Wayne Madsen

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Wayne Madsen (born April 28, 1954) is an American journalist, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.[1][2] He is the author of the blog Wayne Madsen Report.[3] He has been described as a conspiracy theorist.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Background and early life[edit]

Madsen was born on April 28, 1954 in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania, to an American mother and a Danish mariner. His grandmother, who emigrated to the U.S. with his father after World War II, was Victoria Madsen, a Danish communist party official.[11][12] In the 1950s, Victoria was deported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Madsen attended the University of Mississippi, where he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.[13]


U.S. Navy[edit]

Upon graduation from University of Mississippi, he joined the U.S. Navy. He was commissioned an ensign.

In early 1982 he was stationed at the classified Naval Sound Surveillance System (SOSUS) station at Coos Head, which had an allowance of twelve officers, ninety-five enlisted and 15 civilians. He was later given a bad fitness report by his executive officer, Lt. Cmdr. Marney Finch who transferred him to Washington D.C. later that year.[14]

In 1984, Madsen reports that he was loaned to the National Security Agency by the Navy.[15] He resigned from the Navy in 1985 as a lieutenant, having been passed over for promotion. Madsen described himself as the "most senior lieutenant in the Navy".[16]


Between 1985 and 1989 Madsen held a series of jobs, first working for RCA as a government consultant on contracts for the National Security Agency (NSA). Later he worked for the Navy's Naval Data Automation Command as a civilian employee. After this Madsen briefly established his own consulting firm, then worked for the National Bureau of Standards, and later for the State Department.[15] In 1990 Madsen joined Computer Sciences Corporation, working there from 1990 until 1997,[15] when he joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) as a senior fellow. In 1998, while at EPIC, Madsen was described by journalist Jason Vest in The Village Voice as one of the world's leading SIGINT and computer security experts.[17] In late-January 2005, Madsen left EPIC.[15] While at EPIC he appeared as a guest on 60 Minutes,[18] ABC Nightline,[19] Voice of America,[20] and National Public Radio.[21]

Blogging and journalism[edit]

He has been described as an "odd individual" devoted to writing in an area that "teeters on a slippery slope, at the foot of which is the whole repository of Internet-perpetuated conspiracy theories" which leads to much of his writing being treated with skepticism.[22] In 2005 Madsen began working as a free-lance journalist. He produces a blog called the Wayne Madsen Report. His articles have appeared in publications such as CorpWatch, CounterPunch, CovertAction Quarterly, In These Times, Multinational Monitor, The American Conservative, The Progressive and The Village Voice. His columns have appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Columbus Dispatch, Houston Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Miami Herald and the Sacramento Bee.He appeared on WETA-TVs "White House Chronicle" in January 2012.[23] He was a frequent contributor to The Alex Jones Show, but had fallen out with Jones by 2013.[9] He has appeared as a guest on Al Jazeera,[24] RT (formerly known as Russia Today),[25] the Iranian Press TV,[26] and CNBC.[27]


Observer controversy[edit]

On June 30, 2013, the London Observer published a front page story sourced to Madsen. According to Michael Moynihan of The Daily Beast, shortly after going to press, The Observer "realized that the story's author, Jamie Doward, failed to conduct even the most perfunctory Google search on Madsen. That would have revealed him to be a paranoid conspiracy theorist in the tradition of Alex Jones, on whose radio show he often appears".[9] The article was quickly removed from the parent (The Guardian) newspaper's website pending an investigation, but not before the print edition had gone to press.[6][28] According to Forbes magazine, The Observer likely took the story down as it was concerned with the reliability of the source rather than the content as no matter how "left field" the source was, the story seems to be largely true and has been a matter of public record for some years.[29]

The story was allegedly sourced from a blog in which Madsen had been interviewed regarding his views on claims by NSA leaker Edward Snowden, alleging connections between the National Security Agency and several European governments known as ECHELON.[28][30]

