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The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies

News Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? Recommended Links  Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Neoliberal war on reality or the importance of controlling the narrative Label "conspiracy theorist" as a form of censorship
Inverted Totalitarism  Nation under attack meme The Deep State  Deception as an art form Guardians of Power Reconciling Human Rights With Total Surveillance
Total Surveillance Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Grand Chessboard Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite Two Party System as Polyarchy The Iron Law of Oligarchy
Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Facebook as Giant Database about Users Social Sites as intelligence collection tools Systematic Breach of Vienna Convention Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
American Exceptionalism New American Militarism Machiavellism  Neo-fashism Humor Etc

There is deep analogy between financial services and intelligence services. Both try to escape from the control of democratic society. the question is: Can democratic state ensure that intelligence services remained under control of elected officials?  The answer is: No.  As JFK assassination had shown tail wants to wag the dog.

Controlling and Overseeing Intelligence Services in Democratic States - GSDRC

 


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[Oct 18, 2017] Spy Schools How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities by Nick Roll

Notable quotes:
"... Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ..."
"... The Boston Globe ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... The Wall Street Journal ..."
"... The Price of Admission ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... Inside Higher Ed ..."
"... look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers. ..."
"... It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc. ..."
"... When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies." ..."
"... Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious. ..."
"... For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially. ..."
"... Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery. ..."
"... Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath. ..."
www.chronicle.com
October 3, 2017

The CIA Within Academe 21 Comments

Book documents how foreign and domestic intelligence agencies use -- and perhaps exploit -- higher education and academe for spy operations.
Foreign and domestic intelligence services spar and spy on one another all across the world. But it would be naïve to think it's not happening in the lab or classroom as well.

In his new book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities ( Henry Holt and Company ), investigative journalist Daniel Golden explores the fraught -- and sometimes exploitative -- relationship between higher education and intelligence services, both foreign and domestic. Chapters explore various case studies of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation using the open and collaborative nature of higher education to their advantage, as well as foreign governments infiltrating the U.S. via education.

"It's pretty widespread, and I'd say it's most prevalent at research universities," Golden, an editor at ProPublica and an alumnus of The Boston Globe 's "Spotlight" team, told Inside Higher Ed . "The foreign intelligence services have the interest and the opportunity to learn cutting-edge, Pentagon-funded or government-funded research."

Golden, who has also covered higher education for The Wall Street Journal , previously wrote about the intersection of wealth and admissions in his 2006 book The Price of Admission .

Each of the case studies in Spy Schools , which goes on sale Oct. 10, is critical. One could read the chapters on the Chinese government's interest in U.S. research universities as hawkish, but then turn to the next chapter on Harvard's relationship with the CIA and read it as critical of the American intelligence establishment as well.

"People of one political persuasion might focus on [the chapters regarding] foreign espionage; people of another political persuasion might focus on domestic espionage," Golden said. "I try to follow where the facts lead."

Perhaps the most prestigious institution Golden examines is Harvard University, probing its cozy relationship with the CIA. (While Harvard has recently come under scrutiny for its relationship with the agency after it withdrew an invitation for Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow -- after the agency objected to her appointment -- this book was written before the Manning incident, which occurred in September.) The university, which has had varying degrees of closeness and coldness with the CIA over the years, currently allows the agency to send officers to the midcareer program at the Kennedy School of Government while continuing to act undercover, with the school's knowledge. When the officers apply -- often with fudged credentials that are part of their CIA cover -- the university doesn't know they're CIA agents, but once they're in, Golden writes, Harvard allows them to tell the university that they're undercover. Their fellow students, however -- often high-profile or soon-to-be-high-profile actors in the world of international diplomacy -- are kept in the dark.

"Kenneth Moskow is one of a long line of CIA officers who have enrolled undercover at the Kennedy School, generally with Harvard's knowledge and approval, gaining access to up-and-comers worldwide," Golden writes. "For four decades the CIA and Harvard have concealed this practice, which raises larger questions about academic boundaries, the integrity of class discussions and student interactions, and whether an American university has a responsibility to accommodate U.S. intelligence."

But the CIA isn't the only intelligence group operating at Harvard. Golden notes Russian spies have enrolled at the Kennedy School, although without Harvard's knowledge or cooperation.

When contacted by Inside Higher Ed , Harvard officials didn't deny Golden's telling, but defended the university's practices while emphasizing the agreement between the university and the CIA -- which Golden also writes about -- on not using Harvard to conduct CIA fieldwork.

"Harvard Kennedy School does not knowingly provide false information or 'cover' for any member of our community from an intelligence agency, nor do we allow members of our community to carry out intelligence operations at Harvard Kennedy School," Eric Rosenbach, co-director of the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in a statement.

While Golden said the CIA's involvement on campus raises existential questions about the purpose and integrity of higher education, Harvard maintained that the Kennedy School was living up to its mission.

"Our community consists of people from different spheres of public service. We are proud to train people from the U.S. government and the intelligence community, as well as peace activists and those who favor more open government," Rosenbach said in his statement. "We train students from a wide range of foreign countries and foreign governments, including -- among others -- Israel, U.K., Russia and China. That is consistent with our mission and we are proud to have that reach."

On the other hand, other countries are interested in exploiting U.S. higher education. Golden documents the case of Ruopeng Liu, a graduate student at Duke University who siphoned off U.S.-government-funded research to Chinese researchers. Liu eventually returned to China and has used some of the research for his Chinese-government-funded start-up ventures.

Golden is comprehensive, interviewing Duke researchers who worked with Liu, as well as dispatching a freelance journalist in China to interview Liu (he denied wrongdoing, saying his actions were taken as part of higher education's collaborative norms regarding research projects). Despite questions that arose while Liu was a student, he received his doctorate in 2009 without any formal questions or pushback from the university. A week before Liu defended his dissertation, Golden notes that Duke officials voted to move forward in negotiations with the Chinese government regarding opening a Duke campus in China -- raising questions about whether Duke was cautious about punishing a Chinese student lest there were negative business implications for Duke. ( The building of the campus proved to be a controversial move in its own right. )

The Duke professor Liu worked under told Golden it would be hard to prove Liu acted with intentional malice rather than out of genuine cultural and translational obstacles, or ethical slips made by a novice researcher. Duke officials told Inside Higher Ed that there weren't any connections between Liu and the vote.

"The awarding of Ruopeng Liu's degree had absolutely no connection to the deliberations over the proposal for Duke to participate in the founding of a new university in Kunshan, China," a spokesman said in an email.

These are just two chapters of Golden's book, which also goes on to document the foreign exchange relationship between Marietta College, in Ohio, and the controversial Chinese-intelligence-aligned University of International Relations. Agreements between Marietta and UIR, which is widely regarded a recruiting ground for Chinese intelligence services, include exchanging professors and sending Chinese students to Marietta. Conversely, Golden writes, as American professors teach UIR students who could end up spying on the U.S., American students at Marietta are advised against studying abroad at UIR if they have an interest in working for the government -- studying at UIR carries a risk for students hoping to get certain security clearances. Another highlight is the chapter documenting the CIA's efforts to stage phony international academic conferences, put on to lure Iranian nuclear scientists as attendees and get them out of their country -- and in a position to defect to the U.S. According to Golden's sources, the operations, combined with other efforts, have been successful enough "to hinder Iran's nuclear weapons program."

But Golden's book doesn't just shed light on previously untold stories. It also highlights the existential questions facing higher education, not only when dealing with infiltration from foreign governments, but also those brought on by cozy relationships between the U.S. intelligence and academe.

"One issue is American national security," Golden said. "Universities do a lot of research that's important to our government and our military, and they don't take very strong precautions against it being stolen," he said. "So the domestic espionage side -- I'm kind of a traditionalist and I believe in the ideal of universities as places where the brightest minds of all countries come together to learn, teach each other, study and do research. Espionage from both sides taints that that's kind of disturbing."

After diving deep into the complex web that ties higher education and espionage together, however, Golden remains optimistic about the future.

"It wouldn't be that hard to tighten up the intellectual property rules and have written collaboration agreements and have more courses about intellectual safeguards," he said. "In the 1970s, Harvard adopted guidelines against U.S. intelligence trying to recruit foreign students in an undercover way they didn't become standard practice [across academe, but], I still think those guidelines are pertinent and colleges would do well to take a second look at them."

"In the idealistic dreamer mode, it would be wonderful if the U.N. or some other organization would take a look at this issue, and say, 'Can we declare universities off-limits to espionage?'"

Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 8:18 AM

Equating the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses with that of foreign intelligence is pretty obtuse moral relativism. US academia and US intelligence alike benefit from cooperation, and the American people are the winners overall. By the way, is it really necessary to twice describe this relationship as "cozy"? What does that mean, other to suggest there's something illicit about it?

Grace Alcock -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 4, 2017 1:30 AM

It'd be nice if American intelligence was paying a bit more attention to what goes on in academic research--as far as I can tell, the country keeps making policies that don't seem particularly well-informed by the research in relevant areas. Can we get them to infiltrate more labs of scientists working on climate change or something?

Maybe stick around, engage in some participant observation and figure that research out? It's not clear they have any acquaintance with the literature on the causes of war. Really, pick a place to start, and pay attention.

alsotps -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 5:20 PM

If you cannot see how a gov't intelligence agency, prohibited from working in the USA by statute and who is eye-deep in AMERICAN education is wrong, then I am worried. Read history. Look back to the 1970's to start and to the 1950's with FBI and the military agents in classrooms; then read about HUAC.

Now, look back to Stalin, Hitler, Franco, Mao, Mussolini et.al with THIER use of domestic agencies to impose lock-step thinking and to ferret out free-thinkers.

Get it? it is 'illicit!"

Nicholas Dujmovic -> alsotps , October 4, 2017 12:38 PM

Actually, I read quite a bit of history. I also know that US intelligence agencies are not "prohibited from working in the USA." If they have relationships in academia that remind you of Stalin, Hitler, etc., how have US agencies "imposed lock-step thinking and ferreted out free-thinkers?" Hasn't seemed to work, has it? Your concern is overwrought.

Former Community College Prof -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 12:12 PM

"Cozy" might refer to the mutual gains afforded by allowing the federal government to break many rules (and laws) while conducting their "intelligence operations" in academe. I do not know if I felt Homeland Security should have had permission to bring to this country, under false premises supported by ICE and accrediting agencies, thousands of foreign nationals and employed them at companies like Facebook, Apple, Morgan Stanley and the U.S. Army. While Homeland Security collected 16K tuition from each of them (and the companies that hired these F-1s didn't have to pay FICA) all our nation got was arrests of 20 mid level visa brokers.

https://www.nytimes.com/201...

Personally, I think cozy was quite complimentary as I would have chosen other words. Just imagine if there are additional "undercover students" with false credentials in numbers significant enough to throw off data or stopping universities and colleges from enforcing rules and regulations. If you set up and accredit a "fake university" and keep the proceeds, it strikes me as illicit.

alsotps -> Former Community College Prof , October 3, 2017 5:21 PM

Hey...don't imagine it. Read about Cointelpro and military 'intelligence' agents in classes in the early 1970's....

Trevor Ronson -> Nicholas Dujmovic , October 3, 2017 2:36 PM

And behaving as if the "the presence and activities of US intelligence on campuses" is something to accept without question is also "obtuse moral relativism". We are talking about an arrangement wherein a / the most prestigious institutions of higher learning has an established relationship with the CIA along with some accepted protocol to ongoing participation.

Whether it is right, wrong, or in between is another matter but please don't pretend that it's just business as usual and not worthy of deeper investigation.

alsotps -> Trevor Ronson , October 3, 2017 5:16 PM

Unfortunately for many people, it IS business as usual.

George Avery , October 3, 2017 9:46 AM

It is amazing how many biochemists and microbiologists from the People's Republic of China would e-mail me asking if I had a position in my "lab," touting their bench skills, every time I published a paper on the federal bioterrorism program, medical civic action programs, etc.

Never mind that I primarily do health policy and economics work, and have not been near a lab bench since I returned to school for my doctorate.....anything with a defense or security application drew a flurry of interest in getting involved.

As a result, I tended to be very discerning in who I took on as an advisee, if only to protect my security clearance.

alsotps -> George Avery , October 3, 2017 5:22 PM

PAr for the course for both UG and grad students from China who have not paid a head hunter. ANY school or program offering money to international students was flooded by such inquiries. Get over yourself.

John Lobell , October 3, 2017 6:25 AM

When I started teaching 48 years ago, the president of my college was James Dovonan, Bill Donovan's (founder of the OSS) brother, portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie, "Bridge of Spies."

We had a program in "Tropical Architecture" which enrolled students form "third world" countries. Rumor was -- --

jloewen , October 3, 2017 10:38 AM

When I got my Ph.D. from Harvard in 1968, the Shah of Iran got an honorary doctorate at the same commencement. The next year, by pure coincidence!, he endowed three chairs of Near Eastern Studies at H.U.

alsotps -> jloewen , October 3, 2017 5:24 PM

Absolutely a coincidence! You don't think honoraria have anything whatsoever to do with the Development Office do you? (Snark)

Kevin Van Elswyk , October 3, 2017 9:31 AM

And we are surpised?

Robert4787 , October 4, 2017 6:28 PM

So glad to see they're on campus. Many young people now occupy the CIA; the old "cowboys" of the Cold War past are gone. U may find this interesting>> http://osintdaily.blogspot....

TinkerTailor1620 , October 3, 2017 5:29 PM

Hundreds of government civil servants attend courses at the Kennedy School every year. That a few of them come from the CIA should be no surprise. It and all the other intelligence agencies are nothing more than departments within the federal government, just like Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services, the FDA, Energy, and so on. Nothing sneaky or suspicious about any of it. Why anyone with cover credentials would tell the Kennedy School admin that is beyond me. When I was in cover status, I was in cover status everywhere; to not be was to blow your cover, period, and was extremely dangerous.

Beyond NIH funded grant-based research, Homeland Security, Energy, Defense, and the Intelligence Community agencies have long histories of relationships with American academia. This could be funded research, collaborative research, shared personnel relationships, or all other manner of cooperation. Sometimes it's fairly well known and sometimes it's kept quiet, and sometimes it's even classified. But it is much more extensive and expansive than what Golden describes, and much less "cozy" or suspicious.

Phred , October 3, 2017 1:49 PM

For years I have said that it is foolish to look to universities for moral guidance, and this story is one more instance. In this case, the moral ground is swampy at best, and the universities do not appear to have spent a lot of time worrying about possible problems as long as the situation works to their advantage financially.

alsotps -> Phred , October 3, 2017 5:25 PM

The key, here, is financially. The bean counters and those whose research is funded don't look hard at the source of the funding. Just so it keeps coming.

Jason , October 4, 2017 6:34 PM

Academic treason.

Sanford Gray Thatcher , October 4, 2017 6:13 PM

Does Golden discuss at all the way in which the CIA and other intelligence services funnel money into academic research without the source of the funding ever being revealed? This was common practice in the 1960s and 1970s, and colleges like MIT were among those involved in this chicanery.

Remember also how intelligence agency money was behind the journal Encounter? Lots of propaganda got distributed under the guise of objective social science research.

donald scott , October 3, 2017 6:05 PM

Where has IHE been for the past several decades? Read Rosenfeld's book, Subversives..... about the FBI's illegal acts at Berkeley. Or read this, a summary of his book: https://alumni.berkeley.edu... Or read George R. Stewart, The Year of the Oath.

In the research for my biography of Stewart I found significant information about CIA presence on the UC Berkeley campus, in the mid-twentieth century, which reached in to the highest levels of the administration and led to a network of "professors" recruited by that unAmerican spy agency.

The oaths, the current gender wars and the conviction by accusation of harassment are all later attempts to politicize education and turn fiat lux into fiat nox. IHE should be writing more about that and about the current conviction by sexual accusation, and the effect of such on free thought and free inquiry.

[Oct 11, 2017] Spy Spin Fuels Anti-Kaspersky Campaign

Indiscriminate spying is a costly and not very efficient operation. The problem of drinking form a fire hose arise. So a lot of money spend by US, GB and other countries on installation of such software are wasted. If the user of such computers uses steganography this does not even allow to detect the targeted activities.
It in not that elimination of Kaspersky software from the US market (due to current anti-Russia witch hunt) is a big loss. The efficiency of AV program against new threats was always problematic. But this hysteria points to a larger problem: threat from regular hackers to your data, especially financial data and access to financial sites. I would say that the person who does not use two separate computers for browsing and for his financial and other confidential operations and data is reckless indeed. Now anybody with important financial data can afford two laptops. A good used, enterprise class, Dell laptop is around $400.
In Windows each antivirus is simultaneously a backdoor. That's given. So usage by the US government agencies of foreign AV software was an oversight; and the US government is doing the right thing to prohibit such usage. Similarly it would be highly irresponsible for, say Russian government, to use MacAfee software on government computers. Even with large transnational companies there are some tricky problems about which AV software to use. And that was the problem already understood long ago, say in 1996.
For governments any large AV company represents tremendous asset as for surveillance. Also intelligence community probably has close understanding of signature updaters and their vulnerabilities and probably have agents in each of major AV company. And for government AV signature updates are the best way to install malware on your computer. And much simpler then hijacking OS updates.
So it is only natural that AV companies are primary target of intelligence agencies. I remember being very surprised the McAfee was bought by Intel. Now I know why ;-). In the past some mass deployed AV companies software (Symantec) as well as Google software (Google bar) were spyware even without intelligence agencies interference. In a way they were pioneers of mass surveillance.
In no way linux is a panacea. This is another monstrously complex OS with multiple backdoors, especially on application level (Apache is one recent example). But it will be much less attacked by non-government hackers. This is true. Security via obscurity does work. Still if you need security against exfiltration of your data MS DOS and Windows 3.1 are also useful option (any non-networked computer actually would work; you can exchange data via parallel port too. for example Total Commander has such an option ).
Notable quotes:
"... The British spy agency regarded the Kaspersky software in particular as a hindrance to its hacking operations and sought a way to neutralize it. ..."
"... An NSA slide describing "Project CAMBERDADA" lists at least 23 antivirus and security firms that were in that spy agency's sights . They include the Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure, the Slovakian firm Eset, Avast software from the Czech Republic. and Bit-Defender from Romania. Notably missing from the list are the American anti-virus firms Symantec and McAfee as well as the UK-based firm Sophos ..."
"... That the NSA and the British GCHQ did not list U.S. and British made anti-virus products on their "to do" list lets one assume that these packages can already be controlled by them. ..."
"... The Kaspersky anti-virus software, which the NSA employee had installed, identified parts of these tools as malware and uploaded them for analysis to the Kapersky's central detection database. The Kaspersky software behaved exactly as it should . Any other anti-virus software behaves similar if it detects a possibly new virus. ..."
"... The only person in the tale who did something illegal was the NSA employee. The case also demonstrates that the NSA continues to have a massive insider security problem. There is no hint in the story to any evidence for its core claim of "Russian hackers". ..."
"... Meanwhile its a well reported established fact that american virus/antimalware corps have allowed the FBI and other agencies to compromize their software with silent signatures - as with Magic Lantern for example (and imagine how far its gone since then) ..."
"... In the network security world there is this concept of a honeypot where you entice/allow the world to attack/invade your honeypot so you can study the tools they use and insure the trail back to them is useful. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
... ... ...

U.S. and British spies systematically target all anti-virus products and companies :

The British spy agency regarded the Kaspersky software in particular as a hindrance to its hacking operations and sought a way to neutralize it.
...
An NSA slide describing "Project CAMBERDADA" lists at least 23 antivirus and security firms that were in that spy agency's sights . They include the Finnish antivirus firm F-Secure, the Slovakian firm Eset, Avast software from the Czech Republic. and Bit-Defender from Romania. Notably missing from the list are the American anti-virus firms Symantec and McAfee as well as the UK-based firm Sophos

That the NSA and the British GCHQ did not list U.S. and British made anti-virus products on their "to do" list lets one assume that these packages can already be controlled by them.

In February 2015 Kaspersky announced that it found U.S. and UK government spying and sabotage software infecting computers in various foreign countries. Later that year the CIA and FBI tried to recruit Kaspersky employees but were warned off. In June 2015 Kaspersky Lab detected a breach in its own systems by an Israeli government malware. It published an extensive autopsy of the breach and the malware programs used in it.

That the U.S. government now attempts to damage Kaspersky is likely a sign that Kaspersky products continue to be a hard-target that the NSA and GCHQ find difficult to breach.

To justify the campaign against Kaspersky, which began in May, U.S. officials recently started to provide a series of cover stories. A diligent reading of these stories reveals inconsistencies and a lack of logic. On October 5 the Wall Street Journal reported: Russian Hackers Stole NSA Data on U.S. Cyber Defense :

Hackers working for the Russian government stole details of how the U.S. penetrates foreign computer networks and defends against cyberattacks after a National Security Agency contractor removed the highly classified material and put it on his home computer, according to multiple people with knowledge of the matter.

The hackers appear to have targeted the contractor after identifying the files through the contractor's use of a popular antivirus software made by Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, these people said.

A NSA employee copied code of top-secret NSA spy tools and put it on his private computer. ("It's just that he was trying to complete the mission, and he needed the tools to do it." said 'one person familiar with the case' to WaPo.)

The Kaspersky anti-virus software, which the NSA employee had installed, identified parts of these tools as malware and uploaded them for analysis to the Kapersky's central detection database. The Kaspersky software behaved exactly as it should . Any other anti-virus software behaves similar if it detects a possibly new virus.

The "multiple people with knowledge of the matter" talking to the WSJ seem to allege that this was a "Russian hacker" breach of NSA code. But nothing was hacked. If the story is correct, the Kaspersky tool was legally installed and worked as it should. The only person in the tale who did something illegal was the NSA employee. The case also demonstrates that the NSA continues to have a massive insider security problem. There is no hint in the story to any evidence for its core claim of "Russian hackers".

... ... ...

Further down the WSJ story says :
The incident occurred in 2015 but wasn't discovered until spring of last year , said the people familiar with the matter."

The stolen material included details about how the NSA penetrates foreign computer networks, the computer code it uses for such spying and how it defends networks inside the U.S., these people said.

If the last sentence is true the employee must have had top access to multiple NSA programs.

A new story in the New York Times today builds on the WSJ tale above. It makes the claims therein even more suspicious. The headline - How Israel Caught Russian Hackers Scouring the World for U.S. Secrets :

It was a case of spies watching spies watching spies: Israeli intelligence officers looked on in real time as Russian government hackers searched computers around the world for the code names of American intelligence programs.

What gave the Russian hacking, detected more than two years ago , such global reach was its improvised search tool -- antivirus software made by a Russian company, Kaspersky Lab, ...

The Israeli officials who had hacked into Kaspersky's own network alerted the United States to the broad Russian intrusion, which has not been previously reported, leading to a decision just last month to order Kaspersky software removed from government computers.

The Russian operation, described by multiple people who have been briefed on the matter, is known to have stolen classified documents from a National Security Agency employee who had improperly stored them on his home computer.

The Washington Post version of the story is remarkable different. Unlike the NYT it does not claim any Russian government involvement in Kaspersky systems:

In 2015, Israeli government hackers saw something suspicious in the computers of a Moscow-based cybersecurity firm : hacking tools that could only have come from the National Security Agency.

Israel notified the NSA, where alarmed officials immediately began a hunt for the breach, according to people familiar with the matter, who said an investigation by the agency revealed that the tools were in the possession of the Russian government

Israeli spies had found the hacking material on the network of Kaspersky Lab ...

While the NYT asserts that the Russian government had access to the Kaspersky systems, the Washington Post does not assert that at all.

The NYT claims that the Israelis alerted the NSA of Russian government knowledge of its tools while WaPo says that it was the NSA itself that found this out. That Israel alerts the NSA when it has its hands on a valuable source that reveals NSA tools is not believable. There is no love lost between Israeli and U.S. spy agencies. They spy on each other whenever they can with even deadly consequences .

The NYT story is based on "current and former government officials", not on the usual " U.S. officials". It might well be that Israeli spies are spinning the NYT tale.

We already knew that the Israeli government had in 2015 breached some Kaspersky systems. Kaspersky Lab itself alarmed the public about it and provided an extensive forensic report.

There are several important questions that the above quote stories do not ask:

If the Israelis detected NSA malware in the hand of the Russian government "more than two years ago" (NYT) how come that the NSA hole was only found in 2016 (WSJ)? Did the Israelis use their claimed knowledge for a year without alarming their "allies" at the NSA? Why?

And why would the detection of alleged Russian government intrusion into Kaspersky products lead to a ban of these products only in fall 2017?

If the story were true the NSA should have reacted immediately. All Kaspersky products should have been banned from U.S. government systems as soon as the problem was known. The NSA allowed the Russian government, for more than a year, to sniff through all systems of the more than two dozen American government agencies (including the military) which use the Kaspersky products? That does not make sense.

These recently provided stories stink. There is no evidence provided for the assertions therein. They make the false claim that the NSA employees computer was "hacked". Their timelines make no sense. If not complete fantasies they are likely to be heavily spun to achieve a specific goal: to justify the banning of Kaspersky products from U.S. markets.

I regard these stories as part of "blame Russia" campaign that is used by the military-industrial complex to justify new defense spending. They may also be useful in removing a good security product that the NSA failed to breach from the "western" markets.

Oilman2 | Oct 11, 2017 10:29:02 AM | 10

Computers are dirt cheap these days. My first Mac cost me $3000 and the first clone PC I built cost me $1500. Today, I can buy a super-duper-anti-pooper PC device for $500. Hell folks, that is cheaper than an Iphone...

Use one computer for your critical work that has no internet connection, or use an old PC that has no network card. The OS may be uncool by today's standards, but the dang business software has hardly changed - just gotten more bloated with features.

Have one computer for exposure to wild viruses and all that crap, and another you can rely on. Move files one-way using cheap, new memory sticks.

My old PC runs the last version of Windows NT - and never crashes or locks up. It uses MS Office from that period, and the files are still readable by newer products.

My outward looking computer is either a Mac or a Linux box. I only transfer sensitive files one-way - from isolated to unisolated. Periodically, I toss the hard drive and pop in a new one. My 'sensitive' stuff is miniscule, as I don't work in the military or spook world. It's patent stuff.

And run Kaspersky - it works and the other's don't. Unless you are working on sensitive government crap, do you really even care if Russians can fish a few of your files? Do most people have PLC devices hung off their computers that stuxnet things can access?

If you have Alexa and other IoT crap - get rid of it because they are gadgets that have more downside than upside. Do you TRULY need a talking fridge? A washer you can turn on with your phone? A talking link to Google?

I don't care if the alphabet guys get my files - because they aren't of use to them. Most of the guys working at the alphabet agencies are spending their time on porno anyway or looking for blackmail files and images - which is why they can't seem to ever do anything useful except maybe foul a keyboard irretrievably.

It's hilarious to me that so much effort is put into all this when the old school ways of passing notes and talking are such simple workarounds, IF you are truly wanting privacy and fear for your precious files.

Robert Browning | Oct 11, 2017 10:43:32 AM | 11
Kaspersky uncovered the Stuxnet virus.
sejomoje | Oct 11, 2017 11:59:05 AM | 13
Yep this is payback for revealing who was behind Stuxnet, among other things. Every day, a little more USSA.
LXV | Oct 11, 2017 12:27:49 PM | 14
Isn't it to little to late for a payback, since it's been 5+ years since Kaspersky Labs discovered and revealed who is behind Stuxnet and Flame? Nah, this one smells more of a good ole-fashioned fascist market protectionism where you simply ban "those vile Russians" from a large portion of the market. Of course, all in context of the Empire's ongoing Blame Russia! campaign.
c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:12:28 PM | 19
Linux doesn't have many viruses - instead it has all manner of extremely dangerous 0-day bugs that can be exploited, plus a multitude of open source library vulnerabilities and channel attacks.
I was at a presentation by Paul Vixie - one of the 2 people who first proclaimed open source as the best way to product good and secure products 10 years ago. He's Internet Hall of Fame, ICANN Security Board, etc.
He no longer believes that for this reason: 10 years ago, there were 50 million lines of open source code, and you could rely that it was reviewed regularly and reasonably widely.
Today there are 50 billion lines of open source code, and the majority is never reviewed by anybody.
If you really want to go secure: don't use email. Don't use the internet. Just use your computer with no outside connection. Of course, you can't read Moon of Alabama, either - a fantastic way to nail all you paranoid types would be to watering hole attack this site.
As for the story: it is believable that one or more spy agencies hacked into Kaspersky's systems.
What again is not being said is whether Kaspersky was actively participating or abetting this activity.
While banning Kaspersky from US government and military isn't completely nonsensical, the reality is that *all* AV and other type of security products - any ones which auto update include FireEye, Palo Alto, Symantec, Microsoft and so forth all have the same vulnerability: The ability to access all data on a computer is an inherent ability to spy.
c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:13:26 PM | 20
And just FYI: Apache - you know, the source of the Struts vulnerability that lead to the Equifax breach, among others? It is Linux.
Thominus | Oct 11, 2017 3:24:35 PM | 21
Meanwhile its a well reported established fact that american virus/antimalware corps have allowed the FBI and other agencies to compromize their software with silent signatures - as with Magic Lantern for example (and imagine how far its gone since then)

With such subservience by the corporations anything is possible with whats been buried in these closed source systems.

I'm pretty sure the US establishment never accuses anyone of something if they aren't already themselves doing the same in the extreme.

Steve | Oct 11, 2017 3:27:13 PM | 22
@19 & 20

What you say may be correct in the most part. However, is it better to run an OS where there is a possibility of someone reviewing the code to improve it or run an OS where the vulnerabilities are intentionally left in the OS at the behest of the three-lettered agencies ? Only one choice gives the possibility of security even if it is remote.

The greater problem is the lack of maturity in so much of the software on Linux.

c1ue | Oct 11, 2017 3:37:19 PM | 23
@Steve #11
I guess you didn't read far enough into Vixie's comment: No one is reviewing the code - there is just too much.
Apache is an enormously widely used Linux platform with presumably an optimal reviewer population - it has millions of installs worldwide and is used from huge corporations to individuals, yet the Struts bug was also enormous (allows someone to remotely run code on any Apache server via a command line in a browser).

From my view as a security professional: I'd rather have a platform where there are thousands to tens of thousands of people actively trying to improve its security as opposed to one where there might be a few hundred.

The reality is that iOS, for example, is far more secure than Android.

iOS is not open source, Android is.

But the relative security has nothing to do with open sourcedness - it has to do with the architects of iOS continuously adding capabilities to make it more secure. iOS was the first widespread OS to use signed firmware updates - which is why jailbreaking an iPhone is so much harder than it used to be.

Despite that, there are still vulns which the 3 letter agencies likely know about and use.

That doesn't change the overall fact that iOS is more secure than Android and will be for the foreseeable future, because Android simply doesn't do all the things iOS can (and does) do.

If your concern is 3 letter agencies, then you need to create your own OS.

If your concern is overall security except for the 3 letter agencies, open source is *not* the way.

And lest you think I'm an Apple fanboi - I am not. I don't use iOS/iPhone/OSX or any of the Apple products for reasons outside of security. It doesn't mean I do not recognize the reality, however.

blues | Oct 11, 2017 4:39:24 PM | 28
Well sure if the NSA or some super-hacker specifically targets your machine, you will get owned (unless you invest in some kind of cyber Fort Knox, and are very lucky as well). These people who rant that Linus is "unsafe" are 100% full of it. In the end NOTHING is "safe". But Linux has astonishing advantages! Pay no heed to those naysayers!

I could write a book about how colossally dreadful Microsoft Windows is.

The BSD systems were clunky as hell so far.

So that leaves Linux. Big Problem: 98% of the Linuxes out there have been coerced into adopting "systemd" (yikes!). This is an allegedly open source (so it might be "audited" for trap doors and such) giant blob of 500,000+ lines of code (!) that has sneakily been infiltrated into 98% of the Linux distributions (distros) by the Red Hat Corporation and their NSA buddies. Obviously no one is ever going to "audit" it!

This Windows-like monster infests all of the Ubuntu and Linux Mint brand distros. The real question becomes "how many teams are you going to trust?"

Presumably the easiest distro to install and use "designed for home computer users" is Devuan based, systemd-free "Refracta Linux":
https://sourceforge.net/projects/refracta/files/isohybrid/
(I suggest ONLY the "refracta8.3_xfce_amd64-20170305_0250.iso" version for modern machines.)

You can "unlock" the upper panel, and move it to the bottom with the mouse.

You have to launch Konqueror five seconds before Firefox or it will crash :(

My very best alternative is the systemd-free "Void Linux":
https://repo.voidlinux.eu/live/current/
(I suggest ONLY the "void-live-x86_64-20171007-xfce.iso" version for most modern machines.)

I think Void Linux is just as nice as Refracta Linux, and they have different available programs (but they can work together) but it requires a bit more Linux chops to install. I needed to get the "live DVD file" GParted, which is a free partition editor DVD that you can burn yourself for free:
http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/System-Administration/GParted-3725.shtml

Look up "Troubleshooters.Com®" -- Quick and Reliable Void Linux Installation:
http://www.troubleshooters.com/linux/void/quickinst.htm

I had to create a "MS-DOS"-style primary ext4 partition (could be between 80 to 200 GiB) with "boot" flag set, and a 20 GiB "Linux swap partition" with GParted before the install (may have to fiddle with the "BIOS" first). Then insert the Void DVD, open the "command window" and type "void-install". At some point the options look hopeless, but continue, and when it starts to repeat go back and back and continue on to completion. It's a BEAUTIFUL system! Have TWO passwords ready to use before starting (any Linux install) -- they might be of the form: "hermitcabbagetorus

I would get a book(s) about Linux. Maybe "Linux Cookbook" from Alibris. This will all prove to be VERY MUCH WORTH THE THE TROUBLE as time goes on!

psychohistorian | Oct 11, 2017 4:39:53 PM | 29
In the network security world there is this concept of a honeypot where you entice/allow the world to attack/invade your honeypot so you can study the tools they use and insure the trail back to them is useful.

If I were a security vendor I would set up a honeypot that looked like my business as simply one of many best practices. It is a great way to learn what others are doing while honing your skills at staying secure and invisible to potential perps.

If I had to wade into the "which OS is more secure" discussion I would just note that, IMO, in the long run open source is going to win the war world wide for most stuff but there will always be room for proprietary OS's and application software.

[Oct 11, 2017] Elite Hackers Stealing NSA Secrets Is 'Child's Play'

What a great waste of taxpayers dollars. After Stuxnet any government that cares about secrecy does not use open, connected to internet networks for sensitive information. Some switched to typewriters, at least for highly sensitive operations, which is probably overkill. but good, old DOS can still be used to above NSA spook pretty much like typewriter; and communication via parallel port is not that easy to hack; UUCP is also pretty much available for serial port communication ;-)
But the effect on undermining the US software and hardware sales is overwhelming. Why anybody in foreign government would buy the US hardware or software, when it is clear that NSA can put a backdoor into both "before arrival". In this sense the game is over and net beneficiary might be Taiwanese and other East Asia firms as China is suspect too.
To say nothing about the effects of the US consumers and business when those tools are incorporated by criminal hacking groups into commercial malware. And this is a real dnager of NSA activities. Boomerang tends to return. And the security culture in most US companies (including government security contractors) is simply rudimentary or non existent. In no way they can withstand the attack of NSA tools. The sordid take of Hillary shadow IT and "bathroom server" is actually not an exception. Creation of "Shadow IT" is pretty common in fossilized and over-bureaucratized US enterprise It world.
Moreover operations like "Its operations that violate sovereignty of other nations, like digging into China's networks , developing the tools British spies used to break into Belgium's largest telecom, and hacking sections of the Mexican government " are clearly criminal, and are possible only due to the status of the USA as a sole of superpower. But they can result is some shipment of arms to anti-USA factions as a state-to-state retaliation. Moreover "There is no honor among thieves" and sharing of this information should be assumed is always larger then intended.
Like drone strikes they inflame anti-Americanism and has constrained U.S. foreign policy options in ways that civilian and military planners neither imagined nor anticipated.
Oct 11, 2017 | www.msn.com

The NSA's hackers have a problem.

Last week, multiple outlets reported that the NSA's elite Tailored Access Operations unit -- tasked with breaking into foreign networks -- suffered another serious data breach. The theft of computer code and other material by an employee in 2015 allowed the Russian government to more easily detect U.S. cyber operations, according to the Washington Post. It's potentially the fourth large scale incident at the NSA to be revealed in the last five years.

Now, multiple sources with direct knowledge of TAO's security procedures in the recent past tell The Daily Beast just how porous some of the defenses were to keep workers from stealing sensitive information -- either digitally or by simply walking out of the front door with it.

One source described removing data from a TAO facility as "child's play." The Daily Beast granted the sources anonymity to talk candidly about the NSA's security practices.

TAO is not your average band of hackers. Its operations have included digging into China's networks , developing the tools British spies used to break into Belgium's largest telecom, and hacking sections of the Mexican government . While other parts of the NSA may focus on tapping undersea cables or prying data from Silicon Valley giants, TAO is the tip of the NSA's offensive hacking spear, and could have access to much more sensitive information ripped from adversaries' closed networks. The unit deploys and creates sophisticated exploits that rely on vulnerabilities in routers, operating systems, and computer hardware the general population uses -- the sort of tools that could wreak havoc if they fell into the wrong hands.

That doesn't mean those tools are locked down, though. "TAO specifically had a huge amount of latitude to move data between networks," the first source, who worked at the unit after Edward Snowden's mega-leak, said. The former employee said TAO limited the number of USB drives -- which could be used to steal data -- after that 2013 breach, but he still had used several while working at TAO.

"Most operators knew how they could get anything they wanted out of the classified nets and onto the internet if they wanted to, even without the USB drives," the former TAO employee said.

A second source, who also worked at TAO, told The Daily Beast, "most of the security was your co-workers checking to see that you had your badge on you at all times."

The NSA -- and recently TAO in particular -- have suffered a series of catastrophic data breaches. On top of the Snowden incident and this newly-scrutinized 2015 breach, NSA contractor Hal Martin allegedly hoarded a trove of computer code and documents from the NSA and other agencies in the U.S. Intelligence Community. Martin worked with TAO, and he ended up storing the material in his car and residence, according to prosecutors. Like Snowden, Martin was a contractor and not an employee of the NSA, as was Reality Winner, who allegedly leaked a top-secret report about Russian interference in the U.S. election to news site The Intercept.

Then there's the incident now in the news. Israeli operatives broke into the systems of the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, officials told The Washington Post. On those systems were samples of sophisticated NSA hacking tools; a TAO employee had brought them home and placed them on his home computer. That machine was running Kasperky software, which allegedly sent the NSA tools back to Moscow.

It's not totally clear how the breach overlaps with any others, but in 2016, a group called The Shadow Brokers started publishing full NSA exploit and tool code. Various hackers went on to incorporate a number of the dumped exploits in their own campaigns, including some designed to break into computers and mine digital currency, as well as the WannaCry ransomware, which crippled tens of thousands of computers around the world. (A handful of other, smaller NSA-related disclosures, including a catalogue of TAO hacking gear from 2007 and 2008, as well as intelligence intercepts, were not attributed to the Snowden documents, and the public details around where that information came from are muddy.)

Although not a data breach per se, in 2015 Kaspersky publicly revealed details on the history and tools of the so-called Equation Group, which is widely believed to be part of the NSA. A third source, who worked directly with TAO, said the fallout from that exposure meant the hacking unit entered a "significant shutdown," and "ran on minimum ops for months."

Nevertheless, a report by the Defense Department's inspector general completed in 2016 found that the NSA's "Secure the Net" project -- which aimed to restrict access to its most sensitive data after the Snowden breach -- fell short of its stated aims. The NSA did introduce some improvements, but it didn't effectively reduce the number of user accounts with 'privileged' access, which provide more avenues into sensitive data than normal users, nor fully implement technology to oversee these accounts' activities, the report reads.

Physical security wasn't much better, at least at one TAO operator's facility. He told The Daily Beast that there were "no bag checks or anything" as employees and contractors left work for the day -- meaning, it was easy smuggle things home. Metal detectors were present, including before Snowden, but "nobody cared what came out," the second source added. The third source, who visited TAO facilities, said bag checks were random and weak.

"If you have a thumb drive in your pocket, it's going to get out," they said.

Unsurprisingly, workers need to swipe keycards to access certain rooms. But, "in most cases, it's pretty easy to get into those rooms without swipe access if you just knock and say who you're trying to see," the third source added.

To be clear, The Daily Beast's sources described the state of security up to 2015 -- not today. Things may have improved since then. And, of course, the NSA and TAO do of course have an array of security protections in place. TAO operators are screened and people on campus are already going to have a high level clearance, some of the sources stressed. The part of the NSA network that TAO uses, and which contains the unit's tools, can only be accessed by those with a designated account, according to the source who worked with TAO. Two of the sources believed in the NSA's ability to track down where a file came from after a breach.

Indeed, the system TAO members use to download their hacking tools for operations has become more heavily audited over the years too, although the network did have a known security issue, in which users could make their own account and automatically gain access to additional information, the source who worked with TAO said.

"The NSA operates in one of the most complicated IT environments in the world," an NSA spokesperson told The Daily Beast in a statement. "Over the past several years, we have continued to build on internal security improvements while carrying out the mission to defend the nation and our allies."

"We do not rely on only one initiative. Instead, we have undertaken a comprehensive and layered set of defensive measures to further safeguard operations and advance best practices," the spokesperson added.

The problem of securing this data from the inside is not an easy one to solve. If the NSA was to lock down TAO systems more ferociously, that could hamper TAO's ability to effectively build tools and capabilities in the first place, and two of the sources emphasised that excessive searches would likely create a recruiting problem for the agency. "It's not prison," one of the former TAO employees said.

"The security is all predicated on you having a clearance and being trusted," the source who has worked with TAO said.

"The system is just not setup to protect against someone with a clearance who is determined to go rogue," they added.

[Oct 10, 2017] The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent

Notable quotes:
"... "Israeli intelligence has developed a predictive policing system – a computer algorithm – that analyzes social media posts to identify Palestinian "suspects." " ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

SolontoCroesus > , October 10, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

@Talha

How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet . . . that is also a big IF – since there is so much on the internet which is just trash and lacks any sort of serious vetting.

The Israeli algorithm criminalizing Palestinians for online dissent
Oct 4 2017

https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/nadim-nashif-marwa-fatafta/israeli-algorithm-criminalizing-palestinians-for-o?utm_source=Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d2cd3e7ec3-DAILY_NEWSLETTER_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_717bc5d86d-d2cd3e7ec3-407397135

"Israeli intelligence has developed a predictive policing system – a computer algorithm – that analyzes social media posts to identify Palestinian "suspects." "

[Oct 07, 2017] US Intelligence Unit Accused Of Illegally Spying On Americans' Financial Records

Oct 07, 2017 | www.buzzfeed.com

The intelligence division at the Treasury Department has repeatedly and systematically violated domestic surveillance laws by snooping on the private financial records of US citizens and companies, according to government sources.

Over the past year, at least a dozen employees in another branch of the Treasury Department, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, have warned officials and Congress that US citizens' and residents' banking and financial data has been illegally searched and stored. And the breach, some sources said, extended to other intelligence agencies, such as the National Security Agency, whose officers used the Treasury's intelligence division as an illegal back door to gain access to American citizens' financial records. The NSA said that any allegations that it "is operating outside of its authorities and knowingly violating U.S. persons' privacy and civil liberties is categorically false."

In response to detailed questions, the Treasury Department at first issued a one-sentence reply stating that its various branches "operate in a manner consistent with applicable legal authorities." Several hours after this story published, the department issued a more forceful denial : "The BuzzFeed story is flat out wrong. An unsourced suggestion that an office within Treasury is engaged in illegal spying on Americans is unfounded and completely off-base." It added that "OIA and FinCEN share important information and operate within the bounds of statute."

Still, the Treasury Department's Office of the Inspector General said it has launched a review of the issue. Rich Delmar, a lawyer in that office, offered no further comment.

But a senior Treasury official, who is not authorized to speak on the matter so requested anonymity, did not mince words: "This is domestic spying."

Sources said the spying had been going on under President Barack Obama, but the Donald Trump appointees who now control how the department conducts intelligence operations are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.

At issue is the collection and dissemination of information from a vast database of mostly US citizens' banking and financial records that banks turn over to the government each day. Banks and other financial institutions are required, under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, to report suspicious transactions and cash transactions over $10,000. The database is maintained by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN , a bank regulator charged with combatting money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. Under the law, it has unfettered powers to peruse and retain the data.

In contrast to FinCEN, Treasury's intelligence division, known as the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, or OIA, is charged with monitoring suspicious financial activity that occurs outside the US. Under a seminal Reagan-era executive order, a line runs through the Treasury Department and all other federal agencies separating law enforcement, which targets domestic crimes, from intelligence agencies, which focus on foreign threats and can surveil US citizens only in limited ways and by following stringent guidelines.

FinCEN officials have accused their counterparts at OIA, an intelligence unit, of violating this separation by illegally collecting and retaining domestic financial information from the banking database. Some sources have also charged that OIA analysts have, in a further legal breach, been calling up financial institutions to make inquiries about individual bank accounts and transactions involving US citizens. Sources said the banks have complied with the requests because they are under the impression they are giving the information to FinCEN, which they are required to do.

One source recalled an instance from 2016 in which OIA personnel, inserting themselves into a domestic money-laundering case, sought information from a Delaware financial institution. In other cases, according to a second source, FinCEN gave OIA reports with the names of US citizens and companies blacked out. OIA obtained those names by calling the banks, then used those names to search the banking database for more information on those American citizens and firms. "This is such an invasion of privacy." -- Treasury Department official

Sources also claimed that OIA has opened a back door to officers from other intelligence agencies throughout the government, including the the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Officials from those agencies have been coming to work at OIA for short periods of time, sometimes for as little as a week, and thereby getting unrestricted access to information on US citizens that they otherwise could not collect without strict oversight.

"This is such an invasion of privacy," said another Treasury Department official, who, lacking authorization to speak on the matter, asked not to be named. This person predicted that banks "would lose their minds" if they knew that their customers' records were being used by government intelligence officers who did not have the legal authority to do so.

The Defense Intelligence Agency did not respond to a request for comment. CIA spokesman Dean Boyd said, "Suggestions that the Agency may be improperly collecting and retaining US persons data through the mechanisms you described are completely inaccurate."

Sources claimed the unauthorized inspection and possession of Americans' financial data have been going on for years but only became controversial in 2016, when officials at FinCEN learned about it and began objecting. Early last year, Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, which oversees OIA, proposed transferring much of FinCEN's work to OIA.

In a bureaucratic turf war, FinCEN officials objected to the proposal, which would have shifted numerous employees and a portion of FinCEN's budget to OIA. They said the move was illegal without prior approval from Congress.

[Sep 24, 2017] Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping

Obama did spied on his political opponents... He really was a well connected to intelligence agencies wolf in sheep's clothing.
Sep 24, 2017 | www.msn.com

For some of President Trump's staunchest allies, reports that former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was under U.S. surveillance are nothing short of vindication of the president's widely-dismissed claims that former President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower.

... ... ...

Longtime advisor Roger Stone has gleefully circulated a segment from Tucker Carlson's show on Fox News in which the host says "all those patronizing assurances that nobody is spying on political campaigns were false" and "it looks like Trump's tweet may have been right."

... ... ...

A spokesperson for Manafort, Jason Maloni, has characterized the court orders as an abuse of power by the Obama administration, which he says wanted to spy on a political opponent.

"It's unclear if Paul Manafort was the objective," Maloni told The Journal. "Perhaps the real objective was Donald Trump."

Surveillance experts are skeptical of that suggestion. For one thing, it is illegal for investigators to "reverse target" a U.S. person by spying on a person with whom they know their true target to be in communication.

If the president were in fact the oblique target of government surveillance - either as a candidate or as the president-elect - both Eddington and Shedd say, it would have been so explosive that it would have almost certainly been leaked to the press.

... ... ...

The disclosure of the warrants targeting Manafort have drawn legitimate scrutiny as a violation of Manafort's civil liberties and a possible criminal leak - the mere existence of a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant is classified.

House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who first raised alarm about the practice of "unmasking" the names of Americans caught up in government surveillance, is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegedly exposing classified information when he disclosed his findings to reporters.

[Sep 18, 2017] Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish partnerships with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California. ..."
"... Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story. ..."
"... Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats". ..."
"... US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China. ..."
"... The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth. ..."
"... The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect. ..."
"... In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site. ..."
consortiumnews.com

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

There is no reason to assume that the trollish rants of "Voytenko" are from some outraged flag-waving "patriot" in Kiev. There are plenty of other "useful idiots" ready, willing and able to make mischief.

For example, about a million Jews emigrated to Israel ("made Aliyah") from the post-Soviet states during the 1990s. Some 266,300 were Ukrainian Jews. A large number of Ukrainian Jews also emigrated to the United States during this period. For example, out of an estimated 400 thousand Russian-speaking Jews in Metro New York, the largest number (thirty-six percent) hail from Ukraine. Needless to say, many among them are not so well disposed toward the nations of Russia or Ukraine, and quite capable of all manner of mischief.

A particularly "useful idiot" making mischief the days is Sergey Brin of Google. Brin's parents were graduates of Moscow State University who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979 when their son was five years old.

Google, the company that runs the most visited website in the world, the company that owns YouTube, is very snugly in bed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex.

In fact, Google was seed funded by the US National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company now enjoys lavish "partnerships" with military contractors like SAIC, Northrop Grumman and Blackbird.

Google's mission statement from the outset was "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful".

In a 2004 letter prior to their initial public offering, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin explained their "Don't be evil" culture required objectivity and an absence of bias: "We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see."

The corporate giant appears to have replaced the original motto altogether. A carefully reworded version appears in the Google Code of Conduct: "You can make money without doing evil".

This new gospel allows Google and its "partners" to make money promoting propaganda and engaging in surveillance, and somehow manage to not "be evil". That's "post-truth" logic for you.

Google has been enthusiastically promoting Eliot Higgins "arm chair analytics" since 2013
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWhcWizSFY

Indeed, a very cozy cross-promotion is happening between Google and Bellingcat.

In November 2014, Google Ideas and Google For Media, partnered the George Soros-funded Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to host an "Investigathon" in New York City. Google Ideas promoted Higgins' "War and Pieces: Social Media Investigations" song and dance via their YouTube page.

Higgins constantly insists that Bellingcat "findings" are "reaffirmed" by accessing imagery in Google Earth.

Google Earth, originally called EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004. Google Earth uses satellite images provided by the company Digital Globe, a supplier of the US Department of Defense (DoD) with deep connections to both the military and intelligence communities.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) is both a combat support agency under the United States Department of Defense, and an intelligence agency of the United States Intelligence Community. Robert T. Cardillo, director of the NGA, lavishly praised Digital Globe as "a true mission partner in every sense of the word". Examination of the Board of Directors of Digital Globe reveals intimate connections to DoD and CIA.

Google has quite the history of malicious behavior. In what became known as the "Wi-Spy" scandal, it was revealed that Google had been collecting hundreds of gigabytes of payload data, including personal and sensitive information. First names, email addresses, physical addresses, and a conversation between two married individuals planning an extra-marital affair were all cited by the FCC. In a 2012 settlement, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple's Safari browser. Though it was the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission had ever imposed for violating one of its orders, the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings the previous quarter.

Google is a joint venture partner with the CIA. In 2009, Google Ventures and In-Q-Tel invested "under $10 million each" into Recorded Future shortly after the company was founded. The company developed technology that strips information from web pages, blogs, and Twitter accounts.

In addition to funding Bellingcat and joint ventures with the CIA, Brin's Google is heavily invested in Crowdstrike, an American cybersecurity technology firm based in Irvine, California.

Crowdstrike is the main "source" of the "Russians hacked the DNC" story.

Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and chief technology officer of CrowdStrike, is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank. Alperovitz said that Crowdstrike has "high confidence" it was "Russian hackers". "But we don't have hard evidence," Alperovitch admitted in a June 16, 2016 Washington Post interview.

Allegations of Russian perfidy are routinely issued by private companies with lucrative US Department of Defense (DoD) contracts. The companies claiming to protect the nation against "threats" have the ability to manufacture "threats".

The US and UK possess elite cyber capabilities for both cyberspace espionage and offensive operations.

Both the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are intelligence agencies with a long history of supporting military operations. US military cyber operations are the responsibility of US Cyber Command, whose commander is also the head of the NSA.

US offensive cyber operations have emphasized political coercion and opinion shaping, shifting public perception in NATO countries as well as globally in ways favorable to the US, and to create a sense of unease and distrust among perceived adversaries such as Russia and China.

The Snowden revelations made it clear that US offensive cyber capabilities can and have been directed both domestically and internationally. The notion that US and NATO cyber operations are purely defensive is a myth.

Recent US domestic cyber operations have been used for coercive effect, creating uncertainty and concern within the American government and population.

The perception that a foreign attacker may have infiltrated US networks, is monitoring communications, and perhaps considering even more damaging actions, can have a disorienting effect.

In the world of US "hybrid warfare" against Russia, offensive cyber operations work in tandem with NATO propaganda efforts, perhaps best exemplified by the "online investigation" antics of the Atlantic Council's Eliot Higgins and his Bellingcat disinformation site.

Abe , September 16, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Higgins and Bellingcat receives direct funding from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) founded by business magnate George Soros, and from Google's Digital News Initiatives (DNI).

Google's 2017 DNI Fund Annual Report describes Higgins as "a world–leading expert in news verification".

Higgins claims the DNI funding "allowed us to push this to the next level".
https://digitalnewsinitiative.com/news/case-study-codifying-social-conflict-data/

In their zeal to propagate the story of Higgins as a courageous former "unemployed man" now busy independently "Codifying social conflict data", Google neglects to mention Higgins' role as a "research fellow" for the NATO-funded Atlantic Council "regime change" think tank.

Despite their claims of "independent journalism", Eliot Higgins and the team of disinformation operatives at Bellingcat depend on the Atlantic Council to promote their "online investigations".

The Atlantic Council donors list includes:

– US government and military entities: US State Department, US Air Force, US Army, US Marines.

– The NATO military alliance

– Large corporations and major military contractors: Chevron, Google, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, BP, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Northrup Grumman, SAIC, ConocoPhillips, and Dow Chemical

– Foreign governments: United Arab Emirates (UAE; which gives the think tank at least $1 million), Kingdom of Bahrain, City of London, Ministry of Defense of Finland, Embassy of Latvia, Estonian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Defense of Georgia

– Other think tanks and think tankers: Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Nicolas Veron of Bruegel (formerly at PIIE), Anne-Marie Slaughter (head of New America Foundation), Michele Flournoy (head of Center for a New American Security), Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings Institution.

Higgins is a Research Associate of the Department of War Studies at King's College, and was principal co-author of the Atlantic Council "reports" on Ukraine and Syria.

Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of Programs and Strategy at the Atlantic Council, a co-author with Higgins of the report, effusively praised Higgins' effort to bolster anti-Russian propaganda:

Wilson stated, "We make this case using only open source, all unclassified material. And none of it provided by government sources. And it's thanks to works, the work that's been pioneered by human rights defenders and our partner Eliot Higgins, uh, we've been able to use social media forensics and geolocation to back this up." (see Atlantic Council video presentation minutes 35:10-36:30)

However, the Atlantic Council claim that "none" of Higgins' material was provided by government sources is an obvious lie.

