David Kirkpatrick

October 21, 2009

Big Brother puts money and eyeballs into web 2.0

Via KurzweilAI.net — Something to think about before you go masquerading as an international terrorist again …

U.S. Spies Buy Stake in Firm That Monitors Blogs, Tweets

Wired Danger Room, Oct. 19, 2009

In-Q-Tel, the investment arm of the CIA and the widerintelligence community, is putting cash into Visible Technologies, a software firm that specializes in monitoring social media, part of a larger movement within the spy services to get better at using open-sourceintelligence.

Visible crawls over half a million web 2.0 sites a day, scraping more than a million posts and conversations taking place on blogs, online forums, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and Amazon.

Read Original Article>>

October 9, 2009

Cloud computing in D.C.

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:40 pm

CIO.com carried two stories today on cloud computing in Washington. The first covers a cloud computing conference in D.C. going on this week, and the second covers an endorsement of cloud computing by the CIA for internal use.

From the second link:

One of the U.S. government’s strongest advocates of cloud computing is also one of its most secretive operations: the Central Intelligence Agency. But the CIA has adopted cloud computing in a big way, and the agency believes that the cloud approach makes IT environments more flexible and secure.

Jill Tummler Singer, the CIA’s deputy CIO, says that she sees enormous benefits to a cloud approach. And while the CIA has been moving steadily to build a cloud-friendly infrastructure — it has adopted virtualization, among other things — cloud computing is still a relatively new idea among federal agencies.

“Cloud computing as a term really didn’t hit our vocabulary until a year ago,” said Singer.

But now that the CIA is building an internal cloud, Singer sees numerous benefits. For example, a cloud approach could bolster security , in part, because it entails the use of a standards-based environment that reduces complexity and allows faster deployment of patches.

“By keeping the cloud inside your firewalls, you can focus your strongest intrusion-detection and -prevention sensors on your perimeter, thus gaining significant advantage over the most common attack vector, the Internet,” said Singer.

August 12, 2009

Bush 43, torture and incompetence

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:39 am

These three grafs areprobably all you need to read on the genesis of the Cheney/Bush torture program and exactly how ill conceived and amatuer the whole operation was in terms of execution, and more importantly, legality.

The damage done to the United States is still an untold story, and the legitimacy our use of torture has already given despotic governments around the world is reason enough to spend time and resources to uncover the entire illegal program.

From the link:

Jim Mitchell and Bruce Jessen were military retirees and psychologists, on the lookout for business opportunities. They found an excellent customer in the Central Intelligence Agency, where in 2002 they became the architects of the most important interrogationprogram in the history of American counterterrorism.

They had never carried out a real interrogation, only mock sessions in the military training they had overseen. They had no relevant scholarship; their Ph.D. dissertations were on high blood pressure and family therapy. They had no language skills and no expertise on Al Qaeda.

But they had psychology credentials and an intimate knowledge of a brutal treatment regimen used decades ago by Chinese Communists. For an administration eager to get tough on those who had killed 3,000 Americans, that was enough.

July 12, 2009

Is Dick Cheney sweating yet?

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:55 pm

He should be. If nothing else, Obama has shown a great propensity to allow circumstances to ferment to the point he is totally removed from the ultimate result. Cheney is nearing the end of long, slow walk.

From the link:

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions the next day.

Efforts to reach Mr. Cheney through relatives and associates were unsuccessful.

July 9, 2009

Bush-era CIA lied to Congress

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:29 am

Disappointing but not surprising.

Guess someone owes Pelosi an apology. She’s annoying, but certainly called a spade a spade when accusing the CIA of dissembling.

From the link:

In a June 26 letter to Mr. Panetta discussing his testimony, Democrats said that the agency had “misled members” of Congress for eight years about the classified matters, which the letter did not disclose. “This is similar to other deceptions of which we are aware from other recent periods,” said the letter, made public late Wednesday by Representative Rush D. Holt, Democrat of New Jersey, one of the signers.

In an interview, Mr. Holt declined to reveal the nature of the C.I.A.’s alleged deceptions,. But he said, “We wouldn’t be doing this over a trivial matter.”

April 7, 2009

Medicine and torture

As more and more details on the Bush 43 administration’s unprecedented use of torture come to light, most Americans will experience increasing outrage  I’ve been blogging on the topic since essentially day one of this blog, and I’m still shocked by the level of deception administration officials presented Americans while violating the Constitution, United States law and international law.

Implementing torture is a stain on our history that must be brought into the open and dealt with. No less than the national honor of the United States is at stake.

This particular detail is one more heartbreaking element to an already soiled tale.

From the second link:

Medical personnel were deeply involved in the abusive interrogation of terrorist suspects held overseas by the Central Intelligence Agency, including torture, and their participation was a “gross breach of medical ethics,” a long-secret report by the International Committee of the Red Cross concluded.

And to make the unthinkable even worse:

Facilitating such practices, which the Red Cross described as torture, was a violation of medical ethics even if the medical workers’ intentions had been to prevent death or permanent injury, the report said. But it found that the medical professionals’ role was primarily to support the interrogators, not to protect the prisoners, and that the professionals had “condoned and participated in ill treatment.”

At times, according to the detainees’ accounts, medical workers “gave instructions to interrogators to continue, to adjust or to stop particular methods.”

March 2, 2009

CIA destroys evidence of war crimes

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:52 pm

This is just shameful. Large parts of the Bush 43 years will forever be seen as some of the darkest days in U.S. history. Our president utterly failed the American people and the moral fabric of our nation.

From the link:

 The Central Intelligence Agency destroyed 92 videotapes documenting the harsh interrogations of two Al Qaeda suspects in C.I.A. detention, a greater number of destroyed tapes than the government had previously acknowledged.

The revelation came in a letter filed Monday by federal prosecutors who are investigating the destruction of the tapes by the agency’s officers, which occurred in November 2005.

It had been previously known that officials of the agency had destroyed hundreds of hours of videotaped interrogations, but the documents filed Monday reveal the number of tapes for the first time.

The tapes had been held inside a safe in the C.I.A. station in Thailand, the country where two Al Qaeda suspects — Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — were interrogated.

The filing of the documents on Monday, submitted to a court in New York as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, comes as federal prosecutors are wrapping up the investigation into the matter.

August 7, 2008

CIA is upgrading its info tech

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:18 pm

This link is to part two of the CIO.com look into the IT makeover at the Central Intelligence Agency:

The CIA is undergoing a major transformation, and IT is playing a leading role. In Part 2 of our inside look at the agency, CIA employees describe the environment pre- and post-9/11, and the massive changes that resulted from that day’s tragic events. Like other government agencies, the CIA and its IT department were unprepared for the intense change that was to come. (See “Inside the CIA’s Extreme Technology Makeover, Part 1” to read the first part in our series.)