Snowden accuses NSA of conducting industrial espionage

By Steven Musil

The National Security Agency engages in industrial espionage, grabbing intelligence from foreign companies regardless of the information’s value to national defense, Edward Snowden told a German TV network.

In text released to the media ahead of a broadcast Sunday, German public television broadcaster ARD quoted the former NSA contractor as citing German engineering firm Siemens as an example.

“There is no question that the US is engaged in economic spying,” Snowden told ARD, according to a Deutsche Welle account of the interview. ”If there’s information at Siemens that’s beneficial to U.S. national interests — even if it doesn’t have anything to do with national security — then they’ll take that information nevertheless.”

In response to a New York Times report that the agency had installed surveillance software on nearly 100,000 computers around the world, the agency denied supplying any obtained intelligence to US companies to give them a competitive edge.

Germany was particularly critical of the NSA’s surveillance activities after it was revealed last year that the agency eavesdropped on the phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and dozens of other world leaders. During reforms to the NSA announced earlier this month, President Obama pledged to end the practice of monitoring the political leaders of US allies.

“NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” the NSA said in the statement to CNET. “In addition, we do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”

NSA: China is violating antihacking deal it made with US By Sean Keane

A National Security Agency official says China has been breaching a 2015 agreement to stop cyberspying against the US.

Rob Joyce, a senior intelligence official with the NSA, aired his suspicions Thursday, according to Reuters. He did note that the even though the attacks haven’t stopped, they have dropped “dramatically” since the 2015 agreement between then-President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. According to the deal, neither government would “conduct or knowingly support cyber-enabled theft of intellectual property including trade secrets or other confidential information for commercial advantage,” Obama said back in 2015.

“It’s clear that they are well beyond the bounds today of the agreement that was forged between our countries,” Joyce said, according to Reuters.

China “firmly opposes” the allegations, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reportedly told a daily news briefing in China.

Last month, China responded to a report that President Donald Trump’s personal iPhone had been tapped by Chinese spies by suggesting that he switch to Huawei. Trump’s relationship with China has been tense since the US entered a trade war with the country. A Bloomberg Businessweek report alleged last month that Chinese surveillance microchips had been inserted into Apple and Amazon data center equipment during the manufacturing process, prompting China and the tech companies to issue firm denials.

In August, researchers said they found Chinese hackers targeting Alaska’s state government, as well as the state’s Department of Natural Resources and utilities companies, as its leaders went to China to discuss trade deals.

Neither the NSA nor the Chinese Foreign Ministry immediately responded to requests for further comment about Joyce’s comments.

10 Facts about the Syrian conflict you won’t hear on the main stream media

By Christopher R Rice, the Underground

I’m putting these articles together in the hopes that it will help you connect the dots. Please share this with as many people as you can. And thank you for your time. Godspeed.

1.) Iran and Saudi Arabia’s cold war is making the Middle East even more dangerous

It’s amazing Prince Saud managed to ask his question with straight face. Saudi Arabia was also taking sides, providing large numbers of weapons to rebels in Syria, some of them Islamist extremists who have contributed to the conflict’s downward spiral. Syria had become more than just a civil war: it was a proxy conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, both of which were escalating the war in their effort to combat each other.

Over the past decade, the Saudis and Iranians have supported opposing political parties, funded opposing armies, and directly waged war against one another’s proxies in Lebanon, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. While they did not create the crises in those places, they have exacerbated them considerably.

Read more: https://www.vox.com/2015/3/30/8314513/saudi-arabia-iran

2.) How Turkey exports ISIS oil to the world: The scientific evidence

As part of our continuing effort to track and document the ISIS oil trade, we present the following excerpts from a study by George Kiourktsoglou, Visiting Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London and Dr Alec D Coutroubis, Principal Lecturer, University of Greenwich, London. The paper, entitled “ISIS Gateway To Global Crude Oil Markets,” looks at tanker charter rates from the port of Ceyhan in an effort to determine if Islamic State crude is being shipped from Southeast Turkey.

“Turkey has played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country. Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million—that was over a year ago. By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date.”

Read more: https://www.intellihub.com/how-turkey-exports-isis-oil-to-the-world-the-scientific-evidence/

3.) Chemical attacks in Syria in 2012 and 2017 committed against Syrian civilians were not carried out by Assad’s forces as the West claims but by Turkish forces.

The Red Line and the Rat Line

The DIA paper took the arrests as evidence that al-Nusra was expanding its access to chemical weapons. It said Qassab had ‘self-identified’ as a member of al-Nusra, and that he was directly connected to Abd-al-Ghani, the ‘ANF emir for military manufacturing’. Qassab and his associate Khalid Ousta worked with Halit Unalkaya, an employee of a Turkish firm called Zirve Export, who provided ‘price quotes for bulk quantities of sarin precursors’. Abd-al-Ghani’s plan was for two associates to ‘perfect a process for making sarin, then go to Syria to train others to begin large scale production at an unidentified lab in Syria’. The DIA paper said that one of his operatives had purchased a precursor on the ‘Baghdad chemical market’, which ‘has supported at least seven CW efforts since 2004’.

