The Pentagon’s Spies: ‘ Newly Available Documents Trace Evolution of Spy Units through Obama Administration’

#AceHistoryNews – WASHINGTON(D.C):July.27: On April 20, 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta formally established a new Department of Defense spy organization – the Defense Clandestine Service (DCS). That memo marked yet another in the multiple starts, stops, and reversals in the human intelligence activities of the Department of Defense and the military services.

The defense community’s rocky history of involvement with HUMINT includes both war-related and non-war missions, overt and covert programs, conflicts with Congress over the lack of transparency, and inevitable bureaucratic tensions among the uniformed services. 

Recently the National Security Archive updated its 2001 Electronic Briefing Book, The Pentagon’s Spies, adding thirty-five new documents that bring the history of military HUMINT activities up to the year 2015.

In addition to the Panetta memo, this update contains records concerning:

The House Permanent Select Committee’s discovery of the existence of the U.S. Army Intelligence Support Activity.

The role of Admiral Bobby Inman in the disestablishment of Task Force 157.

Operations of two Air Force human intelligence organizations – the 1127 Field Activities Group and the Air Force Special Activities Center.

Defense HUMINT Service activities in operations other than war.

The work of the Iraq Survey Group.

Expansion of Army and Air Force HUMINT operations since 2002.



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White House Efforts to Blunt 1975 Church Committee Investigation into CIA Abuses Foreshadowed Executive-Congressional Battles after 9/11

#AceHistoryNews – In Washington, D.C. on July 20, 2015 it was forty years ago this year, since Congress’s first serious inquiry into CIA abuses faced many of the same political and bureaucratic obstructions as Senate investigators have confronted in assessing Intelligence Community performance since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Records posted today for the first time by the National Security Archive document the often rough-and-tumble, behind-the-scenes dynamics between Congress and the Executive Branch during the “Year of Intelligence” – highlighted by the investigations of the congressional Church and Pike committees.

Among White House and Intelligence Community stated concerns during the period of the Church and Pike inquiries were preserving the effectiveness of the CIA and reassuring future operatives who might fear their “heads may be on the block” for their actions, no matter how well-intentioned. But intelligence officials also worried that disclosures of agency operations would be “disastrous” for CIA’s standing in the world: “We are a great power and it is important that we be perceived as such,” a memo to the president warned, urging that “our intelligence capability to a certain extent be cloaked in mystery and held in awe.”

In 1975, it was then-Deputy Chief of Staff Dick Cheney who spearheaded the Ford White House’s hostile approach to Congress, which required the CIA to submit all proposed responses to Capitol Hill for earlier presidential approval and featured the explicit intent to keep investigators away from the most sensitive records. Those events presaged the battles between the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the U.S. Intelligence Community since 2012 over plans to publish the former’s 6,000-page report on the CIA’s rendition, detention and interrogation program.

Related to today’s posting, a much larger compilation of 1,000 documents, many of them previously classified, was published in June 2015 in the online collection CIA Covert Operations II: The Year of Intelligence, 1975, the second in a series on the CIA through the Digital National Security Archive, a joint project with the scholarly publisher ProQuest.

Today’s e-book touches on the high points of one major aspect of the 1975 experience – the Church committee’s efforts to obtain evidence for its inquiry and countervailing work by the White House and CIA to limit and restrict the Senate’s access. Documents posted today show that:

– The White House of President Gerald R. Ford, spearheaded by deputy assistant to the president Richard Cheney, quickly seized control of the administration’s response to the congressional investigations.
– Lists of records to which the Church committee requested access for its investigation were reviewed in detail and Mr. Cheney ultimately decided whether to provide them in each case.
– Specific records in categories approved for access were first sent to the White House for individual review and recommendation by National Security Council staff, followed by approval from Mr. Cheney.
– The White House required the CIA to propose measures to govern Church committee access to CIA materials. These accommodation measures were then reviewed both by Deputy Assistant Cheney and Counsel to the President Philip Buchen.
– CIA accommodation measures were explicitly designed to keep Church committee investigators away from its most important records.
– National Security Council officials convened at the White House to express themselves in advance regarding proposed CIA testimony to the Church committee.



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Article: Nazi-Built Venues for 1936 Berlin Olympics Host All-Jewish Games

#AceHistoryNews – July.26: Nazi-Built Venues for 1936 Berlin Olympics Host All-Jewish Games:


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Picture: ‘US raid on Iran Airbus etched in history’

#AceHistoryNews – July.25: ‘US raid on Iran Airbus etched in history’


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On this day in 1978 Worlds Test Tube baby was Born

7zazvpo8e6kof69twjte_normal.png New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews)
25/07/2015 19:05
On this day in 1978, the world’s first test tube baby was born.


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5 Crazy Real Life WWII Soldiers Who Make Rambo Look Like My Mother!!

Give Me Liberty

This is from War History OnLine. 

I sadly have not heard of any of these men.


War brings out many things in a man. The good, the bad and the ugly. These 5 everyday soldiers pulled off amazing feats of bravery at a time when their comrades needed them.

