Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CIA Glomars FOIA Request Christopher Hitchens

In response to a FOIA request, the CIA has invoked Glomar and refuses to confirm or deny the existence of any records pertaining to Christopher Hitchens.

I honestly suspect there are some records due to his past associations with communists and just the global nature of his work, fame, and persona. I am willing to wage a modicum of my meager wage that we will have some confirmation of this when the FBI responds to FOIA requests seeking Bureau records on Hitchens.

The CIA Glomars Request for Christopher Hitchens Records                                                           

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Rampant Corruption Among the Security Forces," Ineptitude Hindered Peruvian War on Terrorism

Information recently declassified in response to a Mandatory Declassification Review to the Central Intelligence Agency reveals that “rampant corruption among the security forces” and “interservice rivalries” hampered the Peruvian war on terrorism in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Also discussed is the role of Libyan money played in supporting the organization which the CIA believes was behind a spike in the capabilities of Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), which included as well as support to a wider-range of fellow terrorist organizations than the CIA was willing to publicly acknowledge. Support from MRTA was not only extended to Bolivian terrorists but also a terrorist group in Argentina and possibly elsewhere.

The CIA noted that the MRTA posed a challenge to the Sendero Luminoso, a larger, more rural terrorist organization operating in Peru at that time. The CIA believed that MRTA's successful attacks inside Lima and the publicity they generated were likely behind the uptick in violence by Sendero Luminoso occurring at that the time.

Finally, the CIA also reveal its organizational chart for the organization for the first time.See the full report below:

3/1991 CIA Report on the Tupac Amaru                                                            

Saturday, February 11, 2012

CIA/ Mandela Porn: The Best CIA Documents About Nelson Mandela

In honor of the 22 anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison, I have compiled from the CIA's publicly released archives, a collection of the most interesting documents and factoids available on or about Nelson Mandela.

In response to a Mandatory Declassification Review, the CIA processed a 9/26/1986 Directorate of Intelligence Report titled,” Nelson Mandela: What if Alive and Well and Free in South Africa [redacted].
The report reveals that Mandela, despite South African claims to the contrary, was not a Communist. Additionally, Mandela refused to renounce violence in order to secure his release from prison, preferring to remain in jail because he “almost certainly believes that his remaining in prison serves the black cause better than his accepting a conditional release. He evidently calculates that his continued imprisonment keeps international attention focused on the South Africa problem and discredits government reform efforts that do not include him.”

Another striking feature of the report is that Mandela was viewed as particularly close to death and there was an acute fear of him dying in prison.

Compare this version to the 2006 release version and you'll notice that despite the passage of twenty years and the deaths of many South African, African National Congress, and American figures related to this issue, we're still not allowed to know a single additional word of the report. In fact, the CIA released the document with zero new information declassified. The only difference is that the CIA switched the color of the redactions from black to a white.

One of the scenario likely contained within redactions of the above document is a renewed military campaign by the ANC. According to an article in the 4/8/1985 Terrorism Review, “if [Mandela] were to leave the country and actively resume his position as head of the ANC, many young blacks would follow him to fight under his leadership” and “ a reinvigorated ANC with Mandela at the helm might even cause a shift in attitudes among leaders of neighboring black states. They are currently are following a policy of cautious détente with Pretoria, but their hatred of apartheid could overcome fear of South African retribution if they believed the ANC's military campaign had a reasonable chance of success.”


Here is the undated CIA profile of “Mike” "An Angry Young Black" supporter of Nelson Mandela. It is social/cultural history profile produced by the CIA on young black men in 1980s South Africa. 


If this Mandela reader is giving a different view of Mandela, this is because you're seeing Mandela as the American and South African governments viewed and portrayed him at that time. He had yet to win. He was still a terrorist. The ANC was still a Soviet-backed terrorist organization.

Here is a 10/28/1961 Central Intelligence Bulletin reported on a sabotage campaign by the African National Congress which was called for by Mandela and which “would concentrate initially on telephone lines and government offices but later might include roadblocks and railroad sabotage.”