A series of chemical weapon attacks in March and April 2013 was investigated over the next few months by a special UN mission to Syria. A person with close knowledge of the UN’s activity in Syria told me that there was evidence linking the Syrian opposition to the first gas attack, on 19 March in Khan Al-Assal, a village near Aleppo. In its final report in December, the mission said that at least 19 civilians and one Syrian soldier were among the fatalities, along with scores of injured. It had no mandate to assign responsibility for the attack, but the person with knowledge of the UN’s activities said: ‘Investigators interviewed the people who were there, including the doctors who treated the victims. It was clear that the rebels used the gas. It did not come out in public because no one wanted to know.’

Read more: http://www.voltairenet.org/article183223.html

“The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN. (CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

MIT expert claims latest chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/mit-expert-claims-latest-chemical-weapons-attack-syria-was-staged-1617267

False Flag: How the U.S. Armed Syrian Rebels to Set Up an Excuse to Attack Assad
Read more: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-08/false-flag-how-us-armed-syrian-rebels-set-excuse-attack-assad

A removed article from The Daily Mail seems to prove that the U.S. had planned on helping the rebels actually use chemical weapons as well. The article was supposedly removed because the source of the information was untrustworthy. A Malaysian hacker was said to have taken emails from British defense contractors from an unprotected server.

Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.

A report released on Monday contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence where a scheme ‘approved by Washington’ is outlined explaining that Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons.

4.) The US Government Sent Blackwater Veteran To Syria to stage chemical attack

The former director of the security firm Blackwater aided the Libyan opposition and was subsequently sent to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey at the request of a U.S. Government committee, according to published Stratfor emails and reported by Al-Akhbar English.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/leaked-stratfor-emails-us-government-sent-blackwater-veteran-to-fight-with-rebels-in-libya-and-syria-2012-3

5.) The Dirty War on Syria

The Saudis and Israel hope to benefit by breaking the central link in the Axis of Resistance, isolating Palestine and Hezbollah from Iran.

That is why they back all the sectarian mercenary groups, whatever their names. Unfortunately for them, and despite all the slaughter, they have helped drive Iraq into that same Axis of Resistance.

Turkish Prime Minister claimed “Turkey will not allow cooperation with terrorist organizations in Syria”; what’s your take on his remark?

This is simply double-speak. The current government of Turkey remains a key sponsor of the terrorism in both Syria and Iraq.

Russia helped expose that, particularly clearly, late last year, when they charted the DAESH oil traffic into Turkey, and the free flow of terrorists across the border into Syria. The world knows that the Erdogan government backs terrorists in Syria.

At Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dirty-War-Syria-Tim-Anderson/dp/0973714786

6.) CIA secretly trained ISIS fighters in Jordan in 2012

Former President Obama signed an Executive Order on Syria in early 2012 [just as he had done for Libya in early 2011], that legally covered the CIA and other U.S. agencies that otherwise would have been in violation of aiding and abetting the enemy in time of war and providing material support to terrorism.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey all pledged financial and material assistance to fighters, all of whom are non-Syrian fighters, many of whom are fighting as members of al-Qaida, Salafi and radical Jihadi (ISIS) organizations. Jabhat al-Nusra is al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate.

CIA created ISIS‘, says Julian Assange as Wikileaks releases 500k US cables

The U.S. intelligence documents not only confirms suspicions that the United States and some of its coalition allies had actually facilitated the rise of the ISIS in Syria – as a counterweight to the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad- but also that ISIS members were initially trained by members and contractors of the Central Intelligence Agency at facilities in Jordan in 2012.

7.) Clinton Email Claims Saudi, Qatari Support for ISIS

“We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region,” the email says.

“The Qataris and Saudis will be put in a position of balancing policy between their ongoing competition to dominate the Sunni world and the consequences of serious U.S. pressure,” it adds.

Read more: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/state-dept-wont-comment-clinton-email-claim-saudi-qatari-support

8.) Hackers trace ISIS Twitter accounts back to internet addresses linked to Department of Work and Pensions

Hackers have claimed that a number of Islamic State supporters’ social media accounts are being run from internet addresses linked to the Department of Work and Pensions.

A group of four young computer experts who call themselves VandaSec have unearthed evidence indicating that at least three ISIS-supporting accounts can be traced back to the DWP.

