TBR News January 17, 2018

Jan 17 2018

Washington, D.C. January 17, 2018:”One of our contributors apparently has managed to compile a long list of German citizens who are working for a foreign power.

He sent the list to various agencies in Germany with a threat to make the list public if action were not taken.

Outing an American CIA agent is one matter but exposing a foreign domestic traitor is entirely another.

The latter is better known as rodent control.

In the old days, the Gestapo would have taken such a person out into the woods for a one-way trip but these days, being influenced by beneficial American democracy, they merely have traitorous diplomats shipped to some remote area of the world where they can no longer steal state secrets and businessmen get arrested for aggressive jaywalking or overdue library books.

I personally am in favor for the Walk in the Woods solution but I have no say in the matter.

And yesterday, a foreign newspaperman asked me to tell him something really positive about Sub-Saharan Africa. I said ‘HIV’ and he laughed.’


Table of Contents

  • Our Potemkin Village
  • Why governments are broken – and how to fix them
  • President Trump’s ‘Friends’ in Saudi Arabia
  • Bitcoin slumps below $10,000, half its peak, as regulatory fears intensify
  • CIA rendition flights from rustic North Carolina called to account by citizens
  • CIA Rendition and Codes


Our Potemkin Village

The empire is getting a bit tattered around the edge

January 17, 2018

by Justin Raimondo


While the population of Hawaii dove under manhole covers, and #TheResistance screeched that The Orange Monster had finally done it and forced Kim Jong Un to nuke the island paradise, it took Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the levelheaded, and quite personable representative from that state, to issue a statement countermanding the “take cover” message sent out by the military earlier.

Rep. Gabbard did this within minutes, thus avoiding a major panic with potentially dangerous consequences, while the Authorities took nearly an hour to issue a retraction.

How did this happen? The Official Story is that “someone pushed the wrong button.” As to the identity of this Someone, or the consequences that have befallen him or her, we hear nary a word.

This bizarre incident underscores the utter absurdity and darkness of the permanent state of emergency which we live under. For it turns out that there was no system in place capable of countermanding the emergency alert once it went out. A tacit understanding of the reality behind our military strategy: it’s a suicide pact.

It also underscores the Potemkin Village aura of what is routinely referred to as our National Security Establishment: in this case, it amounted to some guy in Hawaii wearing flip flops and all too eager to go off duty and get back in the water after going through the unending drill he’d complete hundreds, probably thousands of times before.

So who was the culprit, and what happened to him? The Hawaii authorities refuse to identify him – because “he would be a pariah.” Which is a military disciplinary system that has to be unique in all the world. The administrator in chief of the system, a Mr. Miyagi, explained it this way:

“Looking at the nature and cause of the error that led to those events, the deeper problem is not that someone made a mistake; it is that we made it too easy for a simple mistake to have very serious consequences. The system should have been more robust, and I will not let an individual pay for a systemic problem.”

What about the individual architects of the system? You can be your bottom dollar none of them will bear any consequences for almost starting World War III. Gee, I recall an incident that occurred on September 11, 2001, in which the “defenses” we’d spent billions on simply did not function and thousands dies as a result – and not a single person was fired.

Inefficiency and outright incompetence are built into structures as large, unwieldy, and unresponsive as the American Empire, and this is what the concept of decadence really entails: the slipshod slips in, the shiny surfaces get to looking a little ramshackle, overconfidence and complacency infiltrate both leaders and led, and pretty soon you’re the Austro-Hungarian Empire: big, garish, unsustainable, and basically ready to fall to pieces.

Which is not to say that the Empire is really on its last legs and will fall of its own weight – although that’s entirely possible. Look at what happened to the Soviets. Yet the rulers – and inhabitants – of such empires always overestimate their strength and endurance: they live inside the bubble of their own hubris.

That popping sound you hear may augur more than anybody bargained for …


Why governments are broken – and how to fix them

Governments are inefficient, but no big society has functioned well without one. Much of the problem is that many of them address 19th-Century concerns – making an update long overdue.

January 16, 2018

by Rachel Nuwer

BBC News

Most governments are woefully outdated. They reflect concerns of the late 19th Century, when many of them came into being: communication was expensive and data difficult to come by, so they were organised into tightly structured, hierarchal silos linked to specific functions, such as security or justice.

Today, the world is radically more interlinked, fast-moving and information-rich. But our governments aren’t.

“It’s very anachronistic, in many ways,” says Geoff Mulgan, chief executive of innovation foundation Nesta and one of the co-chairs of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “It’s our bad luck that modern governments crystallised in a particular moment in time that’s increasingly distant to where we are now.”

Take political participation. Even as technology and communication mean more ways for citizens to make their voices heard, democratic participation remains largely limited to casting a vote between parties once every few years.

Many experts believe that a radical reform to this system is not only desirable but absolutely necessary.

Democracy is an evolving creature, and it needs to get better with time,” says Oxford University fellow Nayef Al-Rodhan, head of the geopolitics and global futures programme at the Geneva Center for Security Policy. If governments do not change with the times, they become less and less capable of addressing people’s needs, and citizens grow more dissatisfied and disenfranchised.

This is already happening in even seemingly stable democracies. In the US, for example, 43 million people live in poverty – or about 14% of the population, compared to just 11% in 1973.

“That’s neither morally nor socially acceptable,” Al-Rodhan says. It may also be dangerous: “In time, those people will rebel and cause problems, because they have nothing to lose.”

Elections-based political systems already operate with short-term mentalities, with officials often thinking only a few years ahead. Now, as societies around the world have become more complex, diverse, demanding and connected, governments have become even more incentivised to implement superficial patchwork fixes. But sacrificing the long term for the short term – for example, allowing infrastructure to deteriorate, as in Germany; adding $1tn (£740 billion) in national debt to enable tax cuts, as in the US; or felling and burning old growth forests in favour of plantations, as in Indonesia – will eventually catch up to us. “You can go on like that for a long time, but when the system breaks, it’ll break big,” says Angela Wilkinson, senior director of the World Energy Council and an associate fellow at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School.

This doesn’t mean that we should abolish government altogether. Mulgan points out that no significantly-sized society has ever functioned well without government.

Nor should we tear down existing systems and start entirely from scratch. South Sudan recently attempted this and has since been called the world’s youngest failed nation. “Like almost any complicated task in life, government depends on capacity, experience, knowledge and capability – things that build up over many years,” Mulgan says.

Shape up

Instead, the goal should be to reshape current governments into forms more suitable for modern life: technologically savvy, data-driven and fully globalised.

But while some governments have begun to take that approach, others, Wilkinson says, “are not doing well at all”.

