Division. The program began in the early 1950s, was officially sanctioned in 1953, was reduced in scope in 1964, further curtailed in 1967 and "officially halted" in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities; in particular it used unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra involved the use of many methodologies to manipulate people's individual mental states and alter brain functions, including the surreptitious administration of drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as various forms of torture.

The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated through these institutions using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement. MKUltra was allocated 6 percent of total CIA funds.

Myth: The CIA arrests people who break the law.

Quite right. The CIA only "detains" and "holds" suspects, sometimes indefinitely, in super-secret "holding facilities" scattered around the globe and away from the prying eyes of various governments, including our own. Sure, the CIA won't be coming after the drug dealer that lives in your neighborhood, but if your name is something like Hussef al-Foreigner and you live somewhere we're currently at "war" with (currently: the rest of the globe, including the United States) and have a third cousin who once accidentally subscribed to Jihadist Quarterly while trying to close a popup, you can probably expect a visit from the CIA, who will take you "downtown" for a few questions that might take as long as 6-8 years to answer correctly.
The CIA operates secret prisons abroad for holding key suspects in the war on terror, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday.

Bush's acknowledgement came as the president announced that he was sending legislation to Congress that would authorize military tribunals for terror suspects and set clear rules to protect U.S. military personnel from facing prosecution for war crimes.

The official also said there were no detainees still in the secret CIA prisons but that the CIA still has the authority to detain suspects.
A Human Rights Watch report details the ultra-scary fact that the CIA can basically "wish you into the corn/poppy/minefield" if it so desires.
The report provides the most comprehensive account to date of life in a secret CIA prison, as well as information regarding 38 possible detainees. The report explains that these prisoners’ treatment by the CIA constitutes enforced disappearance, a practice that is absolutely prohibited under international law.
Myth: The CIA makes foreign policy.

Nope. It only "heavily influences" foreign policy. (The CIA refers to it as "informs.") And why be worried about foreign policy, when it, like local laws, doesn't apply to the agency and its activities. And whatever hasn't been specifically exempted can be flatout ignored, all in the interest of "fighting terrorism."
Congressionally approved exemptions generally authorize activities that benefit a specific U.S. goal, such as countering the terrorist threat to U.S. citizens overseas or combating drug trafficking.

In addition to the exemptions previously discussed, there are other authorities that waive the prohibition on assistance to police forces of foreign countries. For example, the President may authorize foreign assistance when 'it is important to the security interests of the United States'. This allows the President to waive any provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, including section 660.
See also: selected portions from above debunkings.
"...administration officials have previously told Congress that they do not consider CIA personnel operating outside the United States to be bound by legal prohibitions against “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment” under treaties to which the United States is party..."

"The CIA operates secret prisons abroad for holding key suspects in the war on terror, President Bush acknowledged Wednesday... The official also said there were no detainees still in the secret CIA prisons but that the CIA still has the authority to detain suspects."

"...these prisoners’ treatment by the CIA constitutes enforced disappearance, a practice that is absolutely prohibited under international law..."

"For example, the President may authorize foreign assistance when 'it is important to the security interests of the United States'. This allows the President to waive any provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, including section 660..."
So, citizens and non-citizens, you have nothing to fear from the kinder, gentler Central Intelligence Agency! It's nothing like the torture-happy thuggery portrayed in the latest blockbuster. It's actually much, much worse.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    So my questions...

    Are we any safer?

    Or...

    Does our liberty come at a significant price?

     

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  2.  
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    iambinarymind (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:26pm

    CIA doesn't spy on US Citizens?

    Hahahhahahhahhhahhahhahha....

    ...wait, are they actually being serious?

    I guess the CIA is assuming that most people don't read books or have even the slightest knowledge of history.

    If one wants to learn about the origins of the CIA and really bust some myths, a good place to start is "The Old Boys" by Burton Hersh.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 7:41pm

    "CIA stands for Creeps In Action." -Bill Maxwell on "The Greatest American Hero"

     

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    gregorylent, Jan 4th, 2013 @ 8:20pm

    one must give america credit where credit is due ... it has the best public relations and internal propaganda operation of any one-party intense security establishment in the world!

