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Wayne Madsen (born April 25, 1954) is an American online investigative journalist, author and columnist specializing in intelligence and international affairs.[1][2][3][4][5] He is the author of the blog Wayne Madsen Report.[6] He has been described as a conspiracy theorist.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

Background and early life

Madsen was born in Ridley Park, Pennsylvania on April 28, 1954 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.[14][15] In the 1950s Victoria Madsen was deported by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Madsen attended the University of Mississippi where he joined the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps.[16]


U.S. Navy

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 Coos Head Naval Facility 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.[17]

In 1984, Madsen reports that he was loaned to the National Security Agency by the Navy.[18] 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".[19]

Post-Navy career

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.[18] In 1990 Madsen joined Computer Sciences Corporation, working there from 1990 until 1997,[18] 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,[20] In late January 2005 Madsen left EPIC.[18]

Blogging and journalism career

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.[21] 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.[16][22] He appeared on WETA-TVs "White House Chronicle" in January 2012.[23] He is a frequent contributor to the Alex Jones show.[24]

Guardian newspaper controversy

On June 30, 2013, The Observer, which is owned by The Guardian, in London published a front page story sourced from a blog in which Madsen had been interviewed regarding his views on claims by whistleblower Edward Snowden, alleging connections between the National Security Agency and several European governments known as ECHELON.[25][26] In the story, entitled, “Revealed: Secret European Deal to Hand Over Private Data to Americans,” Madsen claimed that several European governments were “colluding with the U.S. over the mass harvesting of personal communications data.” [27] 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.[28] The article was quickly removed from the parent (Guardian) newspaper's website pending an investigation, but not before the print edition had gone to press.[25][27] Several journalists reporting on the incident described Madsen as a "conspiracy theorist."[7][8][9][27] 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]

Joshua Gillin of the Poynter Institute noted that the Guardian hadn't interviewed Madsen but had pulled 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,[7] 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][30]

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 this story in any way. For this reason, the original story was removed from the website, and the Observer splash was replaced."[31]

Reporting and opinions

In 2002 he suggested to The Guardian newspaper that the United States Navy had aided in an attempted overthrow of Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.[32]

In 2003 he said that he had uncovered information in a classified congressional report that he claimed 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] Later, in an interview for the Veterans Today website in 2010, he claimed that Mossad had been involved.[34] 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.[35] In 2005, he wrote that an unidentified former CIA agent claimed that the USS Cole was actually hit by a Popeye cruise missile launched from an Israeli Dolphin-class submarine.[36]

On May 17, 2005, Madsen testified regarding American policy 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."[37]

In 2005 he said that the pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, had pressured American politicians to stay away from protests against the Iraq War.[38]

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.[39] Madsen has stated in an interview that "the Israeli lobby owns the Congress, media, Hollywood, Wall Street, both political parties and the White House".[40][41]

In a 2008 ArabNews article, Madsen is quoted as suggesting that the criminal prosecution of New York State governor Eliot Spitzer was partly due to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.[42]

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."[43] This birth certificate was a cornerstone of the "Kenyan Born" subset of the birther conspiracy theories, and Madsen's article was cited in a Washington state petition challenging Obama's eligibility to serve.[44] Madsen has also claimed that Obama is gay.[45]

On April 25, 2009, Madsen reported that 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.[46][47] 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 only affected pigs in the United Kingdom. This subtype of the H1N2 was also a reassortment (mix) of swine, human and avian strains.[48]

In July 2009, Madsen released a report saying there was a "Q Group" within the National Security Agency tasked with plugging leaks of classified information and the monitoring and suppression of journalists who report on the NSA. He noted that with the approaching 10th anniversary of 9/11, the group have "made plans to stop any new revelations that would point to high-level U.S. and Israeli government involvement in the 9/11 attacks" that included the use of Wikileaks to identify potential "leakers".[49][verification needed][unreliable source?][dead link]

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.[50]

In June 2012 Madsen self-published his sixth book. The book states it is an expose of Barack Obama's rise in American politics and the CIA's role in his attaining the Presidency.


