Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Pope and the Bureau: The FBI File of Pope John XXIII

The file contents aren't all that interesting, but the FBI's Record and Information Dissemination Section's ineptitude and sloth are on full display. I had a request submitted for all their records on Pope John XXIII. They give me the 10 pages of previously released material and then tell me that there might be more records where that came from. In essence, I am told to FOIA again and maybe this time they'll do their jobs.

As for the records themselves, as stated above there's nothing much to them. The file starts with a news article regarding the John XXIII's election. The second document, a three page cable from the American legation in Rome to J. Edgar Hoover regarding the health of John XXIII. In the cable, it speculated that the pope is dying from cancer (he ultimately dies from stomach cancer) and that this knowledge is being concealed by the Vatican due to John XXIII's desire to complete his work. The file concludes with some more press material about Pope John XXIII including a three page article from “Divine Love” a publication based in Fresno California, sent anonymously to J. Edgar Hoover.

Pope John XXIII's FBI File                                                           

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ron Paul's Secret Love Affair With FDIC

Publicly, Ron Paul, that allegedly contrarian, Libertarian defender of the Constitution, despises the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). According to this 11/22/2005, Ron Paul diatribe against the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act hosted on, the FDIC is a monstrous organization that, among others things,
charges banks premiums, 'which are actually taxes,”
transfers liability for poor management decisions from those who made the decisions, to their competitors,”
aggravated the S&L banking crisis of the 1980s and 1990s due to its inept management
"removes incentives for individuals to act on their own to protect their deposits or even inquire as to thehealth of their financial institution."
and, undoubtedly the worst of all in Paulite eyes,
"lacks constitutional authority"
Given his antipathy towards FDIC, and the ease with which Ron Paul can avoid supporting this system (by simply withdraw one's money from a bank), you'd expect Ron Paul to have no contact with the FDIC banking system, right? Wrong. Like most things government, Ron Paul is content to spit out platitudes about the evils of government, while mindlessly gorging on the benefits and goodies it gives out. As shown by Ron Paul's 2010 Presidential Campaign financial disclosure forms (h/t, Paul not only uses FDIC protection, but actively maximizes his protection by keeping the maximum amount of money covered in FDIC in one bank, and then spreading the rest out to a number of other financial institutions. As shown by the screen shot below, Ron Paul has 250,000+ in account at FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF LAKE JACKSON and spreads out the rest of his cash to two other Lake Jackson banks, the TEXAS DOW EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION and the TEXAS GULF BANK.

Now, I am sure the Paul nuts are going to vomit forth two defenses of their beloved icon. First, they'll argue that Paul is merely getting back the money he pays into this system. This is a common Libertarian argument, one that is without merit given that there is not a Libertarian alive who tracks his use of government resources to ensure that he only uses what he paid into the pot and not a penny more.

Second, they'll offer some convoluted gibberish about how Paul is forced to do this because of the government and he has no choice. Like the banks, he has the option of not being covered by FDIC. He can keep the money at home or in an investment not covered by the government.

Christ, given that Mandela spent decades in jail to maintain his beliefs, is it too much to ask that Ron Paul incur the slightest inconvenience in order to earn his reputation as some solid, limited-government, "pro-freedom," reputation?

Ron Paul 2012 Presidential Discloure Records                                                             

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The FBI File on the (Koch Brothers Supported) Aspen Institute

The FBI has responded to a FOIA that I had submitted for records pertaining to the Aspen Institute and released a small, 20-page file on the group. Those hoping for dirt on the Koch Brothers will be disappointed, the records deal with two separate protests directed against the organization. One lead by the US Labor Party and its minions in the National Caucus of Labor Committees (both of which were vehicles for the personal ambition of Lyndon LaRouche) which are described by in the FBI file as being “ a violent-oriented Marxist revolutionary organization, which aims to replace democracy in the U.S., with a Communist form of government,” and a smaller protest directed against the Aspen Institute in 2000.

The first protest was directed by the USLP and its NCLC wing against an Aspen Institute conference that was hosted at the Wye Plantation in Queenstown, MD in February 1979. The conference was an American-British affair supported by US State Department, which the files shows, provided security, titled, “Issues of Governance in Public Broadcasting.” The meeting featured senior figures in British and American public television. The investigation began after a member of the USPL or NCLC was caught trying to pass themselves off as a member of the Hudson Institute with orders to “pull together a dossier on the US Labor Party.” After some comparing of notes by those he contacted and those the USPL member claimed ordered his work, it was revealed that this individual was not a member of the Hudson Institute. The file is not clear, but it appears at this time that the FBI was involved. The FBI assembled a Teletype on the matter, but appears to have taken no further action.

