Editor's Note: Author Peter Janney wrote this guest column to provide his views regarding the two most recent columns in the Justice Integrity Project's "JFK Murder Readers Guide." Janney, right, sought to make three major points about the two columns, JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know Dec. 9 and JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions Dec. 20, 2013. Janney, reared in a CIA family, is the author of Mary's Mosaic. Its subtitle is, "The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer and Their Vision for World Peace." The book was controversial upon publication, as illustrated by two reviews appended below.
By Peter Janney
Three important areas deserve amplification from the treatments in the Justice Integrity Project's recent "Readers Guide" to Kennedy Assassination materials.
1) The work of Douglas P. Horne, Chief Analyst for Military Records at the Assassinations Record Review Board (ARRB)
Horne’s work on the medical evidence surrounding JFK’s assassination and autopsy takes the entire spectrum of the JFK "conspiracy" from speculation and theory to proven factual evidence.
The work of Douglas Horne, shown at left, elevates the entire controversy over JFK’s assassination from fiction, theory and/or speculation to an entirely new level of discourse that should be brought to the public’s attention every day!
Nowhere, other than a thorough examination of the medical evidence, are we to be more persuaded at what really took place on November 22, 1963.
People are entitled to their opinions. But they are not entitled to their own set of facts. And in this arena, the facts are now indisputable as to what took place. Douglas Horne is the author of the five-volume series: Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK., Vols. I-V.2) Oswald’s false defection to the Soviet Union in 1959
Let us not forget, that nearly 40 years ago in 1975, Senator Richard Schweiker, left, a Republican of Pennsylvania, was half of a two-man subcommittee within the Senate Church Committee authorized to investigate the Kennedy assassination, and allowed to view some of the yet-unseen classified documents at the National Archives. He came to the following conclusion about the Warren Commission and its report:
“I think that the report, to those who have studied it closely, has collapsed like a house of cards, and I think the people, who read it, in the long run in the future will see that," Schweiker said on Face the Nation. "I frankly believe that we have shown that the [investigation of the] John F. Kennedy assassination was snuffed out before it even began, and that the fatal mistake the Warren Commission made was not to use its own investigators, but instead to rely on the CIA and FBI personnel, which played directly into the hands of senior intelligence officials who directed the cover-up.”
Senator Schweiker’s final conclusion was, and I quote: “We don’t know what happened [in Dallas], but we do know Oswald had intelligence connections. Everywhere you look with him, there are the fingerprints of intelligence.”
In 2007, referring to Oswald’s 1959 phony “defection” to Russia, Schweiker told author David Talbot that the ex-Marine Oswald “was the product of a fake defector program run by the CIA.” And that program was administered by the Office of Naval Intelligence, and run undercover by the CIA. It was called "The Illusionary Warfare Training Program," and was base in Nags Head, North Carolina, where it instructed young idealists to be fake defectors to the Soviet Union.
Author Victor Marchetti, a 14-year veteran of the CIA who had served as executive assistant to then-Deputy Director Richard Helms, after working for my father, first identified this false-defection program and Oswald’s participation in it, to author Tony Summers in the early 1990s. Marchetti reiterated that observation to me in an interview for my book in 2005.
The existence of the Nags Head base was confirmed in the 2004 testimony of former CIA pilot William "Tosh" Plumlee: “When I later learned [in November 1963] that Oswald had been arrested as the lone assassin, I remembered having met him on a number of previous occasions which were connected with intelligence training matters, first at Illusionary Warfare Training in Nags Head, North Carolina, then in Honolulu at radar installation and at Oahu's Wheeler Air Force Base.”
Furthermore, in 1978 Mark Lane wrote a very important article in Hustler Magazine, The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: How the CIA Set Up Oswald, that rarely gets the attention it deserves.
Attorney Lane interviewed Judge James Botelho, who was Oswald’s roommate at the Marine base in Santa Ana, California, where Oswald was stationed right before his defection. Editor's Note: Oswald is shown below right in a file photo.
Judge James Botelho probably knew Oswald as well as anyone at the Santa Ana Marine Base. They shared the same room, and Botelho took Oswald home to meet his parents. Although the intelligence-inspired revisionists are attempting to retroactively to make Oswald a Marxist Marine, Botelho denies it. “I’m very conservative now," he told Lane, “and I was at least as conservative at that time. Oswald was not a Communist or a Marxist. If he was, I would have taken violent action against him and so would many of the other Marines in the unit.”
