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War dominated foreign policy is destroying the economy and national security

Join Peace Vet-Led Protest at White House on December 16th

By Kevin Zeese

The White House is in the midst of a strategic review of Afghanistan. This review is coming at a time when the reality is hard to ignore: Afghanistan cannot be won, the cost is escalating at a time when the U.S. economy is in collapse and the war is undermining U.S. national security and the rule of law. It is time to end the war-based foreign policy of the United States.

Ex-Intelligence Officers, Others See Plusses in WikiLeaks Disclosures

The following statement was released today, signed by Daniel Ellsberg, Frank Grevil, Katharine Gun, David MacMichael, Ray McGovern, Craig Murray, Coleen Rowley and Larry Wilkerson; all are associated with Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence.

WikiLeaks has teased the genie of transparency out of a very opaque bottle, and powerful forces in America, who thrive on secrecy, are trying desperately to stuff the genie back in. The people listed below this release would be pleased to shed light on these exciting new developments.

Get Over It! WikiLeaks is Good for America

By John Grant

“The problem here is to define ... a form of life that would not depend on an unsustainable relation of domination over the rest of the world.” 
Jean Bricmont

We live in a time of incredible change, and to have any say at all in the direction that change will take requires a respect for reality. Right now, the United States is losing this battle as it tries mightily – and wastefully -- to sustain its post-WWII legacy as the world’s undisputed Top Dog.

The key to this disaster here in the US is a greater and greater restriction of information in conjunction with what can only be called a top down enforced blindness among the population.
If you think this is only the view of a disgruntled leftist, read Thomas Friedman’s latest column in The New York Times, where he imagines WikiLeaks revealing a gleeful cable from the Chinese ambassador in Washington to his bosses in Beijing:

Internet 'Hijacking'

AIR DATE: Nov. 26, 2010 China's Internet 'Hijacking' Creates Worries for Security Experts

 

SUMMARY An 18-minute diversion of Internet traffic through China has raised security concerns around the world -- especially for governments and people in critical infrastructure -- and raises new concerns for online shoppers just ahead of Cyber Monday. Transcript

 

U.S.: Subversive Activities in Friendly Territories

America conducts subversive activities in friendly territories

13.11.2010 - The United States found itself embroiled in a major spy scandal. As many as five countries caught the Americans illegally spying on their citizens.

Nobody would think it was strange if we were talking about the citizens of Russia, China, Iran, Syria and Venezuela. With these five countries, everything is clear: U.S. officials constantly refer to them as those presenting threats to the national security. But this time the U.S. was caught by quite friendly countries of Northern Europe - Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden.

Executive Order on “Controlled Unclassified Information”

New Obama Order Standardizes and Limits Pseudo-Secrets, Follows Recommendations from Open Government Advocates and the 2006 Archive FOI Audit

Instead of New Tier of Secrecy in Previous Bush Order,
Obama Policy Restricts "Controlled Unclassified Information"

Markings Must Be Based on Statute, Regulation or Government-wide Policy,
With Public Input on Implementation

Washington D.C., November 4, 2010 – President Obama’s new Executive Order on “Controlled Unclassified Information” {four page pdf} issued today builds on recommendations from open government groups and the findings of the National Security Archive’s 2006 audit of “Pseudo-Secrets” that uncovered 28 different and uncoordinated policies on marking and restricting official unclassified information.

Xbox vs. WikiLeaks

By John Grant

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

-Opening line in William Gibson’s “Neuromancer”

I recently took a tour of Best Buy to see what’s going on in the world of consumer electronics. Technology was on my mind. I had just been reading up on computer hacking and was getting to know a website called 2600.

It was all because of the latest WikiLeaks revelations and some email conversations I’d been having with fellow anti-war veterans about Bradley Manning. the young army intelligence specialist arrested and now imprisoned in Virginia for allegedly releasing the computerized trove of secrets. Some of my antiwar vet allies were finding it difficult to support Manning.

Nearly Helpless

By Missy Comley Beattie

I call one of my sons and say, “Listen, I have something to tell you."

