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The CIA responds to Seymour Hersh (via MinnPost)

"Utter nonsense," is the quote from CIA spokester George Little.

In case you're out of context, I wrote yesterday about comments famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh made Tuesday night at the U of M, which included a description of a story he is working on that he said would show that "the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven’t been called on it yet. That does happen."

CIA spokester Little emailed me:

"I saw your story on Seymour Hersh’s recent allegations regarding CIA activities since 9/11.  If you wish, you can attribute the quoted portion that follows to me, in name, as a CIA spokesman:

'This is utter nonsense.'"

I spoke to Little to clarify whether he was aware of the basis for Hersh's statement (which I am not, only that it's based on his reporting) or whether he was categorically stating that nothing the CIA has done post-9/11 could be reasonably characterized as domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. He said it was a categorical denial. He doesn't know what Hersh claims, but any claim that the CIA has engaged in domestic spying is "complete and utter nonsense," saith Little on behalf of the CIA.

I have solicited a comment from Hersh.

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Comments (14)

It's technically "NOT" CIA -- alone.

It is a "multi-agency" coordinated "action" involving many security/intel/law enforcement/revenue agencies -- federal and local.

It is decentralized, with units in every community in the nation.

And its attacks are ongoing -- even as I write this.

For the full story, see, "American Gestapo" and related stories at

Eric: Please be advised that your "moderation" function allows fusion center spies to intercept comments without you ever knowing. See my commentary under "internet filters" at, "free speech."

I would suggest (now my favorite web site), moderate ex post facto.

So, just a "Little" bit hurts?...

And I suppose it's inaccurate ("utter nonsense") also to believe that CIA stands for Chaos In Action?

"Utter nonsense" sounds like one incredible subjective response from an objective field man, in the 'profession' of imformation gathering...and got to say also, I haven't heard that term used since my Great Aunt Bertha passed away.

Rest in peace I say, again.

A CIA spokesman, really? Wow ... Hersch must have hit a sore point. I hope this person that said he was a "CIA Spokesperson" had that official designation and had permission from his superiors namely the director of the CIA Leon Panetta, and the President of the United States to make such a statement.

I would hope that you would seek some authentication that this person does indeed have the authority to make such a statement. This seems a highly unorthodox method of relaying such information to the public. This method which amounts to heresay in that I can't be assured that Mr. Little's comments have any veracity except perhaps of his own opinion. Why would they send flunky with such a blunt message to be re-iterated by you? Is it because the bigger heads don't want to be on the chopping block?

What this smacks of is cover up and a clandestine back channel way of keeping something on the qt.
I'm sure Panetta would be happier not having to engage a scandal from the Bush era ... he has a lot of fish in the kettle to fry; but this method raises more questions than it answers, seems unprofessional, and allows me to shake my head that there is more to the story not being told and trying to make sure it isn't.

Get back to us, with verification from Panetta that this guy is for real and conveys an actual CIA message, or else I'll just chock it up to some codger wanna have more power than he does making a statement that doesn't mean anything.

Backhanded slipshot messages just raise my eyebrows and concern ... now I think more than ever that Cheney had domestic persons targeted for elimination. After all his best friend lawyer apologized to Cheney for Cheney shooting him. Hard to put something past someone with that much power and the will to use it.

The CIA has denied any involvement in my case since 1968. Just one year ago, an FOIA request for information about Project Cherry was answered by the new era of responders by saying 'that information remains classified."
Now that alone is PROGRESS.

Seymour Hersh wrote about me in The Price Of Power.

I wrote about me here.

Then, in 2000, we found irrefutable evidence that members of the National Security Council had disregarded presidential directives issued during 1966 during NSC meetings, during wartime. The State Department had unilaterally declassified once top secret documents of the minutes of the NSC meetings, much to the chagrin of the CIA and now we know why: Treason In Wartime.

If the Obama administration wants to forget the past, mass murder of 911 and war crimes, then we must tell all the judges in Amerika to cancel all murder, rape, armed robbery, A % B domestic cases because if they go forward with these cases then there will be no justice and liberty for all. Might as well change the entire system!

It might be instructive to note that the prime mission of the CIA is deception. Truth is not one of their objectives, so their denial should be regarded in that light.

Also, the sterling record of Mr. Hersh as a journalistic upholder of truth should be equally observed when attempting to discern the veracity of the article.

"It might be instructive to note that the prime mission of the CIA is deception. Truth is not one of their objectives, so their denial should be regarded in that light."

