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Posts Tagged ‘Edward Snowden’

The CIA Has Stultified American Consciences – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

https://www.fff.org/2021/10/05/the-cia-has-stultified-american-consciences/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

REMINDER: Tonight, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, via Zoom: Tufts University professor of law Michael Glennon‘s presentation as part of our ongoing conference series on restoring civil liberties in America. To receive a zoom link, register at our conference web page. Registration fee: FREE.

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One of the worst consequences of converting the federal government to a national-security state has been the stultification or warping of the consciences of the American people. With unwavering allegiance to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, all too many Americans have sacrificed their sense of right and wrong at the altar of “national security,” the two-word term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people.

The best example of this phenomenon is the CIA’s power of assassination. Most Americans have come to passively accept this power, with nary a thought as to the victims against whom it is carried out and under what what circumstances it is carried out.

Consider recent revelations that the CIA was planning to assassinate Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for disclosing dark-side secrets of the U.S. deep state to to the world. 

That’s why U.S. officials have pursued him with a vengeance — not because he lied about the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s dark-side activities but rather because he disclosed the truth about them. 

That’s why they were seeking to murder him — to silence him, to punish him, and to send a message to other potential disclosers of dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment. 

But anyone with a conscience that is operating would easily see that assassinating Assange would be just plain murder. And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, the murder of an innocent person is just plain evil. 

Yet, the reaction to all this from the mainstream press has been one great big collective yawn. No big deal. It’s just another state-sponsored assassination intended to protect “national security.” If U.S. national-security state officials have decided that Assange needs to be taken out, then that’s just the way it is. That’s why we have a CIA, after all. We have to defer to its judgment, even if it means sacrificing our consciences in the process. After all, that’s its job — to protect “national security.”

By the way, there is virtually no doubt that if they could get away with assassinating Edward Snowden for disclosing the truth about NSA dark-side activity, they would murder him too. The probable reason they haven’t assassinated Snowden is because they haven’t figured out a way to get the assassins out of Russia.

When the federal government was converted to a national-security state after World War II, the American people made an implicit bargain with the devil. The bargain empowered the national-security establishment to engage in dark-side activity, including assassination. But another part of the bargain was that officials would keep their dark-side activity secret from the American people so that people wouldn’t have to deal with their consciences over a governmental entity that was assassinating people. 

Assange’s and Snowden’s great “crime” was in violating that pact. By bringing dark-side activity to the attention of the American people, they ran the risk that people’s consciences might start operating. 

So far, there appears to be no risk of that happening. Consider, for example, the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. That was just plain murder. Iran and the United States are not at war with each other. Sure, we are told that Iran is a “rival,” an “enemy,” an “opponent,” or an “adversary,” but does that morally entitle U.S. officials to murder Iranian officials? It does not, just as it doesn’t entitle Iranian officials to murder U.S. officials. 

Again, however, the reaction among the mainstream press to the assassination of Suleimani was one great big collective yawn. Revealingly, there was also no moral outrage expressed among church ministers across America. If the Pentagon and the CIA deemed it necessary to assassinate Suleiman, that’s all we need to know. 

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

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Silencing Julian Assange: Why Bother With a Trial When You Can Just Kill Him? — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on October 10, 2021

Or, as Assange’s lawyer put it more to the point, “As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information.” Unfortunately, that is not all that the Assange case is about. It is not just a question of truth or fiction and journalistic ethics, but rather an issue of the abuses enabled by powerful men who believe that their power is unlimited.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2021/10/07/silencing-julian-assange-why-bother-with-trial-when-you-can-just-kill-him/

Philip Giraldi

An English friend recently learned about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plan to either kidnap or kill journalist Julian Assange and quipped “I’ll bet he’s happy to be safe and sound in Belmarsh Prison if he has a chance to read about that!” I replied that his time in Belmarsh has been made as demeaning as possible by an English judge and the British are just as capable of executing a Jeffrey Epstein suicide or “accident” if called upon to do so by their American “cousins.” He agreed, reluctantly. Indeed, the roles of American allies Britain and Australia in what is turning out to be one of the world’s longest-playing judicial dramas has been reprehensible.

