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Internet Searches Reveal CIA's Secrets 284

GabrielF writes "In another blow to the reputation of the agency that just can't seem to get anything right, the Chicago Tribune used web searches and various commercial online databases to uncover a treasure trove of information about the CIA. The Tribune found the identities of over 2600 CIA employees (including an undisclosed number of covert operatives) as well as the locations of over two dozen CIA facilities across the U.S., internal telephone numbers, and information on 17 aircraft."
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Internet Searches Reveal CIA's Secrets

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  • by mysticwhiskey ( 569750 ) <mystic_whiskey AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:27AM (#14901857)
    Don't worry, damage control is by default in effect as most people won't bother registering with the Chicago Tribune's website to read the story. ;)
    • by forgotten_my_nick ( 802929 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:29AM (#14901861)
      I was about to say the same thing. But try this link its via google.

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi -060311ciamain-story,1,123362.story?coll=chi-news- hed [chicagotribune.com]

      This one was interesting too.
      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi -0512250424dec25,1,7168647.story [chicagotribune.com]

      Nice to see no expenses spared for kidnapping someone.

      • Google reveals its own secrets through the search "military automated":
        http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=military+aut omated [google.com]

        What does the "Google Factory" have to do with military? :-)
      • Appears the newspaper is a bit anal when it comes to displaying the news. Do a google search as follows. First link is the story. Works fine that way.

        http://news.google.com/news?q=cia%20chicago%20trib une&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.moz illa:en-US:official&percentage_served=100&sa=N&tab =wn [google.com]
    • by rbarreira ( 836272 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:34AM (#14901869) Homepage
      BugMeNot [bugmenot.com] rules! If you install the firefox extension (I think there's also an IE one), all you have to do is right click on one of the authentication text boxes and press "Login with BugMeNot"...
    • There is this fantastic site that keps a copy of sesveral, ahem, "public" accounts for common websites so you dontt need to register. Anyone recall that site?
  • Disinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SkankinMonkey ( 528381 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:30AM (#14901862)
    But how are they sure it's not disinformation setup by these organizations to throw people off the trail? I don't have much faith in our government, but I don't think the Intelligence Agencies are that stupid.
    • Re:Disinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:42AM (#14901886)
      After further thinking, you might realize that it is no better if your statement is true because innocents might get into trouble by being falsely identified as CIA agents. In one way or another, it is stupid.
    • Re:Disinformation (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gori ( 526248 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:01AM (#14901911) Homepage
      Indeed, check this story out : http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/02/19/gen.strategi c.influence/ [cnn.com] They explicitly say :
      Although "information deception" -- deliberately spreading false or misleading information -- is a part of information warfare policy and doctrine, the Pentagon has no specific plans to undertake deceptive operations using the international news media, the official said.
      • Re:Disinformation (Score:3, Informative)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

        Pentagon has no specific plans to undertake deceptive operations using the international news media

        Part of the problem with spreading disinformation into the "international" news media... is that it'll end up right back in the U.S. of A.

        The main reason thats a problem, is that there are laws specifically preventing the Federal Government (and everyone under them) from pushing propoganda onto the American people.

        They tried to do it (to the Iraqi people) after invading Iraq, but it quickly got out of hand. T

    • The Italian police [bbc.co.uk] discovered they are either stupid or arrogant.
      • Re:Disinformation (Score:4, Interesting)

        by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @01:44PM (#14902862) Homepage

        In fact - unqualified.

        They did not perform any attempt to cover their mobile usage and had no clue whatsoever about the level of precision mobile location records from GSM can yield in a high density urban environment. Italians love to talk so the GSM coverage in their cities is one of the densest in Europe.

        All the judge had to do is subpoena the Italian GSM operators.

    • I can't make up my mind. If the recent years has shown me anything - yes, people in large groups are that stupid. But they shouldn't be.

      Since I can't make up my mind, I'm glad that, ultimately, I simply don't care either way. Funny what disillusionment/disaffection does to a person.
    • > I don't think the Intelligence Agencies are that stupid.

      Why not?

      www.cryptome.org is full of this sort of thing. They've missed a lot of stuff abroad that really they should have known about, given their immense budget and powers.