Read more: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/technology/hackers-trace-isis-twitter-accounts-7010417?id=not_jtrig

9.) ISIS is a CIA Death Squad

Reuters had reported in 2012 that the FSA’s command was dominated by Islamic extremists, and the New York Times had reported that same year that the majority of the weapons that Washington was sending into Syria were ending up in the hands Jihadists. For two years the U.S. government knew that this was happening, but they kept doing it.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh released an article in April of 2014 which exposed a classified agreement between the CIA, Turkey and the Syrian rebels to create what was referred to as a “rat line”. The “rat line” was covert network used to channel weapons and ammunition from Libya, through southern Turkey and across the Syrian border. Funding was provided by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Read more: http://ronsspot.org/c-i-a-secrets-isis/

10.) Saudi prince busted with two tons of ISIS drug and cocaine on his private plane: officials
http://nypost.com/2015/10/28/saudi-prince-busted-with-two-tons-of-isis-drug-and-cocaine-on-his-private-plane-officials/

11.) Down the Memory Hole: NYT Erases CIA’s Efforts to Overthrow Syria’s Government
http://fair.org/home/down-the-memory-hole-nyt-erases-cias-efforts-to-overthrow-syrias-government/

12.) Saudi Arabia Wants to Fight Iran to the Last American

Documents from Wikileaks show that the U.S. State Department wanted to help rebels overthrow Syrian Dictator Assad in order to strengthen Israel’s position against Iran. The State Department discussed how Iran and Syria trained forces in opposition to Israel. The fall of Assad, they said, would destroy the only Iranian ally in the region positioned to help Iran in the event of Israeli aggression to stop Iran’s alleged nuclear program.

According to a top-secret National Security Agency document provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the March 2013 rocket attacks were directly ordered by a member of the Saudi royal family, Prince Salman bin Sultan, to help mark the second anniversary of the Syrian revolution. Salman had provided 120 tons of explosives and other weaponry to opposition forces, giving them instructions to “light up Damascus” and “flatten” the airport, the document, produced by U.S. government surveillance on Syrian opposition factions, shows.

As Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said in 2010, the Saudis “want to fight the Iranians to the last American.” Why the Saudis would see this as attractive is clear. Why Netanyahu would like to go along with this also follows a certain logic. That is not the mystery in this drama. The mystery is why the president of the United States would go along with something that so clearly contradicts U.S. national interest.

It is not the Saudi crown prince that is acting irrationally. It’s the president of the United States.

Read more: http://ronsspot.org/saudi-arabia-wants-to-fight-iran-to-the-last-american/

I hope that putting these articles in one place helps more people to understand the real problem that we face is not in the Middle East but in Washington DC. If you agree please share. To support this work donate

The idea of the CIA funding an Islamic group to further its political interests isn’t exactly “far-fetched”. In fact, there are several obvious instances in recent history where the US openly supported extremist Islamist groups (dubbed “freedom fighters” in mass media).  The most flagrant and well-documented example is the creation of the Mujaheddin in Afghanistan, a group that was created by the CIA to lure the USSR in an “Afghan trap”. The term Mujaheddin describes “Muslims who struggle in the path of Allah” and comes from the root word “jihad”. The “great enemy” of today was the friend of the past. An important architect of this policy was Zbigniew Brzezinski one of the most influential statesman in U.S. History. From JFK to Obama, Brzezinski has been an important figure shaping U.S. policy across the world. He also created the Trilateral commission with David Rockefeller. In the following excerpt from a 1998 interview, Brzezinski explains how the Mujaheddin were used in Afghanistan:


Disturbing New Photos of CIA Torture

New Torture Photos Release Delayed (indefinitely)

One former CIA official, Dr. Mark M. Lowenthal, speaking to ABC, describes the photos’ release as “prurient” and “reprehensible.” Lowenthal then goes on to lament what he sees as an unnecessary and egregious effort to throw the CIA under the bus.

“These photographs provide visual proof that prisoner abuse by U.S. personnel was not aberrational but widespread, reaching far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib,” said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU. “Their disclosure is critical for helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse as well as for holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.” Lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Continue reading: HuffPost

Human Rights Watch report detailing unusually cruel torture techniques used by the CIA in Libya, including prolonged diapering, insects and water boarding.

Wired News did a report detailing some of the alleged Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture techniques used in Libya (see article: U.S. Used This Torture Box to Interrogate Gadhafi’s Enemies) Continue reading: WashingtonIndependent

Former Vice President Dick Cheney made an appearance on Meet the Press and declared he would “do it again in a minute” and had no problem with enhanced interrogation “as long as we achieve our objective.” Did forcing a detainee to wear a diaper lead to the capture of Osama bin Laden? Cheney seems to think so.

However, 20 different case studies based on the CIA’s internal records found that enhanced interrogations did not help to disrupt terror plots or capture terror leaders.

Few, if any, CIA officers or contractors were held accountable even after being caught with significant events of wrongdoing. One detainee, suffering from insomnia, paranoia, and severe hallucinations caused by the extreme interrogation methods, attempted to chew his arm off at the elbow. When a detainee died of hypothermia after being chained to a concrete floor partially nude, the CIA decided not to take any punitive action against the officer in charge. The report states, “The director strongly believes that mistakes should be expected in a business filled with uncertainty.”

CIA torture program earned two men millions

The names James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen don’t show up at all in the 500-page Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA torture program, but they’re definitely mentioned throughout it, according to multiple reports.

