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10 March 2014
John Cook Eyeball
How has the NSA surveillance story stayed live?
Barton Gellman: "Snowden paid very careful attention to what had happened to other
whistleblowers that hadn't had a long-term impact, and was careful to produce the documents...
If Snowden had asked me 6-8 months later [if this story and still been live] but he has got to have
exceed every plausible estimation about impact. It's because he didn't realise the documents all at
Cryptome strongly disagrees with Barton Gellman and, according to Gellman and Greenwald,
allegedly the view of Snowden, on releasing only a few documents out of the thousands being
withheld. This paternalism toward the public self-deputizes the document holders as de facto
government officials and the elective secretkeeping supports what the spy agencies do to
deliberately keep the public in the dark. The vaunted debate remains restricted to a tiny few with
access to the documents, all of them exploiting their withholding for commercial purposes. This
is an inexcusable travesty based on the special privileges of journalists working in concert with
Cryptome, 21 January 2014: This is an FOI request to Snowden, Greenwald, Poitras, Gellman,
NY Times, for full release of Snowden's de facto declassified USG documents. Send to:
Cryptome, 251 West 89th Street, New York, NY 10024. Cost of digital reproduction on USBs
will be paid. Public key for encrypting <cryptome[at]earthlink.net>: Fingerprint=5D02 335F
26A1 BD73 BFE3 F519 3755 7319 F9FC 4719
First Look Media Adds Editor of Gawker
First Look Media, the online news venture backed by the technology billionaire Pierre M.
Omidyar, is adding John Cook, the editor of Gawker, to its growing stable of journalists, the
publication announced on Monday.
The project became public in October with the news that Mr. Omidyar would initially invest
$250 million and was bringing in the national security reporters Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras
and Jeremy Scahill. In December, Mr. Omidyar’s organization said he had already made “an
infusion of $50 million.”
Mr. Cook will become the editor in chief of The Intercept, a digital magazine introduced in
February and currently edited by Mr. Greenwald, Mr. Scahill and Ms. Poitras. ...
Mr. Cook’s hiring is the latest in a series of notable additions to First Look’s staff, including the
Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, who will be running his own digital magazine.
Like Mr. Taibbi, who has built a reputation as a brash and determined critic of Wall Street, Mr.
Cook has enjoyed sparring directly with the subjects of his reporting, particularly Roger Ailes
and Fox News. Mr. Cook shepherded the “Fox mole,” whose behind-the-scenes dispatches from
inside the network in 2012 were popular on Gawker. (The mole was revealed to be an associate
producer on “The O’Reilly Factor,” and was promptly fired.)
“We are trying to build an operation that takes risks,” said Mr. Cook of his and Mr.
“To find stories that pick fights and pick the right fights. The model is to be adversarial and
fierce and aggressive — and yes, that is on purpose.”
John Cook Eyeball
Allison Benedikt and John Cook
Cook and Benedikt Boogie
"Has worked at Nor Cal Moving Services" as undercover snitch.
Benedikt is Slate editor.
30 June 2007
A writes July 10, 2007
FYI I heard from Radar's managing editor Leigh Ann Boutwell. She wanted
to run this photo of you at 1/4 a page in their September issue:
I denied her request. (I don't think it's that great a photo and would
not be flattering when used in a magazine -- my fault as the
photographer, of course, not yours as the subject).
I said they could use this photograph, which shows off your handsome mug
much better (and is more mysterious as well):
I haven't heard back.