    • Re:Disinformation (Score:4, Informative)

      by aussersterne ( 212916 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:47AM (#14902479) Homepage
      They are. Where do you think they get their people? I have at least four friends who "interned" in the CIA, FBI, and/or NSA or related DC-based fed bodies while or immediately after working on their B.S or B.A. in political science, criminology, or similar fields, going on to become defense analysts or operatives. And they talk openly about their careers. I've been to their weddings where half of the smalltalk was federal shoptalk.

      These aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the world either, mind you. My filmmaker and physicist friends certainly have them beat for smarts. These are average kids with good grades who went to reasonably big schools like GWU or Penn after high school and went into a federal internship as a B.S./B.A. level scholar at 20 or 21 years old.

      They're just not tight packages of great judgment and discretion at that age and level of education, regardless of what the government would tell us and/or like to think. One of them in particular, who works at the Pentagon now, is about the biggest ditz/boof I've ever met, but is a great climber and perky enough to get promotions just on her smile.

      The point: these agencies have to draw their people from the same population that shells out $10.00 to see Adam Sandler flicks and that things "Digital Rights Management" is there to protect their rights.
      • Re:Disinformation (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Omaze ( 952134 )
        > One of them in particular, who works at the Pentagon now, is about
        > the biggest ditz/boof I've ever met, but is a great climber and
        > perky enough to get promotions just on her smile.

        I think I know the one you're talking about and it's not just her. Have you seen the shared network drives at military contractors? TS clearance my ass. The amount of potentially damaging information which I could access just by casually browsing the shared drives was disturbing. The only requisite for a TS cleara

    • 9/11

      Need anyone say more?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Nice try but how do we know that you are not yourself a CIA agent trying to minimize the leaks by pretending that they were done on purpose with false data.

      It is well known that since its inception /. has been infriltrated by suspicious people as well as CIA agents posing as no less suspicious people. Proof: English literacy level in most postings is rather low.

      It is also well known, at least to the CIA, that there are distinct patterns in the frequency of RTFA and IANAL appearing in all the postings. The C
    • I don't think the Intelligence Agencies are that stupid.

      This is the same intelligence agency which couldn't find a known terrorist who was listed in the Los Angeles telephone book, had a driver's license, social security card, and public record entries.

      Conspiracy theory website copy of Newsweek article here [newsmine.org]
    • Re:Disinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @05:47PM (#14903770)
      But how are they sure it's not disinformation setup by these organizations to throw people off the trail? I don't have much faith in our government, but I don't think the Intelligence Agencies are that stupid.

      Hmm, let's see here...

      - WMDs in Iraq.

      - 9/11.

      - Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar, still alive and at large.

      - failure to anticipate India's test of nuclear weapons.

      - failure to anticipate the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

      Yes. Yes, they are just that stupid.

      The organization probably employs some really bright people. The problem is that when the culture of a government organization goes bad, it goes really bad, because it's not accountable; they still get funded whether they succeed or fail. The only thing you are accountable for is breaking policy, so bureacracy and following the rules to the letter(never mind that the rules often make no sense and are counterproductive) become more important than actually doing anything. The best people- the ones who actually care about getting something done instead of sitting on their asses eight hours a day so they can one day collect a pension- get frustrated and leave. At any rate, that's my experience dealing with a messed-up government institution. Keep in mind, however, that the private sector isn't necessarily the solution. As Enron so brilliantly displays, corruption, arrogance and incompetence can flourish in private industry as well.

      • Re:Disinformation (Score:3, Informative)

        by MMaestro ( 585010 )
        - WMDs in Iraq.

        Actually that was a political decision. Read up on the subject, the general consensus is that CIA simply acted on outdated info (we know they HAD WMDs in the past) and the Bush administration took that as face value.

        - 9/11.

        Again, political. Domestic and military security analysts were predicting another attack on the WTC for YEARS after the '93 truck bombing attempt. The U.S. use domestic airliners in simulations for war against Russia for DECADES during the Cold War. It was not a "WTF?! W

        • Re:Disinformation (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tenchiken ( 22661 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @09:02PM (#14904494)
          You say that it was a political decision but then you admit:

          Actually that was a political decision. Read up on the subject, the general consensus is that CIA simply acted on outdated info (we know they HAD WMDs in the past) and the Bush administration took that as face value.

