US Funds ‘Independent Journalism’ in Cuba to Spread Propaganda

A former top CIA spy has admitted that the United States funds anti-government propagandists in Cuba who portray themselves as “independent journalists”.

Major British newspaper The Guardian spoke with CIA veteran Fulton Armstrong, whom it described as “the US intelligence community’s most senior analyst for Latin America from 2000 to 2004”.

Armstrong stated that, in Cuba, “a lot of the so-called independent journalists are indirectly funded by the US”.

The ex CIA analyst pointed out that, today, the Joe Biden administration bankrolls anti-government opposition forces in Cuba with at least $20 million in annual support for supposed “democracy promotion” activities.

The Guardian acknowledged that the CIA has a history of spreading disinformation inside Cuba, as part of a US information war aimed at destabilizing the revolutionary government. The newspaper wrote:

Financing media has long been part of Washington’s diplomatic toolkit.

In the 1960s in Cuba, Radio Swan, a CIA covert action programme, attempted not only a propaganda offensive to undermine support for Fidel Castro, but doubled up as a communication link, sending coded messages to paramilitaries during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.

A decade ago it emerged that the US government had paid contractors to create ZunZuneo, a social network built on texts, to organize “smart mobs” on the island. And during

— source | Ben Norton | Jan 25, 2023

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CIA Sued for Spying on Americans Who Visited Julian Assange

The CIA and former CIA Director Mike Pompeo were sued Monday for spying on U.S. lawyers and journalists who met with Julian Assange while he was living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had political asylum. The lawsuit is being filed as Britain prepares to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States, where he faces up to 175 years in prison for violating the Espionage Act by publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assange spent nearly seven years inside the embassy, from 2012 ’til April 2019, when Metropolitan Police entered the embassy, arrested him, after Ecuador revoked his political asylum.

The lawsuit filed Monday accuses the Spanish security firm UC Global of spying on Assange and his visitors inside the embassy on behalf of the CIA. UC Global and the company’s director, David Morales, are also named as defendants in the new lawsuit, which comes less than a year after Yahoo News revealed the CIA considered abducting, and possibly assassinating, Assange while he was in the embassy.

— source | Aug 16, 2022

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‘CIA sidekick’ gives £2.6m to UK media groups

A US government-funded agency that claims to promote democracy but which helps undermine governments independent of Washington has moved decisively into Britain’s media space since 2016.

National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has funded groups such as Bellingcat, Index on Censorship, Article 19, Finance Uncovered, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation
Former CIA officer tells Declassified the NED is a “vehicle” for US government “propaganda”

The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a non-profit corporation funded by the US Congress, has ploughed over £2.6m into seven British independent media groups over the past five years.

The NED was “created…to do in the open what the Central Intelligence Agency has done surreptitiously for decades”, the New York Times reported in 1997. That included spending

— source | Matt Kennard and Mark Curtis | 17 Jan 2022

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Establishment smear merchants The Daily Beast, Rolling Stone and their perceptible intelligence ties

On Oct. 14, 2016, The Daily Beast published a surprisingly candid retrospective on the CIA’s historic recruitment of media assets.

“Other journalists were threatened and blackmailed into cooperating with Mockingbird,” the article noted, “and many were given falsified or fabricated information about their actions in order to engender their support for the CIA’s mission. The program has never been officially discontinued.”

At the time, the editor-in-chief and managing director of The Daily Beast was John Phillips Avlon. Vanity Fair editor Tina Brown had launched the popular online news site in 2008. By the time she exited five years later, a soured merger with Newsweek had left The Daily Beast whimpering rather than roaring. Avlon’s arrival changed all that.

Avlon has all the credentials of the CIA’s iconic gentleman spy, including an old moneyed family with military pedigrees, a Yale education, and a missionary globalist zeal toward

— source | The Defender | Aug 9, 2022

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Jury Finds Former CIA Programmer Guilty

A federal jury in New York convicted former CIA employee Joshua Schulte of violating the Espionage Act when he allegedly released materials on the CIA’s hacking capabilities to WikiLeaks.