Higgins' primary "pieces of evidence" are a video depicting a Buk missile launcher and a set of geolocation coordinates that were supplied by the SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) and the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior via the Facebook page of senior-level Ukrainian government official Arsen Avakov, the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Higgins and the Atlantic Council are working in support of the Pentagon and Western intelligence's "hybrid war" against Russia.

The laudatory bio of Higgins on the Kings College website specifically acknowledges his service to the Atlantic Council:

"an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report "Hiding in Plain Sight", which used open source information to detail Russia's military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine."

While it honors Higgins' enthusiastic "trawling", King's College curiously neglects to mention that Higgins' "findings" on the Syian sarin attacks were thoroughly debunked.

King's College also curiously neglects to mention the fact that Higgins, now listed as a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's "Future Europe Initiative", was principal co-author of the April 2016 Atlantic Council "report" on Syria.

The report's other key author was John E. Herbst, United States Ambassador to Ukraine from September 2003 to May 2006 (the period that became known as the Orange Revolution) and Director of the Atlantic Council's Eurasia Center.

Other report authors include Frederic C. Hof, who served as Special Adviser on Syrian political transition to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012. Hof was previously the Special Coordinator for Regional Affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchel. Hof had been a Resident Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East since November 2012, and assumed the position as Director in May 2016.

There is no daylight between the "online investigations" of Higgins and Bellingcat and the "regime change" efforts of the NATO-backed Atlantic Council.

Thanks to the Atlantic Council, Soros, and Google, it's a pretty well-funded gig for fake "citizen investigative journalist" Higgins.

[Sep 18, 2017] Why Petraeus, Obama And Brennan Should Face 5,000 Years In Prison

Notable quotes:
"... add Bush. Glenn Greenwald on John Brennan . It is interesting that the empire sues the little people. ..."
"... "It is a perfect illustration of the Obama legacy that a person who was untouchable as CIA chief in 2008 because of his support for Bush's most radical policies is not only Obama's choice for the same position now, but will encounter very little resistance. Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus. Then again, given how the CIA operates, one could fairly argue that Brennan's eagerness to deceive and his long record of supporting radical and unaccountable powers make him the perfect person to run that agency. It seems clear that this is Obama's calculus." ..."
"... one more quote from your newest link to the NYT: "The job Mr. Brennan once held in Riyadh is, more than the ambassador's, the true locus of American power in the kingdom. Former diplomats recall that the most important discussions always flowed through the C.I.A. station chief." The Saudis bought the CIA. From station chief in Riyadh to Director Tenet's chief of staff to Deputy Executive Director of the CIA and finally, under Obama, to Director of the CIA. ..."
"... Best background article I've come across on how the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings were either suppressed (in the U.S. client oil monarchies like Bahrain) or hijacked for regime change purposes (as in Libya and Syria): http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion... how-the-arab-spring-was-hijacked/ (Feb 2012) ..."
"... The best explanation is that despite the effort to "woo" Assad into the Saudi-Israeli axis (c.2008-2010), Assad refused to cut economic ties with Iran, which was setting up rail lines, air traffic and oil pipeline deals with Assad on very good terms. This led Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, etc. to lobby Obama to support a regime change program: ..."
"... Replace "plan" with "ongoing project". The main point would be that Panetta and Clinton also belong on that "illegal arms transfer" charge sheet. Civil damages for the costs Europe, Turkey, Lebanon etc. bore due to millions of fleeing refugees should also be assessed (let alone damage in Syria, often to priceless historical treasures destroyed by ISIS). ..."
"... Then there's the previous regime and its deliberate lies about non-existent WMDs in Iraq, claims used to start a war of aggression that killed thousand of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woolsey, Tenet, Powell - they should have their own separate charge sheet. ..."
"... But it wasn't just anti-arms trafficking laws that were broken, was it? Wouldn't a conspiracy to use extremists as a weapon of state amount to a crime against humanity? David Stockman thinks so, but he pins the 'crime' on old, sick McCain. (see: 'Moderate Rebels' Cheerleader McCain is Fall Guy But Neocon Cancer Lives ..."
"... I classify attempts at regime change as terrorism, too, since it's essentially the waging of aggressive war via different means, which is the #1 War Crime also violating domestic law as well ..."
"... What of the US bases being established in N. Syria that were helpfully marked by the Turks? Within the context that the SF force multiplier model has varied success but hasn't worked AFAIK since the Resistance in WW2. What, short of an explicit invasion, is an option for the US+? US-hired mercenaries failed to do the job, and the US as mercenaries for the Arabs are not willing to commit. Maybe if the USIC offered up more "wives" they'd acquire more psychopathic murderers to spread the joy. ..."
"... Trump may have put Pompeo in to present the facade of housecleaning, but who here believes that there is any serious move to curtail the Syrian misadventure? Just a change in the marketing plan. ..."
"... As the Brits came out with blocking the release of 30-yr-old official records on the basis that "personal information" and "national security" would be compromised? More like the criminal activity at 10 Downing St. and the misappropriation of public money for international crime would be brought to light. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4159032/whitehall-refuses-documents-release/ ..."
"... While I do agree with some of the things Trump has done so far, I cannot agree that he makes for a good "leader" of our rapidly devolving nation. As much "good" that Trump has done, he's probably done much worse on other issues and levels. It's really pretty awful all around. ..."
"... That said, when some people say how much they "miss Obama," I want to either pound my head into a brick wall and/or throw up. The damage that Obama and his hench men/women did is incalculable. ..."
"... Not so much with "No drama Obama" the smooth talking viper that we - either unwittingly or wittingly - clutche to our collective bosom. Obama's many many many lies - all told with smooth suave assurance - along with his many sins of omission served as cover for what he was doing. Trump's buffoonery and incessant Twitting at least put his idiocies out on the stage for all to see (of course, the Republicans do use that as cover for their nefarious deeds behind Trump's doofus back). ..."
"... I likened a Trump presidency to sticking the landing of a crashing US empire. ..."
"... Remember this, The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain's security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian can reveal. ..."
"... His lawyers argued that British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he was, and were party to a secret operation providing weapons and non-lethal help to the groups, including the Free Syrian Army. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/01/trial-swedish-man-accused-terrorism-offences-collapse-bherlin-gildo ..."
"... John McCain was neck deep in supporting Terrorists in Syria he wanted to give them manpads. ..."
"... WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -- Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia's military jets. "Absolutely Absolutely I would," McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria. ..."
"... The US were into regime change in Syria a long time ago..... Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government. ..."
"... Ambassador Ford talked himself blue in the face reassuring us that he was only supporting moderates in Syria. As evidence mounted that the recipients of the largesse doled out by Washington was going to jihadist groups, Ford finally admitted early last year that most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda. ..."
"... b asked : "When will the FBI investigate Messrs Petraeus, Obama and Brennan? Duh, like never... Most here understand this, I'm sure. The wealthy and the connected puppets never face justice, for their crimes, committed in the service of their owners. ..."
"... NYT never saw a war (rather an attack by the US, NATO, Israel, UK, on any defenseless nation) that it did not support. Wiki uses the word "allegedly" in explaining the CIA and Operation Mockingbird. It just isn't feasible that a secret government agency - gone rogue - with unlimited funding and manpower could write/edit the news for six media owners with similar war-profiteering motives. ..."
"... Brennan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBG81dXgM0Q ..."
"... Seymour Hersh, in his 'Victoria NULAND moment' audio, states categorically BRENNAN conceived and ran the 'Russian Hack' psyop after Seth RICH DNC leaks. ..."
Aug 04, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

California CEO Allegedly Smuggled Rifle Scopes to Syria - Daily Beast, August 1 2017

Rasheed Al Jijakli,[the CEO of a check-cashing business who lives in Walnut,] along with three co-conspirators, allegedly transported day and night vision rifle scopes, laser boresighters used to adjust sights on firearms for accuracy when firing, flashlights, radios, a bulletproof vest, and other tactical equipment to Syrian fighters.
...
If Jijakli is found guilty, he could face 50 years in prison . Jijakli's case is being prosecuted by counterintelligence and Terrorism and Export Crimes Section attorneys. An FBI investigation, in coordination with other agencies, is ongoing.
---

Under Trump, a Hollowed-Out Force in Syria Quickly Lost C.I.A. Backing - NY Times * , August 2, 2017

C.I.A. director, Mike Pompeo, recommended to President Trump that he shut down a four-year-old effort to arm and train Syrian rebels
...
Critics in Congress had complained for years about the costs [...] and reports that some of the C.I.A.-supplied weapons had ended up in the hands of a rebel group tied to Al Qaeda
...
In the summer of 2012, David H. Petraeus , who was then C.I.A. director, first proposed a covert program of arming and training rebels
...
[ Mr. Obama signed] a presidential finding authorizing the C.I.A. to covertly arm and train small groups of rebels
-...
John O. Brennan , Mr. Obama's last C.I.A. director, remained a vigorous defender of the program ...

When will the FBI investigate Messrs Petraeus, Obama and Brennan? Where are the counterintelligence and Terrorism and Export Crimes Section attorneys prosecuting them? Those three men engaged in the exactly same trade as Mr. Jijakil did, but on a much larger scale. They should be punished on an equally larger scale.

* Note:

The NYT story is largely a whitewash. It claims that the CIA paid "moderate" FSA rebels stormed Idleb governate in 2015. In fact al-Qaeda and Ahrar al Sham were leading the assault. It says that costs of the CIA program was "more than $1 billion over the life of the program" when CIA documents show that it was over $1 billion per year and likely much more than $5 billion in total. The story says that the program started in 2013 while the CIA has been providing arms to the Wahhabi rebels since at least fall 2011.

Posted by b on August 3, 2017 at 05:15 AM | Permalink

nmb | Aug 3, 2017 5:31:09 AM | 1

Easy: because they are war criminals.
V. Arnold | Aug 3, 2017 5:47:16 AM | 4
But, but, b; you're dealing with a rogue government of men; not laws. Should have been obvious in 2003, March 19th...
Igor Bundy | Aug 3, 2017 5:47:28 AM | 5
In case there is any doubt, North Korea has already said arming "rebels" to over throw the government would face nuclear retaliation.
Igor Bundy | Aug 3, 2017 5:52:50 AM | 6
India and Pakistan spends insane amounts of money because Pakistan arms "rebels" both countries could use that money for many other things. Especially Pakistan which has a tenth the economy of India. BUT Pakistan is controlled by the military or MIC so arming terrorists is more important than such things as schools and power supplies etc. Their excuse is India is spending so much on arms. Which India says is because in large part due to Pakistan. US says well move those 2 million troops to attack China instead. Everyone is happy except the population in those 3 countries which lack most things except iphones. Which makes US extremely happy.
Emily | Aug 3, 2017 5:54:48 AM | 7
It would interesting to get to the truth about Brennan. Is he an islamist himself? Did he actually convert to islam in Saudi Arabia? Lots of stories out there.
Has he been acting as a covert agent against his own country for years?Selling out the entire west and every christian on the planet. Time to find this out, methinks.

Is treason in the USA a death penalty issue?. Its certainly what he deserves.

Mina | Aug 3, 2017 5:55:21 AM | 8
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/274688/World/Region/,-Syrian-refugees-and-fighters-return-home-from-Le.aspx
V. Arnold | Aug 3, 2017 6:25:03 AM | 9
Mina | Aug 3, 2017 5:55:21 AM | 8

Informative link; thanks.

Peter AU 1 | Aug 3, 2017 6:30:12 AM | 10
"a four-year-old effort to arm and train Syrian rebels."

A four year effort to arm the f**kers? Doubtful it was an effort to arm them, but training them to act in the hegemon's interests... like upholders of democracy and humanitarian... headchopping is just too much of an attraction

somebody | Aug 3, 2017 6:52:48 AM | 12
add Bush. Glenn Greenwald on John Brennan . It is interesting that the empire sues the little people.
Anonymous | Aug 3, 2017 6:54:31 AM | 13
Mina @3. The title of the article is deceptive.

"7,000 Syrian refugees and fighters return home from Lebanon"

The 'al-Qaeda linked' fighters are mostly foreigners, paid mercenaries. They have been dumped in Idlib along with the other terrorists. In the standard reconciliation process, real Syrians are given the option of returning home if they renounce violence and agree to a political solution. Fake Syrians are dumped in with the foreigners. The real Syrian fighters who reconcile have to join the SAA units to fight against ISIS etc.

ISIS fighters were encouraged to bring their families with them (for use as human shields and to provide settlers for the captured territory). ISIS documents recovered from Mosul indicate that unmarried foreign mercenaries fighting with them were provided with a wife (how does that work? do the women volunteer or are they 'volunteered'?), a car and other benefits. These families and hangers-on would probably be the 'Syrian refugees'.

On a side note, the Kurds have released a video showing the training of special forces belonging to their allies, the 'Syrian Defense Force' (composed largely of foreigners again). The SDF fighters fly the FSA flag, ie they are the carefully vetted moderate head chopping rebels beloved of the likes of McCain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHBFkZZ1y40

librul | Aug 3, 2017 8:20:55 AM | 14
somebody @12,

Thanks for the link, it is a keeper.

"It is a perfect illustration of the Obama legacy that a person who was untouchable as CIA chief in 2008 because of his support for Bush's most radical policies is not only Obama's choice for the same position now, but will encounter very little resistance. Within this change one finds one of the most significant aspects of the Obama presidency: his conversion of what were once highly contentious right-wing policies into harmonious dogma of the DC bipartisan consensus. Then again, given how the CIA operates, one could fairly argue that Brennan's eagerness to deceive and his long record of supporting radical and unaccountable powers make him the perfect person to run that agency. It seems clear that this is Obama's calculus."

My own addition to the Brennan record:

Brennan was station chief for the CIA in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia during the planning period for 9/11. The Saudi rulers do not use the US embassy as their first point of contact with Washington, they use the CIA. Brennan moved back to the US some time in (late?) 1999. The first 9/11 Saudi hijackers arrived on US shores in January 2000. Brennan was made CIA chief of staff to Director Tenet in 1999 and Deputy Executive Director of the CIA in March 2001.

somebody | Aug 3, 2017 8:36:06 AM | 15
14 add this New York Times link: U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels
The support for the Syrian rebels is only the latest chapter in the decades long relationship between the spy services of Saudi Arabia and the United States, an alliance that has endured through the Iran-contra scandal, support for the mujahedeen against the Soviets in Afghanistan and proxy fights in Africa. Sometimes, as in Syria, the two countries have worked in concert. In others, Saudi Arabia has simply written checks underwriting American covert activities. ... Although the Saudis have been public about their help arming rebel groups in Syria, the extent of their partnership with the C.I.A.'s covert action campaign and their direct financial support had not been disclosed. Details were pieced together in interviews with a half-dozen current and former American officials and sources from several Persian Gulf countries. Most spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the program.

From the moment the C.I.A. operation was started, Saudi money supported it.

...

The roots of the relationship run deep. In the late 1970s, the Saudis organized what was known as the "Safari Club" -- a coalition of nations including Morocco, Egypt and France -- that ran covert operations around Africa at a time when Congress had clipped the C.I.A.'s wings over years of abuses.

...

Prince Bandar pledged $1 million per month to help fund the contras, in recognition of the administration's past support to the Saudis. The contributions continued after Congress cut off funding to the contras. By the end, the Saudis had contributed $32 million, paid through a Cayman Islands bank account.

When the Iran-contra scandal broke, and questions arose about the Saudi role, the kingdom kept its secrets. Prince Bandar refused to cooperate with the investigation led by Lawrence E. Walsh, the independent counsel.

In a letter, the prince declined to testify, explaining that his country's "confidences and commitments, like our friendship, are given not just for the moment but the long run."

michaelj72 | Aug 3, 2017 8:43:35 AM | 16

"Many commit the same crime with a very different result. One bears a cross for his crime; another a crown." ― Juvenal, The Satires

librul | Aug 3, 2017 9:09:59 AM | 17
somebody @15

one more quote from your newest link to the NYT: "The job Mr. Brennan once held in Riyadh is, more than the ambassador's, the true locus of American power in the kingdom. Former diplomats recall that the most important discussions always flowed through the C.I.A. station chief." The Saudis bought the CIA. From station chief in Riyadh to Director Tenet's chief of staff to Deputy Executive Director of the CIA and finally, under Obama, to Director of the CIA.

Greenbean950 | Aug 3, 2017 9:47:03 AM | 18
NYT's article was a white wash. It was cover. NYT = CIA
paul | Aug 3, 2017 9:47:16 AM | 19
The art of limited hangout as practiced by the NYT
nonsense factory | Aug 3, 2017 10:15:14 AM | 20
Best background article I've come across on how the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings were either suppressed (in the U.S. client oil monarchies like Bahrain) or hijacked for regime change purposes (as in Libya and Syria): http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion... how-the-arab-spring-was-hijacked/ (Feb 2012)
In particular:
A fourth trend is that the Arab Spring has become a springboard for playing great-power geopolitics.

Syria, at the center of the region's sectarian fault lines, has emerged as the principal battleground for such Cold War-style geopolitics. Whereas Russia is intent on keeping its only military base outside the old Soviet Union in Syria's Mediterranean port of Tartus, the U.S. seems equally determined to install a pro-Western regime in Damascus.

This goal prompted Washington to set up a London-based television station that began broadcasting to Syria a year before major protests began there. The U.S. campaign, which includes assembling a coalition of the willing, has been boosted by major Turkish, Saudi, Qatari and UAE help, including cross-border flow of arms into Syria and the establishment of two new petrodollar-financed, jihad-extolling television channels directed at Syria's majority Sunni Arabs.

The best explanation is that despite the effort to "woo" Assad into the Saudi-Israeli axis (c.2008-2010), Assad refused to cut economic ties with Iran, which was setting up rail lines, air traffic and oil pipeline deals with Assad on very good terms. This led Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, etc. to lobby Obama to support a regime change program:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...Leon-Panetta-supports-Hillary-Clinton-plan-to-arm-Syrian-rebels.html (Feb 2013)

Replace "plan" with "ongoing project". The main point would be that Panetta and Clinton also belong on that "illegal arms transfer" charge sheet. Civil damages for the costs Europe, Turkey, Lebanon etc. bore due to millions of fleeing refugees should also be assessed (let alone damage in Syria, often to priceless historical treasures destroyed by ISIS).

Then there's the previous regime and its deliberate lies about non-existent WMDs in Iraq, claims used to start a war of aggression that killed thousand of U.S. soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians - Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Woolsey, Tenet, Powell - they should have their own separate charge sheet.

Send the lot to Scheveningen Prison - for the most notorious war criminals. Pretty luxurious as prisons go, by all accounts.

Jackrabbit | Aug 3, 2017 10:36:48 AM | 21
But it wasn't just anti-arms trafficking laws that were broken, was it? Wouldn't a conspiracy to use extremists as a weapon of state amount to a crime against humanity? David Stockman thinks so, but he pins the 'crime' on old, sick McCain. (see: 'Moderate Rebels' Cheerleader McCain is Fall Guy But Neocon Cancer Lives
karlof1 | Aug 3, 2017 10:45:27 AM | 22
Within the Outlaw US Empire alone, there're several thousand people deserving of those 5,000 year sentences, not just the three b singled out. But b does provide a great service for those of us who refuse to support terrorists and terrorism by not paying federal taxes by providing proof of that occurring. I classify attempts at regime change as terrorism, too, since it's essentially the waging of aggressive war via different means, which is the #1 War Crime also violating domestic law as well. Thanks b!
james | Aug 3, 2017 12:07:05 PM | 23
it's the usa!!!! no one in gov't is held accountable.. obama wants to move on, lol... look forward, not backward... creating a heaping pile of murder, mayhem and more in other parts of the world, but never examine any of it, or hold anyone accountable.. it is the amerikkkan way...
stumpy | Aug 3, 2017 12:46:57 PM | 26
What of the US bases being established in N. Syria that were helpfully marked by the Turks? Within the context that the SF force multiplier model has varied success but hasn't worked AFAIK since the Resistance in WW2. What, short of an explicit invasion, is an option for the US+? US-hired mercenaries failed to do the job, and the US as mercenaries for the Arabs are not willing to commit. Maybe if the USIC offered up more "wives" they'd acquire more psychopathic murderers to spread the joy.

Trump may have put Pompeo in to present the facade of housecleaning, but who here believes that there is any serious move to curtail the Syrian misadventure? Just a change in the marketing plan.

As the Brits came out with blocking the release of 30-yr-old official records on the basis that "personal information" and "national security" would be compromised? More like the criminal activity at 10 Downing St. and the misappropriation of public money for international crime would be brought to light. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4159032/whitehall-refuses-documents-release/

RUKidding | Aug 3, 2017 12:56:29 PM | 27
While I do agree with some of the things Trump has done so far, I cannot agree that he makes for a good "leader" of our rapidly devolving nation. As much "good" that Trump has done, he's probably done much worse on other issues and levels. It's really pretty awful all around.

That said, when some people say how much they "miss Obama," I want to either pound my head into a brick wall and/or throw up. The damage that Obama and his hench men/women did is incalculable.

At least with Trump, we can clearly witness his idiocy and grasp the level of at least some of his damage.

Not so much with "No drama Obama" the smooth talking viper that we - either unwittingly or wittingly - clutche to our collective bosom. Obama's many many many lies - all told with smooth suave assurance - along with his many sins of omission served as cover for what he was doing. Trump's buffoonery and incessant Twitting at least put his idiocies out on the stage for all to see (of course, the Republicans do use that as cover for their nefarious deeds behind Trump's doofus back).

Agree with b. NYT is worthless. Limited hangout for sure.

stumpy | Aug 3, 2017 1:15:55 PM | 28
Speaking of who DID get arrested, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2017/08/03/fbi-arrests-wannacry-hero-marcus-hutchins-las-vegas-reports/

Gee, wouldn't we like to see the arrest warrant?

NemesisCalling | Aug 3, 2017 1:16:29 PM | 29
@27 beating a dead horse, but I agree.

I likened a Trump presidency to sticking the landing of a crashing US empire. He'll bring it down without going true believer on us, a la Clinton and ilk who were busy scheduling the apocalypse.

Trump has not been tested yet with a rapidly deteriorating economy which as we all know is coming. Something is in the air and Trump will have to face it sooner or later. The weight of the anger of millions will be behind it...will it be too late? Will Trump finally go MAGA in what he promised: Glas-Steagall, making trade fair for US interests, dialing back NATO...etc. etc. I fear he can not articulate the issues at hand, like Roosevelt or Hitler. He is too bumbling. I guess really we can only hope for an avoidance of WW. Will the world even weep for a third world USA?

Mina | Aug 3, 2017 1:23:53 PM | 30
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/274706/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-and-Russia-broker-truce-between-Syrian-regim.aspx
harrylaw | Aug 3, 2017 2:14:24 PM | 31
Remember this, The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain's security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian can reveal.

His lawyers argued that British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he was, and were party to a secret operation providing weapons and non-lethal help to the groups, including the Free Syrian Army. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jun/01/trial-swedish-man-accused-terrorism-offences-collapse-bherlin-gildo

John McCain was neck deep in supporting Terrorists in Syria he wanted to give them manpads.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) -- Media reported earlier in October that Syrian rebels asked Washington for Stinger missiles to use them against Russia's military jets. "Absolutely Absolutely I would," McCain said when asked whether he would support the delivery of Stinger missiles to the opposition in Syria.

"We certainly did that in Afghanistan. After the Russians invaded Afghanistan, we provided them with surface-to-air capability. It'd be nice to give people that we train and equip and send them to fight the ability to defend themselves. That's one of the fundamental principles of warfare as I understand it," McCain said. https://sputniknews.com/us/201510201028835944-us-stingers-missiles-syrian-rebels-mccain/

virgile | Aug 3, 2017 2:23:20 PM | 32
They will pay sooner or later for their crimes against the Syrians. Add Sarkozy, Cameron and Holland to the list of criminals hiding under their position.
harrylaw | Aug 3, 2017 2:44:11 PM | 33
The US were into regime change in Syria a long time ago..... Robert Ford was US Ambassador to Syria when the revolt against Syrian president Assad was launched. He not only was a chief architect of regime change in Syria, but actively worked with rebels to aid their overthrow of the Syrian government.

Ford assured us that those taking up arms to overthrow the Syrian government were simply moderates and democrats seeking to change Syria's autocratic system. Anyone pointing out the obviously Islamist extremist nature of the rebellion and the foreign funding and backing for the jihadists was written off as an Assad apologist or worse.

Ambassador Ford talked himself blue in the face reassuring us that he was only supporting moderates in Syria. As evidence mounted that the recipients of the largesse doled out by Washington was going to jihadist groups, Ford finally admitted early last year that most of the moderates he backed were fighting alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda. Witness this incredible Twitter exchange with then-ex Ambassador Ford: http://www.globalresearch.ca/you-wont-believe-what-former-us-ambassador-robert-s-ford-said-about-al-qaedas-syrian-allies/5504906

Noirette | Aug 3, 2017 2:48:20 PM | 34
Specially Petraeus. A US Army General, and director of the CIA You don't get more 'pillar' of the State than that! And off he goes doing illegal arms trades, in the billions, see for ex. Meyssan, as an ex.:

http://www.voltairenet.org/article197144.html

In other countries / times, he'd be shot at dawn as a traitor. But all it shows really is that the USA does not really have a Gvmt. in the sense of a 'political structure of strong regulatory importance with 'democratic' participation..' to keep it vague.. It has an elaborate public charade, a kind of clumsy theatre play, that relies very heavily on the scripted MSM, on ritual, and various distractions. Plus natch' very vicious control mechanisms at home.. another story.

Meanwhile, off stage, the actors participate and fight and ally in a whole other scene where 'disaster capitalism', 'rapine', 'mafia moves' and the worst impulses in human nature not only bloom but are institutionalised and deployed world-wide! Covering all this up is getting increasingly difficult -Trump presidency - one would hope US citizens no not for now.

The other two of course as well, I just find Petraeus emblematic, probably because of all the BS about his mistress + he once mis-treated classified info or something like that, total irrelevance spun by the media, which works.

OJS | Aug 3, 2017 2:49:46 PM | 35
@virgile, 32

"They will pay sooner or later for their crimes against the Syrians. Add Sarkozy, Cameron and Holland to the list of criminals hiding under their position."

I humbly disagree, and they sincerely believe they are helping the Syrians (plus other states) - freedom and democracy against the brutality of Dr. Assad. I believe all these murderers are sincere doing god works and will all go to heaven. That is one of the reasons why I refuse to go to heaven even if gods beg me. Fuck it!

My apologies if I offend you or anyone. It's about time we look carefully beside politic and wealth, what religion does to a human?

karlof1 | Aug 3, 2017 3:26:11 PM | 36
OJS @35--

Have you read Reg Morrison's Spirit in the Gene ? Here's a link to one of his related essays with many more of relevance on his website, https://regmorrison.edublogs.org/1999/07/20/plague-species-the-spirit-in-the-gene/

ben | Aug 3, 2017 3:35:09 PM | 37
b asked : "When will the FBI investigate Messrs Petraeus, Obama and Brennan? Duh, like never... Most here understand this, I'm sure. The wealthy and the connected puppets never face justice, for their crimes, committed in the service of their owners.

You can include ALL the POTUS's and their minions, since the turn of the century. " It's just business, get over it."

john | Aug 3, 2017 4:16:52 PM | 38
ben says:

Duh, like never..Most here understand this, I'm sure right. like voyeurs, we like to watch , and watch , and watch .

somebody | Aug 3, 2017 4:23:25 PM | 39
35 Religion has nothing to do with it.

How to spot a Sociopath

6 Look for signs of instigating violent behavior. As children some sociopaths torture defenseless people and animals. This violence is always instigating, and not defensive violence. They will create drama out of thin air, or twist what others say. They will often overreact strongly to minor offenses. If they are challenged or confronted about it, they will point the finger the other way, counting on the empathic person's empathy and consideration of people to protect them, as long as they can remain undetected. Their attempt to point the finger the other way, is both a smokescreen to being detected, and an attempt to confuse the situation.

The link is a pretty good summary. It is easy to find more respectable psychological sources for the disorder on the internet.

fast freddy | Aug 3, 2017 5:45:24 PM | 40
NYT never saw a war (rather an attack by the US, NATO, Israel, UK, on any defenseless nation) that it did not support. Wiki uses the word "allegedly" in explaining the CIA and Operation Mockingbird. It just isn't feasible that a secret government agency - gone rogue - with unlimited funding and manpower could write/edit the news for six media owners with similar war-profiteering motives. /s
OJS | Aug 3, 2017 8:12:07 PM | 42
@karlof1, 36

" Here, evolution had hit on the sweetest of solutions. Such perceptions were guaranteed to produce a faith-dependent species that believed itself to be thoroughly separate from the rest of the animal kingdom, ...."

Interesting article, but stop reading years ago when struggled to raise a family, make a living to survive. Debatable Is "sociopath" (Antisocial Personality Disorder) or the genes make humanly so brutally? Very often hard to fathom the depth of human suffering be it USA, Syria or elsewhere. Thanks sharing you thought.

falcemartello | Aug 3, 2017 9:03:06 PM | 43
What most of the msm and the echo chamber seem to be deliberately missing is all intentional. The whole Assad must go meme is dead and buried. The western cabal has not acheived their regime change in Syria. The Russian economy has not sunk to the bottom of the Black sea, the Russians hacked into my fridge meme has all been debunked and is falling apart. The collusion of all anglo antlantacist secret agency and governments to destabalize the ME has all come out with an ever turbulant flow. Iran being the threat of the world ,debunked. Russia invading and hacking the free world ,debunked.

Hence I expect that the western oligarchs along with their pressitute and compromised politicians will be bying up alot of bleach. They will be whitewashing for the next three months all semblance of anything related to their fraudulent existence.

Nurenberg 2, the Hague would be to soft for these vile criminals of humanity. Look how they had to back track on the Milosevic conviction mind u post death.
Just another day in the office for these criminals of humanity. Gee can't wait until this petro-dollar ponzi scheme crashes hopefully we can get back o being human again. The emperor has no clothes.

runaway robot | Aug 3, 2017 9:07:30 PM | 44
karlof1@36:
Thanks for reminding me about Reg Morrison! I need to re-read that book, slowly.
fast freddy | Aug 3, 2017 9:20:33 PM | 45
43 The whole Assad must go meme is dead and buried. The western cabal has not acheived their regime change in Syria. The Russian economy has not sunk to the bottom of the Black sea, the Russians hacked into my fridge meme has all been debunked and is falling apart. The collusion of all anglo antlantacist secret agency and governments to destabalize the ME has all come out with an ever turbulant flow. Iran being the threat of the world ,debunked. Russia invading and hacking the free world,debunked.

Optimistic. Has Trump been instrumental in these? Perhaps. This would be a good reason for Zionists to hate him. But how is it that Trump is such a bumbling idiot? Now the Senate has ratfcked him with recess appointments. And he signed that stupid Russia Sanctions bill.

Temporarily Sane | Aug 4, 2017 12:06:50 AM | 46
@45 fast freddy
This would be a good reason for Zionists to hate him.

Except they don't hate him. Quite the opposite in fact. Looking to Trump as some sort of savior figure is absolutely ridiculous.

rm | Aug 4, 2017 12:17:56 AM | 47
Brennan : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBG81dXgM0Q

Seymour Hersh, in his 'Victoria NULAND moment' audio, states categorically BRENNAN conceived and ran the 'Russian Hack' psyop after Seth RICH DNC leaks.

[Sep 13, 2017] Chelsea Manning: The Dystopia We Signed Up for

Notable quotes:
"... The real power of mass data collection lies in the hand-tailored algorithms capable of sifting, sorting and identifying patterns within the data itself. When enough information is collected over time, governments and corporations can use or abuse those patterns to predict future human behavior. ..."
Sep 13, 2017 | www.nytimes.com

...We file our taxes. We make phone calls. We send emails. Tax records are used to keep us honest. We agree to broadcast our location so we can check the weather on our smartphones. Records of our calls, texts and physical movements are filed away alongside our billing information. Perhaps that data is analyzed more covertly to make sure that we're not terrorists "" but only in the interest of national security, we're assured.

Our faces and voices are recorded by surveillance cameras and other internet-connected sensors, some of which we now willingly put inside our homes. Every time we load a news article or page on a social media site, we expose ourselves to tracking code, allowing hundreds of unknown entities to monitor our shopping and online browsing habits. We agree to cryptic terms-of-service agreements that obscure the true nature and scope of these transactions.

Biometric information such as fingerprints, retinal scans and DNA helps governments and corporations track people around the world. In Iraq, United States Army soldiers scan a man's eye to see whether he is a known insurgent. Credit Michael Kamber for The New York Times

According to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center, 91 percent of American adults believe they've lost control over how their personal information is collected and used. Just how much they've lost, however, is more than they likely suspect.

The real power of mass data collection lies in the hand-tailored algorithms capable of sifting, sorting and identifying patterns within the data itself. When enough information is collected over time, governments and corporations can use or abuse those patterns to predict future human behavior. Our data establishes a "pattern of life "¯ from seemingly harmless digital residue like cellphone tower pings, credit card transactions and web browsing histories.

The consequences of our being subjected to constant algorithmic scrutiny are often unclear. For instance, artificial intelligence Silicon Valley's catchall term for deepthinking and deep-learning algorithms is touted by tech companies as a path to the high-tech conveniences of the so-called internet of things. This includes digital home assistants, connected appliances and self-driving cars.

Simultaneously, algorithms are already analyzing social media habits, determining creditworthiness, deciding which job candidates get called in for an interview and judging whether criminal defendants should be released on bail . Other machine-learning systems use automated facial analysis to detect and track emotions, or claim the ability to predict whether someone will become a criminal based only on their facial features .

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

... ... ...

Such programmatic, machine-driven thinking has become especially dangerous in the hands of governments and the police.

In recent years our military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have merged in unexpected ways. They harvest more data than they can possibly manage, and wade through the quantifiable world side by side in vast, usually windowless buildings called fusion centers .

Such powerful new relationships have created a foundation for, and have breathed life into, a vast police and surveillance state. Advanced algorithms have made this possible on an unprecedented level. Relatively minor infractions, or "microcrimes,"¯ can now be policed aggressively. And with national databases shared among governments and corporations, these minor incidents can follow you forever, even if the information is incorrect or lacking context.

At the same time, the United States military uses the metadata of countless communications for drone attacks , using pings emitted from cellphones to track and eliminate targets.

In literature and pop culture, concepts such as "thoughtcrime"¯ and "precrime"¯ have emerged out of dystopian fiction. They are used to restrict and punish anyone who is flagged by automated systems as a potential criminal or threat, even if a crime has yet to be committed. But this science fiction trope is quickly becoming reality. Predictive policing algorithms are already being used to create automated heat maps of future crimes, and like the "manual"¯ policing that came before them, they overwhelmingly target poor and minority neighborhoods .

The world has become like an eerily banal dystopian novel. Things look the same on the surface, but they are not. With no apparent boundaries on how algorithms can use and abuse the data that's being collected about us, the potential for it to control our lives is ever-growing.

Our drivers' licenses, our keys, our debit and credit cards are all important parts of our lives. Even our social media accounts could soon become crucial components of being fully functional members of society. Now that we live in this world, we must figure out how to maintain our connection with society without surrendering to automated processes that we can neither see nor control.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter , and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter .

This is an article from World Review: The State of Democracy , a special section that examines global policy and affairs through the perspectives of thought leaders and commentators. A version of this op-ed appears in print on September 14, 2017, on Page S3, in The International New York Times.

[Aug 26, 2017] Exploring the Shadows of America's Security State Or How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother

Notable quotes:
"... This piece has been adapted and expanded from the introduction to Alfred W. McCoy's new book, ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia ..."
"... Atlantic Monthly ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Social Register ..."
"... New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... New York Times Book Review ..."
"... In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power ..."
"... Scientific American ..."
"... Alfred W. McCoy, a ..."
"... , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the now-classic book ..."
"... , which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the forthcoming ..."
"... (Dispatch Books, September) from which this piece is adapted. ..."
Aug 26, 2017 | www.unz.com

Alfred McCoy August 24, 2017

[ This piece has been adapted and expanded from the introduction to Alfred W. McCoy's new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power .]

In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to a massive expansion of its intelligence infrastructure, particularly of the emerging technologies for digital surveillance, agile drones, and biometric identification. In 2010, almost a decade into this secret war with its voracious appetite for information, the Washington Post reported that the national security state had swelled into a "fourth branch" of the federal government -- with 854,000 vetted officials, 263 security organizations, and over 3,000 intelligence units, issuing 50,000 special reports every year.

Though stunning, these statistics only skimmed the visible surface of what had become history's largest and most lethal clandestine apparatus. According to classified documents that Edward Snowden leaked in 2013, the nation's 16 intelligence agencies alone had 107,035 employees and a combined "black budget" of $52.6 billion, the equivalent of 10% percent of the vast defense budget.

By sweeping the skies and probing the worldwide web's undersea cables, the National Security Agency (NSA) could surgically penetrate the confidential communications of just about any leader on the planet, while simultaneously sweeping up billions of ordinary messages. For its classified missions, the CIA had access to the Pentagon's Special Operations Command, with 69,000 elite troops (Rangers, SEALs, Air Commandos) and their agile arsenal. In addition to this formidable paramilitary capacity, the CIA operated 30 Predator and Reaper drones responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in Pakistan and Yemen.

While Americans practiced a collective form of duck and cover as the Department of Homeland Security's colored alerts pulsed nervously from yellow to red, few paused to ask the hard question: Was all this security really directed solely at enemies beyond our borders? After half a century of domestic security abuses -- from the "red scare" of the 1920s through the FBI's illegal harassment of antiwar protesters in the 1960s and 1970s -- could we really be confident that there wasn't a hidden cost to all these secret measures right here at home? Maybe, just maybe, all this security wasn't really so benign when it came to us.

From my own personal experience over the past half-century, and my family's history over three generations, I've found out in the most personal way possible that there's a real cost to entrusting our civil liberties to the discretion of secret agencies. Let me share just a few of my own "war" stories to explain how I've been forced to keep learning and relearning this uncomfortable lesson the hard way.

On the Heroin Trail

After finishing college in the late 1960s, I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in Japanese history and was pleasantly surprised when Yale Graduate School admitted me with a full fellowship. But the Ivy League in those days was no ivory tower. During my first year at Yale, the Justice Department indicted Black Panther leader Bobby Seale for a local murder and the May Day protests that filled the New Haven green also shut the campus for a week. Almost simultaneously, President Nixon ordered the invasion of Cambodia and student protests closed hundreds of campuses across America for the rest of the semester.

In the midst of all this tumult, the focus of my studies shifted from Japan to Southeast Asia, and from the past to the war in Vietnam. Yes, that war. So what did I do about the draft? During my first semester at Yale, on December 1, 1969, to be precise, the Selective Service cut up the calendar for a lottery. The first 100 birthdays picked were certain to be drafted, but any dates above 200 were likely exempt. My birthday, June 8th, was the very last date drawn, not number 365 but 366 (don't forget leap year) -- the only lottery I have ever won, except for a Sunbeam electric frying pan in a high school raffle. Through a convoluted moral calculus typical of the 1960s, I decided that my draft exemption, although acquired by sheer luck, demanded that I devote myself, above all else, to thinking about, writing about, and working to end the Vietnam War.

During those campus protests over Cambodia in the spring of 1970, our small group of graduate students in Southeast Asian history at Yale realized that the U.S. strategic predicament in Indochina would soon require an invasion of Laos to cut the flow of enemy supplies into South Vietnam. So, while protests over Cambodia swept campuses nationwide, we were huddled inside the library, preparing for the next invasion by editing a book of essays on Laos for the publisher Harper & Row. A few months after that book appeared, one of the company's junior editors, Elizabeth Jakab, intrigued by an account we had included about that country's opium crop, telephoned from New York to ask if I could research and write a "quickie" paperback about the history behind the heroin epidemic then infecting the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

I promptly started the research at my student carrel in the Gothic tower that is Yale's Sterling Library, tracking old colonial reports about the Southeast Asian opium trade that ended suddenly in the 1950s, just as the story got interesting. So, quite tentatively at first, I stepped outside the library to do a few interviews and soon found myself following an investigative trail that circled the globe. First, I traveled across America for meetings with retired CIA operatives. Then I crossed the Pacific to Hong Kong to study drug syndicates, courtesy of that colony's police drug squad. Next, I went south to Saigon, then the capital of South Vietnam, to investigate the heroin traffic that was targeting the GIs, and on into the mountains of Laos to observe CIA alliances with opium warlords and the hill-tribe militias that grew the opium poppy. Finally, I flew from Singapore to Paris for interviews with retired French intelligence officers about their opium trafficking during the first Indochina War of the 1950s.

The drug traffic that supplied heroin for the U.S. troops fighting in South Vietnam was not, I discovered, exclusively the work of criminals. Once the opium left tribal poppy fields in Laos, the traffic required official complicity at every level. The helicopters of Air America, the airline the CIA then ran, carried raw opium out of the villages of its hill-tribe allies. The commander of the Royal Lao Army, a close American collaborator, operated the world's largest heroin lab and was so oblivious to the implications of the traffic that he opened his opium ledgers for my inspection. Several of Saigon's top generals were complicit in the drug's distribution to U.S. soldiers. By 1971, this web of collusion ensured that heroin, according to a later White House survey of a thousand veterans, would be "commonly used" by 34% of American troops in South Vietnam.

None of this had been covered in my college history seminars. I had no models for researching an uncharted netherworld of crime and covert operations. After stepping off the plane in Saigon, body slammed by the tropical heat, I found myself in a sprawling foreign city of four million, lost in a swarm of snarling motorcycles and a maze of nameless streets, without contacts or a clue about how to probe these secrets. Every day on the heroin trail confronted me with new challenges -- where to look, what to look for, and, above all, how to ask hard questions.

Reading all that history had, however, taught me something I didn't know I knew. Instead of confronting my sources with questions about sensitive current events, I started with the French colonial past when the opium trade was still legal, gradually uncovering the underlying, unchanging logistics of drug production. As I followed this historical trail into the present, when the traffic became illegal and dangerously controversial, I began to use pieces from this past to assemble the present puzzle, until the names of contemporary dealers fell into place. In short, I had crafted a historical method that would prove, over the next 40 years of my career, surprisingly useful in analyzing a diverse array of foreign policy controversies -- CIA alliances with drug lords, the agency's propagation of psychological torture, and our spreading state surveillance.

The CIA Makes Its Entrance in My Life

Those months on the road, meeting gangsters and warlords in isolated places, offered only one bit of real danger. While hiking in the mountains of Laos, interviewing Hmong farmers about their opium shipments on CIA helicopters, I was descending a steep slope when a burst of bullets ripped the ground at my feet. I had walked into an ambush by agency mercenaries.

While the five Hmong militia escorts whom the local village headman had prudently provided laid down a covering fire, my Australian photographer John Everingham and I flattened ourselves in the elephant grass and crawled through the mud to safety. Without those armed escorts, my research would have been at an end and so would I. After that ambush failed, a CIA paramilitary officer summoned me to a mountaintop meeting where he threatened to murder my Lao interpreter unless I ended my research. After winning assurances from the U.S. embassy that my interpreter would not be harmed, I decided to ignore that warning and keep going.

Six months and 30,000 miles later, I returned to New Haven. My investigation of CIA alliances with drug lords had taught me more than I could have imagined about the covert aspects of U.S. global power. Settling into my attic apartment for an academic year of writing, I was confident that I knew more than enough for a book on this unconventional topic. But my education, it turned out, was just beginning.

Within weeks, a massive, middle-aged guy in a suit interrupted my scholarly isolation. He appeared at my front door and identified himself as Tom Tripodi , senior agent for the Bureau of Narcotics, which later became the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). His agency, he confessed during a second visit, was worried about my writing and he had been sent to investigate. He needed something to tell his superiors. Tom was a guy you could trust. So I showed him a few draft pages of my book. He disappeared into the living room for a while and came back saying, "Pretty good stuff. You got your ducks in a row." But there were some things, he added, that weren't quite right, some things he could help me fix.

Best of all, there was the one about how the Bureau of Narcotics caught French intelligence protecting the Corsican syndicates smuggling heroin into New York City. Some of his stories, usually unacknowledged, would appear in my book, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia . These conversations with an undercover operative, who had trained Cuban exiles for the CIA in Florida and later investigated Mafia heroin syndicates for the DEA in Sicily, were akin to an advanced seminar, a master class in covert operations.

In the summer of 1972, with the book at press, I went to Washington to testify before Congress. As I was making the rounds of congressional offices on Capitol Hill, my editor rang unexpectedly and summoned me to New York for a meeting with the president and vice president of Harper & Row, my book's publisher. Ushered into a plush suite of offices overlooking the spires of St. Patrick's Cathedral, I listened to those executives tell me that Cord Meyer, Jr., the CIA's deputy director for covert operations, had called on their company's president emeritus, Cass Canfield, Sr. The visit was no accident, for Canfield, according to an authoritative history , "enjoyed prolific links to the world of intelligence, both as a former psychological warfare officer and as a close personal friend of Allen Dulles," the ex-head of the CIA. Meyer denounced my book as a threat to national security. He asked Canfield, also an old friend, to quietly suppress it.

I was in serious trouble. Not only was Meyer a senior CIA official but he also had impeccable social connections and covert assets in every corner of American intellectual life. After graduating from Yale in 1942, he served with the marines in the Pacific, writing eloquent war dispatches published in the Atlantic Monthly . He later worked with the U.S. delegation drafting the U.N. charter. Personally recruited by spymaster Allen Dulles, Meyer joined the CIA in 1951 and was soon running its International Organizations Division, which, in the words of that same history , "constituted the greatest single concentration of covert political and propaganda activities of the by now octopus-like CIA," including " Operation Mockingbird " that planted disinformation in major U.S. newspapers meant to aid agency operations. Informed sources told me that the CIA still had assets inside every major New York publisher and it already had every page of my manuscript.

As the child of a wealthy New York family, Cord Meyer moved in elite social circles, meeting and marrying Mary Pinchot, the niece of Gifford Pinchot, founder of the U.S. Forestry Service and a former governor of Pennsylvania. Pinchot was a breathtaking beauty who later became President Kennedy's mistress, making dozens of secret visits to the White House. When she was found shot dead along the banks of a canal in Washington in 1964, the head of CIA counterintelligence, James Jesus Angleton, another Yale alumnus, broke into her home in an unsuccessful attempt to secure her diary. Mary's sister Toni and her husband, Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, later found the diary and gave it to Angleton for destruction by the agency. To this day, her unsolved murder remains a subject of mystery and controversy.

Cord Meyer was also in the Social Register of New York's fine families along with my publisher, Cass Canfield, which added a dash of social cachet to the pressure to suppress my book. By the time he walked into Harper & Row's office in that summer of 1972, two decades of CIA service had changed Meyer (according to that same authoritative history) from a liberal idealist into "a relentless, implacable advocate for his own ideas," driven by "a paranoiac distrust of everyone who didn't agree with him" and a manner that was "histrionic and even bellicose." An unpublished 26-year-old graduate student versus the master of CIA media manipulation. It was hardly a fair fight. I began to fear my book would never appear.

To his credit, Canfield refused Meyer's request to suppress the book. But he did allow the agency a chance to review the manuscript prior to publication. Instead of waiting quietly for the CIA's critique, I contacted Seymour Hersh, then an investigative reporter for the New York Times . The same day the CIA courier arrived from Langley to collect my manuscript, Hersh swept through Harper & Row's offices like a tropical storm, pelting hapless executives with incessant, unsettling questions. The next day, his exposé of the CIA's attempt at censorship appeared on the paper's front page . Other national media organizations followed his lead. Faced with a barrage of negative coverage, the CIA gave Harper & Row a critique full of unconvincing denials . The book was published unaltered.

My Life as an Open Book for the Agency

I had learned another important lesson: the Constitution's protection of press freedom could check even the world's most powerful espionage agency. Cord Meyer reportedly learned the same lesson. According to his obituary in the Washington Post , "It was assumed that Mr. Meyer would eventually advance" to head CIA covert operations, "but the public disclosure about the book deal apparently dampened his prospects." He was instead exiled to London and eased into early retirement.

Meyer and his colleagues were not, however, used to losing. Defeated in the public arena, the CIA retreated to the shadows and retaliated by tugging at every thread in the threadbare life of a graduate student. Over the next few months, federal officials from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare turned up at Yale to investigate my graduate fellowship. The Internal Revenue Service audited my poverty-level income. The FBI tapped my New Haven telephone (something I learned years later from a class-action lawsuit).

In August 1972, at the height of the controversy over the book, FBI agents told the bureau's director that they had "conducted [an] investigation concerning McCoy," searching the files they had compiled on me for the past two years and interviewing numerous "sources whose identities are concealed [who] have furnished reliable information in the past" -- thereby producing an 11-page report detailing my birth, education, and campus antiwar activities.

A college classmate I hadn't seen in four years, who served in military intelligence, magically appeared at my side in the book section of the Yale Co-op, seemingly eager to resume our relationship. The same week that a laudatory review of my book appeared on the front page of the New York Times Book Review , an extraordinary achievement for any historian, Yale's History Department placed me on academic probation. Unless I could somehow do a year's worth of overdue work in a single semester, I faced dismissal.

In those days, the ties between the CIA and Yale were wide and deep. The campus residential colleges screened students, including future CIA Director Porter Goss, for possible careers in espionage. Alumni like Cord Meyer and James Angleton held senior slots at the agency. Had I not had a faculty adviser visiting from Germany, the distinguished scholar Bernhard Dahm who was a stranger to this covert nexus, that probation would likely have become expulsion, ending my academic career and destroying my credibility.

During those difficult days, New York Congressman Ogden Reid, a ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, telephoned to say that he was sending staff investigators to Laos to look into the opium situation. Amid this controversy, a CIA helicopter landed near the village where I had escaped that ambush and flew the Hmong headman who had helped my research to an agency airstrip. There, a CIA interrogator made it clear that he had better deny what he had said to me about the opium. Fearing, as he later told my photographer, that "they will send a helicopter to arrest me, or soldiers to shoot me," the Hmong headman did just that.

At a personal level, I was discovering just how deep the country's intelligence agencies could reach, even in a democracy, leaving no part of my life untouched: my publisher, my university, my sources, my taxes, my phone, and even my friends.

Although I had won the first battle of this war with a media blitz, the CIA was winning the longer bureaucratic struggle. By silencing my sources and denying any culpability, its officials convinced Congress that it was innocent of any direct complicity in the Indochina drug trade. During Senate hearings into CIA assassinations by the famed Church Committee three years later, Congress accepted the agency's assurance that none of its operatives had been directly involved in heroin trafficking (an allegation I had never actually made). The committee's report did confirm the core of my critique, however, finding that "the CIA is particularly vulnerable to criticism" over indigenous assets in Laos "of considerable importance to the Agency," including "people who either were known to be, or were suspected of being, involved in narcotics trafficking." But the senators did not press the CIA for any resolution or reform of what its own inspector general had called the "particular dilemma" posed by those alliances with drug lords -- the key aspect, in my view, of its complicity in the traffic.

During the mid-1970s, as the flow of drugs into the United States slowed and the number of addicts declined, the heroin problem receded into the inner cities and the media moved on to new sensations. Unfortunately, Congress had forfeited an opportunity to check the CIA and correct its way of waging covert wars. In less than 10 years, the problem of the CIA's tactical alliances with drug traffickers to support its far-flung covert wars was back with a vengeance.

During the 1980s, as the crack-cocaine epidemic swept America's cities, the agency, as its own Inspector General later reported , allied itself with the largest drug smuggler in the Caribbean, using his port facilities to ship arms to the Contra guerrillas fighting in Nicaragua and protecting him from any prosecution for five years. Simultaneously on the other side of the planet in Afghanistan, mujahedeen guerrillas imposed an opium tax on farmers to fund their fight against the Soviet occupation and, with the CIA's tacit consent , operated heroin labs along the Pakistani border to supply international markets. By the mid-1980s, Afghanistan's opium harvest had grown 10-fold and was providing 60% of the heroin for America's addicts and as much as 90% in New York City.

Almost by accident, I had launched my academic career by doing something a bit different. Embedded within that study of drug trafficking was an analytical approach that would take me, almost unwittingly, on a lifelong exploration of U.S. global hegemony in its many manifestations, including diplomatic alliances, CIA interventions, developing military technology, recourse to torture, and global surveillance. Step by step, topic by topic, decade after decade, I would slowly accumulate sufficient understanding of the parts to try to assemble the whole. In writing my new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power , I drew on this research to assess the overall character of U.S. global power and the forces that might contribute to its perpetuation or decline.

In the process, I slowly came to see a striking continuity and coherence in Washington's century-long rise to global dominion. CIA torture techniques emerged at the start of the Cold War in the 1950s; much of its futuristic robotic aerospace technology had its first trial in the Vietnam War of the 1960s; and, above all, Washington's reliance on surveillance first appeared in the colonial Philippines around 1900 and soon became an essential though essentially illegal tool for the FBI's repression of domestic dissent that continued through the 1970s.

Surveillance Today

In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, I dusted off that historical method, and used it to explore the origins and character of domestic surveillance inside the United States.

After occupying the Philippines in 1898, the U.S. Army, facing a difficult pacification campaign in a restive land, discovered the power of systematic surveillance to crush the resistance of the country's political elite. Then, during World War I, the Army's "father of military intelligence," the dour General Ralph Van Deman, who had learned his trade in the Philippines, drew upon his years pacifying those islands to mobilize a legion of 1,700 soldiers and 350,000 citizen-vigilantes for an intense surveillance program against suspected enemy spies among German-Americans, including my own grandfather. In studying Military Intelligence files at the National Archives, I found "suspicious" letters purloined from my grandfather's army locker. In fact, his mother had been writing him in her native German about such subversive subjects as knitting him socks for guard duty.

In the 1950s, Hoover's FBI agents tapped thousands of phones without warrants and kept suspected subversives under close surveillance, including my mother's cousin Gerard Piel, an anti-nuclear activist and the publisher of Scientific American magazine. During the Vietnam War, the bureau expanded its activities with an amazing array of spiteful, often illegal, intrigues in a bid to cripple the antiwar movement with pervasive surveillance of the sort seen in my own FBI file.

Memory of the FBI's illegal surveillance programs was largely washed away after the Vietnam War thanks to Congressional reforms that required judicial warrants for all government wiretaps. The terror attacks of September 2001, however, gave the National Security Agency the leeway to launch renewed surveillance on a previously unimaginable scale. Writing for TomDispatch in 2009, I observed that coercive methods first tested in the Middle East were being repatriated and might lay the groundwork for "a domestic surveillance state." Sophisticated biometric and cyber techniques forged in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq had made a "digital surveillance state a reality" and so were fundamentally changing the character of American democracy.

Four years later, Edward Snowden's leak of secret NSA documents revealed that, after a century-long gestation period, a U.S. digital surveillance state had finally arrived. In the age of the Internet, the NSA could monitor tens of millions of private lives worldwide, including American ones, via a few hundred computerized probes into the global grid of fiber-optic cables.

And then, as if to remind me in the most personal way possible of our new reality, four years ago, I found myself the target yet again of an IRS audit, of TSA body searches at national airports, and -- as I discovered when the line went dead -- a tap on my office telephone at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Why? Maybe it was my current writing on sensitive topics like CIA torture and NSA surveillance, or maybe my name popped up from some old database of suspected subversives left over from the 1970s. Whatever the explanation, it was a reasonable reminder that, if my own family's experience across three generations is in any way representative, state surveillance has been an integral part of American political life far longer than we might imagine.

