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Tag: CIA

Hawkish CIA Director Pompeo May Replace Tillerson As Secretary of State

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

If all goes as planned, hawkish CIA Director Mike Pompeo will leave his post to become President Trump’s next secretary of state, replacing Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with the White House has become strained.

The New York Times also reports that Pompeo likely would be succeeded at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican who has aligned himself with the president on national security issues. 

Trump has not officially approved the plan, which was pitched by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly.

Pompeo, a hard-line former Congressman from the Tea Party wing of the party, has expressed more hawkish views toward Iran, North Korea and other prominent issues.

A West Point graduate, Pompeo has been unusually vociferous and political for a CIA director, soft-pedaling the link between Trump’s campaign and Russia and endorsing regime change in North Korea. 

Sen. Tim Cotton

Some questions remain about whether Cotton would be tapped to become the CIA director. He’s a strong ally on immigration and national security, but Republicans are hesitant to put a Senate seat in play during what could be disastrous mid-term elections for the party.

When asked by Fox News whether he’d take the CIA position, Cotton didn’t answer directly. 

“I’m very proud to be representing the people of Arkansas,” he said.

The New York Times reports that another potential candidate for the top CIA post is Robert S. Harward, a retired Navy vice admiral who turned down the national security position after Michael T. Flynn’s abrupt departure.

5 Wild Discoveries in Release of John F. Kennedy Files

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The release of more than 2,800 records related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy revealed some unexpected and wild information about spies, surveillance, informants and assassination plots.

Here are five of those findings:

Money offered to kill Castro

A 1964 FBI memo revealed the U.S. offered Cuban exiles $100,000 to kill dictator Fidel Castro, $20,000 for Raul Castro and $20,000 for Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Initially, Cuban exiles initially suggested a larger reward while in a meeting with U.S. officials.

“It was felt that the $150,000 to assassinate FIDEL CASTRO plus $5,000 expense money was too high,” the memo noted.

Russia: VP Lyndon Johnson behind assassination

Russian sources in the KGB insisted it had “data” that showed Vice President Lyndon Johnson was responsible for the assassination of JFK.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover sent a top secret memo to the White House that claimed the assassination was a “well-organized conspiracy.” 

The 1966 memo cited a Russian mole who claimed the assassination was am “ultra-right” plot to create a “coup.”

“They seemed convinced that the assassination was not the deed of one man, but it arose out of a carefully planned campaign in which several people played a part,’” said the memo.

Bizarre schemes to kill Castro

The U.S. considered some wild schemes to kill Castro, including an underwater, “booby-trapped spectacular shell” that “would be loaded with explosives” to blow up Castro when her went diving.

“After investigation it was determined that there was no shell in the Caribbean area large enough to hold a sufficient amount of explosive which was spectacular enough to attract the attention of Castro.”

Other assassination plots included contaminating Castro’s diving suit, giving him botulism in his food and sending a lone gunman to shoot the dictator.

“The plans involved a number of bizarre schemes and, in at least one instance, involved some contact with organized criminal elements. Among the means considered were poison, botulism pills, and the use of Cuban Exile groups,” said one intelligence report on Cuba.

Johnson a member of the KKK?

An informant told the FBI in May 1964 that the KKK “had documented proof that President Johnson was formerly a member of the Klan in Texas during the early days of his political career.” 

No documented proof was provided to back up the claims.

Johnson, some say reluctantly, pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to outlaw racial discrimination.

Sex parties involving JFK

A 1960 memo suggests a Los Angeles private investigator approached a “high-priced Hollywood call-girl” for information about sex parties involving then Senator John F. Kennedy, his brother-in-law actor Peter Lawford, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

The memo read: The memo read: “She told the agents that she was unaware of any indiscretions.”

Thousands of Undisclosed Documents on JFK Assassination to Be Released

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

More than 3,000 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are expected to be released by the federal government Thursday.

President Trump said he doesn’t plan to prevent the release of the documents, which include repots from the CIA and FBI.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Trump tweeted Saturday.

The disclosure is long overdue, said Boston University professor and presidential historian Tom Whalen.

“It might cause some embarrassments to the intelligence agencies because J. Edgar Hoover, who ran the FBI, in previously released documents basically admitted the FBI screwed up on November 22. Lee Harvey Oswald shouldn’t have been a country mile of the presidential motorcade. They should have detained him but the intelligence agencies were not communicating to one another,” he told CBS.http://boston.cbslocal.com/2017/10/22/jfk-documents-release-fbi-cia/

A 1992 law, known as the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act, called for the release on the 25th anniversary of the law.