          (which by the way, doesn't jive with recent reporting. Saddam bluffed to everyone (including, indirectly us) that he had WMD until 2002 when he finally admited to his officers that the didn't have anything they could use against the US. By that time the die was well cast by 9/11. As recently as 1999, he openly threated to use chemical weapons against the Shiites, and his forces were still taking pot shots at Coalition air forces protecting the Kurds.

          The information was outdated and simply wrong, but we didn't have anyone in the core of Saddam's circle who could have told us that. That's the problem with dictatorships, it's much easier to hold secrets, much easier to bluff and threaten. There was a great article yesterday in the NYT about how Saddam's efforts to make sure that he didn't have any stockpiles by revisiting his old weapons labs sites, actually was interpreted by the CIA as Saddam going back to his stockpiles and destroying weapons (which is what would have happened if they actualyl found anything). Saddam does this to make sure there is not any real WMD, we see him returing to his weapons sites, put one and one together and rightly note that he never disclosed these sites in the first place.

          I am not trying to whitewash the CIA here, but they clearly were reporting to the president that Mr. Hussein was up to his old tricks. Bush was getting attacked at the time by democrats who believed that he should have magically detected the 9/11 plot. Now his CIA agency is telling him that Hussein is stockpiling weapons, sponsering terrorists (including a assasination attempt on his own father). What do you think he is going to do under thoose circumstances?

      • Re:Disinformation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by birge ( 866103 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @09:53PM (#14904644) Homepage
        Actually, as Enron displays, corruption DOESN'T flourish in private industry. I can't believe you missed the irony in your own statement. The CIA has been a disaster far longer than it took Enron to collapse. The private sector is not perfect, but it's reliance on VOLUNTARY financial support (at least to the extent the government keeps the hell out) means that it's connected with reality in a way the government never can be. In the long run, the private sector is self-correcting. Pointing out the (former) existence of Enron actually proves that point. Enron was an example of that mechanism in action. The world will never be perfect; all we can hopefor is a system where the right underlying forces are in place.

        People seem to expect a world in which nothing bad ever happens, and when something does, rush to form government solutions that are worse than the problem. The best we can hope for is a world where bad stuff dies as quickly as possible. More government is almost never the right answer. (I'm not saying that's what you were suggesting, so don't take any of this personally.)

  • Red Herrings (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TFGeditor ( 737839 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:30AM (#14901863) Homepage
    How do we know that all that info is not just a bunch of red herrings to throw us off the track and keep us distracted?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      How do you know it's not a clever double-bluff and really it's true information disguized as a clumsy disinformation campaign?

      Just a minute - there's a knocking on the door I have to answer...
  • by David Hume ( 200499 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:38AM (#14901876) Homepage
    the Chicago Tribune used web searches and various commercial online databases to uncover a treasure trove of information about the CIA.
    And by doing so violated both the Patriot Act and the DMCA.
  • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:39AM (#14901880)
    You would prefer that they were really a completely secret police?

    • by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:19AM (#14901943)
      The Gestapo was a secret police and its facilities were perfectly well known (and feared).

      (Damn, I just broke Godwin's law...)
      • by cliffy2000 ( 185461 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:39AM (#14901970) Journal
        Actually, you fulfilled Godwin's Law. (To paraphrase -- the number of posts in any given thread approaches infinity, the probability of an analogy to Nazism being mentioned approaches 1.) The only way that you may have, in fact, violated Godwin's Law is in your very mention of it, which may negate any "thread-ending" characteristics that an invocation of said law possesses.
      • by kfg ( 145172 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:46AM (#14902271)
        The Gestapo had a secret branch whose facilities were not well known. They were, in fact, secret.

        There was also a secret police not allied with the Gestapo, because the watchers needed to be afraid of someone as well. These were completely secret police who answered only to Hitler and/or Goering.

        Yes, the Gestapo also had a public facing branch, if only because in order to rat out your neighbor you needed someplace to go to do it.

        Perhaps the CIA, rather than being remiss in their duties for having a publicly accessable branch, actually have some clue as to what they are doing by having offices and phones that the general public are perfectly aware of.