At the cost of personal privacy, Washington's worldwide web of surveillance has now become a weapon of exceptional power in a bid to extend U.S. global hegemony deeper into the twenty-first century. Yet it's worth remembering that sooner or later what we do overseas always seems to come home to haunt us, just as the CIA and crew have haunted me this last half-century. When we learn to love Big Brother, the world becomes a more, not less, dangerous place.

Alfred W. McCoy, a TomDispatch regular , is the Harrington professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of the now-classic book The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade , which probed the conjuncture of illicit narcotics and covert operations over 50 years, and the forthcoming In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power (Dispatch Books, September) from which this piece is adapted. (Republished from TomDispatch by permission of author or representative)

Grandpa Charlie > , August 24, 2017 at 8:13 pm GMT

"In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, I dusted off that historical method, and used it to explore the origins and character of domestic surveillance inside the United States." -- Alfred McCoy

What about using the historical method to explore the nature of USA's reducing EU nations to "vassals" – and keeping them in the status of vassals, such that they can be depended on to undermine their own economies and sovereignty for the sake of USA's global initiatives?

An interesting question might be whether the NATO-to-Afghanistan highway (truck route for munitions, etc.), c. 2010, was also, on the back-haul – Afghanistan to EU – the major supply route for heroin throughout the EU and thus the key to corruption of EU governments (and of Russia) and domination of those governments by USA's neocon operatives? (E.g., was/is the distribution system of the "Chocolate King" Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, delivering something besides just chocolate?)

"Just over one third of all cargo goes on routes dubbed the "northern distribution network" through Central Asia, and the Caucasus or Russia. " -- Reuters, 2011

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-afghanistan-pakistan-isaf-idUSTRE7AR0XK20111128

Just a thought, speculative, based in part on the assumption that such trucks would not be subject to narcotics search-and-seizure going across borders.

Anon > , Disclaimer August 25, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT

Thanks for this serious, high-quality content, Mr. Unz.

hyperbola > , August 25, 2017 at 4:12 pm GMT

@Grandpa Charlie

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20569.htm

WikiLeaks exposes US cover-up of Georgian attack on South Ossetia

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2010/12/geor-d06.html one of the suggestions was that drugs were involved.

Myth, Meth and the Georgian Invasion https://www.thenation.com/article/myth-meth-and-georgian-invasion/

Soros, drugs, British Empire and Saakashvili http://www.vijayvaani.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?aid=64

[Aug 24, 2017] The use of intrusive technical collection and surveillance on diplomats, which sometimes causes harm in its own right

Aug 24, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yul | Aug 24, 2017 1:36:51 PM | 23

No one is talking much about this except to point the finger at Cuba:

https://www.justsecurity.org/44289/sonic-attacks-diplomats-cuba-dont-rush-conclusions/

While I have not served in Cuba, my experience in a number of similar hostile, high counterintelligence threat countries suggests that this is more likely a surveillance effort gone wrong, than the use of an offensive sonic weapon.

We have very little experience anywhere in the world with directed attacks designed to physically harm to our diplomats. However, the use of intrusive technical collection and surveillance which sometimes causes harm in its own right, is consistent with past practice in Cuba and elsewhere.

Why don't I believe this was an attack intended to harm diplomats?

[Aug 01, 2017] Groupthink at the CIA by

Looks like tail wags the dog -- CIA controls the US foreign policy and in the last elections also played active role in promoting Hillary. A the level of top brass we have several people mentioned by Giraldi who are probably as dangerous as Allen Dulles was. Brennan is one example.
The parade of rogues that Philip describes is really alarming. Each with agenda that directly harms the USA as a country promoting the interest of military-industrial complex and neocon faction within the government...
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter. ..."
"... Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort. ..."
"... Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago. ..."
"... Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. ..."
"... Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down. ..."
"... And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation." ..."
"... Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time. ..."
"... Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia. ..."
"... As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State. ..."
"... The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes. ..."
"... The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done. ..."
"... The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency. ..."
"... I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama. ..."
"... Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness. ..."
"... How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN. ..."
"... Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began. ..."
"... Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. ..."
"... So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face. ..."
"... Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections. ..."
Aug 01, 2017 | www.unz.com

Long ago, when I was a spear carrying middle ranker at CIA, a colleague took me aside and said that he had something to tell me "as a friend," that was very important. He told me that his wife had worked for years in the Agency's Administrative Directorate, as it was then called, where she had noticed that some new officers coming out of the Career Trainee program had red tags on their personnel files. She eventually learned from her boss that the tags represented assessments that those officers had exceptional potential as senior managers. He added, however, that the reverse appeared to be true in practice as they were generally speaking serial failures as they ascended the bureaucratic ladder, even though their careers continued to be onward and upward on paper. My friend's wife concluded, not unreasonably, that only genuine a-holes had what it took to get promoted to the most senior ranks.

I was admittedly skeptical but some recent activity by former and current Directors and Acting Directors of CIA has me wondering if something like my friend's wife's observation about senior management might indeed be true. But it would have to be something other than tagging files, as many of the directors and their deputies did not come up through the ranks and there seems to be a similar strain of lunacy at other U.S. government intelligence agencies. It might be time to check the water supply in the Washington area as there is very definitely something in the kool-aid that is producing odd behavior.

Now I should pause for a moment and accept that the role of intelligence services is to identify potential threats before they become active, so a certain level of acute paranoia goes with the job. But at the same time, one would expect a level of professionalism which would mandate accuracy rather than emotion in assessments coupled with an eschewing of any involvement in the politics of foreign and national security policy formulation. The enthusiasm with which a number of senior CIA personnel have waded into the Trump swamp and have staked out positions that contradict genuine national interests suggests that little has been learned since CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Secretary of State Colin Powell in the UN and nodded sagaciously as Saddam Hussein's high crimes and misdemeanors were falsely enumerated.

Indeed, one can start with Tenet if one wants to create a roster of recent CIA Directors who have lied to permit the White House to engage in a war crime. Tenet and his staff knew better than anyone that the case against Saddam did not hold water, but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter.

Back then as now, international Islamic terrorism was the name of the game. It kept the money flowing to the national security establishment in the false belief that America was somehow being made "safe." But today the terror narrative has been somewhat supplanted by Russia, which is headed by a contemporary Saddam Hussein in the form of Vladimir Putin. If one believes the media and a majority of congressmen, evil manifest lurks in the gilded halls of the Kremlin. Russia has recently been sanctioned (again) for crimes that are more alleged than demonstrated and President Putin has been selected by the Establishment as the wedge issue that will be used to end President Donald Trump's defiance of the Deep State and all that pertains to it. The intelligence community at its top level would appear to be fully on board with that effort.

The most recent inexplicable comments come from the current CIA Director Mike Pompeo, speaking at the Aspen Institute Security Forum. He began by asserting that Russia had interfered in the U.S. election before saying that the logic behind Russia's Middle Eastern strategy is to stay in place in Syria so Moscow can "stick it to America." He didn't define the "it" so one must assume that "it" stands for any utensil available, ranging from cruise missiles to dinner forks. He then elaborated, somewhat obscurely, that "I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Remarkably, he also said that there is only "minimal evidence" that Russia is even fighting ISIS. The statement is astonishing as Moscow has most definitely been seriously and directly engaged in support of the Syrian Arab Army. Is it possible that the head of the CIA is unaware of that? It just might be that Pompeo is disparaging the effort because the Russians and Syrians have also been fighting against the U.S. backed "moderate rebels." That the moderate rebels are hardly moderate has been known for years and they are also renowned for their ineffectiveness combined with a tendency to defect to more radical groups taking their U.S. provided weapons with them, a combination of factors which led to their being denied any further American support by a presidential decision that was revealed in the press two weeks ago.

Pompeo's predecessor John Brennan is, however, my favorite Agency leader in the category of totally bereft of his senses. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee back in May, he suggested that some Trump associates might have been recruited by the Russian intelligence service. He testified that "I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind whether or not Russia was able to gain the co-operation of those individuals."

In his testimony, Brennan apparently forgot to mention that the CIA is not supposed to keep tabs on American citizens. Nor did he explain how he had come upon the information in the first place as it had been handed over by foreign intelligence services, including the British, Dutch and Estonians, and at least some of it had been sought or possibly inspired by Brennan unofficially in the first place. Brennan then used that information to request an FBI investigation into a possible Russian operation directed against potential key advisers if Trump were to somehow get nominated and elected, which admittedly was a longshot at the time. That is how Russiagate started.

Brennan is certainly loyal to his cause, whatever that might be. At the same Aspen meeting attended by Pompeo, he told Wolf Blitzer that if Trump were to fire special counsel Robert Mueller government officials should "refuse to carry out" his orders. In other words, they should begin a coup, admittedly non-violent (one presumes), but nevertheless including federal employees uniting to shut the government down.

A lesser known former CIA senior official is John McLaughlin, who briefly served as acting Director in 2004. McLaughlin was particularly outraged by Trump's recent speech to the Boy Scouts, which he described as having the feel "of a third world authoritarian's youth rally." He added that "It gave me the creeps it was like watching the late Venezuelan [President Hugo] Chavez."

And finally, there is Michael Morell, also a former Acting Director, who was closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently driven by ambition to become Director in her administration. Morell currently provides commentary for CBS television and is a frequent guest on the Charlie Rose show. Morell considerably raised the ante on Brennan's pre-electoral speculation that there had been some Russian recruitment of Trump people. He observed in August that Putin, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them [did exactly that] early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

I and others noted at the time that Putin and Trump had never met, not even through proxies, while we also wondered how one could be both unwitting and a recruited agent as intelligence recruitment implies control and taking direction. Morell was non-plussed, unflinching and just a tad sanctimonious in affirming that his own intelligence training (as an analyst who never recruited a spy in his life) meant that "[I] call it as I see it."

One could also cite Michael Hayden and James Clapper, though the latter was not CIA. They all basically hew to the same line about Russia, often in more-or-less the same words, even though no actual evidence has been produced to support their claims. That unanimity of thinking is what is peculiar while academics like Stephen Cohen, Stephen Walt, Andrew Bacevich, and John Mearsheimer, who have studied Russia in some depth and understand the country and its leadership far better than a senior CIA officer, detect considerable nuance in what is taking place. They all believe that the hardline policies current in Washington are based on an eagerness to go with the flow on the comforting inside-the- beltway narrative that paints Russia as a threat to vital interests. That unanimity of viewpoint should surprise no one as this is more of less the same government with many of the same people that led the U.S. into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. They all have a vested interested in the health and well-being of a fully funded national security state.

And the other groupthink that seems to prevail among the senior managers except Pompeo is that they all hate Donald Trump and have done so since long before he won the election. That is somewhat odd, but it perhaps reflects a fear that Trump would interfere with the richly rewarding establishment politics that had enabled their careers. But it does not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of CIA employees. Though it is admittedly unscientific analysis on my part, I know a lot of former and some current CIA employees but do not know a single one who voted for Hillary Clinton. Nearly all voted for Trump.

Beyond that exhibition of tunnel vision and sheer ignorance, the involvement of former senior intelligence officials in politics is itself deplorable and is perhaps symptomatic of the breakdown in the comfortable bipartisan national security consensus that has characterized the past fifty years. Once upon time former CIA officers would retire to the Blue Ridge mountains and raise Labradors, but we are now into something much more dangerous if the intelligence community, which has been responsible for most of the recent leaks, begins to feel free to assert itself from behind the scenes. As Senator Chuck Schumer recently warned "Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community -- they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you."

exiled off mainstreet, August 1, 2017 at 5:06 am GMT

In jumping this fascist nihilist shark, the groupthinkers have closed themselves off from the logical conclusion to their viewpoint, which is final annihilation.

Dan Hayes, August 1, 2017 at 5:47 am GMT

Schumer's statement is true (and probably the only such one in his political career!).

annamaria, August 1, 2017 at 6:03 am GMT

Brennan, Morell, and Pompeo should better find ways to justify their salaries: the U.S. has suffered the greatest breach in cybersecurity on their watch:

" an enormous breach of the United States Security Apparatus by as many as 80 Democrat members of Congress (past and present). We rail on about the Russians and Trump, but t he media avoids providing nightly updates about these 5 spies that have compromised Congress ."

http://investmentwatchblog.com/the-awan-brothers-compromised-at-least-80-congregational-computers-and-got-paid-5-million-to-do-it-we-may-never-know-the-extent-of-the-breach/

"In total, Imran's firm was employed by 31 Democrats in Congress, some of whom held extremely sensitive positions on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the House Committee on Foreign Affair s."

polistra, August 1, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Nothing new. In the '50s CIA was making foreign wars and cultivating chaos at home, and blaming all of it on Russia. In the '80s CIA was cultivating anti-nuke groups to undermine Reagan, and blaming it on Russia. CIA has been the primary wellspring of evil for a long time.

Bruce Marshall, August 1, 2017 at 6:39 am GMT

And back to reality we have VIPS Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

Yes you read that right and they are going to the rotten core of this coup against the United States by presenting a report stating that the DNC was "Leaked" not hacked. The real hacking came from President Obama's weaponizing of our intelligence agencies against Russia.

That is war, World War Three and it would seem now that Congress is marching that way, but the report below hold the key to fighting back.

http://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/2017/2017_30-39/2017-30/pdf/37-41_4430.pdf

One of the VIPS is William Binney fomer NSA Technical Director, an important expert. leading the group is Ray McGovern with some whit and grace, well yes how about some sanity, to which humor is important to the insight and to stay in the sights of what is clever thievery and worse. Much worse,
and there is a twinkle in the eye when realize that it is straight forward.

And Congress could stop it tout sweet, but well old habits but they have taken an Oath of Office, so, so what, yeah they did go after Bernie, so will you challenge your elected officials, either do their sworn duty or resign, for what this sanctions bill against Russia and Iran is a declaration of war, not only against Russia and Iran, but a declaration of war against the United States. for there is no reason to do this against Russia when indeed there are great opportunities to get along, but war is the insanity as it is sedition and treason. Tell them that,

https://larouchepac.com/20170731/breaking-lyndon-larouche-crush-british-coup-against-president

Priss Factor, • Website August 1, 2017 at 7:01 am GMT

Moderate Rebels = Toothfairy Rebels

jilles dykstra, August 1, 2017 at 7:21 am GMT

I wonder if groupthink exists. In any organisation people know quite well why the organisation exists, what the threats are to its existence. If they think about this, I wonder.

The CIA is the USA's secret army, it is not comparable to a real intelligence organisation like the British MI5. The CIA is more like WWII SOE, designed to set fire to Europe, Churchill's words. If indeed Trump changes USA foreign policy, no longer trying to control the world, the CIA is obsolete, as obsolete as NATO.

animalogic, August 1, 2017 at 7:44 am GMT

" but President George W. Bush wanted his war and, by gum, he was going to get it if the CIA had any say in the matter."

Not to defend the CIA, but didn't Rumsfeld, doubt the enthusiasm of the CIA for providing the slanted, bogus, "sexed up" intelligence the Executive required to make its "destroy Iraq now" case ? So Rumsfeld therefore set up an independent intelligence agency within the Defence Dept to provide/create the required "intelligence" ?

The Alarmist, August 1, 2017 at 7:45 am GMT

I think they find anyplace that they can make our lives more difficult, I think they find that something that's useful."

Yeah, because that's what resource-constrained countries with limited ability to tap the global capital markets do. Methinks Mr. Pompeo is projecting his and the neocons' fantasies on the Russians.

Realist, August 1, 2017 at 10:14 am GMT

As has been the case for decades the Deep State allows Presidents and legislators to make minor decisions in our government as long as those decisions do not in any way interfere with the Deep State's goals of total world hegemony and increase in overwhelming power and wealth. Those who make the important decisions in this country are not elected. The elected 'officials' are sycophants of the Deep State.

CalDre, August 1, 2017 at 10:43 am GMT

If only Trump would really clean the swamp – particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream .

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 11:04 am GMT

Being resistant to jargon and catch phrases it is only slowly that I have accepted that "Deep State" is not entirely pretentious waffle when used to describe aspects of the US. However I may not be your only reader PG who would appreciate a clear explanatory description of the American Deep State and how it works.

Here are some suggested parameters.

The term is appropriated from the use to describe the mutually loyal corps of Ataturkians in the Turkish military and intelligence services who were united in service to uphold the ideal of Ataturkian secular modernisation. The term implies no public accountability or publicity unnecessary to its purposes.
And its origins imply that it is not just one in a number of major influences ln government or those who vote for it.

So one has to acknowledge that in the US the Deep State has to be different in the important respect that levers of power are observably wielded by lobbies for the aged, gun owners and sellers, Israel, Wall Street, bio fuels, sugar and other ag, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, the arms industry, Disney and other Hollywood and media, health insurers and the medical profession, and I could go on.

These are all relevant to legal events like votes on impeachment or to hold up appointments. The CIA and FBI together completely united (and note how disunited 9/11 showed them to be) wouldn't remotely approach the old Turkish Deep State's ability to stage a coup. Are all of the putative elements of the Deep State together today as powerful as J.Edgar Hoover with his dirt files on everyone? (A contrast and compare exercise of today's presumed Deep State configuration and modus operandi with the simpler Hoover days might shine some light on who does what and how today. And how effectively).

To avoid lack of focus can a convincing account of the US Deep State be best given in terms of a plausible scenario for

  1. getting rid of Trump as President and/or
  2. maintaining the lunacy and hubris which has the US wasting its substance on totally unnecessary antagonistic relations with China and Russia and interference in the ME?

I would read such accounts with great interest. (Handwavers need not apply).

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:26 am GMT

Of course the US Deep State must hate Russia. First, Jews have a very long history of hating Russia and Russians. That never changed. The USSR was not Russia; the USSR was Marxism replacing Russia. Jews tended to love that. Rich Jews from across the world, from the US and the UK of most interest to us, sent money to support the Bolshevik Revolution.

Russia managed to survive the USSR and is slowly coming back around to Russian common sense from the Christian perspective. Neither Jews nor their WASP BFFs can ever forgive that. They want Russia to act now to commit cultural and genetic suicide, like Western Europe and the entire Anglosphere are doing.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:32 am GMT

@polistra The CIA's source, its birth, is from British secret service. Brit spying. And Brit secret service, long before the official founding of MI5, did exactly the kinds of things you note the CIA has done.

The Mossad is another direct fruit of Brit secret service, as is the Saudi General Intelligence Presidency.

jacques sheete, August 1, 2017 at 11:36 am GMT

While there can be no doubt about the crackpots in high positions of the most powerful bureaucracies, it seems to me that the CIA loonies are merely shock troops for an even worse bunch of evil psychos, the bankster mafiosi.

We should always keep that in mind.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 11:37 am GMT

@CalDre If only

But doing so would mean a voluntary end to playing the role of Sauron, determined to find and wear the One Ring to Rule Them All. The average Elite WASP, and his Jewish BFF, definitely would prefer to destroy the world, at least outside their gated compounds of endless luxury, than to step down from that level of global domination.

Philip Giraldi, August 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm GMT

@Wizard of Oz Wiz – Here is an article I did on the Deep State two years ago. It was one of the first in the US media looking at the issue. It would have to be updated now in light of Trump, but much of what it states is still more-or-less correct.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/deep-state-america/

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm GMT

@jacques sheete Yes, indeed.

But we need to make certain that your use of the word 'mafiosi' does not lead anyone to assume that group has more than a handful of Italians. Jews, WASPs, and continental Germanics each will outnumber Italians by at least 30 to 1.

Chris Bridges, August 1, 2017 at 12:46 pm GMT

I am a retired CIA operations officer (something none of the men mentioned by Giraldi are – Brennan was a failed wanna be, couldn't cut it as an ops officer). He is spot on in his comments. The majority of people in the CIA, the ones who do the heavy lifting, are patriotic Americans who are proud of serving their country. I am sure that most voted for Trump as they all know too well the truth about the Clintons and Obama.

Giraldi is not the only one to notice the upward progress of the most incompetent yes-men in the Agency. A close look at most of them reveals a track record of little or no operational success balanced by excellent sucking up skills. These characters quickly figured out how to get ahead and doing your job in the field is not it. Of course, most are ego maniacs so they are totally oblivious to their own uselessness.

Well before he was elected I had a letter delivered to President Trump in which I outlined in detail what would happen to him if he did not immediately purge the CIA of these assholes. I know that at least some people on his staff read it but, of course, my advice was ignored. Trump has paid dearly for not listening to an ordinary CIA guy who wanted to give him a reality brief on those vicious snakes.

Proud_Srbin, August 1, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

Historical facts teach humanity that Anglo-Saxon group of Nations was built on slavery, thuggery and theft of other peace loving Civilizations. We Slavs are the New "niggers", hate is the glue that holds you "toGether".
People of color have been successfully conditioned and practice it as well.
Time will tell how well it holds when balloon bursts and 99% gets called to serve as cannon fodder.
Terrorizing UNARMED and WEAKER is not true test of "superiority" and "exceptionalism".
Tiny, extremely tiny minority of Anglo-Saxons and Satraps understand this.

Jake, August 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

@Chris Bridges You are responsible only for telling the truth and warning. Trump's naivete is his failing.

Bernie voter, August 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

How "Russiagate" began: After the primaries, both Hillary and Donald faced divided political parties even though they had won the nomination. These divisions were worse than the normal situation after contested primaries. On the Democratic side, Hillay had just subverted the will of the voters of her party, who seemed to favor Bernie Sanders over her. Hillay had won with corrupt collusion and rigging amongst the DNC, the higher ranks of the Democratic Party, and major media such as the NYT and CNN.

Then, a leak of emails from the DNC HQ publicized her interference in the democratic processes of the Democratic Party. This threatened to ene the Hillary for President campaign right then and there. If the majority of Democrats who'd favored Bernie refused to support Hillary because of her corruption and collusion in denying democracy within the party, she was a sure loser in the fall election. The Hillary camp then immediately started blaming Russia for the exposure of her corruption and rigging of the Democratic process. And that's how "Russiagate" began.

Smash Mouth, August 1, 2017 at 1:27 pm GMT

@Jake

"You must be working for the CIA. They wouldn't have you in the Ma-Fi-A"

1960′s song lyric from "Why can't we be friends"

Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was.

War is Hell, August 1, 2017 at 1:33 pm GMT

Fascinating ..

My old brain that was alive in the 60′s, remembers the lyric. But the first link I find on Google's youtube is a version that removes the above lyric, instead just echoing the title endlessly. That's the modern world .. all real content removed from what you find on the internet.

Here's a better version.

Beauracratic Mind, August 1, 2017 at 1:42 pm GMT

@jacques sheete

I wonder if groupthink exists.

It probably does as do group psychoses and group fantasies.. Anyone who's ever served in a beuaracracy knows that groupthink exists.

Take a bunch of mediocre minds. And, they do exist, as Garrison Keiler once famously made a joke out of with his line Welcome to Lake Woebegone, where all the children are above average.

Take that bunch of mediocre thinkers, and then make most of them obsessed with their own career advancement above all else. The most dangerous place for a career-obsessed individual is outside the group consensus. If everyone is wrong, then there is safety in the group. After all, if they are wrong, so was everyone else in the organization. Thus they are immune to attack and censure for being wrong. But if someone takes a position outside of the group consensus, that can be a career-ending move if they are wrong, as now everyone else will be in the I-told-U-So camp. And even if they are correct, they will still be hated and shunned just for being the person who pointed out to the group that they are wrong.

So, you take your typical average mind, and not only do they not have any great insights of their own, but they tend to stick to the group out of sheer survival and then when you take a mass of these mediocre minds you have 'groupthink'.

Wizard of Oz, August 1, 2017 at 1:44 pm GMT

@Philip Giraldi Thank you. As you have my sparingly conferred respect i thank you even before reading it:-)

Eticon, August 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm GMT

@CalDre

If only Trump would really clean the swamp - particularly the neo-cons and other traitors and globalists. One can dream ....

What we've learned from Trump is that 'Draining the Swamp' will take more than an individual. It will take a political movement.

One sees this on the fringes of politics. Someone gets the idea of running for President, and they point out all that is wrong. But, they focus only on their own campaign, their own goal, and they thus gloss over the fact that they'll be outnumbered and powerless even if they win.

Seen this often on the Left. The most recent example is Bernie Sanders. Likewise, had Bernie been elected President, he too would face an entrenched establishment and media with only a small fraction of the Congress supporting him.

Change has to be built from the bottom up. There are no shortcuts. Electing a Trump, or a Nader or a Bernie does not lead to real change. Step one is to build the political movement such that it has real voting block power and which has already won voting majorities in the legislature before the movement achieves the election of a President.

What Trump has needed to be doing for this first two years is to form clear divisions that he could then take to his voters in the mid-term elections. He's needed to lay out his own agenda. So what if he loses votes in Congress? He then takes that agenda back to the voters in 2018 with a nationwide slate of Congressional candidates who support that agenda and runs a midterm campaign asking the voters to help him drain that swamp.

So, for instance, Trump should veto the act of war known as the recent sanctions bill. Who cares if it gets overridden? Then he goes back to the voters, who are clearly sick of endless war and who for obvious reasons don't want a nuclear war, and he says this is where I stand. Support me by electing Fill-In-The-Blank to Congress. With the nuclear Doomsday Clock pushing ever closer to midnight, he might just win that fight over the big money and media opposition he's sure to face.

Not only has Trump failed to even try to fight the Deep State, but he's also failing to set himself up for success in the next elections.

ChuckOrloski, August 1, 2017 at 2:19 pm GMT

@Jake Hey Jake,

It is a serious error to consider President Trump "naive."

What we are seeing now is The Donald's role in the serial Zionist THEATER. Think deeper about the motive behind Mr. Giraldi's choice to use the Orwellian word "Groupthink" in characterizing the CIA zeitgeist? In the classic work "1984," one observes Big Brother as the catalyst in control of the proles' thought pattern & subsequent action.

To rise & FALL as a POTUS is a matter of theater and the American proles are entertained by the political for either 4 or 8 years and the Zionists get their next Chosen actor/actress dramatically sworn in on a bible.

Mr. Trump is neither naive nor stupid. Sheldon Adelson would not donate $millioms to any POTUS wannabe who could not effectively lead the American Groupthink tradition. Subsequently, the politcal horror show is brought to you in the understandable form of the perptually elusive Deep State which gets annual Academy Award.

Beware the fake, Jake!,

Joe Hide, August 1, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

I agree with Your take on intelligence services in that they must be putting something in their drinking water. Good article. Keep contributing.

[Jul 30, 2017] Mainstream News Manipulation of US Public

McGovern thinks that it was Brennan boys who hacked into DNC as a part of conspiracy to implicate Russia and to secure Hillary win. One of the resons was probably that DNC servers were not well protected and there were other hacks, about whihc NSA know. So the sad state of DNC internet security needed to be swiped under the carpet and that's why CrowdStike was hired.
NSA created 7 million lines of code for penetration and that includes those that were pablished by Wikileaks and designed to imitate that attackers are coming (and using the language) from: China, North Korea, Iran and Russia.
Also NSA probably intercepts and keeps all Internet communications for a month or two so if it was a hack NSA knows who did it and what was stolen
But the most unexplainable part was that fact that FBI was denied accessing the evidence. I always think that thye can dictate that they need to see in such cases, but obviously this was not the case.
Notable quotes:
"... She couldn't pack a school gymnasium while Trumps rallies were packed with 10's of thousands. ..."
Jul 30, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Anna C 1 month ago

LEGAL, WIKIMEDIA V. NSA Discussing fake news and the NSA lawsuit at Yale | https://blog.wikimedia.org/2017/06/16/fake-news-nsa-lawsuit-yale/

Tracy Spose 1 month ago

Love the rest of the talk, but no way did Hillary win. No way did she get the popular vote.

The woman was calling for war and reinstating the draft on men and women. She couldn't pack a school gymnasium while Trumps rallies were packed with 10's of thousands.

[Jul 30, 2017] Snowden dreams about better America

"Aaron Barlow: The Russian hacking nonsense is a tin foil hat conspiracy right up there with Reptilians and Aliens."
Notable quotes:
"... Snowden is a patriot. Only an individual that has integrity can do what Snowden did. He saw something that was wrong and blew the whistle on it, it was as simple as that, he knew the consequences very well. ..."
Feb 15, 2017 | www.youtube.com

walter white 3 weeks ago

poor bloke he speaks the truth and ends up in Russia and yet bush et al are free after killing all them people in 9/11 .

Binali Shareef 1 week ago

this guy is smart. well informed, super intellectual capacity. He chooses his words very wisely and well calculated. His interview is brain enlightening.

DMPKillaz 1 week ago

This right here.. is a fucking man... he gave up allllll the high life gave up allllll the money. all the BS to give the people what the fuck they needed to hear

Pyro Falcon 1 week ago

Mr Snowden is the MAN, a true American, and a HERO of the highest order. Thank you Ed.

patia55 2 weeks ago

Never trust Katie Curic

jeffv2074 1 week ago

Snowden is a patriot. Only an individual that has integrity can do what Snowden did. He saw something that was wrong and blew the whistle on it, it was as simple as that, he knew the consequences very well.

Pgs Penang 2 weeks ago

She is anti-trump. She is sent from the elite. She don't give a damn about him. 100% she is untrustworthy. Snowden is a threat to the deep state. Her questions clearly are from the democrats.

itsgoodbeingme 3 weeks ago

From a Brit: - Edward Snowden should be considered a national treasure and guard his liberty.

EarthWatch2014 3 days ago

The "journalist" who is interviewing Edward is a freedom hating, elitist worshipping mainstream media harlot.

Those who are ignorant of history are bound to repeat it. The people who founded this country left Britain due to a corrupt, tyrannical government. The US government is far more corrupt today then England was in the 1700s.

The 4th amendment has been butchered by the tyrannical, elitist dictators who are running this broken country. Today, the mainstream media is firmly controlled by a few, highly deranged elitists who are in league with the rancid, stinking pieces of fecal matter who run the US. The republic that was created by English "traitors" was supposed to be a sanctuary for freedom and human rights. The republic they created is dead and gone. It may look the same on the surface, but this country is much too far gone to ever recover. It never ceases to amaze me just how ignorant of history and the Constitution the average American is. The citizens are ignorant, bordering on stupid.

The evidence is everywhere, yet millions of weak-minded sheeple cannot see what lies directly in front of their eyes. The level of cognitive dissonance displayed by the average American is pitiful, and I will feel no pity when they realize that they were living in a country whose leaders were following the same game plan as Adolph Hitler... to the letter.

People believe that their political party, the party to which they give their allegiance, is the "good" party. Republicans and Democrats are one and the same. The two party system is simply a two headed snake that will lead the US into tyranny. The US is hated around the world because it has assumed the role of the world's arrogant, renegade cop. A country that was not to be "entangled in foreign affairs", now has military bases in nearly every corner of the earth. Those who open their mouths to defend the snakes in power will be taught a great lesson once the elitists' plans come to fruition. It's difficult to feel sorry for the people who believe the endless lies that are spoken by those in power.

These fools won't see the truth until their heads lie under the blade of the guillotine. Anyone who puts security before freedom and privacy deserves to be placed behind concrete walls and barbed wire, where they will remain "safe" from the fictitious enemies who cause them to pathetically cower in fear. The destiny of this country is that of Rome. Unfortunately, the masses do not know or understand the true history of this world. The putrid stench of ignorance covers the majority of the American populous. Snowden exposed the government's evil secrets, helping preserve freedom and liberty in the United States. Those who chastise Snowden deserve what is coming: The death of freedom under the hands of evil tyrants.

berretta9mm1 1 week ago (edited)

Watching Gen. Clapper state, UNDER OATH, that the NSA was not and is not indiscriminately reading, storing, and intercepting the private communications of every American citizen, made me feel physically ill.

The fact that he chose to tell a straight-out lie (in light of the information supplied to us by Edward Snowden, who exposed this illegal and unconstitutional internal spying program) - watching him choose to speak a brazen lie, spoken in complete disregard for his office, the NSA's mandate (and its limits), his military career leading to his appointment as head of the NSA, the Constitutional trust placed in him, and the laws which make a direct lie - under oath - to a Senate Intelligence Committee (composed of the people WE elected to represent us) a FELONY - mean that Gen. CLAPPER should be in prison for Perjury.

This is the applicable Constitutional U.S. Code, section 1621: "§ 1621. Perjury generally: Whoever! (1) having taken an oath before a competent tribunal, officer, or person, in any case in which a law of the United States authorizes an oath to be administered, that he will testify, declare, depose, or certify truly, or that any written testimony, declaration, deposition, or certificate by him subscribed, is true, willfully and contrary to such oath states or subscribes any material matter which he does not believe to be true; or (2) in any declaration, certificate, verification, or statement under penalty of perjury as permitted under section 1746 of title 28, United States Code, willfully subscribes as true any material matter which he does not believe to be true; - is guilty of perjury and shall, except as other-wise expressly provided by law, be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. This section is applicable whether the statement or subscription is made within or without the United States."

Five years in prison, for lying to Congress about your indiscriminate spying on innocent U.S. citizens, Gen. Clapper, and then your filthy, despicable use of the U.S. Constitution (and our rights to privacy within it), as toilet paper when you lied directly to Senator Ron Wyden @ 61:00 under oath, when he asked "Does the NSA collect ANY type of data - at all - on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?" and you answered, with no hesitation or remorse, "No sir," you committed Perjury, by any definition of the above U.S. code.

Attempting to clarify, senator Wyden asked, "It does not?," and you answered, "Not wittingly. There are cases where they might inadvertently collect, but NOT WITTINGLY."

Could the lie have been any more damning, or abhorrent in a supposed Democracy? Is it any wonder why people like Gen. Clapper want Snowden - who PROVED that this was a lie, and exposed a completely illegal and unconstitutional program which Clapper was then in charge of - thrown in prison, and silenced permanently? Trump speaks of "draining the swamp." He could start with the NSA, and all of it's illegal activities, and work his way through every Intelligence Agency and the Military/Industrial Organizations and Corporations which together, represent the greatest threat ever to our liberties and to the Constitution - which is just hanging by a thread because of people and programs like this, and work his way down.

But he won't. Why? Because he, like the rest of us, has seen the Zapruder film. It's much easier - and safer - to kill the messenger. This is what makes Snowden, in today's world, a hero who, unlike the rest of these cowards and traitors, will be remembered well by history - for whatever that is worth to the man now. Thank God there are still people willing to sacrifice "their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" for the purpose of protecting what remains of the tattered remnants of our Constitutionally-protected freedoms from government, and tyranny.

bluedance lilly 2 weeks ago

The US probably still surveys innocent everyday Americans by the millions. Not to prevent terrorism, but to have political and economic control, as Snowden has said. Watch the movie Snowden. Very enlightening.

Dylan Stone 1 week ago

I really liked this interview, and have much love for my fellow American Edward Snowden. He did the right thing. Whoever posted this video under the title "EDWARD SNOWDEN EXPOSES DONALD TRUMP" is kind of a dumbass. One tiny opinion is not equivalent to an expose', and this had nothing to do with Trump. Quit making click bait asshole

Jamie Brady 1 week ago

have to say .... balls of steal. left his own life behind to let "us" know what its really like. we were not there he was.. i love my country but dont think U.S.A. is not doing these things. First time in my 45 years i question things like this...he makes an amazing point....if someone questions they go to jail. Thats BS. questions make us a better Democracy. A better country...god bless you Edward i hope it works out for you brother.

Jay Bee 1 week ago

SHOCKING - TRUELY SHOCKING HOW UNBELIEVABLE DUMB THIS WOMAN IS. Is she really the best American journalism could send? I have to critisize Snowden too - for once (excuse me Eddy!): Why did he agree to meet such a ridiculous dummy? The interview - at least this dumb gooses part . was bodering on being comical. If Snowden`s intellegence were given the factor 100 - nobody would be able to give this truely uneducated, superficial and naive woman a number higher than room-temperature. In Celsius, that is! Hard to watch and difficult to understand why Snowden agreed to meet a completely shallow elderly Mom!

Jay Bee 1 week ago

SHOCKING - TRUELY SHOCKING HOW UNBELIEVABLE DUMB THIS WOMAN IS. Is she really the best American journalism could send? I have to critisize Snowden too - for once (excuse me Eddy!): Why did he agree to meet such a ridiculous dummy? The interview - at least this dumb gooses part . was bodering on being comical. If Snowden`s intellegence were given the factor 100 - nobody would be able to give this truely uneducated, superficial and naive woman a number higher than room-temperature. In Celsius, that is! Hard to watch and difficult to understand why Snowden agreed to meet a completely shallow elderly Mom!

whitemannativemind 1 week ago

This is a very interesting interview to be sure, and I personally, have great admiration for this man, as I'm sure much of the world does, and all the more so after watching the movie concerning his life in which we see how the CIA made his life a living hell for many years if not a decade or so, and may have even, brought this condition with his seizures and everything, assuming this movie was an accurate portrayal of his life, but there is precious little here about trump.

I was hoping he had some juicy info he was going to share but that does not seem so. Regardless, the man should be pardoned and allowed to get on with his life.

Government must know that it can never be all powerful and do whatever it damn will pleases, at home or abroad either. So for that reason the man is a hero for sure. He says; "we will not torture you." Wow. Not sure if he's joking there or serious but if he's serious then that is extremely disturbing indeed. Respectfully. All My Best. Out.

Gil Rasmussen 2 weeks ago

I used to like Snowden until I heard from his own mouth that he gets money from George Soros

[Jul 29, 2017] Ray McGovern The Deep State Assault on Elected Government Must Be Stopped

Highly recommended!
Ray McGovern raise important fact: DNC hide evidence from FBI outsourcing everything to CrowdStrike. This is the most unexplainable fact in the whole story. One hypotheses that Ray advanced here that there was so many hacks into DNC that they wanted to hide.
Another important point is CIA role in elections, and specifically John O. Brennan behaviour. Brennan's 25 years with the CIA included work as a Near East and South Asia analyst and as station chief in Saudi Arabia.
McGovern thing that Brennon actually controlled Obama. And in his opinion Brennan was the main leaker of Trump surveillance information.
Notable quotes:
"... Do really think the Deep State cares about the environment. Trump is our only chance to damage Deep State. McGovern is wrong... DNC were from Seth Rich, inside DNC. Murdered for it. McGovern is wrong... i could go on and on but suffice it to say his confidence is way to high. He is wrong. ..."
Apr 2, 2017 | www.youtube.com

Greg Rhodes 3 months ago

I really like Ray... I watch and listen , he seems to use logic, reason and facts in his assessments.. I'm surprised CIA and the deep state allow him to operate ... stay safe Ray...
Robert Eargle 2 months ago

McGovern, you idiot. To try to put Trump on Hillary's level is complete stupidity. The war with Russia or nothing was avoided with a Trump victory. Remember the NATO build up on the Russian border preparing for a Hillary win? Plus, if Hillary won, justice and law in the USA would be over with forever. The Germans dont know sht about the USA to say their little cute phrase. Trump is a very calm mannered man and his hands on the nuke button is an issue only to those who watch the fake MSM. And no the NSA has not released anything either. Wrong on that point too.

Manley Nelson 2 months ago

The German expression of USA having a choice between cholera and plague is ignorant. McGovern is wrong ....everyone knew HRC was a criminal. McGovern is wrong... Jill Stein in not trustworthy. A vote for Jill Stein was a vote away from Trump. If Jill Stein or HRC were elected their would be no environment left to save. Do really think the Deep State cares about the environment. Trump is our only chance to damage Deep State. McGovern is wrong... DNC were from Seth Rich, inside DNC. Murdered for it. McGovern is wrong... i could go on and on but suffice it to say his confidence is way to high. He is wrong.

Rodger Asai 3 months ago

Another month or so and the DHS may offer a color-coding system to help the sheeple understand various levels of confidence. Green - Moderate Confidence Blue - High Confidence Yellow - Very High Confidence Orange - Extremely High Confidence Red - Based on Actual Fact

The last category may be one of the signs of the apocalypse.

KELLI2L2 3 months ago

As it turned out Jill Stein was a bad choice too... Recount debacle.

midnighfairy 1 month ago

I want Hilary to pay for her lies

[Jul 26, 2017] What You Actually Spend on the National Security State by William D. Hartung

Notable quotes:
"... This article was originally published in Tom Dispatch.com ..."
"... Pentagon Budget: $575 billion ..."
"... War Budget: $64.6 Billion ..."
"... Running Total: $639.6 Billion ..."
"... Department of Energy (nuclear): $20 Billion ..."
"... Running total: $659.6 billion ..."
"... "Other Defense": $8 Billion ..."
"... Running Total: $677.6 billion ..."
"... Homeland Security: $50 Billion ..."
"... Running Total: $717.6 Billion ..."
"... Military Aid at the State Department: $7 Billion ..."
"... Running Total: $724.6 Billion ..."
"... Intelligence: $70 Billion (mostly contained inside the Pentagon budget) ..."
"... Running Total: $724.6 Billion ..."
"... Veterans: $186 billion ..."
"... Running Total: $910.6 Billion ..."
"... Military Retirement: $80 Billion ..."
"... Running Total: $990.6 Billion ..."
"... Defense Share of the Interest on the Debt: $100 billion ..."
"... Grand Total: $1.09 Trillion ..."
Jul 26, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Hundreds of billions of dollars outside of the official Pentagon budget. July 26, 2017

The Pentagon ( Frontpage / Shutterstock ) This article was originally published in Tom Dispatch.com

You wouldn't know it, based on the endless cries for more money coming from the military politicians , and the president , but these are the best of times for the Pentagon. Spending on the Department of Defense alone is already well in excess of half a trillion dollars a year and counting. Adjusted for inflation, that means it's higher than at the height of President Ronald Reagan's massive buildup of the 1980s and is now nearing the post-World War II funding peak. And yet that's barely half the story. There are hundreds of billions of dollars in "defense" spending that aren't even counted in the Pentagon budget.

Under the circumstances, laying all this out in grisly detail!and believe me, when you dive into the figures, they couldn't be grislier!is the only way to offer a better sense of the true costs of our wars past, present, and future, and of the funding that is the lifeblood of the national security state. When you do that, you end up with no less than 10 categories of national security spending (only one of which is the Pentagon budget). So steel yourself for a tour of our nation's trillion-dollar-plus "national security" budget. Given the Pentagon's penchant for wasting money and our government's record of engaging in dangerously misguided wars without end, it's clear that a large portion of this massive investment of taxpayer dollars isn't making anyone any safer.

1) The Pentagon Budget

The Pentagon's "base" or regular budget contains the costs of the peacetime training, arming, and operation of the U.S. military and of the massive civilian workforce that supports it!and if waste is your Eden, then you're in paradise.

The department's budget is awash in waste, as you might expect from the only major federal agency that has never passed an audit . For example, last year a report by the Defense Business Board, a Pentagon advisory panel, found that the Department of Defense could save $125 billion over five years just by trimming excess bureaucracy. And a new study by the Pentagon's Inspector General indicates that the department has ignored hundreds of recommendations that could have saved it more than $33.6 billion.

The Pentagon can't even get an accurate count of the number of private contractors it employs, but the figure is certainly in the range of 600,000 or higher, and many of them carry out tasks that might far better be handled by government employees. Cutting that enormous contractor work force by just 15 percent, only a start when it comes to eliminating the unnecessary duplication involved in hiring government employees and private contractors to do the same work, would save an easy $20 billion annually.

And the items mentioned so far are only the most obvious examples of misguided expenditures at the Department of Defense. Even larger savings could be realized by scaling back the Pentagon's global ambitions, which have caused nothing but trouble in the last decade and a half as the U.S. military has waged devastating and counterproductive wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere across the Greater Middle East and Africa. An analysis by Ben Friedman of the conservative Cato Institute estimates that the Pentagon could reduce its projected spending by one trillion dollars over the next decade if Washington reined in its interventionist instincts and focused only on America's core interests.

Donald Trump, of course, ran for president as a businessman who would clean house and institute unprecedented efficiencies in government. Instead, on entering the Oval Office, he's done a superb job of ignoring chronic problems at the Pentagon, proposing instead to give that department a hefty raise: $575 billion next year. And yet his expansive military funding plans look relatively mild compared to the desires of the gung-ho members of the armed services committees in the House and Senate . Democrats and Republicans alike want to hike the Pentagon budget to at least $600 billion or more. The legislative fight over a final number will play out over the rest of this year. For now, let's just use Trump's number as a placeholder.

Pentagon Budget: $575 billion

2) The War Budget

The wars of this century, from Iraq to Afghanistan and beyond, have largely been paid for through a special account that lies outside the regular Pentagon budget. This war budget!known in the antiseptic language of the Pentagon as the "Overseas Contingency Operations" account, or OCO! peaked at more than $180 billion at the height of the Bush administration's intervention in Iraq.

As troop numbers in that country and Afghanistan have plummeted from hundreds of thousands to about 15,000 , the war budget, miraculously enough, hasn't fallen at anywhere near the same pace. That's because it's not even subject to the modest caps on the Pentagon's regular budget imposed by Congress back in 2011, as part of a deal to keep the government open.

In reality, over the past five years, the war budget has become a slush fund that pays for tens of billions of dollars in Pentagon expenses that have nothing to do with fighting wars. The Trump administration wants $64.6 billion for that boondoggle budget in fiscal year 2018. Some in Congress would like to hike it another $10 billion . For consistency, we'll again use the Trump number as a baseline.

War Budget: $64.6 Billion

Running Total: $639.6 Billion

3) Nuclear Warheads (and more)

You might think that the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal -- nuclear warheads -- would be paid for out of the Pentagon budget. And you would, of course, be wrong. The cost of researching, developing, maintaining, and "modernizing" the American arsenal of 6,800 nuclear warheads falls to an obscure agency located inside the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA. It also works on naval nuclear reactors, pays for the environmental cleanup of nuclear weapons facilities, and funds the nation's three nuclear weapons laboratories, at a total annual cost of more than $20 billion per year.

Department of Energy (nuclear): $20 Billion

Running total: $659.6 billion

4) "Other Defense"

This catchall category encompasses a number of flows of defense-related funding that go to agencies other than the Pentagon. It totals about $8 billion per year . In recent years, about two-thirds of this money has gone to pay for the homeland security activities of the FBI, accounting for more than half of that agency's annual budget.

"Other Defense": $8 Billion

Running Total: $677.6 billion

The four categories above make up what the White House budget office considers total spending on "national defense." But I'm sure you won't be shocked to learn that their cumulative $677.6 billion represents far from the full story. So let's keep right on going.

5) Homeland Security

After the 9/11 attacks, Congress created a mega-agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It absorbed 22 then-existing entities , all involved in internal security and border protection, creating the sprawling cabinet department that now has 240,000 employees . For those of you keeping score at home, the agencies and other entities currently under the umbrella of DHS include the Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency, the Transportation Security Agency, the U.S. Secret Service, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), and the Office of Intelligence Analysis (the only one of America's 17 intelligence agencies to fit under the department's rubric).

How many of these agencies actually make us safer? That would be a debatable topic, if anyone were actually interested in such a debate. ICE!America's deportation force!has, for instance, done far more to cause suffering than to protect us from criminals or terrorists. On the other hand, it's reassuring to know that there is an office charged with determining whether there is a nuclear weapon or radioactive "dirty bomb" in our midst.

While it's hard to outdo the Pentagon, DHS has its own record of dubious expenditures on items large and small. They range from $1,000 fees for employees to attend conferences at spas to the purchase of bagpipes for border protection personnel to the payment of scores of remarkably fat salaries to agency bureaucrats. On the occasion of its tenth anniversary in 2013, Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) excoriated the department as "rife with waste," among other things, pointing to a report by the DHS inspector general that it had misspent over $1 billion.

DHS was supposed to provide a better focus for efforts to protect the United States from internal threats. Its biggest problem, though, may be that it has become a magnet for increased funding for haphazard, misplaced, and often simply dangerous initiatives. These would, for instance, include its program to supply grants to local law enforcement agencies to help them buy military-grade equipment to be deployed not against terrorists, but against citizens protesting the injustices perpetrated by the very same agencies being armed by DHS.

The Trump administration has proposed spending $50 billion on DHS in FY 2018.

Homeland Security: $50 Billion

Running Total: $717.6 Billion

6) Military Aid

U.S. government-run military aid programs have proliferated rapidly in this century. The United States now has scores of arms and training programs serving more than 140 countries . They cost more than $18 billion per year , with about 40 percent of that total located in the State Department's budget. While the Pentagon's share has already been accounted for, the $7 billion at State!which can ill afford to pay for such programs with the Trump administration seeking to gut the rest of its budget!has not.

Military Aid at the State Department: $7 Billion

Running Total: $724.6 Billion

7) Intelligence

The United States government has 16 separate intelligence agencies : the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the National Security Agency (NSA); the Defense Intelligence Agency; the FBI; the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research; the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence Analysis; the Drug Enforcement Administration Office of National Security Intelligence; the Treasury Department Office of Intelligence and Analysis; the Department of Energy Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence; the National Reconnaissance Office; the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency; Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance; Army Military Intelligence; the Office of Naval Intelligence; Marine Corps Intelligence; and Coast Guard Intelligence. Add to these the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which is supposed to coordinate this far-flung intelligence network, and you have a grand total of 17 agencies.

The U.S. will spend more than $70 billion on intelligence this year, spread across all these agencies. The bulk of this funding is contained in the Pentagon budget!including the budgets of the CIA and the NSA (believed to be hidden under obscure line items there). At most, a few billion dollars in additional expenditures on intelligence fall outside the Pentagon budget and since, given the secrecy involved, that figure can't be determined, let's not add anything further to our running tally.

Intelligence: $70 Billion (mostly contained inside the Pentagon budget)

Running Total: $724.6 Billion

8) Supporting Veterans

A steady uptick of veterans generated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has dramatically increased the costs of supporting such vets once they come home, including the war wounded, some of whom will need medical care for life. For 2018, the Veterans Administration has requested over $186 billion for its budget, more than three times what it was before the 2001 intervention in Afghanistan.

Veterans: $186 billion

Running Total: $910.6 Billion

9) Military Retirement

The trust fund set up to cover pensions for military retirees and their survivors doesn't have enough money to pay out all the benefits promised to these individuals. As a result, it is supplemented annually by an appropriation from the general revenues of the government. That supplement has by now reached roughly $80 billion per year

Military Retirement: $80 Billion

Running Total: $990.6 Billion

10) Defense Share of Interest on the Debt

It's no secret that the U.S. government regularly runs at a deficit and that the total national debt is growing. It may be more surprising to learn that the interest on that debt runs at roughly $500 billion per year . The Project on Government Oversight calculates the share of the interest on that debt generated by defense-related programs at more than $100 billion annually.

Defense Share of the Interest on the Debt: $100 billion

Grand Total: $1.09 Trillion

That final annual tally of nearly $1.1 trillion to pay for past wars, fund current wars, and prepare for possible future conflicts is roughly double the already staggering $575 billion the Trump administration has proposed as the Pentagon's regular budget for 2018. Most taxpayers have no idea that more than a trillion dollars a year is going to what's still called "defense," but these days might equally be called national in security.

So the next time you hear the president, the secretary of defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or a hawkish lawmaker claim that the U.S. military is practically collapsing from a lack of funding, don't believe it for a second. Donald Trump may finally have put plutocracy in the Oval Office, but a militarized version of it has long been ensconced in the Pentagon and the rest of the national security state. In government terms, make no mistake about it, the Pentagon & Co. are the one percent.

William D. Hartung, a TomDispatch regular , is the director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial Complex

[Jul 23, 2017] MoA - Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

Notable quotes:
"... Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier. ..."
"... Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries ..."
"... The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan) ..."
"... the first part of your post reaffirms my comment in the previous thread about the usa, saudi arabia/gccs and israel being the terrorists that the world would be a lot better place without... " ..."
"... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol... ..."
"... the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here. ..."
"... The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. ..."
"... "The team has carried out painstaking research cataloging serial numbers and tracing the routes. They found crates of ammunition and rockets manufactured in factories in eastern Europe. These were bought by the governments of the US and Saudi Arabia." ..."
"... A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel... ..."
"... I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured." ..."
"... This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution. ..."
"... Criminal activity under diplomatic cover should be prosecuted. They can pretend they didn't find out until it was too late. Or they can claim that they were letting it happen in order to track the players. Those excuses have been used for all kinds of cover for nefarious activites like Pakistan's AQ Khan NukeMart to distribute nuclear technology and materials. (See Deception and United States and the Islamc Bomb books) And there's Fast & Furious. In the end the cover comes from the political top of the trash heap. ..."
"... Sounds familiar? Iranian industrialization and westernization happened during the Shah. That is part of above story. Same story in Saudi Arabia . ..."
"... My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union. ..."
Jul 23, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org
Murder, Spies And Weapons - Three Fascinating 'Deep State' Stories

350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for terrorists - Trud

Azerbaijan's Silk Way Airlines transported hundreds of tons of weapons under diplomatic cover to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan Congo

With lots of details from obtained emails.

Ten thousands of tons of weapons and ammunition to al-Qaeda and other Takfiris in Syria also came first from Libya by ship, then on at least 160 big cargo flights via Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Turkey and during the last years by various ships under U.S. contracts from mostly east-European countries.

---

With all the Trump-Russia nonsense flowing around one person's involvement in the creation of the issue deserves more scrutiny:

McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

---

Another Scorpene Submarine Scandal - Asia Sentinel (a bit older but it was new to me)

Document hack could imperil subs in Oz, India, other countries

Musburger | Jul 21, 2017 12:41:30 PM | 1

The first story is a muti-billion dollar illegal business network that potentially encompasses not only the CIA, but also several governments, the Clinton Foundation, David Patreus, investors (many of whom hold government positions) and God knows what else. It's possibly the greatest scam the world has ever seen.
ProPeace | Jul 21, 2017 12:48:44 PM | 3
It would be nice to have a comprehensive list of sponsors of those fake lucrative speeches such front persons and puppets as Clintons, Saakashvili, Kwaśniewski, ... have been giving. The Business Round Tables that Quigley and Sutton wrote about that live off wars and misery.
Petri Krohn | Jul 21, 2017 12:55:55 PM | 4
There is an amazing amount of detailed information from reliable sources on the U.S. sponsored, Saudi paid arms deliveries to terrorist in Syria, originating from the eastern parts of the European Union. I have collected some of the best sources here:

US covert war on Syria -> Weapon deliveries

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 12:56:46 PM | 5
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier The third time is the Charm.I am reminded McCain can do no wrong: His service to his country (it's alleged, by aiding the enemy); The Keating Five; (I dindu nuttin wrong)

The Trump-Russia Dossier (by political treason stabbing the nominee of his own Party; ignoring the words of Reagan). McCain, once again, will be excused and forgiven. His actions were due to illness – the most aggressive cancer of the brain. How is that so?

james | Jul 21, 2017 12:58:42 PM | 6
thanks b.. the first part of your post reaffirms my comment in the previous thread about the usa, saudi arabia/gccs and israel being the terrorists that the world would be a lot better place without... "the contracts are with U.S. companies themselves hired by the CIA and/or Pentagon as well as with Saudi and Israeli companies.."
terry | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:09 PM | 7
Here is a link to The Dilyana Files – 1403 Email Attachments Posted https://www.truthleaks.org/news/343-the-dilyana-files-1403-email-attachments-posted
james | Jul 21, 2017 1:00:13 PM | 8
@5 likklemore ... in an exceptional country, there is no accountability... according to obama, you have to move on and not dwell on the past, lol...
ben | Jul 21, 2017 1:07:44 PM | 9
Thanks b, the mountain of evidence you provide daily, as proof of the corporate empire's malignancy, is therapeutic and empowering, but, until this information reaches the bulk of the U$A's masses we're all just treading water here.
WorldBLee | Jul 21, 2017 1:11:43 PM | 10
@2: The last thing McCain has to worry about is prosecution or even criticism for fomenting war crimes. The cancer is real and he will be lauded for his courage and lionized if he dies. But should he survive he will carry on as usual with no apologies and no criticism.
nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11
BBC News has a great little expose on tracking ISIS weapons captured in Mosul to their sources in Eastern Europe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8bwCj3lfsg
"The team has carried out painstaking research cataloging serial numbers and tracing the routes. They found crates of ammunition and rockets manufactured in factories in eastern Europe. These were bought by the governments of the US and Saudi Arabia."
Whether or not the arming and financing of ISIS groups was "accidental" or "deliberate" remains something of an open question; most likely the actual US policy from c.2011-2012 onwards was to give support to anyone trying to overthrow Assad's government regardless of affiliation. The architects of this plan? Clinton & McCain seem to be right at the center of it, with plenty of neocon/neolib supporters in Congress & the State Department/CIA/Pentagon (Nuland/Morrell/Carter etc.)
Oui | Jul 21, 2017 2:29:43 PM | 12
Sorry b .... the "Reason" article is complete nonsense. I've covered the details the last two weeks. The "dodgy dossier" was shared by Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, with the British MI6 and the FBI starting in August 2016. That's why I claim it's not RussiaGate but IC-Gate. A complot by the Intelligence Community of the UK and US. McCain is just a distraction of the true effort to dump Trump.
McCain and the Trump-Russia Dossier: What Did He Know, and When? - Reason

A British spy. An Arizona senator. And one inflammatory dossier on Donald Trump. The connection between them is starting to unravel...

