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Bramford and McCay are someone else.
Bamford, FTR, has been spot on-regarding NSA, since his first book on the NSA, "The Puzzle Palace."
Here's a profile on him from "The New Yorker":
THE N.S.A.’S CHIEF CHRONICLER
POSTED BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN
The New Yorker
In 1982, long before most Americans ever had to think about warrantless eavesdropping, the journalist James Bamford published “The Puzzle Palace: A Report on N.S.A., America’s Most Secret Agency,” the first book to be written about the National Security Agency, which was started in 1952 by President Harry Truman to collect intelligence on foreign entities, and which we learned last week has been collecting the phone and Internet records of Americans and others. In the book, Bamford describes the agency as “free of legal restrictions” while wielding “technological capabilities for eavesdropping beyond imagination.” He concludes with an ominous warning: “Like an ever-widening sinkhole, N.S.A.’s surveillance technology will continue to expand, quietly pulling in more and more communications and gradually eliminating more and more privacy.” Three decades later, this pronouncement feels uncomfortably prescient: we were warned.
Bamford, who served in the Navy and studied law before becoming a journalist, published three more books after “The Puzzle Palace,” composing a tetralogy about the N.S.A.: “Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency” (2001); “A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America’s Intelligence Agencies” (2004); and “The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret N.S.A. from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America” (2008). As the progression of subtitles indicates, Bamford has become disenchanted with the agency that he knows probably better than any other outsider. Fellow investigative journalists regard him with what can broadly be described as admiration, though, as the Times reporter Scott Shane wrote, in 2008, “His relationship with the National Security Agency might be compared to a long and rocky romance, in which fascination with his quarry’s size and capabilities has alternated with horror at its power to invade privacy.”
The image of a troubled romance is one that Bamford readily summons. “I have a love-hate relationship with the N.S.A.,” Bamford joked when I spoke to him last week, in the wake of the revelation that the N.S.A. is gathering metadata from telecommunications and Internet companies. “I love them, and they hate me.” They have good reason. Bamford, who divides his time between Washington, D.C., and London, is a slightly mischievous character whose obvious persistence and curiosity have served him well. He talks with the relish of a child who has entered a forbidden room and knows that he will do so again. He decided to write about the N.S.A., which is believed to receive ten billion dollars in annual government funding and employ some forty thousand people, because no one had done it before—and because it was probably more fun than reading case law. While doing research at the Virginia Military Institute, he uncovered a load of N.S.A.-related documents from the files of the masterful Moldovan-born cryptographer William Friedman, as well as those of Marshall Carter, who headed the agency from 1965 to 1969. And, incredibly enough, the Department of Justice, under Jimmy Carter, complied with Bamford’s Freedom of Information Act requests, supplying him with secret documents related to the Church Committee, the Senate group that, in 1975, investigated American intelligence agencies for potential transgression of their mandates.
Bamford’s 1982 book is a reminder to anyone who thinks that domestic eavesdropping is a necessary part of a post-9/11 world that the N.S.A. has tested the bounds of the Fourth Amendment before. Project Shamrock, carried out after the Second World War, compelled companies like Western Union to hand over, on a daily basis, all telegraphs entering and leaving the United States. A younger sibling, Project Minaret, born in 1969, collected information on “individuals or organizations, involved in civil disturbances, antiwar movements/demonstrations and Military deserters involved in the antiwar movement.”
Bamford is generally kind to Michael Hayden. Yet after 9/11, which came only months after the book’s publication in the spring of 2001, the N.S.A. became both a scapegoat and one of the organizations charged with preventing further attacks. Part of this mission involved bolstering, along with the Central Intelligence Agency, the White House’s claim that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction—claims later shown to be largely false, as “Pretext for War” amply demonstrates. In that book, he also reports that the N.S.A. was told by the Bush Administration “to spy on the United Nations weapons inspectors and pressure undecided members of the UN Security Council to vote in favor of its go-to-war.”
