Friday, September 30, 2016
Precisely how those relationships play out, however, is often shrouded in secrecy.
A recently published audit by the Department of Justice has now offered a startling glimpse behind the scenes of those operations, revealing a world in which hundreds of millions of dollars have been doled out to thousands of informants over the last five years. Those informants include package delivery personnel, bus company employees, and Transportation Security Administration agents moonlighting as drug war spies — all operating with abysmal oversight and scant evidence of return on investment.
Published Thursday by the DOJ’s Inspector General, the audit reports that from 2010 to 2015, the DEA boasted more than “18,000 active confidential sources assigned to its domestic offices, with over 9,000 of those sources receiving approximately $237 million in payments for information or services they provided.” By comparison, the FBI is said to maintain a roster of some 15,000 informants.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Africans fleeing unrest and poverty are not, however, the only foreigners making their way to this town in the center of Niger. U.S. military documents reveal new information about an American drone base under construction on the outskirts of the city. The long-planned project — considered the most important U.S. military construction effort in Africa, according to formerly secret files obtained by The Intercept through the Freedom of Information Act — is slated to cost $100 million, and is just one of a number of recent American military initiatives in the impoverished nation.
The base is the latest sign, experts say, of an ever-increasing emphasis on counterterror operations in the north and west of the continent. As the only country in the region willing to allow a U.S. base for MQ-9 Reapers — a newer, larger, and potentially more lethal model than the venerable Predator drone — Niger has positioned itself to be the key regional hub for U.S. military operations, with Agadez serving as the premier outpost for launching intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions against a plethora of terror groups.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
How Sam Allardyce tried to make as much money as possible as England manager - before his first match
The job comes with a salary of £3 million per year, plus bonuses, but as Allardyce sat down to a meeting in a May Fair hotel he was eager to explore ways of earning even more.
On the table was an offer for Allardyce to fly to Singapore and Hong Kong four times a year to address investors in a Far East firm that wanted to buy football players. Allardyce, 61, was unperturbed by the fact that the firm – in reality a fictitious company whose representatives were undercover Telegraph reporters – was proposing third party ownership of players, in contravention of Football Association and Fifa rules.
During the meeting he remarked that Sir Alex Ferguson gets “four hundred, five hundred grand a pop” for speaking engagements, while Robbie Williams got “£1.6 million for a wedding. Just singing”.
Less than 20 minutes into the meeting with total strangers, Allardyce had agreed, in principle, to a £400,000-a-year deal to represent a company he had never heard of. The England manager insisted he would deliver “value for money” in helping to attract investors, boasting of his popularity in the Orient.
As Sam Allardyce lost his job as England manager following the Telegraph’s disclosures about his conduct, the Football Association faced a separate crisis over the alleged bribery of managers.
Football agents were filmed by undercover reporters boasting about how many managers they had paid, with one agent saying that in football, “everything is under the table”.
Later this week the Telegraph will also disclose the name of an assistant manager at a leading club who was filmed accepting a £5,000 cash payment from undercover reporters posing as representatives of a Far Eastern firm that wanted to invest in players.
It leaves the FA facing its biggest crisis in recent years, as it deals with evidence that attempts to clean up the game have failed, while it also has to begin the search for a new manager of the England team.
Allardyce became the shortest-reigning permanent England manager in history on Tuesday night when he lost his job over the Telegraph’s disclosures that he had given advice on how to get around FA rules on player transfers while negotiating a £400,000 deal with a fictitious Far Eastern firm. His insistence that he would have to clear the deal with the FA was not enough to save him.
After a series of impassioned floor speeches Wednesday morning, both the U.S. Senate and House acted with sweeping bipartisan comity, rejecting the president’s opposition to a bill that allows the families of American victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia.
The months-long debate over the bill split some longtime national security alliances in surprising ways. GOP Sen. John McCain was a vocal supporter of the bill, while his fellow Republican and usually reliable partner on such issues, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, argued against it.
The Senate voted 97-1, and the House, 348 to 77.
Several of the agents said Trump’s business network represents a target-rich environment, both for law enforcement and intelligence agencies. They said Sater, if he was doing his job as an informant, would have been reporting back to his FBI and other law-enforcement and intelligence-agency handlers about Trump’s activities.
Sater, when asked about his relationship with Trump in a recent email interview with Narco News, declined to address whether he was monitoring Trump as part of his informant role, or if his government handlers were aware of his business dealings with Trump. Sater did say, however, that “I’m pretty sure the government knew my dog’s weight down to the ounces”— an indication that the law enforcement and intelligence agencies he was reporting to were well aware of his business dealings with Trump.
Whether Trump was aware that Sater was an informant from the start is not clear. Trump, according to media reports, denies he knew about Sater’s sordid past when they met and began working on deals. Trump’s press secretary, Hope Hicks, did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2007, however, the New York Times published a story about Sater’s past criminal history and his alleged cooperation with the U.S. government, a story in which Trump is quoted. It seems Trump should have known Sater was likely an informant at that point, yet he still continued to do business with Sater.
One of the former federal agents interviewed by Narco News, who asked not to be named, said if Trump continued to work with Sater even after he became aware that Sater was an informant, it could be a sign that Trump, too, may have been cooperating with federal authorities.
