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 some shares of Apple and therefore I have an Apple bias. Yum. Also got a tiny bit of gold!
Yet another nasty branch on the poisonous tree of data abuse in Minnesota is bearing its digital fruit. Anne Marie Rasmusson, a former law enforcement officer, got 'checked out' by an absurdly sprawling array of Minnesota law enforcement officers illegally abusing their driver's license lookup systems. Three major legal documents from the settlements are included below, I believe for the first time on the web (I might be wrong but didn't spot anything on Google).
From a clever data-fishing colleague, here is one proven method for promptly obtaining your own DVS data:
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with "Hi Kim! This is a request to inspect public data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act using my own equipment, in electronic form. I would like to inspect all records and logs of when my driver's license and motor vehicle information on file with DVS was accessed, along with date, time, request detail and requesting agency. My driver's license number and license plates are: X. Thanks!"
100% Lulz virtually guaranteed. Not a horrible time lag either, from what I am hearing from people.
Better Know An Acronym: Mpls PD's ALPR & MnDOT's MBUF, the Parallel DataSchemes: Better get yr DVS records while they're hot: the government has a habit of clamping down on these kinds of data flows, legislative authorization be damned!
On another critical but separate mass surveillance & data control issue, IPAD | Information Policy Analysis Division, Minnesota Department of Administration is taking public comment until January 30, 2013 on the issue of the automated license plate reader system which Minneapolis has semi-extralegally shifted from public to non-public data classification. The PDF is here: www.ipad.state.mn.us/docs/mplsappalpr.pdf. One idea: let IPAD know that this tech is dangerous for data regardless of who is supposed to have access. As the burgeoning DVS omnishambles indicates, 'sensitive' data should be minimized in government, and even 'authorized' personnel actually shouldn't be trusted to operate these systems without granular and public systems of accountability.
Again it is worth pointing out that the City of Minneapolis itself argued in the PDF above that the data generated by the Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system is dangerous and must be made non-public for the same reasons that MnDOT's Mileage Based User Fee (MBUF, aka Intellidrive) data is dangerous.
The issue of abusive operations in the MN Department of Public Safety-controlled DVS database is becoming a major issue recently, with the decidedly unlikely duo of Republican-aligned Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek and indefatigable Star Tribune reporter Randy Furst both finding highly indefensible query activity on their records. Minn. driver’s license data snoopers are difficult to track | StarTribune.com:
Despite widespread misuse of driver's license records in Minnesota, determining just who is peeking into your files can prove nearly impossible.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety, which oversees the driver's license database, refuses to tell people the names of users -- generally public employees -- who have looked up their information. Perhaps the most high-profile citizen getting stonewalled by the state is Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who is sparring with the department over what he believes were inappropriate queries into his driver's license records.
The Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) database, which contains addresses, photographs and driving records on nearly every Minnesotan, is protected under state and federal law. State records show that public employees frequently have misused the database by running people's names without a business purpose. That is the subject of a major lawsuit that recently ensnared police officers across Minnesota, as well as a criminal case pending against two Minneapolis employees.
Stanek learned in June that employees at 21 agencies, including his own office, had accessed his records over several years. Some of the queries came from as far away as Wells, Minn., a small town 117 miles south of Minneapolis that he has never visited. The Department of Public Safety would not provide him with the names of the users.
"I believe that some or all of these requests may have been without a legitimate government purpose," Stanek wrote in a December letter to the Department of Administration, asking for an advisory opinion on the matter. The Department of Public Safety "and DVS appear to have purposely created obstacles to deny me an opportunity to track illegitimate access."
Stanek had made two previous requests for his lookups out of curiosity, and was surprised by how many agencies had queried his name.
This time, he says, a security concern prompted his request for the lookups.
He believes the state has an obligation to show that the lookups had a legitimate purpose, even if they do not hand over the names.
Anyhow, a source provided a great deal of the Rasmusson legal paperwork obtained via the Minnesota Data Practices Act. I don't think it's around elsewhere on the Internet, so here it is. I haven't looked over too many settlements myself, so this is overall just funny stuff about a serious topic -- nothing like a government formally conceding abuse and paying out hard-collected taxpayer cash to cover for some ridiculous abuse of officially "necessary" authority.
I wonder what kind of world we'd live in if our government units were actually run by people who never screw up like this, wasting all these resources and being generally abusive. There will surely be more inquiries along these lines...
Dateline: Pseudo-Secret Minneapolis (aka Fridley): What WCCO called the "secret" "City of Eyes" Strategic Information Center has been located on the Google! Your Federal Stimulus Money & FY2010 Homeland Security Appropriations At Work - A Facility for Spying on Facebook Occupy Barbecues
It's nice when data releases tie together a larger system, and we've sure got that here. It's not really "secret" but it's quite shiny & new, not well-known at all, and it is certainly has been used as a site for spying on Occupy activists without criminal predicates by the Minneapolis Police Department. [emails a bit farther down]
Wold Architects and Engineers designed a site and facility for the City of Minneapolis Fire Department Training Campus to include a Fire Department’s Training Division; training classrooms multi-used as an Emergency Operations Center for the City’s Emergency Preparedness; a Strategic Information Sensor Monitoring Center for the Minneapolis Police Department; and vehicle storage garages for the Fire Department’s regional asset equipment.
The design exceeds the City of Minneapolis requirement for design to meet LEED Silver.
This state-of-the-art federally funded facility allows police to determine... the location of barbecues on Facebook, including even the number of "YES" and "MAYBE" invitees.
This facility also encompasses "Shotspotter" directional microphones all over the city - I wonder if those are ever activated besides the gunshot decibel threshold "trigger" - they are in fact pretty high-fidelity microphones, it has been disclosed (May 28 2012 NYT article) but the manufacturer denies the mics are triggered by conversations.
I for one, am glad that we spent both municipal and borrowed federal tax dollars on training the Minneapolis police to believe a Facebook "YES" invite is real. The simulacrum of today's clicks has become the strategic information of tomorrow!
Minneapolis opens Emergency Operations Training Facility
The City of Minneapolis has opened its new Emergency Operations Training Facility, which will help emergency responders and other City staff better prepare for and respond to emergencies. The multi-purpose building helps meet the training and response needs of the Minneapolis Fire Department, the Minneapolis Police Department, and the City's Emergency Management Division, along with other regional partners.
The Emergency Operations Training Facility is a multi-purpose building that includes training classrooms for Minneapolis firefighters and metro emergency managers, a strategic information center for the Minneapolis police, the main training site for the State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team, and an emergency operations center that will be used during significant emergencies or disasters.
The new facility is built on a 12-acre site in Fridley that the City purchased in 1990, and since that time, the site has been built out as a training facility for Minneapolis Firefighters. Over the years, a fire training tower and propane burn building have been constructed, and special equipment has been purchased to help train emergency responders for incidents involving hazardous materials and collapsed structures. The construction of the new Emergency Operations Training Facility on the site is a major step toward completing this training and response site.
The Emergency Operations Training Facility is built to a LEED Silver Quality Standard for sustainability, and it includes facilities for a wide range of emergency responders from Minneapolis and the region:
Emergency Operations Center
One of the lessons learned from the City's response to the Interstate 35W Bridge collapse in 2007 was that the City's Emergency Operations Center, located in the basement of City Hall, was too small to serve as a center for large-scale emergencies. The new facility fixes that, with 2,800 more square feet of floor space. It will also be used as a back-up Emergency Operations Center for the State, Hennepin County and the City of St. Paul.
Strategic Information Center
The Strategic Information Center is a new space where the Minneapolis Police Department will analyze data to determine long-range trends that pose potential risks to the city. It can provide emergency managers with important information during a major event, incident or disaster.
State of Minnesota Structural Collapse Team
This team serves the entire state with specialized equipment and trained personnel for urban search and rescue and structural collapse incidents. This facility will include apparatus bays for storage of emergency response vehicles and specialty equipment for the Coast Guard, State, City and Metro West region of Homeland Security. In addition, this facility will house training and classroom space, staff offices, support spaces and common spaces.
Coast Guard monitoring.
The U.S. Coast Guard will also use the facility as a monitoring location for cameras placed along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to the metro area.
Published Nov. 4, 2010
Moar casual Google Mapping:
Apparently they dropped a cool $50K on the fence in early 2012. here is the bid page "To furnish all labor, materials, equipment and incidentals necessary to accomplish the complete construction of Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project, located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley, MN." SRC: Minneapolis, City of - Projects. [A little more on the fence industrial complex below]
Of course, once Erin Brockovich samples those weird adjacent holding pond things, I'm sure the infamous Fridley Cancer Cluster case will be solved. Perhaps Sgt. Garcia can go out and take some samples!
I believe at least two of structures are firefighter training buildings - later pics below seem to bear this out.
Let's check out the $330,704 in electronically-created yet borrowed-at-interest-from-private-Fed-cartel recently invested in this barbecue monitoring center. Official less-than-informative stimulus info page: Minneapolis Recovery - City of Minneapolis Minneapolis Police Strategic Information Center.
[Naturally it is funded by the electronically created debt-digits from the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the same endless police pork hub that brought us all those "you might be a terrorist if you pay in cash" type intel flyers for everything from hotels to hobby stores - many of those flyers were financed by Grant Number 2007-MU-BX-K002, which I included ironically on my own site's banner art. Google it for lulz!] Here's that official page:
The City of Minneapolis is not a primary recipient on this project. No Federal Report XML is submitted for this project.
To establish integrated crime analysis in cooperation with the St. Paul Police Department. Staff will be located in a joint Strategic Information Center (SIC).
