Tag Archives: Edward Snowden

US “Intel” Report on “Putin-Ordered” “Hacking of US Election”: Same Lies, Shouted Louder This Time

Last week the badly misnamed United States “Intelligence Community”, whose repeated massive failures to do their “jobs” have resulted in (to name just the two most infamous) the attack on 9/11 and the monstrous war against Iraq, released a pathetic evidence-free 25-page report attempting once again to link the Russian government of Vladimir Putin directly to alleged attempts by his government to interfere and even to “hack” the US electoral process in the 2016 US Presidential election.  Not surprisingly, once again they failed to produce even the slightest evidence to back their outrageous claims against Russia – an extremely dangerous attempt to essentially assert that an act of war has been committed by the Russian Government against the USA.  In their mad determination to maintain their military and economic hegemony over the entire world, the US capitalist class and their government – who can’t even run a medium-sized city like Detroit without fucking it up – think that they have the “right” to run the entire planet as their very own combination slave plantation and personal piggy bank.  Angered at their inability to add Syria to the long list of Middle Eastern nation-states they have turned into free-fire zones (thanks largely to Russia’s military support for the brutal Assad regime), the United States capitalist class seems to have given their bought-and-paid-for Senators and Congressmen and the lame-duck Obama Administration the green light to launch a propaganda war against Russia that seems intended to start WWIII!  Fortunately for the world, Vladimir Putin’s government has not responded to the “lesser evil” Democrat Obama’s attacks in kind.

Having just had their asses handed to them in the recent US Presidential elections (in spite of their spending a couple of billion dollars to make their pet Hillary the first female President) the US capitalist class is in a rage.  Rodham Clinton – the heavy favorite to win the latest phony presidential “election” in the USA – had her coronation rudely canceled, not by WikiLeaks, not by the “evil empire”of Putin, but by the Libertarian and Green Parties, who, by securing over 5% of the vote in key states handed Donald Trump the electoral votes he needed to win.  But this reality can not be acknowledged by the US capitalist class because to admit that it was the poorly-funded third parties right here in the USA that annulled their supposedly magical money-power to elect whomever they choose to the highest office in the land means that they must admit that the days of dead-end two-party politics, controlled entirely by the wealthiest 10% of US citizens is OVER.  So, to cover up the fact that the suposedly invincible US capitalist class is losing control over its own fake “democracy” in the US, they have promulgated the Big Lie that it was the evil Russian Putin who “stole the election” which the US greedhead class thought they had once again bought for themselves “fair and square”.

The Obama Administration and their Republican allies in Congress are shouting in unison that WikiLeaks and Putin conspired to “hack” the US electoral process.  This ridiculous assertion falls on its face at the very first hurdle.  There is not the tiniest bit of evidence that WikiLeaks has colluded with the Russians in any way, and the US “Intelligence Community” reports have not provided a shred of actual evidence proving this assertion.  Likewise, they have not been able to find any kind of “smoking gun” evidence proving that the Russians did anything other than publicly avow their preference for a Trump victory over Clinton, for a vast number of very good reasons.  Hillary Clinton’s brutal record of destabilizing the entire Middle East and their sinister support for the Nazi-ridden, anti-Russian government of the Ukraine while she was Secretary of State alone provide enough plainly justifyable reasons why the Russians would prefer Anyone But Clinton.  But Trump’s wholly unsolicited public statements of admiration for the autocrat Putin gave the Russians plenty of reasons to prefer a Trump win.  Politicians, governments and media pundits all over the world picked their favorite candidates and publicly stated their preferences.  What makes Putin and his nation’s propagandists doing the same thing so special?  When the United States wants to make its preferences known in foreign elections it finds many ways to do it – publicly and privately – and makes no bones about it, unless the US “Intelligence Community” decides an assassination or two are in order, of course.

Did the Russians hack Hillary Clinton’s illegal, secret and poorly defended email server and those of her campaign manager John Podesta and others and turn over the docs to WikiLeaks  to use against Hillary Clinton as the US Government claims? According to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, the answer is an emphatic “no”.

(Watch the full interview below:)

During an interview with right-wing blowhard Sean Hannity broadcast on Hannity’s TV show last week, Assange repeatedly denied that WikiLeaks received the Podesta or Clinton emails “from any state party”.  Hannity pounded away on this point, asking Assange several times from several different angles during the interview to deny that there was any Russian Government link to the WikiLeaks revelations that proved so damaging to Clinton’s Presidential cakewalk; and every time he did, Assange firmly stated that there was no Russian government involvement in the leaks.

So, who should we believe: the US Government or Julian Assange?  Assange has a long record for telling the truth; the US Government “Intelligence” agencies have a much longer record of systematically lying to the public and even lying under oath during Congressional testimony!  Not surprisingly, current polls show that in spite of years of a massive US Government-orchestrated propaganda campaign to discredit WikiLeaks as an organization and Assange personally, a large percentage of the US population trusts Assange and WikiLeaks more than they trust the US Government officialdom!  This, too is another sign that the ability of the US capitalist class to fool the US working class with their endless pro-capitalist propaganda and lies is wearing thin.  The Internet in general, and courageous hackers, whistleblowers and information outlets like WikiLeaks have made it very difficult for any government to successfully lie to its own citizens for any length of time.  The exposes of their lies occur almost immediately as soon as the words trill off their lying tongues, entirely bypassing what has been for more than a century the carefully constructed and fraudulent “impartial” bourgeois press’ self-imposed pro-government censorship.  The top bourgeois press mouthpieces of the US capitalist class – the New York Times and the Washington Post – have in recent weeks been repeatedly caught spreading lying pro-government propaganda within 24 hours of the attempt.  The US capitalist class (less than 10% of the US’ ~4.5% of the world population) which thinks it can run the world in its own greedy self-interest – in the name of “Democracy”(TM), of course! – is rapidly losing control of its home wage-slave plantation.  And so the capitalists, always living in mortal fear that their long-exploited worker-victims will finally wise up to their tricks are losing their minds, lashing out at the Russians in a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that the “all-powerful” US capitalist class can’t even rig their own domestic elections any more!

The new “Intelligence” report is based upon alleged “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections developed by three US intelligence agencies: the US Government’s political police (the Federal Bureau of Investigation – FBI); the foreign intelligence, propaganda and assassinations branch of the US Government (the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency – CIA); and the communications spy agency known as the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).  In spite of this the report is supposed to be evidence of openness and transparency in the US Government (try not to laugh).  In fact, the only thing about it that is “open and transparent” is that it is an open and transparent attempt to lie once again to the world – and especially to the workers of the USA – that the Russians essentially made Donald Trump President of the United States!  If you believe that whopper, we have a small herd of unicorns we’d like to sell you!  (They lay golden eggs!)

The Intel report (link available at end of article) is supposed to be identical to the “top secret” report given to US Assassin-in-Chief Obama… but with all the actual alleged “evidence” stripped out of it.  So, once again, the US working class and the entire world is supposed to “take the US Government’s word for it” that the evidence actually exists.  The problem is that these scumbags have lied to the UN, their NATO allies, the entire world to justify their massive crimes against humanity, like the murderous and unprovoked war against Iraq which cost that nation the lives of well over a million of its citizens and reduced it to a state of barbarism – all so the US capitalist class and their British co-conspirators could stuff their pockets with profits stolen from the Iraqi oil fields.  No one in their right mind would believe a thing the US Government says after the debacle over their fraudulent claims of Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of “mobile bioweapon labs” and an arsenal of “weapons of mass destruction” that turned out to be entirely imaginary.

What the new. slightly less-censored report DOES demonstrate is that the one branch of the US’ so-called “intelligence community” that would have been able to obtain bona fide “smoking gun evidence” of Putin having ordered the hacking of the US elections – the US National Security Agency – HAS NOT BEEN ABLE TO PRODUCE SUCH EVIDENCE!  In fact, out of the three major US intel agencies whose assessments of the results of the entirety of their agencies’ collective massive spying operations being waged against Russia 24/7/365 led to the “overall” conclusion that the Russian Government was involved in “hacking the US elections”, it is the NSA that has the lowest level of confidence in the “evidence”!

It is typical in these types of validity assessments of “intelligence community” research on a subject that each agency report the level of confidence it has in its own assessment.  There are huge internal fights over these characterizations of the validity of the ‘evidence” presented.  In the run-up to the Iraq War, a significant number of CIA analysts fought to have their low opinion of the quality of the “evidence” for the existence of Saddam’s “WMD” arsenal and his attempts to obtain nuclear-weapons-grade materials brought to the attention of then-President Bush via the multi-intel-agency assessments of the Iraq WMD evidence.  Their criticisms were censored out of the report given to President Bush at the insistence of their own agency heads and key Administration officials hell-bent on war.  So any time we see, especially in a “declassified” document like this latest one an assertion from one of the key intel agencies that their level of confidence in the validity of the conclusions of the report differ from that of the other agencies, we take notice of that.  In this latest report, it is the agency that would most likely be the one whose intrusive spying operations would produce such evidence (involving the precise type of hacking of government agencies and politicians emails that the US Government is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them!) asserts that in at least one key conclusion of the report, the NSA has only “moderate confidence” in the “evidence”!