“One possibility is that Trump was working with the Russians [relying on Russian investments to fund his ventures] and the U.S. government planted Sater [in Trump’s orbit] to monitor that activity,” said Celerino Castillo, a former DEA agent who played a key role in exposing the US government’s role in narco-trafficking during the Iran/Contra era. “The Russians launder a lot of money.”
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Monday, September 26, 2016
The ultimate fate of that tip, according to a new white paper from the digital civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation, reveals in part why IP addresses can be unreliable pieces of evidence that are misused by police and the courts.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
The judge ordered the U.S. State Department to finish processing 1,050 pages of material for release by Nov. 4, just days before Americans go to the polls, the Wall Street Journal said. The paper said that material was out of what could be as much as 10,000 pages.
Under the schedule set by the judge, there will be also be pre-election releases on Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, and the State Department will process 500 pages per month after that, the Wall Street Journal reported.
As I observed in early July, when Director James Comey announced that the FBI would not be seeking prosecution of anyone on Team Clinton over EmailGate, the Bureau had turned its back on its own traditions of floating above partisan politics in the pursuit of justice. “Malfeasance by the FBI, its bending to political winds, is a matter that should concern all Americans, regardless of their politics,” I stated, noting that it’s never a healthy turn of events in a democracy when your secret police force gets tarnished by politics.
Just how much Comey and his Bureau punted on EmailGate has become painfully obvious since then. Redacted FBI documents from that investigation, dumped on the Friday afternoon before the long Labor Day weekend, revealed that Hillary Clinton either willfully lied to the Bureau, repeatedly, about her email habits as secretary of state, or she is far too dumb to be our commander-in-chief.
Witness set to testify in NYPD cop's drug conspiracy trial whacked 'Don Corleone'-style, prosecutors say
Federal Judge Colleen McMahon made the declaration just hours after victim Robert Bishun, 36, was abducted from his auto body shop and found strangled in the back of his BMW in Fieldston late Tuesday.
“I’ve been around the racetrack once or twice. It certainly sounds like a contract killing,” McMahon said, adding that Bishun’s slaying smacked of “movie violence.”
Details of the grisly murder were outlined in her courtroom by federal prosecutors from the Southern District, who noted the mechanic had been expected to testify against disgraced NYPD Officer Merlin Alston, who’d been out on bail. Alston, 34, is facing narcotic conspiracy charges for being a helper, driver and shotgun-toting bodyguard for a drug-dealer over a four-year period.
The tools, which enable hackers to exploit software flaws in computer and communications systems from vendors such as Cisco Systems and Fortinet Inc, were dumped onto public websites last month by a group calling itself Shadow Brokers.
The public release of the tools coincided with U.S. officials saying they had concluded that Russia or its proxies were responsible for hacking political party organizations in the run-up to the Nov. 8 presidential election. On Thursday, lawmakers accused Russia of being responsible.
Various explanations have been floated by officials in Washington as to how the tools were stolen. Some feared it was the work of a leaker similar to former agency contractor Edward Snowden, while others suspected the Russians might have hacked into NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland.
But officials heading the FBI-led investigation now discount both of those scenarios, the people said in separate interviews.
NSA officials have told investigators that an employee or contractor made the mistake about three years ago during an operation that used the tools, the people said.
By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade.
Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.
Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Earlier this month, on the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the lower tip of Manhattan was thronged with soldiers in uniform, firefighters marching with photos of lost friends pinned to their backpacks, and tourists bumbling around the new mall at the World Trade Center. Firetrucks and police cars ringed Zuccotti Park and white ribbons adorned the iron fence around the churchyard on Broadway. Trash cans were closed up, with signs announcing “temporary security lockdown.”
So it felt a bit risky to be climbing up a street pole on Wall Street to closely inspect a microwave radar sensor, or to be lingering under a police camera, pointing and gesturing at the wires and antenna connected to it. Yet it was also entirely appropriate to be doing just that, especially in the company of Ingrid Burrington, author of the new book “Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure,” which points out that many of the city’s communications and surveillance programs were conceived and funded in response to the attacks.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told The Associated Press on Friday that Mills gave federal investigators access to her laptop on the condition that what they found couldn't be used against her.
Democrats on the committee said Friday the immunity agreements were limited in scope and did not cover statements made to investigators or to potential testimony before Congress.
Still, Chaffetz said he was "absolutely stunned" that the FBI would cut a deal with someone as close to the investigation as Mills. By including the emails recovered from the laptops in the immunity agreements, the Justice Department exempted key physical evidence from any potential criminal case against the aides.
Last week, WikiLeaks directly released files from Guccifer 2.0 through their Twitter account. Among them was a high-profile donor list revealing the pay-to-play appointments of several ambassadorships and other positions by President Barack Obama. On September 15, Guccifer 2.0 released several DCCC memos on a WordPress site, including one from Ohio dated December 9, 2015 that referred to Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee before the primaries began, even though Sen. Bernie Sanders was just a few points behind Clinton in most polls. “With former Governor Ted Strickland and Secretary Clinton on the ballot, there will be a boost from the top of the ticket,” read the memo.