  • there are indications that McCain was the one who hired the company which created the infamous Steele dossier.
  • there is evidences that he distributed it to the CIA, FBI and to the media.
  • the issue is now in front of a British court.

Christopher Steele and Sir Andrew Wood worked in a British spy nest in Moscow during the Yeltsin years of the 90s.

Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21, 2017 3:02:30 PM | 13
Thanks, b. Love the lede...
350 "diplomatic" flights transporting weapons for ter'rists - Trud

What a slimy little cur John McCain (Satan's Mini-Me) turns out to be. Guess how surprised I'm not that the little skunk is up to his eyeballs in weapons proliferation & profiteering, not to mention that old Yankee favourite Gun-barrel "Diplomacy".

I suspected during the Prez Campaign that Trump had McCain well and truly scoped when he said (of Satan's Mini-Me) "I like my war "heroes" not to get captured."

This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more, but they go to all the summits, prattle about Our AmeriKKKan Friends, and then presumably laugh their asses off when the summit is over. Xi & Putin seem to truly believe that the blowback from all this Yankee Duplicity will eventually do as much harm to the American Dream as an Ru/Cn Military Solution.

psychohistorian | Jul 21, 2017 3:12:19 PM | 14
Thanks again for the excellent journalism b even though it reads like the trash on the rags in the grocery stores they make you look at while you check out.

I just hold out hope that the great unraveling continues and quickens its pace.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:32:48 PM | 15
Criminal activity under diplomatic cover should be prosecuted. They can pretend they didn't find out until it was too late. Or they can claim that they were letting it happen in order to track the players. Those excuses have been used for all kinds of cover for nefarious activites like Pakistan's AQ Khan NukeMart to distribute nuclear technology and materials. (See Deception and United States and the Islamc Bomb books) And there's Fast & Furious. In the end the cover comes from the political top of the trash heap.

The Dem/anti-Trump attempts to get dirt on Trump via Russians doesn't get play in the MSM. Nor does the content of the emails. They call the tune and the media plays on.

Curtis | Jul 21, 2017 3:38:37 PM | 16
nonsense factory 11

Thnx for the vid link. That evidence won't get to US MSM either. It makes the case for Tulsi Gabbard's efforts.

likklemore | Jul 21, 2017 4:52:05 PM | 18
@james 8
[Reported by Independent.co.uk, New York Post and the Guardian.co.uk] McCain admitted he handed the dossier to Comey."

NYPost: McCain "I gave Russia blackmail dossier on Trump to the FBI"

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself

New York Post
http://nypost.com/2017/01/11/john-mccain-i-gave-russia-blackmail-dossier-on-trump-to-fbi/

Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

Yes, there will be no accountability in the U.S. for the exceptional ones. However, the British courts setting aside "special relationships" may take a different view that McCain has a case to answer.

@kpax 17

Did I mis-read? McCain's cerebral?

Piotr Berman | Jul 21, 2017 5:46:21 PM | 19
The link suggests that the subs involved in the scandal are perhaps OK, and no hack compromised their worthiness in a possible military conflict. Neither there were any fatal accidents. The only losses in manpower (but quite a few) are among people engaged in the financial transactions that delivered them to various fleets.

Although there are possible danger to security, because bribery is used to blackmail involved in recruitment of spies.

Fidelios Automata | Jul 21, 2017 6:03:00 PM | 20
I hope the conspiracy theories are wrong, and that McInsane will soon suffer a well-deserved painful death.
BTW, I'm a long-time Arizonan, and I'm proud to say I've never voted for this traitor and have also signed the recall petitions against him.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:16:53 PM | 21
I apologize for never contributing anything substantial but just emanating verbal support.
I hope this site has some mirrored archives. This is in its entirety a work of contemporary history (sorry my english's not good enough... mirror this site and give it some dumb ancestor of ours to read in 20, 50, 100 years, y'know).
I'm a broke lowlife but next time around I'll send some money.
radiator | Jul 21, 2017 6:19:21 PM | 22
damn I regret every cent I've spent on mainstream newspapers, although the last time I've done so has been years ago and maybe back then, they weren't so bad, but then again, they probably were and I just didn't notice.
Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:01:32 PM | 23
The dog that didn't bark in the arms shipment story is the absense of Qatar in the list of recipient countries. It also seems that, whilst most (80%) were shipped through SA/UAE, more arms were shipped through Jordan (11%) than through Turkey (7%).

Bulgaria may also have been the location of military level training sites for foreigners. An intriguing report from June 2015 noted that an American was killed along with 2 foreigners (German and Canadian) in a grenade launcher accident of a PMC training center at Anevo, Bulgaria. The site was run by an company Algans (or Alguns).

http://sofiaglobe.com/2015/06/06/american-dies-four-injured-in-blast-at-bulgarias-vmz-sopot-ordnance-plant/

There are links to the infamous US military $500 million training program in which an unknown number of 'carefully vetted moderate rebels' were trained and all but 5 of them 'defected' to al Qaeda.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/aramroston/mobbed-up-arms-dealer-in-american-anti-isis-effort-linked-to

Anonymous | Jul 21, 2017 7:14:05 PM | 24
"This story says a lot for China & Russia's approach to long-term Strategic Diplomacy. I imagine that they both know all this stuff and a helluva lot more" Hoarsewhisperer @13

The docs indicate the Balkans arm supply route took off in 2012. It will have brought in many billions of USD to the relatively poor east European countries. Before the Gulenist(?) shoot down of the Russian Su-24, Russia had been trying to get Turkey and Bulgaria interested in South Stream. I suspect Russia did indeed know the details of the arms shipment, and certainly knew about Turkey's cut of the ISIS oil sales. I suspect this deal may have been an attempt to wean the two off the terrorism funding spigot. This failed as the Bulgarian government is totally owned by the US. Erdogan's ego was manipulated by his Zionist handlers and eventually his stalling killed interest at theat time. The Russians would know this background too, but the deal had to be tried. If it had worked, then the Bulgarian arms train would possibly have been stopped and the Turkish border closed several years ago. This would have greatly cramped the capabilities of ISIS, simplifying the task of eliminating them. I suspect the Russians also knew it wouldn't pan out but it was certainly worth a shot whilst they was busily obtaining intelligence on the terrorists, and secretly negotiating the logistics, overflight access etc for what was to become its base at Hymeim.

somebody | Jul 21, 2017 7:15:18 PM | 25
23 also

Russia Hopes to Sign Agreement on Arms Re-Export From Bulgaria

The statement was followed by a publication of the Bulgarian Trud newspaper that mentioned the Arcus arms company as the producer of some arms produced in Bulgaria under Russian licenses, which were found by journalists in eastern Aleppo.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 7:49:29 PM | 27
BBC News has a great little expose

Posted by: nonsense factory | Jul 21, 2017 1:54:32 PM | 11

Tillerson. Exxon. Petrodollar. Rockefellers.

BBC. MI6. BIS. Rothschilds.

https://youtu.be/Hgq4w4dqKsU

That's a good question.

nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:07:41 PM | 28
Master: http://worldnewsdailyreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/david-rockefeller.jpg

Blaster: https://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/walkingdead/images/0/0c/Armedforces.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20131116201742

Barter-Town: http://images.legalweek.com/images/IMG/277/144277/city-of-london-gherkin-finance.jpg

Mad-Max:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg/170px-Vladimir_Putin_in_KGB_uniform.jpg

http://madmaxmovies.com/mad-max/mad-max-cars/max-yellow-xb-interceptor-sedan/max-leaps-out-of-yellow-xb.jpg

fast freddy | Jul 21, 2017 8:20:34 PM | 29
Craven McCain has been teflon for his entire political career and he was teflon when he wrecked airplanes in the navy. McCain is just a teflon guy. Untouchable. Probably has "dossiers" on anybody that can damage him.
nobody | Jul 21, 2017 8:34:56 PM | 30

Sure, it's tempting to think this:

But we do know that Islamic Republic is a creature of the British. (Longstanding history between the worldly priests of Iran and the defunct British Empire. Read up.)

nobody | Jul 21, 2017 10:26:39 PM | 33
https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480 ">https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480">https://img.washingtonpost.com/wp-apps/imrs.php?src=https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_960w/2010-2019/Wires/Images/2017-01-13/AP/Trump_Defense_Secretary_75769.jpg-2f26d.jpg&w=480

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/FEHE4E_I5FM/hqdefault.jpg

Trully, who but the ignorant make war against ALLAH?

ProPeace | Jul 22, 2017 1:06:13 AM | 35
They throw a hissy fit Neocon madness: We can't have peace in Syria, that would be giving in to Russia!

This is huge. An absolute outrage. The first real Trump concession to Putin that undermines U.S. security directly. https://t.co/h9WR4brHHK -- Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) July 19, 2017
Yeah, Right | Jul 22, 2017 6:40:44 AM | 45
@2 I have no doubt that McCain's medical condition is real. I well remember the news stories in early June when McCain put up a bizarre performance during testimony by James Comey - asking questions that simply didn't make any sense whatsoever and leaving everyone utterly gob-smacked regarding McCain's mental state.

So, yeah, brain tumour.

ghostship | Jul 23, 2017 6:03:50 AM | 62

OMG. the Washington Borg's house newspaper has woken up to Trump's surrender to Putin on Syria.
Trump's breathtaking surrender to Russia

But once again, President Trump, after extended personal contact with Vladimir Putin and the complete surrender to Russian interests in Syria, acts precisely as though he has been bought and sold by a strategic rival. The ignoble cutoff of aid to American proxies means that "Putin won in Syria," as an administration official was quoted by The Post.

Concessions without reciprocation, made against the better judgment of foreign policy advisers, smack more of payoff than outreach. If this is what Trump's version of "winning" looks like, what might further victory entail? The re- creation of the Warsaw Pact? The reversion of Alaska to Russian control?

Although this opinion article was posted a couple of days ago, there been no shitstorm near Trump about it since suggesting that Trump's one-man distraction/disinformation smokescreen is firing successfully on all cylinders.

Meanwhile, some in the US Army at least understand that once the battle to liquidate the ISIS Caliphate is other, they'll have problems remaining in Syria .

'We're bad day away from Russians asking, 'Why are you still in Syria?' – top US commander

A US special operations commander has admitted that an extended US stay in Syria runs contrary to international law and that Russia would be entirely justified in questioning its presence there.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, Special Operations Command chief Army General, Raymond Thomas was asked whether American forces will remain in Syria, after Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) is defeated, possibly, to support the Kurdish forces in the north of the country.

Thomas acknowledged that American forces are fighting in a sovereign Syria, where they will likely "have no ability to stay" if that presence is questioned "in terms of international law," Thomas said, replying to the Washington Post journalist's question.


Although I'm sure that the State Department/Pentagon lawyers are looking for a reason to stay.
somebody | Jul 23, 2017 6:40:48 AM | 63
Posted by: nobody | Jul 22, 2017 11:08:41 PM | 61

Yep. Made in the USA .

By the time of Richard Nixon's arrival in office in January 1969, Iran was already America's single-largest arms purchaser. Whilst this is notable in and of itself, it is vastly overshadowed by what followed. By late 1972 Nixon leveraged U.S. Middle Eastern regional policy primarily around the focal point of a militarily strong, pro-American Iran.

Sounds familiar? Iranian industrialization and westernization happened during the Shah. That is part of above story. Same story in Saudi Arabia .

In Saudi Arabia, the 1960s, and especially the 1970s, had been years of explosive development, liberal experimentation, and openness to the West. A reversal of this trend came about abruptly in 1979, the year in which the Grand Mosque in Mecca came under attack by religiously motivated critics of the monarchy, and the Islamic Republic of Iran was established.

My suspicion is that this "reversal" was also made in the USA as a consequence of the strategy to use Islam as a "green belt" against the Soviet Union.

Same "reversal" from Atatürk happened in Turkey.

[Jul 21, 2017] Is the CIA Reformable by Melvin A. Goodman

Notable quotes:
"... tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout! ..."
"... In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt. ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA ..."
"... The Failure of Intelligence ..."
"... Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. ..."
Jul 21, 2017 | www.truth-out.org

The CIA's mission has gone dangerously and lethally astray, argues Melvin A. Goodman, former CIA intelligence analyst.

Whistleblower at the CIA tells the story of the corruption Melvin A. Goodman observed within the intelligence agency and what he did to expose it. NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake says this book "serves in the public interest as a warning and wake-up call for what's at stake and why we cannot trust the CIA or the intelligence establishment to do the right thing." Click here to order a copy today by making a donation to Truthout!

In this excerpt, , former CIA intelligence analyst Melvin A. Goodman ponders the meanings of the words whistleblower, dissident and contrarian, how they apply to himself and others, and whether the CIA can ever be repaired or rebuilt.

Whistleblowers. Dissidents. Contrarians.

The terms are used synonymously by pundits and the public, and I've been all three at one time or another in order to expose improprieties and illegalities in the secret government, and to inform the American public of policies that compromise the freedom and security of US citizens and weaken US standing in the global community.

I have never liked the terms contrarian or dissident. I've always believed that my criticism should be conventional wisdom. The term whistleblower is more complex because it often raises questions of patriotism or sedition. Chelsea Manning received commutation from her 35-year prison sentence for revealing so-called secrets that documented the terror and violence of the baseless US war in Iraq. Members of the Bush administration who launched the invasion of Iraq in 2003 are considered honorable members of our society, although their acts involved the corruption of intelligence; caused the death of thousands of US soldiers and foreign civilians; terrorized civilian populations; perpetrated the criminal use of torture and abuse; sanctioned use of secret prisons and extraordinary rendition; and caused the destabilization of the region that has set the stage for strategic advances by Al Qaeda and ISIS.

Edward Snowden, if he had remained in the United States, would have faced an even longer prison sentence because he revealed the massive NSA surveillance program that was illegal and immoral, and that violated the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal seizures and searches. Manning and Snowden admit to breaking US laws, but their actions were never as serious as the law-breaking, including massive violations of privacy, that they exposed.

The debate over whether Snowden was a traitor is fatuous. As a result of Snowden's revelations, we learned that the National Security Agency logged domestic phone calls and emails for years, recorded the metadata of correspondence between Americans, and, in some cases, exploited the content of emails. The case against Private Manning was similarly fatuous. Manning provided evidence of the US cover-up of torture by our Iraqi allies; a US Army helicopter opening fire on a group of civilians, including two Reuters journalists; and the use of an air strike to cover up the execution of civilians. Some of these acts were war crimes.

There is no more compelling evidence of the unconscionable behavior of US personnel in Iraq than the callous dialogue between the crew members of the helicopter regarding the civilian deaths and particularly the firing on those Iraqis who came to recover the dead bodies of Iraqi civilians. Manning's documents exposed this behavior, but her efforts were ridiculed by former secretary of defense Robert Gates, who described it as examining war by "looking through a straw."

To make matters worse, American journalists have criticized their colleagues (Julian Assange of WikiLeaks and Glenn Greenwald [then of The Guardian]) who brought the Snowden-Manning revelations to the attention of the public. David Gregory, then host of the venerable "Meet the Press" on NBC, asked Greenwald "to the extent that you have aided and abetted Snowden ... why shouldn't you ... be charged with a crime?" Jeffrey Toobin, a lawyer who labors for CNN and The New Yorker, called Snowden a "grandiose narcissist who belongs in prison" and referred to Greenwald's partner, David Miranda, who was detained by British authorities for nine hours under anti-terror laws, the equivalent of a "drug mule."

The king of calumny is Michael Grunwald, a senior correspondent for Time, who wrote on Twitter that he couldn't "wait to write a defense of the drone strike that takes out Julian Assange." The New York Times also targeted Assange, although the paper cooperated with WikiLeaks in 2010 in publishing reams of information from Private Manning's revelations. Of course, if Time or the New York Times had broken these stories, they would have built new shelves to hold their Pulitzer Prizes. Their hypocrisy was exposed by David Carr of the New York Times, who expressed shock at finding Assange and Greenwald "under attack, not just from a government bent on keeping its secrets, but from friendly fire by fellow journalists."

I didn't reveal abuses as great as those revealed by Manning and Snowden or Daniel Ellsberg, but I do claim status as a whistleblower because of my revelations before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during confirmation hearings for Bob Gates, who was nominated by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 to be director of central intelligence. According to US law, the term "whistleblower" applies to anyone who "reasonably believes" he or she is disclosing a violation of law or gross mismanagement, gross waste, or abuse of authority. My testimony documented for the first time the intentional distortion of intelligence by CIA director William Casey and Deputy Director Gates in order to serve the agenda of Ronald Reagan and his administration.

Bob Gates was an old friend, but the friendship ended when he routinely distorted intelligence throughout the 1980s as deputy director for intelligence and deputy director of the CIA. In destroying the political culture of the CIA, he created a toxic and corrupt environment at the Agency, and the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA detention and torture reminds us that the Agency hasn't recovered.

Being a contrarian was easy and natural for me. In fact, no one should think about entering the intelligence profession without good contrarian instincts. Such instincts would include an innate skepticism, the doubting of conventional wisdom and a willingness to challenge authority, which translates to an ability to tell truth to power. These contrarian instincts are essential to the success of any intelligence organization. As Rogers and Hammerstein would have it, it was "doing what comes naturally!"

My book The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA was the first insider account from an intelligence analyst regarding the skewed and politicized assessments of the CIA's Directorate of Intelligence -- the Agency's analytic arm. I also exposed the strategic failure of covert actions that were never intended to be a part of President Harry Truman's CIA. I wrote the book for many reasons, including the need to describe the inability of journalists to take into account, let alone understand, the dangers of politicization and the actions of CIA directors such as Casey, Gates, and more recently Goss and Tenet. The political pliancy of these directors fully compromised the intelligence mission of the CIA, and it was political pliancy that made directors such as Gates and Tenet so attractive to Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II.

Truthout Progressive Pick
Whistleblower at the CIA: An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence

"Urgent, timely, and deeply recommended." -- Daniel Ellsberg. Click here now to get the book!


For the past quarter century, my testimony and writings have exposed the failure to honor President Truman's purpose in creating a CIA to provide policymakers with accurate, unbiased accounts of international developments, and have highlighted the CIA's readiness to cater to the White House. This view is not original with me; in fact, it was President Truman who first acknowledged that the CIA he created in 1947 had gotten off the tracks under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy in the 1950s and early 1960s.

In December 1963, less than a month after the assassination of President Kennedy, Truman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post to document the wrongs of the CIA. He concluded that his efforts to "create the quiet intelligence arm of the Presidency" had been subverted by a "sinister" and "mysterious" agency that was conducting far too many clandestine activities in peacetime. I lectured at the Truman Library in the summer of 2014, and found a note in Truman's hand that stated the CIA was not designed to "initiate policy or to act as a spy organization. That was never the intention when it was organized."

In The Failure of Intelligence , I documented the CIA's resistance to reform and the corruption in both the analytical and operational directorates. I made a case for starting over at the CIA, not dissimilar from the case made by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan 25 years ago as a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Not every agency or department of government can be reformed, and it is possible that the intricate web of habits, procedures, and culture places the CIA in the non-reformable category. Once the political culture of an institution such as the CIA has been broken, it is extremely difficult -- if not impossible -- to rebuild or repair it.

Copyright (2017) by Melvin A. Goodman. Not be reprinted without permission of the publisher, City Lights Books. Melvin A. Goodman Melvin A. Goodman served as a senior analyst and Division Chief at the CIA from 1966 to 1990. An expert on US relations with Russia, his writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Harper's and many others. He is author of six books on US intelligence and international security. Related Stories CIA Asked to Release Documents Related to Massacre in El Salvador By Carmen Rodriguez, CIP Americas Program | Report CIA Watchdog "Mistakenly" Destroys Its Sole Copy of Senate Torture Report By Sarah Lazare, AlterNet | News Analysis CIA Cables Detail Its New Deputy Director's Role in Torture By Raymond Bonner, ProPublica | Report

[Jul 17, 2017] This Is The Most Dangerous Time Ever Ex-CIA Boss Says US To Blame For Scourge Without Parallel ISIS

Notable quotes:
"... Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall." ..."
"... My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil. ..."
"... I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them. ..."
"... Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so. ..."
"... The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list. ..."
"... CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection. ..."
"... CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings. ..."
"... No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today! Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame. ..."
"... The Devil's Chessboard ..."
Nov 23, 2015 | Zero Hedge

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," warns former CIA Director Jack Devine, saying that, with "frankly uncivilized" ISIS, there is a greater risk of violence worldwide than ever before.

According to The Hill,

"I think this is the most dangerous time in terms of sustained violence," he said on "The Cats Roundtable" in an interview airing Sunday on New York's AM-970.

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Devine cited the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as an unprecedented threat in terms of its wanton disregard for human life...

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

"You have a group in ISIS today that is frankly uncivilized. These folks could get stronger and stronger. We basically have to destroy ISIS over there," Devine said.

Devine argued that dismantling ISIS's command structure is crucial for minimizing the danger it presents, much like al Qaeda before them. "We killed three-fourths of their leadership," he said of al Qaeda. "We have to do the same thing with ISIS. "We have to destroy their refuge over there. When they start to lose, their recruiting numbers start to fall."

Devine, who mainly served during the Cold War, said ISIS is a scourge without parallel because it has no concern for self-preservation.

"There is nothing that can be compared with nuclear weapons and their use," he said of tensions between the U.S. and the former Soviet Union.

"[But] people felt safe in the sense there was countervailing balance," he added. "Early in our contest with the Russians, it was clear we had checks and balances."

Finally Devine admits...

"If there's blame to be put, it's on our failure to have done that by this point."

Selected Skeptical Comments

i_call_you_my_base

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s..."

"And by dealt I mean trained and funded."

Looney

John Kerry to the MSM:

Do not use "Al Qaeda" or "Al Nustra" - just call them "Allies" (pronounced Al Lies). ;-)

Looney

Vatican_cameo

"I have never felt more uncomfortable than I do today," he told host John Catsimatidis. "Some percentage of the world today is always either unbalanced or radicalized. When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

By small group he means CIA, Right? I thought he would have been a little clearer.

Occident Mortal

My guess is that Iran have done a deal with Putin in that once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe. Russia is allowing Iran into the European gas market because Bandar threatened Sochi, and Putin wants to end the House of Saud in retaliation. Two weeks from now the world is going to make laws that pushes countries towards natural gas and away from coal and oil.

Paveway IV

"...once ISIS is swept away Iran gets to build a gas pipeline through Iraq (which it controls) and through Syria into Europe..."

I would say that's accurate, since the U.S. put ISIS there to block the Iran - Iraq - Syria pipeline. When Russia destroys ISIS, the previously planned pipeline can proceed. It has nothing to do with Russian 'permission' - Putin expects someone to eventually be sending gas up from the Middle East once the slaughter stops. He doesn't care who it is or how much. It's not going to displace more than a fraction of the Russian supply to Europe. Syria rejected the Qatari pipeline for its own reasons - probably because Qatar was planning on killing Assad and replacing him with a Western stooge well before the Qatari-Turkey pipeline was announced. In fact, the announcement was pretty much an insult to Syria. Qatar quite arrogantly announced that they WOULD be building the pipeline through Syria without bothering to ask them.

The U.S. blocked the first Iran pipeline (called the Persian Pipeline) FROM IRAN to Iraq in 2010 by forcing the Swiss company that partnered with Iran to back out due to Israeli - ooops, 'Western' sanctions on Iran. The second Iran-sourced NG pipeline from Iran through Iraq and Syria - called the Friendship Pipeline - was agreed to in 2012 by the countries involved. That's when the U.S. launched it's failed coup attempt in Syria and let its ISIS mad-dogs loose in Iraq. Tyler usually refers to this by the derogatory label of "Islamic Pipeline" - a snide label that Kagan-PNAC and Western oil companies used. Tyler never refers to the Western-backed Qatari pipeline as the Jihadi Pipeline, nor does he refer to the Kirkuk-Haifa oil pipeline as the Jewish Pipeline. I'm not sure about the inconsistency - maybe he's trying to make some point.

Putin negotiates with everyone. He was even talking with Israel about helping them with the Leviathan pipeline. The U.S. seems to favor 'regime change' as the preferred strategy to expand its oil interests where it has no business doing so.

goldhedge

The CIA guy doesn't mention the House of Saud.

Pfft.

Jack Burton

Good catch! And there never do.

CIA and House of Saud have done a long term deal to look out for each other in this world. The CIA serves no master, it is the fucking master. It does deals that are anti American, and they don't care, because America is just a sugar daddy to them. We are the chumps who pay their bills, while they put half of all honest Americans on their enemies list.

CIA is international, not American. They are the hit men for the biggest corporations on earth, and most especially the biggest energy firms. Oil and CIA go together, and there is the Saudi connection.

CIA is the lead agent if world Islamic extremism, they don't fight it, they nurture it! Their long term goal is to use mass Islamic terror armies to do what the CIA and Corporate masters want done. Need a police state in America? Do a hit on America 9/11. Need to eliminate Russia? Create ISIS and direct them against Russia's allies. And you can take it from there. It will continue on as before. Nobody left has the power to take down the CIA terror rings.

scrappy

Somewhere it's 3:00 AM

Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton Claims Saudi Arabia is the Largest Donor to "Salafism Terrorists" Worldwide

http://refreshingnews99.blogspot.in/2015/11/wikileaks-hillary-clinton-cl...

Clinton Foundation's Colombian 'Private Equity Fund' Deletes Website

http://investmentwatchblog.com/clinton-foundations-colombian-private-equ...

sgt_doom

"I dealt with terrorists in South America in the 1970s, but they never attacked innocent women and children indiscriminately," he said.

No shit, sherlock, and it's because of you and the most vile mass murderer of all time, the CIA (and DIA, and NSA, and FBI, etc.), but predominantly the CIA and the Pentagon, that ISIS and such exists today!

Whether it was Allen Dulles coordinating the escape of endless number of mass murderering Nazis, who would end up in CIA-overthrown countries, aiding and abetting their secret police (Example: Walter Rauff, who was responsible for at least 200,000 deaths, ending up as an advisor to Augusto Pinochet's secret police or DINA) or the grandson of the first chairman of the Bank for International Settlements, Richard Helms and his MKULTRA, you devils are to blame.

Recommended reading (to better understand why the USA is known as the Great Satan):

The Devil's Chessboard, by David Talbot

http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+devil%27s+chessboard&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=78875381302&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2565125617248777980&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_34lcz93rcf_e_p4

logicalman
Funny how these fucks can come out and say this kind of shit and get away with it. The fucker's basically pleading guilty to murder, FFS.
Ms No
They didn't kill anybody in South America my ass.... The school of Americas, Operation Condor, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatamala, El Salvador .... who the hell are they kidding? The CIA has always been covered and nobody ever cared.
Perimetr
"If there's blame to be put. . ."

It's on the CIA for running its global terrorist operations, funded by the $1 trillion dollars a year coming from its Afghanistan heroin operation.

Noplebian

US Gives Their Proxy Army ISIS 45 Minute Warning Before Air Strikes......

http://beforeitsnews.com/conspiracy-theories/2015/11/us-gives-their-prox...

blindman

sirs and madams,
.
"Christmas celebration this year is going to be a charade because the whole world is at war. We are close to Christmas. There will be lights, there will be parties, bright trees, even Nativity scenes – all decked out – while the world continues to wage war.

It's all a charade. The world has not understood the way of peace. The whole world is at war. A war can be justified, so to speak, with many, many reasons, but when all the world as it is today, at war, piecemeal though that war may be-a little here, a little there-there is no justification.

What shall remain in the wake of this war, in the midst of which we are living now? What shall remain? Ruins, thousands of children without education, so many innocent victims, and lots of money in the pockets of arms dealers."

Francis I
.
http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/2015/11/here-is-british-banned-...

Dinero D. Profit

Ladies and gentlemen of ZH.

In history, what must be, will be.

The discovery of America by Europe had to happen. The savages had to be eliminated and The Revolutionary War had to happen. Slavery had to begin, and after it, segregation had to begin, but, what must be, will be, slavery and segregation had to end. Old School colonization of poor nations had to happen. The Boer War had to happen. The Spanish American War had to happen. The Main had to be sunk. WWI had to happen. Calvary charges had to end. Totalitarian Communism had to happen. Germany's 20's depression had to happen, reactionary jingoism had to happen, and Kristallnacht and the Reichstag fire had to happen. The Allies had to win WWII, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to be publicity stunts, and the Cold War had to begin. JFK had to be wacked, the Vietnam War had to happen, the FED still was happening. Civil Rights laws had to be passed. Recognition of China had to happen, going off the gold standard had to happen, and Nixon had to be kicked out of office. Corporate Globalization had to begin. After Carter an actor had to be President. Unions had to be stifled. Perestroika and glasnost had to happen. The Berlin Wall had to come down. The MIC had to find another enemy, and suddenly 9/11 had to happen.

Over population has to happen, poisoning the environment has to happen, and the NWO has to happen.

Ladies and gentlemen, the NWO is here, and there is nothing you can do, and nothing you could have done to stop it.

Edit. I see none of our supposed enemies 'truth bombing' 9/11, 7/7, and the 13th Paris attacks. I see no trade embagoes, I see no arguments in the Security Council over the illegality of US/Nato bombing in Syria.

blindman

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-zuesse/jimmy-carter-is-correct-t_b_79...
Jimmy Carter Is Correct That the U.S. Is No Longer a Democracy
Posted: 08/03/2015 11:48 am EDT
.
On July 28, Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 Citizens United decision and the 2014 McCutcheon decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into U.S. political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered:

It violates the essence of what made America a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors, and U.S. Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a great deal more to sell." ...
.
it is the money "system", man.

blindman

corporations and hoodwink powers ride on the indifference of the damned, the silence of the dead and doomed.

Dinero D. Profit

The Satus Quo can rely upon the loyalty of their employees, Congress, the military, the military industrial contractors, their workers and family members, the crime control establishment, all Uniersity professors and employees, and every employee of all publically traded companies, and every person employed by the MSM.

The dead and doomed are irrelevant. If you have an establishment job, you'll obey and ask no vital questions.

Dick Buttkiss
Sunnis and Shiites hate each other far more than they hate Christians, Jews, or anyone else. If it weren't for oil, the USG wouldn't give a flyiing fuck if they anihilated each other. Instead, it conspires with them in ways far beyond its ability to comprehend, much less navigate. Thus is the US ship of state heading for the shoals of its destruction, the only question being how much of the country and the outside world it takes down with it.
ross81
thats bullshit Western propaganda that Shiites hate Sunnis and vice versa. In the same way that the Brits stirred up Protestant hatred of Catholics in Ulster for centuries, the US/Israel/Saudi does the same with Sunnis vs Shiites on a much bigger scale in the Middle East. Divide and Conquer.
geno-econ
This is getting scary in that one or two more attacks will result in travel freezes, flow of Middle East oil and result in huge increase in military as well as Homeland security costs. A depression or economic collapse a real possibility Perhaps time for a Peace Conference of all interested parties. The US started this shit and should be the first to call for a Peace Conference. Macho talk will only make things worse.
moonmac
We can print trillions out of thin air at the drop of a hat but we can't kill a small group of terrorists. Got it!
sgt_doom
Or, we pour billions of dollars every year into the CIA, NSA, and DIA, and only a poor old fart such as myself can figure out that Bilal Erdogan is the ISIS connection to oil trading (Turkish president, Erdogan's son) and Erdogan's daughter is with ISIS?
GRDguy
Ex-CIA boss gets it wrong, again.

"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

should be:

"When you have a small group of financial sociopaths willing to lie-to, steal-from and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

and you'll probably be punished, jailed or shot for tryin' to protect yourself and your family.

Ban KKiller
War profiteer. That is it. Along wth James Comey, James Clapper, Jack Welch and the list is almost endless...
BarnacleBill
"When you have a small group of people who are willing to lose their lives and kill anyone they can, we're all vulnerable."

Simply take out the word "their", and the description perfectly fits the CIA, MI6 and their like. For them, it's all a business deal, nothing more - a massive slum-clearance project. Destroy people's houses, provide accommodation and food, ship them somewhere else; do it again and again until the money-printing machine conks out. It's money for old rope.

http://barlowscayman.blogspot.com/2015/11/slum-clearance-on-massive-scale.html

And, yes, we're all vulnerable. The man got that right.

Duc888
"You get the politicians you deserve."

CIA types are appointed, not elected.

Duc888
I do not know if there are any Catherine Austin Fitts fans on this web site but this is definitely worth the time. The FEDGOV came after her non stop for 6 years when she worked for HUD under Bush Sr. If nothing else this lady is tenacious. In this presentation she uncorks exactly HOW the deep black budgets are paid for...and it ain't your tax dollars. What she uncovered while at HUD was simply amazing..... and she made an excellent point. At the top... it's NOT "fraud" because that's how it was all deigned right from the get go after wwII. It brings to mind the funny computer saying....."it's a feature, not a bug".

She digs right into how the CIA was funded... Truly amazing stuff. ...of course the dick head brigade will come along here and deride her because of the conference she is speaking at.... well, who the fuck cares, her presentation is excellent and filled with facts.

Yes it is 1 hour 20 minutes long but imho it is well worth the watch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0mimIp8mr8

Dragon HAwk
After reading all these posts my only question is why does the CIA allow Zero Hedge to Exist ?

except of course to collect names...

[Jul 17, 2017] CIA sought to hack Apple iPhones from earliest days

Notable quotes:
"... Efforts to break into Apple products by government security researchers started as early as 2006, a year before Apple introduced its first iPhone and continued through the launch of the iPad in 2010 and beyond, The Intercept said. ..."
Mar 10, 2015 | The Intercept/Reuters

CIA researchers have worked for nearly a decade to break the security protecting Apple (AAPL.O) phones and tablets, investigative news site The Intercept reported on Tuesday, citing documents obtained from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The report cites top-secret U.S. documents that suggest U.S. government researchers had created a version of XCode, Apple's software application development tool, to create surveillance backdoors into programs distributed on Apple's App Store.

The Intercept has in the past published a number of reports from documents released by whistleblower Snowden. The site's editors include Glenn Greenwald, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work in reporting on Snowden's revelations, and by Oscar-winning documentary maker Laura Poitras.

It said the latest documents, which covered a period from 2006 to 2013, stop short of proving whether U.S. intelligence researchers had succeeded in breaking Apple's encryption coding, which secures user data and communications.

Efforts to break into Apple products by government security researchers started as early as 2006, a year before Apple introduced its first iPhone and continued through the launch of the iPad in 2010 and beyond, The Intercept said.

Breeching Apple security was part of a top-secret program by the U.S. government, aided by British intelligence researchers, to hack "secure communications products, both foreign and domestic" including Google Android phones, it said.

Silicon Valley technology companies have in recent months sought to restore trust among consumers around the world that their products have not become tools for widespread government surveillance of citizens.

Last September, Apple strengthened encryption methods for data stored on iPhones, saying the changes meant the company no longer had any way to extract customer data on the devices, even if a government ordered it to with a search warrant. Silicon Valley rival Google Inc (GOOGL.O) said shortly afterward that it also planned to increase the use of stronger encryption tools.

Both companies said the moves were aimed at protecting the privacy of users of their products and that this was partly a response to wide scale U.S. government spying on Internet users revealed by Snowden in 2013.

An Apple spokesman pointed to public statements by Chief Executive Tim Cook on privacy, but declined to comment further.

"I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services," Cook wrote in a statement on privacy and security published last year. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will."

Leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have expressed concern that turning such privacy-enhancing tools into mass market features could prevent governments from tracking militants planning attacks. The CIA did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

[Jul 16, 2017] WikiLeaks - Vault 7 Projects

wikileaks.org
Today, July 6th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the BothanSpy and Gyrfalcon projects of the CIA. The implants described in both projects are designed to intercept and exfiltrate SSH credentials but work on different operating systems with different attack vectors.

BothanSpy is an implant that targets the SSH client program Xshell on the Microsoft Windows platform and steals user credentials for all active SSH sessions. These credentials are either username and password in case of password-authenticated SSH sessions or username, filename of private SSH key and key password if public key authentication is used. BothanSpy can exfiltrate the stolen credentials to a CIA-controlled server (so the implant never touches the disk on the target system) or save it in an enrypted file for later exfiltration by other means. BothanSpy is installed as a Shellterm 3.x extension on the target machine.

Gyrfalcon is an implant that targets the OpenSSH client on Linux platforms (centos,debian,rhel,suse,ubuntu). The implant can not only steal user credentials of active SSH sessions, but is also capable of collecting full or partial OpenSSH session traffic. All collected information is stored in an encrypted file for later exfiltration. It is installed and configured by using a CIA-developed root kit (JQC/KitV) on the target machine. OutlawCountry 30 June, 2017 Today, June 30th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the OutlawCountry project of the CIA that targets computers running the Linux operating system. OutlawCountry allows for the redirection of all outbound network traffic on the target computer to CIA controlled machines for ex- and infiltration purposes. The malware consists of a kernel module that creates a hidden netfilter table on a Linux target; with knowledge of the table name, an operator can create rules that take precedence over existing netfilter/iptables rules and are concealed from an user or even system administrator.

The installation and persistence method of the malware is not described in detail in the document; an operator will have to rely on the available CIA exploits and backdoors to inject the kernel module into a target operating system. OutlawCountry v1.0 contains one kernel module for 64-bit CentOS/RHEL 6.x; this module will only work with default kernels. Also, OutlawCountry v1.0 only supports adding covert DNAT rules to the PREROUTING chain. Elsa 28 June, 2017 Today, June 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the ELSA project of the CIA. ELSA is a geo-location malware for WiFi-enabled devices like laptops running the Micorosoft Windows operating system. Once persistently installed on a target machine using separate CIA exploits, the malware scans visible WiFi access points and records the ESS identifier, MAC address and signal strength at regular intervals. To perform the data collection the target machine does not have to be online or connected to an access point; it only needs to be running with an enabled WiFi device. If it is connected to the internet, the malware automatically tries to use public geo-location databases from Google or Microsoft to resolve the position of the device and stores the longitude and latitude data along with the timestamp. The collected access point/geo-location information is stored in encrypted form on the device for later exfiltration. The malware itself does not beacon this data to a CIA back-end; instead the operator must actively retrieve the log file from the device - again using separate CIA exploits and backdoors.

The ELSA project allows the customization of the implant to match the target environment and operational objectives like sampling interval, maximum size of the logfile and invocation/persistence method. Additional back-end software (again using public geo-location databases from Google and Microsoft) converts unprocessed access point information from exfiltrated logfiles to geo-location data to create a tracking profile of the target device. Leaked Documents ELSA User Manual
Brutal Kangaroo 22 June, 2017 Today, June 22nd 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the Brutal Kangaroo project of the CIA. Brutal Kangaroo is a tool suite for Microsoft Windows that targets closed networks by air gap jumping using thumbdrives. Brutal Kangaroo components create a custom covert network within the target closed network and providing functionality for executing surveys, directory listings, and arbitrary executables.

The documents describe how a CIA operation can infiltrate a closed network (or a single air-gapped computer) within an organization or enterprise without direct access. It first infects a Internet-connected computer within the organization (referred to as "primary host") and installs the BrutalKangeroo malware on it. When a user is using the primary host and inserts a USB stick into it, the thumbdrive itself is infected with a separate malware. If this thumbdrive is used to copy data between the closed network and the LAN/WAN, the user will sooner or later plug the USB disk into a computer on the closed network. By browsing the USB drive with Windows Explorer on such a protected computer, it also gets infected with exfiltration/survey malware. If multiple computers on the closed network are under CIA control, they form a covert network to coordinate tasks and data exchange. Although not explicitly stated in the documents, this method of compromising closed networks is very similar to how Stuxnet worked.

The Brutal Kangaroo project consists of the following components: Drifting Deadline is the thumbdrive infection tool, Shattered Assurance is a server tool that handles automated infection of thumbdrives (as the primary mode of propagation for the Brutal Kangaroo suite), Broken Promise is the Brutal Kangaroo postprocessor (to evaluate collected information) and Shadow is the primary persistence mechanism (a stage 2 tool that is distributed across a closed network and acts as a covert command-and-control network; once multiple Shadow instances are installed and share drives, tasking and payloads can be sent back-and-forth).

The primary execution vector used by infected thumbdrives is a vulnerability in the Microsoft Windows operating system that can be exploited by hand-crafted link files that load and execute programs (DLLs) without user interaction. Older versions of the tool suite used a mechanism called EZCheese that was a 0-day exploit until March 2015 ; newer versions seem use a similar, but yet unknown link file vulnerability ( Lachesis / RiverJack ) related to the library-ms functionality of the operating system. Leaked Documents Brutal Kangaroo -- Drifting Deadline v1.2 - User Guide
EzCheese v6.3 - User Guide
EzCheese v6.2 - User Guide (Rev. B)
EzCheese v6.2 - User Guide (Rev. A)
EZCheese v6.2 - IVV TDR Slides
See more Cherry Blossom 15 June, 2017 Today, June 15th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the CherryBlossom project of the CIA that was developed and implemented with the help of the US nonprofit Stanford Research Institute (SRI International) .

CherryBlossom provides a means of monitoring the Internet activity of and performing software exploits on Targets of interest. In particular, CherryBlossom is focused on compromising wireless networking devices, such as wireless routers and access points (APs), to achieve these goals. Such Wi-Fi devices are commonly used as part of the Internet infrastructure in private homes, public spaces (bars, hotels or airports), small and medium sized companies as well as enterprise offices. Therefore these devices are the ideal spot for "Man-In-The-Middle" attacks, as they can easily monitor, control and manipulate the Internet traffic of connected users. By altering the data stream between the user and Internet services, the infected device can inject malicious content into the stream to exploit vulnerabilities in applications or the operating system on the computer of the targeted user.

The wireless device itself is compromized by implanting a customized CherryBlossom firmware on it; some devices allow upgrading their firmware over a wireless link, so no physical access to the device is necessary for a successful infection. Once the new firmware on the device is flashed, the router or access point will become a so-called FlyTrap . A FlyTrap will beacon over the Internet to a Command & Control server referred to as the CherryTree . The beaconed information contains device status and security information that the CherryTree logs to a database. In response to this information, the CherryTree sends a Mission with operator-defined tasking. An operator can use CherryWeb , a browser-based user interface to view Flytrap status and security info, plan Mission tasking, view Mission -related data, and perform system administration tasks.

Missions may include tasking on Targets to monitor, actions/exploits to perform on a Target , and instructions on when and how to send the next beacon. Tasks for a Flytrap include (among others) the scan for email addresses , chat usernames , MAC addresses and VoIP numbers in passing network traffic to trigger additional actions, the copying of the full network traffic of a Target , the redirection of a Target 's browser (e.g., to Windex for browser exploitation) or the proxying of a Target 's network connections. FlyTrap can also setup VPN tunnels to a CherryBlossom -owned VPN server to give an operator access to clients on the Flytrap 's WLAN/LAN for further exploitation. When the Flytrap detects a Target , it will send an Alert to the CherryTree and commence any actions/exploits against the Target . The CherryTree logs Alerts to a database, and, potentially distributes Alert information to interested parties (via Catapult ). Leaked Documents CherryBlossom -- System Req Spec (CDRL-10)
CherryBlossom -- Quick Start Guide
WiFi Devices
CherryBlossom -- Installation Guide
CherryBlossom -- Operating Environment (S//NF)
See more Pandemic 1 June, 2017 Today, June 1st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the "Pandemic" project of the CIA, a persistent implant for Microsoft Windows machines that share files (programs) with remote users in a local network. "Pandemic" targets remote users by replacing application code on-the-fly with a trojaned version if the program is retrieved from the infected machine. To obfuscate its activity, the original file on the file server remains unchanged; it is only modified/replaced while in transit from the pandemic file server before being executed on the computer of the remote user. The implant allows the replacement of up to 20 programs with a maximum size of 800 MB for a selected list of remote users (targets).

As the name suggests, a single computer on a local network with shared drives that is infected with the "Pandemic" implant will act like a "Patient Zero" in the spread of a disease. It will infect remote computers if the user executes programs stored on the pandemic file server. Although not explicitly stated in the documents, it seems technically feasible that remote computers that provide file shares themselves become new pandemic file servers on the local network to reach new targets. Leaked Documents Pandemic 1.1 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.1-RC1 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.1-RC1 -- IVVRR Checklist
Pandemic 1.0 (S/NF)
Pandemic 1.0 -- IVVRR Checklist
See more Athena 19 May, 2017 Today, May 19th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes documents from the "Athena" project of the CIA. "Athena" - like the related "Hera" system - provides remote beacon and loader capabilities on target computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system (from Windows XP to Windows 10). Once installed, the malware provides a beaconing capability (including configuration and task handling), the memory loading/unloading of malicious payloads for specific tasks and the delivery and retrieval of files to/from a specified directory on the target system. It allows the operator to configure settings during runtime (while the implant is on target) to customize it to an operation.

According to the documentation (see Athena Technology Overview ), the malware was developed by the CIA in cooperation with Siege Technologies , a self-proclaimed cyber security company based in New Hampshire, US. On their website, Siege Technologies states that the company " ... focuses on leveraging offensive cyberwar technologies and methodologies to develop predictive cyber security solutions for insurance, government and other targeted markets. ". On November 15th, 2016 Nehemiah Security announced the acquisition of Siege Technologies.

In an email from HackingTeam (published by WikiLeaks here ), Jason Syversen, founder of Siege Technologies with a background in cryptography and hacking, " ... said he set out to create the equivalent of the military's so-called probability of kill metric, a statistical analysis of whether an attack is likely to succeed. 'I feel more comfortable working on electronic warfare,' he said. 'It's a little different than bombs and nuclear weapons -- that's a morally complex field to be in. Now instead of bombing things and having collateral damage, you can really reduce civilian casualties, which is a win for everybody.' " Leaked Documents Athena v1.0 User Guide
Athena Technology Overview
Athena (Design)
Athena (Demo)
Athena (Design/Engine)
See more AfterMidnight 12 May, 2017 Today, May 12th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes "AfterMidnight" and "Assassin", two CIA malware frameworks for the Microsoft Windows platform.

"AfterMidnight" allows operators to dynamically load and execute malware payloads on a target machine. The main controller disguises as a self-persisting Windows Service DLL and provides secure execution of "Gremlins" via a HTTPS based Listening Post (LP) system called "Octopus". Once installed on a target machine AM will call back to a configured LP on a configurable schedule, checking to see if there is a new plan for it to execute. If there is, it downloads and stores all needed components before loading all new gremlins in memory. "Gremlins" are small AM payloads that are meant to run hidden on the target and either subvert the functionality of targeted software, survey the target (including data exfiltration) or provide internal services for other gremlins. The special payload "AlphaGremlin" even has a custom script language which allows operators to schedule custom tasks to be executed on the target machine.

"Assassin" is a similar kind of malware; it is an automated implant that provides a simple collection platform on remote computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system. Once the tool is installed on the target, the implant is run within a Windows service process. "Assassin" (just like "AfterMidnight") will then periodically beacon to its configured listening post(s) to request tasking and deliver results. Communication occurs over one or more transport protocols as configured before or during deployment. The "Assassin" C2 (Command and Control) and LP (Listening Post) subsystems are referred to collectively as" The Gibson" and allow operators to perform specific tasks on an infected target.. Leaked Documents AfterMidnight v1.0 Users Guide
AlphaGremlin v0.1.0 Users Guide
AfterMidnight Diagrams
Assassin v1.4 Users Guide
Assassin v1.3 Users Guide
See more Archimedes 5 May, 2017 Today, May 5th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes "Archimedes", a tool used by the CIA to attack a computer inside a Local Area Network (LAN), usually used in offices. It allows the re-directing of traffic from the target computer inside the LAN through a computer infected with this malware and controlled by the CIA. This technique is used by the CIA to redirect the target's computers web browser to an exploitation server while appearing as a normal browsing session.

The document illustrates a type of attack within a "protected environment" as the the tool is deployed into an existing local network abusing existing machines to bring targeted computers under control and allowing further exploitation and abuse. Leaked Documents Archimedes 1.0 User Guide
Archimedes 1.3 Addendum
Archimedes 1.2 Addendum
Archimedes 1.1 Addendum
Fulcrum User Manual v0.62
See more Scribbles 28 April, 2017 Today, April 28th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the documentation and source code for CIA's "Scribbles" project, a document-watermarking preprocessing system to embed "Web beacon"-style tags into documents that are likely to be copied by Insiders, Whistleblowers, Journalists or others. The released version (v1.0 RC1) is dated March, 1st 2016 and classified SECRET//ORCON/NOFORN until 2066.

Scribbles is intended for off-line preprocessing of Microsoft Office documents. For reasons of operational security the user guide demands that "[t]he Scribbles executable, parameter files, receipts and log files should not be installed on a target machine, nor left in a location where it might be collected by an adversary."

According to the documentation, "the Scribbles document watermarking tool has been successfully tested on [...] Microsoft Office 2013 (on Windows 8.1 x64), documents from Office versions 97-2016 (Office 95 documents will not work!) [and d]ocuments that are not be locked forms, encrypted, or password-protected". But this limitation to Microsoft Office documents seems to create problems: "If the targeted end-user opens them up in a different application, such as OpenOffice or LibreOffice, the watermark images and URLs may be visible to the end-user. For this reason, always make sure that the host names and URL components are logically consistent with the original content. If you are concerned that the targeted end-user may open these documents in a non-Microsoft Office application, please take some test documents and evaluate them in the likely application before deploying them."

Security researches and forensic experts will find more detailed information on how watermarks are applied to documents in the source code, which is included in this publication as a zipped archive. Leaked Documents Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - User Guide
Scribbles (Source Code)
Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - IVVRR Checklist
Scribbles v1.0 RC1 - Readiness Review Worksheet
Weeping Angel 21 April, 2017 Today, April 21st 2017, WikiLeaks publishes the User Guide for CIA's "Weeping Angel" tool - an implant designed for Samsung F Series Smart Televisions. Based on the "Extending" tool from the MI5/BTSS, the implant is designed to record audio from the built-in microphone and egress or store the data.

The classification marks of the User Guide document hint that is was originally written by the british MI5/BTSS and later shared with the CIA. Both agencies collaborated on the further development of the malware and coordinated their work in Joint Development Workshops. Leaked Documents Extending - User Guide
Hive 14 April, 2017 Today, April 14th 2017, WikiLeaks publishes six documents from the CIA's HIVE project created by its "Embedded Development Branch" (EDB).

HIVE is a back-end infrastructure malware with a public-facing HTTPS interface which is used by CIA implants to transfer exfiltrated information from target machines to the CIA and to receive commands from its operators to execute specific tasks on the targets. HIVE is used across multiple malware implants and CIA operations. The public HTTPS interface utilizes unsuspicious-looking cover domains to hide its presence.

Anti-Virus companies and forensic experts have noticed that some possible state-actor malware used such kind of back-end infrastructure by analyzing the communication behaviour of these specific implants, but were unable to attribute the back-end (and therefore the implant itself) to operations run by the CIA. In a recent blog post by Symantec , that was able to attribute the "Longhorn" activities to the CIA based on the Vault 7 , such back-end infrastructure is described:

For C&C servers, Longhorn typically configures a specific domain and IP address combination per target. The domains appear to be registered by the attackers; however they use privacy services to hide their real identity. The IP addresses are typically owned by legitimate companies offering virtual private server (VPS) or webhosting services. The malware communicates with C&C servers over HTTPS using a custom underlying cryptographic protocol to protect communications from identification.

The documents from this publication might further enable anti-malware researchers and forensic experts to analyse this kind of communication between malware implants and back-end servers used in previous illegal activities. Leaked Documents Users Guide
Developers Guide
Developers Guide (Figures)
Hive Beacon Infrastructure
Hive Infrastructure Installation and Configuration Guide
See more Grasshopper 7 April, 2017 Today, April 7th 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Grasshopper" -- 27 documents from the CIA's Grasshopper framework , a platform used to build customized malware payloads for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Grasshopper is provided with a variety of modules that can be used by a CIA operator as blocks to construct a customized implant that will behave differently, for example maintaining persistence on the computer differently, depending on what particular features or capabilities are selected in the process of building the bundle. Additionally, Grasshopper provides a very flexible language to define rules that are used to "perform a pre-installation survey of the target device, assuring that the payload will only [be] installed if the target has the right configuration". Through this grammar CIA operators are able to build from very simple to very complex logic used to determine, for example, if the target device is running a specific version of Microsoft Windows, or if a particular Antivirus product is running or not.

Grasshopper allows tools to be installed using a variety of persistence mechanisms and modified using a variety of extensions (like encryption). The requirement list of the Automated Implant Branch (AIB) for Grasshopper puts special attention on PSP avoidance , so that any Personal Security Products like 'MS Security Essentials', 'Rising', 'Symantec Endpoint' or 'Kaspersky IS' on target machines do not detect Grasshopper elements.

One of the persistence mechanisms used by the CIA here is 'Stolen Goods' - whose "components were taken from malware known as Carberp, a suspected Russian organized crime rootkit." confirming the recycling of malware found on the Internet by the CIA. "The source of Carberp was published online, and has allowed AED/RDB to easily steal components as needed from the malware.". While the CIA claims that "[most] of Carberp was not used in Stolen Goods" they do acknowledge that "[the] persistence method, and parts of the installer, were taken and modified to fit our needs", providing a further example of reuse of portions of publicly available malware by the CIA, as observed in their analysis of leaked material from the italian company "HackingTeam" .

The documents WikiLeaks publishes today provide an insights into the process of building modern espionage tools and insights into how the CIA maintains persistence over infected Microsoft Windows computers, providing directions for those seeking to defend their systems to identify any existing compromise Leaked Documents Grasshopper-v1_1-AdminGuide
Grasshopper-v2_0_2-UserGuide
StolenGoods-2_1-UserGuide
GH-Module-Null-v2_0-UserGuide
GH-Module-Buffalo-Bamboo-v1_0-UserGuide
See more Marble Framework 31 March, 2017 Today, March 31st 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Marble" -- 676 source code files for the CIA's secret anti-forensic Marble Framework . Marble is used to hamper forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA.

