Latest in Covert Action

Cybersecurity

The Equation Group's Sophisticated Hacking and Exploitation Tools

This week, Kaspersky Labs published detailed information on what it calls the Equation Group -- almost certainly the NSA -- and its abilities to embed spyware deep inside computers, gaining pretty much total control of those computers while maintaining persistence in the face of reboots, operating system reinstalls, and commercial anti-virus products.

Covert Action: Legal Framework

The Legal Basis for the Mughniyah Killing

The Washington Post and Newsweek report that the CIA in 2008 worked with Israel’s Mossad to kill Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s operations chief, in Damascus, Syria.  The Post says that Mughniyah “had been implicated in the killing of hundreds of Americans, stretching back to the embassy bombing in Beirut [in 1983] that killed 63 people, inclu

Covert Action

Thoughts on the SSCI Report, Part II: The Program's Brutality

I want to begin my review of the SSCI interrogation report and the responses from the CIA and the SSCI minority by addressing the area in which, in my view, the majority report is strongest: the allegation that the treatment of detainees was far more abusive, far less controlled, and far more brutal than the CIA has acknowledged.

AUMF: Syria

Ongoing "Covert" Training of Syrian Rebels: But Is It Still Covert . . . , And, If So, Why?

[Cross-Posted at Just Security

Last week Congress approved, and the President signed, legislation that authorizes the Secretary of Defense (see section 149) to "provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian g

Covert Action

Senator Udall Discusses Covert Action in Syria to Train 2-3K Moderate Rebels

From yesterday’s Senate Arms Services Committee Hearing (at about the 2:23 mark):

Senator UDALL (NM):  And my question to you has to do with – and this is all public information, but everybody's well aware there's been a covert operation, operating in the region to train forces, moderate forces, to go into Syria and to be out there, that we've been doing this the last two years.

Targeted Killing: Drones

A Clue About the Origins of "Imminence" in the OLC Memo?

There's a lot to discuss about the OLC memo on the al-Aulaqi strike---including, as Ben mentioned yesterday, the origins and significance of "imminence."  (There's also excellent analysis over at Just Security, which I recommend to interested readers.)

Throughout the OLC memo's 41 pages, the much-scrutinized term appears several times, often as part of a phrase: "continue

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