For those readers who have missed some of the fun of the Assange saga, a recap is in order. Julian Assange, an Australian citizen who was living in London, was the Editor in Chief and driving force behind Wikileaks, which debuted in 2006 and was one of the alternative news sites that have sprung up over the past twenty years. WikiLeaks was somewhat unique in that it often did not write up its own stories but rather was passed documentary material by sources in government and elsewhere that it then reprinted without any editing.

Assange attracted the ire of the ruling class when he obtained in 2010 a classified video from an unidentified source that showed an unprovoked 2007 shooting incident involving U.S. Army helicopters in Baghdad in which a dozen completely innocent people were killed. The government’s anger at WikiLeaks intensified when, in 2013, Edward Snowden, a National Security Agency contractor, fled to Hong Kong with classified material that demonstrated that the U.S. government was illegally spying on Americans. WikiLeaks also reportedly helped to arrange Snowden’s subsequent escape to Russia from Hong Kong.

The bipartisan animus directed against WikiLeaks intensified still further in the summer of 2016 when the group’s website began to release emails from the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The immediate conclusion propagated by Team Hillary but unsupported by facts was that Russian intelligence had hacked the emails and given them to WikiLeaks.

It was perhaps inevitable that Assange’s reporting, which has never been found to be factually inaccurate, was in some circles claimed to be based on information provided to him by Russian hackers. Even though he repeatedly denied that that was the case and there are technical reasons why that was unlikely or even impossible, this led to a sharp Russophobic response from a number of intelligence and law enforcement services close to the United States. Assange was charged in Britain in November 2010 on an international warrant demanding that he be extradited to Sweden over claims that he had committed rape in that country, an accusation which later turned out to be false. He posted bail but lost a legal battle to annul the warrant and then skipped a preliminary hearing in London in June 2012 to accept asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy, which has diplomatic immunity. He stayed in the Embassy for eighty-two months, at which point a new government in Quito made clear that his asylum would be revoked and he would be expelled from the building. He was preparing to leave voluntarily in April 2019 when police arrived and he was arrested on a charge of his failure to appear in court seven years before which was regarded as “bail jumping.” He was sent immediately to Belmarsh high security prison, where Britain’s terrorist prisoners are confined.

After his arrest, Assange continued to be incarcerated due to a U.S. Justice Department extradition request based on the Espionage Act of 1918, apparently derived from possible interaction with the Chelsea Manning whistleblower case. Assange has now been in Belmarsh for 29 months in spite of increasing international pressure asserting that he is a journalist and should be released. The British have hesitated to extradite him on the basis of the evidence produced by the U.S. government, which included the claim that Assange aided the former U.S. Army analyst Manning break into a classified computer network in order to obtain and eventually publish classified material, but they have likewise failed to release him. The British judge denied extradition in January, suggesting that if he were to be returned forcibly to the U.S. he would likely commit suicide, but she also denied Assange bail as he was considered to be a flight risk. The U.S. appealed that verdict and the next hearing is scheduled for the end of October. It should be noted that no evidence produced by the Justice Department has plausibly linked Assange to the Russian intelligence services.

Which brings us to the Yahoo news revelation regarding the CIA plot to shoot, poison or kidnap Assange while he was sheltering in the Ecuadorian Embassy. It goes something like this: in 2017, Assange’s fifth year in the Embassy, the CIA debated going after him to end the alleged threat posed to government secrets by him and his organization, which was still operating and presumed to be in contact with him. WikiLeaks had at that time been publishing extremely sensitive CIA hacking tools, referred to as “Vault 7,” which constituted “the largest data loss in CIA history.”

