Disclaimer: This site is *not* affiliated with AIPAC, Ahmed Chalabi, K Street, ClearChannel, or Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, NJ. In case you were curious. Full disclosure: I have a "long Apple position" and therefore I have an Apple bias.
It can't be emphasized enough that the global debt complex we are all trapped in is reproduced daily by sophisticated (and in many cases quite old & deteriorated) computers. There is no magic man behind the curtain, just a bunch of nasty computer systems whose authority is enforced by central banking authorities like the Troika, IMF, World Bank, Bank for International Settlements and the Federal Reserve System.
This is one of the biggest stories at this level I have seen in ages, perhaps ever. Fascinating story very worth reading: A secret lolcat team in Greece's finance ministry hacked into their own EU-controlled systems and had a parallel financial network ready to go, but it all got wound down. Apparently FM Varoufakis resigned as a result of the plan being halted - and overall it was a pretty cool plan under dire national circumstances of emergency survival vs austerity.
A secret cell at the Greek finance ministry hacked into the government computers and drew up elaborate plans for a system of parallel payments that could be switched from euros to the drachma at the "flick of a button" .
The revelations have caused a political storm in Greece and confirm just how close the country came to drastic measures before premier Alexis Tsipras gave in to demands from Europe's creditor powers, acknowledging that his own cabinet would not support such a dangerous confrontation.
Yanis Varoufakis, the former finance minister, told a group of investors in London that a five-man team under his control had been working for months on a contingency plan to create euro liquidity if the European Central Bank cut off emergency funding to the Greek financial system, as it in fact did after talks broke down and Syriza called a referendum.
On the IT front, the challenge is vastly larger due to the state of financial firm IT systems. We intend to return to this topic, because we see bank IT systems as an unrecognized source of systemic risk. They are required to run to mission critical standards: enormous transaction volumes, extremely high demands for accuracy of end output, high uptimes. Yet the code base is an agglomeration, with many important operations relying in meaningful ways on legacy systems. Thus, as our expert with relevant experience stressed, changes that seem simple are anything but.
This is precisely why it is so important to understand these systems and come up with intermediate replacements, as your local version of the ECB is always waiting to make its next move for artificial austerity & assorted lethal games all taking place inside these computers…
Former Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that he was authorized by Alexis Tsipras last December to look into a parallel payment system that would operate using wiretapped tax registration numbers (AFMs) and could eventually work as a parallel banking system, Kathimerini has learned.
In a teleconference call with members of international hedge funds that was allegedly coordinated by former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, Varoufakis claimed to have been given the okay by Tsipras last December – a month before general elections that brought SYRIZA to power – to plan a payment system that could operate in euros but which could be changed into drachmas "overnight" if necessary, Kathimerini understands.
Varoufakis worked with a small team to prepare the plan, which would have required a staff of 1,000 to implement but did not get the final go-ahead from Tsipras to proceed, he said.
The call took place on July 16, more than a week after Varoufakis left his post as finance minister.
The plan would involve hijacking the AFMs of taxpayers and corporations by hacking into General Secretariat of Public Revenues website, Varoufakis told his interlocutors.This would allow the creation of a parallel system that could operate if banks were forced to close and which would allow payments to be made between third parties and the state and could eventually lead to the creation of a parallel banking system, he said.
As the general secretariat is a system that is monitored by Greece’s creditors and is therefore difficult to access, Varoufakis said he assigned a childhood friend of his, an information technology expert who became a professor at Columbia University, to hack into the system. A week after Varouakis took over the ministry, he said the friend telephoned him and said he had “control” of the hardware but not the software "which belongs to the troika."
"The prime minister before he became PM, before we won the election in January, had given me the green light to come up with a Plan B. And I assembled a very able team, a small team as it had to be because that had to be kept completely under wraps for obvious reasons. And we had been working since the end of December or beginning of January on creating one.
"What we planned to do was the following. There is the website of the tax office like there is in Britain and everywhere else, where citizens, taxpayers go into the website they use their tax file number and they transfer through web banking monies from the bank account to their tax file number so as to make payments on VAT, income tax and so on and so forth.
“We were planning to create, surreptitiously, reserve accounts attached to every tax file number, without telling anyone, just to have this system in a function under wraps. And, at the touch of a button, to allow us to give PIN numbers to tax file number holders, to taxpayers.
"That would have created a parallel banking system while the banks were shut as a result of the ECBs aggressive action to deny us some breathing space.
"This was very well developed and I think it would have made a very big difference because very soon we could have extended it, using apps on smartphones and it could become a functioning parallel system and of course this would be euro denominated but at the drop of a hat it could be converted to a new drachma.
"But let me tell you - and this is quite a fascinating story - what difficulties I faced. The General Secretary of Public Revenues within my ministry is controlled fully and directly by the troika. It was not under control of my ministry, of me as minister, it was controlled by Brussels.
Ok, so problem number one: The general secretary of information systems on the other hand was controlled by me, as minister. I appointed a good friend of mine, a childhood friend of mine who had become professor of IT at Columbia University in the States and so on. I put him in because I trusted him to develop this……
a week or so after we moved into the ministry, he calls me up and says to me: 'You know what? I control the machines, I control the hardware but I do not control the software. The software belongs to the troika controlled General Secretary of Public Revenues. What do I do?'
"So we decided to hack into my ministry’s own software program in order to be able break it up to just copy just to copy the code of the tax systems website onto a large computer in his office so that he can work out how to design and implement this parallel payment system.
"And we were ready to get the green light from the PM when the banks closed in order to move into the General Secretariat of Public Revenues, which is not controlled by us but is controlled by Brussels, and to plug this laptop in and to energize the system.
Obviously it was a disappointment to many sane people that Syriza seems to have mostly folded to the Troika but perhaps the Secret Team tactic could be used when the next big one hits the fan and an entrapped debtor nation decides to quickly assert technical sovereignty.
But how to pull this again without tipping the hand? And could it be used again by Greece, now that the word is out? What will happen to Varoufakis' rather exposed techie friend, assuming it's accurate? A fascinating and very pertinent story, I can only hope gets dramatized in some fashion.
Get these computers because one way or another, they are definitely gonna getcha, getcha, getcha…
Update: worth pointing out the Federal Reserve drama over banks wanting their electronically created money kicked back from the Fed. Interesting because it unravels a 100-year-old pact between Congress and banks, as well as highlighting the bizarre secretive and lucrative bank membership in Fed regional entities. Great source of electronic "money" to put into the roads, Ace work whoever managed to slide this policy under the nose of the bank lobbyist fleet.
Industry lobbyists say they were blindsided by the inclusion of the provision, which would help policymakers cover the bill’s cost by cutting the regular dividend the Federal Reserve pays to its member banks.
One lobbyist went so far as to reread the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 after getting wind of the proposal to determine what was at stake.
“I think it took everyone by surprise,” said Paul Merski with the Independent Community Bankers of America. “There was no study of the issue, no hearings, no consultation with the Federal Reserve itself.”
“It came on very quickly,” said James Ballentine of the American Bankers Association, who said he first caught wind of the idea a little over a week ago. “It’s certainly a scramble.”
In a Congress where lawmakers are always hunting for politically palatable ways to raise revenue or cut costs to cover the expenses of additional legislation, the Fed provision was a novel, and rich, one. The proposal is estimated to raise $17 billion over the next decade, and is by far the richest “pay for” included in the bill.
Lobbyists said they were not aware of any previous time when lawmakers had attached the language to a piece of legislation, which would scrap a perk banks have come to expect for over a century.
When banks join the Federal Reserve system, they are required to buy stock in the central bank equal to 6 percent of their assets. However, that stock does not gain value and cannot be traded or sold, so to entice banks to participate, the Fed pays out a 6 percent dividend payment.
The Senate proposal says it would slash that “overly generous” payout to 1.5 percent for all banks with more than $1 billion in assets. While the summary language outlining the proposal said that change would only impact “large banks,” industry advocates argued that banks most would identify as small community shops could easily have assets in excess of that amount.
Banks are working to mobilize against the provision, even as lawmakers are pushing to pass a highway bill before program funding expires at the end of the month.
Merski said ICBA had launched a “nationwide grassroots effort,” enlisting its numerous member banks and bankers and told them to call Senate offices to oppose the provision.
And Ballentine said his group was engaged in a concerted education effort for members, outlining why the industry believes the policy change would be disruptive and has no place in highway legislation.
Five major industry groups also sent a letter to lawmakers blasting the provision, saying it “undermines a key agreement that has underpinned the United States banking system for 100 years.”
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) opposes the provision, and invited Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen to opine on it when she appeared before his panel earlier this month.
She told lawmakers that if the dividend payment is reduced, some banks may not want to buy into the Fed.
“This is a change that likely would be a significant concern to the many small banks that receive the dividend,” she said.
Donald Kohn, the former vice chair of the Fed, told House lawmakers Wednesday that the proposal would be one directly felt by banks.
“Let’s recognize that by lowering it to, say, 1.5 percent on the proposal, in effect you are placing a tax on banks,” he told the House Financial Services Committee.
A review of previous policy proposals suggests that the idea may have first been thought up by House liberals. The 2014 budget proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus put forward the idea to raise revenue, and a CPC aide said he believed it was the first time someone in Congress proposed the idea. But the Senate highway bill apparently marks the first time members have actually placed it in actual legislation.
Seems like an intense week for economic crises is brewing: Greek banks will be closed till July 6 and also China's stock market is tumbling, Japan down today as well. Who knows how much bad sovereign debt lies in random Japanese or Chinese banks? Credit default swaps or other derivatives? The Chinese "equities bubble" happens to really be cracking the same week as Greece's deal runs out and the biggest IMF payment default ever is about to hit the books.
The massive debt complex only escalated by the post 2007 bailout. It's like the financial equivalent of 'entangling alliances' in WWI. The global aggregate demand slowdown continues. Puerto Rico is also struggling with systemic debt. None of this stuff got solved, central bank intervention, bond purchases and printing only can paper over some holes in the situation. More so than usual, *brace yourselves*
.. http://bloomberg.comhttp://zerohedge.com - probably reasonable places to start monitoring developments - the zerohedge sidebar of recommended sites has some very informative ones as well. I ain't got the time to get into all this stuff…
Over at WTFRLY.com there is a big roundup article getting put together as we speak.