Nor did Bamford know the worst of it. Once again, his book had come on the cusp of a cataclysm. On December 16, 2005, the Times published an article titled “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts,” alleging that the President “secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials”—a predecessor to the Prism program being unravelled today. Bamford felt betrayed. Though he had reported on the excesses of Shamrock and Minaret, he thought that the N.S.A., under Hayden’s leadership, was a more scrupulous outfit than it had been in the past. Bamford now considers the book much too generous toward Hayden.
The professor also pegged the gangsters a long while ago:
McCoy kicked CIA in the nuts with his book on the Company's role in the international drug trade.
by Alfred McCoy
Progressive magazine, August 1997
Throughout the forty years of the Cold War, the CIA joined with urban gangsters and rural warlords, many of them major drug dealers, to mount covert operations against communists around the globe. In one of history's accidents, the Iron Curtain fell along the border of the Asian opium zone, which stretches across 5,000 miles of mountains from Turkey to Thailand. In Burma during the 1950s, in Laos during the 1970s, and in Afghanistan during the 1980s, the CIA allied with highland warlords to mobilize tribal armies against the Soviet Union and China.
In each of these covert wars, Agency assets-local informants-used their alliance with the CIA to become major drug lords, expanding local opium production and shipping heroin to international markets, the United States included. Instead of stopping this drug dealing, the Agency tolerated it and, when necessary, blocked investigations. Since ruthless drug lords made effective anti-communist allies and opium amplified their power, CIA agents mounting delicate operations on their own, half a world from home, had no reason to complain. For the drug lords, it was an ideal arrangement. The CIA's major covert operations-often lasting a decade-provided them with de facto immunity within enforcement-free zones.
In Laos in the 1960s, the CIA battled local communists with a secret army of 30,000 Hmong-a tough highland tribe whose only cash crop was opium. A handful of CIA agents relied on tribal leaders to provide troops and Lao generals to protect their cover. When Hmong officers loaded opium on the ClA's proprietary carrier Air America, the Agency did nothing. And when the Lao army's commander, General Ouane Rattikone, opened what was probably the world's largest heroin laboratory, the Agency again failed to act.
"The past involvement of many of these officers in drugs is well known," the ClA's Inspector General said in a still-classified 1972 report, "yet their goodwill . . . considerably facilitates the military activities of Agency-supported irregulars."
Indeed, the CIA had a detailed know ledge of drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle-that remote, rugged corner of Southeast Asia where Burma, Thailand, and Laos converge. In June 1971, The New York Times published extracts from an other CIA report identifying twenty-one opium refineries in the Golden Triangle and stating that the "most important are located in the areas around Tachilek, Burma; Ban Houei Sai and Nam Keung in Laos; and Mae Salong in Thailand." Three of these areas were controlled by CIA allies: Nam Keung by the chief of CIA mercenaries for northwestern Laos; Ban Houei Sai by the commander of the Royal Lao Army; and Mae Salong by the Nationalist Chinese forces who had fought for the Agency in Burma. The CIA stated that the Ban Houei Sai laboratory, which was owned by General Ouane, was ' believed capable of processing 100 kilos of raw opium per day," or 3.6 tons of heroin a year-a vast output considering the total yearly U.S. consumption of heroin was then less than ten tons.
By 1971, 34 percent of all U.S. soldiers in South Vietnam were heroin addicts, according to a White House survey. There were more American heroin addicts in South Vietnam than in the entire United States-largely supplied from heroin laboratories operated by CIA allies, though the White House failed to acknowledge that unpleasant fact. Since there was no indigenous local market, Asian drug lords started shipping Golden Triangle heroin not consumed by the GIs to the United States, where it soon won a significant share of the illicit market.
The guard towers and triple rows of barbed wire surrounding We the People are invisible. They're made of secret information and analysis, gathered by technology intended to be turned on America's enemies instead of upon the politicians and citizens they are supposed to serve.
