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.
Memorable scenes in "J. Edgar," the unsung biopic of FBI über-cryptocrat J. Edgar Hoover directed by Clint Eastwood, highlighted Leo DiCaprio's Hoover essentially blackmailing politicians like Robert F. Kennedy & Franklin D. Roosevelt over the decades with potentially embarrassing recordings and snippets. He reminisces with his partner-for-life Colson how well it goes every time.
Now there's an entire corporate contractor sector, nicknamed the Eagle Alliance, which has taken over many core National Security Agency functions, and each one of them are in a position to pull Hoover-like shenanigans to control the political system. This system of leverage & blackmail was described in Al Martin's The Conspirators: Secrets of an Iran-Contra Insider" as the "Control Files."
"That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide."
He added that if a dictator ever took over, the NSA "could enable [him] to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back."
At the time, the agency had the ability to listen to only what people said over the telephone or wrote in an occasional telegram; they had no access to private letters. But today, with people expressing their innermost thoughts in e-mail messages, exposing their medical and financial records to the Internet, and chatting constantly on cellphones, the agency virtually has the ability to get inside a person’s mind…
"I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge," Senator Church said. "I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."
Let's hop on down the rabbit hole. The National Security Agency and its beleaguered whistleblowers are back with the Internet's Lawyers Guild - aka the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who have saved the day on countless occasions. Now they are kicking it up a notch with a lawsuit against the 'state secret' everyone knows about -- corporate contractors copying everyone's private domestic communications.
In my case, there’s no way the programs I want to talk to Congress about should be public ever, unless maybe in 200 years they want to declassify them. You should never learn about it; no one at the Times should ever learn about these things.
I’m going to provide a one paragraph summary, just to make sure that the implications of this are clear to everyone:
The U.S. Government has, almost certainly, established a database and tracking system for something like eight million Americans who have been designated as threats to national security. The system is called MAIN CORE and it is being run under the auspices of highly classified Continuity of Government (COG) operations. MAIN CORE uses a variety of intelligence sources as inputs, including your email, web activity, telephone and private financial information. In the event of a major national security crisis, it is alleged that Americans listed in the MAIN CORE database, “Could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.”
Below are some excerpts from The Last Roundup. I have provided explicit pointers to the related materials on Cryptogon:
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.”[See:AT&T Invents Programming Language for Mass Surveillance]
He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Three NSA Whistleblowers Back EFF's Lawsuit Over Government's Massive Spying Program
EFF Asks Court to Reject Stale State Secret Arguments So Case Can Proceed
San Francisco - Three whistleblowers – all former employees of the National Security Agency (NSA) – have come forward to give evidence in the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) lawsuit against the government's illegal mass surveillance program, Jewel v. NSA.
In a motion filed today, the three former intelligence analysts confirm that the NSA has, or is in the process of obtaining, the capability to seize and store most electronic communications passing through its U.S. intercept centers, such as the "secret room" at the AT&T facility in San Francisco first disclosed by retired AT&T technician Mark Klein in early 2006.
"For years, government lawyers have been arguing that our case is too secret for the courts to consider, despite the mounting confirmation of widespread mass illegal surveillance of ordinary people," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program."
The three former NSA employees with declarations in EFF's brief are William E. Binney, Thomas A. Drake, and J. Kirk Wiebe. All were targets of a federal investigation into leaks to the New York Times that sparked the initial news coverage about the warrantless wiretapping program. Binney and Wiebe were formally cleared of charges and Drake had those charges against him dropped.
Jewel v. NSA is back in district court after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it in late 2011. In the motion for partial summary judgment filed today, EFF asked the court to reject the stale state secrets arguments that the government has been using in its attempts to sidetrack this important litigation and instead apply the processes in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that require the court to determine whether electronic surveillance was conducted legally.
"The NSA warrantless surveillance programs have been the subject of widespread reporting and debate for more than six years now. They are just not a secret," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "Yet the government keeps making the same 'state secrets' claims again and again. It's time for Americans to have their day in court and for a judge to rule on the legality of this massive surveillance."
In Jewel v. NSA, EFF is suing the NSA and other government agencies on behalf of AT&T customers to stop the illegal unconstitutional and ongoing dragnet surveillance of their communications and communications records.
Filed in 2008, Jewel v. NSA is aimed at ending the NSA’s dragnet surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans and holding accountable the government officials who illegally authorized it. Evidence in the case includes undisputed documents provided by former AT&T telecommunications technician Mark Klein showing AT&T has routed copies of Internet traffic to a secret room in San Francisco controlled by the NSA. That same evidence is central Hepting v. AT&T, a class-action lawsuit filed by EFF in 2006 to stop the telecom giant’s participation in the illegal surveillance program.
In addition to suing the government agencies involved in the domestic dragnet, Jewel v. NSAalso targets the individuals responsible for creating authorizing and implementing the illegal program including former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, Cheney’s former chief of staff David Addington, former Attorney General and White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales, and other individuals who ordered or participated in the warrantless domestic surveillance.
The Obama administration moved to dismiss Jewel in 2009, claiming that litigation over the wiretapping program would require the government to disclose privileged “state secrets” and that it was immune from suit. The court instead ruled that the case should be dismissed on standing grounds.Fortunately, in December of 2011, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Jewel could proceed in district court.
There aren't that many journalists who regularly cover the National Security Agency, and it's pretty obvious this beat is a shortcut to catching major gangstalking from a whole passel of shadeballs. What better way to see who SAIC will send if you piss them off & expose their enormously profitable contracting rackets & fraud?
James Bamford first wrote The Puzzle Palace, the first book on the NSA which established a great deal for the public about how it operated. His much more recent book The Shadow Factory described a number of major developments since then, including the backbone tapping system which is a major part of Jewel v. NSA.
In a 30-page motion that prosecutors filed on Monday, they argued that the First Amendment did not give Mr. Risen the right to avoid testifying about his confidential sources in a criminal proceeding. The Justice Department argued that Mr. Risen was a witness and should be compelled to provide information to a jury “like any other citizen,” contending that there was no basis to conclude “that the reporter is being harassed in order to disrupt his relationship with confidential news sources.”
DC alternative journalist Wayne Madsen, while derided by many in the mainstream & liberal networks as a conspiracy theorist etc (and I wouldn't be surprised if certain factions try to use him to plant early disinfo & poison the well in obscure stories - as often happens with journalists on weird beats) overall Wayne has kept coming up with the goods on the NSA, clearly with a number of inside and veteran sources. Code names in this case STELLAR WIND and PINWALE first entered the public arena via Madsen's site WayneMadsenReport.com.
Madsen has covered the travails of William Binney, Thomas Drake & J. Kirk Wiebe, in particular Drake over the years. Drake's case in particular involves the interests of sketchy Israel-linked contractors in penetrating Americans' private communications using backdoors such as the Narus Verint wiretapping boxes placed on Internet backbone sites, which first surfaced because of whistleblower Mark Klein, who had installed the fiber optic splitter running domestic backbone signals en masse into the 'secret room'.
Anyway much of this is available over In-Q-Tel I mean CIA I mean Google, but the stuff on WayneMadsenReport.com is not. I asked Wayne a while ago and he basically asks for a day or two (or several) for people to refrain from reposting his material outside the paywall. I ask that you support independent journalism - I am reposting these now for general public interest because the situation has finally 'broken out' a little more.
APRIL 2012: Let's start on the late side with a April 2012 backgrounder that finally establishes a great deal of the crusade to crush Thomas Drake. It gets to, what else, Israeli contractors and extreme corruption. Plus it has tons of nice NSA program code words.
The SARC is where companies linked to Israel helped set up NSA's controversial and top secret warrantless eavesdropping program code-named Stellar Wind. SARC's chief of staff, J. Kirk Wiebe, and the center's co-founded, Bill Binney, realized that a private company with links to Israel, Technology Development Corporation (TDC), a two-man operation with an Annapolis Junction post office box run by two brothers, Randall and Paul Jacobson of Clarksville, Maryland, was running the Stellar Wind operation using software and equipment provided by two Israeli firms, Narus, later bought by Boeing, and Verint, owned by Comverse Technology, formerly Comverse Infosys. Both companies were formed by ex-Unit 8200 personnel. Unit 8200 is the Israeli counterpart of NSA. The NSA program manager for Stellar Wind was Ben Gunn, a U.S. naturalized Scotsman who once worked for Britain's NSA equivalent, the Goverfnment Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham, UK.
Rather than investigate the Jacobsons, Gunn and their Israeli interlocutors, FBI agents raided the homes of Wiebe and Binney and confiscated their computer equipment as part of the failed Justice Department investigation of former NSA official Thomas Drake, the whistle blower who exposed massive contract fraud and illegal surveillance by NSA.
Paul Jacobson had his security access pulled by NSA in 1992 and he later changed his name to "Jimmy Carter" and "Alfred Olympus von Ronsdorf." Randall Jacobson continued working for NSA and when Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) was brought in to run the nascent Stellar Wind program, taking over from TDC, Randall Jacobson tipped Binney off to the illegal nature of the eavesdropping program, which included installing wiretapping rooms in some 20 telecommunications company switches around the United States, including the one exposed by former AT&T technician Mark Klein that was installed at the AT&T switch in downtown San Francisco.
Binney told Bamford that the NSA's advanced eavesdropping and data mining high-data analytical software may have been originally passed to Israel by a pro-Israeli technical director in NSA's Operations Directorate. The original software helped Narus and Comverse/Verint to improve on the work already performed by NSA and more advanced systems were then sold back to the NSA. The major compromise of NSA technology to the Israelis should have been made known to Binney, who was then the chairman of the NSA's Technology Advisory Panel, which monitored the signals intelligence capabilities of foreign nations. Rather than pass on to NSA the intelligence "take" of Unit 8200 using the NSA technology, Binney told Bamford that he believed that the Israeli government simply passed on the technology to Israeli start-up companies that used the NSA-developed know-how to spy on foreign countries, including the United States, and sell the technology back to countries like the United States.
The Israeli penetration of NSA was brought to WMR's attention by NSA personnel in June 2005. One of the firms mentioned as being involved in the compromise to Israel was CACI, part of an alliance of NSA contractors called the "Eagle Alliance." WMR reported: "CACI, called 'Colonels and Captains, Inc.' by critics who cite the revolving door from the Pentagon to its corporate office suites, counts former NSA Deputy Director Barbara McNamara as a member of its board of directors. CACI alumni include Thomas McDermott, a former NSA Deputy Director for Information Systems Security. Former NSA Director Adm. Mike McConnell is a Senior Vice President of Booz Allen. Former NSA Director General Ken Minihan is President of the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), an intelligence business development association that includes Boeing, Booz Allen, CACI, CSC, the Eagle Alliance, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC, and Windemere, all GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER contractors, among its membership. SASA's board of directors (surprise, surprise) includes CACI's Barbara McNamara. One of SASA's distinguished advisers is none other than General Hayden. Although contractors are required to have the same high level security clearances as government personnel at NSA, there are close connections between some NSA contractors and countries with hostile intelligence services. For example, CACI's president and CEO visited Israel in early 2004 and received the Albert Einstein Technology Award at ceremony in Jerusalem attended by Likud Party Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. The special ceremony honoring CACI's president was sponsored by the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva Fund. The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party's Jerusalem Mayor, Uri Lupolianski, was also in attendance. According to Lebanon's Daily Star, CACI's president also met with notorious racist Israeli retired General Effie Eitam who advocates expelling Palestinians from their lands. The U.S. delegation also included a number of homeland security officials, politicians, and businessmen. CACI has also received research grants from U.S.-Israeli bi-national foundations."
What has some NSA officials worried is that with pro-Israeli neocons now engrained within the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), State Department, and National Security Council, NSA is ripe for penetration by Israeli intelligence. NSA has a troubled past with Israel. In 1967, Israeli warplanes launched a premeditated attack on the NSA surveillance ship, the USS Liberty, killing and wounding a number of U.S. sailors and NSA civilian personnel.
Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard compromised a number of NSA sensitive sources and methods when he provided a garage full of classified documents to Israel. But NSA is also aware of an incident where Israelis used a contractor, RCA, to gain access to yet additional NSA sources and methods.
In the 1980s, against the wishes of NSA, the Reagan administration forced NSA to permit RCA, one of its major contractors, to develop a tethered aerostat (balloon) signals intelligence and direction finding system for the Israeli Defense Force. According to NSA officials, the Israeli-NSA joint project, codenamed DINDI, was established at a separate facility in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and apart from the main NSA developmental center at RCA's facility in Camden, New Jersey. Although NSA and RCA set up a strict firewall between the contractor's national intelligence contract work and the separate DINDI contract, Israeli engineers, who were working for Mossad, soon broke down the security firewall with the assistance of a few American Jewish engineers assigned to the DINDI project. The security breach resulted in a number of national intelligence developmental systems being compromised to the Israelis, including those code named PIEREX, MAROON ARCHER, and MAROON SHIELD. DINDI was quickly cancelled but due to the sensitivity surrounding the American Jewish engineers, the Reagan Justice Department avoided bringing espionage charges. There were some forced retirements and transfers, but little more. But for NSA, the duplicity of the Israelis added to the enmity between Fort Meade and Israeli intelligence.
[On June 5, 2005, WMR followed-up its story of Israeli spying at NSA: "Veterans of the RCA-NSA-Israeli joint SIGINT program code named DINDI report that Israeli engineer spies used the carve out contract with NSA, through RCA, to gain access to NSA and U.S. Navy secrets. In an RCA facility in Mount Laurel, NJ, the Israeli engineers had their own secured lab, and for three years that DINDI ran, they were walking out with their briefcases loaded with equipment, including scopes. When RCA engineers finally gained access to their lab, they found the prints laid out for the Trident missile system. RCA had an ongoing contract top develop the Trident communications suite at the time of the security leak. The Israeli engineers on DINDI claimed they were from the Israeli Air Force but months later, an RCA engineer was in New York and he ran into the same Israelis, but they were wearing Israeli Navy uniforms. One ex-RCA engineer commented about the DINDI Israeli spies: 'They were all a nice bunch of guys, even when they had their hands in your pockets.'] One RCA contractor for NSA later told WMR that the RCA program manager for DINDI, a Jewish engineer who he only named as "Irv," permitted the Israelis to rummage through NSA and RCA classified information.
With outside contractors now permeating NSA and a major Israeli espionage operation being discovered inside the Pentagon, once again there is a fear within NSA that foreign intelligence services such as the Mossad could make another attempt to penetrate America's virtual 'Fort Knox' of intelligence treasures and secrets.
Thanks to some very patriotic and loyal Americans inside NSA, this author is now in possession of an internal NSA contract document from November 2002 that shows how GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER have allowed the Eagle Alliance and other contractors to gain access to and even virtual control over some of the most sensitive systems within the U.S. intelligence community. One suspect in this unchecked outsourcing is the person [then-NSA director Michael Hayden] hired from the outside to act as Special Adviser to his Executive Leadership Team, Beverly Wright, who had been the Chief Financial Officer for Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore. Before that, Wright had been the Chief Financial Officer for Alex Brown, the investment firm at which George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, once served as a board member. As one senior NSA official sarcastically put it, 'She's highly qualified to work in intelligence!'
According to the document, the future of some 10,000 Windows NT and UNIX workstations and servers that handle some of NSA's most sensitive signals intelligence (SIGINT) (the Signals Intelligence Directorate workstation upgrade is code named BEANSTALK) and electronics intelligence (ELINT) applications, including databases that contain communications intercepts, are now firmly in the grasp of the Eagle Alliance. Operational workstations are being migrated to a less-than-reliable Windows/Intel or 'WINTEL' environment. The document boldly calls for the Eagle Alliance to establish a SIGINT Service Applications Office (SASO) to 'provide and maintain Information Technology services, tools, and capabilities for all [emphasis added] SIGINT mission applications at the NSA.' This is a far cry from the non-operational administrative support functions originally specified in the GROUNDBREAKER contract.
The document also calls for NSA to provide extremely sensitive information on SIGINT users to the contractors: 'Identification of target sets of users in order to successfully coordinate with the Eagle Alliance modernization program.' The Eagle Alliance is involved in a number of systems that impact on other members of the U.S. intelligence community, foreign SIGINT partners, and national command authorities. These systems include INTELINK, Common Remoted Systems, National SIGINT Requirements Process, Overhead Tasking Distribution, RSOC (Regional SIGINT Operations Center) Monitoring Tool, RSOC Modeling Tool, Speech Activity Detection, Network Analysis Tools, Network Reconstruction Tools, Advanced Speech Processing Services, Automatic Message Handling System, CRITIC Alert, Cross Agency Multimedia Database Querying, Message Format Converter, Central Strategic Processing and Reporting, Collection Knowledge Base, Language Knowledge Base and Capabilities, K2000 Advanced ELINT Signals, Speech Content Services, Speech Information Extraction, Dominant Facsimile Processing System and DEFSMAC Support, Data Delivery (TINMAN), High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Database, Satellite database, Protocol Analysis Terminal, Global Numbering Database, Intercept Tasking Databases, DEFSMAC Space Systems Utilities, Message Server, Extended Tether Program, Language Knowledge Services, Trend Analysis in Data Streams, Signal Related Database, SANDKEY Support (SIGINT Analysis and Reporting), and the SIGINT interception database ANCHORY and the ELINT database WRANGLER. In fact, the document states that the contractors' plans foresee the inclusion of NSA's intelligence community partners (foreign and domestic) in the contractors' revamping of NSA's operational systems.
The servers include those that support mission-critical National Time Sensitive Systems (NTSS). These National Time Sensitive System servers have been assigned various cover terms:
A number of SIGINT applications are also impacted by the outsourcing mania. They are also assigned cover terms:
GALE-LITE (the primary owner of which is DIA)
SIGDASYS FILE II, III, and KL
In fact, the document indicates that literally hundreds of NSA intelligence applications are now subject to the whims of outside contractors. These systems include
VIEWEXCHANGE, VEILED DATABASE, VEILED FORTHCOMING, VENTURER II, VICTORY DAEMON, VINTAGE HARVEST, VIOLATION, VISIONARY, VISIONQUEST, VOICECAST, VOICESAIL, VOIP SEED
WARGODDESS, WARSTOCK, WATCHOUT, WAXFLOWER, WAYLAND, WEALTHYCLUSTER, WEBSPINNER, WEBSPINNER -- ACCESS TO DBS, WESTRICK, WHARFMAN II, WHITE SEA, WHIRLPOOL, WHITE SHARK, WHITE SWORD, WHITESAIL, WHITEWASH, WILDFIRE, WINDSHIELD, WINTERFEED, WIREDART, WIREWEED, WORLDWIDE, WIZARDRY, WOLFPACK, WRAPUP
ZENTOOLS, ZIGZAG, and ZIRCON
Hayden was later "rewarded" for his actions at NSA by being named the first deputy director for the Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) and, later, director of the Central Intelligence Agency. After retiring, Hayden began working for former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, who has also been alleged to have close contacts with Israeli intelligence, at Chertoff Associates.
A journalist who previously covered the Justice Department for a major wire service told WMR that FBI agents and Justice Department prosecutors are dissuaded from investigating spies for Israel since it is known to be a "career killer" at both agencies. Moreover, Justice prosecutors have two sets of guidelines when it comes to prosecuting spies. One set calls for maximum treatment, including major criminal charges and heavy prison sentences and fines, for American spies who are charged with spying for Russia, China, Cuba, or Iran, and the lightest charges and penalties for those charged with spying for Israel, especially if they are Jewish.
There is much more to the Obama administration's indictment on April 15 of former NSA senior executive Thomas Drake by the US Attorney for Maryland, Rod Rosenstein, a Bush holdover who has brought similar politically-motivated criminal charges against other NSA personnel. Drake is charged with ten criminal counts, including leaking classified information to a newspaper. WMR can confirm the paper is The Wall Street Journal and the reporter at the Journal who received Drake's information is Siobhan Gorman, who was also subject to electronic surveillance by the NSA and FBI while she was with the Journal and previously, The Baltimore Sun. Other charges brought against Drake, who continued to work for the NSA as a contractor after stepping down as an NSA executive, include obstruction of justice and making false statements to a federal law enforcement official.
Since leaving his executive position with the NSA, Drake has served as President and Chief Operating Officer of National Technologies Associates, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia. The firm has revenues of $50 million and employs 600 people. Before NSA, Drake was an information technology and management consultant with Coastal Research & Technology, Inc. (CRTI).
While at NSA, Drake worked in the Signals Intelligence Division (SID), the group responsible for eavesdropping on foreign communications and, since the advent of warrantless domestic surveillance, domestic U.S. communications, as well.
WMR can report that as part of the Drake investigation, Gorman and the Wall Street Journal were subject to STELLAR WIND, warrantless wiretapping, as late as last year. The surveillance began when Gorman wrote a series of articles between 2006 and 2007 on NSA contracting cost overruns and mismanagement, information that was first reported by WMR in 2005.
From WMR, May 27, 2005: Up to now, little has been reported on how the Bush administration’s disastrous intelligence policies have affected the super secret National Security Agency (NSA). According to NSA insiders, the chief U.S. signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection agency has been wracked by much of the same internal feuding, senior management failures, and external political pressure that have plagued other U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geo-spatial Intelligence Agency, and National Reconnaissance Office.Drake's prosecution by the Obama administration represents a continuation of a "witch hunt" by NSA and its Stasi-like Security unit, the "Q Group," to plug all leaks from the signals intelligence and cyber-warfare agency even if the information provided to the media concerns criminal conduct like contract fraud, sexual misconduct, illegal surveillance of American citizens, and illegal "sneak an peek" break-ins of the homes of NSA employees and contractors by NSA Q Group personnel and FBI agents.
