On This Day — US Staff in Moscow Warned to Avoid PAN AM 103 (December 13 1988) [2019]

“There was a real push in the embassy community to make sure that everybody was aware that there had been a terrorist threat made, and that people flying Western carriers going through Frankfurt should change their tickets.”

Karen Decker — Consular Official at the Moscow US Embassy (November 30 1989)

On December 13 1988, William Kelly, the Moscow US embassy administrative counsellor, drafted a memo addressed to “All Embassy Personnel” and posted on the staff notice board the next day. “Sometimes, during the next two weeks, there would be a bombing attempt against Pan Am airliner flying from Frankfurt to the United States.” On December 21 1988, Pan Am 103 — a regularly scheduled Pan Am transatlantic flight from Frankfurt to Detroit via London and New York — exploded over Lockerbie. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today Continue reading

Posted in Lockerbie | Tagged | Leave a comment

On This Day — Remembering Arrow Air Flight 1285 (December 12 1985) [2019]

 “Hours after the crash the Islamic Jihad – a Shiite Muslim extremist group – claimed it destroyed the plane to prove [its] ability to strike at the Americans anywhere.”

UPI — Anonymous caller to a French news agency in Beirut

“An in-flight fire that may have resulted from detonations of undetermined origin brought about catastrophic system failures.”

Four (of nine) members of the CASB dissenting Opinion

“Governments lie. They do it all the time. And, much as we’d like to believe otherwise, the US government is no exception. There were times when we may have believed otherwise. But after Vietnam and Watergate, we know better.”

Ted Koppel — “The USS Vincennes: Public War, Secret War.” (July 1, 1992)

The “Silent Witness” Arrow Air Flight 1285 memorial at Gander Lake, with a DC-8 taking off in the background

December 12 2019 — On the morning of December 12 1985, shortly after take-off from Gander en route to Fort Campbell, Arrow aircraft 1285 crashed, and burned about half a mile from the runway, killing all 248 passengers and 8 crew members on board.  Investigators blamed icing. But many experts think otherwise. Was it really an accident? Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in Arrow Air Flight 1285, Aviation Disasters | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day — CIA Director John Brennan Defends Torture Methods (December 11 2014) [2019]

“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all.”

CIA Director John Brennan (December 11 2014)

“No evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through use of EITs”

Senator Diane Feinstein — Tweet (Dec. 11 2014)

Former CIA Director John Brennan

On December 11 2014, speaking at CIA headquarters, John Brennan conceded that some CIA officers used “abhorrent” interrogation techniques. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in CIA, Iraq War, John Brennan, Torture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day — Did the CIA Kill Father Louis Thomas Merton? (December 10 1968) [2019]

“Merton was above all a man of prayer, a thinker who challenged the certitudes of his time and opened new horizons for souls and for the church. He was also a man of dialogue, a promoter of peace between peoples and religions.’’

Pope Francis — Address to the US Congress (2015)

“The very thoughts of a person like me are crimes against the state. All I have to do is think, and immediately I become guilty.”

Father Louis Merton —  A Signed Confession of Crimes against the State

Thomas Merton (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. On May 26, 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis. In the years since his death, Merton has been the subject of several biographies. Fifty years later, his death remains mysterious. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in CIA | Tagged | Leave a comment

15 Years Ago — Remembering “DARK ALLIANCE” : Gary Webb (August 31, 1955 – December 10, 2004) [2019]

“Authentic journalism is telling people something that the government doesn’t want them to know.”

Gary Webb (August 31, 1955 – December 10, 2004)

“Dark Alliance, the San Jose Mercury News’s bombshell investigation into links between the cocaine trade, Nicaragua’s Contra rebels, and African-American neighborhoods in California, remains one of the most explosive and controversial exposés in American journalism.”

The Intercept

“I was you once. Gary, I started down this road. Though nowhere near as far as you are. When they saw I wasn’t gonna stop, they ‘controversialized’ me. Do you have any idea what I’m talking about? They make *you* the story. And you have a history of schizophrenia, you’re a liar, you’re a homo, you beat your dog, you’re a pedophile, it doesn’t matter if none of it’s true. The point is no one remembers what you found. They remember you and you’re nuts. You cease to exist.”

‘Fred Weil’ — Kill the Messenger

December 10 2019 — On December 10 2004, investigative journalist Gary Webb died of two .38 caliber gunshot wounds to the head. The coroner ruled the death a suicide. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in CIA, CIA Drug, IranContra | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day — US Senate report calls CIA torture tactics “deeply flawed” (December 9 2014)

“In a limited number of cases, agency officers used interrogation techniques that had not been authorized, were abhorrent and rightly should be repudiated by all.”

CIA Director John Brennan (December 11 2014)

“No evidence that terror attacks were stopped, terrorists captured or lives saved through use of EITs”

Senator Diane Feinstein — Tweet (December 11 2014)

“One of the most memorable details from The Report is Jones’ insistence on access to a printer, and how many safes were in his office. He later told a lawyer that this was because documents kept mysteriously disappearing from the CIA server. In March 2014, then-CIA Director John Brennan denied the claims, calling them “beyond the scope of reason.” However, a few months later the CIA Inspector General’s report backed up claims that the CIA repeatedly hacked Senate computers in an effort to stop the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report.”