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: "Intelligence Community Assessment - Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections", 6 January 2017 (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

NSA not convinced Russians conspired to help Trump win election via campaign of disinformation disparaging Clinton. Source: Office of Director of National Intelligence: “Intelligence Community Assessment – Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”, 6 January 2017, p. ii (Emphasis added by IWPCHI)

The report gives us a helpful graphic which shows how to interpret the meaning of what a SpySpeak “moderate level of confidence” actually means in common English:

ODNI report defines "levels of confidence" - Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

ODNI report defines “levels of confidence” – Source: ODNI report, ibid., p 13.

So now we can see that a “moderate level of confidence” in the evidence – as asserted by the NSA’s analysts regarding one of the central claims of the report – means “even odds” that the information is either a) true or b) pure horseshit.  The brain trust at NSA were unable to decide which.

So we know from this supposedly “unanimous” intel assessment that in at least one key aspect of the conclusions there was a significant difference of opinion so great that the less-confident section of the NSA analysts insisted that their lack of confidence be openly stated in the report.  This was probably not something that was very easy to have included in a declassified report that was being used as propaganda to demonstrate complete confidence in the allegations against the Russians; and was almost certainly insisted upon as a condition of the NSA agreeing to put their stamp of approval of the US Intel collective’s “high confidence” in the assertions made in the report.  The claim that all three agencies were “unanimous” in their “high confidence” of the assertions made based on the “evidence” of Russian tampering with US elections… was itself a lie!

Quel surprise!: the US Government continues to lie to the world and especially to the working class of the USA, who must be kept in a state of fear and confusion at all times regardless of how stupid it makes the population of the USA look to the rest of the world and how venal and ruthless it makes the US government look.  What else is new?

The fact is that the US capitalist class and its “intelligence agencies” are engaged in funneling money to military leaders and politicians and buying journalists in every nation in the world 24/7/365.  Everything the US is hypocritically whining about the Russians having done to them the US  Government has done in every country in the world, from the Dominican Republic to Germany.  The CIA doesn’t stop at merely disseminating pro-US propaganda to bolster the foreign dictators the US supports; hires thugs to beat up communist and socialist political party workers; it trains death squads to kill union leaders and political activists of the working class;  and it does not to hesitate to ‘interfere” in foreign elections using every tool from slander to assassination to “eliminate” political leaders it does not like in a continuous effort to “defend American interests” (read: foreign investments by the US capitalist class) in every country on Earth.  The revelation by Edward Snowden of the US’ massive spying operations being waged by the US Government against its own allies, which include hacking into the cell phones of leaders and even of collecting DNA specimens from UN representatives shows that all of this reckless anti-Russian propaganda is nothing but a case of “the pot calling the kettle ‘black'”.  Only here in the USA, where the slavish US wage/debt/credit slaves keep themselves safely uninformed about what their own ruling class’ government is up to, does this thoroughly hypocritical campaign of lies carry any weight.  The workers all over the rest of the world laugh out loud in the face of the US Government’s massive shedding of crocodile’s tears over “poor little USA” merely having its own elections tampered with by the preferred news media outlet of Russia, when what the United Styates routinely does to interfere in foreign elections is far worse – by several orders of magnitude!  The wailing of US Government officials over “Russian tampering” in the 2016 US election is really too ridiculous for words!

The US “intel community” report also expresses the US capitalist class’ fury at the fact that it no longer can control the news being presented to the US working class via their wholly-owned-and-operated de facto government propaganda outlets of the domestic US bourgeois press.  They are particularly furious that the Russians have created a TV station that is popular in the USA and which boldly dares to disseminate pro-Russian propaganda – just as the US and the UK capitalist class governments do via Radio Free Europe, the Voice of America, the BBC, CNN and a host of other propaganda outlets!  It is quite amusing to hear the United States Government bleat about how “Russia Today”‘s US-focused “RT” network is spreading pernicious lies (actually mostly the truth) about the US Government to US workers when the US has been doing the opposite thing (spreading mostly lies) to the Russians since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917!  It is hilarious to hear the Big Criminals of the US capitalist class crying about how the Little Criminals in the Russian Government have “stolen” what they have always believed to be the US’ proprietary propaganda methods and are now using them to undermine US workers’ alleged “confidence in the US Government” precisely the same way that the US propaganda outlets have done and continue to do to Russia, Syria, China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea and every other regime they do not like!  Poor babies!

The fact is that the coronation of the US capitalist class candidate of choice the bought-and-paid-for shill of Wall St., Hillary Rodham Clinton was torpedoed not because too many US voters were brainwashed by watching (mostly truthful) RT exposes – based on the WikiLeaks and other revelations – of the undemocratic methods Hillary Rodham Clinton was using against the Bernie Sanders campaign to secure her nomination as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.  Hillary Rodham Clinton was defeated because enough voters were convinced of her corruption and venality, her bloodthirstiness, her unsuitability to hold the nation’s highest office that a couple million of them in key states voted for third-party candidates because they found her simply to be repulsive!  Clinton had her candidacy torpedoed not by “Russian spies” or by Julian Assange but by the exposing of her coquettish courting of Wall St. speculators and bankers and other corporate criminals.  The US citizens who are so fed up with the same old bullshit from the Democrats and the Republicans that enough of them voted for Libertarian and Green Party candidates to shoot Clinton’s Presidential hopes to tatters – hopefully once and for all time!

This election, we believe, signals the beginning of the end of the two-party system in the USA and the advent of the rise of third parties capable of winning enough votes from the thoroughly discredited twin parties owned and operated by the US capitalist class to throw every future US election up for grabs.  This is the second time in 20 years that third parties garnered enough votes in key states to completely overthrow the carefully-laid-and-paid-for fraud of a US Presidential election.  Finally, US citizens are starting to vote their conscience rather than just voting for whoever they think will win.  But this passive strategy of voting for whatever half-bright third-party candidate shows up in an election who is not a Democrat or Republican will not magically produce candidates that truly represent the interests of the working class.  The Libertarian Party, for example, is not a pro-working-class party but is in fact a right-wing pro-capitalist party whose ideological ancestry can be traced back to that idiot tool of the capitalist class Ayn Rand – a “philosophy” that seriously asserts that selfishness is among the greatest of all human virtues!  Disgusting!

The Green Party, though espousing a reasonably rational environmental policy (its one “minor” flaw being that it is totally unrealizable under the capitalist system) is itself also a pro-capitalist political party, which means it defends the syatematic exploitation of the vast majority of the population by the numerically tiny capitalist class.  What the working class needs is a REAL workers party, not a vaguely “progressive” party that makes a lot of timid “progressive” noises but which, in the final analysis, defends the capitalist system that ruthlessly robs the working class day-in and day-out.   When the working class of the USA finally realizes that it must create a party of its own, completely independent of the US capitalist class, funded 100% by the working class, staffed by revolutionary Trotskyist workers and dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system of racism, war, poverty and unemployment, the days of the rule of the exploiters over the exploited will finally come to its long-awaited end.  We’re ready to get this party started when you are, sister and brother workers!  Join us!  If we work hard enough over the next three years we will be able to start replacing the bought-and-paid-for politicians representing the greedy 10%ers with real workers representatives who don’t just want to “speak truth to power” but who want to take power into the hands of the working class directly.  The working class can not have its rights successfully fought for and defended by politicians who owe their political offices to bribes paid them by the capitalists to secure their election.  We must have our own party, our own leaders, answerable only to you the workers and to you alone.  We will take over all local, state and national offices and then we will finally get rid of the capitalist system that enslaves the workers of the entire capitalist world by overthrowing the capitalists’ rotten and corrupt government and replacing it with an egalitarian socialist workers republic.  Only then can we have a government that guarantees our inalienable right to housing, food, clothing, education and health care once and for all time.

–IWPCHI

25-page ODNI Report:  odni_-intel-community-assessment-assessing-russian-activities-and-intentions-in-recent-us-elections-6jan17

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Movie Review – CITIZENFOUR: “Speaking Truth to Power” is not What Needs to Be Done (* out of 5)

[Note: this review is being simultaneously published by the Independent Workers Party of Chicago and the Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago on the respective websites of both groups.]