The second protest monitored was the 8/19/2000 protest against the Aspen Institute during their 50th anniversary celebrations. There is frankly very little of interest here except the fact law enforcement seemed shocked that the protesters were shocked to be on the receiving end of polite, respectful law enforcement behavior and that the Direct Action Network was targeted by the FBI.

FBI Records Aspen Institute                                                           

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Cornucopia of Crazy: The Westboro Baptist Church's FBI File

Recently, in response to a FOIA request submitted on my behalf, the FBI released to me its 191 page dossier on the Westboro Baptist Church, a rather vile organization known for its staunch anti- LGBT stance. As a survey of the file conducted by me reveals, the Westboro Baptist Church has experienced some degree of blowback due to their “God Hates Fags,” crusades. The file also reveals past incidents of anti-Semitic belief that drove the WBC to support a Nazi war criminal.

In response to the possibility of harm against Phelps and his clan, the FBI conducted investigations into threats against the organization. In 1996, the FBI intervened redacted after she sent threats to the Westboro Baptist Church after becoming enraged over his attitudes towards the LGBT community. They intervened the self-confessed guilty party, the served at least one subpoena (to her ISP), and fully documented the threat. Even after deciding the case was not worth federal investigative resources, the AUSA, in light of [redacted]'s possession of firearms, even tried to keep the case open in the event that Phelps traveled to the West Coast again. In 1998, the FBI investigated bomb threats against the Westboro Baptist Church. Twice in January 1999 and thrice in March 1999, bomb threats were received by the Westboro Baptist Church and each time the FBI looked into it.

Other interesting factoids gleaned from the FBI dossier on the Westboro Baptist Church:

The militia network (1) types believed that Phelps was an ally due to his and his church's anti- LGBT biogtry,and its membership occasionally became agitated to the point of threatening violence when this was discovered not to be the case.

The FBI provided information on the group to the Canadian (and possibly the Finnish) government(s). 

Westboro Baptist Church is staunchly anti-Semitic.

In one press release they described Harriet Lerner as “THE JOLLY ANTICHRIST JEW” In another press release, the Westboro Baptist Church calls Ruth Bader Ginsburg a “Jewish Dwarf,” and asks in a photo caption: Why was she chosen over 3 gentile women?” A January 1997, press release described the Office of Special Investigations' attempt to deport to Kolnhofer as “Jew vengeance” and claimed that these efforts amounted to “SHYLOCK JEWS WANT ANOTHER POUND OF FLESH. POOR OLD MAN, 79, ON LIFE SUPPORT.” It also railed against “tyrant Jew Judges” and :Bloody Nazi Jews” in Kansas who supposedly attacked members of the church and suppressed their free speech and freedom of religion rights. The press release concluded with a announcement that the WBC would be protesting the Holocaust Museum (alternatively described as the “Holocaust Memorial Sodomite Museum and the Holocaust Fag Museum,” in Washington DC in January 1998.

The reason for the Westboro Baptist Church's litigious nature is their refusal “to solicit or accept financial contributions, being of the Old School Baptist persuasion, whose churches never pass the plate, lest the Gospel be deemed for sale.”

His family has criminal behavior and the FBI recommended that “caution should be used when addressing [redacted] and his followers. Some of the family members, including [redacted] have criminal records to include battery, extortion, witness intimidation, harassment, and other miscellaneous charges.

They view their signs as “huge, colorful, state of the art productions”. In a Twitter message, Zacharias Phelps Roper confirmed that this still their view, stating: "Absolutely! (^ー^)ノ".
The FBI informed on WBC to [redacted] of [redacted Canadian law enforcement or intelligence agency]. It also appears that the FBI did a “threat assessment” regarding the Westboro Baptist Church and the risk they they posed to then-Finnish President Tarja Halonen.

When contacted by the author for comment and follow up questions, Timothy Phelps replied:
That's great news!  If there's anything in there that might remind you of your duty to serve your Creator, focus on that part. The rest can be used as you see fit (toilet paper, bird cages, kindling, or what not) 
 The Westboro Baptist Church's FBI File                                                           

(1) That was a poor choice of words. Thanks to Jesse Walker for pointing out my error.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Even More Missives From the Opaque Boss

Curious as to the NSA's role in the death of Bin Laden? Submit a FOIA request for the Director's Message on "NSA's Role in the Death of Osama Bin Laden." It is one of dozens of messages from Director of the NSA to his staff officially acknowledged by the NSA.