Marble does this by hiding ("obfuscating") text fragments used in CIA malware from visual inspection. This is the digital equivallent of a specalized CIA tool to place covers over the english language text on U.S. produced weapons systems before giving them to insurgents secretly backed by the CIA.

Marble forms part of the CIA's anti-forensics approach and the CIA's Core Library of malware code. It is " [D]esigned to allow for flexible and easy-to-use obfuscation " as " string obfuscation algorithms (especially those that are unique) are often used to link malware to a specific developer or development shop. "

The Marble source code also includes a deobfuscator to reverse CIA text obfuscation. Combined with the revealed obfuscation techniques, a pattern or signature emerges which can assist forensic investigators attribute previous hacking attacks and viruses to the CIA. Marble was in use at the CIA during 2016. It reached 1.0 in 2015.

The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, --- but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages.

The Marble Framework is used for obfuscation only and does not contain any vulnerabilties or exploits by itself. Leaked Documents Marble Framework (Source Code)
Dark Matter 23 March, 2017 Today, March 23rd 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 "Dark Matter", which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA's Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by CIA to gain 'persistence' on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware.

Among others, these documents reveal the "Sonic Screwdriver" project which, as explained by the CIA, is a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting" allowing an attacker to boot its attack software for example from a USB stick "even when a firmware password is enabled". The CIA's "Sonic Screwdriver" infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter.

"DarkSeaSkies" is "an implant that persists in the EFI firmware of an Apple MacBook Air computer" and consists of "DarkMatter", "SeaPea" and "NightSkies", respectively EFI, kernel-space and user-space implants.

Documents on the "Triton" MacOSX malware, its infector "Dark Mallet" and its EFI-persistent version "DerStarke" are also included in this release. While the DerStarke1.4 manual released today dates to 2013, other Vault 7 documents show that as of 2016 the CIA continues to rely on and update these systems and is working on the production of DerStarke2.0 .

Also included in this release is the manual for the CIA's "NightSkies 1.2" a "beacon/loader/implant tool" for the Apple iPhone. Noteworthy is that NightSkies had reached 1.2 by 2008, and is expressly designed to be physically installed onto factory fresh iPhones. i.e the CIA has been infecting the iPhone supply chain of its targets since at least 2008.

While CIA assets are sometimes used to physically infect systems in the custody of a target it is likely that many CIA physical access attacks have infected the targeted organization's supply chain including by interdicting mail orders and other shipments (opening, infecting, and resending) leaving the United States or otherwise.

[Jul 16, 2017] https://fdik.org/wikileaks/year0/vault7/cms/page_2621796.html

Jul 16, 2017 | fdik.org

So, secure your systems people. Attackers potentially trying to use these tools still need to somehow get a shell on your system in order to install this stuff.

Detecting on your system
As far as detecting on your system, that's going to be tough since:

But - we do know a couple things..

More Information
WikiLeaks announcement:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/#BothanSpy

Gyrfalcon 2.0 User Manual:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/document/Gyrfalcon-2_0-User_Guide/Gyrfalcon-2_0-User_Guide.pdf

Gyrfalcon 1.0 User Manual:
https://wikileaks.org/vault7/document/Gyrfalcon-1_0-User_Manual/Gyrfalcon-1_0-User_Manual.pdf

[Jun 24, 2017] The Criminal Laws of Counterinsurgency by Todd E. Pierce

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. ..."
"... As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance." ..."
"... Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles. ..."
"... This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency ..."
"... But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong. ..."
"... Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences. ..."
"... Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely. ..."
Jun 24, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Douglas Valentine has once again added to the store of knowledge necessary for American citizens to understand how the U.S. government actually works today, in his most recent book entitled The CIA As Organized Crime . (Valentine previously wrote The Phoenix Program , which should be read with the current book.)

The US "deep state" – of which the CIA is an integral part – is an open secret now and the Phoenix Program (assassinations, death squads, torture, mass detentions, exploitation of information) has been its means of controlling populations. Consequently, knowing the deep state's methods is the only hope of building a democratic opposition to the deep state and to restore as much as possible the Constitutional system we had in previous centuries, as imperfect as it was.

Princeton University political theorist Sheldon Wolin described the US political system in place by 2003 as "inverted totalitarianism." He reaffirmed that in 2009 after seeing a year of the Obama administration. Correctly identifying the threat against constitutional governance is the first step to restore it, and as Wolin understood, substantive constitutional government ended long before Donald Trump campaigned. He's just taking unconstitutional governance to the next level in following the same path as his recent predecessors. However, even as some elements of the "deep state" seek to remove Trump, the President now has many "deep state" instruments in his own hands to be used at his unreviewable discretion.

Many "never-Trumpers" of both parties see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided. After all, the deep state's bureaucratic leadership has worked arduously for decades to subvert constitutional order.

As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance."

Glennon noted that the propensity of "security managers" to back policies which ratchet up levels of security "will play into Trump's hands, so that if and when he finally does declare victory, a revamped security directorate could emerge more menacing than ever, with him its devoted new ally." Before that happens, it is incumbent for Americans to understand what Valentine explains in his book of CIA methods of "population control" as first fully developed in the Vietnam War's Phoenix Program.

Hating the US

There also must be the realization that our "national security" apparatchiks - principally but not solely the CIA - have served to exponentially increase the numbers of those people who hate the US.

Some of these people turn to terrorism as an expression of that hostility. Anyone who is at all familiar with the CIA and Al Qaeda knows that the CIA has been Al Qaeda's most important "combat multiplier" since 9/11, and the CIA can be said to have birthed ISIS as well with the mistreatment of incarcerated Iraqi men in US prisons in Iraq.

Indeed, by following the model of the Phoenix Program, the CIA must be seen in the Twenty-first Century as a combination of the ultimate "Murder, Inc.," when judged by the CIA's methods such as drone warfare and its victims; and the Keystone Kops, when the multiple failures of CIA policies are considered. This is not to make light of what the CIA does, but the CIA's misguided policies and practices have served to generate wrath, hatred and violence against Americans, which we see manifested in cities such as San Bernardino, Orlando, New York and Boston.

Pointing out the harm to Americans is not to dismiss the havoc that Americans under the influence of the CIA have perpetrated on foreign populations. But "morality" seems a lost virtue today in the US, which is under the influence of so much militaristic war propaganda that morality no longer enters into the equation in determining foreign policy.

In addition to the harm the CIA has caused to people around the world, the CIA works tirelessly at subverting its own government at home, as was most visible in the spying on and subversion of the torture investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The subversion of democracy also includes the role the CIA plays in developing and disseminating war propaganda as "information warfare," upon the American people. This is what the Rand Corporation under the editorship of Zalmay Khalilzad has described as "conditioning the battlefield," which begins with the minds of the American population.

Douglas Valentine discusses and documents the role of the CIA in disseminating pro-war propaganda and disinformation as complementary to the violent tactics of the Phoenix Program in Vietnam. Valentine explains that "before Phoenix was adopted as the model for policing the American empire, many US military commanders in Vietnam resisted the Phoenix strategy of targeting civilians with Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police."

Military Commanders considered that type of program a flagrant violation of the Law of War. "Their main job is to zap the in-betweeners – you know, the people who aren't all the way with the government and aren't all the way with the Viet Cong either. They figure if you zap enough in-betweeners, people will begin to get the idea," according to one quote from The Phoenix Program referring to the unit tasked with much of the Phoenix operations.

Nazi Influences

Comparing the Phoenix Program and its operatives to "Einsatzgruppen-style 'special forces' and Gestapo-style secret police" is not a distortion of the strategic understanding of each. Both programs were extreme forms of repression operating under martial law principles where the slightest form of dissent was deemed to represent the work of the "enemy." Hitler's Bandit Hunters: The SS and the Nazi Occupation of Europe by Philip W. Blood describes German "Security Warfare" as practiced in World War II, which can be seen as identical in form to the Phoenix Program as to how the enemy is defined as anyone who is "potentially" a threat, deemed either "partizans" or terrorists.

That the Germans included entire racial categories in that does not change the underlying logic, which was, anyone deemed an internal enemy in a territory in which their military operated had to be "neutralized" by any means necessary. The US military and the South Vietnamese military governments operated under the same principles but not based on race, rather the perception that certain areas and villages were loyal to the Viet Cong.

This repressive doctrine was also not unique to the Nazis in Europe and the US military in Vietnam. Similar though less sophisticated strategies were used against the American Indians and by the imperial powers of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries, including by the US in its newly acquired territories of the Philippines and in the Caribbean. This "imperial policing," i.e., counterinsurgency, simply moved to more manipulative and, in ways, more violent levels.

That the US drew upon German counterinsurgency doctrine, as brutal as it was, is well documented. This is shown explicitly in a 2011 article published in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies entitled German Counterinsurgency Revisited by Charles D. Melson. He wrote that in 1942, Nazi commander Heinrich Himmler named a deputy for "anti-bandit warfare," (Bevollmachtigter fur die Bandenkampfung im Osten), SS-General von dem Bach, whose responsibilities expanded in 1943 to head all SS and police anti-bandit units and operations. He was one of the architects of the Einsatzguppen "concept of anti-partisan warfare," a German predecessor to the "Phoenix Program."

'Anti-Partisan' Lessons

It wasn't a coincidence that this "anti-partisan" warfare concept should be adopted by US forces in Vietnam and retained to the present day. Melson pointed out that a "post-war German special forces officer described hunter or ranger units as 'men who knew every possible ruse and tactic of guerrilla warfare. They had gone through the hell of combat against the crafty partisans in the endless swamps and forests of Russia.'"

Consequently, "The German special forces and reconnaissance school was a sought after posting for North Atlantic Treaty Organization special operations personnel," who presumably included members of the newly created US Army Special Forces soldiers, which was in part headquartered at Bad Tolz in Germany, as well as CIA paramilitary officers.

Just as with the later Phoenix Program to the present-day US global counterinsurgency, Melson wrote that the "attitude of the [local] population and the amount of assistance it was willing to give guerilla units was of great concern to the Germans. Different treatment was supposed to be accorded to affected populations, bandit supporters, and bandits, while so-called population and resource control measures for each were noted (but were in practice, treated apparently one and the same). 'Action against enemy agitation' was the psychological or information operations of the Nazi period. The Nazis believed that, 'Because of the close relationship of guerilla warfare and politics, actions against enemy agitation are a task that is just as important as interdiction and combat actions. All means must be used to ward off enemy influence and waken and maintain a clear political will.'"

This is typical of any totalitarian system – a movement or a government – whether the process is characterized as counterinsurgency or internal security. The idea of any civilian collaboration with the "enemy" is the basis for what the US government charges as "conspiracy" in the Guantanamo Military Commissions.

Valentine explains the Phoenix program as having been developed by the CIA in 1967 to combine "existing counterinsurgency programs in a concerted effort to 'neutralize' the Vietcong infrastructure (VCI)." He explained further that "neutralize" meant "to kill, capture, or make to defect." "Infrastructure" meant civilians suspected of supporting North Vietnamese and Vietcong soldiers. Central to the Phoenix program was that its targets were civilians, making the operation a violation of the Geneva Conventions which guaranteed protection to civilians in time of war.

"The Vietnam's War's Silver Lining: A Bureaucratic Model for Population Control Emerges" is the title of Chapter 3. Valentine writes that the "CIA's Phoenix program changed how America fights its wars and how the public views this new type of political and psychological warfare, in which civilian casualties are an explicit objective." The intent of the Phoenix program evolved from "neutralizing" enemy leaders into "a program of systematic repression for the political control of the South Vietnamese people. It sought to accomplish this through a highly bureaucratized system of disposing of people who could not be ideologically assimilated." The CIA claimed a legal basis for the program in "emergency decrees" and orders for "administrative detention."

Lauding Petraeus

Valentine refers to a paper by David Kilcullen entitled Countering Global Insurgency. Kilcullen is one of the so-called "counterinsurgency experts" whom General David Petraeus gathered together in a cell to promote and refine "counterinsurgency," or COIN, for the modern era. Fred Kaplan, who is considered a "liberal author and journalist" at Slate, wrote a panegyric to these cultists entitled, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War. The purpose of this cell was to change the practices of the US military into that of "imperial policing," or COIN, as they preferred to call it.

But Kilcullen argued in his paper that "The 'War on Terrorism'" is actually a campaign to counter a global insurgency. Therefore, Kilcullen argued, "we need a new paradigm, capable of addressing globalised insurgency." His "disaggregation strategy" called for "actions to target the insurgent infrastructure that would resemble the unfairly maligned (but highly effective) Vietnam-era Phoenix program."

He went on, "Contrary to popular mythology, this was largely a civilian aid and development program, supported by targeted military pacification operations and intelligence activity to disrupt the Viet Cong Infrastructure. A global Phoenix program (including the other key elements that formed part of the successful Vietnam CORDS system) would provide a useful start point to consider how Disaggregation would develop in practice."

It is readily apparent that, in fact, a Phoenix-type program is now US global policy and - just like in Vietnam - it is applying "death squad" strategies that eliminate not only active combatants but also civilians who simply find themselves in the same vicinity, thus creating antagonisms that expand the number of fighters.

Corraborative evidence of Valentine's thesis is, perhaps surprisingly, provided by the CIA's own website where a number of redacted historical documents have been published. Presumably, they are documents first revealed under the Freedom of Information Act. A few however are copies of news articles once available to the public but now archived by the CIA which has blacked-out portions of the articles.

The Bloody Reality

One "sanitized" article - approved for release in 2011 - is a partially redacted New Times article of Aug. 22, 1975, by Michael Drosnin. The article recounts a story of a US Army counterintelligence officer "who directed a small part of a secret war aimed not at the enemy's soldiers but at its civilian leaders." He describes how a CIA-directed Phoenix operative dumped a bag of "eleven bloody ears" as proof of six people killed.

The officer, who recalled this incident in 1971, said, "It made me sick. I couldn't go on with what I was doing in Vietnam. . . . It was an assassination campaign . . . my job was to identify and eliminate VCI, the Viet Cong 'infrastructure' – the communist's shadow government. I worked directly with two Vietnamese units, very tough guys who didn't wear uniforms . . . In the beginning they brought back about 10 percent alive. By the end they had stopped taking prisoners.

"How many VC they got I don't know. I saw a hell of a lot of dead bodies. We'd put a tag on saying VCI, but no one really knew – it was just some native in black pajamas with 16 bullet holes."

This led to an investigation by New Times in a day when there were still "investigative reporters," and not the government sycophants of today. Based on firsthand accounts, their investigation concluded that Operation Phoenix was the "only systematized kidnapping, torture and assassination program ever sponsored by the United States government. . . . Its victims were noncombatants." At least 40,000 were murdered, with "only" about 8,000 supposed Viet Cong political cadres targeted for execution, with the rest civilians (including women and children) killed and "later conveniently labeled VCI. Hundreds of thousands were jailed without trial, often after sadistic abuse." The article notes that Phoenix was conceived, financed, and directed by the Central Intelligence Agency, as Mr. Valentine writes.

A second article archived by the CIA was by the Christian Science Monitor, dated Jan. 5, 1971, describing how the Saigon government was "taking steps that could help eliminate one of the most glaring abuses of its controversial Phoenix program, which is aimed against the Viet Cong political and administrative apparatus." Note how the Monitor shifted blame away from the CIA and onto the South Vietnamese government.

But the article noted that one of the most persistent criticisms of Phoenix was that it resulted "in the arrest and imprisonment of many innocent civilians." These were called "Class C Communist offenders," some of whom may actually have been forced to commit such "belligerent acts" as digging trenches or carrying rice. It was those alleged as the "hard core, full-time cadre" who were deemed to make up the "shadow government" designated as Class A and B Viet Cong.

Yet "security committees" throughout South Vietnam, under the direction of the CIA, sentenced at least 10,000 "Class C civilians" to prison each year, far more than Class A and B combined. The article stated, "Thousands of these prisoners are never brought to court trial, and thousands of other have never been sentenced." The latter statement would mean they were just held in "indefinite detention," like the prisoners held at Guantanamo and other US detention centers with high levels of CIA involvement.

Not surprisingly to someone not affiliated with the CIA, the article found as well that "Individual case histories indicate that many who have gone to prison as active supporters of neither the government nor the Viet Cong come out as active backers of the Viet Cong and with an implacable hatred of the government." In other words, the CIA and the COIN enthusiasts are achieving the same results today with the prisons they set up in Iraq and Afghanistan.

CIA Crimes

Valentine broadly covers the illegalities of the CIA over the years, including its well-documented role in facilitating the drug trade over the years. But, in this reviewer's opinion, his most valuable contribution is his description of the CIA's participation going back at least to the Vietnam War in the treatment of what the US government today calls "unlawful combatants."

"Unlawful combatants" is a descriptive term made up by the Bush administration to remove people whom US officials alleged were "terrorists" from the legal protections of the Geneva Conventions and Human Rights Law and thus to justify their capture or killing in the so-called "Global War on Terror." Since the US government deems them "unlawful" – because they do not belong to an organized military structure and do not wear insignia – they are denied the "privilege" of belligerency that applies to traditional soldiers. But – unless they take a "direct part in hostilities" – they would still maintain their civilian status under the law of war and thus not lose the legal protection due to civilians even if they exhibit sympathy or support to one side in a conflict.

Ironically, by the Bush administration's broad definition of "unlawful combatants," CIA officers and their support structure also would fit the category. But the American public is generally forgiving of its own war criminals though most self-righteous and hypocritical in judging foreign war criminals. But perhaps given sufficient evidence, the American public could begin to see both the immorality of this behavior and its counterproductive consequences.

This is not to condemn all CIA officers, some of whom acted in good faith that they were actually defending the United States by acquiring information on a professed enemy in the tradition of Nathan Hale. But it is to harshly condemn those CIA officials and officers who betrayed the United States by subverting its Constitution, including waging secret wars against foreign countries without a declaration of war by Congress. And it decidedly condemns the CIA war criminals who acted as a law unto themselves in the torture and murder of foreign nationals, as Valentine's book describes.

Talleyrand is credited with saying, "They have learned nothing and forgotten nothing." Reportedly, that was borrowed from a 1796 letter by a French naval officer, which stated, in the original language: Personne n'est corrigé; personne n'a su ni rien oublier ni rien appendre. In English: "Nobody has been corrected; no one has known to forget, nor yet to learn anything." That sums up the CIA leadership entirely.

Douglas Valentine's book is a thorough documentation of that fact and it is essential reading for all Americans if we are to have any hope for salvaging a remnant of representative government.

Todd E. Pierce retired as a Major in the US Army Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps in November 2012. His most recent assignment was defense counsel in the Office of Chief Defense Counsel, Office of Military Commissions. This originally appeared at ConsortiumNews.com .

Read more by Todd E. Pierce Inciting Wars the American Way – August 14th, 2016 Chicago Police Adopt Israeli Tactics – December 13th, 2015 US War Theories Target Dissenters – September 13th, 2015 Ron Paul and Lost Lessons of War – September 1st, 2015 Has the US Constitution Been Lost to Military Rule?– January 4th, 2015

[Jun 15, 2017] Seveteen Sisters -- 17 US Agencies Make Up The Most Sophisticated Spy Network In The World by Paul Szoldra

May 11, 2013 | www.businessinsider.com

The U.S. intelligence community is vast , composed of 17 distinct organizations each operating under its own shroud of secrecy.

Oversight of these agencies generally falls to the Department of Defense or Congress, leaving the average citizen with precious little knowledge of how they operate.

Funded by largely classified budgets, it's difficult to assess how much the U.S. annually spends on these clandestine operations, but one 2012 estimate pegs the cost at about $75 billion.

The following slides highlight the expansive reach of the U.S. intelligence community.

The Central Intelligence Agency spies on foreign governments and organizes covert ops. screenshot

The CIA is the most well-known U.S. spying agency, formed by the passage of the National Security Act of 1947. The agency has its roots with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) that operated during World War II.

Headquarters : Langley, Va.

Mission : CIA collects, analyzes, and disseminates intelligence gathered on foreign nations. This comes through signals and human intelligence sources.

Budget : Classified. On their website , the CIA states, "neither the number of employees nor the size of the Agency's budget can, at present, be publicly disclosed. A common misconception is that the Agency has an unlimited budget, which is far from true."

the annual intelligence budget was $44 billion.

The National Security Agency was once so secretive it was jokingly called 'No Such Agency.' NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade, Maryland NSA

The NSA was No Such Agency ."

Headquarters : Fort Meade, Md.

Budget : Classified. Some estimate the NSA is actually the largest intelligence organization in the world - three times the size of the CIA. The headquarters alone takes up 6.3 million square feet - around the same size as the Pentagon - with 112 acres of parking spaces, reports the Washington Post.

The Defense Intelligence Agency works to understand what foreign militaries will do before they do it. DIA its overseas spy network to collect first-hand intelligence.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The DIA serves as the lead intelligence agency for the Dept. of Defense, coordinating analysis and collection of intelligence on foreign militaries, in addition to surveillance and reconnaissance operations. The DIA is the common link between military and national intelligence agencies.

Budget : Classified. The DIA does not reveal budget information, although they do say they have more than 16,500 men and women working for them and are under DoD and congressional oversight.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research provides diplomats the necessary tools for effective foreign policy.

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) has ties to the Office of Strategic Services from World War II, but was transferred to State after the war. INR now reports directly to the Secretary of State, harnessing intelligence from all sources and offering independent analysis of global events and real-time insight.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : This agency serves as the Secretary of State's primary advisor on intelligence matters, and gives support to other policymakers, ambassadors, and embassy staff.

Budget : $49 million in 2007, according to documents obtained by FAS.

Air Force Intelligence provides reconnaissance for US ground troops.

Formerly known as the Air Intelligence Agency, the agency is now known as the Air Force ISR - Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance. Air Force intelligence was established in 1948 to get information to troops on the ground, and most recently, the ISR has collected that intelligence from aerial drones.

Headquarters : Lackland Air Force Base, Texas

Mission : Air Force ISR collects and analyzes intelligence on foreign nations and hostile forces, both in and out of combat zones. They also conduct electronic and photographic surveillance, and provide weather and mapping data to troops in the field.

Budget : Unknown . The budget of ISR apparently falls under the Air Force's Operation & Maintenance budget, which includes other areas outside of the agency's scope such as flying operations and logistics. That number for 2012, however, was just over $46 million.

The FBI's National Security Branch oversees counterterrorism and intelligence gathering.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Security Branch (NSB) was established in 2005 , combining resources that include counterterrorism, counter-intelligence, weapons of mass destruction, and intelligence under a single FBI leader.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : Formed after 9/11 and the Iraq WMD commission - when intelligence agencies were not sharing data with each other - the NSB integrates intel on national security and criminal threats from a variety of sources that are often intertwined in order to protect U.S. interests.

Budget : Total FBI budget was approximately $8.1 billion in 2012, which included an increase of $119 million "to enhance our counterterrorism, computer intrusions, and other programs," according to their website.

Army Intelligence and Security Command offers essential intel to troops on the battlefield.

Army intelligence has been around since spies worked for the Continental Army in 1775 , but the U.S. Army's Intelligence and Security Command (INSCOM) was established in 1977 to become the major unifying command of army intelligence.

Headquarters : Fort Belvoir, Va.

Mission : INSCOM provides commanders on the ground with information they may need on the battlefield: intercepted enemy radio communications, maps, ground imagery, and information on force structure and numbers.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The Department of Energy, Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence gathers information on foreign nuclear weapons.

Surprisingly, the Energy Department even has an intelligence service. The Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence focuses on technical intelligence on nuclear weapons and nonproliferation, nuclear energy (especially foreign), and energy security.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The Dept. of Energy doesn't have the ability to conduct foreign intelligence, instead relying on information passed to them by other agencies (such as the CIA or NSA). If it involves weapons of mass destruction, the DoE offers up the analytical expertise.

Budget : Unknown. Like other government budgets, the intelligence activity is not specifically mentioned, although it may fall under "Atomic Energy Defense Activities" which had a total budget of more than $16 billion in 2012.

Coast Guard Intelligence provides information on maritime security and homeland defense.

Coast Guard Intelligence (CGI) was formed in 1915 and now falls under the Dept. of Homeland Security, providing information on maritime and port security, search and rescue, and counter-narcotics.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : Although CGI is technically an intelligence agency, its primary mission is as an investigative arm of the Coast Guard. CGI special agents "conduct criminal, counterintelligence and personnel security investigations within the Coast Guard's area of responsibility," with the majority being criminal offenses violating military law, according to the Coast Guard's official website . However, the Coast Guard does have specialists conducting analysis and collection of intelligence.

Budget : Unknown. Like the Army, the budget has some overlap, although the 2014 budget request includes $60 million for C4ISR systems, an acronym for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

CGI headquarters is relatively small, only employing about 280 .

The Treasury's Office of Intelligence and Analysis collects terrorism and financial intelligence.

The Office of Intelligence and Analysis is fairly new, established in 2004 by the Intelligence Authorization Act. OIA's focus is mainly on providing information to combat terrorism and illicit financial transactions.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : OIA safeguards the U.S. financial system "against illicit use and combating rogue nations, terrorist facilitators, weapons of mass destruction proliferators, money launderers, drug kingpins, and other national security threats," according to DNI.

Budget : Around $340 million.

The Drug Enforcement Administration hunts down illegal drugs.

The DEA has been gathering intelligence for anti-drug operations since its establishment in 1973 . The agency collects and provides intelligence to other law enforcement agencies and helps with investigations.

Headquarters : El Paso, Texas

Mission : DEA assists local and federal law enforcement in conducting major drug investigations, along with developing "information that leads to seizures and arrests, and provid[ing] policy makers with drug trend information upon which programmatic decisions can be based," according to their website.

Budget : $2 billion (total DEA budget in 2013)

The Marine Corps Intelligence Activity monitors the Corp's battlefields.

Like Army intelligence, the Marine Corps provides their own agency to collect and analyze information for troops on the ground. This includes map making, radio intercepts, human intelligence, and counter-intelligence.

Headquarters : Quantico, Va.

Mission : The primary function of Marine IA is to give tactical and operational intelligence to battlefield commanders. They also serve as the "go-to" unit for the Commandant of the Marine Corps on understanding intel.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency provides advanced mapping for military forces.

Having its roots from the 1972 formation of the Defense Mapping Agency and formerly known as NIMA , the agency was renamed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in 2003 . The agency has the task of collecting and understanding Earth's physical and man-made attributes. Using advanced imagery (mainly from satellites), it was NGA watching Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

Headquarters : Ft. Belvoir, Va.

Mission : NGA employs cartographers and analysts that collect and generate information about the Earth. This data is used in navigation, national security, military operations, and humanitarian aid efforts.

Budget : Classified . NGA employs approximately 14,500 government civilians.

The National Reconnaissance Office is responsible for America's spy satellites.

While the NGA is responsible for gaining information from satellite data, the National Reconnaissance Office - created secretly in 1961 and not acknowledged until 1992 - is in charge with satellite design, building, launch, and maintenance.

Headquarters : Chantilly, Va.

Mission : NRO gives its mission as "innovative overhead intelligence systems for national security." Simply put, the NRO provides their "customers" at the CIA, DoD, and elsewhere with technologically advanced spy satellites.

Budget : Classified .

The Office of Naval Intelligence provides information on the world's oceans to sailors everywhere.

The Office of Naval Intelligence was established in 1882 for "the purpose of collecting and recording naval information" that could be useful in war and peace. Like other military intelligence services, ONI gives maritime commanders information they need on foreign forces.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : ONI gathers intelligence and moves it rapidly to decision makers. "We produce maritime intelligence on weapons and technology proliferation and smuggling and illicit maritime activities that directly supports the U.S. Navy, joint war fighters and national decision makers and agencies," according to their website.

Budget : Unknown. The total military intelligence budget was $21.5 billion in 2012.

The Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis looks for information on any potential threats to the US.

The DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis works primarily on homeland threats - collecting and analyzing information, and sharing intelligence with local and federal law enforcement through the use of " fusion centers ."

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : They work on four main areas: understanding threats through analysis, collecting information relevant to homeland security, sharing that information with the agencies that need it, and managing the homeland security enterprise, according to DNI.

Budget : Classified. In a Congressional Research Service report , it was noted that "DNI does not publicly disclose details about the intelligence budget, but ... reported that the aggregate amount appropriated to the [national intelligence program] for FY2009 was $49.8 billion."

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is where all the intelligence should come together for delivery to the president.

Established in 2004 , the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) manages the efforts of the entire U.S. intelligence community. Director James R. Clapper serves as the principal advisor to the president as well as the National Security and Homeland Security Councils.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : The DNI has two main missions: to lead intelligence integration, and "forge an intelligence community that delivers the most insightful intelligence possible."

Budget : The specifics of the office itself are unknown, but the total aggregate amount for the national intelligence program is more than $48 billion.

BONUS: The 'intelligence state' has been expanding drastically since 9/11. Gary Nichols via U.S. Military

The U.S. intelligence community is officially made of 17 organizations, but there is even more to the story.

A groundbreaking investigation from the Washington Post found some rather daunting figures:

- 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies are working on intelligence, counterterrorism, or homeland security in the U.S.

- Just the NSA alone is contracting with more than 250 companies on intelligence work, including big names like Northrop Grumman and SAIC.

- Many intelligence agencies are doing redundant work, such as 51 federal and military organizations that track the flow of money in and out of terror networks.

- One reason why those intelligence budgets are classified: millions of dollars in so-called "ghost money" given to foreign governments.

[Jun 15, 2017] Many Americans know that MSM are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so they actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of spam in comments. It is dispiriting to say the least.

Notable quotes:
"... Lots of people out there (Hello lurkers!) know that the Pork Pie News Networks are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of f/ktard commenters. It is dispiriting to say the least. ..."
"... That may well be the idea, particularly those organizations that want to hose a and discredit alternative media sites (sic the JTRIG program and the likes of Brigade 77 and digilogues that have been running for years). If you can hack it, you probably think a) does this make sense? b) who is bono? c) timing, timing, timing.. d) is anything logically missing from the picture/story? e) if so, what conclusions can we draw from that? etc. It's not easy. ..."
"... Once upon a time we had newspaper columnists to do our thinking for us who we would religiously read. Now it is each one for themselves. What a pain in the ass. Fortunately we have the Kremlin Stooge and a bunch of other sites to help! :-) ..."
"... Don't miss the link to TTG's comment on leaks at Sic Semper Tyrannis! ..."
"... Yet again, you do not get this kind of information from the Pork Pie News Networks, the same ones who cosy up to the security services in return for juicy tidbits and also rubbish 'alternative news/websites/blogs'. ..."
"... the notion of compartmentalized operational security and broad state electronic surveillance of the population are mutually exclusive. ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
at Al, June 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

Vis the Reality Winner leaking 'proof' of Russian hacking of US elections, PavewayIV's comment on Moon of Alabama says it all:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d28a09f7970c

####

He's one of a handful of good commenters there among the nutbags, antisemites, conspiracy theorists etc. It's one of the things that really bugs me about great (supposedly) alternative news/opinion/blogs. They always get immediately contaminated by all sorts of narcissistic 'tards who just want to s/t the bed for everyone else, particularly the flyby trolls. Lots of people out there (Hello lurkers!) know that the Pork Pie News Networks are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of f/ktard commenters. It is dispiriting to say the least.

That may well be the idea, particularly those organizations that want to hose a and discredit alternative media sites (sic the JTRIG program and the likes of Brigade 77 and digilogues that have been running for years). If you can hack it, you probably think a) does this make sense? b) who is bono? c) timing, timing, timing.. d) is anything logically missing from the picture/story? e) if so, what conclusions can we draw from that? etc. It's not easy.

Once upon a time we had newspaper columnists to do our thinking for us who we would religiously read. Now it is each one for themselves. What a pain in the ass. Fortunately we have the Kremlin Stooge and a bunch of other sites to help! :-)

et Al , June 7, 2017 at 7:43 am
'Ghostship' elucidates how Reality Winner would have access to top class info;

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b7c9000590970b

####

My only thoughts are, wouldn't such info be compartmentalized (standard operating procedure, innit?), i.e. a 'translator' would not have free and unlimited access, but rather have access to only very specific highly secret info? If there are that many translators out there, then compartmentalization would work very well. It is totally counter intuitive, nay stupid , to allow free range to anyone but the top of the top. More people, more chance of leaks, accidents or incomptence.

et Al , June 7, 2017 at 7:50 am
Ah, I should have read on. PavewayIV again:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01bb09a3288d970d

####

Don't miss the link to TTG's comment on leaks at Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Yet again, you do not get this kind of information from the Pork Pie News Networks, the same ones who cosy up to the security services in return for juicy tidbits and also rubbish 'alternative news/websites/blogs'.

marknesop , June 7, 2017 at 8:09 pm
Indeed it is; Secret and Top secret information is made available to those who

(1) are cleared to the appropriate level, and

(2) have the need to know.

It's "and". Not "or". Top Secret information may not be viewed by anyone with a Top Secret security clearance – only by those who need to know that information to carry out their duties related to it.

Information may actually specify, "Top Secret – Eyes Only" in which the personnel holding a Top Secret clearance who may view the material are either listed, or it is restricted only to the addressee.

yalensis , June 8, 2017 at 2:34 am
I dunno, because that whole Snowden thing revealed a lot of holes in the American security apparatus. Snowden himself was surprised just how much stuff he was able to access, and he was just a contractor at the time, not even a permanent employee.
marknesop , June 8, 2017 at 5:37 am
Well, yes, because the notion of compartmentalized operational security and broad state electronic surveillance of the population are mutually exclusive.

But to the very best of my knowledge Snowden did not reveal any secrets of America's defense systems, its operational structure, its past military operations or its future plans in that area, if he knew them. The damaging information he disclosed all related to American spying on foreign leaders and the American electorate

[Jun 13, 2017] NBCs Kelly Hits Putin With a Beloved Canard by Ray McGovern

Notable quotes:
"... "They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it." ..."
"... As I noted in a Jan. 20 article about Obama's news conference two days earlier, "Did President Barack Obama acknowledge that the extraordinary propaganda campaign to blame Russia for helping Donald Trump become president has a very big hole in it, i.e., that the US intelligence community has no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks? For weeks, eloquent obfuscation – expressed with 'high confidence' – has been the name of the game, but inadvertent admissions now are dispelling some of the clouds. ..."
"... "Hackers may be anywhere," Putin said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can. ..."
"... "Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy. There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. " ..."
"... The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails. ..."
"... In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper – the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6, that Clapper and Brennan acknowledged last month was not the consensus view of the 17 intelligence agencies. ..."
"... There is also the issue of the forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee's computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC's private contractor, Crowdstrike. ..."
"... The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike. ..."
"... Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted? ..."
Jun 13, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

To prove their chops, mainstream media stars can't wait to go head-to-head with a demonized foreign leader, like Vladimir Putin, and let him have it, even if their "facts" are wrong, as Megyn Kelly showed

NBC's Megyn Kelly wielded one of Official Washington's most beloved groupthinks to smack Russian President Vladimir Putin over his denials that he and his government were responsible for hacking Democratic emails and interfering with the U.S. presidential election.

In her June 2 interview with Putin, Kelly noted that all "17 intelligence agencies" of the US government concurred in their conclusion of Russian guilt and how could Putin suggest that they all are "lying." It's an argument that has been used to silence skeptics for months and apparently is so useful that no one seems to care that it isn't true.

For instance, on May 8, in testimony before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper conceded publicly that the number of intelligence agencies involved in the assessment was three, not 17, and that the analysts assigned to the project from CIA, FBI and NSA had been "handpicked."

On May 23, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, former CIA Director John Brennan confirmed Clapper's account about the three agencies involved. "It wasn't a full interagency community assessment that was coordinated among the 17 agencies," Brennan acknowledged.

But those public admissions haven't stopped Democrats and the mainstream media from continuing to repeat the false claim. In comments on May 31, failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton repeated the canard, with a flourish, saying: "Seventeen agencies, all in agreement, which I know from my experience as a Senator and Secretary of State, is hard to get."

A couple of days later, Kelly revived the myth of the consensus among the 17 intelligence agencies in her interview with the Russian president. But Putin passed up the opportunity to correct her, replying instead:

"They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. We have talked about it with former President Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence. When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it."

As I noted in a Jan. 20 article about Obama's news conference two days earlier, "Did President Barack Obama acknowledge that the extraordinary propaganda campaign to blame Russia for helping Donald Trump become president has a very big hole in it, i.e., that the US intelligence community has no idea how the Democratic emails reached WikiLeaks? For weeks, eloquent obfuscation – expressed with 'high confidence' – has been the name of the game, but inadvertent admissions now are dispelling some of the clouds.

"At President Obama's Jan. 18 press conference, he admitted as much: 'the conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked .'" [Emphasis added]

Explaining the Technology

More importantly, Putin in his interview with Kelly points out that "today's technology" enables hacking to be "masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one can understand the origin" of the hack. "And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack. Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. "

Later, when Kelly came back to the issue of hacking, Putin expanded on the difficulty in tracing the source of cyber attacks.

"Hackers may be anywhere," Putin said. "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can.

"Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy. There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. "

Kelly: "Let's move on."

However carefully Megyn Kelly and her NBC colleagues peruse The New York Times, they might well not know WikiLeaks' disclosure on March 31 of original CIA documents showing that the agency had created a program allowing it to break into computers and servers and make it look like others did it by leaving telltale signs (like Cyrillic markings, for example).

The capabilities shown in what WikiLeaks calls the "Vault 7" trove of CIA documents required the creation of hundreds of millions of lines of source code. At $25 per line of code, that amounts to about $2.5 billion for each 100 million code lines. But the Deep State has that kind of money and would probably consider the expenditure a good return on investment for "proving" the Russians hacked into Democratic Party emails.

In other words, it is altogether possible that the hacking attributed to Russia was actually one of several "active measures" undertaken by a cabal consisting of the CIA, FBI, NSA and Clapper – the same agencies responsible for the lame, evidence-free report of Jan. 6, that Clapper and Brennan acknowledged last month was not the consensus view of the 17 intelligence agencies.

There is also the issue of the forensics. Former FBI Director James Comey displayed considerable discomfort on March 20, explaining to the House Intelligence Committee why the FBI did not insist on getting physical access to the Democratic National Committee's computers in order to do its own proper forensics, but chose to rely on the examination done by the DNC's private contractor, Crowdstrike.

The firm itself has conflicts of interests in its links to the pro-NATO and anti-Russia think tank, the Atlantic Council, through Dmitri Alperovitch, who is an Atlantic Council senior fellow and the co-founder of Crowdstrike.

Strange Oversight

Given the stakes involved in the Russia-gate investigation – now including a possible impeachment battle over removing the President of the United States – wouldn't it seem logical for the FBI to insist on its own forensics for this fundamental predicate of the case? Or could Comey's hesitancy to demand access to the DNC's computers be explained by a fear that FBI technicians not fully briefed on CIA/NSA/FBI Deep State programs might uncover a lot more than he wanted?

Comey was asked again about this curious oversight on June 8 by Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr:

BURR: "And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?"

COMEY: "In the case of the DNC, and, I believe, the DCCC, but I'm sure the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access."

BURR: "But no content?"

COMEY: "Correct."

BURR: "Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?"

COMEY: "It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016."

Burr demurred on asking Comey to explain what amounts to gross misfeasance, if not worse. Perhaps, NBC could arrange for Megyn Kelly to interview Burr to ask if he has a clue as to what Putin might have been referring to when he noted, "There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia."

Given the congressional intelligence "oversight" committees' obsequiousness and repeated "high esteem" for the "intelligence community," there seems an even chance that – no doubt because of an oversight – the CIA/FBI/NSA deep-stage troika failed to brief the Senate "oversight committee" chairman on WikiLeaks "Vault 7" disclosures – even when WikiLeaks publishes original CIA documents.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and CIA analyst for a total of 30 years and now servers on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). Reprinted with permission from Consortium News .

[Jun 08, 2017] NSA Denies Everything About Latest Intercept Leak, Including Denying Something That Was Never Claimed

Notable quotes:
"... Targeting telco and ISP systems administrators goes well outside the bounds of "national security." These people aren't suspected terrorists. They're just people inconveniently placed between the NSA and its goal of " collecting it all ." ..."
"... The NSA's own documents say that QUANTUMHAND "exploits the computer of a target that uses Facebook." The man-on-the-side attack impersonates a server , not the site itself. The NSA denies impersonating, but that's not what The Intercept said or what its own documents state. This animated explanation, using the NSA's Powerpoint presentation, shows what the attack does -- it tips the TURBINE servers, which then send the malware payload before the Facebook servers can respond. ..."
"... To the end user, it looks as though Facebook is just running slowly. ..."
"... When the NSA says it doesn't impersonate sites, it truly doesn't. It injects malware by beating Facebook server response time. It doesn't serve up faux Facebook pages; it simply grabs the files and data from compromised computers. ..."
"... The exploit is almost wholly divorced from Facebook itself. The social media site is an opportunity for malware deployment, and the NSA doesn't need to impersonate a site to achieve its aims. This is the NSA maintaining deniability in the face of damning allegations -- claiming something was said that actually wasn't and resorting to (ultimately futile) attempts to portray journalists as somehow less trustworthy than the agency. ..."
"... At this point, the mere fact that the NSA denies doing something is almost enough to convince me that they are doing it. I'm trying not to be paranoid. They just make it so difficult. ..."
"... considering how much access they seemed to have I think it is entirely possible for them to do that. And the criminal energy to do it definitely there as well. ..."
"... And there is still the question if Facebook and similar sites might be at least funded, if not run by intelligence agencies altogether. If that is the case that would put this denial in an entirely different light. It would read "We don't impersonate companies. We ARE the companies."... ..."
"... Max level sophistry. I wonder if anyone at the NSA even remembers what the truth is, it's been coated in so many layers of bullshit. ..."
"... As for its "national security directive," it made a mockery of that when it proudly announced in its documents that "we hunt sys admins." ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.techdirt.com
The recent leaks published at Glenn Greenwald's new home, The Intercept, detailed the NSA's spread of malware around the world, with a stated goal of sabotaging "millions" of computers. As was noted then, the NSA hadn't issued a comment. The GCHQ, named as a co-conspirator, had already commented, delivering the usual spiel about legality, oversight and directives -- a word salad that has pretty much replaced "no comment" in the intelligence world.

The NSA has now issued a formal statement on the leaks, denying everything -- including something that wasn't even alleged. In what has become the new "no comment" on the NSA side, the words "appropriate," "lawful" and "legitimate" are trotted out, along with the now de rigueur accusations that everything printed (including, apparently, its own internal documents) is false.

Recent media reports that allege NSA has infected millions of computers around the world with malware, and that NSA is impersonating U.S. social media or other websites, are inaccurate. NSA uses its technical capabilities only to support lawful and appropriate foreign intelligence operations, all of which must be carried out in strict accordance with its authorities. Technical capability must be understood within the legal, policy, and operational context within which the capability must be employed.
First off, for the NSA to claim that loading up "millions" of computers with malware is somehow targeted (and not "indiscriminate") is laughable. As for its "national security directive," it made a mockery of that when it proudly announced in its documents that "we hunt sys admins."

Targeting telco and ISP systems administrators goes well outside the bounds of "national security." These people aren't suspected terrorists. They're just people inconveniently placed between the NSA and its goal of " collecting it all ."

Last, but not least, the NSA plays semantic games to deny an accusation that was never made, calling to mind Clapper's denial of a conveniently horrendous translation of a French article on its spying efforts there.

NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites.
This "denial" refers to this portion of The Intercept's article.
In some cases the NSA has masqueraded as a fake Facebook server, using the social media site as a launching pad to infect a target's computer and exfiltrate files from a hard drive... In one man-on-the-side technique, codenamed QUANTUMHAND, the agency disguises itself as a fake Facebook server. When a target attempts to log in to the social media site, the NSA transmits malicious data packets that trick the target's computer into thinking they are being sent from the real Facebook. By concealing its malware within what looks like an ordinary Facebook page, the NSA is able to hack into the targeted computer and covertly siphon out data from its hard drive.

The NSA's own documents say that QUANTUMHAND "exploits the computer of a target that uses Facebook." The man-on-the-side attack impersonates a server , not the site itself.

The NSA denies impersonating, but that's not what The Intercept said or what its own documents state. This animated explanation, using the NSA's Powerpoint presentation, shows what the attack does -- it tips the TURBINE servers, which then send the malware payload before the Facebook servers can respond.

To the end user, it looks as though Facebook is just running slowly.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/88822483

When the NSA says it doesn't impersonate sites, it truly doesn't. It injects malware by beating Facebook server response time. It doesn't serve up faux Facebook pages; it simply grabs the files and data from compromised computers.

The exploit is almost wholly divorced from Facebook itself. The social media site is an opportunity for malware deployment, and the NSA doesn't need to impersonate a site to achieve its aims. This is the NSA maintaining deniability in the face of damning allegations -- claiming something was said that actually wasn't and resorting to (ultimately futile) attempts to portray journalists as somehow less trustworthy than the agency.

sorrykb ( profile ), 14 Mar 2014 @ 9:39am

Denial = Confirmation?
NSA does not use its technical capabilities to impersonate U.S. company websites.

At this point, the mere fact that the NSA denies doing something is almost enough to convince me that they are doing it. I'm trying not to be paranoid. They just make it so difficult.

Anonymous Coward , 14 Mar 2014 @ 9:48am
Re: Denial = Confirmation?

considering how much access they seemed to have I think it is entirely possible for them to do that. And the criminal energy to do it definitely there as well.

By now you have to assume the worst when it comes to them, and once the truth comes out it tends to paint and even worse picture then what you could imagine.

And there is still the question if Facebook and similar sites might be at least funded, if not run by intelligence agencies altogether. If that is the case that would put this denial in an entirely different light. It would read "We don't impersonate companies. We ARE the companies."...

Mark Wing , 14 Mar 2014 @ 10:35am

Max level sophistry. I wonder if anyone at the NSA even remembers what the truth is, it's been coated in so many layers of bullshit.

art guerrilla ( profile ), 14 Mar 2014 @ 12:06pm
Re: NSA Word-Smithing

I can not stress this poster's sentiment, as well as voiced in the article itself, of the CHILDISH semantic games the alphabet spooks will play... they WILL (metaphorically speaking) look you straight in the eye, piss on your leg, and INSIST it is raining; THEN fabricate evidence to 'prove' it was rain...

In my readings about the evil done in our name, with our money, *supposedly* to 'protect and serve' us, by the boys in black, you can NOT UNDERESTIMATE the most simplistic, and -to repeat myself -- CHILDISH ways they will LIE AND DISSEMBLE...

They are scum, they are slime, they are NOT the best and the brightest, they are the worst and most immoral...

YOU CAN NOT OVERSTATE THEIR MORAL VACUITY...

we do NOT deserve these pieces of shit...

Anonymous Coward , 14 Mar 2014 @ 11:17am

We know that the NSA, with the cooperation of the companies involved, has equipment co-located at major backbones and POPs to achieve the goals for QUANTUMHAND, QUANTUMINSERT, and etc.

At what point will we start confronting these companies and pressuring them to discontinue such cooperation? I know it's no easy task, but just as much as the government is reeling from all the public pressure, so too will these companies if we press their hands. Make it affect their bottom line.

Anonymous Coward , 14 Mar 2014 @ 1:49pm
is techdirt an hack target?

this page of your site tries to run scripts from
google
amazonaws
twitter
facebook
ajax.googleapis
techdirt

and install cookies from
techdirt
imigur

and request resources from
rp-api
vimeo

and install/use tracking beacons from
facebook connect
google +1
gravitar
nativo
quantcast
redit
repost.us
scorecard research beacon
twitter button.

...and who knows what else would run if all that was allowed to proceed. (I'm not going to run them to find out the 2nd level stuff)

for all the great reporting techdirt does on spying/tracking/privacy- you need to get you shit together already with this site; it seams like you're part of the problem. Please explain the technical facts as to why these same types of hacks couldn't be done to your readers through this clusterfuck of off site scripts/beacons/cookies/resources your forcing on people to ignorant to know how to block them.

Matthew Cline ( profile ), 14 Mar 2014 @ 1:50pm

As for its "national security directive," it made a mockery of that when it proudly announced in its documents that "we hunt sys admins."

Well, heck, that's easy. Since the computers of the sys admins are just means to an ends, simply define "target" in a way that excludes anyone whose computers are compromised as a means to an end.

Anonymous mouse , 14 Mar 2014 @ 1:56pm

I seem to remember some articles about why people who don't use Facebook are suspect. To wit,

Are these possible signs that the NSA and GHCQ planted those stories?

Anonymous Coward , 14 Mar 2014 @ 3:49pm
The fun has yet to really begin

On April 8th, this year, Microsoft will stop installing new security patches from Windows XP, leaving computers running it totally vulnerable to such hacks. Anybody want to place bets on the fact that the alphabet soup agencies of our wonderful gummint are going to be first in line to exploit them? Just think what NSA could do with 300,000,000+ computers to play with!

[Jun 08, 2017] Congress Getting Pissed Off Over Failure Of Intel Community To Reveal How Many Americans Are Being Spied On Techdirt

Notable quotes:
"... I'm sure the number of American's spied upon is pretty damning and might actually cause some blowback (especially if it's 90-100% of the population as I suspect), which could put its use in jeopardy. ..."
"... the Postal Service has confirmed that it takes a photograph of the outside of every letter and package mailed in the United States and occasionally provides the photos to law enforcement agencies. ..."
"... It's obvious that they somehow accessed nearly all communications of Americans at one point or another. Even if technically they didn't look at much of the data. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | www.techdirt.com
Then, yesterday, there was a public Senate Intelligence Committee hearing over the issue of the 702 renewal. While most of the press is focused on the refusal of those testifying to say whether President Trump had spoken to them about various investigations concerning Russia, there was something else concerning that was brought up. Coats, despite his earlier promises and the promises of his office, is now saying that it would be impossible to give a number.

Not surprisingly, for the folks in Congress who have been insisting on getting this number (and giving it to the public), this... did not sit well. When it was Senator Wyden's turn to question the panel, he went off on Coats for going back on his word.

This morning you went back on that promise and you said that even putting together a sampling, a statistical estimate, would jeopardize national security. I think that is a very, very damaging position to stake out.

Later in that exchange, there was this exchange (which, if you watch it, involved both men being fairly testy with each other):

Wyden: Can the government use FISA 702 to collect communications it knows are entirely domestic?

Coats: Not to my knowledge. It would be against the law.

As Marcy Wheeler points out, that exchange may prove to be similar to Wyden's now infamous question to Coats' predecessor, Clapper, about whether or not the NSA collected information on millions of Americans (the "not wittingly" response, which was later shown to be completely bogus). Wheeler points out that for Coats to actually believe that, it would appear that he doesn't know how 702 is actually used , even though he signed a memo about this very thing. Wheeler points to the recent FISC opinion reauthorizing 702 data collection that states that if the Director of the NSA signs a waiver for all of the domestic collections, then the NSA can still collect a wholly domestic communication under 702. That FISC opinion cites a March 30th memo that Coats would have signed as the justification for this argument. So for him to now say that it's illegal for the very thing his own memo from March says is okay... seems like a serious problem.

And Wyden's not the only one upset about this. Since this was a Senate hearing, Rep. Conyers wasn't there, but he put out a blistering statement calling Coats' statements "unacceptable."

The intelligence community has-for many months-expressly promised members of both parties that they would deliver this estimate to us in time to inform our debate on the reauthorization of Section 702. As late as last August, we had discussed and approved the specific methodologies that the NSA might use to make good on their promise.

Today, Director Coats announced that the estimate is 'infeasible' and will not be forthcoming. I find that outcome unacceptable.

Over the course of the last year, we believed we had worked past the excuses we are offered today. The nation's leading civil liberties organizations see no threat to privacy in this project, and have said so publicly. The agencies demonstrated to us how they might perform this analysis without significant diversion of resources. I am deeply disappointed in a return to these old talking points.

Section 702 is built on trust. It will be more difficult to find that trust as we move forward with the debate.

As we discussed earlier this week, a bunch of Senators have already been pushing a permanent renewal of 702 with no changes at all. As the debate heats up on the renewal of Section 702 ahead of its expiration later this year, we're going to need Congress to hold the intelligence community to its promise to reveal at least some data on how these programs impact Americans' communications.

aerinai ( profile ), 8 Jun 2017 @ 8:19am
No Stakes, No Game

Until these Senators start actually holding these guys accountable and not renew their authority of Section 702, these hearings are just bluster. I like Wyden and what he's doing (it seems single handedly), but unfortunately it doesn't mean much to the NSA. Withholding the information won't change any politicians views of it and its 'necessity', so they might as well err on the side of caution.

I'm sure the number of American's spied upon is pretty damning and might actually cause some blowback (especially if it's 90-100% of the population as I suspect), which could put its use in jeopardy.

Bergman ( profile ), 8 Jun 2017 @ 9:42am
Re: No Stakes, No Game

Contempt of Congress still exists, I think the Senate should start stomping on people who show contempt.

Roger Strong ( profile ), 8 Jun 2017 @ 10:07am
Re: We can truthfully guarantee...

Plus those who don't use electronic-based forms of communication, but who have friends and relatives who do, and who mention them in emails and on Facebook.

Also those who pay their grocery bills with a credit or debit card. Purchase history is occasionally requested by police.

Also people not into ebooks, but who check out books from the library.

Don't forget travel details, for those who cross a border. Or fly. Or pay for gas and meals with a credit / debit card.

Or who use local transit. My city switched to electronic fare cards a few months ago. Naturally, it was just revealed that the private travel history of bus riders is being handed to police without requiring a warrant.

But hey, there's still non-electronic communication like snail mail. That hardly ever gets opened. Although the Postal Service has confirmed that it takes a photograph of the outside of every letter and package mailed in the United States and occasionally provides the photos to law enforcement agencies.

James T , 8 Jun 2017 @ 10:44am
They can't

It's obvious that they somehow accessed nearly all communications of Americans at one point or another. Even if technically they didn't look at much of the data.

If true then they certainly wouldn't want to say we spied on everyone. That would damage their position which is that they are being responsible Intelligence agencies.

Anonymous Coward , 8 Jun 2017 @ 12:06pm
Infeasible to justify funding for an office that can't even justify itself

If the office cannot even compute a rough estimate, then it is either uncooperative or supremely incompetent. In either case, it is infeasible to continue funding such an entity. Funding for continued operation of the surveillance programs should be stripped until such time as it can comply with simple oversight requirements.

[Jun 07, 2017] James Comey sued by intelligence contractor Dennis Montgomery over spying on Americans Circa News - Learn. Think. Do.

Jun 07, 2017 | circa.com

A former U.S. intelligence contractor tells Circa he walked away with more than 600 million classified documents on 47 hard drives from the National Security Agency and the CIA, a haul potentially larger than Edward Snowden's now infamous breach.

And now he is suing former FBI Director James Comey and other government figures, alleging the bureau has covered up evidence he provided them showing widespread spying on Americans that violated civil liberties.

The suit, filed late Monday night by Dennis Montgomery, was assigned to the same federal judge who has already ruled that some of the NSA's collection of data on Americans violates the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, setting up an intriguing legal proceeding in the nation's capital this summer.

Montgomery says the evidence he gave to the FBI chronicle the warrantless collection of phone, financial and personal data and the unmasking of identities in spy data about millions of Americans.

... ... ...

