back to article Wikileaks publishes secret CIA memo

Wikileaks posted a classified CIA memo on Wednesday, three weeks after the Pentagon warned the self-described whistleblower website to return a huge cache of of unpublished documents believed to be in its possession. The secret memo, titled “What If Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism?',” isn't likely …


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  1. JaitcH

    What is a secret? What's in a word?

    The U.S. typically, and dramatically, stamps everything 'Secret' which is their minimal ating.

    When I was flattening the paving in Catterick, Yorkshire, with my Army issued boots everything had a minimum of 'Classified' which was followed by 'Restricted', and so on.

    So one mans secret is another's not so secret.

    The 'secret' that needs leaking is what the Americans are doing in Menwith Hill 'spy' base near Harrogate in North Yorkshire, run by the gun-toting National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States and whether their secrets are shared with the British Government.

    1. Nick 6
      Black Helicopters

      Domestic spying loophole

      Part of Menwith's purpose is to allow spying on British subjects under the auspices of it being a foreign intelligence post. We have reciprocal arrangements with other governments - surveillance of their 'problem' people and passing the results back to their own governments.

      Another purpose is listening in up satellite comms from the middle east in order help US aero and weapons firms beat their European competitors.

      And also....oh, hang on there's someone at the door....

    2. Allan George Dyer

      Does that mean...

      You've breached the Official Secrets Act by revealing you were in Catterick etc.?

      I *hope* this is a joke?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Quite simply...

      ... they are eaves-dropping on all comms that the base can get it's hands on, these are then run through the keywords computer for taggging and flagging (can't remember the name of the machine).

      The UK agencies don't get that much access to the intel that Menwith picks up, unless of course we have a someone planted inside the base they don't know about.

      We are supposed to share secrets but like all these sort of relationships it's mostly for show and generally both sides will only pass on stuff they think is going to help thier own cause rather than theit partners.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Methinks you've been watching too much TV...

      As Nick put it ... There are laws about domestic snooping so I'm sure reciprocal deals exist. Of course if they exist, we the little people will never know and can only assume that they exist.

      (So maybe I should be paranoid about that British Nanny working down the hall who keeps checking me out? ;-)

      Ok ... Seriously?

      The point is that in the intelligence game you don't always know what can be important news and what is just noise, so you need to treat everything with a bit of sensitivity. Also, sometimes something which has no intelligence value may be marked 'classified' just to make it harder for someone to discern what is real, or is a plant. (If you think about it too long, you will end up wearing a tin foil hat. :-)

      I'm sure the Aussie Ass-man knew that the document he released could be potentially embarrassing but not dangerous as a way to send a message to the CIA to back off. He's playing a dangerous game and he will end up on the short end of the stick. We only hear of the botched stuff like the rendition in Italy, but not the jobs that go on successfully.

      Like it or not, the world we live in was heavily influenced by lessons learned in WWII and then the cold war.

      You want to be paranoid? A good clandestine spy operation will exist right under your nose and you won't even know it exists. ;-)

      Mine's the coat with the tin-foil lining.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Sheep this Way please .......

        "There are laws about domestic snooping..." ... Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 26th August 2010 12:17 GMT

        Oh, please, you cannot be serious, AC. In the intelligence business there are no laws or rules to follow, for it, along with IT, is a Lead Discipline. Although if one is perfectly truthful, is the present state of intelligence and wisdom in the spooky business so lamentably poor as to render the teams just as puppets with their strings being pulled and chains yanked by significant others about which nothing is generally known.

        And they are the Real Deal and a SMART Brigade of Virtualised Brigands, whenever they want to be. Or choose to be. Or need to be.

        Laws are passed for others to obey ........

    5. F111F

      Three Levels of Classification

      There are three levels of classification in the U.S.: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret. Documents are either unclassified (vast majority, such as technical orders, instructions, regulations, training manuals, etc), or classified based on the amount of damage unauthorized release can do to national security. The majority of classified documents are marked Confidential "EEFI" (Essential Elements of Friendly Information), where an enemy can put together several documents to come up with readiness levels, locations, etc. As for Top Secret, that is the top level and anything "higher" is really just compartmentalized (restricted) to ensure as few people as possible have access.