The contrasts can be stark. In Sweden, for example, elementary students learn to code and to spot fake news, whereas in the US, the president routinely promotes falsehoods. Taiwan, Spain and Iceland are exploring new methods of democracy that tap collective intelligence, but Russia and Turkey are moving toward autocracy and totalitarianism. Estonia has opened up its doors to welcome global citizens as “e-Residents,” while Britain has chosen to leave the European Union.

But while there are some promising examples of progress, Al-Rodhan adds that most governments today, including in Europe and North America, are not good enough.

“Despite ensuring political freedoms for their citizens, many people remain disenfranchised due to unacceptable and widening inequality,” he says.

Even if a particular leader or entire society wishes to change for the better, they often fall short of their goals. Egypt’s Arab Spring failed to break the gridlock and restructure government; Barack Obama’s legacy of climate change mitigation, affordable healthcare and immigration reform is already being dismantled; and South Africa never became the ‘rainbow nation’ that Nelson Mandela envisioned.

Government structure tends to be the primary obstacle to reinvention, Wilkinson says. The private sector has been floating some ideas for how this could change: entries are being evaluated in a competition launched by a Swedish billionaire to design a better system for world governance, for example.

But as Wilkinson points out, “We need political entrepreneurs, too.”

Governments, however, tend to be innovation-averse. They wait for the market to lead the way and then scramble to catch up. When they are made, decisions are implemented across the whole of society, without prototyping or testing ideas on smaller populations first. “You can’t use the word ‘experiment’ in government: it’s a nasty word, because it means you can fail,” Wilkinson says.

“But we can’t wait for things to be perfect, and we can’t keep using yesterday’s solutions.”

Experimentation nation

Some countries are beginning to break the mould. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that experimentation will be the norm for making data-based decisions. France’s President Emmanuel Macron has carved out a budget for conducting research on how to better run the government, and the United Arab Emirates has also committed 1% of all public spending to innovation.

“It’s a completely different way of doing things than having people in the capital writing a law and then implementing it across millions, just like that,” Mulgan says. “It’s applying the scientific method to the whole of government.”

Slovenia, however, may be leading the world in this approach thanks to its Vision of Slovenia programme, launched in 2015. “The world is interconnected, people’s expectations are rising and governing is getting harder and harder,” says government minister Alenka Smerkolj, responsible for development, strategic projects and cohesion. “Business-as-usual just doesn’t function anymore, and we realised we needed to start changing things.”

Smerkolj and her colleagues quickly found that more than a one-off project or policy, this required a long-term plan of many small steps and goals. They set a date – 2050 – and then went about defining where Slovenia would like to be by then.

Rather than determine this themselves, they spent a year surveying more than 1,000 Slovenians from all walks of life and holding numerous workshops. “It’s not easy, but we found that it’s crucial to start talking to the people and regaining their trust if you want to change anything in government,” Smerkolj says.

Pairing that feedback with analyses of wider trends and evidence-based predictions, Smerkolkj and her colleagues developed 12 initial development goals for 2030. All contribute to one core objective: quality of life for everyone. Interventions will range from small legislative tweaks (making it easier for employers to hire foreign employees, for example) to solutions for complex issues, including structural reforms and major climate change mitigation.

“The project forced people to start talking to each other, and it forced policy makers to start thinking about more agile policies,” Smerkolj says. “The broader context, of course, is that this approach is not just relevant for Slovenia but for everyone, for all countries in this world.”

World order

Wilkinson and others at Govern-Mentality, an association of public servants, experts and entrepreneurs, are trying to get people to think about their own governments with the same creative mindset. “The ultimate goal is literally to create a change-making movement from within government,” she says.

One way to improve governance, Wilkinson says, may be shifting from state-centric government to polycentrism – a lack of central control. That would require common guiding principles to assure cooperation and prevent one force from dominating, she says, and joint efforts toward common goals like cutting greenhouse gases or combatting poverty. The resulting system, Wilkinson says, would be “vibrant, dynamic, diverse and imperfect” – but ultimately would unite everyone under a shared vision, much as Slovenia is attempting to do.

When designing an ideal government, another key is championing dignity as an essential part of reform, says Al-Rodhan. As he describes in his book Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man, this means making sure that human emotion, amorality and egotism never outweigh nine core criteria: reason, security, human rights, accountability, transparency, justice, opportunity, innovation and inclusiveness. If some or all of these things are missing, the system will likely perform poorly or fail entirely.

That theory has been evidenced in real-world case studies. Finland, for example, is renowned for its exceptional welfare system. But a lack of opportunity and innovation has led to a decades-long brain drain. “If someone has an idea, the system must allow that person to realise it, otherwise there’s no growth and people aren’t happy,” Al-Rodhan says. “It’s an ‘American Dream’ kind of thing.”

But other solutions may be out there. Launched earlier this winter Nesta has brought together 30 governments – including Singapore, Canada, Chile and Australia – into its ‘states of change’ collective to help improve innovation. Together, politicians, entrepreneurs and other global leaders will brainstorm and test new ways of using data and technology to improve governance and the overall state of the world.

“There is a way of creating governments that are really adept at learning, improving and thinking,” Mulgan says. “In 20 or 30 years, the best ones will be doing things we couldn’t imagine now.


President Trump’s ‘Friends’ in Saudi Arabia

Is the United States becoming a patsy for the Kingdom?

January 15, 2018

by Andrew J. Bacevich

The American Conservative

In the long arc of history, while regimes come and go, civilizations endure. Bet on the former against the latter, and you’re taking one helluva gamble. The House of Saud is a regime, a dynastic enterprise masquerading as a nation-state. Iran, by contrast, is the modern incarnation of an ancient civilization. The antagonism between the two is deep-seated, genuine, and destined to persist.

How the United States found itself aligned with the former against the latter is a story fraught with miscalculation, folly, and hubris. Taken as a whole, it’s our version of Lawrence of Arabia, albeit without a charismatic protagonist on which to hang the tale. Our own equivalent of T. E. Lawrence would be an in-over-his-head mischief-maker like Graham Greene’s fictional Alden Pyle, albeit relocated from Indochina to the Persian Gulf. Imagine a composite figure combining the signature traits of Kermit Roosevelt, Oliver North, and Max Boot, and you have the makings of an epic of sorts, even if shorn of the wide-angle grandeur that was a hallmark of David Lean’s film.

Saudi Arabia qualifies as an American friend and ally in precisely the same sense as does the state of Israel. In both countries, cold calculation rather than warm regard governs attitudes toward the United States. Each faces a list of national security challenges longer than it can comfortably handle on its own. Over several decades, in hopes of mitigating those challenges, each has worked assiduously to cultivate a close relationship with Washington.