        And, of course, in America, the people watching the watchers are supposed to be "The People."

        • There was also a secret police not allied with the Gestapo, because the watchers needed to be afraid of someone as well. These were completely secret police who answered only to Hitler and/or Goering.

          Damn. Even the Nazis understood and practiced checks & balances better than us.


  • Covert Agency? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thedletterman ( 926787 ) <thedletterman@@@hotmail...com> on Sunday March 12, 2006 @07:46AM (#14901890) Homepage
    What the hell happened to the spy agency? CIA Agents now chat away on unsecure cell phones, check into foreign hotels using GSAs (US gov't issued credit cards), and leak every other intelligence briefing to the press. They might as well start a group on MySpace and issue bumper stickers and T shirts. The fact that Google can catch sensitive information means these guys have failed the test of keeping our government's secrets secure.
    • Re:Covert Agency? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nx ( 194271 )
      I don't think they ever were the super heroes they're portrayed as in the movies. As far as I can tell using public information, they've had some successful missions, and some very unsuccessful. And they've probably always been chatting away on unsecured telephones and using government issued credit cards. The difference is the global informational infrastructure, which is available to the general public. My guess is that a decent 'social engineer' probably could've gotten this information even before the I
    • They might as well start a group on MySpace and issue bumper stickers and T shirts.

      Something like this T-Shirt [thinkgeek.com] and this bumper sticker [thinkgeek.com]?
    • That reminds me of those "Undercover Cop" novelty hats and shirts.

      I have an FBI hat that I sometimes wear at work on Fridays.

  • Quote from the Slashdot story: "In another blow to the reputation of the agency that just can't seem to get anything right..."

    That depends on the definition of "right". CIA employees get more money and promotions if there is more trouble in the world. So, they make trouble. For example, the CIA trained Osama bin Laden and other Arabs in the techniques of terrorism. [futurepower.org]

    U.S. citizens should not expect that ANY U.S. government secret agency actually does what it is supposed to do. The secrecy allows the purpose to drift off course, until it is the employees who determine what happens, not the policy makers.

    Government leaders, such as U.S. congressmen and women, are allowed to know only the public relations information about the secret agencies, not what is really happening. In the name of secrecy and covert operation, the secret U.S. government agencies are allowed to lie. They place lies in newspapers and magazines the same way other P.R. is placed.

    A government that sometimes acts in secret cannot be said to be a democratic government, because the citizens cannot supervise what they don't know.

    Before, Saddam got Iraq oil profits & paid part to kill Iraqis. Now a few Americans share Iraq oil profits, & U.S. citizens pay to kill Iraqis. Improvement?
    • FOXNews.com has published an article which may be of interest: Dispelling the CIA-Bin Laden Myth [foxnews.com].
      • FOXNews.com

        So, the official US propaganda machine says CIA hasn't trained bin Laden.

        So. Nice.

        What do they have to say about the financing for 9/11 (part of it - Mohammed Atta) coming from CIA through Pakistan (ISI)?

        (And what about the CIA meetings with bin Laden at a Dubai hospital a few months before 9/11 - when bin Laden allegedly was one of the world's most wanted men?)

        Maybe there's enough there for a Fox News reality show even?
      • FOXNews.com has published an article which may be of interest: Dispelling the CIA-Bin Laden Myth .

        Of interest to who?

        Those who forgot that FOX persecuted its own journalists for trying to expose Monsanto's BGH artificial hormone scam? That Fox fought against the whisltleblowers by arguing that FOX was not obligated under freedom of speech to tell the truth? --And won! And that they continue to persecute the journalists? Those guys?

        That's just one instance of FOX's bald faced lying and villainy. They a
        • My perverse need... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Foamy ( 29271 )
          ... for a dose of mashochism now and then led my remote to stop on Fox last night.

          Wow. Holy Fucking Shit. They've gone off the deep end more than I suspected.

          The few minutes my stomach could stand to watch before being forced to regurgitate my wonderful New Mexico Green Chile Posole, was 100% pure propaganda. I mean WWI, Wilson type propaganda. The segement was titled something like "Three ways to kick Iran's fucking ass: Booyah to the Mulahs!" The gist was that we'd waltz into Iran with an Army--I guess th
      • From the article you cited: "... all available evidence suggests that bin Laden was never funded, trained or armed by the CIA."