      As for sharing secrets with the U.K., the U.S. has a "special" relationship with the U.K. that no other nation has, considering we share an ICBM and it's payload, so it would only be natural to assume there are locations where we share other information with each other. I'm not in the "know", so it could be Menwith Hill...

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Black Helicopters

      Menwith Hill. Bude. Scarborough

      is accepted as a reasonable , if now dated , document on what NSA Field Station F-83 at Menwith Hill is upto. (link drops a 1meg PDF on your PC, probably from the European Parliament Temporary Committee on Echelon type systems )

  2. Goat Jam

    Why on earth would they need to speculate about that.

    OF COURSE a large part of the world sees Uncle Sam as an exporter of terrorism and increasingly in so-called "western democracies" too.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You can't go around carpet-bombing civilians and nicking their oil without people getting tetchy. Exporter, yes. Manufacturer too.

  3. disgruntled yank


    The NSA totes guns? Their guards do, perhaps, but that's a bit like talking about the code-breaking SAS.

    As for the memo, it will no doubt come as a shock to Britons to learn that the US once funded the Fenians, the IRB, the IRA, etc. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that the Irgun once got a few dollars here and there.

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Why on earth would that come as a shock to us?

      We're been criticising you bastards for *decades* for financing the IRA. And now you act like it's some sort of big secret that we knew nothing about? FFS....


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I think you need to check your sarcasm detector; I think it's broken.

        1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge


          Maybe, maybe not. It's been a tough week.

          But I'm still not entirely convinced that was sarcasm. Perhaps the ex-colonial gentleman would like to confirm for us?


    2. Matt Bryant Silver badge

      RE: Eh?

      It's no suprise that the CIA might be linked to terror groups that even operated against the US's allies. Whilst many assume the US and UK have a long history of holding hands, the turth is they were very competitive between the Wars and after. The US has always had a particular fascination with reducing British influence in the Med, Mid-East and Asia, and the CIA is implicated in a number of anti-British activites that us Brits would view as terrorist. But at the time of the Irgun, Washington was much more interested in cultivating the Sauds as a balance to British influence in the Mid-East, so it is unlikley they were directly supporting the Irgun.

      But the US does have a long history of what could be politely described as competing with the Empire. The US administration after the Great War was rabidly anti-colonial, the League of Nations being President Wilson's attempt to hamstring the European powers. That this later grew into the United Nations that today gives the US so much grief is ironic. Whilst supposedly friendly, the diplomatic rivalry between the US and the UK was particularly marked in view of the Royal Navy's superiority in warship numbers. One '20s dispute over a rock in the Pacific nearly led to naval action! Whilst the Washington Treaty probably stopped the UK going bankrupt, the limit on battleships and their size was the US's attempt to reduce the RN's power and hence Britain's influence abroad. In some ways it wasn't surprising that the FBI and Secret Service both ignored SIS warnings that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbour. Instead, the CIA spent many years post-War strenuously denying that a British copy of the Russian spy Richard Sorge's report of the Jap plans had been hand-delivered to Washington in 1941.

      Anti-British sentiment was also rife in parts of the US military right into the early years of WW2, USN's Admiral King's refusal to take advice on convoying from the Royal Navy being an example, leading to hundreds of sailors dying in U-boat attacks off the US coast. King's career didn't suffer, instead he was eventually promoted to be the first USN Fleet Admiral and tried his darnedest (but failed) to keep the Royal Navy out of any Allied activity in the Pacific.

      It's not surprising that many up-and-coming American career diplomats picked up that anti-Empire sentiment in the '20s and carried it on into post-WW2 politics. The CIA was formed by those same diplomats post-War, from OSS men that had often competed with the British Secret Intelligence Service during WW2. The OSS often refused to share agents or information or listen to British warnings, and fed the rivalry between the Communist and non-Communist partisan groups in occupied Europe. Another prime case of US anglophobia occured in 1941 after the Italians broke into the US embassy in Rome and copied the US diplomatic codebook. The MI6 had warned Whitehall who warned the US that the embassy was not secure. The US Foreign Service had belatedly passed the warning to the US Secret Service who completely ignored it. The Italian break-in went undetected.

