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Total Surveillance Regime: Big Uncle is Watching You

Mass surveillance is equal to totalitarism. As Joseph Goebbels professed:
"if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear"

The slide above is courtesy of The Guardian

Version 2.0, Oct 17, 2017

News National Security State Recommended Links Edward Snowden as Symbol of resistance to National Security State Privacy is Dead – Get Over It Vault 7 scandal NSA revelations fallout William Binney
Assange and Wikileaks Is national security state in the USA gone rogue ? NSA Surveillance Industrial Espionage Data Stealing Trojans Flame Duqu Trojan Cyberstalking
Interception of "in-transit" traffic as violation of human rights Search engines privacy Google Toolbar Is Google evil? Keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance Facebook as Giant Database about Users The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies  
Damage to the US tech companies "Everything in the Cloud" Utopia Issues of security and trust in "cloud" env Email security How to analyze your own Web activity Interception of "in-transit" traffic as violation of human rights Steganography Building Snort-based IDS Infrastructure
Neoliberal Brainwashing: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few   Nineteen Eighty-Four Edward Snowden as Symbol of Resistance to National Security State Cyberwarfare History of the USA total surveillance efforts Prizm-related humor Etc
 

Introduction

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.

- Goethe

1984 is supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual

The troubling aspect about these disclosures is not so much their significance today, but what surveillance on the nation bodes for the future. Given human nature I am not optimistic.

Bill N. Cambridge MA, NYT.

NSA staff and private contractors have unfettered access to this information. I have a hard time believing that not one of them has used that access to information for personal or political gain. This system makes insider trading, industrial espionage, blackmail, and extortion an almost inevitable outcome. -- The Guardian (from comments).

A new round of debates about the dominance of military industrial complex and the level of control it exerts over the US civil society was caused by recent revelations about NSA activities in the USA.

It might well be the Rubicon was crossed around JFK assassination time. On August 17, 1975 Senator Frank Church stated on NBC's Meet the Press without mentioning the name of the NSA (Church Committee - Wikipedia ):

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

In other words expansionism  and mission creep are immanent qualities, the second nature of large bureaucracies, and unless there is countervailing force. In the absence of countervailing forces they tend to escape from civil control and form a state within a state. In a way any state with powerful three-letter agencies stand with one leg in a tyranny, even if it calls itself a democracy. And that fact was already known to everybody in 1975 (Church Committee).  Actually just after president Kennedy assassination, which, no matter which version of events you adopt, in all cases indirectly pointed out that three letter agencies jumped out of control of civil government. As one Guardian reader commented "The pernicious thing is that it is in the nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight."

The nature of bureaucracies in general and spy agencies in particular to expand beyond reason unless there is effective oversight. In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible for civil authorities to control them. Recent stories about CIA spying on the US Senate Intelligence Committee  just prove this. 

In the case of intelligence agencies it has proven impossible to control them.  Recent stories about CIA spying on the US Senate Intelligence Committee (which is tasked with the oversight of the agency) just prove this simple fact (CIA apologizes for spying on Senate committee - CNNPolitics July 31, 2014 ). As NYT reported (Inquiry by C.I.A. Affirms It Spied on Senate Panel,  

A statement issued Thursday morning by a C.I.A. spokesman said that John O. Brennan, the agency’s director, had apologized to Ms. Feinstein and the committee’s ranking Republican, Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and would set up an internal accountability board to review the issue. The statement said that the board, which will be led by a former Democratic senator, Evan Bayh of Indiana, could recommend “potential disciplinary measures” and “steps to address systemic issues.”

But anger among lawmakers grew throughout the day. Leaving a nearly three-hour briefing about the report in a Senate conference room, members of both parties called for the C.I.A. officers to be held accountable, and some said they had lost confidence in Mr. Brennan’s leadership. “This is a serious situation and there are serious violations,” said Mr. Chambliss, generally a staunch ally of the intelligence community. He called for the C.I.A. employees to be “dealt with very harshly.”

Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado and another member of the Intelligence Committee, demanded Mr. Brennan’s resignation. “The C.I.A. unconstitutionally spied on Congress by hacking into the Senate Intelligence Committee computers,” he said in a written statement. “This grave misconduct not only is illegal but it violates the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of separation of powers.

You can't get a more solid proof of total surveillance...  Please note that Brennan continued his tenure as the head of CIA; attempts to depose him after the incident by some Senators failed. That suggest who was the winner in this skirmish.

That also means that contrary to common perception intelligence agencies are political players and as such are quite capable to defend their staffing and resource consumption levels, despite inefficient waist of resources as typical for large bureaucracies. In other words they are no longer technocratic, but tend to emerge as political bodies, the core of the "deep state" (see Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition). The story of John Brennan the former head of CIA in Obama administration tell volumes about such tendencies. During and after 2016 Presidential elections he emerged as a powerful political broker, later aligning with Hillary Clinton in efforts to form a political coalition capable of deposing President Trump.

We can admire the immortal foresight and moral courage of Secretary of State Henry Stimson's  who closed the Cipher Bureau in 1929.  But this highly ethical, moral and courageous act deprived the US of the capacity to read foreign diplomatic cables as world-wide threats grew.  So it was quickly reversed.

In a way technology dictates the level of government surveillance in the society and in "Internet society" it looks like this level is permanently set on "high". That does not mean that we can't fight it. Yes, we can and one factor that played into the hands of defenders of personal privacy is the you can't drink from a fire hose: as soon as you connect too much information it devalues itself. Also methods of "injecting" false metadata into your profile are reality available. for example for Internet browsing anybody with programmable keyboard can do that. That means that you the set of sites you visited no longer can be considered authentic in "Post-Snowden" world. That dooms effort to assign you a level of "loyalty" based on your browsing history, which is very temping for three letter agencies to do.  Recent failed attempt to create a site that claffies some sites are "Russian propaganda" sites belong to this category (Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group.) But such attempts were just shifted to another domain -- "leak prevention" training:

Part of the “Unauthorized Disclosure” training includes watching a Fox News clip on the crackdown on leaks and Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ statement announcing an increase in criminal leak investigations. A student guide from the Insider Threat Awareness training includes the McCarthyesque request that employees report on each other for “general suspicious behaviors,” including “Questionable national loyalty” such as “Displaying questionable loyalty to US government or company” or “Making anti-U.S. comments.” Never mind that the only oath government employees take is to the US Constitution, not to any government official or the US government itself and certainly not to a private company.

This also opens people to browsing blackmail.  In this sense post-snowmen world is inherently more difficult for three-letter agencies to navigate.

Computer technology and digital communication as new frontiers for intelligence  agencies

Technology changes can really change the society. And not always in a beneficial for the society way. There is such thing as "blowback" in technologies. We can view recent NSA activities revealed by Snowden as a classic example of such blowback connected with the spread of Internet and cloud based technologies.  In a way Internet begets surveillance. And you can do nothing about it.  As former Sun CEO Scott McNealy (born November 13, 1954)  said  "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it." (see also Privacy is Dead – Get Over It).  

I think that the first attempt to create a comprehensive nation-wide intelligence network that monitors sentiments of the citizens and hunt enemies of the state goes as far back as Napoleon and his famous minister of police Joseph Fouché. Or may be it even goes as far back as to Byzantine Empire with its first in history organized network of spies. As for recording of mail envelopes, we can even claim that this function for international mail (in a form of "black chambers") is as old as states are. In the USA it started in full force in August 1919 when J. Edgar Hoover became head of the Bureau of Investigation's new General Intelligence Division—also known as the Radical Division because its explicit goal was to monitor and disrupt the work of domestic radicals.

Recording of all email envelopes started long before email was invented and became established practice since the WWII for all regular mail entering or leaving the country.  It just got a new name now -- collection of metadata and the technology that allow correlation of multiple sets of metadata exposing hidden "networks".  Recording metadata of phone calls and often the calls themselves first started before WWII and technology was first polished on international calls, which for obvious reasons are of great interest to all governments.  As intelligence agencies were one of the first to deploy computers after WWII it would be naive to assume that IBM/360 mainframes were not used to analyze collection of metadata of international calls as early as in 1960th.

Hoover and his chosen assistant, George Ruch monitored a variety of U.S. radicals with the intent to punish, arrest, or deport them. Targets during this period included Marcus Garvey; Rose Pastor Stokes and Cyril Briggs; Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman; and future Supreme Court justice Felix Frankfurter, whom Hoover nicknamed as "the most dangerous man in the United States". So those radicals served a guinea pigs for polishing methods of collection of communications using electronic means of surveillance.

So it would be a mistake to assume that such activities started with 9/11 events and that Bush II was totally responsible for converting the USA into national-security state.  The technology was ready at least 15 years before 9/11 (explosive growth of internet in the USA started in 1996) and new methods of collection of information that are technically available are always adopted and used by clandestine agencies.  They tend to adopt technology as soon as it is available, being, in a pervert way,  classic "early adopters" of any communication or computer technology. And this happens not only in the USA,  although the USA as the  technological leader was probably most profoundly affected.

The creation and use of databases of personal information and the systematic records (archives) of communications of citizens started simultaneously with NSA creation. The first targets were mail and telegraph. Some of this experience came from specialists of Third Reich who were brought to the country after the WWII. At the height of the Cold War in the 1950s, law enforcement and intelligence leaders like J. Edgar Hoover at the FBI. and Allen Dulles at the CIA. aggressively recruited former Nazis of all ranks as secret, anti-Soviet “assets,” declassified records show. They believed the ex-Nazis’ intelligence value against the Russians outweighed what one official called “moral lapses” in their service to the Third Reich. The agency hired one former SS officer as a spy in the 1950s, for instance, even after concluding he was probably guilty of “minor war crimes.” And in 1994, a lawyer with the CIA pressured prosecutors to drop an investigation into an ex-spy outside Boston implicated in the Nazis’ massacre of tens of thousands of Jews in Lithuania, according to a government official (In Cold War, U.S. Spy Agencies Used 1,000 Nazis - NYTimes.com).

We don't know when it was extended on domestic calls, but from purely technical perspective this was a trivial extension of already existing and polished capacity and probably abuse was stated gradually as soon as power of computers allow that. 

But what is true is that after 9/11 and the passage of the USA Patriot Act, the USA government got all the pre-conditions necessary for installing a regime of aggressive total surveillance. Which actually was a hidden intent and 9/11 was just a convenient pretext much like Tonkin incident in Vietnam war. And in this respect Ed Snowden, whatever is his motivation (which might be not as simple as most people assume), did the right thing, when he with the risk to his life informed the US public and the world about those activities. You may approve those revelations, you may disapprove them (and they did damage the USA as a state and devalue many methods which were extremely effective before the revelations), but keeping them secret from the US public is a crime.

NSA technically is a data collection agency. While it has legitimate function to monitor information that is crossing the national border as well as intercept communication of the US adversaries (which is a very flexible category those days ;-), we need to understand that the abuse of this function is inevitable. That actually the nature of the beast -- like any bureaucratic organizations they tend to expand their sphere of activities and escape form control -- and in this sense existence of powerful state intelligence agencies is incompatible with the democracy.  In this sense the appointment of Allan Dulles (who paradoxically was appointed the director under Eisenhower administration in 1952; Eisenhower warnings about the danger of military-industrial complex notwithstanding)  was really unfortunate.

But the capacities to do this type of work had grown dramatically over last four decades. In a way NSA became a victim of growing power of computers as well inherent tendency of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies to expand and self-justify their expansion. The classic case was the USSR where KGB was a real "state within the state" and sometimes it was not completely clear whether the Party controls KGB or KGB controls the Party.

But the capacities to do this type of work had grown dramatically over last four decades. In a way NSA became a victim of growing power of computers and as well inherent tendency of bureaucracies, especially government bureaucracies to expand and self-justify their expansion. The classic case was the USSR where KGB was a real "state within the state" and sometimes it was not completely clear whether the Party controls KGB or KGB controls the Party.

The immanent tendency of intelligence agencies to escape civil control
and in turn to establish indirect control of the government

There is deep analogy between financial services and intelligence services. Both try to escape from the control of democratic society. Both try to control the society instead of serve it. As they operate with large and uncontrolled amount of money soon after their creation inevitably the "the tail wagging the dog" (Merriam-Webster):

the tail wagging the dog used to describe a situation in which an important or powerful person, organization, etc., is being controlled by someone or something that is much less important or powerful

At some point the permanent unelected bureaucracy, became the shadow government instead of facilitating the decisions of elected officials. This process proceeds quicker if a sociopath manage to slip to the role of the head of such an organization. That's what the term "deep state" is about. Some authors such as  Douglas Horne view JFK assassination as a political coup d'état launched from the highest levels of US leadership (JFK’s War with the National Security Establishment Why Kennedy Was Assassinated). Here is a quote from the foreword by Jacob G. Hornberger:

By the end of November 1961, profoundly dissatisfied with his own national security advisory apparatus, President Kennedy had firmly pushed back against the national security establishment (in this case the NSC, the State Department, and the CIA) by purging and/or reshuffling many of the civilian hawks in his own administration into other positions, and by placing officials more in line with his own views into key positions. [A change in the top leadership at the Pentagon was to come later, in 1962.] Throughout 1961, the new President had painfully but quickly learned to be quite skeptical of the advice he was receiving, pertaining to matters of war and peace, from his hawkish advisors; and as 1961 progressed, John F. Kennedy repeatedly demonstrated what the hawks in government (the majority) no doubt considered a disturbingly independent (and increasingly all-too-predictable) frame of mind in regard to the national security recommendations he was receiving from the “sacred cows” and “wise men” in Washington, D.C. As I shall demonstrate in these essays, by the end of 1962, the national security establishment in Washington D.C., which had quickly come to know JFK as a skeptic during 1961, had come to view him as a heretic; and by November of 1963, the month he was assassinated, they no doubt considered him an apostate, for he no longer supported most of the so-called “orthodox” views of the Cold War priesthood. Increasingly alone in his foreign policy judgments as 1963 progressed, JFK was nevertheless proceeding boldly to end our “Holy War” against Communism, instead of trying to win it. In retrospect it is clear that the national security establishment wanted to win our own particular “jihad” of the post-WW II era by turning the Cold War against the USSR into a “hot war,” so that we could inflict punishing and fatal blows upon our Communist adversaries (and any other forces we equated with them) on the battlefield. It was this desire for “hot war” by so many within the establishment — their belief that conventional “proxy wars” with the Soviet Bloc were an urgent necessity, and that nuclear war with the USSR was probably inevitable — to which President Kennedy was so adamantly opposed. And it was JFK’s profound determination to avoid nuclear war by miscalculation, and to eschew combat with conventional arms unless it was truly necessary, that separated him from almost everyone else in his administration from 1961 throughout 1963, as events have shown us.

 

Against whom total surveillance is directed

Total surveillance is not so much about terrorism. It's also and mainly about the control of the society by unelected elite. Terrorism is a false pretext -- a smoke screen, if you like. Let's state clearly -- the main goal of total surveillance was the same since it was introduced in Nazi Germany: "Let them be afraid". It's the same as in former German Democratic Republic (with its famous Stasi). In all cases it is to prevent any challenge to the ruling elite or in the terminology of neoliberal "color revolutions" prevent  "regime change", unless it is initiated by more powerful foreign three letter agencies and significantly higher level of financial resources (that's why three letter agencies of newly minted xUSSR state in several cases were unable to prevent color revolutions of their territories).  

In other words surveillance and intelligence agencies are part and parcel of the totalitarian state. And Sheldon Volin actually created a term for such "pseudo-democratic" regime --  inverted totalitarism.  Unlike  classic totalitarism it generally tend to avoid using violence  to crush the dissidents and opposition to the current elite. More "soft" subversive methods are enough. In this sense the  story of crushing "of "Occupy Wall Street" movement is a testament of their efficiency. 

State actors and well funded terrorist organization are a difficult nut to crack.  Any "custom" encrypted communication is far more difficult for intercepting party to decode, then "standard" encryption methods.  Some encryption methods virtually guarantee that it is impossible without stealing the key. Even detecting the fact of communication for such parties nowadays is very difficult as it can be hidden in  some "carrier" transmission (steganography) or split into multiple channels.   Those who have access to technology and to "know how" including the most recent exploits are well armed to resist attempt to intercept their communication. That includes most powerful foreign states. 

That means that NSA has great difficulties intercepting and decoding traffic that is intended to be hidden from state actors.  Modern encryption systems such One-Time-Pad virtually guarantee that you get the "insider information" of the pad used (typically from a mole) they are impenetrable. Even regular encryption methods can be enhanced by additional step of compressing the files transmitted (which by and large eliminates redundancy if done properly and do not leave "tell" sign  of the method encryption used) . Decoding is easier when standard algorithms with possible backdoors are used but  even in this case I have doubts (Triple DEC).  That's why attempts to compensate this deficiency are being developed and one obvious path is intercepting regular citizen communication  of foreign countries which are considered to be unfriendly or adversarial to current the US foreign policy goals (which is the expansion and maintenance of global the Us-led neoliberal empire).

But the situation with  "open" traffic is completely different. Million of people outside the USA use Facebook, Amazon, Gmail and similar platforms. Which makes them a low hanging fruit and here NSA is the king of the hill.  Government officials also sometimes use regular  email and social sites (see Hillary Clinton email scandal). So intelligence agencies were provided with an important opening (and it might well be that the dramatic growth  of Webmail has something to do with their interests)

At the same time the abundance of information, as Biney mentioned, creates another problem --  the problem of "drinking from a fire hose" -- they tend to collect too much information and are swamped with the volume.  Of cause correlation of open traffic of "suspicious persons" can reveal some hidden information, but this is a pretty expensive undertaking, because by definition (unless this is Hillary Clinton ;-) those persons are aware that they are watched, typically are trained to avoid surveillance (including electronic) and behave accordingly.  for example General Petraeus used an interesting method to communicate with his biographer and mistress (The Washington Post) :

They wrote their "intimate messages" as draft e-mails in a shared Gmail account, according to the AP, allowing them to see one anothers' messages while leaving a much fainter data trail. When messages are sent and received, both accounts record the transmission as well as such metadata as the IP addresses on either end, something the two seemed to be seeking to avoid. 

Petraeus and Broadwell apparently used a trick, known to terrorists and teen-agers alike, to conceal their email traffic, one of the law enforcement officials said.

Rather than transmitting emails to the other's inbox, they composed at least some messages and instead of transmitting them, left them in a draft folder or in an electronic "dropbox," the official said. Then the other person could log onto the same account and read the draft emails there. This avoids creating an email trail that is easier to trace.

With the power of modern computers, decoys and steganography offer almost unlimited possibility to obscure the traffic. 

The real questions about NSA activities


Concern about the NSA assault on our privacy is no paranoid fantasy. In the words of an agency PowerPoint slide released by Snowden, the goal is to "collect it all", "process it all" and "know it all". The massive surveillance program is a clear violation of the Forth amendment prohibiting "unreasonable searches" of "persons, houses, papers, and effects" without "probable cause."

- Gene Epstein. "In defence of Snowden",
review of "No Place to Hide" Barrons, Jan 5, 2015, p 17

According to UN Human Right Council Report (17 April 2013) innovations in technology not only have increased the possibilities for communication and protections of free expression and opinion, enabling anonymity, rapid information-sharing and cross-cultural dialogues. They also simultaneously increased opportunities for State surveillance and interventions into individuals’ private communications facilitating to transformation of the state into National Security State, a form of corporatism characterized by continued and encompassing all forms of electronic communication electronic surveillance of all citizens.

Now every Internet or smartphone users probably understand that since probably 2003 or even earlier that that he/she is watched 24 by 7, or as Soviet dissidents called it "Was placed under the [surveillance] dome". Some question that we need to ask ourselves are:

All-in-all it's a good time to smell the coffee and talk about the rise of a new mutation of totalitarism (or may be even neofascism -- as it is, essentially, the merger of corporate and state interests) in the US after 9/11. That's exactly what this "Internet-inspired" flavor of total surveillance due to modern technical capabilities means. There is also distinct shadow of STASI in all those activities. And some countries got into similar trap before, so nothing is new under the sun. As Reinhold Niebuhr noted:

"Communism is a vivid object lesson in the monstrous consequences of moral complacency about the relation of dubious means to supposedly good ends."

There is actually little difference between total surveillance as practiced by NSA and what was practiced by three letters agencies of Eastern block dictatorships such as STASI and KGB. The key goal in both cases is protection and preservation of power of existing elite against the will of common people. So this is more about oppression of 99.9% from top 0.1% then surveillance per see.

Militarization of cyberspace makes Internet a very dangerous medium

We should view Snowden revelations in a larger context. Much of what he revealed about militarization of cyberspace was already known at the time when Flame and Stuxnet worms were discovered in 2011. He just dot the i's and cross the t's , so speak. As a result of his revelations, as The National Interest noted:

An increasing number of adversaries and even allies are coming to believe that the United States is militarizing cyberspace — and that impression of hubris and irresponsibility is beginning to have a real-world impact.

...The Snowden leaks have brought Stuxnet, the U.S.-Israeli program allegedly used to attack Iranian computer systems, back into public debate — and reminded us that the real damage of the Snowden revelations will be international.

...the perception that the United States has become a danger to the global internet is a cause for concern. In their understandable anger at the considerable damage Snowden has done (in the near term at the very least) to the operations of NSA and their allies, U.S. security officials should not lose sight of this fact.

Snowden’s claims build on the Stuxnet revelations. In doing so, they reinforce an impression of overbearing U.S. cyberpower (military and commercial) being used irresponsibly. That is strikingly at odds with the U.S. self-image as a standard bearer of internet freedom and “borderless” exchange, but it is a view that resonates around the world.

In fact the USA policies are stimulating economic and political rivals around the globe to organize and present unified front against this new and dangerous form of total surveillance. As well as implement similar domestic systems. In other words a new arm race started.

As methods and infrastructure of those activities are now revealed, the genie is out of the bottle and can't be put back -- the US now should expect the same or worse treatment from other nations. Which can be no less inventive, or even more inventive the USA specialists in this area. And in this new arm race economically weaker nations actually has some leverage. Blowback, a CIA term for unintended consequences of foreign, military, or clandestine policies, can be similar to the blowback of politically organizing Islamic radicals to fight Soviets in Afghanistan in the past.

Nemesis, the goddess of retribution and vengeance, the punisher of pride and hubris, probably already waits patiently for her meeting with the NSA brass.

Blowback can irreparably damage the ability of the United States to obtain crucial information in foreign environments that are poorly understood in Washington. The cultural divide that exists when operating away from home means that CIA and NSA frequently work overseas through a network of liaison contacts. This in theory limits their activity, but it broadens their ability to collect information that can only be plausibly obtained by a local organization with local capabilities. Though nearly everyone also operates clandestinely outside the parameters of the established relationships insofar as it is possible or expedient to do so, there is an awareness that being caught can cause grave damage to the liaison relationship. Because being exposed is nearly always very painful, such operations are normally limited to collection of critical information that the liaison partner would be unwilling to reveal.

So while it might be comforting to claim that “everyone does it” at least some of the time, and it may even be true that local spy agencies sometimes collaborated with NSA, the United States has a great deal to lose by spying on its friends. This is particularly true as Washington, uniquely, spies on everyone, all the time, even when there is no good reason for doing so.

NSA Blowback The American Conservative

Centralization of user activities on sites like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, with email account mainly at Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail along with many positive aspects has tremendous negative side effects. The most significant is that it created a way too easy opportunity both for those organizations as well as government agencies and large corporations to data mine email and Web communications of millions of Americans critical about government (see Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance) and all foreigners who use those services (and that includes a significant part of European population and Russia, who have Gmail, Facebook or Yahoo accounts). The history of "total surveillance" suggests that it tends to be abused. It is also huge, irreparable breach on trust in relation to allies. Closely resembles the situation in family when wife or husband learn that the other hired detective to snoop on you.

The analogy with KGB surveillance of dissidents (the Soviet term for total surveillance was "to be under the 'dome' ") and, especially, Stasi (viewing the film "The Lives of Others" might help to understand the phenomenon of "total surveillance") are way too close. At the same time there is an important difference: while such regime does mean indirect (and pretty effective) intimidation of dissidents, cases of prosecution on the base of the those data are either few or non existent, which is a big difference with KGB or Stasi practice. The latter aggressively pursued those who got in their net trying either to convert them into informers or charge them with the some suitable article of Criminal Code. In some cases that practice lead to suicides. So here we can talk more properly talk about total surveillance an instrument of Inverted Totalitarism, or totalitarism in velvet gloves.

We are talking about "passive total surveillance" and temporary (which might be several years or your lifetime) storage of all intercepted data. But in a way, Senator McCartney was probably right about "Communists sympathizers" and communist infiltration, he just was completely wrong about who they are ;-).

Every Breath You Take

Ich bin ein Berliner
J. F. Kennedy

The famous The Police hit Every Breath You Take should probably be the theme song for the NSA. As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his famous speech:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

Snowden revelations are not something new. The only real revelation was how much of it was going on domestically and gory details of such activities. Before 9/11 the NSA was basically prohibited from operating domestically. Of course it violates those prohibitions, but there were no systematic internal, all encompassing technical surveillance infrastructure in place. Now it is build and is deployed nation-wide. And that's a big change, big difference. Due to "novel" interpretation of a few provisions in the Patriot Act they created domestic dragnet which encompass most types of Internet communications. In addition to intercepting more then 70% of Internet traffic they also enjoy direct access to major cloud providers.

Total continued surveillance even without taking any action on collected data is totalitarian by its nature as it put severe restrictions of the freedom of expression. And like in the USSR, it does change people behavior on the Web. People start thinking about consequences and this page is one of attempts to collect information that might help you to see "bigger picture".

The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people do react on the fact that everything they email, visit, buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control. Internet will never be the same for most people after Snowden revelations...

The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people do react on the fact that everything they email, visit, buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control. Internet will never be the same for most people after Snowden revelations...

For example, no one in sound mind can now trust "cloud services" provided by Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc. So attractiveness of Gmail, Hotmail and such are now different, then it was before. And separation of mail accounts between "junk mail" account and important mail account is something to think about. With the latter never in the cloud. In a way excessive using cloud services from a fashionable trend now became kind of indication of a person stupidity.

In a way excessive using of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became an indication of a person stupidity. There is no real justification of providing all your emails and address book to strangers who can abuse this information without your knowledge.

At the same time it is stupid to dramatize the situation. Still, what is really striking is the grotesque disproportionally of all this NSA surveillance "superdome" to the task of keeping the country safe from foreign enemies (NSA statute is about watching foreign communications), begging obvious questions of institutional sanity and competence. They turned all their super powerful collection mechanisms inside the country and now they drink from a firehouse. That means that the results and possibilities of abuse are pretty much predictable. Too many false positives create real danger of not to picking up weak signal. So the other question is "Who the hell made these decisions?" That's a lot of taxpayers money and I am not sure that they are well spend.

As for breach of privacy anyone with connected to Internet PC,  the first thing to understand that if somebody stores data in the cloud they should not expect any privacy, unless they encrypt them. Expecting that your unencrypted data are private is a sign of personal stupidity, no more no less. If somebody, who is keeping his address book in Google assumes that it remains private, that his own illusion. That has nothing to do with the reality.

And it not that only NSA threatens our privacy. After all there are millions of PC users that have computer(s) infected by spyware, which turns them into zombies, externally controlled monitoring devices. And such software BTW can pick up and offload, or encrypt for ransom all your data. I do not see much protest over this situation iether. Microsoft greed and stupidity is one reason for this dismal situation, but essentially any OS is vulnerable if enough money is invested in finding exploits.  And NSA actually created a market for such exploits. Now there are multiple "security firms" that do nothing then find "zero day" exploits and sell them to the highest bidder (which is of course government agencies).  Does not this reminds you 'war on drugs"?

In a way, any networked computer is an unsecure computer and should be treated as such. See Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. The same thing can be mentioned about a cell phone that is outside some metal box. That's two basic "laws of security" in the current environment.

But more important problem here is not snooping per se, but its interaction with self-profiling that you provide via social sites. If you are too enthusiastic about Facebook or Google++ or any similar site and engage regularly and indiscriminately in this "vanity fair" activity that simply means Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. You killed it yourself. The essence of the situation was exposed well in a humorous form in the following Amazon review of Orwell's novel 1984

Bjørn Anders See all my reviews

This is not an instruction manual!, June 14, 2013

This review is from: 1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume) (Paperback)

Note to US Congress and house of representatives: This is a fictional book, not an instruction manual...

Now we know what would a perfect prototype of Bid Brother ;-). The song (Every Breath You Take ) should probably be the theme song for the NSA. And not only NSA, but its counterparts in other parts of the globe; I think, other things equal, citizens of some other countries would greatly prefer NSA to their domestic counterparts.

Cell phones, laptops, Facebook, Skype, chat-rooms: all allow the NSA and other similar agencies to build a dossier, a detailed profile of a target and anyone associated with him/her. And the number of people caught up in this dragnet can be huge. The NSA say it needs all this data to help prevent another terrorist attack like 9/11. They lie. In order to find the needle in the haystack, they argue, they need access to the whole haystack. But one interesting side effect is that now they are drinking from the fire hose, so to speak.

The power of meta data collection

Another interesting side-effect of the Snowden disclosures that the term ‘metadata’ became a common word in English language. With the growing understanding that metadata includes enough personal information to built a detailed profile of a person without even listening into content of communications. This technology was invented in Iraq war for fighting insurgents (were phone companies were controlled by US) and now is applied at home. In fact, by just using electronic communications, you are sharing a lot more personal information than you think. It's a reflection of a fact that it is very cheap to collect and analyses information about your electronic communications. The digital revolution which led to an explosion in cell phone and internet use, also led to an explosion of snooping after you by the governments.

We need to distinguish "total collection" of data from "total analysis" (or creation of dossiers on everybody as was practiced by STASI and friends). Raw data contain both "signal" and "noise". Analysis or data mining of those raw data is the process of extraction of useful signal from the noise. Of course we should be so naive that to assume that "signal" is related to purely terrorist activities. As recently published documents had shown, the NSA interests are much wider ;-). In bald terms, it sets out its mission:

“Leverage unique key corporate partnerships to gain access to high-capacity international fiber-optic cables, switches and/or routes throughout the world.”

Along with major fiber-optic cables in the US, the NSA has access to data gathered by close intelligence partners such as Britain’s GCHQ.

Sometimes it appear to me that like Uncle Sam got "red disease" and now is trying to imitate "total surveillance" mantra of KGB, STASI and similar agencies on a new technological level. And the key lesson from Soviet experience is fully applicable to the current situation in the USA: when government consider everybody as a potential enemy you better watch your back. And having a cyberstooge following your every step more closely that it was possible for STASI spooks and informers is something you need to react to. Reading your address book, mail, list of books that you bought or borrowed from the library, analyzing your circuit of friends is what STASI was really good at. And it might well be that some unemployed specialists have found a new territory to apply their substantial talents.

The Snowden documents show that the NSA runs these surveillance programs through “partnerships” with major US telecom and internet companies. That means that if you are customer of those major telecom and Internet companies you are like a bug under the microscope.

It is important to understand that metadata of your communications will always be exposed (it other words you are always walking "naked" on the Internet) because those new surveillance capabilities are immanent properties of Internet protocols, as we known it. There is no way to encrypt connection metadata: this is technically impossible unless you owns a vast private VPN network (some large corporations do), but even in this case I have doubts. Even snail-mail metadata are collected (and from 50th to 80th letters were opened and selectively copied by CIA). Diplomatic mail might still be secure, but that's about it.

Technological blowback

Like with any new development there are countervailing trends that after Snowden revelation went in overdrive and can seriously affect NSA capabilities.

One is switching to encrypting communication with most websites such as YouTube. That prevent simple harvesting of video that you watched from HTTP logs (but does not prevent harvesting -- it can be done using other methods)

The second is usage of software like Tor, although I think all connection to Tor sites are closely monitored by NSA.

The third is usage of your own cashing DNS proxy to limit number of DNS requests you make.  

I also think that all those development might give steganography a huge boost.

The other areas of technology that might get huge boost due to Snowden revelations is "Browsing imitating internet robots" technology which permit to drown NSA collection devices in spam -- fake accesses to web sites that is very difficult to distinguish from real browsing, but that make all statistical metrics applied to your Web traffic useless.  For example top visited pages became completely bogus. 

Currently this requires some level of technical sophistication and available mostly to programmers and system administrators interested in "beating NSA back". Programs that have those capabilities are often marketed as proxy logs replayers,  or Apache logs replayers or debugging tools. See for example  Load Testing with JMeter Part 3 - Replaying Apache Logs and Charles Web Debugging Proxy  ( and http - Replaying a Charles proxy session and recording the results - Stack Overflow ). Actually good old Expect can do wonders here if logs are converted into expect scripts. Especially in combination with Javascript (Scalable, Flexible Performance Testing Replaying web server log)

Another danger to society: Lord Acton warning as applied to NSA

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Lord Acton(1834–1902)

As Lord Acton(1834–1902) noted long before NSA started collecting all Internet communications "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". The history of "total surveillance" suggests that this is unavoidable side effect on the very institution that conducts: such an institution tends to escape the control of civil society and became a shadow power, the element of "deep state". 

The first grave consequence of total surveillance is that it tends to be abused. The history of "total surveillance" suggests that this is unavoidable side effect on the very institution that conducts: such an institution tends to escape the control of civil society and became a shadow power, the element of "deep state".  

And the ability to intercept electronic communications gives those who are in charge of such collection  tremendous political power. Please remember that J. Edgar Hoover was director of FBI very long time partially because he dug a lot of dirt on politicians of his time including both Kennedys. According to President Harry S Truman, Hoover transformed the FBI into his private secret police force. He used the FBI to harass political dissenters and activists, to amass secret files on political leaders, and to collect evidence using illegal methods. Essentially for half of the century he and his organization were out of control "state within the state" and nobody could do anything about it. Only after his death some measures were taken.

It's not that expanding bureaucracy per se is a problem. I doubt that those in the bureaucracy of those agencies do not think about larger consequences for societies of their attempts to expand their sphere of influence. It is much worse: they definitely knew about possible consequences, but go "full forward' anyway preferring job promotions and expansion of their influence. Like bureaucrats often do, they betrayed their nations like nomenklatura betrayed the people of the USSR (with a similar fig leaf of nice slogans about freedom as a smoke screen for pretty nefarious activities).