MN Department of Public Safety: Byrne Justice Assistance Grant
Perhaps this is even the 'secret' location Tippy spycams are constructed: a while ago prankster MPD Spokester & PIO Jesse Garcia shared pics of a camera construction room & with all the other video rigs this seems a likely spot.
Anyway finally here is the email chain which prompted this line of research. There are surely other gems, we are just barely getting started. Circa page 109 of Part 1:
The public servant on some of these emails is one Minneapolis Police Department officer Steven Otteson, who has a decidedly low Internet profile.
A news story indicated the supervisor of the Strategic Information Center is MPD Lt. Jeff Rugel at 612-673-3428. Page 112:
"Why are we not getting this stuff from the SIC?" Here is stuff about why they should not have to "spend time looking it up" and it should be run through the SIC... This could kind of be the crux of the whole issue here on Page 114:
Alright, that covers some of the new data on this SIC thing vis-a-vis obsessing on Occupy events, so let's turn to the news coverage of this facility.
Carefully shaped news coverage: Mid-2012 saw a series of mainstream media items intended to shape public perceptions this center is designed to neutralize the threats from the surveilled populace. WCCO went so far as to call it a "secret location". That is some quality Fourth Estate right there.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Minneapolis police are the first in the country to merge two technologies to help officers fight crime.
The Minneapolis Police Department has combined shot spotter technology and a system of cameras to help catch criminals in the act.
Authorities allowed WCCO-TV’s Reg Chapman into a secret location in Minneapolis, where a strategic information center is housed.
Minneapolis Police Deputy Chief Rob Allen said the room is where police gather intelligence.
“This is the room where we try and fuse the technology we have to monitor video cameras, to monitor the sounds of possible gunshots, and it’s where we have our officers who are trained in intelligence gathering,” he said.
The system in the room is like CBS’ Thursday night show “Person of Interest,” in which cameras are used to help save people from becoming victims of crime.
“If you can anticipate where crimes might happen, you got a far better chance of preventing them from occurring,” Allen said.
According to Allen, when a gunshot goes off, a camera turns toward the source of the sound. Strategic Information Center Commander Lt. Jeff Rugel said the technology helped solve a case where a man was shot, killed and pushed out of a moving car. The sound of the gunfire activated the cameras, which gave police their first clue.
[......]City Of Eyes
The number of cameras connected to the intelligence system is growing and helping police catch more criminals. But not all the cameras are owed by the city.
“The city owns roughly 250 cameras,” Allen said. “We can access right now … an infinite number of cameras.”
According to Allen, any camera that has an IP address, is connected to the Internet, and that police have permission to use can give information to authorities.
So whenever you are in a public space, know that you’re likely on camera. Police are using portable cameras more now than ever. They can put them where they are needed and have one up and running within an hour of the order.
Invasion Of Privacy?
But what about your right to privacy? Police say they are careful not to infringe on anyone’s rights.
“Every time we installed a camera system, we went to the neighborhood and said, ‘You know, this is what we’ve thought about doing? Do you want it or not,’” Allen said.
He says police can’t look into a place where someone has the expectation of privacy. [magic filters eh?] But police still have a wide reach, which gives criminals a greater chance of getting caught on camera.
Crime patterns are currently moving and Minneapolis police hope to add more portable cameras. Police believe if criminals know they are being watched they are more likely not to commit crimes.
Star Tribune writes about this center using Facebook to watch what the state defines as "gang members" (mysteriously, shady rich Caucasian financial operatives never seem to meet this race/age/wealth-biased deviance category schema).
Of course, this week's data release shows this has bloated out to canvassing political movements without even the semblance of illegal activity... there is no "barbecue predicate" but there are of course hourly wages to be paid by Minneapolis taxpayers for monitoring the barbecue Facebook Event. Perhaps even overtime!
Facebook has become a virtual street corner where members trade threats, mourn the dead.
"It's probably no different than any other kids, right?" said Minneapolis police Lt. Jeff Rugel. "They're sharing stuff that they used to do face-to-face or over the phone. But there's criminal stuff." [.....]
Rugel runs the police department's Strategic Information Center, where officers use technology to track crime. One of the jobs in his office amounts to monitoring Facebook full-time. They understand the teen slang and filter through thousands of innocuous and inane comments to look for the few that could solve a crime or stop one before it happens. They try to draw connections out of the Facebook networks to help document the shifting alliances on the street.
Police were aware of Facebook threats between rival gangs weeks before the shooting that killed Nizzel, but the threats weren't specific. When Rugel and his staff sees something that looks like trouble -- a known gang member says he's going to hurt someone -- they pass the information along to officers on the street.
It's a poorly kept secret that the police watch Facebook, said Rugel.
"You see comments every once in a while. 'Don't put that on Facebook. You know who's looking at it,' " he said.
Despite some users' occasional concern, many of the Facebook users monitored by police flaunt their illegal behavior online, showing themselves smoking marijuana, posing with stolen merchandise, the security tags still attached, and making gang signs. [.....]
There was also some bidding information online about the estimated $50,000 fence around the facility. Emergency Operations Training Facility Perimeter Fence Project (eBidDoc #1810882) contact: David Schlueter phone: 612-673-2834 e-mail: email@example.com bid date: 01/25/2012 10:00:00 AM
It was scraped off his LinkedIn - no surprise there. But no one put it together... Jesse Garcia III | LinkedIn. I think it would be great if state law were changed so that Garcia could be cross-examined by taxpayers about the flow of drug money through the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and its member banks, let's say once a month on live community access TV. Looks like he ought to be tapped into that gigaflow of data on bankster crime intel!
Strategic Information Center
Minneapolis Police Department
September 2010 – Present (2 years 5 months)
I am a supervisor in our new intel center that focuses on:
More media:Vehicle data, email access among Minneapolis legislative issues | MinnPost - Karen Boros, Nov 2, 2012. Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) including of course the "secret" camera on nearby Plymouth Ave. N. bridge is controlled from this "Strategic Information unit" according to the article - I would assume this is the same spot it's based, unless it is somehow split:
Currently, the Minneapolis Police Department uses cameras to record the license plates, time and location of vehicles. That data is now public information that can be obtained by anyone requesting the information.
“Our concern is that if it stays public data that people can use it for inappropriate purposes,” said Deputy Chief Robert Allen. The system now doesn’t allow police to inquire how it might be used. “We’re not allowed to make a judgment,” he said.
Access to the data is controlled by about a dozen people working in the department’s Strategic Information unit.
directions to site: 25 37th Ave NE Fridley, MN 55421
bids close: 02/23/2012, 10:00:00 AM
bids received by: City of Minneapolis Purchasing Department CONSTRUCTION OF THE EOTF APPARAUS BAY ADDITION 330 Second Avenue South Suite 552 Minneapolis, MN 55401
estimated value: $1,500,000.00
project completion date: 08/15/2011
pre-bid meeting information: A Pre-Bid Meeting and site tour will be held on February 15th, at 11:00 AM, Local Time in Room 128 at the Emergency Operations Training Facility located at 25 37th Ave NE, Fridley MN. All interested bidders should attend this meeting.
project description: Scope of Work Includes: Complete construction of the Apparatus Bay Addition at the City of Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility. This work shall include all labor, equipment, materials, installation, handling, delivery at site, necessary insurance and permits, erection and other required items for general, civil, landscaping, demolition, structural, architectural, mechanical and electrical construction and stability as shown on the plans and specifications.
additional description: This Contract contemplates the complete construction of the Emergency Operations Training Facility Apparatus Bay Addition for the Minneapolis Fire Department located at 25 37th Avenue NE., in Fridley, all in accordance with the Contract Documents. This Project has been designed to comply with the requirements of the State of Minnesota Sustainability Building Guidelines B3 (MSBG B3) Version 2.1 and also the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Design ( USGBC LEED®) Rating System. It is the intent of this Contract that the Project shall become MSBG B3 Version 2.1 Certified and LEED® SILVER level of quality building under the LEED®-NC Rating System. Work to be performed consists of the furnishing of all materials, machinery, equipment, labor, supplies, tools, transportation, and other incidentals necessary or convenient to complete the work as shown in the Contract Documents on file in the Minneapolis Finance Department, Property Services Division and with the Purchasing Agent of the City of Minneapolis.
Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility
November 2011: The Minnesota High Tech Association recognized the City of Minneapolis and its Emergency Operations Training Facility with an award at the 2011 Tekne Awards, held Nov. 3 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The Tekne Awards recognize Minnesota companies and individuals who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership.
The City of Minneapolis took home the award in the “Technology Excellence in a Nonprofit Organization” category that recognized the City’s Emergency Operations Training Facility/Strategic Information Center (EOTF/SIC) for bringing technology and information together to make Minneapolis a safer place. At the facility, technology, digital data, streaming video and highly interactive interfaces come together in one highly efficient communication center for the city.
The Minneapolis Fire Department, Police Department, and Emergency Management division opened the EOTF/SIC in August 2010 as a place where they and other emergency responders could coordinate more closely than had ever been possible before. The facility recently demonstrated its effectiveness during the response to the May 22 tornado that struck north Minneapolis.The multi-purpose building also provides training space for emergency responders.
Mpls. Unveils New Emergency Operations Center | Crime | Downtown News - Nov 4 2010, KSTP Gail Brown: Congressman Keith Ellison secured $750,000 for the project in a 2010 appropriations bill, and he will be attending a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2:30 p.m. along with Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, City Council President Barb Johnson and other city leaders.
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) secured a $750,000 appropriation for the City of Minneapolis to build a new Emergency Operations Center in a bill approved by the House today. The funds were included in H.R. 2892, the Homeland Security Appropriations Bill for FY 2010.