There are differences, of course. We provide weapons to the Israelis gratis, with no expectation of repayment, American generosity testifying to an enduring (if partly manufactured) U.S. commitment to preserving the Jewish state. By contrast we sell weapons to the Saudis, who pay cash, their free-spending habits further binding the United States to the Saudi monarchy, which presidents of both parties have vowed to protect. Our obligation to support Israel is ostensibly moral, a religious and historical mandate. Our obligation to defend Saudi Arabia is somewhat less exalted, impossible to detach from questions of oil and the marketing of military hardware.

Of course, there is a further justification offered for the U.S.-Israeli relationship: that the two peoples share a common outlook and set of values. According to this view, Americans and Israelis are part of a larger entity called the West. Thus we and they share a commitment to individual freedom, liberal democratic principles, human rights, and the rule of law. When using such phrases Americans and Israelis mean the same things. We are therefore like one another, as propagandists for U.S.-Israeli “friendship” unceasingly reiterate.

No such claims can be made regarding the U.S.-Saudi relationship. We and they are not alike. Saudi Arabia is not part of the West, by even the most expansive definition of that term. While the Israeli commitment to individual freedom, human rights, and liberal democratic principles is imperfect and selective, the Saudi commitment to those values is nonexistent. Indeed, for decades the Saudi government has demonstrated an acute aversion to the values that the United States and others in the West profess to represent. In global rankings of illiberal and undemocratic regimes, Saudi Arabia ranks right near the top.

Worse, wealth generated by the sale of Saudi oil ends up in the hands of anti-Western terrorists. That Saudi money underwrites violent radical Islamism is widely acknowledged, even if the active complicity of Saudi officials may remain a matter of dispute. And, of course, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Osama bin Laden—facts known to all yet inexplicably categorized as incidental or merely curious.

Therefore it seems passing strange—no, make that positively bizarre—that the United States, during the “America First” presidency of Donald Trump, should side with Saudi Arabia against Iran in what is a Muslim version of the “Great Game,” pitting Arab against Persian and Sunni against Shia. In the eyes of the two main adversaries, the stakes in this Great Game are monumental. Control of the Persian Gulf could be up for grabs, perhaps even the very future of Islam itself.

The arguments for the United States picking sides in this dispute are weak. If anything, doing so is likely to compound the long string of misjudgments characterizing U.S. policy in this part of the world since the end of the Cold War.

Ever since Saddam Hussein foolishly invaded Kuwait in 1990, the United States has sought to make itself the arbiter of events in and around the Persian Gulf by relying on our putatively superior military might. Under the guise of waging war against terrorism and/or advancing the cause of freedom, we have flooded large parts of the Islamic world with troops, established or leased dozens of bases, recruited all manner of (mostly incompetent) proxies, and expended vast quantities of ordnance from West Africa to the Southern Philippines.

The results, now extending over more than a quarter-century, are unambiguous. We have sown chaos and, in doing so, helped spread the virus of violent jihadism that we are supposedly attempting to contain. We’ve killed many thousands of Afghans, Iraqis, and other militants of various nationalities (not to mention plenty of noncombatants) and lost more than a few of our own troops, all to no avail. The money already expended would have sufficed to rebuild just about every bridge in the continental United States.

On the home front, this penchant for waging wars that never end contributed to the election of Donald Trump, who as a presidential candidate had the temerity to denounce recent U.S. military efforts as foolhardy. Not yet a year in office, of course, Trump has long since turned to matters more pressing than the wars he inherited, with responsibility for the actual direction of those wars passing into the hands of senior military officers seemingly untroubled by their perpetuation.

This odd civil-military bargain—a commander-in-chief with a limited attention span deferring to generals devoid of imagination—has worked in favor of Saudi Arabia. Employing a combination of glitter and showmanship, along with promises of yet more arms purchases, Saudi leaders wasted no time in ingratiating themselves with an American president ignorant of statecraft but highly susceptible to flattery. As Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky have written in Foreign Policy, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, at age 81 a fading presence, and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, at 32 impetuous and inordinately self-confident, have “set a new land speed record in convincing the Trump administration that they hold the keys to war, peace, and the transformation of the region.”


Accurately gauging what has occurred as a consequence of Riyadh’s courtship of the new team in Washington requires appropriating a term from beyond the realm of diplomacy. That term is seduction, albeit without any suggestion from Trump or his advisers that relations are anything other than fully consensual.

The Crown Prince, known as MBS, is a young man in a hurry. Under the guise of fighting corruption and liberalizing Saudi society, he is consolidating his position as de facto supreme leader. Claiming to oppose an Iranian bid for regional hegemony, he appears intent on elevating Saudi Arabia to the status of regional hegemon, while enlisting the United States as helpmate in that cause.

In Yemen, Qatar, Lebanon, and elsewhere, the preliminary results are on ample display: Saudi diplomatic and military muscle deployed crudely and without evident success. Based on the available evidence, MBS is no Bismarck; he may yet prove to be an Arab equivalent of Kaiser Wilhelm II, whose chief accomplishment was to destroy the throne he inherited.

Even so, Trump and his unabashedly Iranophobic generals have allowed the United States to become a patsy for Saudi Arabia, actively abetting or tacitly endorsing MBS’s ambitions. Yet whatever the administration’s purported intent, throwing in with the Crown Prince will only exacerbate the disorder that previous U.S. administrations have done so much to create.

Down that path lies the risk of allowing the United States to be drawn into yet another needless war, this time with Iran. Lost along the way, meanwhile, is any appreciation of actual U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf, which can be summarized in a single word: stability.

The purpose of U.S. policy in the region should be to reduce the incidence of violence and unrest, restore order, and thereby repair the damage to which the United States itself has so mightily contributed in recent years. As for the geopolitical competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, as an American secretary of state once remarked in a different context, we don’t have a dog in that fight. Much the same can be said regarding the ancient dispute between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which predates the Protestant Reformation by several centuries.

It must be said of course that if Saudi Arabia is no friend of the United States, neither is Iran. The enmity between our country and the Islamic Republic is real and deep-seated. Empathy and trust are all but nonexistent. Anyone looking to explain this mutual antipathy will find plenty of blame to go around.

Yet restoring even a modicum of equanimity to the Persian Gulf will be impossible if the United States consigns Iran to the status of permanent pariah. That seems to be precisely what Trump wanted to do when he reversed a tentative opening initiated by his predecessor.

For the Trump administration to join an anti-Iran cabal may find favor with MBS, not to mention the current government of Israel. Doing so will no doubt please the U.S. military-industrial complex. But it will not serve the long-term interests of the United States.

The diplomatic challenge facing the United States is to cajole Iran into moderating its behavior, which implies a willingness to engage with those elements in Iranian society eager to embrace modernity. No doubt any effort aimed at converting Iran into a status power will require patience and subtlety. Yet the place to begin is with the realization that we have no “friends” in the Greater Middle East. None. We have only interests, which await rediscovery.