When they were in the service together, Botelho engaged in many discussions with Oswald. Lane asked him what he thought of Oswald when he learned that he had "defected."
Botelho said: “Well, when Oswald's presence in the Soviet Union was made public, it was the talk of everyone who knew him at the base. First of all, I was aware of the fact that the radio codes and other codes were not changed and that Oswald knew all of them. That made me suspicious knew Oswald was not a Communist and was, in fact, anti-Soviet. Then, when no real investigations about Oswald occurred at the base, I was sure that Oswald was on an intelligence assignment in Russia.” Author James Douglass also interviewed Botelho for his book JFK & The Unspeakable. Judge Botelho reiterated what he had told Mark Lane in 1978 (page #40).
3) Operation Mockingbird
The Justice Integrity Project article, JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, notes that Frank Wisner preceded Cord Meyer as head of the Operation Mockingbird program, which at its peak involved nearly all of the leading news organizations via their top owners and other controlling executives. Wisner, right, was the prime architect of the program before turning it over to Cord, who was a neighbor and close friend of my family when I was a child, as I described in my book, Mary's Mosaic.
To further give an idea of how nefarious Mockingbird was, I have attached the minutes of a meeting at CIA headquarters that was actually chaired by my father, Wistar Janney, in September 1967.
By that September, alarm bells were being sounded at the highest levels of the CIA, where a series of high-level secret meetings were being held to try to figure out how to combat Garrison and his investigation of Clay Shaw, who years later would finally be exposed as a CIA asset.
At this first meeting in September 1967, the CIA was scared shitless that Garrison was going to get a conviction against Clay Shaw (see attachment: “FWMJ.pdf”). You will note that the minutes state: “[Ray] Rocca felt that Garrison would indeed obtain a conviction of Shaw for conspiring to assassinate President Kennedy.” Ray Rocca was the chief lieutenant of James Jesus Angleton, head of the Counter Intelligence staff. The CIA was very, very worried about this possibility, obviously because it would open Pandora’s Box.
How was the CIA able to turn the tide against Jim Garrison (left), as well as simultaneously influencing public opinion, and get Clay Shaw acquitted, in spite of the fact of the Agency’s knowledge that Shaw had been a CIA asset who had assisted in the planning of the JFK assassination?
While the first high-level Agency meeting regarding Jim Garrison didn’t take place until September 1967, efforts were already underway to combat an emerging public ground swell that the Warren Commission had been flawed.
Most important, in my opinion, was attorney Mark Lane’s book Rush to Judgment in 1966, where Lane single-handedly decimated the conclusions of the Warren Commission, and pointed the finger at the CIA. The book was an instant best-seller.
So, in April 1967, the CIA created a 50-page memo. Known as "CIA Dispatch 1035-960," the directive was sent to various CIA stations; it instructed agents to contact their media contacts and explain to them how to best respond to anyone who was criticizing the conclusions of the Warren Report. [The document is here in the original, and here in reformatted text of its summary.] A set of “talking points” was also included that raised questions about the motives and competence of anyone who called into question the lone gun-man theory.
With this memo and the CIA’s influence in the media, the concept of “conspiracy theorist” was engendered and infused into our political lexicon and became what it is today: a term to smear, denounce, ridicule, and defame anyone who dares to speak about any crime committed by the state, military or intelligence services. People who want to pretend that conspiracies don’t exist, when in fact they are among the most common modus operandi of significant historical change throughout the world and in our country become furious when their naive illusion is challenged.
Those who dismiss conspiracy theories as groundless paranoia have forgotten that the United States was founded on a conspiracy theory. The Declaration of Independence claimed that a “history of repeated injuries and usurpations” by King George proved the king was plotting to establish “an absolute tyranny over these states.” The signers claimed it was this “design to reduce them under absolute despotism,” not any or all of the abuses themselves that gave them the right and duty to “throw up such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
And that is why it is critical to understand that the primary means of immobilizing each of us, as citizens of America, is to keep us in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed, but nothing can be known for sure. And, by and large, the American people are more than willing to be held in this captive state.
Because to truly know the truth, as opposed to having just an opinion, is to face the awful terror we can no longer evade our responsibility as citizens. It is precisely in moving from belief to knowledge that each of us moves from irresponsibility to responsibility, from hopeless helplessness, to empowered action in the faith of our rational capacity.