Elimination of possibility of opposition to the current regime

In case of NSA, this data on you, or particular political or social movement (for example "Occupy Wall Street") can be mined at any time, and what is even worse can be used to destroy any new political movement. And please remember that NSA is a just part of military-industrial complex, an entity that has some interesting political characteristics related to the term "the acquisition of unwarranted influence" . As Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us in his famous farewell speech (which introduced the term "military-industrial complex"):

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

People seldom understand that all three letter agencies are not just part of military industrial complex, but are the key parts. While ability of weapon manufactures to buy or just simply control Congress members matters, three-letter agencies is where "unwarranted influence" fully materialize. By definition they are out of control and as any bureaucracy they want to grow. That was clear to Senator Frank Church who stated on August 17, 1975 NBC's Meet the Press:

In the need to develop a capacity to know what potential enemies are doing, the United States government has perfected a technological capability that enables us to monitor the messages that go through the air. Now, that is necessary and important to the United States as we look abroad at enemies or potential enemies. We must know, at the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left such is the capability to monitor everything—telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.

If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology.

I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.[11]

We can applaud his personal courage, but at this point it does not matter. The horse has left the barn. As sgtdoom commented The Guardian article NSA analysts 'willfully violated' surveillance systems, agency admits (August 24, 2013):

...let us be realistic and not fall for the usual story of this being a discrete event (all the latest surveillance, that is).

This dates back to the founding of the Financial-Intelligence-Complex during and in the aftermath of World War II, by the Wall Streeters for their super-rich bosses, the Rockefellers, Morgans, du Ponts, Mellons, Harrimans (now Mortimers), etc.

The most important factor that needs to be taken into account is the total surveillance make organized opposition to the regime impossible. So welcome to nicer, gentler, but no less totalitarian world of 1984 (aka "Back in USSR"). The key equation is very simple:

total surveillance = total control

That simple fact was well understood by various dictators and totalitarian regimes long ago, but none of them has had even a tiny fraction of technical capabilities NSA has now. I think one of the reason that Occupy movement completely dissipated so fast was that they were like a bug under microscope of the government. And government want them to stop harassing Wall Street sharks for their 2008 crisis misdeeds.

Instilling fear

Another important effect of "total surveillance" is instilling fear in the citizenry; fear that our thoughts, words and relationships are subject of interception and analysis; fear that all the content we access on the internet will be exposed. This fear can cause us to withdraw from public spaces like producing this website, censor our communications, refrain from accessing certain sites, buying certain books, etc.

An important effect of "total surveillance" is instilling fear in the citizenry; fear that our thoughts, words and relationships are subject of interception and analysis; fear that all the content we access on the internet will be exposed. This fear can cause us to withdraw from public spaces like producing this website, censor our communications, refrain from accessing certain sites, buying certain books, etc.

In other words understanding that you are watched on 24 x 7 basis modifies behavior and makes self-censorship your second nature exactly the same way as in any totalitarian state, but without any physical coercion. Here is one telling comment from Secret to Prism program Even bigger data seizure

wtpayne

Indeed: The intentions and motivations of the agencies in question; the degree of oversight and so on; is almost irrelevant. To a certain extent, I am content to believe that the intentions of the perpetrators is good; and that the oversight and abuse prevention systems that they have in place are strong.

However, none of that matters if people self-censor; if people worry, not about what the government of today will find objectionable, but what the government of tomorrow will not like. In effect, we end up censoring ourselves from a hypothetical worst-case future government.

Loss of privacy as a side effect of cloud-based Internet technologies

“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

Maybe Dante had some serious vision.

The Guardian

We will concentrate on technical side of the this operation, trying to understand how much information can be stored about a regular "Joe Doer" based on technical capabilities that are available. Let's assume that we deal with mostly "passive surveillance": collection and storage of vast amount of Internet traffic on special computers using either mirrored ports on the key routers or special access to key providers of cloud services.

We can probably assume that several layers of storage of those data exist:

Technology development creates new types of communications as well as new types of government surveillance mechanisms (you can call them "externalities" of new methods of communication). Those externalities, especially low cost of mass surveillance (Wikipedia), unfortunately, bring us closer to the Electronic police state (Wikipedia) or National Security State whether we want it or not. A crucial element of such a state is that its data gathering, sorting and correlation on individual citizens are continuous, cover a large number of citizens and all foreigners, and those activities are seldom exposed.

Cloud computing as a technology that presuppose storing the data "offsite" have several security problems, and one of them is that it is way too much "surveillance friendly" (Misunderstanding of issues of security and trust). With cloud computing powers that be do not need to do complex job of recreating TCP/IP conversations on router level to capture, say, all the emails. You can access Web-based email mailbox directly with all mails in appropriate mailboxes and spam filtered. This is a huge saving of computational efforts ;-).

It means two things:

It puts you essentially in a situation of a bug under microscope on Big Brother. And please understand that modern storage capabilities are such that it is easy to store several years of at least some of your communications, especially emails.

The same is true about your phone calls metadata, credit card transactions and your activities on major shopping sites such as Amazon, and eBay. But here you can do almost nothing. Still I think our support of "brick" merchants is long overdue. Phones are traditional target of government three letter agencies (WSJ) since the WWII. Smartphones with GPS in addition to land line metadata also provide your current geo location. Some point out that using basic phone slightly preferable to smartphone (both in a sense of absence of geodata and the possibility to install spyware on it -- there is simply no RAM to do anything sophisticated). But I do not think you can do much here

I think our support of "brick" merchants is long overdue. And paying cash in the store in not something that you should try to avoid because credit card returns you 1% of the cost of the purchase. This 1% is actually a privacy tax ;-)

Total continued surveillance even without taking any action on collected data is totalitarian by its nature as it put severe restrictions of the freedom of expression and it changes people behavior on the Web. In this sense, Senator McCartney was probably right about "Communists sympathizers" and "KGB infiltration", he just was completely wrong about who they are ;-).

The centralization of searches on Google (and to a lesser extent on Bing -- the latter is standard with new Windows installation) are also serious threats to your privacy. Here diversification between three or more search engines might help a bit.  But limited your time behind the computer is probably more efficient. Generally here I do not think much can be done. Growth of popularity of Duckduckgo suggests that people are vary of Google monopolizing the search, but it is unclear how big are the advantages. You can also save searches as many searches are recurrent and generally you can benefit from using your personal Web proxy with private cashing DNS server. This way to can "shrink" your radar picture, but that's about it. If you are conserved with you "search" profile, you can replay some searches to distort it. In any case,  search engines are now an integral part of our civilization, whether we want it or not.

Collection of your searches for the last several years can pretty precisely outline sphere of your interests. And again technical constrains on storage of data no longer exists: how we can talk about privacy at the age of 3 TB harddrives for $99. There are approximately 314 million of the US citizens and residents, so storing one gigabyte of information for each citizen requires just 400 petabytes.  Which is clearly within the current capabilities of storage technology. For comparison

Films to Understand the Phenomenon

The analogy with KGB surveillance of dissidents (the term was "to be under the "kolpak" (dome) ") and, especially, Stasi (viewing the film "The Lives of Others" might help to understand the phenomenon of "total surveillance") are way too close. And psychological effects of anticipating that you are under total surveillance are well depicted in the final of the film The Conversation (1974) directed by famous Francis Ford Coppola

At the same time there is an important difference: while both regimes creates implicit intimidation and squash dissent, cases of prosecution on the base of the those data are either few or non existent. Which is a big difference with KGB or Stasi practice, which aggressively pursued those dissidents who got in their net, trying either to convert them into informers, or prosecute them using the existing articles of Criminal Code. In some cases that led to suicides. So here we can talk more about Inverted Totalitarism, a velvet gloves mode of suppressing of dissent.

Your email in toxic cloud

Still it is now dramatically more clear then before that centralization of email accounts and user activities on sites like Facebook, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, LinkedIn, with email accounts mainly at Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail is far from being a positive development. Along with many positive aspects has tremendous negative side effects. Essentially it turns users into spies on themselves in a way that would be a dream by Stasi. The most significant is that it created an easy opportunities to data mine email databases both for those organizations as well as various government agencies and, possibly (in a limited way for special payment) by large corporations.

Those tendencies probably should be at least resisted, but we do not have means to reverse them.

Attempts to data mine email and Web communications of millions of Americans critical about government (see Total control: keywords in your posts that might trigger surveillance) and all foreigners who use those services (and that includes a significant part of European population and xUSSR area, who often use Gmail, Facebook or Yahoo accounts) means that the country became a National Security State. With all relevant consequences of such a transformation.

And interest in content of your "cloud based" email is not limited to the government:

A sweeping Wall Street Journal investigation in 2010 found that the biggest U.S. websites have technologies tracking people who visit their pages, sometimes upwards of 100 tools per site. One intrusive string of code even recorded users’ keystrokes and transmitted them to a data-gathering firm for analysis.

“A digital dossier over time is built up about you by that site or third-party service or data brokers,” says Adam Thierer, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center’s Technology Policy Program at George Mason University. “They collect these data profiles and utilize them to sell you or market you better services or goods.”

This is what powers the free Internet we know and love; users pay nothing or next to nothing for services — and give up pieces of personal information for advertisers in exchange. If you search for a Mini Cooper on one website, you’re likely to see ads elsewhere for lightweight, fuel-efficient cars. Companies robotically categorize users with descriptions such as “urban upscale” to “rural NASCAR” to tailor the advertising experience, says Jim Harper of the libertarian Cato Institute. “They’ll use ZIP codes and census data to figure out what their lifestyle profile is.”

Tracking your Web access

Most of the site you visit those days was found via search engine, often Google. But Google is interested in more then search terms you use and sometimes plays with you a nasty trick: "Google may choose to exhibit its search results in the form of a 'URL redirector,'" reads Google's main privacy policy. That means that any time it wishes Google can spy on your Web activity:

"When Google uses a URL redirector, if you click on a URL from a search result, information about the click is sent to Google."

Few people check the URL before clicking on Google search results, so in a way this is perfect spying tool.

But there is another powerful spying tool in Google arsenal -- Google toolbar, and I am not sure that all those trick were not reused in Google browser. Google Toolbar sends all user clicks to Google, if advanced mode is enabled (and many people do enable it because they want to have spelling correction available which, conveniently for Google, belongs to the set of advanced features). This way you voluntarily subscribe to a 24x7 monitoring of your web activity using spyware that is installed on your computer with your consent. For the same reason recent smartphones fashion looks greatly misguided. It is better to use regular phone, then smartphone, and the last thing you probably want on your smartphone is Android OS or iOS, or windows 8 OS. In some deep way unlocked Nokia 1280 looks now much more attractive (and is way cheaper ;-).

Google Toolbar in advanced mode is another common snooping tool about your activities. It send each URL you visit to Google and you can be sure that from Google several three letter agencies get this information as well. After all Google has links to them from the very beginning:

Effects on behavior

As soon as they realize that they are watched, people start thinking about consequences and this article is a pretty telling (albeit slightly paranoid ;-) illustration of the effect. The key mechanism here, well known to those who used to live in the USSR before its dissolution is that people preemptively change their behavior, if they know or suspect that they got "under the dome" of government surveillance, that all their emails are intercepted, all web site visits recorded, anything they buy on Amazon, etc is registered in giant database outside of their control.

The angle under which will we try to cover the story is: the situation is such and such, now what? What are the most appropriate actions and strategy of behavior of people who are concerned about their privacy and no longer trust "cloud services" provided by Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc ( and those who trust those providers should probably stop reading at this point). It is impossible to close all those accounts. But some can and should be closed; for example POP3 mail can replace web mail for all "important" mail; this way you avoid "cloud storage" of all your important correspondence. It is impossible not to use search engines, but you can chose which search language to use. It is impractical not to use smartphone and for Android phone you can't avoid registration -- that's the only way to get updates from Google, but you can root the phone, remove some snooping components and use Firefox instead of Chrome. But not it is clear that if mobile web browsing and checking email on your phone is not your thing you are better off with a very simple phone such as Nokia 1280.

The first and the most obvious "change we can believe in" is that we need to change our attitude toward cloud services and especially cloud services from large providers. Now the most reasonable assumption is that most national cloud providers including major retailers are in bed with the government three letter agencies. So you need to be careful what you browse for on Amazon, similarly to what you write from Gmail and Hotmail.

In a way, excessive usage of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became kind of indication of a person stupidity. It is important to understand that for anybody more or less competent with computers (or willing to learn), anything Facebook or Gmail or Hotmail can offer, regular small ISP account with Cpanel can offer with less risk for your privacy for, say, $5 a month or less. And your privacy definitely cost more then $60 a year.

In a way excessive using of cloud services from a fashionable trend now became an indication of a person stupidity. For anybody more or less competent with computers (or willing to learn), anything Facebook or Gmail can offer, regular ISP account with Cpanel can offer too with less risk for your privacy.

At the same time it is also stupid to over-dramatize the situation and isolate yourself by abandoning Internet communications and restricting usage of cell-phone. The reasonable hypothesis is that today’s surveillance is a side effect of new technological developments and it is a new fact of life. It is just a new level of information gathering, which has been going on since the Byzantine Empire. And it is still limited by technological capabilities of sifting through mass of communications. But at the same time, quantity does at one point turns into quality, so the danger is real and as such could providers are suspect by definition. In no way they are new level of technological development. In sense they are one step forward, two sets back.

Also being engages in foreign wars has an interesting side effect that technologies invented come home and used against citizens (naked capitalism). That's actually the origin of indiscriminant collection of metadata used now.

But at the same time we need to understand that there are millions of PC users that have computer(s) infected by spyware, which can make your computer a zombie. And world did not perished due to that.

Still the key lesson is unmistakable: from now on, any networked computer is an unsecure computer that can't be trusted really confidential information, unless it is isolated by firewall and proxy. And if we assume that it is unsecured computer, them it should be treated it as such. The first step is that all confidential data should be deleted and moved to removable storage. In case you need to work with it as much as possible should be done on non-networked computers, limiting the exposure of your data to bare minimum. And the less powerful computer you use for processing you confidential data, the best; the less powerful OS you use, the best (what about using Windows 98 or DOS for those who can still remember it ? ;-). From now on "retro-computing" movement now is inherently linked with the issues of security and privacy and might get a new life.

This retro-computing idea might create a new life for abandoned computers that are in excess in almost every family ;-) See Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. The same thing can be mentioned about a cell phone, which should be as simple as possible. Not all people really benefit from browsing the Web from their smartphones. If you are really paranoid you can think storing you cell phone at home in a metal box ;-).

In other words there are two new "laws of computer security":

But more important problem here is not snooping per se, but voluntarily self-profiling that you provide via social sites. If you are way too enthusiastic about Facebook or Google++ or any similar site and engage regularly and indiscriminately in this "vanity fair" activity you put yourselves voluntarily under surveillance. So not only Privacy is Dead – Get Over It. You killed it yourself. The essence of the situation was exposed well in a humorous form in the following Amazon review of Orwell's novel 1984

Bjørn Anders See all my reviews

This is not an instruction manual!, June 14, 2013

This review is from: 1984: 60th-Anniversary Edition (Plume) (Paperback)

Note to US Congress and house of representatives: This is a fictional book, not an instruction manual...

BTW just after Prism program was revealed in June 2013, Nineteen Eighty-Four became a bestseller on Amazon. As of June 15, 2013 it was #87 in Fiction. If you never have a chance to read it, please do it now. and again, if you think that this revelation of Prism program is a big news, you probably are mistaken. Many people understood that as soon new technical capabilities of surveillance are available they are instantly put to use. As John H. Summers noted in his review (The Deciders - New York Times) of John Mill "Power elite":

...official secrecy steadily expanded its reach.

"For the first time in American history, men in authority are talking about an 'emergency' without a foreseeable end,"

Mills wrote in a sentence that remains as powerful and unsettling as it was 50 years ago.

"Such men as these are crackpot realists: in the name of realism they have constructed a paranoid reality all their own."

Adding insult to injury: Self-profiling

Facebook has nothing without people
silly enough to exchange privacy for photosharing

The key problem with social sites is that many people voluntarily post excessive amount of personal data about themselves, including keeping their photo archives online, etc. So while East Germany analog of the Department of Homeland Security called Ministry for State Security (Stasi) needed to recruit people to spy about you, now you yourself serves as a informer voluntarily providing all the tracking information about your activities ;-).

Scientella, palo alto

...Facebook always had a very low opinion of peoples intelligence - and rightly so!

I can tell you Silicon Valley is scared. Facebook's very existence depends upon trusting young persons, their celebrity wannabee parents and other inconsequential people being prepared to give up their private information to Facebook.

Google, now that SOCIAL IS DEAD, at least has their day job also, of paid referral advertising where someone can without divulging their "social" identity, and not linking their accounts, can look for a product on line and see next to it some useful ads.

But Facebook has nothing without people silly enough to exchange privacy for photosharing.

... ... ...

Steve Fankuchen, Oakland CA

Cook, Brin, Gates, Zuckerberg, et al most certainly have lawyers and public relations hacks that have taught them the role of "plausible deniability."

Just as in the government, eventually some low or mid-level flunkie will likely be hung out to dry, when it becomes evident that the institution knew exactly what was going on and did nothing to oppose it. To believe any of these companies care about their users as anything other than cash cows is to believe in the tooth fairy.

The amount of personal data which users of site like Facebook put voluntarily on the Web is truly astonishing. Now anybody using just Google search can get quit substantial information about anybody who actively using social sites and post messages in discussion he/she particulates under his/her own name instead of a nickname. Just try to see what is available about you and most probably your jaw would drop...

This is probably right time for the users of social sites like Facebook, Google search, and Amazon (that means most of us ;-) to think a little bit more about the risks we are exposing ourselves. We all should became more aware about the risks involved as well as real implications of the catch phase Privacy is Dead – Get Over It.

This is probably right time for the users of social sites like Facebook, Google search, and Amazon (that means most of us ;-) to think a little bit more about the risks we are exposing ourselves.

As Peter Ludlow noted in NYT (The Real War on Reality):

If there is one thing we can take away from the news of recent weeks it is this: the modern American surveillance state is not really the stuff of paranoid fantasies; it has arrived.

Citizens of foreign countries have accounts at Facebook and mail accounts in Gmail, hotmail and Yahoo mail are even in less enviable position then the US citizens. They are legitimate prey. No legal protection for them exists, if they use those services. That means that they voluntarily open all the information they posted about themselves to the US government in addition to their own government. And the net is probably more wide then information leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden suggests. For any large company, especially a telecom corporation, operating is the USA it might be dangerous to refuse to cooperate (Qwest case).

Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio, convicted of insider trading in April 2007, alleged in appeal documents that the NSA requested that Qwest participate in its wiretapping program more than six months before September 11, 2001. Nacchio recalls the meeting as occurring on February 27, 2001. Nacchio further claims that the NSA cancelled a lucrative contract with Qwest as a result of Qwest's refusal to participate in the wiretapping program.[13] Nacchio surrendered April 14, 2009 to a federal prison camp in Schuylkill, Pennsylvania to begin serving a six-year sentence for the insider trading conviction. The United States Supreme Court denied bail pending appeal the same day.[15]

It is not the case of some special evilness of the US government. It simply is more agile to understand and capitalize on those new technical opportunities. It is also conveniently located at the center of Internet universe with most traffic is flowing via US owned or controlled routers (67% or more). But it goes without saying that several other national governments and a bunch of large corporations also try to mine this new gold throve of private information on citizens. Probably with less sophistication and having less financial resources.

In many cases corporations themselves are interested in partnership with the government. Here is one telling comment:

jrs says on June 8, 2013

Yea in my experience that’s how “public/private partnerships” really work:

  1. Companies DO need protection FROM the government. An ill-conceived piece of legislation can put a perfectly decent out of business. Building ties with the government is protection.
  2. Government represents a huge market and eventually becomes one of the top customers for I think most businesses (of course the very fact that a government agency is a main customer is often kept hush hush even within the company and something you are not supposed to speak of as an employee even though you are aware of it)
  3. Of course not every company proceeds to step 3 -- being basically an arm of the government but ..

That means that not only Chinese citizens already operate on the Internet without any real sense of privacy. Even if you live outside the USA the chances are high that you automatically profiled by the USA instead of or in addition to your own government. Kind of neoliberalism in overdrive mode: looks like we all are already citizens of a global empire (Let's call it " Empire of Peace" ) with the capital in Washington.

It is reasonable to assume that a massive eavesdropping apparatus now tracks at least an "envelope" of every electronic communication you made during your lifetime. No need for somebody reporting about you like in "old" totalitarian state like East Germany with its analog of the Department of Homeland Security called the Ministry for State Security (Stasi). So in this new environment, you are like Russians used to say about dissidents who got under KGB surveillance is always "under the dome". In this sense this is just an old vine in a new bottles. But the global scope and lifetime storage of huge amount of personal information for each and every citizen is something new and was made possible the first time in world history by new technologies.

It goes without saying that records about time, sender and receiver of all your phone calls, emails, Amazon purchases, credit card transactions, and Web activities for the last decade are stored somewhere in a database and not necessary only government computers. And that means that your social circle (the set of people you associate with), books and films that you bought, your favorite websites, etc can be easily deducted from those records.

That brings us to an important question about whether we as consumers should support such ventures as Facebook and Google++ which profile you and after several years have a huge amount of pretty private and pretty damaging information about you, information which can get into wrong hands.

Recent discoveries about Prism program: quantity turned into quality.

The most constructive approach to NSA is to view is a large government bureaucracy that expanded to the extent that quantity turned into quality.

Any large bureaucracy is a political coalition with the primary goal of preserving and enhancing of its own power, no matter what are official declarations. And if breaching your privacy helps they will do it. Which is what Bush government did after 9/11. The question is how much bureaucratic bloat resulting in classic dynamics of organizational self-aggrandizement and expansionism happened in NSA. We don't know how much we got in exchange for undermining internet security and US constitution. But we do know the intelligence establishment happily appropriated billions of dollars, had grown by thousand of employees and got substantial "face lift" and additional power within the executive branch of government. To the extent that something it looks like a shadow government. And now they will fight tooth-and nail to protect the fruits of a decade long bureaucratic expansion. Now it is an Intelligence Church and like any religious organization they do not need fact to support their doctrine and influence.

Typically there is an infighting and many factions within any large hierarchical organization, some with and some without factual awareness of the rest. Basically any hierarchical institution corporate, religious, military will abuse available resources for internal political infighting. And with NSA "big data" push this is either happening or just waiting to happen. This is a danger of any warrantless wiretapping program: it naturally convert itself into a saga of eroding checks and disappearing balance. And this already happened in the past, so in a way it is just act two of the same drama (WhoWhatWhy):

After media revelations of intelligence abuses by the Nixon administration began to mount in the wake of Watergate, NSA became the subject of Congressional ire in the form of the United States Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities—commonly known as the “Church Committee” after its chair, Senator Frank Church (D-ID)—established on January 17, 1975. This ad-hoc investigative body found itself unearthing troves of classified records from the FBI, NSA, CIA and Pentagon that detailed the murky pursuits of each during the first decades of the Cold War. Under the mantle of defeating communism, internal documents confirmed the executive branch’s use of said agencies in some of the most fiendish acts of human imagination (including refined psychological torture techniques), particularly by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The Cold War mindset had incurably infected the nation’s security apparatus, establishing extralegal subversion efforts at home and brutish control abroad. It was revealed that the FBI undertook a war to destroy homegrown movements such as the Black Liberation Movement (including Martin Luther King, Jr.), and that NSA had indiscriminately intercepted the communications of Americans without warrant, even without the President’s knowledge. When confronted with such nefarious enterprises, Congress sought to rein in the excesses of the intelligence community, notably those directed at the American public.

The committee chair, Senator Frank Church, then issued this warning about NSA’s power:

That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. Telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology. I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capability that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.

The reforms that followed, as enshrined in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, included the establishment of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC): a specially-designated panel of judges who are allowed to review evidence before giving NSA a warrant to spy on Americans (only in the case of overseas communication). Hardly a contentious check or balance, FISC rejected zero warrant requests between its inception in 1979 and 2000, only asking that two warrants be “modified” out of an estimated 13,000.

In spite of FISC’s rubberstamping, following 9/11 the Bush administration began deliberately bypassing the court, because even its minimal evidentiary standard was too high a burden of proof for the blanket surveillance they wanted. So began the dragnet monitoring of the American public by tapping the country’s major electronic communication chokepoints in collusion with the nation’s largest telecommunications companies.

When confronted with the criminal conspiracy undertaken by the Bush administration and telecoms, Congress confirmed why it retains the lowest approval rating of any major American institution by “reforming” the statute to accommodate the massive law breaking. The 2008 FISA Amendments Act [FAA] entrenched the policy of mass eavesdropping and granted the telecoms retroactive immunity for their criminality, withdrawing even the negligible individual protections in effect since 1979. Despite initial opposition, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama voted for the act as one of his last deeds in the Senate. A few brave (and unsuccessful) lawsuits later, this policy remains the status quo.

Similarly we should naturally expect that the notion of "terrorist" is flexible and in certain cases can be equal to "any opponent of regime". While I sympathize NYT readers reaction to this incident (see below), I think it is somewhat naive. They forget that they are living under neoliberal regime which like any rule of top 0.01% is afraid of and does not trust its own citizens. So massive surveillance program is a self-preservation measure which allow to crush or subvert the opposition at early stages. This is the same situation as existed with Soviet nomenklatura, with the only difference that Soviet nomenklatura was more modest pushing the USSR as a beacon of progress and bright hope of all mankind ;-). As Ron Paul noted:

Many of us are not so surprised.

Some of us were arguing back in 2001 with the introduction of the so-called PATRIOT Act that it would pave the way for massive US government surveillance—not targeting terrorists but rather aimed against American citizens. We were told we must accept this temporary measure to provide government the tools to catch those responsible for 9/11. That was nearly twelve years and at least four wars ago.

We should know by now that when it comes to government power-grabs, we never go back to the status quo even when the “crisis” has passed. That part of our freedom and civil liberties once lost is never regained. How many times did the PATRIOT Act need renewed? How many times did FISA authority need expanded? Why did we have to pass a law to grant immunity to companies who hand over our personal information to the government?

And while revealed sources of NSA Prism program include Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and others major Internet players, that's probably just a tip of the iceberg. Ask yourself a question, why Amazon and VISA and MasterCard are not on the list? According to The Guardian:

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

... ... ...

Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007. It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.

Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks

... ... ...

A chart prepared by the NSA, contained within the top-secret document obtained by the Guardian, underscores the breadth of the data it is able to obtain: email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (Skype, for example) chats, file transfers, social networking details, and more.

So while the document does not list Amazon, but I would keep fingers crossed.

Questions that arise

To be aware about a situation you need to be able to formulate and answer key questions about it. The first and the most important question is whether the government is engaged in cyberstalking of law abiding citizens. Unfortunately the answer is definite yes, as oligarchy needs total control of prols. As a result National Security State rise to prominence as a dominant social organization of neoliberal societies, the societies which characterized by very high level of inequality.

But there are some additional, albeit less important questions. The answers to them determine utility or futility of small changes of our own behavior in view of uncovered evidence. Among possible set of such question I would list the following:

There are also some minor questions about efficiency of "total surveillance approach". Among them:

The other part of understand the threat is understanding is what data are collected. The short answer is all your phone records and Internet activity (RT USA):

The National Security Agency is collecting information on the Internet habits of millions of innocent Americans never suspected of criminal involvement, new NSA documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden suggest.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported Monday that top-secret documents included in the trove of files supplied by the NSA contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden reveal that the US intelligence community obtains and keeps information on American citizens accumulated off the Internet without ever issuing a search warrant or opening an investigation into that person.

The information is obtained using a program codenamed Marina, the documents suggest, and is kept by the government for up to a full year without investigators ever having to explain why the subject is being surveilled.

Marina has the ability to look back on the last 365 days' worth of DNI metadata seen by the Sigint collection system, regardless whether or not it was tasked for collection,” the Guardian’s James Ball quotes from the documents.

According to a guide for intelligence analysts supplied by Mr. Snowden, “The Marina metadata application tracks a user's browser experience, gathers contact information/content and develops summaries of target.”

"This tool offers the ability to export the data in a variety of formats, as well as create various charts to assist in pattern-of-life development,” it continues.

Ball writes that the program collects “almost anything” a Web user does online, “from browsing history – such as map searches and websites visited – to account details, email activity, and even some account passwords.”

Only days earlier, separate disclosures attributed to Snowden revealed that the NSA was using a massive collection of metadata to create complex graphs of social connections for foreign intelligence purposes, although that program had pulled in intelligence about Americans as well.

After the New York Times broke news of that program, a NSA spokesperson said that “All data queries must include a foreign intelligence justification, period.” As Snowden documents continue to surface, however, it’s becoming clear that personal information pertaining to millions of US citizens is routinely raked in by the NSA and other agencies as the intelligence community collects as much data as possible.

In June, a top-secret document also attributed to Mr. Snowden revealed that the NSA was collecting the telephony metadata for millions of Americans from their telecom providers. The government has defended this practice by saying that the metadata — rough information that does not include the content of communications — is not protected by the US Constitution’s prohibition against unlawful search and seizure.

Metadata can be very revealing,” George Washington University law professor Orin S. Kerr told the Times this week. “Knowing things like the number someone just dialed or the location of the person’s cellphone is going to allow them to assemble a picture of what someone is up to. It’s the digital equivalent of tailing a suspect.”

According to the Guardian’s Ball, Internet metadata picked up by the NSA is routed to the Marina database, which is kept separate from the servers where telephony metadata is stored.

Only moments after the Guardian wrote of its latest leak on Monday, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project read a statement before the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs penned by none other than Snowden himself.

When I began my work, it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body,” Snowden said.

Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia after being charged with espionage in the US, said through Raddack that “The cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile.”

Limits to spying via data collected about you

If the NSA's mining of data traffic is so effective, why weren't Tsarnaev's family's overseas calls predictive of a bombing at the Boston Marathon?

-Helen Corey WSJ.com

There are limits of this "powerful analytical software" as it currently used. As we mentioned above, even if NSA algorithms are incredibly clever they can't avoid producing large number of false positives. After two year investigation into the post 9/11 intelligence agencies, the Washington Post came to conclusion that they are collecting more information than anyone can comprehend ("drinking from a firehose" or "drowning is a sea of data"):

Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7 billions e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications. The NSA sorts a fraction of those into 70 separate databases"

First of all there is a classic problem of "signal vs. noise" (infoglut) in any large scale data collection and presence of noise in the channel makes signal much more difficult to detect.

Analysts who make sense of document and conversations obtained by foreign and domestic spying share their judgment by publishing 50,000 intelligence reports each year -- a volume so large that many are routinely ignored

The enormity of the database exacerbate the problem. That's why NSA is hunting for email on cloud providers, where they are already filtered from spam, and processing required is much less then for emails intercepted from the wire data. Still even with the direct access to user accounts, the volume of data, especially graphic (pictures) and video data, is really huge and that stress the limits of processing capabilities and storage.

Existence of Snowden saga when a single analyst was able to penetrate the system and extract considerable amount information with impunity suggests that the whole Agency is mess, probably like is typical for any large organization with a lot of incompetents or, worse, careerists and psychopaths  at the helm (see Toxic Managers). Which is typical for government agencies and large corporations.

Still the level of logs collection and internal monitoring in NSA proved to be surprisingly weak, as there are indirect signs that the agency does not even know what reports Snowden get into his hands. In any case we, unless this is a very clever inside operation, we need to assume that Edward Snowden stole thousands of documents, abused his sysadmin position in the NSA, and was never caught. Here is one relevant comment from The Guardian

carlitoontour

Oh NSA......that´s fine that you cannot find something......what did you tell us, the World and the US Congress about the "intelligence" of Edward Snowden and the low access he had?

SNOWDEN SUSPECTED OF BYPASSING ELECTRONIC LOGS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. government's efforts to determine which highly classified materials leaker Edward Snowden took from the National Security Agency have been frustrated by Snowden's sophisticated efforts to cover his digital trail by deleting or bypassing electronic logs, government officials told The Associated Press. Such logs would have showed what information Snowden viewed or downloaded.

The government's forensic investigation is wrestling with Snowden's apparent ability to defeat safeguards established to monitor and deter people looking at information without proper permission, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the sensitive developments publicly.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NSA_SURVEILLANCE_SNOWDEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2013-08-24-09-41-24

On the other hand government agencies were never good in making huge and complex software projects work. And large software projects are a very difficult undertaking in any case. Even in industry 50% of software projects fail, and anybody who works in the industry knows, that the more complex the project is the higher are chances that it will be mismanaged and its functionality crippled due to architectural defects ("a camel is a horse designed by a committee"). It is given that such project will be over budget. Possibly several times over...

But if money is not a problem such system will eventually be completed ("with enough thrust pigs can fly"). Still there’s no particular reason to think that corruption (major work was probably outsourced) and incompetence (on higher management levels and, especially on architectural level as in "camel is a horse designed by a committee") don't affect the design and functionality of such government projects. Now when this activity come under fire some adjustments might be especially badly thought out and potentially cripple the existing functionality.

As J. Kirk Wiebe, a NSA insider, noted

"The way the government was going about those digital data flows was poor formed, uninformed. There seen to be more of a desire to contract out and capture money flow then there was a [desire} to actually perform the mission".

See the interview of a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers to USA TODAY ( J. Kirk Wiebe remarks starts at 2:06 and the second half of it continues from 6:10):

In military organizations the problem is seldom with the talent (or lack of thereof) of individual contributors. The problem is with the bureaucracy that is very effective in preventing people from exercising their talents at the service of their country. Such system is deformed in such a way that it hamstrings the men who are serving in it. As a results, more often then not the talents are squandered or misused by patching holes created by incompetence of higher-up or or just pushed aside in the interdepartmental warfare.

In a way, incompetence can be defined as the inability to avoid mistakes which, in a "normal" course of project development could and should be avoided. And that's the nature of military bureaucracy with its multiple layer of command and compete lack of accountability on higher levels.

In addition, despite the respectable name of the organization many members of technical staff are amateurs. They never managed to sharpen their technical skills, while at the same time acquiring the skills necessary to survive the bureaucracy. Many do not have basic academic education and are self-taught hackers and/or "grow on the job". Typically people at higher level of hierarchy, are simply not experts in software engineering, but more like typical corporate "PowerPoint" warriors. They can be very shred managers and accomplished political fighters, but that's it.

This is the same situation that exists in security departments of large multinationals, so we can extrapolate from that. The word of Admiral Nelson "If the enemy would know what officer corps will confront them, it will be trembling, like I am". Here is Bill Gross apt recollection of his service as naval officer (The Tipping Point) that illustrate the problems:

A few years ago I wrote about the time that our ship (on my watch) was almost cut in half by an auto-piloted tanker at midnight, but never have I divulged the day that the USS Diachenko came within one degree of heeling over during a typhoon in the South China Sea. “Engage emergency ballast,” the Captain roared at yours truly – the one and only chief engineer. Little did he know that Ensign Gross had slept through his classes at Philadelphia’s damage control school and had no idea what he was talking about. I could hardly find the oil dipstick on my car back in San Diego, let alone conceive of emergency ballast procedures in 50 foot seas. And so…the ship rolled to starboard, the ship rolled to port, the ship heeled at the extreme to 36 degrees (within 1 degree, as I later read in the ship’s manual, of the ultimate tipping point). One hundred sailors at risk, because of one twenty-three-year-old mechanically challenged officer, and a Captain who should have known better than to trust him.