Fredrikstad, Norway--The City of Minneapolis has deployed 12 projectiondesign F32 DLP projectors as the main display source in the Analyst Room and F22 series projectors in the Incident Command Room of its Emergency Operations Training Facility (EOTF).
Located just outside Minneapolis, the EOTF boasts an extensive surveillance, audiovisual and network infrastructure specified and installed by systems integrator AVI-SPL.
“In a facility like this, even the slightest compromise in performance can result in tragic consequences,” said Fred Primoli, regional VP Sales for AVI-SPL. Primoli and his colleagues worked with the city for nearly two years on the concept, planning and final implementation of the EOTF, with the primary challenge being an interesting one: the creation of a state-of-the-art communications facility that may get activated no more than once in a decade.
“We needed systems that were capable of totally robust operation 24 hours per day, seven days per week – but which also were capable of performing at their best after extended periods of inactivity.
“From the outset we were delighted with the performance of the F32 projectors. The Analyst Room has three rear-projection screens, each measuring 160 inches wide by 120 inches tall, with four projectors driving each screen so that four separate windows can be shown on each one.
“The projectors have been superbly colour-matched to ensure consistency across each screen, while their excellent resolution, contrast and brightness mean they are equally at home showing video or data sources – which is important in an installation such as this where the staff need to a view a combination of both.”
Deputy Chief Robert Allen, a veteran of the Minneapolis Police Department, said: “The new display system allows us to look at a video feed and understand a situation almost instantly. Through video, we can get information to our officers much faster – especially when time is critical. We can zoom in with our cameras and really examine a situation and relay it back to our officers, allowing them to be prepared even before they get there. With this new technology, we can see something happen faster than a police offer 50 feet away.”
F22 series projectors from projectiondesign can also be found in the EOTF’s Incident Command Room that’s used for emergency training and an actual declared emergency.
“There is a large number of emergency monitoring projects in the U.S., and we are delighted that our technology has been used to display high-resolution security-camera images in so many of them," said Anders Løkke, marketing director, projectiondesign. "The Minneapolis EOTF already demonstrated its effectiveness during the tornado that swept through the area last May and, although we would prefer it if our systems never had to be used in similar situations again, the reality is that the city is better-protected now that its providers of emergency services have such easy, immediate and accurate access to security-camera imaging from so many locations.”
“The EOTF was conceived as a place where the various Departments responsible for emergency response and management in Minneapolis could co-ordinate their efforts more closely than had previous been possible,” said Primroli.
On May 20 2011 CItyPages reported on Rocco Forte, former Minneapolis fire chief, departing, and Forte talked about being pleased to help finish the complex: "After the 35W bridge collapse, the Republican National Convention, and the tornado that went through South Minneapolis, it is clear that we have one of the finest emergency management teams in the country. It was also a long time goal of mine to complete the Emergency Operations Training Facility that includes an Emergency Operations Center, Strategic Information Center as well as a training facility which seats up to 250 people per day."
This bill would grant $8,000,000 in bond proceeds to the City of Minneapolis to design, construct, furnish, and equip an emergency operations center housed in the City’s current training center and to make other improvements to the training center.
According to the 2008 budget request, the overall cost of the project is $27,403,000 with the City and Hennepin County funding the non-state funded portions of the project. The Joint Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis will be located at the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus on city owned land. The City contends the current facility is inadequate and limits the effectiveness of the command structure. The City further contends that the Minneapolis Fire Training Campus is an ideal location for the EOC as it would provide a secure operations center with enough room to respond to a major incident affecting the county. Finally, the City believes this request would provide much needed training classrooms at the Minneapolis Training Facility which is the main site for training the State Structural Collapse Team.
With a pretty severe shortage of funds for both state and municipal operations, is an open-ended SIC mandate to track protest activity on Facebook really the most prudent use of funds? And doesn't this operational configuration create a chilling effect on political expression in Minneapolis? The research continues....
Things are a little strange at the Vikings/Packers Game today. A drone has been photographed hovering around the Metrodome fan plaza on the west side, and a Homeland Security / TSA "VIPR" team has been hanging around as well, indicating the federal government is shifting into "protecting" the major Spectacles at taxpayer expense.
My friend Nathan Hansen noticed the #VikingsDrone and the VIPR team, documenting & posting them on twitter @nathanmhansen. [Note: awhile back I did a 'lil client design work for Hansen.]
//// UPDATE 12:15PM Monday: According to @TCRover, a branch of the Pioneer Press, the drone was NOT operated by the government but rather some production company. The pic they say is from the crew flying it earlier: See https://twitter.com/TCRover/status/285560684245315585/photo/1 . Nonetheless we still need to deal with the impending prospect of government & contractor drones filling our airspace - and indeed this story has prompted others to discuss other sightings near government sites. //// 2:20PM update: It's annoying that they tried to tweet @ me last night but it never turned up in my timeline so I didn't find out until today. I would have much preferred to straighten it out immediately! Also, here's what's going on with drones in Oklahoma... Follow my friend @axxiom for more. ////
You can see the four rotors pretty well on these pics. It is comparable to the sports photography drone linked below as well - I figured it might just be a civilian hobbyist drone or some weird sports media project drone until the VIPR team was found by Hansen.
I am just delighted that the national government had to borrow more money at interest from the Federal Reserve System in order to send out these guys and their fancy flying spy robot to the Vikings/Packers game. We get the twin benefits of national debt slavery AND a surveillance state with nothing useful to do!
Let's Ban This Drone Operation in Minneapolis: Already Minneapolis activist Kurtis Hanna has suggested a petition to get drones banned on the city charter. (come to think of it, wouldn't it be good to get something like the White House petition site for the Mpls Charter Commission?) I will include some info below on this.
The Super Bowl and World Series are also both declared National Special Security Events, which activates a fat block of overtime for many federal police agencies, much like the Republican & Democratic National Conventions. (However, since rioting at sports events is closer to the booze-soaked Id of the American public than more 'political' street upheavals, it doesn't meet the same heavy hand from federal & local police agencies) NSSEs generally feature Homeland Security, FEMA and the Secret Service operating at a high tempo, another thing that HSI & TSA are getting involved with as a 'filler force' if you will.
Additionally there was strange audio interference right before a commercial break in the first half, kind of like the sound a cell phone makes when its microwave signal induces noise in a speaker or electronics. However, I don't think game-day satellite transmissions go straight over-the-air from the Metrodome, as there aren't really satellite dishes around there I've noticed. Thus it seems unlikely to me that the one spotted drone would have glitched the transmission. Perhaps unrelated but also something you don't usually see. I blame Wisconsin FalseFlag types for this noise, whoever that might be :-P
The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, may develop Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (referred to in this section as “VIPR”) teams to augment the security of any mode of transportation at any location within the United States. In forming a VIPR team, the Secretary—
(1) may use any asset of the Department, including Federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, canine detection teams, and advanced screening technology;
(2) may determine when a VIPR team shall be deployed, as well as the duration of the deployment;
(3) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with local security and law enforcement officials in the jurisdiction where the VIPR team is or will be deployed, to develop and agree upon the appropriate operational protocols and provide relevant information about the mission of the VIPR team, as appropriate; and
(4) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with all transportation entities directly affected by the deployment of a VIPR team, as appropriate, including railroad carriers, air carriers, airport owners, over-the-road bus operators and terminal owners and operators, motor carriers, public transportation agencies, owners or operators of highways, port operators and facility owners, vessel owners and operators and pipeline operators.
(b) Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this section such sums as necessary for fiscal years 2007 through 2011.
Process for City Charter Amendment for banning these drones: Sent along by Kurt Hanna who thinks that "10,791 valid signatures of Minneapolis residents who are registered voters in order to qualify for the ballot" based on the figure of 215,806 voters voting last time. Citizen petition timeframe link. BUT: How much time do we have to gather these signatures?
(1) The methods available for amending a home rule city charter are contained in Minnesota Statutes, Section 410.12 et seq., which provides as follows:
(1) 410.12 AMENDMENTS. Subdivision 1. Proposals. The charter commission may propose amendments to such charter andSHALL DO SOupon the petition of voters equal in number to five percent of the total votes cast at the last previous state general election in the city.Proposed charter amendments must be submitted at least 12 weeks before the general election. Only registered voters are eligible to sign the petition. All petitions circulated with respect to a charter amendment shall be uniform in character and shall have attached thereto the text of the proposed amendment in full; except that in the case of a proposed amendment containing more than 1,000 words, a true and correct copy of the same may be filed with the city clerk, and the petition shall then contain a summary of not less than 50 nor more than 300 words setting forth in substance the nature of the proposed amendment. Such summary shall contain a statement of the objects and purposes of the amendment proposed and an outline of any proposed new scheme or frame work of government and shall be sufficient to inform the signers of the petition as to what change in government is sought to be accomplished by the amendment.The summary, together with a copy of the proposed amendment, shall first be submitted to the charter commission for its approval as to form and substance. The commission shall within ten days after such submission to it, return the same to the proposers of the amendment with such modifications in statement as it may deem necessary in order that the summary may fairly comply with the requirements above set forth.
Subd. 2.Petitions.The signatures to such petition need not all be appended to one paper, but to each separate petition there shall be attached an affidavit of the circulator thereof as provided by this section.A petition must contain each petitioner's signature in ink or indelible pencil and must indicate after the signature the place of residence by street and number, or their description sufficient to identify the place.There shall appear on each petition the names and addresses of five electors of the city, and on each paper the names and addresses of the same five electors, who, as a committee of the petitioners, shall be regarded as responsible for the circulation and filing of the petition. [........]