CITIZENFOUR – a film by Laura Poitras  https://citizenfourfilm.com/

We expected a lot from Laura Poitras’ new film CITIZENFOUR; we were massively disappointed.  With ex- CIA/NSA contract worker Edward Snowden still stuck in exile in Russia and the citizenry of the United States far more interested in the latest shiny objects for sale at the Apple Store than in fighting for their rapidly disappearing Constitutional rights, we had hoped that this film would be a clarion call to the workers of the United States to take action in their own self-defense by standing up in support of Snowden and his fellow heroic whistle-blowers Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Jeremy Hammond and others.  Instead what we get is a very tepid and shallow overview of “the story so far” of the world-shaking revelations made by Snowden exposing the US Government’s global espionage network that monitors and stores for future use every cellphone call, email message and the wealth of information derivable from our daily movements as recorded by our cellphones every day.  CITIZENFOUR should be like a nuclear howitzer blasting chunks out of the edifice of US and British imperialism; instead its effect is like that of a dozen pies thrown in the faces of a gang of war criminals.  You could say that CITIZENFOUR pulled all its punches… except for the fact that it never even attempts to throw any.  This is, by the way, the primary reason why it’s getting such great reviews from the bourgeois press.

So far as we can tell, the reason that Poitras doesn’t engage in aggressive political “agitprop” – a fact that nearly every reviewer from the bourgeois press extols as one of her film’s strengths – is apparently that she has no political axe to grind – or more accurately, she is a liberal bourgeois democratic reformist whose political aspirations rise no higher than to being one who “speaks truth to power”.  What this means in practice is that she and others like her – including Assange and Snowden – willingly self-limit the extent of their political activities to begging the “legitimate powers that be” to behave themselves and to urging the paid employees of the US capitalist ruling class that have set up the global espionage network – the bourgeois politicians in the “Five Eyes” nations – to start taking their alleged “responsibilities” to the citizens of their respective nations seriously by curbing the “excesses” that they themselves signed off on!

This kind of “inside the box” thinking may seem strange coming from the likes of Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald; but if we analyze their political philosophies in more detail it doesn’t seem strange at all.  Unless a person has consciously broken away from the worthless, selfish, greedy corporatist ideology of the capitalist system and has become a conscious Marxist revolutionary dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist class and its economic system, one’s politics are going to be by definition REFORMIST at best; and so how can a non-revolutionary do anything else but simply beg the bourgeoisie to straighten up and fly right?  If you believe that the capitalist economic system is “the best of all possible economic systems”, and that only the capitalist class and its favored institutions of higher learning are capable of producing “legitimate” political leaders – where does that leave you politically?  It leaves you “speaking truth to power” like a good, loyal (if somewhat uppity) wage-slave!

Is CITIZENFOUR worth seeing?  For us, it was worth the price of admission just to see the “Dream Team” of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras in the same room preparing to launch one of the world’s most impressive exposes of massive governmental abuses of power affecting everyone on the planet who has access to a telephone and/or a computer connected to the Internet.  This NSA spy scandal makes Watergate look like a pillow fight!  But the cursory overview made by the film of the extent of the revelations can’t be very compelling to anyone who hasn’t been following the story over the past year or so.  The movie barely describes the NSA and GCHQ-run “Five Eyes” espionage juggernaut; nor does it clearly show the threats of assassination and worse levied against Snowden, Assange and Greenwald by various US Government scumbags through the news media for daring to bring all this criminality into the light of day.  And, having not even really covered any of these issues, the film fails to even attempt to engage the audience in the critically important work of what is to be done: building new political parties to take down those that have erected the Big Brother spy apparatus that is intended to be used primarily to rapidly identify political opponents of the US, UK, Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Governments INSIDE  THEIR RESPECTIVE NATION-STATES!  This is, after all, the real purpose of all this espionage: to create a database of the day-to-day activities of every citizen of the world’s leading capitalist states in order to identify and neutralize them if they should ever seek to organize seriously threatening political opposition to the neo-fascist police states being set up in the US and its partners in the “Five Eyes” nations.  The primary target of all this espionage isn’t foreign terrorism: the target is the domestic working-class political opposition that – if it turns in a revolutionary socialist direction – potentially threatens the continued class rule of the capitalist classes of the world.  The capitalist classes of the US and UK in particular have absolutely no intention of sharing political power with the numerically and economically vastly superior working class that creates all the wealth under capitalism.  Any attempt by the domestic working classes of the US or UK to throw off the yoke of capitalist exploitation through political or economic strike action will immediately be placed under the microscope of the global espionage network, where the movement’s leaders will be quickly identified, isolated and “neutralized” – physically if the capitalists deem it to be necessary.  This is precisely what makes so extremely dangerous  the Obama Administration’s precedent-setting legal findings asserting that a sitting US President has the “right” to order the assassination of any US citizen whose writings or friends and associates he – or more accurately his employers in the US capitalist class – do not like.

This is not crazy commie paranoia speaking here: the Obama Administration has openly admitted that it has murdered four US citizens in drone strikes overseas – that we know of; and the US government maintains a “watch list” of its perceived opponents that already had a million people listed on it in 2009 – and it is being constantly updated. In 2013 it was reported that an additional 450,000 people were “nominated” to be added to the list – with few of the nominees escaping that dubious honor.

The faith in the hired political lackeys of the bourgeoisie implicitly espoused by Poitras, Greenwald, Snowden and Assange; their placid belief that steady pressure applied to the so-called liberal “left-wing” and Libertarian sections of the political class will ultimately win the day and allow the necessary political reforms to be enacted is, quite frankly, absurd – and evidence of a political immaturity in all of them that is quite shocking, especially considering what they have learned since Snowden came forward with his revelations.  Those actual members of the US or UK capitalist classes who go to see CITIZENFOUR will undoubtedly feel a tremendous relief in their discovery that these potentially dangerous opponents of the capitalist class are, in fact, posing no serious threat to the status quo at all.  The capitalists and their spies and hired guns can sleep a bit easier knowing that Poitras, Assange, Snowden and Greenwald – for all their genuine courage and excellent work in exposing the crimes of the ruling class – have set for themselves only the pathetic task of “speaking truth to power”.   That is something that the ruling class can listen to from Assange, Snowden – or anyone else, for that matter – for ever, condescendingly acknowledging and even thanking them profusely for their heroic selflessness in bringing to the world’s attention these “serious issues” – while doing absolutely nothing substantial to change the workings of the national security state at all.  Viewed in this way, CITIZENFOUR becomes just another pointless pantomime rebellion in the long, bloody history of capitalism.  The capitalists will, first of all, breathe a deep sigh of relief now that it’s clear that the film isn’t presenting an indictment of the capitalist class or their system; then, having been let largely off the hook by the film’s protagonists, we expect the capitalist class to continue to do what they have in fact been doing: applauding the film.   Perhaps Poitras and Greenwald will be invited to  testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee to speak “truth to power” on CSPAN; or at the Council on Foreign Relations… or at the United Nations or one of the capitalist soirees like the annual hand-wringing exercise at Davos, Switzerland.   Finally, perhaps, the capitalist class will direct the editors of their news media conglomerates to heap praise on the film and even to heartily recommend that it be awarded the Palme ‘d’Or, or even an Oscar or two!  This is how activist filmmakers like Poitras and investigative journalists like Greenwald are co-opted by the capitalist class and transformed from courageous opponents of the capitalist system to prominent pro-regime songbirds publicly displayed in golden cages. Ask Barbara Kopple or Bob Woodward how it’s done.

Poitras, Greenwald et al are, we believe, decent, courageous and apparently honest bourgeois reformist journalists.  But we ask our readers to imagine how much further along in investigating, exposing and successfully fighting this impending global police state we’d be if the documents unleashed by Snowden had been placed not in the hands of “responsible journalists” but in the hands of worker-revolutionaries who weren’t so loyally censoring the documents in order to “protect the agents and assets” of the racist, bloodthirsty and greed-obsessed US capitalist class and its spy organizations!  Snowden makes clear in the movie that his motivation for placing the blockbuster documents he purloined from the NSA into the hands of trustworthy representatives of the bourgeois press was that he wanted to be sure that there would be no reckless release of information that would seriously damage the “legitimate” goals of the shadow government of the US!  Greenwald et al have scrupulously respected the “sacred trust” placed in them by Snowden to protect the “family jewels” of the espionage agencies of US and British imperialism.  This is disgusting!  Instead of placing the interests of the 7.2 billion workers of the world above all else, Snowden and his team are protecting the “legitimate rights” of the microscopically small capitalist class against those of the multi-billion strong international working class!  Snowden and his collaborators are doing a tremendous service for the US and British capitalist classes, which are, by the way, going to repay them and all of us by imposing their will on the world – both internationally and domestically – through increasingly brutal military and police-state force.  To throw the US and British capitalist classes such a huge life-preserver when they should instead be having ANCHORS tied to their necks is to betray the entire human race in order to maintain the tenuous and despotic rule of a class of criminals responsible for the perpetuation of the horrors of a capitalist world in which – to name just one major example – the world does little or nothing while 17,000 children die of starvation every single day!  There is nothing “legitimate” about the capitalist class or their “interests”!  Every effort should be made to destroy the NSA, the CIA and the US military and the cretinous ruling class that spawned them – not to save them!

Nothing short of workers revolution can change the increasingly deranged plans of the US capitalist class.  They have plans of global military domination of the entire planet that go far beyond what even Adolf Hitler envisioned; so long as their political opponents refuse to form working class revolutionary parties to overthrow the capitalist class and system, the ruling capitalists have nothing to fear.

