08/27/14

Permalink Former head CIA lawyer defends torture in Der Spiegel interview

In an August 20 interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, former acting CIA General Counsel John Rizzo defends his role as the legal architect of the US government’s international campaign of detention and torture. In the interview, Rizzo, who worked at the CIA from 1976 to 2009, declares that although the torture programs he approved “seemed harsh, even brutal,” he does not regret his support for their implementation.

At one point in the interview, Rizzo refers to an interrogation technique on the initial list provided by the Counter Terrorism Center that was “even more chilling than waterboarding.” He claims it was never used. Asked by the interviewer what the technique was, Rizzo replies: “I’m not allowed to specify it; it is still classified. I had no preparation when the counterterrorism people came to me, and so my first reaction was one of being rather stunned by what was being proposed.” Given the sadistic character of the so-called “enhanced interrogation” methods that have been acknowledged, one can only imagine the gruesome nature of the proposal that was supposedly rejected.

Rizzo attempts to foist the blame for the torture and state assassination programs on the American people. When asked about the White House’s post-September 11 decision to authorize the CIA to “do whatever is necessary” to halt the ostensible terrorist threat, Rizzo says “the phrase is a characterization of the atmosphere and the consensus in the country.” This is a lie. All of these programs were instituted secretly, behind the backs of the American public, precisely because those implementing them knew they would be massively opposed. Rizzo’s interview should be taken as a warning to the working class. It reveals the prevalence within the highest echelons of the American state of fascistic elements who would have had no problem serving as functionaries of Hitler’s Gestapo or SS.


08/26/14

Permalink Busted: Jihad John McCain Met With “ISIS” Head Caliph Ibrahim Back in 2013

Scott Creighton Contrary to what some would have you believe, yes, that is Sen. John McCain meeting in 2013 with the head of ISIS (IS). “ISIS” released this photo claiming “some” of the guys pictured with McCain are now fighting for them. It’s deliberately misleading in that you don’t really know who any of them are. Here’s another with the same disinfo photo. Here’s another. The point of this campaign is too discredit the claim that McCain met with and aided what is now “ISIS” – the same “ISIS” that McCain claims is “coming to America“. The trick is he says he didn’t “pose” for a photo with “ISIS”. In fact, he didn’t. The real photo you should be looking at is this one. They aren’t “posing” they are discussing how much military aid Jihad John can acquire for al Nosra (al Qaeda) and “ISIS” through the cover of the “moderate” FSA. But, technically speaking, no, he isn’t posing.


Permalink U.S. Backs Hotbeds of Islamic Fundamentalism

Salafis are the most violent, crazed fundamentalist Muslims. For example, both ISIS and Al Qaeda are Salafis. ISIS and other salafi terrorists represent a very small percentage of Muslims. PBS estimates Salafi jihadists constitute less than 0.5 percent of the world’s 1.9 billion Muslims (i.e., less than 10 million). As we’ve been warning for more than a year – long before the old crazies re-branded as “ISIS” – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other American allies have been supporting the crazed extremists who are persecuting Christians. Indeed, the majority of the world’s Salafis are from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.


08/25/14

Permalink ISIS: Made in Washington, Riyadh – and Tel Aviv

Justin Raimondo There’s more than one Dr. Frankenstein responsible for this monster || If we step back from the hysteria generated by the beheading of US journalist James Foley, what’s clear is that this new bogeyman is the creation of the United States and its allies in the region. ISIS didn’t just arise out of the earth like some Islamist variation on the fabled Myrmidons: they needed money, weapons, logistics, propaganda facilities, and international connections to reach the relatively high level of organization and lethality they seem to have achieved in such a short period of time. Where did they get these assets?

Patrick Martin Imperialist war in search of a pretext || The Obama administration is moving rapidly towards launching air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on both sides of the Iraq-Syria border, in a major escalation of US military intervention in the oil-rich Middle East. [...] While increasingly apocalyptic administration comments and media headlines declare ISIS to be a deadly threat to the United States, there has been virtually no acknowledgement that the crisis in the Middle East is the direct product of the repeated US interventions. [...] These reports point to the basic fact that the fundamental aim of US imperialism in the Middle East is not defeating ISIS—which, after all, is its own creation—but reinforcing its control over the entire region. Just one year ago, plans for bombing the Syrian government were put off. These plans, however, have not gone away.