      After this coup, the Italians wasted no time in sharing the code with the Nazis. At the time, the UK was seeking influence in Washington, and was allowing an US military attache, Colonel Fellers, complete freedom of action to explore the British frontlines in North Africa and even attend Auchinleck's staff meetings. Fellers was a champion of Lend Lease and seen as pro-British in a rather anti-British Washington, so Whitehall was anxious to ensure his support. Fellers, a very good officer, sent copious and accurate reports to Washington, and the Nazis read them all since the US was still using the same diplomatic codes that had been stolen by the Italians. What is more alarming is that those codes were very old, dating from many years pre-War, so should have been changed after Pearl Harbour anyway! The result was Erwin Rommel got almost daily reports of British dispositions, moral and intentions, and the SIS had to pussyfoot around Washington sensitivities when looking for the leak. The Desert Fox built his reputation in the Desert thanks to the US supplying him with all the information he needed.

      Even when the SIS was sure Fellers was the unintentional leak, the British Government was wary about upsetting Washington, and so asked politley that they review security. The US response was tardy and led to further Commonwealth soldiers dying, all due to the US's Secret Service refusing to believe the SIS until it was too late. Post-War the leak was hushed up in the name of Allied unity, and Auchinleck's reputation was tarred as the General that couldn't stop Rommel. Auchinleck's replacement, Montgomery, arrived just after the leak had finally been plugged, and benefited immensely from the massive reduction in intel that was reaching Rommel, especially as RAF strength in North Africa had finally reached a point where Axis recce flights were being stopped. Amusingly, Monty wasn't much liked by the US either, especially after he later publically announced how he had saved the American bacon during the Battle of the Bulge, another dramatic US intelligence failure.

      Post-WW2 the US and UK secret services were still at it in the Med, leading to mistrust and competition that allowed the Russians to dominate in Yugoslavia and almost gave them Greece and Italy as well. The British were quiet so as not to upset Washington and the new NATO alliance, but the majority of weapons captured from Cypriot terrorists/freedom-fighters in the '50s and '60s were of US origin. The SAS fighting rebels in the Gulf States in the same period often captured Saudis that had been trained by Americans in guerilla warfare techniques. There is some quiet discussion around the many geurilla units that set up post-WW2 in Asia, many of them having been cultivated by the US to fight the Japanese in WW2, but with suspicion that the CIA did not stop supporting them when they switched to fighting the Brits and the Dutch, even after it was obvious they were linked to Communist China. That this suspected unofficial policy of undermining European colonies later gave rise to America's own Domino nightmare is doubly ironic.

      So, given the US's history of anti-colonialism, it's not surprising the CIA should be linked to attacks on what were often the prime targets of post-WW2 terrorists, namely European colonies. The surprise is that Wikileaks actually think this is newsworthy. If anything, it highlights the current US administration's over-concern with being seen as whiter-than-white and wanting to avoid using what could be construed as terror. Rather the opposite of what the usual CIA-bashers spew all over the Web. If this is the best of what Wikileaks are holding back then it's hard going to be hard to maintain interest, and harder still for them to drum up any more donations.

  4. Glen Turner 666
    Big Brother

    Foreign partners

    "...foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects..."

    Or maybe foreign partners are just not all that keen on the word "extrajudicial", believing that Habeus Corpus should extend to all people, whatever their activities. Or believing that all prisoners should face a prompt and fair trail, rather than indefinite detention at Gitmo. Or believing that no one should be sent for torture in the prison of a US vassal state.

    The most interesting bit of the memo is the CIA's continuing belief that special rendition is acceptable, and the lack of awareness that this CIA activity harms the US's interests.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Slightly away from the main topic, but...

    "The charges were based on the accounts of two women who said consensual sex they had with Assange that later turned non-consensual when he refused to use a condom"

    If true, there must be something wrong with the guy. If I had two women at once (because whether true or not, that's how the hack's written it) I'd do pretty much anything they said and be grateful!

    Paris because...well....

  6. John G Imrie
    Black Helicopters


    “If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects in third party countries,” the memo, dated February 2, stated

    Does this part of the memo mean that the US was and plans to continue Extraordinary Rendition on and after the 2nd Feb?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    US Intelligence...

    Doesn't say much about US Intelligence when they are only just speculating that might be the case...