In an April 2017 speech, Donald Trump’s new CIA Director Mike Pompeo said “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service and has encouraged its followers to find jobs at the CIA in order to obtain intelligence. It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” It was a declaration of war. The label “non-state hostile intelligence service” is a legal designation which more-or-less opened the door to non-conventional responses to eliminate the threat. CIA Stations where WikiLeaks associates were known to be present were directed to increase surveillance on them and also attempt to interdict any communications they might seek to have with Assange himself in the embassy. A staff of analysts referred to as the “WikiLeaks Team” worked full time to target the organization and its leaders.

At the top level of the Agency debate over more extreme options prevailed, though there were legitimate concerns about the legality of what was being contemplated. In late 2017, in the midst of the debate over possible kidnapping and/or assassination, the Agency picked up alarming though unsubstantiated reports that Russian intelligence operatives were preparing plans to help Assange escape from the United Kingdom and fly him to Moscow.

CIA responded by preparing to foil Assange’s possible Russian-assisted departure to include potential gun battles with Moscow’s spies on the streets of London or crashing a car into any Russian diplomatic vehicle transporting Assange to seize him. One scenario even included either blocking the runway or shooting out the tires of any Russian plane believed to be carrying Assange before it could take off for Moscow. Pompeo himself reportedly favored what is referred to as a “rendition,” which would consist of breaking into the Ecuadorian Embassy, kidnapping Assange, and flying him clandestinely to the U.S. for trial. Others in the national security team favored killing Assange rather than going through the complexity of kidnapping and removing him. Fortunately, saner views prevailed, particularly when the British refused to cooperate in any way with activity they regarded as clearly illegal.

So Assange is still in prison and what does it all mean? The only possible charge that would convincingly demonstrate that Assange was spy paid by Russia would be related to his possibly helping Chelsea Manning to circumvent security to steal classified material, but there is no real evidence that Assange actually did that or that he is under Russian control. So that makes him a journalist. That he has embarrassed the United States, most often when it misbehaves, is what good journalists do. But beyond that the disgraceful CIA plans to kill or abduct Assange as an option to get rid of him reveal yet again the dark side of what the United States of America has become since 9/11.

More to the point, getting rid of Assange will accomplish nothing. He worked with a number of like-minded colleagues who have been more than able to pick up where he left off. He has been largely incommunicado since he has been languishing in Belmarsh Prison and it is his associates who have continued to solicit information and publish it on their site. Mike Pompeo’s unapologetic response to this assassination or kidnapping story was “They were engaged in active efforts to steal secrets themselves, and pay others to do the same …” Of course, if all that were true Mike and the government lawyers have had an opportunity to demonstrate just that in a British court. They couldn’t do so and instead promoted the easier option of just killing someone for publishing something true. And assassination is a blunt instrument that rarely accomplishes anything. One recalls that in January 2020 Pompeo certainly participated in the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi Militia Leader Muhandis in Baghdad. What did that accomplish apart from turning a nominally friendly Iraq hostile to the U.S. presence?

Or, as Assange’s lawyer put it more to the point, “As an American citizen, I find it absolutely outrageous that our government would be contemplating kidnapping or assassinating somebody without any judicial process simply because he had published truthful information.” Unfortunately, that is not all that the Assange case is about. It is not just a question of truth or fiction and journalistic ethics, but rather an issue of the abuses enabled by powerful men who believe that their power is unlimited. That is the real abyss that the United States has fallen into and the only way out is to finally hold such people, starting with Pompeo, accountable for what they have done.

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Watch “”It Happens To Everyone! Be Careful With This Device!” Edward Snowden” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2021

Edward Snowden’s Ultimate Warning! The Biggest Spy Trap In The World! “You Are Being Spied 24/7”

https://youtu.be/zekWsnLHH3w

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Watch “””You Think Your Phone It’s Off, But It’s Not!” | Edward Snowden Part 1/2″ on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2021

“Google keeps a permanent record of everything you type”.

https://youtu.be/0dGqR4ue8dg

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Watch “”You Think No One Is Listening To You, This Is Not A Coincidence!” | Edward Snowden Part 2/2″ on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on September 7, 2021