Even though their names and alleged involvement in the “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EITs) program have been known for some time, the CIA contractors appear in the report (respectively) under the names “Dr. Grayson Swigert” and “Dr. Hammond Dunbar.” A. U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed their identities to The Associated Press.

Although they had no first-hand experience with interrogation or no “specialized knowledge” of al-Qaeda or terrorism, as the Senate Intelligence Committee report indicated, the men had plenty of experience with “coercive interrogation techniques.”

But by the time their involvement with the CIA’s interrogation program wrapped up in 2009, they had earned millions of dollars off of the torture of detainees.

Mitchell and Jessen formed a private company in 2005, specifically for the purpose of conducting their work with the CIA. Mitchell, Jessen and Associates have ultimately earned $81 million from the CIA.

CIA “Tortured and Sodomized” Wrongly Detained German Citizen

CIA agents tortured a German citizen, sodomizing, shackling, and beating him, as Macedonian state police looked on, the European Court of Human rights said in a historic judgment.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organizations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA “rendition team” at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan.

It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

“Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Emmerson, an international lawyer from Britain, has served since August 2011 in the independent post set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council in 2005 to probe human rights violations committed during counter-terrorism operations worldwide.

The “war on terror” waged by Bush after al Qaeda attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001 led to “gross or systematic” violations involving secret prisons for Islamic militant suspects, clandestine transfers and torture Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, said.

How many Children held at Guantanamo Bay? Guardian

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights said there should be no impunity or statute of limitations for torture.

The Convention against Torture prohibits torture and allows for “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever”, not even a state of war, as justification, Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein said in a statement issued in Geneva on the annual human rights day.

“The Convention lets no one off the hook – neither the torturers themselves, nor the policy-makers, nor the public officials who define the policy or give the orders,” he said.

The pact has been ratified by 156 countries.

Romania and Lithuania also have cases pending for hosting secret CIA prisons. Continue reading: FBI

Poland’s former president has publicly acknowledged for the first time that his country hosted a secret CIA prison where a US Senate report says torture was used against Al Qaeda suspects.

Former British Ambassador to Tashkent Craig Murray lost his job and has endured severe vituperation at the hands of his government because he objected to Britain’s collaboration in CIA-sponsored torture conducted in Uzbekistan.

Murray recalls, Uzbeks made use of a torture method specifically endorsed by the execrable John Yoo: Torturing children in order to compel the parents to submit.

Yoo, the impenitent war criminal who wrote many of the key torture memos for the Bush regime, claims that the president has the authority to order the sexual mutilation of a child if he considers such action necessary.

Ninety percent of all “rendition” flights that visited the former KGB prison in Poland used as a CIA torture facility “went straight on to Tashkent,” Murray observes. “There was an overwhelming body of evidence that … people from all over the world were being taken by the CIA to Uzbekistan specifically in order to be tortured.

Let’s assume that every individual who was tortured was in fact a member of a terrorist group; have we officially discarded the bothersome notion that basic human rights are “inalienable”? Forgive the rhetorical question – we know the answer.

Former CIA Deputy Director for Operations Jose Rodriguez has written a book with the assistance of former Agency press officer Bill Harlow. Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives is largely a defense of Rodriguez’s role in the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11. Rodriguez argues that what he describes as “enhanced interrogation techniques” were necessary to obtain information on terrorist activities. His employment of the euphemism underscores his argument that these procedures were found to be legal by Bush administration lawyers and that they do not constitute torture, which is a war crime.

In November 2005, Rodriguez, ordered on his own authority and contrary to Agency general counsel advice the destruction of 92 videotapes that recorded interrogation sessions in a secret prison in Thailand. This was done, he says, to protect the identities of CIA interrogators from possible reprisals by terrorists, not to cover-up waterboarding being used to obtain information, a procedure he claims was both an acceptable interrogation technique and one that was subject to congressional oversight before it was employed. He does not explain exactly how terrorists could obtain the tapes or be able to make identifications from them; perhaps the idea is that someday the recordings might leak to the public. Whatever its plausibility, or lack thereof, his argument might just as well be a deliberate deception if the primary purpose of his actions was to eliminate evidence of what many would consider a war crime. I leave it up to the reader to decide what explanation is most likely. For what it’s worth, Amazon reviews are running about five to one in praise of the book rather than condemning what it describes.

What is most disturbing to me about the book and the interviews is that Rodriguez is apparently seen by some in the media as the “new normal” and even some kind of hero. CIA officers overseas are indeed operating on the “dark side,” in that spying overseas is illegal in the countries where one is operationally engaged. But that does not mean all gloves are off in terms of international and U.S. law, especially in the case of war crimes. It is worth noting that Japanese Army officers were executed in 1946 for waterboarding Allied prisoners, while the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution explicitly forbids “cruel and unusual punishment.” The United States is also a signatory to the International Convention on Torture and to the Geneva Conventions. And then there is the War Crimes Act of 1996, which requires the United States Justice Department to prosecute anyone involved in torture, no exceptions.  President Obama has refused to permit justice to be served, making him as complicit in war crimes as his predecessor was.