The working class, however, DOES have something to fear from the fact that most of their erstwhile leaders are so completely dedicated to the continuation of the brutal capitalist system that they are prepared to follow the capitalist class all the way down the road to hell, where the fascists and eventually World War Three will put an end to this historical epoch – and perhaps throw the human race back into a pre-industrial stage of development.  Apparently, these folks think that they have more to gain from clinging to the coat-tails of the capitalist class than they can gain by fighting for the emancipation of the workers of the world.  If they insist on taking the capitalist road, that’s fine; but let’s not imagine that because THEY are heading down that road, that we, too, must take that well-worn path to political oblivion.  We’re not followers – we aspire to be revolutionary workers leaders. We warn the Poitrases and Greenwalds of the world of the dangers that lie ahead; we try to point out the reasons why we disagree with them; we urge them to take the high rather than the low road; but we can’t force them to lead a workers revolution.  They are simply not revolutionaries; perhaps it’s just not in their nature to be revolutionaries.  It’s a pity, but that is, in the end, their problem – we don’t need to make it ours.

The working class must look elsewhere than to Poitras, Snowden, Assange and Greenwald for the political leadership necessary to lead the workers of the world out of the dead end of the capitalist stage of development and into the next stage: that of socialism.  It’s “socialism or barbarism” brothers and sisters, just like Marx, Engels, Lenin, Luxemburg, and Trotsky explained to us so many years ago!  Now –  as then – to ignore the warnings of those great, selfless and honest internationalist leaders of the working class is to help the capitalist class pave the road leading to the hell of the next – and possibly this time, the last – world war.

Workers of the World, Unite!

IWPCHI and Friends of WikiLeaks – Chicago

Document Collection: NSA Infiltrates Online Games To Learn How to Discern and Exploit Human Behavior in the Real World

We present here a collection of documents filched from the archives at the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) by Edward Snowden relating to the NSA’s spy ops in the world of online games like World of Warcraft and Second Life.

When this story first broke, many commentators ridiculed the notion that the NSA would waste taxpayers’ money by trolling these virtual-reality games.  The spin doctors from the US Government and the capitalist news media tried successfully to make it seem as though the NSA was just on a wild goose chase for terrorists who were using virtual worlds as a cover for global organization of terrorist networks – pretty far-fetched stuff.

In fact, the NSA and other US Government spy agencies studying these websites are engaged in very intensive studies of human behavioral patterns in order to be better able to manipulate people in the real world.  The NSA’s activities in places like Second Life – like their massive global data collection and mining activities – have very little to do with terrorism and a LOT to do with maintaining capitalist class rule all over the world by profiling and targeting political activists who organize  opposition to the machinations of the capitalist class.  The primary purpose of NSA spy ops is to develop techniques for quickly stripping away the layers of anonymity any prudent citizen of the world would attempt cloak themselves with online who is an active opponent of the United States capitalist class.  The idea is to enable the US intelligence community to quickly identify key activists in times of national crisis in order to neutralize them as the nuclei of successful revolutionary opposition to the US capitalist class.  Having stripped away a target’s online and telephonic anonymity, the NSA can turn over the identity and location of anyone deemed to be a threat to the maintenance of the capitalist status quo to the appropriate police or military authorities.  That this methodology is useful in targeting terrorists is tangential to the real goal, which is to prevent the rise of organized political opposition to the capitalist system anywhere in the world.  That is why the NSA’s spy operations are not tailored to target only terrorists: in the eyes of the numerically tiny US capitalist class, any citizen of the world can become a “terrorist” threat to their continued and increasingly difficult-to-maintain control of the world’s political and economic systems.

These documents reveal that the NSA is seeking the collaboration of behavioral psychologists studying human behavior in virtual worlds and how that behavior relates to and reveals how these same people behave in the real world.  The people they are specifically targeting in Second Life and World of Warcraft are citizens who are either political opponents of the US Government or employees of key institutions, corporations and foreign governments whom the US Government seeks to influence, manipulate or destroy.  By observing the behavior of the targeted persons in the virtual world, the US Government can seek to find out what “makes these people tick” so they can be more successfully manipulated in the real world.

Several of the documents reveal the vast amount of insight into a human being’s psyche that is obtainable by observing how a person behaves using an avatar in a virtual world setting.  The same attributes that attract a targeted person in the virtual world, it has been discovered, will also attract them in the real world.  By studying them in the virtual world, where their inhibitions are dropped to a significant degree, the spy agencies can see deep into the “soul” of a target, and can utilize those insights to craft any number of psychological warfare operations to recruit or derange and destroy that person in the real world.  Major US defense contractors like Lockheed have ongoing research projects studying human behavior in the popular online virtual worlds.  This is not the least bit frivolous on the part of the US Government: it is teaching the spies how to utilize modern scientific methods of behavior modeling and modification to effect desirable (to the capitalist class) changes in the real world.  This is the kind of Big Brother mind control operation that the US Government has always sought, since the days of the CIA’s  MKULTRA program.

The longer the workers of the world allow the capitalist classes of the world to stay in power, the more ominous these spy operations will become.  The working people of the world have to organize to overthrow the capitalist class and its greed-based economic system and replace it with an egalitarian socialist economic system where this kind of mind-control bullshit will not be tolerated.  The longer we wait to do something about this, the harder it will be to reverse the massive inroads that the capitalists have made into clamping a lid on political opposition to their increasingly despotic class rule.

Workers of the Woeld, Unite!

IWPCHI

________________

Screenshot of IARPA website's "Organization" page.

Screenshot of IARPA website’s “Organization” page.

IARPA website: description of "REYNARD" program.

IARPA website: description of “REYNARD” program.

This document is a much more detailed exposition on the REYNARD program.  Interestingly, the document asserts that the REYNARD program’s intensive studies of human behavior carried out surreptitiously in online games like “World of Warcraft” and “Second Life” “was conducted under the oversight of human subjects protection Institutional Review Boards. The Government received only data analysis and summary reports that excluded any personally identifiable information.”  But of course, it has long been the case that in cases of studies of human subjects where it is even possible that physical or mental harm can be caused by the study, the only ethical way to “protect” human experimental subjects is first of all to obtain their fully informed CONSENT to participate in the study.  This was not even attempted by these researchers.
“Facts about the program, which ended in 2012, include:
• The program studied approximately 15,000 players from 9 countries in 12 MMOGs and  VWs
• The research found objective behavioral indicators for over a dozen RW characteristics,  such as gender and age
• RW characteristics could be predicted from VW behavior with a high degree of accuracy (>75%)
The Reynard program concluded that individuals’ online behaviors are highly consistent with who they are offline. This contradicts the view of other experts, who claim that individuals explore alternative ways of behaving when interacting online.”

November 2013 summary of IARPA’s “REYNARD” program

________________________________

This document outlines US defense contractor Lockheed-Martin’s successful proposal for participation in the REYNARD program.  Lockheed asserts that its program will develop such capabilities as “sentiment and tone of discourse analysis” and will “identify salient clues of behaviors indicative of: gender; approximate age; economic status; ideology;  degree of influence and culture.”

Lockheed-Martin’s proposal for REYNARD program

_______________________________

NSA GAMES PAPER: “Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments”
This document is the NSA’s raison d’etre for targeting virtual reality games, which thay call “Games and Virtual Environments (GVEs): “GVEs are an opportunity! We can use games for: CNE exploits, social network analysis, HUMINT [HUMan INTelligence – IWPCHI] targeting, ID tracking (photos, doc IDs), shaping activities, geo-location of target, and collection of comms. It has been well documented that terrorists are OPSEC [OPerations SECurity – IWPCHI] and tech saavy and are only getting more so over time. These applications and their servers however, are
trusted by their users and makes an connection to another computer on the Internet, which can then be exploited. Through target buddylists and interaction found in the gaming and on gaming web sites, social networks can be diagramed and previously unknown SIGINT [SIGnals INTelligence; covers all types of electronic communications – IWPCHI]  leads and
connections and terrorists cells discovered. GVEs can contain on-line presence indicators, geolocation, and ID tracking can be gleaned and used in apprehension operations.”

We believe that it is more useful to look at all the references to “terrorists” and “terrorism” in NSA and similar agencies’ propaganda and documentation as the cover story which is intended to obscure the identities of their actual  target populations, which are, as we stated above, far more diverse, numerous and threatening to the capitalist class than  the relatively small numbers of “professional terrorists” in the “real world”: the working class and its political leadership.

NSA white paper: “Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments”

___________________________

Stanford Research Institute (SRI) International: “When DoomJezter Met AngelBlossom: Virtual World Language Use and Real World
Identity”

SRI International is the cutout organization that the US Department of Defense uses to funnel money to the Tor Project.  This doesn’t provide much of a cover for Tor’s DoD sugar daddies: SRI has always derived the majority of its funding from the Pentagon.  In fact, in the 1970’s, anti-Vietnam War activists at Stanford drove SRI off campus because of its nefarious activities on behalf of US imperialism’s brutal war against the Vietnamese workers and peasants.  According to Wikipedia, in 2010, 67% of SRI’s funding came from the Pentagon.