Exactly, their "spokesperson" has zero credibility. Which does not make what Hersh says true, it just makes what the CIA says irrelevant.

bob dobbs: I think we fundamentally agree on the underlying issue of the CIA, but as for Seymour Hersh and a "sterling reputation" you've got another individual in mind I think. Don't get me wrong, he's been an irreplaceable asset in the cause of bringing truth to light for those who seek it, and you can hardly criticize him for partisanship. (the book on the Kennedys proof positive!)
However his peers seem to call him on his propensity to, and I'm paraphrasing, "get the underlying basis of the story dead on, but embellish it with juicy outright lies".
We'll have to wait and see the distinction here. Was his comment on the CIA the truth of a whole story, or was it an added embellishment to a larger one?
In any case if his reputation was so sterling Barbara Walters would have had kid gloves on in an interview I saw a few years ago on a morning show, I believe it was on ABC. She took him to task and ripped him apart on just such an embellishment, she seemed to get pretty riled at the patronization that she could be easily duped.
In the end we're all better for his work- but is his work the best it could be?
I think the real story about Abu Graib- the truth was more "Copper Green" than us actually abusing peoople- was obscured when the Pentagon catagorically denied everything in the face of embellishments promoting a Rumsfeld as Darth Vader angle. Only Sy knows that I guess. Most Americans are too detached to ask why all the photos merely SUGGEST abuse but the few cases that were are not depicted.

"she seemed to get pretty riled at the patronization that she could be easily duped. "

I think you miss something. Hersh reporting treats official sources as unreliable. Barbara Walters' reporting relied on her access to those sources. Suggesting those sources are untrustworthy is the same as saying Barbara Walters reporting isn't trustworthy.

You can see that here. Its really irrelevant whether the CIA spokesperson is making a "categorical denial" or not. The only purpose of careful parsing of words is to be able to deny you lied if you get caught lying. If the CIA has been involved in illegal domestic surveillance, getting "cuahgt" lying to the media is the least of its problems.

I doubt any police officer has ever asked a suspect, "So when you deny murdering your husband, are you saying categorically you didn't kill him, or just that it was not first degree murder?"

Ross, that first point is both well founded and clearly expressed, so much so that uncharacteristically (for me) I can't find a hole to poke in it for argument.
However to display that my claims about Mr Hersh are if not entirely accurate then in good faith, I offer the source I first read that from:
I see your point about their different standards, and while my ignorance of that is certain. I'm just as certain Ms. Walters was aware of it.

Many retired military and "intelligence" folk have realized after leaving active service that they had not one original idea during their entire careers. That includes Generals, Admirals and Station Chiefs. Of course, new ideas and independent thinking is not encouraged in government work. Just follow the well though out rules and don't make waves often accompanied by "Don't tell me anything I don't want to know". This allows the PTB full control of robots under their command. "Yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir". It's all about control and secreting the SOURCES AND METHODS so that the general public will not know (ha) that crimes are being committed against the laws of the United States and foreign sovereign nations for the sorriest excuse ever offered, National Security. What a crock.

Even George Bush, Sr. is quoted as saying, "If they (the public) knew what we had done, they would have chased us down the street and hung us from the nearest light pole". What do you think he was talking about????? Aw, come on, use your imagination.

I have come to the conclusion that the acronym for CIA is Criminally Insane Anonymous. Think about that for a moment. The activities of the CIA are criminal in nature in that they operate OUTSIDE the laws of our nation and the world. Insane because you have to be nuts to undertake missions against humanity. And anonymous because the secrecy umbrella under which CIA operates (at the pleasure of the president--unless the government inside the government decides to commit treason and defy the president. But since it is all top secret anyway, who is ever going to find out unless the new minders of the secrets spill the beans. That's ok. Such crimes have no statute of limitations.

To CIA spokesman George Little, if you wish you
may attributed the quoted portion that follows to me as part of your FISA hidden file.

You sir, are full of utter nonsense. It is your
job to pretend otherwise. That is one of the things you get paid to do and that is to lie.
No Comment = Utter Nonsense. They are one and the same.

I live in No. California. About 40-50 miles east of Lawrence Livermore Nat Lab. I have my own set of satellite constellations that get loaded into my night sky. I can't tell you how often
the big dipper has been inverted backwards, because it happens so often it's not funny any more. These so called satellite systems don't seem to be orbiting as much as they appear to be
hovering. ALMOST EVERY SINGLE NIGHT AT LAST 1-3 OF THEM HOVERING DOWN INTO AN ALTITUDE OF UNDER A MILE. One of them, about 45 degrees away from being right over my own house. Another one
an altitude of around 1,000 feet in my not so far off East Horizon but to the North of the other
one that is up above just south of my home.
That one in the EAST IS SO BRIGHT AND ESPECIALLY SO LOW IT IS JUST TOO OBVIOUS on most nights of the week.

Yes, CIA spokesman George Little the CIA does
commit the crime of domestic surveillance of spying upon it's own citizens. And most of it
has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism

I realize people have to do what they need to do to keep their jobs, but my taxes actually are used to pay your salary. I deserve the truth
and not utter nonsense of lies from my government.