GUANTANAMO BAY NAVY BASE, Cuba
Defense lawyers for the alleged 9/11 plotters said for the first time Sunday that the government destroyed a secret CIA prison with secret permission of the trial judge, and they learned of it only after the fact.
Defense attorneys have been complaining about a mysterious destruction of evidence episode in a cloaked manner since May. Prosecutors have said they did nothing wrong but declined to explain with any specificity. After a closed session Friday, during which the judge apparently agreed some details were no longer classified, the defense lawyers laid out what they knew in a Sunday roundtable.
One defense lawyer called the destroyed evidence ‘a torture chamber’
It did not appear that the “torture chamber,” as defense attorney Cheryl Bormann called it, was razed, lawyers said. Rather, their reading of case documents, some undergoing declassification, was that U.S. agents undertook a “decommissioning” of a secret, former overseas CIA “black site” still controlled by the United States. They got permission, for example, to removed “fixtures” — something defense attorney Suzanne Lachelier described as sounding like “contraptions or devices.”
A top official with Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Sunday accused the Russian government of orchestrating the release of damaging Democratic Party records to help the campaign of Republican Donald Trump — and some cybersecurity experts agree.
The extraordinary charge came as some national security officials have been growing increasingly concerned about possible efforts by Russia to meddle in the election, according to several individuals familiar with the situation.
Late last week, hours before the records were released by the website WikiLeaks, the White House convened a high-level security meeting to discuss reports that Russia had hacked into systems at the Democratic National Committee.
Although other experts remain skeptical of a Russian role, the hacking incident has caused alarm within the Clinton campaign and also in the national security arena. Officials from various intelligence and defense agencies, including the National Security Council, the Department of Defense, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, attended the White House meeting Thursday, on the eve of the email release.
If the accusation is true, it would be the first time the Russians have actively tried to influence an election in this manner, analysts said.
The CIA experimented extensively with brainwashing during the 1950s and 1960s, honing techniques that could force someone to kill, then have no recollection afterward. Code-named MKUltra, the program involved some 149 separate experiments — many on unwitting Americans, including a Kentucky mental patient who was dosed with LSD for 179 days straight.
MKUltra was officially launched in 1953 to develop better interrogation techniques, as well as to explore the possibility of creating a programmable assassin. The CIA also wondered if it would be possible to mind-control hostile foreign leaders, such as Fidel Castro.
Some 44 universities, 12 hospitals and three prisons helped out with the experiments, though many were apparently not aware they were working for the CIA. The spy agency sometimes funded the work through anonymous grants that the organizations believed were from private individuals. The institutions that did know “acted in good faith and with the belief they were aiding their government,” per a 1977 Senate report.
I think the best way to begin this is with a leading question.
Do you believe that Edward Snowden simply happened to wind up in Russia, or do you raise an eyebrow at the fact that a self-described human rights activist settled under one of the most oppressive regimes on the planet?
This saga galvanized authoritarian and libertarian minded Americans, with one side declaring Snowden a traitor and the other a civil rights hero. The sheer amount of information that he disclosed enables anyone to craft any argument about his motivations, and the President of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Maassen made his conclusion earlier this year:
“This would be a spy operation connected to a disinformation and influence operation. A wedge would be driven between the US and its closest allies, especially Germany.”
After seeing this statement, I became determined to look into this issue as broadly as possible, but the more I learned, the more convinced I became that this really was the work of the Russians.
This is an incredibly complex jigsaw puzzle that is missing various pieces, but when you put as much of it together as you can, I think a fairly clear picture emerges: the Russians have a mole(s) inside the NSA. They took advantage of Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and many other genuine advocates for increased oversight on clandestine government activities in order to achieve their ultimate goal of embarrassing the United States on an international stage, all while providing their Western adversaries reasons to put distance between each other.
Bruce Schneier wrote in Wired that he believes Russia and China did obtain the Snowden documents, but not because he handed them over. Schneier argues that Russia and China have already infiltrated NSA networks and had access to all of the files Snowden stole.
The release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks Friday reveals that DNC officials planned anti-Donald Trump protests.
In multiple emails, DNC officials signed off and acknowledged the existence of two anti-Donald Trump protests in South Bend, IN and Billings, MT. The release of nearly 20,000 emails is the first in a WikiLeaks “Hillary Leaks” series.