Here, SRI is conducting research for the US Air Force Research Laboratory  in a project called VERUS (Virtual Environment Real User Study) in which “SRI is exploring online gaming systems and virtual environments to better understand links between online gamers and their real-world activities, and to understand their avatars’ group dynamics within virtual worlds. The research goals go well beyond enhancing the entertainment value of online games. The work will also help enhance virtual environments for teaching and learning, professional training, and collaboration.”

VERUS project webpage at SRI Intl

VERUS project webpage at SRI Intl

SRI Int’l, VERUS: “When DoomJezter Met AngelBlossom: Virtual World Language Use and Real World Identity”

IWPCHI

New York Times Censorship: Revolutionary Socialist Ideas Are “Not Fit to Print”

The flagship propaganda outlet for US imperialism, the New York Times, claims to publish “All the News Fit to Print” – which doesn’t include ideas that would lead to the overthrow of their owners in the US capitalist class – the most despotic ruling class in world history.  This is not surprising, and it isn’t “news” to veteran socialists; but it is real and it has to be brought to the attention of the working class and a major campaign by the socialist parties of the United States must be fought to smash the capitalist class’ censorship of public discussion.

The NYT publishes all kinds of pro-regime news, and only very carefully edited exposes of the most flagrant violations of bourgeois etiquette – like the mass torture of prisoners by the US military at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay and the global spying scandal revealed by Edward Snowden and the US Government claiming the “right” to assassinate US citizens – make it through their fine sieve of bourgeois propriety.  Even then, the New York Times goes out of its way to allow the United States Government to conduct pre-publication censorship of the Times’ own articles on these subjects.

The words “Communist” and “Communist Party” or even “socialist” rarely find their way into the bourgeois press unless they are being used as pejorative terms. Even in death the Times’ obituary columnists routinely “forget” to mention the fact that the deceased person(s) whose virtues they are forced to extol (due to the departed’s vast contributions to US and/or world culture) was a lifelong communist.  “Not fit to print” apparently.  Musn’t let the children know that there was ever anything good that came from the communist movement!

This amounts to nothing less than a long-running attempt to falsify the historical record.  Actually, almost everything “good” that has happened in the past 150 years (including the US civil war) came about due to the political intervention of the anarchist, socialist and communist movements: the anti-slavery movement, the 8-hour day, equal rights for women, the civil rights movement, the ban on child labor, the imposition of basic safety rules on the job and much, much more.  Nary a one of these reforms originated in the greed-addled brains of the capitalist class.  And it took years of bloody struggle by the socialist workers movement to achieve every reform we take for granted today.  The revolutionary socialist movement is now and has always been a force that looks forward and proposes new ideas that are necessary in order to continuously advance human civilization  – and to keep it from being incinerated by the capitalists in the next big inter-imperialist war.  To attempt to keep socialist ideas out of the public arena in the “Age of the Internet” is akin to the fruitless attempt by the Catholic Church to suppress heliocentrism: it is a thoroughly reactionary censorship that places itself firmly athwart the road of human progress.  This censorship must be overcome, and it will be overcome – by us, and by you, the workers of the world!

So, why would the New York Times go out of its way to deny socialists today access to their Augean “comments” section?  We say it is because their capitalist masters are so very frightened at the appearance of even the tiniest pinhole in their well-grouted pro-capitalist propaganda dikes that they are convinced that allowing the socialists regular access to the public fora they manage could bring their entire rotten, tottering capitalist system crashing to the ground in a matter of weeks.  The capitalist class, in spite of their ruthless shows of “force” enacted all over the world and their endless murderous wars for profits are actually – especially in the case of the US capitalist class – very “thin on the ground” as the saying goes.  The US capitalist class makes up only a tiny fraction of the 4.5% of the world’s population represented by the people of the United States, and they think that they have the “right” to run the whole planet as if it was their rightful possession.  The US capitalists are running scared and are always looking over their shoulders to see if one of the servants is sneaking up on them with a butchers’ cleaver or something.  They can’t sleep – and for good reason.

Like so many other socialist groups, we regularly try to add our revolutionary voices to the cacophony of “inside the box” thinking so tiresomely peddled by the New York Times’ housebroken journalists and editors – and most of their well-trained readers.  The comments section of most New York Times articles are so filled with banalities and Mobius-strip philosophizing that any one of them could be prescribed to any thinking person as a cure for insomnia.  On occasion, we manage to break through the Times’ wall of censorship of revolutionary socialist ideas, but most of the time we don’t.

So, we are going to demonstrate just how extensively the New York Times’ censorship of socialist ideas is by consistently trying to break their blockade on revolutionary ideas by posting to their comments sections of articles on subjects of national and international importance.  When our comments are deemed to be “not fit to print”, we will publish them here, so everyone can see if they think that our ideas deserve to be made part of the national and international discussion of the important topics of the day.  We encourage our readers to do likewise and take some time every day to put your 2 cents in to the discussions going on in every major local and national newspaper.  We simply must not allow the right wing blowhards and partisans of the twin parties of US imperialism: the Democrats and the Republicans – to monopolize the discussion of what must be done to prevent WWIII from happening and about what must be done to create a better future for the working people of the world and for future generations of workers all over the globe.  In Chicago this means that we must all try to post at least one short essay on the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times newspapers, as well as on our local newspapers (Pioneer Press, etc.).  Let’s open up the left side of the political spectrum to public discussion and by doing so smash through the capitalist class’ stranglehold on political thought in the United States.

Workers of the World, Unite!IWPCHI

From the US Secret Police Vaults: FBI File on “Suspected Traitor” Jane Addams

 Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams was investigated by FBI for "suspicious" activities: defending the rights of immigrants and the poor.  That's "treason" in the eyes of the capitalist class.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams was investigated by FBI for “suspicious” activities: defending the rights of immigrants and the poor. That’s “treason” in the eyes of the capitalist class.

In the year 2014, with the US capitalist class’ police state reaching for more and more control over the thoughts and actions of every US citizen, we have repulsive national leaders throwing the epithet “traitor” at all kinds of heroic people, from Edward Snowden to Julian Assange.  This is nothing new.  The numerically tiny US capitalist class has ALWAYS suffered from paranoia when it comes to the worker-citizens of the US and the world, who the capitalist class quite justifiably suspects of hating its guts.

The FBI is the US equivalent of the SS or KGB here, spying on every US citizen who ever dared to take a public stand of any kind against the US capitalist class or any element of its policies or its government, from the military to their repulsive bought-and-paid-for politicians.

It is, therefore, not at all surprising to us to discover the voluminous file the United States’ own secret police – the FBI – amassed on world-famous Chicago friend and defender of immigrants, reformist Jane Addams.  According to the FBI’s own statement [caution: this link goes to the FBI website!] accompanying her 4-part dossier, she fell afoul of the US capitalist class when she led the founding of the “Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom” in 1924.  Obviously, the name of this organization alone could be expected to raise suspicions in the empty, bribed “minds” of the political police; and so in 1924, they opened “a treason investigation” against the group and its leaders.

The capitalist class and its shameless attack dog servants hate every manifestation of decency by any human being on behalf of any other human being anywhere in the world.  They distrust every fine human instinct towards collective defense of our downtrodden brothers and sisters, especially when it is done for free, in open defiance of the capitalist world’s fundamental “moral” premise: “What’s in it for ME?”  Jane Addams, who became the first woman in the world to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931, caused these scum of the Earth to attempt to ruin her life for what they saw to be “treason”: her tireless advocacy of extending basic human rights to immigrants and the poor.  By their friends as well as their enemies shall ye know the capitalist class!

Why do we allow this disgusting excrescence of the human race – the capitalist class – to continue to rape and pillage the world and to unleash their mercenaries to slaughter every fighter for workers rights on the planet?  What is wrong with us, that we continue to allow these opponents of human civilization to continually threaten our right to organize in our own self-defense against a savage ruling class whose bloodlust knows no bounds, and who have launched two world wars – and are preparing to launch a third – in defense of their “right” to rob the workers of the world blind?  We need a workers revolution right now!  Every day we wait brings another truckload of dead workers to our doorstep, while we pretend that we had “no idea that ‘our’ government could do such a thing”!  It is time to take responsibility for what the US Government does in our names and to take action to put an end to the US capitalist class’ reign of terror!

So, dear readers, when you hear the paid-for political hacks of the capitalist class in the Democratic and Republican parties foaming at the mouth over the “treason” of Edward Snowden – or anyone else – remember that these scum and their forebears have always acted like this in their Sisyphean defense of the indefensible: the brutal, greed-and-war-based capitalist class and their system of bourgeois fake-democracy.

These documents are hosted on our own WordPress site, so you don’t have to worry about visiting the FBI site to obtain them.   You’re welcome!

