James Risen

With Others

L - Z

Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts." New York Times, 16 Dec. 2005, 1, 22.

According to government officials, President Bush signed a presidential order in 2002 that authorizes NSA "to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying.... [S]ome officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches."

[NSA/00s/05; Terrorism/00s/05]

Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "C.I.A. Was Given Data on Hijacker Long Before 9/11." New York Times, 24 Feb. 2004. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. and German officials, German intelligence officials in March 1999 gave the CIA "the first name and telephone number of Marwan al-Shehhi, and asked the Americans to track him.... After receiving the tip, the C.I.A. decided that 'Marwan' was probably an associate of Osama bin Laden, but never tracked him down," U.S. officials say. Shehhi "took over the controls of United Airlines Flight 175, which flew into the south tower of the World Trade Center."


Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Court Affirms Wiretapping Without Warrants." New York Times, 16 Jan. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a ruling handed down in August 2008 and made public on 15 January 2009, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review "has said telecommunications companies must cooperate with the government to intercept international phone calls and e-mail of American citizens suspected of being spies or terrorists." The ruling is "the first by an appeals court that says the Fourth Amendment's requirement for warrants does not apply to the foreign collection of intelligence involving Americans. That finding could have broad implications for United States national security law."


Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress." New York Times, 17 Jun. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to current and former officials, NSA "is facing renewed scrutiny over the extent of its domestic surveillance program, with critics in Congress saying its recent intercepts of the private telephone calls and e-mail messages of Americans are broader than previously acknowledged."


Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "How the U.S. Uses Technology to Mine More Data More Quickly" New York Times, 8 Jun. 20013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"[A] revolution in software technology that allows for the highly automated and instantaneous analysis of enormous volumes of digital information has transformed the N.S.A., turning it into the virtual landlord of the digital assets of Americans and foreigners alike. The new technology has, for the first time, given America's spies the ability to track the activities and movements of people almost anywhere in the world without actually watching them or listening to their conversations."


Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Intelligence on China Was Forwarded to Presidents." New York Times, 29 Apr. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"Intelligence leads" provided by Katrina Leung "may have gone to every president from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush," U.S. officials have said. "Much of Ms. Leung's information related to the political and diplomatic maneuverings of the Chinese leadership in Beijing, as well as the inner workings of China's intelligence service."


Risen, James, and Eric Lichtblau. "Spy Suspect May Have Told Chinese of Bugs, U.S. Says." New York Times, 15 Apr. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 14 April 2003, government officials said that "[c]ounterintelligence officials fear that an F.B.I. informer in Los Angeles tipped off the Chinese government to a covert [U.S.] effort to plant listening devices aboard China's version of Air Force One... The National Security Agency,... working with the [FBI] and other intelligence organizations, led an operation to plant bugs in a Boeing 767 used by the president of China while it was in the United States for refitting, officials said. The listening devices were quickly discovered, and the Chinese government disclosed the incident early last year."

[GenPostCW/00s/02/China; SpyCases/U.S./Leung]

Risen, James, and Mark Mazzetti. "Blackwater Guards Tied to Secret Raids by the C.I.A." New York Times, 11 Dec. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to former company employees and current and former intelligence officers, "[p]rivate security guards from Blackwater Worldwide [now known as Xe Services] participated in some of the C.I.A.'s most sensitive activities -- clandestine raids with agency officers against people suspected of being insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan and the transporting of detainees.... Several former Blackwater guards said that their involvement in the operations became so routine that the lines supposedly dividing the Central Intelligence Agency, the military and Blackwater became blurred."

R. Jeffrey Smith and Joby Warrick, "Blackwater Tied to Clandestine CIA Raids," Washington Post, 11 Dec. 2009, adds that "the involvement of Blackwater's officers in raids is likely to raise new questions about the degree to which deadly actions in Iraq and Afghanistan were outsourced to contract personnel who operated without direct contractual authority or without the kind of oversight and accountability applied to CIA and military personnel."