NSA insiders lay blame for the problems at NSA’s Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters squarely on the shoulders of agency Director Air Force General Michael V. Hayden and his small coterie of close advisers, a few of whom have no substantive intelligence background. Hayden has been NSA Director since March 1999, the longest tour for any NSA Director. Not only did the White House extend Hayden’s NSA tour, but also nominated him to be the first Deputy Director of National Intelligence, where he will serve under John Negroponte.
Hayden’s reign at NSA has been marked by the emaciation of the career civilian corps through forced retirements and resignations, outsourcing of government positions to contractors, intimidation, forced psychiatric and psychological examinations for "problem" employees, increased workloads for shift personnel with no personnel augmentation, unreasonable personal searches by security personnel, and withholding salary increases for career personnel. A number of NSA employees are suffering from stress and fatigue and that is adversely affecting their job performance.
One of the most pervasive operational problems at NSA stems from the fact that when newly trained civilian and military linguists, analysts, and other operational personnel arrive at NSA for duty and are integrated into various operational work centers, they are soon quickly transferred to Iraq. This puts an inordinate workload on the career civilian NSA personnel . . .
Career NSA personnel claim that their most senior member, Deputy Director of NSA William B. Black, Jr., shows little interest in their plight. One long-time NSAer said Black often nods off at Hayden’s staff meetings. In 2000, Black, a retired NSA employee with 38 years of service, was rehired by Hayden from Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) to be his deputy. Hayden’s selection of Black from outside the agency was considered a slap in the faces of those line NSA officers who would have been normally considered next in line for promotion to the much-coveted post. That slight began to severely affect agency morale a little over a year before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
After 911 and subsequent revelations that NSA had intercepted two Arabic language phone calls on September 10, 2001 ("Tomorrow is zero hour" and "The match is about to begin") that indicated an imminent attack by Al Qaeda but failed to translate and analyze them in a timely manner to be effective, Hayden was looking for scapegoats. According to NSA insiders, he found one in Maureen A. Baginski, the Director of NSA’s Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) Directorate. According to the NSA insiders, Baginski, a 27-year NSA veteran and Russian and Spanish linguist, was set up for a fall by Hayden and his team. In 2003, Baginski was named Executive Assistant Director of the FBI for Intelligence. According to NSA sources, it was Baginski who carried out Hayden's directives that farmed out many Fort Meade functions to other facilities. Another Hayden project, "Groundbreaker," the outsourcing of NSA functions to contractors, has also been used by Hayden’s advisers to assign blame for the 911 failures at NSA. According to NSA insiders, Groundbreaker has been a failure . . .
Another one of Hayden's projects that has been criticized by the NSA rank-and-file is "Trailblazer," the program to modernize NSA's SIGINT systems. For example, operators in U.S. electronic warfare aircraft rely on NSA to provide accurate electronic intelligence (ELINT) data in order to program their radar warning receivers and jamming pods. However, NSA data, provided from two databases known as EPL (Emitter Parameter List) and "Kilting." 70 percent of NSA's ELINT data is 30 years old. NSA management has forced field operators to use raw ELINT intercept data, culled from a database called "Wrangler," to program their ELINT systems. NSA operations and software engineers believe this function should be handled by NSA and not the "warfighters." Updated ELINT data is handled by ELINT Technical Reports or "ELTs." In 2003, the year the Iraq war started, there were 938 ELTs submitted on new emitter data. However, there were only 200 updates made to the ELINT databases.
The failure to update the ELINT databases may have had disastrous consequences in Iraq. For example, EPL and Kilting do not contain data on air traffic control radars and microwave communications links. Because current ELINT systems cannot differentiate between commercial signals and hostile target tracking emitters, U.S. forces in Iraq have launched attacks on non-threat targets in the belief they were hostile. NSA sources report that many of the cases of fratricide in Iraq has been due to faulty or old ELINT data. For example, the failure by NSA to update ELINT data and provide emitter parameter data to warfighting units led to the accidental shootdown by a Patriot missile of a British Royal Air Force Tornado fighter in March 2003 near the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border at the outset of the Iraq campaign. Two British crew members were killed. The ELINT data used by the Patriot misidentified the Tornado as an enemy missile and the U.S. Army blamed the British crew for the mistake, claiming they failed to switch on its Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment. NSA insiders claim that allegation was false. They claim that "blue signals" (friendly) are not adequately included in the emitter data sent to field units by NSA and that claims by the Pentagon that the Tornado was shot down due to pilot error were false.
In other incidents, the radar warning receivers (RWRs) on U.S. F-16s flying over Iraq have either evaded or fired AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range, Air-to-Air) missiles on microwave communications towers because the microwave signals were identified as threat emitters from hostile aircraft. U.S. jammers are also adversely affected by the failure to update ELINT data.
In fact, many of NSA's developmental ELINT systems, with cover names like Beikao, Boomvang, Canyondust, Cape Lookout, Chartvein, Eagle Reach, Galaxydust, Harpstring, Hokusai, Irish Den, Jetavator, Monocle, Needleice, Platoonwolf, Quadrunner, Radiant Spruce II, Roman Alliance, Seadiver, Shadowboxer, Sharkbite, Shiloh, Starquake, Stouthearted,and Sunbeaver are not found in the master NSA ELINT project database, which also has a cover name: Brasscoin.
Many of NSA's other SIGINT systems are in the same conundrum. Rather than simplify and modernize NSA's SIGINT development and deployment, Trailblazer has done nothing to modernize or cut acquisition costs. In a suspicious move by NSA, the Trailblazer contract was sole-sourced to SAIC, the firm from which Hayden hired his deputy director. As with Groundbreaker, Trailblazer's contractors consist of a team led by a prime contractor. Trailblazer's team overlaps with Groundbreaker -- companies like CSC and Northrop Grumman are also found on the Trailblazer team. Booz Allen Hamilton and Boeing are also on the SAIC team. According to NSA officers, one SAIC official left the firm to work for Hayden at NSA during the time the Trailblazer bidding process was underway. The individual then returned to SAIC as a senior vice president, according to NSA sources. NSA employees, upset about the control that SAIC now has over the agency, refer to NSA as "NSAIC." . . .
At his Senate Select Intelligence Committee nomination hearing for Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Hayden confirmed that Trailblazer was over budget and behind schedule. He told the committee that Trailblazer's "cost was greater than anticipated in the tune, I would say, in hundreds of millions." Hayden confirmed the report of the joint congressional committee that probed the 911 intelligence failures that Trailblazer was several years behind schedule. NSA sources claim that Trailblazer is at least five years behind schedule and $600 million over budget.
However, the career NSA operational personnel may be getting squeezed not so much for policy and management differences but because of what they know about the lies of the Bush administration. In addition to the obvious lies about Iraqi WMDs, many personnel are well aware that what occurred on the morning of 911 was not exactly what was reported by the White House. For example, President Bush spoke of the heroic actions of the passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93 over rural Pennsylvania on the morning of 911. However, NSA personnel on duty at the NSOC that morning have a very different perspective. Before Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania, NSA operations personnel clearly heard on the intercom system monitoring military and civilian communications that the "fighters are engaged" with the doomed United aircraft. NSOC personnel were then quickly dismissed from the tactical area of the NSOC where the intercom system was located leaving only a few senior personnel in place. NSA personnel are well aware that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not "misspeak" when, addressing U.S. troops in Baghdad during Christmas last year, said, "the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania." They believe the White House concocted the "passengers-bring-down-plane" story for propaganda value.
Morale at NSA has plummeted from repeated cover-ups of serious breaches of security by senior officials. While rank-and-file employees are subjected to abusive psychological and psychiatric evaluations for disagreeing with summary intelligence reports provided to outside users or "consumers" and even for more mundane matters, others are given a pass. Ironically, one of the psychiatrists used by NSA to evaluate problem or disgruntled employees was recently found by police to be growing marijuana at his home in Crofton, Maryland.
In 2008, NSA and FBI surveillance of current and former NSA and Justice Department employees who were suspected of leaking information to the press about the NSA's super-classified STELLAR WIND warrantless digital surveillance program, called the "Terrorist Surveillance Program" by the Justice Department, was stepped up.
On March 10, 2008, Gorman wrote an article for the Journal titled, "NSA's Domestic Spying Grows As Agency Sweeps Up Data." Gorman wrote:
"According to current and former intelligence officials, the spy agency now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records. The NSA receives this so-called 'transactional' data from other agencies or private companies, and its sophisticated software programs analyze the various transactions for suspicious patterns. Then they spit out leads to be explored by counterterrorism programs across the U.S. government, such as the NSA's own Terrorist Surveillance Program, formed to intercept phone calls and emails between the U.S. and overseas without a judge's approval when a link to al Qaeda is suspected."
The previous year, as WMR reported in May 12, 2009, former Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm's home was invaded by a SWAT team of federal agents:
In 2007, Tamm's home in Potomac, Maryland was raided by zealous FBI agents who suspected him of leaking details of the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" (TSP) to journalists. Tamm tried to inform Congress about the illegal program but was rebuffed by, among others, the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Representative John Conyers (D-MI).
At the time of its inception after 9/11, the TSP or as NSA and the Oval Office referred to it, "Stellar Wind," was so classified that only the Attorney General and one other person in the Justice Department knew about it. The TSP totally bypassed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants that the OIPR prepared for approval by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). U.S. Judge James Robertson was so incensed about the bypassing of the FISC, he resigned from it in protest on December 20, 2005. U.S. Judge Royce Lamberth, nominated by President Ronald Reagan and who served as Presiding Judge of the FISC until 2002, was also adamantly opposed to TSP and its systematic bypassing of his court.
WMR's report continued: Tamm was also the first person within Justice who corroborated what NSA personnel were reporting about the agency conducting illegal data mining. One of those individuals was NSA employee Russell Tice, who was also subjected to an FBI investigation and government harassment.
Although the government employees who brought attention to the high-level criminality involving the TSP/Stellar Wind were and, in some cases like that of Tamm, are still being investigated, no criminal investigations were brought against the telecommunications companies that participated in the criminal conspiracy to spy on Americans illegally. In fact, Congress gave the telecommunications firms immunity from lawsuits and prosecution as a result of a deal worked out with the Bush administration. One of those senators who voted for the immunity deal is Barack Obama.
After the FBI conducted interviews of all OIPR employees in their quest for the leaker, on August 1, 2007, 12 government vehicles pulled in front of Tamm's home in Potomac, Maryland. Eighteen armed federal agents wearing body armor stormed into Tamm's home while his wife was cooking breakfast. Tamm was removed from his home by the agents who spent seven hours going through his and his family's property. The FBI agents even asked Tamm if there were any "secret rooms" in his house. They also inquired about any weapons in the house and whether he had been visited at home by reporters from The New York Times.
The agents tore through every room, awakening Tamm's son and daughter. The agents seized all the lap top computers, including those of Tamm's children, and a 10-year old lap top. Also seized were the Tamm family's Christmas card list and a calendar with doctors appointments.
After two days, Tamm was offered a deal that he could plead guilty to a felony in return for his testifying against journalists, including the New York Times' James Risen, and their sources at the NSA. Three days later Michael Isikoff of Newsweek phoned Tamm -- someone had leaked information about the FBI raid to Isikoff. Tamm's identity as a source about the TSP was revealed by Isikoff in the December 22, 2008, issue of Newsweek.
In 2008, one of WMR's sources discovered that his home had been broken into and anything that could store digital data had been stolen: laptops, digital cameras, USB thumb drives, etc. Moreover, relatives of the individual discovered that the lock to their home had been drilled out in what was an obvious "black bag" sneak and peel operation.
That same year, this editor discovered that the lock to his apartment door at Potomac Towers in Arlington, Virginia had been drilled out by a circular saw drill bit that drilled around the lock cylinder. When the apartment maintenance man was called to check the lock, he discovered the fragments of the lock pins scattered on the floor at the base of the door. He stated at the time that he had never experienced anything like it in the past.
FBI and NSA surveillance of people affiliated with NSA continued through last week, with this editor and one of his sources being tailed in 2009 in the suburban Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC and an additional tail of a source being conducted last week in Annapolis, Maryland.
The indictment of Drake in reminiscent of the case brought against former NSA signals intelligence (SIGINT) analyst Ken Ford, Jr. in 2006. In March 2006, Ford was sentenced to six years in prison in a case replete with prosecutorial and judicial misconduct by Rosenstein, Assistant US Attorney David Salem, and US Judge Peter Messitte. On April 30, 2007, WMR reported: "Ford was set up in a clumsy Justice Department, FBI, and NSA Security Division operation to punish him for his May 2003 signals intelligence (SIGINT) analysis report that concluded, based on intercepts of Iraqi communications, there was no truth to the Bush administration’s claim that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Ford’s report, with his name and that of his supervisor on it, ended up on Vice President Dick Cheney’s desk. From that time on, Ford was a marked man for the neo-con cabal operating within the White House, Justice Department, Pentagon, and US Intelligence Community senior staff."
At one point during Ford's trial, Messitte called Ford to his bench and asked him if he had spoken to this editor. Ford replied that he had not, whereupon Messitte asked, "Is Mr. Madsen in the court room?" I was not present at the time but I was later told by an informed source that Messitte was prepared to call me to the stand to be asked about the sources of my stories on the case. Such a development would have required me to invoke my First Amendment rights, as the press is the only occupation identified by name in the Bill of Rights as being protected. There was a risk of a contempt ruling and possible federal prison had I been present during Messitte's "kangaroo court" proceedings.
Ford continues to serve his six year sentence at Lewisburg federal prison in Pennsylvania. Attorney General Eric Holder was sent a letter by Ford's parents on November 18, 2009, calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor in the case against their son. To date, Holder has not responded to the letter.
The letter follows:
November 18, 2009
SENT CERTIFIED MAIL / E-MAIL / FACSIMILE
Honorable Eric H. Holder. Jr.
Attorney General of the United States
Honorable David W. Ogden
Deputy Attorney General of the United States
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2053 0-0001
United States v. Kenneth Wayne Ford. Jr.
Criminal Case No(s): 04-cr-l l8JKS, 05-cr-0098PJM and 05-cr-0235PJM
Messrs. Holder and Ogden:
In the interest of justice, we, the parents of Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr., ("hereafter Mr. Ford") request an immediate appointment of Special Counsel to investigate unwarranted prosecutorial misconduct, vehement malicious persecution and prosecution of Mr. Ford under the Espionage Act §793 (e) - Gathering, Transmitting or Losing Defense Information. On Wednesday, September 23,2009, President Obama mandated that DOJ establishes New State Secrets Policies and Procedures.1
President Obama's implementation of State Secrets and Policies encompasses matters in this case. Prosecutors knowingly and willfully engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation throughout this case and trial. Mr. Ford was convicted under 793(e) - Espionage and 1801 - Making A False Statement On A Government Form. Mr. Ford was sentenced to 6 years in prison for Count 1 and 3 years in prison, to be served concurrently with Count 1, for Count 2. After imprisonment, Mr.
1 “It sets out clear procedures that will provide greater accountability and ensure the state secrets privilege is invoked only when necessary and in the narrowest way possible...” Attorney General Eric Holder September 23, 2009
Ford is to be on probation for 3 years. He also was ordered to pay a $200.00 assessment. Mr. Ford began serving this unjust prison sentence on May 16. 2006. He has been in prison for over 3 years and 6 months for doing absolutely nothing, except being a patriotic American and a good person.
Not only is Mr. Ford innocent, but nothing happened. This case is totally fabricated by the FBI and all involved, specifically the prosecutors and judge know it. Mr. Ford is a victim of a hate crime, a malicious prosecution and a tragic rush to jail an innocent man. See North Carolina v. Seligmann 06-cr-4332-33 (Dismissed 4/712007), Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978) and Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963). These cases demonstrate that 'false' arrest can happen to anyone - as in the matter of distinguished Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American scholars, falsely arrested in his own home.
A. Prosecutors Willfully Withheld Exculpatory Evidence From Defense
DOJ prosecutors repeatedly invoked state secret privileges, suppressed evidence as classified and deliberately withheld from Mr. Ford's defense exculpatory FBI Search Warrant Affidavits for well over 19 months. Ultimately, these search warrant affidavits were suppressed from Mr. Ford's trial. We have recently discovered that these affidavits have never been filed and are not apart of Mr. Ford's official court file.
On December 15, 2005, United States Attorney For The District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher issued a press release in Mr. Ford's case, which stated in part, that: (Though there was conflicting evidence of what Ford intended to do with the classified information - the jury's verdict demonstrates that it was satisfied that Ford had unauthorized possession of the information". With the admission of Rosenstein that there existed "conflicting evidence" in Mr. Ford's case and the fact that the judge removed the required elements of 'belief... and intent...' from the jury instructions, should have rendered the indictment defective. (See Exhibit A - Rosenstein Press Release dated 12/15/2005)
FBI Special Agents Michael L. Thompson and Frederick C. Marsh both submitted sworn search warrant affidavits to a federal judge alleging that a Tonya Tucker had contacted the NSA to report Ford's alleged espionage. (Ford had known Tucker for 9 weeks - from 11/13/2003 to 1/11/2004 - and decided that she definitely was not his type. He later realized Ms. Tucker is a FBI confidential informant and was placed into his life by Special Agent Michael L. Thompson.) Defense counsel subpoenaed cell phone records of Tonya Tucker from Sprint, which clearly listed the voice call details of Date, Time. Phone Number. Destination, etc. (Tucker's alleged cell phone calls were described in the Thompson affidavit and completely identified in the Marsh affidavit.
From this, we were able to subpoena thru our attorney, her cell phone records.) Sprint records affirmed that Tonya Tucker Did Not contact NSA on January 5.2004. January 9. 2004. January 10. 2004 and January 11, 2004 from her cell phone number 407-616-5683 listed on the Sprint telephone record print-out and on page 5 of 12 of FBI Special Agent Frederick C. Marsh's sworn search warrant affidavit, which he wrote was "in support of the sworn search warrant affidavit" submitted the previous day, to the same judge, by FBI Special Agent Michael L. Thompson.
With the introduction of the subpoenaed cell phone records, it is apparent the Thompson and March search warrant affidavits are perjured and fabricated. Both agents are therefore subject to penalties of perjury. Also. very importantly. the cell phone (It should be noted here that prosecutors told the jury that Ms. Tucker was a friend of Mr. Ford's and simply was a "tipster".) (See Exhibit B - FBI Affidavits and Tonya Tucker's Cell Phone Records)
Mr. Ford, as required by NSA regulations, earlier reported a threatening e-mail sent to him on Tuesday, November 25th2003 at his "AOL" address a month and a half before his arrest. The e-mail was sent by a "Dr. Takiya", who claimed to be a friend of Tonya Tucker. Based on newly discovered evidence on September 1.2009, it was confirmed that Ms. Tucker is the author of the e-mail. Ms. Tucker signed her name onto an internet guest book August 15, 2006 with the e-mail address of Msunique_2@yahoo.com, which is the same e-mail address of the treat letter sent to Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr. on Tuesday, November 25 .2003.
The e-mail threatened Ford that his security clearances would soon be revoked. She said she knew people at NSA who had clearances just like he did. Ford reported the e-mail the very next day to NSA Head Security Officer Anne Mennis. She ignored the email, not taking it seriously at all.. Ultimately, the admission of the e-mail as exculpatory evidence to Mr. Ford was suppressed from the trial by the judge. (See Exhibit C - Threatening E-Mail / Newly Discovered Evidence).
Newly discovered evidence of a newsletter dated March 31. 2006, states that FBI Special Agent Dave Evans was the lead FBI supervisor in the case against Mr. Ford. The defendant, Mr. Ford, was never aware that FBI Special Agent Dave Evans existed. (We, his parents, discovered this newsletter on the internet in 2008.) FBI Special Agent Evan's newsletter was titled, Maryland Man Sentenced For 'Stealing Secret Documents'. However, indictments alleged that Mr. Ford was charged with 'Unauthorized Possession of National Defense Documents" - not theft of secret documents.
FBI Special Agent Evans also said that: “As it turned out, our tipster was and didn't even make the drive to the airport." Nonetheless, the prosecutors continued to prosecute and incarcerate an innocent man.
FBI Special Agent Evans also stated that: (Our agents ultimately determined ultimately ended up in." Nonetheless, prosecutors indicted and incarcerated Mr. Ford with knowledge that 6'qonflicted evi4ence" existed in this case. (See Exhibit D – FBI Special Agent Dave Evans' Newsletter dated 3/31/2006)
Certainly, the defense has a right to depose and cross-examine the FBI Special Agent who was the lead supervisor in this case. Prosecutors withheld FBI Special Agent Evans from the defense. They also withheld Special Agent Frederick C. Marsh from the defense. The Marsh affidavit was suppressed during the suppression hearing by the judge, Judge Peter J. Messitte, before the trial began on 11/29/2005. Thus, that which brought Mr. Ford into the legal system and ultimately into a federal courtroom for prosecution, was not allowed into the trial. The jury was unaware of the affidavits. (The defense did not get them until 19 months after Mr. Ford’s arrest. Please keep in mind Mr. Ford has been totally under arrest the entire time since 1/11/2004 to the present.) To date, those affidavits have never been filed. They are not listed on the docket page of the case and they are not physically in the court file. It was represented and testified to the jury by DOJ prosecutors and FBI Special Agent Michael L. Thompson that he was the lead agent and only agent assigned to the Ford Case.
B. Even If Papers Had Been Present – The Text of §793 Is Vague And Should Not Have Been Applied In This Case
First, the statutes require that a defendant transmit information relating to the national defense. There are no allegations that Mr. Ford ever transmitted, sold, stole, secreted, purloined, paid for or otherwise obtained classified information inside or outside the government - by any illegal means. Legislative history of $793 makes plain that [Congress was concerned with spying].
