Greenwald Accuses NPR Of “Laundering CIA Talking Points” In Story Involving Firm With Undisclosed Agency Ties

220px-Glenn_greenwald_portraitCIAGlenn Greenwald has called out National Public Radio in a recent interview for a story by Dina Temple-Raston for a story that it aired on how a study had found “tangible evidence” that leaks by Edward Snowden had harmed security by showing terrorists that they have to develop more sophisticated encryption programs. However, that study was the work of a firm named “Recorded Future,” which Greenwald claims has been funded by the CIA to the tune of millions of dollars. Greenwald chastises Temple-Raston and NPR for not informing listeners that the source is a CIA funded outfit. He accuses NPR of essentially airing CIA talking points.


The company released a report called “How Al-Qaeda Uses Encryption Post-Snowden” in two parts in May and August on how “Snowden leaks influencing Al-Qaeda’s crypto product innovation.”

NPRLogoRecorded_FutureTemple-Raston responded to the release with a story entitled Big Data Firm Says It Can Link Snowden Data To Changed Terrorist Behavior. She interviewed Recorded Future’s CEO and co-founder Christopher Ahlberg who said that they began to delve more deeply into the issue when “We saw at least three major product releases coming out with different organizations with al-Qaida and associated organizations fairly quickly after the Snowden disclosures.” She reported:

As it turns out, Recorded Future and Reversing Labs discovered that al-Qaida didn’t just tinker at the edges of its seven-year-old encryption software; it overhauled it. The new programs no longer use much of what’s known as “homebrew,” or homemade algorithms. Instead, al-Qaida has started incorporating more sophisticated open-source code to help disguise its communications.

Greenwald calls the failure to inform listeners of the CIA connection “a pure and indisputable case of journalistic malpractice and deceit.” He also notes that stories running back to 2001 detail how al-Qaeda was fully aware of the need to develop more advanced forms of encryption. I cannot find any response from NPR to the allegations.

The cause and effect relationship of the report can clearly be challenged given the continual reports of U.S. intelligence interceptions before and after the Snowden disclosures. That makes the connection and possible funding of the CIA more problematic if true. I do believe that, if Greenwald is correct and this firm receives such a high level of funding from the CIA, it should have been disclosed.

Recorded Future takes on an ominous sound if it is, as Greenwald claims, a company that has received millions from the CIA. He alleges that “the investment arm of the CIA, In-Q-Tel, sits on the board of this company, and the researcher on whom they rely himself is the head of a company in a strategic partnership with the CIA.” The company’s motto is “creating an insightful world.”

177 thoughts on “Greenwald Accuses NPR Of “Laundering CIA Talking Points” In Story Involving Firm With Undisclosed Agency Ties”

  1. Karen when Sharpton and Jackson show up you know that everything will become muddied.
    I was in NYC when Sharpton loved riling up instead of riling down and reasoned thought.

  2. Nick – so many families stranded on a mountaintop, under threat of death by extremists is so heart breaking.

    I sympathize with the belief that we can’t be the world’s policeman, but I don’t want to just sit on our hands while 40,000 men, women, and children die. And I don’t want to just give them some rice while they wait for their firing squad.

  3. Lee:

    “It would be nice if we waited for facts rather then maybe’s, claims to be, , etc.”

    So true. All we have is conjecture, but a great many people are running with it as facts. It’s getting out of control in some areas. That’s why I have a problem with people Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson fanning the flames just to be important.

    I sincerely believe that MLK, Jr would have called for justice, and the facts, while at the same time urging calm and non-violence.

  4. I just want an investigation into the Brown shooting. It appears he strong-arm robbed a store moments before for some cigarillos. The police officer did not know this at first, until he saw the box of cigars in his hands. Brown was over 6 feet tall, so it doesn’t make sense to say a cop tried to pull him in the window. He wouldn’t have fit.

    Did the cop shoot him in the back as he ran away in a gross miscarriage of justice? Was there really a struggle? There were live Tweets at the time that said he was shot running away.

    There are conflicting accounts of what happened. As long as a legitimate investigation has begun, I hope everyone calms down. So many times these protests lead to riots and violence. It looks like mob mentality and a lynching party, fanned by Sharpton and Jackson.

    We should want the truth and justice.

    I really hope someone caught the whole thing on film, or there was a camera in the cop car.

  5. “And it’s not unrelated to the situation that’s unfolding in Ferguson, MS.”

    Correction. MS should have been MO. (Hat tip to Steve H. on the “Baa” thread.)

  6. “It would be nice if we waited for facts rather then maybe’s, claims to be, , etc.”

    Leej,
    Might be good advice for you to follow as well.

  7. Seems odd to me if they thought it was a righteous shooting they would wait until now to suddenly tie it in with a robbery. “It might be” Brown, is not it is Brown or the officer felt that it was Brown, I don’t know what happened. I am not defending Brown or the officer. It would be nice if we waited for facts rather then maybe’s, claims to be, , etc.