(1) Subd. 3. May be assembled as one petition. All petition papers for a proposed amendment shall be assembled and filed with the charter commission as one instrument. Within ten days after such petition is transmitted to the city council, the city clerk shall determine whether each paper of the petition is properly attested and whether the petition is signed by a sufficient number of voters. The city clerk shall declare any petition paper entirely invalid which is not attested by the circulator thereof as required in this section. Upon completing an examination of the petition, the city clerk shall certify the result of the examination to the council. If the city clerk shall certify that the petition is insufficient the city clerk shall set forth in a certificate the particulars in which it is defective and shall at once notify the committee of the petitioners of the findings. A petition may be amended at any time within ten days after the making of a certificate of insufficiency by the city clerk, by filing a supplementary petition upon additional papers signed and filed as provided in case of an original petition. The city clerk shall within five days after such amendment is filed, make examination of the amended petition, and if the certificate shall show the petition still to be insufficient, the city clerk shall file it in the city clerk's office and notify the committee of the petitioners of the findings and no further action shall be had on such insufficient petition. The finding of the insufficiency of a petition shall not prejudice the filing of a new petition for the same purpose. (Back)
(1) Subd. 4. Election.Amendments shall be submitted to the qualified voters at a general or special election and published as in the case of the original charter.The form of the ballot shall be fixed by the governing body. The statement of the question on the ballot shall be sufficient to identify the amendment clearly and to distinguish the question from every other question on the ballot at the same time.If 51 percent of the votes cast on any amendment are in favor of its adoption, copies of the amendment and certificates shall be filed, as in the case of the original charter andthe amendment shall take effect in 30 days from the date of the election or at such other time as is fixed in the amendment.
An amusing side question: is this "magick" security theater? Security Theater of course works most "effectively" at materializing psychological phantoms with an audience at a Spectacle. This is the perhaps the principle Stimulus Effect intended by Homeland Security & its general orientation around 'visuals' which is not that different than Ceremonial Magick, which is [arguably] anything that generates a certain sense-impression in the mind of Observers.
The word is out now that more than 2 million license plate records have been obtained through a data request, since the surveillance material consists of mostly public record fields. Minneapolis developer Tony Webster (@webster) wrote up the info on what happened here - and quite correctly calls for the government to quit holding this kind of data for a number of serious reasons. See TonyWebster.com: Minneapolis Police release 2.1 million license plate records.
A day after the city released a database containing more than two million license plate scans, Mayor R.T. Rybak wants expedited state action to make the data non-public.
The Legislature is already expected to take action this session to reclassify license plate tracking data, which is derived from cameras mounted on local police squad cars across the state. But after complying with a request for Minneapolis' entire public database -- featuring dates, times and locations of all plates scanned in a 90 day period -- Rybak wants more immediate action.
He said the request was "already in the works" before Tuesday's data release, but "it does concern me." His request to temporarily reclassify the data would, if approved by the Commissioner of Administration, prevent the city from releasing the tracking data to members of the public.
Minneapolis' DFL Mayor RT Rybak (@mayorRTrybak) has sprung into action to demand the records generated by Minneapolis Police Department's Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) system become classified as "private data", which means only the government, cops, various lawyers under different circumstances, etc, could trivially get ahold of incredibly detailed data & patterns about your vehicle's movements without a warrant.
Rybak's thoughtful plan is to make sure that no one else can get that data, only that bloated galaxy of whom John Young @ Cryptome.org calls the 'authoritatives' lording the new panopticon over us.
This is our window - our snapshot of the beta test - into the hellish future of total 'retroactive surveillance' awaiting us, when all our actions are constantly recorded to be 'played backwards' whenever some bureaucratic enforcer wants to increment his career through hassling us, demanding civil fines for infractions etc.
Plus of course, what are the implications of the chilling effects of these ALPR systems? What is the price paid by society when the chilling effect of avoiding ALPRs by staying put kicks in? How many people refuse to fly because of the intrusive & abusive security measures? And what happens when municipal cameras collect data even more granular and intrusive than the federal TSA?
PerEric Roper's Star Tribune Blog post the Policy Group made up of Commissioners, judges, and others decided to make the license scan data private, but deleted the retention of 180 days for the data if there were no hits for law enforcement investigation.
Now I have to scratch my head on this one. By deleting the retention of 180 days, is the Policy Group saying with all intents and purposes, DO NOT KEEP OR COLLECT LICENSE SCANS ON INNOCENT AND LAW ABIDING PEOPLE, or are they saying the COPS CAN COLLECT ALL THE LICENSE SCAN DATA THEY WANT ON INNOCENT AND LAW ABIDING PEOPLE AND KEEP IT AS LONG AS THEY WANT.
The reality is that politicians are not that responsible about these data issues. Instead you get ignored, blocked on Twitter etc. I am writing another post about yet another newly relevant old case - the Norm Coleman credit card database leak which I covered at Politics In Minnesota circa January 2009, eerily similar to the new charges against alternative journalist Barrett Brown. (Posting links to data like the Coleman leak is a form of journalism & research that feds are trying to redefine [unconstitutionally] as a felony! NOT GOOD). But that is definitely a whole 'nother story....
MORE ON RETROACTIVE SURVEILLANCE LIKE MINNEAPOLIS POLICE DEPARTMENT ALPR SYSTEM: (not to be confused with the practice of retroactively legalizing the earlier illegal surveillance performed by telecoms during the Bush administration). 'Retroactive surveillance' is basically a timestamped panopticon.
Retroactive surveillance is a class of technology which can easily destroy certain dimensions of 'free will' and therefore should be considered extremely carefully as a keystone type of social control system. It's my personal opinion it will take at least a century for this type of tech to be possible to be used ethically (if ever), as the ethical structures do not currently exist – a major reason we are all descending into a kind of neo-feudal technocratic authoritarianism worldwide.
After a long wait, on Nov 28 2012, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) released ~2.97 gigabytes of data from inside the development of a GPS-based vehicle tracking system intended to introduce a vehicle tax - which would entail a great deal of data constantly collected by the government on the whereabouts and everyday patterns of the taxed vehicles. The source URL posted yesterday is ftp://ftp2.dot.state.mn.us/pub/outbound/chiefcounsel/Nate%20Hansen%20Email/ .
There are a few important angles: comprehensive vehicle tracking data would be great for law enforcement, lawyers and big corporations to investigate everything in one's life, including 'retroactive surveillance' of previous activities. However, the "fees" that would be imposed on rural Minnesotans who have to drive around a lot would be quite burdensome.
From a quick look at the PDFs we find internal discussion points about such impending scams as 'carbon credit' trading (a greenwashing Goldman Sachs sponsored futures bubble, as Matt Taibbi reported). Additionally Raytheon and SAIC have both been involved in this "Intellidrive" national-scale super-project. Also, just because the user data is processed behind Battelle's firewall in no way signifies any level of security of personal information.
The main block of data posted is in huge Acrobat Reader X sized PDF files (1.1 and 1.6GB) . We have mirrored around the files and checked with md5hash in case the govt pulls any later. Acrobat Reader X is kinda bogging on these giant files -- it loads all the emails in a slow email reader-like interface). Plenty of items like "concept of operations" or "MBUF CONOPS" is in there, a lot of stuff about consultants. We are just starting to peer at it, but Adobe is difficult to work with (a svelte 400MB app yay).
To get this batch of files yourself, if you have UNIX wget for mirroring:
After first picking out the individual PDF attachments in Acrobat (the paperclip icon) you can get it to open in MailRaider. Hit the 'Open' button in that side panel. Hopefully this will launch MailRaider. In MailRaider, flip open the sidebar you can get it to work like so:
Here is the first PDF I was able to extract - Intell~1.pdf (2MB) - it is a "business sensitive" presentation by military-industrial contractor Battelle to MnDOT. Let's have some choice excerpts including particularly how they use taxing people driving around rural-ish places like Wright County as a target for the mileage tax.
What could possibly go wrong?!
It is always sad to see fine open source techs like GnuPG used to encrypt tracking data. Damn you Technocratic Capitalism!
This is pretty alarming. Sterns, Wright, etc are counties full of peopl that can't afford to pay more.
So this is just one extracted PDF from a single email. If Battelle was actually a front for malicious space aliens who want all the inhabitants of this planet tagged and tracked, I would not be surprised!
MIRROR ADDRESSES: Here is the first mirror of it. These files are big enough to crash your browser - maybe rightclick & Save As link so the PDF plugin doesn't keel over... I don't think we'll need tons of mirrors for this, but it's good to have a couple around.
dfc0fd1d4d6bdbcaf0498a50ee0f5fec Public CommVault.pdf 1.22 GB on disk (1,216,990,533 bytes)
cec386cc20000b7fe10297fc3ca0cdab Public QAM.pdf 1.7 GB on disk (1,698,431,132 bytes)
If you find gems tweet em with hashtag #mndotcake. If you find an open source way to work with files this big let us know. It will take some people to work on this. We invite people to occupythecomms.cc group infocake for looking at PDFs - this has group writing pads available (very easy, much like googledocs). Info on occupythecomms: https://occupythecomms.cc/pages/view/90009/activism-and-collaborative-media-methods
On the indymedia mirror the directoryIndex isn't cooperating yet (no folders list) but the files are here. The big ones are in bold, not too much in the others so far found.
You can generate a list of your wget mirror like this with:
Here is the MD5 hashes for all these files. (for fingerprinting/verification of file uniqueness, accept no substitutes). There are a bunch of apparently empty emails in "redactions" directories - or going to try another PDF reader to see if something is hiding.