In response to a recent FOIA request submitted on behalf of the author, the National Security Agency has declassified a list of "Director's Messages," missives from Keith Alexander to his underlings and minions at NSA. This newly declassified and decontrolled list features messages dating from the last list which this author was able to procure (available here) . It should be noted that the Director's Messages replaced the "DIRgrams" sent out by General Michael Hayden during his reign as DIRNSA. The two lists of Hayden's DIRgrams can be found here and here

While all of the messages on this seven- page list appearing to be interesting, among the more notable are:

"NSA's Role in the Death of Osama Bin Laden"
"New NSA/CSS Strategy"
"Violence in the Workplace"
"NSA and the New Administration"
"Support to the President-elect's transition Team"
and many, many more.

Copies of these messages can be obtained through FOIA. Electronic FOIA requests can be submitted to the NSA through their website.

A 3rd Round of DIRNSA Messages                                                           

A Croatian, Culinary Clash

During the opening week of 1980, Chicago was the scene of an aborted terrorist campaign directed against Croatian emigres supportive of Yugoslavia. On January 4th 1980, a bomb was discovered in the parking lot used by customers of the Golden Shell restaurant, which was patronized by Yugoslavs and located within an ethnic Croatian neighborhood. Around noon, January 5th 1980, a Chicago employee sanitation was killed when an improvised explosive device placed in the alley behind the Continental Club detonated. Like the Golden Shell, the Continental Club was patronized largely by Yugoslavs.1

The investigation made little progress. One of the biggest impediments appears to the fact that no claims of credit were received for the bombings and no communiques were issued. Upon, however, consultation with other FBI field offices and the initial examination of the crime scenes, Croatian National Resistance members were immediately suspected.2 This initial impression was bolstered by a source who had “furnished reliable information,” the owner of the Golden Shell was disliked by Otpor members who disapproved of her decision to advertise on pro-Yugoslav radio shows. The source also informed the FBI that the Continental Club had occurred Otpor's disfavor because its ownership was pro-Yugoslav and Yugoslav diplomatic personnel were a common presence in the restaurant.3 Another “confidential source who has furnished reliable information in the past” alerted the FBI that spoke with a [redacted] individual who told the Otpor member that the FBI had questioned her about Otpor and the [redacted] individual's relationship with it.

While the [redacted] (probably the owner or the manager of the Golden Shell) stated she had no problems with any Yugoslav groups prior to the bombing attempt4  [Redacted] reported that the [redacted] of the Golden Shell had been previously condemned over her decision to advertise the restaurant as “Yugoslav” as opposed to “Croatian” and she had been approached with demands to display pro-Croatian posters in the windows.

The Continental Club had recently had a Yugoslav entertainer at the club, something that angered members of the Serbian and Croatian communities.6  On January 6th, the Kragujevic Lounge received a threatening phone call from a male “Serbian” voice who shouted profanity over the loyalty to Tito at the [redacted] recipient of the phone call.Based on the prior two attacks, it appears an accurate, but not totally safe to bet this was a follow-up to the prior two attacks.

Ultimately, even a plan to employ hypnotism failed to produce any results in this investigation and judging from the file the investigation ended in 1981.  Below is almost all of the FBI file on the matter. Feel free to explore and possibly solve this mystery yourself.


11/6/1980 Memorandum from Chicago (field office) to Director Subject: ATTEMPTED BOMBING AT THE PARKING LOT OF THE GOLDEN SHELL RESTAURANT 1-3
2Chicago Field Office FD-263 for the period between 1/5-2/5/1980 Case” NEWBOM cover page B.
31/9/1980 FBI transcription of notes on witness interview
41/14/1980 transcript of witness interview notes Description of witness based on description of establishment as [hers]
5Transcribed notes from 1/14/1980 investigation by [redacted] SA
6Transcribed notes from 1/8/1980 investigation by [redacted] SA
71/8/1980 transcribed notes from interview with [redacted]

Friday, July 1, 2011

The NSA Public History Reader

Its initials mocked as standing for No Such Agency” and “Never Say Anything” and an established history of employing almost any means - technological, legal, and monetary- necessary to secure its anonymity and mission from hostile scrutiny,  it seems both ironic and laughable that one of the United States government’s most robust and publicly assessable public history programs is operated by the National Security Agency. Staffed at the time of this writing with , the National Security Agency’s public history program, operated under the auspices of the Center for Cryptologic History and the NSA’s Public Affairs Office has produced over a thousand oral histories, dozens of classified and unclassified monographs, and operates the only museum maintained by a member of the American Intelligence Community opened to the public. It has even produced a three part history of history at the National Security Agency, essentially an autobiography of the history program at the  Internally, the Center for Cryptologic History is tasked with providing support for and does so by providing history classes for the National Cryptologic School, educating “new hires” at NSA, and to create camaraderie within NSA ranks through the use of history. 