     

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    Aria Company (profile), Jan 4th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

    Years ago, one of my dad's friends referred to the CIA as "Communism In America", because its operations aren't about the people of America but of government's demands to control the world.

    Pretty apt, if you ask me.

     

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  6.  
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    Ed C., Jan 4th, 2013 @ 10:22pm

    Re:

    No kidding! Our "national security" is more about protecting the "state" than its own citizens.

     

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  7.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 4:08am

    who is watching the watchers ? ? ?

    why, the watchers are watching themselves, so its all good, richtig ? ? ?

    THANK YOU for continuing to shine a small spotlight on these issues...

    something to keep in mind, is that these fuckers LIE to US all the fucking time...
    they obfuscate, they technically parse, they dissemble, they just plain LIE about EVERYTHING...
    their very existence is based on a lie...

    hoover and the feebs played/play the same kind of tricks: slippery definitions of 'agents', etc; such that you can't nail down ANYTHING by their answers...

    not to mention, they outsource/privatize so much of their evil crap that they are constantly claiming they don't do shit about shit, EXCEPT it is the contractors and quasi-private kreeps operating in the shadows (like blackwater/xe) who are doing the nasty stuff, now...

    these secret institutions are ANTITHETICAL to a healthy democracy... ALL secret institutions WILL be corrupted and hijacked by the 1%...
    ALL.
    OF.
    THEM.

    i don't care if it is the sea eye ehh, or the PTA... if you make it secret, corruption WILL follow...

    gummint in the sunshine is the ONLY way to go...

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    eof

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 4:27am

    The CIA must be addicted to Tom Clancy, and are now trying to make his fiction look tame.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:27am

    I don't know why people keep whining about law enforcement / spying / military in this country? If you voted (IF), you voted for it. You elected the freaks that do this in the name of security. Now you have a country that is no way near free. So the next time you decide to whine Tim and all the commentees, remember to vote and vote for something that means something. 40% of registered voters are registered independent but yet we have no independence. Gives you something to think about huh!

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    "...remember to vote and vote for something that means something."

    Naivety at it's finest.

     

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  11. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Romon Garcia, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:58am

    Garbage

    I'd call this "article" garbage but that would be an insult to garbage. Worst piece of trash I've read in a while. Terribly cited and poorly written. Tim, you obviously haven't a clue what you are writing. Maybe you should stick with what you know since you clearly don't know anything about this particular topic.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 5:59am

    Re:

    You so just showed your age ... damn so did I ... Time to for me to shut up now. :)

     

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  13.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 6:01am

    Re: Garbage

    That was so not trolling, it would have been subtle. Let me guess angry CIA operative?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 6:09am

    Re:

    When it come to representation, the political parties have it more or less sewn up, making it very difficult for independents to get a look in. They have convinced most people that they should vote for the policies (party) they prefer, rather tha for a person who best represents their viewpoint. They can also use the scare tactics that voting for independents is voting for anarchy.
    These are the big hurdles that have to be overcome in most democracies. These include convincing people that a lively discussion of policies after an election and within the government is a good thing, and that failure to reach a consensus probaly means that no law is required, and that people can choose their own solution rather than being given one.

     

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    Zakida Paul (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 6:24am

    All I know about the CIA is that they're a bunch of fat, old white guys who fell asleep when we needed them most.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 6:48am

    Re:

    More a case of they were engaged in the favourite pastime of bureaucracies, internal and external power fights. In recognition of this failure to coordinate with various agencies, you ended up with a new agency, the TSA, just to increase the number of bureaucracies and engage even more bureau(c)rats in the infighting and inter agency fighting.
    This will make it even easier for the next set of attackers to slip through the net, as it will be even harder to get actual information to the few people that can do anything.

     

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    Loki, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 7:47am

    With more than 90 percent of all CIA employees now living and working entirely within the United States, most CIA employees are far from the sources of intelligence needed to protect Americans...

    Must be why the FBI works so hard to lure people into government concocted terrorist plots.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Re:

    Slight problem with your pov.