Based on many similar memos and documents released by Guccifer 2.0 from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and DCCC, it appears the Democratic Party leadership felt strangely self-assured Clinton would be their presidential nominee before a single vote was cast. The Clinton campaign and DNC have not disputed the veracity of any files or documents leaked, rather they have portrayed themselves as the victims of Russian hackers to divert attention from the content of the leaks.
The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.
The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”
Friday, September 23, 2016
Glover Park Group and Squire Patton Boggs are now working for the Saudi government, according to new disclosure forms. Both contracts were inked earlier this week.
The Saudi government is adding Washington firepower amid the battle over legislation that would allow U.S. citizens to sue any other country for terrorist attacks. The bill passed both chambers of Congress unanimously.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 hailed from Saudi Arabia. Critics have long suspected that the kingdom’s government may have either directly or indirectly supported the attacks, something the Saudis vehemently deny.
On Friday afternoon, President Obama vetoed the bill, saying that it would weaken immunity laws for sovereign governments, lead to a deluge of lawsuits and put longstanding foreign policy relationships at risk.
“I recognize that there is nothing that could ever erase the grief the 9/11 families have endured," Obama wrote in his veto message. "Enacting JASTA into law, however would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks."
Obama’s move opens up the possibility that lawmakers could override his veto for the first time with a two-thirds vote in both chambers.
Republican and Democratic leaders have said they are committed to holding an override vote, and the bill’s drafters say they have the support to force the bill to become law.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) unanimously passed through both chambers by voice vote.
But the timing of the president’s veto is designed to erode congressional support for the bill and put off a politically damaging override vote until after the November elections.
Civil liberties activists are not convinced. Christopher Soghoian from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wrote in an affidavit as part of a petition against the NYPD’s decision not to share this information, “It would be a serious problem if the costly surveillance devices purchased by the NYPD without public competitive bidding are so woefully insecure that the only thing protecting them from hackers is the secrecy surrounding their model names.”
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), an affiliate of the ACLU, has been trying to get access to information about the NYPD’s IMSI catchers under the Freedom of Information Law. These devices are also commonly referred to as “stingrays”, after a particularly popular model from Harris Corporation. Indeed, the NYCLU wants to know which models of IMSI catchers made by Harris the police department has.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Recently however a secret government report was leaked to German media, which not only identifies violations of the data protection act but also reveals the codenames for several BND systems and the fact that BND uses the American XKEYSCORE system not only for analysis, but also for collection purposes.
Here, the new information from the secret report is combined with things we know from earlier sources and reportings.
- A secret report
- The SUSLAG liaison office
- Selectors provided by NSA
- Operations SMARAGD and ZABBO
- Metadata analysis: VERAS
- Analysis and collection: XKEYSCORE
- Integrated analysis: MIRA 4
- Legal defects
The company said it believes a "state-sponsored actor" was behind the data breach, meaning an individual acting on behalf of a government. The breach is said to have occurred in late 2014.
"The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers," Yahoo said in a statement.
The action came in a case brought by a journalist to unseal a much larger collection of information about court-ordered electronic surveillance in closed criminal investigations in the nation’s capital.
Legal experts say even the selective release appears to mark the first time a U.S. district court has made a systematic online disclosure of how often law enforcement seeks court orders under a 1986 statute to obtain individuals’ electronic records from communication service providers. The release could serve as a model for court disclosure elsewhere, several legal experts said.
US District Court Judge Beryl Howell said at a hearing Friday morning that absent an objection by government attorneys, the court would post to its website next week a list of all case numbers from 2012 in which federal prosecutors in Washington, DC applied for an order to install a pen register or a trap and trace device.
A pen register is an electronic apparatus that tracks phone numbers called from a specific telephone line (though the 2001 USA PATRIOT Act expanded the definition of pen register to allow for collection of email headers as well). A trap and trace device is similar, but tracks the phone numbers of incoming calls.
For decades, court records relating to these documents have typically been sealed in their entirety, including even the docket numbers. Next week's release, which is in response to a three-year-old petition filed by VICE News, will be a crucial first step in learning details about the electronic surveillance orders, and the beginning of a multilayered process that will ultimately lead to the disclosure of thousands of pen register applications dating back at least five years.
These applications are always sealed (including even the case numbers), and we the public know very little about them. But now, thanks to a three-year court proceeding initiated by the indefatigable Jason Leopold (and his attorney Jeffrey Light and his employer Vice News), a federal judge has done something unprecedented: released a list of PRTT requests. Specifically, all 235 such cases from DC District Court in 2012:
Editor's Note: Today, a Canadian payment processor named PacNet became one of the many targets of an unprecedented crackdown on global mail fraud, which was announced today by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. CNNMoney, which exclusively broke the news of this action, has spent months digging into this little-known company and the shadowy world of global mail fraud. Our investigation is below:
The frauds rake in millions from the sick and elderly -- leaving them with nothing. This is a story about the little-known company that cashes the checks.
And it happens victim by victim.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
She began by noting that Wells Fargo, the most valuable bank in the world, is widely known for cross-selling products to customers like no other institution. The average big bank has customers with three accounts, while Wells Fargo’s goal is eight. This shows investors that Wells Fargo has a very dedicated client base that will keep coming back to the bank for financial services.