Below are seven documents relating to the public history programs with some links to follow-up resources.

National Security Agency/ Central Security Service- NSA/CSS POLICY I-55 was issued on 9/I9/ 2007 and the last revised on 6/10/201. This fifteen page document governs all aspects of the Center for Cryptologic History's activities including its oral history program, its publication of books and the Cryptologic Quarterly, and its the NSA's Memoralization programs.
National Security Agency/ Central Security Service- NSA/CSS POLICY I-55                                                            
Founded at the command of the first director of the National Security Agency Ralph Canine, the Technical Journal was a print publication designed to allow NSA staff to discuss technical problems, issues, and solutions amongst themselves. The Technical Journal was supplemented in 1968 with the creation of the Cryptologic Spectrum, a publication whose focus was to be less on technical issues and more the history and social science aspects of cryptography. As shown by articles posted by the National Security on its website, this separation of technical and social was more a fuzzy guideline and then a firm, enforced policy.
To the left, is the last publication guideline for the Technical Journal. According to the final response letter, they could not locate the publication guidelines for the Cryptologic Spectrum.

In 1981, the Cryptologic Quarterly was created and both the Technical Journal and the Cryptologic Spectrum were subsumed into this publication which is still produced by the NSA. It is occasionally supplemented by the Cryptologic Almanac, which is a specially produced publication that focuses on a specific topic. 

      Contributor Guidelines for the NSA's Crypytologic Quarterly                                                            

Currently, (according to their organizational chart) the Center for Cryptologic History produces all of this with a staff of just five people. Heading the effort is Dr. William Williams who heads the Center for Cryptologic History and is described by Matthew Aid as, "

The first page is a copy of the most recent (at the time of post) customer satisfaction survey. The next four are a compilation of statistics from the last review of complete customer surveys. From the available date, it seems that the visitors who completed the survey were generally civilian or prior-service and enjoyed their visit to the NCM. 

NSA Museum Survey Results

The first two pages of the next document are a memo on the presentation of a proposal for a National Security Agency museum. The current museum has its origins in this proposal despite the significant differences between it and the National Cryptologic Museum as it now exists.

The Initial NSA Museum Proposal                                                           

This five page document is NSA/CSS Regulation No. 10-63 NSA/CSS Prepublication Review Procedure. Dated 12/15/1992, this is the regulation that governs the procedures and policies that allow NSA employees to publish while protecting American national security.

NSA Prepublication Review Regulation                                                           

Further Reading- The Center for Cryptologic History has produced a wonderful three part series on the History of History at the NSA

The Central Intelligence Agency's Center for the Study of Intelligence has produced two articles on the National Cryptologic Museum:

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Intelligence Reports on the Croatian Fraternal Union

A few days ago, I posted a recently declassified and released document detailing how the United States State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the Croatian Fraternal Union, a Croatian-American mutual-benefit society, for over three decades.

Working my way through my thesis material collection, I happened upon this Office of Strategic Services (OSS) report on the Croatian Fraternal Union. Officially undated, textual clues hint that it was created some time after March 1942. The report is on an internal power struggle between factions of the CFU over issues of leadership.

This surveillance of the Croatian Fraternal Union is less surprising given the alliance between the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) and Nazi Germany.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NSA Article on the Tito-Stalin Split

Recently declassified NSA Cryptologic Quarterly article on the 1948 Tito- Stalin Split reveals that American signals intelligence was largely flying blind during the event due to the treachery of William Weisband who had revealed American successes against the Soviet Union to the USSR. Also revealed that still-classified SIGINT hints at new revelations regarding the decades old, Tito-Stalin Split to come.

NSA Article on TIto-Stalin Split                                                           

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Document of the Week #19 FBI, State Department Tracked the Croatian Fraternal Union for Decades

When the first lodge of what would become the Croatian Fraternal Union of America was founded on January 14, 1894, it marked the beginning of a mutual support group and cultural association that would last well into the 21st century.