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Crimes against Humanity?!. ..... Four questions to answer for?!.

    And here .... .... is a Top Secret cable which clearly identifies Hillary R Clinton as an active terrorist agent and warmonger inciting and providing support for what will also be murderous criminal operations, as the cable shows both intent and action?!.

    Or is she going to use a lame tame version of her cheating, lying husband's public defense and proclaim to the world .... "I did not send that telegram"?!.

    No wonder Bill strays for sexual pleasure with others if she is such a nasty piece of work, although many will recognise that they are a mirror of themselves and they thoroughly deserve each other, although Uncle Sam deserves neither of them considering the damage that they have done and the shame they have brought and wrought in his name in the Great Game?!.

    AAA Sub-Prime Masters indeed, in a World which shuns such Deeds as they are always self-destructive?!.

    And Paris because ....... well, her and Monica share a similar heavenly passion if the evidence in Porn and Media is to be believed.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. MonkeyBot

    Exporter of terrorism

    Surely a lot of the world already see the US as an exporter of terrorism.

    They spent millions training south American torturers and death squads at the School of The Americas and they were quite happy to arm and support Al Qaeda when they where shooting at the Russians.

    I'm still not sure on the difference between terrorism and shock-and-awe-ism other than the price of the weapons.

  11. Chris Harries
    Black Helicopters

    Red Cell doc you should all read

    There is another Red Cell doc on wiki leaks which describes how to get support for Afghanistan from France and Germany. I recommend everyone reads it so they understand what tactics are used. Here is the link for anyone (that should be all of you :P ) interested,_11_Mar_2010

    1. AndyS

      Interesting document

      Summarised in two sentences:

      'The Afghanistan mission’s low public salience has allowed French and German leaders to disregard popular opposition and steadily increase their troop contributions. [But] if domestic politics forces the Dutch to depart, politicians elsewhere might cite a precedent for “listening to the voters.”'

  12. Rogerborg

    I think we're talking paid companionship

    And it is consistent for Assange to refuse to let his "secret agent" go undercover.

  13. envmod

    spill the beans

    so what are the Americans doing at Menwith Hill spy base (near Harrogate in North Yorkshire)?

    has it got anything to do with aliens? i'm only interested if it's to do with aliens.

  14. Falanx

    A modest question...

    It's been said already in more grandiose prose, but succinctly:

    What is this 'IF'?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Non consensual

    Never mind charges for non consensual, they should lock Assange up for espionage and treason and throw away the key. This sort of information causes real people to die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      @Titus Technophobe

      Instead CIA kills "unreal" people. Those from strange countries where they don't even speak English, so they don't count.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      If they're not doing anything wrong, they've nothing to hide. Isn't that the usual defence?

    3. Tony Green

      So... Let's see

      The US murders hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and you're whining that a few Yank terrorists might get killed?

      The more the merrier, I say.

      1. North Briton

        The true voice of bourgeois liberalism:

        … no pretence at pacifism or opposing a war, just outright support for the enemy. Tony, did you cheer on the Taliban’s murder of doctors Karen Woo, Daniela Beyer and Cheryl Beckett, and Tom Little and Dan Terry, both in their 60’s, as much as you cheer on the deaths of working class Americans? And unlike the accidental deaths caused by the military the murders of those ten non-combatants was premeditated and up close and personal—close enough to see the terror in their eyes and hear their pleas for mercy.


  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That's another word for "illegal", isn't it?

  17. Dan 10


    “If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects in third party countries,”


    “If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on being party to terrorism (you know, detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects in third party countries),”

  18. duncan campbell

    Before you speak, Tit-us

    Know that in Sparta everyone, even a King's messenger, is held accountable for the words of his voice.

    This is Sparta.


  19. Anton Channing
    Big Brother


    What the hell kind of Orwellian language is that anyway? So what would be an 'Importer' of terrorism? A country that finances terrorism from one of the 'Exporters'? Which would make an 'Exporter' of terrorism a country where terrorist brings money into the economy?

    So basically all this talk of Exporting Terrorism is an acknowledgement that in the modern world, terrorism is a black market business, with some countries funding it, and others selling it. Some may even engage in both. Of course, this does not mean that the seller can't sell to a buyer in their own country, in which case the transaction involves no importing or exporting.