“Cross-selling isn’t about helping customers get what they need. If it was, you wouldn’t have to squeeze your employees so hard to make it happen. No, cross-selling is all about pumping up Wells’s stock price, isn’t it?” Warren asked.
Stumpf said “No,” and Warren wouldn’t even let him finish his sentence.
“Let me stop you right there. You say no? No? Here are the transcripts of twelve quarterly earnings calls that you participated in from 2012 to 2014, the three full years in which we know this scam was going on,” she said, waving the bound copies in the air. “These were calls where you personally made your pitch to investors and analysts as to why Wells Fargo is a great investment. And in all 12 of these calls, you personally cited Wells Fargo’s success at cross-selling retail accounts as one of the main reasons to buy more stock in the company.” She then read off lines from each call as Stumpf sat stone-faced.
She asked Stumpf if he knew how much he personally made as Wells Fargo’s stock price soared during these years. He gave a halting non-answer, but Warren told him—$200 million. Then she ended with a sound bite that’s likely to make the evening news nationwide.
“You should resign,” she said. “You should give back the money that you took while this scam was going. And you should be criminally investigated by both the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.”
Leaked Oversight Report Shows Illegal Surveillance, Massive Constitutional Violations By Germany's Intelligence Service
The site has obtained a classified report from the country's intelligence oversight office that shows the BND (Germany's intelligence service) illegally collected and stored data and information obtained via its partnership with the NSA.
Bush, 92, had intended to stay silent on the White House race between Clinton and Donald Trump, a sign in and of itself of his distaste for the GOP nominee. But his preference for the wife of his own successor, President Bill Clinton, nonetheless became known to a wider audience thanks to Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and daughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy.
On Monday, Townsend posted a picture on her Facebook page shaking hands next to the former president and this caption: "The President told me he’s voting for Hillary!!”
Monday, September 19, 2016
Rahami, suspected of executing bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey over the weekend, would be arrested hours later following a brief shootout with police — his apprehension reportedly an unlikely combination of detective work, a vigilant New Jersey resident, and, apparently, some petty street thieves who saw something and said something.
While New York City’s Wireless Emergency Alert system has been used more than a half dozen times over the last few years, Monday marked the first time it had been activated as a means to encourage the public to aid the police in the search for a wanted man.
Less than 48 hours after a bomb exploded in a dumpster on a street corner in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York—and another device a few blocks away failed to explode—police have tracked the attack to New Jersey resident Ahmad Khan Rahami. At least one crucial link that investigators seem to have made came from the cellphone planted in one of the bombs. The incident is a reminder of just how difficult it is to anonymously use a cellphone in America—whether to sell drugs, make an untraceable call to a journalist, or explode a deadly weapon in downtown Manhattan.
An army of reddit users believes it has found evidence that former Hillary Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited free advice regarding Clinton's private email server from users of the popular web forum.
A collaborative investigation showed a reddit user with the username stonetear requested help in relation to retaining and purging email messages after 60 days, and requested advice on how to remove a "VERY VIP" individual's email address from archived content.
The requests match neatly with publicly known dates related to Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Stonetear has deleted the posts, but before doing so, the pages were archived by other individuals.
"ARCHIVE EVERYTHING YOU CAN!!!!" a person wrote on a popular thread on the Donald Trump-supporting subreddit r/The_Donald, as the entries disappeared.
President Richard Nixon may never have even read the President’s Daily Briefs partially declassified and released by the CIA with great fanfare on August 24, 2016. The CIA’s claim that the PDBs were “the primary vehicle for summarizing the day-to-day sensitive intelligence and analysis … for the White House” is partly true, but Nixon’s prejudices against the Agency and the distinctive role of national security adviser Henry Kissinger suggest that his cover memos to the PDBs were far more important to the President than whatever the CIA had to say.
Kissinger served as Nixon’s de facto intelligence adviser and it was Kissinger, not the CIA, whom Nixon counted on to help him keep informed about global events. In part, Kissinger did this each day by sending Nixon a memorandum prepared at the White House Situation Room, to which the PDB was appended, that consisted of Kissinger’s take of what developments were important for Nixon to keep in mind.
As a contribution to the ongoing discussion about the role of the PDBs in the Nixon White House, the National Security Archive today publishes together for the first time the six Kissinger daily briefing memoranda from 1969 through 1973 that have been declassified so far.
“Along with sports fans across America, I was appalled to learn last month that many of the ceremonies honoring members of our armed services at NFL games are not actually being conducted out of a sense of patriotism, but for profit in the form of millions in taxpayer dollars going from the Department of Defense to wealthy NFL franchises,”
The report details blatant waste and abuse and may be little more than a “taxpayer-funded boondoggle,”
Unfortunately, contrary to the public statements made by DOD and the NFL, the majority of the contracts—72 of the 122 contracts we analyzed—clearly show that DOD paid for patriotic tributes at professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, and soccer games. These paid tributes included on-field color guard, enlistment and reenlistment ceremonies, performances of the national anthem, full-field flag details, ceremonial first pitches͕ and puck drops. The National Guard paid teams for the “opportunity” to sponsor military appreciation nights and to recognize its birthday. It paid the Buffalo Bills to sponsor its Salute to the Service game. DOD even paid teams for the “opportunity” to perform surprise welcome home promotions for troops returning from deployments and to recognize Wounded Warriors.