It would also mark the creation of an organization that would spend much of the 20th century under the gaze of American law enforcement. As the 8/30/1976 FBI telex to the State Department reveals, the FBI and the State Department were monitoring the Croatian Fraternal Union of America for decades, starting according to this record, in 1942. According to other records I saw in the FBI’s IWG files on the Ustashi, the Croatian Fraternal Union of America was investigated as early as 1940. Why would the Croatian Fraternal Union warrant decades of apparently intense FBI and State Department scrutiny?

The answer, which is based off of documents that I have seen but did not copy, is that the Croatian Fraternal Union of America was investigated as part of a broader investigation into organization that had ethnic, religious, cultural, or political ties to the Tripartite Pact powers. After the establishment of the Independent State of Croatia, this meant that Croatians were a suspect group in the United States. From surviving records, it appears that the Ustasha movement was the most intently investigated, but many Croatian groups were examined including the Croatian Peasant Party, the Croatian Catholic Union, and the Croatian Fraternal Union.

Once the war ended, much of this surveillance was stopped. For example, the FBI files on the Croatian Peasant Party and Croatian Catholic Church largely stop in 1945. I suspect, but cannot prove until I receive the documentation, is that the FBI continued monitoring the Croatian Fraternal Union due to allegations that the organization was “Communist” and had ties to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. After the easing of the Red Scare, I suspect that the Croatian Fraternal Union was subjected to continued investigation for three reasons. During the late 1960s, Croatian militants became more strident in their calls for Croatian independence, even taking actions here in the United States. Judging from the FBI files of Croatian organizations that I have received via FOIA submitted on my behalf, the Croatian agitation reach a point that the FBI could no longer ignore in the 1967-1968 time frame and many of the large Croatian oriented groups were investigated. I suspect it then-ongoing relationship with the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia led to a continued FBI interest in the Croatian Fraternal Union of America. Finally, the Croatian Fraternal Union would come under attack from some of the Croatian organizations actively seeking Yugoslavia’s destruction. Bernard Luketich received death threats that provided to be anything less than idle in the summer of 1977 when he was attacked by men with lead pipes. (2)

However, this is just semi-informed speculation until I receive the documentation

(1) An example of this is Dinko Šuljak's The Communist conspiracy in the Croatian Fraternal Union

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pray Away the Gay: US Navy Edition

In response to a long-ago FOIA request for 

Information regarding Navy policy toward sailors who have participated “in converstion [sic], therapy, reorientation therapy, reparative theory, or other programs designed to 'cure' homosexuality.”
the United States Navy, like the United States Air Force, has confirmed that it does not recognize the primary methodologies evangelicals and others in the homophobe community promote to handle the gay community.

It seems that if Ted Haggard had been a US sailor, his claims that he had prayed away the gay would fall on death ears.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The NSA Calls for "People's History," Provides a Primer

A recently responded to FOIA request netted this call for/primer on "People's History," from the NSA in which a historian with the Center for Cryptologic History calls on NSA staffers to document their work and thoughts on major events, so that "History From Below" can be written.

Howard Zinn must be spinning in his grave

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Document of the Week: State Deparment Cable on Ante Gotovina's Capture

Again, I was late with the Document of the Week. This week's Document of the Week is a 12/08/05 cable from the US embassy in Zagreb to Foggy Bottom providing the details of how Ante Gotovina was captured. Citing sources within Croatian intelligence and (probably) the ICTY, (1)  the US Embassy writes that Spanish intelligence, the Croatian Intelligence Agency (IA) and the Croatian Counter Intelligence Agency (POA), and select ICTY officials tracked him for months.The cable also noted that Gotovina's arrest "marked a major step forward for Croatian law enforcement, as no word of this effort had leaked to the public during the multi-month operation."

(1) Given the cable redacts the name of the informant, there is no way to know for sure at this time. Given the cable is not sent to the American embassy in Madrid, this leads to me to believe that the cable's named source is not from the Spanish government. Nothing more than a hunch leads me to conclude that the source if from the ICTY instead of Croatian.

(2) This cable was photocopied in an effort to cover up some food stains. It failed. Even worse the photocopy of the cable was shrunk. To make it more readable and to reduce its size, I axed a lot of white space.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ante Markovic's Throat Surgery and Its Greater Significance

Despite the concern over the political impact of his absence shown in this cable, I doubt the absence of Ante Markovic, the last prime minister of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, due to surgery for an unknown throat concern had much impact on the course of Yugoslav history.