Montgomery alleges that more than 20 million American identities were illegally unmasked - credit reports, emails, phone conversations and Internet traffic, were some of the items the NSA and CIA collected.

He said he returned the hard drives to the FBI, a fact confirmed in government documents reviewed by Circa.

"They're doing this domestic surveillance on Americans, running a project on U.S. soil," Montgomery alleged. He did not disclose the classified name of the project but said he revealed all aspects of the project during his interview with the FBI.

"Can you imagine what someone can do with the information they were collecting on Americans, can you imagine that kind of power."

Officials with the FBI and CIA declined to comment due to current and pending litigation.

... ... ...

The FBI contacts with Montgomery were encouraged by a senior status federal judge, who encouraged the two sides to meet rather than allow for any of the classified materials to leak, according to interviews Circa conducted.

Montgomery's lawsuit, which included his lawyer, the well-known conservative activist Larry Klayman, alleges Montgomery provided extensive evidence to the FBI of illegal spying on Americans ranging from judges to businessman like the future President Donald Trump.

The suit did not offer specifics of any illegal spying, but it accused the bureau of failing to take proper actions to rectify Montgomery's concerns.

Montgomery divulged to the FBI a "pattern and practice of conducting illegal, unconstitutional surveillance against millions of Americans, including prominent Americans such as the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, other justices, 156 judges, prominent businessmen, and others such as Donald J. Trump, as well as Plaintiffs themselves," Montgomery and Klayman alleged in their suit.

"Plaintiffs were assured that the FBI, under Defendant Comey, would conduct a full investigation into the grave instances of illegal and unconstitutional activity set forth by Montgomery. However, the FBI, on Defendant Comey's orders, buried the FBI's investigation because the FBI itself is involved in an ongoing conspiracy to not only conduct the aforementioned illegal, unconstitutional surveillance, but to cover it up as well," the suit added.

Klayman and Montgomery also alleged that they have evidence that they themselves have been improperly spied upon by U.S. intelligence. The suit named numerous other defendants as well, including current NSA Director Mike Rogers, former CIA Director John Brennan and even former President Barack Obama.

[Jun 06, 2017] Do Not Trust The Intercept or How To Burn A Source

Looks more and more like psyop operation -- a part of a Neo-McCarthyism propaganda campaign.
Notable quotes:
"... So why even go out of your way to leak these supposedly worthless documents to the press in the first place? Who benefits? ..."
"... Deep state benefits - analysis(?) is leaked which show as you say no proof, but it keeps the anti-russia propaganda going for another month or so - just as the anti-trump deep state and media wants. Sigh. ..."
"... P.S if any of you get a chance try to catch the interview on RT where German journo, who is unfortunately dead, states categorically that CIA and his bosses would instruct him on what to write and how to write it. ..."
"... If Reality Leigh Winner goes to trial and receives serious prison time, then The Intercept was wrong, but until then I'll think she's a Clintonist useful idiot. ..."
"... That would be Udo Ulfkotte. He used to work for FAZ. You have to take into account that he tried to live from writing books after FAZ and conspiracy theories do sell. ..."
"... Greenwald and Poitras are now the only two people with full access to the complete cache of NSA files ... just Glenn and Laura at the for-profit journalism company created by the founder of eBay. ..."
"... CIA Agents Caught Red Handed Trolling Alternative Media Sites http://humansarefree.com/2017/06/cia-agents-caught-red-handed-trolling.html I think we talked about this years ago, in regards to Israeli paid trolls, but we've gone so far into the Panopticon control grid, what difference does it make. ..."
"... I also think, it is possible that Hillary Clinton and Putin had a very personal not so private war after Hillary announced that she would do everything to prevent a realignment of Post Soviet States. And employing Victoria Nuland to achieve just that. ..."
"... ...which of course how psyops works. Because this leak will fuel more of the Trump/Russian conspiracies and hatred in the MSM. ..."
"... Are you from one of those USG "perception management" projects? Well, if you are, American taxpayers should be pissed off if this is all the "best and brightest" can come up with. The USG IC has an annual budget of $65 billion so if this is a black op., they have more than enough money to be able to afford the arrest of the "leaker" and even pay for her to get decently lawyered up. ..."
"... This whole episode smacks of a psy-op to me. If - and this is a big if - the Russians did hack into any voting systems, I'd be more willing to believe it was to collect evidence of malfeasance on the part of our own government than it would have been to manipulate the results themselves. ..."
"... Important to note is that Putin just mentioned in his interview with Megyn Kelly that it doesn't matter who's president of the United States because no matter what, the policy remains the same. That's a pretty direct indictment of the integrity of US elections, so what better time to up the ante with respect to the obvious lies about Russian interference in our elections than right after Putin calls our elections Kabuki theater? ..."
"... Well for one she is not a whistleblower, she is another anti-Trump neocon working for the deep state. She I believe leaked material just to attack Trump and Russia even more with info, as we have seen so many times now past months. She nor we as readers have any idea if there is any truth to the claim to start with. So why leak it? Well obviously, like past months, some groups in our society benefit from this greatly. ..."
"... I haven't trusted The Intercept since they ran their hit piece on Tulsi Gabbard. ..."
"... Ghostship. True enough. But knowing it is still different from effectively dealing with it. The elite/CIA controlled mass media still has a lot of power to persuade people as do the corporations that finance political elections. As well as the people who make money from arms sales. These people who may be loosely referred to as 'deep state' don't want to give up any of that power/money. ..."
"... She follows a neocon agenda (war against afghanistan, war against Syria, hatered against Russia, hatred against foreign policy that Trump have i.e), she works for the deep state, she leak deep state material to smear her "enemies". ..."
"... Who are those who spread this bs to the MSM about Trump and Russia constantly for past months? Where does it come from if not from the deep state groups? ..."
"... Omidyar being behind the Intercept has always been an iffy proposition at best, and it has never sat well that Greenwald is apparently satisfied with such an arrangement. ..."
"... And you just know Mark Ames will have a piece up bashing Omidyar, Greenwald and Scahill. Speaking of Scahill, other than a weekly podcast, what exactly does he do for the Intercept? ..."
"... Greenwald is a self-serving hack and the Intercept functions alongside outlets like DemocracyNow! to provide a Democrat-friendly perspective on the world to people who think they are very "progressive". They will never challenge the fundamental precepts of US imperialism and the oligarchic powers behind it, or truly rock the boat. ..."
"... There's a chance they got played. As noted, the documents don't actual show evidence of actual interference with voting system beyond data gathering. ..."
"... Alternatively, the document was prepared in such a way that it was actually politically harmless but it could snare the leaker who would be triumphantly and publicly "executed". That can improve the discipline in the shop. ..."
"... This is silly nonsense. There is no difference at all between the neocons and the neolibs (the neolords). They come from exactly the same place and believe in exactly the same thing. Specifically, they are atychiphobs; they cannot endure any form of failure. So they always must attach themselves to whatever they perceive as the winning side. And ultimately rule the rest of the losing world. For them that's all there is; Hillary is an example, and most rich individuals also. They would absolutely prefer death to loserdom. So of course they have no concerns at all about the fate of the losers. They are all the same. ..."
"... Sounds like a con job from start to finish. Along the lines of bellingcat, SOHR ect. Just another method of disseminating propaganda. ..."
"... this whole thing is such a circus! and yes, the NSA has access to far more info than these stupid documents allude to, not to mention that the US has got to have some massive access to Russian data. ..."
"... I should add: If Putin were directly responsible for hacking anything, Clinton should kiss Putin's who-cares-what for waiting until AFTER the primaries. She got to be part of the final coin-toss. ..."
"... really, why is this NSA document even considered whistle-blowing? ..."
"... Setting aside the antics of the Intercept, let's consider how preposterous this story is at face value. She's basically a translator for a few Middle Eastern languages. So she's reading email or web sites or listening to phone calls and doing her translating thing. It's not like she's a high-level analyst preparing briefings for the National Intelligence director - she's a damn low-level translator (no offense to NSA translators out there). ..."
"... If Winner DID manage to stumble upon a Top Secret memo on her work network unrelated to her job, then her supervisor would have known it within minutes. Everything anybody does is constantly monitored and logged, right down to the keystroke. SHE would know that. In fact, she would be fired for not reporting this impossible access to top secret information immediately. She would be further punished for even having the document linger on her screen for more than a second or two. There's a reason they put TOP SECRET at the very top of every page. Classified documents also have their own security/surveillance/monitoring mechanisms. The document itself (or the document management system) knows or is told who is allowed to read it or even see that it exists. It would record her access, even if all the other security and monitoring software the agency had failed completely. So you get the idea. Even if she saw this document (unlikely) and did NOT report the inappropriate access, she would eventually be frog-walked out of the building before the end of the day. ..."
"... Top Secret documents (and their networks) do not allow you to print them at all, and certainly not on some random office printer. ..."
"... All modern printers and copy machines have an invisible watermark that identifies the time/date you printed a page and the serial number of the machine. If she copied it somewhere, then they copy can be traced to a certain machine and date/time. She's busted either way if the feds got their hands on it, and SHE KNOWS THAT. ..."
"... Sorry - but unless someone can prove she has an extra chromosome or two, I have to believe this is a charade. She won't go to jail because she's in on it with the NSA and it's not a real Top Secret document anyway. NO intelligence agency will ever verify or deny something you show them is either legitimate or Top Secret, so even that part is wrong. If you call them to ask about a document you have, they will politely put you on hold so they can dispatch some DHS thugs to kick in your door and retrieve said document - without telling you anything either way. ..."
"... I tend to agree with the hint, hint - #RealityWinner is an obvious PsyOp. Her employer probably had a deal for her - agree to be "used", play the part in a little prosecution game we'll have going, make sure you leak to Cook - and don't worry, you'll be well rewarded in the end. ..."
"... The timing of this leak and the choice of media outlet is very convenient for the Establishment Dems/Deep State Russia investigation. Leaking to the Intercept, which has credibility in the alternative media, would be a convenient way to get the story covered in the MSM and leftist media. It certainly helps to distract Berners from the Seth Rich story. Some interns at the Intercept did a sloppy job checking up on their source. ..."
"... thank you for this. i left a comment on that article yesterday about how dumb the technical aspects were and apparently you noticed as well (i also mentioned stuxnet as an example of what an effective and professional attack would actually look like). ..."
"... as i also mentioned: hillary won durham by a WIDE margin (almost 100k votes). seems like any "hacking" worked to her advantage, not trump's. ..."
"... i've been reading douglas valentine's book on the phoenix program and other CIA criminality https://www.amazon.com/CIA-Organized-Crime-Illegal-Operations/dp/0997287012 ..."
"... It looks like a real half-arsed psyops -- here is the "Russia did it" smoking gun we've all been waiting for and it gets sorta rolled out but not trumpeted hysterically. Why the Intercept? Why not the NYtimes or wapo? ..."
"... It's becoming more difficult daily to find something that doesn't stink. I see it as an attempt to further bury the censored NBC interview with Putin where he explained several hard truths, one of which I alluded to yesterday. Compare vid here, http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/06/nbc-edited-out-putins-hard-truths-heres.html with uncensored one here, which includes transcript, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54688 ..."
Jun 06, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

Yesterday The Intercept published a leaked five page NSA analysis about alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Its reporting outed the leaker of the NSA documents. That person, R.L. Winner, has now been arrested and is likely to be jailed for years if not for the rest of her life.

FBI search (pdf) and arrest warrant (pdf) applications unveil irresponsible behavior by the Intercept 's reporters and editors which neglected all operational security trade-craft that might have prevented the revealing of the source. It leaves one scratching the head if this was intentional or just sheer incompetence. Either way - the incident confirms what skeptics had long determined : The Intercept is not a trustworthy outlet for leaking state secrets of public interests.

The Intercept was created to privatize the National Security Agency documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The documents proved that the NSA is hacking and copying nearly all electronic communication on this planet, that it was breaking laws that prohibited spying on U.S. citizen and that it sabotages on a large scale various kinds of commercial electronic equipment. Snowden gave copies of the NSA documents to a small number of journalists. One of them was Glenn Greenwald who now works at The Intercept . Only some 5% of the pages Snowden allegedly acquired and gave to reporters have been published. We have no idea what the unpublished pages would provide.

The Intercept , a subdivision of First Look Media, was founded by Pierre Omidyar, a major owner of the auctioning site eBay and its PayPal banking division. Omidyar is a billionaire and "philanthropist" who's (tax avoiding) Omidyar Network foundation is "investing" for "returns". Its microcredit project for farmers in India, in cooperation with people from the fascists RSS party, ended in an epidemic of suicides when the farmers were unable to pay back. The Omidyar Network also funded (fascist) regime change groups in Ukraine in cooperation with USAID. Omidyar had cozy relations with the Obama White House. Some of the held back NSA documents likely implicate Omidyar's PayPal.

The Intercept was funded with some $50 million from Omidyar. It first hires were Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras - all involved in publishing the Snowden papers and other leaks. Its first piece was based on documents from the leaked the NSA stack. It has since published on this or that but not in a regular media way. The Intercept pieces are usually heavily editorialized and tend to have a mainstream "liberal" to libertarian slant. Some were highly partisan anti-Syrian/pro-regime change propaganda . The website seems to have no regular publishing schedule at all. Between one and five piece per day get pushed out, only few of them make public waves. Some of its later prominent hires (Ken Silverstein, Matt Taibbi) soon left and alleged that the place was run in a chaotic atmosphere and with improper and highly politicized editing. Despite its rich backing and allegedly high pay for its main journalists (Greenwald is said to receive between 250k and 1 million per year) the Intercept is begging for reader donations .

Yesterday's published story (with bylines of four(!) reporters) begins :

Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November's presidential election, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained by The Intercept.

The NSA "intelligence report" the Intercept publishes along the piece does NOT show that "Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack ". The document speaks of "cyber espionage operations " - i.e someone looked and maybe copied data but did not manipulate anything. Espionage via computer networks is something every nation in this world (and various private entities) do all the time. It is simply the collection of information. It is different from a "cyberattack" like Stuxnet which was intended to create large damage,

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 6:32:53 AM | 1

First Deep State Arrest? http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/05/first-deep-state-arrest-government-contractor-busted-leaking-nsa-docs-to-the-intercept/

That girl's social media accounts is filled with neocon propaganda and anti-Trump posts. Intercept is really really stupid for spreading this deepstate pro-war desinformation.

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 6:40:53 AM | 2
Wikileaks twitter account has good comment on it. It is clear that The Intercept is a way to coopt hackers and leakers. She possibly would not have been arrested with Democrats in power. The New York Times and the Intercept have a campaign to leak to US sources so that whistleblowing is not treason.
never mind | Jun 6, 2017 6:53:25 AM | 3
I take it that there's not even the slightest or far reaching bit of evidence at all in the leaked documents that implicates Russia (or the US government) of any mischief.

So why even go out of your way to leak these supposedly worthless documents to the press in the first place? Who benefits?

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 7:01:37 AM | 4
never mind

Deep state benefits - analysis(?) is leaked which show as you say no proof, but it keeps the anti-russia propaganda going for another month or so - just as the anti-trump deep state and media wants. Sigh.

nobody | Jun 6, 2017 7:04:47 AM | 5
She looks like a dual citizen of the Rothschild colony in Palestine.
Mister Roboto | Jun 6, 2017 7:07:17 AM | 6
Thanks for this. Even before reading this account, I was inclined to think "fake news" because the Deep State is such a prolific and relentless generator of propaganda. And also, I think we're pretty much screwed regardless of who is in power. My only hope is that it all doesn't end up in mushroom-clouds.
Miller | Jun 6, 2017 7:10:45 AM | 7
This sort of activity wouldn't have helped Russian intelligence, but it might have been useful to US intelligence. DHS already got caught red handed.
opereta | Jun 6, 2017 7:16:59 AM | 8
It was obvious that The Intercept became a US Inteligence Industry pawn the minute it started to denounce Al Assad on 2016. It was too good to be true from the beginning. Snowden should say something about "his friends" Greenwald and Poitras !! As far as it is descrived in the above article, the R J Winner affaire could be just another Psy Op by the Langley People
Anon | Jun 6, 2017 7:20:36 AM | 9
Its interesting how Assange and Wikileaks support this deep-state leaker. Why?
somebody | Jun 6, 2017 7:40:07 AM | 10
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 7:20:36 AM | 9

Because one person's freedom is everybody's freedom or in a quotation "Freedom is always the freedom of the person that thinks differently from you".

Lea | Jun 6, 2017 7:49:35 AM | 13
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 7:20:36 AM | 9
Its interesting how Assange and Wikileaks support this deep-state leaker. Why?

Assange supports all leakers, regardless of what they leak or to whom. Any other stance would amount to shooting himself in the foot.

On another note, what is extraordinary is to see a Deep State leaker busted by the Deep State. How batty is that? I mean, she was only trying to help them against "big bad Russia", wasn't she? So?

falcemartello | Jun 6, 2017 7:51:05 AM | 14
Yes the intercept gave them self away when Greenwald wrote a piece denouncing the Syrian government and the SAA back in 2015. He occasionally has sane and progressive expressions like when he speaks against the fascist state of Israel. He gave himself away again on the propaganda outlet Democracy now. He was eluding to the fact of Russian collusion with the recent POTUS elections and the Flyn fiasco. Here again he gave himself away. He is bought and paid for by the elite like most journo's in our deluded western countries.

P.S if any of you get a chance try to catch the interview on RT where German journo, who is unfortunately dead, states categorically that CIA and his bosses would instruct him on what to write and how to write it.

although a fan of the intercept at first, i soured when they announced they were spying on their readership. never trust a billionaire. betrayal is the only route to billionaire status.

greenwald and poitras at the oscars turned my stomach. not a word about chelsea manning or any of the others ... greenwald and poitras were the 'stars'.

now, no matter this winner is a loser or no, they've betrayed another one of the people who've put them where they are. they're cannibals.

since i stopped reading the intercept i was unaware of their support for al-cia-duh and the jihadists in syria. that just stinks.

snowden cast his pearls before swine.

Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 7:55:51 AM | 16
Maybe someone at The Intercept thought this was an attempt by the NSA (not the "deep state, there isn't one") to burn them, so they toss the document back at the NSA to see what happens.

Why The Intercept? If you read most Clintonist blogs, you'll quickly realise that Greenwald is up there with Assange and Putin as satanic (Trumpist) agents, so an Internet-aware Clintonist sending documents to The Intercept or Wikileaks suggests some other purpose than simply leaking information adverse to Trump.

Most Clintonists have jumped on this NSA "document" as further solid proof of Putin's culpability which just happened to be "leaked" at about the same time a favourable interview with Putin was being broadcast on the MSM.

If Reality Leigh Winner goes to trial and receives serious prison time, then The Intercept was wrong, but until then I'll think she's a Clintonist useful idiot.

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:00:37 AM | 17
somebody / Lea

Actually Wikileaks/Assange have no idea if this info is even true. Who leaks this? Well obviously the same propagandists we heard past 6 months that want the world to think Russia and Trump won the election/the pathetic accusation that Russia somehow ruled the election to Trump. As far as we know the leaks could not only lack evidence but it could also be pure fake. So no, I dont see why Wikileaks and Assange would support this. But thats me.

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:05:00 AM | 18
Posted by: falcemartello | Jun 6, 2017 7:51:05 AM | 14

That would be Udo Ulfkotte. He used to work for FAZ. You have to take into account that he tried to live from writing books after FAZ and conspiracy theories do sell.

Of course everybody the US, Russia, Qatar, companies have a PR greyzone trying to influence public opinion.

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:08:44 AM | 19
Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 7:55:51 AM | 16

Read the @intercept they even agreed with the NSA to redact the stuff. The solution is obvious but I don't hear anybody calling for it: Paper ballots. It is simple, works and is fast if you have a good counting system in place. Lots of countries still use it.

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:11:10 AM | 20
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:00:37 AM | 17

Accepting that leakers could be fake would destroy the business model. But no, if it was fake they would not go the extra effort to arrest a leaker who will be supplied good lawyers, I suppose.

jfl | Jun 6, 2017 8:13:28 AM | 21
Reality Winner charged leaking classified material

rod rosenstein ... Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team , mike whitney has this guy's number, if you ask me.

Who "owns" the NSA secrets leaked by Edward Snowden to reporters Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras?

Greenwald and Poitras are now the only two people with full access to the complete cache of NSA files ... just Glenn and Laura at the for-profit journalism company created by the founder of eBay.

Whistleblowing has traditionally served the public interest. In this case, it is about to serve the interests of a billionaire starting a for-profit media business venture. This is truly unprecedented. Never before has such a vast trove of public secrets been sold wholesale to a single billionaire as the foundation of a for-profit company.

and who sold them? not edward snowden ... he gave them away ... to the two 'operators' who sold them to omidyar.

after death, devastation, and destruction outright ... deceit it the usofa's main growth industry. and hey, 'progressives' can do it too! and still huff and puff themselves up - among their temporary, transactional 'friends' anyway - with righteousness indignation.

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:19:24 AM | 22
somebody

Thats whats called desinformation or psyops., you already for example seems claim that this is true facts that have been leaked, but we dont know that. Or do you actually believe the whole Russia-Trump-hacking-claims we heard past months?

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:41:09 AM | 23
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:19:24 AM | 22

It is a document about what someone in the NSA believes , it is completely meaningless. Greenwald and Scahill are kind of distancing themselves from the article. The document is just enough to cause headlines that convince trusting people that Russia hacked the election. Arresting the leaker makes sure everybody heard about it. Who wrote it by the way

Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim

They need 4 people to publish a document and burn a source?

Uncle $cam | Jun 6, 2017 8:49:05 AM | 24
CIA Agents Caught Red Handed Trolling Alternative Media Sites http://humansarefree.com/2017/06/cia-agents-caught-red-handed-trolling.html I think we talked about this years ago, in regards to Israeli paid trolls, but we've gone so far into the Panopticon control grid, what difference does it make.

Carry on...

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:52:33 AM | 25
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:19:24 AM | 22

I assume Russia has a cyber capacity in its defense portfolio, like everybody else.

The most likely scenario is Hillary Clinton and Julian Assange having a very personal private war after the state department leaks. I also think, it is possible that Hillary Clinton and Putin had a very personal not so private war after Hillary announced that she would do everything to prevent a realignment of Post Soviet States. And employing Victoria Nuland to achieve just that.

What do politicians in the US think - that they can attack without anybody trying to hit back?

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 8:55:33 AM | 27
somebody

"... document about what someone in the NSA believes,..."

...which of course how psyops works. Because this leak will fuel more of the Trump/Russian conspiracies and hatred in the MSM.

Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 9:11:24 AM | 29

>>>>> Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:08:44 AM | 19
Posted by: Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 7:55:51 AM | 16

Read the @intercept they even agreed with the NSA to redact the stuff.

Well that's a big fat F in Black Ops 101 for you.

The Intercept just returns the document to the NSA - end of.

The Intercept asks the NSA to review and redact the document - it keeps going. Returning the received document rather than a re-typed one might raise questions within the NSA but could be put down to operator error at The Intercept but re-typed documents would get The Intercept no further in working out what's actually happening.

I'm not sure if this is what is happening but the whole thing is weird.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 6, 2017 8:11:10 AM | 20

But no, if it was fake they would not go the extra effort to arrest a leaker who will be supplied good lawyers, I suppose.

Are you from one of those USG "perception management" projects? Well, if you are, American taxpayers should be pissed off if this is all the "best and brightest" can come up with. The USG IC has an annual budget of $65 billion so if this is a black op., they have more than enough money to be able to afford the arrest of the "leaker" and even pay for her to get decently lawyered up.

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 9:15:07 AM | 30
27) if so, there are unintended consequences

From the memory whole - wired

But that's not what's really important here. WikiLeaks and Assange say they have no responsibility for the content they leak, and that no one has evidence that the sources of the DNC leak are Russian. But these leaks and tweets damage WikiLeaks' credibility. If they're not scrutinizing their own leaks on the base level of their content, it's not hard to imagine that WikiLeaks could unwittingly become part of someone else's agenda (like, say, a Russian one). "If you are a legitimate leaker, why go with WikiLeaks? You go with The Intercept or the New York Times, like they did with the Panama Papers" says Nicholas Weaver, a computer scientist at UC Berkeley who studies the organization. "Wikileaks is a pastebin for spooks, and they're happy to be used that way."

All this effort to discredit Wikileaks - poof.

Kronos | Jun 6, 2017 9:22:06 AM | 32
One would think that all parties would be interested in this news. The Dems, of course, want to make Russian links. But doesn't Trump want to use this to prove his theory that the popular vote was wrong? Let's not turn this into a game where everyone interprets things based on ideology. The whole dang point is that someone was trying to infiltrate our voting system. Maybe they failed, maybe it was just a reconnaissance mission, but it happened. That is news.

Moon is obviously showing extreme bias. Instead of trying to figure out and analyze the implications he uses this as a way to score points. Points against the Intercept. Points against the Dems, and so on. How tiring.

SlapHappy | Jun 6, 2017 9:54:22 AM | 35
This whole episode smacks of a psy-op to me. If - and this is a big if - the Russians did hack into any voting systems, I'd be more willing to believe it was to collect evidence of malfeasance on the part of our own government than it would have been to manipulate the results themselves.

Important to note is that Putin just mentioned in his interview with Megyn Kelly that it doesn't matter who's president of the United States because no matter what, the policy remains the same. That's a pretty direct indictment of the integrity of US elections, so what better time to up the ante with respect to the obvious lies about Russian interference in our elections than right after Putin calls our elections Kabuki theater?

ben | Jun 6, 2017 10:15:11 AM | 38
More diversion folks. The real elephant in the room is the U$A electoral system. It's rotten to it's core. Regardless of ANY information coming from ANY source, the corporate overlords OWN the voting systems at the national level here in the U$A. SO, we here in the U$A, can believe whoever we want to, but, our votes, at least at national level, are meaningless.

P.S- Read around folks, but, watch what people do, not what the say.

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 10:34:10 AM | 40
jawbone

Well for one she is not a whistleblower, she is another anti-Trump neocon working for the deep state. She I believe leaked material just to attack Trump and Russia even more with info, as we have seen so many times now past months. She nor we as readers have any idea if there is any truth to the claim to start with. So why leak it? Well obviously, like past months, some groups in our society benefit from this greatly.

Bob Bows | Jun 6, 2017 10:46:15 AM | 41
The article even says that NO EVIDENCE has been presented: "While the document provides rare window into the NSA's understanding of the mechanics of Russian hacking, it does not show the underlying "raw" intelligence on which the analysis is based. A U.S. intelligence officer who declined to be identified cautioned against drawing too big a conclusion from the documentbecause a single analysis is not necessarily definitive."

The information is a lie, just like the original report from the Director of National Intelligence, as I detail here: http://coloradopublicbanking.blogspot.com/2017/01/us-intelligence-reports-fail.html

From The Hague | Jun 6, 2017 10:49:08 AM | 42
peter #39 that Trump has been utterly silent about Russia or Putin. Not one negative word.

Everybody not complying with "Russia/Putin is bad" must be paid or blackmailed. Silly.

Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 11:24:33 AM | 44
Posted by: Anon | Jun 6, 2017 10:34:10 AM | 40
she is another anti-Trump neocon working for the deep state

Three points:

1. She is not a neo-con, she's a neo-lib/liberal interventionist/R2P liberal/Clintonist. There is a big difference between neo-cons and neo-libs/liberal interventionists/R2P liberals/Clintonists. The neo-cons do it because they can, the latter, who are far more dangerous, do it "for the greater good" although they rarely ask the people who it's being done for what they think and they have a far greater degree of "religious"certainty about what they're doing.
To paraphrase Putin in his recent interview, "why would he interfere in American elections as he gets the same foreign policy crap regardless of which side wins?"

2. The neo-cons lost big time in Iraq and as a result have little real power in Washington beyond being disruptive.

3. There is no deep state in the United States now because it's totally visible, and since both the neo-cons and the neo-libs/liberal interventionists/R2P liberals/Clintonists have the same objective there is no need for secrecy or conspiracies. If anyone needs to revive the "deep state" it's the Trumpists.

All these conspiracy theories are a waste of time and energy because there is so much real dangerous crap going on that needs to be attended to first.

William Rood | Jun 6, 2017 11:31:31 AM | 45
I haven't trusted The Intercept since they ran their hit piece on Tulsi Gabbard.
financial matters | Jun 6, 2017 11:37:29 AM | 46
Ghostship. True enough. But knowing it is still different from effectively dealing with it. The elite/CIA controlled mass media still has a lot of power to persuade people as do the corporations that finance political elections. As well as the people who make money from arms sales. These people who may be loosely referred to as 'deep state' don't want to give up any of that power/money.
From The Hague | Jun 6, 2017 11:43:20 AM | 47
#46
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But after all it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship ...Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger."
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/US_ForeignPolicy.html
SlapHappy | Jun 6, 2017 11:46:22 AM | 48
Assuming the neocons and neolibs represent different interests is the same as assuming the democrats and republicans represent different masters. Divide and conquer is the name of the game, and until we can come together and agree on who the real enemy is, they'll continue eating our lunch with impunity.
Pnyx | Jun 6, 2017 11:57:04 AM | 49
Thanks for the very valuable information. I wonder what Snowdon is thinking and maybe doing about The Intercept. Being him I would be fourious.
Anon | Jun 6, 2017 11:57:32 AM | 50
ghostship

She follows a neocon agenda (war against afghanistan, war against Syria, hatered against Russia, hatred against foreign policy that Trump have i.e), she works for the deep state, she leak deep state material to smear her "enemies".

Who are those who spread this bs to the MSM about Trump and Russia constantly for past months? Where does it come from if not from the deep state groups?

NemesisCalling | Jun 6, 2017 12:38:46 PM | 52
@24 uncle $cam

This is easy to tell but difficult to snuff out in the end. Once Hillary and co. started railing against paid Kremlin-trolls on alt-right and various forum sites, you knew that it was something that they had been doing for quite sometime and, indeed, had been losing the battle. At that point, it was best to throw up their hands and concoct the victim-story, even though we TPTB probably pioneered the tactics (color revolutions, ngos, etc.).

Perhaps there were Kremlin agents on our boards. Perhaps there are some here. But truth, or a slightly biased truth, still stands in their corner, so I refuse to complain about Russia agents. The CIA OTOH. They can GTFO.

james | Jun 6, 2017 12:39:01 PM | 53
thanks b..

i used to like greenwald long before his time at the intercept... the intercept smelt funny right from the beginning.. i haven't followed it, in spite of having enjoyed reading greenwald when he was more independent..

this whole story stinks to high heaven.. something is weird about the whole thing.. can't put my finger on it.. seems like more bs basically.. the usa is bonkers at this point..

@8 opereta... i see it similar to you..

@43 uncle scam... some of those folks are still around, but more of them are not..

hopehely | Jun 6, 2017 12:48:49 PM | 54
How on Earth do these kids (Snowden, Winner, etc) manage to get that kind of jobs?
crone | Jun 6, 2017 12:52:30 PM | 55
@54 2 yrs of college, a couple of years in 'the field' (Air Force in this case)

Pointman | Jun 6, 2017 1:13:54 PM | 57
As you say, appalling tradecraft by both the leaker and the recipient. I would have thought even a cursory security check before giving her any security clearance would have unearthed her extreme views on social media.

Some general thoughts on the subject of leaks from the Trump administration -

https://thepointman.wordpress.com/2017/06/02/leaks/

Pointman

Brooklin Bridge | Jun 6, 2017 1:17:51 PM | 58
Excellent article. A warning to heed and I hope it gets out far and wide. Omidyar being behind the Intercept has always been an iffy proposition at best, and it has never sat well that Greenwald is apparently satisfied with such an arrangement.
Copeland | Jun 6, 2017 1:20:02 PM | 59
What a circus of distraction that grabs for public attention; its chief element is distraction,-- and its goal is distraction. In the end, Trump will probably go farther to accommodate the deep state, since what it aims to destroy is any chance for improvement of relations with Russia. This a PSYOPS extravaganza. The moronic level of political debate is not going to improve with the introduction of Reality Winner ( whose name sounds a bit silly, in this context).

The confirmed partisans will wolf down such farce without even tasting it. These absurd pratfalls will stop abruptly when the risk to our survival becomes obvious; but something on the order of a miracle would need to happen soon, to avert disaster. Trump's base will loudly congratulate him, whatever concessions he makes to survive politically; and the rationally unmoored Dems will sign on to any confidence game if it gets the results they are after.

Certainly, a closer observation of the details can help. Thanks to the author of this article, our host, and those who have commented. The alternative is for life to become a work of fiction.

WGary | Jun 6, 2017 1:44:48 PM | 60
My guess is "Reality Winner" is actually very bright, experienced and goes by another name.

NemesisCalling | Jun 6, 2017 2:03:54 PM | 62
b,

Outstanding reporting, b. I saw a report on the microlending "phenomenon" in India on PBS a long time ago. It was heralded then. I'll have to dive into your link to survey the damage. Thx again.

h | Jun 6, 2017 2:06:17 PM | 63
Hey b, John Kiriakou chimed in saying "@theintercept should be ashamed of itself. Matthew Cole burns yet another source. It makes your entire organization untrustworthy"

And you just know Mark Ames will have a piece up bashing Omidyar, Greenwald and Scahill. Speaking of Scahill, other than a weekly podcast, what exactly does he do for the Intercept?

WorldBLee | Jun 6, 2017 2:06:58 PM | 64
Greenwald is a self-serving hack and the Intercept functions alongside outlets like DemocracyNow! to provide a Democrat-friendly perspective on the world to people who think they are very "progressive". They will never challenge the fundamental precepts of US imperialism and the oligarchic powers behind it, or truly rock the boat.
4mas | Jun 6, 2017 2:15:02 PM | 65
There's a chance they got played. As noted, the documents don't actual show evidence of actual interference with voting system beyond data gathering. But now we have a leaker who's social media bills her as part of the resistance. And in this environment, how are the optics going to look like prosecuting someone who is being passed off as having leaked evidence of malfeasance? I think they rushed too quickly to publish.
BilboBaggeshott | Jun 6, 2017 2:28:40 PM | 66
Nice to see so many finally coming to the realisation that Greenwald, Poitras and the Intercept are disinfo operatives.... Waiting for the rest of you to begin questioning The Snowjob too.
jfl | Jun 6, 2017 2:34:09 PM | 67
pence smells blood in the water ... Russia, Iran and terrorism are top global threats - Pence
"From the Russian attempts to redraw international borders by force, to Iran destabilizing the Middle East, and to the global threat of terrorism, which affects people everywhere. It seems that the world has become much more dangerous today than ever since the fall of communism, about a quarter of a century ago,"- he said at a meeting of vice-president.

... pence is running for president ... in 2017?

Piotr Berman | Jun 6, 2017 2:37:15 PM | 68
Actually, it is a good question how Winner got the access to the file. "Top Secret" is actually a low level of secrecy, without specific restriction who "needs to know" it. Practical problem for the wanna be leaker is to find "a needle in the haystack". Probably the chain of folders had self-explanatory names, which is like posting in on the billboard for all and sundry working for NSA. That in itself can be "leaking with a borrowed hand".

The content does not seem to be secret in the sense of revealing "sources and methods", just a scrubbed analysis with conclusions. A major part of the mission of intelligence agency to to careful draw conclusions from the gathered data so they are useful to the decision makers: access to information allows to engage in disinformation. But what to do with the obsolete analysis, prepared for the PDM, previous decision maker? Post it on a billboard, if you still like PDM.

Alternatively, the document was prepared in such a way that it was actually politically harmless but it could snare the leaker who would be triumphantly and publicly "executed". That can improve the discipline in the shop.

Poor girl. But those Intercept people, why they did not at least re-type the document before showing it to anyone?

blues | Jun 6, 2017 2:41:19 PM | 69
=>> Ghostship | Jun 6, 2017 11:24:33 AM | 44

This is silly nonsense. There is no difference at all between the neocons and the neolibs (the neolords). They come from exactly the same place and believe in exactly the same thing. Specifically, they are atychiphobs; they cannot endure any form of failure. So they always must attach themselves to whatever they perceive as the winning side. And ultimately rule the rest of the losing world. For them that's all there is; Hillary is an example, and most rich individuals also. They would absolutely prefer death to loserdom. So of course they have no concerns at all about the fate of the losers. They are all the same.

And speaking of psyops and propaganda, the Deep State (of course there is a deep state (the neolords) whom common selves cannot comprehend) is now in the business of producing psyoperative YouTube videos. See if you can spot the subliminal propaganda in this one (hint -- it is not at all about how Russians perceive Americans):

RUSSIAN MILLENNIALS SPEAK OPENLY ABOUT AMERICA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFklhWu3d3E

From The Hague | Jun 6, 2017 2:57:46 PM | 71
Posted by: BilboBaggeshott | Jun 6, 2017 2:28:40 PM | 66

How to Identify a CIA Limited Hangout Operation http://tarpley.net/2013/06/19/how-to-identify-a-cia-limited-hangout-operation/

Peter AU | Jun 6, 2017 3:02:36 PM | 72
Sounds like a con job from start to finish. Along the lines of bellingcat, SOHR ect. Just another method of disseminating propaganda.
Anon | Jun 6, 2017 3:04:42 PM | 73
hophely:

"How on Earth do these kids ( Winner) manage to get that kind of jobs?"

Exactly! I thought you had to be very special, bright and so on to get this kind of jobs here we have a 25 year old girl, that is named...Reality Winner and she has social media where she posts alot of selfies of herself and have a twitter feed like high school student. She seems quite dorky to me. That she has already been in and out of the air force is even more bizarre. This is the kind of morons ruling this world.

anon | Jun 6, 2017 3:10:44 PM | 74
The Intercept article is as inept as the NSA document! it's mostly a cartoon, and things like guessing corporate emails are hardly espionage - they are normal ways of figuring out how to contact people in the professional world, NOT a security threat. Phishing them ought to be illegal, but clearly the FBI doesn't give a crap until it happens to Clinton's campaign chair. At least it is SO common that normal people KNOW not to fall for it. what a bunch of drivel! If the NSA had any actual intelligence that the origin of the emails was Russia, you would think that might be part of the explanation, but the cartoon only says "probably within"...

Then the Intercept spends pages (and pages) arguing for more $$ for the NSA (!) and to centralize control of US elections to the federal level where all this 'insecurity' can be properly controlled by responsible people (like the NSA, or the POTUS).

Topping that off was Amy Goodman showing an interview with a Clinton mouthpiece trumpeting propaganda that this whole "Russian" scheme is a way to get contact info of registered voters to aim "fake news" at them....... anybody here who is a registered voter knows that the minute you sign up you are permanently on the list for daily piles of glossy lies from PACS and nightly phone surveys about what crafted message would work 'if the election were held today'. Where I live, the Dems have so much money that they poll the crap out of us during city-level campaigns. (and after the election they can't be bothered with what their voters care about.)

this whole thing is such a circus! and yes, the NSA has access to far more info than these stupid documents allude to, not to mention that the US has got to have some massive access to Russian data.

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 3:16:17 PM | 75
Glenn Greenwald is a puppet http://smoloko.com/ The Intercept consistently strongly campaigned for globalist Macron by repeatedly disparaging Le Pen as "Holocaust denier", see https://theintercept.com/2017/04/27/le-pen-promotes-holocaust-denier-plans-ban-kosher-butchers-yarmulkes/. Glenn Greenwald is a gay Jew https://twitter.com/FullGoy
anon | Jun 6, 2017 3:20:27 PM | 76
I should add: If Putin were directly responsible for hacking anything, Clinton should kiss Putin's who-cares-what for waiting until AFTER the primaries. She got to be part of the final coin-toss.

really, why is this NSA document even considered whistle-blowing?

PavewayIV | Jun 6, 2017 3:37:14 PM | 77
People - please stop the insanity.

Greenwald/Intercept?

The firewall set up by (or at least 'persuaded' by) the U.S. intelligence to toss out a few useless Snowden scraps to the peons? Why would the Intercept NOT report report this to their intel masters? Does anyone here really think 1) the Intercept has NOT been compromised since day one, 2) everybody and and everything at the Intercept is NOT closely monitored by the intel community? They probably have a department just for the Intercept. So whether the Intercept actually ratted out Winner is irrelevant - the NSA probably knows what flavor of coffee the mail guy at the Intercept was holding when he picked up the previously examined mail. The only way any Top Secret document is making its way to the Intercept is if the NSA or FBI created and mailed the document themselves. And if the alleged journalist did not report receipt of the document to the FBI, then THEY would face jail time if the FBI found it during a raid.

How did Winner come about this information?

Setting aside the antics of the Intercept, let's consider how preposterous this story is at face value. She's basically a translator for a few Middle Eastern languages. So she's reading email or web sites or listening to phone calls and doing her translating thing. It's not like she's a high-level analyst preparing briefings for the National Intelligence director - she's a damn low-level translator (no offense to NSA translators out there).

Why on earth would someone in that position have ANY Top Secret memos on Russian hackers or the election. Do people really think there is (at her workplace) a network-accessible folder labeled 'Top Secret' that anyone with a Top Secret clearance can browse through? No - that's not how it works. Does anyone think they have a 'Top Secret' mailing list to distribute memos? Nope. In fact, can ANYONE give me the least plausible reason why some nobody Arabic-language translator would ever even be able to SEE a Top Secret memo regarding a subject she has absolutely no involvement with?

Computers at Intel Agencies

If Winner DID manage to stumble upon a Top Secret memo on her work network unrelated to her job, then her supervisor would have known it within minutes. Everything anybody does is constantly monitored and logged, right down to the keystroke. SHE would know that. In fact, she would be fired for not reporting this impossible access to top secret information immediately. She would be further punished for even having the document linger on her screen for more than a second or two. There's a reason they put TOP SECRET at the very top of every page. Classified documents also have their own security/surveillance/monitoring mechanisms. The document itself (or the document management system) knows or is told who is allowed to read it or even see that it exists. It would record her access, even if all the other security and monitoring software the agency had failed completely. So you get the idea. Even if she saw this document (unlikely) and did NOT report the inappropriate access, she would eventually be frog-walked out of the building before the end of the day.

Printing

I won't belabor the point, but everything from all the security, monitoring and logging items above apply moreso for printing anything. Top Secret documents (and their networks) do not allow you to print them at all, and certainly not on some random office printer. Presuming she did the impossible and get a Top Secret document printed out (which would all be logged), how did she get it out of her controlled-access area and the building itself? Hide it in her purse? Tell the guard, "I'm taking this folder of top secret stuff home to work on, but it's OK - I have a top secret clearance..."

All modern printers and copy machines have an invisible watermark that identifies the time/date you printed a page and the serial number of the machine. If she copied it somewhere, then they copy can be traced to a certain machine and date/time. She's busted either way if the feds got their hands on it, and SHE KNOWS THAT.

Impossible Conclusion

Now given all the above and her knowledge of how all that works, does anyone think she's STILL going to naively print out and mail a hard copy of Top Secret information to a known compromised, well-monitored news site... because she doesn't like Trump??

Sorry - but unless someone can prove she has an extra chromosome or two, I have to believe this is a charade. She won't go to jail because she's in on it with the NSA and it's not a real Top Secret document anyway. NO intelligence agency will ever verify or deny something you show them is either legitimate or Top Secret, so even that part is wrong. If you call them to ask about a document you have, they will politely put you on hold so they can dispatch some DHS thugs to kick in your door and retrieve said document - without telling you anything either way.

Why would she do this then? Well, if she knew she wasn't really going to be tried to go to prison and the NSA is 'in' on it, then I'm sure there's a large check waiting for her somewhere. How much do you think it would take to buy out a translator from her crappy .gov job? Plus, she gets to stick it to Trump and those evil Russians. It's a win-win!

Maybe I'm too cynical nowadays, but this whole thing is preposterous beyond belief. Am I the only one that thinks this whole thing stinks to high heaven? I'm amazed the bar is so low for these fabrications.

Merlin2 | Jun 6, 2017 3:47:26 PM | 78
For james #53 and all who want to be amused: it's all so poetic!

https://www.reddit.com/r/WayOfTheBern/comments/6fkoe1/reality_winner_reality_for_winners/

I tend to agree with the hint, hint - #RealityWinner is an obvious PsyOp. Her employer probably had a deal for her - agree to be "used", play the part in a little prosecution game we'll have going, make sure you leak to Cook - and don't worry, you'll be well rewarded in the end.

Why her? the name, of course - sends a nice message. And her youth - get a little sympathy going. from a gullible public (not any of us though).

Rusty Pipes | Jun 6, 2017 4:09:32 PM | 80
The timing of this leak and the choice of media outlet is very convenient for the Establishment Dems/Deep State Russia investigation. Leaking to the Intercept, which has credibility in the alternative media, would be a convenient way to get the story covered in the MSM and leftist media. It certainly helps to distract Berners from the Seth Rich story. Some interns at the Intercept did a sloppy job checking up on their source.
the pair | Jun 6, 2017 4:14:02 PM | 81
thank you for this. i left a comment on that article yesterday about how dumb the technical aspects were and apparently you noticed as well (i also mentioned stuxnet as an example of what an effective and professional attack would actually look like). the thought that a macro in a word file (who lets those run by default anyway?) could pivot into some elaborate firmware/hardware exploit is just dumb. even the article mentions that machines and procedures vary from state to state and even city to city. seems like a lot of work to put into changing votes for a few thousand people.

as i also mentioned: hillary won durham by a WIDE margin (almost 100k votes). seems like any "hacking" worked to her advantage, not trump's.

i've been reading douglas valentine's book on the phoenix program and other CIA criminality https://www.amazon.com/CIA-Organized-Crime-Illegal-Operations/dp/0997287012

and he makes a lot of the points you do here regarding the intercept. as much as i respect greenwald, he and the other top tier hires don't need that site. they've got enough leverage to start their own site or even just stick to facebook and/or twitter and then "third party" out to big sites. this would give them exposure without tying them down to one billionaire with his own agendas and biases.

glenn used to have some oddly toxic opinions (anti-chavez whining and supposed initial support for the iraq war) and came around. he's not a dummy. i also doubt he has any malevolent intentions given his charitable work in brazil and what seems like genuine concern for "the law" and privacy and etc.

the documents were trusted to him and a few others. there was a reason for that. every non-journalist (and i include many intercept writers in that group) since is just a parasite using him and the documents as a host. time to swat them away and be truly indie. (not holding my breath).

side note: "reality winner"? wow. when i first saw the headlines i thought she was a former contestant on "big brother" or something. we'll see how much vocal support she gets from the democrats. again - not holding breath.

stumpy | Jun 6, 2017 4:34:04 PM | 83
It looks like a real half-arsed psyops -- here is the "Russia did it" smoking gun we've all been waiting for and it gets sorta rolled out but not trumpeted hysterically. Why the Intercept? Why not the NYtimes or wapo? Just like the dossier a few months ago, generated some smoke but in the end its a weak petard. Did Sessions tamp it down?
Anonymous Hippopotamus | Jun 6, 2017 4:38:46 PM | 84
Coincidence that this just happened? http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/amp/news/michael-moore-launches-trumpileaks-website-calls-whistleblowers-1010640
Sibel Edmonds | Jun 6, 2017 4:51:45 PM | 85
Thank you 'Moon of Alabama' for publishing this solid piece and warning future whistleblowers. Kudos to you!

Regards, Sibel Edmonds (FBI Whistleblower; Founder & Editor of Newsbud)

somebody | Jun 6, 2017 5:03:06 PM | 86
Posted by: Anonymous Hippopotamus | Jun 6, 2017 4:38:46 PM | 84

No, wikileaks kind of recommends it.

@wikileaks 24

Michael Moore's #Trumpileaks is not secure enough to protect sources with classified information but it is better than many newspapers.

karlof1 | Jun 6, 2017 5:12:51 PM | 87
Paveway IV @77--

It's becoming more difficult daily to find something that doesn't stink. I see it as an attempt to further bury the censored NBC interview with Putin where he explained several hard truths, one of which I alluded to yesterday. Compare vid here, http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/06/nbc-edited-out-putins-hard-truths-heres.html with uncensored one here, which includes transcript, http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/54688

I strongly urge bar patrons to read transcript or watch uncensored vid and cease wasting time on all the related "nonsense."

blues | Jun 6, 2017 5:25:10 PM | 88
=>> Sibel Edmonds | Jun 6, 2017 4:51:45 PM | 85

No comment.

Corbett & Edmonds Call Out Nauseating Russia Worship in Alt Media
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijdMfUdLfTw

Anon | Jun 6, 2017 5:32:25 PM | 89
blues 88

Like watching desperate housewife talking about foreign policy, but I guess one shouldnt be surprised about her views coming being a fmr. FBI agent.

james | Jun 6, 2017 5:39:47 PM | 90
@77 paveway... thanks.. you are preaching to the choir here.. none of the story adds up, but the intercept is one bs outfit plain and simple..

@78/79 merlin.. thanks.. we see it much the same!

this ''russia did it memo'' is so friggin' boring... the usa has lost it's creative imagination if it ever had one to begin with... hollywood is over and one with.. give it up hollywash..

ruralito | Jun 6, 2017 5:40:23 PM | 91
@88, thanks. My estimation of C & E just took a big hit.

aaaa | Jun 6, 2017 5:50:10 PM | 92
@82 I remember reading that some crazy number, like 6 million people have security clearances. That's a lot of people that signed up to keep quiet. I guess a lot of it relates to basic military stuff, or controlled technology like aircraft parts or whatever.

Marym | Jun 6, 2017 6:00:49 PM | 93
PavewayIV @ 77

Farsi, it's Afghan version Dari, and Pashto are Indo-European > Indo-Iranian, languages, not Arabic languages, though they use the Arabic script.

brian | Jun 6, 2017 6:05:16 PM | 94
who are these Intercept guys? the billionaire seems to hire anyone

'Matthew Cole, Richard Esposito, Sam Biddle, Ryan Grim'

DC | Jun 6, 2017 6:15:00 PM | 95
She speaks Farsi and Pashto, I bet she's CIA who's been promised a lot of $$$ after she serves a short prison term. It's my guess that what she provided to The Intercept was given to her after it was manufactured or "doctored". The info published by The Intercept should be considered as suspicious.

aaaa | Jun 6, 2017 6:20:45 PM | 96
@94 there was some recent expose on the intercept that was quite damning, but I can't remember the content

PavewayIV | Jun 6, 2017 6:35:50 PM | 97
Marym@93 - Thanks. I hesitated to just say 'Iranian' because that didn't seem quite right, but 'Arabic' is obviously wrong. Hey, I'm American. I couldn't even tell you where Farsiland or Pastonia are on a map. I think... somewhere by Italy? No, wait...

dh | Jun 6, 2017 6:48:22 PM | 98
@95 Sounds right. She won't get the full Chelsea Manning treatment. Just a naive patriotic young American girl who did the right thing. Obviously she was tricked into using that copier. Couple of months and she''ll get a job at Fox.
@98 ....which she will turn down for a better offer at CNN.

Posted by: dh | Jun 6, 2017 6:55:18 PM | 99

@98 ....which she will turn down for a better offer at CNN.

Posted by: dh | Jun 6, 2017 6:55:18 PM | 99

JerseyJeffersonian | Jun 6, 2017 7:12:49 PM | 100
Remember when Greenwald's Brazilian boyfriend was being held by the authorities and accused of smuggling information from Snowden? Then he got released. Hmm.

Wonder if there was some sort of agreement to the effect that if Greenwald played ball, possible prosecution against said boyfriend would be held in abeyance. This is a tactic employed by government lawyers in some cases when they want something. Like a slow-walking of releases from Snowden's revelations, for instance. And maybe some other dirty business when wanted by the powers that be, like this "leak" that the NSA thought something could be true , but with the leak not containing any proof or any supporting raw intelligence.

Holding a sword over the head of the boyfriend might be just the ticket. And couple that with speculation that Snowden's documents contained revelations about Greenwald's boss, Pierre Omidyar. Maybe an offer that Greenwald and company could not refuse.

Speculation on my part, of course. But not the first time that such tactics have been deployed.

[May 31, 2017] Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin by Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous and Greg Miller

Another well-placed, well-timed leak from WaPo. Un-named intelligence official in play again. Is Russian embassy bugged and all diplomatic correspondence intercepted ? Looks like those guys outdid STASI. the standard question arises: "cuo bono".
If true, that means that the way information was obtained is iether already known by Russian, or this channel will be closed really soon. Form the text of the article it looks like the USA is able to read Russian diplomatic communication. Unless this is yet another disinformation, that means that the USA obtained the keys used by the embassy for incoding dypolicic communication, or have a modle who provided this communication by downloading already decoded archive or something like that. Which actually violates Vienna convention and makes the USA rogue nation not that different from GDR ot the USSR.
While it is unclear " what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow" it is clear who benefit from this revelation. But even if true why to reveal such an important information for such a minor case. Trump folded. What else "deep state" wants from him ? Are Hillary friends in State Department and a couple of other intelligence agencies really crazy about the revenge ?
More questions then answers
Notable quotes:
"... But officials said that it's unclear what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump. ..."
"... The FBI closely monitors the communications of Russian officials in the United States, and maintains near-constant surveillance of its diplomatic facilities. The National Security Agency monitors the communications of Russian officials overseas. ..."
"... 'according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports'. This isn't any sort of verification. Another manufactured news media story. ..."
"... The Washington Post should not even believed with there track record. They should identify there source that is leaking anything they can get there hands. Never about anything else accept fake news. The jokers on here keep on drinking the koolaid that the WP prints! ..."
"... Always jump to conclusions as always without the facts. They gave up on Trump now they go after some one else. You fools talk about Watergate and have no proof about any of this except what the Washington Trash prints! ..."
May 26, 2017 | www.msn.com

Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports.

Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, then President-elect Trump's son-in-law and confidant, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser.

The White House disclosed the fact of the meeting only in March, playing down its significance. But people familiar with the matter say the FBI now considers the encounter, as well as another meeting Kushner had with a Russian banker, to be of investigative interest.

Kislyak reportedly was taken aback by the suggestion of allowing an American to use Russian communications gear at its embassy or consulate - a proposal that would have carried security risks for Moscow as well as the Trump team.

Neither the meeting nor the communications of Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, officials said.

The White House declined to comment. Robert Kelner, a lawyer for Flynn, declined to comment. The Russian embassy did not respond to requests for comment.

Russia at times feeds false information into communication streams it suspects are monitored as a way of sowing misinformation and confusion among U.S. analysts. But officials said that it's unclear what Kislyak would have had to gain by falsely characterizing his contacts with Kushner to Moscow, particularly at a time when the Kremlin still saw the prospect of dramatically improved relations with Trump.

Kushner's apparent interest in establishing a secret channel with Moscow, rather than rely on U.S. government systems, has added to the intrigue surrounding the Trump administration's relationship with Russia.

To some officials, it also reflects a staggering naivete.

The FBI closely monitors the communications of Russian officials in the United States, and maintains near-constant surveillance of its diplomatic facilities. The National Security Agency monitors the communications of Russian officials overseas.

Current and former U.S. intelligence officials said that though Russian diplomats have secure means of communicating with Moscow, Kushner's apparent request for access to such channels was extraordinary.

"How would he trust that the Russians wouldn't leak it on their side?" said one former senior intelligence official. The FBI would know that a Trump transition official was going in and out of the embassy, which would cause "a great deal" of concern, he added. The entire idea, he said, "seems extremely naļve or absolutely crazy."

The discussion of a secret channel adds to a broader pattern of efforts by Trump's closest advisors to obscure their contacts with Russian counterparts. Trump's first national security adviser, Flynn, was forced to resign after a series of false statements about his conversations with Kislyak. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from matters related to the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had failed to disclose his own meetings with Kislyak when asked during congressional testimony about any contact with Russians.