Dragging a big post together here because it's a loose thing, happening in real time, with some old logs illustrating new predicaments from New Zealand to Texas. All of this post material is out in the open, not SpySquirrel material, but drifting by quick. Everything here seems pretty tenuous but might be useful to have for review. If nothing else there is kind of an old school global hacker madness tone tying this all together, hard to tell what is truthful & hype :-/ Mostly just raises a bunch of questions for further inquiry.
Wired is covering the Kim Dotcom case - one of the world's (literally) biggest cloud hosting provider CEOs taken down by the New Zealand government and FBI; the case is collapsing in court and it's been admitted that their NSA spy sigint equivalent GCSB was illegally spying on him - even the Prime Minister had to apologize. Suggested to search Topsy.com for "GCSB Surveillance" "GCSB Scandal" etc.
The problem with riding out a political controversy is that it makes it very hard to draw a line underneath it.
High profile resignations eventually allowed the Government to draw a line under the ACC mess.
Compare that to the problems Mr Dotcom is causing, which are numerous and largely unresolved. John Banks' involvement is still creating fallout, with the Prime Minister again having to back his coalition partner. This is despite revelations in a letter from Banks' lawyer that the Act leader - who repeatedly stated he had nothing to hide - was concerned about what journalists and Opposition MPs might do with his statements to the police - see: Key still backs Banks, despite letter.
Of course the actual statements are still to be revealed - another political grenade waiting to go off, even as related issues keep John Key occupied. David Shearer's claim that there was a video of the PM discussing Kim Dotcom in February clearly wasn't a knockout blow and as Patrick Gower reports, Shearer's Labour colleagues weren't exactly enthusiastic in support - see: Has Shearer's GCSB claim backfired?.
In the (un)parliamentary melee that erupted as John Key sought to correct a previous statement to the House there were no real blows landed, just some brawling that was difficult to referee - see: Jane Clifton's Smith on a hot tin roof with points-ordering. As Corin Dann points out, however, that is probably enough for the opposition at the moment: 'The fact is that the Government is now having to fight a number of fires on different fronts. It's starting to look a little rattled' - see: No 'gotcha' moment for Key.
The nature of the GCSB may also be preventing Key from dealing with the politics of the issue says Patrick Smellie: 'If lawyers are unwilling to be open about the truth, spy agencies are both obliged and pathologically inclined to withhold information. He simply can't defend himself. In the process, however, his position is eroded' - see: Trust easily lost in age of new media. However, heads may be beginning to roll at the spy agency, albeit slowly, as it appears Hugh Wolfensohn - a key player in signing off on the illegal spying of Dotcom is on 'gardening leave' - see Patrick Gower's Senior spy faces sack over Dotcom debacle.
There will undoubtedly be some gardening leave on offer soon at the Ministry of Social Development. The seriousness and scale of the problem has been underlined by the head of the Government's IT programmes being ordered to do an urgent stocktake of all public computer systems in use by government departments: - see Claire Trevett's Scramble to safeguard IT systems.
Despite denials that the Minister, her office and her department had nothing to do with the outing of Ira Bailey, suspicion remains. Not least because the Minister has a track record: 'Ms Bennett has done a similar thing in the past, releasing the weekly benefit details of a solo mother who challenged a National Party policy. Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei wants a forensic investigation of the computers in Ms Bennett's office' - see: Bennett accused of breaching privacy again. There is clear evidence that Bailey's identity was known in the Beehive. Holly Ford, a member of Ms Bennett's staff, checked out Bailey's LinkedIn profile just before it was leaked to the Herald's Claire Trevett - see: Chris Keall's LinkedIn trail leads to Bennett's office - Ng.
The independent journalist at the centre of it all wasn't impressed with his source being forced into public view, but Keith Ng will be happy with the public response to his work - over $5,500 in donations so far to support his work - see: Blogger raises donations for breaking Winz story.
KimDotcom tweets a news clip on this thing unfolding & more here. Roughly speaking @endarken says... well if i can paraphrase, between the industrial surveillance on Dotcom, the new State Dept cables and others, chunks of the overall surveillance grid are getting exposed in operations from New Zealand to the US. In New Zealand right now the Dotcom surveillance issue is really cooking!
Other things from down under & thereabouts surfacing, including the industrial-strength US-backed spying campaign against MegaUpload proprietor Kim Dotcom, a combination of stuff including Australian diplomatic cables -- cables also showing PM Gillard being noticed as friendly new Leader material for Australia with a thumbs-up from US intelligence.
False Flagging Mossad website attack: Let's get to this purported IRC log @endarken highlights from many months back, which purports to show two hacker-handlers bragging about creating Anonymous false flag operations. The first idea is that "omg" tries to have "rooster" get "zeekill" to jam the Mossad's public website enough to cause a news story -- then they joke about their previous #op false flags and jeopardizing Texas journalist Barrett Brown's life by starting the #opCartel fight between Anonymous & the Zetas Mexican drug trafficking cartel. (google that one)
This could be another spoof writing (packs rather a lot of info, srsly) but it's getting a lot of renewed interest now, if the hit counter's any indication: http://pastebin.com/KtLfurP1
<rooster> Tell me what you told him.
<omg> <omg> just get zeekill to use his BR roots to hit mossad's IP for 20 hours and i'll make sure you and zeekill are free to stroll along with no more interference from "external" parties
<omg> <omg> or if you want just 8 hours
<omg> <omg> enough to have reporters verify Mossad's tango down
<omg> i'll make sure Interpol doesn't get a red notice on him
<omg> his little panda security stunt and with #antisec hacking the site is what will get his ass hauled by SUPO to Spain
<omg> this is what i call leverage
<omg> <omg> do you know it wasn't Sabu's idea to tell Anarchaos to deliver the emails?
<rooster> yes, i know abou that.
<omg> that was my work, along with other stupid Anonymous false operations such as
<omg> #opcartel, #opglobalbackout
<rooster> Yes, that's fine. i know
<rooster> about all of that.
<rooster> i want to know
<rooster> not only, why did you do it.
<rooster> why are you now
<rooster> telling people.
<omg> <omg> i'm one of those horned rimmed guys sitting behind a desk in DC dreaming of ways to manipulate Anonymous for UK's and USA's purpose :)
<rooster> if this is true.
<rooster> give me contact information.
<omg> Anonymous never had leadership that's why it was so easy in the last 6 months
<omg> tell your handlier in NYC
<omg> he'll know
<omg> FBI plays by the books
<rooster> alright. i'll be in touch then.
<omg> however guys like me in counter intelligence don't
<rooster> you'd be surprised.
<omg> oh i know
<omg> don't worry :) i have friends in JTTF
<omg> i assume your magneto's handlier?
<omg> if so call up Philip Selton in DC he's a good friend of my
<omg> tell him 'B' is up to his old tricks
<rooster> i'll look into that. that's what i needed in the first place.
<rooster> im working on something of my own, it's a bit in your department, but i need to talk to someone official about it.
<omg> trying to mitigate the Strafor email damage unfortunally
<omg> did you see the assesment?
<rooster> no i did not.
<omg> ask CT in NYC
<omg> they have it
<omg> Senate Intelligence Committee will have a briefing on it next week
<rooster> oh, i don't go to that. i have someone who gives me things i request.
<omg> prob above your clearance level
<omg> anyways you know about their little group's HTP right?
<rooster> not really. but i'm interested.
<rooster> what can you tell me?
<omg> apparently in an attempt to SE, one of their guy's zeekill ran a SYN+ACK ddos against mossad.gov.il
<rooster> oh, the mossad ddos.
<rooster> done with brazil roots, right?
<omg> from what i gather it's prob CDN servers
<omg> with the bandwidth that was pumped to the site
<omg> the site is on a tier 1 backbone provider with about 1gbs of total speed
<omg> their little gang has some serious bandwidth
<rooster> i guess so. would have to be a good amount to take out something on t1
<omg> haha much faster from what i guess Mossad has
<omg> think it's on a OC-24
<rooster> well, most public sites are on small servers isolated from anything important
<omg> onto a STM-64 uplink
<omg> dunno but what that anonyroot idiot hit CIA's site was pretty high too. The uplink pipe for DC's link was a OC-24
<omg> guys in DS&T had to rotate the public ip three times
<rooster> these guys are persistent fuckers, aren't they?
<omg> well it depends
<omg> most are idiots
<omg> their Anonymous-OS already has a sudoder backdoor
<omg> i think the offical dl count is close to 34K now
<rooster> that was well known
<rooster> and obvious
<omg> about their HTP group from what's read from previous intel reports. It was a splinter group that formed after the HB Gary hack
<omg> they previously use the irc skidr.us
<omg> and apparently the group rotates irc servers monthly
<rooster> i'll be right back.
<omg> figured i should give it a try and try to use their crazy members to try and mitigate the next wikileaks release
<omg> one of them did a quick demo yestoday and was able to bring down Mossad's site
<omg> btw you know Israel already caught that 0xOmar kid right?
<omg> it's embarrassing to see Israel able to catch a hacker weeks after an intrusion, while we don't have CERN teams cyber readiness level to react quickly enough to large scale attacks
<rooster> back, sorry i have two other people relaying information to me.
<rooster> reading, sec.
<rooster> hes the israeli, right?
<rooster> the saudi?
<omg> they caught him in SA
<rooster> yea, the saudi.
<omg> tracked him through credit card purchases
<rooster> yes, i remember when he pastebinned some ccs
<omg> it takes about 2 weeks min to just get a search warrent your whitecollar depts + SS with the DOJ for a simple id theft
<rooster> Yes, i know.
<rooster> fraud isn't just a slap on the wrist.
<omg> and it's a constant battle
<omg> with DOJ versus state level id theft charges
<omg> though it's good to know cybercrime is monitering hardchats
<rooster> yeah, there are eyes on a lot of different places right now
<omg> that's good, though i'm prob the only guy in my agency trying to figure how to not mess things up with current investigations :)
<rooster> if you can disclose, who are you with?