        That is my understanding, after considerable reading. AND... it is not relevant.

        Osama bin Laden did not need money or arms. He had millions of dollars of his own money; he was extremely wealthy and had connections with other extremely wealthy people who wanted to fund his ideas.

        Here's part of what the CIA gave bin Laden, perhaps completely indirectly:

        A deep understandin
    • by tenchiken ( 22661 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:24AM (#14902396)
      The above link is just plain wrong. If you bother to do your homework, and look at the recent book "The osama Bin Ladin I know" which was hardly written by a friend of the Bush administration the leading authority on Bin Ladin, Peter Bergan, completly debunks this particular liberal wet dream.

      Not that they guy we ended up supporting (because the pakastani's supported him) was that much better, but please remember that Bin Ladin was first and foremost a financer during the Afgani conflict... He was there because he had jihad money in the first place.

      You may now return to your regularly scheduled group-think
  • feh, meh, geh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by soren ( 37670 )
    Top Secret Confidential
    Conspiracy theories are nothing new to history. Plots to kill Caesar and overthrow Rome abounded, for instance. However, it is seldom that concrete clues to such plots come to light, and are generally known.
    The document you are about to read is real. It is no forgery, as alleged of "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion." or actual forgeries such as those of Anne Frank, or (more recently) Hitler's diary.

    "TOP SECRET: Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars, An introductory Programmi
    • It called for a quite revolution, putting brother against brother, and diverting the public's attention from what is really going on.

      This has been the standard operating proceedure for the united states handling of it's citizens for decades now.

      This is nothing new, look at how the Tv show 24 is mostly a pile of current administration propaganda keeping the american public scared of TERRORISM at every turn even though you have a better chance of getting struck by lightning on a sunny day than being hurt in
    • Or you've fallen for a hoax. "Quiet" and "Programming" are two spelling errors that you've corrected but not noted. Also, "Operator's" has an apostrophe.

      Poor spell checking is a dead giveaway.
  • by noidentity ( 188756 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:21AM (#14901945)
    Is the information is correct or just bogus data planted?

    Is this "story" itself planted by the CIA? (not that we'd care either way)

    2600 [2600.com]? Funny number there.
    • Maybe not the CIA, but how about DoD intelligence or Total Information Awareness? Part of Rumsfeld's reorganization has been to absorb most of the operational intelligence into the NSA and the DoD. They've also put a political crony in at the top of CIA (Porter Goss), in order to let it wither.

      Call this prepping the market for the dismantling of the CIA, and the traditional posse comitatus divide between domestic and foreign, and thus civilian and military intelligence.

      The most frustrating thing, is the w
  • by Hao Wu ( 652581 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:21AM (#14901947) Homepage
    IIRC, over half the CIA budget is spent on counter-intelligence, which includes programs of disinformation.

    Whatever the Chicago Tribune has uncovered, one might presume that they were expected to.

  • by 15Bit ( 940730 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:23AM (#14901951)
    This is the problem with equal opportunities employment - you can't turn someone away for being stupid or incompetent (or just plain unsuitable). In the old days incompetent spies got shot and no-one knew or cared (And frankly, any "covert operative" who books into a hotel in their real name when on "company business" deserves to get shot.). Now they have to receive 5 verbal warnings, 3 written warnings and a final interview with their line management to "clarify their career objectives".

    And even after all that they can probably sue for unfair dismissal.

  • by babbling ( 952366 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @08:47AM (#14901982)
    I'm not too sure this article should be posted under "your rights online". It should be more like "the CIA's rights online".

    ... look, the poor CIA are getting their privacy invaded because people are looking at what they've been searching for!! :-(

    Maybe the CIA could get a blanket, some hot chocolate, and sit down with the DOJ to share their thoughts and feelings about this invasion of their privacy. Perhaps then the DOJ might stop trying to demand search data from Google.
  • Give him time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by randyjg2 ( 772752 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @09:12AM (#14902026) Homepage
    The CIA is changing. Give them time.