Meanwhile, the National Guard Bureau and Army National Guard announced a $101 million shortfall and experienced issues paying their own soldiers.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
WashPost Makes History: First Paper to Call for Prosecution of Its Own Source (After Accepting Pulitzer)
But not The Washington Post. In the face of a growing ACLU-and-Amnesty-led campaign to secure a pardon for Snowden, timed to this weekend’s release of the Oliver Stone biopic “Snowden,” the Post editorial page not only argued today in opposition to a pardon, but explicitly demanded that Snowden — their paper’s own source — stand trial on espionage charges or, as a “second-best solution,” “accept a measure of criminal responsibility for his excesses and the U.S. government offers a measure of leniency.”
In doing so, The Washington Post has achieved an ignominious feat in U.S. media history: the first-ever paper to explicitly editorialize for the criminal prosecution of its own paper’s source — one on whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. But even more staggering than this act of journalistic treachery against their paper’s own source are the claims made to justify it.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
A proposed bill would require the department to release annual reports of just how much money it takes from the pockets of low-income New Yorkers, and the NYPD claimed that following the law would be near impossible.
“Attempts to perform the types of searches envisioned in the bill will lead to system crashes and significant delays during the intake and release process,” said Assistant Deputy Commissioner Robert Messner, while testifying in front of the council’s Public Safety Committee. “The only way the department could possibly comply with the bill would be a manual count of over half a million invoices each year.”
Agents dosed subjects with LSD and other psychotropic narcotics, hypnotized them, and exposed them to radiation and electroshock therapy. Some of the participants volunteered, but others did so unwillingly and unwittingly.
The CIA attempted to destroy all records of the program, leaving behind only seven boxes of official files overlooked during the document purge. But a few stories survived. One of the strangest revolves around a series of uncontrolled experiments named Operation Midnight Climax.
CIA operatives involved with Midnight Climax hired prostitutes in San Francisco to lure clients back to brothels. Once there, the agents secretly drugged their targets and watched them engage in sexual activities from behind a two-way mirror.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Discussing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to Congress about the dangers posed by the Iranian nuclear deal, in an email he sent to US Democratic party donor Jeffrey Leeds, Powell wrote that he doubted the Iranian regime would use an atomic bomb even if it could get one, since “the boys in Tehran know Israel has 200, all targeted on Tehran, and we have thousands.”
The email was published by the LobeLog foreign policy website.
Israel maintains a policy of so-called nuclear ambiguity, neither publicly confirming nor denying the existence of an atomic arsenal.
If you can't read that, it says:
Third, two weeks before Snowden began mass downloads of classified documents, he was reprimanded after engaging in a workplace spat with NSA managers. Snowden was repeatedly counseled by his managers regarding his behavior at work. For example, in June 2012, Snowden became involved in a fiery e-mail argument With a Supervisor about how computer updates should be managed. Snowden added an NSA senior executive several levels above the supervisor to the e-mail thread, an action that earned him a swift reprimand from his contracting officer for failing to follow the proper protocol for raising grievances through the chain of command. Two weeks later, Snowden began his mass downloads of classified information from NSA networks. Despite Snowden's later claim that the March 2013 congressional testimony of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was a "breaking point" for him, these mass downloads predated Director Clapper's testimony by eight months.
First of all, the inclusion of the email dispute is just... weird. I mean, people have email disputes with co-workers all the time. Is that really a sign that you're not a whistleblower, or that you're just "disgruntled?" If that's really the "dirt" that they dug up on Snowden after two years of research, they really must have nothing that actually sticks.
Oh, and also, as Snowden himself notes, this all kinda works against their point, because it shows that trying to blow the whistle up the chain is... met with reprimands.
In the hope that Stone’s movie will spark more widespread interest in the NSA programs Snowden helped bring to light, The Intercept has compiled its stories based on the archive of documents, which can be explored through the chart below.
Thursday, September 15, 2016
“Edward Snowden is no hero – he’s a traitor who willfully betrayed his colleagues and his country. He put our service members and the American people at risk after perceived slights by his superiors,” said Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., in a statement about the report on Snowden’s disclosure of documents on NSA worldwide surveillance programs.
The entire panel — Democrats and Republicans alike — signed a letter sent directly to the president, asserting that Snowden is “not a patriot.” The unclassified summary of the report, disclosed alongside the letter, is just three pages long; the classified version is 36 pages with 230 footnotes.
FBI agents may impersonate journalists while conducting undercover investigations, and an agent who posed as an editor with the Associated Press during a 2007 investigation did not violate agency policies, the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General found in a report released Thursday.
The conclusion sparked consternation across social media by journalists, civil rights groups and some legal experts, who have argued that the practice – by its very existence – threatens to heighten public mistrust of reporters, damage journalists' credibility and have a chilling effect on sources and whistleblowers who may fear that their contacts in the media are actually undercover agents.