Joshua Gillin of the Poynter Institute said that The Observer had not interviewed Madsen but had taken the quotes from an online interview with Madsen and that Madsen's "declassified documents", upon which the story was based, were publicly available on the NSA website. However, Gillin later spoke to Madsen who stated that he was interviewed for The Observer article.[4] According to Forbes, on June 30, 2013, the same day that The Observer both published and retracted the article, Reuters reported the same claims, but sourced from NSA documentation supplied by Edward Snowden to support his claims regarding the cyber-espionage programs Tempora and Prism.[29][31]

On July 5, 2013 The Guardian responded to the controversy saying that "The documentary evidence for the story, which was based on a number of sources, was sound, but it was wrong to connect Wayne Madsen with the story. For this reason, the original story was removed from the website, and the Observer splash was replaced."[32]

Reporting and opinions[edit]

September 11 attacks[edit]

In 2003 he claimed that he had uncovered information in a classified congressional report that he said contained information linking the September 11 attacks to the government of Saudi Arabia and the Bush administration through financial transactions with the hijackers. The Saudi Foreign Minister demanded the report be declassified so it could respond, however, the Bush administration refused, claiming that to do so would compromise intelligence sources and methods.[33]

Claims about Barack Obama[edit]

Madsen has claimed that Obama is gay. The Nation writing on that conspiracy theory reported that Wayne Madsen "is the source on Obama's visits to the bath house and who revealed how Obama used basketball pickup games to pick up men. Obama, Madsen says, had homosexual trysts with Representative Artur Davis, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Senate majority leader Bill Frist!"[34][35]

On June 9, 2008, he reported that unnamed "GOP dirty tricks operatives" had found a Kenyan birth certificate registering the birth of Barack Obama, Jr. on August 4, 1961. "However, the registration is a common practice in African countries whose citizens abroad have families with foreign nationals."[36] This birth certificate was a cornerstone of the "Kenyan Born" subset of the birther conspiracy theories.

In 2012, Madsen self-published a book Manufacturing a President that said that Barack Obama was a creation of the CIA.

Other claims involving Israel and Mossad[edit]

Madsen has asserted in The Palestine Telegraph that hundreds of Iraqi scientists who had been assassinated or died in accidents after the invasion in 2003 were actually murdered by Mossad hit teams operating in Iraq.[37]

In September 2005 he said that the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had pressured American politicians to avoid protests against the Iraq War.[38] In October 2005, he wrote that "an unidentified former CIA agent" claimed that the USS Cole was hit by a Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine.[39]

In a 2008 ArabNews article suggesting that the criminal prosecution of New York State governor Eliot Spitzer was partly due to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, Wayne Madsen says that the prostitution firm that entangled Spitzer in a call girl ring, is seen as a front for Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad. Further Madsen suggested that Spitzer was outed by Russian-Israeli gangsters angry at Spitzer's crack down on Wall Street malfeasance.[40]

He has asserted that members of AIPAC and Israel's Mossad dominate CNN's management and urges his readers to boycott CNN and its advertisers until they are fired. He has begun a project to oppose Israel as a threat to world peace.[41] Madsen has stated in an interview that "the Israeli lobby owns the Congress, media, Hollywood, Wall Street, both political parties and the White House".[42][43]

In 2010, Madsen reported in the Pakistan Daily that unnamed sources suggested that the company formerly known as Blackwater, had been conducting false-flag operations in Pakistan that were blamed on the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.[44]

Other claims[edit]

In 2002 he suggested to The Guardian newspaper that the United States Navy had aided in an attempted overthrow of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Madsen stated that US military attaches had been in contact with members of the Venezuelan military to discuss the possibility of a coup. Further, Madsen said that while the [U.S.] navy was in the area for training operations unconnected to the coup, they had aided with signals intelligence as the coup progressed and engaged in communications jamming support for the Venezuelan military. Madsen asserted that the US Navy jammed communications to and from the diplomatic missions of Libya, Cuba, Iran and Iraq. According to the Guardian, "The US embassy dismissed the allegations as 'ridiculous'."[45] An OIG report requested by Sen. Christopher Dodd, found no wrongdoing by any U.S. officials either in the State Department or at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas.[46]