” It’s not data that is being manipulated, it’s you”.

https://youtu.be/t_N9PiauwFc

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Snowden Warns Smartphone Owners About Danger of Personal Data Scanning by Phonemakers

Posted by M. C. on September 3, 2021

“[Apple] breaks down this barrier between service and your phone, and now they start scanning on your phone. They can scan for anything, they can scan for political criticism, they can scan for financial records, they can scan for really anything,” Snowden said, noting that once Apple has established the precedent of using this type of scanning, it loses the ability to say the company will never use it.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/09/no_author/snowden-warns-smartphone-owners-about-danger-of-personal-data-scanning-by-phonemakers/

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Smartphone owners should be wary of phone producers, in particular Apple, trying to scan personal data and files on devices, former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden said on 2 September.

The remark, related to Apple’s new controversial scanning system for iPhones, was made during the annual New Knowledge conference in Russia, which is running this year from Wednesday to Friday. The technology is set to be installed on users’ devices with the upcoming iOS 15 update, and is said to scan photos for child pornography.

“[Apple] breaks down this barrier between service and your phone, and now they start scanning on your phone. They can scan for anything, they can scan for political criticism, they can scan for financial records, they can scan for really anything,” Snowden said, noting that once Apple has established the precedent of using this type of scanning, it loses the ability to say the company will never use it.

The new technology has caused privacy concern among people around the world, even though it is said to be coming out only in the United States and used for security reasons, he said.

“Once Apple proves that it is possible for them to scan for some kind of forbidden content … once they say you can have this file on your phone, we developed a system to detect it. They cannot decide in future what kind of files be searched for … it is government question … that is dangerous,” Snowden said.

The whistleblower added that devices should be made more secure, as now there are private companies that do nothing but create ways to hack into smartphones and sell these hacking methods to governments around the world.

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Snowden joins battle against iPhone photo-scanning plan as Apple insults privacy activists as ‘screeching voices of the minority’ — RT World News

Posted by M. C. on August 7, 2021

“No matter how well-intentioned [Apple] is rolling out mass surveillance to the entire world with this. Make no mistake: if they can scan for kiddie porn today, they can scan for anything tomorrow,” he tweeted on Thursday night. “They turned a trillion dollars of devices into iNarcs – *without asking.*”

If Apple admits to its spying, it’s evil twin Google likely has already been at work without mentioning it.Time to start using that real camera again.

You are using a VPN and Firefox, Duckduckgo or Startpage…right?

https://www.rt.com/news/531389-apple-petition-privacy-snowden/

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has endorsed a petition against Apple’s plan to scan every iPhone user’s photos, calling it an assault on privacy. The company insisted its intention is only to root out child sexual abuse.

The letter, published on the platform Github on Friday is signed by security and privacy experts, cryptographers, researchers, academics, legal experts and ordinary consumers, united in condemnation of Apple’s “privacy-invasive content scanning technology.”

If you have a @github account, you can join me in co-signing the first letter uniting security & privacy experts, researchers, professors, policy advocates, and consumers against @Apple‘s planned moves against all of our privacy.https://t.co/QIb1TwJE0C— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) August 6, 2021

While acknowledging that efforts to combat child exploitation and abuse are “almost unquestionably well-intentioned,” the signers say that Apple’s proposal to constantly monitor and scan everyone’s photos – and alert authorities if its AI-driven algorithm tags them as criminal – “introduces a backdoor that threatens to undermine fundamental privacy protections for all users of Apple products.”

They warn that the technology has the potential to bypass any end-to-end encryption that would normally safeguard the user’s privacy – something Apple has long been promoting as a major feature of its software ecosystem.

Apple’s plan to roll out the scanning program in the US was leaked on Thursday via the Financial Times. It immediately raised eyebrows among cybersecurity researchers and privacy advocates – including Snowden, who became a household name in 2013 after blowing the whistle on the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance of Americans.