This 3/31/1979 National Intelligence Daily reports on the African National Congress's view that “terrorism, civil disorder, strikes, and propaganda are the only practical means now available to break down authority within South Africa.” It also reported that the ANC was receiving assistance from the Soviet Union, Cubans, and East Germany while possessing infrastructure in Mozambique, Zambia,  Tanzania, and Swaziland.


This NIE -94-4: Prospects for the South African Transition- is an estimative product on how the transaction from apartheid would occur. The US IC predicted a 1 in 20 chance which, the CIA believed "would push South Africa to the brink of anarchy" and lead the ANC to "resort to large-scale violence to protest such an outcome." This wasn't the only violence predicted by the CIA. This NIE is laden with violent end game scenarios resulting murder, mayhem, and bloodshed.


In addition to the violence, this NIE is notable for calling out early Nelson Mandela's commitment to economic pragmatism. Too bad, Mandela's supporters didn't read this he smashed their hopes for economic justice. The CIA also predicted a 1 in 100 chance of an act of nuclear terrorism.

SNIE 73.2-85 Prospects for South Africa:  Stability, Reform, and Violence has very little about Mandela, but a great deal of information on the cultural, social, economic, and military situation.


My favorite two factoids:
  1. One in 8 South African whites were involved in the internal defense structure necessary to maintain apartheid in mid 1980s. 
  2. Interestingly, black townships were built to facilitate white dominance. As documented by the NIE Township roads wide enough for a South African armored personnel carrier to make a U-turn, House built no closer than  a specified distance so as not to impede police weapons fire and to make it more difficult for a fugitive to evade authoritiesConvenient vantage points for police vehicles to gather and monitor wide areas of the townships.A distance between the boundaries of the township and main highways in the area that exceeded the range of a high-powered rifle, presumably to protect travelers from snipers and even errant police shots in the event of a serious disturbance.   

Libya's support to the African National Congress paid off when Mandela, grateful for Libyan assistance during the anti-apartheid struggle, called for the end of sanctions against the Qaddafi regime. South Africa also began to cultivate Libya as a market for South African goods.
9/9/1998 Sub-Saharan Africa: Seeking Pragmatic Relations with Rogue States

SNIE 73-86 The African National Congress of South Africa: Organization, Communist Ties, and Short-Term Prospects contains a great deal of background information on the ANC and its organization allies.


Key highlights and fun factoids:
  1. The ANC was "externally based and bureaucratically complex organization."
  2. The CIA estimated a quarter of the ANC were also members of the South African Communist Party.
  3. It also notes that Mandela didn't even hold an official position in the ANC despite being popularly viewed as its leader.

A Nuclear End to Apartheid

In NIE 94-4 Prospects for the South African Transition, the American Intelligence Community found that hardline white South Africans were plotting to steal uranium. The American IC predicted a 1 in 100 chance of an act of nuclear terrorism.

Scary.  How is that for some black history month learning?

South African Nuclear Terrorism                                                           

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Arkan Declassified: What the CIA Was Willing to Disclosed

Željko Ražnatović aka Arkan was the most mediagenic, infamous, and well-known Serbian warlord. Married to glamorous turbo-folk singer Ceca, owner of a leading Serbian soccer team, and possessor of the best-trained thugs in all the Balkans, he had little competition in that regard.

In response to a recent FOIA request seeking "all previously released records" pertaining to Željko Ražnatović, the CIA released just two records. The first is a FBIS translation of a Slovenian media article titled, "Rape as a Means of Battle" in which the authors report on the allegations the rape warfare strategies employed by VRS forces in Bosnia were organized, approved, and defended at the very top. The second - and far more interesting document- is a copy of the portions of the CIA's April 1999 Terrorism Review dealing with possible anti-American violence spawned by the NATO intervention against Serb genocide in Kosovo.