4000 images Shallow Hal Radar won't use. Nor these carefully left out:
Most of which are here: http://eyeball-series.org
Other staged trash pix:
John Young stands in the
doorway of his home he
recently opened to an
John Young display a website he operates from his home in New
York, Monday Aug. 16, 2004. Young, a 68-year-old activist says
the government has been monitoring a Web site he runs ever
unannounced visit by FBI
agents, Monday Aug. 16,
2004, in New York. Young,
an architect, operates a
website that "publishes
documents forbidden by
Young caught law
enforcement's attention after
he tried to expose gaps in
national security through his
website. (AP Photo/Bebeto
since the agents visited late last year. (AP Photo/Bebeto
From: John Cook [mailto:JCook[at]radaronline.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 1:31 AM
Subject: RE: John Young
Thanks again for agreeing to answer some questions via e-mail. As you may
know, I met your father for drinks late last month, and we talked for about
two hours. Since then, he's apparently decided that he's already said all he
wants to say to me. So you can be very helpful to me in making sure that I
accurately report some basic biographical details that I can't confirm
through him, as well as, I hope, help give me a better sense of what kind of
man he is.
So here goes, starting with the nuts-and-bolts biographical stuff:
1) As I understand it, you've got three other siblings, all from the same
mother, and John has no other children--is that correct?
2) What was your mother's name?
3) When did she die?
4) Is it correct that she died of cancer?
5) As I understand it, your father has married three times: Your mother,
xxxx, and Deborah Natsios. Is that correct? When did he marry
xxxx? When did he marry Deborah (he's written that they met in 1993)?
6) Your father told me he grew up in West Texas. Do you know where,
7) What did your father's father do for a living? John told me he came from
a very poor background. He described his parents as "marginal people." Can
you describe them for me, and tell me a little bit about their lives?
8) How would you describe your dad as a parent? Was he doting, demanding,
absent, smothering? Did he let you watch TV? What kind of household did he
run? I ask because he's so resolutely anti-authoritarian, I wonder what kind
of authority figure he is as a father.
9) What did you think when he started Cryptome? Was it, "Oh, Dad, you and
your crazy ideas!" Or were you proud? Did you think it would become, as one
person put it to me, "the Google of national security"?
10) Why do you think he does Cryptome? I know why he started it (to post
documents that the Cypherpunk list members wanted to leak to the internet)
and what motivates it politically and, sort of, aesthetically (a loathing
for secrecy). But a lot of people would have forgotten about all that after
the first FBI visit. Why does he keep it up in the face of the potential
risks? Why does he devote so much time to it?
11) Your dad told me that he's "a pretty fucking angry guy." Do you think
that's true? Why?
12) What was his relationship like with Deborah's father, xxxxxxxx?
Were they close? Did xxxxxxxx know about Cryptome, and what it does? If so,
how did he feel about it?
13) How old are you?
14) What do you do for a living?
15) Do you share your father's ideas about secrecy, that all spies should be
exposed, etc.? Or do you disagree?
That's all I've got for now. Thanks a lot for your help on this. Your father
is a fascinating man.
(773) 919-3832 (cell)
216 E. 45th St.
New York NY 10017
From: John Young [mailto:jya[at]pipeline.com]
Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2007 4:41 AM
Subject: Re: Radar Magazine - John Young
You are likely to be trashed by Cook, under guise of trashing
me and Deborah. He'll appear to be grateful and appreciative
and then screw you for falling for his scam. That's what Radar
does to get people to talk to them, let them into their private
thoughts, encourage the belief that you are outsmarting them.
My advice is to just ignore him for he is sandbagging most
of the poeple he's talking too, claiming so and so already
told him such and such so no need to worry about what you
tell him. He'll use selected parts of what you email, he'll
forward you email to others to get them to write or talk,
including sending it to family members.
He will quote you, me, Deborah, friends of ours
and relatives, to get them to respond or deny or get angry,
tell them a mixture of truths and lies, seduce them and betray
them. I spoke with him for two hours and that was the pattern.
I told him truths and lies, attacked him and Radar, said I
wanted nothing to do with people like him, harhar, and his
vile magazine. That heated his blood, for he recognized
a fellow trasher and publicity seeker.
Nothing about this technique is different from all those who
peddle trash, news, comedy, religion, whatever. I do the same
onCryptome. And I'm on the trail of Radar -- Cook is the
second Radar writer who has inteviewed me, and I sicked
him onto the other writer by telling Cook secrets about
Expect to abused and hurt by the process if you want
to join the nasty fun. But what else gets us off the addiction
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Image John Young
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 14:16:14 -0400
From: Stacey Pittman <spittman[at]radaronline.com>
I am doing the photo research for a story that John Cook is working on with
John Young. I was wondering if it would be possible to license the attached
photo for publication in RADAR magazine's September issue? Please let me
know if you have any questions or concerns.
Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.
Art & Photo Assistant
216 E 45th Street
New York, NY 10017
John Young <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re: [Fwd: john young / cryptome]
Should be your call, your photo, as you wish.
I'm not cooperating, instead raising a ruckus.
John Cook is hounding my family, friends, relatives, whoever
will talk to him caught unaware of Radar's intention. Fair enough,
I guess I'd do the same, maybe I have been, by golly, I have been
doing just that.
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2007 23:57:20 +0100
To: "John Cook" <JCook[at]radaronline.com>
Subject: Re: Reporters Inquiry From Radar Magazine Re: John Young /
I do indeed know John Young and have done for quite a few
years. He's a very open person with a great project and such
impressive articulacy such that I would doubt whether any quote from
me could better one he would give you himself.
His place is a short hike to the other side of the Park, and you can
go see where Cryptome happens for yourself. He doesn't
bite. Give him a ring and get the lowdown and highside from him,
I'm happy to comment, but there is no-one better to give you the
details than the man himself.
Best wishes, and say hi to xxxx.
At 20/06/2007 23:19, you wrote:
>My name is John Cook, and I'm a reporter for Radar Magazine. I'm writing at
>the suggestion of xxxx. I'm working on a story about John Young and
>Cryptome, and xxxx suggested that you may know John personally and be able
>tell me a little bit about who he is, what drives him to do the site, etc.
>If you have a free moment, I'd love to talk to you when you get a chance. Is
>there a good time to reach you?
>(773) 919-3832 (cell)
>216 E. 45th St.
>New York NY 10017
FYI this fellow emailed me last week and then called me today. He seems like a legitimate
reporter (as in, he asked questions that reporters would ask). He seemed interested in details of
your personal life, such as kids, friends, hobbies, sports, and said you're not talking to him
anymore. John C. also told me you suspected he was affiliated with British intelligence and
weren't talking to him anymore.
Anyway, I answered questions like how long I've known you (I think about 10 years) and what I
thought of cryptome (I'm a fan) and how we met (on the cypherpunks list) but not ones that
seemed more personal such as whether we had any mutual friends in common. Thought you'd
want to know.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: john young / cryptome
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 15:20:03 -0400
From: John Cook <JCook[at]radaronline.com>
My name is John Cook, and I'm a reporter for Radar Magazine--we've exchanged e-mails before;
I'm a long-time reader of the your list. I'm working on a story for the September issue of Radar
about John Young and Cryptome, and I was wondering if you know him at all and might be
willing to talk to me a little bit, or if you don't know him personally, perhaps you can talk about
Cryptome and what it does and the role that it's played in online security issues, etc.
Is there a good time to reach you?
(773) 919-3832 (cell)
216 E. 45th St.
New York NY 10017
A 2 writes:
I just heard from a reporter from Radar who is doing a story on you and Cryptome. Is there
anything specific you'd like me to mention or focus on?
Cryptome: John Cook told me Radar trashes people to sell advertising. Radar's out to smear
Cryptome and whoever else can be tricked into buying his spiel. We always benefit more from
being attacked and smeared than being praised and flattered. Puff pieces are repulsive and breed
disgust. So please attack, viciously, it'll be used to sell ads. I told the Radar reporter a smear is
the best thing he could do. And also to fuck Radar, with a big smile and snot in his drink. I
emailed his editor that same message, called his reporter an ignorant fool. Invited Radar to
upgrade its low ambitions.