IWPCHI

Jane Addams FBI file Part 1 of 4

Jane Addams FBI file Part 2 of 4

Jane Addams FBI file Part 3 of 4

Jane Addams FBI file Part 4 of 4

Full Text of Newly-Declassified Documents Relating to NSA’s US Domestic Spy Operations

We are presenting here the complete collection of declassified documents released by the [U.S.] Office of the Director of National Intelligence [DNI] James Clapper on December 21, 2013.  These documents have been released in an attempt by the NSA to defend itself for its own utterly indefensible US domestic spying operations in which every phone call made by every US citizen was captured and archived for 5 years in an attempt by the US Government to ferret out all political dissidents in the United States of America – present and future – under the guise of the “War on Terror”.  We are posting them here so our friends can download them without having to visit the NSA websites that are offering them to the public.

We’ve decided to publish the entire statement of DNI James Clapper that was released to accompany these documents so that all of our readers can see for themselves the utter bankruptcy of the defense Clapper puts forth in order to justify the unjustifiable NSA/FBI spy operation that has gutted the Bill of Rights and the Constitution of the United States and rendered those documents, essentially, null and void.  If the working class of the United States had a political party of its own, defending the rights of the working class against such outrageous wanton violations of the privacy rights of the citizens of the United States, we would be in a position to see to it that the men and women responsible for these spy ops and the secret courts that oversee them would be facing decades behind bars for their criminal conspiracy against the citizens of the United States.  Unfortunately, the working class of the United States – which is by far the largest single social class in this and every other capitalist state in the world – has NOT ONE representative in any legislative body in the country!  Both of the major pro-capitalist political parties – the Democratic and the Republican – have created the legislation that brought these spy operations into existence; and both parties have repeatedly and overwhelmingly voted again and again to extend and continue the domestic spy operations that have turned the United States into a national police state unsurpassed in the history of the world.  Neither Hitler nor Stalin ever possessed a spy network as comprehensive as the one in possession of the US capitalist class’ national government today.

The bipartisan support for this unparalleled attack on the rights and liberties of every US citizen should be a clarion call to every thinking human being in this country that the time has come to organize ourselves and to create a truly independent revolutionary socialist workers party to fight to overthrow the capitalist US government and replace it with the most democratic socialist workers republic ever created in the history of the world.  Only by disarming the greedheads of the capitalist class; only by taking away their “right” to wage war abroad and to destroy our rights and living standards here at home can we secure a future for our families worth living in.  For the potentially powerful US working class to continue to allow this renegade ruling class and its bought-and-paid-for political puppets in state and national legislative bodies to ride roughshod over our rights would be an act of political suicide.  Time is not on our side, brothers and sisters!  Organize!  We need to build our own working class political parties right now!  Every day we wait, the ruling capitalist class is seizing more and more political and military power into its hands and on behalf of the US’ tiny capitalist class a massive, finely-woven police state apparatus that will be increasingly difficult to combat effectively as the months and years roll on. And the US capitalist state is not just a deadly threat to workers here in the US, but a deadly threat to all our working class sisters and brothers all over the world.

The US capitalist press is spreading the lie that there are politicians in Congress who are taking steps to rein in the NSA/FBI spy apparatus – this is NOT TRUE!  The Obama Administration’s “Presidential Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies” – composed in part of “ex”-“Intelligence Community” honchos – was created by the Obama regime to throw up a massive smokescreen of phony reforms designed not to rein in the NSA/FBI spy operations but to strengthen and even privatize them!  Their “reforms” place special emphasis on cracking down on whistleblowers like heroic former NSA operative Edward Snowden and on making sure that in the future no one like him will ever again be able to emerge from within the US “Intelligence Community”.  To allow the recommendations of Obama’s own handpicked “Review Group” to be accepted as if they were designed to protect the rights of US and foreign worker-citizens is essentially the same as to allow a pack of wolves to redesign the security arrangements for a flock of sheep.  And sheep we certainly must be if we fall for this transparent fraud of Obama’s “Review Group”!

We warn our readers that these documents have necessarily come directly from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s own website, so be sure to set your antivirus scanners to “kill” before opening them.  Unfortunately, we use Ubuntu Linux (which makes us yearn for the halcyon days of Windows Me), so we have only some shaky antivirus program we can use (ClamAV) to scan this garbage with.  We’ve “scanned” it with ClamAV, which did not detect anything amiss, but we simply can not vouch for the security of any .pdf coming from any branch of the repulsive US Government, and neither should you.  You can’t trust this police state any farther than you can throw it.

IWPCHI

*******************

[Office of the Director of National Intelligence Press Release – Source: http://www.odni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/191-press-releases-2013/991-dni-announces-the-declassification-of-the-exisitence-of-collection-activities-authorized-by-president-george-w-bush-shortly-after-the-attacks-of-september-11,-2001  – IWPCHI]

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Leading Intelligence Integration

DNI Announces the Declassification of the Existence of Collection Activities Authorized by President George W. Bush Shortly After the Attacks of September 11, 2001
Saturday, December 21, 2013

[.pdf version of this document – IWPCHI]  DNI Announces the Declassification of the Existence of Collection Activities Authorized by President George W. Bush Shortly After the Attacks of September 11, 2001

December 21, 2013

Yesterday, the Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) announced the declassification of the existence of collection activities authorized by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Starting on October 4, 2001, President Bush authorized the Secretary of Defense to employ the capabilities of the Department of Defense, including the National Security Agency (“NSA”), to collect foreign intelligence by electronic surveillance in order to detect and prevent acts of terrorism within the United States.  President Bush authorized NSA to collect: (1) the contents of certain international communications, a program that was later referred to as the Terrorist Surveillance Program (“TSP”), and (2) telephony and Internet non-content information (referred to as “metadata”) in bulk, subject to various conditions.

President Bush issued authorizations approximately every 30-60 days.  Although the precise terms changed over time, each presidential authorization required the minimization of information collected concerning American citizens to the extent consistent with the effective accomplishment of the mission of detection and prevention of acts of terrorism within the United States.  NSA also applied additional internal constraints on the presidentially-authorized activities.

Over time, the presidentially-authorized activities transitioned to the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”).  The collection of communications content pursuant to presidential authorization ended in January 2007 when the U.S. Government transitioned the TSP to the authority of the FISA and under the orders of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”).  In August 2007, Congress enacted the Protect America Act (“PAA”) as a temporary measure.  The PAA, which expired in February 2008, was replaced by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which was enacted in July 2008 and remains in effect.  Today, content collection is conducted pursuant to section 702 of FISA.  The metadata activities also were transitioned to orders of the FISC.  The bulk collection of telephony metadata transitioned to the authority of the FISA in May 2006 and is collected pursuant to section 501 of FISA.  The bulk collection of Internet metadata was transitioned to the authority of the FISA in July 2004 and was collected pursuant to section 402 of FISA.  In December 2011, the U.S. Government decided to not seek reauthorization of the bulk collection of Internet metadata.

After President Bush acknowledged the TSP in December 2005, two still-pending suits were filed in the Northern District of California against the United States and U.S. Government officials challenging alleged NSA activities authorized by President Bush after 9/11.  In response the U.S. Government, through classified and unclassified declarations by the DNI and NSA, asserted the state secrets privilege and the DNI’s authority under the National Security Act to protect intelligence sources and methods.   Following the unauthorized and unlawful release of classified information about the Section 215 and Section 702 programs in June 2013, the Court directed the U.S. Government to explain the impact of declassification decisions since June 2013 on the national security issues in the case, as reflected in the U.S. Government’s state secrets privilege assertion.  The Court also ordered the U.S. Government to review for declassification all prior classified state secrets privilege and sources and methods declarations in the litigation, and to file redacted, unclassified versions of those documents with the Court.

The eight previously classified DNI declarations and classified NSA declarations that were filed in support of the U.S. Government’s prior assertions of the state secrets privilege and sources and methods privilege in this litigation are posted on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website and ICOntheRecord.tumblr.com, the public website dedicated to fostering greater public visibility into the intelligence activities of the U.S. Government.  Some information has been redacted from the declarations to protect information that remains properly classified for national security reasons and because of the great harm to national security if disclosed.  The unclassified DNI and NSA declarations filed with the Court yesterday are also posted.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Public Affairs

Documents:

DNI McConnell 2007 Shubert State Secrets Declaration

DNI Blair 2009 Shubert State Secrets Declaration

DNI Blair 2009 Jewel State Secrets Declaration

DNI Clapper 2012 Jewel State Secrets Declaration

DNI Clapper 2013 Jewel Shubert SSP Unclassified Signed Declaration

NSA Alexander 2007 Shubert Declaration

NSA Bonanni 2009 Jewel Declaration

NSA Alexander 2009 Shubert Declaration

NSA Fleisch 2012 Jewel Declaration

NSA Fleisch 2013 Jewel Shubert Declaration Unclassified

***********************************

[Source:  Office of the Director of National Intelligence at http://icontherecord.tumblr.com/tagged/declassified%5D

IC On The Record

DNI Announces the Declassification of the Existence of Collection Activities Authorized by President George W. Bush Shortly After the Attacks of September 11, 2001

December 21, 2013

Yesterday, the Director of National Intelligence (“DNI”) announced the declassification of the existence of collection activities authorized by President George W. Bush shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Starting on October 4, 2001, President Bush authorized the Secretary of Defense to employ the capabilities of the Department of Defense, including the National Security Agency (“NSA”), to collect foreign intelligence by electronic surveillance in order to detect and prevent acts of terrorism within the United States.  President Bush authorized NSA to collect: (1) the contents of certain international communications, a program that was later referred to as the Terrorist Surveillance Program (“TSP”), and (2) telephony and Internet non-content information (referred to as “metadata”) in bulk, subject to various conditions.