    The following article explains some of the issues behind the Tribune article
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/node/26366 [tpmcafe.com]

    The agency is ... complicated, and often the left hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. Its the nature of the beast it's riding. (well, technically, it's in the belly of the beast, or perhaps the cloaca if you are HQ)

    I have no doubt Goss is horrified. He just took over the CIA, and what GS manager would enjoy an outsider showing him a clear look at his department? And Goss hasn't had a chance ot fix things yet. THat is, if that's his goal...with the CIA, who knows?

    By the way, didn't Goss inherit an agency that was once run by George Bush? It would explain a lot.

    The CIA has other problems as well. The worse is that it facing some competition from private firms like StratFor(sorta like the US Post Office and Federal Express). It can't be much fun to be a world famous secret agency and having to explain to the Intelligence committee why you are being scooped by some small company in Austin,

    For those of you who haven't heard of it, StratFor (http://www.stratfor.com/ [stratfor.com]) is a private intelligence firm, with several hundred thousand customers, that is the CIA for multinationals and private individuals. It is considered somewhat more accurate than the CIA. http://seekerblog.com/archives/20050313/is-stratfo r-credible/ [seekerblog.com]

    Hmm.. if the CIA is getting rid of people, that means they are hiring. I would like to apply as an intelligence analyst, or maybe an In Tel Q VC... (There is a rumor the easiest way to apply for a job with the CIA is write in on your computer and wait for ADVISE to pick it up. http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0209/p01s02-uspo.htm l [csmonitor.com]).
    • Re:Give him time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tenchiken ( 22661 )
      Wow. That is the first time ever I have seen someone buy so completly into StratFor... You are aware that StratFor like the CIA and every other intellegence agency on the face of the planet was convienced that Saddam had WMD? Or that the Iranian's were behind the insurgancy in Iraq? Or that the isrealli's know everything about Iranian WMD?

      As far as your George H Bush cheap shot, remember that the CIA was built to take on and stop the Ruskies. Not terrorism. In comparison, foreign power survallience is a hel
  • by Crisses ( 776475 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @09:13AM (#14902027) Homepage

    ... The Tribune has suddenly vanished without a trace. The offices are scrubbed clean, the files are empty, and there's a For Lease sign up by the building management company.

    ... Hundreds of families across Illinois have filed new missing persons reports this month, a drastic rise from the usual numbers. Oddly, a high percentage of the newly missing persons seem to have worked for the Chicago Tribune.

    • .. ironically, details of what happened along with the whereabouts of each missing person have turned up on Google. CIA unavailable for comment.

      Next: Google founders kidnapped in broad daylight.
    • Oddly, a high percentage of the newly missing persons seem to have worked for the Chicago Tribune.

      What's a Chicago Tribune? These people have always been unemployed. Something seems to have made them disappear. I don't think Chicago ever had a newspaper...definitely not anything called a Tribune. Nope, never heard of it.

  • We used to refer to the CIA as "The Company"

    Now, when saying "The Company", we'll be referring to Google.
  • Ok, so like 90% of what CIA does is not covert operations. They actually employ secretaries and useless middle management folks like other organizations. Not everyone is a uber kool secret agent. In fact, that secret agent role is a tiny portion of what they do. see for yourselves [cia.gov].
  • by 3seas ( 184403 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @10:11AM (#14902183) Homepage Journal
    .... it means they are trying to take more of our rights away.

    whether or not the story is true, it is in fact presenting the public with this idea that the freedom of research and press are dangerious to the government that is suppose to be protecting these rights.

    There seems to be another story on slashdot at the moment along this same line.

    Next thing you know we won't be allowed to talk to our neighbors without government approval.

    When are enough people going to wake up and realize 9/11 was a direct result of US wrongful manipulation of world economy.

    Do a search on "Trillion dollar bet" Read the transcript and realize that much money doesn't just appear or vanish into nowhere.

    CIA employee information????? Huh? What?

    Don't do others wrong and you won't have reason to be parionoid of retaliation.

  • You know, it could just be a really clever diversion.
  • 1. The CIA is stupid. They make mistakes and show themselves.