Huge part of this work is outsourced to various contractors and this is where corruption really creeps in. So the system might be not as powerful as many people automatically assume when they hear the abbreviation of NSA. So in a way when news about such system reaches public it might serve not weakening but strengthening of the capabilities of the system. Moreover, nobody would question the ability of such system to store huge amount of raw or semi-processed data including all metadata for your transactions on the Internet.

Also while it is a large agency with a lot of top mathematic talent, NSA is not NASA and motivation of the people (and probably quality of architectural thinking about software projects involved) is different despite much better financing. While they do have high quality people, like most US agencies in general, large bureaucracies usually are unable to utilize their talent. Mediocrities with sharp elbows, political talent, as well as sociopaths typically rule the show.

That means two things:

So even with huge amount of subcontractors that can chase mostly "big fish". Although one open question is why with all those treasure trove of data organized crime is so hard to defeat. Having dataset like this should generally expose all the members of any gang. Or, say, network of blue collar insider traders. So in an indirect way the fact that organized crime not only exists and in some cities even flourish can suggest one of two things:

There is also a question of complexity of analysis:

Possibility of abuses of collected data

Errors in algorithms and bugs in those programs can bite some people in a different way then branding them as "terrorists". Such people have no way of knowing why all of a sudden, for example, they are paying a more for insurance, why their credit score is so low no matter what they do, etc. In no way government in the only one who are using the mass of data collected via Google / Facebook / Yahoo / Microsoft / Verizon / Optonline / AT&T / Comcast, etc. It also can lead to certain subtle types of bias if not error. And there are always problems of intentional misuse of data sets having extremely intimate knowledge about you.

Corporate corruption can lead to those data that are shared with the government can also be shared for money with private actors. Inept use of this unconstitutionally obtained data is a threat to all of us.

Then there can be cases when you can be targeted just because you are critical to the particular area of government policy, for example the US foreign policy. This is "Back in the USSR" situation in full swing, with its prosecution of dissidents. Labeling you as a "disloyal/suspicious element" in one of government "terrorism tracking" databases can have drastic result to your career and you never even realize whats happened. Kind of Internet era McCarthyism .

Obama claims that the government is aware about this danger and tried not to overstep, but he is an interested party in this discussion. In a way government is pushed in this area by the new technologies that open tremendous opportunities for collecting data and making some correlations.

That's why even if you are doing nothing wrong, it is still important to know your enemy, as well as avoid getting into some traps. One typical trap is excessive centralization of your email on social sites, including using a single Webmail provider. It is much safer to have mail delivery to your computer via POP3 and to use Thunderbird or other email client. If your computer is a laptop, you achieve, say, 80% of portability that Web-based email providers like Google Gmail offers. That does not mean that you should close your Gmail or Yahoo account. More important is separating email accounts into "important" and "everything else". "Junk mail" can be stored on Web-based email providers without any problems. Personal emails is completely another matter.

Conclusions

#14 Gus Hunt, the chief technology officer at the CIA: "We fundamentally try to collect everything and hang onto it forever."

New Internet technology developments has huge "Externality":
Profiling is now really easy and almost automatic, especially with your own help

Technology development create new types of communications as well as new types of government surveillance mechanisms (you can call them "externalities" of new methods of communication). Those externalities, especially low cost of mass surveillance (Wikipedia), unfortunately, bring us closer to the Electronic police state (Wikipedia) or National Security State whether we want it or not. A crucial element of such a state is that its data gathering, sorting and correlation are continuous, cover a large number of citizens and all foreigners and those activities are seldom exposed.

Cloud computing as a technology that presuppose storing the data "offsite" on third party servers have several security problems, and one of them is that it is way too much "surveillance friendly" (Misunderstanding of issues of security and trust). With cloud computing powers that be do not need to do complex job of recreating TCP/IP conversations on router level to capture, say, all the emails. You can access Web-based email mailbox directly with all mails in appropriate mailboxes and spam filtered. Your address book is a bonus ;-). This is huge saving of computational efforts.

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[May 18, 2019] 'US already spying on public, Huawei threat unproven' Swann

Trump is a bully and he does not have any methods of diplomacy other then bulling.
May 16, 2019 | www.youtube.com

US President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over Huawei, which he has deemed a national security threat. His new executive order makes it more difficult for US companies to do business with the Chinese tech giant. RT America's Manila Chan chats with investigative journalist Ben Swann, who says no evidence exists for the Trump administration's claim. #RTAmerica #InQuestionRT #QuestionMore


US Of Zion , 2 days ago

What US bans I will buy. Huawei has profited from Trump's tweets. 😂😂😂

riva2003 , 2 days ago

National emergency against one single company? What a promotion for HUAWEI! They must have paid US government a looooot of money! LOOOOOL

E Walker , 2 days ago (edited)

U.S. cannot spy via Chinese made technology products. That is the problem. When did competition against American technology get to be a national security threat? It is about creating a monopoly of only certain products in America. I hope American companies fight back. Prices in American stores have already started to rise. Monopolies mean high prices.

BTV-Channel , 2 days ago div

In the age of technology...any country who doesn't SPY on other countries or their own citizens is LYING thru their teeth! USA is NO DIFFERENT than CHINA.....they both are rogue nations, competing for the same thing, TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP! The problem is....HUAWEI just got the upper hand in 5G technology before the US can compete...so as such, the US threatens other countries with scare tactics until the US can develop and deploy 5G technology to compete with CHINA. It's all about MONEY and BUSINESS.

OGASI , 2 days ago

USA has dishonestly gathered more data on it's own civilians than it can access or understand in several lifetimes, they have the gaul to attack others without proof? UNREAL

[May 14, 2019] 1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

Notable quotes:
"... In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance. ..."
"... Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media. ..."
"... Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense." ..."
"... "Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells." ..."
"... Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. ..."
"... "We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein ..."
May 14, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

1984 Turns 70-Years-Old In A World That Looks A Lot Like The Book

by Tyler Durden Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:25 0 SHARES Twitter Facebook Reddit Email Print Authored by John Vibes via ActivistPost.com,

This month, George Orwell's legendary novel Nineteen Eighty-Four turns 70 years old, and the warnings contained within the story are now more relevant than ever. Orwell's predictions were so spot on that it almost seems like it was used as some type of accidental instruction manual for would-be tyrants.

In the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , there is an all-encompassing surveillance state that keeps a watchful eye on everyone, in search of possible rebels and points of resistance.

Censorship is the norm in this world, and is so extreme that individuals can become "unpersons" who are essentially deleted from society because their ideas were considered dangerous by the establishment. This is an idea that is very familiar to activists and independent journalists who are being removed from the public conversation for speaking out about government and corporate corruption on social media.

Orwell is famous for coining the term "double-speak," which is a way to describe the euphemistic language that government uses to whitewash their most dirty deeds. For example, in Orwell's story, the ministry of propaganda was called the Ministry of Truth, just as today the government agency that was once known as "The Department of War," is now called the "Department of Defense."

There was also never-ending war in Orwell's story, the conditions of which would change on a regular basis, keeping the general population confused about conflicts so they give up on trying to understand what is actually going on. Some of these predictions were merely recognitions of patterns in human history, since the idea of "unpersons" and war propaganda is nothing new. However, Orwell had an incredible understanding of how technology was going to progress over the 20th century, and he was able to envision how technology would be used by those in power to control the masses.

The technological predictions made in the book were truly uncanny, as they give a fairly accurate description of our modern world. Orwell described "telescreens," which acted as both an entertainment device and a two-way communication device. This type of technology was predicted by many futurists at the time, but Orwell's prediction was unique because he suggested that these devices would be used by the government to spy on people, through microphones and cameras built into the devices.

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state. This police state was also a strong deterrent in the world of Nineteen Eighty-Four , because although many of the citizens in the book had a positive opinion of "big brother," it was still something that they feared, and it was a force that kept them in control. Of course, this is not much different from the attitude that the average American or European has when confronted with police brutality and government corruption.

Many of the ideas about power and authority that were expressed in Orwell's classic are timeless and as old as recorded history ; but his analysis of how technology would amplify the destructive nature of power was incredibly unique, especially for his time.


wonder warthog , 2 minutes ago link

Not to stray too far, I always liked the part in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes":

"Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles and smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun and he's guilty. And men do love sin, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors, and smells."

The laugh shouter is one of those government or corporate chuckle-heads that goes along, gets along, and usually spends less than an hour a day actually doing his job. You see them on TV and in every office. Everything out of their mouths has to be punctuated with a chuckle.

sacredfire , 2 minutes ago link

Coincidentially, I am reading it now and when I first started reading it three weeks ago I was stunned at it's accurate depiction of todays America!

Teja , 6 minutes ago link

Regarding the way the world is dis-informed and manipulated by social media comments, try "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card, written in 1985.

Reaper , 7 minutes ago link

The Exceptionals find virtue in trusting their "protectors," aka police/FBI/military/CIA./courts.

wonder warthog , 12 minutes ago link

The thing I remember from the novel was the "versificator" which was a typewriter-like device that allowed historical events to be changed as needed . . . very much like the networked computer.

TahoeBilly2012 , 11 minutes ago link

Facebook recently made me an UnPerson, not joking. I had deleted my acct some years ago, re-registered to man a business page and...haha they rejected me, recent photo and all.

Deep Snorkeler , 21 minutes ago link

Donald Trump's World

He watches TV. That's his primary experience with reality.

He communes with nature solely through manicured golf courses.

A man of empty sensationalism, devoid of real experience,

uneducated, insulated and deeply shallow.

WileyCoyote , 22 minutes ago link

A group of 'servants' possessing a monopoly of force and using it to rule over others has never worked out well for the 'citizens' in the long run.

hedgeless_horseman , 28 minutes ago link

...and The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Barbarossa296 , 19 minutes ago link

A great classic by Edward Gibbons. History does indeed repeat itself.

Alananda , 28 minutes ago link

There are a few other books and booklets and letters that also seem eerily prescient. Following modern-day protocols, however, it's best not to mention them in polite company. ;-)

chumbawamba , 22 minutes ago link

To which Protocols do you refer?

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 32 minutes ago link

Unfortunately, just like in Orwell's book, people in the modern world are so distracted by entertainment and the divided by politics that they have no idea they are living in a tyrannical police state.

Exactly...

"We are not at war with Eurasia. You are being made into obedient, stupid slaves of the Party." -Emmanuel Goldstein

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-10/voting-big-brother-you-might-be-low-information-voter

chumbawamba , 28 minutes ago link

"1984", otherwise known as "Plantation Theory 101" to the bloodline elites.

-chumblez.

hedgeless_horseman , 20 minutes ago link

I plan on voting in the local elections, especially for Sheriff and the bond issues. Also, I still think that voting for the quality Libertarian candidates is a better option than not voting, but I do understand your point. But when all else fails, you better be prepared to vote from the rooftops...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-04-18/political-power-grows-out-barrel-gun-mao-tse-tung

[May 13, 2019] Although NSA discovered irregularities in the Spring, they didn't get aired until October? Maybe because he reports to the President?

May 13, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , May 11, 2019 5:21:12 PM | link

< Full Spectrum Domino @49>

Good info. Very interesting. I was aware of Mike Rogers role but I discounted it because:

1) It came too late (October 2016) and got little real media attention before the election.

2) Although NSA discovered irregularities in the Spring, they didn't get aired until October? Maybe because he reports to the President?

3) It is said that Rogers informed Trump. Yet Trump didn't little if anything as a result.


In the end, "Russiagate" continued despite Rogers info. Almost as though the Deep State consensus was to initiate a new McCarthyism - which has been my operating theory for months.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

Will anyone be prosecuted for "Russiagate"? I doubt it. Everyone involve will say they were doing their jobs. Their "intent" based on patriotic duty.

[May 12, 2019] Nova The Spy Factory Full Video

An interesting video. clearly shows the danger of over-centralization. Although technology now allow automatic creation of dossier those are of very limited value because to distinguish signal from noise is almost impossible. Aesop language complicates decoding of the conversation greatly and unless long series is available (enough to established the context for used code words; like "bottle of milk" term in this video) it is practically undecodable. In such cases all you have is an envelope. Which is powerful information (tell me who you are calling and who call you and I will tell you who you are ;-), but if person is alert to the fact that NSA is listening (which in after Snowden world that category includes all people who has something to hide) that is also of limited value. In such cases the key conversations are moved from phone to direct contact or to private encrypted channels.
The mere existence of NSA gave huge stimulus for developing to steganography. Also foreign embassies and multinationals located outside of the USA now know that they are dealing with an extremely sophisticated opponent and use appropriate precautions. For example compression of the pain text before applying the cipher recently became the standard practice makes breaking generally beyond NSA capabilities as (if headers are destroyed and the type of compression is unknown or randomly chosen) . Because compression removes lion share of redundancy in the plain text.
Notable quotes:
"... It's exactly like Enemy of the State you Liars and you would still be lying if Edward Snowden hadn't exposed it ..."
May 12, 2019 | www.youtube.com
sam son 3 months ago

It's exactly like Enemy of the State you Liars and you would still be lying if Edward Snowden hadn't exposed it

Roderick Horton 2 years ago

Sometimes even the FBI and NSA need a helping hand.

Otto graff 1 month ago

Al CIA da brought to you by the U.S. government! 9/11 was never met to be stopped! The Patriot Act was sitting on the shelf just waiting for 9/11 to be pulled off!

[May 11, 2019] Christopher Steele, FBI s Confidential Human Source by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
A foreign intelligence asset was used to justify surveillance of Trump[ and some of his associates
Notable quotes:
"... What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent? ..."
"... The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant"). ..."
"... The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale. ..."
"... Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power. ..."
"... I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors. ..."
"... if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know? ..."
"... Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost. ..."
"... Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance. ..."
"... From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. ..."
"... He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI. ..."
"... its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered. ..."
"... Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this? ..."
"... A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies. ..."
"... It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries ..."
"... If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary. ..."
"... An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him ..."
"... A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination ..."
"... 'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.' ..."
"... I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief. ..."
"... Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it. ..."
"... Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs. ..."
"... Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly: ..."
"... Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. ..."
"... One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...? ..."
"... What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this? ..."
"... Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun? ..."
"... British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy. ..."
"... British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion. ..."
"... Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, ..."
"... I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people. ..."
"... still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources ..."
"... I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia. ..."
"... Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are. ..."
"... It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things ..."
Aug 08, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The revelations from US Government records about the FBI/Intel Community plot to take out Donald Trump continue to flow thanks to the dogged efforts of Judicial Watch. The latest nugget came last Friday with the release of FBI records detailing their recruitment and management of Britain's ostensibly retired Intelligence Officer, Christopher Steele. He was an officially recruited FBI source and received at least 11 payments during the 9 month period that he was signed up as a Confidential Human Source.

You may find it strange that we can glean so much information from a document dump that is almost entirely redacted . The key is to look at the report forms; there are three types--FD-1023 (Source Reports), FD-209a (Contact Reports) and FD-794b (Payment Requests). There are 15 different 1023s, 13 209a reports and 11 794b payment requests covering the period from 2 February 2016 thru 1 November 2016. That is a total of nine months.

These reports totally destroy the existing meme that Steele only came into contact with the FBI sometime in July 2016. It is important for you to understand that a 1023 Source Report is filled out each time that the FBI source handler has contact with the source. This can be an in person meeting or a phone call. Each report lists the name of the Case Agent; the date, time and location of the meeting; any other people attending the meeting; and a summary of what was discussed.

What is clear from the new records is that Christopher Steele, a foreign intelligence officer, had frequent and extensive contacts with the FBI. Who was his FBI Case Agent?


richardstevenhack , a day ago

Indeed we do need more information.

The main thing I want to know is WHEN was the decision made to tar Trump with Russia - both at the FBI (and likely CIA) and at the DNC (over the leak) - and WHO was the deciding entity - Comey, Brennan, Clinton, Obama or someone else? And perhaps who came up with the idea in the first place (at the DNC, it was very likely Alexandra Chalupa, the Ukrainian-American DNC "consultant").

We can be pretty sure this predates any alleged Russian "hacking" (unless it occurred as a result of alleged Russian hacking of the DNC in 2015).

This needs to be pinned down if anyone is to be successfully prosecuted for creating this treasonous hoax.

chris chuba , 5 hours ago
A very closely related topic, Victor Davis Hanson is onto something but it is darker than he suggests, https://www.nationalreview.... Paraphrasing, he gives the typical, rally around the flag we must stop the Russians intro but then documents how govt flaks abused their power to influence our elections and then makes the point, 'this is why the public is skeptical of their claims'.

The bad thing is that our MSM is so reverent of our Intel agencies that I see them encouraged to increasingly put their hand on the scale.

Recently, I saw arm flailing by a Congressman, Dan Coats, and Mueller about how the Russians are still at it. They are trying to disrupt or influence the 2018. Really, then I demand to get a list of the pro-Kremlin candidates. How long before the mere threat of being outed as a Kremlin agent is used to punish elected officials if they are not sufficiently hawkish or don't support certain programs. Unchallenged claims by Intel agencies gives them a lot of political power.

I am skeptical. Russia has a lot of fish to fry, why would they expend resources on midterm elections. Now everyone in the U.S. hates them, both traditional hawk Republicans and born again uber-hawk Democrats. There is a tiger behind both doors.

Leonardo Facchin , 20 hours ago
Thanks for the explanation.

What I can't figure out is: if Steele had been a CHS since at least February of 2016, what was the purpose of passing the Dossier to the FBI through Fusion GPS? Why not just going to his FBI handler? Was Steele collaboration with Fusion even in compliance with FBI regulations? Did the FBI know?

Publius Tacitus -> Leonardo Facchin , 17 hours ago
Because part of the plan was to leak the information in order to damage Trump. FBI could not do that. Would have exposed them to some real legal jeopardy. This was a dual track strategy. Diabolical almost.
blue peacock -> Leonardo Facchin , 13 hours ago
Don't forget the Nellie Ohr (Fusion GPS) -> Bruce Ohr (DOJ) back channel. The husband & wife tag team. Yes, the same Nellie that was investigating using ham radio to communicate to avoid NSA mass surveillance.

From the very beginning that information about all this was slowly leaking from the Congressional investigation, this whole thing smelled very fishy. Then add intense effort at DOJ & FBI to obstruct and obfuscate. And the unhinged tweets and interviews by Brennan, Clapper & Comey. And of course the media narrative that Rep. Nunes, Goodlatte and others were endangering "national security" by casting aspersions on the "patriotic" law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Paul M -> Leonardo Facchin , 16 hours ago
He was working with FBI and GPS at the same time. GPS was in the dark supposedly about his work with the FBI and Steele got their approval to hand over what he had delivered to GPS to the FBI as a cover for his work with the FBI.

Of course, he had most likely already done so and its also likely FBI had some input into the content of what was delivered to GPS, and more importantly what was not delivered.

David Habakkuk , 4 hours ago
PT,

Fascinating.

Re the 'standing agreement to not recruit each other's intelligence personnel for clandestine activities.' As Steele was not by this time a current employee of MI6, was the FBI in technical violation of this?

The point is not merely a quibble. A central question in regard to Steele, as with quite a number of former intelligence/law enforcement/military people who have started at least ostensibly private sector operations, is how far these are being used as 'cover' for activities conducted on behalf of either the state agencies for which they used to work, or other state agencies.

It is at least possible that one advantage of such arrangements may be that they make it possible to evade the letter of agreements between intelligence agencies in different countries.

Another related matter has to do with the termination of Steele as a 'Confidential Human Source.'

It has long seemed to me that it was more than possible that this was not to be taken at face value. If, as seems likely, both current and former top FBI and DOJ people – very likely Mueller as well as Comey, Strzok and many others – were intimately involved in the conspiracy to subvert the constitution, then a means of making it possible for Steele to combine feeding information to the FBI while also engaging in 'StratCom' via the MSM could have been necessary.

An obvious means of 'squaring the circle' would have been to issue a formal 'termination' to Steele, while creating 'back channels' to those who were officially supposed not to be talking to him.

A report yesterday by John Solomon in 'The Hill' quotes from messages exchanged between Steele and Bruce Ohr after the supposed termination.

(See http://thehill.com/person/d... .)

When on 31 January 2017 – well after the publication of the dossier by BuzzFeed – Ohr provided reassurance that he could continue to help feed information to the FBI, Steele texted back:

"If you end up out though, I really need another (bureau?) contact point/number who is briefed. We can't allow our guy to be forced to go back home. It would be disastrous."

At that point, Solomon tells us that 'Investigators are trying to determine who Steele was referring to.' This seems to me a rather important question. It would seem likely, although not certain, that he is talking about another Brit. If he is, would it have been someone else employed by Orbis? Or someone currently working for British intelligence? What is the precise significance of 'forced to go back home', and why would this have been 'disastrous'?

Another crucial paragraph:

'In all, Ohr's notes, emails and texts identify more than 60 contacts with Steele and/or Simpson, some dating to 2002 in London. But the vast majority occurred during the 2016-2017 timeframe that gave birth to one of the most controversial counterintelligence probes in American history.'

The earlier contacts may be of little interest, but there again they may not be.

As it happens, it was following Berezovsky's arrival in London in October 2001 that the 'information operations' network he created began to move into high gear. It is moreover clear that this was always a transatlantic operation, and also fragments of evidence suggest that the FBI may have had some involvement from early on.

I have just finished taking a fresh look at Sir Robert Owen's travesty of a report into the death of Litvinenko. In large measure, this develops claims originally made in Christopher Steele's first attempt to provide a convincing account of why figures close to Putin might have thought it made sense to assassinate that figure, and to do so with polonium. The sheer volume of fabrication which has been deployed in an attempt to defend the patently indefensible almost beggars belief.

The original attempt came in a radio programme broadcast by the BBC – which was to become known to some of us as the 'Berezovsky Broadcasting Corporation' – on 16 December 2006, presented by Tom Mangold, a familiar 'trusty' for the intelligence services.

(A transcript sent out from the Cabinet Office at the time is available on the archived 'Evidence' page for the Inquiry, at http://webarchive.nationala... , as HMG000513. There is an interesting and rather important question as to whether those who sent it out, and those who received it, knew that it was more or less BS from start to finish.)

The programme was wholly devoted to claims made by the former KGB operative Yuri Shvets, who was presented as an independent 'due diligence' expert, without any mention of the rather major role he had played in the original 'Orange Revolution.'

Back-up was provided by his supposed collaborator in 'due diligence', the former FBI operative Robert 'Bobby' Levinson. No mention was made of the fact that he had been, in the 'Nineties, a, if not the lead FBI investigator into the notorious Ukrainian Jewish mobster Semyon Mogilevich.

The following March Levinson would disappear on the Iranian island of Kish, on what we now know was a covert mission on behalf of elements in the CIA.

Just as a question arises as to whether Steele is essentially acting on behalf of MI6, a question also arises as to whether the FBI leadership were knowledgeable about, and possibly involved with, the various shenanigans in which Shvets and Levinson were involved. Given that claims about Mogilevich have turned out to be central to 'Russiagate', that seems a rather important issue, and I am curious as to whether Ohr's communications with Steele may cast any light on it.

Jack -> David Habakkuk , 2 hours ago
David

Apparently the FBI got Deripaksa to fund the rescue of Levinson from Iran. Furthermore apparently FBI personnel maybe including McCabe visited with Deripaksa and showed him the Steele dossier. He supposedly had a nice guffaw and dismissed it as nonsense. So on the one hand while they make Russia out to be the most evil they play footsie with Russian oligarchs.

Keith Harbaugh , 19 hours ago
Thanks for this informative article.

Thinking about "Christopher Steele was terminated as a Confidential Human Source for cause.", something that doesn't seem to have gotten as much attention is that Peter Strzok failed his poly:

Seems rather surprising to me. Anyone have any comment on this?

TTG , an hour ago
Steele's relationship with the FBI extends far further back than February 2016. Shortly after he left MI6, he contracted with the Football Association to investigate possible FIFA corruption. Once he realized the massiveness of this corruption he contacted his old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crimes Task Force in 2011. Thus began his association with the FBI as a CHS. That investigation culminated in the 2015 FIFA corruption indictments and convictions. His initial contact with old friends at the FBI Eurasian Crime Task Force is awfully similar to his contacting these same friends in 2016 after deciding his initial Trump research was potentially bigger than mere opposition research.
FB , 3 hours ago
One thing I don't understand...we have the anti-Trumpers saying that Donald Junior meeting with a Russian national to get 'dirt' on Hillary is illegal...due to some law about candidates collaborating with foreigners or something like that...[obviously I'm foggy on the technical details]... Yet we know that the Hillary campaign worked with a foreign national, Steele, to get dirt on Trump...how is this not the same...?

Even worse is that the FBI was using this same foreign agent that a presidential candidate had hired to get dirt on an opponent... Even knowing nothing about legalities this just doesn't look very good...

Wally Courie , 4 hours ago
Stupid question? As the Col. has explained, the President can declassify any document he pleases. So, why doesn't Donaldo unredact the redacted portions of these bullcrap docs? What is he afraid of? That the Intel community will get mad and be out to get him? Isn't time for him to show some cojones?
blue peacock , 16 hours ago
What role did Stefan Halper and Mifsud play as Confidential Human Sources in all this?
akaPatience , 19 hours ago
Why was British Intelligence allegedly collecting and passing along info about Donald Trump in the first place? Or could this have been a pretext created to give cover and/or support to the agenda here in the US to insure his defeat? Could a foreign intelligence source such as this trigger/facilitate/justify the US counterintelligence investigation of Trump, or give cover to a covert investigation that may have already begun?
Navstéva يزور 🐐 -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
British intelligence was collecting / passing on info about Trump because of his campaign stance on NATO (he said it was obsolete), his desire to end regime change wars (he castigated the fiasco in Iraq, took Bush to task over it etc.), and his often stated desire to get along with Russia (and China). Trump also talked of ending certain economic policies (NAFTA, TPP, etc.) and reenacting others (Glass-Steagall, the American System of Economics i.e. Hamilton, Carey, Clay), If Trump had acted on those, which he has not so far, he would changed the entire world system, a system in place since the end of WW II, or earlier. That was a risk too big to take without some kind of insurance policy - I believe Christopher Steele was that insurance policy.
unmitigatedaudacity -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 16 hours ago
British Intelligence is verifiably the foreign source with the most extensive and effective meddling in the 2016 election. Perfidious Albion.
Bryn Nykrson -> Navstéva يزور 🐐 , 14 hours ago
Or, GSHQ was hovering up signint on Trump campaign early-on (using domestics US resources and databases via their 5-Eyes "sharing agreement" with NSA) cuz Brennan asked them to do it? And therefore without having to mess about with any formal FISA warrant thingy's ... But, then use what might be found (or plausibly alleged) to try to get a proper FISA warrant later on (July 2016)? 'Parallel Discovery' of sorts; with Fusion GPS also a leaky cut-out: channelling media reports to be used as confirmation of Steele's "raw intelligence" in the formal FISA application(s)?
Biggee Mikeee -> akaPatience , 17 hours ago
Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates,

" Trump announced his run for President in 2015. I'm pretty sure that every intel service on the planet was watching him, they would be derelict not to. GCHQ may have been collecting intel on all the candidates, "

That's a good question, could it legally enable an end run around the FISC until enough evidence was gathered for a FISC surveillance authorization?.

richardstevenhack -> Biggee Mikeee , 13 hours ago
I've heard that the Echelon system is used by the Five Eyes IC to do something similar. The Brits spy on US, and give the NSA the data so the NSA can evade US laws prohibiting spying on us, and we return the favor to help them evade what (few) laws they have that prohibits spying on their people.

Only a matter of time until someone figured out the same method could be used to "meddle" in national affairs.

akaPatience -> Biggee Mikeee , 15 hours ago
I understand, but still wonder why the US would need to rely so much on British intelligence sources such as Steele about a very high profile American citizen and businessman -- aren't our intelligence services competent enough to have known and discovered as much if not more about Trump than other countries' intelligence services? I've read that Steele's cover was blown 20 years ago and he hasn't even been to Russia since, so I wonder why he was considered such a reliable source by both the US and UK? In my opinion as an absolute naif about such things, Steele seems like he may be a has-been when it comes to Russia.
DianaLC -> akaPatience , 4 hours ago
Here is a simple explanation from someone who knows almost nothing about how any of the people in power work: Most of them are not as clever and smart as they think they are. And most of the regular people who are just citizens are smarter than these people think they are.

It's simply that their arrogant assessment of their own superiority caused them to do really stupid things.

[May 10, 2019] Obama administration raced to obtain FICA warrant on Carter Page before Rogers investigation closes on them and that was definitely an obstruction of justice and interference with the ongoing investigation

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review. ..."
"... The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016. ..."
"... After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target. ..."
"... On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit. ..."
"... Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant. ..."
"... The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page. ..."
"... While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director. ..."
May 03, 2019 | www.theepochtimes.com

Originally from: Spygate The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] by Jeff Carlson ( October 12, 2018 Updated: May 3, 2019 )

FISA Abuse

Admiral Mike Rogers, while director of the NSA, was personally responsible for uncovering an unprecedented level of FISA abuse that would later be documented in a 99-page unsealed FISA court ruling . As the FISA court noted in the April 26, 2017, ruling, the abuses had been occurring since at least November 2015:

"The FBI had disclosed raw FISA information, including but not limited to Section 702-acquired information, to private contractors.

"Private contractors had access to raw FISA information on FBI storage systems.

"Contractors had access to raw FISA information that went well beyond what was necessary to respond to the FBI's requests."

The FISA Court report is particularly focused on the FBI:

"The Court is concerned about the FBI's apparent disregard of minimization rules and whether the FBI may be engaging in similar disclosures of raw Section 702 information that have not been reported."

The FISA Court disclosed that illegal NSA database searches were endemic. Private contractors, employed by the FBI, were given full access to the NSA database. Once in the contractors' possession, the data couldn't be traced.

In April 2016, after Rogers became aware of improper contractor access to raw FISA data on March 9, 2016, he directed the NSA's Office of Compliance to conduct a "fundamental baseline review of compliance associated with 702."

On April 18, 2016, Rogers shut down all outside contractor access to raw FISA information -- specifically outside contractors working for the FBI.

DOJ National Security Division (NSD) head John Carlin filed the government's proposed 2016 Section 702 certifications on Sept. 26, 2016. Carlin knew the general status of compliance review by Rogers. The NSD was part of the review. Carlin failed to disclose a critical Jan. 7, 2016, report by the Office of the Inspector General and associated FISA abuse to the FISA Court in his 2016 certification. Carlin also failed to disclose Rogers's ongoing Section 702 compliance review.

The following day, on Sept. 27, 2016, Carlin announced his resignation, effective Oct. 15, 2016.

After receiving a briefing by the NSA compliance officer on Oct. 20, 2016, detailing numerous "about query" violations from the 702 NSA compliance audit, Rogers shut down all "about query" activity the next day and reported his findings to the DOJ. "About queries" are searches based on communications containing a reference "about" a surveillance target but that are not "to" or "from" the target.

On Oct. 21, 2016, the DOJ and the FBI sought and received a Title I FISA probable-cause order authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISA Court.

At this point, the FISA Court was still unaware of the Section 702 violations.

On Oct. 24, 2016, Rogers verbally informed the FISA Court of his findings. On Oct. 26, 2016, Rogers appeared formally before the FISA Court and presented the written findings of his audit.

The FISA Court had been unaware of the query violations until they were presented to the court by Rogers.

Carlin didn't disclose his knowledge of FISA abuse in the annual Section 702 certifications in order to avoid raising suspicions at the FISA Court ahead of receiving the Page FISA warrant.

The FBI and the NSD were literally racing against Rogers's investigation in order to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page.

While all this was transpiring, DNI James Clapper and Defense Secretary Ash Carter submitted a recommendation that Rogers be removed from his post as NSA director.

The move to fire Rogers, which ultimately failed, originated sometime in mid-October 2016 -- exactly when Rogers was preparing to present his findings to the FISA Court.

Jeff Carlson is a regular contributor to The Epoch Times. He also runs the website TheMarketsWork.com and can be followed on Twitter @themarketswork.

[May 08, 2019] Obama Spied on Other Republicans and Democrats As Well by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program. ..."
"... One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely. ..."
"... I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. ..."
"... Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant. ..."
"... That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, ..."
"... Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ..."
"... Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking " ..."
"... I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported. ..."
"... Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive: ..."
"... I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government? ..."
"... Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution. ..."
"... Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front. ..."
"... So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal. ..."
May 08, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Do not focus on July 2016 as the so-called start of the counter intelligence investigation of Donald Trump. That is a lie. We know, thanks to the work of Judicial Watch, that the FBI had signed up Christopher Steele as a Confidential Human Source (aka CHS) by February of 2016. It is incumbent on Attorney General Barr to examine the contact reports filed by Steele's FBI handler (those reports are known as FD-1023s). He also, as I have noted in a previous post, needs to look at the FD-1023s for Felix Sater and Henry Greenberg. But these will only tell a small part of the story. There is a massive intelligence side to this story.

The CIA, with the knowledge of the Director of National Intelligence, worked with British counterparts starting in the summer of 2015 to collect intelligence on Republican and at least one Democrat candidate. John Brennan was probably hoping that his proactive steps to help the Hillary Clinton campaign would ensure him taking over as DNI in the new Clinton Administration. Regardless of motives, the CIA enlisted the British intelligence community to start gathering intelligence on most major Republican candidates and on Bernie Sanders. This initial phase of intelligence gathering goes beyond opposition research. The information being gathered identified the key personnel in each campaign and identified the people outside the United States receiving their calls, texts and emails. This information was turned into intelligence reports that then were passed back to the United States intel community as "liaison reporting." This was not put into normal classified channels. This intelligence was put into a SAP, i.e. a Special Access Program.

One person who needs to be called on the carpet and asked some hard questions is current CIA Director Gina Haspel. She was CIA Chief of Station in London at the time and was a regular attendee at the meeting of the Brit's Joint Intelligence Committee aka the JIC. I suppose it is possible she was cut out of the process, but I believe that is unlikely.