  8. In Ferguson: The Police Chief of Ferguson released the name : Darren Wilson, as the officer who shot the 18 year old adult after an altercation. This was immediately following an armed robbery at a nearby convenience store. Guess what? There is a video in the store of one of the robbers. It might be of the 18 year old adult who got shot to death by Wilson. The Chief dubbed the robbery as a “strong armed robbery”. The CNN does not show on a map the location of this particular store which was robbed. CNN and the news media needs to employ maps. And street scenes of: Michael Brown’s house, the convenience store robbed, the Quik Trip burned which is the site of the news conference, and the distance to old Ferguson. What about Michael Brown’s friend group? Are we being hoodwinked by hoodies here to think that he was a star on the way to med school when he was indeed a punk looking out for junk? The Crump factor is involved. His family has hired Crump, one of the lawyers in the Trayvon Martin spin case. Wilson is a six year veteran of Ferguson Police. They did not state what his race is. Don Lemon is on the scene(s) in Ferguson. CNN is doing a good job. Particularly Lemon.

  9. That was the newest I was able to find at that time, posted by the NYT I think 5 hours from when I posted it.
    Ill go google when I get back online later today for the newer one.

  10. leej, That’s not the most recent article. A piece penned by NYT reporter, Rod Nordland on 8/14/14 titled, Despite US Claims Yazidi’s say crisis is not over. The article says they and relief workers “strongly disagree” w/ the Presidents assessment. They say the US advisors were on the mountain a short time, landing @ night. It’s a BIG mountain and they saw just a small part. I sense they were sent in to give cover and faux assurances that all was well. The elderly and children are dying.

  11. The CNN coverage of Ferguson this early morning (7:30 a.m. Eastern) has summarized last night’s events in Missouri and on the ground so to speak in Ferguson. In this instance the role of Don Mellon for CNN was itself part of a healing factor. He placed the new man in charge, Capt Ron Johnson, of the Highway Patrol, in full center focus on television in front of the demonstrators on the street. Johnson grew up in this area of North County. The other two Officers, the Chief of St. Louis County Police and the Capt from the City of St. Louis Police, spoke and were remarkably articulate. Much of last night’s interviews are being replayed on CNN now. But the morning reports on the street by Don are quite positive– and by positive I mean positive energy.
    As a former human who was raised in old town Ferguson in a prior life I am impressed by the community and the folks who run the various aspects of the political offices. This morning they will announce the name of Officer involved in the shooting.
    Woof. Glad to be a dog in this life but proud to be a former resident of Ferguson fifty years ago when I walked on two legs not four. But, I will leave by quoting one of my coherts: Four legs good, two legs baaaaad! By the way. Don Mellon: If you are reading this blog, please interview some of the police dogs shown in the video on the streets of Ferguson. We need more “inclusion”.

  12. Paul C,
    Here’s a good example of crimes against the people by police… FBI stats.
    Local police involved in 400 killings per year
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/14/police-killings-data/14060357/

    On average, there were 96 such incidents among at least 400 police killings each year that were reported to the FBI by local police. The numbers appear to show that the shooting of a black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., last Saturday was not an isolated event in American policing.

    The reports show that 18% of the blacks killed during those seven years were under age 21, compared to 8.7% of whites. The victim in Ferguson was 18-year-old Michael Brown. Police have yet to identify the officer who shot him; witnesses have said the officer was white.

    While the racial analysis is striking, the database it’s based on has been long considered flawed and largely incomplete. The killings are self-reported by law enforcement and not all police departments participate so the database undercounts the actual number of deaths. Plus, the numbers are not audited after they are submitted to the FBI and the statistics on “justifiable” homicides have conflicted with independent measures of fatalities at the hands of police.
    (continued)

    1. Max-1 – the problem with your article is that all of those stats have to be put into individual context. Broken out to their individualness, they do not mean the same.

  13. A BILL
    http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/JohnsonBill.pdf
    To amend title 10, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Defense
    to make certain limitations on the transfer of personal property to
    Federal and State agencies, and for other purposes.

    1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-
    2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
    3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
    4 This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Stop Militarizing Law
    5 Enforcement Act’’

  14. The white guy was the Chief of St. Louis County Police. He used to live in the area. He was quite articulate. All three police guys were quite impressive. Don Mellon of CNN was impressive. It turns out he was a reporter for a local tv channel there in Saint Louis several years back. He fashioned together a very good program on the issues overall and on the scene as it has developed. This story has gone viral on all the networks and blogs. Tonight we see some come togetherness on the issues. This business of aiming the AK 47s at protestors has brought a lot of attention on the militarization of police forces and the other issues in the case regarding whether the cop killed the guy without cause is also getting full discussion both on the streets of Ferguson and now on this CNN coverage. Excuse me for going on and on, but the situation is a bit remarkable. Now at this hour the Sixties series is on. But I believe that CNN will replay the Melon show just aired.

Comments are closed.