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Observer newspaper pulls front page story about the NSA

The source quoted in the front page story has become known for his views that US President Barack Obama is secretly gay and that the Boston bombing suspects were government agents.

The story before it was pulled from the site
The story before it was pulled from the site
Image: Screengrab

THE OBSERVER NEWSPAPER in the UK released another shocking NSA scoop on Saturday night, revealing collusion and mass harvesting of personal communications among the United States and at least six European Union countries — only to delete it from their website hours after publication.

The article, titled “Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America,” was written by Jamie Doward, who reported information from Wayne Madsen, a former Navy lieutenant and National Security Agency employee for 12 years.

Doward wrote:

Madsen said the countries had “formal second and third party status” under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.

Under international intelligence agreements, confirmed by declassified documents, nations are categorised by the US according to their trust level. The US is first party while the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand enjoy second party relationships. Germany and France have third party relationships.

He went on to say that seven European countries and the US have access to a fiberoptic cable network, intercepting phone calls, emails, and user logs from websites. The article describes Madsen as having “been attacked for holding controversial views on espionage issues.”

That’s a light way of putting it.

Some of Madsen’s controversial views include the belief that US President Barack Obama is secretly gay and that the Boston bombing suspects were government agents. He’s also reported on a “former CIA agent” alleging the 2000 USS Cole bombing was perpetrated not by al Qaeda terrorists, but by a missile fired from an Israeli submarine.

John Schindler, a professor at the Naval War College and intelligence expert, called Madsen “batshit crazy, to use the technical term.”

However writer Tim Worstall at Forbes says that while Madsen may have “rather ‘out there’ views”, much of the information in the piece seems to be “roughly true”.

“However left field the source is, what he’s actually said seems to be largely true and indeed a matter of public knowledge for some years now,” wrote Worstall. “Yet still the story gets pulled”

The pulled article now bears the message, “This article has been taken down pending an investigation” but is still on the front page of early editions of today’s print edition. It was originally published in The Observer, a Sunday newspaper owned by The Guardian and hosted on their website.

Here’s a partial screenshot:

- Additional reporting by Christine Bohan

Read: Row over US ‘bugging’ of EU offices >

Read: Ed Snowden’s dad: ‘My son broke the law – but he’s no traitor’ >

Published with permission from:

Business Insider
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