Remember this: a real conspiracy can be defined as a collaboration among individuals to engage in criminal or scandalous behavior usually in a secretive manner. There are many blatantly obvious examples in American history involving high government officials, recently Richard Nixon’s Watergate and Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra Affair. The difference between a “conspiracy theory” and a real conspiracy is that the latter is supported by substantial evidence, and the former is reliant on someone simply thinking something up, often with partisan or ideological motivation.
The bona-fide, real, factual evidence in the JFK assassination inevitably points to nothing short of a coup d'état. It’s that simple, and that complex.
About Peter Janney
Author Peter Janney was interviewed on the Aug. 16, 2012 edition of Washington Update Radio on his book Mary's Mosaic:The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer and Their Vision for World Peace. Meyer, the beautiful mother of Janney's best friend while he was growing up in McLean, Virginia, had a torrid affair with then-President Kennedy following her divorce from one of the nation's highest-ranking CIA officers, Cord Meyer. Her ex-husband's job was to manage the nation's media behind-the-scenes. In love with Kennedy, she sought to influence his foreign policy in her own ways.
Her unsolved murder in 1964 has remained highly controversial and unsolved despite -- or perhaps because of -- her position in the nation's thought-leader circles. Her brother-in-law was Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief Ben Bradlee, who undertook a mission immediately after her death to find her still-secret diary to ensure its contents were not disclosed. A Boston Globe feature entitled, Peter Janney on JFK confidante Mary Pinchot Meyer's death is one of relatively few mainstream newspaper treatments so far of the incendiary book. The introduction is by Dick Russell, a longtime investigative reporter whose best-sellers includes books on the Kennedy assassination. Janney is scheduled to speak next March before the McClendon Group at the National Press Club.
Justice Integrity Project Readers Guide To JFK Assassination
* Denotes major articles in this Readers Guide series
At right is a photo by this editor in Dallas showing Dealey Plaza. The Texas Book Depository Building where Oswald worked is behind the row of trees. The car in the center lane is near the location of President Kennedy's limo at the time of his fatal shooting.
- Project Launches JFK Assassination Readers' Guide, Oct. 16, 2013.
- Project Provides JFK Readers Guide To New Books, Videos , Oct. 26, 2013. This is a list of new books and films in 2013.
- Project Lists JFK Assassination Reports, Archives, Videos, Events, Nov. 2, 2013. Leading video, events and archives from the last 50 years. *
- Disputes Erupt Over NY Times, New Yorker, Washington Post Reviews of JFK Murder, Nov. 7, 2013. *
- Self-Censorship In JFK TV Treatments Duplicates Corporate Print Media's Apathy, Cowardice, Nov. 7, 2013.
- 'Puppetry' Hardback Launched Nov. 19 at DC Author Forum on ‘White House Mysteries & Media,' Nov. 19, 2013.
- Major Media Stick With Oswald 'Lone Gunman' JFK Theory, Nov. 27, 2013. Self-censorship.
- JFK Murder Scene Trapped Its Victim In Kill Zone, Nov. 30, 2013.
- JFK Murder, The CIA, and 8 Things Every American Should Know, Dec. 9, 2013. The CIA implicated itself in the cover-up, according to experts who have spoken out. *
- JFK Murder Prompts Expert Reader Reactions, Dec. 19, 2013. Reactions to our Dec. 9 column.
- Have Spy Agencies Co-Opted Presidents and the Press? Dec. 23, 2013. *
- Don't Be Fooled By 'Conspiracy Theory' Smears, May 26, 2014. *
- Experts To Reveal Secrets of JFK Murder, Cover-up at Sept. 26-28 DC Forum , Sept. 5, 2014.
- Washington Post Still Selling Warren Report 50 Years Later, Sept. 22, 2014. *
- JFK Experts To Explode Myths, Sign Books In DC Sept. 26-28, Sept. 24, 2014.
- Former Cuban Militant Leader Claims CIA Meeting With Oswald Before JFK Killing, Sept. 27, 2014. *
- JFK Readers Guide: Assassination Books, Reports, Oct. 15, 2014. *
- Former U.S. House JFK Murder Prober Alleges CIA ‘Lied,’ Seeks Hidden Records, Oct. 18, 2014. *
- The JFK Murder 'Cover-up' Still Matters -- As Does C-SPAN's Coverage, Nov. 11, 2014. *
- JFK, Nov. 22 and the Continuing Cover-Up, Nov. 24, 2014. *
- JFK Assassination Readers Guide To 2013-14 Events, Nov. 28, 2014. *
- CIA, Empowered by JFK Murder Cover-up, Blocks Senate Torture Report, Dec. 1, 2014. *
- Nearly Too Late, Public Learns of Bill Moyers’ Conflicts Over PBS, LBJ, Jan. 2, 2014.
