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Aug 5, 2014

U.S. heightens embassy security in anticipation of ‘torture’ report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department is increasing security at some American embassies in anticipation of the public release of a long-awaited Senate report detailing the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the additional security measures reflected concerns that the report could prompt protests in countries where the CIA operated secret prisons that were used to conduct interrogations.

Aug 1, 2014

U.S. Senate report to suggest harsh CIA interrogations were unnecessary: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee report will conclude that the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks yielded no critical intelligence on terrorist plots that could not have been obtained through non-coercive methods, U.S. officials familiar with the document said.

Foreshadowing the impending release of a report expected to suggest that the “enhanced” techniques were unnecessary and also to accuse some CIA officers of misleading Congress about the effectiveness of the program, President Barack Obama said on Friday that the CIA “tortured some folks.” He had banned the practices soon after taking office in 2009.

Jul 31, 2014

CIA concedes it spied on U.S. Senate investigators, apologizes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The CIA conceded on Thursday that it had improperly monitored computers used by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee in an investigation of CIA interrogation tactics and secret prisons for terrorism suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Central Intelligence Agency spokesman Dean Boyd said in a statement that the agency’s inspector general had determined that “some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent” with an understanding between the agency and the Senate panel.

Boyd said CIA Director John Brennan had informed Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Senate committee’s chair, and its senior Republican, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, of the finding and apologized.

Jul 29, 2014

U.S. Senate CIA ‘torture’ report summary to be declassified in a few days: officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House in the next few days is expected to declassify the long-awaited summary of a U.S. Senate committee study of a CIA program that used “enhanced interrogations” and secret prisons to extract information from captured militants, several officials familiar with the matter said.

Over the last two weeks, former directors and deputy directors of the CIA have been invited by the Obama administration to review a still-secret version of the 600-page Senate Intelligence Committee summary at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Jul 23, 2014

Rebels likely downed Malaysian jet ‘by mistake’ -U.S. officials

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. government believes
that pro-Russian separatists most likely shot down a Malaysia
Airlines jet “by mistake,” not realizing it was a civilian
passenger flight, U.S. intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the
“most plausible explanation” for the destruction of the plane
was that the separatists fired a Russian-made SA-11 missile at
it after mistaking it for another kind of aircraft.

Jul 20, 2014

Kerry strengthens U.S. case against Russia over Malaysia jet downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday laid out what he said was overwhelming evidence of Russian complicity in the downing of a Malaysian airliner in eastern Ukraine as he made the U.S. case against Moscow in the most emphatic and explicit terms yet.

Delivering his points in a blitz of U.S. morning news shows, Kerry demanded that Russia take responsibility for actions of allied separatists suspected of shooting down the passenger plane and he expressed disgust over the rebels’ “grotesque” mishandling of victims’ bodies at the crash site.

Jul 19, 2014

U.S. scrambles to determine who fired Russian-made missile at jet

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Satellite images show a plume of smoke left by the ground-to-air missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines flight 17. Infrared sensors recorded the moment when the airliner exploded.

As U.S. analysts sift through fragments of intelligence to try to pin down who fired the missile and why, and where it came from, they are running into difficult questions.

Jul 18, 2014

U.S. orders American aircraft to avoid eastern Ukraine airspace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued an order on Thursday night prohibiting American aircraft from flying over eastern Ukraine following the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight in that region.

Citing “recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities,” the FAA said the restricted area included the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions. “This action expands a prohibition of U.S. flight operations issued by the FAA in April, over the Crimean region of Ukraine and adjacent areas of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov,” the agency said.

Jul 17, 2014

U.S. air carriers to avoid Russia-Ukraine border airspace

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – American air carriers have agreed to avoid flying through airspace near Russia’s border with Ukraine after a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people crashed in the area on Thursday, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said.

Announcing the voluntary flight restrictions, the FAA said it had been in contact with U.S. airlines after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashed in an area racked by civil war.

Jul 7, 2014

CIA had role in Germany spy affair

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Central Intelligence Agency was involved in a spying operation against Germany that led to the alleged recruitment of a German intelligence official and has prompted renewed outrage in Berlin, two U.S. officials familiar with the matter said on Monday.

CIA Director John Brennan has asked to brief key members of the U.S. Congress on the matter, which threatens a new rupture between Washington and a close European ally, one of the officials said.