Bob Collins and Exempt from Disclosure

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Postby ryguy » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:58 pm

Excerpts from Carl Bernstein's famous 1977 article entitled "The CIA & The Media" from Rolling Stone, 10/20/77:

The history of the CIA's involvement with the American press continues to be shrouded by an official policy of obfuscation and deception for the following principal reasons:

The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA. Although the agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 (primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalists are still posted abroad.

Further investigation into the matter, CIA officials say, would inevitably reveal a series of embarrassing relationships in the 1950's and 1960's with some of the most powerful organizations and individuals in American journalism.

[...]

Appropriately, the CIA uses the term 'reporting' to describe much of what cooperating journalists did for the Agency. "We would ask them, 'Will you do us a favor?'" said a senior CIA official. "'We understand you're going to be in Yugoslavia. Have they paved all the streets? Where did you see planes? Were there any signs of military presence? How many Soviets did you see? If you happen to meet a Soviet, get his name and spell it right....Can you set up a meeting for us? Or arrange a message?'" Many CIA officials regarded these helpful journalists as operatives: the journalists tended to see themselves as trusted friends of the Agency who performed occasional favors -- usually without pay -- in the national interest.

[...]

... From the Agency's perspective, there is nothing untoward in such relationships, and any ethical questions are a matter for the journalistic profession to resolve, not the intelligence community ... .

[....]

- Legitimate, accredited staff members of news organizations - usually reporters. Some were paid; some worked for the Agency on a purely voluntary basis.

- Stringers and freelancers. Most were payrolled by the Agency under standard contractual terms.

- Employees of so-called CIA "proprietaries." During the past twenty-five years, the Agency has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers -- both English and foreign language -- which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives.

- Columnists and commentators. There are perhaps a dozen well-known columnists and broadcast commentators whose relationships with the CIA go far beyond those normally maintained between reporters and their sources. They are referred to at the Agency as "known assets" and can be counted on to perform a variety of undercover tasks; they are considered receptive to the Agency"s point of view on various subjects.



Interesting huh? Columnists and commentators? I repeat the quote:

"The use of journalists has been among the most productive means of intelligence-gathering employed by the CIA. Although the agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 (primarily as a result of pressure from the media), some journalists are still posted abroad."

In addition I would wager that not only have journalists been the most productive means of intel-gathering, but also disinfo-distributing.

Witting or unwitthing? I guess it doesn't matter... but it does mean that if you don't appropriately verify the information you are provided - you run the risk of being labelled one of those dreaded "disinfo-agents".

Whether the "service" is for the benefit of the U.S. Government - or a private group of ex-intelligence folks with their own personal motives - is another discussion entirely.

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Postby Shawnna » Thu Dec 13, 2007 6:28 pm

Interesting post Ry...... and very much in line with the book I'm currently reading - "Lost History" by Robert Parry. And while this focuses on the Contras/Cocaine angle, substitute any other topic you like - the methods are the same.

From page 12 of his introduction - bold emphasis mine:

The core idea was to enable the government to manipulate how the American people perceived US-supported counterinsurgency operations around the world. To minimize critical information, this tough "public diplomacy" apparatus challenged independent-minded journalists, congressmen and citizens groups. Meanwhile, military "psy-war" experts were assigned to develop "themes" for generating public support for foreign conflicts, to analyze what excited or frightened the American people.

{snip}

Soon, it became clear to reporters and other Washington figures that telling the truth about national security secrets could be dangerous to one's earning potentisl. Fewer and fewer journalists would take those chances at a time when plum assignments in Washington carried lucrative rewards, from a high salary to moonlighting deals on TV pundit shows.

{snip}

The writing was on the wall. As a reporter for The Associated Press, Newsweek and the Public Broadcasting System's FRONTLINE program in the 1980s and early 1990s, I witnessed first-hand how Washington powerbrokers perfected these skills for managing unpleasant facts and shaping national perceptions. I also was one of the reporters who tried to resist the pressures.
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Postby ryguy » Thu Dec 13, 2007 7:24 pm

:shock:
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Postby Access Denied » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:19 pm

ryguy wrote:
Access Denied wrote:
ryguy wrote:Yes...but what do you call it when a journalist attempts to leak information on a secret program they *think* exists, but it doesn't?

Disinformation.