This was the second trial against Schulte. In March 2020, his first trial ended in a mistrial on several Espionage Act charges, but he was found guilty of contempt of court and lying to the FBI.

Unlike the first trial, Schulte represented himself and argued his case. He again maintained he was not the source of the leaks published by WikiLeaks.

A jury deliberated for nearly three days before announcing a verdict. Judge Jesse M. Furman in the Southern District of New York did not schedule a sentencing date because there are other charges pending against Schulte.

— source | Kevin Gosztola | Jul 13, 2022

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CIA Vault 7 Leaker Found Guilty. What Did He Actually Reveal?

A federal jury in New York last week convicted former CIA officer Joshua Schulte on nine felony counts under the Espionage Act for leaking information to Wikileaks that became known as Vault 7. Schulte has consistently denied that he was the source of the information. Two years ago, he was convicted on two of the original 11 charges, while the jury hung on the remaining nine. The most recent trial, in which Schulte represented himself, was on those nine counts, and he now faces up to 80 years in prison. Schulte is yet to be tried on state child pornography charges.

Prosecutors had literally no forensic evidence that Schulte had taken the data from the CIA and transferred it to WikiLeaks. But they contended that he was a computer genius so brilliant that he was able to cover his tracks. They alleged that he leaked the information because he was a disgruntled former CIA employee who hated his boss, couldn’t get along with his coworkers and sought revenge against the agency. That was enough for the jury.

CIA Deputy Director for Digital Innovation Sean Roche called the Vault 7 leak “a digital Pearl Harbor.” Chief prosecutor Damian Williams said the revelations were “one of the

— source | John Kiriakou | Jul 26, 2022

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Retrial of Joshua Schulte begins for allegedly leaking CIA “Vault 7” documents to WikiLeaks

The second federal trial of former CIA software engineer Joshua Schulte on espionage charges began on Tuesday in a New York court with opening statements by the prosecution and the defendant telling the jury he was innocent and the victim of a political witch-hunt.

Schulte, 33, was charged in June 2018 with 13 counts and accused of stealing and leaking a trove of CIA cyberespionage tools known as “Vault 7” to WikiLeaks, which published them in March 2017. His first trial in 2020 ended with a hung jury on eight espionage counts, but Schulte was convicted on a lesser contempt of court charge and another charge of making false statements to the FBI.

Schulte, who is representing himself in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, told the jury that the evidence will “absolutely prove my innocence.” He said the leak of 7,000 pages and millions of lines of malware code, developed by the CIA for hacking smartphones and other consumer devices such as smart TVs, was the result of the government’s “wildly insecure” intelligence servers.

— source | Kevin Reed | 15 Jun 2022

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A Whistleblower’s Agony

A C.I.A. whistleblower languishes awaiting trial in a federal prison under inhumane conditions and almost nobody is paying attention.

Joshua Schulte is a former C.I.A. hacker, one of those computer geniuses whose job it is to work his way into the computer systems of our country’s enemies in support of some of the most highly-classified operations the C.I.A. carries out.

The government believes that Schulte was a malcontent who released to WikiLeaks in 2017 the equivalent of 2 billion pages of top secret C.I.A. data with code names like Brutal Kangaroo, AngerQuake and McNugget.

These programs, collectively known as Vault 7, were custom-made techniques used to compromise Wifi networks, hack into Skype, defeat anti-virus software and even hack into smart TVs and the guidance systems in cars. They were the C.I.A.’s modern-day crown jewels. One senior C.I.A. officer likened the revelations to “a modern-day Pearl Harbor.”

The C.I.A. accused Schulte of stealing the data in 2016 and of sending it to WikiLeaks in 2017. He was eventually charged with 13 felonies, mostly related to the Espionage Act.

— source | John Kiriakou | Jun 15, 2022

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