President Bush issued authorizations approximately every 30-60 days.  Although the precise terms changed over time, each presidential authorization required the minimization of information collected concerning American citizens to the extent consistent with the effective accomplishment of the mission of detection and prevention of acts of terrorism within the United States.  NSA also applied additional internal constraints on the presidentially-authorized activities.

Over time, the presidentially-authorized activities transitioned to the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”).  The collection of communications content pursuant to presidential authorization ended in January 2007 when the U.S. Government transitioned the TSP to the authority of the FISA and under the orders of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (“FISC”).  In August 2007, Congress enacted the Protect America Act (“PAA”) as a temporary measure.  The PAA, which expired in February 2008, was replaced by the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which was enacted in July 2008 and remains in effect.  Today, content collection is conducted pursuant to section 702 of FISA.  The metadata activities also were transitioned to orders of the FISC.  The bulk collection of telephony metadata transitioned to the authority of the FISA in May 2006 and is collected pursuant to section 501 of FISA.  The bulk collection of Internet metadata was transitioned to the authority of the FISA in July 2004 and was collected pursuant to section 402 of FISA.  In December 2011, the U.S. Government decided to not seek reauthorization of the bulk collection of Internet metadata.

After President Bush acknowledged the TSP in December 2005, two still-pending suits were filed in the Northern District of California against the United States and U.S. Government officials challenging alleged NSA activities authorized by President Bush after 9/11.  In response the U.S. Government, through classified and unclassified declarations by the DNI and NSA, asserted the state secrets privilege and the DNI’s authority under the National Security Act to protect intelligence sources and methods.   Following the unauthorized and unlawful release of classified information about the Section 215 and Section 702 programs in June 2013, the Court directed the U.S. Government to explain the impact of declassification decisions since June 2013 on the national security issues in the case, as reflected in the U.S. Government’s state secrets privilege assertion.  The Court also ordered the U.S. Government to review for declassification all prior classified state secrets privilege and sources and methods declarations in the litigation, and to file redacted, unclassified versions of those documents with the Court.

The eight previously classified DNI declarations and classified NSA declarations that were filed in support of the U.S. Government’s prior assertions of the state secrets privilege and sources and methods privilege in this litigation are posted on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence website and ICOntheRecord.tumblr.com, the public website dedicated to fostering greater public visibility into the intelligence activities of the U.S. Government.  Some information has been redacted from the declarations to protect information that remains properly classified for national security reasons and because of the great harm to national security if disclosed.  The unclassified DNI and NSA declarations filed with the Court yesterday are also posted.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Public Affairs

Documents:

DNI McConnell 2007 Shubert State Secrets Declaration
DNI Blair 2009 Jewel State Secrets Declaration
DNI Blair 2009 Shubert State Secrets Declaration
DNI Clapper 2012 Jewel State Secrets Declaration
DNI Clapper 2013 Jewel Shubert State Secrets Declaration

NSA Alexander 2007 Shubert Declaration
NSA Bonanni 2009 Jewel Declaration
NSA Alexander 2009 Shubert Declaration
NSA Fleisch 2012 Jewel Declaration
NSA Fleisch 2013 Jewel Shubert Declaration

**********************************

IWPCHI

Full Report of Presidential Advisory Commission for N.S.A.: “Liberty and Security in a Changing World”

Once again we have to just slam this up here without having time to read it all – all 337 pages of it!  They really laid it on thick this time.  We did read the summary and we have to say it all sounds so very clever.  Why didn’t the great lawgivers who slapped together the monstrous Patriot Act think of this?  Why did it take the courage of one man, Edward Snowden, to initiate such profound soul-searching in Washington?

The fact is that this too is a snow job.  This 337-page tome was pulled out of the ass of a group of people hand-picked by the Obama Administration not in order to destroy the NSA’s vast spy operations, but to save them.  Out of all the recommendations this blue-ribbon bunny of a commission has made, we’re absolutely sure that several of them will DEFINITELY by implemented, tout de suite: the ones outlining the tightening of security inside the “U.S. Intelligence community” in order to make sure that there will be no future possibility of another Snowdengate.  Life as an N.S.A. analyst is about to get very unpleasant if these recommendations are put into action; it’ll be much more like the working conditions that Winston Smith “enjoyed” while working for Big Brother at the Ministry of Truth.

The rest of it is all a big fancy red herring made to look like a sieve so fine that only after the NSA shape-shifts through a thousand keyhole-sized legal loopholes will they be able to get to use any of their precious telephone metadata.  In fact, there are apertures in this new legal sieve large enough for a blue whale to scoot through without his sides even touching.

We also wonder: what massive exposes remain untold as yet by Glenn Greenwald & Co. that made the rapid production and mass dissemination of this ream of lies necessary in the eyes of the reprehensible Obama regime?  Can we look forward to finding even more appalling revelations about US spy ops coming down our chimneys this holiday season and beyond?  We hope so!

We doubt if even 100 American workers outside of the Beltway will ever bother to read even the summary of this document, let alone the whole thing.  But in the interests of keeping our handful of readers as informed as possible, here it is.  Enjoy?

IWPCHI

Summary_ Full_ Text_LibertyandSecurityinaChangingWorld_

 

 

NSA’s Alexander Caught Lying Again at Black Hat 2013! Get your copy of the XKeystone 2008 presentation here!

Click the link below to obtain your very own copy of the 2008 XKeystone presentation released by The Guardian yesterday as the National Security Agency’s top pig Gen. Keith Alexander spewed a stream of lies into the faces of the participants at Black Hat 2013!

2008 What is XKeyscore

US National Security Agency's Top Pig, General Keith Alexander (artist's rendering by Enrico Mazzanti)

US National Security Agency’s Top Pig, General Keith Alexander speaks at Black Hat 2013 (artist’s rendering by Enrico Mazzanti)

1 August 2013

Yesterday, while the top pig of the U.S.’ sinister foreign and domestic spying operation, the National Security Agency’s General Keith Alexander attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the Black hat 2013 conference, 7900 km away, the London Guardian’s top investigative journalist was revealing – once again – that  practically every word coming out of his lying mouth was – no surprise! – yet another lie.

” ‘You lied to Congress. Why would people believe you’re not lying to us right now?’ yelled a participant at Black Hat ’13.   “Alexander hesitated for a brief moment. ‘I haven’t lied to Congress’ ” he lied.

There’s a very old joke about politicians that seems appropriate to paraphrase here: Q: “How can you tell that a member of the U.S. ‘intelligence community’ is lying?”

A: “His lips are moving.”

Alexander also, shall we say, pretended that, in contradiction to what the heroic whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed to be true,  “only 35” of the NSA’s intelligence analysts “are authorized to run queries on the database that contains metadata vacuumed up by Section 215.  ‘They have to go through three separate training regimen, and pass tests, to do queries into that database,’ he said, highlighting that not all NSA employees can access the data it has collected.”

While Alexander spoke these words, a little gremlin named Glenn Greenwald was dropping a truth bomb on his ass in the form of this article in The Guardian:   “XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ “.

In this article, the world discovered that “A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden… training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.”  [Source: The Guardian (UK), 31 August, 2013]

Now, since Alexander and his gang of criminals at NSA have their filthy fingers so far up Glenn Greenwald’s ass that they can squeeze his adam’s apple – not to mention the number of paid informants they and/or the CIA almost undoubtedly have on the staff of The Guardian – they must have known before Alexander gave his lying speech that everything he was planning to say to the Black Hat conference was about to be revealed to be a tissue of lies.  But that didn’t stop this “Great American Hero (TM)” – far from it!  He just went right ahead with his bullshit speech as if the entire world is made up of people as dull-witted as the vast majority of American adults, and lied and kept on lying.

[The entire speech of Gen. Alexander, that arch-enemy of the world’s working class, to the 2013 Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on 31 July, 2013 is available here.]

The Black Hat Conference may be organized by some of the world’s most computer-savvy hackers; but when it comes to politics they are pathetic nOObs.  In remarks given just before General Lies-a-lot took the podium, Black Hat General Manager Trey Ford showed his true colors.  First, and very decently, he began by asking for a moment of silence in memory of super-hacker Barnaby Jack’s untimely and sudden death  last Thursday from as-yet undetermined causes.  This was noble, perhaps, of Ford to do this, but it definitely served to put a damper on the spirits of those eager to give Alexander a well-deserved verbal ass-kicking.