“No matter how well-intentioned [Apple] is rolling out mass surveillance to the entire world with this. Make no mistake: if they can scan for kiddie porn today, they can scan for anything tomorrow,” he tweeted on Thursday night. “They turned a trillion dollars of devices into iNarcs – *without asking.*”

The letter he shared contains quotes from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), and the Open Privacy Research Society, as well as several prominent advocates and researchers.

They all urged Apple to halt the deployment of the proposed technology “immediately” and reaffirm their commitment to user privacy and encryption.

I know, it sounds nuts. But ten years ago I would have said “running a local scanner on your device’s photo library even when photos aren’t shared” sounds nuts. And yet here we are.— Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) August 6, 2021

Judging by the content of an internal memo sent on Friday by vice-president for software Sebastien Marineau-Mes, however, Apple is doubling down on the project – and seeking to motivate employees with a letter of praise insulting the critics.

“We’ve seen many positive responses today. We know some people have misunderstandings, and more than a few are worried about the implications, but we will continue to explain and detail the features so people understand what we’ve built,” Marineau-Mes wrote in the memo, which was reprinted by 9to5Mac on Friday.

He then appends the note Apple received from Marita Rodriguez, an executive with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), saying he found it “incredibly motivating, and hope that you will as well.”

Apple distributed an internal memo today which referred to pushback against its new content surveillance measures as “the screeching voices of the minority.” I have nothing to add. pic.twitter.com/6R9moiekyN— Nadim Kobeissi (@kaepora) August 6, 2021

“We know that the days to come will be filled with the screeching voices of the minority. Our voices will be louder,” Rodriguez wrote, after saying that NCMEC is “SO PROUD” of everyone at Apple and “the incredible decisions you have made in the name of prioritizing child protection.”

Apple has previously defended the encrypted nature of its operating systems, famously going to court in 2016 to fight the FBI demand for a ‘backdoor’ to the iPhone of the suspect in the San Bernardino, California terrorist shooting rampage. In its legal briefs, the company said the US government was demanding something they didn’t have and would be “too dangerous” for them to create.

The FBI later managed to unlock the phone, reportedly using an Israeli spy tool, but found nothing of use. Last month, it emerged that another Israeli spy tool, Pegasus, has been used to hack tens of thousands of iPhones around the world – including those of journalists, dissidents and even heads of state.

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The NSA Is Spying on Tucker Carlson (and Everyone Else) | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 5, 2021

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-nsa-is-spying-on-tucker-carlson-and-everyone-else/

by Jim Bovard

Fox News host Tucker Carlson was mocked on social media this week for stating that he had been told that the National Security Agency was reading his private emails and spying on him. The usual suspects called Carlson paranoid, because there are so many checks and balances to assure the feds would never illegally target a vexatious Biden critic. However, on Tuesday, a dissent by Travis LeBlanc, a member of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, revealed that one of the NSA’s most intrusive surveillance engines, XKeyscore, may be violating federal law and Americans’ rights and privacy.

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked documents proving that XKeyscore was the surveillance state’s incarnation of paranoia. What did it take for the NSA to justify vacuuming up Americans’ emails and internet data? Merely detecting “someone searching the web for suspicious stuff.” The peril of that farcical standard was compounded because, as Snowden explained, NSA surveillance tools enabled him to “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email.” Thanks to its all-encompassing standard of “suspicious,” NSA has “assembled on the order of 20 trillion [email and phone] transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens,” according to former NSA senior analyst William Binney. Six months after Snowden’s disclosures began, federal judge Richard Leon issued a ruling denouncing the NSA surveillance regime as “almost Orwellian”: “I cannot imagine a more indiscriminate and arbitrary invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval.”