If anyone is interested in an alternative economic tool, drupal.org/project/ices Integral Community Exchange System provides both timebanking and mutual aid / need want listings. (GPL free software license, tweak as you like)
If secret federal aviation is the Big Lebowski, Bristow is the rug that really ties the room together.
It's been thrilling to watch one of my favorite topics, aviation in covert operations, hit the bigtime over the last few news cycles.A few tweets about suspicious plane hovering over Baltimore 'disturbances' registered to a ghostly "NG Research" at a Bristow, Virginia PO Box cued the story. The FBI conceding to Washington Post that it was their flight set the stage for this. These stories have quietly been leaching out for years. As far back as 2003 (or 2006 in WIRED) references to small aircraft doing domestic surveillance have been popping up. After the Boston Marathon bombing, a small aircraft was traced to the same Bristow VA cluster. Today the story hit turbo with a big AP story, FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities, but there are lots more to find because the AP didn't really go outside of Bristow. You'll find plenty of N Numbers to snoop on below - and cool new tracking techniques too!! Quote of the year?
The FBI asked the AP not to disclose the names of the fake companies it uncovered, saying that would saddle taxpayers with the expense of creating new cover companies to shield the government's involvement, and could endanger the planes and integrity of the surveillance missions. The AP declined the FBI's request because the companies' names — as well as common addresses linked to the Justice Department — are listed on public documents and in government databases.
In my own scoping in the last week or so it appears that these shell company registration were mostly set up around 2010 or 2011, making this an Obama operation through and through. I apologize for not tipping yall more quickly to this impending development but I have been too busy!
This story shows that secret airlines are becoming an obsolete method for the [deep] state, because with the Internet and planespotters it becomes possible to observe and end-run around the secrecy of the networks, as the last big wave of awareness around secret detainee flights in the Bush years really revealed (though mostly in Eurasia, not North America). (2007 Cryptome Story and Category:Alleged CIA pilots - SourceWatch)
.......As the C.I.A. tries to veil such air operations, aviation regulations pose a major obstacle. Planes must have visible tail numbers, and their ownership can be easily checked by entering the number into the Federal Aviation Administration's online registry. So, rather than purchase aircraft outright, the C.I.A. uses shell companies whose names appear unremarkable in casual checks of F.A.A. registrations.
Years ago I asked a staff research person at the Minnesota Department of Transportation if there was something weird about how FAA registration works, if it is designed to hide ownership, and he assured me it had been that way since the FAA had been set up - and went on to tell me that when he was much younger, in the late 1980s he had traced a disappeared pilot to Texas, then found that someone had pulled the flight plans from the FAA file. This shadowy story was literally the first thing I heard from a government employee when I went asking, confirming my long-running theory that everyone has some kind of story that touches on the corrupt secret government or deep state.
Naturally the FBI/DOJ also has its own similar shells. Due to incredible laziness the feds registered tons of them with the same name pattern at the same locale in Bristow VA. Here, have some original art I made on May 25, well before the Star Tribune and Associated Press picked up this story!
Several independent parties put these pieces together and triggered the massive news snowball today. Probably the first to catch a large section of it was john wiseman (@lemonodor), who figured out good methods for tracing the transmitters and radio traffic. My friend Sam Richards (@MinneapoliSam) was the first as far as I know to put together the larger data set about the Bristow VA node, after getting a tip about a sketchy spy flight over Minneapolis, although Wiseman verifiably came up with a whole bunch of the shells in early May. Wiseman explains his narrative in new post: Tracking FBI aerial surveillance (with images, tweets) · jjwiseman · Storify
Below is a listing of 100 aircraft registered to shell companies that do not exist. The US Department of Justice can claim plausible deniability for owning and operating these aircraft however that is a flimsy defense. At the time of posting, a number of these aircraft may be airborne over American cities, equipped with surveillance, stingray, or other hardware. FOIAs are being drafted and will be submitted so it is only a matter of time before a brighter light is shined upon these secretive operations.
For examples of the flight patterns conducted by many of these aircraft within the last few days, check:
Here's an article by the ACLU highlighting why these operations are of concern https://www.aclu.org/blog/ohio-aerial-surveillance-system-moving-forward... "ARGUS, the high-flying drone technology capable of capturing super-high-definition video of a 15-square mile area and automatically tracking all moving vehicles and people within that area. I pointed out that this makes possible our nightmare scenario for drones: wide-area mass surveillance and location tracking of entire cities and towns."
Now the FBI is an onerous position where they have to turn over, de-register or re-register all of these planes, somehow reconciling rebuilding the secrecy of the fleet exposed above with the FAA's registration system, and the hordes of planespotters out there now reinforced by tons of interested activists cued into the national scope of this operation. Good luck Feds!
SOURCE: View image: image5. This plane has been flagged as using the JENA code which seems to be the usual code until probably around now. Images scaled down, resize to see more. N959JT is of course registered in Bristow VA. Bonus points awarded for pink toenails in spotting this secret aircraft machinery which seems to resemble the gear spotted on the recent Minneapolis plane.
I live in Phoenix and my coworker was telling me she's been noticing this plane circling around their neighborhood the past 12 days. They started tracking the planes on Flightradar24 and she sent me these screenshots of some of their flight paths: http://postimg.org/image/tpdhpd789/http://postimg.org/image/o2h4rw4pl/http://postimg.org/image/uuc58hj2x/ She even had a pilot friend go down to the airport that they've been flying out of and do some snooping. He found took this photo of the camera equipment mounted to the bottom of the plane: http://postimg.org/image/hm861sw61/ She said that it's always the same 3 tail fin numbers which take turns doing the same flight path. They start at daybreak and only stop late in the night.
Update: Here's another pic my coworker got of one of the planes parked at the Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix. You can see the camera equipment on the side: http://postimg.org/image/oj5bwlcjn/
She also said over the past couple days all the tail fin numbers changed on Flightradar24 and they are now all showing up as some variation of "JENA". Screenshot: http://postimg.org/image/n3ahqjgql/
Finally it is worth noting it has been difficult but not impossible to get credit to independent journalists for blowing up this story. I appreciate Bob Collins at Minnesota Public Radio's Newscut for engaging on Twitter when we pressed him on the issue of crediting the story, and including references to Sam's original medium.com story, while the Star Tribune and AP did not credit Sam at all. (Although the Strib has been communicative recently and I have some hope they will circle back within a few days).
Additionally I suspect "CHAPPARRAL AIR GROUP" may be another front, they got a craft from the DEA: N540DB. seeHelicopter Flying Above Claycord on Thursday Afternoon —claycord CLAYCORD.com: "A google search of the tail ID can help you confirm this also, where you will find no shortage of photographs of this specific aircraft operating out of Concord and San Jose. Note that the federal government recently (2011) transferred registration of 15 Federal law enforcement helicopters out of the names of the Department of Justice, DEA, to an entity in Texas called the Chaparral Air Group."
Before the story broke we had a bunch of diggings, now it's time to share! MORE RELATED RAW DATA:
NOTE there are some false positives and general "NOISE" in here, please proceed with discernment!!!
In broader context, the Obama administration has continuted to expand the use of intelligence tracking, including fusion centers and electronic intelligence, to keep rebellious groups under control, as addressed here
On April 29, a Cessna 206H registered to National Aircraft Leasing Corporation circled overhead for hours at about 3,500 feet, flying repetitively over western Baltimore. On the nights of April 30, May 1 and May 2, another aircraft, a Cessna Model 182T registered to a company named NG Research in Bristow, Virginia, flew over the same areas at a similar low altitude.
Also on May 1 and May 2, an unidentified Cessna Citation V jet made similar nighttime flights, orbiting Baltimore at the relatively low altitudes (for a jet aircraft) of 6,400 and 9,400 feet, based on records from Flightradar24.
Kind of vague hit comes up for the google search on National Aircraft Leasing Corporation
Edit 3: After looking through the list of aircraft registered in Bristow, VA for a town of 15,000 there are 64 aircraft registered including one owned by the Department of Justice. All within the past decade most within the past 3 years. Most of them are owned by companies with 3 letters then what they do RKT Productions, PSL Surveying, KQM Aviation, LCB Leasing, NBY productions etc. They also all are operation 182t Cessna’s. All of the companies only have a PO Box in Bristow. Looks like an FBI airport.
The one tail number that the initial Washington Post article linked to is N39MY, which is a Cessna 182T registered to NG Research, PO Box 722 in Bristow, VA. That company's web presence is close to zero, basically below the noise floor.
If you google [po box bristow va] you find FAA records for a bunch of other oddly named companies that all have similarly close-to-zero web presence and addresses that are PO Boxes in Bristow: FVX Research, NBR Aviation, NBY Productions, OBR Leasing, OTV Leasing, PSL Surveys, PXW Services. They all seem to like Cessna 182Ts.
If you Google the tail numbers of aircraft registered to those companies, you start to find forum and mailing list posts (often at sites that tilt toward paranoid/conspiracy/right wing, but not always) with people discussing these specific tail numbers and linking them to the FBI. Some of the supposed evidence includes details of radio communications that people have heard, e.g. talking about "being on station" or using callsigns that start with JENNA, JENA or ROSS, which are supposedly used by the FBI. Other posts claim that DOJ/FBI surveillance aircraft often squawk 4414 or 4415 on their transponders.
I monitor aircraft in Los Angeles using an RTL-SDR dongle. I keep a database of almost every transponder ping I receive. You can see some more info, analysis and examples of stuff I've seen (U-2, AF1, AF2, EXEC-1F, E-6 "Doomsday" planes) at
I decided to check my database for planes that have squawked 4414/4415 or used one of the suspicious callsigns: I found 8 aircraft in the past 2 months, several of which exhibit suspicious behavior: Flying for hours at a time without going anywhere in particular (I don't have position information for them, but I know they're in the air and not leaving the LA area), flying almost every day for months at a time, squawking 4414 or 4415, and one that used a JENNA callsign. 2 of them are registered to companies with PO Boxes in Bristow, VA. Another is registered to AEROGRAPHICS INC. 10678 AVIATION LN, MANASSAS VIRGINIA, which googling shows has also been linked to the FBI/DOJ. Several others are registered to WORLDWIDE AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP and NATIONAL AIRCRAFT LEASING CORP in Delaware, similar to other suspected FBI front companies (e.g. Northwest Aircraft Leasing Corp. in Newark, Delaware).