Bitcoin slumps below $10,000, half its peak, as regulatory fears intensify

January 16, 2018

by Tommy Wilkes and Hideyuki Sano


LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Bitcoin skidded below $10,000 on Wednesday, halving in value from its peak price, with investors gripped by fears regulators could clamp down on the volatile cryptocurrency that sky-rocketed last year.

The price of bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best known cryptocurrency, fell to as low as $9,500 on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange, the lowest since Dec. 1.

Bitcoin had touched a peak of almost $20,000 in December – and indeed crossed over that threshold on some exchanges – but has since been roiled by several large selloffs.

Other cryptocurrencies plunged as well. Ethereum and Ripple were both down heavily after reports South Korea and China could ban cryptocurrency trading, sparking worries of a wider regulatory crackdown.

“There is a lot of panic in the market. People are selling to try and get the hell out of there,” said Charles Hayter, founder of Cryptocompare, which owns cryptocurrencies.

“You have more regulatory uncertainty … and because of these falls, you have these other fallouts,” he said, referring to the collapse of some cryptocurrencies in the recent slump in prices.

Analysts at Citi said on Wednesday bitcoin could halve again in value amid the current rout, adding that a possible fall to between the $5,605 and $5,673 area “looks very likely to be very speedy”.

With South Korea, Japan and China all making noises about a regulatory swoop, and officials in France and the United States vowing to investigate cryptocurrencies, there are concerns that global coordination on how to regulate them will accelerate.

Officials are expected to debate the rise of bitcoin at the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina in March.

“Cryptocurrencies could be capped in the current quarter ahead of the G20 meeting in March, where policymakers could discuss tighter regulations,” said Shuhei Fujise, chief analyst at Alt Design.

At its lows on Tuesday, bitcoin suffered its biggest daily decline in four months. It was a far cry from its peak close to $20,000 in December, when the virtual currency had risen nearly 2,000 percent over the year.

Bitcoin has plummeted before. Marc Singer, an adviser at Singer Xenos in Miami, noted bitcoin fell 93 percent in value over a five-month period in 2011. The last time bitcoin more than halved in value was from November 2014 to January 2015.

Tuesday’s decline followed reports that South Korea’s finance minister had said banning trading in cryptocurrencies is still an option and that Seoul plans a set of measures to clamp down on the “irrational” cryptocurrency investment craze.

Separately, a senior Chinese central banker said authorities should ban centralized trading of virtual currencies as well as individuals and businesses that provide related services.

“Bitcoin is deciding whether this is the moment to crash and burn,” said Steven Englander, head of strategy at New York-based Rafiki Capital.

“My conjecture is that cryptocurrency holders are trying to decide whether to abandon bitcoin because its limitations mean it will be superseded by better products or bet that it can thrive despite them.”


Cryptocurrencies enjoyed a bumper year in 2017 as mainstream investors entered the market and as an explosion in so-called initial coin offerings (ICOs) – digital, token-based fundraising rounds – drove demand.

While many observers say the recent falls show that the bubble has burst, those backing the nascent markets say that regulation is welcomed and wild price swings to be expected.

“The volatility of bitcoin – and other crypto currencies – is an expected, and important, part of the journey to becoming a mature asset class. We expect the volatility to continue throughout 2018 but fundamentally believe that bitcoin is still in a bull market,” said Christopher Keshian, co-founder of $APEX Token Fund.

Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, was down 27 percent since Tuesday, according to website CoinMarketCap.

Ripple, the third biggest, has lost 32 percent of its value over the past 24 hours and was quoted at $0.94, down from a high of $3.81 on Jan. 4.

Bitcoin futures maturing on Wednesday on the CBOE Global Markets Inc’s CBOE Futures Exchange were at $9,580, with 3,996 contracts traded, after having opened at $10,850.

“The run-up in bitcoin created a mystique of one-way trading which is being shaken, but the pricing requires faith that there will always be demand,” Englander wrote.

“This is far from guaranteed given the existence of alternatives with better characteristics.”

Reporting by Tommy Wilkes in London and Hideyuki Sano in Tokyo, Writing by Vidya Ranganathan and Tommy Wilkes; editing by Mark Heinrich and Nick Zieminski


CIA rendition flights from rustic North Carolina called to account by citizens

A Gulfstream jet from a quiet airport south-east of Raleigh flew captives to be tortured around the world. The government failed to act but local people have refused to let the issue die

January 17, 2018

Larry Siems in Raleigh, North Carolina

The Guardian

A year after he was released from captivity in Guantánamo, Binyam Mohamed received a letter from Christina Cowger, an agricultural researcher from North Carolina. Enclosed was a petition of apology signed by nearly 800 visitors to the North Carolina State Fair.

It was “a small gesture”, Cowger acknowledged, but her 2010 letter came with a commitment. North Carolina Stop Torture Now, an organization she co-founded, had been conducting protests, petition drives and legislative campaigns seeking an official investigation into an obscure firm operating flights out of her local airport.

The firm, Aero Contractors, was the CIA front company that operated the Gulfstream business jet that delivered Mohamed to a secret prison in Morocco to be tortured.

Though few government officials supported such an investigation, she wrote, the group pledged “to work toward true transparency and accountability in the United States for the crimes against you and other survivors”.

Seven years later, Cowger sat in the front row of a makeshift hearing room in the Raleigh Convention Center as 11 volunteer commissioners of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture “upped the ante”, as she put it, on that pledge.

Over the course of two days, this “citizen-led truth seeking commission” called 20 witnesses to testify on the damage done by Aero’s rendition operations.

One of those witnesses was Mohamedou Ould Slahi, whose Guantánamo Diary opens as he is stripped, made to wear a diaper, and shackled aboard Aero’s Gulfstream in Amman, Jordan, in July 2002.

Appearing by Skype from his home country of Mauritania, Slahi faced questions from a panel that included a former chief prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal, a multi-tour veteran of the Iraq and Afghan wars, a Baptist minister, and a local social worker.

How, the commissioners asked, can we advance an accountability process our elected officials have shunned?

It is a question that North Carolinians have wrestled with before. In 1979, Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi party members opened fire at an anti-Klan rally in Greensboro, leaving five dead. State and federal trials ended in acquittals, and a civil lawsuit raised more questions than it answered about the actions of city officials and police during the event.

Twenty years after those killings, a community group called for an independent investigation, and in 2006 the citizen-driven Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission released a report on the episode that outlined what it called “the way forward” for the city.

Now the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture aims to find a way forward from one of 21st-century America’s darkest episodes – the global operation to seize, interrogate and torture terrorism suspects that Aero Contractors facilitated from the Johnston County airport, a rustic, single runway airstrip 30 miles south-east of Raleigh.