This initial phase of intelligence collection produced a great volume of intelligence that allowed analysts to identify key personnel and the people they were communicating with overseas. You don't have to have access to intelligence information to understand this. For example, you simply have to ask the question, "how did George Papadopoulos get on the radar." I am confident that a survey of NSA and CIA liaison reporting will show that George Papadopoulos was identified as a possible target by the fall of 2015. Initially, his name was "masked." But we now know that many people on the Trump campaign had their names "unmasked." You cannot unmask someone unless their name is in an intelligence report. We also know that Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of Donald Trump and an FBI informant since December 1998 (he was signed up by Andrew Weismann), initiated the proposal to do a Trump Tower in Moscow. Don't take my word for it, that's what Robert Mueller reported:

In the late summer of 2015, the Trump Organization received a new inquiry about pursuing a Trump Tower project in Moscow. In approximately September 2015, Felix Sater . . . contacted Cohen (i.e., Michael Cohen) on behalf of I.C. Expert Investment Company (I.C. Expert), a Russian real-estate development corporation controlled by Andrei Vladimirovich Rozov. Sater had known Rozov since approximately 2007 and, in 2014, had served as an agent on behalf of Rozov during Rozov's purchase of a building in New York City. Sater later contacted Rozov and proposed that I.C. Expert pursue a Trump Tower Moscow project in which I.C. Expert would license the name and brand from the Trump Organization but construct the building on its own. Sater worked on the deal with Rozov and another employee of I.C. Expert. (see page 69 of the Mueller Report).

Sater's communication with Rozov were intercepted by western intelligence agencies -- GCHQ and NSA. I do not know which agency put it into an intel report, but it was put into the system. The Sater FD-1023 will tell us whether or not Sater did this at the direction of the FBI or acted on his own initiative. The key point is that the "bait" to do something with the Russians came from a registered FBI informant.

By December of 2015, the Hillary Campaign decided to use the Russian angle on Donald Trump. Thanks to Wikileaks we have Campaign Manager John Podesta's email exchange in December 2015 with Democratic operative Brent Budowsky:

" That's good, sooner it's clarified the better, and the stronger the better, " Budowski replies, later adding: " Best approach is to slaughter Donald for his bromance with Putin , but not go too far betting on Putin re Syria ."

The program to slaughter Donald Trump using Russia as the hatchet was already underway. This was more the opposition research. This was the weaponization of law enforcement and intelligence assets to attack political opponents. Hillary had covered the opposition research angle in London by hiring a firm comprised of former MI6 assets-- Hakluyt: there was a second, even more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm lurking about with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign for president against Donald Trump.

Meet London-based Hakluyt & Co. , founded by three former British intelligence operatives in 1995 to provide the kind of otherwise inaccessible research for which select governments and Fortune 500 corporations pay huge sums. . . .

Hakluyt is described by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism's Henry Williams as " one of the more secretive firms within the corporate investigations world " and as "a retirement home for ex-MI6 [British foreign intelligence] officers, but it now also recruits from the worlds of management consultancy and banking "

I do not believe that it is a mere coincidence that Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, was the one credited by the FBI for launching the investigation into George Papadopolous : It was Downer who told the FBI of Papodopoulos' comments, which became one of the "driving factors that led the FBI to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia's attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump's associates conspired," The Times reported.

Downer, a long-time Aussie chum of Bill and Hillary Clinton, had been on Hakluyt's advisory board since 2008. Officially, he had to resign his Hakluyt role in 2014, but his informal connections continued uninterrupted, the News Corp. Australian Network reported in a January 2016 exclusive:

But it can be revealed Mr. Downer has still been attending client conferences and gatherings of the group, including a client cocktail soirée at the Orangery at Kensington Palace a few months ago.

His attendance at that event is understood to have come days after he also attended a two-day country retreat at the invitation of the group, which has been involved in a number of corporate spy scandals in recent times.

Much remains to be uncovered in this plot. But this much is certain--there is an extensive documentary record, including TOP SECRET intelligence reports (SIGINT and HUMINT) and emails and phone calls that will show there was a concerted covert action operation mounted against Donald Trump and his campaign. Those documents will tell the story. This cannot be allowed to happen again.

Posted at 05:33 AM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink | Comments (9)


turcopolier , 07 May 2019 at 09:53 AM

Having watched interviews of Papadopoulos on TeeVee I would say that this creature would be easy to manipulate. His ego is so enormous that a minimal effort would be required.
blue peacock said in reply to turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 11:19 AM
Col. Lang

I'm curious why they went after minor characters in the Trump campaign and not Jared or one of Trump's sons? From what I've read of Hoover, it seems he was constantly building "dossiers" of the powerful and those he considered "subversives" so that he would remain preeminent. Then there was the Church Committee investigation. Is this qualitatively different? Can we ever expect that law enforcement & intelligence with so much secretive power are not the 4th branch of government?

David Habakkuk -> blue peacock... , 07 May 2019 at 01:31 PM
bp,

The guts of the matter was well expressed by Judge T.S. Ellis when he made the distinction between different results which can be expected from exerting pressures on witnesses: they may 'sing' - which is, commonly, in the interests of justice - but, there again, they may 'compose', which is not.

Also involved - and I think Judge Ellis was very well aware of this - is a fundamental distinction relating to what law enforcement authorities are trying to achieve. If Mueller was honestly - even of perhaps misguidedly - trying to get witnesses to 'sing', that is hardly a mortal sin. If he was trying to get them to 'compose', then the question becomes whether he should be under indictment for subversion of the Constitution.

Alcatraz, perhaps?

blue peacock said in reply to David Habakkuk ... , 08 May 2019 at 12:17 AM
David,

Yes, indeed, many a composition have been elicited by prosecutors in criminal cases. The issue is there is no penalty for prosecutorial misconduct while the advancement points ratchet up with each conviction. The incentives are aligned perfectly for the "institution" to run rough shod on ordinary Americans. Only those wealthy enough to fight the unlimited funds of the government have a chance. But of course in matters relating to national security there is the added twist of state secrets that protects government malfeasance.

I don't know how the national security state we continue to build ever gets rolled back. A small victory would be for Trump to declassify all documents and communications relating to the multifaceted spying on his campaign and as Larry so eloquently writes to frame him as a Manchurian Candidate. At least the public will learn about what their grandchildren are paying for. But it seems that Trump prefers tweeting to taking any kind of action. Not that it would matter much as half the country will still believe that Trump deserves it until the tables are turned on their team. While most Americans will say to use Ben Hunt's phrasing Yay! Constitution. Yay! Liberty. they sure don't care as the state oligarchy tighten their chokehold.

https://www.epsilontheory.com/things-fall-apart-pt-1/

akaPatience -> turcopolier ... , 07 May 2019 at 05:27 PM
Yes, he seems young and ambitious enough to be easy (and willing) prey. Having been involved in some local political campaigns though, I've observed that more and more than before, young people like him are hyper-concerned with networking. Papadopoulos' ego aside, of course he and many people who sign on hope to make self-serving connections. Not only that, it's also been my observation that casual sexual hook-ups go with the territory, and not only among young, single guys like him. I have to say I've been shocked a few times by how risky and cavalier some liaisons have been that've come to my attention, considering "public figures" are involved. No doubt that's why a "honeypot" was dispatched to try to help entrap Papadopoulos.
Rick Merlotti , 07 May 2019 at 12:14 PM
Why aren't the MSM having a hissy fit about the real, documented election interference by the British Commonwealth/5 Eyes spooks in the 2016 campaign (and before)? The hoax of projecting onto Putin what they themselves have done must be exposed before the country move forward on any front.
O'Shawnessey , 07 May 2019 at 02:44 PM
So, was Skripal one of Steele's so-called Kremlin insiders? I see Pablo Miller is connected to both Porton Down and Steele via the ironically titled II's media pods. And Miller is certainly connected to Skripal.
sandra adie , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
Papadopolos was very young hence the nativity getting sucked in. The ego helped for sure. Probably exciting to be part of something important probably for the first time since he started working for Trump campaign
akaPatience , 07 May 2019 at 03:01 PM
One thing that's always concerned me about Larry's informative and insightful essays on these matters is how can we be assured that the IC documentation mentioned has been filled out honestly and accurately -- or that the forms even still exist and haven't been conveniently "lost" or surreptitiously destroyed?

[May 08, 2019] Huawei Hypocrisy by Craig Murray

Notable quotes:
"... I don't think the US government should use operating systems made in China for the same reason that most governments shouldn't use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them. ..."
"... All the major western tech companies cooperate with the western security services. In Murder in Samarkand I gave the first public revelation that the government can and does listen through your mobile phone microphone even when the phone is ostensibly switched off, a fact that got almost no traction until Edward Snowden released documents confirming it six years later. China is full of western devices with backdoors that are exploited by western intelligence. That the tables turn as Chinese technology advances is scarcely surprising. ..."
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Craig Murray,

Theresa May almost certainly sacked Gavin Williamson not just on the basis of a telephone billing record showing he had a phone call with a Telegraph journalist, but on the basis of a recording of the conversation itself.

It astonishes me that still, after Snowden and his PRISM revelations, after Wikileaks Vault 7 releases , and after numerous other sources including my own humble contribution, people still manage to avoid the cognitive dissonance that goes with really understanding how much we are surveilled and listened to. Even Cabinet Ministers manage to pretend to themselves it is not happening.

The budget of the NSA, which does nothing else but communications intercept, is US $14.2 billion this year. Think about that enormous sum, devoted to just communications surveillance, and what it can achieve. The budget of the UK equivalent, GCHQ, is £1.2 billion, of which about 10% is paid by the NSA. Domestic surveillance in the UK has been vastly expanded and many taboos broken. But the bedrock of the system with regard to domestic intercepts is still that legal restrictions are dodged, as the USA's NSA spies on UK citizens while the UK's GCHQ spies on US citizens, and then the information is swapped. It was thus probably the NSA that harvested Williamson's phone call, passing the details on. Given official US opposition to the UK employing Huawei technology, Williamson's call would have been a "legitimate" NSA target.

Mass surveillance works on electronic harvesting. Targeted phone numbers apart, millions of essentially random calls are listened to electronically using voice recognition technology and certain key words trigger an escalation of the call. Williamson's call discussing Huawei, China, the intelligence services, and backdoors would certainly have triggered recording and been marked up to a human listener, even if his phone was not specifically targeted by the Americans – which it almost certainly was.

Williamson of course is relying on the security services' secrecy about their methods to maintain his protests of innocence, secure in the knowledge that the recording of him would not be produced. The existence of the recording – of which I am extremely confident – is the only possible explanation for May's degree of certainty and swift action against one of her very few loyal allies.

All of which of course throws into stark relief the stunning hypocrisy of those who are worried that Huawei will be used for electronic eavesdropping, when they are up to their ears in electronic eavesdropping themselves. One of my heroes is the great Richard Stallman, who put it this way six years ago:

RMS: Well, it's perfectly reasonable suspicion to me. I don't think the US government should use operating systems made in China for the same reason that most governments shouldn't use operating systems made in the US and in fact we just got proof since Microsoft is now known to be telling the NSA about bugs in Windows before it fixes them.

RSS: I was just going to bring this up exactly, so I was saying that the NSA recently received notifications about the zero-day holes in advance and [incomprehensible] the NSA and the CIA to just crack PCs abroad for espionage purposes.

RMS: Now, [incomprehensible] that this proves my point, which is that you have to be nuts if you were some other country and using Windows on your computers. But, you know, given that Windows has a universal back door in it, Microsoft would hardly need to tell the NSA about any bugs, it can tell the NSA about the mal-feature of the universal back door and that would be enough for the NSA to attack any computer running Windows, which unfortunately is a large fraction of them.

All the major western tech companies cooperate with the western security services. In Murder in Samarkand I gave the first public revelation that the government can and does listen through your mobile phone microphone even when the phone is ostensibly switched off, a fact that got almost no traction until Edward Snowden released documents confirming it six years later. China is full of western devices with backdoors that are exploited by western intelligence. That the tables turn as Chinese technology advances is scarcely surprising.

Personally I do not want the Chinese, Americans, Russians or British eavesdropping on me, or on each other, and I wish that they would stop. The spy games will of course continue, as they make money for a lot of well-connected people. But for any side to claim moral superiority in all of this is just nonsense.

* * *

Subscriptions to keep Craig Murray's blog going, gratefully received .

[May 08, 2019] It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States

Notable quotes:
"... Why are Chalupa and Podesta not in prison? ..."
"... Our courts are totally corrupt. There's a prosecutor/FBI/judge cabal which convicts 98+% of its victims at trials. ..."
"... They lie to be promoted. ..."
"... "the FBI will be watching you." 'In America, FBI watch everyone.' ..."
May 08, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

gcjohns1971 , 8 months ago link

"It is the ultimate irony that how the old Soviet Union's judiciary used to function is now becoming standing operating procedure in the United States."

When you consider how many of today's Democrat luminaries were self described as dedicated Communists in the 60's, 70's, and 80's it is not surprising at all.

mc888 , 8 months ago link

Why are Chalupa and Podesta not in prison?

SergeA.Storms , 8 months ago link

If, the information in this article is true, I feel bad for this young lady getting hemmed up in international shenanigans.

If a person loves her country (her home), wants the opportunity for fellow citizens to be free with a right to bare arms, and seeks out the assistance of the USA both as a model for having the 2nd Amendment, and an organization that leads in advocating for personal firearms ownership, the NRA, how is she committing any crime? She should not be locked up for pursuing God given, inalienable rights for her fellow countrymen. She should be encouraged and sponsored by Pro2A groups and manufacturers. Again, if the information as presented is true.

dday1944 , 8 months ago link

Thank you DOJ. There's no need for guns in Russia. These people intoxicated by the alcohol and hard drugs will kill one another by the thousands. I feel for Masha Butina, but as far away she is from Russia, as better for this poor country. Luckily she is in US and even better in prison. Thank you Russophobes, warmongers and sheep that neocons will send to the slaughterhouse, you can not do any better.

Reaper , 8 months ago link

Our courts are totally corrupt. There's a prosecutor/FBI/judge cabal which convicts 98+% of its victims at trials. The excessive long sentences are used to convince the large majority unable to afford a slightly possible defense to bargain a plea. The Exceptional morons selected for juries think, why would the FBI lie. They lie to be promoted. What do you think happens to an agent whose testimony aids the defense?

Kangaroo courts would be more honest in their convictions.

ToSoft4Truth , 8 months ago link

"the FBI will be watching you." 'In America, FBI watch everyone.'

Herdee , 8 months ago link

The Russians are coming:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bReGtDxF1Oo

WW_II , 8 months ago link

"Why is Maria Butina in prison?"

https://garygindler.com/2018/08/05/why-is-maria-butina-in-prison

bh2 , 8 months ago link

"a plausible case for an indictment"

If a case is merely "plausible", that's not enough to indict.

Based on that thread-bare criterion, the FBI could probably come up with "plausible" cause to indict half the US population for something or other. Never mind Russians, all of whom might "plausibly" be suspected as secret agents for the Kremlin because they know other Russians.

This is absurd.

navy62802 , 8 months ago link

The true criminals are attempting to cover their tracks through diversion. The magnitude of the scheme they are executing now is commensurate with the magnitude of their own crimes against the United States.

IridiumRebel , 8 months ago link

I swear these stories are pushed for social media consumption so my faggy lib "friends" can bitch.

SergeA.Storms , 8 months ago link

I agree, it was much more scary in the 80's hiding under our desks at school and learning each week how many times one country could blow up the world, multiple times over. Now, so many people around the world call ********, not because MAD doesn't exist, but everyone realized no matter the quality of your bunker and fortitude of cement, those things only mean you die slower than those outside near the big flash. Hypersonic weapons seem like a step backwards in the whole 'my missile is bigger than your missile' game of Coldwar 2.0.

tmosley , 8 months ago link

Extremely important information there.

McCarthy did nothing wrong.

Yog Soggoth , 8 months ago link

Exactly, he was anti Bolshevik. There was an active campaign against a strong America.

MozartIII , 8 months ago link

McCarthy was right! I do my homework!! The fuckers are still in our government!!!

[May 07, 2019] The anger towards Silicon Valley is growing on the left and right simultaneously

They now call it Spy Valley
May 07, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

...The American wing of the movement sees big tech as an attractive target of attack; for them, Silicon Valley is a bizarre mix of greedy capitalists and "cultural Marxists", keen on indoctrinating their users into leftwing ideas while getting filthy rich off everyone's data.

Populists in the rest of the world, in contrast, see Silicon Valley's platforms as their best chance of escaping the intellectual hegemony of their own domestic "cultural Marxists", firmly ensconced in elite institutions, such as the media, the academia, and the Deep State.

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In an August 2018 interview with CNN, Steve Bannon called people leading "evil" Silicon Valley "complete narcissists" and "sociopaths"; the data grabbed by their companies, he insisted, should be "put in a public trust". He also predicted that big tech would be one of the main themes of the 2020 presidential election.

Given that the anger towards Silicon Valley is also growing on the left – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the latest sensation of American leftist politics, memorably attacked New York City's $3bn welcome package to Amazon – it seems like a reasonable prediction. Silicon Valley appears to be a perfect enemy for non-centrist forces in America, as bashing it helps to delegitimize the legacy of Obama and Clinton, seen as its primary enablers.

Others on the right endorse Bannon's opinions. Brad Parscale, the digital media director of Trump's 2016 campaign, has complained that "Big tech monsters like Google and Facebook have become nothing less than incubators for far-left [neo]liberal ideologies and are doing everything they can to eradicate conservative ideas and their proponents from the internet."

Recent bans on far-right and conservative personalities by social media and online fundraising platforms have only amplified such perceptions of Silicon Valley.

Even Donald Trump complained that Google was "suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good" – a "very serious situation" that, he promised, "will be addressed".

[May 06, 2019] Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday

May 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

LOL123 , 18 minutes ago link

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.

Feb 12, 2019 · The plan depends on the Pentagon working closely with the tech industry to ... experts, chaired by Eric Schmidt, previously chairman and CEO of Google.

URL

https://www.wired.com/story/pentagon-doubles-down-ai-wants-help-big-tech/

Timing is everything- Barr is ready to throw the " hammer" on traitors of USA .... All allies of Eric Schmidt ( lynn Rothschild sings his praises at every interview with Chinas University )

Eric Schmidt List of colleagues

1-lynn Rothschild ( Hillarys 1000,000 plate fund raiser)

2- Obama- white house digital services

3- Sillicon Valley ( facebook- template for winning aka Hillary)

4- pentagon-

The JAIC was initially proposed in 2017 by the department's Defense Innovation Board of tech industry experts, chaired by Eric Schmidt, previously chairman and CEO of Google. It was structured in large part by Brendan McCord, previously head of machine learning at the Defense Innovation Unit, a kind of Silicon Valley embassy for the Pentagon. McCord is also the primary author of the department's AI strategy.

Lt. Gen. John "Jack" Shanahan, who leads the JAIC, said the unit will focus on rapidly deploying existing AI algorithms and tools, often contracted from technology companies, in military scenarios.

Remember- the axis of evil within our own Government who tried to over throw our sitting zpresident.... They don't give up easily.

They ( military propaganda and war machine ) just found a weak link and intend to weaponize it against the Trump administration. Venezula interference bad move except for military complex and who funds them??? Think two or three steps ahead... Don't get caught off guard... They are slimy littler fquers.

[May 04, 2019] Did NSA Admiral Mike Rogers Warn Trump On November 17th, 2016

Notable quotes:
"... Remember, historically The Washington Post is the preferred outlet for the CIA and Intelligence Community within Deep State to dump their "leaks" and stories. The State Department "leaks" to CNN for the same purposes. ..."
Mar 06, 2017 | anamericancomment.blogspot.com
Did NSA Admiral Mike Rogers Warn Trump On November 17th, 2016?

Sometimes the utilization of Timelines means you have to look at the new information with a keen awareness of specific events. In hindsight, NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers may have notified Team Trump of Obama's Intelligence Community (James Clapper and John Brennan) spying on their activity. As you look at the FISA request dates below, it's important to note that NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers would be keenly aware of both the June request – Denied, and the October request – Granted. Pay specific attention to the October request.

"October"! . June 2016: FISA request.

The Obama administration files a request with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) to monitor communications involving Donald Trump and several advisers. The request, uncharacteristically, is denied.

October 2016: FISA request.

The Obama administration submits a new, narrow request to the FISA court, now focused on a computer server in Trump Tower suspected of links to Russian banks. No evidence is found -- but the wiretaps continue, ostensibly for national security reasons, Andrew McCarthy at National Review later notes .

The Obama administration is now monitoring an opposing presidential campaign using the high-tech surveillance powers of the federal intelligence services.

♦ On Tuesday November 8th, 2016 the election was held. Results announced Wednesday November 9th, 2016.

♦ On Thursday November 17th, 2016, NSA Director Mike Rogers traveled to New York and met with President-Elect Donald Trump.

♦ On Friday November 18th The Washington Post reported on a recommendation in "October" that Mike Rogers be removed from his NSA position: The heads of the Pentagon and the nation's intelligence community have recommended to President Obama that the director of the National Security Agency, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, be removed. The recommendation, delivered to the White House last month , was made by Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., according to several U.S. officials familiar with the matter. [ ]

In a move apparently unprecedented for a military officer, Rogers, without notifying superiors, traveled to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday at Trump Tower . That caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal personnel matters. ( link )

Remember, historically The Washington Post is the preferred outlet for the CIA and Intelligence Community within Deep State to dump their "leaks" and stories. The State Department "leaks" to CNN for the same purposes.

On Saturday November 19th Reuters reported on the WaPo Story and additional pressure by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and DNI James Clapper to fire Mike Rogers. [ ]

The Washington Post reported that a decision by Rogers to travel to New York to meet with Trump on Thursday without notifying superiors caused consternation at senior levels of the administration, but the recommendation to remove him predated his visit. ( link )

  1. The Intelligence Community -at the direction of President Obama- made a request to a FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump in June 2016. It was denied.
  2. In October the Intelligence Community (NSA) -at the direction of President Obama- made a second request to the FISA court for the NSA to spy on Donald Trump. It was approved.
  3. At around the same time (October), as the second request to FISA, (Def Sec) Ash Carter and (DNI) James Clapper tell President Obama to dump NSA Director Mike Rogers.
  4. A week after the election, Mike Rogers makes a trip to Trump Tower without telling his superior, James Clapper; which brings about new calls (November media leaks to WaPo) for President Obama to dump Mike Rogers.

Occam's Razor .

NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers didn't want to participate in the spying scheme (Clapper, Brennan, Etc.), which was the baseline for President Obama's post presidency efforts to undermine Donald Trump and keep Trump from digging into the Obama labyrinth underlying his remaining loyalists. After the October spying operation went into effect, Rogers unknown loyalty was a risk to the Obama objective. 10 Days after the election Rogers travels to President-Elect Trump without notifying those who were involved in the intel scheme. Did NSA Director Mike Rogers wait for a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) to be set up in Trump Tower, and then notify the President-elect he was being monitored by President Obama? .Seems likely.

[May 04, 2019] The American intelligence community captures all the fiber optic communications of all people in America. This mass suspicionless surveillance is unlawful and unconstitutional

Notable quotes:
"... Former American spies have been complaining for years that capturing the keystrokes of all people in America 24/7 produces information overload -- too much data to sift through when searching for those trying to harm our way of life. ..."
May 04, 2019 | www.unz.com

But the American intelligence community should have known. It captures all the fiber optic communications of all people in America. This mass suspicionless surveillance is unlawful and unconstitutional, but the leadership of our 60,000-person strong domestic spying apparatus has persuaded every president since George H.W. Bush that all this spying keeps America safe. We now know that it doesn't. It didn't find a single Russian spy bent on influencing the election.

Former American spies have been complaining for years that capturing the keystrokes of all people in America 24/7 produces information overload -- too much data to sift through when searching for those trying to harm our way of life.

[May 03, 2019] Lindsey Graham: When The Mueller Report Is Put To Bed, We re Going To Investigate How All Of This Started

May 03, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

"Once the Mueller report is put to bed, and it will be soon, this committee is going to look long and hard at how all of this started," Graham said. "We're going to look at the FISA warrant process. Did Russia provide Christopher Steele the information about Trump, that turned out to be garbage, that was used to get a warrant on an American citizen and if so, how did the system fail? Was there a real effort between Papadopoulos and anybody in Russia to use the Clinton e-mails stolen by the Russians, or is that thought planted in his mind? I don't know, but we're going to look."

[May 03, 2019] The Obama administration for more than four years before the 2016 election allowed four contractors working for the FBI to illegally surveil American citizens

Notable quotes:
"... That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it. ..."
"... The FISA court abuse is the center of this entire abuse of governmental power, and the chief judge in that court has already ruled that the FBI broke the law and that the people at the head of the justice department, Sally Yates, John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security all knew about it and lied to the FISA court about it... ..."
"... He [Rogers] discovered the illegal spying. He went personally to the FISA court and briefed the Chief Judge and worked with her for months to uncover the people who did it. The FISA court has already told the Justice Department who lied to that court and that has been given to [Attorney General] Bill Barr already. ..."
May 01, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

It is about the rule of law and privacy. The Obama administration for more than four years before the 2016 election allowed four contractors working for the FBI to illegally surveil American citizens -- illegally. The FISA court has already found that. There is the Horowitz report coming out in May or possibly early June. There's another report that everyone has forgotten about involving James Comey alone. That will be out in two weeks. That report is going to be a bombshell. It is going to open up the investigation on a very high note, and there are going to be criminal referrals in it.

The FISA court abuse is the center of this entire abuse of governmental power, and the chief judge in that court has already ruled that the FBI broke the law and that the people at the head of the justice department, Sally Yates, John Carlin, the assistant attorney general for national security all knew about it and lied to the FISA court about it...

There's a hero in this story and it is not a lawyer. There is a hero. His name is Admiral Mike Rogers. He was the head of the National Security Agency.

He [Rogers] discovered the illegal spying. He went personally to the FISA court and briefed the Chief Judge and worked with her for months to uncover the people who did it. The FISA court has already told the Justice Department who lied to that court and that has been given to [Attorney General] Bill Barr already.

[Apr 29, 2019] How AI Systems Could Threaten Democracy naked capitalism

Apr 29, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

As my research shows , the advent of digital repression is profoundly affecting the relationship between citizen and state . New technologies are arming governments with unprecedented capabilities to monitor, track and surveil individual people. Even governments in democracies with strong traditions of rule of law find themselves tempted to abuse these new abilities .

... ... ...

Any time more information becomes available and analysis gets easier, governments are interested – and not just authoritarian ones. In the U.S., for instance, the 1970s saw revelations that government agencies – such as the FBI, CIA and NSA – had set up expansive domestic surveillance networks to monitor and harass civil rights protesters, political activists and Native American groups. These issues haven't gone away: Digital technology today has deepened the ability of even more agencies to conduct even more intrusive surveillance.

... ... ...

AI and Disinformation

In addition to providing surveillance capabilities that are both sweeping and fine-grained, AI can help repressive governments manipulate available information and spread disinformation. These campaigns can be automated or automation-assisted, and deploy hyper-personalized messages directed at – or against – specific people or groups.

AI also underpins the technology commonly called " deepfake ," in which algorithms create realistic video and audio forgeries .

Muddying the waters between truth and fiction may become useful in a tight election, when one candidate could create fake videos showing an opponent doing and saying things that never actually happened.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/cQ54GDm1eL0?wmode=transparent&start=0

An early deepfake video shows some of the dangers of advanced technology.

In my view, policymakers in democracies should think carefully about the risks of AI systems to their own societies and to people living under authoritarian regimes around the world. A critical question is how many countries will adopt China's model of digital surveillance. But it's not just authoritarian countries feeling the pull. And it's also not just Chinese companies spreading the technology: Many U.S. companies, Microsoft included, but IBM, Cisco and Thermo Fisher too, have provided sophisticated capabilities to nasty governments. The misuse of AI is not limited to autocratic states

Oregoncharles , April 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Hang onto your old mimeograph machines; we may need them.

Some amazing organizing was based on them, and other cheap, non-digital printing modes.

TG , April 29, 2019 at 8:18 pm

You can't kill what's already dead. Since when has public opinion mattered on anything of real substance?

[Apr 29, 2019] AP Exclusive Google tracks your movements, like it or not

Apr 29, 2019 | www.apnews.com

Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects -- such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company lets you "pause" a setting called Location History.

Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you've been. Google's support page on the subject states: "You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."

That isn't true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It's possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like "chocolate chip cookies," or "kids science kits," pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude -- accurate to the square foot -- and save it to your Google account.

The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google's Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search.

Storing location data in violation of a user's preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau. A researcher from Mayer's lab confirmed the AP's findings on multiple Android devices; the AP conducted its own tests on several iPhones that found the same behavior.

"If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History,' then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," Mayer said. "That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have."

Google says it is being perfectly clear.

"There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people's experience, including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services," a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the AP. "We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time."

Google's explanation did not convince several lawmakers.

Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia told the AP it is "frustratingly common" for technology companies "to have corporate practices that diverge wildly from the totally reasonable expectations of their users," and urged policies that would give users more control of their data. Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey called for "comprehensive consumer privacy and data security legislation" in the wake of the AP report.

To stop Google from saving these location markers, the company says, users can turn off another setting, one that does not specifically reference location information. Called "Web and App Activity" and enabled by default, that setting stores a variety of information from Google apps and websites to your Google account.

When paused, it will prevent activity on any device from being saved to your account. But leaving "Web & App Activity" on and turning "Location History" off only prevents Google from adding your movements to the "timeline," its visualization of your daily travels. It does not stop Google's collection of other location markers.

You can delete these location markers by hand, but it's a painstaking process since you have to select them individually, unless you want to delete all of your stored activity.

You can see the stored location markers on a page in your Google account at myactivity.google.com, although they're typically scattered under several different headers, many of which are unrelated to location.

To demonstrate how powerful these other markers can be, the AP created a visual map of the movements of Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar, who carried an Android phone with Location history off, and shared a record of his Google account.

The map includes Acar's train commute on two trips to New York and visits to The High Line park, Chelsea Market, Hell's Kitchen, Central Park and Harlem. To protect his privacy, The AP didn't plot the most telling and frequent marker -- his home address.

Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union. Last year, the business news site Quartz found that Google was tracking Android users by collecting the addresses of nearby cellphone towers even if all location services were off. Google changed the practice and insisted it never recorded the data anyway.

Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue.

"They build advertising information out of data," said Peter Lenz, the senior geospatial analyst at Dstillery, a rival advertising technology company. "More data for them presumably means more profit."

The AP learned of the issue from K. Shankari, a graduate researcher at UC Berkeley who studies the commuting patterns of volunteers in order to help urban planners. She noticed that her Android phone prompted her to rate a shopping trip to Kohl's, even though she had turned Location History off.

"So how did Google Maps know where I was?" she asked in a blog post .

The AP wasn't able to recreate Shankari's experience exactly. But its attempts to do so revealed Google's tracking. The findings disturbed her.

"I am not opposed to background location tracking in principle," she said. "It just really bothers me that it is not explicitly stated."

Google offers a more accurate description of how Location History actually works in a place you'd only see if you turn it off -- a popup that appears when you "pause" Location History on your Google account webpage . There the company notes that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps."

Google offers additional information in a popup that appears if you re-activate the "Web & App Activity" setting -- an uncommon action for many users, since this setting is on by default. That popup states that, when active, the setting "saves the things you do on Google sites, apps, and services ... and associated information, like location."

[Apr 28, 2019] New York opens probe into Facebook's hoarding of 1.5 million users email address book

Notable quotes:
"... It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers' personal information ," James said in a statement , claiming the social media company " has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers' information while at the same time profiting from mining that data ." ..."
"... Facebook admitted last week that it " unintentionally uploaded " 1.5 million new users' email address books since 2016, potentially slurping up hundreds of millions of people's contact information – including non-Facebook users ..."
"... That investigation continues, while the Federal Trade Commission, which opened its own probe following the Cambridge Analytica revelations alleging violation of a 2011 " consent decree ," is reportedly negotiating a settlement with Facebook. According to the company's first-quarter earnings report, Facebook expects to pay $3 to $5 billion in penalties – the largest FTC settlement ever for a tech company. ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | www.rt.com

New York Attorney General Letitia James is opening an investigation into Facebook's "unintentional" upload of up to 1.5 million users' contact lists, vowing to hold it accountable for its cavalier attitude toward user privacy. "

It is time Facebook is held accountable for how it handles consumers' personal information ," James said in a statement , claiming the social media company " has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of respect for consumers' information while at the same time profiting from mining that data ."

Also on rt.com Want a new Facebook account? Just hand over your private email password

Facebook admitted last week that it " unintentionally uploaded " 1.5 million new users' email address books since 2016, potentially slurping up hundreds of millions of people's contact information – including non-Facebook users – which was then used for targeted advertising and to suggest potential " friends " based on email connections. The platform gained access to the contacts by asking users for their email passwords after they clicked on a link to verify their account, but did not ask the users before hoovering up their contact lists.

Facebook claims it is deleting the offending address book data and says it has notified people who had their contacts copied. It says the contacts were not shared with anyone.

New York is one of several states currently investigating Facebook based on the March 2018 revelations that Cambridge Analytica used Facebook data scraped from millions of users without their consent to assist the Donald Trump presidential campaign. That investigation continues, while the Federal Trade Commission, which opened its own probe following the Cambridge Analytica revelations alleging violation of a 2011 " consent decree ," is reportedly negotiating a settlement with Facebook. According to the company's first-quarter earnings report, Facebook expects to pay $3 to $5 billion in penalties – the largest FTC settlement ever for a tech company.

Also on rt.com Facebook expects record $5 BILLION fine from FTC over privacy violations

The company has been plagued with non-stop scandals since Cambridge Analytica, with users learning last month hundreds of millions of passwords had sat, unencrypted, on an internal server for the past seven years and reports from ex-employee whistleblowers accusing the site of " de-boosting " conservative political content. Facebook has responded to users' worries about privacy by hiring one of the authors of the notorious USA PATRIOT Act as its new general counsel.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Apr 25, 2019] Trump promotes conspiracy theory that UK helped Obama administration spy on his presidential campaign

Apr 25, 2019 | independent.co.uk

Donald Trump has apparently accused the UK of conspiring to help the Obama administration spy on his presidential campaign, saying "when the truth comes out, it will be a beauty!".

The US president promoted the conspiracy theory on Twitter by quoting a right-wing US news organisation's headline, which according to Mr Trump read: "Former CIA analyst Larry Johnson accuses United Kingdom Intelligence of helping Obama Administration Spy on the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign."

Mr Trump added: "WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!"

GCHQ, the UK government's chief digital spying organisation, branded the allegation "utterly ridiculous".

"As we have previously stated, the allegations that GCHQ was asked to conduct 'wire tapping' against the then President Elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored," the agency told Reuters.

The claim appears to stem from Mr Johnson, a former CIA analyst who is a longtime critic of US intelligence and a defender of Russia.

Mr Johnson has previously claimed without providing evidence the CIA, and not Moscow, may have been behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, and has frequently appeared on Russian state media to reject US intelligence conclusions of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Guardian reported in 2017 Britain's intelligence agencies had alerted their US counterparts to suspicious "interaction" between figures connected to the Trump campaign and Russian agents, but that it was part of a "routine exchange" of information and that CGHQ never carried out a targeted operation against Mr Trump or his team. There is no evidence the Obama administration conducted a spying operation against the Trump campaign.