(I call what I'm doing "persistent sousveillance": using historical sensor data to retroactively identify and track new subjects, it's just that my subjects are the government. One of the surprising things I've found is that all you need to do is look: the weird stuff jumps out right away, e.g. Cessnas registered to fake-sounding companies that loiter overhead for hours every day.)
It's a lot of circumstantial evidence, but at this point it doesn't seem far-fetched that I'm monitoring aircraft involved in persistent FBI aerial surveillance.
Edit: One other thing worth mentioning is that I was surprised at how many local news stories I turned up while googling these planes & companies that fit the template of "Citizens complain about mystery Cessna flying low, circling over their neighborhood".)
The FAA manages this program and NBAA no longer has any policy or administrative control over the FAA ASDI Block program. However, if you have general questions or concerns about the FAA process, contact NBAA's Operations Service Group firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 783-9250.
The FAA’s primary electronic mailbox for all aircraft blocking and unblocking requests and for related inquiries directed to the ASDI blocking program isASDIBlock@faa.gov.
102BR 18282264 OTV LEASING PO BOX 636BRISTOW, VA 20136-06361176R 18281688 CARTER JOHN B 190 CAMPUS BLVD # 320WINCHESTER, VA 22601-287214205 18281889 ANESTHESIA AVIATION LLC 206 ROSEMEADE PLACELEESBURG, VA 20175142LJ 18282272 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-07251725L 18282019 MEYER FRANK 3025 NATHANIELS GRNWILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-7505182EM 18282233 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802223EM 18282252 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-07212451Z 18280949 MASCIOLA MICHAEL J 8138 QUINN TERVIENNA, VA 22180-7467267RH 18282208 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802274BB 18282270 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726290RM 18282215 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-0655302MP 18282273 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721311SB 18282246 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752318SJ 18282251 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725319KS 18282243 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 554BRISTOW, VA 20136-0554323LP 18282244 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 926BRISTOW, VA 20136-092633HA 18282279 HORIZON AIRCRAFT SALES & LEASING INC 2801 AIRPORT DRCHESAPEAKE, VA 23323-6411361DB 18282245 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726404KR 18282203 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725411CP 18282232 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-072141DL 18281142 LDAIR INC 7198 HOLLYBERRY RDROANOKE, VA 24018-5510428MT 18282234 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656444VB 18281034 YOUNG REGINALD S 1218 HITE DRBUFFALO JUNCTION, VA 24529-3110461AJ 18282225 RKT PR
ODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615467TS 18282239 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07565101U 18282156 SYCOLIN ENTERPRISES LLC 18930 LOUDOUN ORCHARD RDLEESBURG, VA 20175-68575141Y 18281077 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA 2600 WASHINGTON AVE FL 3NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607-4317514NY 18282271 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752520EP 18282274 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-08025273F 18282193 PSC LEASING LLC 9500 INNOVATION DRMANASSAS, VA 20110-2210527KM 18282260 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-06555340X 18281207 AGVEST LLC 1210 HILLMAN HWY NEABINGDON, VA 24210-4137539MY 18282238 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722BRISTOW, VA 20136-0722562CB 18282207 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721576DS 18282229 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-072660430 18281839 COUNTY OF HENRICO VIRGINIA PO BOX 90775HENRICO, VA 23273-0775657TP 18282253 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802731CL 18282256 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656747GK 18282029 EASTERN STEARMAN INC TRUSTEE 42061 BALD HILL RDLEESBURG, VA 20176-6020806TH 18282266 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632811AH 18282240 OTV LEASING PO BOX 831BRISTOW, VA 20136-0831824HA 18281824 VAJ COMPANY LLC 3850 FIELDCREST DRRINER, VA 24149-2590879WM 18282216 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07569036B 18282258 HELSLEY WILLIAM W 10350 BELLA LNMC GAHEYSVILLE, VA 22840-2435906TM 18282269 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615910LF 18282284 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW,VA 20136-0502912EX 18282231
OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725916WR 18282262 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-0756981MR 18282212 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502984JS 18282218 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632
N-Number Serial Number Name Address102BR 18282264 OTV LEASING PO BOX 636BRISTOW, VA 20136-06361176R 18281688 CARTER JOHN B 190 CAMPUS BLVD # 320WINCHESTER, VA 22601-287214205 18281889 ANESTHESIA AVIATION LLC 206 ROSEMEADE PLACELEESBURG, VA 20175142LJ 18282272 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-07251725L 18282019 MEYER FRANK 3025 NATHANIELS GRNWILLIAMSBURG, VA 23185-7505182EM 18282233 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802223EM 18282252 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-07212451Z 18280949 MASCIOLA MICHAEL J 8138 QUINN TERVIENNA, VA 22180-7467267RH 18282208 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802274BB 18282270 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726290RM 18282215 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-0655302MP 18282273 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721311SB 18282246 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752318SJ 18282251 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA20136-0725319KS 18282243 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 554BRISTOW, VA 20136-0554323LP 18282244 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 926BRISTOW, VA 20136-092633HA 18282279 HORIZON AIRCRAFT SALES & LEASING INC 2801 AIRPORT DRCHESAPEAKE, VA 23323-6411361DB 18282245 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-0726404KR 18282203 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725411CP 18282232 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-072141DL 18281142 LDAIR INC 7198 HOLLYBERRY RDROANOKE, VA 24018-5510428MT 18282234 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656444VB 18281034 YOUNG REGINALD S 1218 HITE DRBUFFALO JU
NCTION, VA 24529-3110461AJ 18282225 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615467TS 18282239 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07565101U 18282156 SYCOLIN ENTERPRISES LLC 18930 LOUDOUN ORCHARD RDLEESBURG, VA 20175-68575141Y 18281077 COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA 2600 WASHINGTON AVE FL 3NEWPORT NEWS, VA 23607-4317514NY 18282271 NBR AVIATION PO BOX 752BRISTOW, VA 20136-0752520EP 18282274 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-08025273F 18282193 PSC LEASING LLC 9500 INNOVATION DRMANASSAS, VA 20110-2210527KM 18282260 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 655BRISTOW, VA 20136-06555340X 18281207 AGVEST LLC 1210 HILLMAN HWY NEABINGDON, VA 24210-4137539MY 18282238 NG RESEARCH PO BOX 722BRISTOW, VA 20136-0722562CB 18282207 KQM AVIATION PO BOX 721BRISTOW, VA 20136-0721576DS 18282229 LCB LEASING PO BOX 726BRISTOW, VA 20136-072660430 18281839 COUNTY OF HENRICO VIRGINIA PO BOX 90775HENRICO, VA 23273-0775657TP 18282253 PXW SERVICES PO BOX 802BRISTOW, VA 20136-0802731CL 18282256 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 656BRISTOW, VA 20136-0656747GK 18282029 EASTERN STEARMAN INC TRUSTEE 42061 BALD HILL RDLEESBURG, VA 20176-6020806TH 18282266 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-0632811AH 18282240 OTV LEASING PO BOX 831BRISTOW, VA20136-0831824HA 18281824 VAJ COMPANY LLC 3850 FIELDCREST DRRINER, VA 24149-2590879WM 18282216 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-07569036B 18282258 HELSLEY WILLIAM W 10350 BELLA LNMC GAHEYSVILLE, VA 22840-2435906TM 18282269 RKT PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 615BRISTOW, VA 20136-0615910LF 18282284 NBY PRODUCTIONS
similarly there are some hits here. for entire listing in LOUDOUN county
PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502912EX 18282231 OBR LEASING PO BOX 725BRISTOW, VA 20136-0725916WR 18282262 PSL SURVEYS PO BOX 756BRISTOW, VA 20136-0756981MR 18282212 NBY PRODUCTIONS PO BOX 502BRISTOW, VA 20136-0502984JS 18282218 FVX RESEARCH PO BOX 632BRISTOW, VA 20136-063
Possible tech or similar
PERSISTENT REAL-TIME INTELLIGENCE OVER A WIDE AREA -- DAY & NIGHT
Most people have no idea that the National Security Agency gets involved in big events like national political conventions and the Olympics: National Special Security Events (NSSEs) with security led by the Secret Service, which is now a part of the Department of Homeland Security.
Many ideas taken for granted - including the separation of military and civilian life within the US - evaporate in NSSEs. Many, many federal agencies send little teams, including advanced military intelligence.
This is apparently the first time that it has been really noted the NSA's director in 2007 officially stated that NSSE's are strategic missions. This in turn means that the NSA must have had *some* role at the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. (see our RNC documentary Terrorizing Dissent here & RNC08Report for docs) More background below the doc fulltext.
It's hard to overstate the nasty, elitist, disruptive effects of the Olympics. As a new resident of Boston, the unfortunate news that the 2024 Olympics now has this city in its crosshairs is disappointing & fear inducing. After all I ran into (at least) four FBI informants because of the 2008 RNC, gassed & shot at by the authorities.
United States SIGINT System January 2007 Strategic Mission List
Introduction - Director’s Intent
(S//SI) The SIGINT Strategic Mission List represents the intent of the Director, National Security Agency in regard to mission priorities and risks for the United States S1G1NT System (USSS) over the next 12-18 months The list is derived from review of the Intelligence Community National Intelligence Priorities Framework, DC1/DNI Guidance, the Strategic Warning List, National SIGINT Requirements Process (NSRP) and other strategic planning documents The missions included on the list are in relative priority order and represent the most urgent tasks for the USSS The list is not intended to be all encompassing, but is intended to set forth guidance on the highest priorities.