<omg> sorry i cannot
<rooster> just, personal curiosity.
<omg> just contact SSA Selton
<omg> he'll understand
<omg> but i'm not with you guy's at the Bureau
<omg> in fact because of the sealed DOJ docket's, I didn't even know about Xavier Monsegur being a CI
<rooster> Should have, it was actually leaked a while back.
<rooster> also i'm with the bureau, i have to state that if you return this back to anyone.
<omg> i had track down one of your contractors Backtrace to confirm it two months ago in Jan
<rooster> i have a position similar to you.
<rooster> just so that's clear.
<rooster> i don't want break any laws while doing my job.
<omg> i just don't want to mess up any existing investigations
<omg> i thought everything is need to know. Regardless everyone has TS clearance, but certain things such as knowing who is an CI is a need to know
<omg> at the Bureau
<rooster> again, i'm not with the bureau, i do what you do.
<rooster> and it is all need to know
<rooster> but if you look closely
<rooster> you can find out a lot on your own
<omg> <rooster> also i'm with the bureau, i have to state that if you return this back to anyone.
<rooster> hah. wow.
<rooster> that is a typo.
<rooster> meant to say not. i apologize.
<omg> i'm with DS
<omg> of the DOS
<rooster> ive interacted with the bureau
<omg> i'm the guy responsible for mitigating damage caused by Jeremy Hammond sending the Strafor emails to Wikileaks
<rooster> hammon, sounds familiar.
<rooster> what does he run
<rooster> he runs something, i think.
<omg> Anarchaos aka crediblethreat aka Hack This Site founder
<omg> btw did you ever use the nick moop?
<rooster> there are a few people
<rooster> that use that nick
<omg> my suggestion work with Jennifer Emick with Backtrace
<rooster> i've not worked with backtrace directly, but i've chatted to hubris before.
<omg> i've been helping Hubris aka david with some "special projects" such as injecting fake Anonymous operations such as #opcartel
<rooster> i understand about injecting fake ops, like a honeypot
<rooster> but opcartel
<rooster> was too far
<rooster> lives could have been at risk
<omg> not really, only Barret Brown's
<omg> the goal of #opcartel was to get CISEN into iranserv
<omg> and understand the leadership structure resulted in the recent Interpol South American arrests
<omg> and anonworld
<rooster> ah, so you're planting fake ops, to infiltrate.
<omg> #opglobalbackout was a response by that anonyroot's idiot ddos of CIA.gov
<omg> so the NSA could argue for stronger monitering + domestic intelligence
<omg> inject stories such as: http://pastebin.com/pVmAZqWY
<rooster> so is that new internet monitoring bill related at all to OpDarknet?
<rooster> i dont tink
<omg> no it's because of the constant threat of China
<rooster> there is any validity
<rooster> in that pastebin
<omg> + guys like pr0f_srs's dump of the SCADA system
<rooster> i understand SCADA system dumps.
<rooster> how does china play into that?
<omg> and a simple ddos to CIA.gov is enough to invoke the "terrorism" arguement
<rooster> anything is enough to invoke the terrorism card
<rooster> it's so vague, it can be thrown around until it sticks.
<omg> when you have critical US infracture such as a Water Pump Facility, or your Intelligence Agency being under attack?
<rooster> why do you think the reason for monitoring the occupy movement, and various protesters was under a counter-terrorism effort?
<omg> how do you think Counter-Intelligence feels?
<rooster> i think they would feel like they need to step it up.
<rooster> and that's where you come in, correct?
<omg> been doing the injections and manipulation of Anonymous' agenda at the sidelines to push for stronger FBI + NSA prescence
<omg> not everyone in DSS agrees with me
<omg> but when the head of the FBI + NSA is making these arguements to the National Security Council
<omg> ^-- Director
<omg> i've said i've did a good job in the last 5 months :)
<rooster> opcartel, an globalblackout were well recognized, i guess that means you're right
<omg> i'm not involved with Intelligence gathering of Occupy
<omg> it's the boys that are with DHS
<omg> then again they over-react to everything
<rooster> nor am i, but i've a few contacts of mine are.
<omg> shit like Anonymous hackers fucking up train lines?
<omg> yea... DHS your idiots
End of log. This log could be fake or partially fake but it draws a classic picture.
[Side note - the planted story they mention - http://pastebin.com/pVmAZqWY - is a rather silly "message for Anonymous from Mossad" which I remember thinking of as really silly...(BY: A GUEST ON FEB 12TH, 2012 | SYNTAX: NONE | SIZE: 12.71 KB | HITS: 12,109 | EXPIRES: NEVER) ]
Speculating but DSS could be Defense Security Service - http://www.dss.mil/ - which has a purview of defending the Defense Industrial Base generally & that could involve efforts to catch hackers eh? It is a military agency with responsibility for aspects of guarding private contractor installations, so they would seem to have an Interface or 2 to domestic political monitoring. DSS definitely scans websites a lot & shows up in logs but has virtually no public or alt-researcher profile at all. What kinds of programs have they been up to in this exciting era? etc. [Also could be State Diplomatic Security Service but I doubt it - or the odd DOJ Domestic Security Section but that dissolved in 2009 into (this is not a TV show probably): Criminal Division: the Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section.
Any place run from Quantico AND bonus Fort Meade DISCO Summary from their site:
The Defense Security Service (DSS) is an agency of the Department of Defense(DoD) located in Quantico, Virginia with field offices throughout the United States. The Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence provides authority, direction and control over DSS. DSS provides the military services, Defense Agencies, 24 federal agencies and approximately 13,300 cleared contractor facilities with security support services.
DSS contributes to national security by serving as an interface between the government and cleared industry. DSS administers and implements the defense portion of the National Industrial Security Program pursuant to Executive Order 12829. Approximately 356 Industrial Security Representatives provide oversight and assistance to cleared contractor facilities and assist management and Facility Security Officers in ensuring the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information. DSS also facilitates classified shipments between the United States and foreign countries and implements foreign ownership, control and influence countermeasures.
The Center for Development of Security Excellence (CDSE) is located in Linthicum, Md., and provides security education and training to DoD security professionals through formal classroom and distributed learning methodologies (i.e., computer-based, web-based and tele-training).
The Defense IndustrialSecurity Clearance Office (DISCO), located in Fort Meade, Md., processes requests for industrial personnel security investigations and provides eligibility or clearance determinations for cleared industry personnel under the NISP.
OMG's comment on DHS - Homeland Security, collecting info on Occupy could have been related to the Critical Infrastructure stuff similar to DSS activities (as well as Federal Protective Service which has been the main FOIA released docs so far).
The Pastebin he references as a lol fake OMG - it's this crazy absurd Mossad threat missive that got tons of views at the time: http://pastebin.com/pVmAZqWY
//// Below the fold - more logs - coverage on the DOJ's system of illegal operations and signaling to cartels, and other loosely related elements ////
A review of the latest internet dickering, with mostly unrelated useful new programs & ideas at the end...
One thing worth pointing out everyone I believe can agree on, that @Wikileaks Twitter recently accused @AnonymousIRC Twitter, a major account run by several folks, of sending out misleading info about insecure proxies, without specifying which proxies so worried them. That was not a good idea, or at least didn't put anything concrete out there, spreading distrust based on incomplete info instead.
[sub note: the oft very substantive @Asher_wolf adds that @anonyops is the only high-follower twitter account really held by one person since its inception]
The whole thing is a mess on a bunch of levels, as another Anonymous related account @PLF2012 just said they had an inch thick of dox on Wikileaks & judging by today's tweets, frustration that indictments keep raining down on people while Assange lectures them & Wikileaks seems to vacillate.
//// UPDATE OCT 16 AFTERNOON: While the pastebin isn't signed by anyone in particular, a pretty substantial "let's move on" kind of statement has been released. Worth Reading: http://pastebin.com/A14bABfq
The constructive lesson in here, to really maximize the positive contributions of all involved without getting sucked into drama, is to take what you can learn from things and get new things going, don't just join some unwieldy bandwagon for the drama flow. While Wikileaks comes across as Julian Assange/Lady Gaga/weird international epicfail ego show going on, they have actually been publishing & releasing more data from the Stratfor files and Syria. That's good -- but trolling @anonymousIRC with nothing to back it up, not good..[MEME SOURCE TROLL.ME - yes rly]
Assange just put up a long post lecturing Anonymous about how easy it is for them to get turned into snitches and fail because they lack 'Unity', a word he uses a ton when perhaps he should consider that viable ecosystems really have little lockstep unity at all. He definitely brushed off referencing "the many Bothans that died to bring him this information" so to speak, except to say that it's bad for them to say anything about sources for defendants' legal reasons. Nonetheless he doesn't really seem to venture much explanation of his own responsibility towards the general human wreckage & prosecutors surrounding these very ugly gigabytes...
Overall take it for what it's worth, between the paranoid yet intermittently informative Reddit threads to the review of HBGary and Assange's valid critique that Internet assets (or as 4GW systems theorists can call "bowties") are control points that can get co-opted. In reaction to freeform paranoia over which Anon Twitter accounts are taken over by law enforcement, someone on Reddit added that even when you don't really feel it's sound to assume an account is co-opted, you just don't need to send sensitive info or etc. to them, don't bother freaking out.