Mr Trump's tweet followed one last month in which he suggested Britain had invented Russian election interference in order to "bait" the US into taking a hard line against Moscow.

It comes two years after GCHQ was forced to deny it "wire tapped" Trump Tower in 2016, after the White House promoted a Fox News pundit's allegation Barack Obama bypassed US intelligence by using the UK's spy centre to obtain details of Mr Trump's conversations.

"They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored," GCHQ said at the time.

The president, who has access to information provided by the world's most powerful intelligence agencies, later told reporters "you should be talking to Fox" when asked about the claim.

Mr Trump's tweet comes just 40 days before he is due in the UK on a state visit.

[Apr 24, 2019] The Amazon That You Don t Know

Images removed
Jan 02, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com
While all of this may seem relatively mundane, one has to keep in mind that Amazon/Bezos has a connection to the U.S. government intelligence network. In 2013, Amazon signed a $600 million, ten year contract with the Central Intelligence Agency to develop a computing cloud service that would service all seventeen agencies that comprise the American intelligence community. In November 2017, Amazon Web Services made the following announcement :

The AWS Secret Region has the ability to work with and store government/intelligence data that is classified up to the Secret level. According to Amazon, AWS Secret Region is "readily available to the U.S. Intelligence Community through the intelligence community's Commercial Cloud Services contract with AWS". AWS touts itself as the first and only commercial cloud provider to offer regions to serve government data classified as Unclassified, Sensitive, Secret and Top Secret. Given that Amazon is a dominant cloud infrastructure vendor through AWS, it is highly likely that it will bid on the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure or JEDI Cloud, a $10 billion contract to develop a cloud infrastructure for the Department of Defense as shown here :

... ... ...

Bruce Wilds January 5, 2019 at 11:34 AM

Amazon is rotten to the core. Already no stranger to sweetheart deals, Amazon which has lined the pockets of its CEO Jeff Bezos at taxpayer expense is quietly moving in a direction that is destined to create even more controversy. Amazon through its lobbying efforts is on the verge of winning a multibillion-dollar advantage over rivals by taking over large swaths of federal procurement.

When you couple the voice of the Washington Post with a company so deeply involved with discovering and archiving detailed files and information about individuals and politicians across America you command a great deal of muscle and clout. The article below delves into why it is time to face the fact Amazon needs to be curtailed.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2018/09/amazon-is-threat-to-our-democracy-and.html

[Apr 24, 2019] Viable Opposition

Apr 24, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

Monday, April 15, 2019 Facebook and Its Close Links to Washington With Facebook taking a very strong stance against so-called fake news and foreign interference in what passes for democracy in the United States and particularly given its recent association with the Atlantic Council and its Digital Forensic Research Lab. I would be remiss if I didn't thank Matt Agorist at the Free Thought Project, one of the entities that was purged by Facebook in October 2018, for inspiring this posting
In no particular order, let's look at some of Facebook's key personnel and their relationship to Washington:
1.) Katie Harbath : Ms. Harbath is currently Director of Global Politics and Government Outreach at Facebook as shown here:

...and has very close links to the Republican Party (a relative rarity among Facebook key personnel) including Deputy eCampaign Director for Rudy Giuliani's run at the Oval Office both before and during her tenure at Facebook as shown here:

It was Ms. Harbath who announced Facebook's "exciting new partnership" with the Atlantic Council on May 17, 2018:
" Today, we're excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems. Experts from their Digital Forensic Research Lab will work closely with our security, policy and product teams to get Facebook real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world. This will help increase the number of "eyes and ears" we have working to spot potential abuse on our service -- enabling us to more effectively identify gaps in our systems, preempt obstacles, and ensure that Facebook plays a positive role during elections all around the world ."
2.) Nathaniel Gleicher : Mr. Gleicher is Head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook as shown here:

...and was former Director for Cybersecurity Policy for the National Security Council at the White House, Senior Counsel for Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the United States Department of Justice and a Law Clerk for Senator Patrick Leahy as shown here:

Just so you can get a sense of Mr. Gleicher's belief system, here is what he said in a blog posting on January 17, 2019 entitled " Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behaviour from Russia ":
" Today we removed 364 Facebook Pages and accounts for engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior as part of a network that originated in Russia and operated in the Baltics, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Central and Eastern European countries. The Page administrators and account owners primarily represented themselves as independent news Pages or general interest Pages on topics like weather, travel, sports, economics, or politicians in Romania, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Kyrgyzstan. Despite their misrepresentations of their identities, we found that these Pages and accounts were linked to employees of Sputnik, a news agency based in Moscow, and that some of the Pages frequently posted about topics like anti-NATO sentiment, protest movements, and anti-corruption. " (my bolds)
Yes, imagine being anti-NATO and anti-corruption! That's totally unAmerican not to mention totally without merit !
3.) David Recordon : Mr. Recordon lists himself as a "doer" on his Linkedin page as shown here:

...however, his "real position" is Engineering Director for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a company founded by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan which has the goal of "advancing human potential and promoting equality in areas such as health, education, scientific research and energy".
Between March 2015 and January 2017, Mr. Recordon was the Special Assistant to the President and Director of White House IT and a consultant for the U.S. Digital Service at the White House as you can see here:

Please note that prior to his tenure with the federal government, Mr. Recordon was Engineering Director at Facebook.
4.) Aneesh Raman : Mr. Raman is currently the Head of Economic and Social Impact at Facebook as you can see here:

...and was the former speechwriter to President Obama and worked in Strategic Communications at the Pentagon as shown here:

5.) Meredith Carden : Ms. Carden is currently working on Facebook's News Integrity Partnerships as shown here:

..and spent two years working in the Office of First Lady Michelle Obama and spent seven months as a Press Intern for Obama For America as shown here:

6.) Joel Benenson: Mr. Benenson, founder of Benenson Strategy Group , is conducting research for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as shown here:

...and was a former senior strategist to Hillary Clinton during her most recent run for the Oval Office as well as doing research and polling programs for President Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns and working on President Bill Clinton's campaign during the 1996 election as shown here :

Let's close with this. Remembering that Facebook is now tied to the Atlantic Council who functions as its censor, here is a screen capture that shows the close links between Washington and the Atlantic Council when it comes to leadership:


...and funding:


While I'm quite certain that there are other examples of the very close links between Washington and Facebook, I believe that you have enough information from this posting to come to the conclusion that Facebook is far from a benign, private entity. Facebook put in place an inordinate number of men and women who hail from the federal government and, as such, one might almost conclude that the publicly traded Facebook functions as an extension of the federal government and, more pointedly, the Democratic Party. Perhaps that's why Facebook has had its proverbial "panties in a knot" about Russian-sourced fake news since Hillary Clinton lost the election that was supposed to be hers.

[Apr 24, 2019] Viable Opposition Iran and the CIA's Worst Nightmare

Apr 24, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

Monday, April 22, 2019 Iran and the CIA's Worst Nightmare While the world was distracted by all things Mueller, there was a significant news event that took place in Iran.
Here is the news item as reported by Iran's Presstv:

Note that the news item refers to a November 2018 report on Yahoo which you can find here :

Let's look at some some key details from Yahoo's lengthy article:
"From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaired -- despite warnings about what was happening -- until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials.
The disaster ensnared every corner of the national security bureaucracy -- from multiple intelligence agencies, congressional intelligence committees and independent contractors to internal government watchdogs -- forcing a slow-moving, complex government machine to grapple with the deadly dangers of emerging technologies....
A former senior intelligence official with direct knowledge of the compromise said it had global implications for the CIA. "You start thinking twice about people, from China to Russia to Iran to North Korea," said the former official. The CIA was worried about its network "totally unwinding worldwide."
Yahoo News' reporting on this global communications failure is based on conversations with eleven former U.S. intelligence and government officials directly familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive operations. Multiple former intelligence officials said that the damage from the potential global compromise was serious -- even catastrophic -- and will persist for years.
More than just a question of a single failure, the fiasco illustrates a breakdown that was never properly addressed. The government's inability to address the communication system's insecurities until after sources were rolled up in China was disastrous. "We're still dealing with the fallout," said one former national security official. "Dozens of people around the world were killed because of this." " (my bolds)
In September 2009, the Obama Administration announced that Iran had a secret underground nuclear enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom. This facility was located in an underground tunnel complex on the grounds of an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base and was slated to enrich uranium in 2874 centrifuges . Here is how the Guardian reported the news:

The letter from Iran stated that the facility would not enrich uranium beyond the 5 percent level. On the eve of a showdown meeting with Iran, Barack Obama demanded that the IAEA be given access to the plant, stating that Iran was breaking the rules and not living up to its international responsibilities.
This breach of secrecy resulted in the Iranians looking for foreign spies that may have passed the information to the West. Unfortunately for the CIA, the communication system being used to communicate with its agents was flawed and was easily breached by the sophisticated counterintelligence technology being used by other nations. As a result of this negligence, Iran was able to identify and dismantle a CIA network in Iran, arresting a significant number of intelligence officers and CIA assets in May and November 2011 as shown here :

....and here :

According to two former U.S. intelligences officials, the Iranians recruited a double agent who led them to the CIA communications system. This system allowed CIA officers to communicate remotely in dangerous operational environments like Iran where person-to-person meetings are risky. Interestingly, it is believed that the Iranians used Google to identify the website that the CIA was using to communicate with its agents. From there, Iran's intelligence services searched the internet for other websites with similar components, eventually allowing them to locate other secret CIA websites. From there, Iran was able to track who was visiting these websites, allowing them to unravel the CIA's network.
What is ironic about this (and particularly so given the intelligence community issues that were raised after the September 11, 2001 attacks) is that John Reidy, a contractor at the CIA, advised his employer in 2009 - 2010 that there were potential serious security weaknesses in the CIA's communications network. For this, he was punished by being fired, resulting in his appeal to the intelligence community inspector general as shown here :


Ultimately, this breach of security discovered by the Iranians led to the execution and imprisonment of some of the CIA's informants and forced the CIA to exfiltrate others.
Let's close by looking at one last quote from the Presstv's coverage of the most recent revelations about the CIA's global intelligence network:
' Iran's intelligence minister specifically highlighted a quote from American national security analyst Irvin McCullough, who described the major American intelligence setback as "one of the most catastrophic intelligence failures" since the September 11 attacks in 2001. Alavi said that further details of the operations would be publicized soon, adding that a similar successful counter-espionage operation had been carried out against Britain's MI6 intelligence service.
The Iranian minister added that the breakthrough comes as his ministry has shifted from focusing on defensive operations to conducting offensive counter-intelligence operations, some of which had even "expanded deep" into Israel.
Iran has been successful in protecting itself from the spillover of terrorism and foreign-backed conflict -- constant features of life in a number of regional countries -- due to high vigilance by its intelligence and security forces." (my bolds)
It is unfortunate that the Central Intelligence Agency seems incapable of learning from its past mistakes.
Posted by A Political Junkie at 8:30 AM Labels: CIA , Iran , United States 1 comment:

  1. jrkrideau April 22, 2019 at 5:14 PM

    Why would the Obama administration announce that Iran had a secret underground nuclear enrichment facility near the holy city of Qom without at least extracting any agents involved?

    This is a horrible level of incompetence. Has no one in the CIA ever read about Enigma and how it was used in WWII? Added to by not totally killing the system immediately.

[Apr 22, 2019] The US regime of total surveillance and Assange

Notable quotes:
"... I assume he still has cards to play in terms of making a deal, as with the Vault 7 releases. ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

The relase of Valut 7 files is probably the biggerst achivement of Asssanege. It really shows how nasty the govermnet can behave and how vulnerable are consumer systems; essentially transperat for eacdropping.

It also stimulated drive for offf-line storage of sensitive information, such as tax returns and such and usage of a separate computer for financial transactions.


Susan the other` , April 22, 2019 at 3:28 pm

for the US Gov to maintain a legal position in this day and age of zero privacy for you and twist it around so that it is illegal to "steal" information is too rich for my blood. The US Gov has all the info it ever wanted on everyone and everything.

Yet somehow it is illegal to have reciprocal information. So that's one big bad.

Another is the very concept of illegal. Illegal is only illegal if it is caught in most cases.

In government affairs however, it should not be so. The government is answerable to us and we need to go back to square one and establish that fact.

Julian Assange was in the process of doing that in his own way, as are most journalists, but he hit a very raw nerve and now they are going to make him pay for it. It is a travesty of both justice and "government".

Susan the other` , April 22, 2019 at 3:42 pm

And there are all the usual sneaky sleaze balls lined up to get Assange. From the infuriated democrats to the terrified republicans. Look at the mix. Brett Kavanaugh, Wm. Barr, to Nancy Pelosi; John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, – there isn't one familiar face standing up for Assange. Even Bernie doesn't go overboard. The stakes are so high that we are now in a nasty trade war with the EU to see who can rat out the other faster.

And it is a good cover for Nancy Pelosi to act like she is defending our "sacred institutions" (please spare me Nancy) and go to London and give a speech that the UK "cannot count on a trade deal with the US" when it goes full Brexit. She's acting like she's a friend of Ireland. But this is the first I ever heard of it. I think what Nancy is saying is that if the UK doesn't toe the line with Assange the US won't do a trade deal at all. I've never seen Nancy expose her inner Nancy so emphatically. And recently Bolton told the ICC to just fuck straight off – they would never have jurisdiction over our leaders (primarily it is the Bushes is who we are talking about here). It's a showdown. Chickens coming home in a big clucking rush.

Heliopause , April 22, 2019 at 2:17 pm

If Assange is extradited the game might not be up even then. I assume he still has cards to play in terms of making a deal, as with the Vault 7 releases.

[Apr 21, 2019] NYT The Tables Have Turned -- Time To Investigate The FBI, Steele And The Rest Of The Witch Hunters

The country was divided before Mueller Report. Now it is even more divided.
Notable quotes:
"... We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign. ..."
"... We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony. ..."
"... Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT ..."
"... The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier. ..."
"... And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros . ..."
"... Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit. ..."
"... after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it. ..."
"... As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed? ..."
"... the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT ..."
"... There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve. ..."
"... Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance. ..."
"... Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion. ..."
"... So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?! ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we now shift from the "witch hunt" against Trump to 'investigating the investigators' who spied on him - remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day .

We wouldn't know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign , as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony .

We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign.

We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony.

And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn't know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign - after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000 right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).

According to the New York Times , the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier.

[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel , Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months -- that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove . Mr. Mueller's report contained over a dozen passing references to the document's claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.

Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT

While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ's Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele's sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier .

Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign .

Doubts over the dossier

The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.

Let's not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower.

The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier.

And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros .

Dan Jones, George Soros, Glenn Simpson

Russian tricks? The Times notes that Steele "has not ruled out" that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier.

That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump's presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

In short, Steele is being given an 'out' with this admission.

A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the "core reporting" in the Steele memos - namely that "Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures," and that Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed "a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump."

Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit.

The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump's opponents with a worst-case account of the president's conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow -- which he had not taken up -- and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats , and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network . - NYT

And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let's see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole.


Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago link

This is why the whole FISA court is a joke. What is their remedy if their power is abused? What happens. Well,... the FISA courts was lied to and found out about it in the early 2000's. Mueller was FBI chief. So they got a strongly worded dressing-down, a mark in their permanent record from high school, and NO ONE was fired... no one was sanctioned, no agent was transferred to Alaska.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years and the FBI is doing this **** again. Lying to the court... you know the court where there are no Democrat judges or Republican judges.. they are all super awesome.... and what is the remedy when the FISA court is told they've been lied to by the FBI and used in a intel operation with MI6, inserting assets, into a freaking domestic Presidential campaign!!! and then they WON. Good god.

And what do we hear from our court? Nadda. Do we hear of some Federal Judges hauling FBI and DOJ folks in front of them and throwing them in jail? Nope. It appears from here... that our Federal Justices are corrupt and have no problem letting illegal police-state actions go on with ZERO accountability or recourse. They could care less evidently. It's all secret you know... trust us they say.. Why aren't these judges publicly making loud noises about how the judiciary is complicit , with the press, in wholesale spying and leaking for political reasons AND a coup attempt when the wrong guy won.???

Where is awesome Justice Roberts? Why isn't he throwing down some truth on just how compromised the rule of law in his courts clearly are in the last 10 years? The FISA court is his baby. It does no good for them to assure us they are concerned too, and they've taken action and sent strongly worded letters. Pisses me off. ? Right? heck of rant...

San Pedro , 2 minutes ago link

When did Russians interfere in our elections?? 2016. Who was president when Russians interfered with elections?? oobama. Who was head of the CIA?? Brennan. Who was National Intelligence director?? Clapper. Who was head of the FBI when the Russians interfered in our elections?? Comey. The pattern is obvious. When Trump was a private citizen the oobama and all his cabinet appointees and Intel Managers had their hands on all the levers and instruments of Government..and did nothing . Your oobama is guilty of treason and failing his Oath Of Office...everybody knows this.

Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link

This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.

Fair enough, where's Bill Browder? In England. Browder's allegations were utilized to try and damage Russia, even though Russia (not the USSR), is about the most reliable friend America has.

Russia helped Lincoln, and were it not for that crucial help, there'd be no America to sanction Russia today. The Tsar paid for that help with his dynasty, when Nicholas II was murdered, and dethroned.

Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..

Now, sanctions, opprobrium, and hatred are heaped on Russia, most cogently by chauvinistic racists, who look down their noses at Rus (Russ) and yet, cannot sacrifice 25 millions of their own people, for the sake of others.

Russians are considered subhuman, and yet, the divine spark of humanity resides solely in their breasts. The zionists claim a false figure of 6 million for a faux holocaust, and yet, nobody pays attention to the true holocaust of 25 millions, or the many millions before that disastrous instigated war.

That the Russians are childlike, believing others to be like them, loyal, self sacrificing, and generous, has now brought the world to the brink of armageddon, and still, they bear the burden of proof, though their accusers, who ought provide the evidence, are bereft of any..

Thomas Jefferson it was, who observing whatever he observed, exclaimed in cogent agitation, that "I fear for my countrymen, when I remember that God is Just, and His Justice does not repose forever".

Investigate Jared and Ivanka Kushner, along with Charles Kushner, and much ought be clear, no cheers...

King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link

I don't buy that "Few bad apples at the top", "Good rank and file" Argument. I have never seen one. We should assume everyone from the top to the bottom of FBI, DOJ, and State, just to get started, probably every other three better agency is bad. At least incompotent, at worst treasonous.

Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link

As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed?

besnook , 20 minutes ago link

the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT used to push the Iraq war with all sorts of ********? after the war was determined to be started under a false premise and became common knowledge there were no wmds in iraq the nyt came forward and reported the war was ******** as if they were reporting breaking news.

they have done the same thing here. they pushed the russiagate story with both barrels even though the informed populace knew it was ******** before trump was sworn in as potus. now that the all the holes in the story are readily apparent the nyt comes forward with breaking revelation that something is wrong with the story.

ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link

Now we will have another 2 years of investigation and another expensive and meaningless report. WWE Soup Opera continues. Plot sickens.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

His name is Seth Rich.

DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link

The Seth Rich investigation; where is it now? Murder of a campaign staffer; tampering with or influencing an election, is it not? Hmmm... When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link

Once upon a time there was a Bernie supporter. And his name was Seth Rich. Then there was a "botched robbery", which evidence that was concluded on, I have no idea. Do you? Anyhow, The End.

Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link

Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance.

Why wouldn't Assange name the source for the DNC emails? Is this a future bargaining chip? And what if he did name Seth Rich? He would have to prove it. Could he?

ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link

They've got Assange now...Maybe they should ask him if it was Seth Rich who gave him the emails?

Maybe even do it under oath and on national television. I don't think it's still considered "burning a source" if your source has already been murdered....

Bricker , 32 minutes ago link

Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion.

Treason and Sedition is rampant in America and all SPY roads lead to Clapper, Brennan and Obama...This needs attention.

The media is abusive and narrating attacks on a dully elected president

Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

You have got to be ******* kidding me. So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?!

[Apr 21, 2019] Escobar The Deep State Vs. WikiLeaks by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch. ..."
"... But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire. ..."
"... This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart. ..."
"... The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically. ..."
"... The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why. ..."
"... Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak. ..."
"... Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel. ..."
"... he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking." ..."
"... No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency" ..."
"... Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange. ..."
"... George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s ..."
"... Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The Made-by-FBI indictment of Julian Assange does look like a dead man walking. No evidence. No documents. No surefire testimony. Just a crossfire of conditionals...

But never underestimate the legalese contortionism of US government (USG) functionaries. As much as Assange may not be characterized as a journalist and publisher, the thrust of the affidavit is to accuse him of conspiring to commit espionage.

In fact the charge is not even that Assange hacked a USG computer and obtained classified information; it's that he may have discussed it with Chelsea Manning and may have had the intention to go for a hack. Orwellian-style thought crime charges don't get any better than that. Now the only thing missing is an AI software to detect them.

https://www.rt.com/shows/going-underground/456414-assange-wkileaks-asylum-london/video/5cb1c797dda4c822558b463f

Assange legal adviser Geoffrey Robertson – who also happens to represent another stellar political prisoner, Brazil's Lula – cut straight to the chase (at 19:22 minutes);

"The justice he is facing is justice, or injustice, in America I would hope the British judges would have enough belief in freedom of information to throw out the extradition request."

That's far from a done deal. Thus the inevitable consequence; Assange's legal team is getting ready to prove, no holds barred, in a British court, that this USG indictment for conspiracy to commit computer hacking is just an hors d'oeuvre for subsequent espionage charges, in case Assange is extradited to US soil.

All about Vault 7

John Pilger, among few others, has already stressed how a plan to destroy WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was laid out as far back as 2008 – at the tail end of the Cheney regime – concocted by the Pentagon's shady Cyber Counter-Intelligence Assessments Branch.

It was all about criminalizing WikiLeaks and personally smearing Assange, using "shock troops enlisted in the media -- those who are meant to keep the record straight and tell us the truth."

This plan remains more than active – considering how Assange's arrest has been covered by the bulk of US/UK mainstream media.

By 2012, already in the Obama era, WikiLeaks detailed the astonishing "scale of the US Grand Jury Investigation" of itself. The USG always denied such a grand jury existed.

"The US Government has stood up and coordinated a joint interagency criminal investigation of Wikileaks comprised of a partnership between the Department of Defense (DOD) including: CENTCOM; SOUTHCOM; the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA); Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); Headquarters Department of the Army (HQDA); US Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for USFI (US Forces Iraq) and 1st Armored Division (AD); US Army Computer Crimes Investigative Unit (CCIU); 2nd Army (US Army Cyber Command); Within that or in addition, three military intelligence investigations were conducted. Department of Justice (DOJ) Grand Jury and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of State (DOS) and Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). In addition, Wikileaks has been investigated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Office of the National CounterIntelligence Executive (ONCIX), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); the House Oversight Committee; the National Security Staff Interagency Committee, and the PIAB (President's Intelligence Advisory Board)."

But it was only in 2017, in the Trump era, that the Deep State went totally ballistic; that's when WikiLeaks published the Vault 7 files – detailing the CIA's vast hacking/cyber espionage repertoire.

This was the CIA as a Naked Emperor like never before – including the dodgy overseeing ops of the Center for Cyber Intelligence, an ultra-secret NSA counterpart.

WikiLeaks got Vault 7 in early 2017. At the time WikiLeaks had already published the DNC files – which the unimpeachable Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) systematically proved was a leak, not a hack.

The monolithic narrative by the Deep State faction aligned with the Clinton machine was that "the Russians" hacked the DNC servers. Assange was always adamant; that was not the work of a state actor – and he could prove it technically.

There was some movement towards a deal, brokered by one of Assange's lawyers; WikiLeaks would not publish the most damning Vault 7 information in exchange for Assange's safe passage to be interviewed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ wanted a deal – and they did make an offer to WikiLeaks. But then FBI director James Comey killed it. The question is why.

It's a leak, not a hack

Some theoretically sound reconstructions of Comey's move are available. But the key fact is Comey already knew – via his close connections to the top of the DNC – that this was not a hack; it was a leak.

Ambassador Craig Murray has stressed, over and over again (see here ) how the DNC/Podesta files published by WikiLeaks came from two different US sources; one from within the DNC and the other from within US intel.

There was nothing for Comey to "investigate". Or there would have, if Comey had ordered the FBI to examine the DNC servers. So why talk to Julian Assange?

T he release by WikiLeaks in April 2017 of the malware mechanisms inbuilt in "Grasshopper" and the "Marble Framework" were indeed a bombshell. This is how the CIA inserts foreign language strings in source code to disguise them as originating from Russia, from Iran, or from China. The inestimable Ray McGovern, a VIPS member, stressed how Marble Framework "destroys this story about Russian hacking."

No wonder then CIA director Mike Pompeo accused WikiLeaks of being a "non-state hostile intelligence agency", usually manipulated by Russia.

Joshua Schulte, the alleged leaker of Vault 7, has not faced a US court yet. There's no question he will be offered a deal by the USG if he aggress to testify against Julian Assange.

It's a long and winding road, to be traversed in at least two years, if Julian Assange is ever to be extradited to the US. Two things for the moment are already crystal clear. The USG is obsessed to shut down WikiLeaks once and for all. And because of that, Julian Assange will never get a fair trial in the "so-called 'Espionage Court'" of the Eastern District of Virginia, as detailed by former CIA counterterrorism officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou.

Meanwhile, the non-stop demonization of Julian Assange will proceed unabated, faithful to guidelines established over a decade ago. Assange is even accused of being a US intel op, and WikiLeaks a splinter Deep State deep cover op.

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood. It's all ultra-high-stakes shadow play – and the show has not even begun.


JailBanksters , 40 minutes ago link

Not to mention the Pentagram has silenced 100,000 whistleblower complaints by Intimidation, threats, money or accidents over 5 years . A Whistleblower only does this when know there is something seriously wrong. Just Imagine how many knew something was wrong but looked the other way.

ExPat2018 , 47 minutes ago link

George Galloway has a guest who explains it all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7VvPFMyPvHM&t=8s

Betrayed , 2 hours ago link

Maybe President Trump will maneuver the hegemonic Deep State into having Assange testify against the corruption of the DNC; or maybe Trump caved in completely to "hostile intelligence agency" Pompeo and his CIA gang baying for blood.

Escobar is brain dead if he can't figure out that Trumpenstein is totally on board with destroying Assange. As if bringing on pukes like PompAss, BoltON, and Abrams doesn't scream it.

besnook , 2 hours ago link

assange and wikileaks are the real criminals despite being crimeless. the **** is a sanctioned criminal, allowed to be criminal with the system because the rest of the sanctioned criminals would be exposed if she was investigated.

this is not the rule of laws. this is the law of rulers.

_triplesix_ , 2 hours ago link

Anyone seen Imran Awan lately?

Four chan , 34 minutes ago link

yeah those ***** go free because they got everything on the stupid dems and they are muslim.

assange exposes the podesta dws and clinton fraud against bernie voters+++ and hes the bad guy. yeah right

hillary clinton murdered seth rich sure as **** too.

[Apr 21, 2019] Is the CIA Reformable by Melvin A. Goodman

Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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 ..."
"... 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. ..."
"... 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. ..."
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

[Apr 20, 2019] The Guccifer 2.0 Gaps in Mueller s Full Report undermine the validity of findings

Apr 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report April 18, 2019 • 12 Commentsave

Like Team Mueller's indictment last July of Russian agents, the full report reveals questions about Wikileaks' role that much of the media has been ignoring, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

<img src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Daniel-Lazare-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100" /> A s official Washington pores over the Gospel According to Saint Robert, an all-important fact about the Mueller report has gotten lost in the shuffle. Just as the Christian gospels were filled with holes , the latest version is too – particularly with regard to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The five pages that the special prosecutor's report devotes to WikiLeaks are essentially lifted from Mueller's indictment last July of 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU. It charges that after hacking the Democratic National Committee, the GRU used a specially-created online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 to transfer a gigabyte's worth of stolen emails to WikiLeaks just as the 2016 Democratic National Convention was approaching. Four days after opening the encrypted file, the indictment says, "Organization 1 [i.e. WikiLeaks] released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators [i.e. the GRU]."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35305" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png" alt="Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)" width="1248" height="612" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png 848w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-400x196.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-768x377.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-700x343.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-160x78.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1248px) 100vw, 1248px" />

Attorney General William Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)

Mueller's report says the same thing, but with the added twist that Assange then tried to cover up the GRU's role by suggesting that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich may have been the source and by telling a congressman that the DNC email heist was an "inside job" and that he had "physical proof" that the material was not from Russian.

All of which is manna from heaven for corporate news outlets eager to pile on Assange, now behind bars in London. An April 11, 2019, New York Times news analysis , for instance, declared that "[c]ourt documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence – using the Guccifer persona – that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee," while another Times article published shortly after his arrest accuses the WikiLeaks founder of "promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks."

But there's a problem: it ain't necessarily so. The official story that the GRU is the source doesn't hold water, as a timeline from mid-2016 shows. Here are the key events based on the GRU indictment and the Mueller report:

June 12: Assange tells Britain's ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year." June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers. June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. "The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ," he brags . "They will publish them soon." June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: "Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing." July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: "if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [ sic ] days prefable [ sic ] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after."Replies Guccifer: "ok . . . i " July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled "wk dnc link1.txt.gpg." July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened "the 1Gb or so archive" and will release documents "this week." July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.

According to Mueller and obsequious news outlets like the Times , the sequence is clear: Guccifer sends archive, WikiLeaks receives archive, WikiLeaks accesses archive, WikiLeaks publishes archive. Donald Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but Julian Assange plainly did. [Attorney General Will Barr, significantly calling WikiLeaks a publisher, said at his Thursday press conference: " Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy."]

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35300" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png" alt="Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 a grand jury indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Wikimedia Commons) " width="1236" height="611" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png 973w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-400x198.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-768x380.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-700x346.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-160x79.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1236px) 100vw, 1236px" />

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 the grand jury indictment of 12 GRU agents. (Wikimedia Commons)

Avoiding Questions

The narrative raises questions that the press studiously avoids. Why, for instance, would Assange announce on June 12 that a big disclosure is on the way before hearing from the supposed source? Was there a prior communication that Mueller has not disclosed? What about the reference to "new material" on June 22 – does that mean Assange already had other material in hand? After opening the Guccifer file on July 18, why would he publish it just four days later? Would that give WikiLeaks enough time to review some 28,000 documents to insure they're genuine?

Honor Bob Parry's legacy by donating to our Spring Fund Drive.

"If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty observes , "Wikileaks' reputation would have been in tatters." There's also the question that an investigator known as Adam Carter poses in Disobedient Media : why would Guccifer brag about giving WikiLeaks "thousands of files" that he wouldn't send for another month?

The narrative doesn't make sense – a fact that is crucially important now that Assange is fighting for his freedom in the U.K. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian sounded a rare note of caution last summer when he warned that little about Guccifer 2.0 adds up. While claiming to be the source for some of WikiLeaks ' most explosive emails, the material he released on his own had proved mostly worthless – 20 documents that he "said were from the DNC but which were almost surely not," as Khatchadourian puts it, a purported Hillary Clinton dossier that "was nothing of the sort," screenshots of emails so blurry as to be "unreadable," and so forth.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35303" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg" alt="John Podesta at the spin room of the second presidential debate of 2016. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)" width="500" height="341" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg 650w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-400x273.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-160x109.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

John Podesta: Target of a phishing expedition. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)

While insisting that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party, Assange told Khatchadourian that the source was not Guccifer either. "We received quite a lot of submissions of material that was already published in the rest of the press, and people seemingly submitted the Guccifer archives," he said somewhat cryptically. "We didn't publish them. They were already published." When Khatchadourian asked why he didn't put the material out regardless, he replied that "the material from Guccifer 2.0 – or on WordPress – we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

No Time for Vetting

So four days was indeed too short a time to subject the Guccifer file to proper vetting. Of course, Mueller no doubt regards this as more "dissembling," as his report describes it. Yet WikiLeaks has never been caught in a lie for the simple reason that honesty and credibility are all-important for a group that promises to protect anonymous leakers who supply it with official secrets. (See "Inside WikiLeaks : Working with the Publisher that Changed the World," Consortium News , July 19, 2018.) Mueller, by contrast, has a rich history of mendacity going back to his days as FBI director when he sought to cover up the Saudi role in 9/11 and assured Congress on the eve of the 2003 invasion that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction pose "a clear threat to our national security."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35301" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg" alt="Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)" width="501" height="373" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg 600w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-400x298.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-160x119.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 501px) 100vw, 501px" />

Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)

So if the Mueller narrative doesn't hold up, the charge of dissembling doesn't either. Indeed , as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observes in The National Review , the fact that the feds have charged Assange with unauthorized access to a government computer rather than conspiring with the Kremlin could be a sign that Team Mueller is less than confident it can prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt. As he puts it, the GRU indictment "was more like a press release than a charging instrument" because the special prosecutor knew that the chances were zero that Russian intelligence agents would surrender to a U.S. court.

Indeed, when Mueller charged 13 employees and three companies owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin with interfering in the 2016 election, he clearly didn't expect them to surrender either. Thus , his team seemed taken aback when one of the alleged " troll farms " showed up in Washington asking to be heard. The prosecution's initial response, as McCarthy put it , was to seek a delay "on the astonishing ground that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." When that didn't work, prosecutors tried to limit Concord's access to some 3.2 million pieces of evidence on the grounds that the documents are too " sensitive " for Russian eyes to see. If they are again unsuccessful, they may have no choice but to drop the charges entirely, resulting in yet another " public relations disaster " for the Russia-gate investigation.

None of which bodes well for Mueller or the news organizations that worship at his shrine. After blowing the Russia-gate story all these years, why does the Times continue to slander the one news organization that tells the truth?

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

[Apr 19, 2019] The connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Notable quotes:
"... Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state. ..."
"... Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel." ..."
Apr 19, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Abe , April 18, 2019 at 23:23

Behind the Omar Outrage: Suppressed History of the pro-Israel Lobby

Max Blumenthal's article and his 2019 book, The Management of Savagery: How America's National Security State Fueled the Rise of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Donald Trump (2019), is an impressive exercise in burying the lede.

Blumenthal does chronicle a decades-long panoply of active measures by numerous pro-Israel Lobby figures, groups and think tanks. Yet he fails to explicitly recognize the connection between pro-Israel Lobby efforts and the covert operations and overt invasions of America's national security state.

Julian Assange of Wikileaks was more explicit. Assange named the "country that has interfered in U.S. elections, has endangered Americans living or working overseas and has corrupted America's legislative and executive branches. It has exploited that corruption to initiate legislation favorable to itself, has promoted unnecessary and unwinnable wars and has stolen American technology and military secrets. Its ready access to the mainstream media to spread its own propaganda provides it with cover for its actions and it accomplishes all that and more through the agency of a powerful and well-funded domestic lobby [ ] That country is, of course, Israel."