"The Associated Press is deeply disappointed by the Inspector General’s findings, which effectively condone the FBI’s impersonation of an AP journalist in 2007," Associated Press Vice President Paul Colford said in a statement. "Such action compromises the ability of a free press to gather the news safely and effectively and raises serious constitutional concerns."
Hacked Colin Powell Email: Bohemian Grove Attendees Will Vote Against Trump, Some Support Third Party Candidate
Here is Powell’s full July 24, 2016 email, which was hacked by DCLeaks and accessed by Breitbart News via a password provided to this reporter by the hacking group:
Peter, I am back from the Bohemian Grove. Surprise, surprise, I sat next
to Stephen Harper a couple of times and had a nice discussion. Grove
attendees know that Trump is a disaster. Most will vote against, but quite
a few will not vote for Hillary and will vote for a third party candidate.
Strange doings down here. Otherwise all is well with the Powells. We’ll
sneak away for a few days in August. Of course I’d love to see you. Let me
know your dates. I told Stephen that you seemed quite content in your new
place in life.
All the best, Colin
More than three dozen luxurious major league baseball, football, hockey and basketball stadiums and arenas across the country were financed with tax-exempt municipal revenue bonds that have substantially lowered the teams’ cost of borrowing for construction while creating a drain on the federal Treasury.
Since 2000, the federal government has subsidized newly constructed or renovated professional sports stadiums to the tune of $3.2 billion while providing more than $400 million in federal tax write offs for wealthy investors – resulting in a direct revenue loss of $3.7 billion.
The researchers were ambitious in attempting to estimate every dollar of savings on interest costs and taxes that stadium owners were able to achieve by going the route of tax-exempt municipal bonds instead of other taxable bonds or borrowing. To some degree, they engaged in supposition in reaching the total of the subsidy to the owners. They more precisely calculated how much the bond holders avoided in federal taxes, which constituted a more direct drain on the Treasury.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
To clinch a deal, Germany's Bayer pumped even more money into its bid for the U.S. seed giant, valuing it at $66 billion, including debt.
It's the third time Bayer (BAYRY) has cranked up its offer, and this time it was enough to win the backing of Monsanto's board. The takeover would create a vast conglomerate spanning pharmaceuticals, health products and pesticides.
“Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72 percent, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal,” Mr. Swift said.
The sentiment has fallen slowly and steadily, and has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.
Sex toy companies, allow police to SECRETLY view a person's Bluetooth sex toy usage, if they act on "GOOD FAITH".
That’s why it’s so concerning that the Justice Department is planning a vast expansion of government hacking. Under a new set of rules, the FBI would have the authority to secretly use malware to hack into thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers that belong to innocent third parties and even crime victims. The unintended consequences could be staggering.
The new plan to drastically expand the government’s hacking and surveillance authorities is known formally as amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the proposal would allow the government to hack a million computers or more with a single warrant. If Congress doesn’t pass legislation blocking this proposal, the new rules go into effect on December 1. With just six work weeks remaining on the Senate schedule and a long Congressional to-do list, time is running out.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Guccifer 2.0: New Clinton Leaks Reveals Donor List. Big Donors Awarded Federal Positions After Their Donations
Here is the first cut of the alleged major donors on the leaked documents and the positions they received (via Magafeed.com)
#1 Matthew Berzun … Ambassador to UK
#2 Julius Genachowski … Former chairman to FCC
#3 Frank Sanchez…. Under secretary of commerce
#8 Kirk Wagner… Ambassador to Singapore
#9 Alan Solomont … Ambassador to Spain
#11 John Roos… Ambassador to Japan
#12 Nicole Avant… Ambassador to Bahamas
#13 Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe … Ambassador to the UN
#16 Steve Westly – CFO of California
#17 Don Beyer – Ambassador to Switzerland
#21 Don Gips – Ambassador to South Africa
#22 Howard Gutman – Ambassador to Belgium
#24 Cynthia Stroum – Ambassador to Luxembourg
#27 Mark Gilbert – Ambassador to New Zealand
#31 Norm Eisen – Ambassador to Czech Republic
#37 Bruce Oreck – Ambassador to Finland
#43 Tony West – deputy Attorney General
#45 Bill Kennard – Ambassador to EU
Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said Mr. Obama “does intend to veto this legislation,” and would work to persuade lawmakers in both parties to change course. If he cannot, the measure could lead to the first veto override of his presidency, as the legislation drew the backing of lopsided majorities in both the House and Senate.
“The president feels quite strongly about this,” Mr. Earnest said of the legislation, which Mr. Obama has said could dangerously undermine the United States’ interests globally, opening the country to a raft of lawsuits by private citizens overseas.
Private DNA databases have multiplied as testing technology has become more sophisticated and sensitive, enabling labs to generate profiles from so-called “touch” or “trace” DNA consisting of as little as a few skin cells. Automated “Rapid DNA” machines allow police to analyze DNA right at the station in a mere 90 minutes. Some states allow “familial searching” of databases, which can identify people with samples from family members. New software can even create composite mugshots of suspects using DNA to guess at skin and eye color.