The government never charged Mr. Ford with spying, injury to the United States on behalf of a foreign nation or communication to any person not entitled to receive classified information. Due process requires that a criminal statute provide a person of ordinary intelligence fair notice that his contemplated conduct is forbidden. See Thomas v. Davis, 192 F.3d 445,45514n Cir. 1999). If a law is "vague or highly debatable, a defendant - actually or imputably - lacks the requisite intent to violate it." See United States v. Mallas. 7 62 F .2d 36r , 363 14'n cir.1985). criminal prosecution for the violation of an unclear duty itself violates the clear constitutional duty of the government to warn citizens whether particular conduct is legal or illegal. See U.S. v. Rosen and Weissman 05-cr-225.
A statute cannot be construed so as to delegate to prosecutors and juries the "inherently legislative task" of determining what type of possession of national defense information are so reprehensible as to be punished as crimes. See United States v. Kozminski. U.S. 93 1,949 (1988) (rejecting construction of criminal statute that would *delegate to prosecutors and juries the inherently legislative task of determining what type of coercive activities are so morally reprehensible that they should be punished as crimes").
Second, the canon of strict construction of criminal statutes and the rule of lenity ensure fair warning by resolving ambiguity in a criminal statute as to apply it only to conduct clearly covered. Lanier, 520 U.S. at 266. Third, due process bars courts from applying a novel construction of a criminal statute to conduct that neither the statute nor any prior judicial decision has fairly disclosed to be within its scope. Each of these three elements is based on the fact that it must have been reasonably clear the time that the defendant’s conduct was criminal.”
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod Rosenstein confirmed by his own statement that: "Though there was conflicting evidence of what Ford intended to do with the classified information – the jury’s verdict demonstrates that it was satisfied that Ford had unauthorized possession of the information.”
Therefore, one would conclude that it was apparently not 'reasonably clear' that Ford's alleged conduct was criminal. Our son was incarcerated based on “unclear conflicting evidence'. An egregious miscarriage of justice at the highest level is evident throughout this case.
Each of these three manifestations is based on the notion that it must have been "reasonably clear at the time that the defendant's conduct was criminal". Elements applied to Mr. Ford's case affirm that reasonable clarity was severely lacking. Courts have ruled that §793 (d) and (e) apply only to the transmission of tangible information. ln fact, these rulings were the basis of Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald's explanation as to why he did not bring charges under the Espionage Act §793 against either the government officials who leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame to the press or the reporters who subsequently reported that name to millions of readers around the world.
The following exculpatory evidence, which would have exonerated our son, was suppressed from the trial and jury: 1) FBI Form 302 Statement by Tonya Tucker (FBI Confidential Informant), 2) Tonya Tucker's threatening e-mail to Mr. Ford and 3) Special Agents Thompson's and Marsh's Search Warrant Affidavits. Special Agent Marsh's affidavit clearly affirmed on January 11, 2004, page 6 of 12 that: “A review of criminal history records reflect that TUCKER has a number of arrests, including arrests for Driving while suspended, Criminal trespassing, Robbery, among others."
Courts have repeatedly ruled that the government may not excuse its presentation of false testimony by claiming that: (a) it did not know, (b) it did not understand what other agencies knew, or (c) it believed the testimony. It cannot use these excuses because they are not the law and the facts do not support them. See Mesarosh. et al v. United States, 352 U.S. I (1956); Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972); and United States v. Mason, et al., 293 F.3d, 826 (5th Cir.2002). Fourth Amendment violations enumerated in the matter of Franks v. Delaware were repeated violations perpetrated on Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr. by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In the matter of Franks v. Delaware, the Court held that: "Where the defendant makes a substantial preliminary showing that a false statement that a hearing be held at the defendant's request."
Federal prosecutors in Mr. Ford's case willfully applied national security standards of the suppression of evidence and discovery. DOJ prosecutors willfully enforced national security clearances upon defense counsel with full knowledge that DOJ did not obtain mandatory FISA applications and approvals.
Prosecutors ignored strict procedural requirements in accordance to the Foreign Reform Act of 2000"). Prosecutors clearly violated Title VI §603, 605 and 607. This case should never have been prosecuted. Title VI $608 provides, in part, that: "If any provision of this title (including an amendment made by this title), or the application thereof, to any person or circumstance, is held invalid, the remainder of this title (including the amendments made by this title), and the application thereof. to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.”
Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr. is now 38 years old. He is the cream of the crop of young American citizens. He is an African-American and is highly educated. Mr. Ford graduated from DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, Maryland in 1990. He then went to the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida and graduated from there in 1995 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Organization degree. Mr. Ford served 4 years in the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service, where he received two cash awards in consecutive years for outstanding service. While in the Secret Service, Mr. Ford continued his education and enrolled into Strayer University. To his credit, he graduated in 2001, summa cum laude" earning a Bachelor of Science in Computer Networking degree. Later, Mr. Ford enrolled in the Masters program at Strayer University, earning in 2004, a Master of Science in Information Technology degree.
In 2001, Mr. Ford accepted employment at NSA as a Signals Intelligence Analyst. While employed at NSA, he received a cash award for outstanding service. Later, he was recognized with a large plaque - his name listed, among others, for outstanding work on a particular project. It was disclosed in the trial by a State Department officer that Mr. Ford had security clearances that less than 150 people in the entire country hold. Mr. Ford has worked extremely hard all his life, as he was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, inherited wealth or privilege. He has spent over 23 years acquiring an education. He would never do anything to jeopardize his life or his accomplishments. After Mr. Ford's conviction, Mr. Lambert, the probation officer assigned to formalize his pre-sentencing report, commented to me (his mother) and included in his report that "Kenneth has not even had a traffic ticket."
D. Case Overview
On Sunday, January 11. 2004. FBI Special Agent Michael L. Thompson and NSA Security Officer Robert McCaslin arrived at Mr. Ford's home at approximately 5:50 p.m. and fabricated that they wanted to talk to him about his former position. Mr. Ford invited them in because he was led to believe they wanted to get his expertise on a work-related situation. About ½ hour later, their attitudes changed and Mr. Ford realized they were unjustly accusing him of espionage. Simultaneously, with these accusations, they began searching his home - 2-I/2 hours before the search warrant arrived. FBI Special Agent Frederick Marsh arrived with a search warrant and about 23 additional agents.
During the course of this ordeal, Mr. Ford was threatened by Special Agent Michael L. Thompson's unnecessary withdrawal of his gun. He was terrorized for 7-1/2hows as the agents rampaged his home. He was not allowed to leave his residence, contact his parents or answer his telephone. He was denied food and water. He was not allowed to use his own bathroom until Thompson took him away from his home -7-1/2 hours later. See Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C - Torture - "an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control." (See Exhibit E -Letter by Kenneth W. Ford, Jr. Documenting Events)
E. DOJ Triple Jeopardy Indictments
The government's 1st indictment, and 2nd case number, was filed on 3/4/2005. U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte dismissed the case without prejudice on 5/162005. The 2nd indictment, and 3rd cse number, dated 5/23/2005, contained the exact charges and language as the ls indictment. The 3rd indictment, which we had no knowledge of until recently, is dated 11/28/2005. The docket indicates that there was a superseding indictment, arraignment and plea of not guilty all on the same day – 11/28/2005. It indicates Mr. Ford appeared before Judge Messitte and gave a plea of 'not guilty' to each of the two counts against him. This is untrue. Mr. Ford never appeared before Judge Messitte or any other judge on 11/28/2005. His trial started the next day, 11/29/2005. It is impossible to appear for an arraignment one day and be tried by jury the very next day.
It should be noted here that on March 30,2006, at the end of Mr. Ford's 2ndsentencing hearing, Judge Messitte dismissed the original indictment. He and Prosecutor Salem signed papers to that effect. Judge Messitte said several times during the trial, Mr. Ford was being prosecuted on the superseding indictment. (Of course, this is impossible.) Apparently, at some point, Judge Messitte and Mr. Salem realized this. Consequently, this dismissal has never been filed, is not in Mr. Ford's court file and is not on the docket. (See Exhibit F - Indictments, Docket Listings of 1//28/2005 Superseding Indictment, Arraignment and Not Guilty Plea and Transcript Page of Dismissal of Original Indictment) Also See $3434 - Presence of Defendant - (Rule) 3
Also, there appears on all three indictments: 'Aiding and Abetting (1S U.S.C. §2)'. Mr. Ford was never charged with this crime. It does not appear anywhere else in the indictment nor was it addressed in the trial to the jury. In addition to the indictments being illegal, these acts make the indictments themselves faulty.
The 1st count was cited under Federal Criminal Code 793(e) - Espionage. FBI Receipt For Property Seized / Form 597 listed all items seized from Mr. Ford's residence. Ironically, there was not one (1) document identified as 'classified papers' prosecutors falsely alleged were taken from Mr. Ford's residence.
At the trial, FBI Special Agent Bridget Bigham, Seizing Agent, testified that she was told to put a classified sticker on a Fed Ex envelope found in a suitcase which belonged to career criminal Tonya Tucker. (The envelope is listed by FBI Special Agent Bigham as #9 on the FBI Form 597.) (See Exhibit G -FBI Form 597) Special Agent 3
3 In United States v. Randall, f 71 F.3d 195,203 (4th Cir. 1999) The Supreme Court ruled that the Fifth Amendment's grand jury guarantee does not permit a defendant to be tried on charges that are not made in the indictment against him, and therefore, 'after an indictment has been returned its charges may not be broadened through amendment except by the grand jury itself. See United States v. Randall, 471 U,S. 130, 143 (1985). See United States v. Brady, 456 U.S. 152; and United States v. Young, 470 U.S. 1, 16 (1985).
Bigham testified she did not look at the papers while in Ford's home. She further testified the alleged papers seized were not photographed in Ford's home as required by procedures, but were photographed days later at an FBI facility. (See Exhibit H - Excerpt of Agent Bigham's Transcript Testimony)
DOJ prosecutors testified during the trial that it did not have any 'surveillance evidence' nor 'any eyewitness accounts' of Mr. Ford allegedly removing classified documents from NSA. Prosecutors should have dismissed all charges against Mr. Ford.
The 2nd count was Title 18 U.S.C. $ 1801 - Making A False Statement On A Government Form. Mr. Ford accepted employment with Lockheed Martin. Prosecutor David Salem had already gotten him fired from Northrop Grumman and after working for 3 weeks at Lockheed Martin, Salem was successful in getting him fired from there also. Ford truthfully provided Lockheed Martin a 1-1/2 page written account of alleged charges against him. At the trial, Judge Messitte allowed Prosecutor Salem to severely redact Ford's written statement. Salem told the judge the statement "prejudiced him". (See Exhibit I - E-Mail Dated 10129/2004 to Lockheed Martin) AUSA David I. Salem and DOJ National Security Division Trial Attorney Mariclaire D. Rourke testified that Mr. Ford backed his pick-up truck to the loading dock and loaded these papers into his truck.
In contradiction of their testimony, Mr. Ford's former NSA supervisor, Ms. Jacqueline Welch ("hereafter Jacqueline W") testified that she in fact had seen Mr. Ford on the day in question - December 19,2003 - standing in the parking lot beside his 'cream-colored 4 door sedan (car)'. Former Counsel on redirect, ascertained whether or not she knew the difference between a 'pick-up truck and a car . She affirmed that she did. Jacqueline W further testified that she never knew Mr. Ford had a pick-up truck. At that point, DOJ's over zealous prosecutors' alleged pick-up truck was referred to as a 'vehicle'. (See Exhibit J - Excerpt of Jacqueline W's Testimony)
Special Agent Michael L. Thompson admitted under oath that there were no fingerprints belonging to Mr. Ford found on any of the thousands of sheets of classified papers allegedly found in Mr. Ford's home. Once again, none of these alleged papers were listed on the FBI's official seized evidence Form 597. (See Exhibit K - Excerpt of FBI Special Agent Michael L. Thompson's Testimony)
Mr. Ford is the only American citizen in the history of the Espionage Act, to be charged, prosecuted and convicted under the statute without meeting the requirements of the statute. The United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit recently upheld the requirements that in order to charge under the Espionage Act of 1917 - §793(e) one has to have the belief that what one is doing will harm the United States and/or help a foreign entity and one must have the intent to harm the United States and/or help a foreign entity. See United States v. Rosen and Weissman,557 F.2d 192 4th Cir.2009).
Judge Peter J. Messitte, during the suppression hearings, willfully discarded the requirement that the government had to prove the “belief” 'element. Judge Messitte, while charging the jury, willfully eliminated the need for the government to prove the element of "intent.”
Under the federal sentencing guidelines, espionage (Federal Criminal Codes §793(d) and (e) cannot be sentenced unless there is the element of transmittal. So, effectively, since a transmittal is a prerequisite for sentencing under §793(e), then without it, there cannot be a charge. The government never alleged Ford transmitted anything. As a matter of fact, NSA Security Officer Robert McCaslin sent a letter to Prosecutor David Salem dated 713112004 saying Ford's electronic equipment at work and at home were analyzed by NSA and were found to be clean. The letter was not allowed into the trial.
Subsequently, the "CIPA" Intelligence Authorization Act for 2001- Title VI §607 - Coordination Requirements Relating to the Prosecution of Cases Involving Classified information was totally ignored by Assistant United States Prosecutor David I. Salem and Dept. of Justice Trial Attorney Mariclaire D. Rourke.
The National Security Procedure Statute 9-90.020, provides that DOJ prosecutors had no authority to make decisions in this case. "CIPA" $607 - $1.1 of Executive Order No. 12958, provides that a Senior Official, the President of the United States, must be notified prior to prosecution. ln this case, that President was former President George W. Bush, Jr. - another statutory mandate ignored and violated in the matter of Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr. $793(e) 'unauthorized possession' is contradictory to the National Security Act which provides that NSA employees have a life-time obligation and commitment regarding NSA classified documents.
G. Violation of Dept. of Justice Guidelines/National Security Procedures
DOJ's USAM guidelines regarding National Security Procedures §9-90.020 clearly dictates that the authority to conduct prosecutions relating to the national security lies with the Justice. USAM unequivocally states, in part that:
All prosecutions affecting, involving or relating to the national security, and the responsibility for prosecuting criminal offenses, such as conspiracy, perjury and false statements, arising out of offenses related to national security, is assigned to the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division or higher authority. See 28 C.F.R. S 0.61 The Counterespionage Section of the National Security Division, under the supervision of the Assistant Attorney General or higher authority, conducts, handles, and supervises prosecutions affecting, involving or relating to the national security." DOJ trial attorney Mariclaire D. Rourke and AUSA David I. Salem did not have authority to prosecute a National Security Espionage case against Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr.
We recently reviewed Mr. Ford's court file. Although there are a few orders, from 8/2005 to 1112005, appearing in the case file that indicate the Assistant Attorney General was in compliance with that particular order, it is with great concern that we ask you to investigate this. We have no proof or certification that the Assistant Attorney General's alleged involvement with this case was authentic. As in other things involving Mr. Ford's case, we suspect this too is a fabrication.
H. DOJ Violated FISA Court Statutes
FISA Court specifically prescribes procedures for the physical and electronic surveillance and collection of "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers" (which may include American citizens and permanent residents suspected of being engaged in espionage and violating U.S. law on territory under United States control).
FISA allows a federal officer, authorized by the President of the United States acting through the Attorney Gener4l to obtain from a judge appointed by the FISA Court, search warrants and approval of electronic surveillance of a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power for the purpose of obtaining foreign intelligence information. Mandated strict FISA Court procedures were ignored by the FBI, DOJ Prosecutors and U.S. District Court of Maryland Judge Peter J. Messitte, who is not an appointed FISA Court Judge.
Specifically, FISA requires that where the target of the search or surveillance is a "United States person" - a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien - the judge must find that the Executive Branch's certification that a significant purpose of the search or surveillance is to obtain foreign intelligence information is not "clearly erroneous". See 50 U.S.C. §1805 and 1824. Also see Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 33 (1963); Strickler v. Greene, 119 S.T. 1936 (1999).
The elements of violations are: (1) the evidence must be favorable to the accused, either because it exculpates the defendant or because it impeaches the government; (2) the evidence must have been suppressed by the government, either willfully or inadvertently; and (3) prejudice must have been ensued. See Franks v. Delaware, 438 U.S. 154 (1978); See Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963); See USA v. Rosen & Weissman 05cr-225 (E.D.Va.)
We are not elected or high level corporate officials. We are "grass roots" people who are honest and hard working. President Obama stated at the 2009 NAACP 100th Anniversary celebration, that: "America is a place where, if you work hard, you can achieve success." A grave injustice has been done to a good American citizen (Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr.). American citizens rely upon the United States Department of Justice to follow the rule of law.
In good faith, the initiation of a formal procedural investigation and the appointment of a Special prosecutor on behalf of our son, Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr., is warranted and specifically should include an investigation of prosecutorial misconduct, violations of national security procedures, violations of FISA Court procedures, violations of issues in applying states secrets rules and the willful suppression of exculpatory affidavits and other exculpatory evidence in this case.
We are available at any time that is convenient to you to discuss this case. The elements in this letter by no means cover all the infractions against Mr. Ford. There were just too many illegal things done to put in a letter.
We seek an immediate vacation of Mr. Ford's conviction, full restoration of his revoked clearances and an immediate apology from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Kenneth W. Ford, Sr.
Gloria D. Ford
l) Exhibit A - Rosenstein Press Release dated December 15, 2005
2) Exhibit B - Affidavits by SA Michael L. Thompson & SA Frederick C. Marsh and Tonya Tucker's Subpoenaed Cell Phone Records
3) Exhibit C - Tonya Tucker's threatening e-mail to Mr. Ford/Newly Discovered Evidence
4) Exhibit D - FBI Special Agent Dave Evans' Newsletter dated 3/31/2006
5) Exhibit E - Letter from Kenneth Wayne Ford, Jr. / Document of Events
6) Exhibit F - DOJ's Double Jeopardy Indictments; Docket of 11/28/2005
Indictment; Transcript Page of Dismissal of Original Indictment
7) Exhibit G - FBI Form 597 (Seized Items) w/ Computerized Listing Of Items
8) Exhibit H - Excerpt of Agent Bridget Bigham's Testimony
9) Exhibit I - E-Mail dated 10/29/2004 from Kenneth W. Ford, Jr. to Lockheed Martin
l0) Exhibit J - Excerpt of NSA Jacqueline Welch's Testimony
1l) Exhibit K - Excerpt of FBI Special Agent Michael L. Thompson's Testimony
President Obama, who prides himself as a constitutional scholar, having taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago, is about to become the subject of a major constitutional case in the indictment of Thomas Drake. Drake was not only exposing high level contract fraud involving two NSA directors -- Generals Michael Hayden and Keith Alexander -- but also allegedly involved a constitutionally-protected entity -- the press -- in making details of the fraud known to the American taxpaying public. Not since Watergate have the American people been subject to runaway surveillance by the NSA and FBI.
Obama, who supported retroactive immunity from prosecution for telecommunications companies that swept up the digital communications of all American after proclaiming he was against it, will be the person on trial in the Drake case. And Obama may very well end up like Richard Nixon if the government does not impose restrictions on the public's right to know through imposition of the draconian Classified Information Procedures Act and the State Secrets Privilege.
As one NSA insider tersely put it: "I truly believe that NSA has some illegally wiretapped information (big-time dirt) on Mr. Obama, and NSA has been using it (via blackmail) against him ever since he flip-flopped on the vote for retroactive immunity for the telecommunication firms that insisted they did nothing illegal when they joined in with the Bush administration in comprehensive, 'sea to shining sea' warrantless wiretapping of all domestic U.S. communications."
WMR's intelligence sources report that the National Security Agency's "Q Group," the directorate responsible for overall security for NSA, is actively investigating and harassing NSA employees who have reported on senior officials at the sprawling intelligence agency, which now includes the new U.S. Cyber Command, of engaging in adulterous trysts with subordinates and possessing improper sexual material, including child pornography.
WMR has previously reported on the improper activities of the Q Group, which has become a virtual uncontrolled FBI within the NSA. Q continues to protect NSA senior officials who engage in and promote a culture of sexual exploitation of junior employees at the intelligence agency. Q Group has also misused NSA psychologists and psychiatrists to deem anyone who charges senior officials of the agency with sexual misconduct or harassment unfit to hold a security clearance for reasons of mental impairment.
On August 28, 2009, WMR reported: "NSA Security, headed up by Kemp Ensor III, and NSA medical worked in tandem to deny security access to employees determined to be mentally unfit to have access to classified information at NSA.
However, due to the attrition of highly-qualified personnel, the security-medical duo is now prescribing Prozac and Zoloft for NSA employees who refuse to fall into line. NSA is abuzz with the new requirement for employees to take what they call "happy pills."
The sexual harassment scene has also reportedly changed at Fort Meade. In the past, sexual harassment at NSA involved older male managers preying on young female employees. That has now changed in what has become an environment of 'do ask and do tell.' WMR has been informed that there is an increase in complaints about sexual harassment from new young male hires about being forced into 'kinky rendezvouses' with older male managers."
Q Group has also gone outside of its legal authority to harass the families and friends of former agency employees who have brought charges against NSA for sexual harassment and misconduct. WMR has learned of NSA personnel illegally masquerading as phone company technicians who entered the property of the family of one such ex-employee. In another case, Q Group personnel poisoned two pet dogs of the family of an ex-employee under NSA surveillance. Q Group personnel have also been used to harass the ex-spouses of senior NSA officials involved in child custody cases. WMR has also been informed that Q Group has harassed NSA employees who have married the ex-wives of NSA senior officials who have ongoing legal battles with their ex-husbands.
Q Group is able to conduct its harassment of civilians in the Fort Meade area with a "wink and a nod" from local law enforcement and other officials. NSA senior managers have dipped into NSA's substantial slush fund to lavish money on community service projects and programs in cash-strapped local municipalities and counties. The concept of the "friendly NSA that provides funds and jobs" has bought loyalty and silence from local and state of Maryland officials. In addition, WMR has learned that NSA has placed agents within the congressional offices of local members of Congress in order to interdict and retaliate against NSA whistleblower congressional complaints. The NSA "embeds," who work in concert with NSA's Office of Legislative Affairs, are found within the offices of Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, and Maryland Representatives C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger, Steny Hoyer, Elijah Cummings, Chris Van Hollen, and Paul Sarbanes, and is currently inserting an agent into the office of freshman Representative Andy Harris.