Referring to Alexander as “The General”, Ford stated that the organizers of Black hat had collected questions from “select members of the community” related to the recent NSA revelations and presented them to General “Pinocchio” Alexander, apparently in the wishful expectation of somehow receiving some honest answers from this most unlikely source.

“I believe that our communities are deeply linked:  the security community, the intelligence community and..  I think it’s time for the General to come and set some facts straight.  The conversation cannot continue effectively without getting some insight, some perspective, some clarity on the facts”!

Yes, that’s what’s needed! Those crazy “facts” are always going off half-cocked!  Someone could get hurt!  What the world needs is for a full-time professional liar to step forward to put those darned facts straight for us so we can understand just what the hell is going on!

Once Ford finished his fawning, lame intro for his friend “The General”, another of Black Hat’s leading geniuses came on stage.  We are still trying to figure out who he is, [it appears to be Black Hat Founder/Director Jeff Moss] […]  his remarks went even further than Ford’s to soft-soap the audience in preparation for the virile thrust of Alexander’s speech:

“Yeah… I think, um…I’ve never sensed this level of tension or apprehension in the community since… I would say… I don’t know.  How many people here were around for the “cryptowars” in the late ’90s?  Right?  I mean that was a pretty stressful time.  And that pales in comparison to what’s going on now.  That was: ‘how do we export math; how do we control cryptography?’  The ‘clipper chip’.  You know, ‘the government might want to listen in to our phone calls.’ [uncomfortable laughter]. How times have changed. [big laughs from audience].

[…]

“Rumor has it that The General’s a pretty busy guy.  And I think it would have been easy for him to sort of ‘duck out’ and not come speak to us.  You know, go to a meeting.  But, instead, uh, he’s coming here to speak with us – not because he has to – but because he wants to. And I think that really speaks toward his integrity and his interest in engaging with us and with the community.

“Last year… I’ve been trying to get a director at NSA to speak at DefCon for as long as I’ve been doing DefCon… and, finally, one came to DefCon last year – General Alexander.  And he tried to start a conversation with us about shared values and then… how do we set the needle on civil liberties, privacy; but then, security?  And it’s never going to be a static needle; this needle is gonna move around.  Ah, but how do we set it?  I think he’s a big believer in that technology, and working with communities such as ours can lead to a more transparent and easier way of setting the needle.  ‘Cause it’s gonna get set, one way or the other.  Um… I think what, what’s happening here is there’s this tension between… offense seem to really be winning right now (laughs). I mean, offense is doing sweet; defense not so much.  And so a lot of people are thinking: ‘Well, so what does that mean?  What does that mean to my business? Well… how are you going to move forward in this environment of sort of like all-pervasive offense capabilities?’  And I think, really, this is giving us an opportunity now to finally have this conversation that we’ve all been wanting to have for five or ten years.  And I think The General wants to have that conversation as well.  So, I think this topic is more important than ever and I’m just really proud that these things are going to start happening here.  Trey?”

Trey Ford:  “”I think we all look forward to hearing from The General… um… I think we can all respect that there’s a lot of things he can’t share with us;  I think that we have a responsibility to try to set aside hyperbole [! – IWPCHI] to give a very focused look at the facts… without further ado, let’s welcome General Alexander to the stage.”  [loud applause, music as “The General” enters, shaking hands with Moss and Ford, climbing the stairs to the stage carrying what may have been, judging from his slightly slurred speech, his first non-alcoholic beverage of the day – a bottle of water].

THESE are the leaders of the “black hats”?  What a pair of lying sycophantic turds!  “We’re finally going to be able to have this conversation we’ve all been waiting to have for the past… ten years”?  Yes, now that the NSA has gone ahead and shredded what’s left of our Constitutional rights, we will have a conversation!  And a one-sided one it will be, because – except for the recent revelations of heroic ex-NSA sub-contractor Edward Snowden, we’ve all been kept completely in the dark about what’s been going on… by “The General” and his co-conspirators!  “The General wants to have this conversation as well”!  Oh, good for him!  How nice of him to deign to speak to this tiny subset of the American working class after having robbed us all of our right to privacy!  “I think we can all respect that there’s a lot of things he can’t share with us!”  Yes! Because we are “merely” the citizens of the United States, mere citizens – and we don’t have the proper security clearances to be kept apprised as to what “our” government is up to in this thoroughly fake “democracy”!

General Keith Alexander inspects "new" Saudi Arabian antiaircraft weapons near Riyadh during Gulf War II

General Keith Alexander inspects surplus U.S. artillery sold to Saudi Arabia during Gulf War II.  Photographer: name redacted.

And so Alexander takes the stage (pictured above, at work during the Gulf War) sporting a sort of “military casual” look…  perhaps this is what they wear at the Pentagon on “casual Fridays”:  short sleeve white shirt, open at the neck (no tie), but still bedecked with medals and ribbons like a tinpot dictator.  And what the fuck are all those medals for, pray tell?  Alexander graduated from West Point in 1974 as the Vietnam War was winding down; according to his Wikipedia biography  he never saw active duty in Vietnam – or anywhere else.  All his assignments were either in the United States, in Germany or in Saudi Arabia.  Apparently he’s never fired so much as a slingshot in wartime!  But all those pretty ribbons serve to dazzle those who possess that almost uniquely American overweening military fetish – a fetish of the soldier so fawning that it even embarrasses the more perceptive U.S. military officers themselves.  A fetish shared, pathetically, by Trey Ford and Jeff Moss – and, if the applause in the room is authentic and not just a showing of hands to placate their bosses, by a great number of these so-called “black hat hackers” as well.

Actually, in Moss’ case, his love for all things authoritarian isn’t something he’s ashamed of at all: his official bio on the Black Hat website proudly touts “his ability to bridge the gap between the underground researcher community and law enforcement, between the worlds of pure research and responsible application.”  In plain English: he’s a willing cat’s paw of the forces of “law and order”, trolling the aisles of Black Hat conferences to help identify those people who are potential allies of the US Government and its many spy and police agencies and those who are not “responsible” members of the Black Hat “community”.

But let’s get back to “The General’s” dog-and-pony show, shall we?

[Transcriptor’s note: throughout his speech, “The General” speaks in both tone and speed, in the manner of  Mr. Rogers

;  we have tried to give a sense of the style of his speech patterns using three dots (…) to show where “The General” frequently pauses in his speech.  Where he slurs his speech, we have showed that as well by slamming a bunch of words together.  We are not trying to heap ridicule on this asshat; we are simply trying to put into textual form his style of speech – IWPCHI]

The General: “Well Trey and Jeff, thanks… thanks for that introduction.  I think that what they said to start out with… uh… is the reason I’m here.  This is [gesturing to the audience] the technical foundation for our world’s communications… you folks right here.  And the issue that stands before us today is one of what do we do next?  How do we start this discussion on defending our nation and protecting our civil liberties and privacy?

“The reason I’m here is because you may have some ideas of how we can do it better: we need to hear those ideas.  But equally important – from my perspective – izzat [sic] you get the facts.  An’ so what I’mgunnadotoday [sic]  is try to lay out those facts.

“Now as Trey or Jeff said, there are good reasons why some of this is classified.  And why some of it is stuff that we just don’t put out there.  And the big reason from my perspective is because terrorists use our communications.  They live among us.  How do we come up… with a program to stop terrorism and to protect our civil liberties and privacy?  This is perhaps one of the biggest issues facing our country today.

“I also want you to get a sense for people at the National Security Agency.  It has been… the greatest honor and privilege of my life… to lead… these noble folks.  They’re the ones – and you’ll get a little bit of sense of what they’ve done for our country over the past eight years while I’ve been there… and their reputation is tarnished… because all the facts aren’t on the table.  But you [pointing at the audience] can help us articulate the facts properly. [Someone either sneezes or pretends to sneeze and says “bullshit!” Alexander’s head quickly swivels in the direction of the sound, as if startled.  As we said, he was never a battlefield commander].  I will answer every question… to the fullest extent possible.  And I promise you… the truth:  what we know; what we’re doing;  and what I cannot tell you… [I will act out in mime? No – dammit! – IWPCHI] because we don’t want to jeopardize our future defense.

What we’re going do in this briefing is give you the facts on these programs – the business record, FISA; on FAA 702; on what we’ve done to stop terrorist attacks… address some of the problems that we see out there… with inaccurate statements… and talk about ‘where do we go from here’?

“That’s where you come in.  We need to hear from you… because the tools… and the things we use… are very much the same as the tools that many of you use in securing networks.  The difference, in part, is the oversight and the compliance that we have in these programs.  That part is missing in much of the discussion.  I believe it’s important for you to hear that: for you to understand what these people have to do in order to do their job to defend this nation.  And the oversight regime that we have.

[To be continued – IWPCHI]