Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. So critical is this denial to the U.S. government that last August, an NSA spokesperson emailed The Washington Post to say (emphasis in original): “The department does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber.”
THE CIA’S MOP-UP MAN: L.A. TIMES REPORTER CLEARED STORIES WITH AGENCY BEFORE PUBLICATION
A prominent national security reporter for the Los Angeles Times routinely submitted drafts and detailed summaries of his stories to CIA press handlers prior to publication, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and Ken Dilanian, now an Associated Press intelligence reporter who previously covered the CIA for the Times, show that Dilanian enjoyed a closely collaborative relationship with the agency, explicitly promising positive news coverage and sometimes sending the press office entire story drafts for review prior to publication. In at least one instance, the CIA’s reaction appears to have led to significant changes in the story that was eventually published in the Times.
“I’m working on a story about congressional oversight of drone strikes that can present a good opportunity for you guys,” Dilanian wrote in one email to a CIA press officer, explaining that what he intended to report would be “reassuring to the public” about CIA drone strikes. In another, after a series of back-and-forth emails about a pending story on CIA operations in Yemen, he sent a full draft of an unpublished report along with the subject line, “does this look better?” In another, he directly asks the flack: “You wouldn’t put out disinformation on this, would you?”
CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou, who has been serving a prison sentence in a federal correctional facility in Loretto, Pennsylvania for over a year, has written a letter describing how he was given a special designation marking him dangerous. This led to him not being sent to a minimum security camp, and he reveals he was put in a low-security facility because the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) inappropriately categorized his offense as one related to “espionage.”
Firedoglake has been publishing “Letters from Loretto” by Kiriakou, who was the first member of the CIA to publicly acknowledge that torture was official US policy under the George W. Bush administration. He was convicted in October 2012 after he pled guilty to violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) when he confirmed the name of an officer involved in the CIA’s Rendition, Detention and Interrogation (RDI) program to a reporter. He was sentenced in January 2013, and reported to prison on February 28, 2013.
Kiriakou was given a “public safety factor” designation when he was sentenced to prison. According to the Bureau of Prisons, “There are certain demonstrated behaviors, which require increased security measures to ensure the protection of society. There are nine Public Safety Factors (PSFs) which are applied to inmates who are not appropriate for placement at an institution which would permit inmate access to the community (i.e., MINIMUM security).”