While I honestly disbelieve that Arkan named his group the Serbian Terrorist Organization Resistance Movement (STOP). I do not disbelieve that Arkan had the capacity- probably an organized, named capacity-to strike at the United States. However, I doubt he would have used it to defend Serbia. I base it not only on his failure to use it, but also the fact that Arkan was about Arkan first. While Hungary, Macedonia, Croatia, and the rest of the Balkans might be willing to tolerate his criminal enterprises, none of them could or would tolerate terrorist attacks on its soil, much less directed  terrorism at it. A single Arkan ordered terrorist attack would meant the end of his lucrative rackets. Thus, why, in part, there were none.

Anyway, enjoy the files.

Arkan's (Available) CIA File                                                           

The Milosevic Files

A rapid method to procure documents from the CIA is limit your request to "previously released records." This means sacrificing your right to appeal and usually (but not always) receiving stuff in the public domain. Y

I recently submitted several such requests for Yugoslav leaders such as Milovan Djilas, Aleksandar Ranković, Slobodan Milosevic, Željko Ražnatović (Arkan), and Edvard Kardelj. In the cases of Djilas, Ranković, and Kardelj, I received significant numbers of hard-to-find documents relating to the men. My request for Arkan's files, I was given two documents a FBIS translation of a Slovenian newspaper article and a copy of a Terrorism Review."

In response to Milosevic, I received two "requester reports"- a one- page report and another eight page report. I am not sure how they were created, but they list every previously released document on Milosevic. I done some research on the CIA's websites. The check marks means you'll find it searching for "Milosevic" while the an "x" means you have to search for that specific document. No marks means you'll most likely have to order it up.

Milosevic Requester Report

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Vladimir Seks Advocated for Terrorist Thug

Given the long-standing unpopularity of terrorists, it is highly unusual to find politicians that lobby on their behalf or actively promoting their importation into their nation. This make the following documents a rare find.

In 1994, at a point during the Homeland War when 1/3 of Croatia was occupied by Belgrade-backed rebel Serb forces,  a time when the Croatian economy was under severe stress,  at the tailend of the failed, ill-conceived Muslim-Croat War, Croatian Vice President Vladimir Seks found time in his schedule to lobby the United States Parole Commission on behalf Vinko Logarusic, informing Logarusic's case analyst that "the Republic of Croatia has no objections to Mr. Vinko Logarusic traveling to and from Croatia, on a single or continuing basis or any objections to his eventual permanent residency in the republic of Croatia.” As you can see from the second document in the PDF, this letter was a product of an effort by Logarusic to receive permission to travel to Croatia after his release.

Vinko Logarusic Blog Post File                                                           

Logarusic, as this 6/22/1994 letter from Logarusic's Case analyst to Senator Metzenbaum shows, was a vicious individual who "participated in a Croatian terrorist ring from 1975-1981 and were responsible for two murders, several attempted murders, approximately 15 bombings and attempted bombings, an international extortion scheme involving 50 United States victims and the transportation of weapons and explosive throughout the country. According to a "U.S. Attorneys report,” “the crimes committed by this terrorist were among some of the most violent ever committed in the United States over a sustained period of time".

Yet, Seks was willing to allow Logarusic to visit and live in Croatia.

Below are the rest of the records released by the United States Parole Commission in response to an appeal I had lodged.

Logarusic Parole Board File                                                           

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The CIA's Kagame Whitewash

The first two pages of the document below are the version of the 12/21/1990 Africa Review approved for release in June 2006.  You will notice that Paul Kagame’s decision to abandon military training at Ft. Leavenworth in early October 1990 to assume command of the Rwandan rebel forces when the former leader was slain,” was unclassified.

 Kagame CIA Coverup

Now, scroll down in the document and compare the 2006 version of page 5 to the the version of page 5 released at the end of 2011. The mention of Kagame’s training at Fort Leavenworth has been redacted.  It seems that as Kagame’s star has dimmed over the last five years, his activities in Leavenworth have become a source of embarrassment.