As discovered in a January 2005, Q Group Personnel Security organizational chart obtained by WMR, Q2 contains an office of counter-intelligence, which WMR has reported has been involved in illegal surveillance of individuals far beyond the NSA infrastructure.
On July 3, 2009, WMR reported: "The Obama administration, rather than lessen the pressure on the NSA personnel, has turned up the heat and is resorting to even more draconian methods to ensure silence. The word from inside NSA is that a state of fear exists and the mission of the agency, to conduct surveillance of foreign communications to provide threat indications and warnings to U.S. troops and policy makers and protect sensitive U.S. government communications from unauthorized eavesdropping is suffering as a result." Our latest information is that the Obama administration is increasing pressure on NSA personnel to deter leaks.
Obama's Justice Department is now actively retroactively pursuing U.S. intelligence community leakers from the time of the Bush administration. Former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling has been arrested and indicted for revealing information to New York Times reporter James Risen concerning Iran's nuclear program. Former NSA official Thomas Drake has been indicted by the Obama administration for leaking details on NSA contract fraud to reporter Siobhan Gorman of The Wall Street Journal and formerly of theBaltimore Sun. Former State Department analyst Stephen Kim has been charged with leaking top secret information on North Korean nuclear testing to Fox News.
WMR has learned from informed sources that the indictments of Sterling and Drake are just the beginning of the Obama administration's policy to crack down on leaks. With the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attack coming up this year, the U.S. Intelligence Community, working closely with Mossad, have made plans to stop any new revelations that would point to high-level U.S. and Israeli government involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The Wikileaks affair was partly concocted to draw out and identify as many potential leakers as possible, including US Army Private Bradley Manning, now imprisoned at Quantico, Virginia on suspicions that he leaked classified documents to Wikileaks.
WMR has learned from an NSA source that this editor continues to remain a top priority for NSA electronic surveillance, including phone tapping and e-mail interception. NSA is also monitoring all those who are in communications with this editor via electronic means. WMR has previously reported on this web site's sources and contacts being major targets for NSA surveillance. Just as the latest report of NSA surveillance was received, this editor experienced a second-degree burn with blistering on the right neck and shoulder, usually where my cell phone is placed during conversations. The latest warning about NSA eavesdropping was received on January 8. The burn, that began as what can be described as a bad sunburn, began on the evening of January 6. The contour of the burn mark is oddly similar to the two equal halves of my flip-top telephone, with a white stripe in the middle where the hinge is located.
Second degree burns on right shoulder and neck after latest warning of full-scale NSA surveillance.
WMR's foreign intelligence sources also report that there is an ongoing project by Israeli agents-of-influence in the United States to determine the sources of information on the 9/11 attacks. This project involves in-depth probes by the Israeli agents of retired Pentagon and FBI personnel believed to possess information about the U.S. and Israeli governments' involvement in the attacks. WMR can report that radio show host Alex Jones's information and funding sources are of particular interest to the Israeli cell.
In the trial of former National Security Agency (NSA) executive Thomas Drake, federal prosecutors have convinced an agreeable federal judge, Richard D. Bennett, to place under court seal previously-released trial documents because they have been deemed "For Official Use Only" or FOUO. Drake is accused of leaking classified materials to the media and is only the fourth person in U.S. history to be charged with violating the 1917 Espionage Act.
FOUO is not a national security classification and it never has been one, although there were attempts by the Reagan, George H W Bush, and George W. Bush administrations to create a "restricted" or "sensitive but unclassified" (SBU) national security classification immediately below the current lowest national security classification, which is Confidential. Expansion of national security classification categories beyond the current three -- Top Secret, Secret, and Confidential, in addition to Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) special access categories -- but these have been unsuccessful. George W. Bush's creation of a Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) category was rescinded by Executive Order 13556 on November 4, 2010.
Although President Obama rescinded Bush's CUI presidential memorandum, federal prosecutors are trying to argue that CUI continues to exist as a national security classification under the guise of FOUO. The argument demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the classification scheme used by NSA. However, in past trials, notable that of NSA analyst Kenneth Ford, Jr., jailed after a political show trial waged by DOJ neocons in league with a "shopped" federal judge. In the Ford case, the NSA wanted to cover up the cooking of signals intelligence from Iraq in order to justify the attack on and occupation of Iraq
However, NSA and Justice Department prosecutors are continuing to insist that FOUO is a security classification in the trial of Drake, however, NSA and DOJ decided to go after Drake because the documents he stands accused of passing to The Baltimore Sunpoints to massive misuse of taxpayer's money and contract fraud under the NSA directorships of retired General Michael Hayden and current director General Keith Alexander. Alexander is also the commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. The fraud committed by Hayden, Alexander, and senior NSA officials amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in wasteful expenditures. In some cases, the waste on certain contractor-supplied intelligence systems were life threatening, as far as troops on the ground were concerned. The fraudulent contract expenditures were part of NSA's massive TRAILBLAZER and GROUNDBREAKER outsourced modernization and restructuring programs.
On March 18, in response to a request from federal prosecutors, Bennett sealed two documents that were previously available on the court's own website. The documents sealed describe the classified contents of several documents seized at Drake's home, however, the documents appear to be unclassified working papers that the government, after the fact, is trying to argue are classified at the levels of Secret and Top Secret.
Drake's federal public defenders have argued in one of the sealed documents that the government's argument that the documents found in Drake's home in flawed due to the fact that the documents could not be construed as classified at Secret or Top Secret merely because they contain the words "FOUO" and "COMINT." COMINT is communications intelligence and by itself does not mean that the document is classified at "Handle Via COMINT Channels Only," a special handling caveat for SCI special access categories. In fact, the National Cryptologic Museum, which is adjacent to NSA headquarters and open to the public, freely uses "COMINT" in its displays. In addition, the commercial International Spy Museum in downtown Washington, DC has held public seminars on issues dealing with, among other tradecraft, "COMINT."
From the sealed DOJ letter arguing that the documents found in Drake's home are classified, it is clear that NSA, which has played fast and loose with the truth in previous trials and administrative actions against its whistleblowing employees, has tried to re-classify previous unclassified "working papers" as being Secret and Top Secret to bolster its case against Drake.
WMR has previously obtained NSA contractor documents that were deemed by the contractor and NSA, itself, as unclassified and the Drake documents appear to fall within the same category. The unclassified documents that were re-classified as Top Secret and Secret have titles such as "Trial and Testing," "Collections Sites," "Volume is Our Friend," "What a Success," "Regular Meetings," "Shoestring Budget," "BAG," "Buy vs. Make," "TT Notes," "Terrorism Threat," "Note Card 1", "Note Card 2," and more intriguing, "9/11 Commission." WMR previously reported that NSA's security directorate, the "Q Group," has engaged in massive surveillance of employees and journalists, including this editor, to plug any leaks on NSA information on the 9/11 attacks. Bennett, in his ruling on March 18, agreed to NSA's and lead federal prosecutor William Welch II's request that previously unclassified court filings be placed under seal.
While NSA and DOJ seek to convict Drake for having unclassified For Official use Only documents in which the terms "FOUO" and "COMINT" appear, WMR has obtained a similar Unclassified For Official Use Only (FOUO) document written by Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), one of the major contractors for the fraud-ridden GROUNDBREAKER program. In the document, from which WMR is providing excerpts, there are clearly many more NSA-unique systems and terms described.
Cover terms for classified NSA systems such as HIGHCASTLE, LOOKINGGLASS, MILENIUM, FAST TRACK, ROTUNDPIPER, and BRASSCOIN are listed, along with "SIGINT" or "Signals Intelligence," an NSA mission term comparable to the "COMINT" acronym found in the working papers confiscated from Drake's home.
The CSC document, maintained by CSC contractors and sub-contractors in their cars, briefcases, and homes, were never indicted by the Justice Department on grounds they violated national security. On the other hand, many at NSA feel that companies like CSC, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and others, should have been indicted for the massive contract fraud carried out under the watches of Hayden and Alexander.
In post-9/11 America, the whistleblowers to fraud, waste, and abuse stand accused of being criminals while the criminals rake in billions of dollars in taxpayers' money and are lauded as critical components of the "intelligence team."
NSA's GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER contractors were eager to compile as many NSA systems and sub-systems as possible to cash in on the billions of dollars they could make from the NSA outsourcing work. The database that contained all the NSA systems, projects, and components ripe for outsourcing work was code-named JACKPOT. For CSC, SAIC, and certain NSA officials who spun through the revolving door after retirement and landed high-paying jobs with the contractors, it certainly was a JACKPOT and one that NSA, Q Group, the FBI, Department of Justice, and the White House earnestly want to cover-up in the trial of Thomas Drake.
During Drake's trial, which begins next month in Baltimore, FBI agents are expected to use code words to describe different aspects of the case. One code-word that will most definitely not be heard is JACKPOT, the database of NSA contracts in which contractors and NSA retirees enriched themselves -- criminality that is only met with chirping crickets from the so-called "crime fighting" Department of Justice and FBI.
CBS "60 Minutes" reported on May 22 on former National Security Agency (NSA) official Thomas Drake's charges of high-level corruption and incompetence within the eavesdropping agency.
WMR is re-publishing our report on NSA, which includes a reference to "Thinthread," the first ever report in the media on this system. There is an Israeli espionage angle to the story about Drake, NSA mathematician Bill Binney, NSA analyst J. Kirk Wiebe, NSA computer scientist Ed Loomis, House Intelligence Committee staffer Diane Roark, Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm and NSA espionage against U.S. citizens. "The New Yorker" article by Jane Mayer fails to mention this important element, which may be the real reason for the prosecution of Drake and the prosecution, recently aborted, of Tamm. Because when it comes to Israeli espionage in the United States, it's "see no evil, hear no evil, say no evil."
NSA and selling the nation's prized secrets to contractors
June 1, 2005
On August 1, 2001, just five and a half weeks before the 911 attacks, NSA awarded Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) a more than $2 billion, ten-year contract known as GROUNDBREAKER. The contract was never popular with NSA's career professionals. Although GROUNDBREAKER was limited to outsourcing NSA's administrative support functions such as telephones, data networks, distributed computing, and enterprise architecture design, the contract soon expanded into the operational areas -- a sphere that had always been carefully restricted to contractors. NSA was once worried about buying commercial-off-the-shelf computer components such as semiconductors because they might contain foreign bugs. NSA manufactured its own computer chips at its own semiconductor factory at Fort Meade. Currently, NSA personnel are concerned that outsourcing mania at Fort Meade will soon involve foreign help desk technical maintenance provided from off-shore locations like India.
CSC had originally gained access to NSA through a "buy in" project called BREAKTHROUGH, a mere $20 million contract awarded in 1998 that permitted CSC to operate and maintain NSA computer systems. When General Michael V. Hayden took over as NSA Director in 1999, the floodgates for outside contractors were opened and a resulting deluge saw most of NSA's support personnel being converted to contractors working for GROUNDBREAKER's Eagle Alliance (nicknamed the "Evil Alliance" by NSA government personnel), a consortium led by CSC. NSA personnel rosters of support personnel, considered protected information, were turned over to Eagle, which then made offers of employment to the affected NSA workers. The Eagle Alliance consists of CSC, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, CACI, Omen, Inc., Keane Federal Systems, ACS Defense, BTG, Compaq, Fiber Plus, Superior Communications, TRW (Raytheon), Verizon, and Windemere.
In October 2002, Hayden, who has now been promoted by Bush to be Deputy Director of National Intelligence under John Negroponte, opened NSA up further to contractors. A Digital Network Enterprise (DNE) team led by SAIC won a $280 million, 26 month contract called TRAILBLAZER to develop a demonstration test bed for a new signals intelligence processing and analysis system. SAIC's team members included Booz Allen Hamilton, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Eagle Alliance team leader CSC. TRAILBLAZER, according to Hayden's own testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is now behind schedule and over budget to the tune of over $600 million.
But that is not the only consequence of these two mega-contracts for NSA's ability to monitor global communications for the next 911, which could be a terrorist nuclear strike on the United States.
NSA insiders report that both contract teams have melded into one and that NSA's operations are being adversely impacted. From simple tasks like phones being fixed to computers being updated with new software, the Eagle Alliance has been a disaster. The Eagle Alliance and DNE team members are rife with former NSA top officials who are reaping handsome bonuses from the contracts -- and that has many NSA career employees crying conflict of interest and contract fraud.
CACI, called "Colonels and Captains, Inc." by critics who cite the revolving door from the Pentagon to its corporate office suites, counts former NSA Deputy Director Barbara McNamara as a member of its board of directors. CACI alumni include Thomas McDermott, a former NSA Deputy Director for Information Systems Security. Former NSA Director Adm. Mike McConnell is a Senior Vice President of Booz Allen. Former NSA Director General Ken Minihan is President of the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), an intelligence business development association that includes Boeing, Booz Allen, CACI, CSC, the Eagle Alliance, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, SAIC, and Windemere, all GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER contractors, among its membership. SASA's board of directors (surprise, surprise) includes CACI's Barbara McNamara. One of SASA's distinguished advisers is none other than General Hayden.
Although contractors are required to have the same high level security clearances as government personnel at NSA, there are close connections between some NSA contractors and countries with hostile intelligence services. For example, CACI's president and CEO visited Israel in early 2004 and received the Albert Einstein Technology Award at ceremony in Jerusalem attended by Likud Party Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz. The special ceremony honoring CACI's president was sponsored by the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva Fund. The ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party's Jerusalem Mayor, Uri Lupolianski, was also in attendance. According to Lebanon's Daily Star, CACI's president also met with notorious racist Israeli retired General Effie Eitam who advocates expelling Palestinians from their lands. The U.S. delegation also included a number of homeland security officials, politicians, and businessmen. CACI has also received research grants from U.S.-Israeli bi-national foundations. A few months after the award ceremony for CACI's president, the Taguba Report cited two CACI employees as being involved in the prison torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The U.S. military commander for the Iraqi prisons, General Janis Karpinski, reported that she witnessed Israeli interrogators working alongside those from CACI and another contractor, Titan.
When the Taguba Report was leaked, the office of Deputy Defense Secretary for Policy Douglas Feith issued an order to Pentagon employees not to download the report from the Internet. Feith is a well-known hard line supporter of Israel's Likud Party and, according to U.S. government insiders, his name has come up in FBI wiretaps of individuals involved in the proliferation of nuclear weapons material to Israel via Turkish (including Turkish Jewish) intermediaries. These wiretaps are the subject of a Federal probe of who compromised a sensitive CIA counter-proliferation global operation that used a carve out company called Brewster Jennings & Associates to penetrate nuclear weapons smuggling networks with tentacles extending from Secaucus, New Jersey to South Africa and Pakistan and Turkey to Israel.
According to the Jewish Telegraph Agency, some six months before the Abu Ghraib torture scandal was first uncovered, one of Feith's assistants, Larry Franklin, met with two officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at the Tivoli Restaurant in Arlington, Virginia. According to FBI surveillance tapes, Franklin relayed top secret information to Steve Rosen, AIPAC's then policy director, and Keith Weissman, a senior Iran analyst with AIPAC. Franklin has been indicted for passing classified information to AIPAC. In addition, three Israeli citizens have been identified as possible participants in the spy scandal. They are Naor Gilon, the political officer at the Israeli embassy in Washington; Uzi Arad, an analyst with the Institute for Policy and Strategy in Herzliya (the northern Tel Aviv suburb where the headquarters of Mossad is located); and Eran Lerman, a former Mossad official who is now with the American Jewish Committee.
What has some NSA officials worried is that with pro-Israeli neocons now engrained within the CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), State Department, and National Security Council, NSA is ripe for penetration by Israeli intelligence. NSA has a troubled past with Israel. In 1967, Israeli warplanes launched a premeditated attack on the NSA surveillance ship, the USS Liberty, killing and wounding a number of U.S. sailors and NSA civilian personnel. Convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard compromised a number of NSA sensitive sources and methods when he provided a garage full of classified documents to Israel. But NSA is also aware of an incident where Israelis used a contractor, RCA, to gain access to yet additional NSA sources and methods. In the 1980s, against the wishes of NSA, the Reagan administration forced NSA to permit RCA, one of its major contractors, to develop a tethered aerostat (balloon) signals intelligence and direction finding system for the Israeli Defense Force. According to NSA officials, the Israeli-NSA joint project, codenamed DINDI, was established at a separate facility in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and apart from the main NSA developmental center at RCA's facility in Camden, New Jersey. Although NSA and RCA set up a strict firewall between the contractor's national intelligence contract work and the separate DINDI contract, Israeli engineers, who were working for Mossad, soon broke down the security firewall with the assistance of a few American Jewish engineers assigned to the DINDI project. The security breach resulted in a number of national intelligence developmental systems being compromised to the Israelis, including those code named PIEREX, MAROON ARCHER, and MAROON SHIELD. DINDI was quickly cancelled but due to the sensitivity surrounding the American Jewish engineers, the Reagan Justice Department avoided bringing espionage charges. There were some forced retirements and transfers, but little more. But for NSA, the duplicity of the Israelis added to the enmity between Fort Meade and Israeli intelligence.
With outside contractors now permeating NSA and a major Israeli espionage operation being discovered inside the Pentagon, once again there is a fear within NSA that foreign intelligence services such as the Mossad could make another attempt to penetrate America's virtual "Fort Knox" of intelligence treasures and secrets.
Thanks to some very patriotic and loyal Americans inside NSA, this author is now in possession of an internal NSA contract document from November 2002 that shows how GROUNDBREAKER and TRAILBLAZER have allowed the Eagle Alliance and other contractors to gain access to and even virtual control over some of the most sensitive systems within the U.S. intelligence community. One suspect in this unchecked outsourcing is the person Hayden hired from the outside to act as Special Adviser to his Executive Leadership Team, Beverly Wright, who had been the Chief Financial Officer for Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore. Before that, Wright had been the Chief Financial Officer for Alex Brown, the investment firm at which George W. Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, once served as a board member. As one senior NSA official sarcastically put it, "She's highly qualified to work in intelligence!"
According to the document, the future of some 10,000 Windows NT and UNIX workstations and servers that handle some of NSA's most sensitive signals intelligence (SIGINT) (the Signals Intelligence Directorate workstation upgrade is code named BEANSTALK) and electronics intelligence (ELINT) applications, including databases that contain communications intercepts, are now firmly in the grasp of the Eagle Alliance. Operational workstations are being migrated to a less-than-reliable Windows/Intel or "WINTEL" environment. The document boldly calls for the Eagle Alliance to establish a SIGINT Service Applications Office (SASO) to "provide and maintain Information Technology services, tools, and capabilities for all [emphasis added] SIGINT mission applications at the NSA." This is a far cry from the non-operational administrative support functions originally specified in the GROUNDBREAKER contract.
The document also calls for NSA to provide extremely sensitive information on SIGINT users to the contractors: "Identification of target sets of users in order to successfully coordinate with the Eagle Alliance modernization program." The Eagle Alliance is involved in a number of systems that impact on other members of the U.S. intelligence community, foreign SIGINT partners, and national command authorities. These systems include INTELINK, Common Remoted Systems, National SIGINT Requirements Process, Overhead Tasking Distribution, RSOC (Regional SIGINT Operations Center) Monitoring Tool, RSOC Modeling Tool, Speech Activity Detection, Network Analysis Tools, Network Reconstruction Tools, Advanced Speech Processing Services, Automatic Message Handling System, CRITIC Alert, Cross Agency Multimedia Database Querying, Message Format Converter, Central Strategic Processing and Reporting, Collection Knowledge Base, Language Knowledge Base and Capabilities, K2000 Advanced ELINT Signals, Speech Content Services, Speech Information Extraction, Dominant Facsimile Processing System and DEFSMAC Support, Data Delivery (TINMAN), High Frequency Direction Finding (HFDF) Database, Satellite database, Protocol Analysis Terminal, Global Numbering Database, Intercept Tasking Databases, DEFSMAC Space Systems Utilities, Message Server, Extended Tether Program, Language Knowledge Services, Trend Analysis in Data Streams, Signal Related Database, SANDKEY Support (SIGINT Analysis and Reporting), and the SIGINT interception database ANCHORY and the ELINT database WRANGLER. In fact, the document states that the contractors' plans foresee the inclusion of NSA's intelligence community partners (foreign and domestic) in the contractors' revamping of NSA's operational systems.
The servers include those that support mission-critical National Time Sensitive Systems (NTSS). These National Time Sensitive System servers have been assigned various cover terms:
A number of SIGINT applications are also impacted by the outsourcing mania. They are also assigned cover terms:
GALE-LITE (the primary owner of which is DIA)
SIGDASYS FILE II, III, and KL
In fact, the document indicates that literally hundreds of NSA intelligence applications are now subject to the whims of outside contractors. These systems include
On June 15, U.S. federal judge Richard B. Bennett sharply rebuked federal prosecutors for pursuing a four-year Espionage Act violation investigation and case against former National Security Agency (NSA) official Thomas Drake. At Drake's sentencing hearing in Baltimore, Bennett called the four-year long case against Drake and the prosecutors' ultimate dropping of multiple espionage charges to a single misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a government computer "unconscionable."
Drake had been charged with providing classified information to the Baltimore Sun in 2006 and 2007. He was specifically charged with violation of sub-paragraphs (d) and (e) of the Espionage Act, which covers "transmittal" of classified information to unauthorized parties. Charges under the 1917 Espionage Act have rarely been brought by the Justice Department. The law was used against American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) officials Steve Rosen and Kenneth Weissman for receiving highly-classified information, including Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI), from a Pentagon official. Charges against Rosen and Weissman were dropped by Eric Holder's Justice Department on May 1, 2009.