LOL....exactly. :)

[of the UNOFFICIAL kind that is] ;)
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Postby Gary » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:14 pm

Yes - and it is this behavior which I am, frankly, sick and tired of. And reporting the tap-dance as though it is true without first checking for that "evidence to the contrary" bothers me. Journalists typically will attempt to verify a claim - and while reporting the statement of "source #1", will also follow up with "calls were placed to the Justice Department to confirm such an investigation took place, and we were told there was no such investigation is, or was, in progress."




Ryan -- apparently you are not aware that I did contact the FBI re: contacts with several sources, including the primary and secondary sources?

Gary,

Please call me if with your concerns on this issue. You are correct in
that there are some guidelines that must be followed for contact but, I
am not comfortable detailing those here.

Special Agent xxx xxxxxx
Joint Terrorism Task Force
Minneapolis, MN
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Postby ryguy » Fri Dec 14, 2007 4:49 pm

Gary wrote:Ryan -- apparently you are not aware that I did contact the FBI re: contacts with several sources, including the primary and secondary sources?

***
Gary,

Please call me if with your concerns on this issue. You are correct in
that there are some guidelines that must be followed for contact but, I
am not comfortable detailing those here.

Special Agent xxx xxxxxx
Joint Terrorism Task Force
Minneapolis, MN

***

Yes - you mentioned that...however his response indicates that you simply asked about some protocol (nothing specific, his answer could be about anything) - not about the allegations that an interview with a particular person took place or that any specific investigation was actually real.

So no...I don't see that as indication that you verified anything. I see it as indication that you contacted the FBI about a general topic like - "What guidelines should I follow when interacting with folks from the DNI or other intelligence agencies?" - and got a general answer back. However if you can prove otherwise, I would be very, very, very, very happy. All vagueness does is produce intrigue, it doesn't answer questions.

-Ry
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Postby murnut » Fri Dec 14, 2007 7:37 pm

ryguy wrote:
Gary wrote:Ryan -- apparently you are not aware that I did contact the FBI re: contacts with several sources, including the primary and secondary sources?

***
Gary,

Please call me if with your concerns on this issue. You are correct in
that there are some guidelines that must be followed for contact but, I
am not comfortable detailing those here.

Special Agent xxx xxxxxx
Joint Terrorism Task Force
Minneapolis, MN

***

Yes - you mentioned that...however his response indicates that you simply asked about some protocol (nothing specific, his answer could be about anything) - not about the allegations that an interview with a particular person took place or that any specific investigation was actually real.

So no...I don't see that as indication that you verified anything. I see it as indication that you contacted the FBI about a general topic like - "What guidelines should I follow when interacting with folks from the DNI or other intelligence agencies?" - and got a general answer back. However if you can prove otherwise, I would be very, very, very, very happy. All vagueness does is produce intrigue, it doesn't answer questions.

-Ry


I mean no disrespect Ry, but you don't really know what Gary did or did not verify. Or maybe you do.
I am an avid reader of Gary's material, and I have never once questioned his Journalistic Integrity. I really don't know your backround, I have no desire to criticize you, but I am dismayed slightly on your criticism of Gary's work.

The subject matter Gary reports on forces some degree of vagueness, don't you agree?
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Postby Gary » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:22 am

ryguy wrote:
Gary wrote:Ryan -- apparently you are not aware that I did contact the FBI re: contacts with several sources, including the primary and secondary sources?

***
Gary,

Please call me if with your concerns on this issue. You are correct in
that there are some guidelines that must be followed for contact but, I
am not comfortable detailing those here.

Special Agent xxx xxxxxx
Joint Terrorism Task Force
Minneapolis, MN

***

Yes - you mentioned that...however his response indicates that you simply asked about some protocol (nothing specific, his answer could be about anything) - not about the allegations that an interview with a particular person took place or that any specific investigation was actually real.

So no...I don't see that as indication that you verified anything. I see it as indication that you contacted the FBI about a general topic like - "What guidelines should I follow when interacting with folks from the DNI or other intelligence agencies?" - and got a general answer back. However if you can prove otherwise, I would be very, very, very, very happy. All vagueness does is produce intrigue, it doesn't answer questions.

-Ry


Hi Ryan,

The inquiry was about proper authorization for CIA/DIA domestic intelligence collection for specific individuals.

As for the rules of journalism, we have been clear that our purpose is to collect intelligence [see my article "Spies Like Us"].

We have also been clear that the source for the information was the leaked messages; we have not made any statements to guarantee the veracity of the information within the messages.