Topical Missions and Enduring Targets
(S//S1) The SIGINT Strategic Mission List is divided into two parts. It includes 16 critical topical missions in Part I of the list, which represent missions discerned to be areas of highest priority for the USSS, where SIGINT can make key contributions. In addition to the 16 critical topical missions, Part U of the SIGINT Strategic Mission List includes 6 enduring targets that are included due to the need to work these targets holistically because o f their strategic importance. In addition to their long-term strategic importance, the enduring targets can potentially "trump" the highest priority topical missions on the list at any time, based upon evolving world events. Elements o f these targets are also represented throughout the topical target sets. For each of the 16 topical missions and each of the 6 enduring targets the Strategic Mission List includes:
1) Focus Areas- critically important targets against which the SIGINT enterprise is placing emphasis. DIRNSA designation of a target as a focus area constitutes his guidance to the SIGINT System that it is a "must do” target for that mission 2) Accepted Risksstrategically significant targets against which the USSS is not placing emphasis and for which SIGINT should not be relied upon as a primary source. DIRNSA's reasons for accepting these risks include high difficulty and lack of resources or as an “Economy of Force Measure,” in order to achieve focus on the most critical targets
A Strategic Investment Tool for SIGINT Resources
(S//S1) Given a finite level of resources available in all mission areas, the Strategic Mission List provides high-level strategic direction to the global SIGINT system to focus resources on the most important/highest priority areas. “Risks” identify targets that cannot be resourced to the level of a Focus Area, thereby acknowledging that shortfalls will exist. As world circumstances change, these or other targets can be added to the list as needed, targets no longer of critical importance can also be removed from the Focus Area category. In addition, other targets, not listed as focus or risk areas, can also be wrorked by the USSS to a lesser degree to meet other customer requirements. The Strategic Mission List will be reviewedbi- annuallyby the USSS Signals Intelligence leadership Team Missions. Focus areas, and Accepted Risks will be adjusted as a means of providing high-level steerage to the Nation’s agile SIGINT System.
United States SIGINT System Strategic Mission L ist- January 2007
(U) I. Strategic Mission List - Topical Missions
(S//S1)A. MISSION: Terrorism: Winning the Global War on Terrorism. Focus Areas:
a.All Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism (I1CT) Tier 0 and 1 terrorist groups with capabilities and intentions to attack the US, its interests or allies, or groups actively planning or carrying out a terrorist attack against U.S. persons, facilities, or interests
b. Key individuals and Terrorist Support Entities (TSE) involved in the facilitation, financing, and recruitmentorradicalizationofallIICT Tier0and 1terroristgroupnetworksglobally.
Accepted Risks:All IICT Tier 2,3, and 4 terrorist groups, and TSEs.
(S//S1) B. MISSION: Homeland Security: Protecting the U.S. Homeland from terrorist attack and other transnational threats to safeguard U.S. persons, freedoms, critical information, infrastructure, property and economy.
a Border Security (land, air, sea).
b. Direct defense against terrorist attack.
c. Diseases, epidemics, and pandemics.
d. Executive Protection/U.S.-Based NSSEs e.Illicit Facilitation as it relates to special interest aliens and CBRN materials and technology
a Accepted risks as stated in the “Terrorism” mission.
b. Global coverage o f all illicit activities of potential concern to the Homeland.
(S//SI//REL USA, AUS, CAN, GBR) C. MISSION: W M P and CBRN Programs and Proliferation: Combating the Threat of Development and Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, CBRN, and Delivery Methods (particularly ballistic and nuclear-capable cruise missiles).
a. Development, Acquisition, or Use of CBRN.
b.State W'MD and ballistic and cruise missile programs of:
China (biological, chemical, nuclear, ballistic and cruise missiles) India (nuclear, ballistic missiles)
Iran (biological, chemical, nuclear, and ballistic missiles)
North Korea (biological, chemical, nuclear, ballistic missiles) Pakistan (nuclear, ballistic missiles)
Russia (biological, chemical, nuclear, ballistic and cruise missiles)
Syria (chemical, nuclear, ballistic missiles).
c.W MD and missile proliferation activities by states:
China (nuclear, ballistic missiles), Israel (cruise missiles) North Korea (nuclear, ballistic missiles)
Pakistan (nuclear, ballistic missiles)
Russia (ballistic missile).
d.W.MD and missile acquisition activities by states:
China (cruise missiles)
India (cruise missiles)
Iran (nuclear, ballistic missiles)
Pakistan (cruise missiles)
Saudi Arabia (nuclear, ballistic missiles).
e.Safety and Security ofWMD: Pakistan (nuclear)
State WMD and ballistic and cruise missile programs of: Egypt (ballistic missiles)
Libya (ballistic missiles)
Taiwan (ballistic missiles).
(S//S1)D. MISSION: U.S. Forces at Risk (Military Support): Protecting U.S. Military Forces Deployed Overseas and Enabling their Operations.
a. U.S. forces deployed in: Iraq. Afghanistan. Mideast Region. Korea, and Philippines.
b. Support to military planning and operations: Support to OPLAN 5027 (Korea).
c. Intentions of foreign and indigenous anti-coalition forces, command and control. OOB, and
operational support in Iraq and Afghanistan. d.Support to U.S. forces in identification of HVTs in Afghanistan/ Pakistan and Iraq
a Protection of U S forces deployed in: Balkans (Kosovo),
b South Korea leadership intentions in OPLAN 5027.
c Routine military support to U.S. forces deployed in non-combat situations.
(S//S1)E. MISSION: State/Political Stability: Providing Warning of Impending State Instability. Focus Areas:
a. Internal political activities that could threaten the survivability of leadership in countries where US has interest in regime continuity Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
b.Internal political activities that could result in crisis in. North Korea, Sudan/Dafur humanitarian crisis. Cuba, Kosovo, Turkey, Nigeria, Lebanon, Venezuela, Syria, Bolivia, Latin American Bolivarian Developments, and Palestinian Authority.
Accepted Risks:Internal political stability of: Egypt, Zimbabwe, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, DROC, Bangladesh, Georgia, Jordan, and Haiti.
(S//SI)F. MISSION: Warning of Strategic Nuclear Missile Threats: Providing Warning of a Strategic Nuclear Missile Attack on the territory of the 50 United States.
Focus Areas: Areas covered under a peacetime SIGINT strategy maintaining full capabilities with reasonably sufficient coverage for the provision of warning include: Russia's Nuclear C3, Mobile
ICBMs, strategic navy missiles, and Bombers; China's Nuclear C3, Mobile ICBMs, and SSBNs; and North Korea's Nuclear C3 and potential ICBM (TD-2) Threat.
Accepted Risks: Strategic Targets where SIGINT is not a primary intelligence source in providing warning: Russia's Silo-based ICBMs; China's Silo-based ICBMs.
(S//SI) G. MISSION: Regional Conflict and Crisis/Flashpoints to War: Monitoring Regional Tensions that Could Escalate to Conflict/Crisis.
Focus Areas:Regional flashpoints that could pose a significant threat to U.S. strategic interests: Arab,Iran-Israel conflict, Korean Peninsula, China-Taiwan, India-Pakistan, Venezuela (impact on surrounding region), and Russia/Georgia.
Accepted Risks:Regional flashpoints in: Ethiopia-Eritrea andAfricaGreat Lakes Region
(S//REL USA. AUS. CAN, GBR. NZL)H. MISSION: Information Operations: Mastering Cyberspace and Preventing an Attack on U.S. Critical Information Systems.
a (S//SI) Enabling Computer Network Defense (CND): Provide cyber threat warning, detection, characterization, and mitigation services for U.S. and allied computer network operators: Named Intrusion Sets (Including, but not limited to Gadget Hiss. Seed Sphere/Byzantine Trace. Makers Mark. Byzantine Candor), New intrusions.
b. (S//REL USA, AUS, CAN. GBR, NZL) Enabling Computer Network Attack (CNA): Deliver intelligence, access, and dual-use capabilities in support of U.S. computer network attack objectives. c. (S//SI) Foreign Intelligence Serv ices' Cyber Threat Activities: Deliver intelligence on the capabilities.
vulnerabilities, plans and intentions o f foreign actors to conduct CNO against USG networks and those of interest to the USG. Identify what Foreign Intel Services know about USG capabilities, vulnerabilities, plans and intentions to conduct CNO: China, Russia, Iran, and al-Qa'ida
d (S//SI) Enabling Electronic Warfare (EW): Provide cognizance ofthe EM environment, signal detection/geolocation, and characterization through intelligence (ELINT. COMINT, Tech SIGINT) and other technical means to U.S. EW planners and operators: China. Russia, Iran, Iraq/Afghanistan (IED's) and North Korea.
e. (S//SI) Enabling Influence Operations: Support U.S. military deception (MILDEC) and psychological operations (PSYOP), and inter-agency Strategic Communication objectives to influence target behavior and activities: Terrorist groups. China. North Korea. Iran, and Venezuela.
a. Enabling CND: Isolated malicious activity that could pose a serious threat.
b. Enabling CNA.
c. FIS Cyber Threat: France, Israel, Cuba, India, and North Korea.
d. Enabling EW: (producers.'’prolifcrators): Sweden, Japan. Germany, Israel, and France, e Enabling Influence Operations: Pakistan and Russia.
(S//SI)I. MISSION: Military Modernization: Providing Early Detection ofCritical Developments in Foreign Military Programs.
b. Activities of state and non-state actors (gray arms dealers) in supplying advanced conventional weapons.
c.Threats posed by foreign space and counter-space systems: China and RussiaAccepted Risks:
a Weapons and force developments in: Saudi Arabia, and India
b Threats posed by foreign space and counter-space systems India and France
(S//SI)J. MISSION: Emerging Strategic Technologies: Preventing Technological Surprise.
Focus Areas:Critical technologies that could provide a strategic military, economic,or politicaladvantage: high energy lasers, low energy lasers, advances in computing and information technology, directed energy weapons,stealth and counter-stealth,electronic warfare technologies, space and remote sensing, electro-optics, nanotechnologies, energetic materials The emerging strategic technology threat is expected to come mainly from Russia. China. India, Japan. Germany, France. Korea. Israel, Singapore, and Sweden.
Accepted Risks:Technological advances and/or basic S&T development on a global basis elsewhere.
(S//S1)K. MISSION: Foreign Policy ((includes Intention of Nations and Multinational Orgs)): Ensuring Diplomatic Advantage for the US.
Focus Areas:Positions, objectives, programs, and actions on the part of governments or multilateral organizations that could significantly impact U.S. national security interests: China, Russia, France, Germany, Japan. Iran. Israel. Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Afghanistan. Iraq. UN, Venezuela, Syria. Turkey, Mexico, South Korea, India and Pakistan.