    In a representative form of government, the candidate can promise anything and when in office produce nothing. This is standard practice, possibly you haven't noticed. Even worse, once in office the representative can claim a mandate where one clearly did not exist. This also is standard practice. This system is running open loop, there is no feedback, no control mechanism and it stands a good chance of self destruction.

    It would be nice if our representatives acted on behalf of their constituents, you know ... actually perform their job duties. Apparently they think they have free rein. The people should have a means of charging them with contempt of constituents, immediately, and not have to wait till they come up for election again - because this does not work, obviously.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Re: Garbage

    Look Chief, 99 isn't going to be there all the time to save 86's ass. Maybe you need to call him on his shoe phone.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Not to be a Negative Nancy here, but as written, your comments about domestic spying are too easily dismissed as legitimate security concerns. Mail opening programs too easily dismissed as targetting foreign intelligence that happens to pass through domestic hands, or ensuring that radical student groups are just that, radical student, and not a group funded by the Soviet Union to undermine the integrity of the United States. Then you start waltzing into grey area of "Hey, just making sure we aren't needed here". The most substantial complaint that can't be easily explained away would be the lack of training and direction for the mail readers.

    "The CIA argues that it is a crime (the Justice Department opened a criminal investigation of Mr. Nuccio) for an official of the government to privately inform an appropriate member of Congress -- properly cleared to receive classified information -- that the CIA had lied to Congress about illegal actions that included complicity in murder."

    Now THAT is just scary.

    The part about foreign policy just seems misplaced as well. As a foreign intelligence service, it SHOULD have a hand in foreign policy. "Hey boss, before you sign that, we'd like to let you know that their president eats kittens for breakfast and spends the afternoon kicking puppies. Also, we believe they're trying to acquire nuclear weapons." Lets be honest, all foreign intelligence isn't necessarily about threats, it's about what the other guys are doing as well. Unbiased (The hard part really) input from your intelligence agencies should ALWAYS play a critical role in foreign policy. Now if only we can escalate making biased reports a capital crime :(

    The rest of your points aren't easily explained away. Note, I said easily explained, not legitimately explained. Foreign policy is the only one that's really easily and legitimitely explained away, especially since you pretty much brought it up to ignore the topic.

     

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  21.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    I don't know why people keep whining about law enforcement / spying / military in this country? If you voted (IF), you voted for it.

    Explain how people voted to support this when they have no proportional representation in the House and have to follow the rules of a Senate process that elects two sides of a corporate elite.

    So the next time you decide to whine Tim and all the commentees, remember to vote and vote for something that means something. 40% of registered voters are registered independent but yet we have no independence. Gives you something to think about huh!


    And yet, you don't know how bad our voting process really is?

    Let me help you.

    Here's our Electoral College which promotes slave labor.

    Then, look into the First Past the Post system along with gerrymandering to see why we've got a rotten system that promotes two corporate parties over the needs of the people.

     

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  22.  
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    Thomas (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    The CIA...

    IS made up of torture happy thugs, no question. And it's nothing new either. They totally ignore the U.S. Constitution, all laws, and consider themselves completely immune from any prosecution for anything. Anyone who crosses them or points out that they have broken the law is considered a terrorist who should be shot. They believe the end totally justifies the means and they believe they can do whatever they want if they think it will solve some problem.

     

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  23.  
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    kitsune361, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:26am

    Re:

    Then the answer, obviously, is not to vote. There is NO difference between the two major parties on this subject. Until things get bad enough that the normal people start supporting alternatives to the monopoly on power we have in the US political system, nothing is going to change.

    Even *if* we could get a viable 3rd party candidate elected to national office the media and the bureaucracy of security state would grind him up spit him out; ensuring, through coercion or derision, that he is unable to check the power of the government.

    Look at the few, very vocal, [semi-]independent, intelligent voices in congress. Their proposals are tossed out to make way for a corrupt, crazy broad waving a blank piece of paper she can't tell you about, but trust her, it's really bad.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:34am

    I can't finish this article, my blood was boiling halfway through it. I'm worried I'll melt into goo if I keep reading.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:35am

    Re:

    So you're one of the naive fools who still thinks voting changes any kind of policymaking in this country? The rumors are true, You ARE adorable!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    I'm still trying to find the words to describe an organization that is akin to a secret police force making a post stating that it's not above the law. On a medium which is littered with thousands of examples of how they are clearly breaking the law day in, day out. As if someone isn't going to know.