    2. The CIA is extremely smart. They know how to manipulate media and public opinion, they know how to create operatives who have no identity whatsoever and keep them secret.

    3. The Chicago Tribune employs zealous reporters eager to uncover and share the truth.

    4. The Chicago Tirbune employs cowardly scum willing to do the bidding of whoever has a big stick or a deep pocket, (usually both).

    Each is a collection of people. The problem is that the go

  • tinfoil hat time (Score:2, Interesting)

    what if all the leaked info is just a cover to make a cuase for the justic dept to be able to get access to search engine data and delete/change ndexes and data as needed to protect covert operations? In related news, I've spent several hours playing splintercell... does this qualify me as a CIA agent, now?

  •     Right now the U.S. intelligence community is hamstrung by having to deal with something like 80 congressional committees for its funding. It is a national priority, the failure of which got 3,000+ civilians killed, but its not enough of a priority that we actually DO something about it.

        Call or write your Senator today and indicate your support for streamlining their funding.
    • by whitroth ( 9367 ) <whitroth&5-cent,us> on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:53AM (#14902499) Homepage
      Excuse me, the "failure got 3000 civilians killed"? What about the presidential security briefing, a month before 9/11, entitled "bin Laden plans to strike inside the US"?

      And what about the US MURDERING somewhere between 50,000 and 100,000 Iraqis, on the basis of no WMDs?

      Now, unless you think that we've spent tens of billions of dollars on what, three? four? five? (CIA, FBI, NSA, Army intel, Pentagon Intel, etc) agencies completely staffed by clones of Maxwell Smart, the only intelligence failure, either through ideological blinders or deliberately for ideological reasons, is the administration and the GOP.

      And the fools who voted for them.

      • by mabu ( 178417 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @12:44PM (#14902661)
        Isn't it funny how nobody wants to actually call attention to the FACT that Bush had warning that Bin Laden was going to attack the U.S. as well as intelligence indicating the intended use of planes as weapons. And he apparently ignored this. The OP is right. There was failure which got 3000 people killed. Failure by the President and his administration and the people underneath them who disregarded critical intelligence.

        And people are surprised that there's supposedly secret information publicly available?
  • I understand how they can get employer and address information from a credit report...feed that to a telephone directory search...check out the location with Google Maps but...Where did the list of employees come from in the first place... Karl Rove?
  • A satirical newspaper was able to expose a good part of the COs working in covert agencies. They all had studied in the same military academy (Saint Cyr, eq. West Point) and in order to have reunions sometimes they were listed in the alumni directory as belonging to bogus units...the existence of which being quite easy to check.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 12, 2006 @01:00PM (#14902714)
    For anyone who is really interested in what the CIA does can read plenty about them. I think it is fair to say that it is kind of like a global covert police force for the US Elite. The CIA supports terrorism, US dollar hegemony, the global drug trade, US oil domination, assassinations, death squads, and who knows what else. Contrary to what most people believe, it does function in a domestic fashion. Also it appears that there is another group that is somewhat CIA, but has more plausible deniability called The Enterprise created under the former director (and Reagan campaign manager) William Casey.

    Dark Alliance
    Gold Warriors
    Inside the Company: CIA Diary
    Thy Will Be Done, The Conquest of the Amazon
    The Mafia, CIA, and George Bush
    The Outlaw Bank
    Deep Politics and the Death of JFK
    Plausible Denial
    Cocaine Politics
    The Politics of Heroin
    The Iran-Contra Connection
    Crossing the Rubicon
    The Haunting of America
    Secret Agenda
    Killing Hope
    JFK by Fletcher Prouty
    The Secret Team by Fletcher Prouty
    Confessions of an Economic Hitman
    The Third Option by Ted Shackley
    Powderburns, Cocaine, Contras and the Drug War
    The Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy by Turner and Christian
  • These CIA guys are people just like you and I. They happen to work for the US Government and they happen to do classified work. What possible motivation could a newspaper reporter have in uncovering covert agents, operations, and locations? The CIA is ON OUR SIDE guys.
  • by ChePibe ( 882378 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @01:25PM (#14902811)
    The article puts up some big numbers, but lest we forget a few things:

    - The CIA is a BIG organization - it needs support personnel, etc. and they are not likely to ALL be undercover. Maintaining cover on accountants and receptionists would certainly be a big waste of resources.