- Why Bill O'Reilly's Lie About JFK's Murder Might Matter To You, March 17, 2015.
Related News Coverage
CIA Document 1035-960, CIA Document 1035-960, Concerning Criticism of the Warren Report, (reformatted via JFK Lancer Publications), From CIA "To Chiefs, Certain Stations and Bases," April 1, 1967. [See also original via Marry Ferrell Archive.]
1. Our Concern. From the day of President Kennedy's assassination on, there has been speculation about the responsibility for his murder. Although this was stemmed for a time by the Warren Commission report, (which appeared at the end of September 1964), various writers have now had time to scan the Commission's published report and documents for new pretexts for questioning, and there has been a new wave of books and articles criticizing the Commission's findings. In most cases the critics have speculated as to the existence of some kind of conspiracy, and often they have implied that the Commission itself was involved. Presumably as a result of the increasing challenge to the Warren Commission's report, a public opinion poll recently indicated that 46% of the American public did not think that Oswald acted alone, while more than half of those polled thought that the Commission had left some questions unresolved. Doubtless polls abroad would show similar, or possibly more adverse results.
3. Action. We do not recommend that discussion of the assassination question be initiated where it is not already taking place. Where discussion is active [business] addresses are requested:
a. To discuss the publicity problem with [?] and friendly elite contacts (especially politicians and editors), pointing out that the Warren Commission made as thorough an investigation as humanly possible, that the charges of the critics are without serious foundation, and that further speculative discussion only plays into the hands of the opposition. Point out also that parts of the conspiracy talk appear to be deliberately generated by Communist propagandists. Urge them to use their influence to discourage unfounded and irresponsible speculation.
b. To employ propaganda assets to [negate] and refute the attacks of the critics. Book reviews and feature articles are particularly appropriate for this purpose. The unclassified attachments to this guidance should provide useful background material for passing to assets. Our ploy should point out, as applicable, that the critics are (I) wedded to theories adopted before the evidence was in, (I) politically interested, (III) financially interested, (IV) hasty and inaccurate in their research, or (V) infatuated with their own theories. In the course of discussions of the whole phenomenon of criticism, a useful strategy may be to single out [Edward Jay] Epstein's theory for attack, using the attached Fletcher [?] article and Spectator piece for background. (Although Mark Lane's book is much less convincing that Epstein's and comes off badly where confronted by knowledgeable critics, it is also much more difficult to answer as a whole, as one becomes lost in a morass of unrelated details.)
Memory Hole, CIA Document 1035-960: Foundation of a Weaponized Term, Dr. James Tracy, Jan. 20, 2013. “Conspiracy theory” is a term that at once strikes fear and anxiety in the hearts of most every public figure, particularly journalists and academics. Since the 1960s the label has become a disciplinary device that has been overwhelmingly effective in defining certain events off limits to inquiry or debate. Especially in the United States raising legitimate questions about dubious official narratives destined to inform public opinion (and thereby public policy) is a major thought crime that must be cauterized from the public psyche at all costs.
Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination, Review of Peter Janney’s 'Mary’s Mosaic,' Part 1, Lisa Pease, June 2012. Peter Janney wrote a book entitled Mary’s Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and their Vision for World Peace. From the subtitle, researchers can be forgiven for thinking that Janney’s book is a serious contribution to our side, as many of us believe that the CIA killed John Kennedy in part because he was trying to end the Cold War and rein in covert operations. But Janney’s book is such a frustrating mix of fact, fiction, speculation and unverifiable data that I cannot recommend this book.
Citizens for Truth about the Kennedy Assassination, Review of 'Mary’s Mosaic,' Part 2: Entering Peter Janney’s World of Fantasy, James DiEugenio, July 2012. After long and careful textual and source analysis, what does this book rely on to advance its theses? It relies on people like Damore and [James]Truitt who, as shown here, simply were not reliable in the state they were in. It relies on a chimerical “diary” that does not exist, and which the best evidence says was really a sketchbook. It relies on so-called CIA documents that are demonstrative fakes originating from a proven forger. It relies on a man like [Dr.Timothy]Leary whose story only surfaced 21 years later after he had somehow missed 25 opportunities to tell it.