Additionally it's not helpful that Texas-based researcher & Project PM police state/contractor research wiki publisher Barrett Brown is incarcerated, awaiting trial [indictment PDF] & some mysterious & unexplored class of "restricted information" has surfaced in his case, & not really been analyzed -- Barrett seems to have been accused of feloniously enticing people to google search for FBI agents, among other things. [FreeBarrettBrown.org]
In Barrett's case, as well as the origin of the Stratfor leak, with Sabu & Lamo in the mix, an infestation of many informants and operatives operates perhaps as "crapflooding", the political hacker scene COINTELPRO counterpart to the paid corporatist trolls filling up & derailing internet discussions everywhere. In all cases the crapflooding ultimately wastes all our time, it buys time for bureaucratic status quo interests, the corrupt & those benefitting from the Power of Ignorance. Interpret gibberish as damage and route around it.
Easily Sunday's best move was EncyclopediaDramatica, the high Octane wiki chronicling troll wars & attempting to crowdsource the most offensive possible entries, poaching for Wikileaks style sources & "defectors". [ED's battles to stay online are actually kinda interesting & a little like a Wikileaks/anon combo situation].
July 13 tweet implying something sketch about Anonhosting.biz being registered May 9 when @AnonymousIRC was silent around those few days (when twitter accounts go off air, people fear Party Vanning - arrested hackers flipping while getting sweated by Feds, like Sabu did last summer) Twitter / tmichaels1: The domain @AnonymousIRC is ...
July 14: AnonPaste signed by @YourAnonNews @AnonPR_Network @PLF2012 @AnonCollective @Anon_Central "There is no 'War' with Wikileaks": "....The Anonymous account in question (@AnonymousIRC) is angry because all the contents of the "Syria Files" are not being instantly published. This is due to the fact that the individual behind this account is not in the decision loop regarding our handing over these files to WikiLeaks. ....
So @Wikileaks itself is *right now* trying to stir up this old July anonhosting.biz thing, is it a competition for leaking services or what? Why a priority now when the Ecuadorian embassy is surrounded etc., yet also calling for Unity? Not well explained but there you go. We can only hope it's a proxy to some more interesting intrigue?
I2P & Cryptocat:let's learn something handy anyway: Eh & after all this bitching well let me add something possibly useful in the long run. In recent weeks away from writing here, I've been taking a bit of time to review encryption, software, approaches to making open source easily replicated communications techs, which seems like a good field for inquiry and experiments right now.
[Also watched the 1992 film Sneakers, which just celebrated its 20th birthday. It only anticipated the NSA's effort to tap everyone & everything domestically. What is Darpa Plan X anyhow?]
A relatively obscure encryption protocol called i2p (an extension of some earlier Darknet efforts) may be the successor to Tor, the big Cahuna which is also a bit US Government funded & regarded cynically by Cryptome among others. Via one of the reddit threads:
i2p shall prevail where Tor has failed - money quote: "There are too few exit nodes, and many are up to something... Tor therefore forces users to make the bizarre choice between non-anonymous Internet use with only their ISP logging traffic or somewhat anonymous Internet use with a complete stranger logging their traffic.". at some point the story went around that Wikileaks claimed to have a zillion documents early on (where did those go?) because they were copying them off their own malicious Tor honeypot exit node that Chinese hackers were sending goodies back home through. May not be true but would make sense.
Moar programs: And this is cool, from two years ago, Anomos a combo implementation of Bittorrent and i2p. Groovy! Plus, honesty: "Anomos is an experimental anonymity protocol. It has not yet undergone the serious peer-review necessary to consider it safe for general use. Do not rely on it for strong anonymity." The argument in the 'i2p shall prevail' piece was that new protocols are essential, while Tor is kinda tied down in its weaknesses by basically being a proxy network to the existing web.
Firefox 16 got whacked with an exploit right away, [the JS hack here] but imagine how many more bugs would have gotten by if not for open development. So in turn we need to keep good apps with new protocol thinking developing openly. Cryptocat is another new entrant for IM chat with a lot of potential. Source code here, roll yr own! Don't worry about the drama, just code, crack & compile! [And the PGP man Phil Zimmermann has promised to opensource the touted Silent Circle app for review (see @silentcircle, because centralized communications are sooo secure lol]
Just released from EFF, HTTPS Everywhere 3.0 switches your browser to secure HTTPS, at least improving one level of communications on more than 1500 sites. Also the EFF Observatory is really interesting & discusses part of why HTTPS is not good if the upstream certificate generators, the CAs, are weak/shady:
The EFF SSL Observatory is a project to investigate the certificates used to secure all of the sites encrypted with HTTPS on the Web. We have downloaded datasets of all of the publicly-visible SSL certificates on the IPv4 Internet, in order to search for vulnerabilities, document the practices of Certificate Authorities, and aid researchers interested the web's encryption infrastructure.
We are particularly concerned about the role and practices of Certificate Authorities (CAs), which are the organizations that can sign cryptographic certificates trusted by browsers. These certificates can contain statements like, "this public key belongs to EFF.org", "this public key belongs to yahoo.com, paypal.com and mozilla.com", or "this public key should be trusted to also act as a CA, signing certificates for other domains".
Browsers trust a very large number of these CAs, and unfortunately, the security of HTTPS is only as strong as the practices of the least trustworthy/competent CA. Before publishing this data, we attempted to notify administrators of all sites observed vulnerable to the Debian weak key bug; please let us know if your analysis reveals other classes of vulnerabilities so that we can notify affected parties.
Overall, the idea of credible trust in closed source encryption is seemingly pretty much dead. Or if not, major political strides can be made against it on totally practical grounds.
In this insightful TEDtalk Clay Shirky got a lot right about GitHub vs Lawyers in the control structures of our country & government system. Consequently: Demand code audits, if indeed these executive branch & computer systems are both supposed to be Executing Secure Processes... or whatever it is, exactly, they're $UpTo. [Does a subtle programmer joke subvert currency itself via $variables marked by dollar signs? Will time tell as the Fed addMoar($lots) program hits QEInfinityLoop?]
When it comes to what the security establishment is up to, to modify the ultimate conspiracy tweet of Hassan-i-Sabah, leader of the Assassins & the Man in the Mountain, nothing is true, everything is permissible. Also, full of Spam. [& Since Spam will always be part of the problem, Monty Python ultimately wins the meme war.]
As of 6:40 CST here in U.S., these are the Australian articles on Trapwire that have been simply removed by their respective outlets with no explanation. Note that there are rumors to the effect that they are down to inaccurately stating that Cubic Corporation owns Abraxas Apps - rumors that are false, as show here (http://privatepaste.com/6810d9914a) and as could have been verified for nearly a year on Project PM's Echelon2.org wiki entry for Cubic Corporation (http://wiki.echelon2.org/wiki/Cubic_Corporation) which itself links to the pertinent tax documents. Incidentally, Cubic and Abraxas have long been our focus due to their known involvement in persona management software as provided to CENTCOM by the wholly owned subsidiary Ntrepid. Here, the, are the articles that are down - not corrected, but entirely removed:
And to those who are claiming that Trapwire does not actually entail anything like facial recognition, please take a few minutes to read what ex-CIA agent and Abraxas head Richard Helms said about the intent of the software seven years ago: that it would “collect information about people and vehicles that is more accurate than facial recognition," among other things. This was noted at http://publicintelligence.net/unravelling-trapwire/ where anyone could read it, not just those of us who bothered to do so.
In conclusion, fuck the media, and fuck the dozens of state-linked firms that the media hasn't bothered to do a single fucking bit of research on despite this problem having quite demonstrably gotten out of hand years ago.
///// UPDATE: August 12 7AM: via two different DNS services it looks like the sites are looking up correctly now. My net connection's pretty dodgy at the moment but I think they are loading correctly now. It could have been a temporary glitch - strange since other lookups were working correctly on a that stable connection all day, while both ncirc and nsi.ncirc failed in lookups and had been working correctly on that DNS only hours earlier. Oh, domain name system, why must you be so quirky? [Needed: a good way to check quite a few open DNS servers at once for a query like this - I don't have a good method obviously]
On the upside, even if this was a transient thing and not a nefarious takedown, a few things can be learned. It's good to take a careful look at Suspicious Activity Reporting, which is the underlying basis of this sketchy Trapwire system. It's also good to know about the technique that I used to get around the faulty lookups and talk to the Apache servers (manually setting /etc/hosts allows you to send the correct headers to load a site, even when DNS is not pointing correctly at the server).
I'll add that I have seen this happen before, where a Suspicious Activity Report related government site went weirdly offline and I had to go back into the google cache to retrieve the missing site data. Thus, may have fallen a bit to confirmation bias.
Unfortunately in this case I was under a major time constraint - battery was about to run out & had to kick out a notice about this possibly going down before I lost power & internet availability. It's difficult to determine DNS changes on the fly - especially as power starts to drop out :[
Additionally http://twitter.com/unoccupyABQ retrieved more files using Google Cache (not wget) and those should be added to a new file archive later today after I get some rest.
I'm certainly sorry for prematurely drawing limited interest to this odd circumstance -- however, when we posted tweets asking if other people could see the server, a couple responses indicated it was still working, but there wasn't much feedback to confirm or deny the state of these DNS lookups. [& indeed it's possible they changed files, but I lack the ability to check right now - running wget again may be able to confirm such changes]
Also in the process I learned that IIR.com, a weird quasi-governmental organization, is controlling both ncirc.gov and nsi.ncirc.gov domain name registrations, which is an interesting inflow of authority from the quasi-gov sector into the .gov realm, and further linkages between IIR.com, Trapwire, and SARs will probably turn up, I'd suspect. Again sorry for the DNS drama but at least the effort brings other useful info.
;; ANSWER SECTION:
nsi.ncirc.gov. 30 IN A 126.96.36.199
;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
ncirc.gov. 30 IN NS talgtm.iir.com.
ncirc.gov. 30 IN NS ns3.iir.com.
ncirc.gov. 30 IN NS MURFGTM.iir.com.