Posted by Octafish | Tue Mar 25, 2014, 08:49 AM (0 replies)
by Alfred W. McCoy
Mother Jones on Fri. January 24, 2014 12:05 PM PDT
A Dream as Old as Ancient Rome
In the Obama years, the first signs have appeared that NSA surveillance will use the information gathered to traffic in scandal, much as Hoover's FBI once did. In September 2013, the New York Times reported that the NSA has, since 2010, applied sophisticated software to create "social network diagrams…, unlock as many secrets about individuals as possible…, and pick up sensitive information like regular calls to a psychiatrist's office, late-night messages to an extramarital partner."
Through the expenditure of $250 million annually under its Sigint Enabling Project, the NSA has stealthily penetrated all encryption designed to protect privacy. "In the future, superpowers will be made or broken based on the strength of their cryptanalytic programs," reads a 2007 NSA document. "It is the price of admission for the US to maintain unrestricted access to and use of cyberspace."
By collecting knowledge—routine, intimate, or scandalous—about foreign leaders, imperial proconsuls from ancient Rome to modern America have gained both the intelligence and aura of authority necessary for dominion over alien societies. The importance, and challenge, of controlling these local elites cannot be overstated. During its pacification of the Philippines after 1898, for instance, the US colonial regime subdued contentious Filipino leaders via pervasive policing that swept up both political intelligence and personal scandal. And that, of course, was just what J. Edgar Hoover was doing in Washington during the 1950s and 1960s.
Indeed, the mighty British Empire, like all empires, was a global tapestry woven out of political ties to local leaders or "subordinate elites"—from Malay sultans and Indian maharajas to Gulf sheiks and West African tribal chiefs. As historian Ronald Robinson once observed, the British Empire spread around the globe for two centuries through the collaboration of these local leaders and then unraveled, in just two decades, when that collaboration turned to "non-cooperation." After rapid decolonization during the 1960s transformed half-a-dozen European empires into 100 new nations, their national leaders soon found themselves the subordinate elites of a spreading American global imperium. Washington suddenly needed the sort of private information that could keep such figures in line.
PS: Read your excerpt, "None Dare Call It Treason." You are a remarkable scholar, Onyx Collie.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Mar 24, 2014, 11:31 PM (0 replies)
Gen. Keith Alexander has more power than any one person has held in US history...
...my source is Dr. Alfred W. McCoy, an academic who has chronicled the high crimes of the secret state . He was on TUC Radio:
Alfred W. McCoy
The Making of the US Surveillance State
In July 2013 an article appeared on line in TomDispatch that gave an up to date and chilling analysis of the unprecedented powers of the US Surveillance state. It’s author, University of Wisconsin, Madison, professor of history Alfred McCoy, credits Edward Snowden for having revealed today’s reality. And McCoy adds his perspective of the intriguing history that led up to this point - and he makes a few predictions as to what to expect in the near future. That article in TomDispatch caught the attention of radio host, writer and Middle East expert Jeff Blankfort who allows me to broadcast the highlights of his interview with Professor McCoy.
The 35 minute version is here: http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/69998
A387For a broadcast quality mp3 version click HERE
SOURCE with podcasts, links, etc: http://www.tucradio.org/new.html
Old stuff to many DUers. But, it's nice for those new to such things to learn. As for Gen. Alexander:
Gen. Alexander is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.
The Secret War
INFILTRATION. SABOTAGE. MAYHEM. FOR YEARS, FOUR-STAR GENERAL KEITH ALEXANDER HAS BEEN BUILDING A SECRET ARMY CAPABLE OF LAUNCHING DEVASTATING CYBERATTACKS. NOW IT’S READY TO UNLEASH HELL.
by James Bamford
Wired, June 12, 2013
This is the undisputed domain of General Keith Alexander, a man few even in Washington would likely recognize. Never before has anyone in America’s intelligence sphere come close to his degree of power, the number of people under his command, the expanse of his rule, the length of his reign, or the depth of his secrecy. A four-star Army general, his authority extends across three domains: He is director of the world’s largest intelligence service, the National Security Agency; chief of the Central Security Service; and commander of the US Cyber Command. As such, he has his own secret military, presiding over the Navy’s 10th Fleet, the 24th Air Force, and the Second Army.