Accepted Risks:Positions, objectives, programs, and actions on the part of governments or multilateral organizations that could impact U.S. foreign policy or security interests: Taiwran.
(S//SI)l~MISSION: Energy Security: Ensuring a Steady and Reliable Energy Supply for the US. Focus Areas:Threats to the production and global distribution/transportation of energy supplies of: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, V enezuela, Iran, Russia and Nigeria.Accepted Risks:Global impact o f the state o f energy industries in: Mexico and China.
(S//SI)M. MISSION: Foreign Intelligence, Counterintelligence; Denial&Deception Activities: Countering Foreign Intelligence Threats.
Focus Areas:Espionage/intelligence collection operations and manipulation/influence operations conducted by foreign intelligence services directed against U.S. government, military', science & technology and Intelligence Community from: China, Russia, Cuba, Israel, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea. France. Venezuela, and South Korea
Accepted Risks:Espionage'intelligence collection operations against U.S. government, military, science & technology and Intelligence Community from: Taiwan and Saudi Arabia
(S//S1)N. MISSION: Narcotics and Transnational Criminal Syndicates and Networks: Mitigating the impact on U.S. national interests from drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) and transnational criminal syndicates and networks (TCSNs).
a. DTOs and associated enabling activities in Afghanistan, Mexico and Colombia that threaten U.S.interests.
b.TCSNs based in (or originating in) Russia that threaten U.S. or allied interests.
c. Money laundering that benefits TCSNs within, into, and out of Colombia and Mexico.
d. Criminal facilitators acting as a nexus between crime/narcotics and terrorism.
e. State-sponsored money laundering by Iran and North Korea. Accepted Risks:
a Drug production/trafficking within the Golden Triangle, China, and North Korea b. TCSNs operating in Central Asia, former Eastern Europe, and Asia,
c Criminal associated money laundering in Afghanistan, and Iraq.
State-sponsored money laundering by Syria.
(S//S1)O. MISSION: Economic Stability/Influence: Ensuring U.S. Economic Advantage and Policy Strategies.
Focus Areas:Economic stability, financial vulnerability, and economic influence of states of strategic interest to the US: China, Japan, Iraq, and Brazil.
Accepted Risks:Economic stability, financial vulnerability, and economic influence of states of strategic interest to the US: Turkey and India.
(S//S1)P. Mission: Global Signals Cognizance: The core communications infrastructure and global network information needed to achieve and maintain baseline knowledge.Capture knowledge of location, characterization, use, and status of military and civil communications infrastructure, including command, control, communications and computer networks: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting systems; and associated structures incidental to pursuing Strategic Mission List priorities. Focus of mission is creating knowledge databases that enable SIGINT efforts against future unanticipated threats and allow continuity on economy of force targets not currently included on the Strategic Mission List.Focus Areas:
Global Environment knowledge Signals knowledge.
Target knowledge. Accepted Risks:Degree of maturity may greatly vary by target
(U) II. Strategic Mission List - Enduring Targets
(S//S1)A. MISSION: China: Enabling U.S. policy and avoiding strategic surprise. Focus Areas:Provide U.S. decision makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective oftrends and developments in China, assessing and/or predicting strategic direction, plans, intentions, and capabilities that impact U.S. interests. Such analysis must consider China’s strategic foreign and economic policy trends that impact U S. interests or degrade U.S. influence, the pace, scope, doctrine, and economic sustainability of China’s military modernization, the proliferation of PRC weapons and technology; the prospects for regional conflict or strategic nuclear attack; domestic economic transformation and its consequences for economic, political, and social stability'; subversive threats to U.S. institutions through hostile intelligence and information operations, and the interdependencies among these developmentsAccepted Risks:Certain domestic problem sets, such as demographic issues; lower-level political institutional growth; civil society' issues such as crime and human rights; environmental problems and planning; and agricultural production and food security'. Also, issues that transcend national boundaries, such as Chinese involvement in international organized crime; energy demand, production, and acquisition; and infectious disease and health.
(S//S1)B. MISSION: North Korea: Enabling the US to counteract North Korea’s development/use/proliferation of WMD, deter its aggression, and shape its behavior while maintaining U.S. readiness for collapse/war. Focus Areas:Provide U.S. decision-makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective of trends and developments in North Korea, assessing and/or predicting strategic direction, plans, intentions, and capabilities that impact U S interests and provide warning o f strategic threat. Such analysis must consider the stability of the North Korean regime and how it employs domestic and foreign policies to maintain its grip on power; the relationship between regime stability/behavior and its access to income from illicit activities and weapons proliferation; how Chinese and South Korean “carrots and sticks” enable or constrain North Korean behavior; the impact of the decaying North Korean economy on military' readiness; and how the interplay between U S policy initiatives toward North Korea and all of the above elements affect North Korea’s strategic calculus, the material disposition of its nuclear weapons, and the status of its militaryAccepted Risks:For domestic issues, risks include non-defense oriented industrial production, demographic issues, and environmental problems. Regarding issues that transcend borders, risks include non-counterintelligence associated ties between North Korean state- sponsored illicit activities and international organized crime institutions and individuals; North Korean agent activity in South Korea and Japan; non-state sponsored corruption and illicit behavior; and North Korean economic refugee flows into China
(S//S1) C.MISSION: Iraq: Enabling Coalition efforts to assist Iraq in establishing a secure, unified, democratic, and sovereign state. Focus Areas:Provide U S decision makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective of trends and developments, assessing Iraq’s progress toward establishing a viable, stable government; securing public order, suppressing insurgent opposition, ensuring reliable access to basic services and commodities; safeguarding strategic resources; and restoring a more sound economic footing. Provide intelligence on relevant factors, forces, leaders, and regional actors to facilitate U.S. Governmentpolicy or actions in support of the Iraqi process and to seize the strategic communications initiative.
(S//S1)D. MISSION: Iran: Enabling policymakers in preventing Iran from achieving its regional dominance objectives and pursuing policies that impact U.S. global interests. Focus Areas:Provide U.S. decision makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective of regional trends and developments, assessing and/or predicting strategic direction, plans, intentions and capabilities that impact U.S. interests. Assess Iran's foreign policy trends and leadership intentions that impact U.S. interests or degrade U.S. influence. Provide warning of Iran's capability to produce a nuclear weapon or its plans to use terrorist surrogates to attack Israel or U.S. forces and interests Assess the regime's progress in initiatives that enhance its pursuit of regional power objectives in the political, economic, energy, and religious or ideological arenas
Provide indicators of regime stability and/or susceptibility to democratic reform initiativesAccepted Risks:Efforts to ascertain the scope of Iran's narcotics'organized crime elements and economic stability/influence.
(S//S1)E. MISSION: Russia: Assuring diplomatic and strategic advantage and avoiding critical surprise. Focus Areas:Provide U.S. policy and decision makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective of developments and trends in Russia, assessing and/or predicting strategic direction, plans, intentions, and capabilities that impact U S. interests Such analysis must consider Russia's strategic foreign policy and economic intentions and actions as they pertain to U S interests and influence in the region and globally; the strength of Russia's economy and its impact on Russian power projection capability and strategic positioning; Russia's efforts to regain military strength and stimulate economic growth through the development and sale ofadvanced technology and weaponry', and the role ofWMD, organized crime and counterintelligence in enabling Russian strategic initiatives.Accepted Risks:Certain domestic issues such as demographics, regional politics, development of civil society in the country, and monitoring of low-level military' training activities. Also, issues that transcend national boundaries such as Russia’s plans, intentions and capabilities regarding influence on the former Soviet space
(S//S1)F. MISSION: Venezuela: Enabling policymakers in preventing Venezuela from achieving its regional leadership objectives and pursuing policies that negatively impact U.S. global interests. Focus Areas:Provide U.S. decision makers with a holistic SIGINT perspective of regional trends and developments, assessing and/or predicting strategic direction, plans, intentions and capabilities that impact U S interests Assess Venezuela's foreign policy trends and leadership intentions that impact U S
interests or degrade U S. influence Assess Chavez’ progress in his initiatives to pursue regional power objectives in the political, economic, energy, and ideological arenas. Provide indicators of regime stability, particularly in the energy sector. Assess the depth and breadth of Venezuela's relations with countries of strategic concern to the United States, particularly Iran, Cuba, China, and Russia.Accepted R i s k s :E f f o r t s t o a s c e r t a i n t h e s c o p e o f V e n e z u e l a ’s n a r c o t i c s / o r g a n i z e d c r i m e e l e m e n t s a n d e c o n o m i c stability/influence.
Nice to have a record of all this so it's easier to find later. I might write some more stories about lesser known NSSE features that apply to this impending nightmare if I can find the time. For now...
Quick notes: Lesser-known agencies such as the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency and US Northern Command also get very busy in the domestic battlespace indeed. NSSEs are part of their annual activity cycle of exercises and practice operations.
Having declared the RNC a National Security Special Event (NSSE), one that derived its “authorization” to target activists and journalists from the top secret 2006 National Security Presidential Directive-46/Homeland Security Presidential Directive-15 (NSPD-46/HSPD-15), local, state and federal law enforcement entities, the U.S. military, intelligence agencies such as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and corporate partners in the telecommunications industry and elsewhere, preemptively disrupted legal political dissent by a score of protest groups.
The Black Liberation Project organized a #MPLS2Madison rally in solidarity with Tony Robinson, an unarmed black man killed in Madison, and other black lives taken by the police.
The night rally started at the Government Center in downtown Minneapolis and turned into a march that snaked through the streets stopping at the First Precinct. The police repressed the march with pepper spray as it marched back to the Government Center. Victims of the pepper spray included 10 year old Taye.
I was looking at a few different topics, seemingly unrelated, but somehow they got a bit mixed together and perhaps this is relevant to others out there. In a nutshell it seems like there is an epidemic of magical thinking in American activist world in terms of a very particular implementation of identity politics, and perhaps this whole thing is better understood as a design fiction by way of diegetic prototypes.