Israel, ISIL have a lot in common
‘Islamic State’ head-choppers: Best enemy money can buy


08/20/14

Permalink CIA/Mossad's militants behead missing American journalist

CIA/Mossad's "Islamic State" militants have released a graphic video allegedly depicting the beheading of American photojournalist James Wright Foley, who has been missing since 2012 after being kidnapped in Syria.
Foley went missing almost two years ago while covering the conflict in Syria as a freelance photographer. The 39-year-old reporter was working for Agence France-Presse when he disappeared, and his whereabouts were essentially unknown until this recording surfaced. His November 22nd disappearance was classified as a kidnapping by the FBI, which stated he “was taken by an organized gang after departing from an internet café in Binesh, Syria.” The Islamist group also threatened to kill another American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff of World Affairs and Time, stating his fate is in the hands of President Barack Obama.

Max Fisher On James Foley || For the 44 days I spent thinking about James Foley, he had no idea who I was. It was early 2011 and Jim, then a correspondent for the Global Post, had been kidnapped in Libya, where he was reporting on the civil war. Kidnapped with him were three other journalists, including a freelance reporter named Clare Morgana Gillis, who had filed stories for USA Today and the Atlantic, where I had been her editor. Back in the US, a group of about ten of us at the Atlantic, USA Today, and Global Post spent the month and a half that Jim and company were in captivity agitating for their release. I'm certain most or all of it was useless, but it made us feel a little less helpless: harassing State Department officials, fumbling for useful contacts in the region, organizing media coverage. The one useful thing we did was meet with the families. While we intended to help them, it usually became the opposite. They had Jim and Clare's courage and dedication and that kept us going. By the time the journalists were freed and returned home, they were just meeting me for the first time, but I felt like I'd known them for years. A year later, Jim disappeared near Aleppo while reporting on Syria's civil war, presumed kidnapped by people even more monstrous than Moammar Qaddafi's regime. On Tuesday, after over a year of silence, the jihadist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) posted a video of his death, and the death of his family's hope that Jim would ever come home.

Whatupic: ISIL Claims to have Beheaded US Journalist, Holds another [Video]
IBT: ISIS Threatens Journalist Steven Sotloff After Apparent Beheading Of James Foley
PressTV: ISIL funded by US to break up region: Analyst


08/19/14

Permalink ISIS Gets Angrier At America: "We Will Drown All Of You In Blood"

Over the past month ISIS has been getting angrier (""God Willing, We Will Raise The Flag Of Allah In The White House" - A Deeper Look Inside ISIS") and angrier ("ISIS Issues Threat To White House; Secret Service Taking "Appropriate Steps") until today it released a video in which it warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if continuing US raids hit its militants. The video, released by Reuters, which shows a photograph of an American who was beheaded during the U.S. occupation of Iraq, featured a statement which said in English "we will drown all of you in blood".

But while we get the anger of the Islamic State, be it real or staged, now that the US has allegedly retaken the Mosul dam, one wonders how a terrorist organization with over half a billion dollars in funding, a state of the art "made in the US" weapons arsenal, and glossy year-end profit & loss reports, can't afford to spend a few dollars on the production quality of its propaganda videos, especially if as the rumors suggest not one but several key "developed world" intelligence outlets are pulling the ISIS strings.

PressTV: ISIL tweet for US could be Mossad, FBI creation: Paul Street
RT.com: Islamic State threatens to ‘drown’ American targets in blood in new video


Permalink John McCain, Conductor of the "Arab Spring" and the Caliph

Thierry Meyssan Everyone has noticed the contradiction of those who recently characterized the Islamic Emirate as "freedom fighters" in Syria and who are indignant today faced with its abuses in Iraq. But if that speech is incoherent in itself, it makes perfect sense in the strategic plan: the same individuals were to be presented as allies yesterday and must be as enemies today, even if they are still on orders from Washington. Thierry Meyssan reveals below US policy through the particular case of Senator John McCain, conductor of the "Arab Spring" and longtime partner of Caliph Ibrahim.


08/18/14

Permalink Julian Assange press conference

Wikileaks founder says he will leave Ecuadoran embassy 'soon'. 10:02 am The press conference is now being brought to a close, with Assange giving very little detail on his next move. He said he would be leaving the Ecuadorian embassy "soon", but did not say when or give any information on the practical details. Following reports that he requires medical treatment for a heart or chronic lung condition, he confirmed two years of confinement had taken a toll on his health, but did not elaborate.

