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SpyTalk: June 20, 2010 - June 26, 2010

Reporter released by Taliban still gets threats here

Jere Van Dyk, a freelance CBS reporter and author held by the Taliban for 45 days last year, still gets threatening messages from the Islamic militants on his answering machine in New York City. “I am wary,” Van Dyk says....

By Jeff Stein  | June 25, 2010; 3:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Intelligence, Justice/FBI, Media, Military  
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Blackwater’s Prince: Congress gave me ‘proctology’

The irrepressible chairman of Xe Services, once known as Blackwater Worldwide, said Thursday that he’s tired of “proctology” exams from Congress and is abandoning government business forever. “I will be exiting the U.S. government market completely,” the former Navy SEAL...

By Jeff Stein  | June 24, 2010; 4:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Financial/business, Intelligence, Military, Politics  
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Will McChrystal's intel staff survive his exit?

In the shock wave following Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s abrupt summons from Kabul, word raced through Washington’s special operations circles that his senior staff had been relieved of duty, too. “They were told to pack a suitcase and get on that...

By Jeff Stein  | June 24, 2010; 2:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (34)
Categories:  Intelligence, Military, Politics  
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Eleanor Hill, spy probe veteran, likes oversight bill

Eleanor Hill, who has been poking into the dark corners of U.S. spy agencies for a long time now, thinks one of the tough new oversight measure drafted by the House intelligence committee is pretty good. That’s the one that...

By Jeff Stein  | June 23, 2010; 8:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Intelligence, Politics  
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CIA gives Blackwater firm new $100 million contract

The Central Intelligence Agency has hired Xe Services, the private security firm formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, to guard its facilities in Afghanistan and elsewhere, according to an industry source. The previously undisclosed CIA contract is worth about $100 million,...

By Jeff Stein  | June 23, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Financial/business, Intelligence, Lawandcourts  | Tags:  DynCorp, Erik Prince, Jeremy Scahill, Mark Corallo, Paul Gimigliano, Triple Canopy  
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Ex-Navy agent: Israel ambassador clueless on Jonathan Pollard

Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was wholly controlled by top intelligence officials in Tel Aviv, not part of a “rogue” operation, says the U.S. Navy counterintelligence agent who took his confession. Israeli ambassador Michael Oren caused a bit of a stir...

By Jeff Stein  | June 22, 2010; 6:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Foreign policy, Intelligence, Justice/FBI  | Tags:  Michael Oren, Ron Olive, WTOP  
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Blackwater deal puts officials on hot seat

State Department officials struggled to explain Monday why they have awarded a new $120 million contract to a private security firm that was kicked out of Iraq four months ago amid charges that its personnel gunned down unarmed civilians. Xe...

By Jeff Stein  | June 21, 2010; 6:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Financial/business, Foreign policy, Military  
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In Ethiopia, U.S. Embassy's revolving door

More than a dozen top American diplomats have come and gone at the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, a front-line nation in the battle against Islamic extremism, in less than a year, the State Department’s inspector general reported Monday. The problem...

By Jeff Stein  | June 21, 2010; 12:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Foreign policy  
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Blackwater's new contract will be buzz of hearing

When hearings on war-zone security contractors continue Monday, representatives of the best known -- or most notorious -- firm in the business will not be at the witness table. The firm's controversial track record in Iraq, from where it was...

By Jeff Stein  | June 21, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Financial/business, Intelligence, Military  | Tags:  Aegis Defense Services, Cerberus, DynCorp International, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, Triple Canopy  
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