Kushner's interactions with Russians - including Kislyak and an executive for a Russian bank under U.S. sanctions - were not acknowledged by the White House until they were exposed in media reports.

It is common for senior advisers of a newly elected president to be in contact with foreign leaders and officials. But new administrations are generally cautious in their handling of interactions with Moscow, which U.S. intelligence

... ... ....

In addition to their discussion about setting up the communications channel, Kushner, Flynn and Kislyak also talked about arranging a meeting between a representative of Trump and a "Russian contact" in a third country whose name was not identified, according to the anonymous letter.

The Post reported in April that Erik Prince, the former founder of Blackwater private security firm and an informal adviser to the Trump transition team, met on Jan. 11 - nine days before Trump's inauguration - in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean with a representative of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tom Lewis · Longs, South Carolina

"Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring" .... pretty stiff accusation with this as the news media's source ... 'according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports'. This isn't any sort of verification. Another manufactured news media story.

Paul Schofield · San Diego, California

Everyone knew about this, and it happens with every transition team, and it was done AFTER Trump won the election, but if it gets the Liberals' panties in a bunch, and CNN more viewers, the angry Clintonites can scream impeachment for a few hours tonight..... suckers!

Jerry Reich · Arnold, Missouri

The Washington Post should not even believed with there track record. They should identify there source that is leaking anything they can get there hands. Never about anything else accept fake news. The jokers on here keep on drinking the koolaid that the WP prints!

Always jump to conclusions as always without the facts. They gave up on Trump now they go after some one else. You fools talk about Watergate and have no proof about any of this except what the Washington Trash prints!

[May 22, 2017] NSA is here to help you or Spying as a service (SAAS)

May 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Willem Hendrik, May 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm GMT

Look at the bright side; If you lost the grocery list your wife gave you, call the NSA and ask them to send you a copy.

If your boss denies promising you a raise call NSA for supporting materials.

SAAS ( Spying as a service)

[May 22, 2017] The Russian Obsession Goes Back Decades by Jacob G. Hornberger

Notable quotes:
"... Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president: ..."
"... He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America. ..."
"... He has subjugated America's interests to Moscow. ..."
"... President Donald Trump? No, President John F. Kennedy. What lots of Americans don't realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or "collusion with," Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous "crime" of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship. They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naļve. They said he was a traitor. All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here . Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That's nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment. In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the " Peace Speech ." It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done. ..."
"... Kennedy wasn't dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, ..."
"... Kennedy didn't stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. ..."
"... By this time, Kennedy's war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again. ..."
"... What Kennedy didn't know was that his "secret" negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren't so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs. ..."
"... In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: "We are heading into nut country today." Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren't located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment ..."
"... For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation's one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled " The National Security State and JFK " at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel. ..."
May 20, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:

  1. He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
  2. He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
  3. He has subjugated America's interests to Moscow.
  4. He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.
President Donald Trump? No, President John F. Kennedy. What lots of Americans don't realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or "collusion with," Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous "crime" of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naļve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here .

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That's nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the " Peace Speech ." It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America's World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War - and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia - would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy's predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had called the "military-industrial complex."

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to "national security." After all, don't forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader's Patrice Lamumba's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende's outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende's death.

Kennedy wasn't dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May, which posited the danger of a military coup in America, he asked friends in Hollywood to make it into a movie to serve as a warning to the American people. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Pentagon and the CIA were exerting extreme pressure on Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, his brother Bobby told a Soviet official with whom he was negotiating that the president was under a severe threat of being ousted in a coup. And, of course, Kennedy was fully mindful of what had happened to Arbenz, Lamumba, and Castro for doing what Kennedy was now doing - reaching out to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, one simply did not reach out to Russia, Cuba, or any other "enemy" of America. Doing so, in their eyes, made Kennedy an appeaser, betrayer, traitor, and a threat to "national security."

Kennedy didn't stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. Yes, that's right - they said that "national security" depended on the U.S. government's continuing to do what they object to North Korea doing today - conducting nuclear tests, both above ground and below ground.

Kennedy mobilized public opinion to overcome fierce opposition in the military, CIA, Congress, and the Washington establishment to secure passage of his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

He then ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and told close aides that he would order a complete pull-out after winning the 1964 election. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, leaving Vietnam subject to a communist takeover would pose a grave threat to national security here in the United States.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, Kennedy began secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to bring an end to America's Cold War against them. That was considered to be a grave threat to "national security" as well as a grave threat to all the military and intelligence largess that depended on the Cold War.

By this time, Kennedy's war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again.

What Kennedy didn't know was that his "secret" negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren't so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs.

Kennedy's feelings toward the people who were calling him a traitor for befriending Moscow and other "enemies" of America? In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: "We are heading into nut country today." Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren't located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment.

For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation's one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled " The National Security State and JFK " at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation .

[May 21, 2017] Now we have a government dominated by Banking and Distribution, think Goldman Sacks and Walmart

Notable quotes:
"... Over the last thirty years the power of the Manufacturing and Infrastructure concerns has fallen dramatically. So now we have a government dominated by Banking and Distribution, think Goldman Sacks and Walmart. ..."
"... According to former CIA director Richard Helms, when Allen Dulles was tasked in 1946 to "draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency," he recruited an advisory group of six men made up almost exclusively of Wall Street investment bankers and lawyers. ..."
"... Dulles himself was an attorney at the prominent Wall Street law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell. Two years later, Dulles became the chairman of a three-man committee which reviewed the young agency's performance. ..."
"... So we see that from the beginning the CIA was an exclusive Wall Street club. Allen Dulles himself became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence in early 1953. ..."
"... The current Democratic Party was handed two golden opportunities and blew both of them. Obama blew the 2008 financial crisis. And Hillary Clinton blew the 2016 election. ..."
"... Neoliberal Democrats seek to create the same tribablist/identity voting block on the left that the republicans have on the right. The is why people like sanjait get totally spastic when progressives criticize the party. ..."
May 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Gibbon1 , May 19, 2017 at 04:24 PM

Among the rich I think there were three groups based on where their wealth and interests laid.

Banking/Insurance industry.
Distribution/logistics.
Manufacturing and Infrastructure.

Over the last thirty years the power of the Manufacturing and Infrastructure concerns has fallen dramatically. So now we have a government dominated by Banking and Distribution, think Goldman Sacks and Walmart.

libezkova - , May 20, 2017 at 09:03 PM
"Over the last thirty years the power of the Manufacturing and Infrastructure concerns has fallen dramatically. So now we have a government dominated by Banking and Distribution, think Goldman Sacks and Walmart."

This trend does not apply to Military-industrial complex (MIC). MIC probably should be listed separately. Formally it is a part of manufacturing and infrastructure, but in reality it is closely aligned with Banking and insurance.

CIA which is the cornerstone of the military industrial complex to a certain extent is an enforcement arm for financial corporations.

Allen Dulles came the law firm that secured interests of Wall Street in foreign countries, see http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30605.htm )

According to former CIA director Richard Helms, when Allen Dulles was tasked in 1946 to "draft proposals for the shape and organization of what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency," he recruited an advisory group of six men made up almost exclusively of Wall Street investment bankers and lawyers.

Dulles himself was an attorney at the prominent Wall Street law firm, Sullivan and Cromwell. Two years later, Dulles became the chairman of a three-man committee which reviewed the young agency's performance.

The other two members of the committee were also New York lawyers. For nearly a year, the committee met in the offices of J.H. Whitney, a Wall Street investment firm.

According to Peter Dale Scott, over the next twenty years, all seven deputy directors of the agency were drawn from the Wall Street financial aristocracy; and six were listed in the New York social register.

So we see that from the beginning the CIA was an exclusive Wall Street club. Allen Dulles himself became the first civilian Director of Central Intelligence in early 1953.

The prevalent myth that the CIA exists to provide intelligence information to the president was the promotional vehicle used to persuade President Harry Truman to sign the 1947 National Security Act, the legislation which created the CIA.iv

But the rationale about serving the president was never more than a partial and very imperfect truth...

Gibbon1 - , May 19, 2017 at 04:59 PM
The current Democratic Party was handed two golden opportunities and blew both of them. Obama blew the 2008 financial crisis. And Hillary Clinton blew the 2016 election.

If you have a tool and the tool it broken you try to fix it. One doesn't pretend there is nothing wrong.

The difference between neoliberal democrats and progressives is they differ on what's wrong.

Neoliberal Democrats seek to create the same tribablist/identity voting block on the left that the republicans have on the right. The is why people like sanjait get totally spastic when progressives criticize the party.

Progressives seek to create an aggressive party that represents the interests of working class and petite bourgeoisie. That is why you see progressives get spastic when the corporate democrats push appeasement policies.

[May 19, 2017] I encourage at least skim some of these documents to get a better understanding of the kinds of sickening things perpetrated by the intel community in the past and then ask yourself if the veil of secrecy that surrounds them is to keep secrets from the enemy or to keep the American public from vomiting.

Notable quotes:
"... I found it an odd mix of straight-talk and naivete. The NSA can't spy on Americans without a warrant? Go ahead, pull the other one. ..."
"... This caught my eye earlier. Had to come back to it. Especially after reading Mike Whitney's latest http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/19/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/ . In it, he details how seriously Clapper, Brennan et al. take those "laws and procedures." ..."
"... Taking a recent and relevant example, remember the ICA, the "Intelligence Community Assessment"? Whitney quotes a Fox news article detailing the many ways in which it's production varied sharply from normal procedures. And of course there was all that "stove-piping" of "intel" that helped make the bogus case for the 2003 war of aggression against Iraq ..."
"... Glad you liked it. Lily Tomlin applies: "No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up." ..."
"... Excellent post, except for the bit, as some other readers have commented, about American intelligence agencies being law abiding. Europe, and much of the world, crumbled without resistance in the face of the tech juggernauts because of the PR fetishization of anything that came out of silicon valley. ..."
May 19, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Huey Long , May 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm

This piece is absolutely fantastic! Not to nit pick, but I do disagree with the author about the following passage:

Even if you think our intelligence agencies are evil, they're a lawful evil. They have to follow laws and procedures, and the people in those agencies take them seriously.

But there are no such protections for non-Americans outside the United States. The NSA would have to go to court to spy on me; they can spy on you anytime they feel like it.

We know from the Church and Pike committees that this is patently false, and I highly doubt that this has changed much since then, especially in light of Iran-Contra and the made-up intel used to justify the Iraq invasion.

I know I probably sound like a broken record as I often cite the Church and Pike reports in my NC comments, but they're just so little known and so important that I feel compelled to do so.

I encourage the entire commenteriat to at least skim some of these documents to get a better understanding of the kinds of sickening things perpetrated by the intel community in the past and then ask yourself if the veil of secrecy that surrounds them is to keep secrets from the enemy or to keep the American public from vomiting.

diptherio , May 19, 2017 at 12:05 pm

I found it an odd mix of straight-talk and naivete. The NSA can't spy on Americans without a warrant? Go ahead, pull the other one. Talking about the "collapse of representative government" as if we've ever had one. All very cute, and very silly.

His suggestions for putting the brakes on are good, but insufficient. My ideas as to how to go about, "connecting the tech industry to reality. Bringing its benefits to more people, and bringing the power to make decisions to more people," is here:

http://threadingthepearls.blogspot.com/2014/11/youre-doing-it-wrong-politics-as-if.html

Imagine a political party with no national platform-a party where local rank-and-file members select candidates from among themselves, and dictate the policies those candidates will support. [2] Imagine a political party whose candidates are transparent; one that guarantees every member an equal voice in shaping the actual policy proposals-and the votes-of their representatives. Imagine a political party whose focus is on empowering the rank-and-file members, instead of the charismatic con-artists we call politicians. Imagine a political party that runs on direct democracy, from bottom to top: open, transparent and accountable . we'll need an app maybe two

The app already exists, actually, and it's called Loomio. Podemos uses it, along with a lot of other people:

https://www.loomio.org/

JustAnObserver , May 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

I had the same reaction to that passage, at least initially. However what I think the author might mean by this is that to have the means to combat this evil 2 things are necessary:

o Laws and/or procedures that place limitations on the actions of these agencies – NSA, CIA, DHS etc.

o and, much much more important, the means to ensure those laws/procedures are *enforced* as to both statute and intent.

USians have at least the first part even if the second, enforcement, has rotted to the extent of being no more than a cruel joke. non-USian have neither.

Note that the lack of enforcement thing extends far beyond the IC agencies into anti-trust, environmental regulation, Sarbanes-Oxley, etc. etc.. Even the ludicrous botch called Dodd-Frank could work marginally better if there was some attempt to actually enforce it.

Wisdom Seeker , May 19, 2017 at 1:03 pm

"Dodd-Frank could work marginally better if there was some attempt to actually enforce it."

Unenforceable and unenforced laws are a feature, not a bug, and demonstrate the corruption of the system.

Bugs Bunny , May 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm

The USSR had laws guaranteeing freedom of expression.

Michael Fiorillo , May 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm

It's a fine and entertaining piece, but flawed.

That bit about tech workers defying management to protest Trump's travel ban seems demonstrably untrue, as the companies want that human capital pipeline kept open, and they can simultaneously wrap themselves in muliti-cultural virtue as they defend their employment practices.

Also, and I know people here will disagree or think it irrelevant, but the "They're not bad people," thing is wrong; I think people such as Thiel, Kalanick, Zuckerberg, Ellison, add-your-own-candidates, seem like pretty awful people doing a lot of awful things, whatever their brilliance, business acumen, and relentlessness.

Finally, while as a union guy I was pleased to see the importance he gave it, the idea of tech workers unionizing in this country seems like social science fiction, whatever their European counterparts might hopefully do.

TheCatSaid , May 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm

I, too, stumbled / choked when I read those paragraphs. They are provably false in so many dimensions I hardly know where to begin. It made it hard to read past.

I will try again because so many commenters are so positive. But the author's credibility sinks when a piece starts with such blindness or misinformation or pandering.

PhilM , May 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

On the one hand, it's probably some pandering, because he knows he is being watched. We all throw that same bone once in a while. From Vergil, it is called "a sop to Cerberus." On the other hand, he is correct, too: it is a "lawful evil" because it functions using tax money, which is money extorted by force with the sanction of law, rather than "chaotic evil," which is money extorted by force or fraud without that sanction. So in that positive-law-philosophy way of thinking, he has a point, even if it's a pandering point.

knowbuddhau , May 19, 2017 at 12:16 pm

>>>"They have to follow laws and procedures, and the people in those agencies take them seriously."

This caught my eye earlier. Had to come back to it. Especially after reading Mike Whitney's latest http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/19/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/ . In it, he details how seriously Clapper, Brennan et al. take those "laws and procedures."

Taking a recent and relevant example, remember the ICA, the "Intelligence Community Assessment"? Whitney quotes a Fox news article detailing the many ways in which it's production varied sharply from normal procedures. And of course there was all that "stove-piping" of "intel" that helped make the bogus case for the 2003 war of aggression against Iraq .

I appreciate the author's point: it would be harder to surveil a particular American than a European. I'm sure rank & file people by & large respect law and procedure. But don't worry, if there's a political will to get you, there's a way. Ask Chelsea Manning.

Whitney concludes by quoting an especially apt question posed by Michael Glennon in the May issue of Harper's: "Who would trust the authors of past episodes of repression as a reliable safeguard against future repression?"

People who think they're immune to said repression, for one. Or who don't know or believe it happened/is happening at all. IOW political elites and most Americans, that's who. I think there's a good chance the soft coup will work, and most Americans would even accept a President-General.

So while I see the author's point, I see it this way. They take laws and procedures seriously like I take traffic laws seriously. Only their solution is to corrupt law enforcement, not follow the law.

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face, it's just a goddamned piece of paper!" - President George W. Bush

Silicon Valley elites apparently think the same.

TheCatSaid , May 19, 2017 at 3:25 pm

Mike Whitney's article you linked to was interesting. George Webb's ongoing YouTube series is going further still, as he is uncovering numerous anomalies with Seth Rich's death and the circumstances and "investigation". It turns out that nothing in this story is what it seems (the "school play" scenario).

Disturbingly, there are similarities and patterns that connect up with numerous other patterns discussed earlier in this 208-day (so far) odyssey, which started with looking at irregularities around oil pipelines and drugs shipments, and ended up including numerous additional criminal enterprises, all with direct links to high-up government staff and political staff from both major parties, with links among key participants going back over decades in some cases.

To return to your observation–knowing what I know now–personal as well as second-hand, I don't think it's harder to surveil an american than a european. The compromises of law enforcement, justice and intelligence and rogue contractors have no international boundaries. The way the compromises are done vary depending on local methods, and the degree of public awareness may vary, but the actuality and ease–no different overall.

knowbuddhau , May 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

Glad you liked it. Lily Tomlin applies: "No matter how cynical you get, it's impossible to keep up."

TheCatSaid , May 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm

That says it all. The rabbit holes are many and deep. As a society we are in for many rude awakenings. I don't expect soft landings.

mwbworld , May 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Lots of great stuff in here, but I'll raise a slight objection to:

three or four people who use Linux on the desktop, all of whom are probably at this conference.

We're now up to easily 5 or 6 thank you very much, and I wasn't at the conference. ;-)

MoiAussie , May 19, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Make that 7.

HotFlash , May 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm

Eight, nine and ten in this household. I don't use any Google-stuff and have hard-deleted my Facebook account. At least they told me had, I should ask a friend to check to see if I am still there ;)

voislav , May 19, 2017 at 1:23 pm

But we all know that a Linux user is worth only 3/5 of a regular user, so we are back to 6. Writing this from a 2003 vintage Pentium 4 machine running Linux Mint 17.

knowbuddhau , May 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

8. Built this thing myself 5 years ago. It's a quad core on an MSI mobo. Or maybe I only count as a half, since it's a dual boot with Linux Mint 17.3/Win7 Pro.

Disturbed Voter , May 19, 2017 at 12:54 pm

A history lesson. The PC brought freedom from the IT department, until networking enslaved us again. The freedom was temporary, we were originally supposed to be serfs of a timeshare system connected to a mainframe. France was ahead of the US in that, they had MiniTel. But like everything French is was efficient but static. In Europe, like in the US, the PC initially liberated, and then with networking, enslaved. Arpanet was the predecessor of the Internet it was a Cold War system of survivable networking, for some people. The invention of HTTP and the browser at CERN democratized the Arpanet. But it also greatly enabled State-sponsored snooping.

We are now moving to cloud storage and Chrome-books which will restore the original vision of a timeshare system connected to a mainframe, but at a higher technical standard. What was envisioned in 1968 will be achieved, but later than planned, and in a round about way. We are not the polity we used to be. In 1968 this would have been viewed by the public with suspicion. But after 50 years later the public will view this as progress.

Huey Long , May 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm

In 1968 this would have been viewed by the public with suspicion. But after 50 years later the public will view this as progress.

50 years of being force fed Bernays Sauce will tend to do that to a people :-(.

LT , May 19, 2017 at 2:50 pm

One thing just as dangerous and limiting as the idealized past of the conservative mindset is the idealized sense of progress of the the liberal mindset.

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , May 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm

You have 'a little learning is a dangerous thing.'

Then you have the Andromeda Strain that is toxic within a small PH range.

That is to say, nothing is inherently good or bad. It depends on when, where, what and how much.

And so the PC brought freedom and now it doesn't.

I suspect likewise with left-wing ideas and right-wing ideas. "How much of it? When?"

duck1 , May 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

SV tech owners (think about) . . . the cool toys they'll spend profits on . . . run by chuckle heads . . . identify with progressive values . . . they want to help . . . run by a feckless leadership accountable to no one . . .
Can't send them to Mars quick enough, I say.

Oregoncharles , May 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm

." Even if you think our intelligence agencies are evil, they're a lawful evil. They have to follow laws and procedures, and the people in those agencies take them seriously."

This is standup comedy?

Huey Long , May 19, 2017 at 1:24 pm

This is standup comedy?

To the NCer, yes.

To the general public who have swallowed what I like to call the "Jack Ryan Narrative" of how things are at the CIA, no.

duck1 , May 19, 2017 at 1:47 pm

The real kneeslapper was. . . American government (also) run by chuckle heads . . . what happens when these two groups . . . join forces?
Knock me over with a feather, let us know when that happens. How many Friedman units will we have to wait?

Oregoncharles , May 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

"And outside of Russia and China, Google is the world's search engine."

How can this be? I don't use it except very rarely; my wife does, but complains about it bitterly, and so do people here at NC, presumably tech-savvy. My wife is using it out of pure habit; what about the rest of them?

Phemfrog , May 19, 2017 at 2:53 pm

I literally don't know anyone who doesn't use it.

Oregoncharles , May 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm

"Given this scary state of the world, with ecological collapse just over the horizon, and a population sharpening its pitchforks, "
And unfortunately, that's the likeliest solution. (The family blogging "L" on this keyboard doesn't work right, so make some allowances.)

Despite my nitpicks above, this is a very important speech and a frightening issue. In particular, I've long been concerned that so much organizing depends on giant corporations like Faceborg and Twitter. They have no reason to be our friends, and some important reasons, like this speech, to be our enemies. Do we have a backup if FB and Google decide to censor the Internet for serious?

Thuto , May 19, 2017 at 1:33 pm

Excellent post, except for the bit, as some other readers have commented, about American intelligence agencies being law abiding. Europe, and much of the world, crumbled without resistance in the face of the tech juggernauts because of the PR fetishization of anything that came out of silicon valley.

The laxity of lawmakers and regulators was partly because of their unwillingness to be seen as standing in the way of "progress". A public drunk on the need to be in with the new, "disruptive" kids on the block who were "changing the world" would have teamed up with the disruptors to run rough shod over any oversight mechanisms proposed by regulators. Hence the silicon valley PR machine always prioritises the general public as the first targets of intellectual capture, because an intellectually captured public loath to give up the benefits and convenience of "progress and disruption" is a powerful weapon in the arsenal of tech giants in their global war against regulation. And the insidious nature of the damage of overreach by these tech giants isn't just limited to online interactions anymore, but the real world is also now experiencing disruption in the true sense of the word with gig economy companies reshaping the dynamics of entire markets and squeezing the most vulnerable members of society to the periphery of said markets, if not pushing them out entirely. In my own city of cape town south africa, a housing crisis is brewing as locals are being squeezed out of the housing market because landlords profit more from airbnb listings than making their properties available for long term rentals. Asset prices are being pushed up as "investors" compete to snap up available inventory to list on airbnb. And city officials seem more interested in celebrating cape town's status as "one of the top airbnb destinations" than actually protecting the interests of their own citizens. Intellectual capture, and the need to be "in with the cool disruptive kids" is infecting even public sector organizations with severe consequences for the public at large, but the public is blind to this as they've binged on the "disruption, changing the world" cool-aid

Bill Smith , May 19, 2017 at 4:15 pm

"PR fetishization of anything that came out of silicon valley"

It had nothing to do with individuals thinking this stuff had value? Cell phones -> iPhone (smartphone) for example.

Thuto , May 19, 2017 at 6:03 pm

While individuals might derive value from "this stuff", the tech companies providing the stuff use said value, allied with massive amounts of PR spin to render regulators impotent in providing safe guards to stop the techies from morphing from value providers into something akin to encroachers for profit/power/control (e.g. encroaching upon our right to privacy by selling off our data). Providing value to the public shouldn't be used as a cloak under which the dagger used to erode our rights is hidden

LT , May 19, 2017 at 1:50 pm

In the links today, there is a Guardian story on Tesla workers with the quote: "Everything feels like the future but us."

I'm reminded of another Guardian article about an ideology underpinning the grievances in Notes From An Emergency. It's imperative to understand the that the system we find ourselves in is a belief system – an ideology – and the choices to be made in regards to challenging it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/11/accelerationism-how-a-fringe-philosophy-predicted-the-future-we-live-in/
An excerpt:
"Accelerationists argue that technology, particularly computer technology, and capitalism, particularly the most aggressive, global variety, should be massively sped up and intensified – either because this is the best way forward for humanity, or because there is no alternative. Accelerationists favour automation. They favour the further merging of the digital and the human. They often favour the deregulation of business, and drastically scaled-back government. They believe that people should stop deluding themselves that economic and technological progress can be controlled. They often believe that social and political upheaval has a value in itself.

Accelerationism, therefore, goes against conservatism, traditional socialism, social democracy, environmentalism, protectionism, populism, nationalism, localism and all the other ideologies that have sought to moderate or reverse the already hugely disruptive, seemingly runaway pace of change in the modern world "

Be sure to catch such quotes as this:
"We all live in an operating system set up by the accelerating triad of war, capitalism and emergent AI," says Steve Goodman, a British accelerationist

That should remind one of this:
"Musk is persuaded that we're living in a simulation, and he or a fellow true believer has hired programmers to try to hack it ."

Oregoncharles , May 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm

"Boycotts won't work, since opting out of a site like Google means opting out of much of modern life."

I wish he wouldn't keep dropping into openly delusional statements like that. Granted, i use Google News, but there are alternatives.

jrs , May 19, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Yes I know, it's ridiculous. And we use them to "protect" us he claims. But about the only place where "protect" makes any sense in his whole argument is actually Amazon. It is pretty safe to buy from Amazon (or using Amazon-pay) if you fear a credit card being hacked from on online purchase. That much has some truth.

But how does using Facebook protect anyone? How does Google protect anyone? Ok Android security is a different debate, but I really don't understand how issues of "security" etc. applies to using a Google search as opposed to any other.

LT , May 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/11/accelerationism-how-a-fringe-philosophy-predicted-the-future-we-live-in

A long read, but gives some background on the "disruptors" a rebrand of "accelerationism."

(I thought I had accidently removed the link in the previous post)

begob , May 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm

The right wing in Britain seems to have come up with an authoritarian solution: "Theresa May is planning to introduce huge regulations on the way the internet works, allowing the government to decide what is said online."

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/theresa-may-internet-conservatives-government-a7744176.html

David, by the lake , May 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm

Lost me right at the opening by bringing up the popular vote and the bemoaning of a "broken" system. We are a federal republic of states and I'd prefer to keep it that way. Ensuring that the executive has the support of the populations of some minimal number of states is a good thing in my view.

craazyman , May 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm

so much to read. so little time.

that's when I bailed too. What drek. If a reader has half a mind, they slip and fall on a greasy doo doo in the first 15 seconds? No way can I stand to wade through the rest of what seems like a tortured screed (although I did speed read it). Turns out, I may agree in a minor way with some points, but I'll never know. I have time to waste in the real world, and I can't waste it if I'm reading somebody's internet screed about Donald Trump. God Good almighty. Enough.

Authors watch your words. They matter! LOL. And always remember - sometimes less is more. Not NC's finest post evah. And post author's shouldn't refer to people's heads on pikes in their hotel room as being something they wouldn't object to. I mean really. That's not even junior high school humor. I give this post a 2.3 on a scale of 1-10. 1 is unbearable. 3 is readable. 10 is genius.

PKMKII , May 19, 2017 at 3:12 pm

The people who run Silicon Valley identify with progressive values

Nope. There are some true progressives in the industry, yes, but they're few and far between. Understanding the dominant mindset in Silicon Valley is vital to understanding why there hasn't been pushback on all this. Sure, they like their neoliberal IdPol as it appeals to their meritocracy worship (hence the protests against the travel ban), but not with any intersectionality, especially with regards to women (the red pill/MRA mind virus infects a lot of brains in SV). Socio-economics, though, it's heavy on the libertarianism, albeit with some support for utopian government concepts like UBI, plus a futurist outlook out of that Rationality cult; Yudkowsky and his LessWrong nonsense have influence over a lot of players, big and small, in the bay area. So what you get is a bunch of people deluded into thinking they're hyperlogical while giving themselves a free pass on the begged question of where their "first principles" emerged out of. It's not just their sci-fi bubble that needs a poppin', it's their Rothbardian/Randite one as well.

Sue , May 19, 2017 at 3:27 pm

+1,000
"The people who run Silicon Valley identify with progressive values"
True! I've seen some smoking weed while talking machine language and screwing half of humanity

Michael Fiorillo , May 19, 2017 at 5:49 pm

Better still, they micro-dose on psychedelics while coding our binary chains: how cool is that!

TheCatSaid , May 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

The points you raise are accurate. And even long before those things existed, Silicon Valley arose as conscious, deliberate high-level government strategy (or beyond-government deep state).

The sources of new technology and funding have been deliberately obscured, at least as far as the general public debate goes. It has nothing to do with "innovation" and "entrepreneurship". It is amazing to see all countries around the world hop onto the innovation, let's-imitate-Silicon-Valley bandwagon, with no awareness that SV was no accident of a few smart/lucky individual entrepreneurs.

jfleni , May 19, 2017 at 4:12 pm

NOBODY has to join buttBook, review slimy effing GIGGLE, and especially use MICROSWIFT; ALTERNATIVES are easy and often more effective and especially annoying to the rich slime.

When Balmer was Billy-Boy's Ceo he actually preached that Linux was a nefarious plot to deprive clowns like him of their well deserved "emoluments". Fortuneately, all he has to do now is sell beer and hot dogs, and make sure the cheerleaders keep their clothing on. Good job for him.

Decide NOT to be a lemming; instead be a BOLSHIE and hit 'em hard. YOU and the whole internet will benefit.

ginnie nyc , May 19, 2017 at 5:36 pm

I think some of the naivete of this talk is based on a superficial knowledge of American history. Things like his remark about the Women's DC March – "America is not used to large demonstrations " Oh really.

The writer, though intelligent, is apparently unaware of massive demos during the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, the anti-Iraq war marches, the Bonus March etc etc. Perhaps his ignorance is a function of age, and perhaps the fact he was not born here, vis a vis his name.

different clue , May 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm

I will reply to an almost tangential little something which Maciej Ceglowski wrote near the beginning of his piece.

" 65.8 million for Clinton
63.0 million for Trump

This was the second time in sixteen years that the candidate with fewer votes won the American Presidency. There is a bug in the operating system of our democracy, one of the many ways that slavery still casts its shadow over American politics."

Really? A bug in the operating system of our democracy? That sounds like something a Clintonite would say. It sounds like something that many millions of Clintonites DID say, over and over and over again.

Clinton got more popular votes? She got almost all of them in California. So Mr. Ceglowski thinks Clinton should be President based on that? That means Mr. Ceglowski wants the entire rest of America to be California's colonial possession, ruled by a President that California picked. And don't think we Midwestern Deplorables don't understand exACTly how Ceglowski thinks and what Ceglowski thinks of us out here in Deploristan.

Some Clinton supporters are smarter than that. Some were not surprised. Michael Moore was not surprised. He predicted that we Deploristani Midwesterners would make Trump President whether the digitally beautiful people liked it or not. Did Mr. Ceglowski support Clinton? Did the "tech workers in short-lived revolt" support Clinton? And did they support NAFTA back in the day? You thought you would cram Trade Treason Clinton down our throat? Well, we flung Trade Patriot Trump right back in your face.

[May 16, 2017] Mark Ames: The FBI Has No Legal Charter But Lots of Kompromat

Notable quotes:
"... Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico). ..."
"... The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005. ..."
"... Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself. ..."
"... Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either. ..."
May 16, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

By Mark Ames, founding editor of the Moscow satirical paper The eXile and co-host of the Radio War Nerd podcast with Gary Brecher (aka John Dolan). Subscribe here . Originally published at The Exiled

I made the mistake of listening to NPR last week to find out what Conventional Wisdom had to say about Trump firing Comey, on the assumption that their standardized Mister-Rogers-on-Nyquil voice tones would rein in the hysteria pitch a little. And on the surface, it did-the NPR host and guests weren't directly shrieking "the world is ending! We're all gonna die SHEEPLE!" the way they were on CNN. But in a sense they were screaming "fire!", if you know how to distinguish the very minute pitch level differences in the standard NPR Nyquil voice.

The host of the daytime NPR program asked his guests how serious, and how "unprecedented" Trump's decision to fire his FBI chief was. The guests answers were strange: they spoke about "rule of law" and "violating the Constitution" but then switched to Trump "violating norms"-and back again, interchanging "norms" and "laws" as if they're synonyms. One of the guests admitted that Trump firing Comey was 100% legal, but that didn't seem to matter in this talk about Trump having abandoned rule-of-law for a Putinist dictatorship. These guys wouldn't pass a high school civics class, but there they were, garbling it all up. What mattered was the proper sense of panic and outrage-I'm not sure anyone really cared about the actual legality of the thing, or the legal, political or "normative" history of the FBI.

For starters, the FBI hardly belongs in the same set with concepts like "constitutional" or " rule of law." That's because the FBI was never established by a law. US Lawmakers refused to approve an FBI bureau over a century ago when it was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. So he ignored Congress, and went ahead and set it up by presidential fiat. That's one thing the civil liberties crowd hates discussing - how centralized US political power is in the executive branch, a feature in the constitutional system put there by the holy Founders.

In the late 1970s, at the tail end of our brief Glasnost, there was a lot of talk in Washington about finally creating a legal charter for the FBI -70 years after its founding. A lot of serious ink was spilled trying to transform the FBI from an extralegal secret police agency to something legal and defined. If you want to play archeologist to America's recent history, you can find this in the New York Times' archives, articles with headlines like "Draft of Charter for F.B.I. Limits Inquiry Methods" :

The Carter Administration will soon send to Congress the first governing charter for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The proposed charter imposes extensive but not absolute restrictions on the bureau's employment of controversial investigative techniques, .including the use of informers, undercover agents and covert criminal activity.

The charter also specifies the duties and powers of the bureau, setting precise standards and procedures for the initiation ,and conduct of investigations. It specifically requires the F.B.I. to observe constitutional rights and establishes safeguards against unchecked harassment, break‐ins and other abuses.

followed by the inevitable lament, like this editorial from the Christian Science Monitor a year later, "Don't Forget the FBI Charter". Which of course we did forget-that was Reagan's purpose and value for the post-Glasnost reaction: forgetting. As historian Athan Theoharis wrote , "After 1981, Congress never seriously considered again any of the FBI charter proposals."

The origins of the FBI have been obscured both because of its dubious legality and because of its original political purpose-to help the president battle the all-powerful American capitalists. It wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt was a radical leftist-he was a Progressive Republican, which sounds like an oxymoron today but which was mainstream and ascendant politics in his time. Roosevelt was probably the first president since Andrew Jackson to try to smash concentrated wealth-power, or at least some of it. He could be brutally anti-labor, but so were the powerful capitalists he fought, and all the structures of government power. He met little opposition pursuing his imperial Social Darwinist ambitions outside America's borders-but he had a much harder time fighting the powerful capitalists at home against Roosevelt's most honorable political obsession: preserving forests, parks and public lands from greedy capitalists. An early FBI memo to Hoover about the FBI's origins explains,

"Roosevelt, in his characteristic dynamic fashion, asserted that the plunderers of the public domain would be prosecuted and brought to justice."

According to New York Times reporter Tim Wiener's Enemies: A History of the FBI , it was the Oregon land fraud scandal of 1905-6 that put the idea of an FBI in TR's hyperactive mind. The scandal involved leading Oregon politicians helping railroad tycoon Edward Harriman illegally sell off pristine Oregon forest lands to timber interests, and it ended with an Oregon senator and the state's only two House representatives criminally charged and put on trial-along with dozens of other Oregonians. Basically, they were raping the state's public lands and forests like colonists stripping a foreign country-and that stuck in TR's craw.

TR wanted his attorney general-Charles Bonaparte (yes, he really was a descendant of that Bonaparte)-to make a full report to on the rampant land fraud scams that the robber barons were running to despoil the American West, and which threatened TR's vision of land and forest conservation and parks. Bonaparte created an investigative team from the US Secret Service, but TR thought their report was a "whitewash" and proposed a new separate federal investigative service within Bonaparte's Department of Justice that would report only to the Attorney General.

Until then, the US government had to rely on private contractors like the notorious, dreaded Pinkerton Agency, who were great at strikebreaking, clubbing workers and shooting organizers, but not so good at taking down down robber barons, who happened to also be important clients for the private detective agencies.

In early 1908, Attorney General Bonaparte wrote to Congress asking for the legal authority (and budget funds) to create a "permanent detective force" under the DOJ. Congress rebelled, denouncing it as a plan to create an American okhrana . Democrat Joseph Sherley wrote that "spying on men and prying into what would ordinarily be considered their private affairs" went against "American ideas of government"; Rep. George Waldo, a New York Republican, said the proposed FBI was a "great blow to freedom and to free institutions if there should arise in this country any such great central secret-service bureau as there is in Russia."

So Congress's response was the opposite, banning Bonaparte's DOJ from spending any funds at all on a proposed FBI. Another Congressman wrote another provision into the budget bill banning the DOJ from hiring Secret Service employees for any sort of FBI type agency. So Bonaparte waited until Congress took its summer recess, set aside some DOJ funds, recruited some Secret Service agents, and created a new federal detective bureau with 34 agents. This was how the FBI was born. Congress wasn't notified until the end of 1908, in a few lines in a standard report - "oh yeah, forgot to tell you-the executive branch went ahead and created an American okhrana because, well, the ol' joke about dogs licking their balls. Happy New Year!"

The sordid history of America's extralegal secret police-initially named the Bureau of Investigation, changed to the FBI ("Federal") in the 30's, is mostly a history of xenophobic panic-mongering, illegal domestic spying, mass roundups and plans for mass-roundups, false entrapment schemes, and planting what Russians call "kompromat"- compromising information about a target's sex life-to blackmail or destroy American political figures that the FBI didn't like.

The first political victim of J Edgar Hoover's kompromat was Louis Post, the assistant secretary of labor under Woodrow Wilson. Post's crime was releasing over 1,000 alleged Reds from detention facilities near the end of the FBI's Red Scare crackdown, when they jailed and deported untold thousands on suspicion of being Communists. The FBI's mass purge began with popular media support in 1919, but by the middle of 1920, some (not the FBI) were starting to get a little queasy. A legal challenge to the FBI's mass purges and exiles in Boston ended with a federal judge denouncing the FBI. After that ruling, assistant secretary Louis Post, a 71-year-old well-meaning progressive, reviewed the cases against the last 1500 detainees that the FBI wanted to deport, and found that there was absolutely nothing on at least 75 percent of the cases. Post's review threatened to undo thousands more FBI persecutions of alleged Moscow-controlled radicals.

So one of the FBI's most ambitious young agents, J Edgar Hoover, collected kompromat on Post and his alleged associations with other alleged Moscow-controlled leftists, and gave the file to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives-which promptly announced it would hold hearings to investigate Post as a left subversive. The House tried to impeach Post, but ultimately he defended himself. Post's lawyer compared his political persecutors to the okhrana (Russia, again!): "We in America have sunk to the level of the government of Russia under the Czarist regime," describing the FBI's smear campaign as "even lower in some of their methods than the old Russian officials."

Under Harding, the FBI had a new chief, William Burns, who made headlines blaming the terror bombing attack on Wall Street of 1920 that killed 34 people on a Kremlin-run conspiracy. The FBI claimed it had a highly reliable inside source who told them that Lenin sent $30,000 to the Soviets' diplomatic mission in New York, which was distributed to four local Communist agents who arranged the Wall Street bombing. The source claimed to have personally spoken with Lenin, who boasted that the bombing was so successful he'd ordered up more.

The only problem was that the FBI's reliable source, a Jewish-Polish petty criminal named Wolf Lindenfeld, turned out to be a bullshitter-nicknamed "Windy Linde"-who thought his fake confession about Lenin funding the bombing campaign would get him out of Poland's jails and set up in a comfortable new life in New York.

By 1923, the FBI had thoroughly destroyed America's communist and radical labor movements-allowing it to focus on its other favorite pastime: spying on and destroying political opponents. The FBI spied on US Senators who supported opening diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union: Idaho's William Borah, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee; Thomas Walsh of the Judiciary Committee, and Burton K Wheeler, the prairie Populist senator from Montana, who visited the Soviet Union and pushed for diplomatic relations. Harding's corrupt Attorney General Dougherty denounced Sen. Wheeler as "the Communist leader in the Senate" and "no more a Democrat than Stalin, his comrade in Moscow." Dougherty accused Sen. Wheeler of being part of a conspiracy "to capture, by deceit and design, as many members of the Senate as possible and to spread through Washington and the cloakrooms of Congress a poison gas as deadly as that which sapped and destroyed brave soldiers in the last war."

Hoover, now a top FBI official, quietly fed kompromat to journalists he cultivated, particularly an AP reporter named Richard Whitney, who published a popular book in 1924, "Reds In America" alleging Kremlin agents "had an all-pervasive influence over American institutions; they had infiltrated every corner of American life." Whitney named Charlie Chaplin as a Kremlin agent, along with Felix Frankfurter and members of the Senate pushing for recognition of the Soviet Union. That killed any hope for diplomatic recognition for the next decade.

Then the first Harding scandals broke-Teapot Dome, Veterans Affairs, bribery at the highest rungs. When Senators Wheeler and Walsh opened bribery investigations, the FBI sent agents to the senators' home state to drum up false bribery charges against Sen. Wheeler. The charges were clearly fake, and a jury dismissed the charges. But Attorney General Dougherty was indicted for fraud and forced to resign, as was his FBI chief Burns-but not Burns' underling Hoover, who stayed in the shadows.

"We want no Gestapo or Secret Police. FBI is tending in that direction. They are dabbling in sex-life scandals and plain blackmail This must stop."

With the Cold War, the FBI became obsessed with homosexuals as America's Fifth Column under Moscow's control. Homosexuals, the FBI believed, were susceptible to Kremlin kompromat-so the FBI collected and disseminated its own kompromat on alleged American homosexuals, supposedly to protect America from the Kremlin. In the early 1950s, Hoover launched the Sex Deviates Program to spy on American homosexuals and purge them from public life. The FBI built up 300,000 pages of files on suspected homosexuals and contacted their employers, local law enforcement and universities to "to drive homosexuals from every institution of government, higher learning, and law enforcement in the nation," according to Tim Weiner's book Enemies. No one but the FBI knows exactly how many Americans' lives and careers were destroyed by the FBI's Sex Deviants Program but Hoover-who never married, lived with his mother until he was 40, and traveled everywhere with his "friend" Clyde Tolson .

In the 1952 election, Hoover was so committed to helping the Republicans and Eisenhower win that he compiled and disseminated a 19-page kompromat file alleging that his Democratic Party rival Adlai Stevenson was gay. The FBI's file on Stevenson was kept in the Sex Deviants Program section-it included libelous gossip, claiming that Stevenson was one of Illinois' "best known homosexuals" who went by the name "Adeline" in gay cruising circles.

In the 1960s, Hoover and his FBI chiefs collected kompromat on the sex lives of JFK and Martin Luther King. Hoover presented some of his kompromat on JFK to Bobby Kennedy, in a concern-trollish way claiming to "warn" him that the president was opening himself up to blackmail. It was really a way for Hoover to let the despised Kennedy brothers know he could destroy them, should they try to Comey him out of his FBI office. Hoover's kompromat on MLK's sex life was a particular obsession of his-he now believed that African-Americans, not homosexuals, posed the greatest threat to become a Kremlin Fifth Column. The FBI wiretapped MLK's private life, collecting tapes of his affairs with other women, which a top FBI official then mailed to Martin Luther King's wife, along with a note urging King to commit suicide.

FBI letter anonymously mailed to Martin Luther King Jr's wife, along with kompromat sex tapes

After JFK was murdered, when Bobby Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1964, he recounted another disturbing FBI/kompromat story that President Johnson shared with him on the campaign trail. LBJ told Bobby about a stack of kompromat files - FBI reports "detailing the sexual debauchery of members of the Senate and House who consorted with prostitutes." LBJ asked RFK if the kompromat should be leaked selectively to destroy Republicans before the 1964 elections. Kennedy recalled,

"He told me he had spent all night sitting up and reading the files of the FBI on all these people. And Lyndon talks about that information and material so freely. Lyndon talks about everybody, you see, with everybody. And of course that's dangerous."

Kennedy had seen some of the same FBI kompromat files as attorney general, but he was totally opposed to releasing such unsubstantiated kompromat-such as, say, the Trump piss files-because doing so would "destroy the confidence that people in the United States had in their government and really make us a laughingstock around the world."

Imagine that.

Which brings me to the big analogy every hack threw around last week, calling Trump firing Comey "Nixonian." Actually, what Trump did was more like the very opposite of Nixon, who badly wanted to fire Hoover in 1971-2, but was too afraid of the kompromat Hoover might've had on him to make the move. Nixon fell out with his old friend and onetime mentor J Edgar Hoover in 1971, when the ailing old FBI chief refused to get sucked in to the Daniel Ellsberg/Pentagon Papers investigation, especially after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the New York Times. Part of the reason Nixon created his Plumbers team of black bag burglars was because Hoover had become a bit skittish in his last year on this planet-and that drove Nixon crazy.

Nixon called his chief of staff Haldeman:

Nixon: I talked to Hoover last night and Hoover is not going after this case [Ellsberg] as strong as I would like. There's something dragging him.

Haldeman: You don't have the feeling the FBI is really pursuing this?

Nixon: Yeah, particularly the conspiracy side. I want to go after everyone. I'm not so interested in Ellsberg, but we have to go after everybody who's a member of this conspiracy.

Hoover's ambitious deputies in the FBI were smelling blood, angling to replace him. His number 3, Bill Sullivan (who sent MLK the sex tapes and suicide note) was especially keen to get rid of Hoover and take his place. So as J Edgar was stonewalling the Daniel Ellsberg investigation, Sullivan showed up in a Department of Justice office with two suitcases packed full of transcripts and summaries of illegal wiretaps that Kissinger and Nixon had ordered on their own staff and on American journalists. The taps were ordered in Nixon's first months in the White House in 1969, to plug up the barrage of leaks, the likes of which no one had ever seen before. Sullivan took the leaks from J Edgar's possession and told the DOJ official that they needed to be hidden from Hoover, who planned to use them as kompromat to blackmail Nixon.

Nixon decided he was going to fire J Edgar the next day. This was in September, 1971. But the next day came, and Nixon got scared. So he tried to convince his attorney general John Mitchell to fire Hoover for him, but Mitchell said only the President could fire J Edgar Hoover. So Nixon met him for breakfast, and, well, he just didn't have the guts. Over breakfast, Hoover flattered Nixon and told him there was nothing more in the world he wanted than to see Nixon re-elected. Nixon caved; the next day, J Edgar Hoover unceremoniously fired his number 3 Bill Sullivan, locking him out of the building and out of his office so that he couldn't take anything with him. Sullivan was done.

The lesson here, I suppose, is that if an FBI director doesn't want to be fired, it's best to keep your kompromat a little closer to your chest, as a gun to hold to your boss's head. Comey's crew already released the piss tapes kompromat on Trump-the damage was done. What was left to hold back Trump from firing Comey? "Laws"? The FBI isn't even legal. "Norms" would be the real reason. Which pretty much sums up everything Trump has been doing so far. We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"-and while those norms may mean everything to the ruling class, it's an open question how much these norms mean to a lot of Americans outside that club.

Huey Long , May 16, 2017 at 2:33 am

Wow, and this whole time I thought the NSA had a kompromat monopoly as they have everybody's porn site search terms and viewing habits on file.

I had no idea the FBI practically invented it!

3.14e-9 , May 16, 2017 at 3:04 am

The Native tribes don't have a great history with the FBI, either.

https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/culture/thing-about-skins/comey-fbi-destructive-history-native-people/

voteforno6 , May 16, 2017 at 6:06 am

Has anyone ever used the FBI's lack of a charter as a defense in court?

Disturbed Voter , May 16, 2017 at 6:42 am

The USA doesn't have a legal basis either, it is a revolting crown colony of the British Empire. Treason and heresy all the way down. Maybe the British need to burn Washington DC again?

Synoia , May 16, 2017 at 9:46 pm

Britain burning DC, and the so call ed "war" of 1812, got no mention in my History Books. Napoleon on the other hand, featured greatly

In 1812 Napoleon was busy going to Russia. That went well.

Ignim Brites , May 16, 2017 at 7:55 am

Wondered how Comey thought he could get away with his conviction and pardon of Sec Clinton. Seems like part of the culture of FBI is a "above and beyond" the law mentality.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

Back in the early 1970s a high school friend moved to Alabama because his father was transferred by his employer.

My friend sent a post card describing among other things the fact that Alabama had done away with the requirement of a math class to graduate high school, and substituted a required class called "The Evils of Communism" complete with a text-book written by J. Edgar Hoover; Masters of Deceit.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:52 pm

In Dallas,Texas my 1959 Civics class had to read the same book. We all were given paperback copies of it to take home and read. It was required reading enacted by Texas legislature.

Watt4Bob , May 16, 2017 at 4:47 pm

So I'd guess you weren't fooled by any of those commie plots of the sixties, like the campaigns for civil rights or against the Vietnamese war.

I can't really brag, I didn't stop worrying about the Red Menace until 1970 or so, that's when I started running into returning vets who mostly had no patience for that stuff.

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 8:35 am

We've learned the past two decades that we're hardly a nation of laws, at least not when it comes to the plutocratic ruling class. What does bind them are "norms"

Or as David Broder put it (re Bill Clinton): he came in and trashed the place and it wasn't his place.

It was David Broder's place. Of course the media play a key role with all that kompromat since they are the ones needed to convey it to the public. The tragedy is that even many of the sensible in their ranks such as Bill Moyers have been sucked into the kompromat due to their hysteria over Trump. Ames is surely on point in this great article. The mistake was allowing secret police agencies like the FBI and CIA to be created in the first place.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 8:37 am

Sorry, my initial reaction was that people who don't know the difference between "rein" and "reign" are not to be trusted to provide reliable information. Recognizing that as petty, I kept reading, and presently found the statement that Congress was not informed of the founding of the FBI until a century after the fact, which seems implausible. If in fact the author meant the end of 1908 it was quite an achievement to write 2008.

Interesting to the extent it may be true, but with few sources, no footnotes, and little evidence of critical editing who knows what that may be?

Carolinian , May 16, 2017 at 9:12 am

Do you even know who Mark Ames is?

Petty .yes.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:08 am

Who he is is irrelevant. I don't take things on faith because "the Pope said" or because Mark Ames said. People who expect their information to be taken seriously should substantiate it.

Bill Smith , May 16, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Yeah, in the first sentence

Interesting article though.

Fiery Hunt , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Yeah, Kathatine, you're right .very petty.

And completely missed the point.

Or worse, you got the point and your best rejection of that point was pointing out a typo.

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:13 am

I neither missed the point nor rejected it. I reserved judgment, as I thought was apparent from my comment.

sid_finster , May 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

But Trump is bad. Very Bad.

So anything the FBI does to get rid of him must by definition be ok! Besides, surely our civic-minded IC would never use their power on the Good Guys™!

Right?

JTMcPhee , May 16, 2017 at 9:21 am

Ah yes, the voice of "caution." And such attention to the lack of footnotes, in this day when the curious can so easily cut and paste a bit of salient text into a search engine and pull up a feast of parse-able writings and video, from which they can "judiciously assess" claims and statements. If they care to spend the time, which is in such short supply among those who are struggling to keep up with the horrors and revelations people of good will confront every blinking day

Classic impeachment indeed. All from the height of "academic rigor" and "caution." Especially the "apologetic" bit about "reign" vs "rein." Typos destroy credibility, don't they? And the coup de grass (sic), the unrebuttable "plausibility" claim.

One wonders at the nature of the author's curriculum vitae. One also marvels at the yawning gulf between the Very Serious Stuff I was taught in grade and high school civics and history, back in the late '50s and the '60s, about the Fundamental Nature Of Our Great Nation and its founding fathers and the Beautiful Documents they wrote, on the one hand, and what we mopes learn, through a drip-drip-drip process punctuated occasionally by Major Revelations, about the real nature of the Empire and our fellow creatures

PS: My earliest memory of television viewing was a day at a friend's house - his middle-class parents had the first "set" in the neighborhood, I think an RCA, in a massive sideboard cabinet where the picture tube pointed up and you viewed the "content" in a mirror mounted to the underside of the lid. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5onSwx7_Cn0 The family was watching a hearing of Joe McCarthy's kangaroo court, complete with announcements of the latest number in the "list of known Communists in the State Department" and how Commyanism was spreading like an unstoppable epidemic mortal disease through the Great US Body Politic and its Heroic Institutions of Democracy. I was maybe 6 years old, but that grainy black and white "reality TV" content had me asking "WTF?" at a very early age. And I'd say it's on the commentor to show that the "2008" claim is wrong, by something other than "implausible" as drive-by impeachment. Given the content of the original post, and what people paying attention to all this stuff have a pretty good idea is the general contours of a vast corruption and manipulation.

"Have you stopped beating your wife? Yes or no."

Katharine , May 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

It is the author's job to substantiate information, not the reader's. If he thinks his work is so important, why does he not make a better job of it?

Edward , May 16, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I think the MLK blackmail scheme is well-established. Much of the article seems to be based on Tim Wiener's "Enemies: A History of the FBI".

nonsense factory , May 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

Interesting article on the history of the FBI, although the post-Hoover era doesn't get any treatment. The Church Committee hearings on the CIA and FBI, after the exposure of notably Operation CHAOS (early 60s to early 70s) by the CIA and COINTELPRO(late 1950s to early 1970s) by the FBI, didn't really get to the bottom of the issue although some reforms were initiated.

Today, it seems, the best description of the FBI's main activity is corporate enforcer for the white-collar mafia known as Wall Street. There is an analogy to organized crime, where the most powerful mobsters settled disputes between other gangs of criminals. Similarly, if a criminal gang is robbed by one of its own members, the mafia would go after the guilty party; the FBI plays this role for Wall Street institutions targeted by con artists and fraudsters. Compare and contrast a pharmaceutical company making opiates which is targeted by thieves vs. a black market drug cartel targeted by thieves. In one case, the FBI investigates; in the other, a violent vendetta ensues (such as street murders in Mexico).

The FBI executives are rewarded for this service with lucrative post-retirement careers within corporate America – Louis Freeh went to credit card fraudster, MBNA, Richard Mueller to a corporate Washington law firm, WilmerHale, and Comey, before Obama picked him as Director, worked for Lockheed Martin and HSBC (cleaning up after their $2 billion drug cartel marketing scandal) after leaving the FBI in 2005.

Maybe this is legitimate, but this only applies to their protection of the interests of large corporations – as the 2008 economic collapse and aftermath showed, they don't prosecute corporate executives who rip off poor people and middle-class homeowners. Banks who rob people, they aren't investigated or prosecuted; that's just for people who rob banks.

When it comes to political issues and national security, however, the FBI has such a terrible record on so many issues over the years that anything they claim has to be taken with a grain or two of salt. Consider domestic political activity: from the McCarthyite 'Red Scare' of the 1950s to COINTELPRO in the 1960s and 1970s to targeting of environmental groups in the 1980s and 1990s to targeting anti-war protesters under GW Bush to their obsession with domestic mass surveillance under Obama, it's not a record that should inspire any confidence.

Some say they have a key role to play in national security and terrorism – but their record on the 2001 anthrax attacks is incredibly shady and suspicious. The final suspect, Bruce Ivins, is clearly innocent of the crime, just as their previous suspect, Steven Hatfill was. Ivins, if still alive, could have won a similar multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against the FBI. All honest bioweapons experts know this to be true – the perpetrators of those anthrax letters are still at large, and may very well have had close associations with the Bush Administration itself.