  • 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
  • America's Nightmare: The Presidency of George Bush II. Tempe, AZ: Dandelion Enterprises. 2003. p. 173. ISBN 978-1-893302-29-7. OCLC 55941597.  (with co-author John Stanton)
  • 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 May 8, 2011
  2. Tavis Smiley 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 August 24, 2004 HighBeam Research accessed May 30, 2012
  3. Farooq Hameed Khan Balochistan: The great game The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan) October 11, 2010 HighBeam Research accessed May 30, 2012
  4. Featured Guests Taylor Report CIUT-FM
  5. Alcuin Papa Blackwater training mercenaries in Subic Philippine Daily Inquirer August 30, 2009
  6. Wayne Madsen Report
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Gillin, Joshua (June 29, 2013). "Observer pulls story about NSA deal based on Wayne Madsen conspiracy theory". Poynter. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 TPM Conspiracy Theorist" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "talkingpointsmemo1" defined multiple times with different content
  9. 9.0 9.1 Raheem Kassam, Executive Editor (June 30, 2013). "Freedoms, fiefdoms, and f**k-ups". The Commentator. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  10. Atlantic "A 9–11 Truther"
  11. Salon
  12. "NSA Nutjob". Daily Beast. July 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  13. "March of the Conspiracy Theorists". CBS News. September 26, 2005. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  14. Wayne Madsen (2006). Jaded Tasks. Trine Day. p. xii. ISBN 9780975290699. 
  15. Wayne Madsen Counterpunch "In Denmark, where my grandmother Victoria Madsen, an official of the Danish Communist Party and newspaper "
  16. 16.0 16.1 Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, page ix
  17. Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, page xiv–xv
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Wayne Madsen Jaded Tasks, page xv
  19. 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.
  20. Vest, Jason (August 18, 1998). "Listening In". Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  21. Keefe, Patrick (2006). Chatter: Uncovering the Echelon Surveillance Network and the Secret World of Global Eavesdropping. Chapter 7: Muckrakers and Whistleblowers: Random House. ISBN 9781588365330. 
  22. The Washington Review: A Journal of Turkish and Eurasian Affairs
  23. Emily Yahr TV Highlights The Washington Post January 21, 2012 HighBeam Research July 5, 2012
  24. Daily Beast
  25. 25.0 25.1 Paul Szoldea "The Guardian Revealed A Major NSA 'Scoop' Then Deleted It From Their Website", San Francisco Chronicle, June 30, 2013, reprint from "Business Insider", June 29, 2013.
  26. Telegraph
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 Daily Caller
  28. "
  29. 29.0 29.1 The Absolute Joy Of The Guardian's Sting Over PRISM And The NSA Forbes June 30, 2013
  30. Breidthard, Annika (June 30, 2013). "U.S. taps half-billion German phone, internet links in month: report". Retrieved July 5, 2013. 
  31. Guardian response
  32. Duncan Campbell "American navy 'helped Venezuelan coup'", The Guardian, April 29, 2002
  33. "Saudis want classified US intelligence documents released", Australian Broadcasting Corporation, July 30, 2003
  34. Kourosh Ziabari "Wayne Madsen : The Israeli Lobby Owns the Congress, Hollywood and the Whitehouse [sic]", Veteran's Today, December 6, 2010
  35. Wayne Madsen "Israel's Mossad Bomb Russian Plane To Kill Scientists?", The Palestine Telegraph, July 1, 2011
  36. Clearing the Baffles for 911 By Wayne Madsen – October 3, 2005
  37. How America ran, and still runs, the Congo war New African September 1, 2001 HighBeam Research accessed July 2, 2012
  38. The "American street" speaks: Will the Democratic Party listen?, Salon, September 29, 2005
  39. Wayne Madsen Report
  40. interview
  41. Veterans Today
  42. Is There an Israeli Angle to Spitzer Ouster?, Arab News, March 16, 2008
  43. Madsen, Wayne (June 9, 2008). "GOP dirty tricks machine readies a charge that Obama is not eligible to be president". Online Journal. 
  44. "Democrat: Obama's grandma confirms Kenyan birth". WorldNetDaily. October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  45. Neal Gabler "What's Behind the Right's 'Obama Is Gay' Conspiracy", The Nation, November 12, 2012
  46. 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" (fee required). April 25, 2009. 
  47. "Swine flu is a man made virus ?". April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-28. "... to them it doesn't look like this is naturally occurring." 
  48. Is swine flu a bioterrorist virus? New Scientist April 27, 2009
  49. "NSA Security running amok to plug leaks about 9/11". July 7, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  50. "Blackwater/Xe cells conducting false flag terrorist attacks in Pakistan". September 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-20. 

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