However, the "classified material" cited by prosecutors was not originally classified and it pertained to NSA officials, particuarly then-NSA director General Michael Hayden, defrauding the government for well over a billion dollars. Hayden and his advisers awarded a failed program called Project TRAILBLAZER to a group of contractors led by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC).
The prosecutors, acting as virtual criminal racket protection agents for Hayden and his advisers, decided to retroactively classify the unclassified whistleblowing information in order to justify the Espionage Act charges against Drake. Hayden's pet project also assisted in the program to conduct warrantless wiretapping of communications of U.S. citizens, a super-classified operation known by the code name STELLAR WIND.
Drake avoided prison and Bennett ruled against federal prosecutor's wish to have a $50,000 fine imposed on Drake. In sentencing Drake to 240 hours of community service, Bennett said "There has been financial devastation wrought upon this defendant that far exceeds any fine that can be imposed by me. And I’m not going to add to that in any way.”
Drake was represented by two federal public defenders, James Wyda and Deborah Boardman. Drake's case began to fall party after it was featured on CBS "60 Minutes." Retired NSA officials, interviewed on camera, defended Drake and his whistleblowing actions. After the bad publicity for NSA and Eric Holder's Justice Department, the espionage charges against Drake were dropped.
Five years earlier, in another federal court room in Greenbelt, Maryland, and in a case even more egregious than the one involving Drake, federal judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced former NSA "Iraqi shop" signals intelligence analyst Ken Ford Jr., to six years in prison and no fine as a result of his politically-motivated conviction for allegedly removing two boxes of classified materials from NSA during broad daylight without detection. In fact, the documents were planted in Ford's Waldorf, Maryland home in retaliation for his signals intelligence analysis report casting doubt on the White House contention that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. That report, which contained Ford's name as the preparer, eventually ended up on the desk of Vice President Dick Cheney. As a result, Ford became a target of the neo-con cell operating from within Cheney's office and the White House Iraq Group (WHIG), the same cabal that compromised Valerie Plame Wilson's covert identity and mission.
The team of Assistant U.S. Attorney David Salem; federal public defenders John Chamble, Andrea Callaman, and Susan Bauer; and even the private lawyer eventually retained by Ford, conspired to ensure that Messitte was successfully "judge shopped" as the trial attorney, that at least one dubious pro-NSA jury member was selected for the trial jury, and that Ford would receive anything but a fair trial. Unlike Drake, Ford served in a lower-level analyst position. However, Ford, an African-American who previously served as a uniformed U.S. Secret Service officer at the White House, was on a fast-track for an executive position at NSA.
"60 Minutes" never covered the Ford case, even though it was as, if not more, outrageous as the case brought against Drake. The Washington Post, rather than assign one of its national security correspondents to the case, handed it to a Metro desk reporter, who parroted in his articles what was given to him by the prosecution team.
Prosecutors never cited any classified document that was said to be in Ford's possession at the time of his arrest. Prosecutors relied on the testimony of a confidential informant named Tonya Tucker, who had several other aliases and a long criminal record, who said she saw a document labeled "classified" in Ford's home. Of course, "classified" is not a national security label or designator for any documents. Salem also charged that Ford was planning on meeting a foreign agent at Dulles International Airport to transmit documents. However, Salem could not identify the foreign country involved, a flight number, a rendezvous point, or any details of what amounted to a "pre-crime" allegation. In fact, Salem made up the entire Dulles story as a way to ensure a guilty verdict, especially considering that the jury was never shown any of the alleged classified documents that were said to be in Ford's possession. In the Drake case, the jury was shown copies of "retroactively" classified documents, which were originally unclassified.
Ford is now out of prison and serving three-years of restricted travel probation in Maryland. He maintains his innocence and intends to appeal his case. However, Ford's attempt to enlist the assistance of the parties who came to the defense of Drake have been unsuccessful. There is another problem with the Ford case. The Ford case files, including those maintained by the PACER system and the federal public defenders office in Washington, DC, have all disappeared. Even Ford's original birth certificate in the District of Columbia Vital Records Office has disappeared. The only information available on the Ford case from the Justice Department are the press releases issued on the case.
The federal public defenders office in Washington is clearly nervous about the double standard applied to Ford and Drake. Moreover, the supervisor of Ford's tainted public defenders in 2004 was Wyda, the same public defender who successfully argued Drake's case.
Former Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm, under a long investigation for revealing the nature of NSA's warrantless wiretapping program to The New York Times, eventually saw his investigation by the FBI suspended. However, WMR has learned that the STELLAR WIND program was routinely violated by NSA employees. Hayden, who came up with the program and sold it to then-CIA director George Tenet and Vice President Cheney, essentially canceled the provisions of U.S. Signals Intelligence Directive 18 (USSID) 18, which governed the application of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) at NSA. NSA was prohibited from eavesdropping on "U.S. persons" without a court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). Under Hayden's tenure, some NSA analysts were conducting e-mail surveillance of their current and former girl friends, prompting Hayden to cover his tracks by implementing a procedure that saw database security officers, including those with oversight over the PINWALE e-mail interception database, conducting after-the-fact audit trail analysis for internal abuse of the new NSA powers.
Ken Ford, Jr. [center], reunited with his father and mother after six years of imprisonment on trumped up neo-con political charges stemming from the search for phony Iraqi WMDs.
Ford's case, which involved pressure from the Bush-Cheney White House, has also met with indifference from the Obama White House and the Congressional Black Caucus. Groups like the Government Accountability Project (GAP), which assisted with Drake's defense, did not raise a finger in the Ford case.
During his incarceration at Lewisburg federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania, Ford received rank-and-file support from some current and former NSA employees. However, unlike Drake, not one high-level NSA official, current or retired, came to Ford's defense, even though his innocence was as provable as that of Drake. It is, indeed, a "tale of two cases," one with a relatively happy outcome, the other singed with racism.
WMR's sources at the National Security Agency (NSA) have reported more high-level fraud at the agency that now combines signals intelligence and cyber-warfare functions under one officer, Army General Keith Alexander, the NSA director and commander of the U.S. Cyber Command.
When Alexander's predecessor at NSA, Air Force General Michael Hayden, was shopping for his own replacement, Alexander was the Deputy Chief of Staff for G-2 for the U.S. Army. Alexander would only take the job, according to our sources who were embedded in the Director of NSA's office, if Dr. James Heath became the senior science adviser to Alexander at NSA.
There was only one problem. Heath had his own company, Object Sciences Corporation, a firm which was intimately involved with tracking "Al Qaeda" operatives prior to the 9/11 attacks. Object Sciences provided deep data mining services to the Army's Land Information Warfare Agency's and Defense Intelligence Agency's ABLE DANGER and its affiliated DORHAWK GALLEY data mining programs.
At the same time, Hayden had shown favoritism to Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in awarding the firm, as prime contractor, the over one billion dollar signals intelligence overhaul program known as TRAILBLAZER. Hayden hired William Black, a former NSA official who had retired and went to work for SAIC, as his Deputy Director at NSA. The issue with Heath was solved when SAIC purchased Object Sciences, providing a handsome profit to Heath prior to his taking the science adviser position under his friend Alexander. Black eventually returned to SAIC from his stint as NSA deputy director.
The following press release was issued on May 12, 2005:
"Science Applications International Corp. has completed its acquisition of Object Sciences Corp., the company announced today. Terms of the deal were not disclosed . . .
OSC's involvement in reshaping how intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance information is processed and analyzed has provided critical assistance to combat forces in specific theaters, such as Iraq and Korea, as well as the war on global terrorism in general, SAIC said."
Alexander took over as NSA director on August 1, 2005, a few months after the SAIC-OSC deal. Heath then became Alexander's chief science adviser.
Another former SAIC principal who, like Black, transitioned from SAIC to NSA and back again to SAIC was Sam Visner. After joining NSA from SAIC, Visner was the senior acquisition manager for NSA and was key to the award of the TRAILBLAZER contract to SAIC. A less expensive signals intelligence re-engineering solution code-named THIN THREAD, was rejected by NSA in favor of the TRAILBLAZER, which was later canceled after SAIC pocketed hundreds of millions of dollars.
Hayden went on to become the first deputy Director of National Intelligence and, ultimately, the CIA director. He now works with former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at Chertoff Group. His pet project, TRAILBLAZER, was canceled due to cost overruns and failed deliveries and was replaced by another reported contractor boondoggle called TURBULENCE. A number of senior NSA, Justice Department, and congressional officials were harassed and one, Thomas Drake, prosecuted for revealing the corruption. Those coming under NSA and FBI scrutiny, all subjected to harassment and threat of prosecution, included, in addition to Drake, Justice Department prosecutor Thomas Tamm, House Intelligence Committee budget specialist Diane Roark, NSA officials William Binney, Kirk Wiebe, and Ed Loomis, and others, never mentioned in press accounts, who were interviewed by WMR.
One former NSA official who was terminated and then placed under NSA Security and FBI surveillance after reporting through proper channels fraud, waste, and abuse with TRAILBLAZER and associated contracts, told WMR, "we are not whistleblowers but witnesses to major crimes committed by NSA and contractors."
Among the spin-offs of TRAILBLAZER was the unconstitutional STELLAR WIND program that permitted NSA to engage in wholesale warrantless wiretapping of phone calls, emails, and faxes, particularly journalists and elected political leaders.
Hayden, who has become a national security adviser to Mitt Romney and would be assured a top-level job in a Romney administration, perhaps National Security Adviser, is also involved with a subscription web service called LIGNet, or "Langley Intelligence Group Network" as a "LIGNet adviser." WMR has been told by intelligence community insiders that LIGNet is an operational security (OPSEC) problem because a wealth of borderline classified information appears on the web site.
Some of the LIGNet information makes what was released in the WikiLeaks Department of State cable release pale in comparison. As for charges that Private First Class Bradley Manning was responsible for downloading over a quarter million classified cables from the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), a former senior NSA official told WMR: "That is impossible. All SIPRNet drives are non-writable for CDs and as far as thumb drives are concerned, install one and security alarms are immediately set off."
As WMR has reported in past articles, the National Security Agency (NSA) has maintained a series of "mug shots" of journalists it suspects have sources inside the NSA. Often, NSA personnel throught to have been speaking to journalists are called into NSA's "Q" security group and questioned on whether they have spoken to various journalists. Along with the names of the journalists, are photographs, described by NSA insiders, as "mug shots," likely culled from the Internet.
WMR previously reported on NSA's "rogue gallery" of journalists. From WMR, July 3, 2009: "Since the revelation of the NSA journalist monitoring database, which later added communications intercepts of journalist phone calls, emails, and faxes to its database, NSA Security has, according to information received by WMR, conducted physical surveillance of journalists it deems to be threats to the operations of the agency. The top targeted journalists, who make up a virtual 'rogues' gallery' at NSA Security, complete with photographs and other personal information, are: former Baltimore Sun and current Wall Street Journal reporter Siobhan Gorman, Washington Times reporter Bill Gertz, former Baltimore Sun and current New York Times reporter Scott Shane, Baltimore Sun reporter Phil McGowan, author James Bamford, New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, and this editor, Wayne Madsen."
WMR has now learned from NSA sources that NSA and FBI counter-intelligence branches are maintaining "mug shots" of journalists. Two to three pages of journalists, along with their photographs, are known to be in the possession of FBI counter-intelligence agent Laura Pino and NSA counter-intelligence officer Ethan Andreas. Each page has two rows of photographs across with four photographs and names of journalists on each row -- a total of eight photographs and names per page. The number of journalists on the pages, therefore, could be between 16 and 24.
Three names are known to be on the pages maintained by the FBI and NSA, according to our sources: Siobhan Gorman, James Bamford, and this editor, Wayne Madsen. Gorman was believed to have been the journalist former NSA official Tom Drake was in contact with before he was criminally charges under various counts, including the the Espionage Act. Drake was a witness to high-level contract fraud and corruption within the NSA. WMR submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to NSA two years ago requesting information on the editor's photograph being used as a security warning device. After being granted expedited processing by NSA as news media for purposes of the FOIA request, NSA reversed course, denying us media status and then stonewalled responding to the request. [Related story today in WMR].
WMR has learned and has personally experienced the unprecedented assault by the Obama administration, aided and abetted by its intelligence and internal security infrastructure, on the First Amendment right of freedom of the press.
The Obama administration has indicted a total of six U.S. government employees with violating the arcane 1917 Espionage Act for allegedly communicating classified information to the press. The Obama administration, according to multi-agency U.S. government sources , has authorized the eavesdropping of journalists' e-mails, text messages, and phone calls to determine to whom they are in contact within the government, particularly in the Departments of State, Defense, Justice, the CIA, the U.S. Congress' intelligence oversight committees, and the National Security Agency (NSA). The NSA and FBI are also monitoring what websites are visited by government employees, including this one.
The six people charged under the Espionage Act with providing classified information to journalists (the "Obama Six") are:
John Kiriakou, former CIA, allegedly passed information on waterboarding torture tactics and the identity of a CIA torturer to someone identified by the government as "Journalist A." The chief government prosecutor is U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois Patrick Fitzgerald, who WMR has identified as a cover-up prosecutor for the CIA ever since the days he suppressed critical intelligence in the trial of the "Blind Sheik," Omar Abdel Rahman, convicted for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and later, when he failed to bring Espionage Act charges against Dick Cheney chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby in the Valerie Plame Wilson leak case. Fitzgerald also prosecuted former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to protect the CIA's one-time agent, Barack Obama, Jr., from scandal arising from Obama's political and social activities in Chicago.
Jeffrey Sterling, former CIA, charged with providing The New York Times' James Risen with classified information on Iran's nuclear program.
Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, charged with providing over a quarter million State Department classified and unclassified cables from the SIPRnet communication system to WikiLeaks.
Thomas Drake, former NSA official, charged with providing classified information to journalists, including former Baltimore Sun reporter Siobhan Gorman. The charges against Drake were later reduced.
Stephen Kim, former State Department contractor, charged with leaking classified information about North Korea to Fox News' James Rosen.
Shamai Leibowitz, former FBI Hebrew translator, convicted of leaking classified FBI wiretaps to a blogger on Israeli intelligence activities in the United States directed at stirring up war fever against Iran. As yet, Leibowitz has been the only person convicted under the Espionage Act for leaking information to the media. The government fast-tracked the Leibowitz trial in order to supress coverage of Israel's massive intelligence operations in the United States.
WMR knows of six other ex-employees of NSA and the State Department who continue to face criminal probes by the Obama administration for leaking information to the press.
Government employees face constant monitoring of their government emails, as well as their personal e-mail accounts for any contact with the press. The FBI, NSA, and other agencies are also monitoring the web sites visited by government employees. At the State Department, lists of web sites visited by employees are maintained by the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). DSS also maintains lists of charities to which State Department employees donate money.
WMR learned of one case where the U.S. Navy blocked access to the web for an employee who visited WayneMadsenReport.com from a government computer. The employee was required to explain to the system security administrator why WMR was visited and cautioned that WMR is on a "banned" list for Navy employees. At NSA, employees have been ordered not to disseminate any articles from WMR on the agency's internal e-mail system or they will face disciplinary action and possible loss of security access and their jobs.
There are also increasing reports that journalists' e-mails are being monitored or completely blocked by the U.S. government agencies and cooperating Internet Service Providers (ISPs). WMR has recently experienced such a denial-of-service by America On-Line (AOL).
The increased harassment of journalist sources by the Obama administration comes at the same time that Reporters Without Borders has dropped the United States on the World Press Freedom Index to 47 from 20 on the press freedom ranking list. At 47, the United States is tied with Romania and Argentina and ranks below the Union of Comoros in the Indian Ocean; increasingly fascist-oriented Hungary; Papua New Guinea, which has experienced a military coup; Mali; Tanzania; Botswana; Suriname; Niger; and Cape Verde. In 2002, during the second year of the Bush administration, the United States was ranked at 17.
William Welch II was the chief of the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section. While the title of his former office -- public integrity -- implies that Welch is dedicated to fighting corruption in the government, in President Obama's and Attorney General Eric Holder's Orwellian world of "Newspeak," Welch is the chief inquisitor of government whistle blowers and journalists who have communicated with them.
After committing ethical and legal violations in his investigation of the late Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, acts that resulted in criminal charges being dropped against Stevens and a criminal contempt of court investigation being opened against Welch, along with a Justice Department ethics probe, Welch continues to investigate national security whistle blowers. Welch has become a de facto special prosecutor, a modern day Juan de Torquemada, responsible for pursuing government "leakers" and journalists. Welch's targets have included National Security Agency fraud whistle blower Thomas Drake. He also has his sights set on former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling and James Risen, the New York Times national security correspondent who Welch believes communicated with Sterling. Risen and the Times are fighting a subpoena for Risen to answer Welch's questions before a grand jury. Previously quashed by U.S. Judge for the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia Leonie Brinkema, the subpoena has been appealed by Welch and Holder to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia.
Welch and his team were also publicly berated by U.S. Judge Richard Bennett for faulty evidence against Drake who was being doggedly pursued by Welch for allegedly communicating with aBaltimoreSun reporter about billions of dollars in contract fraud committed at NSA, where Drake served in a senior executive position. Drake and veteran NSA colleagues found themselves being raided at gunpoint by FBI agents under Welch's supervision. Welch's case against Drake collapsed and in a plea agreement, all Welch could get from Drake's defense team was a guilty plea for a minor charge of misusing a government computer. Bennett rejected Welch's argument that Drake be given a $50,000 fine. Bennett said Welch put Drake through “four years of hell."
Bennett also criticized Welch for taking so long in bringing charges against Drake. Welch's case against Drake was conducted in anything but a speedy fashion. Welch's tactics included keeping potentially exculpatory evidence from Drake's defense team for months after the indictment was handed down. For over six months, Welch's team failed to produce evidence that one of the allegedly classified documents Drake was charged with improperly retaining was declassified two months after the indictment was issued.
Welch waited ten months to turn over evidence that another document that formed the basis of an Espionage Act charge against Drake had been - in the words of Drake's criminal defense team - “. . . published as 'unclassified' and had never been deemed 'classified' until after it was recovered from Mr. Drake's home.” The re-classification of previously de-classified documents is one of the tricks employed by the Holder Justice Department in pursuing leak investigations. Welch also informed Drake's criminal defense team that potentially exculpatory evidence relating to Drake's years-long cooperation with a Department of Defense Inspector General (DoD IG) investigation had somehow been "destroyed."
Welch has had a history with "destroyed" evidence. On December 1, 1996, Welch, who was then an assistant U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts and 33 years old, was stopped by the police on Route 10 in Southampton. Welch was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol by a police officer after Welch failed four field sobriety tests. A special prosecutor was named in the case against Welch. According to the Union-News of Springfield, the prosecutor, Robert C. Bray, discovered that the police cruiser's video recorder failed to operate properly and the video tape could not be used as evidence against Welch. It also helped that Welch's father was Superior Court of Massachusetts judge William H. Welch. The senior Welch, who died in 2007, had been considered for four federal judgeships but was never nominated.
According to the Union-News, Southampton Police Lt. David Silvernail said that the video camera, which was purchased in November 1996 with federal grant money, 'went on when overhead cruiser lights were activated and was not supposed to go off until an officer shut it off.' Apparently, the camera had been shutting itself off after three minutes, but miraculously for Welch the problem was not discovered until Welch's arrest. 'The camera was sent back to its manufacturer to be fixed after the problem was found,' Silvernail
told the newspaper. The criminal case against Welch was dropped. The tape was later reused by Southampton police officers and the Welch arrest segment was erased.
William Welch blows every case to which he is assigned. Perhaps he should blow into a plastic bag.
The story of William Welch is not an isolated one among Justice Department prosecutors. In Welch's case, someone who was so drunk he could not pass four sobriety tests on a Massachusetts highway is now entrusted by the Obama administration with the power to investigate those who challenge incompetence and wrongdoing in the U.S. intelligence community.
END WAYNEMADSENREPORT.COM ITEMS >>>>
Whew.... All right. Now go read the Puzzle Palace and the Shadow Factory and everything you can find on Cryptome.org and PublicIntelligence.net about the NSA & Cryptography. GET [hash] CRACKIN!
After many years of struggling to get her story across to the American public, 9/11 & FBI/national security whistleblower Sibel Edmonds has released " Classified Woman"".
For many years we have tried to track aspects of Sibel's case on this site (older hub page & category) including the role of foreign agents of influence and friends of corrupt foreign powers (frequently neocons) using their government jobs to sell America down the river.
The federal government did everything possible to conceal many aspects of 9/11 including prior intelligence reports, certain corporate fronts (like Giza Technologies which had been used to proliferate nuclear technology) and long-running intel programs like those which built up Islamic fundamentalist militias around Asia and Europe, NATO operations in many cases, an aspect finally revealed in more detail in Sibel's book (which unfortunately I haven't been able to snag yet!).
Part of the problem with privatizing intelligence operations was formalized by Executive Order 12333 from Dec 1981:
2.7 Contracting. Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the consent of appropriate officials of the institution.
.... so thus, as pointed out in the documentary about the Edmonds case, Kill the Messenger (full video), Giza's work to proliferate nuclear technology, if carried out under rules like 2.7 of EO 12333, would have to be covered up by the DOJ even after they went after the Israeli interlocutor for the nuclear goodies (roughly, a limited hangout).
There is a lot more to be added on the case, in particular now how whistleblowers get ever more ruthless treatment under the Obama Administration.
As with former CIA asset Susan Lindauer, who also had 'loose ends' of 9/11 the establishment didn't want to hear about, (special posts one and two), the nastiest tools in the national security toolkit are directed not at nefarious terrorists and evildoers, nor networks of foreign agents-of-influence in the halls of government, but whistleblowers and anyone else 'ruffling feathers' out there.