He says, “As long as it isn’t about bedbugs.”

Expertly, with parental precision, I slickly shift from the bedbug scene in my head to one of the many issues among a plethora of plagues (POP). I talk about the “Emergency Call to Action” email I received about stopping hate, hatred of gays, hatred of Muslims, hatred of anything that is not sliced, white-bread, Bible-thumping, heterosexual America—this climate of shameful rhetoric, leading to violence, even in New York City, the location I love, and the place I see when I think of tolerance.

THE CIA, KKK, & USA

By Sherwood Ross

By assigning covert action roles to the Central Intelligence Agency(CIA), it is as if the White House and Congress had legitimized the Ku Klux Klan to operate globally. That's because the CIA today resembles nothing so much as the “Invisible Empire” of the KKK that once spread terror across the South and Midwest. Fiery crosses aside, this is what the CIA is doing globally.

Lawless Spying in America to Obstruct First Amendment Freedoms

Lawless Spying in America to Obstruct First Amendment Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman

The ACLU has released numerous reports of illegal spying. They include federal, state and local SARs (suspicious activity reporting) programs that encourage police, intelligence and homeland security officials, emergency responders, and members of the public to spy on neighbors, reporting any "suspicious" activities to authorities.

In an environment of fear, commonplace activities may be misinterpreted, increasing chances to get innocent people on terrorist watch lists. As a result, their names and vital information will be in law enforcement/intelligence data bases, their personal safety and reputations jeopardized.

Using new intelligence sharing systems like fusion centers enables easy access of Joint Terrorism Task Forces and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Information Sharing Environment (ISE), as well as local police-collected information.

Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Wiretapping Case

Government Can Keep Secret Whether NSA Spied on Guantánamo Attorneys

NEW YORK - October 4 - Today, the Supreme Court said it would not take up a warrantless surveillance case, Wilner v. National Security Agency (NSA), filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). The lawsuit argued that the Executive Branch must disclose whether or not it has records related to the wiretapping of privileged attorney-client conversations without a warrant. Lawyers for the Guantánamo detainees fit the officially acknowledged profile of those subject to surveillance under the former administration’s program, and the Bush administration argued in the past that the Executive Branch has a right to target them.

iSPY

Researchers Find Phone Apps Sending Data Without Notification; TaintDroid Tool IDs Untrustworthy Apps

ScienceDaily (Oct. 1, 2010) — Flicking through a wallpaper app with backgrounds of Mickey Mouse and a tropical waterfall, Peter Gilbert gets a plain, black and white text notification on his smartphone.

A third of the way down the screen it says, "Taint: Phone Number, IMEI, ICCID (sim card identifier)." The message alerts Gilbert that the wallpaper app has sent his phone's number and other identifying information to imnet.us. Checking online, it appears the address is a website in Shenzhen, China.

The notification came from TaintDroid, a prototype extension to the Android mobile-phone platform designed to identify apps that transmit private data. The phone-based tool monitors how applications access and use privacy sensitive data, such as location, microphone, camera and phone numbers, and provides feedback within seconds of using a newly installed app.

U.S. Wants to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet

By CHARLIE SAVAGE, New York Times

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

The bill, which the Obama administration plans to submit to lawmakers next year, raises fresh questions about how to balance security needs with protecting privacy and fostering innovation. And because security services around the world face the same problem, it could set an example that is copied globally.

READ THE REST AT the New York Times

Kucinich Re: Karzai Aide on CIA Payroll

Washington D.C. (August 25, 2010) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today issued the following statement in response to breaking news from The New York Times that a top Karzai aide, embroiled in several corruption investigations, has been on the CIA payroll for years:

“We are paying all sides to fight all sides and to betray all sides, making this a spy versus spy versus spy carnival of corruption. This is further evidence that the United States must remove all its troops and assets out of Afghanistan. The tragedy is rapidly becoming a farce. They call it intelligence, but it is actually an innovative way to steal tens of billions of dollars from the U.S. taxpayers,” said Kucinich.