[Apr 18, 2019] Honest Government Ad on Julian Assange (hilarious video!)

Notable quotes:
"... "Authorized by the united bitches of america. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1efOs0BsE0g


worldblee on April 16, 2019 , · at 3:56 pm EST/EDT

That video is on fire! Good stuff!
Павел (Paul) on April 17, 2019 , · at 9:43 am EST/EDT
It is funny but the problem remains... I want to see serious hard hitting justice whatever it takes.
vot tak on April 17, 2019 , · at 8:28 pm EST/EDT
Oops, wrong "button".

Kruto.

"Authorized by the united bitches of america." Yeah, israel's bitches.

[Apr 17, 2019] Six US Agencies Conspired ...

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Here is what we now know, per intelligence gleaned form federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates:

Six U.S. agencies created a stealth task force, spearhead by CIA’s Brennan, to run domestic surveillance on Trump associates and possibly Trump himself. To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ. The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates. GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The Justice Department and FBI set up the meeting at Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner with controversial Russian officials to make Trump’s associates appear compromised. Following the Trump Tower sit down, GCHQ began digitally wiretapping Manafort, Trump Jr., and Kushner. After the concocted meeting by the Deep State, the British spy agency could officially justify wiretapping Trump associates as an intelligence front for NSA because the Russian lawyer at the meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya was considered an international security risk and prior to the June sit down was not even allowed entry into the United States or the UK, federal sources said. By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant. While it is illegal for U.S. agencies to monitor phones and emails of U.S. citizens inside the United States absent a warrant, it is not illegal for British intelligence to do so. Even if the GCHQ was tapping Trump on U.S. soil at Fort Meade. The wiretaps, secured through illicit scheming, have been used by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election, even though the evidence is considered “poisoned fruit.”

-----------.

Someone left this link in a comment to LJ, but as ringmaster of this circus, I choose to publish this as the best summary of all the threads of the supposed conspiracy that I have seen thus far. pl

https://truepundit.com/exclusive-six-u-s-agencies-conspired-to-illegally-wiretap-trump-british-intel-used-as-front-to-spy-on-campaign-for-nsa/

Chris Fahlman said...

Wikipedia page on Paul Manafort says that the FBI began a criminal investigation into him in 2014, associated with his previous dealings in Ukraine. He could have been a target of surveillance and wiretapping since then.

I therefore think Manafort was the key the intelligence agencies used to get to into Trump's organisation. It may have been initially incidental to their ongoing, and much earlier surveillance of Manafort.

Robert Poling said...

Thank-you for this summary. If confirmed, Brennan (and others in the group he formed to spy on Trump and Trump's campaign) should go to jail. Congress specifically forbid American spy agencies spying on American citizens in the U.S. Since that Congressional action, the CIA and NSA have gotten around it by having foreign partners among the 'five eyes' do the collecting and then passing the information back to us.

The spying on Trump was done at the behest of Obama and his minions. I'm reminded of an American president who was hounded from office by the mainstream press for sending minions to spy and collect dirt at the opposition's political headquarters. He had to resign and leave office. Several involved in the burglary went to jail and lost their livelihoods. Why is this situation today any different and why is there a delay in prosecuting them? It's because the major media is bought out and controlled by Trump's political opponents and not demanding justice, indeed is providing cover and excuses for them

[Apr 16, 2019] Trump as a useful idiot of the Deep State

Apr 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Anunnaki , 11 hours ago link

If Trump pardoned Assange, I would consider that draining the swamp. But Orange Jewlius is a Deep State **** socket, so the swamp has grown to a lagoon

Anunnaki , 11 hours ago link

Jimmy Dore and Tucker Carlson nail it

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SnwC_1Pf9VQ

rtb61 , 12 hours ago link

Clearly the US government has zero respect for Australia, Australian Law or Australian citizens. The case is shite, else they would allow Assange to be deported to Australia and the extradition hearing to be heard there. They refuse because they know their case is shite and they would have to prove it in Australia before they could get extradition.

The USA is not an ally of Australia because it does not respect Australian law, not in the least. Prove US respect of Australians by deporting Assange to Australia and holding the extradition hearings there, else look as guilty as shite and never ever to be trusted by Australians.

OZZIDOWNUNDER , 9 hours ago link

The US Govt respects NOBODY but its own Interests. It's the Australian Govt that's complicit in this travesty of Nil justice. The Gutless Australian Govt has NO interest in helping Julian Assange because they were persuaded NOT to by their American masters. It hurts that your own Govt are total A$$holes & follow USA into Crimes with out question. The Australian Govt has a History of lip service only when assistance Overseas is required. **** them !

NYC80 , 13 hours ago link

Assange probably is a narcissist. So what? All the people criticizing him are, too. At least he's an honest narcissist. In everything he's published, not a single item has even been allegedly false. Can any of these other so-called "journalists" demonstrate that level of accuracy?

Ms No , 14 hours ago link

Here is a good article on Assange. Explains the cat. Things were okay for him under the real elected president of Ecuador, except no sunlight thanks to US spooks.

https://www.sott.net/article/411173-My-friend-Julian-Assange-Alicia-Castro-former-ambassador-for-Argentina

[Apr 16, 2019] Andrew O'Hagan Ghosting Julian Assange LRB 6 March 2014

Apr 16, 2019 | lrb.co.uk

There were two last visits. During the first I was led in by a new young assistant, Ethan, who was keen to agree with everything being said. Our conversation was mainly about Edward Snowden. There are few subjects on which Julian would be reluctant to take what you might call a paternalistic position, but over Snowden, whom he's never met but has chatted with and feels largely responsible for, he expressed a kind of irritable admiration. 'Just how good is he?' I asked.

'He's number nine,' he said.

'In the world? Among computer hackers? And where are you?'

'I'm number three.' He went on to say that he wondered whether Snowden was calm enough, intelligent enough, and added that he should have come to them for advice before fleeing to Hong Kong.

A fair reading of the situation might conclude, without prejudice, that Assange, like an ageing movie star, was a little put out by the global superstardom of Snowden. He has always cared too much about the fame and too much about the credit, while real relationships and real action often fade to nothing. Snowden was now the central hub and Julian was keen to help him and keen to be seen to be helping him. It's how the ego works and the ego always comes first. Snowden, while grateful for the advice and the comradeship, was meanwhile playing a cannier game than Julian. He was eager for credit, too, but behaving more subtly, more amiably, and playing with bigger secrets. Julian said he hoped that others, I took him to mean the Guardian and Glenn Greenwald, didn't claim too much credit for the flow of secrets. He said he wanted me to help him get a film going, an account of what actually happened in Hong Kong, how he helped Snowden. He said he had all the inside information and connections and it would make a fantastic thriller. We discussed it at length and I told him the way to get movie interest in such a thing was to get behind a big piece in Vanity Fair . He agreed and said he would set aside time to get down to it. But I knew he wouldn't. It was odd the way he spoke about Snowden, almost jealously, as if the younger man didn't quite understand what he was about, needing much more from Julian than he knew how to ask for. I recognised the familiar anxiety about non-influence: 'Snowden should have been with us from the beginning,' he said. 'He's flailing.' But they were now making up for lost time. As we spoke, Sarah was in Moscow Airport, where Snowden was being held without a passport. 'I sent Sarah over,' said Julian in his favourite mode. All he needed at that point was a white cat to stroke.

Snowden was everywhere in the news the last time I decided to drop in on Julian after I'd been out in his neighbourhood. The embassy was quiet. I brought a couple of bottles of beer up from the street and we sat in the dark room. It was a Friday night and Julian had never seemed more alone. We laughed a lot and then he went very deeply into himself. He drank his beer and then lifted mine and drank that. 'We've got some really historic things going on,' he said. Then he opened his laptop and the blue screen lit his face and he hardly noticed me leaving.

[Apr 15, 2019] We have confirmation of" Obama's administration supporting, not fighting terrorism, Patrushev explained. Changing this policy is essential for improving Russian/US relations.

Apr 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Justin Case , 50 minutes ago link

Washington recklessly accuses Russia and China of hacking while providing no evidence backing its claims.

At the same time, it's silent about most Internet servers located in America, facilitating its espionage, including hacking to obtain unauthorized data. Washington rules mandate doing what "we" say, not what "we" do.

Russian Security Council secretary explained the problem, saying "(w)e have been fixing growing attempts from external forces to damage Russian information systems. Those are cases of hacking, and also unauthorized collection of data."

"This is done with active involvement of global operators and providers, and the methods used are constantly evolving."

"For example, the Obama administration groundlessly accuses Russia of hacking attacks, deliberately ignoring the fact that most Internet servers are located inside the US, and are used by Washington for spying and other purposes aimed at protecting that country's dominant position in the world."

Patrushev hopes Trump will change things responsibly, Moscow and Washington cooperating in combating terrorism instead of pursuing opposite objectives for so long.

"We have confirmation of" Obama's administration supporting, not fighting terrorism, Patrushev explained. Changing this policy is essential for improving Russian/US relations.

If Trump governs responsibly, Moscow welcomes an ally in counterterrorism activities, information security, trade and other areas of mutual interest.

If Trump wants improved ties, "we will be ready to resume full-format consultations with US partners of the Russian Security Council," Patrushev explained.

"The Obama administration sought domina(nce) (internationally, its policies amounting to) reckless schemes."

"Unfriendly actions (violating) international law resulted in a frenzy of terrorism (causing) humanitarian disasters in certain states and regions."

Does Trump intend changing things or continuing Obama's reckless agenda? Will he wage endless wars or responsibly work with Russia and other nations in resolving ongoing ones?

Aussiestirrer , 1 hour ago link

The headline sums up western hypocricy aptly

Justin Case , 50 minutes ago link

Exactly. " keep democracy safe" while supporting the erection of a Gov't by coup for Venezuelans. He's talking out of both sides of his mouth the hypocrite.

Russian interference in elections. LOL

pinkfloyd , 44 minutes ago link

you said erection...tee hee,

Fluff The Cat , 1 hour ago link

Wait, let me guess... another pro-Zionist sell-out harping on about how evil Russia is. Am I right?

[Apr 14, 2019] Edward Snowden: Surveillance Is About Power

Now a lot of unpleasant question arise for Trump administration. Assange case is rather difficult to handle without spilling the beans.
Apr 14, 2019 | www.unz.com

wayfarer , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:47 pm GMT

"Edward Snowden: Surveillance Is About Power."
https://www.youtube.com/embed/RSc_IlFBWkw?feature=oembed
jim jones , says: April 13, 2019 at 1:54 pm GMT
The Assange arrest has strengthened my resolve never to vote Conservative again
Agent76 , says: April 13, 2019 at 3:07 pm GMT
@wayfarer Good share wayfarer. January 10, 2014 *500* Years of History Shows that Mass Spying Is Always Aimed at Crushing Dissent *It's Never to Protect Us From Bad Guys*

No matter which government conducts mass surveillance, they also do it to crush dissent, and then give a false rationale for why they're doing it.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/500-years-of-history-shows-that-mass-spying-is-always-aimed-at-crushing-dissent/5364462

[Apr 14, 2019] Assange rendition might backfire for Trump administration

Vindictiveness not always play in the vindictive party favour.
You may love Assange you may hate Assange for his WikiLeaks revelation (And Vault 7 was a real bombshell), but it is clear that it will cost Trump some reputation out of tini share that still left, especially in view of Trump declaration "I love Wikileaks"
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and "experts" telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a "mainstream" voice was raised in his defence in all that time.

... ... ...

The political and media establishment ignored the mounting evidence of a secret grand jury in Virginia formulating charges against Assange, and ridiculed Wikileaks' concerns that the Swedish case might be cover for a more sinister attempt by the US to extradite Assange and lock him away in a high-security prison, as had happened to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

... ... ...

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No "mainstream" journalist or politician thought this significant either.

... ... ...

They turned a blind eye to the news that, after refusing to question Assange in the UK, Swedish prosecutors had decided to quietly drop the case against him in 2015. Sweden had kept the decision under wraps for more than two years.

... ... ...

Most of the other documents relating to these conversations were unavailable. They had been destroyed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in violation of protocol. But no one in the political and media establishment cared, of course.

Similarly, they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden. They told us -- apparently in all seriousness -- that he had to be arrested for his bail infraction, something that would normally be dealt with by a fine.

... ... ...

This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.

It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.

Now the pretence is over. The British police invaded the diplomatic territory of Ecuador -- invited in by Ecuador after it tore up Assange's asylum status -- to smuggle him off to jail. Two vassal states cooperating to do the bidding of the US empire. The arrest was not to help two women in Sweden or to enforce a minor bail infraction.

No, the British authorities were acting on an extradition warrant from the US. And the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks' earliest work exposing the US military's war crimes in Iraq -- the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.

Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom -- the right to publish -- being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange's defence?

It's not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive -- even gently mocking -- reporting of Assange's fate.

And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.

They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.

Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange's rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT

Thank you.

This should be an uncomfortable time for the “journalists” of the Establishment. Very few will speak up as does Mr. Cook. Watch how little is said about the recent Manning re-imprisonment to sweat out grand jury testimony. Things may have grown so craven that we’ll even see efforts to revoke Mr. Assange’s awards.

This is also a good column for us to share with those people who just might want not to play along with the lies that define Exceptionalia.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

… from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.

It all reminds me of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: “That’ll never happen. And when it does , boy won’t you deserve it!”

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No “mainstream” journalist or politician thought this significant either.

Why would they? They don’t even recognize diplomatic status for heads of state who get in their way! Remember what they did to President Evo Morales of Bolivia back when he was threatening to grant asylum to Ed Snowden? Here’s a refresher:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident

Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.

Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
From my blog:

Apr 13, 2019 – Julian Assange

People who just watch corporate media think Julian Assange is a bad guy who deserves life in prison, except those who watch the great Tucker Carlson. Watch his recent show where he explains why our corporate media and political class hate Assange.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZE7OfU71Sbk?feature=oembed

He is charged with encouraging Army Private Chelsea Manning to send him embarrassing information, specifically this video of a US Army Apache helicopter gunning down civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/25EWUUBjPMo?feature=oembed

But there is no proof of this, and Manning has repeatedly said he never communicated to Assange about anything. Manning got eight years in prison for this crime; the Apache pilots were never charged. and now they want to hang Assange for exposing a war crime. I have recommend this great 2016 interview twice, where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the “Clinton Crime Family.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT

“… they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden.”

Meh! Assange should have walked out the door of the embassy years ago. He might have ended up in the same place, but he could have seized the moral high ground by seeking asylum in Britain for fear of the death penalty in the US, which was a credible fear given public comments by various US officials. By rotting away in the Ecuadorian embassy, be greatly diminished any credibility he might have had to turn the UK judicial system inside out to his favour. Now he’s just a creepy looking bail jumper who flung faeces against the wall, rather than being a persecuted journalist.

Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
@Johnny Rottenborough Millionaire politicians on both sides of the political fence get very emotional about anything that impacts their own privacy & safety and the privacy & safety of their kin, while ignoring the issues that jeopardize the privacy & safety of ordinary voters. While corporate-owned politicians get a lot out of this game, ordinary voters who have never had less in the way of Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and whose First Amendment rights are quickly shrinking to the size of Assange’s, do not get the consolation of riches without risk granted to bought-off politicians in this era’s pay-to-play version of democracy. It’s a lose / lose for average voters.
Tom Welsh , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:31 am GMT
Mr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.

It seems to me that their hatred of Mr Assange reflects the unfortunate fact that, while he is a real journalist, they actually aren’t. Instead, they are stenographers for power: what Paul Craig Roberts calls “presstitutes” (a very happy coinage which exactly hits the bull’s eye).

The difference is that real journalists, like Mr Assange, Mr Roberts and Mr Cook, are mainly motivated by the search for objective truth – which they then publish, as far as they are able.

Whereas those people who go by the spurious names of “journalist”, “reporter”, “editor”, etc. are motivated by the desire to go on earning their salaries, and to gain promotion and “distinction” in society. (Sad but true: social distinction is often gained by performing acts of dishonesty and downright wickedness).

Here are some interesting quotations that cast some light on this disheartening state of affairs. If you look carefully at their dates you may be surprised to find that nothing has changed very much since the mid-19th century.

‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”

‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.

– Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996) https://scratchindog.blogspot.com/2015/07/transcript-of-interview-between-noam.html

‘If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell’.

– I. F. Stone (as reported by his son Dr Jeremy J Stone) http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/hey-corporate-media-glenn-greenwald-video-can-teach-you-what-real-journalism/ri6669

‘There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes’.

– John Swinton (1829–1901), Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Swinton http://www.rense.com/general20/yes.htm

‘The press today is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty’.

– Oswald Spengler, “The Decline of the West” Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p. 462

‘How do wars start? Wars start when politicians lie to journalists, then believe what they read in the press’.

– Karl Kraus, “Through Western Eyes – Russia Misconstrued” http://www.hellevig.net/ebook/Putin’s%20new%20Russia.pdf

And finally, two quotations from classic novels which go to the heart of the matter.

‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it’.

– Upton Sinclair

‘Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids’.

– John Steinbeck (“East of Eden”)

UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT
Very good article. There is one point that I would like to make: Assange asked for asyl before he went to the embassy of Ecuador and Ecuador gave him asylum. This meant that they had an obligation to protect him. It’s really unbeliavable that a country gives asylum to someone and half way tells that they have changed their mind and will let the person be arrested. ” We told you you would be safe with us, but now we just changed our mind”. Assange also became a citizen of Ecuador and this possibly means that Ecuador couldn’t have let him been arrested in their embassy by the police of another country without a process against him in Ecuador and without him having the right to defend himself in a court. Many countries don’t extradit their citizens to other countries.

Another remark. For years there were uncountable articles about Assange in The Guardian. Those articles were read by many people and got really many comments. There were very fierce discussions about him with thousends of comments. With time The Guardian turned decisively against him and published articles againt him. There were people there who seemed to hate him. In the last days there were again many articles about him. They pronounce themselves discretely against his extradition to the US even if showing themselves to be critical of him as if trying to justify their years of attacks against him. But one detail: I didn’t find even one article in The Guardian where you can comment the case. Today for instance you can comment an article by Gaby Hinsliff about Kim Kardashian. Marina Hyde talks in an article about washing her hair (whatever else she wants to say, with 2831 comments at this moment). But you don’t find any article about Assange that you can comment. 10 or 8 or 5 years ago there were hundreds of articles about him that you could comment.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
The game afoot here is obvious.

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/04/03/ecuador-next-venezuela/

Pressure relief

Tsar Nicholas , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
@Art

UK PM May said about Assange – “no one is above the law” – proving she is a weak sister without a clue.

No one is above the law except the British government, which ignored the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act requiring us to leave on March 29th.

No one is above the law except for the US and the UK which have illegally deployed forces to Syria against the wishes of the government in Damascus.

And Tony Blair, a million dead thanks to his corruption. He should be doing time in a Gulag for his evil crimes.

And of course, the black MP for Peterborough – Fiona Onasanya – served a mere three weeks in jail for perverting the course of justice, normally regarded as a very serious offence. But she was out in time – electronic tag and curfew notwithstanding – to vote in the House of Commons against leaving the EU.

[Apr 12, 2019] Did Max Boot and Commentary Magazine Lie About Edward Snowden You Decide by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... It is literally the supreme act of projection for Max Boot to accuse anyone of lacking courage, as this particular think tank warmonger is the living, breathing personification of the unique strain of American neocon cowardice . Unlike Snowden -- who sacrificed his liberty and unraveled his life in pursuit of his beliefs -- the 45-year-old Boot has spent most of his adult life advocating for one war after the next, but always wanting to send his fellow citizens of his generation to die in them, while he hides in the comfort of Washington think tanks, never fighting them himself. ..."
"... All of that is just garden-variety neocon cowardice, and it's of course grotesque to watch someone like this call someone else a coward. ..."
"... It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers. But even neocon rags like Commentary shouldn't be able to get away with this level of blatant lying. ..."
"... Being a neocon coward means never having to admit error. ..."
Jun 05, 2015 | theintercept.com

In the neocon journal Commentary , Max Boot today complains that the New York Times published an op-ed by Edward Snowden . Boot's objection rests on his accusation that the NSA whistleblower is actually a "traitor." In objecting, Boot made these claims:

Oddly enough nowhere in his article -- which is datelined Moscow -- does he mention the surveillance apparatus of his host, Vladimir Putin , which far exceeds in scope anything created by any Western country. . . .That would be the same FSB that has taken Snowden into its bosom as it has previously done (in its earlier incarnation as the KGB) with previous turncoats such as Kim Philby. . . .

But of course Ed Snowden is not courageous enough, or stupid enough, to criticize the dictatorship that he has defected to. It's much easier and safer to criticize the country he betrayed from behind the protection provided by the FSB's thugs. The only mystery is why the Times is giving this traitor a platform.

It is literally the supreme act of projection for Max Boot to accuse anyone of lacking courage, as this particular think tank warmonger is the living, breathing personification of the unique strain of American neocon cowardice . Unlike Snowden -- who sacrificed his liberty and unraveled his life in pursuit of his beliefs -- the 45-year-old Boot has spent most of his adult life advocating for one war after the next, but always wanting to send his fellow citizens of his generation to die in them, while he hides in the comfort of Washington think tanks, never fighting them himself.

All of that is just garden-variety neocon cowardice, and it's of course grotesque to watch someone like this call someone else a coward. But it's so much worse if he lies when doing so. Did he do so here? You decide. From Snowden's NYT op-ed today:

Basic technical safeguards such as encryption -- once considered esoteric and unnecessary -- are now enabled by default in the products of pioneering companies like Apple, ensuring that even if your phone is stolen, your private life remains private. Such structural technological changes can ensure access to basic privacies beyond borders, insulating ordinary citizens from the arbitrary passage of anti­ privacy laws, such as those now descending upon Russia.

The meaning of that passage -- criticisms of Russia's attack on privacy -- is so clear and glaring that it caused even Time magazine to publish this today :

The first sentence of Time 's article: "Former CIA officer and NSA contractor Ed Snowden has taken a surprising swing at his new home, accusing Russia of 'arbitrarily passing' new anti-privacy laws ." In other words, in the very op-ed to which Boot objects, Snowden did exactly that which Boot accused him of lacking the courage to do: "criticize" the country that has given him asylum.

This is far from the first time Snowden has done exactly that which the Tough and Swaggering Think Tank Warrior proclaimed Snowden would never do. In April, 2014, Snowden wrote an op-ed in The Guardian under this headline:

With Max Boot's above-printed accusations in mind, just re-read that. Did Boot lie? To pose the question is to answer it. Here's part of what Snowden wrote in that op-ed:

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. . . . I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified. . . . In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial.

In countless speeches, Snowden has said much the same thing: that Russian spying is a serious problem that needs investigation and reform, and that Putin's denials are not credible. Boot simply lied about Snowden.

It's not surprising that someone whose entire adult life is shaped by extreme cowardice would want to accuse others of lacking courage, as it distracts attention away from oneself and provides the comfort of company. Nor is it surprising that government-loyal journalists spew outright falsehoods to smear whistleblowers. But even neocon rags like Commentary shouldn't be able to get away with this level of blatant lying.

UPDATE : In typical neocon fashion, Boot first replies by minimizing his own error to a mere innocent oversight, and implying that only hysteria could cause anyone to find what he did to be problematic. Even then, the facts negate his self-justification. But then he says he was actually right all along and his "point stands":

Being a neocon coward means never having to admit error.

[Apr 12, 2019] Met Police Arrests Julian Assange

Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

SteveK9 , Apr 11, 2019 8:29:52 AM | link

With Bolsanaro in charge in Brazil, Glenn Greenwald could be next. Something I am sure he is very aware. It's also curious that no more of Snowden's documents have been published. I've wondered if they have threatened Greenwald and he is withholding the information, to keep himself out of some dungeon somewhere.

Russ , Apr 11, 2019 8:37:22 AM | link

Posted by: SteveK9 | Apr 11, 2019 8:29:52 AM | 33

"I've wondered if they have threatened Greenwald and he is withholding the information, to keep himself out of some dungeon somewhere."

No one needs to threaten Greenwald to get him to withhold information. He withholds out of elitist conviction. In his way he's just as much of an elite gatekeeper as anyone at any MSM outlet. (And really an outfit like the Intercept is just a thinly veiled extension of the MSM.)

It's amazing how for many people, even going to work for a predatory billionaire as Greenwald has, or collaborating as part of that billionaire's project as Snowden has, doesn't automatically peg one as a system stooge.

Cynica , Apr 11, 2019 8:38:05 AM | link
@SteveK9 #33

1. Information "piracy" may have to take to the high seas.
2. Maybe it would be best to release the rest of Snowden's documents now. Tit for tat.

vk , Apr 11, 2019 8:39:08 AM | link
The best Assange can hope for, after the judicial process ran its course, is a pardon by the president of the United States.

Which, whoever will be, will be the smart thing to do if he/she wants to keep America's soft power from continuing to bleed out.

GeorgeSmiley , Apr 11, 2019 8:46:18 AM | link
@SteveK9 #33

1. Information "piracy" may have to take to the high seas.
2. Maybe it would be best to release the rest of Snowden's documents now. Tit for tat.

Posted by: Cynica | Apr 11, 2019 8:38:05 AM | 35


This WILL NOT happen. Greenwald, his billionaire backer (who owns the docs technically as crazy as that sounds) and his website are all an example of the "acceptable" counter narrative. Greenwald should deserve no respect, he chose money and fame over integrity. That much has become clear. I think the same of Scahill and a few others, though I hear little from him now.

Sad days. Money will buy a LOT of people. Even those we believe it won't as they are "principled" or once carried conviction . Hell, I imagine most of us are vulnerable to that as well.

Cynica , Apr 11, 2019 8:38:05 AM | link
@SteveK9 #33

1. Information "piracy" may have to take to the high seas.
2. Maybe it would be best to release the rest of Snowden's documents now. Tit for tat.

vk , Apr 11, 2019 8:39:08 AM | link
The best Assange can hope for, after the judicial process ran its course, is a pardon by the president of the United States.

Which, whoever will be, will be the smart thing to do if he/she wants to keep America's soft power from continuing to bleed out.

GeorgeSmiley , Apr 11, 2019 8:46:18 AM | link
@SteveK9 #33

1. Information "piracy" may have to take to the high seas.
2. Maybe it would be best to release the rest of Snowden's documents now. Tit for tat.

Posted by: Cynica | Apr 11, 2019 8:38:05 AM | 35


This WILL NOT happen. Greenwald, his billionaire backer (who owns the docs technically as crazy as that sounds) and his website are all an example of the "acceptable" counter narrative. Greenwald should deserve no respect, he chose money and fame over integrity. That much has become clear. I think the same of Scahill and a few others, though I hear little from him now.

Sad days. Money will buy a LOT of people. Even those we believe it won't as they are "principled" or once carried conviction . Hell, I imagine most of us are vulnerable to that as well.

arby , Apr 11, 2019 8:47:14 AM | link
It's amazing how for many people, even going to work for a predatory billionaire as Greenwald has, or collaborating as part of that billionaire's project as Snowden has, doesn't automatically peg one as a system stooge.

Posted by: Russ | Apr 11, 2019 8:37:22 AM | 34

I don't know. I still read Greenwald on twitter. You just have to pick through where he is dancing on a thin line and in some places openly speaking truth.
Pretty hard to live on next to nothing and get heard and also enjoy a bit of life as well.
Obviously he is getting paid very well but I don't see him as a MSM stooge and propagandist.
I don't bother with the intercept.

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 11, 2019 8:49:21 AM | link
I doubt that Trump will have to intervene. If we cast our minds back to David Hicks and Chelsea Manning, the Yanks wanted both of them to rot in jail for Eternity but 'time served' for both was considerably less. There was also a swarthy, savvy, well-educated bespectacled Brit picked up about the same time as Hicks. I've forgotten his name but he was released in response to strident demands from UK.gov. Ozzies were very pissed off with the Liberal Govt for not following UK.gov's example re David Hicks.

Superficially, at least, it seems that the US is happy to 'prove' its relentless invincibility, to as wide an audience as possible, when pursuing The AmeriKKKan Way regarding certain 'evildoers' and then going back to sleep.

If there's a short-term bright note to this story it's the fact that Scum Mo announced the start of Oz Federal Election campaign yesterday and Assange will become an election issue. Scum Mo's Liberals are already in deep doodoo with the electorate for delaying the Banking Royal Commission for almost 2 years. The RC found that all of the big banks and other financial institutions had been engaged in widespread deception, theft and fraudulent behavior. The Royal Commission was given a limited time to produce a report and did NOT set up a compensation body or procedure for the tens of thousands of victims of bank malfeasance.
So Scum Mo will be tempted to grow a pair and demand that Trump send Assange back to Oz because the Libs were going to be toast anyway and Saving Julian might help some people to forget what greedy dishonest assholes the Libs are.

Ghost Ship , Apr 11, 2019 8:53:04 AM | link
I'm not sure Assange will end up in solitary in a U.S. Supermax prison as many so-called progressive Clintonists are hoping and gloating over. From memory the ECHR regards solitary as torture particularly over long periods and the United Kingdom judiciary (who will make the decision) have an established policy of not extraditing prisoners who will be tortured. So, my assessment is, he will be extradited once the US DoJ has given assurances he will not be held in solitary, but it will be a very sad day for press freedom in the United Kingdom.
Russ , Apr 11, 2019 8:58:29 AM | link
Posted by: arby | Apr 11, 2019 8:47:14 AM | 38

"Pretty hard to live on next to nothing and get heard and also enjoy a bit of life as well."

I've heard about the lavish "next to nothing" Greenwald lives on. Doesn't quite sound the same as my next-to-nothing. As for getting heard, that's mathematical: There's an direct relationship between one's utility to the empire and how much one "gets heard".

In this case, Greenwald collaborated with the NYT, WaPo and Guardian to curate Snowden's alleged trove (which stopped appearing at all long before it was supposed to be exhausted), in order to release heavily censored portions in a form these MSM elitists judged was suitable for the people to see.

The basic message, which Snowden himself also has spewed in many speeches, is that the Deep State is basically good, and certainly necessary, it just has committed some abuses and needs "reform" and "oversight".

That's Greenwald's #1 service for the empire so far, to be the lead man in co-opting the whole Wikileaks-whistleblower movement, since so many people are so interested in "leaks" (even though they never tell us anything we didn't already know from plain sight).

Zanon , Apr 11, 2019 9:11:08 AM | link
There we have it! Extradition will (most likely) occur..

Assange indicted over 'conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in 2010' – DOJ statement
https://www.rt.com/usa/456244-assange-manning-us-indictment/

Josh , Apr 11, 2019 9:18:26 AM | link
We do all hope that Assange's arrest will motivate all those with access to other incriminating data to release those, via Wikileaks or other. The first comment here accurately describes it: (the UK and) the US - and let's add the whole silly 'five eyes' and western front - has become the new Soviet Union. Roles have reversed; it's not about ideology but about power structure.
Here's for Assange to become the Sakharov of our time. However, that would mean we foster the hope or expect that our western hemisphere could birth a Gorbachev-type idealist who can attain power long enough to destroy the power base.
Christian J Chuba , Apr 11, 2019 9:57:12 AM | link
Reading the user comments on Assange's arrest in the 'Washington Post' story, all I can say is that we in the U.S. are a bunch of jingoistic morons. We are exceptionally narcissistic and small minded.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/wikileakss-julian-assange-evicted-from-ecuador-embassy-in-london/2019/04/11/1bd87b58-8f5f-11e8-ae59-01880eac5f1d_story.html?utm_term=.82cc871b70df

Barovsky , Apr 11, 2019 10:22:46 AM | link
I had a feeling this would be the tack the USG would take. Stops them getting tangled up with issues around the 1st Amendment:

WikiLeaks Founder Charged in Computer Hacking Conspiracy
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/wikileaks-founder-charged-computer-hacking-conspiracy

WJ , Apr 11, 2019 10:23:00 AM | link
Russ @43,

Indeed. It's almost as if the Snowden--Greenwald affair were an intended or at least foreseen and allowed limited hangout operation one aim of which was to discredit the "irresponsible" leaking of Assange while establishing Greenwald as paradigm for all correct left-libertarian critiques of the US.

On the other hand, if the Snowden--Greenwald *were* simply a limited hangout thing, then it was far more successfully and realistically contrived than most of our current very mediocre intelligence agency operations have been. The rush to apprehend Snowden en route to Central America, the forced detainment of Greenwald's partner in the UK, the MI5-6 destruction of the Guardian servers and subsequent takeover of the newspaper...all these events really happened and clearly were much more serious endeavors than the obvious staged operations like Steele, Russiagate, Skripal which followed after.

So I think that the Snowden--gGreenwald---Poitras thing started as genuine and then was subsequently coopted and controlled via Greenwald and Omidar's Intercept. What I don't know is whether Greenwald entered the Snowden affair already coopted or whether he became so willingly sometime later. For lots of people like Greenwald--achievement oriented, desirous of public fame and respect, interested in obtaining personal wealth and stability--a very "soft" touch is all that's needed by our intelligence ops to arrive at an understanding between them.

Walter , Apr 11, 2019 10:43:37 AM | link
If one were to change the calendar to 1938 or so, and the names to Goebbels et al, one would recognize the character of the criminals.
This is a typical nazi "action" against people who have failed to conceal evidence of major war crimes. Their "crime" is reporting crime.

One sees clearly where the heart of the nazi has always been> and an interesting paper on this @ http://katehon.com/article/hub-world-evil-british-deep-state

The German nazis were curated by CoL and Wall-Street bankers to ruin USSR and loot Russia. As we see this remains a basic, essential, nazi goal of the Anglo-Saxon nazi heartland, er. "Heimat" - England and their servile willing US accomplices.


WJ , Apr 11, 2019 10:50:43 AM | link
apanaz @63,

Alas, states use propaganda for a reason. It works.

Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 11:03:31 AM | link
The real Iraq War criminals are free.

- Madeline Albright: "We think it's worth it" to kill 500,000 children.
- Bush Admin and neocons lied to start the war a war that cost trillions of dollars wasted; thousands of deaths
- Multiple grievous human rights abuses now engraved in memory: Abu Grave; Faluja; Rendition and Torture; Guantanamo, etc.

And the same lousy criminal asshats brought us the Afghanistan debacle, color revolutions, and the Syrian Jihadi proxy war.

As long as the real criminals walk free, they will continue to drive their criminal agenda.

Circe , Apr 11, 2019 11:09:57 AM | link
In the indictment, the government alleges that Assange worked with Chelsea Manning to obtain classified documents. Prosecutors say that Manning accessed classified government files, provided them to Assange, and later worked with Assange in an attempt to crack the password of a classified government network.