Bonus factoid - with the NATO Summit from Hell around the corner in Chicago, the powers that be hid Meleck Can Dickerson and Douglas Dickerson in the NATO bureaucracy-octopus in Brussels.
The neocons hid in various places and have re-coalesced in the Romney campaign. Oh, we will have the likes of Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Eric Edelman and Marc Grossman to kick around again, should we be visited with the misfortune of a Romney presidency.
See also 2009: The new Boiling Frogs Post/Sibel Edmonds site; John Cole on the whole 9/11, Marc Grossman espionage complex etc.
Ah so it's been a decade eh comrades? The skrewing over of emergency personnel has gone almost unnoticed. FDNY member on 9/11 Truth “I support you guys” | We Are Change -- some new stuff has been trickling out -- pretty solid stuff, at that. The glorious official narrative got its booster shot, but noticeably absent from the necro-political media spectacle were all those sickly and/or dead 9-11 first responders. Over time we find more elements that are obviously pretty credible against the official narrative, but it's still difficult to get a larger picture. Let's nosh on some new goodies -- what better time than now?
Ali Soufan describes the situation behind the scenes with the FBI and 9-11 foreknowledge as well as the torture nightmare going on.... obviously Soufan was able to get better intel from captured militants by persuasion than cruel & unusual coercion, but what else is new?
CIA Threats of Federal Prosecution Delay 9/11 Documentary | 911 Truth News - this newly unearthed Rich Blee figure is one of the latest twists on the 9-11 CIA front. This is the project which the Richard Clarke speculation about hoping to flip al-Hazmi and al-Mihdhar to the CIA was the reason their identities were buried... however that also doesn't track entirely because they were already in touch with another government operative or 2 (an FBI informant and a likely Saudi government operative)
I'm posting the whole bit as it's one of the more substantial elements in the scheme to surface lately.
On Thursday, the CIA threatened the journalists behind Who Is Rich Blee? with possible federal prosecution if their investigative podcast reveals the names of two CIA analysts at the center of a pattern of obstruction and mishandling of intelligence that many feel would have stopped the 9/11 attacks.
Like FBI agent Ali Soufan and Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer before them, the podcast team, including John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, are being subjected to intimidation and censorship by government officials over blowing the whistle on the true story surrounding two alleged 9/11 hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar.
The podcast originally scheduled for September 11th release presents a narrative of how three CIA analysts working under Richard Blee, the long unknown former head of CIA’s Bin Laden Station, deliberately misled their colleagues and withheld key intelligence from FBI and the White House regarding the presence of two known Al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S.
Four government investigations into CIA handling of pre-911 intelligence included personal details of the two CIA analysts and their actions. Nowosielski and Duffy deduced the identities of the two as yet unnamed CIA employees from internet research based on details provided from these and other open sources. When the producers used their full names in interviews, interviewees offered no correction. The CIA response provided the final confirmation.
In project updates posted at SecrecyKills.com the producers announced the delay of the podcast and posted background of a complicated case that involves dozens of violations of protocol, intimidation, and incidents of obstruction by the CIA, with the two yet named CIA analysts at the center of many of them.
Author and expert on the subject, Kevin Fenton, documents 35 such incidents between January 2000 and September 11th in his book, Disconnecting the Dots: How 9/11 Was Allowed to Happen.
Pulitzer-prize winner Lawrence Wright, interviewed for the podcast, told producers the actions of one of the unnamed CIA analysts still employed at CIA amounts to obstruction of justice in the FBI’s criminal investigation of the deaths of 17 seaman aboard the USS Cole.
The producers are not the first subject to government censorship over this case. Last month The New York Times reported on CIA efforts to censor an autobiography by Ali Soufan, a front-line FBI counter-terrorism special agent. Prior to 9/11, Soufan was interested in Mihdhar and Hazmi because of links to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen. The CIA censored references to a passport photo of Mihdhar the CIA had withheld from Soufan, despite three written requests.
Scott Shane of the New York Times reports today that, “Mr. Soufan accuses C.I.A. officials of deliberately withholding crucial documents and photographs of Qaeda operatives from the F.B.I. before Sept. 11, 2001, despite three written requests, and then later lying about it to the 9/11 Commission.”
Lt. Colonel Anthony Shaffer, interviewed for the podcast, was himself intimidated, demoted and smeared by the Pentagon after he came forward to the 9/11 Commission with details of how, on three occasions, unnamed DoD officials prevented his Able Danger operation from meeting with the FBI prior the attacks.
In 2000 the Able Danger data-mining program placed Mohammed Atta in a Brooklyn terrorist cell but had also placed Hazmi and Mihdhar in a San Diego cell, the epicenter of intrigue around Alec Station’s Rich Blee, Tom Wilshere and the two as yet unnamed subordinates who themselves repeatedly withheld intelligence from the FBI. Though Shaffer was interviewed by 9/11 Commission’s Director Philip Zelikow and staffer Dieter Snell, the Commission left any mention of Able Danger from its final report.
In the planned podcast, 9/11 Commission Chair Tom Kean is asked about a scant footnote to Chapter 6 of the 9/11 Report referring to an intelligence cable, seen by 50 at the CIA, but prevented from reaching the FBI. For Kean the incident was not a case of bungling or intel ‘stovepiping’: “Oh, it wasn’t careless oversight. It was purposeful. No question about that in mind. It was purposeful.”
Whereas Kean explains it as a penchant for secrecy, Richard Clarke, the former head of counter-terrorism at the Bush White House, goes farther suggesting malfeasance and the possibility of illegal CIA-led domestic spying activity. Comments by Clarke released in a video in August led to a formal statement from George Tenet, Cofer Black and Richard Blee, and a response from the producers.
“This was perhaps the closest U.S. intelligence got to foiling the 9/11 plot,” explains Nowosielski, “but instead of stopping the attack, the CIA stopped intel on two high-value targets from getting to the right people, repeatedly. And still the CIA protects the individuals responsible by intimidating those who simply want to know the truth behind a shocking and possibly criminal pattern of obstruction”
In an email Thursday the CIA warned Nowosielski he could be subject to prosecution under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, a law intended to apply to government employees who violate their security clearance and never used to convict journalists.
The producer’s online response: “The Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics states that ‘journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know’ and should ‘be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.’ The day that journalists’ exposés of wrongdoing within government agencies require the approval of those government agencies before release, that is the day that transparency and accountability are lost.”
John Duffy and Ray Nowosielski, both graduates of Chicago’s Columbia College Film School, produced the critically acclaimed 2006 documentary “9/11: Press for Truth.”
This is Part 3 of our three-part one-of-a-kind interview series with author and researcher Paul Thompson. For additional background information please visit the complete 9/11 Timeline Investigative Project at HistoryCommons.Org.
Paul Thompson joins us to discuss one of the most blacked-out and censored aspects of Al-Qaeda-CIA connections: The partnership and alliance between the CIA and Al Qaeda and their joint operations in Central Asia, Balkans and Caucasus throughout the 1990’s. Mr. Thompson talks about Al-Qaeda’s Balkans operations, running training camps, money-laundering, and drug running networks in the region, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and his residence in Bulgaria in order to help manage the Al Qaeda effort in nearby Bosnia, the Al Qaeda cells in Chechnya and Azerbaijan, BCCI and more!
Frankly I think at this point it should be noted that George Tenet is just one of many intelligence establishment figures who are members of the Knights of Malta - a key authoritarian little nest of establishment weasels, probably more relevant to geopolitical happenings than, say, the Freemasons :)
I wonder to what extent the Egypt scenario connects to Wisconsin as well, in an indirect way. (A Connection Proved: I have seen the Madison global protest pizzas-purchase chalkboard at Ian's on State St myself, as you can see Egypt & Wisconsin revolts are certainly connected via Pizza)
Also "The liberal outcome is promised precisely by the anarchist method" is an interesting idea, puzzle that one out suckaz!
By Mohammed Bamyeh
It is not unusual in revolutionary histories for revolutions to produce an unintended result. Max Weber already suggested that such disjuncture between the intention and result of revolutions was inevitable, when in the midst of the 1919 revolution he gave his famous lecture Politik als Beruf. But in the case of the Arab spring, we witness a rare likelihood that revolutions are reaching precisely their intentions: even governing orders now agree openly with virtually all revolutionary demands, except moving out of the way of the revolution. The intention is so widely shared in society, and so simple, that no organization at all is required to express it. A revolution here is an expression of social consensus: consensus on both method and intention. The liberal outcome is promised precisely by the anarchist method. Neither is a product of any party plan, but both are the foundation of the social consensus out of which the revolutions are emerging. So here the entire revolution is rational, from beginning to end, since intention and result seem to cohere, even though method (anarchy) and theory (liberal) appear to have no connection at all.
Yet they are connected, in the sense that both anarchism and liberalism are part of the heritage of the enlightenment and describe different dimensions of it. They do so not because they had been described as such in enlightenment thought, but because their communion expresses older social realities, which we would not suspect if we confine our perspective to European history. In Islamic history, for example, what would later be called "anarchism" or "liberalism" occasioned old realities in which a substantial part of the civic order either lived independently of the state or generated serious limits to the reach of the state in society.
Elements of that old civic order appear to have sustained themselves even after, in the name of the enlightenment, modern, authoritarian states devoted all their resources to magnifying state power over society. Yet, the persistence of elements of the old civic ethics can be evidenced in revolutionary styles themselves: spontaneity of the revolutions is an extension of the already familiar spontaneity of everyday life; revolutionary solidarity, out of which emerges the will to sacrifice and combat, is an extension of common, convivial solidarity in neighborhoods and towns; distrust of distant authorities is part of an old, rational and enlightened common attitude, based on the simple thesis that a claim to help or guide is unverifiable in proportion to the power and distance of the authority that makes it; and finally, non-violence as a strategy is not learned out of manual written at Harvard, but out of familiar and old habits of protest. In recent years, we were made to forget the ordinary salience of those habits, as our attention was galvanized by spectacles of "terror" and "counter-terror" (a game with no political result other than feeding the power hunger of the authoritarian order and serving as its last raison d'etre).
The crumbling authoritarian enlightenment, with its vanguardist and paternalist propositions, lies in a number of dynamics: vanguardism, as we already knew from Frantz Fanon, often expressed lack of knowledge by the vanguard, who eventually become ruling elites, of their own society. In its later phase, vanguardism became pure paternalism: distance of governing elites from the people became lack of interest in knowing the people. Amidst this disinterest the old vanguardist authoritarianism is expunged of its anti-colonial, progressive, Third Worldist claims; and out of its ashes there emerges a cold, paternal authoritarianism, disinterested in any form of peoplehood, and governed openly by an avowed marriage of business and state elites.
Enlightenment as a goal could be approached using different techniques. In the grand revolutions of the Arab spring, the liberal interpretation of the enlightenment fights an authoritarian interpretation, with the aid of an anarchist method--that is to say, with the aid of familiar civic traditions, now discovered again to be natural venues for expressing the organic and embedded nature of the enlightenment. This is why these revolts are entirely against the authoritarian state, but not against any old cultural tradition. [.......]
Things are moving fast these days! Wisconsin solidarity :-D
This suddenly dawned on me just a few mins ago! Behold Gaddafi FAIL:
I had to repost these videos of real significant, serious rebellion & a certain unmistakable catharsis from the release from tyranny, as found via youtube users with quite amazing videos recently added - RealJehad and LeakSpinner, although CoffeeAddict99 got the credit on CNN.
This is the real deal -- true unmediated moments. As someone who tries to deal with video, you see eventually beyond language there are certain universal expressions - if you are lucky you can cram them into a video file somehow.
Libyan resistance cruising around with what appears to be an anti-aircraft gun or something - 20 seconds of amazingness:
Clearly everyone is ready to roll.
More or less, as a political science major you learn plenty about the continuities, the small adjustments in systems over time. Yet there's the world of snap events, of entire "pole shifts" among populations. All these people say they suddenly have no fear. It's like some threshold of awareness got crossed -- as has happened through the Millennia round those parts -- and now it's time to Make Things Happen.
So far, the evidently overdue unrest in the Mideast has had an overwhelmingly reasonable slant to everything. It seems like the huge mass of decent, old-school, young & unemployed, and overall reasonable Arab people suddenly decided to make a move before the West or their absurd old leaders could mess with them, just basically in a snap.
What I guess a Marxian would call "Objective conditions", have played a major part - the coordinated "quantitative easing" or monetization of debt has exploded food prices in places where people get by (or don't) on a couple dollars a day. Unemployment among people under 30 around the Mediterranean has become a permanent major factor - nothing really works. Services get slashed and things fall apart.
From Wisconsin to Cairo (and the latest news is people in Cairo are buying pizzas for Madison) people of everyday sorts are making a move -- and damn, you just know it when you see it.
It's all a great example of the sense of Agency which real humans still have on this messed-up planet. Now we see the violence inherent in the system, but then we see the human spirit kickin' the system's ass. No doubt about it.
A few more videos from the developing regional Situation:
Radio reports from Tripoli, plenty of machine gun fire in the background = "THIS IS BULLSHIT, I'M TALKING ABOUT HEAVY ARTILLERY.. now it's constant" - in English, talk of government media schemes and general state mass murder direct from the scene:
Wounded as hell at protests - Demos earlier with shots fired - terrifying.:
UPDATE: I forgot to add this amazing video of a "techie" in Benghazi, readily prepared to die for freedom and so forth, fearing mortar attack or assault. The protesters were able to get a solid handle on Benghazi shortly thereafter so there's a good chance this guy made it.
Overall I think this interview aged well, was it really more than seven years ago? In the last few days it's been great to see Khalidi appearing a couple times on MSNBC right before remarks from President Obama about Egypt. So here's the whole interview, with subjects like Israeli settlers, neo-con arcana, Muqtada al-Sadr before he became so well-known, etc. The linkage between neo-cons and the Israeli rightwing fringe Khalidi explained in this interview was cited & footnoted by James Bamford in 2004's "A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies," which was the first time (only time?) my scribblins have been footnoted in a serious book. (and it was awesome to randomly discover that one day, too!)
I'm leaving the weird HTML code from the Internet Archive / abandoned Mac Weekly site fragments for the archival awesomeness of it all. Enjoy!
Interview with Roundtable participant Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies at Columbia University and director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute.
Inteview by Dan Feidt
Interview conducted October 10, 2003
DF: You said in your talk regarding Iraq that “there are much worse days to come.” What leads you to this?
RK: Several things. The first is that the Administration purposely had too few soldiers for the post-war, leading directly to a chaotic situation which resulted in the destruction of the organs of state. The occupation thereafter took a number of decisions which alienated the entirety of the armed forces, and the Baathist technocrats, without whom it would be almost impossible to run a modern state in Iraq.
Both of those decisions I think were essentially ideological. It’s understandable that they would have wanted to eliminate the party leadership, people involved in war crimes, people involved in crimes against humanity, people who carried out notorious human rights abuses.
But why a medical doctor, why a lab technician or a schoolteacher, a low-ranking member of the party should be removed just because she or he was a Baathist? Why the officer corps of the army or the conscript regular soldiers were all fired is inexplicable. All of these things led to a situation where instead of coming in with the potential goodwill the United States might have had with the removal of an unpopular regime, the United States has pretty much alienated a large proportion of the population.
In the case of the Sunnis, this has been exacerbated by the civil war that [Ahmed] Chalabi is trying to foment between the Shia, to whom he’s posing as the champion of, and the Sunnis. The United States is on the point actually, I’m afraid, of incurring hostilities of more than just a lot of disgruntled Sunnis, and former Baathists, former soldiers, and so on, a few jihadis and others who are coming in, but maybe also the largest single group in Iraq, which is the Shiites.
DF: What do you think is Ahmed Chalabi’s plan?
RK: Chalabi wants to make himself ruler of Iraq. He and his group have been trying since before the war to impose themselves as the natural rulers of Iraq. They tried to get the Pentagon to fly them in there, so they could take a picture-postcard role in the liberation of the country, so that they would be posed to be the sole group that would be the intermediary between the occupation authorities and the Iraqis. They are still trying to do this even though Bremer and more and more people in Washington are realizing how dangerous to the United States and to Iraq Chalabi probably is. But there is a factional battle going on in Washington over this issue and there is a battle going on in Iraq, with the Chalabi and his people trying to win over the Shia, and engage in what some people have called already a pogrom or purge of Sunnis. Not just Baathists, Sunnis. Bremer and some of the civilian occupation authorities, and also some of the uniformed military, are beginning to tell Washington in no uncertain terms that that this man has to be stopped.
DF: There have been a lot of violent incidents of in Sadr City recently, because the Americans have detained some clerics that follow Sadr. Is that a sign that the peace between the Shia religious groups and the United States is fraying?
RK: It is not clear whether in fact what the United States is doing with Muqtada al-Sadr—in this place called Sadr City which is named for a relative of his who was killed by the Baathists—is going to lead to alienation of the Shia from the United States. Sadr doesn’t represent all the Shia. He is one factional leader. He is charismatic, he is popular but there are a lot of other people there.
The big question is A: how alienated are people in Iraq going to be, Shia, by American actions and policies, and B: to what extent will the United States try to repair its relations with the Shia by making up to Iran. There is an important faction in our government which is trying to do that, just as there’s an important faction in the government trying to sabotage any such possibility. So stay tuned for where the arm wrestling in Washington will end up. That in turn will determine a lot of these things. If The United States totally alienates Iran then one of the few possible means of positively affecting the attitudes of Shia in Iraq will disappear.
DF: What do you believe are the central principles of neo-conservativism? Do you believe it carries an outer moral ideology for mass consumption, and an elite truth for the few?
RK: Yeah, Seymour Hersh in his articles in the New Yorker about these people has argued that these are people who studied under Leo Strauss or under disciples of Leo Strauss at the University of Chicago, people like Wolfowitz himself, [Pentagon policymaker] Abram Shulsky and others, and that they came away with a sort of neo-Platonic view of a higher truth which they themselves had access, as distinguished from whatever it is you tell the masses to get them to go along.
There is a certain element of contempt in their attitude towards people, in the way in which they shamelessly manipulated falsehoods about Iraq, through Chalabi. Chalabi, of course, being part of this group, having studied at the University of Chicago as well, although he was doing his mathematics Ph. D. when they were doing politics degrees.
But I wouldn’t entirely blame this on Strauss or poor Plato for God’s sake. The other thing I would say is that there is another element in some of them, of a belief in force, which doesn’t come just from Strauss and Wohlstetter, who was actually Wolfowitz’s dissertation supervisor. It comes from Strauss via Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the head of the Revisionist strand of Zionism, which was an extreme nationalism which very much believed in force. I think that that view is very widely spread among the neo-cons.
Now, what is their philosophy? ‘Peace through strength,’ whatever that means. Not making concessions to the enemy, treating the enemy as a symbol of absolute moral blackness, not seeing gray in any picture. If you want to describe them in broad brush strokes, that’s how I’d do it. They are people for whom reality is probably less important than their ideology, and their moral certitudes.
DF: Noam Chomsky used the phrase ‘re-Ottomanization’ to describe the neoconservative strategy towards the Middle East, which would involve breaking down the strong states into pieces, giving them regional warlords, with Israel as the hegemonic power. Do you believe there’s merit in that viewpoint?
RK: I think that’s what some of them want to do. I’m not sure that has anything to do with US policy. That’s their fantasy. That’s really what the Clean Break strategy, if you read it very carefully, amounts to. And they’ve argued this in other places. It’s not just one document you have to go on. But to what extent that is more than the wet dreams of a bunch of neoconservatives who love Israel—love a certain muscled, hegemonic Israel—is very arguable.
I wonder about the extent to which that has any influence on US policy. I think that the idea that you crush all the strong states in the Arab world and create a situation of total instability is not something that most American policymakers accept. So, you know, maybe some of them are trying to edge crabwise towards that end, but I don’t think in the larger scheme of things it has a whole lot of influence on US policy.
DF: A Frontline interview with Richard Perle was published with the documentary “Truth, War and Consequences.” He talked about the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans, which reviewed intelligence on Iraq prior to the war. Perle said the office was staffed by David Wurmser, another author of the Clean Break document. Perle says that the office “began to find links that nobody else had previously understood or recorded in a useful way.” Were the neo-cons turning their ideology into intelligence data, and putting that into the government?
RK: I can give you a short answer to that which is yes. Insofar as at least two of the key arguments that they adduced, the one having to do the connection between the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda, and the one having to do with unconventional weapons programs in Iraq, it is clear that the links or the things they had claimed to have found were non-existent. The wish was fathered to the reality. What they wanted was what they found.
It was not just the Office of Special Plans, or whatever. There are a lot of institutions in Washington that were devoted to putting this view forward. Among them, other parts of the bureaucracy, and the vice president’s national security staff.
The vice president’s chief of staff Lewis Libby is a very important member of the neo-con group. He and the vice president have created the most powerful national security staff that anybody has ever had in the office of the vice president. I’ve read published assessments, which say that this is actually more influential than Condi Rice’s staff, the real NSC. This is another center of these views.
And then there are the think-tanks—I would use the word ‘think’ in quotes—like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hoover Institution and so on, all of which are devoted to spreading similar ideas. Basically any fantasy that Chalabi's people brought in, “we have a defector who says,” was turned into gold by these folks.
We now know this stuff, with a few exceptions, to be completely and utterly false, just manufactured disinformation designed to direct the United States in a certain direction. Whether the neo-cons knew this or not is another question, but I believe Chalabi’s people knew it. I would be surprised if some of them didn’t know it.
DF: Defense Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith‘s former law partner Marc Zell is a leading Israeli settler, and also runs a law firm which is supposed to work with the Pentagon and Chalabi’s nephew to help international businesses set up in Iraq. Is there a connection to be drawn between Feith and the Israeli settler movement?