    The country where the terrorism actually takes place may be the Exporter itself, or it may even be the Importer, but could well be a third party otherwise unrelated to the transaction.

    So this just leaves a question, to be 'seen as' an Exporter, the US would have to be seen as a selling terrorist activity to countries that wish to purchase it, as opposed to its current status as an Importer, of funder of terrorism. Maybe for this to be the case they would need to be, or be close to becoming a 'Net Exporter'. Why is one seen as worse that the other, since both are equally necessary for the transaction?

    I suspect that whilst public opinion matters to an extent, it isn't really what they are talking about when they say 'The World'. They only really mean 'World Leaders' (ie International Governments, Banks, Big Corporations etc.), those with influence to actually make a difference. Collectively the public could make a difference, but lately they have managed to quite successfully 'divide and conquer' us along left-right economic grounds. We'd have to really wake up collectively, and work out a way to act, before they took notice of what we actually thought again.

  20. Alan Firminger


    I recommend to anyone who doubts that the US exports terrorism to read BUDA'S WAGON by Mike Davis published by Virgo. This book demonstrates that the old question, "What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter ?", was ignored in the reckless desire to be effective.

    Every freedom fighter uses terrorist tactics, that is terrorism. And every uniformed army opposing them gets corrupted to the same standard. What was the battle of Falluja if it wasn't terrorism. And, top marks to the to the British army who responded to the murder of six redcaps by doing nothing.

    In posing the dilemma what planet are they on ?

  21. Brangdon

    @two women at once

    It wasn't two women at once. It was one woman on the 14th and another on the 17th (according to the linked Guardian article). They apparently knew each other and reported the crime(s) together.

    It doesn't sound much like dirty tricks to me. It seems he did have the sex, and they agreed except they wanted him to use a condom. I'd have thought a frame-up would have involved a more clear-cut crime.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Really etc.

    @Andy - The CIA is an intelligence gathering organisation. Killing people is not part of their remit.

    @Robert - The nature of international diplomacy is such that things discussed behind closed doors are generally better kept secret, lest they reach the media who might then exaggerate the discussion. This article being an example of just such a communication.

    @Duncan - I have absolutely neither an idea what you are on about, nor any real interest. Unless you have some relevant point to make.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "The nature of international diplomacy is such that things discussed behind closed doors are generally better kept secret, lest they reach the media who might then exaggerate the discussion. This article being an example of just such a communication."

      This essentially boils down to "Democracy is fine as long as it doesn't interfere with how the country is run".

  23. adnim


    “What If Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism?',”

    Depends on which side of the M16 one finds oneself.

    Hard to describe the US as exporters of freedom, when many nations just want freedom from the US.

  24. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Electronic Communicators Rule and Rule #1 is.... If you Can't Share IT, Can It, as in Bin It.

    "The nature of international diplomacy is such that things discussed behind closed doors are generally better kept secret, lest they reach the media who might then exaggerate the discussion. This article being an example of just such a communication" .... Titus Technophobe Posted Thursday 26th August 2010 12:54 GMT

    If international diplomacy were carried out transparently with no closed doors hiding dodgy secrets, would the media then report the truth, and all communications would be online and virtually carried out from the comfort of one's own chosen abode/wherever one would be connected ...... with Global Operating Devices ...... to CyberIntelAIgent Security Systems ShareWare for Better Beta Man Management and Future Perception Command and Control.

    No more junkets, no more unnecessary conference travel, no more security hassles, no more exorbitant costs, no more expensive claims against public purses, no more spinning out of control lies. Just Pure Raw Real Feed.

  25. Graham Bartlett

    What is this "if"?

    This would be the same United States of America where members of its security services and foreign governments supported by those security services committed mass murder of civilians in Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua, Guatamala, Honduras, Colombia, Bolivia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Vietnam and Cambodia, with the full knowledge and explicit permission of three decades of presidents, senators and congressmen, from the 60s to the 80s? And the CIA wonders why there's a bit of residual ill-feeling?

    There was a brief lull in the 90s. Then back to more of the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, with torture and murder by US security services and the governments backed by them.

  26. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    There are leaks, and there are leaks

    "he refused to use a condom"


    Why, the joke practically writes itself.

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