I see some overlap between the blind spots of activists and the blind spots in Internet startup culture. Both cultures (both newcomers and veterans) suffer from a pattern of seeing something new and cool as a political answer, when all too frequently it is not. Startup world suffers from magical thinking, and activist world suffers from astroturfing (pseudo grassroots) and distracting false solutions packaged with new semiotics [e.g. the illusion of totally 'safe spaces' in a militarized country is definitely a design fiction].
Salty science fiction writer Bruce Sterling popularized the idea of 'design fiction' to characterize the symbolic operation of the presentation of something new that doesn't exist. Could this be used to control radical politics?
It’s the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. That’s the best definition we’ve come up with. The important word there is diegetic. It means you’re thinking very seriously about potential objects and services and trying to get people to concentrate on those rather than entire worlds or political trends or geopolitical strategies. It’s not a kind of fiction. It’s a kind of design. It tells worlds rather than stories.
Slate: Can you give an example?
Sterling: I think the most effective design fictions to date have been videos. They’re not science-fiction films; they don’t have any Avatar-style heroics. They’re mostly vignettes of people interacting with objects and services. There’s some element of intellectual sex appeal that makes people forward them to other people.
Slate: What is it that makes design fictions work so well?
Sterling: Talking about a future gadget isn’t like talking about a future government or women’s rights in the future or other hot-button problems. Plus people are interested in things like that.
Slate: Can you have a design fiction within a sci-fi film?
Sterling: Absolutely. All these props have to be designed in one way or another. They’re dramatic, but they don’t really have much evidence of serious design thinking behind them. They’re not cheap to manufacture, they’re not easy to maintain. … That really slows sci-fi [creators] down. [Design fiction] is not a thing which is going to replace Hollywood. I don’t think that’s its purpose.
Slate: What’s one design fiction that people might be familiar with?
Sterling: In 2001: A Space Odyssey, the guy’s holding what’s clearly an iPad. It just really looks like one, right? This actually showed up in the recent lawsuits between Samsung and Apple. That’s kind of a successful design fiction in the sense that it’s a diegetic prototype. You see an iPad in this movie and your response is not just, “Oh, what’s that’s that?” But “That would be cool if it existed.”
Slate: Why is design fiction important?
Sterling: It’s really a new set of tools that, I think they’re giving futurism a second wind in some ways. Instead of talking about grand, overarching things like futurism in the 1960s—we need a new consciousness—it suits the tenor of our own period. What kind of business model would that work in? That’s the question people of our time can engage in. I’m not saying design fiction’s going to resolve our economic problems. On the other hand, if you’re an unemployed designer, it’s one of the coolest things you can do now.
He points out that the startup workers are in a kind of alliance with wealthy mostly baby boomer financier class who underwrite the startups, and in fact they are not actually working towards a cool networked egalitarian planet.
I think to some extent that the well-resourced new generation of NGOs (many set up since 2010) operates in a similar way, with the charmed/trendy activist set acting in alliance with discreet financiers. The new politics (which could be labeled "liberal identitarian" as CryptoCuttlefish puts it in the Twitter thread that inspired this post) is a kind of design fiction or diegetic prototype. Behind the design fiction of pseudo-emancipatory politics is a large network of discreet but relevant links of power and money.
It has become more noticed in recent months that the trend of the moment, "intersectional identity politics" (or last year, "anti-oppression politics") has major shortcomings. At least as far back as 2012 radical activists noticed a system of tokenism and unassailable identities were displacing class analysis in the scene. That is, figureheads who seemed to have the correct identity properties would be deemed as automatically authoritative and beyond critique. Alongside that "white [male] anarchists" became the catch-all label to effectively render radical people of color invisible; to hear some tell it, anarchist POC never do direct actions in Oakland, which is not true at all.
It seems quite possible that this new intersectional identity politics system is actually a design fiction. It is a method to create the appearance of a new theoretical direction, but it does not seem to actually generate concrete strategies. Intersectional analysis can certainly identify shared concerns (for example, American Indians and people of color are more likely to experience pollution and environmental racism, an important pattern) but it does not actually seem to generate new strategies from within itself.
We should consider the possibility that intersectional identity politics is the fantasy prototype of a new politics, but not an actual toolkit for solving problems. Instead, based on identities, the appeal to authority is baked in as a weakness that powerful classes (and the low profile foundation network players) can exploit. For example, Al Sharpton with a background and 'correct intersectional identity' as a black civil rights leader acts as a figurehead that consolidates opposition, acts as a lightning rod to funnel it off, away from institutions like the DOJ (where he previously worked as an informant).
We could also look at how Gloria Steinem still has authority in the feminist scene, even though it is well known she was a CIA plant [watch this video!] whose informing helped get leftists wiped out during the Cold War. To go further we could get into how individualized "diversity" programming from business schools is a very cagey way to divide workers from one another by setting identity categories above the shared class interests of workers vs management. Just look at the absence of unions from business school-sponsored 'diversity' conferences. Clearly this type of thing has not been lost on intelligence agencies and high level business & managerial strategists.
If in fact you hit the political circuit and make your way around, it doesn't take long to find people that seem to have all the 'identity' attributes that would seem to be 'prerequisites' for radical perspectives, but are actually quite reactionary people who don't want to rock various boats. These are frequently the very same people who will shut down others for attempting to advance radical agendas, using whatever identity politics tactics to shut down the would-be radicals. Then like clockwork, they make appeals to authority based on identity when anyone pushes back. It is almost a trained reflex, with just a tiny bit of trolling you can get a demonstration.
On countless occasions you can clearly see the contrast between radicals and non-radicals who share the same general identities but have diametrically opposed hopes and beliefs. The new trends is for the less radical people to use these "intersectional" claims to put a foundation of authority under their political ideas, undermine their opponents, and chase off everyone who's not on their program. "Check your privilege" is not a bad idea to keep in mind, but it's not a political program.
In conclusion I am not trying to suggest that intersectional identity politics or anti-oppression politics, and the people operating in that matrix, are all useless trojan horses for the Man, but at the same time they should not be considered above critique and the huge flaws in play trigger important real-world consequences. We should be vigilant when it seems like prototyped fictions are put forth as authoritative, functioning political programs, when in fact they so often fall short, and not be afraid to suggest more radical visions instead.
I. Identity-Based Organizing
II. Institutional Struggles Over the Meaning of Anti-Oppression Politics
a. On the Non-Profit Industrial Complex (NPIC), Again
b. Politicians and Police Who Are “Just Like Us”
c. Anticapitalism and the Material Reproduction of “Race” and “Gender”
d. The Racialization of Rape and the Erasure of Sexual Violence
III. The Limits of Contemporary Anti-Oppression Theory and Practice
a. Identity is not Solidarity
b. Protecting Vulnerable Communities of Color and “Our” Women and Children: The Endangered Species Theory of Minority Populations and Patriarchal White Conservationism
c. On Nonprofit Certified “White Allies” and Privilege Theory
IV. Occupy Oakland as Example
a. Occupy Oakland, “Outside Agitators,” and “White Occupy”
b. The Erasure of People of Color From Occupy Oakland
V. Conclusion: Recuperating Decolonization and National Liberation Struggles; or, Revolution is Radically Unsafe
The Problem with “Privilege” (Aug 2013) by Andrea Smith gets right into how privilege discourse is hopelessly jumbled up. Among many other salient points: "The concept of safe space flows naturally from the logics of privilege".
Somewhat related: There is a larger question of "agency" analysis in the international sphere as well: The Agency | 100 Flamingos. Also this is kind of fascinating: Who Was Ernst Henri? | a.nolen context of old school WWI-WWII era 'controlled Communists' of the intelligence/parlor scene with several cameos by Aleister Crowley.
The Rancid Honeytrap written by @RancidTarzie [private timeline] is often tuned into other aspects of the trendy 'celebrity left' storyline. I don't always agree but there are some ideas that can help us all get a grip when the scenesters get carried away.
Including this thought provoking thread, a chunk here:
I was fortunately able to catch a screening of the new documentary "(T)error" at the Boston Independent Film Festival. It exposes a whole level and mode of our political reality, the closest thing to an accurate domestic war on terror doc that has yet been done. (official website)
As a film it has some technical shortcomings, but it covers a lot of ground including important community history of the Black Panther Party and intelligence probes of Muslims in New York City. In showing how the real machinery of domestic intelligence operations really work, it's an invaluable, quite original film and one sure to blow the minds of many viewers. At 93 minutes, its length works well with the often low-energy, weird situations, without wearing people out through excessive tangents.
For the first time (T)error brings the viewer within an active FBI sting as 15-year self-described "civilian operative" Saeed Torres moves to Pittsburgh and attempts to sting Khalifah al-Akili (below), a Muslim-American who mainly makes relatively militant Facebook posts, which draws the Feds' attention to him.
In the bulk of the film. with massive guilt and exhaustion hanging over him like a raincloud, Saeed (below) chainsmokes blunts, exchanges lots of texts with his FBI handlers and tries to lurk his way into the local community. Social media engineering attempts and the entry of another veteran informant operative define the midst of the story.
While Saeed is mainly narcing for the money, he also has contempt for Muslims that are messing things up, as he sees it. His regretful severe social isolation, a consequence of his actions, is not downplayed at all - and unlike some films it seems sincere, even as he performs the role of a lying sociopath for envelopes of cash from the feds.
Parallels are connected between the Pittsburgh op and Saeed's earlier FBI sting campaigns since 2000. The story also covers in-depth the very similar sting and prosecution of musician Tarik Shah, whose mother Marlene presents the strong front reminiscent of so many other family members of those targeted previously.
The work that Steve Downs does in attempting to bring transparency in the case is highly commendable and necessary - contact this man's org if you credibly think you are really getting put into a sting:
It's impossible to watch this film without vividly recalling the wave of federal informant activity around the 2008 Republican National Convention and the antiwar movement, culminating in surprise grand jury raids in 2009. I ran into at least four people somewhat like Saeed over about two years and these are the kind of encounters burned in your memory within a whole separate category of social & political reality. For some viewers the 2009 G20 conference in Pittsburgh will echo through this story as well, although it's not discussed in the film.
Adding to this film's urgency, in recent weeks Minnesota's primarily Muslim Somali community has gotten snared in another high profile sting. Early indications are pretty clear that the informant was someone who was under pressure from compelled secret grand jury testimony that went bad, showing how these operations generate the raw power necessary to compel informants into action.