RK: Feith is a partner of Zell, and Zell is a leading settler. He lives in a settlement; he is an advocate of expansion of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. He and Feith are ardent committed extremist Likud supporters, that is to say they support a policy of Israel’s expansion, they support a policy of crushing the Palestinians, they support the expansion of settlements.
I don’t know what Feith’s position is specifically, whether he’s a settler or in favor of settlements, but he’s published opinions before he went into government which are quite extreme, as far as that’s concerned.
I think the important thing is not that Zell is an Israeli or not an Israeli, or a settler or not a settler, as the fact that such views are now acceptable in the highest reaches of the US government. It used to be that settlements were considered illegal; it used to be that they were considered an obstacle to peace. Different presidents took different positions, but they were uniformly negative until this administration.
In this administration we have the Undersecretary of Defense, Feith, the number 3 guy, who’s in charge of the reconstruction of Iraq, publicly identifying with such views. And with this law firm, Feith and Zell, which is based in Israel, and its affiliate, which is busy doing this other stuff in Iraq.
The other thing that’s a little unseemly is something that Seymour Hersh has said about Richard Perle. It’s the inability of these people to see the moral problems of being in government and helping out your friends in the private sector. The vice president and Halliburton, Perle and Global Crossing, and all these dubious shady firms he was involved in, he was profiting from and which he was helping to profit because of his connections in the Pentagon. And Feith, he’s the viceroy of Iraq, you can call him whatever you want but he’s the man in charge in Washington—Bremer reports to him—his law firm is engaged in helping businesses do well in Iraq?
There’s a clear conflict of interest. If we had proper ethics codes, this would not be allowed. Nor would the vice president be able to help his Halliburton friends to get no-bid contracts in Iraq. Nor would Perle be able to do as he’s doing with a variety of business interests. Nor would Feith, but that’s another issue, that’s an ethics issue.
DF: Is there a sense with this administration that the so-called military-industrial complex is at the helm?
RK: Well, there’s three or four elements in this administration. The one that gets the votes is not the military-industrial complex or the neo-cons. The one that gets the votes is the southern, western, male Christian evangelicals. That’s the biggest electoral block. Those are people who may believe in the United States being a muscular power in the world, they may not really have time for black and white in international affairs, they may believe that international morality is simple, but they have an agenda which is largely domestic, and they are the people to whom the president looks for a certain core of his support.
There is then the good old rouged representatives of the military-industrial complex, where I would place people like Rumsfeld and Cheney. These are guys that have worked for big business all their lives, they are themselves big businessmen, Rumsfeld’s been on the board of a very large number of very large corporations, and Halliburton was headed by Cheney for many years. So we’re talking about people who really do fit into that category. And they are amply represented in the government.
The third group, and the least important, I would argue, is the neo-cons. They give a little intellectual ginger to this, they push things in the direction of Israel a little bit, they’ve played a particularly important role in the Pentagon and in the office of the Vice President, and to some extent in the National Security Council, where Elliott Abrams is the senior person on the Middle East. They even have people at the state department. But in political terms in the United States they are the least important.
They are important in terms of public opinion, however, because with outlets like Fox, the New York Post, the Chicago Sun-Times, and so on, they have very important access to those kinds of outlets. Murdoch’s papers, and Murdoch’s television networks, are the most important of them.
DF: Is Bush trapped in a kind of box which prevents him from understanding simultaneously the occupation, Arab nationalism, and the threat of the settlements, or is he just a pragmatic politician who recognizes that no one in America is going to hold him accountable?
RK: I would say the latter. I think the president is not a reflective intellectual man. He is not a well-read, learned man. He is not a worldly person. He is very smart though. I think he is a smart politician. In fact, I think one of his greatest assets is that people systematically ‘misunderestimate’ him, to use his expression. People underestimate George W. Bush.
I think that he has so far calculated that you could do a number of these things in foreign policy, either because they were popular, or because there would be no opposition. Until recently he was right, and I think the fact that it’s now clear, not so much on Arab-Israeli issues, but on Iraq, that public opinion has if not turned, at least ceased to be enchanted by those policies.
This may in turn impose a rethink on the Bush team. I think that people like Karl Rove, who is a very ideological person, are also only interested in getting re-elected, and they would sell their mothers, as would most politicians, to make sure that their president got re-elected.
And he may ditch people. He may fire Rumsfeld, he may fire Wolfowitz, and he may shake up some aspects of his administration if he realizes that this is going to be a hindrance to his re-election. I think that the reason you haven’t seen a change in this is that you haven’t seen a countervailing bloc.
DF: The first action the United States took after September 11 was the invasion of Afghanistan, deposing the Taliban with a coalition that they described as the Northern Alliance. Today, the situation has somewhat deteriorated. There isn’t a lot of control in the tribal areas, the Pushtun areas, and it seems the Taliban is ramping up for another offensive. Why did this invasion of Afghanistan fail?
RK: I’m not sure that it failed, in that its objective was to bring down that regime. It succeeded in doing that. It failed in the sense of securing a stable, secure Afghanistan, which wouldn’t be a threat to its neighbors, or a breeding ground (I don’t like the term breeding ground) or a base area for operations against the United States and other countries. In that sense it has failed. You still have groups operating there. I’m not sure they’re able to attack the United States from Afghanistan but then I’m not sure they attacked the United States from Afghanistan before either. There were certainly training camps there, but I don’t think those training camps were the real problem.
The real problem is this diversified underground network that’s established in which Afghanistan was just one link. The problem is that, as in Iraq, the only objective was military victory over the enemy in the field, and a subsidiary objective was winning a doctrinal war between Rumsfeld and the uniformed military. Rumsfeld wanted to change the nature of the American military. In one sense he’s right.
The United States military is configured to fight World War II, or World War III, which is the Cold War war that never came, thank God, on the plains of northern Europe or against the hordes of the Red Army somewhere in east Asia. It’s not configured for anything else, and Rumsfeld has tried mightily to change the configuration of the United States ground forces, in particular. And he has come up against enormous resistance.
So to him, the Afghan war was an object lesson in what can and should be done. Those were the two objectives: to defeat the enemy in the field, and you show the hidebound generals that the army should be flexible, light, fast, movable, and basically get rid of several divisions and several structures it has. By divisions I mean army divisions and by structures I mean all kinds of breakdowns between armor and Special Forces and so on.
Unfortunately, war is not just defeating the enemy in the field. War is achieving a political objective. Both in Afghanistan and Iraq the United States resoundingly and rapidly won the military campaign and Rumsfeld in both cases, I think, made his point brilliantly, that a lighter army could do things that the old-style army didn’t want to do and couldn’t do.
They are losing the war—I don’t want to say they’ve lost—because of their hidebound, stubborn persistent refusal to understand that you win by achieving a political objective.
The objective in Afghanistan would have been not just to defeat the Taliban regime, but to stabilize and normalize Afghanistan so that it never becomes again a base area for people like al-Qaeda. Similarly in the case of Iraq, to achieve a rapid, sustainable transition from a dictatorship to a regime that doesn’t threaten its neighbors and is representative.
Well, they say that’s what they’re trying to do, but the means that they’ve employed in Iraq and to some extent in Afghanistan, by being so light in terms of numbers, and by being so unilateral, have succeeded in alienating the very people you need to bring in.
By relying on the warlords they have succeeded in perpetuating the conditions that caused the problem in Afghanistan, or through the chaos that was created, have created new conditions that may be insuperable.
They may in fact not be insuperable, they may be insuperable, such that you will end up having a political defeat. But we’ll see. That’s what it looks like on the tenth of October. Things could get normalized by Christmas; things could get normalized by January. Things might look very different in both of those countries. I doubt it, but it’s certainly possible.
DF: In the totality of the Middle Eastern political situation, what aspects or factors give you the most hope? What factors to you are the most puzzling?
RK: I get the most hope from the resilience of civil society. Even in the most devastated parts of the Arab world—Palestinian society—NGOs, unions, universities, are still managing to survive and thrive against both the conditions of occupation, war, closure and deprivation, and the autocratic tendencies of the Palestinian Authority. You find that all over the Arab world and all over the Middle East; In Iran, in Turkey, all over the Middle East. Those to me are the most encouraging things.
I find the most puzzling the fact that no alternative to authoritarian governments, besides the Islamists, has emerged. Now, I understand where the previous alternatives to the status quo in the Arab world went. In the ‘30s, the ‘40s and ‘50s the alternatives to the status quo were radical nationalist, socialist, leftist and other groups, which then became the champions of what became a new orthodoxy when they took power.
So the Baath Party, the Arab nationalists, others of that ilk, took power in places like Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Syria and Iraq, or they formed the traditional opposition to monarchies. And then they in turn became sclerotic, conservative, autocratic, and a drag on their societies, which is what they are now.
The Baath regime in Syria is only marginally less bad than the former Baath regime in Iraq was. They’re terrible regimes. Those were radical alternatives to the status quo once, literally 50 or 60 years ago.
Now, what I find a little puzzling, is that outside of some human rights-based, and other groups within civil society, there's very little political alternative to the immobilism and the kleptocracy which dominates most governments in the Arab world, except the Islamists, and the Islamists don’t have an answer. Their answer is “Islam is the answer,” but Islam is not an answer.
That is a very narrow appeal; it appeals to a very limited number of people in most Muslim societies, in fact. You look at the numbers that HAMAS and other Islamist groups get in Palestine in polling, and on a good day they can reach the 20s, and on a really fabulous day they may hit 30%. But if you ask people about the core values they represent, and the kind of vision they have for a Palestinian state, most Palestinians can’t accept that.
There’s an inherent limitation because it is not an answer. The problem is that they are the only organized opposition to some of these regimes. The anger and the dissatisfaction and alienation that some people feel at unemployment, at poverty, at a lack of development, at theft, at corruption, and so on and so forth, has to find some outlet. The Islamists, for some people, are the outlet. So that’s the thing that puzzles me: where is the alternative?
It’s certainly not going to be American military intervention. That’s not going to solve the problems in the Middle East. That’s causes new problems.
But that leaves a legitimate question: what do you do about these miserable regimes? Because you’ve had democratic transitions in places people thought were totally immobile like Eastern Europe and Latin America.
Why is that not happening in the Middle East? It could be because of the continuing conflicts there, which reinforce the state. That’s the argument I made in my talk, that if we address that it wouldn’t solve the problem but it would make it easier to solve the problem. But that’s not a sufficient answer.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nothing hidden that will not be made known. Everything you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight; what you have whispered in locked rooms will be proclaimed from the rooftops.”
A lot of people have tipped their hands lately. Like an ocean pulling back to reveal slimy critters on the rocks, the Wikileaks diplomatic cables revealed how closely linked the top international political echelons (and for that matter, grubby royals like the Houses of Saud and Windsor) are with their chums in the press. ('chum' as leftover fish guts, mostly).
We all got a lot of lulz from Operation Payback and the Anonymous scheme, but after about the 2nd or 3rd day it seems like people realized that this so-called 'cyberwar' or 'infowar' could inspire the cybergoons and Epic Porktarians to obtain moar countless billions of freshly misprinted Dollaz from The Ben Bernank to wreck the whole Internets and make like 1000 Powerpoint slides that would convince ignorant baby boomers to shut down Twitter and every remaining Web Forum forevar. MOAR:Wikileaks: Anonymous stops dropping DDoS bombs, starts dropping science - Boing Boing.
Fortunately it looks like the Anon squad has wrapped their collective head around this problem reasonably quickly and so it was pro-offered earlier on Thursday that a much sounder long-term strategy of nitpicking, diplomatic cable copyings and propagation would be better than carrying on the Festivities of blocking faceless corporate blobs like Visa et al.
Pushing out the cables, more so than DDoS lulz, truly makes the powerful sweat: punishing the random people who have to use Paypal.com because electronic payments is entirely 'collateral damage'. As we now learn, payment processors are a nasty little power cartel indeed, with State Department diplomatic fixers even trying to maintain their man-in-the-middle ripoff monopolies in places like Russia.
Best quote, and the only good use of "cyber" I've seen in years: Guardian - Bryce Lowry said: "Assange is a cyber bushranger: a renegade taunter of authority and inspiration to many who marvel at his daring to challenge the status quo."
Federal Reserve GigaCoverup Revealed but Who Cares: It's too bad the Wiki news distracted from the amazing pile of insanity at the Federal Reserve, who apparently loaned out a hizzity-gajillion dollars on the ol American Taxpayer Credit Card to sleazy and dumb-as-rocks European Bankers. It was hard as hell for Ron Paul and Alan Grayson to pry this dirty laundry out of the hub of the Great Criminal Banker Syndicate and the damn Wikileaks buzz lets the media toss the whole story in the bin. MOAR:Are The Federal Reserve’s Crimes Too Big To Comprehend? - BlackListed News
For powerful reasons (i.e. faux objectivity) that aren't obvious, journalists need to work within certain ready made narrative forms to comply with capital-J Journalism requirements. But everyone has been laid off. And advertisers don't want downer nitpicky shit next to their happy images. This means there is no 'bandwidth' or wide array of parallel journalistic operations available to run continuously. The net only has a few threads to catch what's passing by.
It seems like there are only like 30 paid working fulltime journalists in America who have a big mainstream platform to nosh on the most basics, and of these, like 10 of them are actually any fun, or have any sense of daring. So it's impossible for these 10 to 30 cool cats to do the heavy lifting and come up with catchy hooks for the editors. In the NY Times, you're left with nothing left but catchy hooks - any meat is of course below Paragraph 12.
And thus, the tide of garbage has kept piling, and piling and piling, to the point we are vaulting headfirst towards a degenerate & bankrupt Banana Republic stage. The strong tonic of GigaLeaks is certainly one of few remaining battering rams...
I've become trapped in loosely tossed-around metaphors & Better Wind this Up...
NYT: Liberal Jews as not 'real' Jews - J Street shunned by donors etc. A sad scenario here - Jewish kids with decent values learning to check their liberalism at the door of Zionism, as the columnist puts it. The 'Real Jew' Debate - NYTimes.com
Tabs on Walmart & etc - The Walmart Homeland Security Industrial Complex is a sickening beast, and when various hammers fall, Walmart's distribution network is ready for any unspeakable horrors or other modes of replacing once vibrant & reasonably self-sustaining communities with hordes of cornsyrup addled debt slaves.... Well the Homeland Security videoscreen thing is really a new height for Doom.
Some poor bastard posted this on youtube (hat tip Gary Franchi aka Camp Fema film guy) "I worked in Mal-Wart loss prevention,went to a regional meeting and was told that the Co. has more personal data on Americans than all US miltiary intel,CIA,FBI and NSA combined,additionally they were responsible for collecting 50cents of every retail dollar spent in the US.This is an evil corp.and we will see true corporatism(Fascism) begin with them."
I have worked on this subject a bit but don't have enough of the picture determined. I know for a fact the lawyers at the Department of Agriculture are totally confused about hazy wording of actual MN Statutes in question, but that never stops the G-Men when they've got momentum.
MN Department of Agriculture is party to a full blown Joint Terrorism Milk Task Force type jalopy spanning California to Pennsylvania, the hardcore fascist grain - erm texture - of food control freak-ism. Like with Walmart, the feds are pathologically incapable of culturing diverse commercial environments, with the only alternative as topdown elite controlled monocultures and the ruthless pillaging of all smaller & independent units.
The FDA and USDA are infested with a fatally obsolete & flawed ideology best thought of as "The War on Bacteria" which like the Wars on Drugs and Terror, are totally insane, unwinnable and Designed To Fail Expensively and Profitably For Someone, Including The Usual Suspects.
They believe that sterilized 'dead' food is the only safe type, and fermentations, cultures, etc., have to all be annihilated. The only winners are gigantic agricultural processing corporations that eat their competition through price fixing, and since everyone hates their bland, toxic products and wants alternatives, the next step is the ruthless elimination, defamation & terrorizing of these alternatives.
On the other hand I can't speak to the quality of the Hartmann's unpasteurized raw milk, but it is Hartmann's Constitutional Right in Minnesota to sell products of his home or garden with no license required. Period.
The MN Department of Health is keeping the hell away from this one. It is coordinated by friends of the Esoteric Milk Price Fixing Racket which is controlled from Chicago by an Arbitrary Block of Cheese - the rather apocalyptically lethal FDA, which kills more Americans than terrorism, sharks & bee stings combined, is behind all of this.
This is a huge story really, a tip of an iceberg, and certainly related to the "Die Hippie Farmer Scum" S510 bill of Doom.
Tomorrow morning, December 9, 2010, thousands of Georgia prisoners will refuse to work, stop all other activities and remain in their cells in a peaceful, one-day protest for their human rights. The December 9 Strike is projected to be the biggest prisoner protest in the history of the United States.
These thousands of men, from Baldwin, Hancock, Hays, Macon, Smith and Telfair State Prisons, among others, state they are striking to press the Georgia Department of Corrections (?DOC?) to stop treating them like animals and slaves and institute programs that address their basic human rights. They have set forth the following demands:
· A LIVING WAGE FOR WORK: In violation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, the DOC demands prisoners work for free.
· EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: For the great majority of prisoners, the DOC denies all opportunities for education beyond the GED, despite the benefit to both prisoners and society.
· DECENT HEALTH CARE: In violation of the 8th Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments, the DOC denies adequate medical care to prisoners, charges excessive fees for the most minimal care and is responsible for extraordinary pain and suffering.
· AN END TO CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENTS: In further violation of the 8th Amendment, the DOC is responsible for cruel prisoner punishments for minor infractions of rules.
· DECENT LIVING CONDITIONS: Georgia prisoners are confined in over-crowded, substandard conditions, with little heat in winter and oppressive heat in summer.
· NUTRITIONAL MEALS: Vegetables and fruit are in short supply in DOC facilities while starches and fatty foods are plentiful.
· VOCATIONAL AND SELF-IMPROVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES: The DOC has stripped its facilities of all opportunities for skills training, self-improvement and proper exercise.
· ACCESS TO FAMILIES: The DOC has disconnected thousands of prisoners from their families by imposing excessive telephone charges and innumerable barriers to visitation.
· JUST PAROLE DECISIONS: The Parole Board capriciously and regularly denies parole to the majority of prisoners despite evidence of eligibility.
Prisoner leaders issued the following call: 'No more slavery. Injustice in one place is injustice to all. Inform your family to support our cause. Lock down for liberty!'
Bravo, Prisoners, Bravo! Some of us, more than others, have that direct view of the growing Prison Planet.
For more info see RapGodfather.com! Watch out all yr DNS belong to Homeland Security New IPR Rap Forum Fusion Center! I gotta throw this in:
It looks like PKK Turkish /Kurdish militants going to get spilled out. The long running Ergenekon Deep State Network and the likes of corrupt ex-State operative Marc Grossman exposed in all their perfidy? We could hope... But how many hilarious new drug conspiracies?
The Sunday Telegraph has learnt that the first tranche of documents, to be published in full tomorrow after an initial release tonight, are expected to feature "lively commentaries" by US diplomats on world leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, the Zimbabwean president, Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan, and Libya's Colonel Muammar Gaddafi of Libya.
Coalition sources say Tuesday's haul will deal with North and South Korea, as well as Guantánamo Bay, while Wednesday's tranche will include comments on Pakistan and counter-piracy operations in Djibouti.
Thursday will see attention focus on the Canadians and their "inferiority complex" while corruption allegations in Afghanistan will be under the spotlight on Friday. Saturday will cover Yemen while next Sunday will see the focus shift to China.
Washington's eyes are now justifiably riveted on Ankara where the sea change is well underway. The attack on the Turkish-flagged ship and the killing of Turkish citizens was an affront to Turkish national pride. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's prime minister and a devout Muslim, confronts the situation with the wholehearted support of an enraged Turkish population.
Turkey is the 13th-largest economy in the world. Its military establishment, the largest among European NATO members, is also well-equipped, disciplined and aggressively nationalistic. Turkey, not Iran, is the region's true superpower, a nation-state with the power to create a new Middle East.
The big unknown for Washington is what Erdogan will do next. Will Erdogan direct the Turkish military to escort the next humanitarian flotilla into Gaza? How will the Turkish generals, who view themselves as the guardians of secularism inside Turkish society, react?
Surely, the Turkish generals who've cooperated closely with the American and Israeli military establishments are frantically searching for a way out of the crisis. Or, perhaps this thinking is wrong; perhaps this crisis has inadvertently forged a bond between Turkey's Islamist prime minister and Turkey's secular military leaders?
‘ SCHUMER: The Palestinian people still don’t believe in the Jewish state, in a two-state solution. More do than before, but a majority still do not. Their fundamental view is, the Europeans treated the Jews badly and gave them our land — this is Palestinian thinking [...] They don’t believe in the Torah, in David [...] You have to force them to say Israel is here to stay. The boycott of Gaza to me has another purpose — obviously the first purpose is to prevent Hamas from getting weapons by which they will use to hurt Israel — but the second is actually to show the Palestinians that when there’s some moderation and cooperation, they can have an economic advancement. When there’s total war against Israel, which Hamas wages, they’re going to get nowhere. And to me, since the Palestinians in Gaza elected Hamas, while certainly there should be humanitarian aid and people not starving to death, to strangle them economically until they see that’s not the way to go, makes sense.
Further making the EPA claims questionable is EPA’s Deepwater horizon response sites site clearly states that between 1 million and 2.5 million gallons of the neurotoxin pesticide Corexit was used in the 1979 ixtoc oil spill which makes it unfathomable that the EPA doesn’t know what the long term effects are of a chemical that has been widely used, and eventually banned in certain countries, over a period of 30 years.
MUTAGENIC EFFECTS: Mutagenic for bacteria and/or yeast.
The substance may be toxic to blood, kidneys, liver, central nervous system (CNS).
Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.
Repeated exposure to highly (this) toxic material may produce general deterioration of health by an accumulation in one or many human organs.
Hazardous in case of skin contact (permeator), of ingestion, of inhalation.