On May 17, 2005, Madsen announced that America was secretly running the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) before a Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights hearing on the situation in the DRC. According to the news magazine New African, Madsens testimony "was so revealing that the mainstream Western media...have refused to print it."[47]

On April 25, 2009, Madsen said that unidentified journalists from Mexico and Indonesia had spoken to some unidentified UN World Health Organization officials and scientists believed the 2009 new H1N1 strain of swine flu virus appeared to be the product of U.S. military sponsored gene splicing, as opposed to natural processes.[48][49] While it can not be ruled out that the virus was created in a research laboratory or vaccine factory, the most plausible explanation is that the virus is the result of modern farming techniques. New Scientist magazine cited the example of a H1N2 influenza pandemic in the 1990s that was a reassortment (mix) of swine, human and avian strains.[50]


  • The Manufacturing of a President (Lulu 2012) ISBN 9781300011385
  • Jaded Tasks – Brass Plates, Black Ops & Big Oil: The Blood Politics of Bush & Co. (TrineDay, 2006) ISBN 0-9752906-9-X
  • Madsen; John Stanton (2003). America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II. Tempe, AZ: Dandelion Enterprises. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-893302-29-7. OCLC 55941597.
  • Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia and the Failed Search for bin Laden co-authored with Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie (Nation Books, 2002) ISBN 1-56025-414-9
  • Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993–1999 (African Studies) (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999) ISBN 0-7734-8002-1
  • Handbook of Personal Data Protection (New York: Macmillan Publishers Ltd, 1992) (reference book on international data protection law) ISBN 1-56159-046-0