The Guardian: Julian Assange press conference: as it happened
Evening Standard: Julian Assange: I will be leaving the Ecuadorian embassy 'soon'
Ria Novosti: Assange to Make Statement about Future Plans at Press Conference in London


08/16/14

Permalink Islamic State executes 700 members of Syrian tribe, mostly civilians

The Islamic State group (IS) has executed 700 people from a Syrian tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria over the past two weeks, the majority of whom were civilians, a Syrian monitoring group said Saturday. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has consistently tracked violence on both sides of the three-year-old Syrian civil war have said that around 700 members of the al-Sheitaat tribe, from the Deir al-Zor province, have been executed and that many of them were beheaded by IS jihadists. "Those who were executed are all al-Sheitaat," Observatory director Rami Abdelrahman told Reuters by telephone from Britain. "Some were arrested, judged and killed." The conflict sucked in the al-Sheitaat tribe, who are about 70,000 in number, after the Islamic State captured two oil fields in July.

Whatsupic: Zionist front ISIS Begins Selling Iraqi Crude Oil to Turkey and Israel
Business Insider: ISIS Is A Zionist Plot; A Jew Is Leading The Group - Reports Claim
PressTV: Israel and ISIL are allies: Syrian envoy
RT.com: ISIS killed 500 Yazidis, buried some alive incl women and children - Iraq


08/14/14

Permalink NSA was responsible for 2012 Syrian internet blackout, Snowden says

When Syria's access to the internet was cut for two days back in 2012, it apparently wasn't the fault of dissenting "terrorists," as the Syrian government claimed: according to Wired, it was the fault of the US government. In a long profile of Edward Snowden published today, Wired writes what Snowden says is the truth about the internet outage. An elite hacking unit in the National Security Agency had reportedly been attempting to install malware on a central router within Syria — a feat that would have allowed the agency to access a good amount of the country's internet traffic. Instead, it ended up accidentally rendered the router unusable, causing Syria's internet connection to go dark. The NSA reportedly attempted to repair the router and cover its tracks, but the agency was unable to do so. Until now, however, it appears that no evidence of the NSA's tampering actually came out. It's a pretty dramatic change in the storyline, as it had been widely assumed that the outage had been caused by one of the warring parties within Syria, be it the government itself or rebels.

Business Insider: 6 Things We Learned From Wired's Huge New Interview With Edward Snowden
RIA Novosti: Medvedev's Twitter Account Hacked, Resignation Tweet False
RT.com: NSA bot MonsterMind can wage cyberwar on its own – Snowden


08/12/14

Permalink NPR Is Laundering CIA Talking Points to Make You Scared of NSA Reporting

Glenn Greenwald & Andrew Fishman On August 1, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a story by NPR national security reporter Dina Temple-Raston touting explosive claims from what she called “a tech firm based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.” That firm, Recorded Future, worked together with “a cyber expert, Mario Vuksan, the CEO of ReversingLabs,” to produce a new report that purported to vindicate the repeated accusation from U.S. officials that “revelations from former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden harmed national security and allowed terrorists to develop their own countermeasures.” [...] With this report, Temple-Raston seriously misled NPR’s millions of listeners. To begin with, Recorded Future, the outfit that produced the government-affirming report, is anything but independent. To the contrary, it is funded by the CIA and U.S. intelligence community with millions of dollars. Back in 2010, it also filed forms to become a vendor for the NSA. (In response to questions from The Intercept, the company’s vice president Jason Hines refused to say whether it works for the NSA, telling us that we should go FOIA that information if we want to know. But according to public reports, Recorded Future “earns most of its revenue from selling to Wall Street quants and intelligence agencies.”) The connection between Recorded Future and the U.S. intelligence community is long known. Back in July, 2010, Wired‘s Noah Shachtman revealed that the company is backed by both “the investment arms of the CIA and Google.”


07/31/14

Permalink CIA Admits Spying On Senate Computers

It's not been a good day for the CIA. First, the State Department slams them for brutally treating terror suspects after the 9/11 attacks, noting that "no American is proud" of CIA tactics. And now, as The NY Times reports, an internal investigation has found that its officers improperly penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee in preparing the report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program. Of course, this is not the first time the CIA has hacked Senate networks but do not fear American citizenry, CIA Director has apologized for his staff "acting inappropriately" and is setting up an internal accountability board to review the matter. It appears Ron Paul was right.

Contradicting earlier claims, CIA admits it improperly accessed Senate computers


Permalink White House accidentally leaks post-9/11 CIA torture report findings

A Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention practices after the 9/11 attacks concludes that the agency initially kept the secretary of state and some U.S. ambassadors in the dark about harsh techniques and secret prisons, according to a document circulating among White House staff. The still-classified report also says some ambassadors who were informed about interrogations of al-Qaida detainees at so-called black sites in their countries were instructed not to tell their superiors at the State Department, says the document, which the White House accidentally emailed to an Associated Press reporter.