Isabel Crabtree — Esquire (December 7 2019)

On December 9, 2014, a U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report revealed that the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was more brutal than it told the White House or public. The so-called “CIA torture report” called CIA tactics “deeply flawed.” Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in CIA, Torture | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering CIA Historian William Blum (March 6, 1933 – December 9, 2018)

“The thesis in my books and my writing is that anti-American terrorism arises from the behavior of U.S. foreign policy. It is what the U.S. government does which angers people all over the world.”

William Blum

“William Blum was at the forefront of critical debate and analysis of US foreign policy. He combined honesty and Truth with carefully documented analysis. His important legacy will live.”

Michel Chossudovsky (December 10, 2018)

“The newspapers were filled with pictures of happy relatives of the victims of the December 21, 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. A Libyan, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, had been found guilty of the crime the day before, January 31, 2001, by a Scottish court in the Hague, though his co-defendant, Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted. At long last there was going to be some kind of closure for the families. But what was wrong with this picture? What was wrong was that the evidence against Megrahi was thin to the point of transparency.”

William Blum — Everything you know is wrong

December 9 2019 — Independent journalist and author William Blum died on Sunday December 9 2018 at the age of 85 in Virginia. Blum’s books “Killing Hope” and “Rogue State” were widely praised for their detailed history of recent U.S. foreign policy. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in William Blum | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Two Year Ago — The Havana Syndrome : Sonic Attacks or Microwave Weapons?

“What we’ve said to the Cubans is: Small island. You’ve got a sophisticated intelligence apparatus. You probably know who’s doing it. You can stop it. It’s as simple as that.”

Rex Tillerson — US Secretary of State  (December 6 2017)

“On and on it goes, one distortion after another, most taken from industry’s propaganda playbook.”

Microwave News (December 6 2019)

December 8 2017 — US officials briefed on the investigation no longer use the term “sonic attack”. The weird noises heard by the victims are believed to be a consequence and not the cause of this suspected attack on US diplomats — actually spies — by a foreign government. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in Cuba, Microwave | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On This Day — Pan Am Flight 214 Crashes (December 8 1963) [Lesson Learned?]

“Aviation investigations are replete with accident scenarios that couldn’t happen. And given the lack of bomb evidence so far, neither scenario has been ruled out, officials said. First is the possibility that the doomed plane’s front section, which has a history of structural fatigue cracks and must undergo regular inspections, simply unzipped from the rest of the plane as weakened structural frames gave way.”

TWA 800 — Washington Post (August 1 1996)

December 8 2019 — Pan Am Flight 214 was a scheduled flight of Pan American World Airways from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Baltimore, Maryland, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. On December 8, 1963, the Boeing 707 serving the flight crashed near Elkton, Maryland, while en route from Baltimore to Philadelphia, after being hit by lightning, killing all 81 on board. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY Continue reading

Posted in Pan Am 214, TWA 800 | Tagged , | Leave a comment

On This Day — Lockerbie Judges Under the Weather (Malta – December 7 1988) [2019]

“There is no reasonable basis in the trial court’s judgment for its conclusion that the purchase of the items [clothes that were found in the wreckage of the plane] from Mary’s House [in Malta] took place on 7 December 1988.”

The Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission

“Al-Megrahi was released from prison in 2009 and sent back to Libya on compassionate grounds because of advancing cancer. Public outrage was sparked. Al-Megrahi lived with his cancer for a few years (…) One cannot help but wonder whether the outrage over his release might be tempered if those angry individuals were to seriously examine the suspicious eyewitness testimony that led to Al-Megrahi’s conviction in the first place. My examination has led me to seriously wonder: Is the Lockerbie bomber still out here?”

Professor Elizabeth F. Loftus — Memory (2013)

“Tony Gauci did not spontaneously mention the Christmas lights in his first statement. It is possible that his statement in court was influenced by the officers suggestion during subsequent questioning that the lights may have been lit. Based on Tony Gauci’s response when first questioned about the Christmas lights, his account would support the 23rd November. In dating the memory I think the weather records are far more important.”

Psychology Professor Tim Valentine (Email to Intel Today)

Q: Do you remember what the weather was like when the man came to the shop?

A: When he came by… It wasn’t raining. But then it started dripping, not very much. It was not raining heavily. It was simply — it was simply dripping, but as a matter of fact, he did take an umbrella…

Q: Did he?

A: He bought an umbrella.

The Lockerbie Trial Transcripts — Page 4741

Tony Gauci — Lord Fraser described the Maltese shopkeeper whose testimony was central in securing a conviction against Abdelbasset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, as “not quite the full shilling” and “an apple short of a picnic”. In 2008 the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC Ref 23:19) found that US$2 million had been paid to Tony Gauci and US$1 million to Paul Gauci under the US Department of Justice “Rewards for Justice” programme.

December 7 2019 — The trial court’s judgment concluded that the purchase of the items [clothes that were found in the wreckage of the plane] from Mary’s House [in Malta] took place on December 7 1988. The date was crucial as Megrahi is known to have been on the island that day. There is one problem. That date is obviously wrong!  Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today Continue reading

Posted in Lockerbie | Tagged , , | Leave a comment