;; Query time: 403 msec
;; SERVER: 188.8.131.52#53(184.108.40.206)
;; WHEN: Sun Aug 12 06:52:11 2012
;; MSG SIZE rcvd: 115
END UPDATE ///////
Apparent #trapwire gov coverup in realtime!! it looks like the government is scrubbing Suspicious Activity Report related .gov sites and dumping their DNS entries. However the boxes are still online, if you use /etc/hosts on osx/unix you can still get in and mirror the files. i got 40MB+ off one site and 100+MB off the other.
IIR.com is a very sketchy org, one of these quasi governmental orgs that sets up tracking systems in the US, and advocates policies for them.
you can still get it with adding /etc/hosts entries:
wget -m --tries=5 "http://ncirc.gov"
wget -m --tries=5 "http://nsi.ncirc.gov"
LETS HAS THE ARCHIVES I GOT with WGET. these are not necessarily the full files on these webservers but they are everything which the WGET mirroring spider could grab.
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!
.... Moglen said, Mark Zuckerberg had harnessed the energy of our social desires to talk us into a swindle. "Everybody needs to get laid," Moglen said. "He turned it into a structure for degenerating the integrity of human personality, and he has to a remarkable extent succeeded with a very poor deal. Namely, 'I will give you free Web hosting and some PHP doodads, and you get spying for free all the time.'"
It was hardly the first time this sort of critique had been leveled against Facebook, but Moglen wasn't just carping.
"I'm not suggesting it should be illegal," Moglen told the audience of the Internet Society of New York. "It should be obsolete. We're technologists. We should fix it."
Fixing it wouldn't be hard, Moglen argued. There's no reason the architecture of a social network has to include the kinds of privacy invasion endemic to Facebook. In fact, the hardware and software necessary to build a network in which people kept direct control of their information, with no middleman, already exists. So Moglen challenged his audience: Build a better system.
It's been interesting lately... working on a lot of things. One cool thing which has eluded my ability to spend much time getting into: the development of a 'federated social networking' model to replace Facebook. While not having spent much time on this directly, I dug into a bunch of stuff today and purpose of this post below: as many links as I could snag for underlying techs, alpha, beta and placeholder related possible elements. Epic Lulz ensue?
Despite the buzz Facebook is like another AOL in many, many ways. With new approaches, the same damn functions that were used to make Facebook a monolithic killer app of the Internet will finally be able to move into a decentralized cloud of services.
Cloud, in some ways is the best word, as it will finally be possible to setup virtual machines running private nodes of a larger network. Think of all the chunks of the social network experience including status updates, fixed events, photo and video item sharing, private messages etc. You have to find certain protocols to fire off the Like to a status update on a different machine without constantly polling all the time - and sharing a clear meaning between servers.
AS noted in Wired, Occupy Geeks Are Building a Facebook for the 99% , and now nice Village Voice story by Nick Pinto, the stuff which can knock Facebook's highly valuable, shadowy commercial exploitation of the patterns of your activity is being developed. Occupy Wall Street project run with TechOps called Federated General Assembly promises to combine a lot of nice opensource techs into a SocialNetwork-in-a-box. (TechOps Projects: Technology Operations Group - Occupy.Net wiki
The goal is to make inter-operable social networking servers running different, interchangeable open-source software platforms (i.e. diaspora, Drupal, status.net, WordPress). It's kind of loose right now but a lot of established component techs are in decent shape, and merely have to be piled up into implementations of the protocols on sturdy, ready-to-run server stacks. Easier said than done. But once done, everything will be quite different!
To deliver this, a specification proposal which already has taken flight is one batch of protocols called OStatus - Understanding OStatus | StatusNet. Status.net is something of an Open source replacement for Twitter etc;Welcome to the Developer's Section | StatusNet. Status.net supported OStatus since .9.0 including Salmon, Webfinger, and ActivityStreams in March 2010. OStatus is just a mix of these existing, specified protocols, many of which already have open-source implementations available (drupal & wordpress modules, PHP libraries etc): Worth quoting here:
AtomorRSSfor feeds. These standard feed formats make it easy to include rich information like location, thread context, and HTML formatting in status updates.
PubSubHubbubfor real-time. PubSubHubbub (or PuSH) is an HTTP-based protocol for pushing feed entries from publishers to subscribers. It lets people on different servers receive status updates in real-time (or "real-enough time").
Salmonfor replies. Salmon is an excellent, distributed, secure protocol for sending messages "upstream" -- from subscribers to publishers. And since it uses Atom or RSS elements to structure those messages, it's easy to include lots of rich data in these messages.
ActivityStreamsfor social events. There is a lot of information in a social network that's not explicitly a status update: follows, faves, repeats ("retweets"). We use ActivityStreams to encode these events, which then either flow through PuSH out to a network of subscribers, or get posted through salmon to the recipients. This lets sites on both sides keep track of followers and friends with a minimum of data transfer.
Webfingerfor discovery. We needed an easy way for people to say, "Follow me!" Webfinger gives people identities available across the Internet that look like email addresses. We use this for discovering people on the network; you can follow me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Putting these pieces together, we were able to make the new, distributed social networking system that's part of StatusNet 0.9.0. It'sgreat; flexible and simple and high-performance and fun and easy to use.
We wanted more sites to implement these protocols so the network becomes even more valuable. Some parts have been implemented already by sites like Google Buzz, LiveJournal, WordPress.com, andTumblr. We want to make sure that sites that have taken those first few steps make the next ones to build a truly distributed social Web.
So we've put a name on this suite of protocols: OStatus. We want people who are looking for a way to distribute status updates to know that there's an easy, standard way to go. We think that the more OStatus participants, the better the network becomes.
We've published the OStatus suite's definition as OStatus 1.0 Draft 1.
So OStatus can represent a package of complex activity back and forth. Nice. Lets look at Federated General Assembly, using something like OStatus (maybe not Webfinger?). FGA is basically a Drupal distribution in the works (ideally with a good virtual machine, so any machine could run your social network by booting from USB key). FGA could run off a box in the Occupy camp ... and go from there. Or run really on any affordable shared hosting or at a larger scale for certain services, VPS, most likely.
Drupal Modules for Make Great FGA! As a Drupal muck-abouter myself, the shape this has all taken with the FGA project in particular going right to a Drupal-centric approach, is damn sweet. Drupal 7 is flexible to handle much of this. It's true Drupal has always angled for this kind of use anyway -- the unfortunately not-that-successful OpenID protocol has been in Drupal Core for years. With some more work, its a natural open choice for implementing this stuff, while also developing an open approach that can talk happily to existing, new alternative & corporate providers via API modules.
As something of a test you could setup a free account on DrupalGardens.com, export to any web host. Install some of the modules on the list below, join discussions on mailing lists & IRC (and the info I'm throwing in here is just from skimming around, not reading the list so forgive me inaccuracies :)
Drupal module implementations & test things: No idea yet if this stuff works. A couple may be little more than placeholders. But that's what's nice about open-source. Someone else can nudge it along or take it as an example to put on another platform etc.
WebId protocol - kind of an extension of OpenID. This is the basic universal identification mechanism which actually gives control over privacy and lets us get away from centralized identity. WebID - Universal Login and Identity for the Web
WebID 1.0 // WebID Wiki // W3C WebID Incubator Group: "an authentication protocol that uses the SSL/TLS layer for user identification by tying the client to a profile document on the Web through placing a URI in a certificate. It is a first step to a fully standard-based browser authentication experience, but not limited to browser based authentication: peer to peer server authentication will work just as well. The Incubator Group intends to pursue work that has been evolving since 2008, grow the number of interested parties from the Social Web, security and browser communities, and integrate their feedback."
Salmon for the win:Salmon Protocol // See Protocol Summary - Salmon Protocol.- "As updates and content flow in real time around the Web, conversations around the content are becoming increasingly fragmented into individual silos. Salmon aims to define a standard protocol for comments and annotations to swim upstream to original update sources -- and spawn more commentary in a virtuous cycle. It's open, decentralized, abuse resistant, and user centric. (Seelatest news.)SeeProtocol Summaryfor a high level description, theFAQfor common questions and answers, and theMagic SignaturesandSalmon Protocolspecifications for full details. There is aGoogle Code projectfor source code and specs, and amailing list; please join the list if you are interested in participating in defining or implementing the protocol. There is a demo running at theSalmon Playground."
OccupyTalk.org and Mumble, JSON hotness: another development is open source Mumble based OccupyTalk. Mumble software kind of annoying to setup so I haven't messed around on it. but good stuff.
WTF: Endgame on this stuff? This post is intended as a rough round-up so hopefully interested folks can find some tasty repos & move this process along :) Basically I think if you mix together a lot of these technologies and make bootable virtual machines and USB images, you will have a ready way to run a lot of great services for almost any circumstance. The AOL-like Facebook monopoly will finally fade away, its primacy eclipsed by obsoleteness. Mix the some of the above open techs, have a few distros moving around the Occupy movement and elsewhere that are more ready-to-run & essentially turnkey, you've got most of what you need without a corporate behavior-spy watching your every move.
In occupy camps, even old cell phones, with no valid SIM for the commercial network, could be talking to a DIY picocell tower and this someday, if I can speculate could be managed by the FGA or other support system. A clever person pointed this out to me. We can dream...
Peer-to-peer CDN networks seem to be one thing needed (SMS gateways another) to replace the most expensive elements of Internet media distribution. Could peer participants in a CDN be awarded rewards much as bitcoin miners might - using Salmon or something else to upstream their available IP connections? Why not? :-D