To promote Hard Measures, Rodriguez has been appearing on a number of television programs. I have seen him on “60 Minutes” with Lesley Stahl and on Bill O’Reilly’s program. He has also appeared with Sean Hannity. Stahl failed to push Rodriguez on the illegality of torture and frequently allowed him to drift into the kind of mumbo-jumbo tradecraft language that former spies use when they don’t want to answer a question. Rodriguez stated that the (CIA) are part of the “dark side — that’s what we do.”  That was the end of the story for “60 Minutes.”

White House Asks Court to Block Torture Photos’ Release(PHOTO DELETED)

Doctors and nurses tasked with monitoring the health of terror suspects were complicit in abuses committed at prisons run by the Pentagon and the CIA, AFP reports.

The CIA wrongfully held at least 22 percent due to bad intelligence. Throughout the program, the CIA repeatedly underreported the number of people it detained. It claimed it had detained “fewer than 100 people.” But why would the CIA need 50 black sites to torture only 100 detainees?  One of the wrongfully held was an “intellectually challenged” man, Nazir Ali. His taped interrogation was used as leverage to get a family member to provide information.

Secret prisons, renditions, and enhanced interrogations are characteristic of police states, not constitutional republics.

Such methods might gain wider approval, the lawyers figured, if they were proved to have saved lives.

“A policy decision must be made with regard to US use of torture,” CIA lawyers wrote in November 2001, in a previously undisclosed memo titled “Hostile Interrogations: Legal Considerations for CIA Officers.”

The lawyers argued that “states may be very unwilling to call the US to task for torture when it resulted in saving thousands of lives.”

Former military interrogator Matthew Alexander refutes Dick Cheney’s claim that torture saved American (see video below.)

CIA Destroys Interrogation Tapes, NSA Uses Porn to “Break Down Detainees”

By ACLU

From jailing children together with adults in prisons where they were raped to failing to notify their parents of their arrest, the U.S. committed numerous war crimes against children in Afghanistan and Iraq, a new book on President Bush states.

~snip~  “American guards videotaped Iraqi male prisoners raping young boys but took no action to stop the offenses (and) children in Abu Ghraib were deliberately frightened by dogs,” writes political scientist Michael Haas in his new book, “George W. Bush, War Criminal?”(Praeger), a question he answers in the affirmative.

According to a letter filed by the government in court, the CIA acknowledged it destroyed 92 tapes of interrogations. The admission comes in an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit seeking records of the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. In December 2007, the ACLU filed a motion to hold the CIA in contempt for its destruction of videotapes recording the harsh interrogation of prisoners in violation of a court order requiring the agency to produce or identify all the requested records.

The following can be attributed to Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU:

“This letter provides further evidence for holding the CIA in contempt of court. The large number of videotapes destroyed confirms that the agency engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of its illegal interrogations and to evade the court’s order. Our contempt motion has been pending in court for over a year now – it is time to hold the CIA accountable for its flagrant disregard for the rule of law.”

The tapes, which show CIA operatives subjecting suspects to extremely harsh interrogation methods, should have been identified and processed for the ACLU in response to its FOIA request demanding information on the treatment and interrogation of detainees in U.S. custody. The tapes were also withheld from the 9/11 Commission, appointed by former President Bush and Congress, which had formally requested that the CIA hand over transcripts and recordings documenting the interrogation of CIA prisoners.

A copy of the government’s letter is available at:  ACLU

The ACLU’s contempt motion and related legal documents are available online at: www.aclu.org/torturefoia

‘She was up to her eyeballs in torture’: Trump’s nominee for CIA director oversaw the torture of detainees under Bush By , BusinessInsider

President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency helped implement the agency’s torture program under the George W. Bush administration, a record that will make her confirmation process difficult and likely ugly.

Gina Haspel, who joined the CIA in 1985 and spent most of her career undercover, oversaw the waterboarding and use of other “enhanced interrogation techniques” — authorized by the Bush administration and later outlawed by President Barack Obama and Congress — at a secret CIA prison in Thailand in 2002.

Haspel was nominated to become the agency’s first female director after Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and asked CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him.

At the Thai prison, known as a “black site,” that Haspel ran, two terror suspects were extensively tortured. One detainee, Abu Zubaydah, was waterboarded 83 times in one month and subjected to other dangerous treatment, including having his head slammed against a wall repeatedly.

Interrogators ultimately determined that Zubaydah, who lost an eye during his CIA detention, did not possess any useful information.

In 2005, Haspel signed a cable ordering the destruction of 92 video tapes of Zubaydah’s interrogations — a decision that became the subject of a lengthy criminal investigation by the Justice Department that did not result in charges. Haspel also helped facilitate the “extraordinary rendition program,” in which the US government handed detainees over to foreign officials, who detained and tortured them in secret prisons.

Hundreds of terror suspects were tortured and abused by the CIA and Department of Defense in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. And while the Bush administration’s program, which violated longstanding US and international law, has been widely condemned both domestically and around the world, no government official has ever been prosecuted for their involvement in it.