#1 Tommy Prince


“He moved with absolute quiet because of the pair of moccasins he’d wear… sometimes, instead of killing the Germans, he’d steal something from them. Other times, he’d slit their throats and not make a sound.”

At the outbreak of World War II, Prince volunteered to fight with the Canadian Army and although Prince easily met the requirements for recruitment, he was turned down several times before he was finally accepted on June 3, 1940. He was originally a member of the Royal Canadian Engineers, trained as a sapper. He volunteered for duty with a parachute unit designated the 1st Canadian…

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Confessions of a (Former?) Book Hoarder

American Rambler


“What is this obsession people have with books? They put them in their houses like they’re trophies. What do you need it for after you read it?”

–Jerry to George on Seinfeld

If you are a historian, you probably have lots of books. The same goes for all academics, historians or otherwise. You might have so many books, in fact, that they have become a problem. A problem to store, a problem to move, a problem to get read. Let’s face it, some of us are book hoarders.

I am a recovering one. Or at least, committed to change. It was easy to buy books when I was in graduate school. Much of my time was spent reading. In my first year at LSU, most of my waking hours were spent reading. And that is not an exaggeration. Grad school is intellectual boot camp and not all enlistees…

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Article: Discovery of ‘oldest’ Quran fragments could resolve history of holy text

#AceHistoryNews July.23 Discovery of ‘oldest’ Quran fragments could resolve history of holy text


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ISRAEL: ‘ 1,500-year old Dead Sea Scroll is the First Eight Verses of Leviticus ‘

#AceHistoryNews – July.22: Israeli scientists ‘digitally unwrap’ 1,500-yo charred scroll, find biblical text

Published: 22 Jul 2015 | 16:39 GMT

Although it looked little more than a burnt piece of wood, the object Israeli researchers uncovered at Ein Gedi turned out to house one of the most precious texts of the Old Testament: the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus.

Israeli scientists originally discovered the scroll in the 1970s in the region of Ein Gedi, which lies on the shores of the Dead Sea. The town used to house a Jewish community during the Byzantine period. Among the notable features of the village were its mosaics, synagogue and the Holy Ark that contained pieces of the Torah, the Old Testament.

However, the town mysteriously burned to the ground and none of the inhabitants ever returned to collect their belongings.

© Israel Antiquities Authority

© Israel Antiquities Authority, Free

“We have no information regarding the cause of the fire, but speculation about the destruction ranges from Bedouin raiders from the region east of the Dead Sea to conflicts with the Byzantine government,” Dr. Sefi Porath, one of the scientists, said at the conference in Jerusalem hosted by the Israel Antiquities Authority and Culture and Sports Ministry Monday.

Among the discoveries that the team made while exploring the ruins of the burnt synagogue were the town’s money box with some 3,500 coins, a menorah and the scroll fragments. Since the scroll was too badly burnt for the scientists to decipher its mysteries, they had to wait until just recently before the technology became available to uncover the contents.

“The scroll was a puzzle for us for 45 years,” Porath said.

To decipher the 1,500-year-old charred remains, the IAA, working with Merkel Technologies Company, Ltd. Israel, first scanned it with a micro-computed tomography machine.

The results of the CT scans were sent to Brent Seales of the University of Kentucky, author of digital imaging software that is capable of virtually unrolling the scroll. Seales’ software produced a flattened readable text from the micro-computed tomography, discerning the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus.

Pnina Shor, curator and director of IAA’s Dead Sea Scrolls Projects, admitted there was little hope to make the scroll readable: “We were certain it was just a shot in the dark but decided to try and scan the burnt scroll anyway.”

The find proved to be very exciting for the team. Snor explained: “Now, not only can we bequeath the Dead Sea Scrolls to future generations, but also a part of the Bible from a Holy Ark of a 1,500-year old synagogue.”

This is the oldest scroll to be discovered since the famous Dead Sea scrolls, which can be dated back to the period between 250BC and 70AD. The current scroll is said to come from the 5th century.

Israeli scientists ‘digitally unwrap’ 1,500-yo charred scroll, find biblical text


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Croatia Standing Up Against New Peaks In Vicious Cycle Of Serbian Nationalism

Finally got your magazine completed Ina hope you like Ian 👍

Croatia, the War, and the Future

Croatian military parade Photo:Dusko Jaramaz/Pixsell Croatian military parade
Photo:Dusko Jaramaz/Pixsell

Increasing pressure and uneasy disquiet is building up in many Croats’ hearts as 5 August 2015 approaches – 20th anniversary of Operation Storm, of liberating Croatia from the brutal, murderous, dark forces of ethnically cleansing Serb occupying forces.
The uneasy, painful disquiet, which wants to scream with protestation, comes with the relentless and aggressive campaign waged by Serbia’s leadership, in particular Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, that denies the aggression, war crimes, genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by Serbs in Croatia during 1990’s. Serbia also keeps on harassing justice for the victims of aggression by saying that anyone attending the victory parade in Zagreb on 5 August will be considered anti-Serbia and that Serbia will ensure it marks on that day a day of mourning for Serbs killed in that war and Serbs who fled Croatia after the Operation Storm in 1995!
In other words, Serbia…

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