Gary
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Postby caryn » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:41 am

I have to say that I’m also a little dismayed, Ryan. I don’t quite understand why you’re in attack mode re: Gary.


As a rule of thumb, we attempt to obtain at least 3 sources for verification of any given event reported. As I’m sure you’re aware yourself, there are oft times when the sources are in a degree of conflict. We don’t make the final judgement on whose versions of events seem more credible - publicly at least. You might prefer to make that call, and that’s your prerogative of course.

But as Gary has stated above…the point of reference in this particular instance are a number of email exchanges between three individuals. Self-contained and self-explanatory. No one is making any claims regarding the veracity of the content, that wasn’t our main point of interest.
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Postby ryguy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:21 am

I understand the dismay.

My simple answer is this....for the past year, or more, we've had the honor of being made aware of more of the background of the articles Gary has written (I'm sure that'll end shortly). Thanks, in large part, to our good friend Caryn. Over time I've come to recognize that there is a great deal of implied credibility given to two major "sources", implied as official insider sources....

I've realized, over time, that the vagueness of his articles, whether intentional or not, has lead a great number of folks to read much more into particular events than should be read....the polygraph "confrontation" is an excellent example, as are reports of alleged involvement of official agencies such as the FBI. And whether it is the intention of Starstream Research or not - this "implied" credibility and implied veracity of stories such as FBI or Justice Department involvement, or even interest - leads a great number of people to assume that Gary writing that there is such official interest must make it true.

I am taking a stand here and saying that I know for a fact that it isn't. The FBI and the Justice Department have ZERO INTEREST in this soap opera....and your Source #2 is dissembling when he implies that the FBI has any sort of interest in this particular topic (such as the activities of source #1).

I am sick of these vague intrigue-creating stories feeding the intrigue that the core-scammer group desires in order for their stories to gain steam. Feeding that "intrigue" helps that group.

I am calling the bluff of Source #2. There is ZERO FBI and/or Justice Department involvement or interest in these activities. All interviews of Source #2 have been on OTHER topics, not anything to do with the Soap Opera and they also have NO INTEREST in the activities of Source #1. If I'm wrong - then prove me wrong.

I'm sick of the melodrama...and yes, I'm angry for reasons that go beyond this one topic (not at Gary, or Starstream, but at the sources and the scammers in general), and I hope we can elaborate on it more in the near future.

-Ry
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Postby ryguy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:05 am

murnut wrote:I mean no disrespect Ry, but you don't really know what Gary did or did not verify. Or maybe you do.


No disrespect taken - I have great respect for your opinion.

In several important cases I do. In a very recent case involving reported FBI allegedly "interviewing" one of the sources, I asked Gary directly - because I'd had my own "calling-the-bluff" episode with the same source and was able to verify to my own (and Steve's) satisfaction that the story was another half-truth. The interview was about an unrelated topic, and the FBI had/has no interest in the particular soap opera topic at hand, which had to do with activities/statements of Source #1.

In fact, in that case I'd written a public email to Jack's list on the topic, and then a private email to both sources with a strongly-worded statement about my own interactions with Source #1. Source #2 told me he thought the FBI would have an interest in my statement - could he forward? I said no...that any official contact with me should be direct, he could give them my contact info - in fact we have a great deal which I'd love to share with them. He claimed he'd given them my contact info and that I may or may not be contacted shortly. I warned that any contact by anyone posing as a federal agent would be followed up with a direct call to FBI HQ for verification. I enabled caller-id and anonymous call blocking on my home and cellphones. No phonecall.


I am an avid reader of Gary's material, and I have never once questioned his Journalistic Integrity. I really don't know your backround, I have no desire to criticize you, but I am dismayed slightly on your criticism of Gary's work.


I understand, and I'm dismayed by my own anger about this....and I do not mean to imply Gary is willingly doing anything wrong - I've just noticed lately the detriment caused by the vagueness of the articles referencing certain official interest which in many cases we've checked on, and has proven to be untrue. The detriment is the viral belief spread among those who need to believe there is a great deal of covert official activity going on regarding these topics and these sources....well there isn't.

There's one aspect of official interest which has to do with fringe technology research - and that's it. No one in the government cares how many domestic "contacts" source #1 has (inside or outside ufology)....in fact it's encouraged as part of their domestic intel collection. So why on earth would the FBI even bat an eyelash? Easy answer - they don't.

The subject matter Gary reports on forces some degree of vagueness, don't you agree?