  1. ^ "US releases 'bin Laden video tapes'". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  2. ^ Tavis Smiley (August 24, 2004). "Interview: Greg Rollins with the Christian Peacemaker Team, Dana Dillon with The Heritage Foundation and journalist Wayne Madsen discuss the investigation of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on September 19, 2013. Retrieved May 30, 2012 – via HighBeam Research.
  3. ^ "Wayne Madsen Report". Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Gillin, Joshua (June 29, 2013). "Observer pulls story about NSA deal based on Wayne Madsen conspiracy theory". Poynter. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  5. ^ Eric Lach (July 1, 2013). "The Guardian Deletes NSA 'Scoop' That Quoted Conspiracy Theorist". talkingpointsmemo.com. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Raheem Kassam (June 30, 2013). "Freedoms, fiefdoms, and f**k-ups". The Commentator. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  7. ^ Andrew Sullivan (February 24, 2009). "Rumors And Iraq". The Atlantic.
  8. ^ Tim Grieve (May 23, 2006). "The Rove watch, through a looking glass". Salon. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Michael Moynihan (July 1, 2013). "NSA Nutjob: Anatomy of a Fake 'Observer' Story". Daily Beast. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  10. ^ "March of the Conspiracy Theorists". CBS News. September 26, 2005. Retrieved July 4, 2013.
  11. ^ Wayne Madsen (2006). Jaded Tasks. Trine Day. p. xii. ISBN 9780975290699.
  12. ^ Wayne Madsen Counterpunch Archived June 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine "In Denmark, where my grandmother Victoria Madsen, an official of the Danish Communist Party and newspaper"
  13. ^ Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, p. ix
  14. ^ Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, pp. xiv–xv
  15. ^ a b c d Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, p. xv
  16. ^ At his first posting in Newport, Ensign Madsen was introduced to the "oldest lieutenant in the Navy". This lieutenant had presented himself for an interview with the controversial Admiral Hyman G. Rickover who told him "You have 15 seconds to piss me off" to which he replied by picking up a model submarine from the admiral's desk and smashing it. This lieutenant didn't get the position he was applying for, never attained further promotion and ended his career as the most senior lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. Madsen says that, when he himself resigned in 1985, he had the same status as the lieutenant he had met in Newport.
  17. ^ Vest, Jason (August 18, 1998). "Listening In". The Village Voice. Retrieved July 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "Ex-Snoop Confirms Echelon Network". CBS News. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  19. ^ ABC News Nightline, Chris Bury reporting, July 11, 2001
  20. ^ Focus, Aida Akl reporting, June 17, 2005
  21. ^ Tavis Smiley Show, NPR, August 24, 2004
  22. ^ Keefe, Patrick (2006). "Chapter 7: Muckrakers and Whistleblowers". Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. Random House. ISBN 9781588365330.
  23. ^ Emily Yahr (January 21, 2012). "TV Highlights". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2012 – via HighBeam Research.
  24. ^ "US releases 'bin Laden video tapes'". Aljazeera. May 8, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "'Fascism coming to a computer near you' – Wayne Madsen – Russia Today". YouTube. August 12, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  26. ^ "US trying to boost bases in Asia". PressTV. November 25, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  27. ^ Kudlow & Co., May 23, 2007
  28. ^ a b Paul Szoldea (June 30, 2013). "The Guardian Revealed A Major NSA 'Scoop' Then Deleted It From Their Website". San Francisco Chronicle. reprint from "Business Insider", June 29, 2013.
  29. ^ a b "The Absolute Joy Of The Guardian's Sting Over PRISM And The NSA". Forbes. June 30, 2013. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  30. ^ Thompson, Damian (April 19, 2014). "Guardian/Observer pulls front-page NSA story after source turns out to be a fruitloop who thinks Obama is gay". Blogs.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  31. ^ Breidthard, Annika (June 30, 2013). "U.S. taps half-billion German phone, internet links in month: report". Reuters. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  32. ^ "For the record". Guardian. July 5, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  33. ^ "Saudis want classified US intelligence documents released". ABC. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  34. ^ Neal Gabler (November 12, 2012). "What's Behind the Right's 'Obama Is Gay' Conspiracy". The Nation.
  35. ^ Eric Lach (July 1, 2013). "The Guardian Deletes NSA 'Scoop' That Quoted Conspiracy Theorist". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  36. ^ Madsen, Wayne (June 9, 2008). "GOP dirty tricks machine readies a charge that Obama is not eligible to be president". Online Journal. WayneMadenReport.com.
  37. ^ Madsen, Wayne (July 1, 2011). "Israel's Mossad Bomb Russian Plane To Kill Scientists?". Pakalert Press. Archived from the original on July 2, 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  38. ^ "The 'American street' speaks: Will the Democratic Party listen?". Salon. September 29, 2005. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  39. ^ Madsen, Wayne (October 3, 2005). "Clearing the Baffles for 911". The Truth Seeker. Archived from the original on July 5, 2013.
  40. ^ "Is There an Israeli Angle to Spitzer Ouster?". Arab News. Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  41. ^ "Wayne Madsen Report". Retrieved September 8, 2014.
  42. ^ "Wayne Madsen : The Israeli Lobby Owns the Congress, Hollywood and the Whitehouse [sic]". Veteran's Today. December 6, 2010.
  43. ^ Elias (December 8, 2010). "THE ISRAELI LOBBY OWNS THE CONGRESS, HOLLYWOOD AND THE WHITE HOUSE: WAYNE MADSEN". Intifada. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  44. ^ "Blackwater/Xe cells conducting false flag terrorist attacks in Pakistan". Pakistan Daily. September 16, 2010. Archived from the original on October 8, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2010.
  45. ^ Duncan Campbell (April 29, 2002). "American navy 'helped Venezuelan coup'". The Guardian.
  46. ^ Inspector General Report Archived April 23, 2003, at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ "How America ran, and still runs, the Congo war". New African. September 1, 2001. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved September 8, 2014 – via HighBeam Research.
  48. ^ Madsen, Wayne (April 27, 2009). "New swine flu feared to be weaponized strain" (reprint). Online Journal. Reprint from: "New swine flu feared to be weaponized strain". WayneMadenReport.com. April 25, 2009.
  49. ^ Russia Today (April 2009). Swine flu is a man made virus ?. Retrieved April 28, 2009. ... to them it doesn't look like this is naturally occurring.
  50. ^ "Is swine flu a bioterrorist virus?". New Scientist. Retrieved September 8, 2014.

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