Allyson Caison, a local realtor, first heard the CIA was running “a secret little operation” out of the airport around a Boy Scout campfire in 1996. The subject came up again in the early 2000s, when a relative who was a recreational pilot landed at the airport and marveled at its state-of-the-art runway.

She didn’t know that the “little operation” a former Air America pilot set up years ago in a nondescript blue hangar tucked into the pines employed more than 120 people, or that the Gulfstream jet she would hear taking off and landing was one of the most prolific spiders in what the Council of Europe has called a “web spun across the world” by the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation operations.

In April 2005, the New York Times ran a story titled “CIA Expanding Terror Battle Under Guise of Charter Flights” that lifted the lid on Aero’s rendition flights. Later that year, 40 peace activists from St Louis joined Christina Cowger and other local residents to protest against the company’s role in the CIA’s torture program.

One group unfurled “Torture Taxi” banners along the airport perimeter. Another was arrested for trespassing near the Aero hangar. Caison, drafted from local volunteers for her realtor’s knowledge of local geography and addresses, helped deliver “citizen’s indictments” to several of her neighbors.

“It turned out I knew two of the three Aero principals well,” Caison said during a tour around the airport the day before the commission’s hearings convened. “These were prominent, well-respected business people in our community. Their children and mine were schoolmates. I baked their gingerbread houses for Christmas.”

From 2001 to 2004 Aero’s Gulfstream, operated under the tail number N379P, and a second, larger Boeing 737 Aero stationed at Kinston regional jetport in nearby Lenoir County, carried out scores of rendition missions. Together, they accounted for roughly 80% of all the CIA renditions during those years, landing more than 800 times in countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. The Gulfstream was in and out of Guantánamo so often it earned the nickname the Guantánamo Express.

To drive with Caison around the airport is to get a sense of how much nerve this kind of neighbor-to-neighbor activism takes. In the gleaming new Johnston County airport terminal, the young airport manager greeted her with a wary handshake and a gently drawled apology that he could not attend the commission’s hearings.

Down the road, at the recently fortified automatic gate that blocks the access road to Aero’s hangar, there was no pretense of hospitality. It was lunch hour, and a line of cars was filing out the gate. Each slowed at the sight of Caison’s car. One driver, glaring, almost clipped her side view mirror as he inched past.

Caison said: “I really think we’ve changed some hearts and minds around here. People are quiet about it because of Aero’s long tentacles. But we’ve been persistent. It’s the strength of our little group. We’ve accomplished a lot.”

North Carolina Stop Torture Now has had an impact over the last 10 years. Recently released minutes of a closed 2007 meeting of the airport authority in Kinston, where Aero housed its larger 737 rendition jet, confirmed that Aero sold its hangar at the facility that year. When a member of the airport’s board asked its executive director why the company was leaving, the director “explained that Aero Contractors had not had the aircraft in the hangar for several months due to the negative publicity they were getting from Stop Torture Now”.

The campaign scored successes at state level and in Washington too. In Raleigh, the group pressed the governor and state attorney general to open a criminal investigation into Aero’s rendition operations. Told that the state had no jurisdiction, the group drew on a growing network of support from churches to press for legislation to make participating in CIA kidnappings, enforced disappearances and torture state crimes.

The bill twice stalled in committee, but attracted 12 bipartisan co-sponsors and brought the question of rendition for torture before religious congregations throughout the state.

Pressure is also credited with helping persuade Senator Richard Burr, then the ranking Republican on the Senate intelligence committee, to join in voting to declassify the executive summary of the Senate’s scathing report on the CIA torture program in 2014.

Although that report only examined the treatment of prisoners inside the CIA’s black sites around the world, its release sparked hopes for greater accountability over the rendition to bring suspects to interrogation.

Burr, now chair of the Senate’s intelligence committee, has made clear there will be no further official reckoning for the agency’s post-9/11 human rights violations, and has sought to recall and destroy all copies of the still-classified Senate report.

For the volunteer commissioners of the North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torture, this is where their responsibility begins.

“With no meaningful accountability from government leaders, it’s been left to citizens to keep this issue alive,” commission co-chair Jennifer Daskal, a law professor at American University, explained in a break in the hearings.

“We don’t have the power to prosecute, but we can offer an accounting of what happened, and of the costs, to prevent this from happening again.”

“I believe in accountability. I’ve done accountability,” said David Crane, who served as the founding chief prosecutor of the international tribunal that prosecuted Liberian president Charles Taylor for war crimes and who lives in North Carolina’s Great Smoky Mountains.

“Torture is a clearcut issue: you don’t torture. The American people just need to know the raw facts, and many of those facts are right here in North Carolina.”

The commission invited Aero Contractors to give testimony at the hearings, but received no response. Invitations to the governor, attorney general and several Johnston County officials to attend or send representative to the hearings also went unanswered. Calls to the county manager and county commissioners seeking comment on the hearings and Aero’s operations were not returned.

The North Carolina Commission of Inquiry on Torturewill collect evidence through the spring, pressing for the release of public records from county and state officials and compiling research and testimony on the lasting harms inflicted by Aero’s rendition flights. It plans to release its final report this summer.

For Allyson Caison and Christina Cowger, that report will add to an official record of CIA renditions that so far has been compiled and officially acknowledged only outside the United States.

But the commission’s hearings also sharpened their sense of personal responsibility to repair the harm they see caused by Aero’s operations.

“As a person of faith, I have to be involved in this,” Caison told the commission near the end of the hearing. “As a mom of two boys, I like to think that if my boys were kidnapped, renditioned and tortured, there would be another mom out there at the other end like me, trying to end an injustice that starts in her neighborhood.”

For Cowger, the priority now is to address the physical and psychological health of those who survived Aero’s rendition flights – a process that involves “acknowledgement, genuine apology, and some form of redress”.

“The commission demonstrates by its very being that we are not helpless,” she said.



CIA Rendition and Codes

January 17, 2018

by Christian Jürs

The following have been identified as being involved in CIA rendition.

Aviation Worldwide Services, LLC, sister company to Presidential (see below), both owned by Blackwater, USA Melbourne, FL, mercenaries. 1371 General Aviation Drive, Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida 32935-6310

Aviation Worldwide Services LLC (AWS) is a sister company to Presidential Airways, Inc., both of which are owned by Blackwater USA, Melbourne, FL. AWS owns the planes, and Presidential Airways operates them. The company provides air services to the CIA – flight records show that its N964BW has made at least two trips to the agency’s Camp Peary training facility and N962BW went there in May 2006 Another plane it owns, N968BW, flew from Washington Dulles International Airport to Camp Peary on March 13, 2007.