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 19:16:29 -0400
Subject: Re: CRYPTOME--Reporter's Inquiry From John Cook / Radar Magazine
From: John Cook <JCook[at]radaronline.com>
Hi John. How the hell are you? Hope you re well. Since you re usually conscientious about
publishing responses to the things you post on Cryptome, I thought it would be worth my while
to point out to you that I never told you that Radar trashes people to sell advertising, nor did I say
anything that could be reasonably construed as implying same. In fact, Radar does not trash
people to sell advertising. It does, of course, occasionally publish true things about people and
institutions that those people and institutions would rather not see published. And it does sell
advertising. So I could live with Radar publishes true things that some of its targets defensively
regard as trash in order to sell advertising. How s that?
However: If it s true that you put snot in my drink, a thorough trashing may be in order. Can you
recommend an advertiser who d be interested in sponsoring something like that?
By the way, [x] asked me to tell you that he says hello.
Also: Why are you so angry?
Cryptome: Cook is sucking up to a slew of folks in the US and elsewhere gathering material for a
Cryptome smear (some forward his email appeals, some call to ask who is this guy). Excellent,
feed him sewage, I urge. He's got two hours of my garbage on tape. I referred him to Anthony
Haden Guest (London-New York writer) who got 3 hours on tape of my crap in 2006 for a Radar
story that never appeared. Well, never appeared in public; who got it can be mused. Sucking up,
Guest bragged of his periodic voluntary work for MI6, and that he was suspected of being a spy
around New York City (standard bar pick-up talk). I told Cook the Guest spy fantasy-reality was
a story worth pursuing. Cook countered that Guest is a buddy of Radar's editor.
I told Cook he got on tape what Guest got, F1-key pre-fabricated fantasy stuff that's on Google
and in the bountiful official cesspools.
Cook said he didn't have the time or interest to read Cryptome. Agreed, I said, it's off Radar's
screen, so what's your purpose? He said, who are your sources, literally pusing the recorder
closer to me. So I fed the tape F1.
This topic is trash.
[Exchange related to a 2006 Radar article promised by writer Anthony Haden Guest to get a 2-
hour ingterview with John Young, never published.]
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2006 11:23:27 -0500
From: "Aaron Gell" <aaron.gell[at]gmail.com>
To: "John Young" <jya[at]pipeline.com>
Subject: Re: Review Material for Radar
Thanks John and Deborah. This is great. I'll be in touch, or someone from our art department
will, if we need any further information.
On 12/6/06, John Young<jya[at]pipeline.com> wrote:
Here's a proposed list of URLs for you to consider. Two topics have
most generated Cryptome notoriety -- naming of spies and publishing
satellite photos of sensitive sites (perfectly legal in the US say FBI agents
during visits to Cryptome).
1. Names of 276 MI6 intelligence officers -- led to FBI visit to Cryptome,
British government to attempt to have Cryptome's ISP remove the
files, Cryptome to be named "most hated website" by UK spies:
2. Names of Japanese intelligence officers -- led to FBI telephone request
to remove on behalf of the Japanese Ministry of Justice:
3. Names of 2,619 CIA sources:
http://cryptome.org/cia-2619-rc.htm (reader responses)
4. Publication of satellite photos of sensitive sites -- led to FBI visit
(this was before Google Earth and Local Live were started), flattering
smear by Readers Digest:
http://cryptome.org/web-threats.htm ("these websites are an invitation to
Deborah Natsios, on Cartome, in partnership with Cryptome, has
published her provocative reports:
1. Government targeting of dissent
Homeland Defense and the Prosecution of Jim Bell
2. Citizen counter-surveillance
Reversing the Panopticon
3. Burgeoning land grab by national security industry
National Security Sprawl
4. Conflict between armaments and nature in Israel
5. Korean peninsula discord
Parallel Atlas, 38 Degrees
Deborah can provide higher-resolution imagery of images
in her reports.
Finally, importantly, for promotional boost for our architectural
work which underwrites the cost of "web provocateurism," and
John Young (jya[at]pipeline.com)
Deborah Natsios (dn[at]pipeline.com)
-- Aaron Gell
440 9th Avenue, 17th Floor • New York, NY 10001
o 212-404-3131• c 917-696-1609