Permalink Former US intelligence personnel challenge Obama to present evidence of Russian complicity in MH17 crash

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity U.S.-Russian intensions are building in a precarious way over Ukraine, and we are far from certain that your advisers fully appreciate the danger of escalation. The New York Times and other media outlets are treating sensitive issues in dispute as flat-fact, taking their cue from U.S. government sources. Twelve days after the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, your administration still has issued no coordinated intelligence assessment summarizing what evidence exists to determine who was responsible – much less to convincingly support repeated claims that the plane was downed by a Russian-supplied missile in the hands of Ukrainian separatists. Your administration has not showed any satellite imagery showing that the separatists had such weaponry, and there are several other "dogs that have not barked." Washington’s credibility, and your own, will continue to erode, should you be unwilling – or unable – to present more tangible evidence behind administration claims. In what follows, we put this in the perspective of former intelligence professionals with a cumulative total of 260 years in various parts of U.S. intelligence.


07/24/14

Permalink Islamic State orders genital mutilation of Iraqi women – UN

Sunni militants from the Islamic State have ordered all girls and women aged 11 to 46 in and around the city of Mosul to undergo female genital mutilation, the UN reported. The potential number of victims is estimated at 4 million. The shocking news, adding to an already long list of crimes reportedly committed by the militants since the takeover of northern Iraq last month, was broken by UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Jacqueline Badcock. "This is something very new for Iraq, particularly in this area, and is of grave concern and does need to be addressed," she told reporters in Geneva by videolink from Arbil on Thursday. "This is not the will of Iraqi people, or the women of Iraq in these vulnerable areas covered by the terrorists," she added.


07/19/14

Permalink US drone attack kills 11 in northwestern Pakistan

A US assassination drone attack kills at least 11 people in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region near the border with Afghanistan. According to reports, the drone fired eight missiles at a building in North Waziristan region early on Saturday morning. The US carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in several Muslim nations such as Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia. US drone attacks in other countries have intensified since Barack Obama became the country's president.


07/16/14

Permalink US drone strike kills 15 in northwest Pakistan

Another US drone attack on Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt has killed at least 15 people amid the ongoing military campaign in the region by Pakistani armed forces. The strike by the pilotless US aircraft on Wednesday hit the border region of North Waziristan, where government troops have been engaged in fierce fighting aimed at purging the entire area of pro-Taliban militants and their fortifications, according to Pakistani authorities. “A US drone fired two missiles targeting a militant compound in Zoi Saidgai area, killing at least 15 insurgents,” said a high-ranking security official in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan.


07/15/14

Permalink Germany 'may revert to typewriters' to counter hi-tech espionage

Politicians claim communciations technology is mistrusted in wake of US spying allegations and NSA surveillance revelations. German politicians are considering a return to using manual typewriters for sensitive documents in the wake of the US surveillance scandal. The head of the Bundestag's parliamentary inquiry into NSA activity in Germany said in an interview with the Morgenmagazin TV programme that he and his colleagues were seriously thinking of ditching email completely. Asked "Are you considering typewriters" by the interviewer on Monday night, the Christian Democrat politican Patrick Sensburg said: "As a matter of fact, we have – and not electronic models either". "Really?", the surprised interviewer checked. "Yes, no joke", Sensburg responded. During the continuing row over alleged US spying operations in Germany, there had been speculation that the CIA may have actively targeted the Bundestag's NSA inquiry committee.


07/11/14

Permalink ISIS and Al Nusra Just Got Their Hands on 88 Pounds of Uranium - No Big Deal Says Washington

SCGNews Yesterday the Iraqi government announced a startling new development: ISIS has managed to make off with 88 pounds of uranium from Mosul University. According to CNN two U.S. officials said on Wednesday that "the small amounts of uranium aren't enriched or weapons-grade, prompting only minimal concern." Minimal concern? One has to wonder how it is that a extremist group that has made a name for itself by conducting mass executions across Iraq and Syria getting a hold of almost 90 pounds of uranium is of minimal concern (especially when you consider it in the context of the hissy fit the U.S. State Depart has been throwing over Iran's peaceful use of nuclear energy).


07/05/14

Permalink ISIL militants lunatics threaten to invade, take over Spain

The so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) Takfiri group has posted a video on the web, threatening to invade and take over Spain. The minute-long footage shows two Spanish-speaking men saying Spain is the land of their forefathers and that they are prepared to die for their nascent Islamic State. The men said the ISIL would not stop at Spain and intends to spread its Islamic Caliphate across the world. “I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic banner, the Islamic Caliphate. We are going to die for it until we liberate all the occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia,” one of the men said.