May cause adverse reproductive effects (maternal and paternal fertility, fetoxicity)
May cause birth defects (teratogenic)
May cause cancer (tumorigenic)
Penetrates intact skin easily and can cause systemic effects and central nervous system depression
Inhalation: May cause irritation of the respiratory tract. May affect behavior (analgesia), behavior/central nervous system (headache, drowsiness, dizzness, stuttering, coma, weakness, ataxia, slurred speech, loss of coordination and judgement, personality changes, analgesia, blurred vision, tremor, excitement, somnolence), sense organs, the gastrointestinal tract (nausea, vomiting), metabolism (metabolic acidosis), respiration (dyspnea), urinary system (kidneys – hematuria, albuminuria, polyuria, oliguria, renal failure), liver (liver damage).
Exposure to high vapor concentration may also cause corneal or lens opacity of the eyes.
Ingestion: Causes gastrointestinal tract irritation with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. May affect behavior/central
nervous system (see inhalation), respiration (dyspnea), metabolism, cardiovascular system.
Chronic Potential Health Effects: Inhalation and Ingestion: Prolonged or repeated inhalation or ingestion may affect the liver, blood (changes in red blood cell count, pigmented or nucleated red blood cells, microcytosis with or without anemia, erythropenia, reticulocytosis, granulocytosis, leukocytosis), urinary system (kidneys -hematuria), metabolism (weight loss), endocrine system (spleen, thymus, pancreas). Prolonged or repeated inhalation of high concentrations may also cause lung hemmorrhage, congestion, bronchopneumonia.
Classified in Canada as CLASS D-1A: Material causing immediate and serious toxic effects (VERY TOXIC).
Classified in Canada as CLASS D-2B: Material causing other toxic effects (TOXIC)
What does the EPA say about the human health effects expected as a result of using the dispersants?
Armed with the accomplices in the FDA, EPA, FTC and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, powerful corporations have been keeping secrets from us all. It's not just the toxic chemicals in Corexit, either: Large manufacturers of consumers products -- such as Unilever, Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson -- routinely use toxic chemical ingredients in their products -- ingredients which are usually kept secret from the public. Similarly, virtually every perfume, cologne and fragrance product on the market is made withcancer-causing chemicals that their manufacturers refuse to disclose, claiming their formulas are "trade secrets."
Prepare to have your mind blown - the whole thing is a straw sitting on mud, and the rock is breaking apart... Seems likely enough. This is a speculative angle of sorts, but it seems impossible for the structure not to crumble, given it all sits on at least 1000 feet of mud.
[.....]As you have probably seen and maybe feel yourselves, there are several things that do not appear to make sense regarding the actions of attack against the well. Don't feel bad, there is much that doesn't make sense even to professionals unless you take into account some important variables that we are not being told about. There seems to me to be a reluctance to face what cannot be termed anything less than grim circumstances in my opinion. There certainly is a reluctance to inform us regular people and all we have really gotten is a few dots here and there...
First of all...set aside all your thoughts of plugging the well and stopping it from blowing out oil using any method from the top down. Plugs, big valves to just shut it off, pinching the pipe closed, installing a new bop or lmrp, shooting any epoxy in it, top kills with mud etc etc etc....forget that, it won't be happening..it's done and over. In fact actually opening up the well at the subsea source and allowing it to gush more is not only exactly what has happened, it was probably necessary, or so they think anyway.
So you have to ask WHY? Why make it worse?...there really can only be one answer and that answer does not bode well for all of us. It's really an inescapable conclusion at this point, unless you want to believe that every Oil and Gas professional involved suddenly just forgot everything they know or woke up one morning and drank a few big cups of stupid and got assigned to directing the response to this catastrophe. Nothing makes sense unless you take this into account, but after you do...you will see the "sense" behind what has happened and what is happening. That conclusion is this:
The well bore structure is compromised "Down hole".
That is something which is a "Worst nightmare" conclusion to reach. While many have been saying this for some time as with any complex disaster of this proportion many have "said" a lot of things with no real sound reasons or evidence for jumping to such conclusions, well this time it appears that they may have jumped into the right place...
TOP KILL - FAILS: This was probably our best and only chance to kill this well from the top down. This "kill mud" is a tried and true method of killing wells and usually has a very good chance of success. The depth of this well presented some logistical challenges, but it really should not of presented any functional obstructions. The pumping capacity was there and it would have worked, should have worked, but it didn't.
It didn't work, but it did create evidence of what is really happening. First of all the method used in this particular top kill made no sense, did not follow the standard operating procedure used to kill many other wells and in fact for the most part was completely contrary to the procedure which would have given it any real chance of working.
When a well is "Killed" using this method heavy drill fluid "Mud" is pumped at high volume and pressure into a leaking well. The leaks are "behind" the point of access where the mud is fired in, in this case the "choke and Kill lines" which are at the very bottom of the BOP (Blow Out Preventer) The heavy fluid gathers in the "behind" portion of the leaking well assembly, while some will leak out, it very quickly overtakes the flow of oil and only the heavier mud will leak out. Once that "solid" flow of mud is established at the leak "behind" the well, the mud pumps increase pressure and begin to overtake the pressure of the oil deposit. The mud is established in a solid column that is driven downward by the now stronger pumps. The heavy mud will create a solid column that is so heavy that the oil deposit can no longer push it up, shut off the pumps...the well is killed...it can no longer flow.
Usually this will happen fairly quickly, in fact for it to work at all...it must happen quickly. There is no "trickle some mud in" because that is not how a top kill works. The flowing oil will just flush out the trickle and a solid column will never be established. Yet what we were told was "It will take days to know whether it
worked"...."Top kill might take 48 hours to complete"...the only way it could take days is if BP intended to do some "test fires" to test integrity of the entire system. The actual "kill" can only take hours by nature because it must happen fairly rapidly. It also increases strain on the "behind" portion and in this instance we all know that what remained was fragile at best.
Early that afternoon we saw a massive flow burst out of the riser "plume" area. This was the first test fire of high pressure mud injection. Later on same day we saw a greatly increased flow out of the kink leaks, this was mostly mud at that time as the kill mud is tanish color due to the high amount of Barite which is added to it to weight it and Barite is a white powder.
We later learned the pumping was shut down at midnight, we weren't told about that until almost 16 hours later, but by then...I'm sure BP had learned the worst. The mud they were pumping in was not only leaking out the "behind" leaks...it was leaking out of someplace forward...and since they were not even near being able to pump mud into the deposit itself, because the well would be dead long before...and the oil was still coming up, there could only be one conclusion...the wells casings were ruptured and it was leaking "down hole"
They tried the "Junk shot"...the "bridging materials" which also failed and likely made things worse in regards to the ruptured well casings.
80 Barrels per minute is over 200,000 gallons per hour, over 115,000 barrels per day...did we seen an increase over and above what was already leaking out of 115k bpd?....we did not...it would have been a massive increase in order of multiples and this did not happen.
"The whole purpose is to get the kill mud down,” said Wells. “We'll have 50,000 barrels of mud on hand to kill this well. It's far more than necessary, but we always like to have backup."
Try finding THAT quote around...it's been scrubbed...here's a cached copy of a quote...
"The "top kill" effort, launched Wednesday afternoon by industry and government engineers, had pumped enough drilling fluid to block oil and gas spewing from the well, Allen said. The pressure from the well was very low, he said, but persisting."
So what we had was BP running out of 50,000 barrels of mud in a very short period of time. An amount far and above what they deemed necessary to kill the well. Shutting down pumping 16 hours before telling anyone, including the president. We were never really given a clear reason why "Top Kill" failed, just that it couldn't overcome the well.
There is only one article anywhere that says anything else about it at this time of writing...and it's a relatively obscure article from the wall street journal "online" citing an unnamed source.
"WASHINGTON—BP PLC has concluded that its "top-kill" attempt last week to seal its broken well in the Gulf of
Mexico may have failed due to a malfunctioning disk inside the well about 1,000 feet below the ocean floor.
The disk, part of the subsea safety infrastructure, may have ruptured during the surge of oil and gas up the well on April 20 that led to the explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig, BP officials said. The rig sank two days later, triggering a leak that has since become the worst in U.S. history.
The broken disk may have prevented the heavy drilling mud injected into the well last week from getting far enough down the well to overcome the pressure from the escaping oil and gas, people familiar with BP's findings said. They said much of the drilling mud may also have escaped from the well into the rock formation outside the wellbore.
As a result, BP wasn't able to get sufficient pressure to keep the oil and gas at bay. If they had been able to build up sufficient pressure, the company had hoped to pump in cement and seal off the well. The effort was deemed a failure on Saturday.
BP started the top-kill effort Wednesday afternoon, shooting heavy drilling fluids into the broken valve known as a blowout preventer. The mud was driven by a 30,000 horsepower pump installed on a ship at the surface. But it was clear from the start that a lot of the "kill mud" was leaking out instead of going down into the well." http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405274870487560457528013357716426...
There are some inconsistencies with this article.
There are no "Disks" or "Subsea safety structure" 1,000 feet below the sea floor, all that is there is well bore. There is nothing that can allow the mud or oil to "escape" into the rock formation outside the well bore except the well, because it is the only thing there.
All the actions and few tid bits of information all lead to one inescapable conclusion. The well pipes below the sea floor are broken and leaking. Now you have some real data of how BP's actions are evidence of that, as well as some murky statement from "BP officials" confirming the same.
I took some time to go into a bit of detail concerning the failure of Top Kill because this was a significant event. To those of us outside the real inside loop, yet still fairly knowledgeable, it was a major confirmation of what many feared. That the system below the sea floor has serious failures of varying magnitude in the complicated chain, and it is breaking down and it will continue to.
What does this mean?
It means they will never cap the gusher after the wellhead. They cannot...the more they try and restrict the oil gushing out the bop?...the more it will transfer to the leaks below. Just like a leaky garden hose with a nozzle on it. When you open up the nozzle?...it doesn't leak so bad, you close the nozzle?...it leaks real bad,
same dynamics. It is why they sawed the riser off...or tried to anyway...but they clipped it off, to relieve pressure on the leaks "down hole". I'm sure there was a bit of panic time after they crimp/pinched off the large riser pipe and the Diamond wire saw got stuck and failed...because that crimp diverted pressure and flow to the rupture down below.
Contrary to what most of us would think as logical to stop the oil mess, actually opening up the gushing well and making it gush more became direction BP took after confirming that there was a leak. In fact if you note their actions, that should become clear. They have shifted from stopping or restricting the gusher to opening it up and catching it. This only makes sense if they want to relieve pressure at the leak hidden down below the seabed.....and that sort of leak is one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging kind of leak there could be. It is also inaccessible which compounds our problems. There is no way to stop that leak from above, all they can do is relieve the pressure on it and the only way to do that right now is to open up the nozzle above and gush more oil into the gulf and hopefully catch it, which they have done, they just neglected to tell us why, gee thanks.
A down hole leak is dangerous and damaging for several reasons. There will be erosion throughout the entire beat up, beat on and beat down remainder of the "system" including that inaccessible leak. The same erosion I spoke about in the first post is still present and has never stopped, cannot be stopped, is impossible to stop and will always be present in and acting on anything that is left which has crude oil "Product" rushing through it. There are abrasives still present, swirling flow will create hot spots of wear and this erosion is relentless and will always be present until eventually it wears away enough material to break it's way out. It will slowly eat the bop away especially at the now pinched off riser head and it will flow more and more. Perhaps BP can outrun or keep up with that out flow with various suckage methods for a period of time, but eventually the well will win that race, just how long that race will be?...no one really knows....However now?...there are other problems that a down hole leak will and must produce that will compound this already bad situation.
This down hole leak will undermine the foundation of the seabed in and around the well area. It also weakens the only thing holding up the massive Blow Out Preventer's immense bulk of 450 tons. In fact?...we are beginning to the results of the well's total integrity beginning to fail due to the undermining being caused by the leaking well bore.
The first layer of the sea floor in the gulf is mostly lose material of sand and silt. It doesn't hold up anything and isn't meant to, what holds the entire subsea system of the Bop in place is the well itself. The very large steel connectors of the initial well head "spud" stabbed in to the sea floor. The Bop literally sits on top of the pipe and never touches the sea bed, it wouldn't do anything in way of support if it did. After several tens of feet the seabed does begin to support the well connection laterally (side to side) you couldn't put a 450 ton piece of machinery on top of a 100' tall pipe "in the air" and subject it to the side loads caused by the ocean currents and expect it not to bend over...unless that pipe was very much larger than the machine itself, which you all can see it is not. The well's piping in comparison is actually very much smaller than the Blow Out Preventer and strong as it may be, it relies on some support from the seabed to function and not literally fall over...and it is now showing signs of doing just that....falling over.
If you have been watching the live feed cams you may have noticed that some of the ROVs are using an inclinometer...and inclinometer is an instrument that measures "Incline" or tilt. The BOP is not supposed to be tilting...and after the riser clip off operation it has begun to...
This is not the only problem that occurs due to erosion of the outer area of the well casings. The way a well casing assembly functions it that it is an assembly of different sized "tubes" that decrease in size as they go down. These tubes have a connection to each other that is not unlike a click or snap together locking action. After a certain length is assembled they are cemented around the ouside to the earth that the more rough drill hole is bored through in the well making process. A very well put together and simply explained process of "How to drill a deep water oil well" is available here: http://www.treesfullofmoney.com/?p=1610
The well bore casings rely on the support that is created by the cementing phase of well construction. Just like if you have many hands holding a pipe up you could put some weight on the top and the many hands could hold the pipe and the weight on top easily...but if there were no hands gripping and holding the pipe?...all the weight must be held up by the pipe alone. The series of connections between the sections of casings are not designed to hold up the immense weight of the BOP without all the "hands" that the cementing provides and they will eventually buckle and fail when stressed beyond their design limits.
These are clear and present dangers to the battered subsea safety structure (bop and lmrp) which is the only loose cork on this well we have left. The immediate (first 1,000 feet) of well structure that remains is now also undoubtedly compromised. However.....as bad as that is?...it is far from the only possible problems with this very problematic well. There were ongoing troubles with the entire process during the drilling of this well. There were also many comprises made by BP IMO which may have resulted in an overall weakened structure of the entire well system all the way to the bottom plug which is over 12,000 feet deep. Problems with the cementing procedure which was done by Haliburton and was deemed as “was against our best practices.” by a Haliburton employee on April 1st weeks before the well blew out. There is much more and I won't go into detail right now concerning the lower end of the well and the troubles encountered during the whole creation of this well and earlier "Well control" situations that were revieled in various internal BP e-mails. I will add several links to those documents and quotes from them below and for now, address the issues concerning the upper portion of the well and the region of the sea floor.
What is likely to happen now?
Well...none of what is likely to happen is good, in fact...it's about as bad as it gets. I am convinced the erosion and compromising of the entire system is accelerating and attacking more key structural areas of the well, the blow out preventer and surrounding strata holding it all up and together. This is evidenced by the tilt of the blow out preventer and the erosion which has exposed the well head connection. What eventually will happen is that the blow out preventer will literally tip over if they do not run supports to it as the currents push on it. I suspect they will run those supports as cables tied to anchors very soon, if they don't, they are inviting disaster that much sooner.
Eventually even that will be futile as the well casings cannot support the weight of the massive system above with out the cement bond to the earth and that bond is being eroded away. When enough is eroded away the casings will buckle and the BOP will collapse the well. If and when you begin to see oil and gas coming up around the well area from under the BOP? or the area around the well head connection and casing sinking more and more rapidly? ...it won't be too long after that the entire system fails. BP must be aware of this, they are mapping the sea floor sonically and that is not a mere exercise. Our Gov't must be well aware too, they just are not telling us.
All of these things lead to only one place, a fully wide open well bore directly to the oil deposit...after that, it goes into the realm of "the worst things you can think of" The well may come completely apart as the inner liners fail. There is still a very long drill string in the well, that could literally come flying out...as I said...all the worst things you can think of are a possibility, but the very least damaging outcome as bad as it is, is that we are stuck with a wide open gusher blowing out 150,000 barrels a day of raw oil or more. There isn't any "cap dome" or any other suck fixer device on earth that exists or could be built that will stop it from gushing out and doing more and more damage to the gulf. While at the same time also doing more damage to the well, making the chance of halting it with a kill from the bottom up less and less likely to work, which as it stands now?....is the only real chance we have left to stop it all.
It's a race now...a race to drill the relief wells and take our last chance at killing this monster before the whole weakened, wore out, blown out, leaking and failing system gives up it's last gasp in a horrific crescendo.
We are not even 2 months into it, barely half way by even optimistic estimates. The damage done by the leaked oil now is virtually immeasurable already and it will not get better, it can only get worse. No matter how much they can collect, there will still be thousands and thousands of gallons leaking out every minute, every hour of every day. We have 2 months left before the relief wells are even near in position and set up to take a kill shot and that is being optimistic as I said.
Over the next 2 months the mechanical situation also cannot improve, it can only get worse, getting better is an impossibility. While they may make some gains on collecting the leaked oil, the structural situation cannot heal itself. It will continue to erode and flow out more oil and eventually the inevitable collapse which cannot be stopped will happen. It is only a simple matter of who can "get there first"...us or the well.
We can only hope the race against that eventuality is one we can win, but my assessment I am sad to say is that we will not.
The system will collapse or fail substantially before we reach the finish line ahead of the well and the worst is yet to come.
Sorry to bring you that news, I know it is grim, but that is the way I see it....I sincerely hope I am wrong.
We need to prepare for the possibility of this blow out sending more oil into the gulf per week then what we already have now, because that is what a collapse of the system will cause. All the collection efforts that have captured oil will be erased in short order. The magnitude of this disaster will increase exponentially by the time we can do anything to halt it and our odds of actually even being able to halt it will go down.
The magnitude and impact of this disaster will eclipse anything we have known in our life times if the worst or even near worst happens...
We are seeing the puny forces of man vs the awesome forces of nature.
We are going to need some luck and a lot of effort to win...
and if nature decides we ought to lose, we will....
On April 1, a job log written by a Halliburton employee, Marvin Volek, warns that BP’s use of cement “was
against our best practices.”
An April 18 internal Halliburton memorandum indicates that Halliburton again warned BP about its practices,
this time saying that a “severe” gas flow problem would occur if the casings were not centered more carefully.
Mark Hafle, the BP drilling engineer who wrote plans for well casings and cement seals on the Deepwater
Horizon's well, testified that the well had lost thousands of barrels of mud at the bottom. But he said models
run onshore showed alterations to the cement program would resolve the issues, and when asked if a cement
failure allowed the well to "flow" gas and oil, he wouldn't capitulate.
Hafle said he made several changes to casing designs in the last few days before the well blew, including the
addition of the two casing liners that weren't part of the original well design because of problems where the
earthen sides of the well were "ballooning." He also worked with Halliburton engineers to design a plan for
sealing the well casings with cement. http://www.nola.com/news/gulf-oil-spill/index.ssf/2010/05/hearings_bp_ce...
1. Before or during the cement job, an influx of hydrocarbon enters the wellbore.
2. Influx is circulated during cement job to wellhead and BOP.
3. 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff set and positively tested to 6500 psi.
4. After 16.5 hours waiting on cement, a negative test performed on wellbore below BOP.
(~ 1400 psi differential pressure on 9-7/8” casing hanger packoff and ~ 2350 psi on
double valve float collar)
5. Packoff leaks allowing hydrocarbon to enter wellbore below BOP. 1400 psi shut in
pressure observed on drill pipe (no flow or pressure observed on kill line)
6. Hydrocarbon below BOP is unknowingly circulated to surface while finishing displacing
7. As hydrocarbon rises to surface, gas break out of solution further reduces hydrostatic
pressure in well. Well begin to flow, BOPs and Emergency Disconnect System (EDS)
activated but failed.
8. Packoff continues to leak allowing further influx from bottom.
I used to cover the energy business (oil, gas and alternative) here in Texas, and the few experts in the oil field -- including geologists, chemists, etc. -- able or willing to even speak of this BP event told me early on that it is likely the entire reserve will bleed out. Unfortunately none of them could say with any certainty just how much oil is in the reserve in question because, for one thing, the oil industry and secrecy have always been synonymous. According to BP data from about five years ago, there are four separate reservoirs containing a total of 2.5 billion barrels (barrels not gallons). One of the reservoirs has 1.5 billion barrels. I saw an earlier post here quoting an Anadarko Petroleum report which set the total amount at 2.3 billion barrels. One New York Times article put it at 2 billion barrels.
If the BP data correctly or honestly identified four separate reservoirs then a bleed-out might gush less than 2 to 2.5 billion barrels unless the walls -- as it were -- fracture or partially collapse. I am hearing the same dark rumors which suggest fracturing and a complete bleed-out are already underway. Rumors also suggest a massive collapse of the Gulf floor itself is in the making. They are just rumors but it is time for geologists or related experts to end their deafening silence and speak to these possibilities.
All oilmen lie about everything. The stories one hears about the extent to which they will protect themselves are all understatements. BP employees are already taking The Fifth before grand juries, and attorneys are laying a path for company executives to make a run for it.
Well that is pretty scary.I'll leave it there for now...
This sounds good for all devices!TeleHash - Distributed JSON Peering Protocol: "TeleHash is a new wire protocol for exchanging JSON in a real-time and fully decentralized manner, enabling applications to connect directly and participate as servers on the edge of the network. It is designed to efficiently route and distribute small bits of data in order for applications to discover each other directly or in relation to events around piece of shared content. The core benefits of TeleHash over other similar platforms and protocols is that it is both generic (not tied to any specific application or content structures) and is radically decentralized with no servers or points of central control."
Moar on Twitter - this could let chunks of data move around easily to/from many devices while providing centerless connectivity (no central servers!). . Via GlobalGuerrillas blog LINKS: 19 MAY 2010.