The indictment outlines communications between Manning and Assange from the spring of 2010. WikiLeaks later released a major cache of State Department cables, and

Prosecutors also argue that Assange actively encouraged Manning to access files, at one point saying, "curious eyes never run dry in my experience."

Currently, the only charge Assange faces is one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion. The maximum penalty for the violation is five years in prison, but the government could bring additional charges against Assange at a later date.

Assange indictment hacking conspiracy

Trump was pissed Obama commuted Manning's sentence. Now he's after two birds with one stone.

bSirius , Apr 11, 2019 11:25:02 AM | link
A friend of mine is a retired intelligence asset. What he has to say may upset lots of you. So be it. Everyone wants heroes but others say no more heroes anymore.

WikiLeaks is accused of releasing the DNC mails via a Russian hack but the Wikileaks organization denies Russia was the source yet declines to offer proof, allowing the false perception to persevere. Why does Wikileaks persevere in concealing the otherwise well known fact it was the assassinated Seth Rich leaked the DNC mails? Is it because Assange's currency as an intelligence agency asset isn't yet entirely exhausted?

Possibility 1) As stated at this website previously, the point of charging Assange with an older crime could be to bury the prime witness (Assange) in maximum security where any testimony threatening John Brennan's CIA invented DNC 'hack' narrative will never come to light.

Possibility 2) This is part of a staged event by the USA's neocon/Christian Zionist alliance in the CIA, working with MOSSAD (recalling Assange's MOSSAD connections attested to by former CIA clandestine services officer Robert Steele) to sink the neoliberal element of the USA's intelligence establishment; where Trump will pardon Assange for Assange's cooperation with the Justice Department in sinking the Obama/Clinton/John Brennan clique behind 'Russiagate' (finally resolving the DNC mails.)

Consider this: certain alternative media stars either fail to realize or selectively black out the fact Julian Assange was a critical gear in the intelligence agency (primarily CIA & MOSSAD) information operations responsible for the so-called 'Arab Spring' leading to not only revolution and counter-revolution in Egypt but also the overthrow of Gaddafi and the Syrian 'civil war.' How do alternative media stars Glen Greenwald, Chris Hedges, Caitlin Johnstone, Vanessa Beeley and Raul Ilargi Meijer (among others), when defending their perception of Assange as a hero, drive that square peg into the round hole of Wikileaks supported the intelligence agency geopolitical engineering called the Arab Spring?

Babyl-on , Apr 11, 2019 11:32:21 AM | link
Many readers here will be hearing from Glenn Greenwald about the arrest of Assange as if He(Greenwald)just loves Julian so much and is just so upset by his arrest. DO NOT BELIEVE HIM. Take the time to look back at what Greenwald has said - such as claiming that Assange is not a journalist because he does ont "curate" the material he receives for anything other than authenticity.

According to Snowden and Greenwald if a journalist does not contact the government in advance and agreed to censor the material for "sources and methods" then they are not journalists.

Glenn Greenwald has made a fortune off Snowden - including $250 million from Pierre Omidyar an oligarch for The Intercept which clearly supports the oligarchy and its interests. Greenwald has stated clearly in the past that he does not consider Wikileaks a journalistic operation. Greenwald still has perhaps thousands of Snowden documents which he refuses to release - then he gets $250 million from the oligarchy. Sure there is "journalism" as long as the CIA can review what you publish first. One of the founders of the Intercept is Laura Pordris who produced a psyco-hit piece on Assange.

In this environment if you Trust these people without question you are risking being mislead. Like a good propagandist Greenwald is out now singing the tune which will gain him trust so he can slip in the propaganda effectively when the time comes.

[Apr 12, 2019] It appears Assange was able to trigger the kill switch. There's been a massive data dump at Wikileaks

Apr 12, 2019 | www.unz.com

Anon [417] Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 7:56 pm GMT

Just for the record, it appears Assange was able to trigger the kill switch. There's been a massive data dump at Wikileaks:

https://file.wikileaks.org/file/

Sparkon , says: April 12, 2019 at 8:29 pm GMT
@Anon J ust for a more important record -- no surprise here -- my quick scan of the index of file names of that "massive data dump at Wikileaks" found quite a few files about Scientology, one about tuition increase at "uofa," another concerning Hawaii's announcement about Obama's birth certificate, and a "yes-we-can mp4," but nothing at all about the World Trade Center or 9/11 that I could find.

[Apr 12, 2019] Assange, Snowden and Greenwald

The arrest probably means that WikiLeaks was thoroughly infiltrated and the US authorities are sure that there are no "unexploded bombs" in their arsenal.
Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
WJ , Apr 11, 2019 10:23:00 AM | link

Russ @43,

Indeed. It's almost as if the Snowden--Greenwald affair were an intended or at least foreseen and allowed limited hangout operation one aim of which was to discredit the "irresponsible" leaking of Assange while establishing Greenwald as paradigm for all correct left-libertarian critiques of the US.

On the other hand, if the Snowden--Greenwald *were* simply a limited hangout thing, then it was far more successfully and realistically contrived than most of our current very mediocre intelligence agency operations have been. The rush to apprehend Snowden en route to Central America, the forced detainment of Greenwald's partner in the UK, the MI5-6 destruction of the Guardian servers and subsequent takeover of the newspaper...all these events really happened and clearly were much more serious endeavors than the obvious staged operations like Steele, Russiagate, Skripal which followed after.

So I think that the Snowden--gGreenwald---Poitras thing started as genuine and then was subsequently coopted and controlled via Greenwald and Omidar's Intercept. What I don't know is whether Greenwald entered the Snowden affair already coopted or whether he became so willingly sometime later. For lots of people like Greenwald--achievement oriented, desirous of public fame and respect, interested in obtaining personal wealth and stability--a very "soft" touch is all that's needed by our intelligence ops to arrive at an understanding between them.


Russ , Apr 11, 2019 8:37:22 AM | link

Posted by: SteveK9 | Apr 11, 2019 8:29:52 AM | 33

"I've wondered if they have threatened Greenwald and he is withholding the information, to keep himself out of some dungeon somewhere."

No one needs to threaten Greenwald to get him to withhold information. He withholds out of elitist conviction. In his way he's just as much of an elite gatekeeper as anyone at any MSM outlet. (And really an outfit like the Intercept is just a thinly veiled extension of the MSM.)

It's amazing how for many people, even going to work for a predatory billionaire as Greenwald has, or collaborating as part of that billionaire's project as Snowden has, doesn't automatically peg one as a system stooge.

GeorgeSmiley , Apr 11, 2019 8:46:18 AM | link
@SteveK9 #33

1. Information "piracy" may have to take to the high seas.
2. Maybe it would be best to release the rest of Snowden's documents now. Tit for tat.

Posted by: Cynica | Apr 11, 2019 8:38:05 AM | 35


This WILL NOT happen. Greenwald, his billionaire backer (who owns the docs technically as crazy as that sounds) and his website are all an example of the "acceptable" counter narrative. Greenwald should deserve no respect, he chose money and fame over integrity. That much has become clear. I think the same of Scahill and a few others, though I hear little from him now.

Sad days. Money will buy a LOT of people. Even those we believe it won't as they are "principled" or once carried conviction . Hell, I imagine most of us are vulnerable to that as well.

Zanon , Apr 11, 2019 9:11:08 AM | link
There we have it! Extradition will (most likely) occur..

Assange indicted over 'conspiracy with Chelsea Manning in 2010' – DOJ statement
https://www.rt.com/usa/456244-assange-manning-us-indictment/

Josh , Apr 11, 2019 9:18:26 AM | link
We do all hope that Assange's arrest will motivate all those with access to other incriminating data to release those, via Wikileaks or other. The first comment here accurately describes it: (the UK and) the US - and let's add the whole silly 'five eyes' and western front - has become the new Soviet Union. Roles have reversed; it's not about ideology but about power structure.
Here's for Assange to become the Sakharov of our time. However, that would mean we foster the hope or expect that our western hemisphere could birth a Gorbachev-type idealist who can attain power long enough to destroy the power base.
Jackrabbit , Apr 11, 2019 11:03:31 AM | link
The real Iraq War criminals are free.

- Madeline Albright: "We think it's worth it" to kill 500,000 children.
- Bush Admin and neocons lied to start the war a war that cost trillions of dollars wasted; thousands of deaths
- Multiple grievous human rights abuses now engraved in memory: Abu Grave; Faluja; Rendition and Torture; Guantanamo, etc.

And the same lousy criminal asshats brought us the Afghanistan debacle, color revolutions, and the Syrian Jihadi proxy war.

As long as the real criminals walk free, they will continue to drive their criminal agenda.

Babyl-on , Apr 11, 2019 11:32:21 AM | link
Many readers here will be hearing from Glenn Greenwald about the arrest of Assange as if He(Greenwald)just loves Julian so much and is just so upset by his arrest. DO NOT BELIEVE HIM. Take the time to look back at what Greenwald has said - such as claiming that Assange is not a journalist because he does ont "curate" the material he receives for anything other than authenticity.

According to Snowden and Greenwald if a journalist does not contact the government in advance and agreed to censor the material for "sources and methods" then they are not journalists.

Glenn Greenwald has made a fortune off Snowden - including $250 million from Pierre Omidyar an oligarch for The Intercept which clearly supports the oligarchy and its interests. Greenwald has stated clearly in the past that he does not consider Wikileaks a journalistic operation. Greenwald still has perhaps thousands of Snowden documents which he refuses to release - then he gets $250 million from the oligarchy. Sure there is "journalism" as long as the CIA can review what you publish first. One of the founders of the Intercept is Laura Pordris who produced a psyco-hit piece on Assange.

In this environment if you Trust these people without question you are risking being mislead. Like a good propagandist Greenwald is out now singing the tune which will gain him trust so he can slip in the propaganda effectively when the time comes.

George Lane , Apr 11, 2019 12:00:09 PM | link
Kevin Gosztola and Aaron Mate have good twitter threads analysing the indictment:

https://twitter.com/kgosztola/status/1116341233289396225

https://twitter.com/aaronjmate/status/1116330261321527299

john , Apr 11, 2019 12:59:00 PM | link
But the case against Assange is not about justice. His publication of state secrets was obviously an act of journalism and free speech. But the deep state was embarrassed and demands revenge

Assange gave us graphic video of the US Army shredding a couple of unarmed Iraqi journalists (and others) with 30mm canon fire. memory that can't be deleted.

...

hey, ready for another sclerotic investigation?

Circe , Apr 11, 2019 1:01:58 PM | link
Here it is:

Wikileaks veteran cooperates with grand jury

AriusArmenian , Apr 11, 2019 1:57:51 PM | link
I will repeat what others here have already said:

The US == USSR.

As a US citizen I loath the mendacity and actions of the elites that have left us with nothing to hope for or believe in for some decent future with the US striding across the world sowing fear, hatred, and war. The reality of the depraved elites is such that I am usually right to first assume they are lying whatever they say. This all applies to the UK as well.

John Smith , Apr 11, 2019 2:05:58 PM | link
Trump Says WikiLeaks 141 Times On The Campaign Trail
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H26hVPoCO-o

Did Trump really mention WikiLeaks over 160 times in the last month of the election cycle?
https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2017/apr/21/jackie-speier/did-trump-really-mention-wikileaks-over-160-times-/
-------------------------

Christina Wilkie :

Trump just now: "I know nothing about Wikileaks. It's not my thing."

Trump Oct 2016: "WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks."

Trump Oct 2016: "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove,"

Trump Nov 2016: "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks."

psychohistorian , Apr 11, 2019 2:26:31 PM | link Circe , Apr 11, 2019 2:29:22 PM | link
Here's the REAL Donald Trump on Wikileaks.:

https://youtu.be/V-pv_3i-dOs

Zanon , Apr 11, 2019 2:32:23 PM | link
'UK, you are America's bitch': Pamela Anderson launches scathing tweetstorm following Assange arrest
https://www.rt.com/news/456243-pamela-anderson-assange-arrest-betrayal/

Damn right but its not only UK but the whole of the western world that have been silent if not supportive of the arrest!

SlapHappy , Apr 11, 2019 2:46:20 PM | link
Here's the guy I was referring to, Circe:

WikiLeaks Editor goes missing in Norway

Zanon , Apr 11, 2019 3:28:40 PM | link
A bit off topic, or is it...

2016: Pompeo wants to execute Snowden
https://youtu.be/DZxu73OJHkI?t=26

karlof1 , Apr 11, 2019 3:55:53 PM | link
Corbyn breaks silence on Assange :

"The extradition of Julian Assange to the US for exposing evidence of atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan should be opposed by the British government."

Interesting comments in thread. I think a few here owe mea culpas.

karlof1 , Apr 11, 2019 4:10:06 PM | link
AOC on Assange only went as far as retweeting this:

"This is a real test for the American media. Can they separate their personals feelings toward Assange from the question of whether it is okay to prosecute a publisher for publishing? Matt is right, this is extremely dangerous."

The above was made in reply to Matthew Yglesias who clearly hates Assange:

"Assange sucks but prosecuting publishers seems extremely dangerous and troubling to me." And he calls himself a journalist. He has as much honor as Moreno. The resulting threads are educational and revelatory. Lots of very confused, screwed up minds showing few morals mixed in with a few good eggs.

karlof1 , Apr 11, 2019 4:27:01 PM | link
Senator Mike Gravel & 2020 candidate on Assaange :

"Today, I stand with Julian Assange and Wikileaks."

Please see tweet for entire statement. As with other threads on this topic, the comments are educational and revelatory. It's rather amazing how many utterly weak minds are in positions of responsibility. Some have lapped up so much propaganda Koolaid that they're now delusional.

jayc , Apr 11, 2019 5:30:56 PM | link
Wired has a piece working through the indictment:
https://www.wired.com/story/julian-assange-arrest-indictment-hacking-cfaa/amp

The statute of limitation is overcome by referring this as a "terrorism" case.

The indictment is perhaps selected to ensure the extradition, with further charges waiting once Assange is in possession of the USA.

teri , Apr 11, 2019 5:49:11 PM | link
To those posting about Glenn Greenwald; I don't know what Greenwald really stands for any more and no longer read his stuff, but you might be interested in this pathetic and predictable end to the Greenwald/Omidyar conservatorship of the Snowden documents. A month ago, Greenwald announced via twitter that The Intercept/First Look was now officially shutting down access to the Snowden archives and has laid off the group of employees that secured and curated the cache. (It cost First Look $400,000/year to maintain the files, which is 1.5% of its 2019 budget.)

Greenwald did not even consult Snowden on this decision. So, without much fanfare, the cache is simply disappeared, without ever being fully opened to the public, although Greenwald claims in his tweet that he's looking for the "right partner – an academic institution or research facility – that has the funds to robustly publish." (Which, one might have supposed, would be the sort of funds that a news site such as The Intercept might enjoy given that they have the resources of their own billionaire founder behind them.)

They did not allow Poitras to attend the company meeting held on the subject after they made this announcement, and kept her in the dark until the announcement was rolled out. Poitras, recall, also has a copy of the archives and was one of the founding editors of Intercept. She is objecting to the move. Although given that the Intercept has merely sat on the cache for so long, it hardly matters now.

I thought from the beginning of the Intercept/First Look/Omidyar site that the eventual disappearance of the files was the very purpose behind Omidyar buying off Greenwald (and his valuable Snowden material along with him) in the first place.
Anyway, poof go the Snowden files, without most of the material ever being released to the public.

Two articles on this:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-intercept-shuts-down-access-to-snowden-trove

https://www.thedailybeast.com/laura-poitras-co-founder-of-the-intercept-barred-from-company-meeting-after-snowden-archive-shutdown

Zachary Smith , Apr 11, 2019 6:42:29 PM | link
Jonathan Cook: " The 7 years of lies about Assange won't stop now"
There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive reporting of Assange's fate.

And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.

They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.

Razor , Apr 11, 2019 6:49:15 PM | link
@bSirius 80

In fact it seems to me the reason he is being changed with conspiracy is so that they can avoid defence claims that his publishing information is covered by the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution. Any worthwhile lawyer would paste it on thick for the jury that convicting Assange for publication would be a deep betrayal of their much beloved Constitution. It also means that the information on war crimes in the famous video would be once more broadcast to the world, and more importantly to the jury. Imagine what a fiasco and embarrassment US Govt would face if after all the fuss, Assange was acquitted by a US Jury?

Furthermore,in common law countries, such as the UK, a typical court condition of agreement to extradite is that the accused will only be charged with crimes exhibited in the extradition warrant. That being the case, the maximum sentence he would face is 5 and a half years I believe.

arby , Apr 11, 2019 7:27:21 PM | link
Chris Hedges has a good rant on this affair-

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-martyrdom-of-julian-assange/

ADKC , Apr 11, 2019 7:41:25 PM | link
Some posters here criticise Asssange/Wikileaks for not being critical of Israel or supporting Catalonia independence but the Wikileaks website isn't really like that.

Wikileaks is a non-redacted searchable database of documents that have been leaked. Most of these documents are dry and it really depends on what you a looking for and what you find. It is rare to find a single document that by itself clearly reveals a scandal or a plot of some sort. Also, there is no editorial from Wikileaks. It is up to the user to search, find and interpret.

For instance, I just did a search and found a US cable dated 30th Jan 2008 which describes Erdogan's concerns about an armed deep state extra-legal grouping which has a suspected overlap with a cold war Gladio group and which is protected by the Turkish judiciary. So, obviously, subversion was an issue long before the attempted coup in 2016, but it's up to me to make a story out of it.

There is plenty of stuff about Israel, for instance there seems to be quite a number of incidents concerning Obama and/or Clinton trying to get Netanyahu to apologise for something that matters very little and Netanyahu invariable refusing.

The easiest way for a body, such as the CIA, to manipulate Wikileaks is just be selective about what information is leaked.

If you're looking for dirt on Israel, Clinton, Trump, Erdogan, Putin, Catalonia, etc. just go and look for it.

Jezabeel , Apr 11, 2019 8:58:48 PM | link
Wikileaks came up with quat on 9/11. Why?
haze , Apr 11, 2019 9:01:04 PM | link
Bravo Tulsi Gabbard!

"Today's arrest and indictment of Julian Assange undermines freedom of the press, and seeks to silence whistleblowers and the journalists who publish their information. This sets a dangerous precedent of criminal prosecution of journalists or news organizations who publish information the government doesn't like, while also opening the door for other countries to extradite US journalists who publish their country's secrets," said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. "We must protect whistleblowers and freedom of the press, and exercise oversight over our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to ensure our Constitutional rights are upheld."

https://gabbard.house.gov/news/press-releases/rep-tulsi-gabbard-assange-arrest-sets-dangerous-precedent-threatens-freedom

Piotr Berman , Apr 11, 2019 11:29:04 PM | link
Dear Sacha,

"why do you think Assange supported the invasion and destruction of Syria"

This is very simple. Back at the time of Arab Spring, most of the Western opinion, be it left or right, supported overthrowing a dictator. Assange, for better or worse, was in the lopsided majority, hardly strange.

"how do you explain Assange´s strong support for the Independence of Catalonia...."

This was not a majority opinion, but not rare. More importantly, tracing it to the needs of "deep state" is very speculative. On the other hand, the rage of established political circles against the very idea of Wikileaks was palpable, and what Wikileaks did was perceived as "very damaging". Even if independence of Catalonia were in some mysterious ways a priority of the sinister and hardly known deep state that you postulate, Assange had scant influence on that happening. So the putative plan of using leaks to Wikileaks to build up its stature and to use that to further the causes of fragmenting Syria and Spain would be weird indeed: huge losses for speculative gains.

One has to understand the nature of the rage against Wikileaks. Any conceivable deep stater depends on secrecy. To them, secrecy is like air for birds and water for fish -- a necessary element that makes their ecological niche habitable. An organization that facilitates dissemination of secret is, to them, a blasphemous existence.

One has to understand that what we call "deep state" is hardly secret in the outline. Its member go back and forth from private sector (corporations, think tanks, media, academic gig etc.) and the government leaving a large visible trail that is in the public view. That said, they need many secrets because the wide public in democratic countries needs to have pure, trusting, uncomplicated minds. Like making children, implementation of most of policies requires some f...ng activity

imo , Apr 12, 2019 2:08:58 AM | link
Remember George Orwell's "1984" describes a dismal future when most of the world population have become victims of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and media propaganda. Interesting that Orwell's arch protagonist (Emmanuel Goldstein) and his "Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism" sees the three "opposing" ideologies as functionally identical and each superstate being powerful enough that even shifting alliances (of two against one) only results in a continuing stalemate dynamic.

Are we there yet? I think Julian Assange might be feeling it so and this latest saga looks like an ominous tipping point indicator for those who think they live in a western democracy with press freedom to hold government (by the people) accountable.

truth seeker , Apr 12, 2019 2:23:44 AM | link
Moral to all the truth-seekers of the planet - if you look for salvation, then only in Russia.....

[Apr 12, 2019] Edward Snowden and Julian Assange Betrayed

Feb 24, 2014 | homment.com
Correspondence with Edward Snowden, and the key to freedom for Julian Assange

A member of our Belgian Jewish community is in touch with Edward Snowden in Russia, both sharing the role of being significant global dissidents who used to live in the USA.

We are publishing here a copy of some of that correspondence between those two figures, as it discusses the likelihood of how both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are being betrayed and actively harmed by the American lawyers and US-UK media companies claiming to 'represent' them, including America's ACLU (America's Civil Liberties Union), the UK Guardian and New York Times newspapers, and Glenn Greenwald.

All these groups and journalists, are apparently hiding thousands of pages of legal files, about the corruption and bribery of US federal (national) judges who are the same judges who would put Julian Assange or Edward Snowden on trial ... even though these lawyers and journalists all know that exposing the crimes of the bribed US judges, is the quick key to releasing Julian Assange from threats that confine him to his refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and key to more safety and freedom for Snowden as well.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is accused of sponsoring criminal acts of deception against the UK, Sweden, Russia and other countries, hiding 'smoking gun' evidence of US judge bribery, in order to harm and destroy both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Google Inc has agreed to censor and hoax the internet and hide dozens of web pages about this.

This bribery is said to be funded by Britain's Pearson plc, with the Guardian and New York Times accused of accepting Pearson-funded bribes to print fake 'news' to obstruct and pervert justice so that the UK will not prosecute Pearson's bribery of US high judges and government.

Mr Snowden is also facing the terrifying possibility that his name is being abused by these parties, New York Times, Guardian and Greenwald, for the sake of entrapping other dissidents and whistleblowers into 'trusting' these journalists, who might then convey dissident names to the US regime in order to silence and murder them. It seems possible the Guardian and New York Times have already given Snowden files back to the US regime.

The correspondence with Edward Snowden makes reference to the police file with several EU countries, who are beginning investigations and prosecutions, starting in Finland, of the CIA-tied Wikipedia website, for fundraising fraud ... that police file significantly discusses the evidence of bribery of US federal judges who are the same judges who would put Edward Snowden and Julian Assange on trial in America, and how Wikipedia, actually an American CIA-controlled 'Trojan horse' for inserting lies on targeted topics, has been used to plant lies about that judicial bribery - the police dossier text is here:

'CIA Wikipedia fraud Finland police report'
http://homment.com/FB3PjBQ2DF

Here is a screenshot of a Google Inc 'search results' page, with tiny text at the bottom admitting that Google is censoring a large number of search results, about Edward Snowden's correspondent, a major witness to the crimes involving the same US judges who would put Edward Snowden or Julian Assange on trial:

'Live Photo: Google Inc. Caught Censoring EU Search Results on US corruption'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22325431@N05/6100668211/in/photostream

- Jewish Community of Flanders

[Apr 11, 2019] Vindicated At Last, Thank You General Barr by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign ..."
"... I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon. ..."
"... I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano. ..."
"... The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything. ..."
"... The Independent ..."
"... I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances. ..."
"... Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear. ..."
"... This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground: ..."
"... On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang). ..."
"... Two weeks later, on April 13 th , The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications : ..."
"... There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen. ..."
"... Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN. ..."
"... Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying. ..."
"... Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned. ..."
"... Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging. ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Attorney General Barr stated the obvious--law enforcement and intelligence agencies spied on Donald Trump's campaign -- and touched off an incredible display of stupidity and obtuseness among the Trump haters. Me? I was cheering because Bill Barr confirmed what I said two years ago. Unfortunately, for daring to speak a simple truth in the spring of 2017 I immediately was a target of the hate Trump media mob.

I was attacked for telling the public the truth that foreign intelligence--the British to be precise--were spying on the Trump campaign and passing this info along to US intelligence. But the Brits were not acting unilaterally. There was full cooperation and activity by U.S. intelligence agencies and the FBI. Another word for this is "COLLUSION."

My speaking out brought about a furious counter attack by the media. People inside the Department of Justice reached out to my business partner and denounced me as a crank and conspiracy theorist. Because of that backlash I took down my blog, NoQuarter, and "retired" from blogging. Thanks to generosity of Colonel Lang, I eventually climbed back onto the blogging saddle.

Let me take you back to the events that unfolded after Donald Trump tweeted on March 4, 2017 that he was being wiretapped by the FBI. The media establishment erupted in laughter and saw this as just one more piece of evidence proving Trump's mental instability. But I had a different take.

I had learned in December 2016 from friends inside the intelligence community that there was collaboration with the Brits to collect and disseminate intel on persons on the Trump campaign. With Trump's tweet making news, I was invited by RT (i.e., Russia Today) to come on one of their news programs and discuss the matter that same afternoon.

https://youtu.be/gPVkHGmw-7A

Worth noting that my appearance on RT made no waves and generated no pushback. That tells you everything you need to know about RT’s alleged influence over public and punditry opinion as an alleged arm of Russian propaganda.

I then shared what I had learned about British intelligence ops to intercept U.S. communications on people affiliated with the Trump campagin with members of VIPS—i.e., Veteran Intelligence Professionals. One of these colleagues shared my analysis without my knowledge with Judge Andrew Napolitano.

Napolitano went on Fox on Monday, March 13, 2017 and declared:

On Monday, Fox News Channel judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano alleged that three intelligence sources had confirmed to him that the Obama administration used GCHQ (Britain's NSA) to spy on President Trump during the 2016 election so that there would be no paper trail.

"Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the 'chain of command' to conduct the surveillance on Trump," he said. "Obama didn’t use the NSA, he didn’t use the CIA, he didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use the Department of Justice."

"What happened to the guy who ordered this? Resigned three days after Trump took office," he added.

The Judge got some key nuances wrong. Obama, to my knowledge, did not ask the Brits/GCHQ to do anything on his behalf. The Brits reportedly initiated collection on their own. The “collection” from those intercepted conversations and emails were shared with the Obama Administration through normal intelligence channels—i.e., principally the NSA. It is important to note that the Brits targeting and collecting on Americans is not illegal. We are foreigners as far as they are concerned. They can collect anything.

The Judge’s comments set off a firestorm. In a matter of hours, Fox News Corporation, responding to pressure from the British Government, took Napolitano off the air. The Independent, a British newspaper, reported as follows:

A legal analyst who claimed British intelligence could have helped spy on Donald Trump during his bid to become US president has been taken off the air.

Andrew Napolitano has been pulled from the Fox News Channel, a source at the organisation said.

The Independent understands that Mr Napolitano is not expected to appear on the Fox News Channel anytime in the near future.

The analyst's claim that GCHQ had helped former president Barack Obama bug Trump Tower was cited last week by White House press secretary Sean Spicer, sparking a diplomatic incident.

I felt sorry for the Judge and knew he was being railroaded. But I did not expect a phone call from him, asking for my help. He called and asked me to help. Prior to the phone call on Thursday, March 16, 2017, I had never spoken to the Judge. We were not even casual acquaintances.

Judge Napolitano, clearly smarting over the public lashing he was receiving, asked if I would be willing to speak to a New York Times reporter, Michael Grynbaum, about the matter. I agreed to do so. That was a mistake. Here is how Grynbaum reported what I did not say:

Mr. Napolitano also has a taste for conspiracy theories, which led him to Larry C. Johnson, a former intelligence officer best known for spreading a hoax about Michelle Obama. . . .

But Mr. Johnson, who was himself once a Fox News contributor, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Napolitano called him on Friday and requested that he speak to The New York Times. Mr. Johnson said he was one of the sources for Mr. Napolitano’s claim about British intelligence.

Mr. Johnson became infamous in political circles after he spread false rumors in 2008 that Michelle Obama had been videotaped using a slur against Caucasians. In the interview on Friday, Mr. Johnson acknowledged his notoriety, but said that his knowledge of surveillance of Mr. Trump came from sources in the American intelligence community. Mr. Napolitano, he said, heard about his information through an intermediary.

“It sounds like a Frederick Forsyth novel,” Mr. Johnson said.

Grynbaum is a classic example of what is wrong with the journalism today. For starters, he manufactured the “Frederick Forsyth” quote. I said no such thing. Besides fabricating a quote, he refused to address the substance of my information regarding the activities and conduct of British GCHQ. Instead, he went for the “Whitey” smear.

If you are not familiar with that episode, permit me to refresh your memory or create a new one for you. It is a simple story—I allowed myself to be used by Clinton campaign, Sid Blumenthal in particular, to spread a rumor that turned out to be untrue.

I was an ardent supporter of Hillary in 2007 and 2008. I had previously briefed her in 2007 on the war in Iraq and found her, at least in a one-on-one setting, to be very intelligent and very well informed. But that was then. Her subsequent conduct as the Secretary of State, especially how she mishandled the Benghazi incident, ended any chance that I would ever support her for any role in which the lives of American military, diplomats or intelligence officers are on the line.

After that briefing, I found myself as an unofficial member of the Clinton for President team via my friendship with Sid Blumenthal. I had enormous respect for Sid and his wife. I thought they were good people. The only thing I now know for certain is that they are fiercely loyal to the Clintons.

As the contest between Hillary and Barach Obama heated up, Sid would call me from time to time with suggestions of articles I could write or pieces that could be run on my now defunct blog--NoQuarterUSa.net. I was more than happy to help. I believed then (and have been vindicated by the passage of time) that Barack Obama was just a pretty face with no significant experience and he would be a terrible President.

Then came the fateful phone call from Sid Blumenthal in late May 2008. He told me he had learned of a tape that was circulating in restricted circles that featured Michelle Obama using the derogatory phrase, “whitey.” Armed with that tidbit of gossip I turned to an old friend in the media community and he too confirmed he had heard the same thing (stupidly, I never considered the possibility that Sid was spreading this far and wide and that I was getting blowback).

When I mentioned the possible existence of this tape to a Republican friend of mine and former CIA colleague in California, I was shocked when he said, “I have a friend who has seen and heard the tape. That was enough for me. Based on these two sources, I wrote the story up at NoQuarterUSA.net.

It went viral. But nothing surfaced. I became uneasy. So I went back to Sid and pressed him for more information. He in turn sent me to David Brock of Media Matters. (I had met Brock previously at the Blumenthal home watching election returns in 2006.) Brock told me that the information came from female friend who insisted she had seen and heard the slur by Michelle Obama.

The matter became more confused when the Obama campaign sent out an email to their campaign workers claiming that Michelle said “WHY DID HE” rather than the pejorative, “WHITEY.” That led me to believe there was substance to the Blumenthal/Brock rumor.

Ultimately the story died out. No tape surfaced, but I bore the blame as the “Whitey” guy. With the benefit of hindsight I now understand that I was an unwitting but willing tool in a David Brock dirty trick. No such tape ever surfaced. I can only conclude that the desperation of the Clinton campaign to win was so extreme that they would stoop to use a racist meme to smear Obama.

I regret what I did in writing the story up. But it did not originate with me. It started with David Brock. Which brings me back to the Napolitano affair.

After Grynbaun identified me as one of Judge Napolitano’s sources, it was open season on me. Not one of the media outlets—except for CNN and the Politico — even took the time to reach out to me and ask me to tell my side of the story. Instead, they recirculated talking points from Media Matters.

Here is what I told Brian Stelter during this period:

https://youtu.be/NRxuzxcOLdM

Talk about Chutzpah. David Brock started the Whitey rumor (I will happily take a polygraph on that point) and then has the audacity to attack me and dismiss my information (via Media Matters) simply because I had passed on rumors where he was the original source:

Media Matters first traced Napolitano's wiretapping conspiracy back to an interview on the state-sponsored Russian television network RT with the former CIA analyst and discredited conspiracy theorist Larry C. Johnson, who previously promoted false claims that Michelle Obama used a racial slur against Caucasian people.

This was a dark period for me. People I thought I could rely on abandoned me. I was on my own. But not for long. Rescue came via Judge Napolitano and an unlikely source, The Guardian—a left leaning British newspaper. The Judge was brought back on air at Fox on March 29, 2017 and stood his ground:

On Wednesday morning, Napolitano returned to the network, making an appearance on “Fox & Friends.” His first order of business? Doubling down on the claims that got him suspended in the first place. (From the Washington Post, 29 March 2017, Amy Wang).

Two weeks later, on April 13th, The Guardian not only confirmed what I had said about GCHQ (note, in some of my on air interviews I stupidly and mistakenly called the British spy agence GHCQ) but identified other countries as well who were collecting intelligence, i.e., intercepting communications:

Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

There is a simple bottomline—My information was accurate and reliable. Also, I had the story before anyone else. Journalists and pundits were unwilling to listen.

We know a lot more today then we did in the Spring of 2017. George Papadopoulos was targeted by a MI-6 covert action designed to portray him as a lackey of Russia and promoting Russia to the Trump campaign. Carter Page was spied upon under four separate FISA warrants that were based on the fictitious Steel Dossier. And a CIA "contractor", Stefan Halper, played the role of an agitator trying to lure Papadopoulos into implicating himself in a Russian plot.

And then we have the unmasking of American citizens. Here is but one example:

Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

Do you understand what this means? If you have never had a clearance and had access to NSA material then you probably fail to understand how profound this is. Let me explain. There were multiple intelligence reports released by the NSA. I am pretty certain all were classified as Top Secret. Some of these may have been generated by NSA, but most, according to the Guardian piece I mentioned above, were from foreign liaison. The names of the American citizens were initially obscured--e.g., Subject 1 or Subject 2. Hence the "request" to unmask. In other words, identify the nameless person by name. That, boys and girls, is known as spying.

Bill Barr is now getting the Larry Johnson treatment for daring to speak a simple, self-evident truth. One big difference. Barr can set in motion the legal process to indict and prosecute those American traitors in the law enforcement and intelligence community who violated their oath to uphold the Constitution and used their positions to launch a political witch-hunt. Stay tuned.

JerseyJeffersonian , 12 hours ago

Mr. Johnson,

Thank you for this clarifying account. I used to read NoQuarter back in the day, and had been mystified when it was taken down. Now I understand, and am glad that Col. Lang has facilitated your return to blogging.

And just in time to see some of your tormentors - and unsurprisingly the very same tormentors of our constitutional republic - be (hopefully) called to account for their actions.