###

A Kind of Barbarism

Timothy McVeigh, convicted of killing 168 people in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, was parented by Irish Catholics. He referred to himself as agnostic yet wrote to a friend, prior to his crime: “I have come to peace with myself, my God and my cause.” McVeigh didn’t explain his concept of God. He did, however, request a Mass and a Catholic chaplain as his execution neared.

Are you wondering where I’m going with this?

Straight to Ground Zero and the Cordoba Initiative’s proposed building of an Islamic center within a couple of blocks of the huge hole where the World Trade Center once towered. Straight to confront the firestorm of opposition to a plan that includes a prayer room, an athletic center, culinary school, and art studios.

What if members of the Catholic Church wanted to build a center within a few blocks of the Oklahoma City National Memorial? I doubt there’d be a problem.

But we are living a problemathon.

Coalition of 46 organizations calls for more FBI oversight

Yesterday, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee submitted a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of 46 organizations. The letter raises concerns about the 2008 FBI Guidelines promoted by then-Attorney General Mukasey.

The letter reads, in part:

We write to request further congressional oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) operations pursuant to the 2008 Attorney General’s Guidelines, which were implemented over congressional objections and threaten the constitutional rights of all Americans. In the wake of the Washington Post series exposing the secrecy and unaccountability of our nation’s intelligence establishment, the Senate Judiciary Committee has a responsibility to seek transparency into FBI operations and restore the Bureau’s accountability.

...

THE CIA: BEYOND REDEMPTION AND SHOULD BE TERMINATED

By Sherwood Ross

The Central Intelligence Agency(CIA) has confirmed the worst fears of its creator President Harry Truman that it might degenerate into “an American Gestapo.” It has been just that for so long it is beyond redemption. It represents 60 years of failure and fascism utterly at odds with the spirit of a democracy and needs to be closed, permanently.

For Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone, a Terror Topping

By Ray McGovern

A recent exposé in the Washington Post shows that if you have a security clearance and are comfortable being part of a lucrative “self-licking ice cream cone” – a process that offers few if any benefits while perpetuating its own existence – then the “war on terror” is definitely for you!

The conclusion that the Long War against Islamic militants abroad can be enriching for a host of “counter-terror” contractors at home leaps out of the Post’s “Top Secret America,” a comprehensive three-part series by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin on July 19, 20 and 21.

The series presents a graphic account of how lawmakers afraid to be seen as laggards in the “war on terror” threw billions of dollars willy-nilly at a profusion of intelligence and security contractors after 9/11.

Top Secret America: The Secrets Next Door

By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

From The Washington Post | Original Article

In suburbs across the nation, the intelligence community goes about its anonymous business. Its work isn’t seen, but its impact is surely felt.

The brick warehouse is not just a warehouse. Drive through the gate and around back, and there, hidden away, is someone's personal security detail: a fleet of black SUVs that have been armored up to withstand explosions and gunfire.

Along the main street, the signs in the median aren't advertising homes for sale; they're inviting employees with top-secret security clearances to a job fair at Cafe Joe, which is anything but a typical lunch spot.

The new gunmetal-colored office building is really a kind of hotel where businesses can rent eavesdrop-proof rooms.

Top Secret America: A Hidden World, Growing Beyond Control

By Dana Priest and William M. Arkin

From The Washington Post | Original Article

The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work.

These are some of the findings of a two-year investigation by The Washington Post that discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine.

Read the full story at:
http://warcriminalswatch.org/index.php/news/40-recent-news/595-7-19-10-t...

Feingold Pushes Intel Reforms to Increase Oversight and Accountability, While Better Protecting Taxpayer Dollars

Washington Post Reports Highlight Need for Improved Oversight to Ensure Accountability and Protect Taxpayer Dollars

From Senator Russ Feingold

Top Secret America: National Security Inc.

To ensure that the country's most sensitive duties are carried out only by people loyal above all to the nation's interest, federal rules say contractors may not perform what are called "inherently government functions." But they do, all the time and in every intelligence and counter-terrorism agency, according to a two-year investigation by The Washington Post.