07/02/14

Permalink Was The Department Of Defense Behind Facebook’s Controversial Manipulation Study?

You have probably heard about the extremely controversial Facebook “emotional contagion” study in which the company intentionally altered its news feed algorithm to see if it could manipulate its users’ emotions; but here is where it starts to get really strange. Initially, the press release from Cornell highlighting the study said at the bottom: “The study was funded in part by the James S. McDonnell Foundation and the Army Research Office.” Once people started asking questions about this, Cornell claimed it had made a mistake, and that there was no outside funding. Jay Rosen, Journalism Professor at NYU, seems to find this highly questionable...and it gets even more interesting from there.

Facebook's Psychological Experiments Connected to Department of Defense Research on Civil Unrest


06/30/14

Permalink Before Shooting in Iraq, a Warning on Blackwater

Blackwater’s top manager issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to U.S. State Department reports. Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports. American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports. After returning to Washington, the chief investigator wrote a scathing report to State Department officials documenting misconduct by Blackwater employees and warning that lax oversight of the company, which had a contract worth more than $1 billion to protect American diplomats, had created “an environment full of liability and negligence.”


06/28/14

Permalink Blackwater mercenaries on trial in US court for 2007 Iraq massacre

Nearly seven years later, four former mercenaries of Blackwater Worldwide are on trial in US court on charges stemming from a September 2007 attack that left 14 Iraqis dead and wounded 18 others in Baghdad’s Nisour Square. In the trial that began June 11 in US District Court in Washington, DC, Nicholas Slatten is accused of first-degree murder, and Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough are on trial for voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and gun charges. If convicted, Slatten could be sentenced to life in prison, while the other defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years if convicted of the gun charge and at least one other charge. The former Blackwater guards have pled not guilty to all charges. The US Justice Department dropped charges against a fifth guard and a sixth reached a plea deal.


06/27/14

Permalink Spying Together: Germany's Deep Cooperation with the NSA

Cooperation between Germany's foreign intelligence service, the BND, and America's NSA is deeper than previously believed. German agents appear to have crossed into constitutionally questionable territory. Three months before Edward Snowden shocked the world with his revelations, members of NSA's "Special Source Operations department" sat down for a weekly meeting at their headquarters in the US state of Maryland. The group, considered internally to be particularly efficient, has several tasks, one of which is overseeing the intelligence agency's delicate relationship with large telecommunications firms. It is the department that Snowden referred to as the "crown jewels" of the NSA. At this particular meeting, one significant slip-up was on the meeting agenda. On March 14, 2013, an SSO member had reported a potentially damaging incident. "Commercial consortium personnel" had apparently discovered the program "Wharpdrive," for which SSO had tapped a fiber-optic cable. "Witting partner personnel have removed the evidence," he explained further, "and a plausible cover story was provided." According to an internal NSA document to which SPIEGEL has access, a team was quietly put together to to reinstall the program. The NSA, apparently, did not perform the highly sensitive operation on its own. All signs indicate that the agency had help from Germany's Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the country's foreign intelligence agency. The code name Wharpdrive appears in a paper drafted in preparation for a BND delegation's visit to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, and which instructs NSA leaders to "thank the BND for their assistance with the trilateral program." It also makes clear that the German agency plays a leadership role in the Wharpdrive program, with the NSA providing only technical assistance.

Der Spiegel: New NSA Revelations: Inside Snowden's Germany File
Der Spiegel: Abbreviations Explained: How to Read the NSA Documents
Der Spiegel: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit [12/29/2013]
Ulrich Rippert: The return of the state secret police in Germany


Permalink The open source revolution is coming and it will conquer the 1% - ex CIA spy

The man who trained more than 66 countries in open source methods calls for re-invention of intelligence to re-engineer Earth. Robert David Steele, former Marine, CIA case officer, and US co-founder of the US Marine Corps intelligence activity, is a man on a mission. But it's a mission that frightens the US intelligence establishment to its core. With 18 years experience working across the US intelligence community, followed by 20 more years in commercial intelligence and training, Steele's exemplary career has spanned almost all areas of both the clandestine world. Steele started off as a Marine Corps infantry and intelligence officer. After four years on active duty, he joined the CIA for about a decade before co-founding the Marine Corps Intelligence Activity, where he was deputy director. Widely recognised as the leader of the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) paradigm, Steele went on to write the handbooks on OSINT for NATO, the US Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Special Operations Forces. In passing, he personally trained 7,500 officers from over 66 countries.


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