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences. The Saudi intelligence agency role in 9/11 was buried for over a decade, as well. Since 9/11, most of the FBI investigations seem to have involved recruiting mentally disabled young Islamic men in sting operations in which the FBI provides everything needed. You could probably get any number of mentally ill homeless people across the U.S., regardless of race or religion, to play this role.

Comey's actions over the past year are certainly highly questionable, as well. Neglecting to investigate the Clinton Foundation ties to Saudi Arabia and other foreign governments and corporations, particularly things like State Department approval of various arms deals in which bribes may have been paid, is as much a dereliction of duty as neglecting to investigate Trump ties to Russian business interests – but then, Trump has a record of shady business dealings dating back to the 1970s, of strange bankruptcies and bailouts and government sales that the FBI never looked at either.

Ultimately, this is because FBI executives are paid off not to investigate Wall Street criminality, nor shady U.S. government activity, with lucrative positions as corporate board members and so on after their 'retirements'. I don't doubt that many of their junior members mean well and are dedicated to their jobs – but the fish rots from the head down.

Andrew Watts , May 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm

As far as terrorist activities? Many of their low-level agents did seem concerned about the Saudis and bin Laden in the late 1990s and pre-9/11 – but Saudi investigations were considered politically problematic due to "geostrategic relationships with our Saudi allies" – hence people like John O'Neil and Coleen Rowley were sidelined and ignored, with disastrous consequences.

The Clinton Administration had other priorities. You know, I think I'll let ex-FBI Director Freeh explain what happened when the FBI tried to get the Saudis to cooperate with their investigation into the bombing of the Khobar Towers.

"That September, Crown Prince Abdullah and his entourage took over the entire 143-room Hay-Adams Hotel, just across from Lafayette Park from the White House, for six days. The visit, I figured, was pretty much our last chance. Again, we prepared talking points for the president. Again, I contacted Prince Bandar and asked him to soften up the crown prince for the moment when Clinton, -- or Al Gore I didn't care who -- would raise the matter and start to exert the necessary pressure."

"The story that came back to me, from "usually reliable sources," as they say in Washington, was that Bill Clinton briefly raised the subject only to tell the Crown Prince that he certainly understood the Saudis; reluctance to cooperate. Then, according to my sources, he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the still-to-be-built Clinton presidential library. Gore, who was supposed to press hardest of all in his meeting with the crown Prince, barely mentioned the matter, I was told." -Louis J. Freeh, My FBI (2005)

In my defense I picked the book up to see if there was any dirt on the DNC's electoral funding scandal in 1996. I'm actually glad I did. The best part of the book is when Freeh recounts running into a veteran of the Lincoln Brigade and listens to how Hoover's FBI ruined his life despite having broken no laws. As if a little thing like laws mattered to Hoover. The commies were after our precious bodily fluids!

verifyfirst , May 16, 2017 at 12:53 pm

I'm not sure there are many functioning norms left within the national political leadership. Seemed to me Gingrich started blowing those up and it just got worse from there. McConnell not allowing Garland to be considered comes to mind

lyman alpha blob , May 16, 2017 at 1:14 pm

Great article – thanks for this. I had no idea the FBI never had a legal charter – very enlightening.

JMarco , May 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

Thanks to Mark Ames now we know what Pres. Trump meant when he tweeted about his tapes with AG Comey. Not some taped conversation between Pres. Trump & AG Comey but bunch of kompromat tapes that AG Comey has provided Pres. Trump that might not make departing AG Comey looked so clean.

[May 14, 2017] Classified America Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little by Robert Koehler

Notable quotes:
"... And I have yet to hear a mainstream journo challenge or question that word or ask what could be at stake that requires protective secrecy even as the U.S. government seemingly threatens to collapse around Michael Flynn, America's national security advisor for three weeks, and his relationship to Russia. Is there really any there there? ..."
"... I'm not suggesting that there isn't, or that it's all fake news. Trump and pals are undoubtedly entwined financially with Russian oligarchs, which of course is deeply problematic. And maybe there's more. And maybe some of that "more" is arguably classified for a valid reason, but I want, at the very least, to know why it's classified. What I read and hear feels, instead, like collusion: journalists unquestioningly honoring bureaucratic keep-out signs as objective, even sacred, stopping points. Public knowledge must go no further because . . . you know, national security. But the drama continues! ..."
"... And this is troubling to me because, for starters, nations built on secrecy are far more unstable than those that aren't. ..."
"... The United States is engaged in endless war, at unbelievable and never-discussed cost, to no end except destruction in all directions. Those who have launched and perpetuated the wars remain the determiners of what's classified and what isn't. And Russia lurks silently in the background as a new Cold War gestates. And the media participate not in reporting the news but promoting the drama. ..."
"... Occasionally this has not been the case. Remember the Pentagon Papers? Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a multi-thousand-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 and handed it over to the New York Times. It was classified! But papers printed it. And Sen. Mike Gravel later read portions of the text aloud at a Senate subcommittee hearing. ..."
"... "These portions," notes history.com , "revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of US involvement in Vietnam, from Truman's decision to give military aid to France during its struggle against the communist-led Viet Minh to Johnson's development of plans to escalate the war in Vietnam as early as 1964, even as he claimed the opposite during that year's presidential election." ..."
"... Our own government, in short, is as untrustworthy as the governments of our allies and our enemies. Government officials left to operate free of public scrutiny – bereft of public input – have proven themselves over and over to be shockingly shortsighted and cold-blooded in their decision-making, and indifferent to the impact they have on the future. ..."
"... "It is nearly a truism," writes Jeffrey Sachs , "that US wars of regime change have rarely served America's security needs. Even when the wars succeed in overthrowing a government, as in the case of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Moammar Khadafy in Libya, the result is rarely a stable government, and is more often a civil war. ..."
May 14, 2017 | original.antiwar.com

Classified America: Why Is the US Public Allowed To Know So Little?

by Robert Koehler , May 13, 2017 Print This | Share This For a journalist – especially one covering government and politics – the most suspicious, least trustworthy word in the language ought to be: "classified."

As the drama continues to swirl around Russiagate, or whatever the central controversy of the Trump administration winds up being known as, that word keeps popping up, teasingly, seductively: "It appeared that there was a great deal more (former acting Attorney General Sally) Yates wished she could share," the Washington Post informed us the other day, for instance, "but most of the information surrounding everything that happened remains classified."

And the drama continues! And I have yet to hear a mainstream journo challenge or question that word or ask what could be at stake that requires protective secrecy even as the U.S. government seemingly threatens to collapse around Michael Flynn, America's national security advisor for three weeks, and his relationship to Russia. Is there really any there there?

I'm not suggesting that there isn't, or that it's all fake news. Trump and pals are undoubtedly entwined financially with Russian oligarchs, which of course is deeply problematic. And maybe there's more. And maybe some of that "more" is arguably classified for a valid reason, but I want, at the very least, to know why it's classified. What I read and hear feels, instead, like collusion: journalists unquestioningly honoring bureaucratic keep-out signs as objective, even sacred, stopping points. Public knowledge must go no further because . . . you know, national security. But the drama continues!

And this is troubling to me because, for starters, nations built on secrecy are far more unstable than those that aren't. Job #1 of a free, independent media is the full-on, continuous challenge to government secrecy. Such a media understands that it answers to the public, or rather, that it's a manifestation of the public will. Stability and freedom are not the result of private tinkering. And peace is something created openly. The best of who we are is contained in the public soul, not bequeathed to us by unfathomably wise leaders.

So I cringe every time I hear the news stop at the word "classified." Indeed, in the Trump era, it seems like a plot device: a way to maintain the drama. ". . . there was a great deal more Yates wished she could share, but most of the information surrounding everything that happened remains classified."

Stay tuned, and keep your imaginations turned to high! This is Russia we're talking about. They messed with our election. They "attacked" us in cyberspace. We'd tell you more about how bad things are, but . . . you know, national security.

If nothing else, this endless retreat behind the word "classified" is a waste of the Trump presidency. This administration's recklessness is opening all sorts of random doors on national secrets that need airing. It's not as though the country was sailing along smoothly and keeping the world safe and peaceful till Donald Trump showed up.

Trump could well be making a bad situation worse, but, as William Hartung pointed out: "After all, he inherited no less than seven conflicts from Barack Obama: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen."

The United States is engaged in endless war, at unbelievable and never-discussed cost, to no end except destruction in all directions. Those who have launched and perpetuated the wars remain the determiners of what's classified and what isn't. And Russia lurks silently in the background as a new Cold War gestates. And the media participate not in reporting the news but promoting the drama.

Occasionally this has not been the case. Remember the Pentagon Papers? Daniel Ellsberg photocopied a multi-thousand-page secret history of the Vietnam War in 1971 and handed it over to the New York Times. It was classified! But papers printed it. And Sen. Mike Gravel later read portions of the text aloud at a Senate subcommittee hearing.

"These portions," notes history.com , "revealed that the presidential administrations of Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson had all misled the public about the degree of US involvement in Vietnam, from Truman's decision to give military aid to France during its struggle against the communist-led Viet Minh to Johnson's development of plans to escalate the war in Vietnam as early as 1964, even as he claimed the opposite during that year's presidential election."

Our own government, in short, is as untrustworthy as the governments of our allies and our enemies. Government officials left to operate free of public scrutiny – bereft of public input – have proven themselves over and over to be shockingly shortsighted and cold-blooded in their decision-making, and indifferent to the impact they have on the future.

"It is nearly a truism," writes Jeffrey Sachs , "that US wars of regime change have rarely served America's security needs. Even when the wars succeed in overthrowing a government, as in the case of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and Moammar Khadafy in Libya, the result is rarely a stable government, and is more often a civil war. A 'successful' regime change often lights a long fuse leading to a future explosion, such as the 1953 overthrow of Iran's democratically elected government and installation of the autocratic Shah of Iran, which was followed by the Iranian Revolution of 1979."

All of this, and so much more, preceded Trump. He's only the tail end of our troubles.

Robert Koehler is an award-winning, Chicago-based journalist and nationally syndicated writer. His new book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound is now available. Contact him at koehlercw@gmail.com or visit his website at commonwonders.com . Reprinted with permission from PeaceVoice .

[May 10, 2017] How ISIS Evades the CIA by Philip Giraldi

By pushing the envelope CIA essentially armed terrorists is effective techniques of avoiding electronic eavedropping....
Notable quotes:
"... Terrorists now know that using cell phones is dangerous, that transferring money using commercial accounts can be detected, that moving around when a drone is overhead can be fatal, and that communicating by computer is likely to be intercepted and exposed even when encrypted. ..."
"... So they rely on couriers to communicate and move money while also avoiding the use of the vulnerable technologies whenever they can, sometimes using public phones and computers only when they are many miles away from their operational locations, and changing addresses, SIM cards, and telephone numbers frequently to confuse the monitoring. ..."
Jul 23, 2014 | www.theamericanconservative.com
America's high-tech spies aren't equipped to penetrate low-tech terrorist organizations

Terrorists now know that using cell phones is dangerous, that transferring money using commercial accounts can be detected, that moving around when a drone is overhead can be fatal, and that communicating by computer is likely to be intercepted and exposed even when encrypted.

So they rely on couriers to communicate and move money while also avoiding the use of the vulnerable technologies whenever they can, sometimes using public phones and computers only when they are many miles away from their operational locations, and changing addresses, SIM cards, and telephone numbers frequently to confuse the monitoring.

Technical intelligence has another limitation: while it is excellent on picking up bits and pieces and using sophisticated computers to work through the bulk collection of chatter, it is largely unable to learn the intentions of terrorist groups and leaders. To do that you need spies, ideally someone who is placed in the inner circle of an organization and who is therefore privy to decision making.

Since 9/11 U.S. intelligence has had a poor record in recruiting agents to run inside terrorist organizations-or even less toxic groups that are similarly structured-in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Information collected relating to the internal workings of al-Qaeda, the Taliban, dissident Sunni groups in Iraq, and now ISIS has been, to say the least, disappointing. To be fair this is often because security concerns limit the ability of American case officers to operate in areas that are considered too dangerous, which is generally speaking where the terrorist targets are actually located. Also, hostile groups frequently run their operations through franchise arrangements where much of the decision making is both local and funded without large cash transfers from a central organization, making the activity hard to detect.

Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

[Apr 11, 2017] Tulsi Gabbard We need to learn from Iraq and Libya-wars that were propagated as humanitarian but actually increased human suffering many times over.

Apr 11, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne April 11, 2017 at 12:56 PM

https://twitter.com/TulsiGabbard/status/851872500484980736

Tulsi Gabbard @TulsiGabbard

We need to learn from Iraq and Libya-wars that were propagated as "humanitarian" but actually increased human suffering many times over.

12:00 PM - 11 Apr 2017 sanjait -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 01:57 PM

Gabbard is right to be skeptical of the usefulness and righteousness of missile strikes, but deeply stupid to carry water for the denials by Assad and the Russian state media about complicity for the chemical weapons attacks.

Anne, real skepticism is when you question your own heroes and assumptions.

Peter K. -> sanjait... , April 11, 2017 at 02:05 PM
Which you never do.
pgl -> Peter K.... , April 11, 2017 at 03:36 PM
Such an insightful contribution - NOT!
libezkova -> anne... , April 11, 2017 at 03:43 PM
Anne,

Tulsi is a really courageous woman. It is tough to fight against the neocon "swamp".

Trump already folded. She is still standing.

[Mar 16, 2017] Is Trump administration under survellance from its own intelligence agencies?

Mar 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
rjs -> pgl... March 14, 2017 at 02:16 PM , 2017 at 02:16 PM
it's obvious that Conway was reading about the wikileaks release of the CIA's Vault 7, which shows they have the capability of remotely turning over the counter smart phones and TVs into spying devices...the release was widely covered in the foreign press, not so much here..

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/wikileaks-cia-what-are-they-explained-vault-7-year-zero-julian-assange-secrets-a7616826.html

1) The CIA has the ability to break into Android and iPhone handsets, and all kinds of computers. The US intelligence agency has been involved in a concerted effort to write various kinds of malware to spy on just about every piece of electronic equipment that people use. That includes iPhones, Androids and computers running Windows, macOS and Linux.
2) Doing so would make apps like Signal, Telegram and WhatsApp entirely insecure Encrypted messaging apps are only as secure as the device they are used on – if an operating system is compromised, then the messages can be read before they encrypted and sent to the other user. WikiLeaks claims that has happened, potentially meaning that messages have been compromised even if all of the usual precautions had been taken.

3) The CIA could use smart TVs to listen in on conversations that happened around them. One of the most eye-catching programmes detailed in the documents is "Weeping Angel". That allows intelligence agencies to install special software that allows TVs to be turned into listening devices – so that even when they appear to be switched off, they're actually on.

4) The agency explored hacking into cars and crashing them, allowing 'nearly undetectable assassinations'

5) The CIA hid vulnerabilities that could be used by hackers from other countries or governments Such bugs were found in the biggest consumer electronics in the world, including phones and computers made Apple, Google and Microsoft. But those companies didn't get the chance to fix those exploits because the agency kept them secret in order to keep using them, the documents suggest.

6) More information is coming. The documents have still not been looked through entirely. There are 8,378 pages of files, some of which have already been analyzed but many of which hasn't. When taken together, those "Vault 7" leaks will make up the biggest intelligence publication in history, WikiLeaks claimed.

[Mar 13, 2017] Boris and Natasha version of hacking might well be a false flag operation. How about developing Russian-looking hacking tools in CIA? To plant fingerprints and get the warrant for monitoring Trump communications

Notable quotes:
"... If you did not noticed Vault 7 scandal completely overtook everything else now. This is a real game changer. ..."
"... Tell me who stole the whole arsenal of CIA hacking tools with all the manuals? Were those people Russians? ..."
Mar 13, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

im1dc: March 12, 2017 at 10:14 PM

Am I alone in thinking that Preet Bharara, the just fired US Attorney for Southern District of New York, would be the ideal Special Prosecutor of the Trump - Russia investigation

Tom aka Rusty -> im1dc... Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 11:41 AM
Bharara did not push back against "too big to prosecute" and sat out the biggest white collar crime wave in the history of the world, so why is he such a saint?

Lots of easy insider trading cases.

im1dc -> Tom aka Rusty... Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 05:01 PM
I don't think you considered the bigger picture here which includes in Bharara's case his bosses to whom he would have to had run any cases up the flag pole for approval and Obama and Company were not at the time into frying Wall Street for their crimes b/c they were into restarting the Bush/Cheney damaged, almost ruined, US and global Economy.
libezkova -> im1dc... Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 09:11 PM
If you did not noticed Vault 7 scandal completely overtook everything else now. This is a real game changer.

Just think, how many million if not billion dollars this exercise in removing the last traces of democracy from the USA and converting us into a new Democratic Republic of Germany, where everybody was controlled by STASI, cost. And those money were spend for what ?

BTW the Stasi was one of the most hated and feared institutions of the East German government.

If this is not the demonstration of huge and out of civil control raw power of "deep state" I do not know what is.

If you are not completely detached from really you should talk about Vault 7. This is huge, Snowden size scandal that is by the order of magnitude more important for the country then all those mostly fake hints on connections of Trump and, especially "Russian hacking".

Tell me who stole the whole arsenal of CIA hacking tools with all the manuals? Were those people Russians?

If not, you should print your last post, shred is and eat it with borsch ;-).

libezkova -> libezkova... Sunday, March 12, 2017 at 10:01 PM

From this video it looks like CIA adapted some Russian hacking tools for their own purposes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Z6XGl_hLnw

In the world of intelligence false flag operations is a standard tactics. Now what ? Difficult situation for a Midwesterner...

libezkova -> libezkova...
Another difficult to stomach hypothesis:

"Boris and Natasha" version of hacking might well be a false flag operation. How about developing Russian-looking hacking tools in CIA? To plant fingerprints and get the warrant for monitoring Trump communications.

VAULT 7: CIA Staged Fake Russian Hacking to Set Up Trump - Russian Cyber-Attack M.O. As False Flag

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4CHcdCbyYs

== quote ==

Published on Mar 7, 2017

"The United States must not adopt the tactics of the enemy. Means are important, as ends. Crisis makes it tempting to ignore the wise restraints that make men free. But each time we do so, each time the means we use are wrong, our inner strength, the strength which makes us free, is lessened." - Sen. Frank Church

WikiLeaks Press Release

Today, Tuesday 7 March 2017, WikiLeaks begins its new series of leaks on the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Code-named "Vault 7" by WikiLeaks, it is the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the agency.

The first full part of the series, "Year Zero", comprises 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Virgina. It follows an introductory disclosure last month of CIA targeting French political parties and candidates in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.

Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.

"Year Zero" introduces the scope and direction of the CIA's global covert hacking program, its malware arsenal and dozens of "zero day" weaponized exploits against a wide range of U.S. and European company products, include Apple's iPhone, Google's Android and Microsoft's Windows and even Samsung TVs, which are turned into covert microphones.

Since 2001 the CIA has gained political and budgetary preeminence over the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). The CIA found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force - its own substantial fleet of hackers. The agency's hacking division freed it from having to disclose its often controversial operations to the NSA (its primary bureaucratic rival) in order to draw on the NSA's hacking capacities.

[Mar 13, 2017] Here is the edited version of Dr Steve Pieczenik interview

Video
www.youtube.com

[Mar 11, 2017] US spies still wont tell Congress the number of Americans caught in dragnet

Notable quotes:
"... Trump at least seems to have a problem with him or his associates being spied on lately. ..."
"... Nothing can be done because the intelligence services are in the privileged position of being able to sabotage anybody's political career. So everyone keeps going through the motions of simulating free will while actually only doing as they're told. And it will only get worse so brace for it. ..."
"... So essentially, the 3 letter agencies are not accountable to the US government. They can lie, cheat and hide information at will without any kind of consequence. They are running the show. ..."
"... The US people has completely lost control over their governance. The constitution is a totally empty shell. ..."
"... You would need more then just IP's to make that determination - anyone with a VPN can have an American IP address, same with TOR exit nodes. ..."
"... The heads of these agencies knows if they ever say any number, that will be the end due to outrage. There is little to be gained, unless they are sent to prison. If I were a senator, I'd give immunity to some of the whistle blowers to find the truth. Give them a chance to testify about their bosses. ..."
"... If they're scanning the backbone, AND checking the main sites people go to, that's pretty danged close to everybody. ..."
"... The evasiveness is deceptive in and of itself. When the NSA says it "would require the Intelligence Community to conduct exhaustive analysis of every unknown identifier in order to determine whether they are being used inside or outside the U.S." that's because they don't even count the data as "collected" unless an analyst looked at it. Recorded? Doesn't count. Searched by computer programs for keywords or pattern matching? Doesn't count. A human looked at it? Ok, that counts. ..."
"... By our definition, which says if you put the data in your database and use it when running searches, that data has been collected, there's no doubt the number is nearly the same as the US population, discounting only people with no online presence (e.g. infants). ..."
Mar 11, 2017 | arstechnica.com
In 2013, a National Security Agency contractor named Edward Snowden revealed US surveillance programs that involved the massive and warrantless gathering of Americans' electronic communications. Two of the programs, called Upstream and Prism , are allowed under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. That section expires at year's end, and President Donald Trump's administration, like his predecessor's administration, wants the law renewed so those snooping programs can continue.

That said, even as the administration seeks renewal of the programs , Congress and the public have been left in the dark regarding questions surrounding how many Americans' electronic communications have been ensnared under the programs. Congress won't be told in a classified setting either, despite repeated requests.

mod50ack , Smack-Fu Master, in training Mar 10, 2017 6:38 AM Popular
Yeah, you're not going to see anybody in the Federal Government really stopping this, no matter their party. 99 posts | registered 2/23/2014
gmerrick , Ars Praefectus Mar 10, 2017 6:40 AM Popular
If a government employee is not answering questions to the comittees regarding these issues, what measures can the comitties take to force an answer? Can they impeach, or compel testimony? Can they throw somebodies ass in jail until the question gets answered? 3033 posts | registered 9/20/2006
Ziontrain , Ars Praefectus Mar 10, 2017 6:40 AM Popular
Thing is, we all know two things:
1) the number is 300 million +
2) the "esteemed" members of congress are singled out for special surveillance

As a result, the only possible outcome is the same procedure as all the previous times: congress rolls over. As should everyone's eyes who is watching this elaborate kabuki performance... 3189 posts | registered 7/7/2006

d4Njv , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 7:23 AM Popular
mod50ack wrote:
Yeah, you're not going to see anybody in the Federal Government really stopping this, no matter their party.
Trump at least seems to have a problem with him or his associates being spied on lately. Not sure how he feels about ordinary Americans /s. 1635 posts | registered 10/1/2013
close , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 7:25 AM
gmerrick wrote:
If a government employee is not answering questions to the comittees regarding these issues, what measures can the comitties take to force an answer? Can they impeach, or compel testimony? Can they throw somebodies ass in jail until the question gets answered?
Nothing can be done because the intelligence services are in the privileged position of being able to sabotage anybody's political career. So everyone keeps going through the motions of simulating free will while actually only doing as they're told. And it will only get worse so brace for it.
arcite , Ars Legatus Legionis Mar 10, 2017 7:35 AM
mod50ack wrote:
Yeah, you're not going to see anybody in the Federal Government really stopping this, no matter their party.
Ostensibly, they have the power to bring down the Trump admin...odds are he will increase their funding. ;)
AHuxley , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 7:45 AM
gmerrick wrote:
If a government employee is not answering questions to the comittees regarding these issues, what measures can the comitties take to force an answer? Can they impeach, or compel testimony? Can they throw somebodies ass in jail until the question gets answered?
The lack of overnight issue was attempted in the 1970's with the Church Committee.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Committee


All that domestic US spying should have been stopped.

Operation CHAOS https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_CHAOS showed domestic legal protections did not work.

boondox , Ars Centurion Mar 10, 2017 8:04 AM
Reisner wrote:
The American people don't know and don't care to know. John Conyers really need to focus on the things that matter, like stopping Detroit from sinking into the abyss; getting jobs for his constituents; lowering the amount of kids being born out of wedlock and preventing them from killing each other over trivial things like clothes and being disrespected.
I agree with you on the underlined. America seems more interested in amusing itself to death more than anything.

The representatives of the people have their work cut out for them.

Personne , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 8:28 AM
So essentially, the 3 letter agencies are not accountable to the US government. They can lie, cheat and hide information at will without any kind of consequence. They are running the show.

The US people has completely lost control over their governance. The constitution is a totally empty shell.

AHuxley , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 8:37 AM
Personne wrote:
So essentially, the 3 letter agencies are not accountable to the US government.

The US people has completely lost control over their governance. The constitution is a totally empty shell.

Its more that staff feel Congress has no oversight as who they work for did not get established by Congress. The question of oversight authority was used to avoid questions until the 1970's.
AutisticGramma , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 8:45 AM
AHvivere wrote:
Small nitpick to the author. You do know that having that particular picture on there constitutes a spillage for every single DoD and Federal employee that clicks on the article to read it right?
And this is exactly why it should stay up. These agencies behavior is creating this for themselves. No over sight no funding, who ever signs the check is on the hook. The fed budget needs to reflect this. Someone signed off on authority to operate.
SewerRanger , Ars Centurion et Subscriptor Mar 10, 2017 8:50 AM
Hookgrip wrote:
I would assume that they're collecting IP addresses along with this traffic. Couldn't that be used to generate at least a rough estimate of the number of US citizens targeted? Is there another way to generate a good estimate?
You would need more then just IP's to make that determination - anyone with a VPN can have an American IP address, same with TOR exit nodes.

This number would be completely useless. You'd have to cross reference the IP with a bunch of other data and that leads to a catch-22: you'd have to maintain a database of American data to be able to detect when you have American data so you can not keep it except what you have in your database of American data that you use to detect American data so you can not keep it.

arcite , Ars Legatus Legionis Mar 10, 2017 8:54 AM
Personne wrote:
So essentially, the 3 letter agencies are not accountable to the US government. They can lie, cheat and hide information at will without any kind of consequence. They are running the show.

The US people has completely lost control over their governance. The constitution is a totally empty shell.

Vast bureaucracies have a life of their own, detached from the earthly proclivities of democractic transitions.
Buchliebhaber , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran et Subscriptor Mar 10, 2017 9:18 AM
Quote:
Still, US spies say they don't track the number of Americans caught in this dragnet, in part to protect Americans' privacy. Performing this task would require spies to de-anonymize phone numbers and IP addresses to determine whether they're American, according to April Doss, a former NSA lawyer who testified (PDF) before the House Judiciary Committee on March 1.
This seems to imply that they're reading the request to "get the count of Americans monitored" extremely literally, interpreting it as "get the exact number of Americans".

The NSA has some very good mathematicians - they should easily be able to give a pretty highly accurate estimate using the sample data they already have from when they've de-anonymized targeted persons.

Bodacious , Smack-Fu Master, in training Mar 10, 2017 9:21 AM
AHvivere wrote:
You are literally saying that 5 million people are bad. You sound retarded.
I think he literally said the agencies' behavior is bad, which is literally not the same thing as saying everyone who works for them is. Are you a DoD or Federal employee?
AutisticGramma , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 9:29 AM
Buchliebhaber wrote:

Still, US spies say they don't track the number of Americans caught in this dragnet, in part to protect Americans' privacy. Performing this task would require spies to de-anonymize phone numbers and IP addresses to determine whether they're American, according to April Doss, a former NSA lawyer who testified (PDF) before the House Judiciary Committee on March 1.

This seems to imply that they're reading the request to "get the count of Americans monitored" extremely literally, interpreting it as "get the exact number of Americans".

The NSA has some very good mathematicians - they should easily be able to give a pretty highly accurate estimate using the sample data they already have from when they've de-anonymized targeted persons, +/-10%.

This estimate I'm sure was rolling around in the head of someone at the table.

The whole point of the system is to provide information that they're requesting, literally how computers work.

Stonewalling Congress needs to be a good way to find an agency with out funding or mandate.

Instead it's more like Kanye stealing the mic at the grammys, but with more chest medals.

AHuxley , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 9:31 AM
AutisticGramma wrote:
Do you have some context for 5 million people, this comment is an island not found on any map.
The 5.1 million people number? Its amount of people who held some US government security clearance as of around 2013. Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Gov staff, Contractors as a total.
TheFu , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 9:32 AM
We should send them to Guantanamo Bay until they talk and cut their funding 50%. The US Govt is supposed to work FOR US citizens. Something has gone wrong. People need to be held accountable. Spying on everyone is NOT ok without an individual, specific, tied-to-location, warrant signed by a judge outside some secret court.

PERIOD.

The heads of these agencies knows if they ever say any number, that will be the end due to outrage. There is little to be gained, unless they are sent to prison. If I were a senator, I'd give immunity to some of the whistle blowers to find the truth. Give them a chance to testify about their bosses.

AnchorClanker , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran et Subscriptor Mar 10, 2017 9:40 AM
Seems like it would be a minor exercise to analyze a valid sample of their intercepts and to project with enough accuracy to answer the question.

A cynic might suspect that the answer to, "How many Americans' electronic communications have been ensnared under the programs?" may well be, "All of them."

waasoo , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 9:41 AM
Reisner wrote:
The American people don't know and don't care to know. John Conyers really need to focus on the things that matter, like stopping Detroit from sinking into the abyss; getting jobs for his constituents; lowering the amount of kids being born out of wedlock and preventing them from killing each other over trivial things like clothes and being disrespected.
I agree with a part of your sentiment but feel, maybe wrongly, that you are also hiding racism behind those words.

The part that I agree with - most people don't care enough about spying programs or which 3 letter agency is scanning their ass. You can probably get 100 million Americans to sign a petition on facebook or twitter or your neighborhood supermarket and only because those are low investment options. There is nothing wrong with such an existential position; I am guilty of that for most part of the day. If the scanning keeps me "safe" and I have nothing to hide, why bother?

Now, you will get a lot more people involved if such scanning led to prosecution for the little technical crimes we do every day of our life; until then this will continue if only with another name. 139 posts | registered 5/9/2012

yankinwaoz , Ars Centurion Mar 10, 2017 9:50 AM
I'm sure Feinstein has her rubber stamp out. There is no request from NSA/CIA that she doesn't love.

Grrrrrr... 321 posts | registered 2/20/2013

Jacee , Smack-Fu Master, in training Mar 10, 2017 9:56 AM
Hookgrip wrote:
I would assume that they're collecting IP addresses along with this traffic. Couldn't that be used to generate at least a rough estimate of the number of US citizens targeted? Is there another way to generate a good estimate?
"Another way to generate a good estimate?" Certainly. Go to the US Census Bureau. They can get you real close. Or just google it. As of 2014, it was 318.4million

If they're scanning the backbone, AND checking the main sites people go to, that's pretty danged close to everybody.

bothered , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 10:13 AM
yankinwaoz wrote:
I'm sure Feinstein has her rubber stamp out. There is no request from NSA/CIA that she doesn't love.

Grrrrrr...

Don't vote for her again, I know I won't. Just got an email from Feinstein's office today with a laundry list of ways she is opposing Trump and his picks, no mention of national security issues. Im sure that Feinstein and the current Administration will come together on National Security - in their view its about "protecting American's" which I read as "covering my ass on my watch".
ars diavoli , Ars Centurion Mar 10, 2017 10:46 AM
gmerrick wrote:
If a government employee is not answering questions to the comittees regarding these issues, what measures can the comitties take to force an answer? Can they impeach, or compel testimony? Can they throw somebodies ass in jail until the question gets answered?

They could start cutting budgets, but that won't happen.

carcharoth , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 10:56 AM
"Congress and the public have been left in the dark regarding questions surrounding how many Americans' electronic communications have been ensnared under the programs."

how is this acceptable? how are these programs still running period? where is the outcry?

why wont they tell? because its not about "dragnet casualties," they're not accidentally spying on Americans, they've got a system they use to spy on who they want when they want to

Its insane that these organizations can lie to the people, to their own gov't, and not get torn down

AutisticGramma , Ars Scholae Palatinae Mar 10, 2017 11:03 AM

The 5.1 million people number?

Its amount of people who held some US government security clearance as of around 2013. Confidential, Secret, Top Secret, Gov staff, Contractors as a total. And how many of them are responsible for signing off on carte blanche spying on Americans with 0 oversight. Since clearance is on a need to know basis, did that many people need to know? I see you looking to divide and conquer here, you just end up sounding guilty. 5.1 million people wanted a paycheck while serving their country and deserve one. Around 500 elected officials are letting a select few ruin all of this for rest of us because rules are 'unamerican.'

This is what happens 20 years after 'rules kill jobs' the same business leaders who didn't need rules 'cause jobs' now don't need rules as government appointees.

NotJustAnotherRandmGuy , Wise, Aged Ars Veteran Mar 10, 2017 11:08 AM
Hookgrip wrote:
I would assume that they're collecting IP addresses along with this traffic. Couldn't that be used to generate at least a rough estimate of the number of US citizens targeted? Is there another way to generate a good estimate?
All of it... the answer is all of it. Everything. Everybody. All. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Klein
BobsYourUncleBob , Ars Tribunus Militum Mar 10, 2017 11:22 AM
We cannot provide an answer to your request, Senator, simply because we don't know the answer. Should we ever embark upon data analysis that would provide the answer you're seeking, such action would constitute an unnecessary and unwarranted intrusion on the privacy of U.S. persons; without specific statutory authorization, it would likely also be unlawful, since it would be both intrusive and unrelated to any need for foreign intelligence gathering.

And we don't want to act in any manner that may be regarded as unlawful ... unless Congress were to provide authorization for us to do so ...

Then there is the matter of resource allocation: current budgets constrain us from embarking upon such a program of data analysis, in terms of both the hardware and human resources that such a program would require.

Estimates on the additional funding that such a program would require have been developed, however these budgetary requirements cannot be released to Congress, as they are classified. Should Congress decide to provide both authorization and funding for such a program, we can advise on the number of zeros ( "0" ) that the funding authorization should include.

In summary, Senator, it would appear that "the ball is entirely in your court" so to speak ...

jdale , Ars Tribunus Militum Mar 10, 2017 11:26 AM
The evasiveness is deceptive in and of itself. When the NSA says it "would require the Intelligence Community to conduct exhaustive analysis of every unknown identifier in order to determine whether they are being used inside or outside the U.S." that's because they don't even count the data as "collected" unless an analyst looked at it. Recorded? Doesn't count. Searched by computer programs for keywords or pattern matching? Doesn't count. A human looked at it? Ok, that counts.

By this definition, they should be able to produce a deceptively low number, perhaps thousands to tens of thousands per year.

By our definition, which says if you put the data in your database and use it when running searches, that data has been collected, there's no doubt the number is nearly the same as the US population, discounting only people with no online presence (e.g. infants).

In any case, the fact that they have prevaricated about this for the past 6 years makes pretty clear that the answer will not look good. It's time to end these programs. If they want them renewed, the replacements will need real oversight.

[Mar 11, 2017] Snowden What The Wikileaks Revelations Show Is Reckless Beyond Words

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA reports show the USG developing vulnerabilities in US products, then intentionally keeping the holes open. Reckless beyond words. ..."
"... Evidence mounts showing CIA & FBI knew about catastrophic weaknesses in the most-used smartphones in America, but kept them open -- to spy. ..."
"... So the CIA was doing the NSA's job, dropped the ball and let the weapons out to the world. I wonder if they were using these "tools" domestically outside of their mandate? As an agency you couldn't be more incompetent. Does anyone understand how much security they (CIA) have just compromised? This is so serous it's insane. ..."
"... The issue is now all that software is running on nearly every computer out there. Every computer in the current paradigm is considered a security risk. ..."
"... Android is Linux based as well as the routers that have been reportedly compromised use Linux as a Operating system. Nothing has been spared. ..."
"... Now if IBM Mainframes are compromised it means, Banks, Insurance, and other behemoths (they mostly use IBM Main Frames for their back-end functions) maybe ticking time bombs. Scary shit. ..."
Mar 07, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
While it has been superficially covered by much of the press - and one can make the argument that what Julian Assange has revealed is more relevant to the US population, than constant and so far unconfirmed speculation that Trump is a puppet of Putin - the fallout from the Wikileaks' "Vault 7" release this morning of thousands of documents demonstrating the extent to which the CIA uses backdoors to hack smartphones, computer operating systems, messenger applications and internet-connected televisions, will be profound.

As evidence of this, the WSJ cites an intelligence source who said that " the revelations were far more significant than the leaks of Edward Snowden ."

Mr. Snowden's leaks revealed names of programs, companies that assist the NSA in surveillance and in some cases the targets of American spying. But the recent leak purports to contain highly technical details about how surveillance is carried out. That would make them far more revealing and useful to an adversary, this person said. In one sense, Mr. Snowden provided a briefing book on U.S. surveillance, but the CIA leaks could provide the blueprints.

Speaking of Snowden, the former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower, who now appears to have a "parallel whisteblower" deep inside the "Deep State", i.e., the source of the Wikileaks data - also had some thoughts on today's CIA dump.

In a series of tweets, Snowden notes that "what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal", and makes the following key observations "If you're writing about the CIA/@Wikileaks story, here's the big deal: first public evidence USG secretly paying to keep US software unsafe " and adds that "the CIA reports show the USG developing vulnerabilities in US products, then intentionally keeping the holes open. Reckless beyond words ."

He then asks rhetorically "Why is this dangerous?" and explains " Because until closed, any hacker can use the security hole the CIA left open to break into any iPhone in the world. "

His conclusion, one which many of the so-called conspiratorial bent would say was well-known long ago: " Evidence mounts showing CIA & FBI knew about catastrophic weaknesses in the most-used smartphones in America, but kept them open -- to spy. "

To which the increasingly prevalent response has become: "obviously."

Still working through the publication, but what @Wikileaks has here is genuinely a big deal. Looks authentic.

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

If you're writing about the CIA/ @Wikileaks story, here's the big deal: first public evidence USG secretly paying to keep US software unsafe. pic.twitter.com/kYi0NC2mOp

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

The CIA reports show the USG developing vulnerabilities in US products, then intentionally keeping the holes open. Reckless beyond words.

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

Why is this dangerous? Because until closed, any hacker can use the security hole the CIA left open to break into any iPhone in the world. https://t.co/xK0aILAdFI

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

Evidence mounts showing CIA & FBI knew about catastrophic weaknesses in the most-used smartphones in America, but kept them open -- to spy. https://t.co/mDyVred3H8

- Edward Snowden (@Snowden) March 7, 2017

Looney -> PoasterToaster , Mar 7, 2017 2:33 PM

The "Pandora's Box" cliché doesn't quite fit the use of Cyber Weapons, but another metaphor does – "Pinocchio's Screw".

When Pinocchio discovered a screw inside of his belly button, he grabbed a screwdriver and two seconds later, his ass fell off . ;-)

Looney

froze25 -> nuubee , Mar 7, 2017 2:44 PM

So the CIA was doing the NSA's job, dropped the ball and let the weapons out to the world. I wonder if they were using these "tools" domestically outside of their mandate? As an agency you couldn't be more incompetent. Does anyone understand how much security they (CIA) have just compromised? This is so serous it's insane.

WordSmith2013 -> froze25 , Mar 7, 2017 2:56 PM

"It doesn't get any bigger than Vault 7!"

http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/03/vault-7-opened-up-the-biggest-meg...

Vault 7 Opened Up: The Biggest Megillah of Them All
CPL -> froze25 , Mar 7, 2017 3:06 PM

Why do you think the geek community decided to go develop their own tools in parallel (Linux, BitCoin, DevOps platforms, etc)? We knew, we complained, we got shut down. The issue is now all that software is running on nearly every computer out there. Every computer in the current paradigm is considered a security risk.

It also means the insurance industry now has to pull out of all insurance guarantees on engineered systems with an ISO certification for every industry. It's a fucked up mess that's going to cost tens of trillions of dollars to migrate and patch every existing system on the planet.

froze25 -> CPL , Mar 7, 2017 3:22 PM

Android is Linux based as well as the routers that have been reportedly compromised use Linux as a Operating system. Nothing has been spared. I believe IOS is UNix based (or IOS is just IOS) so that one is compromised as well. Now if UNIX is compromised that means (potentially) that IBM mainframes are compromised.

Now if IBM Mainframes are compromised it means, Banks, Insurance, and other behemoths (they mostly use IBM Main Frames for their back-end functions) maybe ticking time bombs. Scary shit.

[Mar 11, 2017] CIA faces huge problem over malware claims

Mar 11, 2017 | www.bbc.com
BBC
  • WikiLeaks, the CIA and your devices: what the documents reveal FT
  • CIA contractors likely source of latest WikiLeaks release: U.S. officials Reuters. Neoliberalism's "market state" puts government functions up for sale. So it's not surprising that people sell them.
  • CIA Leak: "Russian Election Hackers" May Work In Langley Moon of Alabama. Watch for the "atttribution problem" when CrowdStrike testifies at the upcoming Russki hearings. As I've said, "Internet evidence is not evidence."
  • WikiLeaks strikes again. Here are 4 big questions about Vault 7. WaPo. "In cyberspace, we mainly have a reasonability problem, not an attribution problem." Oh. OK.
  • CIA Did Not Have Multi-Factor Authentication Controls for All Users as Recently as August 2016 emptywheel
  • Oh, that traitorous WikiTrump Pepe Escobar, Asia Times (Re Silc).
  • Spicer says 'massive difference' between CIA WikiLeaks leak and Podesta email leak ABC
  • [Mar 10, 2017] CIA Leak Shows Sliding Down the Slippery Slope Toward Totalitarianism, Where Private Lives Do Not Exist

    Notable quotes:
    "... The elephant in the room is not privacy problems. It is blackmail for various purposes. ..."
    "... This makes he US Government totally dysfunctional. the spread of such spy technique has created chaos. Latest news is that Democrats paid some hackers for not revealing their server information. ..."
    "... I don't think this can be stopped. But we need more open discussion about blackmailing and thus protection from such methods. An elected President or Official should not have their private life discussed by the Media. It should be banned ..."
    "... And Clinton never feared anything, probably because the CIA was in her pocket and could get the goods on anybody even Loretta Lynch. ..."
    Mar 10, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com

    That the CIA has reached into the lives of all Americans through its wholesale gathering of the nation's "haystack" of information has already been reported.

    It is bad enough that the government spies on its own people. It is equally bad that the CIA, through its incompetence, has opened the cyberdoor to anyone with the technological skills and connections to spy on anyone else.

    The constant erosion of privacy at the hands of the government and corporations has annihilated the concept of a "right to privacy," which is embedded in the rationale of the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that we are sliding down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism, where private lives do not exist.

    We have entered a condition of constitutional crisis that requires a full-throated response from the American people.

    Before you label Kucinich as being overly-dramatic, you may want to note that Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency's mass surveillance program for digital information, the 36-year NSA veteran widely who was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees – told Washington's Blog that America has already become a police state.

    And Thomas Drake – one of the top NSA executives, and Senior Change Leader within the NSA – told us the same thing.

    And Kirk Wiebe – a 32-year NSA veteran who received the Director CIA's Meritorious Unit Award and the NSA's Meritorious Civilian Service Award – agrees (tweet via Jesselyn Radack, attorney for many national security whistleblowers, herself a Department of Justice whistleblower):

    It's not just NSA officials Two former U.S. Supreme Court Justices have warned that America is sliding into tyranny.

    A former U.S. President , and many other high-level American officials agree.

    BuckWild , Mar 9, 2017 9:01 PM

    #1 problem all other unconstitutional problems stem from FRB

    Wild E Coyote , Mar 9, 2017 8:58 PM

    The elephant in the room is not privacy problems. It is blackmail for various purposes.

    We have many indications that politicians, judges, officials and even other intel organizations are being blackmailed, and destroyed using lucid information from their private life.

    This makes he US Government totally dysfunctional. the spread of such spy technique has created chaos. Latest news is that Democrats paid some hackers for not revealing their server information.

    I don't think this can be stopped. But we need more open discussion about blackmailing and thus protection from such methods. An elected President or Official should not have their private life discussed by the Media. It should be banned.

    GRDguy , Mar 9, 2017 8:56 PM

    All we're really seeing is the wet dreams of banksters efforts of over 400+ years "to own the earth in fee-simple."

    Our real problem is that their efforts makes them richer while making everyone else poorer.

    The only way to stop the Money Kings is not to do business with them; an extremely difficult task.

    Sometimes The Dragon Wins

    JailBanksters , Mar 9, 2017 8:51 PM

    The old adage about, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear ....

    I don't think a lot of people realize the scope of this, because it's not about you.

    If Trump was hacked, that information could be used against him, like blackmail in order to change his action or direction on certain things.

    Clinton: You should be in Jail, they're GOOD People, so I won't be appointing a special prosecutor.

    And Clinton never feared anything, probably because the CIA was in her pocket and could get the goods on anybody even Loretta Lynch.

    That's what this is about. And that's why Trump can't win.

    [Mar 10, 2017] Democratic Party as the defenders of the surveillance state

    Mar 10, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
    Peter K. : March 09, 2017 at 01:37 AM

    Democrats like PGL are big defenders of the surveillance state and hate on Wikileaks. Why is that? B/c they're anti-democratic and authoritarian. The NSA tapped Angela Merkel's phone. Way to alienate our allies.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/us/wikileaks-cia.html

    C.I.A. Scrambles to Contain Damage From WikiLeaks Documents

    By MATTHEW ROSENBERG, SCOTT SHANE and ADAM GOLDMAN

    MARCH 8, 2017

    WASHINGTON - The C.I.A. scrambled on Wednesday to assess and contain the damage from the release by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents that cataloged the agency's cyberspying capabilities, temporarily halting work on some projects while the F.B.I. turned to finding who was responsible for the leak.

    Investigators say that the leak was the work not of a hostile foreign power like Russia but of a disaffected insider, as WikiLeaks suggested when it released the documents Tuesday. The F.B.I. was preparing to interview anyone who had access to the information, a group likely to include at least a few hundred people, and possibly more than a thousand.

    An intelligence official said the information, much of which appeared to be technical documents, may have come from a server outside the C.I.A. managed by a contractor. But neither he nor a former senior intelligence official ruled out the possibility that the leaker was a C.I.A. employee.

    The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation into classified information. The C.I.A. has refused to explicitly confirm the authenticity of the documents, but it all but said they were genuine Wednesday when it took the unusual step of putting out a statement to defend its work and chastise WikiLeaks.

    The disclosures "equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm," said Ryan Trapani, a spokesman for the C.I.A. He added that the C.I.A. is legally prohibited from spying on individuals in the United States and "does not do so."

    The leak was perhaps most awkward for the White House, which found itself criticizing WikiLeaks less than six months after the group published embarrassing emails from John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton, prompting President Trump to declare at the time, "I love WikiLeaks."

    Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said the release of documents "should be something that everybody is outraged about in this country."

    There was, he added, a "massive, massive difference" between the leak of classified C.I.A. cyberspying tools and personal emails of political figures.

    The documents, taken at face value, suggest that American spies had designed hacking tools that could breach almost anything connected to the internet - smartphones, computers, televisions - and had even found a way to compromise Apple and Android devices. But whether the C.I.A. had successfully built and employed them to conduct espionage remained unclear on Wednesday.

    A number of cybersecurity experts and hackers expressed skepticism at the level of technical wizardry that WikiLeaks claimed to uncover, and pointed out that much of what was described in the documents was aimed at older devices that have known security flaws. One document, for instance, discussed ways to quickly copy 3.5-inch floppy disks, a storage device so out of date that few people younger than 35 have probably used one.

    One indication that the documents did not contain information on the most highly sensitive C.I.A. cyberespionage programs was that none of them appeared to be classified above the level of "secret/noforn," which is a relatively low-level of classification.

    The disclosures "equip our adversaries with tools and information to do us harm," said Ryan Trapani, a spokesman for the C.I.A. He added that the C.I.A. is legally prohibited from spying on individuals in the United States and "does not do so."

    The leak was perhaps most awkward for the White House, which found itself criticizing WikiLeaks less than six months after the group published embarrassing emails from John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton, prompting President Trump to declare at the time, "I love WikiLeaks."

    Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said the release of documents "should be something that everybody is outraged about in this country."

    There was, he added, a "massive, massive difference" between the leak of classified C.I.A. cyberspying tools and personal emails of political figures.

    The documents, taken at face value, suggest that American spies had designed hacking tools that could breach almost anything connected to the internet - smartphones, computers, televisions - and had even found a way to compromise Apple and Android devices. But whether the C.I.A. had successfully built and employed them to conduct espionage remained unclear on Wednesday.

    A number of cybersecurity experts and hackers expressed skepticism at the level of technical wizardry that WikiLeaks claimed to uncover, and pointed out that much of what was described in the documents was aimed at older devices that have known security flaws. One document, for instance, discussed ways to quickly copy 3.5-inch floppy disks, a storage device so out of date that few people younger than 35 have probably used one.

    One indication that the documents did not contain information on the most highly sensitive C.I.A. cyberespionage programs was that none of them appeared to be classified above the level of "secret/noforn," which is a relatively low-level of classification.

    On Feb. 16, WikiLeaks released what appeared to be a C.I.A. document laying out intelligence questions about the coming French elections that agency analysts wanted answers to, either from human spies or eavesdropping. When WikiLeaks released the cyberspying documents on Tuesday, it described the earlier document as "an introductory disclosure."

    Peter K. -> Peter K.... March 09, 2017 at 01:52 AM

    "He added that the C.I.A. is legally prohibited from spying on individuals in the United States and "does not do so.""

    Well that's good to know give the CIA's history.

    Anachronism -> Peter K.... , March 09, 2017 at 05:12 AM
    Maybe, but the FBI is not prohibited and I'm sure they have access to the same tools the CIA has.

    Peter K. - Are you comfortable with Wikileaks telling the world (and therefore the "bad guys") exactly what we've been using to gather information and showing them how they can use the same tools? Do you think that hurts America's security?

    I'll grant you that there have been times I've been for some of the Wikileaks disclosures, but on the whole (and expecially this), it harms our security.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 06:31 AM
    I used to be disgusted but now I am just amused.

    The surveillance state is a deep subject. Without the military hegemony for which it is emblematic would we then even have a threat of terrorism? The domestic surveillance state does little else save maybe some counter-espionage against the other nuclear powers.

    OTOH, it gave us the recently ended TV series "Person of Interest," which almost makes up for the violations of our Bill of Rights (illegal search and potentially seizure). I kind of like people knowing how automobile technology can be hacked to remotely control the family car. If not for the competition to develop self-driving cars then I doubt most of the Wi-Fi enabled interfaces would facilitate remote control, but rather just monitoring. It sounds like the game of grand theft auto is about to be profoundly revised.

    Anachronism -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 09, 2017 at 07:01 AM
    "The surveillance state is a deep subject. Without the military hegemony for which it is emblematic would we then even have a threat of terrorism? The domestic surveillance state does little else save maybe some counter-espionage against the other nuclear powers."

    Agreed. We've interfered with impudence in the affairs of Central/South America and the Middle East. We've assassinated leaders of other countries and propped up our little puppets in their places. We staged a revolution to create the country of Panama, simply because we wanted to dig a canal.

    However, You're arguing the past. The question is, now that we're where we are, how do we proceed? All of these people who now hate us, because of the evils we've done aren't simply going to stop if we say "we're not going to spy on you anymore".

    Paraphrasing Shakespere - "The evil countries do lives after them. The good is oft interr'd within their bones. Thus let it be with the U.S.A" won't make terrorists think about our foreign aid programs, or disaster relief for places like Haiti".

    The primary function of the federal government should be to protect the welfare of it's people, and obstensibly tools like the ones the CIA developed (and subsequently leaked) were there to find out what the bad guys were doing. We are now less safe as a direct result of the leak.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 07:37 AM
    "...The question is, now that we're where we are, how do we proceed?..."

    [Your point there is well taken. However, it is still a question with no implicit answer that cannot be alternatively argued. So, the other way to say this is that we have as a nation done very bad things. There will be a price to pay for it. How do we want to pay for it? How long do we want to keep paying for it? Stated another way then there is still no implicit answer that cannot be alternatively argued. It is why I usually avoid such matters. Without a crystal ball then we answer correctly. I just was inquiring to see how far that you were considering. I have no argument against you since you seem to understand the quagmire well enough. I will stick with easier topics such as constitutional reform of the political system, a piece of cake in comparison.]

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 09, 2017 at 07:38 AM
    "...Without a crystal ball then we CANNOT answer correctly..."

    [First EDIT, then POST.]

    Anachronism -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 09, 2017 at 07:46 AM
    So, to paraphrase you; we're screwed. It's simply a question of how badly we're screwed and when.

    I agree. Which is why I'm no fun at parties anymore. I would argue that people who don't understand how screwed we are, are much happier than those who do understand.

    Such is our lot in life.

    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 08:09 AM
    Totally agreed. Yet I cling to hope. Donald Trump has achieved more in organizing progressives in just four months than I have seen done over the collective period since 1968.
    RC AKA Darryl, Ron -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 09, 2017 at 08:12 AM
    Nothing unites people better than a common enemy which they unequivocally despise.
    ilsm -> RC AKA Darryl, Ron... , March 09, 2017 at 02:30 PM
    the oceans mean no one without a huge navy* or ICBM's (why sputnik was a problem) can affect the US. Military spending outside of nuclear warning and MAD is low payback.

    The terrorists know we won't nuke Mecca, hell we are paying Mecca's defenders to keep terrorists in Syria.

    * occupying the US would be dealing with 120M guns in hands of angered civilians....... the Japanese general staff thought they would find 80M behind blades of grass...........

    Peter K. -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 08:54 AM
    The NSA chief told Congress that they don't spy on private US citizens, but Edward Snowden showed that to be a lie.

    Are you comfortable with that? Are you comfortable with handing the surveillance state over to a lunatic like Trump?

    Anachronism -> Peter K.... , March 09, 2017 at 09:45 AM
    As I said above, maybe the CIA doesn't spy on US citizens, but the FBI can and does.

    I don't think Trump would care about me nearly as much as he would Bill Maher or Hillary Clinton, public people who mock him.

    Peter K. -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 10:08 AM
    It would effect you personally for Trump to neutralize all of his political opponents?
    Anachronism -> Peter K.... , March 09, 2017 at 11:09 AM
    I don't think republicans would like the idea of a liberal spying on them any more than we would with a conservative spying on us. Trump is at a whole new level because of his Nixonian paranoia plus his need for revenge plus his penchant for "punching down".

    Having said that, there are safeguards in place to ensure that the FBI can't spy on just anyone. You need a FISA warrant which needs to be approved by a FISA judge. President Cheeto can't just order it to be done. Well, he could, but the FBI should refuse.

    Anachronism -> Anachronism ... , March 09, 2017 at 11:11 AM
    This is the same reason Obama could not order Cheeto's "wires tapped".
    ilsm -> Peter K.... , March 09, 2017 at 02:32 PM
    Trump is more concerned with the Bill of rights than the con artist with the peace prize.

    [Mar 10, 2017] Latest WikiLeaks dump reveals CIA can hack computers, smartphones, even TVs

    Notable quotes:
    "... the code tracking system of the CIA's Center for Cyber Intelligence has more than 5,000 registered users. ..."
    "... Such is the scale of the CIA's undertaking that by 2016, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook ..."
    "... The documents, which appear to have been acquired at least several months ago, detail exploits (or techniques to expose vulnerabilities) for a wide variety of desktop and mobile operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and the server operating system Solaris. ..."
    "... The documents appear to have been extracted from an internal CIA wiki website that was established to provide authorized users download access to the malware programs and also to instruct users on how to deploy them. ..."
    "... an archive of the software and its documentation had been circulating among fo