What’s good for Alexander is good for the fortunes of the cyber-industrial complex, a burgeoning sector made up of many of the same defense contractors who grew rich supplying the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. With those conflicts now mostly in the rearview mirror, they are looking to Alexander as a kind of savior. After all, the US spends about $30 billion annually on cybersecurity goods and services.
In the past few years, the contractors have embarked on their own cyber building binge parallel to the construction boom at Fort Meade: General Dynamics opened a 28,000-square-foot facility near the NSA; SAIC cut the ribbon on its new seven-story Cyber Innovation Center; the giant CSC unveiled its Virtual Cyber Security Center. And at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton, where former NSA director Mike McConnell was hired to lead the cyber effort, the company announced a “cyber-solutions network” that linked together nine cyber-focused facilities. Not to be outdone, Boeing built a new Cyber Engagement Center. Leaving nothing to chance, it also hired retired Army major general Barbara Fast, an old friend of Alexander’s, to run the operation. (She has since moved on.)
Defense contractors have been eager to prove that they understand Alexander’s worldview. “Our Raytheon cyberwarriors play offense and defense,” says one help-wanted site. Consulting and engineering firms such as Invertix and Parsons are among dozens posting online want ads for “computer network exploitation specialists.” And many other companies, some unidentified, are seeking computer and network attackers. “Firm is seeking computer network attack specialists for long-term government contract in King George County, VA,” one recent ad read. Another, from Sunera, a Tampa, Florida, company, said it was hunting for “attack and penetration consultants.”
One of the most secretive of these contractors is Endgame Systems, a startup backed by VCs including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Paladin Capital Group. Established in Atlanta in 2008, Endgame is transparently antitransparent. “We’ve been very careful not to have a public face on our company,” former vice president John M. Farrell wrote to a business associate in an email that appeared in a WikiLeaks dump. “We don’t ever want to see our name in a press release,” added founder Christopher Rouland. True to form, the company declined Wired’s interview requests.
A WMD Info-Bomb of infiltration, sabotage and mayhem targeting democracy. Disgusting, when wielded to suppress rather than to enlighten. The fact it also is being used to make money off war even more so.
As for the guy who held Gen. Alexander's job before he did, his name is Gen. Michael Hayden, who's now top man at Booz Allen Hamilton of the Carlyle Group. The architect behind Total Information Awareness is Adm. John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Mar 24, 2014, 10:29 PM (33 replies)
It's too profitable for one person to decide.
Heh heh heh.
Posted by Octafish | Mon Mar 24, 2014, 02:35 PM (0 replies)
For all we know, Jimmy Carter's an enemy of the state because he doesn't believe "money trumps peace."
And if he is, I stand with him. I ain't no BFEE fascist.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 10:03 PM (0 replies)
BY JONATHAN S. LANDAY, ALI WATKINS AND MARISA TAYLOR
McClatchy Washington BureauMarch 12, 2014
WASHINGTON — The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.
In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.
The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons.
The dispute indicates that the White House is more involved than it has acknowledged in the unprecedented power struggle between the committee and the CIA, which has triggered charges that the agency searched the panel’s computers without authorization and has led to requests to the Justice Department for criminal investigations of CIA personnel and Senate aides.
Posted by Octafish | Sun Mar 23, 2014, 10:29 AM (77 replies)
“using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world,” including “information ops (influence or disruption).”
The same NSA that unconstitutionally spies on Americans also gets to propagandize Americans.
You can't get more Orwell than that.
Posted by Octafish | Thu Mar 20, 2014, 05:56 PM (1 replies)
How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations
By Glenn Greenwald
The Intercept, 24 Feb 2014
One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.
Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations.”
Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:
No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.
CONTINUED w/links, sources, details...
Posted by Octafish | Wed Mar 19, 2014, 10:33 AM (136 replies)
Posted by Octafish | Tue Mar 18, 2014, 06:30 PM (4 replies)
...the Center for a New American Security.
Just when you thought PNAC was gone.....
Posted by Octafish | Tue Mar 18, 2014, 05:50 PM (2 replies)