However, one should consider this cable in the broader FOIA context. This document discusses the personal medical history of a still living individual and was released intact with no redactions.  In contrast, the FBI will not even considering releasing the FBI files of living individuals who have been tried and convicted within the federal court system. Nor will they release the FBI files of prominent
American leaders such as Joe Biden or Barack Obama despite the fact an argument can be made that their prominence and positions of authority overrule their b(6) privacy rights under FOIA.

Finally, does anyone know what Markovic's condition was? I cannot find any information on it in the secondary literature, any other declassified and released State Department cable, or memoir of a participant.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Document(s) of the Week# 16 The Renatta Predmore Case

In the mid 1970s, Renatta Predmore filed a lawsuit against the NSA after she discovered she was denied a promotion due to her gender.  She prevailed.  The 1976 settlement of her case forced the NSA to include a woman on every promotion board. In 1980, a codicil amending this settlement compelled the NSA to to publish the male/female composition of their promotion boards each year. (1) Below are copies of those documents

Women in NSA Documents                                                           

A NSA history concedes that lawsuit did not totally end discrimination, but giving "a fair hearing for women at promotion time." (2) However as James Bamford documented in Body of Secret,  the NSA still had serious deficiencies in this regard. (3)

(1) Jill Frahm, From Librarians to Leadership: Women at NSA, Cryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series
(2) Jill Frahm, From Librarians to Leadership: Women at NSA, Cryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series
(3) James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, (New York: Anchor Books: 2002) 559-60

Monday, May 9, 2011

Document of the Week #15 CIA Report on Terrorist Attacks on American Business Abroad

In the hubbub spawned by the successful whacking of Osama Bin Laden, I totally forgot to post a Document of the Week. By the time I remembered to do so, it was already Thursday and I simply decided to shelve it until next week.

This Document of the Week is a June 1982 CIA report on terrorist attacks against American businesses aboard between January 1968 through December 1981. Twenty pages in length, the report includes several interesting graphs and numerous factoids that challenge the post-9/11 narrative that terrorism was unknown to the United States and its American inhabitants.

In the 14-year span covered by the report, the CIA noted there almost a thousand terrorist attacks against American business interests by foreign terrorists. Of the 953 attacks carried out by 98 different foreign terrorist organizations against American businesses, 144 of them caused casualties. The number of attacks increased from 1968 until they peaked in 1974 when they began a decline that was interrupted by an uptick in 1978 due to the events in Iran. During this time period, Argentina was the site of the most attacks against American businesses keeping with Latin America being the geographic location of the most attacks Argentinian terrorist organization Montoneros was the group responsible for the most terrorist attacks against American interests in the time period covered by the report. The Western Europe and the Middle East were each the locations of 18% of the total attacks followed by the North America (which includes the United States saw 16% of the total attacks.

This report does have some noticeable errors. A while back, I posted a similar CIA focused on skyjackings of American aircraft, which listed attacks by Croatian and Serbian nationalists groups opposed to the former Yugoslavia. This report lists and mentions  those acts (calling them skyjackings) but fails to list the groups responsible for them.

CIA Report on Terrorist Attacks on American Businesses                                                           

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Croatian Dissident Bruno Busic's CIA Files

In response to a FOIA request I had submitted for the records of Croatian dissident nationalist and the manifesto writer for the hijackers of TWA-355 Bruno Busic, the CIA released fifteen pages of records (and invoked Glomar regarding the existence or non-existence of any other records), just finished intelligence reports, on him. The first document is a single page from the 21 September 1972 Eastern Europe Intelligencer in which the CIA reported that Busic, Franjo Tudjman, and another man were on trial, accused of working with “unspecified foreign intelligence service,” which in the case of Busic meant the CIA. The CIA also made note of Busic's contacts with emigre Croatian radicals.

The next document is the entire 14 December 1971 Central Intelligence Bulletin in which Busic was discussed. Sandwiched between a redacted in its entirety article and an article on the controversy very over the Soviet intention to open an embassy in Costa Rica is a page long article on the crackdown on Croatian nationalists by the Yugoslav government. At least thirty people, including Bruno Busic, were arrested and the Yugoslav government denounced their actions and threatened further interventions to maintain order. 