This whole realm is totally alien to most Americans, and I certainly hope that it gets aired as widely as possible. Ideally via another national PBS program distribution deal like Better This World (2011: Dirs Katie Galloway & Duane de la Vega), which covered the "Texas Two" molotov cocktail case and grandiose informant Brandon Darby -- who soon thereafter entered the Breitbart conservative media fold. [I contributed some help to BTW] Review here.
Another film Informant (2012: Dir Jamie Meltzer) more or less let Darby expose himself in his own words.
It also brings to mind the huge series of semi/fictionalized informant characters in movies - how often the Hollywood films end up getting told from the perspective of people that rolled.
Most recently, the skillful and vivid Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice (2014: Dir Paul Thomas Anderson) features the anxious Owen Wilson as a semi-private COINTELPRO informant circa 1970. Wilson confesses he found out they "want to use us to keep the membership in line" - that is, keep the hippie revolution within boundaries. Helpfully, this film shows the psychological toll that being rolled into the game as a plant really takes, helping drive much of the plot.
Goodfellas (1990: Dir. Martin Scorsese) is getting attention now at its 25th anniversary. Goodfellas' real-life Henry Hill, who was paid handsomely by the film production - ultimately leaving witness protection and dying peacefully in 2012:
American Hustle (2013: Dir David O. Russell) gave a glossy, color saturated Jersey yarn of rolled con man Irving Rosenfeld.
As studios so frequently do, it was paired off Scorsese's indulgent and somewhat saggy The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Jordan Belfort undeservedly gets the privilege of introducing himself, played by Leonardo DiCaprio - and his sporting of the wire to expose his co-workers is quite condensed from reality in the film plot.
But no one that I'm aware of has touched the notion in fiction or reality of an ex-black revolutionary & Muslim who is a repeat player for the Feds, rather than another smooth-talking pushy hustler folding under charges. (Although you might say The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973: Dir. Ivan Dixon) portrays the reverse of this operation. Full film here.).
After seeing (T)error it should be easier to understand the kind of shadowy context informant type operations may have intersected with these tragedies, and at least the stubs of the paper trails of those intersections.
See another review: Sundance Doc (T)ERROR Is This Year’s Citizenfour - Vogue. As noted, the regret-bound Saeed really just wishes he could apprentice to a master baker and cook cupcakes. "(T)ERROR should be seen as ancillary viewing to Laura Poitras’s Citizenfour, both of which touch on issues of surveillance and the right to privacy versus the imperative to prevent terrorism."
Saeed pegs his map of Pittsburgh, cryptically:
Follow the Terror documentary on Facebook here. As protests uptick across America again, the film also gains relevancy in looking back at how revolutionary movement's like Saeed's former Black Panther Party, the Nation of Islam and American Muslims got put under COINTELPRO pressure. Saeed never really seems to recant his former revolutionary beliefs, at least on camera. Aptly enough, a Le Carré novel and many other items of political and spy literature dot the scenes in Pittsburgh.
It gives us some better grasp of how the government interfaces deep into the lives of communities living in political and economic tension, making it among the most perfectly relevant things one could hope to see on the screen right now. One can't conclude anything else but that Saeed is another misguided "hero in error", to borrow Iraqi exile Ahmed Chalabi's phrase, a memorably awful defense of his own transgressions.
Quick post to roust people on another impending political disaster in Minnesota. Nationwide the American Legislative Exchange Council politicians (ALEC - a corporate establishment coordinating body, essentially) are trying to kill decentralized rooftop solar panel systems and the policy apparatus that lets them trade extra electrons into the grid for cash.
Now this plan is in Full Effect in Minnesota and at least on social media, almost everyone has been asleep at the switch (although this is changing).
In Minnesota the new energy omnibus bill here (PDF) which was composed by GOP Rep. Pat Garofalo, one of ALEC's point men, is trying to thrash the entire renewable energy standards system which sets clear targets for carbon reduction and deters utilities from buying environmentally dirty power from the region. It also obliterates the current program to promote "made in Minnesota" local solar companies. (energy committee homepage)
I just heard from a friend that "Fresh Energy, MN350 are all testifying….. The hearings on the bill are extended now Wednesday evening, Thursday AM, Friday from noon until midnight. That sounds to me like lots of folks are registering to testify." Hit up the committee administrator at the link above if you want to testify this week too.
Rep. Pat Garofalo has introduced his draft Omnibus Energy Bill. d0b80283-da3f-4839-baf9-551613c2b6d9.pdf Since he is Chair of the House Jobs Creation and Energy Affordability Committee, his bill is the Republican bill.
The Garofalo bill incorporates the energy-related ideas and bills that had been heard in his committee. Rep. Garofalo then found more bad ideas to include. This post would be much too long if it did more than scratch the surface. So it just covers the worst of the worst. Two of the worst of the worst were presented earlier in committee so there are earlier and more detailed posts about them. The earlier posts are noted below.
In summary, Rep. Garofalo’s bill would dismantle most of Minnesota’s efforts to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by repealing the laws that support these efforts. He totally sabotages solar.
In 62 pages he does a lot more, like proposing to make gifts to coal, the Koch brothers, and people wealthy enough to buy electric cars.
Before the worst of the worst, the back story needs to be told. The fight brewing in Minnesota is just one of many happening across the U.S. In anarticle entitled “Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar,” The Washington Post reported on the campaign by utitlites and its fossil-fuel supporters to stop residential solar. The Post says that legislation to make net metering illegal or more expensive has been introduced in legislatures in nearly two dozen states. The Los Angeles Times article, “Koch brothers, big utilities attack solar, green energy policies” links the effort against net metering to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch brothers.
… meanwhile virtually nothing has been published by 'energy watchdogs' about it. (note her post is about the 3/27 draft, while the newest is the 4/6 draft but the same in most important respects.)
Here, can you see Garofalo's political economy? Smells like fracksauce to me...
Unfortunately various energy watchdogs such as www.midwestenergynews.com are 100% asleep at the switch [on this issue in a very bad session] so it's up to you to try and intervene. Get crackin or you'll be fracked!!
Update 1: The section about appropriations for low income energy assistance, as I understand it is something that is usually included in energy omnibus bills in years past, it is not a novel addition really. The fossil fuels and striking of all renewable language, giveaways to nuclear, dumping carbon/emission reduction targets etc are all major policy shifts that need our full attention.
Update 2 - 5:40pm: I was sent over this bulletin that went out an hour ago from MNIPL. It is encouraging to see more groups are nudging the issue but they need to get it accelerated in public as soon as possible, not just action alerts that are hard to discover:
From: Claire Curran - email@example.com
Date: Tue, Apr 7, 2015 at 3:44 PM
Subject: Tell Your Representatives to Do the Right Thing!
Key people within the Minnesota House of Representatives are working to gut Minnesota’s successful landmark clean energy policies, but people of faith are stepping up and calling on them to do the right thing.
Over the past twenty years, Minnesotans have built a responsible transition beyond fossil fuels to a clean, renewable energy, and a thriving industry that employs >15,300 people. Faith actors have been at the forefront of these successful steps forward.
But the Minnesota House bill would:
Eliminate Minnesota’s science-based goals aimed to reduce and offset climate pollution;
Repeal Minnesota’s energy savings program that has saved the energy equivalent of 8 Prairie Island nuclear plants;
Repeal the nuclear moratorium;
Destroy the progress made on solar energy in 2013
Roll back Minnesota’s renewable goals by watering down standard renewable energy by allowing existing, large hydro from Canada.
The right thing to do is to continue to make progress by supporting the Senate clean energy package that sets Minnesota’s renewable energy benchmark to achieve at least 40% renewables by 2030 and increases energy savings.
Thanks for all you do to build the climate movement!
A traveling ensemble of artists seeks to rewild the Great Lakes through free outdoor performances.
THE WASTELANDS PROJECT ABANDON ALL DESPAIR, YE WHO ENTER HERE.
The Silent Revolution
Western Civilization is self-destructing all around us, and it’s never looked so under control. Wolf hunts, receding glaciers, the dream of a gardened planet: the ecological crisis spreads across the plains like an endless chain of luxury high rises. We believe there is a light to be found in the dark rows ahead. But to see it, we first need to stretch our imagination.
That's where we enter the Wastelands, an outdoor, traveling live performance about the future of life on Earth.
The Wastelands The Wastelands is a revolutionary art project, loosely based on Dante's Purgatorio, that transcends medium--theatre, music, film, dance, fine art, adventurous travel--from us, an emerging ensemble called Children of the Wild.
From April 20th-May 18th, 2015 we will travel across the Great Lakes in search of people to engage with and locations to bring The Wastelands. Ultimately we aim to uncover the real-life stories of environmental crimes suffered by the Great Lakes Basin. More importantly we seek out the resistance of communities that won't back down until the Lakes are free. Why the Great Lakes? We are living in a watershed moment, so it helps to look at our watershed.
Our mission is to make original works of theatre and film that further the rewilding of the human spirit as part of a common struggle for social and environmental justice. Rewilding TheatreOver the next two years, we are building our show out of and performing in the detritus of this world—ruins of factories, overgrown lots, junk piles that were once industrial parks. We envision being costumed by dust and dirt, ash and burlap; we imagine a set made from found objects; we will travel in an adventurous way (bus or boat) and live as a tribe, in order to open space for what is possible politically and culturally. The film will faithfully document our tour, exposing the in-between places where fiction meets reality.But why go through all that trouble just to tell a story? We believe in order talk about rewilding our souls as well as our environments, we must live it. So the question is, Where do we look to find a landbase reinventing itself in order to survive an almost certain death?
I pitched in with some website work for UGB & Twilight back in the day and I am glad the new project is getting executed. I saw some of the early notes and I think it's really promising.
Wings, in 1927, won the first Oscar for Best Picture and used more than 3,000 infantrymen, pilots and crew.
So begins our meta narrative...
I had a bit of a debate with a friend of mine about influences going into science fiction in the media, and the intersection between the Pentagon and Hollywood. The US military has had a presence for nearly a century in American filmmaking but insight into its outsized influence has gotten quite lost.