What started as a temporary fix in response to the terrorist attacks has turned into a dependency that calls into question whether the federal workforce includes too many people obligated to shareholders rather than the public interest -- and whether the government is still in control of its most sensitive activities. In interviews last week, both Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta said they agreed with such concerns.

Corporate Media Discover Private Spies. In Other News, No WMD in Iraq

By Jeremy Scahill, The Nation

Stop the presses and call the government spokespeople back from Martha's Vineyard.

The corporate media have discovered that the United States is radically outsourcing national security and sensitive intelligence operations. Cable news channels breathlessly report on the "groundbreaking," "exclusive" Washington Post series, Top Secret America, a two-year investigation by Dana Priest and William Arkin. No doubt there is some important stuff in this series. Both Arkin and Priest have done outstanding work for many years on sensitive, life-or-death subjects. And that is one of the main reasons why this series has, thus far, been incredibly disappointing. Its greatest accomplishment is forcing a discussion onto corporate TV years after it would have had an actual impact.

READ THE REST at the Nation.

U.S. security turns corporate

And adds to what already has taken place in the previous decade, brought on by the same, to make National Security Much Less Secure!!

Some of the nation's most sensitive duties have been doled out to private contractors, with exploding budgets and little oversight.

In June, a stone carver from Manassas, Va., chiseled another perfect star into a marble wall at CIA headquarters, one of 22 for agency workers killed in the global war initiated by the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The intent of the memorial is to publicly honor the courage of those who died in the line of duty, but it also conceals a deeper story about government in the post-9/11 era: Eight of the 22 were not CIA officers at all. They were private contractors.

"Top Secret America" Washington Post Investigation Reveals Massive, Out of Control, Privatized U.S. Intelligence System


An explosive investigative series published in the Washington Post today begins, "The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work." Among the findings: An estimated 854,000 people hold top-secret security clearances. More than 1,200 government organizations and nearly 2,000 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in 10,000 locations. We speak with Bill Arkin, the Washington Post reporter who wrote the piece with Dana Priest.

A hidden world, growing beyond control

 

DC’s spy establishment in panic mode over Washington Post expose

By Daniel Tencer, The Raw Story

Washington's intelligence establishment appears to be in panic mode over an upcoming Washington Post series about runaway growth in defense and intelligence spending.

A State Department email has accused the Post of planning to make public "top secret" information about defense and intelligence contractors working for the US, despite an admission in the same email that the Post's information came from "open sources."

The series, by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Dana Priest, will include a TV partnership with PBS's Frontline and is expected to consist of three articles and an online database of military and intelligence contractors and their projects.

It's that database of contractors that seems to be worrying Washington the most. Josh Rogin at Foreign Policy reports that the State Department sent out an email Thursday warning all 14,574 Washington-area employees of the upcoming reports.

"On Monday July 19, the Washington Post plans to publish a website listing all agencies and contractors believed to conduct Top Secret work on behalf of the US Government," the email stated. "The website provides a graphic representation pinpointing the location of firms conducting Top Secret work, describing the type of work they perform, and identifying many facilities where such work is done."

READ THE REST at the Raw Story

Iranian Scientist Would Not Play Curveball

By Ray McGovern

Useful insights often must be seen through a glass darkly. But some can be pulled through the smoke and mirrors shrouding the wanderings of Iranian scientist Shahram Amiri, who is now back home in Iran after 14 months in the U.S. as guest of the CIA.

The confusing/amusing spin applied by both countries to L’ Affaire Amiri can detract from the real issues. The facts beneath the competing narratives permit a key conclusion; namely, that U.S. intelligence has learned nothing to change its assessment that Iran halted work on the nuclear-weapons related part of its nuclear development program in the fall of 2003 and has not restarted that work.

That twin judgment leaped out of a formal National Intelligence Estimate, “Iran: Nuclear Intentions and Capabilities,” approved unanimously by all 16 U.S intelligence agencies in November 2007.

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