No...I humbly disagree with that statement. The subject matter we all work on demands even higher levels of verification, given the number of con-artists prevalent in the field, and the level of controversy surrounding all of these issues. Vagueness only serves to discombobulate stories that demand the most specific and clear story-telling of any sort of news story. Otherwise we simply have more confusion, more misunderstanding, and even more controversy. Good for traffic - bad for learning the truth.

However Marnut - you make a good point without even stating it. At least Gary is trying...at least he's publishing stories meant to inform in the best way he knows how.

So I will step off my soapbox - I've said my piece, and I will go back to my laptop, and cellphone, and notepad....and go back to relative silence until it's our turn to tell another version of the story...hopefully to a level of specificity that I've demanded of Gary. With my luck - we won't even live up to my own standards. Wouldn't that be a riot? Then people can have a good go at us. Wouldn't be the first time.

Cheers,
-Ry
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Postby caryn » Sun Dec 16, 2007 1:44 pm

Feeling better after that?

“No one in the government cares how many domestic "contacts" source #1 has (inside or outside ufology)....in fact it's encouraged as part of their domestic intel collection”

Hasn’t that been pointed out to you a number of times by others, Ryan?

I do understand your frustrations – but snapping at everyone will only alienate you, ultimately. The one thing I’ve learnt on my journey into the seedy world of Ufology; if you can’t retain a sense of humour you’d do better to find a more conducive hobby.
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Postby ryguy » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:31 pm

caryn wrote:Feeling better after that?

“No one in the government cares how many domestic "contacts" source #1 has (inside or outside ufology)....in fact it's encouraged as part of their domestic intel collection”

Hasn’t that been pointed out to you a number of times by others, Ryan?


No - actually the opposite (that such agencies do care about the soap-opera shenanigans, and that they are involved) has been insinuated a number of times by "others", Caryn. Here's an example:

From http://stargate007.blogspot.com/2007/09/secrets-revealed-mr-smiths-spy-games.html:

At issue: Smith's allegations that a meeting with physicist Robert Park arranged by Smith at the request of Dr. Ronald S. Pandolfi was about potential misuse of government resources for research into high-frequency gravity waves.


We are concerned about this series of 'leaks' given that in the original email message we received from Mr. Smith, some of the email addresses appear to have originated with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). The addresses in question are @dia.mil


lol....concerned why? Because the emails with a personal opinion in them were sent from a work email account?? We get emails at least weekly from email addresses originating from DIA, AF, and other agencies - none of them reflect any interest in any of the sort of drama presented in these articles. Most interest is solely fringe technology and foreign involvement in those fields. Period. Last time the FBI was involved in this nonesense was when they were trapped into investigating the MJ12 docs in the mid 80's (around about the time Rick was "retired" from the Air Force) and dubbed them completely and thoroughly bogus. They've learned not to touch the antics of these circus freaks with a 10 foot pole ever since. Even though certain folks keep trying to suck them into it again...

I do understand your frustrations – but snapping at everyone will only alienate you, ultimately. The one thing I’ve learnt on my journey into the seedy world of Ufology; if you can’t retain a sense of humour you’d do better to find a more conducive hobby.


Good advice...I think I might just do that. I don't have much of a sense of humor lately given the b.s. that's been feeding a general "build-up" lately where certain positioning is taking place. I can see what's coming, as I'm sure you can as well. I don't think there's anything funny about it.

-Ry
Last edited by ryguy on Sun Dec 16, 2007 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby murnut » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:42 pm

However Murnut - you make a good point without even stating it. At least Gary is trying...at least he's publishing stories meant to inform in the best way he knows how.


I know what you are saying Ry, all around the subject is frustrating.

I just think Gary is one of the good guys.

Why are these intel types f'ing with us? Co-intel? Looking for real leakers?

They seem to go out of go out of their way to do this.

BTW,

I met with Leslie Kean last night in NYC with about 60 -70 others.

I gotta say I was extremely impressed with her.

I plan on writing a report on my first UFO type of event, maybe I will have it ready later today or tomorrow.

Keep in mind, I am not a writer.

P.S. Instead of releasing your whole report at once, why not release in chapters?
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Postby murnut » Sun Dec 16, 2007 5:57 pm

I can see what's coming, as I'm sure you can as well. I don't think there's anything funny about it.


Now who's being vague...lol.

I see so many things coming, anyone of which would not shock me.

And no, none of it is funny.
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