Rebuttal: Education Forum, The Autodafé of Lisa Pease and James DiEugenio, Peter Janney Response, July 6, 2012 (also posted on LewRockwell.com). Lisa Pease’s six-page diatribe against me and my recent book Mary’s Mosaic is, at the very least, a marvel of subjective distortion and shoddy criticism, fueled by her own personal vendetta that someone dared not follow her as she, and her partner James DiEugenio, have attempted over the years to appoint themselves as the ultimate “guardians of truth” in all things Kennedy. And as usual, Lisa Pease’s only fallback source in her vain attempts to substantiate anything she writes is James DiEugenio, whom she seems to always regard as unassailable. Together, nothing that these two write can ever be challenged or debated – without one of them launching some kind of personal diatribe against anyone who challenges it, establishing a different opinion.
What’s particularly revealing in Pease’s latest piece of writing is that she first announces to her readers that she “check[s] every fact, . . . dare[ing] the author to prove his case to me,” and then goes on to continue (along with her partner DiEugenio) to make the absurd claim that JFK was not a womanizer, or sexually promiscuous, but always “adorable and sweet,” (quoting Angela Greene). We are now, after years of revelation by such authors as Ralph Martin, Seymour Hersh, Nigel Hamilton, and Presidential historians Michael Beschloss and Robert Dallek – to say nothing of the women who have come forward (the most recent is Mimi Beardsley Alford in 2012) – supposed to go on believing “The Doctrine of Pease and DiEugenio” that this was all just a “Republican Party” or “CIA” plot to discredit President Kennedy. I am not going to try your patience as a reader by writing six pages of rebuttal, though I easily could take issue with every aspect of Pease’s tangled web of claims where she can’t even correctly restate what I wrote. Indeed, it becomes clear that Pease’s greatest talent is attempting to bestow upon her readers her own vitriolic projections that have no basis or understanding of fact. In doing so, she identifies herself as an intolerant critic who must torture (and therefore misconstrue) the facts in an effort to win an argument, so typical of a fanatical mindset that can’t consider any real alternative other than its own projections.
Mary's Mosaic, Introduction, Dick Russell, (author of On the Trail of the JFK Assassins and other books), 2012. Mary had kept a diary. The weekend after her death, a small group of people were said to have gathered at her Georgetown home in search of it. Cord Meyer, her ex-husband and a high official in the CIA, was there. So was James Angleton (right), head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, and his wife Cicely, a close friend of Mary’s. Also present was Tony Bradlee, Mary’s sister and the wife of Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. The story went that none of them could locate Mary’s diary and that her sister had later found it inside a locked steel box containing dozens of letters, including some from the slain president Kennedy. Bradlee had then turned the box over to Angleton, who took the material to CIA headquarters. For more than 20 years, Angleton had been a “spook’s spook” who roamed the Agency corridors looking to ferret out penetrations by the Soviet Union. Then in 1974, a new CIA Director, William Colby, leaked word to the media that Angleton had also been in charge of Operation CHAOS, a domestic intelligence-gathering program that far exceeded the CIA’s original charter. Angleton was forced to resign. Not long thereafter, he began meeting with journalists for the first time, obviously intent on getting his side of certain stories on the record. I was one of them, although I never really understood why Angleton chose to wine and dine me on three occasions at his customary meeting place, Washington’s Army-Navy Club. Now, with Peter Janney’s remarkable book Mary’s Mosaic, the questions that long haunted me have been largely answered. Now I see how Angleton was trying to bend the truth, and why. Not only about Mary Meyer, but about who killed Kennedy, which all but certainly involved the same element of individuals. Those questions had long haunted Janney as well, and in a deeply personal way. For, as a child growing up in close proximity to the Meyer family home in McLean, Virginia, one of the Meyer boys had been his best friend. Peter was himself the son of a high-level CIA official, Wistar Janney. When that son set out on his many-year quest to ascertain who was behind the death of his best friend’s mother – and how this may have been related to the assassination of President Kennedy – the journey was one with many surprising, and heartwrenching, twists and turns.
Inside the AARB, Don't Believe What Jack Tunheim Has To Say About the JFK Assassination, Douglas P. Horne, Nov. 28, 2013. Douglas P. Horne, left, was the Chief Analyst for Military Records from 1995 to 1998 for the Assassinations Records Review Board (AARB) chaired by U.S. District Judge John Tunheim. Jack Tunheim has been running around for years pretending to be an agnostic about the assassination, and trying to avoid expressing his own opinion. It was understandable why he and the other Board Members would pretend to be impartial, neutral, and without bias, while the ARRB was in session; for to do otherwise, might well have politicized and harmed the ARRB's efforts. Since the sunset of the ARRB, I have been increasingly frustrated by Jack Tunheim's continuing effort to avoid giving his own personal opinion about the assassination---but now at least, Tunheim has finally, belatedly shown his true colors.