    - Most CIA positions are not undercover, including most analysts

    The article admits a lot of this halfway down: "Not all of the 2,653 employees whose names were produced by the Tribune search are supposed to be working under cover. More than 160 are intelligence analysts, an occupation that is not considered a covert position, and senior CIA executives such as Tenet are included on the list."

    So, in other words, the Tribune puts up a big number that is supposed to be shocking and then, after most people stop reading, admits it's not really that big a deal. The article does state, however:

    "But an undisclosed number of those on the list--the CIA would not say how many--are covert employees, and some are known to hold jobs that could make them terrorist targets."

    There must be at least one - given the example at the top of the article - but no one says how many. The discovery that 26 people are working at Camp Peary (AKA - "The Farm" of "The Recruit" fame) is equally unimpressive, as SOMEONE must work there for support staff, and the 26 individuals discovered are likely to be support staff, not trainers. The 17 aircraft aren't particularly interesting, either, as the CIA likely operates many aircraft openly. Big organizations like the CIA cannot maintain cover on EVERYTHING, nor do they try to, as this report implies

    I'm of the opinion that this article boils down to the following:

    - The Chicago Tribune tooting its own horn
    - A cheap jab at Bush, which seems to represent "objective" journalism these days
    - Sensationalist journalism - they put up big numbers, but those numbers are unlikely to actually mean anything

    Many have jokingly said, "move along, nothing to see here". To be honest, I think those statements are accurate.
  • by pdschmid ( 916837 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @01:34PM (#14902836)
    Germany had two intelligence agents in Baghdad during the war. Their identities are fully known to the press which has tried not to reveal them. What happened?
    • Both agents were doing everything but keeping a low profile in the days before the evacuation of the German Embassy in Iraq. Apparently they had no problems mingling with the press.
    • Both had websites with pictures of their current postings. For example, one guy showed himself with his family at his new post in Australia.
    • Their websites had guestbooks. Other agents left "well concealed" messages on there. For example, one post ended with "greetings from Pullach". The CIA equivalent of that would be "greetings from Langley".
    Pretty bad...
  • They probably get lots of things right, 95% of which they will never tell us about.

  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @02:29PM (#14902998)
    I'm surprised nobody brought up the connection between Google and the CIA's venture capital arm In-Q-Tel [in-q-tel.com]? In-Q-Tel was a significant investor in Keyhole Inc [in-q-tel.com].

    There are other connections between Google and the Intelligence community. Like this job ad [google-watch.org] and this [google-watch.org].

    Got to go, the black helicopters are circling. Remember, trust no one.

  • by deacon ( 40533 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @02:37PM (#14903023) Journal
    Chicago Tribune on the CIA:

    The people have a right to know! And so does everyone else in the world!

    Chicago Tribune on the Danish Cartoons:

    Excerpts found by searching for "danish cartoons" in the Chicago Tribune search box. The stories themselves are not freely available.

    Stephen Hobson

    In any democracy the word "responsibility" must accompany the exercise of all our freedoms. The publication of the cartoons of Muhammad by the Danish press is just another example of someone falsely yelling "fire!" in a crowded theater without considering...

    Ed Letchinger

    Two editors of the Daily Illini were suspended from their posts following their publication of some of the Danish cartoons, and the Tribune and most other U.S. newspapers have avoided publishing them (Metro, Feb. 15). It is surprising to me that these...

    In other words: We are being responsible by deciding what you the people don't need to see. We will make up your mind for you. Good dog.

  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Sunday March 12, 2006 @11:44PM (#14905037)
    Russian Ambassador DeSadeski: "There are those of us who fought against it, but in the end we could not keep up with the expense involved in the arms race, the space race, and the peace race. And at the same time our people grumbled for more nylons and washing machines. Our doomsday scheme cost us just a small fraction of what we'd been spending on defense in a single year. But the deciding factor was when we learned that your country was working along similar lines, and we were afraid of a doomsday gap."

    President Muffley: "This is preposterous. I've never approved of anything like that."

    DeSadeski: "Our source was the New York Times."

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984