The Lame Stream Media have much for which to answer concerning their part in all of this; they have abrogated their role as even-handed watchdogs through their open-eyed and monolithic dissemination of hyper-partisan, cultural marxist agitprop, much of it focused on character assassination of those who did not share their beliefs, and yet more noxiously by throttling the expression of contrary argumentation across the board.

But the genuine opprobium should be reserved for those officers and officials, sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution, who determinedly worked to instead disregard and undermine the Constitution, and the constitutional republic which it undergirds.

[Apr 07, 2019] When you couple the voice of the Washington Post with a company so deeply involved with discovering and archiving detailed files and information about individuals and politicians across America you command a great deal of muscle and clout

Apr 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Let it Go , 13 hours ago link

Amazon is rotten to the core. Already no stranger to sweetheart deals, Amazon which has lined the pockets of its CEO Jeff Bezos at taxpayer expense is quietly moving in a direction that is destined to create even more controversy. Amazon through its lobbying efforts is on the verge of winning a multibillion-dollar advantage over rivals by taking over large swaths of federal procurement.

When you couple the voice of the Washington Post with a company so deeply involved with discovering and archiving detailed files and information about individuals and politicians across America you command a great deal of muscle and clout. The article below delves into why it is time to face the fact Amazon needs to be curtailed.

http://Amazon Has Become A Threat To Our Democracy And Capitalism html

[Apr 05, 2019] "Free" Markets and the Attack on Democracy

Notable quotes:
"... Media consolidation itself has played an enormous role in driving up the cost of political campaigns. How did we get to this second Gilded Age and what lessons can we infer regarding our democratic prospects? ..."
"... Notre Dame University 's Philip Mirowski Never Let a Serious Crisis G to Waste has provided a careful and detailed analysis of this neoliberal movement in American politics. ..."
"... Adam Smith and JS Mill saw markets as non-coercive means to allocate resources and produce goods and services. Neoliberals regarded markets as perfect information processing machines that could provide optimal solutions to all social problems ..."
"... Market is miraculous and a boon to many, but paradoxically only a strong state can assure its arrival and maintenance. Sometimes it may appear that the market is yielding iniquitous or unsustainable outcomes, which my lead to premature or disastrous rejection of its wisdom ..."
"... The neoliberal deification of markets has many parents. This mindset encouraged and was encouraged by a revolt against democracy. The wealthy had always been concerned that a propertyless working class might vote to expropriate them, but neoliberalism gave them further reason to bypass democracy. Markets were seen as better indicators of truth than democratic elections, though that point was seldom expressed as directly ..."
"... Here is FA Hayek's oblique expression of this concern: "if we proceed on the assumption that only the exercises of freedom that the majority will practice are important, we would be certain to create a stagnant society with all the characteristics of unfreedom." ..."
Apr 05, 2019 | www.commondreams.org

Why "free" why not "fair". Neoliberals are as dangerious as Big brother in 1994. Actually neoliberal state is as close to Big Brother regine described in 1994. We have total surveillance, with technological capabiltiies which probably exceed anything rulers of 1984 world possessed, Russiagate as "hour of anger", permanent war for permanent people (and total victory of "democracy") , and of course "[neoliberal] freedom is [debt[ slavery..." in neoliberal MSM.

Fast forward from one Gilded Age to another. Citizens United, granting unions and corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for and against political candidates, is often regarded as a singularly dangerous challenge to our democratic norms, especially with its infamous assertion that money is speech. Less attention, however, is pad to the context in which this decision occurred, including corporate consolidation in most sectors of the economy, obscene levels of economic inequality, and near religious reverence for deregulated markets.

Media consolidation itself has played an enormous role in driving up the cost of political campaigns. How did we get to this second Gilded Age and what lessons can we infer regarding our democratic prospects?

The post World War II decades saw white working class gains in income made possible by unionization, the GI bill, and a federal commitment to full employment. Positive as these gains were, they carried with them unintended consequences. Workers and employers, having less fear of depression, periodically drove wages and prices up.

Bursts of inflation and an unprecedented profit squeeze led to unemployment even in the midst of inflation, an unprecedented and unexpected circumstance. Blacks had been left out of the full benefits of the New Deal welfare state and raised demands not only for political equality but also for economic opportunity, one of Reconstruction's forgotten promises.

These events provided an opening for a group of academics who had long despised the New Deal welfare state. Notre Dame University 's Philip Mirowski Never Let a Serious Crisis G to Waste has provided a careful and detailed analysis of this neoliberal movement in American politics.

These neoliberals shared with their nineteenth- century predecessors a faith in markets, but with an important difference. Adam Smith and JS Mill saw markets as non-coercive means to allocate resources and produce goods and services. Neoliberals regarded markets as perfect information processing machines that could provide optimal solutions to all social problems. Hence a commitment not only to lift rent control on housing but also to privatize prisons, water and sewer systems, and to deregulate all aspects of personal finance and treat education and health care as commodities to be pursued on unregulated markets. An essential part of this faith in markets is the post Reagan view of corporate consolidation. Combinations are to be judged only on the basis of cheap products to the consumer.

Older antitrust concerns about worker welfare or threat to democracy itself are put aside. Corporate mergers and the emergence of monopoly are seen as reflections of the omniscient market. In practice, however as we shall see, such a tolerant attitude is not applied to worker associations.

Neoliberals differ from their classical predecessors in a second important way. Market is miraculous and a boon to many, but paradoxically only a strong state can assure its arrival and maintenance. Sometimes it may appear that the market is yielding iniquitous or unsustainable outcomes, which my lead to premature or disastrous rejection of its wisdom. The answer to this anger is more markets, but that requires a strong state staffed by neoliberals. They would have the capacity and authority to enact and impose these markets and distract the electorate and divert them into more harmless pursuits. Recognition of the need for a powerful state stands in partial contradiction to the neoliberal's professed deification of pure markets and was seldom presented to public gatherings. As Mirowski put it, neoliberals operated on the basis of a dual truth, an esoteric truth for its top scholars and theorists and an exoteric version for then public. Celebration of the spontaneous market was good enough for Fox News, whereas top neoliberal scholars discussed how to reengineer government in order to recast society.

The signs of neoliberalism are all around us. Worried about student debt? There is a widely advertised financial institution that will refinance your loan. Trapped in prison with no money for bail. There are corporations and products that will take care of that. Cancer cures, money for funerals and burial expenses can all be obtained via the market. Any problem the market creates the market can solve. The implications of this view have been ominous for democracy and social justice.

The neoliberal deification of markets has many parents. This mindset encouraged and was encouraged by a revolt against democracy. The wealthy had always been concerned that a propertyless working class might vote to expropriate them, but neoliberalism gave them further reason to bypass democracy. Markets were seen as better indicators of truth than democratic elections, though that point was seldom expressed as directly.

Here is FA Hayek's oblique expression of this concern: "if we proceed on the assumption that only the exercises of freedom that the majority will practice are important, we would be certain to create a stagnant society with all the characteristics of unfreedom."

The revolt against democracy has occurred on several different levels of the political process. The question of who can vote is just as contested as during Reconstruction, and not just in the South. As during Reconstruction, it does not take the form of explicit racial appeals. The strategy includes further limiting the time polls are open, reduction in the number of polling places, voter identification cards that take time and money to obtain. Who can vote is also a function of the racist legacy of our history, with prohibitions on voting by felons serving to exclude large numbers of potential voters, disproportionately minorities. It should be mentioned more than it is that these techniques also work to the disadvantage of poor whites. Political scientists Walter Dean Burnham and Thomas Ferguson point out: "In Georgia in 1942, for example, turnout topped out at 3.4 percent (that's right, 3.4 percent; no misprint). Why is no mystery: the Jim Crow system pushed virtually all African-Americans out of the system, while the network of poll taxes, registration requirements, literacy tests and other obstacles that was part of that locked out most poor whites from voting, too. Since the civil rights revolution, turnouts in the South have risen fitfully to national levels, amid much pushback, such as the raft of new voter ID requirements (though these are not limited to the South)."

Minorities, poor, and even substantial segments of the working class are further disadvantaged by efforts to defund the labor opposition. Unions have been the one big money source that Democrats had available, but as the party from Bill Clinton on increasingly became a kind of neoliberalism light, embracing corporate trade agreements with a little bit of job training assistance thrown in, unions lost members, many corporations forced decertification elections. Democrats lost not only financial resources but also the ground troops that had mobilized their voters.

One result of and partial driving force behind these changes is that both parties become big money parties. Burnham and Ferguson-( December 2014)- The President and the Democratic Party are almost as dependent on big money – defined, for example, in terms of the percentage of contributions (over $500 or $1000) from the 1 percent as the Republicans. To expect top down money-driven political parties to make strong economic appeals to voters is idle. Instead the Golden Rule dominates: Money-driven parties emphasize appeals to particular interest groups instead of the broad interests of working Americans that would lead their donors to shut their wallets.

As David Stockman, President Reagan's Budget Director once all but confessed,

"in the modern era the party has never really pretended to have much of a mass constituency. It wins elections by rolling up huge percentages of votes in the most affluent classes while seeking to divide middle and working class voters with various special appeals and striving to hold down voting by minorities and the poor."

Challenging this bipartisan money driven establishment becomes even more difficult as state level ballot access laws are notoriously hostile to third parties. Add to this the private, deceptively named Presidential Debate Commission, which specializes in depriving even candidates about whom large segment s of the population are curious access to the widely watched debates. Unfortunately the celebrated voting reform proposal, HR1, though containing some democratic initiatives such as early voting and automatic voter registration, makes it own contribution to economic and political consolidation.

Bruce Dixon, editor of Black Agenda Report, maintains that only two provisions of this bill are likely to become law and both are destructive: "by raising the qualifying amount from its current level of $5,000 in each of 20 states to $25,000 in 20 states. HR 1 would cut funding for a Green presidential candidate in half, and by making ballot access for a Green presidential candidate impossible in several states it would also guarantee loss of the party's ability to run for local offices." Dixon also predicts that some Democrats "will cheerfully cross the aisle to institutionalize the Pentagon, spies and cops to produce an annual report on the threat to electoral security.

Dixon maintains:

"Democrats are a capitalist party, they are a government party, and this is how they govern. HR 1 reaches back a hundred years into the Democrat playbook politicians created a foreign menace to herd the population into World War 1, which ended in the Red Scare and a couple of red summers, waves of official and unofficial violence and deportations against US leftists and against black people. The Red Scare led to the founding of the FBI, the core of the nation's permanent political police . Fifty years ago these were the same civil servants who gave us the assassinations, the disinformation and illegality of COINTELPRO, and much, much more before that and since then. HR 1 says let's go to the Pentagon and the cops, let's order them to discover threats to the electoral system posed by Americans working to save themselves and the planet."

Dixon is surely right that both parties are capitalist parties, but capitalism itself has taken different forms. New Deal and neoliberal capitalism had far different implications for working class Americans. The New Deal itself was heavily influenced by Norman Thomas and the socialist tradition. In this regard, if what Paul Wellstone used to call the democratic wing of the Democratic Party wishes to see its ideals translated into practice, it must resist efforts to exclude third parties or to deny primary opponents an even playing field.

I am not claiming that there has been a carefully coordinated conspiracy among the individuals and groups that supported these policies, but leaders did act out of a general animus toward popular movements that further reinforced their reverence for corporate markets, and the faith in markets drove the worries about popular movements.

One positive conclusion to be drawn is that if this attack on democracy exists on several levels, activism might be fruitful in many domains and may have a spillover effect. Unions are still not dead, and there is a fight now for the soul of the Democratic Party and that fight might stimulate voter access and eligibility reforms. These in turn could reshape the party's orientation and ideology. Even at the Federal level Dark money is worrisome to many voters and could be an incentive to mobilize for better disclosure laws. There are ample fronts on which to fight and good reason to keep up the struggle.

Video:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/1CxOpAcViPQ

[Apr 04, 2019] The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012

Apr 04, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President Bush and renewed under Obama in December 2012. Prism Photograph: Guardian

The program facilitates extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information. The law allows for the targeting of any customers of participating firms who live outside the US, or those Americans whose communications include people outside the US.

It also opens the possibility of communications made entirely within the US being collected without warrants.

Disclosure of the Prism program follows a leak to the Guardian on Wednesday of a top-secret court order compelling telecoms provider Verizon to turn over the telephone records of millions of US customers.

The participation of the internet companies in Prism will add to the debate, ignited by the Verizon revelation, about the scale of surveillance by the intelligence services. Unlike the collection of those call records, this surveillance can include the content of communications and not just the metadata.

Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007.

It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, Facebook and PalTalk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online.

Collectively, the companies cover the vast majority of online email, search, video and communications networks.

[Apr 02, 2019] Shadowbanning

See also Shadow banning - Wikipedia
Shadow banning (also called stealth banning, ghost banning or comment ghosting[1]) is the act of blocking or partially blocking a user or their content from an online community such that it will not be readily apparent to the user that they have been banned.
By making a user's contributions invisible or less prominent to other members of the service, the hope may be that in the absence of reactions to their comments, the problematic or otherwise out-of-favour user will become bored or frustrated and leave the site.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lozion , Mar 31, 2019 4:33:21 PM | link

< More and more "resistance" type Twitteratti get shadowbanned, that is, their posts dont appear in the Twitter feed though they are visible on their profiles. Find out if you are shadowbanned here:>

https://shadowban.eu/

Zachary Smith , Mar 31, 2019 5:24:53 PM | link

@ Lozion #12

Until recently I didn't know the word "shadowbanning", but that was what happened to me several years ago. The managers of the Indianapolis Star had given their forum to the tender care of a mix of Libertarians, rightwingnuts, and devoted followers of the Holy Cesspool south of Syria. Gradually I realized nobody was responding to my posts, and only by accident did I learn those posts were invisible to everybody else. Only when I was logged in could I see them myself.

So that's why I have gone cold turkey on the only Indianapolis newspaper. I'd recommend it only for folks whose parakeets need a lining for the bottom of the bird's cage. Their editorial page works best for that application.

Lozion , Mar 31, 2019 7:55:34 PM | link
@12 Zachary.

Yeah I first encountered the phenom during the last days of the 2014 Euromaidan while reposting info on Facebook about sniper fire coming from opp held rooftops. I couldnt understand why interaction on the subject stopped until someone confirmed via the chat that none of my posts with the word "Ukraine" appeared in the feed. They must've triggered FBs early filter algorithm. I have since left the Ministry of Truth..

[Mar 31, 2019] How Google Tracks Your Personal Information – Featured Stories – Medium

Notable quotes:
"... Patrick Berlinquette Founder of a NY digital marketing agency (like we need another). Finding humor in marketing tech's depravity. Send vitriol: patrickberlinsem[at]gmail[dot]com ..."
Mar 31, 2019 | medium.com

Once you click on an ad, your information passes through to search engine marketers, where it's forever stored in an AdWords account, never to be erased.

In case you were starting to feel a semblance of happiness, what with the holidays around the corner, here is a complete checklist of everything Google knows about you -- thereby all the ways you're tracked -- as of December 2018:

* The above targeting methods are made available to search engine marketers by Google within marketers' Ads UI. Info is also freely available here .

For as long as you've been using Google, Google has been building a "citizen profile" on you. This profile contains:


In 2019, we will be coming close to realizing the Holy Grail of search engine marketing: multidevice attribution. When this tech is realized, ads will follow searchers seamlessly -- not only across channels (e.g., social, organic, and email) but across devices (e.g., from mobile to tablet to laptop to TV to desktop).

Depending on your brand loyalty, for example, your TV will emit a hyper-frequency during certain commercials. Undetectable by your obsolete human ear, this signal can only be picked up by a nearby cell phone . If a Nike commercial plays on your TV, and then you pick up your phone and Google "Nike shoes," your conversion path has been linked from TV to phone. Nice.

Despite the surveillance bleeding into nearly every aspect of our lives, there's little information available to the public about what's really going on.

Marketers already know if you're a daily commuter. And they show you ads for products that daily commuters would be interested in buying, like headphones, pre-worn leather laptop bags, and handkerchiefs to hoarsely sob into. How do marketers know you're a commuter? Easy: The frequency your cell phone pings passing cell towers. If the pings occur close together, a marketer can conclude that you're standing in an object moving at a great rate of speed, with infrequent interruptions -- also known as a train. (If it's the Long Island Rail Road you're riding, interruptions might be frequent. Heh.)

Search for a product on your phone and then physically walk into a store. Do that, in that order, and chances are Google used your phone's GPS data to connect your ad click and your in-store purchase.

In order to provide marketers with further detail about your in-store (offline) purchases, Google has acquired ( paid millions for ) Mastercard credit card data. The company has acknowledged it has access to about 70 percent of U.S. credit and debit card sales through "third-party partnerships." We will look back on this number and consider it quaint.


B ack in December 2008, Hal Roberts, a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, spoke about Google Ads as a form of "gray surveillance." Roberts described Google as "a system of collective intelligence" that, along with marketers, hoarded and exploited your data.

But unlike other forms of surveillance, Google couldn't kill you with it or throw you in jail.

Google Ads was gray surveillance because the exploitation, Roberts said, was hard to detect on the individual level. But, he said, it was already playing "a central role in the creation of social discourse online." And 10 years later, the exploitation on Google Ads is even harder to detect. Despite the surveillance bleeding into nearly every aspect of our lives, there's little information available to the public about what's really going on.

In 2019, I'd like to change that.

People tell Google things they confess nowhere else  --  not to their spouses, doctors, or shrinks.

Through this series, I will reveal everything I know about the dark side of search engine marketing. I will explain, in everyday language, how Google and Google Ads work "under the hood" to track your data.

Then I will expose, from an insider's perspective, what the vast majority of the public doesn't know: how Google Ads is abused by search engine marketers and how people are essentially bought and sold through this platform. I will cover what Google has tried to do to fix Google Ads. Finally, I will provide readers with all the steps they need to protect themselves from exploitation on Google -- including how to take back control of their data from insidious advertisers and those search engine marketers who rig the game.

Today, people tell Google things they confess nowhere else -- not to their spouses, doctors, or shrinks. But Google users would not be so forthright with the search engine if they understood how far down this rabbit hole goes. With the insider information I will provide, I hope readers can return to a place where Google is not the only option available to tell their fears, regrets, hopes, and dreams.

By the end of this series, readers will be equipped with the knowledge to rethink their relationship with Google. And if some readers decide that Google is still their search engine of choice, they'll be able to use the system , instead of the other way around.

Ready for part 2 in the series? It's here .

Patrick Berlinquette Founder of a NY digital marketing agency (like we need another). Finding humor in marketing tech's depravity. Send vitriol: patrickberlinsem[at]gmail[dot]com >

[Mar 26, 2019] When Are We Going To Tackle The For-Profit Monopolies Which Censored RussiaGate Skeptics? by Charles Hugh Smith

Notable quotes:
"... The RussiaGate Narrative has been revealed as a Big Con (a.k.a. Nothing-Burger), but what's dangerously real is the censorship that's being carried out by the for-profit monopolies Facebook and Google on behalf of the status quo's Big Con. ..."
"... The damage to democracy wrought by Facebook and Google is severe: free speech no longer exists except in name, and what individuals see in search and social media feeds is designed to manipulate them without their consent or knowledge--and for a fat profit. Whether Facebook and Google are manipulating users for profit or to buy off Status Quo pressures to start regulating these monopolistic totalitarian regimes or to align what users see with their own virtue-signaling, doesn't matter. ..."
Mar 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

We either take down Facebook and Google and turn them into tightly regulated transparent public utilities available to all or they will destroy what little is left of American democracy.

The RussiaGate Narrative has been revealed as a Big Con (a.k.a. Nothing-Burger), but what's dangerously real is the censorship that's being carried out by the for-profit monopolies Facebook and Google on behalf of the status quo's Big Con.

This site got a taste of Facebook-Google-Big-Media's Orwellian Authoritarian-Totalitarian censorship back in 2016 when a shadowy fake-news site called PropOrNot aggregated every major alt-media site that had published anything remotely skeptical of the coronation of Hillary Clinton as president and labeled us all shills for Russian propaganda.

Without any investigation of the perps running the site or their fake-news methodology, The Washington Post (Jeff Bezos' plaything) saw fit to promote the fake-news on Page One as if it were journalistically legitimate. Why would a newspaper that supposedly values the integrity of its content run with such shameless fake-news propaganda? Because it fit the Post's own political agenda and biases.

This is the essence of Facebook-Google-Big-Media's Orwellian Authoritarian-Totalitarian censorship: sacrifice accepted journalistic practice, free speech and transparency to promote an absurdly obvious political and social agenda.

If there was any real justice in America, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai should be wearing prison jumpsuits for what Facebook and Google have done to American democracy. Both of these monopolies have manipulated news feeds, search results and what individuals are shown in complete secret, with zero public oversight or transparency .

The damage to democracy wrought by Facebook and Google is severe: free speech no longer exists except in name, and what individuals see in search and social media feeds is designed to manipulate them without their consent or knowledge--and for a fat profit. Whether Facebook and Google are manipulating users for profit or to buy off Status Quo pressures to start regulating these monopolistic totalitarian regimes or to align what users see with their own virtue-signaling, doesn't matter.

What matters is that no one can possibly know how Facebook and Google have rigged their algorithms and to what purpose. The typical corporation can buy political influence, but Facebook and Google are manipulating the machinery of democracy itself in three ways:

1. They are secretly censoring alternative media and skeptics of the status quo narratives.

2. They are selling data and ads to anyone interested in manipulating voters and public opinion.

3. They are providing data to the National Security organs of the state which can then use this data to compile dossiers on "enemies of the people," i.e. skeptics and dissenters who question the "approved" context and narrative.

That's a much more dangerous type of power than buying political influence or manipulating public opinion by openly publishing biased "commentary."

We all understand how America's traditional Corporate Media undermines democracy: recall how every time Bernie Sanders won a Democratic primary in 2016, The New York Times and The Washington Post "reported" the news in small typeface in a sidebar, while every Hillary Clinton primary win was trumpeted in large headlines at the top of page one.

But this sort of manipulation is visible; what Google and Facebook do is invisible. What their algorithms do is invisible, and the shadow banning and other forms of invisible censorship cannot be easily traced.

A few of us can trace shadow banning because we have access to our site's server data. Please consider the data of Google searches and direct links from Facebook to oftwominds.com from November 2016 and November 2018:

Nov. 2016: Google Searches: 36,779
Nov. 2016: links from Facebook: 9,888

Nov. 2018: Google Searches: 12,671
Nov. 2018: links from Facebook: 859

Oftwominds.com has been around since 2005 and consistently draws around 250,000 page views monthly (via oftwominds.com and my mirror site on blogspot, which is owned/operated by Google. Interestingly, traffic to that site has been less affected by shadow banning ; Coincidence? You decide....).

Given the consistency of my visitor traffic over the years, it's "interesting" how drastically the site's traffic with Google and Facebook has declined in a mere two years. How is this shadow banning not Orwellian Authoritarian-Totalitarian censorship? It's akin to China's Orwellian Social Credit system but for private profit .

It wouldn't surprise me to find my photo airbrushed out of group photos on Facebook and Google just as the Soviet propaganda organs did when someone fell out of favor in the 1930s.

Fortunately, oftwominds.com isn't dependent on Facebook or Google for its traffic; other content creators who were skeptical of RussiaGate are not so fortunate. One of the implicit goals of shadow banning and filters is to destroy the income of dissenting sites without the content creators knowing why their income plummeted.

Strip dissenters of their income and you strip them of the ability to dissent. Yea for "free speech" controlled by for-profit monopolies!

Where's the "level playing field" of free speech? As long as Facebook and Google are free to censor and filter in secret, there is no free speech in America. All we have is a simulacrum of free speech in which parroting "approved" narratives is promoted and dissent is censored/banned--but without anyone noticing or even being able to tell what's been filtered, censored or banned.

So when are we going to tackle privately held monopolies which are selling user data to the highest bidder, obliterating free speech in secret and manipulating news feeds and search to promote hidden agendas? I've argued (see links below) that the solution is very simple:

1. Regulate Facebook and Google as public utilities. Ban them from collecting and selling user data to anyone, including federal agencies.

2. Allow a modest profit to each firm via display adverts that are shown equally to every user.

3. Require any and all search/content filters and algorithms be made public, i.e. published daily.

4. Any executive or employee of these corporations who violates these statutes will face criminal felony charges and be exposed to civil liability lawsuits from users or content providers who were shadow-banned or their right to free speech was proscribed or limited by filters or algorithms.

There is no intrinsic right for privately held corporations to establish monopolies that can manipulate and filter free speech in secret to maximize profits and secret influence. We either take down Facebook and Google and turn them into tightly regulated transparent public utilities available to all or they will destroy what little is left of American democracy.

I recently addressed these invisible (but oh-so profitable) mechanisms in a series of essays:

* * *

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook ): Read the first section for free in PDF format. My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF) . My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format. If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com .

[Mar 25, 2019] Spygate The True Story of Collusion (plus Infographic) by Jeff Carlson

Highly recommended!
This is probably the most comprehensive outline of the color revolution against Trump. Bravo, simply bravo !!!
Reads like Agatha Christi Murder on the Orient Express ;-) Rosenstein role is completely revised from a popular narrative. Brennan role clarifies and detailed. Obama personal role hinted. Victoria Nuland role and the role of the State Department in Russiagate is documented for the first time, I think.
Notable quotes:
"... The "insurance policy" appears to have been the effort to legitimize the Trump–Russia collusion narrative so that an FBI investigation, led by McCabe, could continue unhindered. ..."
"... Ohr, one of the highest-ranking officials in the DOJ, was communicating on an ongoing basis with Steele, whom he had known since at least 2006 , well into mid-2017. He is also married to Nellie Ohr, an expert on Russia and Eurasia who began working for Fusion GPS sometime in late 2015 . Nellie Ohr likely played a significant role in the construction of the dossier. ..."
"... The Obama administration provided a simultaneous layer of protection and facilitation for the entire effort. One example is provided by Section 2.3 of Executive Order 12333 , also known as Obama's data-sharing order . With the passage of the order, agencies and individuals were able to ask the NSA for access to specific surveillance simply by claiming the intercepts contained relevant information that was useful to a particular mission. ..."
"... Leaking, including felony leaking of classified information, has been widespread. The Carter Page FISA warrant -- likely the unredacted version -- has been in the possession of The Washington Post and The New York Times since March 2017. Traditionally, the intelligence community leaked to The Washington Post while the DOJ leaked to sources within The New York Times. This was a historical pattern that stood until this election. The leaking became so widespread, even this tradition was broken. ..."
"... The information contained within both articles likely came via felony leaks from James Wolfe, former director of security for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, who was arrested on June 7, 2018, and charged with one count of lying to the FBI. Wolfe's indictment alleges that he was leaking classified information to multiple reporters over an extended period of time. ..."
"... The Steele dossier was fed into U.S. channels through several different sources. One such source was Sir Andrew Wood, the former British ambassador to Russia, who had been briefed about the dossier by Steele. Wood later relayed information regarding the dossier to Sen. John McCain, who dispatched David Kramer, a fellow at the McCain Institute, to London to meet with Steele in November 2016. McCain would later admit in a Jan. 11, 2017, statement that he had personally passed on the dossier to then-FBI Director James Comey. ..."
"... Trump, after issuing an order for the declassification of documents and text messages related to the Russia-collusion investigations -- including parts of the Carter Page FISA warrant application -- received phone calls from two U.S. allies saying, "Please, can we talk." Those "allies" were almost certainly the UK and Australia. ..."
"... Questions to be asked are why is it that two of our allies would find themselves so opposed to the release of these classified documents that a coordinated plea would be made directly to the president? And why would these same allies have even the slightest idea of what was contained in these classified U.S. documents? ..."
Oct 12, 2018 | www.theepochtimes.com
Spygate: The True Story of Collusion [Infographic] How America's most powerful agencies were weaponized against President Donald Trump

Although the details remain complex, the structure underlying Spygate -- the creation of the false narrative that candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia, and the spying on his presidential campaign -- remains surprisingly simple:

  1. CIA Director John Brennan, with some assistance from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, gathered foreign intelligence and fed it throughout our domestic Intelligence Community.
  2. The FBI became the handler of Brennan's intelligence and engaged in the more practical elements of surveillance.
  3. The Department of Justice facilitated investigations by the FBI and legal maneuverings, while providing a crucial shield of nondisclosure.
  4. The Department of State became a mechanism of information dissemination and leaks.
  5. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee provided funding, support, and media collusion.
  6. Obama administration officials were complicit, and engaged in unmasking and intelligence gathering and dissemination.
  7. The media was the most corrosive element in many respects. None of these events could have transpired without their willing participation. Stories were pushed, facts were ignored, and narratives were promoted.

Let's start with a simple premise: The candidacy of Trump presented both an opportunity and a threat.

Initially not viewed with any real seriousness, Trump's campaign was seen as an opportunistic wedge in the election process. At the same time, and particularly as the viability of his candidacy increased, Trump was seen as an existential threat to the established political system.

The sudden legitimacy of Trump's candidacy was not welcomed by the U.S. political establishment. Here was a true political outsider who held no traditional allegiances. He was brash and boastful, he ignored political correctness, he couldn't be bought, and he didn't care what others thought of him -- he trusted himself.

Governing bodies in Britain and the European Union were also worried. Candidate Trump was openly challenging monetary policy, regulations, and the power of special interests. He challenged Congress. He challenged the United Nations and the European Union. He questioned everything.

Brennan played a crucial role in the creation of the Russia-collusion narrative and the spying on the Trump campaign. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)

Brennan became the point man in the operation to stop a potential Trump presidency. It remains unclear whether his role was self-appointed or came from above. To embark on such a mission without direct presidential authority seems both a stretch of the imagination and particularly foolhardy.

Brennan took unofficial foreign intelligence compiled by contacts, colleagues, and associates -- primarily from the UK , but also from other Five Eyes members, such as Australia.

Individuals in official positions in UK intelligence, such as Robert Hannigan -- head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, Britain's equivalent of the National Security Agency) -- partnered with former UK foreign intelligence members. Former MI6 head Sir Richard Dearlove , former Ambassador Sir Andrew Wood, and private UK intelligence firm Hakluyt all played a role.

In the summer of 2016, Hannigan traveled to Washington to meet with Brennan regarding alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow. On Jan. 23, 2017 -- three days after Trump's inauguration -- Hannigan abruptly announced his retirement. The Guardian openly speculated that Hannigan's resignation was directly related to the sharing of UK intelligence.

One method used to help establish evidence of collusion was the employment of "spy traps." Prominent among these were ones set for Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. The intent was to provide or establish connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. The content and context mattered little as long as a connection could be established that could then be publicized. The June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was another such attempt.

Western intelligence assets were used to initiate and establish these connections, particularly in the cases of Papadopoulos and Page.

Ultimately, Brennan formed an inter-agency task force comprising an estimated six agencies and/or government departments. The FBI, Treasury, and DOJ handled the domestic inquiry into Trump and possible Russia connections. The CIA, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency (NSA) handled foreign and intelligence aspects.

Brennan's inter-agency task force is not to be confused with the July 2016 FBI counterintelligence investigation, which was formed later at Brennan's urging.

During this time, Brennan also employed the use of reverse targeting , which relates to the targeting of a foreign individual with the intent of capturing data on a U.S. citizen. This effort was uncovered and made public by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a March 2017 press conference :

"I have seen intelligence reports that clearly show the president-elect and his team were monitored and disseminated out in intelligence-reporting channels. Details about persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little apparent foreign-intelligence value were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting.

"From what I know right now, it looks like incidental collection. We don't know exactly how that was picked up but we're trying to get to the bottom of it."

As this foreign intelligence -- unofficial in nature and outside of any traditional channels -- was gathered, Brennan began a process of feeding his gathered intelligence to the FBI. Repeated transfers of foreign intelligence from the CIA director pushed the FBI toward the establishment of a formal counterintelligence investigation. Brennan repeatedly noted this during a May 23, 2017, congressional testimony :

"I made sure that anything that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with the [FBI]."

Brennan also admitted that his intelligence helped establish the FBI investigation:

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred."

This admission is important, as no official intelligence was used to open the FBI's investigation.

Once the FBI began its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016, Brennan shifted his focus. Through a series of meetings in August and September 2016, Brennan informed the congressional Gang of Eight regarding intelligence and information he had gathered. Notably, each Gang of Eight member was briefed separately, calling into question whether each of the members received the same information. Efforts to block the release of the transcripts from each meeting remain ongoing.

The last major segment of Brennan's efforts involved a series of three reports and greater participation from Clapper. The first report, the "Joint Statement from the Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Election Security ," was released on Oct. 7, 2016. The second report, "GRIZZLY STEPPE -- Russian Malicious Cyber Activity ," was released on Dec. 29, 2016. The third report, "Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections " -- also known as the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) -- was released on Jan. 6, 2017.

This final report was used to continue pushing the Russia-collusion narrative following the election of President Donald Trump. Notably, Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA publicly dissented from the findings of the ICA, assigning only a moderate confidence level.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bMcNbum93cU?wmode=transparent&wmode=opaque

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Although the FBI is technically part of the DOJ, it is best for the purposes of this article that the FBI and DOJ be viewed as separate entities, each with its own related ties.

The FBI itself was comprised of various factions, with a particularly active element that has come to be known as the "insurance policy group." It appears that this faction was led by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and comprised other notable names such as FBI agent Peter Strzok, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and FBI general counsel James Baker.

The FBI established the counterintelligence investigation into alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. Comey initially refused to say whether the FBI was investigating possible connections between members of the Trump campaign and Russia. He would continue to refuse to provide answers until March 20, 2017, when he disclosed the existence of the FBI investigation during congressional testimony.

Comey also testified that he did not provide notification to the Gang of Eight until early March 2017 -- less than one month earlier. This admission was in stark contrast to actions taken by Brennan, who had notified members of the Gang of Eight individually during August and September 2016. It's likely that Brennan never informed Comey that he had briefed the Gang of Eight in 2016. Comey did note that the DOJ "had been aware" of the investigation all along.

Comey opened the counterintelligence investigation into Trump on the urging of CIA Director John Brennan.
Following Comey's firing on May 9, 2017, the FBI's investigation was transferred to special counsel Robert Mueller. The Mueller investigation remains ongoing.

The FBI's formal involvement with the Steele dossier began on July 5, 2016, when Mike Gaeta, an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the US Embassy in Rome, was dispatched to visit former MI6 spy Christopher Steele in London. Gaeta would return from this meeting with a copy of Steele's first memo. This memo was given to Victoria Nuland at the State Department, who passed it along to the FBI.

Gaeta, who also headed the FBI's Eurasian Organized Crime unit, had known Steele since at least 2010, when Steele had provided assistance to the FBI's investigation into the FIFA corruption scandal .

Prior to the London meeting, Gaeta may also have met on a less formal basis with Steele