    It's akin to a person who is on fire asking if anyone is smoking and going on a rant about how it's bad for one's health.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    I don't think the fat, old white guys have been awake since the 60s.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Monkey (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 11:11am

    Wait .. What?!?

    IF:
    "The CIA post reminds us that domestic spying duties belong to the FBI"

    AND:
    It "does not collect information concerning the domestic activities of US citizens."


    THEN
    "...Domestic Operations Division (DOD) of the CIA."


    should not exist in the FIRST place.

     

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  29.  
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    Crashoverride (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Senator McCain and other Senators are calling for the launch of an official investigation. Into the recent movie portraying CIA operations falsely. Claiming the CIA fabricated lies in an attempt to mislead the Producers and directors of the recent Hollywood movie.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 5th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    "naive fools who still thinks voting changes any kind of policymaking"

    I suggest some light reading of historical records might be in order, you might find such texts at your local library or online.

     

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  31.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Garbage

    Terribly cited and poorly written. Tim, you obviously haven't a clue what you are writing.

    Do you have any refutation of any specific points made, or are you just trolling?

     

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  32.  
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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 4:27pm

    Re:

    to vote and vote for something that means something
    Hmm I seem to remember reading somewhere that a certain Mr Obama campaigned on, among other things, transparency for government. So it would seem that perhaps people did "vote for something that means something" to them, it just turned out that their votes didn't really mean anything at all...

     

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  33.  
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    Daniel (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 10:44pm

    Re:

    You have to be kidding... Corporations have the money to pay people off, or pay for campaigns. Not counting the already-corrupt people in office. Transparency and some sort of cap/limit on how much money a company can keep in the bank, even if this is done through taxes.

    Still won't fix it, but it will make it harder to hide. Why is the CIA allowed to have corporations anyway? The government shouldn't be allowed in the corporate sector.

     

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    lfroen (profile), Jan 5th, 2013 @ 11:08pm

    Is this even news?

    Actually, only 1st one is real myth ("Everyone at the CIA is a spy."). Most likely, most of the people who we call "spy" are not even US citizens. So while they are working for CIA they are not it's employees.
    Rest of article is naive at best. Author probably don't understand how this "intelligence info" is collected and what exactly is this "spying" he's talking about.

    Talking about "above the law" is little more nuianced - CIA is not above the law, but this law allows pretty match anything. Think about police officer (which is also not-above-the-law), but one can detain/interrogate/etc you.

    As for being torture-happy thugs - that's not how such agencies work. The word "intelligence" have 2 meanings - "information" and "being smart". So, basically you have 2 types of people - one who smart and other is torture happy. That's _supposed_ to be that way.

    The real problem is not CIA: it's foreighn policy where US make wars instead of diplomatic connections. CIA is just a tool, like gun or tank.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    corwin155 (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 7:15am

    fascists

    Cia is the Usa's Nazi Germany's SS
    we all know it , the world Knows it
    what are we or anyone going to do
    Nothing
    cause there is Nothing that can be done
    why cause those who try will be disappeared

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    That's how all national security apparatuses in every country works - to protect the state and its cronies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 6th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    Re:

    Doesn't it means:-
    Criminal - Intelligence Agency?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 6th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Garbage

    I welcome your rebuttal. Feel free to use all the space in the comment thread. Bring citations. Smooches!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Garbage

    *crickets*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    dennis deems (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 10:30am

    Re:

    Well, except that has nothing to do with communal control of resources.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    If you voted (IF), you voted for it.


    And if you didn't vote, you also voted for it. Not voting is a vote for the status quo.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jan 7th, 2013 @ 11:46am

    Re: Is this even news?

    CIA is not above the law, but this law allows pretty match anything.


    When you can alter the law to legalize anything you do, even retroactively, then you are above the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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