After the uproar created by the Snowden revelations, the civil liberties watchdog board leaped into action to investigate XKeyscore. Six years later, the board finished its 56-page report, a confidential version of which was provided to the White House and select members of Congress in March. Unfortunately, the board apparently did not have time to look under any rocks to see what the NSA might be hiding. In a dissent partially declassified on Tuesday, LeBlanc complained that the board failed to ask “how many U.S. persons have been impacted by XKeyscore, how much data the program collects and analyzes, how widely information analyzed through XKeyscore is shared, the number of lives saved, or the number of terrorist events averted as a result of XKeyscore.” In 2019, XKeyscore resulted in “hundreds of compliance incidents,” and LeBlanc noted that “U.S. law and the known collection or processing of U.S. person information are serious compliance issues.” However, the civil liberties oversight board did not “request specific information” about violations of U.S. law by NSA. LeBlanc groused that the board’s report “reads more like a book report of the XKeyscore program than an independent oversight analysis.”

Continue reading this article at The American Conservative

About Jim Bovard

Jim Bovard is the author of Public Policy Hooligan (2012), Attention Deficit Democracy (2006), Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (1994), and 7 other books. He is a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Washington Post, and other publications. His articles have been publicly denounced by the chief of the FBI, the Postmaster General, the Secretary of HUD, and the heads of the DEA, FEMA, and EEOC and numerous federal agencies.

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Conspiracy: Theory and Practice – Continuing Ed — with Edward Snowden

Posted by M. C. on June 30, 2021

https://edwardsnowden.substack.com/p/conspiracy-pt1

Edward Snowden

I.

The greatest conspiracies are open and notorious — not theories, but practices expressed through law and policy, technology, and finance. Counterintuitively, these conspiracies are more often than not announced in public and with a modicum of pride. They’re dutifully reported in our newspapers; they’re bannered onto the covers of our magazines; updates on their progress are scrolled across our screens —  all with such regularity as to render us unable to relate the banality of their methods to the rapacity of their ambitions.

The party in power wants to redraw district lines. The prime interest rate has changed. A free service has been created to host our personal files. These conspiracies order, and disorder, our lives; and yet they can’t compete for attention with digital graffiti about pedophile Satanists in the basement of a DC pizzeria.

This, in sum, is our problem: the truest conspiracies meet with the least opposition.

Or to put it another way, conspiracy practices — the methods by which true conspiracies such as gerrymandering, or the debt industry, or mass surveillance are realized — are almost always overshadowed by conspiracy theories: those malevolent falsehoods that in aggregate can erode civic confidence in the existence of anything certain or verifiable.

In my life, I’ve had enough of both the practice and the theory. In my work for the United States National Security Agency, I was involved with establishing a Top-Secret system intended to access and track the communications of every human being on the planet. And yet after I grew aware of the damage this system was causing — and after I helped to expose that true conspiracy to the press — I couldn’t help but notice that the conspiracies that garnered almost as much attention were those that were demonstrably false: I was, it was claimed, a hand-picked CIA operative sent to infiltrate and embarrass the NSA; my actions were part of an elaborate inter-agency feud. No, said others: my true masters were the Russians, the Chinese, or worse — Facebook.

Contrary to what a surprisingly large number of people on Twitter believe, that is very much not me.

As I found myself made vulnerable to all manner of Internet fantasy, and interrogated by journalists about my past, about my family background, and about an array of other issues both entirely personal and entirely irrelevant to the matter at hand, there were moments when I wanted to scream: “What is wrong with you people? All you want is intrigue, but an honest-to-God, globe-spanning apparatus of omnipresent surveillance riding in your pocket is not enough? You have to sauce that up?”

It took years — eight years and counting in exile — for me to realize that I was missing the point: we talk about conspiracy theories in order to avoid talking about conspiracy practices, which are often too daunting, too threatening, too total.


II.

It’s my hope in this post and in posts to come to engage a broader scope of conspiracy-thinking, by examining the relationship between true and false conspiracies, and by asking difficult questions about the relationships between truth and falsehood in our public and private lives.