Strict rules govern which DNA samples are added to the FBI’s national database, but they don’t apply to the police departments’ private databases, which are subject to no state or federal regulation or oversight. Adam’s DNA, for example, was headed for a database managed for Melbourne by Bode Cellmark Forensics, a LabCorp subsidiary, which has marketed its services to dozens of small cities and towns. The lower standards for DNA profiles included in private databases could lead to meaningless or coincidental matches, said Michael Garvey, who heads the Philadelphia Police Department’s office of forensic science, a public lab.
The internal sugar industry documents, recently discovered by a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, and published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, suggest that five decades of research into the role of nutrition and heart disease, including many of today’s dietary recommendations, may have been largely shaped by the sugar industry.
“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F. and an author of the JAMA paper.
The documents show that a trade group called the Sugar Research Foundation, known today as the Sugar Association, paid three Harvard scientists the equivalent of about $50,000 in today’s dollars to publish a 1967 review of research on sugar, fat and heart disease. The studies used in the review were handpicked by the sugar group, and the article, which was published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, minimized the link between sugar and heart health and cast aspersions on the role of saturated fat.
"It's 'trust, but verify' is how it works," Chaffetz told FBI acting legislative affairs chief Jason Herring. "You don't get to decide what I get to see. I get to see it all."
After Herring said he could not promise to deliver all the investigative summaries—known as 302s—in an unedited form, Chaffetz sent the subpoena down from the dais to the witness table where the FBI official sat with colleagues from six other agencies.
"I've signed this subpoena. We want all the 302s....and you are hereby served," Chaffetz said.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Edward Snowden, a former U.S. intelligence contractor, became the most wanted fugitive in the world after leaking a cache of classified documents to the media detailing extensive cyber spying networks by the U.S. government on its own citizens and governments around the world.
To escape the long arm of American justice, the man responsible for the largest national security breach in U.S. history retained a Canadian lawyer in Hong Kong who hatched a plan that included a visit to the UN sub-office where the North Carolina native applied for refugee status to avoid extradition to the U.S.
Fearing the media would surround and follow Snowden — making it easier for the Hong Kong authorities to arrest the one-time Central Intelligence Agency analyst on behalf of the U.S. — his lawyers made him virtually disappear for two weeks from June 10 to June 23, 2013, before he emerged on an Aeroflot airplane bound for Moscow, where he remains stranded today in self-imposed exile.
Harris has fought to keep its surveillance equipment, which carry price tags in the low six figures, hidden from both privacy activists and the general public, arguing that information about the gear could help criminals. Accordingly, an older Stingray manual released under the the Freedom of Information Act to news website TheBlot.com last year was almost completely redacted. So too have law enforcement agencies at every level, across the country, evaded almost all attempts to learn how and why these extremely powerful tools are being used—though court battles have made it clear Stingrays are often deployed without any warrant. The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department alone has snooped via Stingray, sans warrant, over 300 times.
Richard Tynan, a technologist with Privacy International, told The Intercept that the “manuals released today offer the most up to date view on the operation of” Stingrays and similar cellular surveillance devices, with powerful capabilities that threaten civil liberties, communications infrastructure, and potentially national security. He noted that the documents show the “Stingray II” device can impersonate four cellular communications towers at once, monitoring up to four cellular provider networks simultaneously, and with an add-on can operate on so-called 2G, 3G, and 4G networks simultaneously.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
by Spencer Ackerman https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/11/cia-torture-report-aftermath-daniel-jones-senate-investigation
Lawyers for 9/11 families suing the Saudi kingdom, who Friday won congressional passage of a bill removing Saudi’s sovereign immunity, want to get their hands on those documents, along with:
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Join co-sponsors Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry, 9/11 Truth Action Project, NY State Legislative Action Project for 9/11 Justice, and the 9/11 Consensus Panel for a weekend symposium on the pursuit of 9/11 Justice 15 years after the fateful events of September 11, 2001.
Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM - Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 6:30 PM (EDT)
New York, NY
by Spencer Ackerman https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/sep/10/cia-senate-investigation-constitutional-crisis-daniel-jones
Friday, September 9, 2016
Exclusive: Daniel Jones, the man at the center of landmark Senate report, goes public for the first time about the investigation that led to the CIA spying on him
The man at the center of the US Senate’s landmark investigation of the CIA torture program has gone public for the first time about an experience that led to the CIA spying on him as part of what he calls a “failed coverup”.
For six years, Daniel Jones was the chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee’s inquiry into CIA detentions and interrogations carried out in the post-9/11 Bush era. Jones and his team turned 6.3m pages of internal CIA documents into a scathing study which concluded that torture was ineffective and that the CIA had lied about it to two presidents, Congress and the US public.
But before Jones’s investigation was released in December 2014, the CIA searched through Senate files on a shared, firewalled network that had been set up by the agency for Jones and his team to securely receive classified documents.
The CIA accessed Jones’s work and even reconstructed his emails, sparking an unprecedented clash between the agency and its legislative overseers on Capitol Hill.
Jones has broken his silence in an extensive series of interviews with the Guardian, expressing dissatisfaction with what he called a lack of accountability for torture at the CIA. He also says the agency, under the leadership of John Brennan was abetted in trying to silence criticism by Barack Obama, the president who banned torture as one of the first acts of his tenure.
The first part of the inside story of the Senate investigation into torture, the crisis with the CIA it spurred and the man whose life would never be the same
Daniel Jones had always been friendly with the CIA personnel who stood outside his door.