Bruno Busic's CIA Records                                                           

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Skyjacking: A CIA Analysis and History

N.B.- I know that I have promised several of my readers that I was going to cut down on Scribd uploads. I intend to do so. However, I had already scanned this document and Google Documents refuses to accept it. Thus I have no choice.

As for the record itself, it is a July 1982 CIA study on “terrorist skyjacking”. The use of “Skyjacking” to describe airline hijackings makes this report worthwhile by itself because SKYJACKING is a boss word and deserves to be resurrected from its linguistic purgatory.

More seriously, this 24-page CIA report is a statistical study with historical commentary on the rise and prevalence of terrorist skyjackings and presumably garden-variety skyjackings since the first “terrorist skyjacking” took place in 1968 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an El-Al jet liner.(1) The CIA's statistics reveal a great deal of common wisdom challenging information:

As documented by the CIA, 9% of all terrorist attacks were skyjackings. The 684 skyjackings between 1968 and 1982 resulted in at least 500 deaths and 400 injuries. Of the 684 skyjackings, the CIA ruled 108 of them “terrorist skyjackings” and that these terrorist skyjackings. Among these 108, forty turned violent with the end result being 212 dead and 186 wounded.

So, contrary to popular wisdom, the pre-911 skyjackings were not necessarily safe nor simply affairs to draw media attention to one's cause or to procure the release of one's comrades.

While terrorist skyjackings were done by many groups for both attention and to secure the release of their members, the bulk of the hijackings were done by Palestinians.

Between 1968- July 1982:

Cuba was the most common diversion point. Cuba also granted safe haven to terrorist skyjackers the most often.

Lebanon was the most frequent point of origin for hijacked aircraft as well as the skyjackers' most frequently boarding point

While only 7% of skyjackings occurred in the North America, American aircraft were the most often skyjacked.

So again, the post-911 narrative that Americans had little experience with foreign terrorism is explicitly challenged and even debunked.

Sprinkled throughout the paper are some nifty graphics, one of which reveals a steep and briefly sustain drop-off in terrorist skyjackings in response to new security measures such as metal detectors.

On a final note, some caution is required when reading this report. The CIA itself admits to using “incomplete data” and I know that the CIA is incorrect in describing two incidents listed in this report.

First, only five Croatians were released during the 1972 hijacking in Sweden and secondly, only four Croatians and the American wife of the ringleader hijacked TWA-355 in September 1976.

(1)Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998) 67

Monday, April 18, 2011

Al-Qaeda's Code Book

For some reason, INSCOM sent me the portion of the Encyclopedia of Jihad dealing with codes, ciphers, and encryption.  I am not one to let documents go to waste, so I have posted it for reader enjoyment.

al-Qaeda's Cypher Manual                                                            

Thursday, April 14, 2011

NSA and the Recorded Future

This is the NSA's ARC registration entry for “Recorded Future.” The National Security Agency released this a while ago but public interest in the company waned, so I never got around to posting it. Until now. 

NSA's ARC Entry For Recorded Future                                                            

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Elizabeth Edwards Has No FBI File

Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards' wife, does not have her own FBI file. However, I suspect she's present in her husband's undoubtedly substantial file. We'll find out after his death.

Elizabeth Edwards No FBI Record Letter                                                            

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Remnants of Edvard Kardelj's FBI File

Edvard Kardelj was a former vice-president of Yugoslavia, a senior Partisan commander, and one of the leading post-second-world-war Communist intellectuals. Despite this, on December 16, 2009, the Federal Bureau of Investigation destroyed all but fifteen pages of their records pertaining to him. According to the Bureau, the only records that survived are fifteen pages pertaining to the 9/29/1977- 10/5/1977 visit by Kardelj to the United States.

The records are worthless for scholarship due to the extensive redactions made to them on the b(1), that is the information according to the FOIA statute, is “specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy”. Judging from the markings on the surviving documents, the information that is being redacted is classified “Secret” meaning its release would cause “serious damage” to American national security. In the FBI's opinion, I cannot be not allowed to see the FBI's information on Kardelj because it would compromise American national security, yet, somehow the same information can confined to the wastebasket without the least harm to American national security.

Edvard Kardelj's File File                                                            

Document of the Week #12 CIA History of the Rwandan Genocide

The CIA's Office of Office of Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Analysis's 9/18/1999 Intelligence Report titled “Rwanda Struggling to Overcome Genocidal Past” is a well-written, and generally all-round stellar short-history of the Rwandan Genocide. Highlights of this document include

The author's clear, unequivocal rejection of the belief that the genocide "was a release of centuries-old ethnic hatreds.
The author's unhesitating assignment of responsibility to the guilty party.
The blunt, factual, and evidence-supported description of the genocide and the reasons behind the genocide.