Even more oddly, the government has always been keen to get involved in any films about extraterrestrials -- including the CIA. The Pentagon has certainly firmed its grasp around alien-related movies in recent years.
This post jets in a few far out-directions. Rather than split it into more narrowly focused narratives, I wanted to linkdump a breadth of material so I can send it out there when these topics come up, as they all seem rather enmeshed anyhow.
If nothing else, Michael Bay should become Secretary of Defense. He has gained hugely from this system, and could shoot cheap fake wars to entertain Fox viewers while sparing the rest of us the expense of patrolling the world and the cosmos. Synthetic Wag the Dog type video should be the whole system, not just a prop for strategy.
SciFi military influence works in relation to The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), which signaled a threatening concept for Pentagon leadership: the film's conception of military thinking as too limited for managing our social reality in the universe -- an alien turns up to critique nuclear weapons and earthbound militarism. (And weird UFO incidents continued at nuclear sites in decades following!)
Fast forward sixty years later: fare like Stargate SG-1, Man of Steel and Transformers are marketed to appeal mainly to young male demographics and the military as a whole is usually presented as a cosmologically viable, if weak, buffer force against a fairly nihilistic universe, and if misguided still gets brought around.
Bad eggs, rather than systematic failures of the military as an institution, usually form the narrative boundary.
On the other end of the cosmic spectrum, Sony's Captain Phillips and the little-remembered Jurassic Park III were other projects where the military cleans everything up at the end. Despite different plot trappings, the subsidized state Pentagon presence is quite similar in all of these.
Phillips "used a U.S. military guided missile destroyer, an amphibious assault ship, several helicopters, and members of SEAL Team Six, who play themselves but are not on active duty — all courtesy of the U.S. Navy, who were able to work the shoot into their training…. For "Man of Steel," using military efforts cost less than $1 million on a movie with a production budget of $225 million. Another perk of having Strub sign off on a Hollywood project is it often means production is able to avoid Screen Actors Guild (SAG) daily minimum rates ($153 for eight hours, plus overtime) for unionized actors. Then they save again by not having to pay residuals, notes Fortune."
All of these were produced with a great deal of Pentagon assistance and this is always done in exchange for certain specific, defined features, usually script points in the storyline. Characters get reconfigured and sometimes dropped so that a producer can get access to a free carrier to film on or whatever. Minders on-set ensure the final product is right to spec.
Enter the Alien Stage Left: In all of this comes a defined emphasis on spacefaring aliens -- they got an extraterrestrial type firmly defined in the popular mind by the 1950s through media productions. Looking at so much of this sponsored work, there is almost a toolkit that has been diligently set in stone about what all the weirdness really means, and how it works.
Part of what writer Chris Knowles at Secret Sun blog has gunned away at for years is not just the complex of recycled ideas and flows of script control. It's a long exploration along the interfaces of popular culture and sophisticated groups planting, in retrospect, quite traceable ideas. For example, old Outer Limits, Star Trek, the Esalen Institute and Rockefellers form one compellingly weird Gordian knot.
Stargates and Solar temples is a real cosmic trip as well, linking a California-centered trend of contacting invisible alien spirits called the Nine with the Prophets (alien wormhole dwellers worshipped by Bajorans) in Deep Space Nine. Spoiler alert: Pleasure planet Risa also has numerous cues connecting it to Esalen as well. All this stuff is wild.
Knowles also stresses that powerful ideas like hidden folk ('elves', spirits, elementals), walk-ins (like possession & speaking in tongues), or other ultraterrestrials have been with humanity apparently since the beginning but are totally obfuscated by factors like the Pentagon's reorganization of the Other through the media (if I can summarize a very long and branching line of inquiry). They call our attention to Grays to draw it away from the Wee Folk.
It seems like the Pentagon likes to push away the idea that some connection would be made to somewhat unreal or alternate dimension intelligences, who might bear some positive wisdom if only we were more open to it. [Knowles attributes some of this hostility to a shadowy Collins Elite, hardliners kind of like cosmic Birchers, opponents of the Rockefeller Disclosure squad like Dr Steve Greer. He sees echoes of the Collins Elite in the 10:13 produced X-Files spinoff Millennium. ]
Another common theme is that the military is not a systematically wrong approach to the cosmic universe. Star Trek and Stargate SG-1 are the strongest examples, which always resonated better with Americans than elsewhere. The complete notion or the ontology of a military agency facing outwards into the void as the political surface membrane of human bacterial cell in the galactic body, through the US Air Force Space Command, is beyond doubt.
Even when members of the military make bad decisions like in WarGames or SG-1 episodes, it gets reconciled and the structure is redeemed. In these boundaries there are not Strangelove-like transgressions. Even after apotheosis and enlightenment, still the military structure stands. It just needs course corrections, it never goes down like the Titanic. [Plenty of script tweak examples listed below]
Independence Day was not produced with military help (they certainly didn't want Area 51 in the mix, apparently) but everything still lands in a martial framework.
Much as it seems easier to imagine the apocalypse nowadays than living outside of capitalism, so too it is harder to imagine exploring both the outer and inner universe outside of a martial foundation.
British angle: I'm less familiar with overseas version of America's media-military complex, but it seems the British used James Bond films to put certain ideas out there, at least. The BBC looms large over Brit sci-fi. Torchwood, Britain's answer to Men in Black, seemed kind of like NCIS for space. I didn't see much of it but it seemed like a reframing of high weirdness phenomena into manageably concrete martial terms.
The trickster unifies major, but seemingly unrelated, themes surrounding the paranormal. For instance, the paranormal is frequently connected with deception, and deceit is second nature to the trickster. Psychic phenomena gain prominence in times of disruption and transition. Tricksters are found in conditions of transition. The paranormal has a peculiar relationship with religion; the trickster was part of many early religions, and he was viewed ambivalently. The statuses of paranormal phenomena are typically uncertain or marginal in a variety of ways. Tricksters’ statuses are similar. [The Trickster and the Paranormal.]
Also interesting: Under Familiar Skies. To this intersection of shamanism and management of Otherworldly perceptions check out: Risk a Little More Bite if your interests lie anywhere between Terrence McKenna and John Podesta's improbable recent tweet about UFO files.
Circling back to the general issue of the Pentagon in non-scifi moviemaking: This is hardly a small affair or just a few producers and G-Men scooting some cameras onto the odd aircraft carrier deck. It's a major system and important to the whole way that America perceives itself in the world - and indeed the universe.
Here are some links to hit, plenty more where that came from:
25 years later, how ‘Top Gun’ made America love war - David Sirota - WaPo OpEd August 2011: "In June, the Army negotiated a first-of-its-kind sponsorship deal with the producers of “X-Men: First Class,” backing it up with ads telling potential recruits that they could live out superhero fantasies on real-life battlefields. … [In Top Gun] Time magazine reported that Goose’s death was changed from a midair collision to an ejection scene, because “the Navy complained that too many pilots were crashing."
On the CBS hit show “NCIS” (Naval Criminal Investigative Service): “If you watch the episodes, it’s always a dead Marine or a dead sailor and reverse autopsy to see if they were the victim or the perpetrator,” Coons said. “In many cases you’ll see we hold ourselves accountable when the investigation reveals we’ve done something wrong, and we take that person through the proper steps to punish them or make them whole if they were the victim, and it’s demonstrated for the public to see.”
I am baffled people find such bland step-throughs watchable but apparently they're as addictive as crack once you get into them.
Operation Hollywood | Mother Jones - Sept 2004: "They never -- at least that I’ve seen -- help movies with aliens. Usually in those movies, the military is shown to be ineffective in combating the aliens, and it’s always some tricky, enterprising person who figures out how to defeat them. " Notice this has since been reversed with Transformers and Man of Steel. "….when the world’s most powerful medium colludes with the world’s most powerful military to put propaganda in mainstream films and television shows, that has to have an effect on the American psyche."
The Marine Corps Motion Picture & TV Liaison Office, also known as LA Public Affairs, provides assistance to directors, producers and writers in the entertainment industry by providing DoD support for major motion pictures, television shows, video games and documentaries to inform and educate the public about the roles and missions, history, operations, and training of the United States Marine Corps.
What we provide
Since 1917, we have helped producers, writers and directors of non-Government, entertainment and non-entertainment-based media productions with the following:
Coordination for the use of personnel, aircraft, and equipment.
Access to Marine Corps installations, both within the United States and forward combat zones.
Assistance in obtaining broadcast-quality Marine Corps stock footage and "B" roll footage.
You may contact these people to try and borrow an aircraft carrier for your drug filled pacifist film capers at:
U.S. Military Assistance in Producing Motion Pictures, Television Shows, Music Videos
Department of Defense
Special Assistant for Entertainment Media
Department of Defense
The Pentagon, Room 2E592
Washington, DC 20301-1400
(703) 695-2936 / FAX (703) 695-1149
For information regarding U.S. military assistance in producing feature motion pictures, television shows, documentaries, music videos, commercial advertisements, CD-ROM games, and other audiovisual programs, please contact the Military Service being portrayed or being asked to provide assistance:
Chief, Office of Army Chief of Public Affairs
Los Angeles Branch
10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1250
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 235-7621 / FAX (310) 235-6075
Director, Navy Office of Information West
10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1220
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 235-7481 / FAX (310) 235-7856
Director, Secretary of the Air Force
Office of Public Affairs
Office of Public Affairs-Entertainment Liaison
10880 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1240
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 235-7511 / FAX (310) 235-7500
Director, Marine Corps Public Affairs
Motion Picture and Television Liaison
10880 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1230
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 235-7272 / FAX (310) 235-7274
Anyway I hope that gives some avenues to go check out and a better understanding of where all these bland military-involved plot points come from - movie execs that acquiesce to rather unconstitutional pressure from the offices named above here, due to budget pressure.
The remapping of outer space by this system is almost as strange as a UFO sighting - it rather pre-conditions us to certain conclusions, or frames of reference. whenever a truly weird incident happens.
Let's try to support weird cinema in 2015, cinema that opens our imaginations. Not this dull mixture of the same old military character injected into young male blockbusters and all-too-conventional scifi over and over.
Credit to Roger Ebert for inspiring me to throw some notes out there - just watched "Life, Itself" and it was quite awesome.