Bayard Foreign Marketing LLC was involved in extraordinary rendition. Bayard is a “phantom company registered in Oregon State since August 2003. 755 Pittock Block, 921 SW Washington Street ,Portland, OR 97205 Located in Multnomah County, OR Plane Registered to Bayard. The following plane was formerly owned by Bayard and was registered to Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc. after December 2004: r-N8068V (now N44982; ex N379P, N581GA) – Gulfstream V – s/n 581 r-N44982 (ex N379P, N8068V, N581GA) – Gulfstream V – s/n 581

Keeler and Tate Management LLC (AVSPEC) Legal counsel for Keeler and Tate is Streven F. Petersen who is involved in political public relations. Petersen shares an office with Paul D.Laxalt and Frank R. Petersen The following are identified according to Number, Maker Model, and Serial Number (as of January 2006). r-N313P (now N4476S) – Boeing 737-7ET – s/n 33010 (ex- Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc. r-N4476S (N313P) – Boeing 737-7ET – s/n 33010 (ex-Premier N313P)

Path Corporation Path’s address is that of Barbara-Cherix O’Leay a real estate lawyer. 413 Rehoboth Avenue / PO Box 305, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971, Located in Sussex County, DEThe following planes are registered to Path: N120JM – Fairchild SA227-AT – s/n AT-577 N212CP – Cessna 208B – s/n 208B0531 r-N221SG – Gates Learjet 35A – s/n 182

Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc. is an aviation contractor. the company had originally been incorporated in Delaware on Jan. 10, 1994. “On Jan. 23, 1996, Dean Plakias, a lawyer with Hill & Plakias in Dedham, Mass., filed incorporation papers with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts listing the company’s president as Bryan P. Dyess. According to public documents, Premier Executive ordered a new Gulfstream V in 1998. It was delivered in November 1999 with tail number N581GA, and re-registered in March 2000 with a new tail number, N379P. It began flights in June 2000, and changed the tail number again in December 2003.”

Presidential Airways, Inc. is a sister company to  Aviation Worldwide Services, LLC  (AWS), both of which are owned by Blackwater, USA  Melbourne, FL.

S&K Aviation, LLC is involved in Extraodrinary Rendition S&K was “first registered in Florida in December 2003 and is an active company with a registered agent.”

Wells Fargo Bank Northwest NA, a subsidiary of  Wells Fargo & Company, is Trustee for the aircraft N168BF, a Raytheon Hawker 800XP with Serial # 258373.

Rapid Air Transportation, Inc. Planes Registered to Rapid Air 10606 Baltimore Avenue ,Suite 300 , Beltsville, Prince George’s County,  MD 20705-2131Rapid is the registered owner of the following planes. However, they are operated by Tepper Aviation, Inc. N2189MLockheed 382G-44K-30 – s/n 4582, N4557C Lockheed 382G-44K-30 – s/n 5027, N8193J Lockheed 382G-44K-30 – s/n 4796

Stevens Leasing, Inc. Stevens was incorporated by Mark E. Klass (see Devon Holding & Leasing, Inc.), who is now a judge in Lexington, NC. 8130 Country Village Drive, Suite 101 Cordova, TN 38016  Located in Shelby County, TN.Planes Registered to Stevens N173S – Beech B300 – s/n FM-4 N845S – Douglas DC3 – s/n 25509 (43-48248)  N4009L – Raytheon B300C – s/n FM-9 N4042J – Beech B200 – s/n BB-874

Tepper Aviation, Inc. is based at the Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview, Florida. The company has a long association with the CIA. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, it flew weapons into Angola to arm the UNITA rebels. More recently, it has been linked with the practice of extraordinary rendition.  Tepper is closely connected  with Crestview Aerospace Corporation: it shares the same address, and Charles R. Shanklin is a director of both companies. Additionally, Tepper director Jack E. Owen was President of Crestview Aerospace until 2001. Tepper uses a Hercules aircraft, with the registration N3867X.

And coming soon, a complete listing of German firms and individuals controlled by the CIA!



CIA Cryptonyms

This is a partial list


CRYPT DEFINITION   SOURCES      AE                Soviet Union sources, in particular defectors and agents.


AEBARMAN    Soviet officer Yuri Ivonovich Nosenko, who defected in Feb 1964 with information about Oswald. His other crypts were AEFOXTROT and AEDONOR.   MFF.

AEBURBLE     Stateside Soviet double-agent controlled by the FBI, and code-named TUMBLEWEED by the FBI. Actual name Guenter Schulz. AEBURBLE (TUMBLEWEED)’s information was what made the connection between Valeriy Kostikov and the KGB’s “Department 13.”     104-10068-10183, 104-10436-10025, 104-10414-10342, 104-10015-10433, 104-10419-10021.

AEDONOR      Soviet officer Yuri Ivonovich Nosenko, who defected in Feb 1964 with information about Oswald. His other crypts were AEBARMAN and AEFOXTROT.           “Cold Warrior” p.166, 104-10054-10378, 104-10429-10115.

AEFOXTROT   Soviet officer Yuri Ivonovich Nosenko, who defected in Feb 1964 with information about Oswald. His other crypts were AEBARMAN and AEDONOR.    “Passport to Assassination” p.222, 104-10312-10354.

AEGUSTO      Yuriy Loginov, a KGB officer who became an in-place double agent for the CIA.

AELADLE        Anatoliy Golitsyn, a Soviet defector prized by CIA CounterIntelligence head James Angleton.



AM      Operations, organizations, and individuals relating to Cuba.

AMBANG-1     Manuel Ray Rivero, leader of the Revolutionary Movement of the People (MRP) and later Junta Revolucionaria Cubana (JURE).

AMBANTY       Paramilitary operation of internal resistance in Cuba, originally called AMCOBRA, rolled up by Castro in 1964.

AMBANTY-1    Colonel Abad (see AMBANTY).

AMBIDDY-1    Manuel Artime Buesa, a prominent Cuban exile who was in the Bay of Pigs invasion, in 1963 moved to Nicaragua as leader of operation AMWORLD.

AMBUD          Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC), Cuban exile organization formed on 22 Mar 1961 under U.S. guidance to unify various exile groups.

AMBUD-1       Jose Miro Cardona, first Prime Minister of Cuba under Castro, who left Cuba and headed the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) exile group.

AMCALL-1      Reynold Gonzalez Gonzalez.

AMCANOE      Project of U.S. contacts for a resistance group in Cuba, incl. support of Unidad de Liberacion Nacional (ULN).

AMCANOE-1   Eduardo Garcia Molina.

AMCANOE-3   Antonio Jose Ramirez Mendez.

AMCANOE-7   Benjamin Acosta Valdes.

AMCANOE-9   Juan Amestoy Dominguez.

AMCAPE-1      Tad Szulc, New York Times journalist involved in AMTRUNK project, suspected by CIA of being hostile foreign agent.