If you study the evidence yourself, you will find that the Kennedy assassination is like a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle for which 250 pieces have been thrown away, and 250 pieces from the wrong picture puzzle have been substituted in an attempt to intentionally confuse everyone. The real reason the majority of the evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy does not come together is because of fraud in the evidence. By this I mean: (1) a plethora of suppressed autopsy photographs that never made it into the official record; (2) missing skull x-rays, and the sure knowledge that the 3 skull x-rays in the official record today are not originals, but rather are altered copy films; (3) a burned first draft of the autopsy report and a missing first signed version, leading us to the knowledge that the official autopsy report in the Archives today is the third written version of that document; (4) brain photographs in the National Archives that cannot be photos of JFK's brain because they have been disowned by both the official autopsy photographer who took the real brain photos on Nov 25, 1963, and by an FBI agent who was present at the autopsy. These two key witnesses were deposed, ironically, by the ARRB. Of course, none of the five Board Members ever attended even one of the 10 depositions we took of key autopsy witnesses -- they didn't need to, because they already had their minds made up, and had already decided that the Warren Commission had gotten everything right.
Hustler, The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy: How the CIA Set Up Oswald, Mark Lane, October 1978, as excerpted in JFKcountercoup, Oswald and Bucknell & Thornley at El Toro, Oct. 29, 2010. Recently, a former Marine who had served with Oswald in Santa Ana, California, after Oswald had returned from Atsugi, began to talk about his discussions with him. His name is David Bucknell. Regarding Oswald’s tour of duty in Japan, Bucknell can only report what Oswald recounted to him. However, he was involved directly with Oswald in an intelligence effort when they both were at MACS-9.
Catching Our Attention on other Security, Justice, Media & Integrity Issues
Bill Moyers.com The End Game for Democracy, Dec. 21, 2013. In one short, eloquent statement, Bill Moyers hits all the right points. Bill Moyers says the parody and satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert pay Washington the disrespect it deserves, but in the end it’s the city’s predatory mercenaries who have the last laugh.
Huffington Post, Inside the President's Review Group: Protecting Security and Liberty, Geoffrey R. Stone, Dec. 21, 2013. Professor of law and former provost, University of Chicago. On August 27, President Obama met in the White House Situation Room with the five members of his newly appointed Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. The members were Richard Clarke, a former member of the National Security Council; Michael Morell, a former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency; Cass Sunstein, a former Director of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs; Peter Swire, a former Chief Counselor for Privacy in the Office of Management and Budget; and me. Our charge was to submit a formal report to the President by December 15, 2013, advising him on how the United States can better employ its foreign intelligence surveillance capabilities in a way that effectively protects our national security. The five members of the Review Group unanimously agreed on every one of our 46 recommendations.
Washington Post, U.S. aid helps Colombia kill rebels, Secret CIA program has helped cripple FARC forces, Dana Priest, Dec. 21, 2013. The previously undisclosed CIA program, which includes substantial eavesdropping help from the NSA, has provided intelligence for airstrikes and GPS kits to guide smart bombs, officials say.
Washington Post, Americans uneasy about surveillance but often use snooping tools online, Marc Fisher and Craig Timberg, Dec. 21, 2013. A Post poll finds nearly seven in 10 Americans are concerned about how much information is collected.
Washington Post, U.S. reasserts need to keep NSA details secret, Ellen Nakashima, Dec. 21, 2013. The U.S. government reaffirms its claim of state-secrets privilege to keep under wraps what it says are operational details in lawsuits alleging that NSA surveillance of e-mails and phone calls is unlawful. The government Friday reasserted its claim of state-secrets privilege to keep under wraps what it says are operational details in two long-running lawsuits alleging the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans’ e-mails and phone calls is unlawful. Federal officials also for the first time publicly acknowledged that President George W. Bush in 2001 authorized sweeping collections of Americans’ phone and Internet data — programs that operated for years solely under executive power before being brought under court and congressional oversight. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper, left, said in a court filing Friday that Bush authorized the collection efforts on Oct. 4, 2001, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.