In short, the author shows, the Rwandan Genocide was not the product of uncontrolled blood lust and ethnic hatreds, but was the cruel, cold, and well-thought plot of Hutu extremists fearing their lose of power and privilege. 

Rwanda Struggling to Overcome Genocidal Past                                                            

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

CIA Thoughts on the Homeland and Bosnian Wars

The following NIEs on the Bosnian War and Homeland War were recently declassified and given to me by the CIA in response to a FOIA request that I had submitted.
NIE 93-22: Prospects for Bosnia [Redacted]

Issued in May 1993, this nine- page, classified “Secret” document gives insight into the CIA's pessimistic view for Bosnia's prospects and of the Bosnian government. The document reveals that the

The CIA believed that maintaining Bosnia's integrity after the implementation of a Vance-Owen Plan would require a commitment of time and resources on par with that made to South Korea after the Korean War.

The CIA believed that the “Muslims” were capable of “creat[ing] violent incidents that could be blamed on the Serbs and Croats.”

And the language of the NIE also shows that the CIA held the Bosnian government as being little better than the VRS and HVO it fought. In addition to the above “Muslims” and “Serbs and Croats,” another part of the NIE referes to the “Bosnian Serb Army” and the “Muslim-dominated Bosnian Army.”

Update Memorandum on NIE 93-22: Prospects for Bosnia [Redacted]

This five- page memorandum, classified “Secret” is an update to the May 1993 NIE 93-22: Prospects for Bosnia [Redacted]. The highlights of this document include

The CIA's belief that a Bosnia divided as intended by the Vance-Owen Plan would not survive long.
The CIA's opinion that the Europeans would not remained engage long in Bosnia if the United States refused to get involved.

NIE 93-26 Croatia:When Will Fighting Resume?

This eleven-page, classified “Secret” document is a July 1993 National Intelligence Estimate on the probability of renewed warfare in Croatia during the lull in the Homeland War, the reaction of Serbia to such fighting, and the impact such violence would have on Bosnia, Croatia, and the world.

The CIA believed there was “less than even chance” of a peaceful settlement of the Homeland War and that the Croatians would hold if ti sensed progress in negotiations with the RSK.

The Croatian diaspora, particularly the “Herzegovinian Mafia”, were driving the HDZ and Franjo Tudjman's nationalist agenda,

The West's influence had and was continuing to keep the Croatians from restarting the Homeland War beyond the minor skirmishes.

Finally, it appears that the CIA was aware of Croatian military actions that appear to be mobilization and preparation for the Medak Pocket Operation.

NIE 93-23/I Combatant Forces in the Former Yugoslavia

This thirteen-page, classified “Secret” estimate was issued in July 1993 and is the first part of a two-part estimate on the combat capacity of the forces fighting in Bosnian War. Among the more interesting points contained with this document are:

The horrible CIA-produced map on page 4 of the Estimate

The CIA's referral to the Bosnian government as “factional leaders” on par with the HVO and VRS.

The CIA's belief that the Bosnian government would attacks Western targets and frame the Serbs.

The CIA's ultimately mistaken belief that the HVO, with Croatian military assistance, could hold on to captured territory indefinitely.

The attention given to the possible threat to Serbia's neighbors by that nation's military force. The CIA estimated that Macedonia, Hungry, and Bulgaria would all need outside assistance to beat Serbia while the much larger Romanian military

NIE 93-23/II Combatant Forces in the Former Yugoslavia\II

This sixty-eight page, classified “Secret” estimate was issued in July 1993 and is the concluding part of a two-part estimate on the combat capacity of the forces fighting in Bosnian War. It has more detailed analysis of the points brought up in volume I of NIE 93-23/II Combatant Forces in the Former Yugoslavia.

The most interesting aspect of this document is the attention given to the prospect for terrorism by or on behalf of the Bosnian government Or the “Bosnian Muslims” as the CIA would term it while ignoring prior acts of Serbian terrorism such as the bombings and hijackings by individuals such as Nikola Kavaja and the limited description of Croatian terrorism such as the 1980 bombing of the Statue of Liberty and the 9/10 Hijacking of TWA-355 both acts which were intended to bring about an independent Croatian state.

NIE 93-23/II Combatant Forces in the Former Yugoslavia Volume II