I’ll begin by offering a fundamental proposition: namely, that to believe in any conspiracy, whether true or false, is to believe in a system or sector run not by popular consent but by an elite, acting in its own self-interest. Call this elite the Deep State, or the Swamp; call it the Illuminati, or Opus Dei, or the Jews, or merely call it the major banking institutions and the Federal Reserve…

See the rest here

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CIA (Dis)Information Operations Come Home To The US | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on June 8, 2021

Not today. Journalism is today devoted to eliminating practitioners unwilling to play the game. Few have been targeted more than Glenn Greenwald (with Matt Taibbi as runner up.) Greenwald exploded into a journalistic superhero for his reporting on Edward Snowden’s NSA archive, founding The Intercept to serve as a platform for that work (Greenwald’s downfall parallels Julian Assange, who went from liberal hero for exposing the foundational lies of the Iraq War to zero when his Wikileaks was demonized for supposedly helping Donald Trump.)

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cia-disinformation-operations-come-home-us

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Via WeMeantWell.com,

Reporters joke the easiest job in Washington is CIA spokesman. You need only listen carefully to questions and say “No comment’ before heading to Happy Hour. The joke, however, is on us. The reporters pretend to see only one side of the CIA, the passive hiding of information about itself. They meanwhile choose to profit from the other side of the equation, active information operations designed to influence events in America. It is 2021 and the CIA is running an op against the American people.

Leon Panetta, the Director CIA from 2009 to 2011 explained bluntly his CIA did influence foreign media outlets ahead of elections in order to “change attitudes within the country.” The method, Panetta said, was to “acquire media within a country or within a region that could very well be used for being able to deliver a specific message or work to influence those that may own elements of the media to be able to cooperate, work with you in delivering that message.”

The CIA has been running such information ops to influence foreign elections since the end of WWII. Richard Bissell, who ran the agency’s operations during the Cold War, wrote of “exercising control over a newspaper or broadcasting station, or of securing the desired outcome in an election.” A report on the CIA in Chile boasts the Agency portrayed its favored candidate in one election as a “wise, sincere and high-minded statesman” while painting his leftist opponent as a “calculating schemer.” At one point in the 1980s foreign media insertions ran 80 a day.

The goal is to control information as a tool of influence. Sometimes the control is very direct, simply paying a reporter to run a story, or, as was done in Iraq, simply operating the media outlet yourself (known as the Orwellian Indigenous Media Project.) The problem is such direct action is easily exposed, destroying credibility.

A more effective strategy is to become a source for legitimate media such that your (dis)information inherits their credibility. The most effective is an operation so complex one CIA plant is the initial information source while a second CIA plant acts seemingly independently as a confirming source. At that point you can push information to the mainstream media, who can then “independently” confirm it, sometimes unknowingly, through your secondary agents. You can basically write tomorrow’s headlines.

Other techniques include exclusive true information mixed with disinformation to establish credibility, using official sources like Embassy spokesmen to appear to inadvertently confirm sub details, and covert funding of research and side gigs to promote academics and experts who discredit counter-narratives. The academics may never know where their money comes from, adding to their credibility.

From the end of WWII to the Church Committee in 1976, this was all just a conspiracy theory. Of course the US would not use the CIA to influence elections, especially in fellow democracies. Except it did. By its nature reporting on intelligence always requires one to work with limited information. Always give time a chance to explain.

Through Operation Mockingbird the CIA ran over 400 American journalists as direct assets. Almost none have ever discussed their work publically. CIA documents show journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations. The New York Times alone willingly provided cover for about ten CIA officers over decades and kept quiet about it. Such long term relationships are a powerful tool, so feeding a true big story to a young reporter to get him promoted is part of the game. Don’t forget the anonymous source who drove the Watergate story was an FBI official who through his actions made the careers of  cub reporters Woodward and Bernstein. Bernstein went on to champion the Russiagate story. Woodward became a Washington hagiographer. Ken Dilanian, formerly with the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and now working for NBC, maintains a “collaborative relationship” with the CIA.

That’s the tradecraft and the history. The problem for America is once again the tools of war abroad have come home. The intelligence community is currently operating against the American people using established media.

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