AMCARBON-1           Al Burt, Miami Herald journalist used as source and “operational support” for CIA’s JMWAVE station.

AMCARBON-3 Donald Dean Bohning, Latin American editor of Miami Herald and CIA source.

AMCIGAR Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD), aka Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front.

AMCLATTER-1 Bernard Leon Barker, Cuban exile and contract agent for CIA, worked with E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis. One of the Watergate burglars.

AMCLATTER-5 Alberto de Jesus Alberty Garcia.

AMCOBRA      Paramilitary operation of internal resistance in Cuba, renamed AMBANTY, rolled up by Castro in 1964.

AMCOVE An “operation centered around an FI (Foreign Intelligence) net in Cuba to report intelligence information via Secret Writing.”

AMCOVE-1 Alejandra Sanchez.

AMDENIM-1 Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria, Cuban exile whose boat Tejana was used in anti-Castro activities.

AMEMBER-1 Julio Lobo, sugar magnate in Cuba and later an exile and donor to the anti-Castro cause.

AMFAUNA Network of in-Cuba agents, nearly all women, providing military, political, and economic reporting, including reports on attempts to kill Castro.

AMHAWK       Manuel Antonio (Tony) de Varona, a leader in the Cuban Revolutionary Council and other anti-Castro exile groups.

AMHIM Project for the “distribution of news and information bulletins and radio newscast tapes to addresses throughout Latin America” via AIP (Agencia de Informaciones Periodisticas).

AMHIM-2 Agustin Alles Soberon, worked under AMHIM project and also for Juana Castro’s radio program.

AMHINT-5 Isidro ‘Chilo’ Borja, early member of the DRE. Educated as an engineer in Canada, he controlled the group’s boats and headed the group’s military section in 1963             AMHINT-53 Luis Fernandez-Rocha, Secretary General of the Revolutionary Student Directorate (DRE).

AMHINT-56 Juan Francisco Blanco Fernandez, participated in DRE raids on Cuba.             AMICE-14 Miguel A. Diaz Isalgue, a “principal” in the AMTRUNK operation.                 AMICE-27 Dr. Nestor Moreno, a “principal” in the AMTRUNK operation.

AMKHAN-2 Carlos Martin Ahrens Temple, Western Union employee in Cuba recruited by CIA agent Bernard Barker (AMCLATTER-1).

AMLASH Rolando Cubela Secades, a Cuban doctor and official who was recruited in 1963 for an assassination attempt on Castro. Cubela was being given a CIA poison pen on Nov 22 when news of JFK’s death broke.

AMLEO “An FI propaganda operation involving the exploitation of Capt. Jose Ricardo Rabel Nunez (AMLEO-3), a high-level defector who escaped from Cuba in an INRA plane on 6 December 1962.”

AMLEO-3 Capt. Jose Ricardo Rabel Nunez, a high-level defector who escaped from Cuba in an INRA plane on 6 December 1962.

AMLOUT-1 Raul Castro, brother of Fidel.

AMMUG-1 Cuban intelligence officer named Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez, who defected to U.S. via Canada in April 1964, and was interrogated about Oswald in addition to other matters.

AMNIP-1 Miguel Roche Monroy – Cuban DGI defector.

AMOT “Cubans in Miami (outside group) controlled by JMWAVE station who gathered information on Cubans, primarily from debriefing of Cuban refugees.”

AMPALM-4 Angel Fernandez Varela.

AMQUACK (AMQUACK-1) Che Guevera, guerrilla leader and minister in Castro’s Cuba, killed in Bolivia in 1968.

AMROD CIA operations against the Cuban intelligence service. One such operation involved planting false papers on Cuban Cultural Attache Teresa Proenza, to make it look like the Vice-Minister of Defense had betrayed the Soviet missile buildup in Cuba to the Americans.

AMSHALE-1 Antonia Veciana, leader of Cuban exile group ALPHA-66. Veciana told HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi that he had worked with a “Maurice Bishop” who Fonzi came to believe was CIA officer David Phillips.

AMSPELL The Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil, or DRE (Cuban Student Directorate). DRE delegate Carlos Bringuier had the famous altercation with Lee Oswald in New Orleans in the summer of 1963, and DRE members quickly spread information about Oswald after JFK’s assassination.

AMSTRUT-2 Juana de la Caridad Castro Ruz, sister of Fidel and Raul, who ran a radio program against her brothers’ regime.

AMSWIRL-1 Customs agent Cesar Diosdado.

AMTHUG Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader who took power in 1959 and whose demise the U.S. began unsuccessfully plotting soon thereafter.

AMTRUNK Operation for military overthrow of Castro’s government in 1963, promoted within White House circles but distrusted by CIA. Aka Plan Leonardo.

AMTRUNK-1   George Volsky.

AMTRUNK-9   Modesto Orlando Orozco Basulto.

AMTRUNK-10 Ramon Thomas Guin Diaz.

AMTRUNK-11 Carlos Pedraza Aguilar.

AMTURVY An operation designed for the purpose of conducting sabotage operations against Cuba. It consisted of a net of 13 AMTURVY assets whose primary function, apart from sabotage, was the preparation of target studies and analysis of sabotage operations.    AMTURVY-1 Alturo Maria Jesus Varona

AMTURVY-4 Enrique Diaz Fernandez.

AMTURVY-13 Mario Salabarria Aguiar.

AMUPAS-1 Viola June Cobb, who informed for CIA under crypt AMUPAS-1 while working for Castro, and played a role in the Elena Garro de Paz story, with Mexican crypt LICOOKY-1.

AMWAIL-1 Justo Carillo Hernandez, leader of Agrupacion Montecristi and a founding member of the Frente Civico Revolucionario (FRD), forerunner of the CRC.                 AMWORLD Plan to invade Cuba from offshore, primarily involving Manuel Artime (AMBIDDY-1), based in Nicaragua.


Crypts related to the Kennedys, including JFK’s alleged assassin.

GPFLOOR Lee Harvey Oswald (post-assassination designation).

GPFOCUS Robert F. Kennedy, JFK’s brother and Attorney General in the JFK administration.

GPIDEAL President Kennedy.


HTLINGUAL    CIA mail opening and mail cover program, operated from 1952 to 1973. Lee Harvey Oswald was one of this program’s targets.


JMBAR Key West, Florida.

JMWAVE CIA Station in Miami, training facility for anti-Cuban operations, existing on what is now the site of the Miami Zoo.



KU Divisions of the CIA itself.


KUCAGE CIA Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff.

KUCLUB CIA Office of Communications.

KUDESK Counter Intelligence (CI) division of CIA.

KUDOVE Clandestine services of CIA.

KUSODA CIA Office of Security.

KUTUBE Foreign Intelligence (FI) division of CIA.