Hacker Who Harassed FBI, CIA Directors Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison

Justin Liverman, via LinkedIn.

Justin Liverman, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A hacker who exposed private online accounts of the directors of the CIA and FBI, among others, in 2015 has been sentenced to five years in prison.

The Washington Post reports that 23-year-old Justin Liverman harassed leaders at the CIA and FBI and was a member of the “Crackas With Attitude” collective. 

The accounts were breached by a British teenager impersonating officials. Liverman and a co-defendant harassed the victims with the exposed information.

The harassment included threatening and explicit phone messages.

Co-defendant Andrew Otto Boggs was sentenced to two years in prison, and the British teenager is being prosecuted in his country.

Trump: ‘Everyone’ at G-20 Is Talking about DNC’s Handling of Cyberattacks

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At the G-20 summit in Germany, President Trump claimed “everyone here is talking about” how Democrats handled cyberattacks during last year’s presidential election. 

It’s unclear why leaders of the world’s wealthiest and developing countries would be caught up in old election news at a gathering designed to promote international financial stability. What’s more likely is that Trump is trying to divert attention away from a very active investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia to meddle in the election. 

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump claimed “everyone is talking about why John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI and the CIA. Disgraceful!”

On Thursday, Trump used the international stage to slam America’s intelligence agencies, the Democratic National Committee, the media, Russia and former President Obama.

Trump Continues to Smear FBI, CIA And Urges Congress to Hear from Carter Page

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

Carter Page, former campaign advisor for Donald Trump.

By Steve Neavling 
ticklethewire.com

President Trump continues to undermine testimony by the directors of the FBI and CIA, saying congressional members investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia should hear from one of his former advisers, Carter Page.

According to Trump’s narrative, he is the victim of a “witch hunt” by disgruntled Democrats who are looking for excuses for losing the presidential election. But even sources inside his administration say the president is looking for any excuse to undermine what is a serious, fact-based investigation. 

Trump wants Page to testify about what he described as faulty testimony from the U.S. intelligence community.

“So now it is reported that the Democrats, who have excoriated Carter Page about Russia, don’t want him to testify. He blows away their case against him & now wants to clear his name by showing ‘the false or misleading testimony by James Comey, John Brennan…’ Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted, referring to the former directors of the FBI and CIA.

Despite the president’s insistence on smearing the investigation, the White House said Wednesday it won’t respond to anymore questions about the investigation.

Democrats fired back, saying James Comey was ousted as FBI director in an attempt to disrupt an investigation that some experts said could lead to Trump’s impeachment.

Why Jared Kushner May Become Key Focus of Trump-Russia Investigation

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the CIA director began to notice in the spring of last year that the Russians were trying to influence the presidential election, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner met with senior Russians.

Now the FBI is focusing on a series of those meetings held by Kushner, who investigators believe may be key to helping them understand if the campaign was colluding with the Kremlin, The Washington Post reports. 

In a hearing on Russia on Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan explained why he was worried about collusion.

“Having been involved in many counterintelligence cases in the past, I know what the Russians try to do,” Brenna said. “They try to suborn individuals, and they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to try to act on their behalf, either wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons.”

As Brennan kept watch, he was alarmed by the number of people tied to Trump meeting with the Russians. They were Michael Flynn, now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Kushner, among others.

Since April 2016, Kushner met at least twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

And that is why Kushner has caught the attention of investigators.

Ex-CIA Director: Russia May Have Recruited Trump Aides to Influence Election

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during Tuesday's congressional hearing. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during Tuesday’s congressional hearing. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan said publicly for the first time that he suspected the Russian government may have successfully recruited aides from Donald Trump’s campaign to help influence the presidential election.  

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals,” Brennan told members of the House Intelligence Committee. “It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

But Brennan said he left office in January before having enough evidence to determine “whether such collusion existed.”

Members of the House Intelligence Committee during the Brennan testimony. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee during the Brennan testimony. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Brennan, who served as CIA chief during the Obama administration from 2013-2017, said he briefed congressional leaders in August about the “full details” of his suspicions that Russia was trying to influence the presidential election.

“They were very aggressive,” Brennan told lawmakers.

Brennan also criticized Trump for recently sharing classified information with Russian officials, describing the leaks as “very, very damaging … and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down.”

The hearing, which was ongoing when this story was published, is intended to dig up information about the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russia.

After the hearing, Brennan will meet with lawmakers behind closed doors to provide information he couldn’t in the open session.

Watch the testimony here.