Current CIA director Mike Pompeo has said that waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” do not constitute torture. And he has defended intelligence officials and others who engaged in these practices as “heroes” and “patriots” simply protecting their country.

Trump repeatedly expressed his support for torture, including waterboarding, on the campaign trail.

“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat,” Trump said during a 2016 campaign rally. “I would approve more than that. It works.”

The ACLU, which has engaged in extensive litigation concerning the government’s torture program, is pushing the CIA to declassify and release “every aspect of Haspel’s torture record” before she is put through the nomination process.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, who led the agency under Obama, praised Haspel as someone with “a lot of integrity,” despite her record, during a Tuesday interview on MSNBC.

What do you suppose was on those tapes? The International Criminal Court prosecutor asked for authorization to investigate reported human rights abuses in Afghanistan, including allegations of rape and torture by U.S. military and the CIA, crimes against humanity by the Taliban and war crimes by Afghan security forces. Source: NBC

Controversial nominee Gina Haspel confirmed as first female CIA director 

Gina Haspel was confirmed Thursday to be the first female director of the CIA with the help of votes from a half-dozen Senate Democrats.

Haspel was confirmed in a 54-45 vote, the culmination of a roller-coaster nomination that appeared to be in danger at several points after she was abruptly selected by President Donald Trump in March.

Three Republicans opposed Haspel’s nomination: Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Jeff Flake of Arizona and John McCain of Arizona, although McCain did not vote because he’s battling brain cancer at home.

But Haspel secured enough votes to win confirmation with the backing of six Democrats, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Continue reading: CNN

NSA Used Porn to “Break Down Detainees” in Iraq — and Other Revelations From 297 Snowden Documents By , , TheIntercept

He was an NSA staffer but also a volunteer, having signed up to provide technical expertise for a wide-ranging, joint CIA mission in Iraq. He did not know what he was getting himself into.

After arriving in Baghdad “grungy and tired,” the staffer would later write, he discovered that the CIA and its partner, the Defense Intelligence Agency, had moved beyond talking to locals and were now intent on looking through their computer files. Marines would bring the NSA man “laptops, hard drives, CDs, phones and radios.” Sometimes the devices were covered in blood — and quite often they contained pornography, deemed “extremely useful” in humiliating and “breaking down” for interrogation the people who owned them.

The story of how the National Security Agency harvested porn for use against prisoners in Iraq is just one of the revelations disclosed in the agency’s internal newsletter SIDtoday during the second half of 2005.

There’s also the tale of how some intercepts would be rushed almost instantly to the president at Camp David via golf cart “with virtually no oversight.”

Then there’s one about how the NSA declared it could find “not many” Arabic translators it could trust among “the largest Arabic-speaking population in the United States.”

Or the story of how the agency listened as the Egyptian government dictated through its communication channels the final results for an election that had barely begun.

Told in more detail below, these are highlights from some 297 SIDtoday articles published today by The Intercept as part of an ongoing project to release, after careful review, material provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

From the same SIDtoday release — our sixth thus far — we are publishing three other articles. One is an investigation into a secretive global intelligence-sharing alliance led by the NSA, comprising 18 members and known as the SIGINT Seniors. Another looks at increased surveillance in the United Kingdom following the London bombings in 2005 — and discloses for the first time a secret agreement to share metadata harvested from the vast data repositories of the NSA and its counterparts in the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Also today, in collaboration with the Norwegian Broadcaster NRK, we shine light on a large spy base located outside Oslo. The base was built with the NSA’s help to aid Norway’s military and counterterrorism operations overseas. But it has also swept up Norwegian citizens’ phone and email records – and is now at the center of a dispute over illegal surveillance.

The NSA declined to comment for this article.

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U.S. Military nudes exposed (NSFW)

CIA director Mike Pompeo was “blindsided” by an executive order that opens the door for American intelligence agencies to resume waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” at newly reopened CIA “black site” prisons overseas, according to a source familiar with conversations he has had about the document.

Trump told ABC News anchor David Muir: “We’re not playing on an even field. When they’re chopping off the heads of our people, and other people — when they’re chopping off the heads of people because they happen to be a Christian in the Middle East — when ISIS is doing things that nobody has ever heard of since medieval times, would I feel strongly about waterboarding? As far as I’m concerned, we have to fight fire with fire.”

Trumps executive order does not seem to be limited to ‘foreign’ detainees but “anyone, anywhere that the President deems to be a threat to the safety and security of the United States.”

ANTI-TORTURE LINKS:

Anti-Torture Initiative with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

irct International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims

UN Committee Against Torture

Abolish Torture Muslims Against Torture And Political Imprisonment Everywhere

Witness Against Torture formed in 2005 when 25 Americans went to Guantánamo Bay and attempted to visit the detention facility. Once we returned from that journey, we began to organize more broadly to shut down Guantánamo, working with interfaith, human rights and activists’ organizations.