KUTUBE/D CIA “Staff D” responsible for SIGINT (Signals Intelligence – electronic intercepts), where the ZR/RIFLE executive action program was housed.

KU crypts to decode: KUJUMP, KUWOLF.



LCFLUTTER    Polygraph (“lie detector”) testing, sometimes referred to simply as “FLUTTER”.



LI        Operations, organizations, and individuals related to Mexico City.

LIBIGHT Mail opening operation in Mexico City, with Soviet and/or Cuban targets.

LICALLA One of three photo surveillance sites under the LIEMPTY umbrella project. LILYRIC was an apartment which provided a view of the back of the Soviet Embassy compound in Mexico City. The other two photo sites were LIMITED and LILYRIC.

LICHANT-1 Unwitting asset Manuel Calvillo, who the HSCA failed to locate in its attempt to corroborate Elena Garro de Paz’s story regarding Oswald in Mexico City.

LICOOKY-1 Viola June Cobb, who informed for CIA under crypt AMUPAS-1 while working for Castro, and played a role in the Elena Garro de Paz story, with Mexican crypt LICOOKY-1 (aka LICOOKIE-1).

LIEMBRACE    A Mexico City-based surveillance project, under the umbrella LIPSTICK project. LIEMBRACE included a surveillance team, a radio repairman, and a phototruck team.

LIEMPTY Umbrella surveillance project in Mexico City, formerly code-named LIPSTICK. Included a variety of sub-projects under it.

LIENTRAP Mobile surveillance team used to track Soviet operatives in Mexico City.

LIENVOY CIA telephone tapping program in Mexico City, targeting Cuban and Soviet embassies and run in conjunction with the Mexican DFS. Netted phone calls allegedy of Oswald. See also LIFEAT.

LIERODE CIA photosurveillance and tapping operation targeting the Cuban embassy compound in Mexico City. It is the LIERODE operation which failed to obtain photos of Oswald due to a camera breakdown.

LIFEAT CIA telephone tapping program on a number of phone lines in Mexico City, collecting information on a variety of targets, including home phone lines of Soviet officers, the Yugoslav Embassy, and more. Project grew to include TELEX systems and microphone placements. See also LIENVOY.

LIHUFF-1 Alfonso Rudolph Wichtrich, Executive VP, American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico.

LIJERSEY Physical surveillance team operating in Mexico City. Renamed LIRICE in 1962.

LILYRIC One of three photo surveillance sites under the LIEMPTY umbrella project. LILYRIC was a 3rd story apartment across the street from the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, south of the LIMITED installation. The other two photo sites were LIMITED and LICALLA.

LIMERICK Soviet Embassy in Mexico City.

LIMESA Extremely sensitive monitoring operation targeting Soviet Embassy in Mexico City, run by Staff D of CounterIntelligence. Used four-unit basehouse known as LIMUST.

LIMITED One of three photo surveillance sites under the LIEMPTY umbrella project. LIMITED was a fixed site right across the street from the front gate of the Soviet Embassy. The other two photo sites were LILYRIC and LICALLA.

LIMUST A collection of four housing units used in the LIMESA project and other surveillance operations targeting the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City (actually, the exact distinction between LIMESA and LIMUST is not clear).

LIONION Photosurveillance project targeting Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. The purported failure of the LIONION installation to capture a picture of Lee Oswald in late September 1963 was a matter of concern and some disbelief in the HSCA’s investigation.

LIONION-1 Alberto Rodriguez Gallego, part of LIONION photography project targeting Cuban embassy.

LIPSTICK This Mexico City-based project was an “umbrella type project…consisted of multiline phone taps, three photographic sites, a mobile surveillance team and a mail intercept operation.” Under this project were LIMITED, LILYRIC, and LICALLA, LIEMBRACE, LIENTRAP, and possibly other projects. Renamed LIEMPTY.

LIRAVINE Mid-1960s project “for the purpose of consolidating into one administrative group a number of active Cuban informants,” including LIOLEO-1, LISICLE-1, AMSEVER-2, AMPACA-1, and LICARD-1.

LIRICE Surveillance project targeting the Communist Party in Mexico City. Some of its agents were arrested and their CIA case officer detained by the Mexican Security Service and subsequently allowed to leave the country. Originally named LIJERSEY.

LITAMIL-7 Consuelo Esperon Perez, apparently employed as a secretary at the Cuban Embassy.

LITEMPO-2 Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, President of Mexico from 1964 to 1970. He was president in 1968 during the famous Tlatelcolco massacre. Diaz Ortiz was part of Mexico City station chief Win Scott’s LITEMPO program.

LITEMPO-4 Fernando Gutierrez Barrios, head of the Mexican secret police (DFS) from 1964 to 1970, and later held other Mexican government posts. Gutierrez Barrios was part of Mexico City station chief Win Scott’s LITEMPO program.

LITEMPO-8     Luis Echevarria Alvarez, Mexican Interior Minister in 1964 and President from 1970-76. Echevarria was part of Mexico City station chief Win Scott’s LITEMPO program.



OD      Departments of the U.S. government.

ODACID U.S. State Department.

ODBEAT Defense Intelligence Agency?

ODBOON U.S. Customs Agency.

ODEARL U.S. Department of Defense.

ODENVY Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

ODFOAM U.S. Secret Service.



ODUNIT U.S. Air Force.

ODURGE U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

ODYOKE United States government.



PB       Related to entire countries .

PBHISTORY “Central Intelligence Agency project to gather and analyze documents from the Arbenz government in Guatemala that would incriminate Arbenz as a Communist.”         PBPRIME United States of America.


PBSUCCESS Project to overthrow Arbenz government in Guatemala in 1954, involving David Morales, David Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Henry Hecksher, and other officers appearing in the JFK files.

PBSWING U.S. Embassy or official installation.



QDBIAS Pedro Diaz Lanz.

QDDALE William D. Pawley.



QKFLOWAGE United States Information Agency.



WO     Divisions of the CIA itself (see also KU).


WOMACE DDO – Directorate of Operations (formerly Directorate of Plans).

WOMUSE CIA CounterIntelligence staff.



ZRALERT Use of hypnotism by CounterIntelligence staff in “certain operational situations.”

ZRCLIFF Southern Air Transport, a CIA proprietary airline (?).

ZRKNICK Intercept operation against Cuban espionage agents in Miami by FBI, sharing results with CIA.

ZRMETAL Washington, DC.

ZRRIFLE “Executive action” assassinations program set up in CIA in 1961 and run by Bill Harvey (other assassination programs preceded ZRRIFLE).

We extend special thanks to Mr. Basil Panagopulos of Alexander Historical Auctions in the United States for permission to extract information from his holdings of sensitive and informative documents and special files on the intelligence world.   


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