When he needed to take something out of the secured room where he read mountains of their classified material, they typically obliged. An informal understanding had taken hold after years of working together, usually during off-peak hours, so closely that Jones had parking privileges at an agency satellite office not far from its McLean, Virginia, headquarters. They would ask Jones if anything he wanted to remove contained real names or cover names of any agency officials, assets or partners, or anything that could compromise an operation. He would say no. They would nod, he would wish them a good night, and they would go their separate ways.
After midnight in the summer of 2013, Jones deliberately violated that accord.
Jones, a counter-terrorism staffer, had become the chief investigator for the Senate intelligence committee, the CIA’s congressional overseer, on its biggest inquiry. For five years, he had been methodically sifting through internal CIA accounts of its infamous torture program, a process that had begun after the committee learned – thanks to a New York Times article, not the agency – that a senior official had destroyed videotapes that recorded infamously brutal interrogations. The subsequent committee inquiry had deeply strained a relationship with Langley that both sides badly wanted to maintain. The source of that strain was simple: having read millions of internal emails, cables and accounts of agency torture, Jones had come to believe everything the CIA had told Congress, the Bush and Obama White Houses and the public was a lie.
Due to a Freedom of Information Act request from Politico, the Clinton Presidential Library has released 555 photos of Bill Clinton at two events in 2000 - at Trump Tower and at the US Open. Twenty-two of these photos show Clinton interacting with Donald Trump.
Politico chose to post eight of these photos [here]. The Memory Hole 2, through a piggyback FOIA request, has obtained the photos and is posting all 22 of them (below), as well as contact sheets showing all 555 photos (further below).
Strangely, Politico cropped the most revealing photo, of Trump cupping Clinton's package. Maybe Politico is trying to be family-friendly, unlike Trump. You can see their treatment of the photo here, and we've placed the original and the cropped versions side by side:
Judges and lawyers know that – if someone intentionally destroys evidence – he’s probably trying to hide his crime. American law has long recognized that destruction of evidence raises a presumption of guilt for the person who destroyed the evidence.
So what does it mean when the US government intentionally destroyed massive amounts of evidence related to 9/11?
Judge and Prosecutor Destroy Evidence
For example, it was revealed in May that the judge overseeing the trial of surviving 9/11 suspects conspired with the prosecution to destroy evidence relevant to a key suspect’s defense. And see this.
(The Defense Department has also farmed out most of the work of both prosecuting and defending the surviving 9/11 suspects to the same private company. And the heads of the military tribunal prosecuting the 9/11 suspects said that the trials must be rigged so that there are no acquittals.)
Destruction of Videotapes
The CIA videotaped the interrogation of 9/11 suspects, falsely told the 9/11 Commission that there were no videotapes or other records of the interrogations, and then illegally destroyed all of the tapes and transcripts of the interrogations.
9/11 Commission co-chairs Thomas Keane and Lee Hamilton wrote:
Those who knew about those videotapes — and did not tell us about them — obstructed our investigation.
Daniel Marcus, a law professor at American University who served as general counsel for the Sept. 11 commission and was involved in the discussions about interviews with Al Qaeda leaders, said he had heard nothing about any tapes being destroyed.
If tapes were destroyed, he said, “it’s a big deal, it’s a very big deal,” because it could amount to obstruction of justice to withhold evidence being sought in criminal or fact-finding investigations.
Destruction of Air Traffic Control Tapes
The tape of interviews of air traffic controllers on-duty on 9/11 was intentionally destroyed by crushing the cassette by hand, cutting the tape into little pieces, and then dropping the pieces in different trash cans around the building as shown by this NY Times article (summary version is free; full version is pay-per-view) and by this article from the Chicago Sun-Times.
During a recent interview about the making of his new film about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, director Oliver Stone said that Pentagon sanitation of Hollywood films is rampant.
“I mean, honestly. America is fed bullsh-t and we buy it. No other alternative,” the famed director said during the interview.
Stone rattled off a list of television shows and movies—“Homeland”, “24”, “Lone Survivor” – that are all heavily influenced by the CIA.
“What you’re seeing is bullsh*t. And a lot of the war pictures you see, you don’t get, you know, you get it after the Pentagon has sanitized it. And they lie. They lie. As long as it is pro-American, that’s all that matters,” he said.
The director added that the CIA “has taken over Hollywood in that sense.”
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Cryptography is the art of secret communication. Diplomats and military commanders began using secret keys to encrypt their missives thousands of years ago, long before the invention of computers or even the telegraph. To establish secret communication, participants must first have the secret key. Thus arises the problem of key distribution— how to share a secret key with all participants of a secure conversation before the conversation starts. For centuries, key distribution gave large organizations a big advantage. The more resourceful a state’s military and intelligence establishment, the more easily it could manage the logistics of key distribution.
Perhaps the single most significant invention in the history of cryptography came to be in 1973: public-key encryption, or “nonsecret” encryption, as its inventors called it. It is probably the only mathematical algorithm that spurned its own political philosophy. Ironically, “nonsecret” encryption was first discovered in secret at the British eavesdropping agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). And it was kept secret for many years.