Stop Torture The Harvard Anti-Torture Coalition

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Established in 1978, Human Rights Watch is known for its accurate fact-finding, impartial reporting, effective use of media, and targeted advocacy, often in partnership with local human rights groups.

TASSC (Torture Abolition & Survivors Support Coalition) is a coalition of torture survivors, representing countries and ethnic groups throughout all parts of the world.

APT  The Association for the Prevention of Torture was founded in 1977 by the Swiss banker and lawyer Jean-Jacques Gautier. Our work is built on the insight that torture and forms of ill-treatment happens behind closed doors, out of public view. We therefore promote transparency in all places where people are deprived of liberty.

Amnesty International is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights.

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Int’l Criminal Court Prosecutor Seeks Probe of US Personnel in Afghanistan for Rape and Torture

Clinton Foundation Donors Got Weapons Deals From Hillary Clinton’s State Department

Saudi officials were ‘supporting’ 9/11 hijackers, commission member says

Saudi Arabia Bankrolled 9/11

False Flag: How the U.S. Armed Syrian Rebels to Set Up an Excuse to Attack Assad

The Red Line and the Rat Line

How Turkey Exports ISIS Oil To The World: The Scientific Evidence

Under Obama, as Business Insider reported, “The NDAA Legalizes The Use Of Propaganda On The US Public.”

The intelligence community with all of it’s money and resources has failed to prevent any terrorist attacks regardless of their claims including the Las Vegas and San Bernardino massacre, the Florida and Texas attacks or twin bombings at the Boston Marathon.

By Michael B Kelley, BusinessInsider

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes an amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on the American public, reports Michael Hastings of BuzzFeed.

The amendment — proposed by Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and passed in the House would effectively nullify the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948, which explicitly forbids information and psychological operations aimed at influencing U.S. public opinion.

The vote came two days after a federal judged ruled that an indefinite detention provision in the annual defense bill was unconstitutional.

Lt. Col. Daniel Davis, who released a highly critical report regarding the distortion of truth by senior military officials in Iraq and Afghanistan, dedicated a section of his report to Information Operations (IO) and states that after Desert Storm the military wanted to transform IO “into a core military competency on a par with air, ground, maritime and special operations.”

Davis defines IO as “the integrated employment of electronic warfare (EW), computer network operations (CNO), psychological operations (PSYOP), military deception (MILDEC), and operations security (OPSEC), in concert with specified supporting and related capabilities, to influence, disrupt, corrupt or usurp adversarial human and automated decision making while protecting our own.”

IO are primarily used to target foreign audiences, but Davis cites numerous senior leaders who want to (in the words of Colonel Richard B. Leap) “protect a key friendly center of gravity, to wit US national will” by repealing the Smith-Mundt Act to allow the direct deployment of these tactics on the American public.

Davis quotes Brigadier General Ralph O. Baker — the Pentagon officer responsible for the Department of Defense’s Joint Force Development (i.e. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines) — who defines IO as activities undertaken to “shape the essential narrative of a conflict or situation and thus affect the attitudes and behaviors of the targeted audience” and equates descriptions of combat operations with standard marketing strategies:

For years, commercial advertisers have based their advertisement strategies on the premise that there is a positive correlation between the number of times a consumer is exposed to product advertisement and that consumer’s inclination to sample the new product. The very same principle applies to how we influence our target audiences when we conduct COIN.

Davis subsequently explains the “cumulative failure of our nation’s major media in every category” as they continually interviewed only those senior U.S. officials who had top-level access, even as the officials given that clearance were required to stick to “talking points” given to them by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

CIA and Propaganda
By

“About a third of the whole CIA budget went to media propaganda operations... We’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars a year just for that.….close to a billion dollars are being spent every year by the United States on secret propaganda.” Testimony of William Schapp to Congress1

In 1948, the United States began the Marshall Plan, an initiative to help the devastated Europe recover from the War. The CIA decided to siphon funds to create the Office of Policy Coordination, which would become the covert action branch of the Agency.2 It was under this program that Operation Mockingbird, a domestic propaganda campaign aimed at promoting the views of the CIA within the media, began. From the onset, Operation Mockingbird was one of the most sensitive of the CIA’s operations, with recruitment of journalists and training of intelligence officers for propaganda purposes usually undertaken by Director Allen Dulles himself or his direct peers.3

It is a false belief that the CIA ‘infiltrated’ unwitting media institutions. The recruitment of journalists was frequently done with complicity from top management and ownership. Former CIA Director William Colby claimed during the Church Committee investigative hearings, “Lets go to the managements. They were witting.” Among the organizations that would lend their help to the propaganda efforts was the New York Times, Newsweek, Associated Press, and the Miami Herald. Providing cover to CIA agents was a part of the New York Times policy, set by their late publisher, Arthur Hays Salzberger.

