When the CIA introduced its new podcast on Thursday and opened with the joke “(faucet faucet faucet) Is that this factor on? 🎙️”—the Twitterverse misplaced it. First off, it’s apparent that the company that listens to numerous individuals all over the world is aware of when the mic is on. Then got here the query: What would a famously secretive company speak about in a podcast? In line with consultants, the CIA needs to enhance its picture and “deny the truth” of what it does.
The company’s podcast is named The Langley Information, an obvious reference to the situation of its headquarters in Langley, Virginia, and its identify makes it sound much more attention-grabbing than it really is. The primary episode options an interview with CIA director Invoice Burns, who talks concerning the “misconceptions” of us have concerning the company, specifically that its work isn’t what of us see in spy motion pictures. It’s a “crew sport,” Burns stated on the podcast, which permits the company to do work like discovering out Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine or efficiently taking out Ayman al-Zawahiri, the co-founder of al-Qaeda.
Within the phrases of the CIA, the podcast goals to “educate and join with most of the people, sharing perception into the Company’s core mission, capabilities, and agility as an intelligence chief.”
Translation: The CIA goes to speak about how nice it’s, but it surely’s not going to speak about its torture program of terror suspects, false evaluation of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction after 9/11, group of coups, or drug trafficking. And that’s solely the issues we all know they do.
On Twitter, The Langley Information was met with incredulity, jokes, and criticism from legal professionals, journalists, and extra.
Alka Pradhan, human rights counsel for Ammar al Baluchi on the Guantánamo Bay Army Commissions Protection Group, was one of many individuals who criticized the CIA over its new podcast on Twitter. Pradhan represents Ammar al-Baluchi, who’s accused of being al-Qaeda’s “moneyman” within the 9/11 assaults. Al-Baluchi is a detainee at Guantánamo Bay and was tortured by the CIA, based on the company’s declassified inner report.
In an e mail to Gizmodo, Pradhan identified the irony that the U.S. authorities was placing out a podcast that’s primarily propaganda, particularly contemplating that it likes to level fingers at different nations and criticize “propaganda.”
“The CIA’s intent is clearly to rehabilitate its popularity for a technology that is aware of them because the torturers,” Pradhan defined. “That popularity is well-deserved. One of these whitewashing is a further blow to victims like my consumer who’s lacking components of his mind from his time within the CIA torture program — and nonetheless can’t get medical look after it.”
Kevin Gosztola, managing editor of the outlet Shadowproof and curator of The Dissenter E-newsletter, additionally spoke out in opposition to the CIA’s new podcast on Twitter, calling it “safety state propaganda meant to whitewash historical past.”
Gosztola instructed Gizmodo through Twitter direct messages that the podcast will broaden the company’s capability to “deny the truth” of what it does on the earth. He identified that the CIA has no drawback mendacity and dealing the media.
For instance, Gosztola cited the Senate torture report from 2014 that concluded the CIA knew torture—which included rectal dehydration, rectal feeding, week-long intervals of sleep deprivation, and threats to detainees’ households—was an ineffective and brutal solution to collect data from detainees. Nonetheless, that didn’t cease the company from mendacity and saying that it labored, even spreading falsehoods within the information, he stated.
Proper off the bat within the first episode, the CIA is already whitewashing its historical past, Gosztola acknowledged.
“They highlighted the CIA drone strike that killed al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri. In fact, there is no such thing as a point out of how this is without doubt one of the few strikes that killed the meant goal and the truth that 1000’s of harmless civilians have been killed in CIA strikes,” Gosztola identified.
Moreover, Gosztola highlighted the truth that this 12 months is the CIA’s seventy fifth anniversary, which the company’s director and the podcast’s hosts appear notably excited to have fun.
“We may be assured that as they recall operations in the course of the Chilly Conflict and world struggle on terrorism there will likely be an effort to obscure the assist for assassinations, coups, and meddling in nations’ affairs that really defines our understanding of the CIA,” he emphasised.