[CIA/00s/09; MI/Ops/Afgh/00s/09 & Iraq/00s/09]

Risen, James, and Mark Mazzetti. "C.I.A. Said to Use Outsiders to Put Bombs on Drones." New York Times, 21 Aug. 2009. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to government officials and current and former employees, Xe Services (the former Blackwater) contractors, "at hidden bases in Pakistan and Afghanistan,... assemble and load Hellfire missiles and 500-pound laser-guided bombs on remotely piloted Predator aircraft, work previously performed by [CIA] employees.... The role of the company in the Predator program highlights the degree to which the C.I.A. now depends on outside contractors to perform some of the agency's most important assignments." The contractors are "not involved in selecting targets or actual strikes. The targets are selected by the C.I.A., and employees at the agency's headquarters in Langley, Va., pull the trigger remotely."

[CIA/00s/09; MI/Ops/00s/Afgh; Recon/UAVs/00s]

Risen, James, and Judith Miller. "Pakistani Intelligence Had Links to Al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say." New York Times, 29 Oct. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. officials, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) "has had an indirect but longstanding relationship with Al Qaeda.... The intelligence service even used Al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan to train covert operatives for use in a war of terror against India, the Americans say."

[OtherCountries/Pakistan; Terrorism/01/WTC]

Risen, James, and Jane Perlez. "Russian Diplomats Ordered Expelled in a Countermove." New York Times, 22 Mar. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

In a meeting with Russian Ambassador Yuri V. Ushakov on 21 March 2001, U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell ordered "four or five Russian diplomats" to leave the country. According to U.S. officials, this move comes "in the wake of the arrest" of FBI agent Robert P. Hanssen "on charges that he spied for Moscow for more than 15 years." Powell described the Russian diplomats as "intelligence officers working undercover as diplomats." He also told Ushakov that "the United States wants another 40 or more diplomats to leave over the next several months in order to reduce the Russian intelligence presence in the United States. In all, the actions could affect close to 50 Russian diplomats, officials said."


Risen, James, and Laura Poitras. "N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens." New York Times, 28 Sep. 2013. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to documents provided by Edward Snowden, NSA "began allowing the analysis of phone call and e-mail logs in November 2010 to examine Americans' networks of associations for foreign intelligence purposes after ... officials lifted restrictions on the practice.... [A]n N.S.A. memorandum from January 2011," authorized the agency "to conduct 'large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness' of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier."


Risen, James, and Thom Shanker. "Hussein Enters Post-9/11 Web of U.S. Prisons." New York Times, 18 Dec. 2003. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. government officials, Saddam Hussein will be held "in what has developed into a global detention system run by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency." The system is "made up of large and small facilities scattered throughout the world," which have been established "to handle the hundreds of suspected terrorists of Al Qaeda, Taliban warlords and former officials of the Iraqi government arrested by the United States and its allies.... The C.I.A. has quietly established its own detention system to handle especially important prisoners. The most important Qaeda leaders are held in small groups in undisclosed locations in friendly countries in the developing world."

[CIA/00s/03/Gen; MI/Ops/Iraq]

Risen, James, and Thom Shanker. "Rumsfeld Moves to Strengthen His Grip on Military Intelligence." New York Times, 3 Aug. 2002, A1.


Risen, James, and Philip Shenon. "Accused Spy Suspected Loss of Access to Secrets, Prosecutors Say." New York Times, 28 Feb. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

"A Russian intelligence source warned the United States in the mid-1990's that Moscow had a spy inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation.... The tip from the Russian official prompted the F.B.I. to briefly begin a counterintelligence inquiry within its own ranks, officials said. But the investigation was abandoned after the same Russian source returned, several months later, and told the Americans that Moscow's agent was in the Central Intelligence Agency, not the F.B.I."


Risen, James, and Tim Weiner. "3 New Allies Help C.I.A. in Its Fight Against Terror." New York Times, 30 Oct. 2001. [http://www.nytimes.com]

According to U.S. officials, a top CIA Directorate of Operations official traveled to Damascus in October "to talk to Syrian intelligence officials about helping the United States investigate and defeat Osama bin Laden's terrorist network.... The Damascus meeting follows a meeting in London between State Department and C.I.A. officials and the chief of Libyan intelligence.... [O]fficials have indicated that Libya's possible cooperation on counterterrorism efforts was ... broached.... Since Sept. 11, C.I.A. officials have [also] opened communication lines with intelligence officials from ... Sudan."

[CIA/00s/01; Terrorism/01/WTC]

Return to Risen Table of Contents