Carl Bernstein, the reporter famous for his excellent investigation into the Watergate scandal, wrote that:

“(Joseph) Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty-five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring-do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full-time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”

Bernstein lists The New York Times, CBS and Time inc. as the most productive relationships the agency cultivated. They also created front organizations overseas who publicly maintained an appearance of free press but privately were operated by the agency. An example of this is the Rome Daily American, which was 40% owned by the CIA for three decades.7

The CIA went as far as to write scripts for Hollywood. One interesting example is the funding of the movie version of Animal Farm in 1954, a book written just less than a decade earlier by George Orwell which enjoyed large commercial success. The problem for the CIA was that Orwell was a socialist, and his book attacked both capitalism and communism. To avoid this conflict, the CIA changed the ending of the Hollywood version to portray capitalism in a more positive light.9

Domestic surveillance was also used on journalists who had published classified material. In one example, a physical surveillance post was set up at a Hilton Hotel in view of the office of Washington Post writer Michael Getler.10 The operation defied the CIA’s charter, which specifically prohibits domestic spying. The operation was directed towards numerous members of the Washington press corp, and was signed off by John F. Kennedy himself, in coordination with CIA director John McCone.11

Some investigative journalists have claimed that Operation Mockingbird did not end in 1976 as the CIA claims. For example, in 1998, researcher Steve Kangas claimed that conservative billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, who ran ‘Forum World Features’, a foreign news organization, was a CIA asset and used the organization to disseminate propaganda for circulation in the United States.13 Kangas ended up dead with a bullet hole in his head, in the office of Richard Scaife. It was ruled a suicide, although there were discrepancies in the police report and the autopsy.14

While it is deplorable for citizens of countries to be subjected to a state-owned media, at least they can be aware of the biases and filter information accordingly. We have been taught the lie from birth that the U.S. press is free from government meddling. In a situation where the manipulation is completely covert, the American public has been left unaware of the propaganda they have been ingesting for decades.

Consolidated media industry has made it easier for news to be manipulated to fit ‘the agenda.’

“Do we have a free press today? Sure we do. It’s free to report all the sex scandals it wants, all the stock market news we can handle, every new health fad that comes down the pike, and every celebrity marriage or divorce that happens. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff — stories like Tailwind, the October Surprise, the El Mozote massacre, corporate corruption, or CIA involvement in drug trafficking — that’s where we begin to see the limits of our freedoms. In today’s media environment, sadly, such stories are not even open for discussion. Back in 1938, when fascism was sweeping Europe, legendary investigative reporter George Seldes observed (in his book, The Lords of the Press) that “it is possible to fool all the people all the time — when government and press cooperate.” Unfortunately, we have reached that point.” –Gary Webb

Here is what American propaganda / double-speak looks like:

I want to digress here and mention that just months before this article was written, Ronald Reagan took to the public airwaves and gave a big speech condemning the Sandanistas, the communist government of Nicaragua. He stated: “Now they’re exporting drugs to poison our youth and linking up with the terrorists of Iran.”

When in reality it was the Contras, our allies, exporting drugs into our country and it was America who was covertly facilitating arm sales in Iran, at the same time we were publicly supplying arms to Iraq, at the height of the Iran-Iraq war!

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CIA Instructions to Media Assets

CNN: CIA admits it overlooked Contras’ links to drugs

Marine’s case would draw attention to Afghan ‘sex slaves’

The War will Never End
By Timothy Silver

Will the War on Terror ever end? Who truly has the incentive to scale back the operation? Not clandestine agencies or the military, who are seeing their budgets increase year by year. Certainly not any of the major influences in politics, banks and corporations, who are seeing massive profits from government contracts and resource exploitation. And most certainly not any politician in Washington, who virtually rely on the lobbying of these organizations to keep their jobs.

Journalist Glenn Greenwald put it succinctly:

“But what one can say for certain is that there is zero reason for US officials to want an end to the war on terror, and numerous and significant reasons why they would want it to continue. It’s always been the case that the power of political officials is at its greatest, its most unrestrained, in a state of war. Cicero, two thousand years ago, warned that “In times of war, the law falls silent” (Inter arma enim silent leges). John Jay, in Federalist No. 4, warned that as a result of that truth, “nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it . . . for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.” If you were a US leader, or an official of the National Security State, or a beneficiary of the private military and surveillance industries, why would you possibly want the war on terror to end? That would be the worst thing that could happen. It’s that war that generates limitless power, impenetrable secrecy, an unquestioning citizenry, and massive profit.” – Glenn Greenwald, writing for The Guardian82

Greenwald also notes the hopelessness of combating terrorism with further violence.

“Indeed, virtually every person accused of plotting to target the US with terrorist attacks in last several years has expressly cited increasing US violence, aggression and militarism in the Muslim world as the cause. There’s no question that this “war” will continue indefinitely. There is no question that US actions are the cause of that, the gasoline that fuels the fire.

But the notion that the US government is even entertaining putting an end to any of this is a pipe dream, and the belief that they even want to is fantasy. They’re preparing for more endless war; their actions are fueling that war; and they continue to reap untold benefits from its continuation. Only outside compulsion, from citizens, can make an end to all of this possible.”