The CIA Is Podcasting Propaganda

The CIA's logo is seen at the agency's headquarters.

What can an agency well-known for holding secrets and techniques even say on a podcast?
Picture: Olivier Doulier – Pool (Getty Photos)

When the CIA announced its new podcast on Thursday and opened with the joke “(tap faucet faucet) Is this point on? 🎙️”—the Twitterverse shed it. 1st off, it’s evident that the agency that listens to countless men and women all over the earth is familiar with when the mic is on. Then arrived the dilemma: What would a famously secretive company speak about in a podcast? In accordance to experts, the CIA would like to strengthen its graphic and “deny the reality” of what it does.

The agency’s podcast is identified as The Langley Data files, an apparent reference to the site of its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and its title makes it audio a ton extra interesting than it actually is. The 1st episode capabilities an interview with CIA director Bill Burns, who talks about the “misconceptions” folks have about the agency, namely that its function isn’t what individuals see in spy films. It’s a “team sport,” Burns explained on the podcast, which allows the agency to do get the job done like obtaining out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s designs to invade Ukraine or properly taking out Ayman al-Zawahiri, the co-founder of al-Qaeda.

In the words of the CIA, the podcast aims to “educate and hook up with the typical community, sharing insight into the Agency’s core mission, abilities, and agility as an intelligence chief.”

Translation: The CIA is going to converse about how good it is, but it is not going to chat about its torture plan of terror suspects, untrue assessment of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction immediately after 9/11, group of coups, or drug trafficking. And that is only the items we know they do.

On Twitter, The Langley Files was fulfilled with incredulity, jokes, and criticism from legal professionals, journalists, and a lot more.

Alka Pradhan, human rights counsel for Ammar al Baluchi at the Guantánamo Bay Navy Commissions Protection Firm, was just one of the people who criticized the CIA more than its new podcast on Twitter. Pradhan signifies Ammar al-Baluchi, who is accused of remaining al-Qaeda’s “moneyman” in the 9/11 assaults. Al-Baluchi is a detainee at Guantánamo Bay and was tortured by the CIA, in accordance to the agency’s declassified internal report.

In an electronic mail to Gizmodo, Pradhan pointed out the irony that the U.S. authorities was putting out a podcast that is primarily propaganda, in particular thinking of that it likes to point fingers at other nations around the world and criticize “propaganda.”

“The CIA’s intent is plainly to rehabilitate its standing for a technology that is aware them as the torturers,” Pradhan described. “That name is well-deserved. This form of whitewashing is an further blow to victims like my shopper who is missing elements of his mind from his time in the CIA torture plan — and continue to can’t get healthcare care for it.”

Kevin Gosztola, running editor of the outlet Shadowproof and curator of The Dissenter Newsletter, also spoke out versus the CIA’s new podcast on Twitter, contacting it “security condition propaganda intended to whitewash historical past.”

Gosztola advised Gizmodo through Twitter immediate messages that the podcast will grow the agency’s potential to “deny the reality” of what it does in the globe. He pointed out that the CIA has no problem lying and doing the job the media.

As an example, Gosztola cited the Senate torture report from 2014 that concluded the CIA understood torture—which integrated rectal dehydration, rectal feeding, 7 days-extended intervals of rest deprivation, and threats to detainees’ families—was an ineffective and brutal way to obtain information from detainees. Nevertheless, that did not prevent the agency from lying and stating that it labored, even spreading falsehoods in the news, he reported.

Ideal off the bat in the initial episode, the CIA is by now whitewashing its history, Gosztola mentioned.

“They highlighted the CIA drone strike that killed al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. Of course, there is no mention of how this is a single of the couple of strikes that killed the meant target and the fact that thousands of harmless civilians have been killed in CIA strikes,” Gosztola pointed out.

Additionally, Gosztola highlighted the fact that this calendar year is the CIA’s 75th anniversary, which the agency’s director and the podcast’s hosts look specifically energized to rejoice.

“We can be confident that as they remember functions for the duration of the Chilly War and world-wide war on terrorism there will be an hard work to obscure the support for assassinations, coups, and meddling in countries’ affairs that definitely defines our knowledge of the CIA,” he emphasised.

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